Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Attempted Assassination of President Reagan

2:27PM Eastern Standard Time.  Monday afternoon.

The Washington Hilton.  Eight minutes from the White House.

Six shots from a Rohm RG-14 0.22 revolver. 

"Rawhide down."

John Warnock Hinckley Jr. fired every bullet his pistol would hold but each of the six missed his intended target, President Ronald Reagan -- codenamed "Rawhide" by the Secret Service.  His first shot struck Press Secretary James Brady in the left temple.  Shot number two struck DC Police Officer Thomas Delahanty in the back as he was shielding Reagan with his body.  Bullet three was wild and struck a nearby building but the fourth found a target in Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy.  Hinckley's final two shots were aimed in the direction of the Presidential limousine, #5 hitting the bullet-proof glass of the door but #6 gave Hinckley some small measure of success.  The final bullet ricocheted off of the car's armor-plating and was diverted upward, striking Reagan in the armpit and puncturing his lung.

Reagan was the first US President to survive being shot while in office.  Due to his age and the severity of his injuries, Reagan's health was in doubt at least temporarily and the situation was serious enough that the emergency plan for Presidential succession was enacted with Secretary of State General Alexander Haig famously telling the press, "I am in control here" while Vice-President Bush was en route from Texas.  The Oscars were even post-poned. 

It took little time for the furor surrounding the assassination attempt to dissipate, however, after the press began exploring Hinckley's background.  Or, at least, parts of it.  Hinckley's obsession with actress Jodie Foster soon dominated headlines and soon the assassination became a mere footnote in the bizarre story of a lonely, obsessed man and beautiful starlet he stalked.  Reagan's assassination became something of a joke; one that was compounded when Reagan himself made light of it and Hinckley's subsequent successful insanity defense.  In most people's opinion, a crazy man shot the President, who lived... so no story, right?

There are, however, a number of highly suspicious aspects of the shooting.  So many, in fact, that the one-in-a-million chance shot that struck Reagan -- another "magic bullet" -- isn't even the most curious element of the attempted assassination.  We'll take these point by point and also investigate the strange synchronicities between this and other famous assassinations.

The element that received the most attention in the wake of the shooting was the connections between the Hinckley family and George H.W. Bush, the man who would have reaped the most benefits from Reagan's assassination.  The Bushes and Hinckleys both made their fortunes in the oil business in Texas.  Many theorists have pointed to a particular, peculiar event as evidence of something more sinister:  John Hinckley's brother, Scott, was scheduled to have a meeting with Bush's son Neil the day after the shooting took place.  The Bush-Hinckley connections are strange, for sure, and when coupled with Bush's previous post as CIA director and the vicious attacks Reagan and Bush launched at each other prior to the RNC, the assassination seems to be an open-and-shut case.  But it is almost too neat.  The idea that Bush would pick a young man from a family that could be easily connected to him strains credulity and rightly so.  It seems so improbable because it is most likely untrue.  George HW Bush has been accused of a litany of crimes by conspiracy theorists -- from being a reptilian alien to the Antichrist -- but no one accuses him of being a dummy, so the likelihood that he would have made such an obvious error is infintesimly small.

Far more intriguing than the Bush links is the saga of a man all but forgotten by history.  So obscure that he isn't even mentioned on the Wikipedia page on the shooting: Edward M. Richardson.  Richardson was an unemployed man from Pennsylvania who was arrested in Manhattan by Secret Service agents on April 7th.  Richardson had sent a letter threatening to "finish what Hinckley started" by assassinating Reagan, Secretary of State Haig, and ultra-conservative Senator Jesse Helms in attempt to, in his words, "turn the country to the 'Left'."  The story of Richardson could be dismissed as simply a copy cat were it not for the numerous and disturbing links between him and Hinckley.  Both men were obsessed with Jodie Foster, with both men writing letters, phoning her, and even stalking her on Yale's campus during 1980.  Richardson and Hinckley even stayed at the same hotel in Connecticut on separate occasions while stalking Foster.  Richardson also mirrored Hinckley's pattern of aimlessly wandering around the US, although the unemployed Richardson didn't have a wealthy family to support him.  At one point, the two men were living withing a half hour's drive of one another in Colorado.  The Richardson story faded from headlines quickly, but the similarities between the two men are too provocative to ignore.

Hinckley's path to the assassination took a myriad of twists and turns, but ultimately reads like a "greatest hits" of political murder in the 20th Century.  One could call all of these connections "scripted" but I'll leave that for you to decide.  To wit:
  1. Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver was based in part on Arthur Bremer, the would-be assassin of then-Presidential candidate George Wallace. 
  2. Hinckley reportedly saw Taxi Driver 15 times, which was the beginnings of his obsession with Jodie Foster and the idea that assassinating a political figure would make him famous.
  3. Like Bremer and Sirhan Sirhan, Hinckley began keeping a diary of very incriminating information.
  4. We all know about his obsession with Foster, but Hinckley's fixation on the actress was strengthened by the death of his other obsession, John Lennon
  5. Instead of hating Mark David Chapman, he seems to have been trying to emulate him.  Seldom reported at the time, Hinckley left behind an apartment full of incriminating evidence, including a copy of Catcher in the Rye.
Of course, that wasn't the only thing Chapman and Hinckley had in common.  Chapman had spent a few years as a YMCA counselor, and the Hinckley family were big supporters of the CIA-connected World Vision Intl, with his father acting as president at the time of the shooting.

Like most serial killers and assassins, law enforcement practically bent over backwards to ensure Hinckley made it to his target.  Hinckley was arrested in a Tennessee airport in October 1980 for carrying two handguns in his luggage.  Why was Hinckley in Tennessee you ask? He was there to kill Jimmy Carter, who was visiting the city.  Despite arresting an out-of-towner with concealed weapons during a Presidential visit, Hinckley was held for 5 hours and allowed to leave after paying $62.50.  Hinckley's attorney would later be Edward Bennett Williams, a CIA-Mafia connected lawyer with ties to the JFK assassination.  Bennett was at one time in contention for the CIA directorship that Bush received and, ironically, was good friends with Ronald Reagan.  So suffice it to say the "insane" young man in love with the movie star got the best cover-up man in the United States to defend him in what, on the surface, was an open and shut case. 

