Welcome to the fifth installment in my examination of the assassination of JFK. Over the course of the first two parts of this series I considered the strange individuals and happenings in the two areas of the country --Dallas/Fort Worth (examined in part one) and New Orleans (part two) --that Oswald resided in leading up to the assassination. In the third installment I pulled things back a bit and considered the potential plotters behind the assassination. In the most recent installment I considered the curious links the JFK assassination and plotters had to the Project Artichoke.
And with that out of the way let us now consider the purpose of this installment: Here I am going to focus in on the bizarre secrets societies surrounding the JFK assassination, for they are legion. Of course, conspiracy culture is littered with references to secret societies implicated in the Kennedy assassination, the most common of which being the Freemasons. James Shelby Downard and hardline traditionalist Catholic Michael A. Hoffman II famously argued that the Kennedy assassination is a re-enactment of the ancient "Killing of the Divine King" rite that Sir James George Frazer based the legendary mythology study The Golden Bough around.
The Internet is of course littered with accounts of the Killing of the King and Masonic involvement in the assassination and as such I will not concern myself with it here. For those of you who have somehow not stumbled upon the Dowanardian interruption of the assassination a copy of the essay "King Kill 33" in which this concept was first addressed at length can be found here. The famed cryptozoologist Loren Coleman recently published an excellent outline of the Masonic implications of the Kennedy assassination as well, which can be found here.
|the legendary James Shelby Downard|
Founded in 1832 by William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft (whose son, fellow Bonesman William Howard Taft, would become the twenty-seventh president of the United States and, later, a Supreme Court Justice), Skull and Bones claimed to be the first American chapter of a mysterious of German secret society that has never been revealed. Conspiracy theorists have long alleged that there is a link between Skull and Bones and the infamous Bavarian Illuminati, but most credible accounts of the Illuminati indicate that it had been defunct decades before the founding of Skull and Bones.
It is interesting to note, however, that the order's symbol --the skull and crossbones --was used frequently by various German paramilitary organizations as earlier as the eighteenth century. The symbol, called the totenkopf, was first used by the Prussian army via a Hussar regiment during the War of the Austrian Succession. Prussian and Brunswick armies continued to use the totenkopf up until the end of the First World War in 1918.
|a Prussian Hussar displaying the totenkopf on his uniform|
|a Freikorps member displaying the totenkopf (above) and one of the death's head rings (bottom) all SS men were given upon being initiated into the order|
"Russell & Co. was the largest American opium smuggler, and the third largest in the world, behind the British Dent firm and the largest smuggler of all, the Scottish merchants Jardine-Matheson. For many years. Russell a& Co and Jardine-Matheson worked together and were known as the 'Combination.' They virtually controlled the trade, manipulating market forces towards maximizing profits.
"Russell & Co. was started in 1824 by Samuel Russell, of Middletown, Connecticut. In 1828 it 'absorbed' the T. H. Perkins opium concern of Boston and became America's dominant force in China. Russell & Co. was very much family affair, with uncles, cousins, brothers, fathers and sons dominating the firm and its allied banks and fronts.
"The Russell was family steeped in Yale College history. The Rev. Nodiah Russell was a Yale founder. And in 1832, General William Huntington Russell, Samuel Russell's cousin, founded one of the US' most famous secret societies: the Order of Skull and Bones, along with Alphonso Taft., Taft's son, future President William Howard Taft (S & B 1878), would play many roles in the creation of international narcotics controls and the US Drug War."
(Fleshing Out Skull & Bones, "Black Market Bones," Kris Millegan, pg. 153)
|William Huntington Russell|
Before moving alone to the Bonesmen involved in the Kennedy assassination, there's a curious synchronicity concerning Dealey Plaza that warrants mentioning. Dealey Plaza is of course the location where JFK was assassinated. According to the Masonic interpretation of the assassination put forth by James Shelby Downard and Michael A. Hoffman, the latitude line upon which the killing occurred is significant because Dallas is located at the thirty-third parallel north. Thirty-three is the number of the highest grade that can be attained in Scottish Rite Freemasonry and is generally alleged to be highly significant to Masonry. For this reason, some have alleged that many sinister acts are deliberately committed on or near the thirty-third parallel north, as noted before here.
While this is an interesting observation, there is one problem: Dallas is not located at the thirty-third parallel. Rather, it is upon the thirty-second, which may well be even more significant. As conspiracy buffs are well aware, the number 322 is highly significant to Skull and Bones (sometimes the Order is known simply as Chapter 322). The significance of this number has long puzzled conspiracy researchers.
"What is the significance of the '322' in Chapter 322? William Russell imported the society from Germany and so it has been argued the 322 stands for '32 (from 1832), the second chapter, of this German organization. Possibly a chapter 320 and a chapter 321 may exist somewhere and 323 is the designation of a room within the Skull and Bones temple at Yale.
"Another interpretation is that the Order is descended from a Greek fraternal society dating back to Demosthenes in 322 B.C. This has perhaps some credibility because Bones records are dated by adding 322 to the current year, i.e. records originating in 1950 are dated Anno - Demostheni 2272."
