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Friday, October 10, 2014

Once upon a time, in the land of Nod, which is far, far away, there lived a greedy and self absorbed very vain king, who cared more about money, appearance and possessions, than about what was good for his people, never mind 7 future generations. The King of Nod did not even inquire about the people's problems or needs, nor grant any meetings with his subjects complaining about things. All this king wanted was a new, better and more expensive sets of clothes, that he could show off to all of the other kings, in other foreign lands, as well as to his royal court. The King of Nod was all about looking good, above all else. He changed clothes every hour, and spent money like it was water, on royal trinkets and baubles.

The greedy and vain king wanted more sets of new and special clothing so fine, that the people would be amazed and foreign kings the peoples there would be green with envy. The king of Nod wanted something that no one else in the world had, which would make him very special and unique, better than anyone else. 

The king asked for experts on the subject of clothing to bring him proposals for new types of clothing that would be so much better and different from any clothing that had come before it, that it would be like the difference between night and day. 

Out of all of the clothing makers and tailors who offered to make new clothing for the King in the land of Nod, two tailors came to the court who presented the most expensive and different idea. They offered the king of Nod a special new invention that they called transmuted thread, made in special vessels that only they knew how to operate and control. This thread had a special property of being invisible to certain people, but only to the stupid, ignorant or those who did not deserve to have their job.

Wikipedia; Vilhelm Pederse illustration

The two tailor's proposal for this new transmuted thread and special clothing cost so much more than any of the others, that the kings accountants, experts and advisors gasped with shock. They knew that this project would eventually empty the public treasury. But his court of advisors and experts did not say anything for fear of offending the king, and thus losing their jobs. No one else said anything either, because the king was the king after all, and who would dare to complain about what the king wanted? He was the king after all. 

These two tailors promised that they could make the king of Nod a set of clothes that would make all of the other kings in foreign lands so very envious, they would turn green. They promised that this set of clothing would never wear out, and never fade, and never need any adjustments either, if the king gained or lost weight. They promised that he would actually save money overall, in the long term. 

They promised the king who lived in the land of Nod, that these new clothes would be so wonderful and well fitting, that they would make the king feel special, and feel so much better as well, because these clothes would also benefit his health in a very special hormesis way. They promised that the colors would be so vibrant and alive, that people would be awestruck in wonder. 

They promised that this clothing, even though it was soooo very expensive, would last forever, and no other set of clothing would ever be needed to be purchased again. By calculating this out with very hard to understand statistics, the two tailors make it look in their presentation to the king and the court, that the clothing was actually pretty close to free. Who is going to complain about something that sounds like it is almost free, after all? So everyone kept quiet, because it all sounded so wonderful and magical, almost miraculous even. 

The king, the advisors and the people did not know how to understand the tailor's statistics and a new kind of language that they created just for this purpose, with words like hormesis theory and transmutation of elements. So everyone just believed these two expert tailors and trusted them at their word. No one wanted to look foolish by trying to argue with them about these numbers, theories and statistics, and no one understood this new language that they used. No one knew anything about transmutation either. No one wanted to look foolish or stupid, so no one said anything. 

The tailors explained that the type of transmuted thread being used to create this set of clothing was so special, so fine, and so expensive, that it could not even be understood, seen or worked with by anyone who was of low intelligence, stupid, incompetent or unfit for their position. Only special, elegant and smart and wise people like them could even see this thread.

The king did not see any thread when offered samples of it by the two tailors, but agreed with the tailors, because he was greedy, and he wanted desperately to be elegant and so very special. He was afraid that he was either stupid or not fit for office due to not seeing the thread, but said nothing, out of a sense of shame, fear and embarrassment. 

The tailors told the king that only a few special people like them could even create or work with this new super expensive transmuted thread, because it was very, very difficult to obtain. Only the two tailors could even process the raw materials and make the new thread, it was that special and new. This thread had never been seen before this time, it was so special. The special thread was so hard to find, it was almost impossible, and thus, very expensive to make in special reactor vessels, with a brand new process that no one else but these two tailors knew anything about. 

When the king heard about this new and exciting style of clothing, he immediately ordered a new set of royal robes and garments to be made by these two tailors from this new and special transmuted thread. The tailors of course, said that they could only start making these clothes for the king, if they got full payment in advance. 

The king wanted these new robes and set of clothing so desperately, he agreed to all of their demands. He paid them a huge princely sum that came out of the public treasury. The money came from funds that were supposed to be used for building homes for all of the sick war veterans, orphans and widows in the land of Nod.  

Of course, none of the kings subjects or advisors complained, because these two tailors promised so many wonderful things and they all wanted the king to look good in public. None of the advisors wanted to rock the boat or make waves, since it looked like this was going to happen, no matter what they said. So why risk their jobs by speaking out?