Lastly, despite the fact that the media portrayed Hinckley as a loner, the fact of the matter is that he had a lot of acquaintances.  In fact, he was in with a lot of our old friends that have turned up in the investigations of the JFK, RFK, MLK, and even the Larry Flynt shootings: the American Nazis.  Hinckley's association with the Nazis dates back to his college years; he even submitted essays on Mein Kampf to his professors.  The government went out of their way to squelch the Hinckley-Nazi links, even after leaders of neo-Nazi groups in multiple states admitted that Hinckley had been a member.  The Nazi's didn't mind being linked to the man who shot the President because they had actually kicked Hinckley out for being "too violent."  Let's think about that for a moment.  Hinckley was drummed out of the neo-Nazis because the things he was suggesting they do were too violent and the leaders thought it would hurt their cause.  That is practically the definition of an agent provocateur and it seems at least one Nazi leader was smart enough to figure it out (eventually), admitting in hind sight, he now suspected that Hinckley was working for the government.

Reagan's assassination attempt faded quickly from the headlines when another beloved figure, Pope John Paul II, was shot in May of the same year.  Like Hinckley, the assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, had numerous links to the Nazis both Neo- and original as well as to Italian intelligence agencies and the CIA.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Deeper Mysteries

Last time I detailed five strange deaths in the financial industry that had been attributed to suicide or accidents.  This trend has continued since that writing as there are now five more to add to the list.

#6 Karl Slym (missed previously) died January 27th after a fall from the 22nd floor of a Bangkok hotel.  Slym was the managing director for Tata Motors and had previously been an executive at General Motors.  Mr. Slym reportedly committed suicide after a fight with his wife.

#7 Tim Dickenson died sometime between January 19th & 25th. (Link here, second paragraph).  Cause of death has not been revealed yet.  Dickenson was a communications director for Swiss Re.  Despite the cause of death not being known publicly, financial journalists including the Wall St. Journal are including Dickenson in lists of banker suicides. 

#8 Li Junjie jumped off the JP Morgan building in Hong Kong on February 18th.  Junjie was an investment banker.  Junjie is the third JP Morgan employee to die via suicide/accident since the start of the year, and the second to do so by jumping/falling from a JPM building. 

#9 James Stuart Jr. was found dead in his Arizona home on February 25th.  Since Stuart was just two days from his 71st birthday, I think it's safe to say "natural causes" are to blame unless information surfaces pointing otherwise.  Stuart was originally from Lincoln, Nebraska and was prominent in their banking scene for most of his career.  Lincoln, Nebraska's banking industry takes us down a rabbit hole due to the Franklin Scandal involving child prostitution, satanic cults, drugs, snuff films, and the Republican party.  Those of you who read Conspiracy Cinema -- the book -- will remember that the Discovery Channel's documentary on the Franklin Scandal -- Conspiracy of Silence -- was pulled right before airtime and has never been officially released.

#10 takes us to the world of unconventional finance and so-called crypto-currencies.  Autumn Radtke, CEO of Singapore-based Bitcoin trading platform First Meta, was originally reported to have committed suicide on February 26th, but that article was later revised to state that investigations were ongoing.  Whether or not Radtke committed suicide remains to be seen, but the timing of her death is provocative regardless.  It occurred one day after Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange, disappeared from the Internet, taking with it $300 million dollars of real-world money.  If you're unfamiliar with Bitcoin, the NY Times article on Mt. Gox has a good summary and an explanation of why their disappearing act was likely the beginning of the end for Internet funny-money.

To me at least, Bitcoin and its fellow Internet-based currencies have always been a pretty obvious "honey pot" operation.  A honey pot is an intelligence/law enforcement gambit usually involving sex but can mean anything that is seductive enough to entice someone into incriminating themselves or committing a crime.  A prime example of a honey pot is a bait car -- a car left unlocked and unattended by police to see who will try to steal it.  Bitcoin was originally touted as an "untraceable" currency, which encouraged users to use it to pay for illegal goods and services.  The "deep web" site Silk Road allowed users to purchase illegal drugs using Bitcoins and was shut down by the government in October of last year.  So all those "untraceable" transactions are now in the hands of the US Government, that is if they weren't already.  The blog Easy Questions are Boring has an excellent write up of the well-founded suspicions surrounding Bitcoin. 

If all of these financial suicides and Bitcoin craziness wasn't enough, Newsweek "outed" the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, today.  The only problem is that Mr. Nakamoto denies it.  It has long been believed that "Satoshi Nakamoto" was an alias used by the real creator(s) of Bitcoin, but it was Newsweek's position that it was a real individual, namely the 64-year-old man living in Temple City, California.  Nakamoto vehemently denied that he was responsible for the currency (and a multi-millionaire because of it) but, as it turns out, Nakamoto is pretty interesting on his own.  Quoting from the article:

"[Nakamoto had] shadowy dealings with US military technology contractors, [and] his mysterious work for the FAA in the aftermath of 9/11"

and, just to get more strange, Nakamoto's history is filled with intelligence links.  His first job out of college was working for Hughes Aircraft -- as in Howard Hughes -- during the time they were the largest contractor of the United States government.  This is also the time when Hughes was "in seclusion" and most likely already dead, but that's a story for another time.  Nakamoto eventually left Hughes Aircraft to take a job with the Recording Corporation of America working on more military projects.  For what it's worth, Nakamoto's brother isn't as reluctant to talk, calling Satoshi "an asshole" and stating that he's worked on "classified stuff," adding that his life was "a complete blank for a while." 

Definitely a story worth following.