(America's Secret Establishment, Anthony C. Sutton, pg. 6)The number 32 in and of itself is sometimes thought to be used as a stand in for 322, possibly because the Order was founded in 1832, as noted above. So perhaps the assassination occurring at the third-second parallel north had a more precise meaning that the long revered Masonic interpretation. But moving along.
As to the Kennedy assassination, families linked to Skull and Bones appear throughout. This is most notable in the case of Michael Paine, the Bell Helicopter employee who befriended, along with his wife Ruth, the Oswalds in the Dallas/Forth Worth area upon their return to the United States from the Soviet Union. As noted in the first installment of this series, Michael Paine was related to three prominent New England families: the Paines, the Forbes, and the Cabots. Both the Paine and Forbes families have their ranks represented in Skull and Bones.
|Ruth and Michael Paine|
|Colonel Wickliffe Preston Draper|
"... It is significant to note that Bush is the only figure in public life who has been a key player in the drug wars of three administrations.
"In 1971 Bush was first brought into the anti-drug war by Richard Nixon, who appointed him to the White House Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control. This 'war' proved useful for Nixon as a cover for the White House plumbers and the other hijinks that ended in Watergate. It was also useful for the CIA, which tucked its agents under deep cover in the Drug Enforcement Agency and thus tasted the forbidden fruit of domestic operations – like assassination plots and wide-scale electronic eavesdropping. And there were the CIA-favored drug traffickers who enjoyed a certain immunity as long as they did the agency's bidding...
"Thus began the second phase of George Bush's war on drugs. Once in office President Reagan began his holy war against the Sandinistas. He put Vice President Bush in charge of the War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism, and the cowboys enjoyed a magnificent restoration. Under Bush's dual commands the CIA's airlines began to fly again; the Miami station, once the biggest spy post in the world during the anti-Castro plots of the sixties, was retrofitted; Noriega was put back on the payroll; and in the name of helping the Contras, the ineffable exceptions to the crackdown on drug traffickers were made. The war on drugs again provided cover for the pursuit of certain foreign policy goals.
"The CIA's history of cooperating with drug-dealing nations for Cold War purposes has been described as early as 1972, in Alfred McCoy's classic study, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, which detailed the agency's role in the heroin kingdoms of the Golden Triangle – Laos, Burma, and Thailand. In a more contemporary example, on May 13, 1990, the Washington Post front-paged a story detailing the Bush administration's failure to act on persistent reports of drug trafficking among U.S.-backed factions in the Afghan civil war. 'The U.S. government has for several years received, but declined to investigate, reports of heroin trafficking by some Afghan guerrillas and Pakistani military officers with whom it cooperates in the war against Soviet influence in Afghanistan,' the Post story began.
"Flashback to May 15, 1984, when the Veep George Bush was visiting Pakistan, the first ranking U.S. official to come to Islamabad since Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq took power at the barrel of a gun in 1977. General Zia's gratitude knew few bounds and the Vice President was treated like royalty. At a magnificent state banquet George Bush rose to acknowledge the applause of the beribboned Pakistani generals, and speaking as America's had narc praised the Zia government's antinarcotics efforts as a 'personal' satisfaction. The general beamed in self-congratulation. When Bush left Pakistan three days later, he announced an extraordinary outpouring from the U.S. treasury – $3.2 billion in new U.S. military aid, and another $2 billion for the Pakistani army, which was the arms pipeline to the CIA-supplied Afghan rebels...
"At this time Pakistan was providing as much as 70 percent of the high-great heroin entering the world market. The dope came courtesy of an elite Pakistani military unit, which managed the truck convoys carrying the CIA's arms to Afghanistan. (The trucking company, owned by the Pakistani army, was the largest transportation business in the country.) The trucks deliver their cargoes of weapons and returned from Afghanistan laden with poppy; fabulous profits were spread throughout the military hierarchy all the way to General Zia himself...
"Pakistan's role in transporting raw opium gum from Afghanistan and then processing it into heroin was well known in the European intelligence community; it was well known to the American Drug Enforcement Agency and to the CIA. Certainly former CIA Director Bush knew about it – as head of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System he was privy to worldwide narcotics intelligence."
(Deadly Secrets, Warren Hinckle & William Turner, pgs. xxxiii-xxxvi)
Then of course there was the whole Iran-Contra thing.
"According to the report issued by Kerry Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations... there were 'obvious and widespread' drug trafficking by Contra suppliers going on in the war zones of northern Costa Rica. The Kerry subcommittee found that these drugs-for-guns activities were being covered up by CIA operatives and other players in the resupply network.
