Academic fraud is an international phenomenon. All Spocanians know the case of Cryps and Cortesj. In a paper from 1969, these sociologists showed that Ergynnic burial rites on the isle of Garos were disappearing fast. Spocanian governments have always been keen to keep rural traditions alive. So an extra dollop of subsidies was administered. And indeed their 1978 study established many more burials, but also showed that funeral expenses were on the rise.
Hence another dollop of subsidies, as much as 750.000 hercos a year (about 1.000.000 € today). New figures in 2001 proved that island burials flourished, and also that affluence was on the increase. But when in 2008 Ergynnic burial figures really rocketed, the government epidemiologist sounded the alarm. He envisaged overspilling graveyards and an island population on the verge of extinction. Serious investigation revealed that Cryps and Cortesj – the latter a native of Garos – had rigged their figures: Ergynnic burials were not disappearing in 1969, nor were funeral expenses going up in 1978.
They had concocted these findings together with local authorities, and had been rewarded with luxury country homes and annual revenues. Subsidies indeed made all families eager to have at least one fictitious burial a year. And of course many started overdoing it. Burials were faked on a large scale, and even brought lots of tourists to the island. By the time all this was discovered, Cryps and Cortesj had both deceased. But the national outcry still reverberates.
Terrafane-fjegs fes Garos (Burial rites on Garos) (1969, Zest: Ef sers Tibâners)
Terrafanos fes Garos (Burying on Garos) (1978, Liyrotyka: Ekonomiy Universitiy)
Terrafanôsta fes Garos (Funerals on Garos) (2001, Sošologise T˙dens, 17/4, p 12 (July 2001))
Garoszârs terrafane râviym pert én râviym mikar (Garosians do a lot of burying and remarkably expensive too) (2008, Kleter Hirdoegg, 21 March 2008)
By courtesy of Joost den Haan