2008-07-23

Delovanje Dabića: dubine i dubioze

Some details are beginning to emerge about the life that Radovan Karadžić led under the name of Dragan David Dabić. He did not appear to make a strong impression on his neighbours in Novi Beograd, who if they remember him as well remember him as quiet and polite with a dress sense that was unusual, what Californians might describe as "elegant casual." He got groceries every day in one shop, and seems to have purchased there modestly, but liked to get large quantities of bottled water. Nobody seems to have drawn any connection between the pleasant practitioner of fake medicine and the fugitive who was playing the role.

People with whom he came into contact in the "medical" world also did not suspect anything, except that the editor of Zdrav život never did believe he had a medical degree or profession (but nevertheless appreciated Karadžić's articles on meditation and the like, which do seem to have attracted a readership). A couple of people used his healing services, which seemed to involve waving his hands around people's bodies, which would appear to constitute "classical bioenergy," and the purchase of pendants. Oh, and he seems to have been inseparable from someone called Mila.

There were only a few signs of his old political affiliations and of the ideas that led him a few years earlier to become a perpetrator of genocide. Apparently he frequented a bar where traditional gusle music was played, and liked to listen, sometimes played and sang songs about himself facing a picture of himself with a larger hairdo, and praised his fellow traditional music enthusiasts for preserving folk customs. This is hardly determinative of anything, though -- the overwhelming majority of people who appreciate traditional culture are not criminals at all.

A couple mild indications can also be found in the articles on meditation he wrote for Zdrav život. Again, it is not much: in reflecting on meditation he falls into a digression on the authenticity of cultures and whether they "have not been destroyed or blocked in development." But again, there are many more essentialists out there than there are extremists. Even offering up silly ideas, he gave nobody any reason to suspect who he was.

All in all it sounds as though he succeeded in living the life of a peaceful fellow who did not stand out much in a crowd. Very likely he would have been able to continue doing that if he did not begin to seek publicity for his "treatments." Psychologist Leposava Kron explains this behaviour, which seems to have led to his capture, as representing a need for attention which was unchanged from his previous life.

11 comments:

Paul Stubbs said...

QUOTE: the overwhelming majority of people who appreciate traditional culture are not criminals at all

Care to put a rough percentage on it Eric?

Eric Gordy said...

It has to be at least 58.

Paul Stubbs said...

It is context specific of course but in this particular case, that sounds about right!

DarkoV said...

Eric,
Your reportage on the doings of Mr. Karadžić are priceless. We all know the horrors committed; it is the Slavic humor twist that you add that makes this whole thing seem surreal, Balkan style.

Please! Please keep up the news stream and your take on the whole matter. Maybe you should get a press pass for The Hague?

Eric Gordy said...

Thanks, Darko! This story has so many freaky elements, from the unexpected arrest itself to Radovan's bizarre self-realisation. How is Mladic disguised, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

The Independent reports that Mladic turned Karadzic in. FWIW.

Eric Gordy said...

Link! Link!
Well, never mind, I'll find it. I think Ljajic said yesterday that they thought they were on Mladic's trail but found Dr Dabar instead, but maybe this is unrelated ....

Anonymous said...

http://www.newstin.co.uk/sim/uk/70025925/en-010-004317344

Eric Gordy said...

Interesting! The full article is at the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/serbia/2448155/Ratko-Mladic-gave-up-ally-Radovan-Karadzic-to-save-himself.html

I'm not sure it makes much sense to me, but I'm tired. More to come tomorrow ...

stultitia said...

Apparently, the news of Karadzic’s disguise as alternative medicine-man angered the notorious Croatian alternative and fringe scientist Drago Plecko, man who, among many other things, supports the pseudoscientific Bosnian Pyramid Project and had tried to convince the inhabitants of Visoko that such pyramids would be their Medjugorje (if you'd like to listen to the related interview, in BCS: http://www.rtv-visoko.ba/audio/drago.mp3).

It turns out that Mr. Plecko used to work with Karadzic in the 80s, when both of them wrote articles for the notorious Yugoslav (and now Bosnian) magazine for “greatest world mysteries” Arka. The magazine then and now is edited by another supporter of the Bosnian Pyramid Project, Mr. Ahmed Bosnic.

What is interesting now is that Mr. Plecko, apart from wanting to dissociate himself from any (alternative) practices of Radovan Karadzic, also implies that Karadzic’s disguise as alternative medicine-man was concocted by secret services and is suspiciously convenient to both mainstream medicine and the Orthodox Church, to whom Karadzic is now an embarrassment. That is why, Plecko claims, Karadzic was pushed into the “temple of the universal”, which is alternative field. Poor alternatives, this is quite a blow for them...

My personal opinion is that this whole aspect of the Karadzic Case reveals that alternative – whatever it may be – is a perfect camouflage for all sorts of fanatics, crocks and monsters.

Eric Gordy said...

I think Tofil Pancic shares your opinion: http://www.vreme.com/cms/view.php?id=685354