After all, their kingdom had to have a good 'appearance' and embrace new things like this special thread. Who would dare to oppose these two tailors with their hormesis theory, statistics, close to free clothing, and special type of new thread that no one understood? Who could argue with close to free, health promoting, green, clean, lasts forever and good for everyone transmutation thread?

Everyone in the land of Nod agreed that no one wanted their king walking around with shabby, inferior and old fashioned, out of date clothing. So the people agreed with the king that these two tailors would be paid for their work out of the treasury. The orphans, war veterans or widows would have to keep sleeping outside and not have a roof over their heads, because the kings new clothes and this new thread were much more important than that. 

So the tailors were paid in advance, and they got to work. But what the king and the court advisors and the people did not know is that the two tailors were actually just ordinary crooks, who wanted to look important, get rich and steal money from the public treasury. The tailors pretended to work, the king came in to look at the progress, as did the king's advisors, and so did the wise experts and citizens of the kingdom. 

But when the king and the rest of the subjects could not see any thread or clothing, nor any of the benefits promised, despite the tailors appearing to work on this very expensive project, no one said anything. No one complained, because each them thought that they were of too low of an intelligence, stupid, incompetent or possibly even unfit for their position. They all thought that they would be discovered to be stupid if they dared to speak out in opposition to this huge project that consumed a large part of the peoples treasury at this point.

Monument in Odense

Besides, the king, the court advisors, all of them very highly and well thought of 'experts', and the newspapers of the land all announced that the two tailors' work was proceeding well, despite increased costs, and the clothing looked so wonderful, who were they to complain or disagree?

After several months of work, the tailors ran into some major problems, which they said could be solved by advancing more payment, but it would double or triple the cost of the set of clothing. The king and the advisors quickly agreed, because after all, it was not their money, but the people's money, and what did it really matter if the destitute and homeless went without food for a few years, or new schools could not be built?

The two tailors and their special thread project was much more important, plus the king in the land of Nod had to look good and powerful in front of other nations and foreign lands kings. After all, no other king could afford to spend this amount of money, so it made the king of Nod appear to be even more powerful and lordly, plus closer to God, than ever before. Since the king of Nod was all about vanity, looking good and seeming to be more and more powerful, he kept on going with this project, no matter what. 

The people in the land of Nod mostly also agreed, because after all, the homeless were looked down on as worthless and useless baggage by most of the people of the land, and leaky, old falling down schools could be patched up, so they agreed it was more important for the tailors to get more money, so the nation would make a good impression on foreigners and the land of Nod could show off this new and special thread and clothing and make everyone else green with envy. 

This doubling of costs happened several times over several years, but each time the tailors promised more things around this new and miraculous set of clothing, so the king, the advisors and the people agreed to pay more money out of the public treasury, while cutting more and more services for the people of the land of Nod. Even the roads and bridges were not being repaired anymore. Old falling down schools had money taken away again. 

Due to the cost of this transmuted thread project, many classes in the land of Nod were cancelled and teachers all over the nation of Nod were laid off and sent home. Parks and museums were closed. Children's class sizes went from 10 kids in a class to 40 or even 70 kids in a classroom, with some kids sitting on the floor without desks, just so the two tailors could get paid, so the king could have his new set of clothing and robes that would last forever and impress all of the other nations so much that they would literally turn green with envy.  And what king doesn't want that? There was much grumbling by the king's subjects, but he was king of Nod and he said the two tailors had to be paid, so nothing much could be done after all... the king is the king, right? 

After years of delays, finally the long awaited day arrived when the king got to wear his new clothing for the first time. The tailors made sure that only they could handle and dress the king with these new robes and clothes, and no one else could touch or handle them. The new clothes were all kept under special guard and locked up when the two tailors were not around, so no one could really get close to the new clothes or to the tailors. The tailors made sure everyone was kept a certain distance away with fences and special guards. Even new laws that protected the tailors were created during this time.

Because these transmuted thread clothes were so expensive, the tailors even had the king and the court of advisors and people's representatives pass laws making it illegal to sue the tailors for any reason at all. After all, they were performing such an important public benefit, who in their right mind would want to sue them anyway and possibly slow down or endanger their very valuable work? So the king, the court and the peoples' representatives agreed to this and other laws which protected the two tailors and the special clothing for all eternity. 

The two tailors even got a law passed, called the Price Anderson Act, which said that if anything bad happened, that the two tailors would only have to pay a few cents, and the public treasury would be responsible for paying the rest. The two tailors last names were Price and Anderson, so it was fitting that this law was named after them.

The tailors justified this law by saying that the clothing also defended the nation against attack, due to it's magical defensive bullet proof properties, and the military commanders went along with this, because they did not want to look bad, foolish, stupid or unfit for their jobs either, just like all of the rest of the advisors around the king of Nod. 