"And there are indications plenty of Contra drug dealing in [Oliver] North's diaries. For instance, there is the entry on July 12, 1985: '$14M[illion] to finance came from drugs.' But North was able to contain reports of Contra drug money because Bush's Task Force on Combating Terrorism gave North the mandate and the equipment to pursue a wide range of domestic intelligence operations against opponents of the administration's Central America policy. Bush's staff brought CIA experts in propaganda and disinformation into his anti-terrorism loop, using them to confuse the American people about the situation in Central America – the line was put out that the Sandinistas were dealing drugs – and to bypass both Congress and the Constitution in the Contras resupply effort. North also coordinated fund-raising efforts to defeat anti-Contra congressmen up for re-election, and even sicced the FBI on disaffected Contra suppliers, such as Jack Terrel, who was attempting to tell about Contra drug trafficking."
(ibid, pgs. xli-xlii)
|the revelations of drug trafficking in Iran-Contra were made by another Bonesman, John Forbes Kerry, a relation of Michael Paine who recently dredged up the old "communists-did-it" explanation of the JFK assassination|
"George Bush made his first real money through offshore oil drilling in the Caribbean in the late 1950s, and Castro's revolution could hardly have been constructed as anything but bad news for the freebooting oil fraternity – as it was for the CIA. At the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, Bush had rigs positioned thirty miles north of Cuba near Cay Sal, coincidently an island the CIA used as a service station for covert operations."
(ibid, pg. xxix)Evidence seems to indicate that Bush was actively engaged in supplying the Bay of Pigs invasion force.
"Zapata Offshore served as a conduit through which CIA disbursed money for operations. Sources in CIA's Directorate of Operations, told Wall Street Journal reporter Anthony Kimery that Bush 'personally served as conduit through which the Agency disbursed money for contracted services.' As a 'part-time purchasing front for CIA,' Zapata provided supplies for the Bay of Pigs operation, leasing cargo vessels and shipping CIA cargo disguised as oil drilling equipment."
(Our Man in Haiti, Joan Mellen, pg. 91)
This would put Bush in the same crowd as the anti-Castro Cubans and their CIA and military handlers who, as noted in the third installment, likely played a key role in the assassination. Even stranger, however, is the possible relationship between Bush I and George de Mohrenschildt, the White Russian petroleum geologist who befriended the Oswalds in Dallas after they arrived from the Soviet Union. At the very least Bush had attended Andover with Edward Hooker, Bush's roommate and de Mohrenschildt's step-nephew, but there are indications that the relationship went beyond this. Indeed, de Mohrenschildt wrote Bush I on at least two occasions.
The first stemmed from his adventures in Haiti in the 1960s where de Mohrenschildt was officially working for the Caribbean nation surveying oil and geological resources but was suspected of working for the CIA towards the aim of overthrowing Papa Doc. Things didn't work out and de Mohrenschildt eventually departed Haiti, but he would attempt to recoup funds from the $285,000 the Haitian government had awarded him several years afterwards. Bush was one individual he turned to for assistance in this endeavor.
"Then, in June, de Mohrenschildt contacted his old acquaintance, George H. W. Bush... Bush was now U.S. Representative to the United Nations for President Nixon.
"Icy in his dealings with others, Bush forwarded de Mohrenschildt's letter to David A. Ross in the Haitian Affairs section of the Office of Caribbean Affairs. Ross knew what was required. Your contract with Duvalier was a 'private matter,' Ross wrote de Mohrenschildt. 'You should address your grievance in the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction.'"
(Our Man in Haiti, Joan Mellen, pg. 266)
"Out of the hospital on September 5, 1976, de Mohrenschildt wrote again to George H. W. Bush, who had now assumed the office of Director of Central Intelligence under President Gerald Ford. Vigilantes were pursuing him, de Mohrenschildt said in a sloppy, handwritten letter. He was being followed. His telephone was bugged.
"As he had in Port-au-Prince at the time of the Kennedy assassination, de Mohrenschildt blamed the FBI, although the reality was that it was CIA that had more recently been pursuing him. Invoking his misfortune of having known Lee Harvey Oswald, he described himself to Bush as an 'elderly man who is being punished.'
"'Could you do something to remove this net around us?' de Mohrenschildt begged Bush. 'This will be my last request for help and I will not annoy you anymore.'
"'I do know this man DeMohrenschildt,' Bush wrote in a memo to his staff. 'He was an uncle to my Andover roommate, and knew Oswald before the assassination of President Kennedy.' Bush, as Hoover had said in 1963, had been briefed. A close friend and collaborator of CIA's WUBRINY/1, Thomas J. Devine, Bush was well aware that de Mohrenschildt had 'got involved in some controversial dealings in Haiti.'
"'My staff has been unable to find any indication of interest in your activities on the part of Federal authorities in recent years,' Bush wrote to de Mohrenschildt in a supercilious rebuff. Bush closes by hoping that his letter 'has been of some comfort to you.' Having addressed de Mohrenschildt condescendingly by his given name, he signs the letter 'George Bush.'
"Bush then turned the matter over to the appropriate CIA component. CIA Counter Intelligence now contacted the FBI. CIA requested 'information on the current activities and location of a Mr. George de Mohrenschildt, who has attempted to get in touch with the Director, CIA.' Counter Intelligence, perhaps the most arrogant of the Agency components, having assumed the personality of its long-time chief, James Angleton, requested that the matter be handled 'on a priority basis.'