In other news, the mainstream media has completely forgotten about Edward Snowden, so he's finally releasing some interesting information.  His latest, "How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations," won't be news to anyone who has their eyes open, but it is nice to have confirmation of what we've all believed to be true.  It is worth reading in its entirety, but here's the part you need to know:

"Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the Internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the Internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Money Murder Mysteries

It is a misconception that conspiracy research is always concerned with the past.  When done correctly, trends can be recognized in current events that will have importance in the future, or alternately, give us a glimpse into the secret, rarely-reported world of the rich and powerful.

On January 26, 2014, former Deutsch Bank executive William 'Bill' Broeksmit was found dead in his London home.  Broeksmit was found hanging -- an apparent suicide -- and Metro London police are treating as "non-suspicious."  Broeksmit's specialty was risk analysis of derivatives markets; a role he performed for Merrill Lynch from 1984 to 1996.  It should be noted that it was during this period that Merrill Lynch expanded its derivative swaps business which directly lead to the financial crisis that begin in 2007, the ramifications of which continue into the present day..  A more comprehensive look at Merrill Lynch's risky activities can be found here.

Two days later on January 28, JP Morgan executive Gabriel Magee fell to his death from the bank's 33-story building in London's financial district.  Metro London police initially ruled Magee's death as "non-suspicious" but later revised their position to state they were investigating the death as of February 7th.  Magee worked in technology, not banking or trading, but 1,000 JP Morgan employees were involved in the so-called "London Whale" trading loss of $2 billion in 2012.  And another JP Morgan executive, Ryan Crane, died February 3rd. Cause of death has not been released, but he was an Executive Director of JP Morgan's Global Trading Desk according to Zero Hedge

On January 29, Russell Investment's Chief Economist Mike Dueker was reported missing.  His body was later found along the side of the highway in Tacoma, Washington, in another apparent non-suspicious suicide.  An Associated Press article gives several details left out of other reports, such as the fact that Dueker's clothing led authorities to believe that his death was not a jogging accident -- despite the fact that his family believed that he had been jogging when he disappeared.  Police also ruled out foul play, but did not specify why.  Dueker had once been an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank and was considered to be among the top 5 percent of active economists.

On February 4, American Title CEO Richard Talley was found dead, another apparent suicide.  It should be noted that of all the men mentioned in this article, Talley had the most obvious reason to commit suicide: his firm was under investigation by the state of Colorado. No stranger to investigations, Talley was a former employee of Drexel Burnham Lambert, the disgraced firm forced into bankruptcy in 1990. Talley's method of suicide was most unusual, however.  Talley apparently died from "seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head."  Suicide by nailgun is more common than you might think, but is rarely a successful method of suicide.  The study cited in the article does not make mention of how many of those subjects were able to shoot themselves more than once, much less seven or eight times.  Talley's desire for death would have to have been almost supernatural to sustain the first impact of the 425 meters-per-second projectile to be able fire seven more times.

Why are America's bankers killing themselves? 
Are these deaths truly suicides; a string of macabre coincidences? 

Each of these men was related -- directly or indirectly -- to a recent financial scandal and perhaps also to future scandals; ones which haven't surfaced yet.  On January 30th, PBS published an article by a former Harvard economist who stated your money wasn't safe in a bank, and promptly withdrew over $1 million from Bank of America.  Forbes published an article in early January subtitled "Why another financial crisis is inevitable."  These are just two of the most recent articles that have flown under most people's radar but warn of an impending financial crisis.

Who can say what, if anything, these deaths may portend.  One is reminded of an incident over thirty years ago involving a famous banker who, like the first two gentlemen, was the victim of a "non-suspicious" suicide in London.

June 17, 1982: "God's Banker" Roberto Calvi was found hanging from the Blackfriars Bridge in London's financial district.  Calvi had bricks in his pockets and over 10,000 GBP on him when found.  His death was ruled a suicide; a decision that was reversed in 2002.  Calvi's death lead to the exposure of the Banco Ambrosiano scandal which, in turn, exposed the machinations of the Propaganda Due or P2 Masonic lodge.  Some short-sighted conspiracy theorists are quick to point to the P2 scandal as proof of a global Masonic conspiracy, failing to miss the incident's real importance.  The P2 were attempting to establish a fascist government in Italy (and later, the world) through the manipulation of Italy's intelligence services and financial markets.  The fact that they were Masons is merely coincidental to the point of irrelevance.  What was incredibly relevant was the fact that lodge operated in conjunction with US intelligence services and had direct links to officials in the Reagan administration.

What will the next banker death reveal?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Those Who Do Not Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat It.

The sign above was hanging over Jim Jones' seat on that fateful day in 1978.  This image -- sometimes expanded to show a pile of bodies beneath it -- was a fixture of news coverage of the event.  It was shown without explanation or context because it is unknown exactly how it fit into Jones' "apostolic Socialism" or how it figured into Jonestown's "revolutionary suicide."  The People's Temple's theology was an evolving one, changing over time but retaining the dual focus on radical politics and Jones' cult of personality.  One wonders what explanation, if any, Jones offered his followers for the quote's prominent placement in their commune.

The sign takes on a deeply ironic note for those who peel back the layers of the Jonestown story to see the curious links beneath the surface.  Jones' life was riddled with intelligence ties -- CIA operatives were present at the time of the suicide -- and Jonestown has the appearance of an intelligence operation.  By the start of the People's Temple's migration to Guyana in 1976, the Church Committee had revealed the CIA's domestic spying and assassination programs, the FBI's COINTELPRO campaign against radicals and minorities had been exposed, and the publishing of the CIA's Family Jewels in 1974 revealed a litany of crimes committed in the name of national security.  By 1978 all of this had been wiped from the American public's memory, however, so few were able to connect the dots between the horrible things the government had already admitted they'd done to Jonestown.