Since no one thought anything could ever go wrong, and the tailors made many promises that nothing would go wrong for at least a million years, and that this special clothing would also prevent any wars from ever happening again, so everyone agreed to this law as well.  After all, no one dared to speak in public against these two tailors who were considered to be right up there close to God himself in terms of power, position and prestige in the land of Nod at this point. After all, these tailor were not promising world peace forever, and who would oppose that, except for stupid people?

Finally, the day came when the king was outfitted with his fancy, new and very wonderful transmuted thread clothing. The king of Nod arranged a very expensive parade that went throughout the whole land of Nod. By this time, everyone was thinking that this special set of clothing was the very best thing and the two tailors were so wonderful, that they were seen to be even MORE important and powerful than the King himself. After all, even the king of Nod could not find, make or create any of this special thread or clothing, and no one else promised world peace, health, and much more with their project. 

By now, these two tailors and their group of 'helpers' plus their special advisors to the king now had so much money, so much power, and so much prestige (even in the colleges and universities) that no one would dare to speak anything bad about them in public. Privately though, many people thought something was not right about all of this.. It all just sounded too good to be true. 

To speak anything bad about the two tailors was considered treason, heresy, or even worse. The few people that did dare to speak out about these two tailors were made fun of and attacked viciously in the press and by their neighbors. These few brave whistleblowers were all charged with crimes, lost their jobs and were thrown in jail for having the gall to spread harmful rumors about the king and the two tailors who at this point had been awarded the Nobel Prize for World Peace. 

The king and his court, plus all of the advisors, and the press, the two tailors and the whole crowd of experts all participated in a massive parade that went from one end of the land of Nod all the way to the other end, over a course of several days. Huge festivities, dances, speeches, award ceremonies and banquets were held in honor of the kings new clothes, this new miraculous thread and the two tailors, who were also there, holding up the royal sunshade to protect the king and his new set of royal robes from the heat of the sun. The two tailors had many glowing tributes, speeches and articles written about them, because all of their promises seemed to be coming true.. 

Illustration by Vilhelm Pedersen, Andersen's first illustrator

Finally, near the end, in the largest of all of the parades in the largest city of the land of Nod, with the most people watching, the Emperor paraded before his subjects in his new transmuted thread clothes. Actually, underneath and in secret, "no one believed that king had any clothes on, but everyone believed that everyone else believed that he had clothes on. So no one said anything, and the people all clapped and cheered for the king and his two tailors who were responsible for bringing in world peace with this new transmuted thread clothing. 

Some people were ignorant as to whether the Emperor had clothes on or not, but believed that everyone else was not ignorant, so they did not say anything for fear of looking or sounding stupid. And so they all clapped and cheered for the king and his two very famous and powerful tailors who went with the king where ever he went.  

But finally, at a point where there was silence during this huge parade and in front of a huge crowd of people very close to the king of Nod, a small innocent child cried out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" 

The king of Nod realized after he heard what the child said during the parade, that he had been fooled and taken advantage of by these two tailors, but he could not say anything or do anything about it, because he did not want to look bad in front of the two tailors or be embarrassed by speaking the truth.

He quickly came up with a cover story after he got back to the royal palace and made an official royal proclamation, so that he would not be quite as embarrassed. He announced to the people of Nod and to the news media that this whole transmuted invisible thread clothing project was all just a test, to see if anyone could tell the REAL truth, rather than just going along with the crowd, or being 'normal', or saying what the king wanted to hear. He said that it was amazing that it took an innocent young child to do it, and not one adult was willing to in the years that this project had taken to complete. 

Because the news media was there close to the child, and the crowd reacted to what the child said with shock and awe, (plus agreement), this child's innocent observation and the king's announcement about why he did this, quickly spread throughout the land of Nod as both gossip and news. Did you hear about how the king is not wearing any clothing? 

As this news spread like wildfire through the land of Nod, more and more people realized that what the child was saying was actually true and they started speaking out and writing letters, plus doing protests at all of the money being wasted out of the public treasury for these two crooks and frauds. They understood that the king was lying to them. They knew he was just making up a cover story for the real crooks hidden behind the throne. Very soon after that, a great hue and cry went up from the people and a huge movement against the two tailors and their associated band of thieves and tricksters started, first in one town, then it spread to all of the other towns in the land of Nod. 

People signed petitions, had their churches make public statements and worked on passing ordinances against these crooks in their city councils. Many people sued both the crooks, their supporters, the media and the king for misleading them. Huge protests broke out all over the land of Nod. A few independent newspapers even starting writing articles against the band of crooks who stole money from the treasury. Eventually, even the whistleblowers were let out of jail and hailed as brave heroes. 

After awhile, the king saw that the people were very unhappy with the crooks, despite his cover story, so he commanded that the crooks be taken from their princely mansions and hauled before a judge. The judge and jury quickly convicted these crooks to a life in prison with hard labor of breaking large rocks into small ones, for misleading the king and the people with all of their lies and deceptions.