(ibid, pgs. 268-269)
|Baron de Mohrenschildt|
"An older document, dated November 29, 1963, initiated by J. Edgar Hoover, refers to Hoover's having debriefed 'Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency' on the Kennedy assassination. It was an unusual Hoover locution, adding the name of the agency to which an individual was connected. Certainly it was uncharacteristic of Hoover to blow the cover of a CIA operative in an official document, but in this case he did. At the very least, it suggested a strong dislike of George H. W. Bush, if not outright personal hostility.
"Confronted by this inconvenient revelation of his connection to CIA, one he had already denied, Bush lied, again. He claimed that Hoover was referring to a 'George William Bush,' a CIA photographic analyst, and not himself, George Herbert Walker Bush. So Bush inadvertently revealed that he was a CIA insider, despite his denial to the contrary. Had he not been, he would not have known, of course, the existence of his CIA namesake.
"In the ensuing furor that erupted when the Hoover document became public on September 21, 1988, George William Bush, a lowly CIA employee, swore under oath before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that he had never been debriefed by Hoover anyone else in the FBI.
"Reporters demanding an explanation from CIA were told by CIA's press flack that he would 'neither confirm nor deny that Hoover was referring to George H. W. Bush...'
(ibid, pgs. 89-90)
Naturally a potential reason for why Bush I would have had to be debriefed by Hoover himself concerning the Kennedy assassination has never put forth. Still, nothing has emerged to concretely placing Bush in the plot despite his ties to Baron de Mohrenschildt.
A more tangible link between Skull and Bones and the assassination is the figure of Bonesman Henry Luce, founder of Time-Life magazine. Luce was a curious figure, to put it mildly. He was a staunch supporter Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, going so far as to put the Generalissimo on the cover of Time magazine no less than eleven times between the years 1927 and 1955. Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang party would go on to play a major role in the founding of the World Anti-Communist League, an organization many figures who crop up in the assassination were affiliated with, as noted in parts two and three of this series.
|the Generalissimo was also reputedly one of the largest heroin traffickers in the world for much of his lifetime|
"Henry Luce, president of Time-Life, was a busy man during the Cold War. As the preeminent voice of Eisenhower, Dulles, and Pax Americana, he encouraged his correspondents to collaborate with the CIA, and his publishing empire served as a longtime propaganda asset for the Agency. But Luce managed to find the time to experiment with LSD – not for medical reasons, but simply to experience the drug and glean whatever pleasures and insights it might afford. An avid fan of psychedelics, he turned on a half-dozen times in the late 1950s and early 1960s under the supervision of Dr. Sidney Cohen. On one occasion the media magnet claimed he talked to God on the golf course and found that the Old Boy was pretty much on top of things. During another trip the tone-deaf publisher is said to have heard music so enchanting that he walked into a cactus garden and began conducting a phantom orchestra.
"Dr. Cohen, attached professionally to UCLA and the Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, also turned on Henry's wife, Clare Boothe Luce, and a number of other influential Americans. 'Oh, sure, we all took acid, it was a creative group – my husband and I and Huxley and[Christopher] Isherwood,' recalled Mrs. Luce, who was, by all accounts, the grande dame of postwar American politics. (More recently, she served as a member of President Reagan's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which oversees covert operations conducted by the CIA.) LSD was fine by Mrs. Luce as long as it remained strictly a drug for the doctors and their friends in the ruling class. But she didn't like the idea that others might also want to partake of the experience. 'We wouldn't want everyone doing too much of a good thing,' she explained."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pg. 71)
"... In March 1966 Life magazine ran a cover story entitled 'LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug That Got Out of Control,' which described the psychedelic experience as chemical Russian roulette in which the player gambled with his sanity. Pictures of people on acid cowering in corners, beyond communication, were used to underscore the message that LSD 'could be a one-way trip to an asylum, prison, or grave.' Life, whose publisher, Henry Luce, had one spoken favorably of psychedelics, didn't pull any punches: 'A person ... can become permanently deranged through a single terrifying LSD experience. Hospitals report case after case where people arrive in a state of mental disorganization, unable to distinguish their bodies from their surroundings... it brings out the very worst in some people. LSD is being dropped in girls' drinks. Terrifying parties are being given with a surprise in the punch. The Humane Society is picking up disoriented dogs...'"
(ibid, pgs. 150-151)
As for the Kennedy assassination, Luce is most commonly connected to it via the purchase of the notorious Zapruder film by Time-Life almost immediately after the assassination.
"By November 25, 1963, Life magazine was said to purchased the original copy, negotiating through the Passman/Jones law firm to pay Zapruder at least $150,000 for all rights. The man who made the deal was Life's publisher, C. D. Jackson, who said he was so horrified by what he saw all that he decided the film must be permanently locked away from public view. It was revealed years later that Jackson, who died in 1964, had been Time-Life founder Henry Luce's personal emissary to the CIA – approving specific arrangements to provide CIA employees with Time-Life cover.