Regardless of how Jones presented the quote to his followers, there remains more than a little truth to the statement.  It is ample justification for being a researcher like myself.  It is the answer to the question, "Why does it matter who killed JFK/RFK/MLK?"  The answers to these questions have incredible relevance to our world today.  The only way to understand how we got to where we are -- and how we can fix it -- is to continue to search for the answers to these questions.

How we got here
The Warren Commission Report is one of the most analyzed documents of the twentieth century.  Believers and skeptics alike have dissected every page of the WC Report, selecting the parts which support their personal theories.  One of the most overlooked portions of the Report begins on page 454 of the Report itself, the "Recommendations" section. 

The first four recommendations and several thereafter deal directly with the legal ramifications of the assassination and how the President's safety would be ensured in the future.  Recommendation Five -- Preventive Intelligence -- is the one that fundamentally changed the shape of American society.  The recommendation called for broader surveillance of any group or individual the government perceives as a threat and increased Federal involvement in local law enforcement, which began the "federalization" of the police that has come to fruition in the past decades.  Beginning on page 464, the Commission recommends a single-source database of intelligence information to be used between all agencies and local law enforcement.  Although the Warren Commission technically had no legal standing in the government, according to the June 28, 1970 edition of the New York Times, this recommendation was "widely cited in the government as the authority for citizen surveillance."  This was just four years after the Report had been published.  And now, fifty years later, few could argue that the Warren Commission's call for a unified database of intelligence data on private citizens hasn't been realized. 

Those Who Do Not Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat It
Since 2008, the NSA has secretly planted devices in over 100,000 personal computers. These devices can be accessed via radio waves and were apparently placed at random.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Full Circle: the Boston Bombing, the Illuminati, JFK & RFK

Several interesting news items from the past few weeks caught my eye, but I'd like to take a look at one that brings a couple of things we've talked about full circle:

The Boston Globe has a lengthy piece on the Tsarneav brothers

Of note here is the fact that -- like Aaron Alexis -- Tamerlan Tsarneav claimed to have heard voices.  Specifically the article states:

“He believed in majestic mind control, which is a way of breaking down a person and creating an alternative personality with which they must coexist,” explained Larking. “You can give a signal, a phrase or a gesture, and bring out the alternate personality and make them do things. Tamerlan thought someone might have done that to him.”

The "majestic mind control" Mr. Larking refers to is most likely what's known in conspiracy lore as "Monarch mind control."  Monarch mind control first appeared in conspiracy literature in the 1980s & 1990s, exclusively through the work of Fritz Springmeier, Cathy O'Brien, and Brice Taylor.  The trio form a mobius-strip of reference: each using the other as support for the validity of their own claims. 

Proponents of the Monarch mind control theory place it as a sub-project of the verified CIA program known as MKULTRA.  There were a number of sub-projects under MKULTRA, the overall goal of each being the control of a person's mind to varying degrees.  Much of what we know about MKULTRA comes from the revelations of the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee but -- by the CIA's own admission -- much of the data regarding MKULTRA was destroyed on order of DCI Richard Helms. 

It has been alleged by some that MKULTRA was merely the tip of a larger iceberg.  It is a plausible theory, but it should be noted that no one has been able to provide any evidence of the existence of a Project Monarch within MKULTRA or any other CIA endeavor.  The now copious amounts of information regarding Monarch mind control on the Internet all ultimately rely on the Springmeier-O'Brien-Taylor claims, which are spurious, at best.  The S-O-T books are engaging reads, filled with innuendo about the famous and powerful, bizarre claims about shadowy cults, and pornographic details about the experiences of the victims.  They are also filled with factual, grammatical, and logical errors.  O'Brien claims she was used as a "human recorder" yet cannot provide a single date for any of her claims, nor can she provide the name of anyone involved except for well-known celebrities and politicians.  An excellent summation of how to take such books can be found here at PopCultureKeys, but the final word on the Monarch theories goes to the late, great Jim Keith, who puts a finer point on it in his seminal Mind Control World Control:

"The answer to the O'Brien-Phillips-Wheeler-Springmeier school of conspiracy research is, of course, compiling evidence, not just hashing together allegations, fantasies, innuendos, and things once heard at a revival meeting.  But that would seemingly ruin the fun.  The worst thing about these sorts of researchers is that their false reports and delusory connections muddy the water for anyone trying to get to the truth about mind control."

But wait, it gets weirder.

Monarch mind control wasn't the only conspiracy theory that Tamerlan Tsarnaev believed.  According to reports, he was a veritable disciple of disinformation; believing in the litany of the outer fringes of conspiracism.  According to the AP story on him, Tsarnaev's views on 9/11 were culled from the Conspiracy Cinema film Zeitgeist, which, in addition to being filled with inaccuracies, was a thinly-veiled recruiting film for Jacque Fresco's Venus Project, a planned technocratic utopia. Furthermore, Tsarnaev allegedly was influenced by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the now-century old and decisively debunked anti-Semitic text. 

Tamerlan seems to have been influenced by the person who gave the quote above, a Mr. Donald Larking, a 67-year old disabled man who was cared for by Tamerlan's mother.  The influence went both ways, as Tsarnaev converted Larking (a life-long Catholic) to Islam, and Larking's contribution to Tamerlan's life was introducing him to a very particular strain of right-wing conspiracism.  Larking is credited with getting Tamerlan a subscription to the American Free Press.  American Free Press is a conspiracy-themed alternative news outlet with a white supremacist bent.  A quick scan of their website's homepage reveals that they aren't shy about their anti-Semitic views and even have a news category labelled "Israel/International Jewry/Zionism."

The AFP is the relaunch of the now-defunct Spotlight published by the also defunct Liberty Lobby.  The Liberty Lobby was the most successful venture of  white supremacist Willis Carto.  Carto's Lobby was at odds with the John Birch Society, which Carto's group considered too liberal.  However, like the JBS, Liberty Lobby and Carto were rife with ties to domestic intelligence agencies.  Liberty Lobby worked with former CIA/OSS agents Victor Marchetti, Mitch WerBell III, and others, and despite their public feuding with the JBS, tended to share many of the same associates.  LL also shared the JBS' penchant for railing against the CIA while regularly doing business with them.