The crooks ill gotten money, gold and jewels were taken away from them and what remained was put back into the public Treasury. The special transmutation thread project was quickly dismantled and disappeared from public view, with no more interest by the public or the king.

Of course, the king was embarrassed, but there was no way around this. Behind his back, many of the kings and most people in other lands were laughing at the King of Nod, because he was fooled by these very ordinary crooks and fraudsters, while ignoring and denying the basic and very real, simple and basic needs of the people in the land of Nod. 

The king learned a valuable lesson. He understood that no one was special, not even the king. He realized that he needed to focus on ruling the people by doing simple things that were easy to understand, and that did not hurt either this generation or seven future generations. He also made sure that all voices in the land were heard, and those that disagreed with the king and pointed out corruption were no longer punished or thrown in jail, but rewarded with both cash awards and positions of prestige in the universities that were scattered around the land of Nod.

The king of Nod hired the best of the whistleblowers and made them into his closest and wisest advisors, and they were given gold medals of honor by the king himself. He also made sure that all of the schools and colleges in the land taught that above all else, people should think for themselves and speak their truth, even if it is in opposition to what most people think or believe. 

The king of Nod changed to be more compassionate and caring for the people of the land. And the people in the land of Nod lived happily ever after by focusing with the King of Nod on what worked for this generation as well as 7 future generations, without causing harm. Due to the numerous whistleblowers who received lots of coverage in the newspapers and TV, crooks and fraudsters were quickly exposed and thrown into jail, and caused little or no harm. 

The end

The above story is based on a modern interpretation of the short tale The Emperor's New Clothes.

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A valuable exercise is letting people interpret the story above in their own way. Asking questions is one way of seeing what each individual in a classroom or a group got out of the story, or what it means to them personally. 

What is the lesson of this story?

What is your favorite interpretation of this story? 

What does this story mean to you? 

How does this story apply in your life, your community, your nation, or the world? 

Below are some interpretations that can be explored and talked about in a group or classroom setting. 

Links are available for diving deeper into this subject. 


The King's New Clothes story is focused on the corruption and fraud, not only in the nuclear industry, but also the nuclear medical industry, huge global corporations, etc.. The fraud and corruption can be explored by going to the numerous articles inside of the AGRP database of articles..

Wikipedia; "Kejserens nye Kl├Žder) is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" The tale has been translated into over a hundred languages.[1]


"The Emperor’s New Clothes" was first published with "The Little Mermaid" in Copenhagen by C. A. Reitzel on 7 April 1837 as the third and final installment of Andersen's Fairy Tales Told for Children. The tale has been adapted to various media, including the musical stage and animated film.
Various adaptations of the tale have appeared since its first publication, including a 1919 Russian film directed by Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky, a 1987 musical starring Sid Caesar, and numerous short stories, plays, spoofs, and animated films.[1]

The Emperor's New Clothes (1953)


In 1980, computer scientist C.A.R. Hoare used a parody tale, The Emperor's Old Clothes, to advocate simplification over embellishment, for clothing or computer sorting algorithms.[24]


In 1985, Jack Herer published the first edition of, ''The Emperor Wears No Clothes. This book uncovers the history of industrial hemp through civilization, culminating to a propaganda campaign in the U.S. in the early 20th century. The book is now in its 11th edition.


The story is often cited by the non-religious community in forms such as "The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome". This term is intended to draw an analogy between, on the one hand, Andersen's story and, on the other hand, the nature of beliefs systems that lack an empirical basis. 


This analogy expresses the view that such a belief system "only survives by everyone agreeing to maintain the illusion that it makes sense." The action performed by the child—breaking the illusion by explicitly stating what everyone was pretending not to see—is implied by these members of the non-religious community to be analogous to atheists voicing their views regarding these belief systems.[25]


Naomi Wood of Kansas State University challenges Robbins' reading, arguing that before the World Trade Center attacks of 2001, "Robbins's argument might seem merely playful, anti-intuitive, and provocative."[22] Wood concludes: "Perhaps the truth of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' is not that the child's truth is mercifully free of adult corruption, but that it recognizes the terrifying possibility that whatever words we may use to clothe our fears, the fabric cannot protect us from them."[23]

Muppets story for children


The phrase "emperor's new clothes" has become an idiom about logical fallacies.[29] The story may be explained by pluralistic ignorance.[30] The story is about a situation where "no one believes, but everyone believes that everyone else believes. Or alternatively, everyone is ignorant to whether the Emperor has clothes on or not, but believes that everyone else is not ignorant."[31]"'s_New_Clothes


The short video tale above focuses on a greedy and self absorbed king, who cares nothing for the people and their needs.


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The King's New Clothes; An Ancient Story With A Modern Twist, For Children And Adults

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