"In its December 6, 1963, issue, Life sought to explain away the view of some of the Dallas doctors that a small wound observed in the president's throat was an entrance wound. The Life article said: 'But the 8mm [Zapruder] film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed – towards the sniper's nest – just before he clutches it.'
"That account was patently false, since the film clearly showed that the president had never made such a term. But, at the time, nobody outside Time-Life or the government had seen the film. Only after Jim Garrison won a lawsuit to obtain a copy – which Time-Life fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – was the Zapruder movie finally shown at the Clay Shaw trial. It aired for the first time on national TV in 1975."
(The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dick Russell, pgs. 583-584)
What's more, Luce seems to have been a major financial patron of Alpha 66, arguably the most militant of the anti-Castro Cuban groups. As noted part three of this series, Alpha 66 was closely linked to both the assassination as well as organized crime. Reportedly Luce's financial contributions to the organization were quite considerable.
"... Alpha 66 was violently anti-Kennedy in 1963. With the active support of Henry Luce and Time-Life, which is said to spent a quarter of a million dollars, Alpha 66 made a point of attacking Russian targets in Cuba, in an attempt to shatter the growing convergence of U.S. and Soviet policies in the Caribbean after the nuclear scare of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. When the President appealed separately to Luce and to the exiles to cease their attacks, both rebuffed him..."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 254-255)William Pawley (a key figure in establishing Civil Air Transport/Air America, the notorious CIA-backed airline long linked to drug trafficking; as well as a member of the powerful, far right think tank the American Security Council, as noted before here), was one of the key backers of the student group Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE). As noted in part two, it was DRE member Carlos Bringuier that Oswald had his notorious confrontation with in New Orleans while the former Marine was handing out Fair Play For Cuba Committee leaflets.
"... the DRE was subsidized by Pawley and his friend Clare Boothe Luce ... and the DRE head office in Miami had received a report from DRE delegate Carlos Bringuier on his meetings with Oswald, along with one of Oswald's FPCC leaflets and a tape recording of the Oswald-Bringuier radio debate ..."
(ibid, pg. 120)Later Clare Boothe Luce and the DRE would become deeply involved in an attempt to depict Oswald as a Cuban/Russian agent.
"The DRE led the charge towards a Castro-used-Oswald scenario. Jose Lanusa, the DRE's Miami chief, contacted Clare Boothe Luce and Daniel James about Oswald on November 22, 1963. Luce, the wife of Time-Life publisher Henry Luce, and free-lance writer James were both board members of the Committee to Free Cuba, which had been established in May 1963. James promptly called the FBI. 'LANUSA described OSWALD definitely a communist and a supporter of FIDEL CASTRO,' an FBI report states. '... LANUSA also advised him that FIDEL CASTRO, in early September at a function at the Brazilian Embassy in Havana, remarked that if the United States causes him difficulty he has facilities to "knock off United States leaders."'
"Luce, a former Congresswoman and U.S. ambassador to Italy, waited longer to come forward. Then, during the Garrison and House Assassination Committee investigations, she made a point of passing along a story that originated with the DRE. Luce said she had gotten a phone call the night of the assassination and been told that the DRE had 'penetrated' Oswald's organization after he came around offering his services as a potential Castro assassin. DRE members had worked their way inside the 'Communist cell,' where Oswald was tape-recorded bragging about being 'the greatest shot in the world with telescopic rifle.' Luce said she had instructed the exiles to turn everything over to the FBI. The House Assassination Committee spent many fruitless hours looking to track down Luce's leads."
(The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dick Russell, pg. 403)
|Clare Booth Luce|
As noted in the third installment of this series, Angleton was likely one of the key plotters in the assassination and the individual who "managed" the CIA throughout the plot. Indeed, evidence has emerged indicating that Angleton may even have been the one who sent Oswald to the Soviet Union as part of a false defector operation he oversaw (as addressed in the third installment). His Counterintelligence (CI) staff began keeping records on Oswald shortly after his defection, years before he returned to the United States.
Angleton was a close friend of Allen Dulles and one of the most powerful figures in the history of the CIA (he was also deeply involved in the Agency's drug trafficking, as noted before here and here). Thus, some eyebrows were raised when he began proclaiming communist plots shortly after the assassination unfolded.
"The falsified 'Lee Harvey Oswald' cables of October 1963, which became part of a CI/SIG file on 'Lee Harvey Oswald' going back to 1960, were supervised by officers of the small Angleton-FBI veterans clique in CI. One can imagine that this clique had used their falsified file on Lee Harvey Oswald as part of the CI/SIG's search for a KGB penetration agent, or 'mole,' within the CIA's ranks. This search became particularly active in 1963, the year of falsified cable traffic about Oswald.
