Special Thanks to Emma McNally
Many of us remember “Gilligan’s Island” as a fun little sitcom about a group of castaways on a deserted island trying week after week to escape their most treacherous fate. We laughed when Gilligan would say something stupid, and we oohed and ahhed at the endless supply of dresses that Ginger had packed for a three hour tour. But what most of never realized was that this was not the story of a hapless group of pre-Tom Hanks survivors. Taking place from 1964 until 1978, this was the tale of a communist agent in the middle of the Cold War.
Observation One: The professor was, as his name makes pretty clear, a professor. And professors of his time period were notably liberal and often sympathized with communist or left-wing agendas. Many professors were involved with the Black Panthers and urged civil rights leaders to be more vocal. Some of them after the fall of McCarthyism openly joined the communist or socialist parties. The professor, being a stereotypical professor, was likely a member of one of these parties.
Observation Two: The island was positioned in the Pacific Ocean. This ocean is the dividing area between the democratic United States and the communist nations of China and Russia. If someone were to want radio transmissions to go either way, or want a key location for deciphering codes and passing them on, the Pacific Ocean would seem a likely place. And we know the professor had a radio.
Observation Three: The professor had the means to escape the island and the means to escape with everyone else. Think about it. He built literally hundreds of technologically advanced gadgets. If he could do this, surely he could have made not only a raft but probably a sizable yacht. In a week’s time they could have all been home safe. The only reason he would not have helped everyone escape is because he needed to be on that island for some reason. This reason was obviously to be a Soviet spy.
You’re thinking that the professor tried on numerous occasions to get them off the island and it was Gilligan – not the professor – who foiled the escape plans. Nonsense. The professor knew full well he could escape and he also knew that everyone else was aware of his genius. He needed a cover-up, something to stop him from doing what was so easy. Gilligan was the patsy, positioned to break anything that might lead to an escape. For all we know, the professor actually had a working boat stashed somewhere that he would use at night. This is unlikely, but if he got desperate, surely he must have thought of a retreat?
You might be wondering why he needed to keep everyone else on the island. He could have sent them home and stayed on the island. Wrong. First of all, suspicions would be raised if he stayed behind because only a complete lunatic would choose a deserted island over civilization. He needed everyone there so he appeared as helpless as the rest. Second, the larger numbers helped him to have time for his work without resorting to menial labor. The professor had all day to decipher code while Gilligan or Maryann would fetch his dinner or other basic chores. Third, the castaways made for a respectable bargaining chip if the Soviets needed one. Suppose a Soviet spy was captured by the Americans, and was important enough that he had to be recovered. The Soviets had a prominent businessman and a noted actress hostage (without their knowledge) for years that they could produce on a moment’s notice if a trade needed to be arranged.
Observation Four: The timing of the crash and the subsequent rescue seem to coincide well with Soviet events. 1964 was a crucial time in Soviet and American relations, following the assassination of Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs Crisis. Spies would have been of the utmost important beginning just before this time (while the professor was recruiting on campus) and up through the time of being “lost.” They were finally rescued in 1978, when new leadership was in Russia and the influence of Kruschev had worn off. The seeds of democracy were being planted, and the release of the island hostages was an early agreement between both factions in the pre-Reagan days.
Obviously these facts can only mean that the professor was a communist sympathizer and most probably an agent working on their behalf. The only other explanation is that the professor was a cruel and inhumane dictator who took pleasure from holding his shipmates hostage. However, as he would have nothing to gain from this, and as we have seen his altruistic behavior on numerous occasions, this is simply not plausible. The sabotage of keeping the shipmates on the island was deliberate and for a higher cause – the cause of communism.