Like the John Birch Society, Liberty Lobby is intimately tied to the JFK assassination, albeit after the fact.  Watergate Plumber E Howard Hunt sued Liberty Lobby in 1978 for alleging he was involved in the Kennedy assassination.  He lost.  Liberty Lobby was represented by JFK conspiracy theorist Mark Lane, who despite being Jewish himself defended the country's largest publisher of Holocaust denial literature.  It bears noting that Lane was a former military intelligence officer and had been the personal attorney of Jim Jones and was present at Jonestown until minutes before the suicides.  Lane is the primary proponent of the "Grassy Knoll" theory to the exclusion of all others and is largely responsible for the strain of conspiracism that is content to ascribe events to persons unknown rather than attempting to bring actual perpetrators to justice. 

The ultra-conservative elements of American politics have historically taken a deep interest in conspiracy theories and particularly into guiding those theories in directions beneficial to them.  In 1967, Birch Society member John Steinbacher released It Comes Up Murder, which is the modern genesis point for the Illuminati conspiracy theory favored by Springmeier, et al, countless Internet denizens, and, apparently, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  It Comes Up Murder was a rehash of the Birchers' beliefs, with "Illuminati" substituted for "Communists," just as "Communists" had previously taken the place of "the Jews."  Steinbacher and fellow Bircher and conspiracy theorist par excellance Anthony J. Hilder showed up in Los Angeles on June 5 1968, just a few hours after the assassination of RFK to hold a press conference to blame an Illuminati-Communist conspiracy for the killing.  Timing is everything, huh?

Researchers Bill Turner and Jonn Christian dug into the Hilder-Steinbacher union and found that their return address for their Illuminati pamphlets was the same as the "Eugene Bradley Defense Fund."  Eugene Bradley was sought by Jim Garrison in the JFK assassination, but then-governor of California Ronald Reagan blocked his extradition.  Bradley (aka Braden) was arrested in the Dal-Tex Building on 11/22/63 and was released because he gave police a different name than the one he had an extensive criminal record under.  Bradley was also picked up by LAPD for questioning after the RFK assassination. 

[Just to make these coincidences even more bizarre: Hilder's claim to fame in conspiracy circles is a 1967 record album he made of a speech on his Illuminati conspiracy theory.  The record was made by Ed Butler, the same CIA-front man that released recorded Oswald's "Self-Portrait in Red."]

Undoubtedly, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was first exposed to the idea of Monarch mind control via the Internet.  Unbeknowst to him, however, when his friend Larking introduced him to the murky world of right-wing conspiracy theories, he was coming full circle to where these ideas originated. 

Perhaps it is just a coincidence that Tamerlan found a friend to guide him directly toward the same strain of conservative conspiracism that has plagued the discipline for over fifty years now.  Perhaps its not just a coincidence. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The assassination of John Lennon

John Lennon was murdered in front of the Dakota on December 8, 1980.  After the murder, assassin Mark David Chapman sat calmly on the sidewalk and began reading his copy of JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.  Lennon had been slowly re-emerging as a public figure after his self-imposed exile as a "house husband" from 1975-1979 (the period between Rock 'n' Roll and Double Fantasy).  By contrast, Chapman was very, very busy during this period, embarking on the bizarre, twisting road that would lead him to the Dakota on that cold Monday night.

Like John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon was a beloved public figure.  And like those men, Lennon's politics ran counter to those in power.  He was anti-war, pro-freedom, and anti-establishment.  Lennon found himself in the sights of Republican leadership as early in 1972, when a proposed concert (that never occurred) at the Republican National Convention put him near the top of Nixon's "enemies list."  Strom Thurmond brought up the suggestion to deport Lennon (but not Yoko Ono, who was previously married to an American and a naturalized citizen) to Nixon, and the INS began legal proceedings to deport Lennon that would last until 1975.   During this time -- and starting even earlier -- the FBI amassed a 281-page dossier on Lennon that revealed the government was watching his every move and had informants within Lennon's circle of friends. 

[One additional reason that surveillance of Lennon escalated in 1972 was the fact that Lennon & Ono paid to have the August, 1972 edition of The Realist published, which featured the articles "Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped" and "How Nixon Actually Got into Power" by Mae Brussell.]

Mark David Chapman was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955.  The son of an Air Force officer, Chapman moved around frequently during his youth, finally settling in southern Georgia.  In 1971, Chapman become a volunteer counselor at the South Dekalb County YMCA.  Previously a loner, the young man had finally found his niche, becoming well-loved by his peers and rising quickly through the administrative ranks of the organization. 

In 1975, Chapman applied for an international outreach program through the YMCA.  Chapman requested to either be sent to the Soviet Union or Beirut, Lebanon.  Chapman was sent to Lebanon, ostensibly because he was unable to speak Russian, but he could not speak Arabic either. 

1975 saw the beginnings of the Lebanese Civil War, and Chapman's time in Lebanon was cut short.  It bears noting at this point that Chapman's involvement with an international student organization similar to the Peace Corps is suggestive of an intelligence background.  As revealed by Ramparts magazine in 1967, the CIA routinely used the Peace Corps and other student organizations for intelligence purposes.  The Church Committee Hearings further revealed the CIA's involvement with academia, a short resume of which can be found at CIA-on-Campus.  Furthermore, it was learned in 1981 (UPI 3/31/81) that Beirut had been and continued to be an international paramilitary training center for groups ranging from Hezbollah to the IRA. 