"It is certain however that the effect of the falsified Oswald documentation, consciously or accidentally, was to incriminate him falsely as an apparent KGB assassin. One day after the assassination, the CIA Counterintelligence staff speculated on the sinister implications of Oswald's alleged contact with Kostikov; and it continued to do so for years after. For Kostikov was not just a known KGB agent; he was suspected by Counterintelligence officials in the FBI and CIA of working for the KGB's Department Thirteen, which according to a contemporary CIA memo was 'responsible for sabotage and assassination.' This falsified picture of Oswald as a potential KGB assassin, though never used by the Warren Commission against him, almost certainly contributed to the Warren Commission's determination to close the case as the work of a lone assassin. The alleged Oswald-Kostikov-Department Thirteen connection must have seemed particularly ominous after the Commission was informed by Richard Helms that
The Thirteenth Department headquarters, according to very reliable information, conducts interviews or, as appropriate, file reviews on every former military defector to the USSR to study and to determine the possibility of utilizing the defector in his country of origin.
"CIA and FBI officials have since said that their respective agencies made mistakes in their handling of the Oswald case prior to Kennedy's murder. Yet the Counterintelligence staffs of CIA and FBI, who were responsible for the alleged mistakes, were also given responsibility for investigating the Kennedy assassination afterwards. The CI/SIG in particular, which had misrepresented Oswald within the CIA, was given responsibility for liaison on the assassination with the CI staff in the FBI, who were given secret FBI reprimands for having failed to put Oswald on the FBI's Security Index."
(Deep Politics II, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 5-6)
"Angleton and his Counterintelligence Staff, however, were picked in the CIA to handle the Kennedy assassination... Within the CIA, a quite parallel investigation warp, analogous to that in the FBI. There too the investigation of a possible foreign conspiracy, originally lodged with Latin American experts in the Western Hemisphere Division (WH), had after two weeks been snatched away by CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton, William Sullivan's counterpart in the CIA... Angleton's pretext for doing so was a cable from Win Scott, linking Kostikov to WH's agent Rolando Cubela.
"In the CIA, as in the FBI, there are signs that some hidden agenda dictated pre-assassination handling of the Oswald file. Years later Angleton recalled that he and his office had been given the assignment of liaison with the Warren Commission because they 'knew the mechanisms of the KGB [and] of the Cuban DGI.' He spontaneously 'raised the specter of the KGB's [and Kostikov's] Department 13,' whose specialties were defined in a 1964 CIA report from his staff to the Warren Commission as 'abduction and murder.' Both Angleton and his deputy Ray Rocca are known to have argued, along with Mexico City Ambassador Thomas Mann, that Communists might have been responsible for Kennedy's murder. Given the CIA anxiety in 1993 about Departments 13's capability for murder, why then did the CIA suppress all reference to the sinister Kostikov when notifying the FBI, on October 10, 1963, of the 'Oswald' contact with the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City?
"... One has to wonder about the CIA station's handling of the 'phase one' Kostikov story as well. Was the cable about 'Cubella' a plant, to give Angleton leverage over his colleagues, and gain control the case? In any event, the JFK assassination investigation was soon dominated by two Hoover allies: by Angleton (a 'phase one' believer) on the CIA side, and on the FBI side by his very close associate Sullivan, a 'phase two' believer, but also Win Scott's former chief from the days of the wartime FBI SIS service, and an Angleton crony above all.
"A third interested party to this coterie appears to have been Allen Dulles. Now no longer in the CIA but on the Warren Commission, he remained very close to Angleton and his counterintelligence set..."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 66-67)
|Win Scott, the Mexico City Station Chief and Angleton crony|
By most accounts Angleton's close friend Allen Dulles dominated the Warren Commission and ensured it avoided any serious attempts at investigating the assassination by elements that weren't totally deterred by the nuclear card.
"One reason for the Commission's ignorance about the Oswald file – and the subsequent importance of Mexico City – is that Helms actually pointed Angleton to be the main liaisons to the Commission. Unlike his predecessor in that spot, John Whitten, Angleton tried to accent Oswald's Russian period for the Commission. Whitten wanted to highlight the Cuban connection. It appears Helms did not wish that dangers grand to be explored. He therefore brought in Angleton to be the CIA's chief interface for the Commission. Since Angleton and Dulles were close colleagues from the 1940s, Dulles tipped off his friend as to what queries they would get about Oswald from the Commission. Since there had been a rumor that Oswald was an FBI agent, Dulles informed Angleton in advance as to what the Commission queries would likely be about Oswald's possible intelligence ties. Then Angleton and William Sullivan of the FBI rehearsed and unified the responses to deny any intelligence connection to the alleged assassin. This was an important part of the cover up since it curtailed any inquiry into the question of whether or not agent Oswald was completing a mission in Mexico that he began in New Orleans. That is, was he further discrediting the FPCC by associating with communist foreign consulates and trying to gain transport Cuba? What made this even more crucial is the fact that there was an 'operational interest' in Oswald held by handful of officers in the Special Affairs Staff (SAS) of the CIA just weeks before the Kennedy assassination. This group was involved with what was left of the Kennedy campaign against Cuba, which was not very much. But as far as the Warren Commission inquiry into Mexico City goes, we have established two key points: 1.) Slawson was much too trusting of the Agency, and 2.) Angleton and Dulles were determined to keep clues about any preexisting relationship to Oswald and the CIA concealed."
