Why Do We Take the “Truth” as Fact? (Franklin vs. Crunch)

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Few men have had the wherewithal to lead the formation of a country with very little promise or prospect.  In the same vein, the life of a navy admiral–while woeful and lonely–can also up-heave men to the highest clutches of fame and glory due to the arduous, painstaking dedication required. It has been purported many times already but will be again brought to the forefront of historical disputes: the contrasting of pure skill, influence and initiative shown by two of the greatest—nay—the two greatest men (or so they would want you to believe) who have ever walked the land or the cedar of starboard.

Though the truth on the subject is often overlooked, or simply ignored in most cases, there are definitive answers to many of the questions of import involving one of the founding fathers of the United States and the mascot of a breakfast cereal produced by Quaker Oats. To uncover that which has been for so long covered up, the facts must be investigated. Benjamin Franklin was born in early 1706 to Abiah Folger and Josiah Franklin, spending much of his early life in Boston. Being born alongside 16 other brothers and sisters, Ben spent much of his time without easy access to his parents. This means that he was mostly left to his own devices—to think, wonder, and dream of what might lie ahead of him in his long life. It was his father’s wish that he study and become a clergyman as a young man, so that he may be guaranteed life, liberty, and property before the foundations of the states were even set up. Due to financial issues, Ben was never able to graduate from any level of higher education and eventually fled to Philadelphia after leaving an apprenticeship with his older brother, James, where he was being trained as a printer. Though his early life will prove to be integral to point at hand, the story will now be fast-forwarded to a time when Benjamin Franklin was already a well-established newspaperman. It was near this time in his life when he would receive an invitation and inevitably be initiated into the local masonic lodge; Ben was to become a freemason. After becoming grandmaster of the lodge just 3 years later, his rapidly became a known name in Pennsylvania.

As is known of Ben Franklin, he was a wildly successful inventor and–in general—an inquirer of scientific concepts. Or was he? Many believe that because all evidence from textbooks, historical accounts, and eyewitnesses point to the fact that he made massive scientific and mathematical contributions, that it must be 100% true. It seems like fact, right? Well, maybe not. If we look back at how mediocrity stricken his childhood was, how grossly average he was out of a family of purely average Samaritans, and how he, himself, could not so much as finish a year of schooling. Benjamin Franklin was a Fraud. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at something else. Remember how I mentioned him joining the freemasons and then, almost instantaneously, gaining huge amounts of recognition and fame? This is no coincidence. It is somewhat commonly known now that the freemasons are a very secretive society that dates back to the founding of the first 13 colonies. Nobody that is not involved in masonic rituals and activities knows what sorts of things happen in those freemason lodges. Take a look at a list of pertinent figures in politics and justice who have been avid member of the freemasonry. The list goes on and on. And Ben was one of the original. One of the founding fathers, if you will.

All arguments aside, the question of Benjamin’s intelligence might be one we never get a definitive answer to, but we can say that there were an outstanding number of accounts that referenced him being a prolific chess player. Whether or not the information I have provided is completely true, it is up to us as a society to decide whether or not Ben’s thinking power was truly enough to bring down a Goliath such as the captain himself. Oh, but I am getting too ahead of myself. Allow me now to introduce the story of Captain Crunch himself.

Tomas P. Kransche was born August 23, 1762 in a small town in what is now the Czech Republic. Not a huge amount is known about his childhood but one thing that can be said is that he longed for the sea. Ever since he was born he cursed living so far inland, locked out from the seven seas by the land which eroded his hopes and dreams. Each and every day this burning passion gave rise to his eventual emigration from his home in eastern Europe, to what is now the Netherlands. Here, he was able to work as a simple chef, slowly accruing the money necessary to purchase a boat that would take out to the fresh airs of the vast expanse of the ocean. Finally, his dream became a reality. He rounded up a hearty crew of strong-armed fellows to run his ship, and he set sail—no destination. For years and years, he roamed, looking for a new land where he could stake his claim. Finally, he would come across a small island 400 miles off the coast of Thailand and anchor on its sandy beaches. Whilst exploring his newfound land, he came across a curious unknown species of monkey. This species was far more intelligent than any other yet discovered in the world and could complete tasks requiring short term memory, advanced dexterity and finesse, and strong reasoning instincts. This frightened Kransche and he decided it was for the best to capture some of these creatures and take them back for research purposes.

The next part of the story some may find very disturbing. Because Kransche feared so much about this new bipedal race of monkey, he would keep them in solitude and captivity, feeding them only a new form of food that he created solely to promote their growth and maturity. This food, Unbeknownst to him–though high in protein and starches–proved to be poisonous to the small creatures. Slowly but surely, the entire species was eradicated by Kransche and his research team. He was so ashamed of the work that he did that he ended up spending the rest of his days in solidarity on the island once inhabited by the creatures he destroyed. It is theorized that he took his own life due to the debilitating guilt.

All moral or ethical dilemmas aside, Kransche was a genius of a man and a pioneer of his time. His story of infamy prevented him from being in the history textbooks but the truth, like in many other similar cases, can always be found if you look hard enough.

(Please note that all information about Tomas Kransche and the story of his life was taken from government documents and testimonials passed through generations of his family and the family of his colleagues. Though his story is the original basis for the cereal Cap’n Crunch, there are others who claim he is based on other people. One such person is Horatio Magellan Crunch born March 11th, 1943. He is merely a story based on the original inspiration, Tomas.)


Michael Feinstein