Chapman's involvement with intelligence and military groups didn't end with his return.  He began working at the National Guard base in  Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, at the time being used as a home for Vietnamese refugees.  These refugees weren't alone, and they brought with them the first of many "mysterious characters" that would enter into his life: David C. Moore.  Moore was a fellow YMCA staffer who had been sent to Saigon in April 1975.  The timing of Moore's deployment to Saigon is again suggestive of something more than simply a charity mission.  April '75 was the start of Operation Frequent Wind/Talon Vise, the final evacuation of American citizens and selected Vietnamese (like the ones in Ft. Chafee) from Vietnam.  It strains credulity to image that the YMCA, however noble their intentions, would have sent anyone to Saigon under these circumstances without an ulterior motive. 

By the end 1975, the Ft. Chaffee program ended and Chapman returned to Dekalb County, Georgia.  There he became close with a police officer, alternately called by the pseudonyms "Dana" or "Gene" in biographies of Chapman.  Regardless, the man taught Chapman to use a gun and got him a job as a security guard at a hospital, the first of several such jobs.  Chapman, now 20 years old, was briefly engaged and moved to Lookout Mnt, TN to attend Covenant College.  The engagement broke off and Chapman sold his few possessions moved to Honolulu, Hawaii in January 1977.

Although he has been the subject of much scrutiny over the years, not a great deal is know about Chapman from 1977-1980.  What details are known about this period are controversial as to their true meaning.  Within the first six months of 1977, Chapman returned at least once to Georgia to attempt to reconcile with his former fiancee.  Having failed that, he returned to Honolulu and attempted suicide via carbon monoxide asphyxiation in June.  His suicide attempt was unsuccessful and he was committed to the psychiatric ward of Castle Memorial Hospital in Kailua for two weeks.  Chapman remained in Kailua, getting an apartment, a Hawaiian Driver's License, and, in August, a job at Castle Memorial. 

In July 1978, Chapman embarked on an international tour for six weeks staying in YMCA hostels.  In order, Chapman visited: Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand, India, Nepal, Israel, Iran, Switzerland, England, France, Ireland, then stopping in Georgia en route to Hawaii.  I'll leave it to you to research the various histories of these nations between July and August of 1978, but suffice it to say that Chapman's tour put him in some interesting and occasionally volatile situations.  He was in Iran a short time before the Iranian Revolution.  He was one of the first Americans to travel to China, arriving in Hong Kong the same week the country opened to tourism.  In England he attended one of the final public concerts John Lennon would give before his exile period.  And in Switzerland he met up with David C. Moore again (Chapman had been using a letter of introduction from Moore to gain access to YMCA facilities in these countries).  It bears noting that it is unknown how Chapman was paying for all of this, as his known sources of income were $1000 "Christmas money" from his parents, a small loan from the hospital credit union, and whatever he had saved from his ten months of employment as a maintenance man. 

Upon his return, Chapman began dating and would eventually marry his Japanese-born travel agent, Gloria Abe. He had been corresponding with the older Abe during his travels, and after she converted to Christianity, they were married.  Chapman's marriage in June, 1979 could be considered the last "normal" event in his life, as his behavior became increasingly bizarre up until his assassination of John Lennon.

Like Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, Arthur Bremer, and John Hinckley Jr., Mark David Chapman lived an exceptional and unusual life.  And like those assassins before and after him, the period immediately before his date with destiny is the most bizarre.  The newly married Chapman forced his wife to quit her job at the travel agency her family owned to take a job at Castle Memorial where he worked.  He then moved to the opposite side of Oahu, sold their car, and began taking out loans and borrowing money from family to finance his new hobby: art.  Chapman, who had no formal art training and had previously never exhibited an interest in art, was successful at buying and selling artwork (specifically lithographs) and managed to repay his loans and make a profit as well.  At one point, Chapman owned an original Norman Rockwell lithograph valued at $7500, a considerable sum for a man making little more than minimum wage and living in an expensive area.  Art is a frequently used method for concealing intelligence funding, as works appreciate in value quickly and prices are wholly subjective.  It is also a common method of money laundering for drug cartels.

By December 1979, Chapman's foray into the world of art ended as quickly as it began, he quit his job at the hospital, and took a job as security guard for an apartment building.  According to his biographers, Chapman passed the time by making harassing phone calls to a Scientology headquarters across the street from his work.

Less information is known about Chapman's activities in 1980.  Chapman quits the security guard job and takes odd jobs.  His wife continues to work, but money is tight as evidenced by Chapman's attempts to sell blood for money.  He gains weight, begins spending time at the library, and begins reading and re-reading Catcher in the Rye, autographing his copy as "Holden Caulfield."  Although he and his wife are struggling financially, Chapman begins another "tour" in October:

10/24/80: Chapman leaves his job and has no intention of returning.  The claim that he signed out as "John Lennon" is never verified and likely untrue.
10/27/80: Chapman purchases a Charter Arms .38 in Honolulu.  He does not purchase ammunition. 
10/29/80 - 11/5/80: Chapman -- without a source of income -- flies to New York City and checks into the Waldorf Astoria.  He would change hotels a total of four times, and divides his time between standing in front of the Dakota and attending Broadway shows and visiting tourist sites.  He tries to buy bullets for the .38 but is denied because he does not have a NY gun permit.  He contacts Dana/Gene in Georgia, who agrees to provide him with ammunition.
11/5/80: Chapman flies first class to Atlanta.  While in Georgia, he is given hollow point bullets and fires 150 rounds at a practice range. 
11/7 or 11/8/80 - 11/12/80: Chapman returns to New York City.  He phones his wife to tell her he thought about killing John Lennon but decided against it.  He returns to Hawaii on 11/12/80.

Airline security is significantly tighter post-9/11, but baggage and passenger screenings were made mandatory nationwide in 1973.  It is unknown how Chapman was able to board a minimum of four flights while carrying a gun either on his person or in his luggage undetected. 

On December 2nd, Chapman left Hawaii for the mainland again.  According to biographer Bresler, Chapman purchased a round trip ticket from Hawaii to Chicago, where he stayed for three days.  While in Chicago, he purchased a ticket for NYC.  Reports vary about what he did during those three days, but it is known that Chapman's friend David C. Moore was stationed in Chicago at the time. 