(Destiny Betrayed, James DiEugenio, pgs. 347-348)
"How [Warren] Broglie was first introduced to the world of intelligence work is unknown, but there is evidence that he came into contact with OSS official Allen Dulles sometime during the Second World War in Basle, Switzerland. Additionally, both men, as well as Conrad Hilton, and several other high-ranking CIA officials, were directors and the Knights of Malta, a long-standing Roman Catholic lay order founded at the time of the Crusades, that today counts among its members some of the richest and most influential men in the world, including many former and current high-ranking CIA officials."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 384)
The above-mentioned Warren Broglie made a curious appearance in Oswald's saga as well, which shall be addressed in just a moment. For the time being, let us briefly consider the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), more commonly referred to as the Knights of Malta. While the SMOM frequently appears in conspiracy literature it is typically with precious few details and those often revolve around it being an extension of Freemasonry. But researcher John J. Robinson, whose Born in Blood is generally considered the most compelling account linking Freemasonry to the Medieval Knights Templar, took a much different view. He believed that one of the three "Juwes" mentioned in the Masonic myth of the murder of Grand Master Hiram Abiff was the Knights Hospitallers (who eventually became the SMOM) and argued that this was evidence of a long standing rivalry between the two orders.
"As we search British history to find an unfinished temple as a basis for an exclusively British secret society, we find just one answer, in the religious order that often called itself by that simple name alone: the Temple. Jacques de Molay and his predecessor signed documents over the title Magister Templi, Master of the Temple. And that temple, taking its name from the Temple of Solomon, certainly was left unfinished upon the murder of its masters, who also had been tortured to reveal their secrets by three assassins that ultimately destroyed them. Not Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, but Philip the Fair of France, Pope Clement V, and the order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Many who have read only the Catholic Church's summary of the Templar suppression may object, stating that only the king of France could be considered the 'assassin' of the Knights Templar, having done all the dirty work and having coerced a weak pope to help him. True, that is the church as usual version to this very day, but the historical facts speak somewhat to the contrary...
"When Edward II of England declined to tortured the Templars, the pope could have thrown the problem backed Edward's father-in-law, the king of France: No one forced Clement V to dispatch ten church torture specialist to London. The pope could have lived with the acquittal of the Templars on Cyprus: No one forced him to demand a new trial, or to dispatch a torture team with the power to draw upon the local the Dominicans and Franciscans if extra help was required. Nor did the king of France prevail in his desire that one of his family be made the head of the combined Hospitaller/Templar order, with full access to the combined wealth. And if Clement V had been merely a timorous puppet Pope with Phillip pulling the strings, as church historians would have us believe, the kings of France would have been the new owners of the Templar properties in France, not the Hospitallers. The pope was much tougher, or at least much more obstinate, then we have been led to believe, and it would appear that he had contrived a plan of his own in concert with the Hospitallers.
"That order has managed to escape any criticism in the matter of the Templar suppression, but apparently only because it had kept a low profile throughout, probably for the very good reason that its role and its reward have been worked out in advance. It is well known that the papacy was in favor of the union of the Templars and the Hospitallers and had already determined that Foulques de Villaret, master of the Hospitallers, would be the Grand Master of the combined orders. The Templars, at their headquarters on Cyprus, had heard of the serious intent to combine the orders and had taken the time to prepare a written tribunal. The Hospitallers, at their own headquarters on the same island, must have received the same information, yet they prepared no rebuttal, written or verbal. In fact, de Villaret managed to stay away from the meeting in France altogether, with no recorded papal criticism for his absence. That was undoubtedly because his presence wasn't needed and because there was no point in chancing a confrontation between the two orders, especially since the pope was already dedicated to looking after the interests of the Hospitallers. Not only did the Hospitallers offer no objection to the concept of the merger, but they made no attempt whatever to speak up for their brother warrior-monks as they were arrested and tortured. They simply stayed out of it and bided their time, until Clement V, much to the anger of King Philip, declared that all of the confiscated Templar property would go to the Knights Hospitaller and that all released Templars could be taken into the Hospitaller order, thereby achieving de facto the union he had been planning all along, with full Hospitaller approval and cooperation. If one looks for motive, the Hospitaller order was the major beneficiary of the suppression of the Templars, as had probably been the plan from the beginning. The pope and the Hospitallers together thwarted the aims of Philip of France, and there should be no doubt that the Hospitallers rank as one of the three assassins of the Order of the Temple."
(Born in Blood, John J. Robinson, pgs. 271-273)
|Foulques de Villaret|
"The reason Shaw would pick this particular name is very likely because it derives from Pope Clement V, whose surname was Bertrand D'Agout. (It would also explain why in some instances, he used the first name Clem.) This pope had sheltered homosexuals in the fourteenth century. His legacy lived on in the cloistered homosexual community. So much so that their developed a Clement Bertrand Society which helped homosexuals with legal problems. That Shaw/Bertrand sent the gay Latins to Dean Andrew suggests that Shaw was aware of this bit of history."
