Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

A Ninja’s Flighty Ideas

October 13th, 2009 · 2 Comments

In response to our recent placeholder extolling the virtues of Stan Bush’s work on Bloodsport, one of our faithful Virginia correspondents turned us on to this 1988 exposé, which argues that the film’s biographical subject is a huckster. The piece is behind a subscription wall, so those without a ProQuest account will have to make do with our favorite excerpt regarding the alleged mendacity of Frank Dux:

A brochure for Dux’s ninjitsu schools lists him as “one of the most decorated veterans of the Southeast Asian conflict.” Visitors to his home were shown newspaper articles about him, including an editorial titled “A Silent Hero” that Dux said he clipped from the Washington Star. Told later that the newspaper’s archives have no clippings about him, Dux said he could not remember the source of the editorial.

The piece quotes from a commanding officer’s diary: “We’re hungry. We’re tired. We’re all out of ammo. We all might go mad if not for a spunky kid named Duke for short.” The diary describes Dux crawling through a mine field to rescue an Asian baby that he later turned over to a Taoist priest…

The story evaporates upon inspection, according to military records. The Marine Corps said that Dux served from 1975 to 1981 and that there is no indication he ever left the United States. His military medical file, according to those who saw it, said that on Jan. 22, 1978, he was referred for psychiatric evaluation for expressing “flighty and disconnected ideas.” Though a member of the reserves, which meant he was on active duty only a short time, he reportedly insisted that he was working for an intelligence agency.

A follow-up medical evaluation at a military psychiatric clinic in Long Beach on April 18 of that year found him normal, but seemed to scotch any further talk about his intelligence work, saying that his only possible intelligence work was being “cursorily” involved in gathering information about one individual.

Dux said the military ordered his record sabotaged to discredit him. The government did not know how much he knew about other covert operations, he said, so they placed information in his file to destroy his credibility.

In the interest of fairness, a slightly more sympathetic take on the controversy can be found here. We like the detail about the trophy receipt the best.


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