Chapman arrived in New York on 12/6.  On 12/7, he spends most of the day having a cab driver drop him off at various private residences.  There is no record of Chapman knowing anyone in New York.  On 12/8/80, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon.  At the time of his arrest, the "broke" Chapman was carrying $2000 in cash and had multiple valid credit cards. He had spent the previous night in an expensive downtown Manhattan Sheridan hotel.  He did not attempt to escape or resist arrest.  Chapman would later plead guilty, preventing a full courtroom investigation of the crime.

No researcher has been able to conclusively link Mark David Chapman to a conspiracy to assassinate John Lennon.  There is, however, a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence:
  1. Chapman had unknown sources of income, allowing him to travel extensively, purchase expensive artwork, and stay in four-star hotels.  Arthur Bremer had been employed as a dishwasher prior to spending several months traveling the US staying in $200-a-night hotels (in 1971-72 dollars) on his way to shoot George Wallace.  While on the run from authorities, James Earl Ray stayed at a luxury resort in Canada, and flew to London (twice) and Portugal. 
  2. Chapman underwent a personality change after a hospitalization.  Lee Harvey Oswald was hospitalized in the Soviet Union after a suicide attempt as Chapman had been.  Sirhan Sirhan was hospitalized briefly after suffering an accident and became withdrawn and heavily involved in the occult afterwards. 
  3. Chapman had doubles.  Initial reports of the Lennon murder stated that Chapman had an arrest record in Florida.  Indeed, a man named "Mark David Chapman" with the general physical characteristics and birthday had a record in Florida, but authorities later stated this was a computer glitch.  Chapman's Hawaiian Driver's License -- on him at the time of arrest -- listed a specific address and apartment number at which he had never officially lived.  The owner of the apartment building stated a "Mark David Chapman" lived there with four women, but he could not identify Lennon's killer as the same man.
  4. Chapman's involvement with the YMCA is highly suspicious.  Christian and college organizations are routinely used as cover for intelligence work.  The Ft. Chaffee refugee camp was run by World Vision USA.  At the time, World Vision's president was John Hinckley, Sr., father of Reagan's attempted assassin John Hinckley, Jr. and close friend of George HW Bush. 

Having just passed the 50th anniversary of the John Kennedy assassination, Lennon's murder is an important reminder that if JFK was killed by a conspiracy, he was most likely not its last victim.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Web: Serial Killers, Mexico, Alabama, Larry Flynt, & JFK50

Both the mainstream and alternative media are currently abuzz with the JFK50 anniversary.  There is another story that has piqued my interest, however, and it has some curious synchronicities with other November events and my own life.

Judge orders stay in the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin.
Joseph Paul Franklin executed after delay.

Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin was on death row in Missouri for a 1977 shooting outside of a Missouri synagogue.  Franklin was best known for his attempted assassination of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in 1978 and the attempted assassination of civil rights activist and future Clinton associate Vernon Jordan Jr.  It is important to note that Franklin confessed to both crimes after having been convicted and sentenced to death.  Franklin confessed to over 20 murders in the late seventies, all committed in accordance with his White Supremacist views.  Franklin targeted African-Americans and Jews in his crimes, particularly focusing on interracial couples.  Born James Clayton Vaughn, Jr. in 1950, Franklin has the distinction of being one of the only serial killers from my home state, Alabama.

The stay in Franklin's execution was due a controversy surrounding what drugs may or may not be used for lethal injection, but his reprieve, brief though it may was, immediately reminded me of the pardoning of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.  Lucas, like Franklin, racked up most of his body count behind bars, confessing to a myriad of unsolved crimes across the nation.  Lucas confessed to over 600 murders, although this is disputed, and had the distinction of being the first person pardoned in the state of Texas since the re-institution of the death penalty in 1982 and the only person pardoned by governor George W. Bush.  The full, bizarre story of Lucas is best summarized by Dave McGowan in his essay "There's Something about Henry."

Lucas' most controversial claim was that he was a member of "The Hand of Death," a satanic paramilitary organization.  It was Lucas' assertion that this group operated out of Florida, Texas, and Mexico, and he was responsible for performing hits and child abductions for the group.  Lucas' Hand of Death has been dismissed by law enforcement as a fantasy, but it is important to note that it hasn't been disproven and, to date, no one has fully investigated his claims.  One specific claim made by Lucas was that he delivered the poison to Jonestown, Guyana for the mass suicide, the 35 anniversary of which was earlier this week.  This claim is most likely specious, since it is documented that Jonestown already had a large supply of drugs and that most of the deceased had not committed suicide but been murdered.

Was there really a "Hand of Death?"  Journalist Maury Terry uncovered the existence of a nation-wide organization responsible for the Son of Sam murders in his book, The Ultimate Evil.  Like the Hand of Death, this group was loosely satanic and performed hits related to organized crime.  The original edition of Ed Sanders' The Family connected the Manson slayings to organized crime and other, loosely satanic groups.  Communion author Whitley Streiber states in his book, The Secret School, that as a boy he was taken to a "secret school" in Mexico where he believes his later alien visitations were implanted in his memory.  Lastly, when Florida police detained two men on suspicion of child abduction (the "Finders" case), the children told the authorities they were on their way to "special school in Mexico." 

Oswald's trip to Mexico:
Lee Harvey Oswald traveled to Mexico via bus in September 1963.  This fact isn't disputed by anyone; however, almost every other detail of this trip is controversial.  "Lee Harvey Oswald" was seen in various places around Texas while he was alleged to have been on this trip and, as I've gone over in an earlier post, the "Lee Harvey Oswald" that visited the Soviet and Cuban embassies was clearly another person. 

The Mexico trip is an important event for many conspiracy researchers, and there are several well-written books solely on the topic.  It was also important enough for the FBI and the Warren Commission to spend considerable man hours finding out every detail they could.  I'd like to focus on a singular aspect of this event today.  Specifically the man seated next to Oswald on the bus from New Orleans to Mexico and referred to by other passengers as "the Englishman": John Howard Bowen aka Albert Osborne.