(Destiny Betrayed, James DiEugenio, pg. 211)
|Pope Clement V, who was apparently sheltered homosexuals while simultaneously persecuting the Templar order for a host of "immoral" acts, including sodomy...|
There have long been allegations that George H.W. Bush himself was also a member of the SMOM. I have not been able to reliably confirm this though Wikipedia (for what it's worth) claims that Bush I was brought into the pro Merito Melitensi, a branch of the SMOM described as a "knightly order of merit." Henry Luce is also widely reported to be an SMOM member as well but I was not able to conifirm this either. Clare Boothe Luce, however, was most certainly a Dame of Malta (the female branch of the SMOM).
But as far as the Kennedy assassination is concerned, the appearance of the above-mentioned SMOM member Warren Broglie is especially curious. Naturally Broglie cropped up in one of the strangest and most contested Oswald episodes leading up to the assassination: His trip to Mexico.
"... the Hotel Luma. The manager of... hotel... was Warren Broglie, a Swiss whom Arthur Greenstein recalled as being fluent in four languages. Broglie was also in charge of hotels in Acapulco and along the Yucatán and Baja peninsulas. One of these was owned by the reclusive billionaire Daniel K. Ludwig, another by American oilman J. Paul Getty. But the modest Luma served for twenty years as Broglie's 'home base' because so much of his business was transacted in Mexico City...
"Broglie's bartender and relief headwaiter at the Luma was Franz Waehauf. Of German heritage, he had served in the German military's merchant marine during World War II, afterwards ending up in Mexico. Though he never gained Mexican citizenship, Waehauf stayed on. By 1962 he had been working at the Luma for more than a decade."
(The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dick Russell, pgs. 238-239)
Waehauf has been widely linked to Czech intelligence, which at the time was aligned to the Soviet Union. Curiously Francis Parker Yockey, a key figure in the post-WWII fascist underground, would also do some work for Czech intelligence in the 1950s. Frequently the fascist underground maintained contacts with the intelligence services of both the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. Conversely, Waehauf's boss, Broglie, had ties to various US intelligence agencies.
"... Broglie, a Swiss-national, had been a confidential informer and willing asset to the CIA (as well as to the Narcotics Bureau and FBI) for about ten years. Broglie was also quite close friends with Winston Scott as he was also with Scott's third wife, Janet Graham Leddy Scott. Indeed, Broglie was a special, head-table guest, along with David Atlee Phillips, another of his close friends, at Janet Scott's lavish 1963 birthday party reportedly held in a private room at the Hotel Luma..."
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 406)
|David Atlee Phillips|
Robert Buick, an American bullfighter living in Mexico City at the time, frequented the Hotel Luma in 1963. In late September of that year he would claim to see Lee Harvey Oswald (using the alias Alex Hidell) there on at least two occasions and engaged in curious conversations with Broglie and Waehauf. He recounted the following to journalist Dick Russell:
"So Buick watched Alex Hidell from a distance, watched as he huddled in conversations with bartender Waehauf and sometimes hotel town manager Broglie. 'As I recall, "Alex" wasn't in a hotel very long. I saw him once fleetingly, either leaving the bar or the lobby going out the front door. I saw them twice in the bar. There was times where him, Waehauf and Broglie, all three of them, were completely out of sight. They never all left together or came back together, but then all of a sudden one would come in. Five minutes would pass, and another shows up. Ten minutes later, the third one comes back in the bar. Sometimes as much as an hour would go by when none of them were around. So what is the conjecture there? Probably meeting in one of the vacant motel rooms, who knows?...'
"Buick claimed he did overhear snatches of conversations in the Luma bar concerning an assassination attempt against President Kennedy. 'And I related this to those gentlemen I would meet in the park. It wasn't so much what I heard at one specific moment, you understand? And it wasn't something that was directly stated, but more implied. Only in retrospect that it all come together for me...'
(The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dick Russell, pg. 378)
|Robert Clayton Buick|
While what role, if any, SMOM member Broglie had in the assassination is highly debatable his appearance in Mexico City, along with the German Waehauf, is most curious. SMOM member Allen Dulles would have contact with the Nazi regime during his stay in Switzerland for the OSS. Later on he and fellow SMOM member James Jesus Angleton would play a key role in organizing former Nazi and Quisling forces into an anti-communist network in Europe after WWII, as noted before here and here. Was SMOM member Broglie, who may have first encountered Dulles in Switzerland during WWII, a part of this network?
Besides the SMOM this anti-communist network, which would eventually crystallize under the banner of the World Anti-Communist League (which had direct links to the assassination, as noted in part two and three of this series), had ties to another bizarre and even more obscure secret society linked to the Medieval Knights Hospitallers. In the next installment of this series we shall consider this Order and its ties to the Kennedy assassination as well as the bizarre churches also linked. Stay tuned.