(This is the third letter I received from Lawrence Krauss. Click here to start from the beginning.)
August 15, 2026
It took me some time to recover from my humiliation at the hands of President Kardashian and Mr. Ken Ham (though in truth, I wasn’t humiliated at all, but the masses seem to believe that I was). Witnessing the people of our once-great nation accept pseudoscience over real science (and embrace conspiracy theories over truth, all in the name of skepticism — what I now call pseudoskepticism) has caused perhaps the deepest pain I have ever experienced.
In the days following my appearance on television, I was subjected to no end of ridicule. I made the front page of nearly ever newspaper and magazine, often caricatured as a half-human, half-monkey with a banana in hand, or as a chicken running around shouting that the sky was falling. Hate mail began pouring in, and someone spray-painted a message on my front door saying that I was destined to go to hell.
None of these things were particularly worse than abuses I had experienced in the past, however. As an outspoken atheist, one gets used to this sort of treatment, especially in the social climate that has developed over the last ten years or so. In any case, I wasn’t unprepared for it.
What was surprising, however, was the black car that screeched to a halt beside me as I was walking home from buying groceries. Two men in dark clothes jumped out and boxed me in between themselves and the car before I even had a chance to register what was happening.
“Professor Krauss,” one of them said. “Please get into the car. It’s urgent.”
Without hesitating, I got right in. It wasn’t so much that I was being forced, but something about the tone of the man’s voice had won me over. And he had called me “Professor Krauss,” which no one had done in a long time. Certainly no one who had any reason to harm me. It did occur to me, of course, that even the form of address might have been a ruse, an attempt to lull me into a false sense of security. But why bother with that when it might be quicker and easier to stuff me into the vehicle by force?
The men jumped into the car after me. But they flanked me like bodyguards more than captors, and I had the sense that they had been given orders to protect me at all costs. The car sped away, and just as I realized that I must have dropped my bag of groceries in the street, I noticed that one of the men was setting it on the floor of the car in front of him. He had apparently picked it up for me.
“This is an unusual kidnapping,” I said.
“Kidnapping?” the man said as he opened the egg carton on top to make sure none of the eggs had broken. “This isn’t a kidnapping. This is just how our boss welcomes new friends into his fold.”
“Ah,” I said. “And whose friend am I becoming, exactly?”
“A fan of yours, actually.”
“I didn’t know I still had any fans.”
“Maybe not many,” the man said with a wry grin. “But the ones you do have count. Your new friend — our boss — has some influence. Oh, and some money, too. He might be able to help you get this asteroid problem sorted out.”
“Well, I would certainly appreciate it if he could,” I said. “Would you mind telling me his name?”
And that, dear friend, is how I found myself about to meet someone who might actually want to help me for a change. In my next letter, should I have time to write one, I shall tell you how my meeting with Mr. Musk went. In the meantime, please keep doing all you can to keep science in our future.
Lawrence M. Krauss
Join Henry Rambow on Twitter: @HenryRambow