Much of the FBI's energies regarding the Mexico trip were devoted to finding and interviewing Mr. Bowen, an itinerant Baptist preacher who was eventually found in (again) Alabama.  The Birmingham field office first interviewed Bowen on 02/08/64, which is in CE2443, Vol XXV, Page 571.  Bowen gives what amounts to his life history and he makes three important statements: 1) that he could not positively identify the man seated next to him as Oswald, 2) that he was American by birth, and 3) that he knew "Albert Osborne from Canada" and agreed that he resembled the man.  Bowen claimed that Osborne, too, was an itinerant Baptist minister working in the same area, and mix-up about their identities was due to Bowen using Osborne's identification papers once after his were lost.  Bowen even offered up photos of "Osborne" that he (Bowen) had taken. 

All of these things were lies.

In CE2195, the Dallas field office summarizes the Bowen/Osborne enigma.  The same man had been interviewed by different offices under both names: as Osborne in January and as Bowen in February.  Each claimed not to be the other man but over the course of CE2195, the FBI lays out the evidence proving that Bowen and Osborne were one and the same.  Dozens of people were interviewed, all of whom either knew the man as Bowen or Osborne but the story was the same: he was a traveling preacher.

Through the Garrison investigation, much more was learned about Osborne.  His missionary work was actually a cover: Osborne was an espionage agent who had used a variety of aliases.  More specifically, Osborne ran an assassination school in Mexico.  Osborne, whose pro-Nazi views drew the attention of the FBI in 1942, was reportedly a career spy who offered training in clandestine murder to American and foreign intelligence agencies. 

The bizarre story of Osborne/Bowen sheds light on many things:
  1. The involvement of extreme right-wing/fascist elements in the Kennedy assassination.
  2. Intelligence agency involvement with Oswald prior to the assassination.
  3. The existence of a nefarious "secret school" in Mexico.
Franklin & Flynt
Fast-forward to 1977.  Joseph Paul Franklin, inspired by his white supramicist beliefs and what he believes to be "the will of God," begins his campaign of violence against minorities. On March 6, 1978, Larry Flynt was shot with a .44 caliber rifle in Lawrenceville, GA.  Franklin would later confess to the crime, stating he did it because Flynt's Hustler had recently printed a pictorial featuring an interracial couple. 

Is that really the case?  Was there another reason to shoot Larry Flynt?

One possible reason emerges from a little-known incident in Flynt's history; one not talked about much by his supporters, his detractors, or in The People vs Larry Flynt.  In December 1977, Flynt purchased the LA Free Press, an alternative California newspaper.  Flynt wasted little time putting his own spin on the magazine but perhaps not in the way you might think:

The entire issue -- published two weeks before he was shot --  was dedicated to evidence that the CIA was behind the JFK assassination.  On the back cover was Flynt's offer of $1 million dollars to anyone with new evidence in the case:
The ad and the offer would be reprinted in mainstream newspapers where Flynt had paid for advertisement. 
The close timing between Flynt's sudden interest in conspiracy theories and his shooting lead many to question the motives.  The observant among you will notice that Flynt was shot in Lawrenceville, GA, which was the home district of Congressman Larry McDonald, who was also head of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society.  As we've seen in previous posts, the JBS is near the top of the list of suspects in the Kennedy assassination and has intelligence ties. 
It bears noting that Flynt didn't learn his lesson.  Conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell contacted Flynt in 1983 to inform him of the links between the recently-deceased Larry McDonald and his shooting.  Flynt dove into Brussell's research with both feet and quickly started The Rebel, a conspiracy themed magazine featuring Brusell's seminal article, The Nazi Connections to the John F. Kennedy AssassinationSoon after the magazine's publication, Flynt found himself surrounded by a host of characters with intelligence ties: Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy, intelligence agent and possible "Second Oswald" Gordon Novel, and OSS-man and mercenary Mitchell WerBell II.  [Just to bring everything full circle: WerBell actually did run a well-known assassination school in southern Georgia and testified in the trial of the murder of producer Roy Radin, which Maury Terry alleges was committed by the same satanic cult behind the Son of Sam murders.]  This tumultuous period in Flynt's life ended with him in a sanitarium, fighting for the company he had built himself.  His interest in conspiracies ended after he re-emerged. 
It was while Flynt was tucked away in an asylum that Franklin confessed to shooting him.  Franklin was never a suspect, and the source of most of his 20+ body count is Franklin himself.  While in prison he has busied himself confessing to all sorts of crimes, most of which he was never charged with because he was unable to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the crime to convince authorities he was responsible. 
Franklin was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by Dr. Dorothy Lewis, who felt that he was unfit to stand trial.  However little time has been spent investigating whether or not he actually committed these crimes or was simply taking the rap for someone else.  For what it's worth, Don Black stated on his white supremacist website this week that he had met Franklin in the late-sixties/early-seventies and that the white supremacist groups (the KKK, the Nazi Party) disassociated themselves with him then because of his erratic behavior.  Interesting tidbit: Black (also from Alabama) was part of Operation Red Dog, a plot to overthrow the island of Dominica and establish an all-white nation.  I shouldn't even have to say this at this point, but Operation Red Dog had ties to American intelligence agencies and the mercenary circles that Mitch WerBell ran in. 
Did Franklin really shoot Flynt?  It's possible.  The shooting was similar to the crimes Franklin was known to have committed.  His motive is questionable (Flynt had published interracial couples before) and the timing of Flynt's JFK ad is too curious to immediately dismiss, especially given future events. 
Franklin's reign of (alleged) terror ended in August, 1980.  Just a few short months later, another aimless drifter who was a member of the American Nazi Party would rise to national attention after shooting a public figure: John Hinckley, Jr.
More on that later.