Welcome to the sixth installment in my ongoing examination of the sinister forces behind the rise of Donald J. Trump. This series grew out of a prior post I had published late last year examining Trump's ties to the infamous gaming interest Resorts International. As was noted before there, Resorts had extensive ties to both organized crime as well as the deep state, even owning its own private intelligence company (Intertel) heavily staffed with former US intelligence officers.
Resorts grew out of a Florida-based company known as the Mary Carter Paint Company that was widely believed to be a CIA front active in anti-Castro activities during the early 1960s. By the end of the decade it had transformed into Resorts, with its own private fiefdom on the Bahama's Paradise Island. It had contacts with such Overworld figures as billionaire Howard Hughes and President Richard Nixon while also rubbing shoulders with various Lansky associates and "rogue" financiers such as Robert Vesco and William Mellon Hitchcock.
By the time Trump took over Resorts as its CEO in 1987, the gaming interest had taken a lower profile but still had ample connections throughout the Over and Underworlds in addition to the deep state. In many ways, Trump's ascension to the CEO-ship of Resorts was a kind of coming out party, announcing that he had arrived a a major player. As was noted in parts one and two of this series, Trump's rise in such circles had begun less than a decade ago when he began making extensive contacts among the Syndicate and other curious criminal enterprises, such as The Company, a Kentucky-based drug-and-arms smuggling network extensive staffed by "former" law enforcement and US military personnel.
|Andrew "Drew" Thornton, a former military man and Kentucky cop who co-founded The Company|
With the fifth and most recent installment I began to consider one of Cohn's longtime associates, private detective Thomas Corbally. Corbally spent decades under covering various sex scandals across the West. His involvement in a Hollywood sex scandal that unfolded during the early 1990s was considered there.
As I was wrapping up I began to move onto Corbally's involvement in what is commonly referred to as the Profumo affair. The scandal began in 1961 when UK Secretary of State for War John Profumo began an affair with Christine Keeler, who at the time was also sleeping with Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attache working for the GRU (the Soviet Union's military intelligence). The scandal eventually emerged in 1963 and brought down the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan.
In the years leading up to World War II the senior William Waldorf Astor and his compatriots became major backers of Nazi Germany while frequently meeting at Cliveden, the Astor family country estate. Cliveden would later play a key role in Profumo, being the site of many trysts the British aristocracy engaged in with the assistance of Ward.
"Ward would write, without naming names, of parties devoted to masochism and sadism...:
I remember one dinner party where all round the room were girls and men tied and gagged in various attitudes and they so remained during the entire meal. Suffering was an essential part of this enjoyment. No cruelty was done – I never myself saw any cruelty, though I certainly heard of it being practiced.
It is a kind of ritual sadomasochism... One of the most noticeable things about these people is the high standard of intelligence among them... rather like an intellectual cocktail party. The ceremonies usually start as follows – a large collection of chairs, straps and apparently fierce instruments would be produced and laid out in a formal manner on a low table. A beautiful girl would step forward and remove her clothes. The master, as he was called, would sit on a kind of throne. The girl would kneel before him and kiss his feet... She would be dressed in a wide, studded black leather belt, high-heeled black shoes and straps around her wrists, neck and ankles... A ritual punishment was administered. Finally, long bars were fastened to hooks in the straps... in such a way that the legs were widely separated... and a gag was placed in her mouth.
Drinks would now be brought and the secured girl would be left lying or standing while the guests stood around discussing the finer points... When this was over everyone looked normal again... There we were back at a normal cocktail party again.
"Ward also described satanic rituals – he had a fascination with black magic, according to Michael Bentine. 'At one such party in Kensington, there was a huge and obscene priapic emblem in the middle of the room. All the girls, and there were about a dozen, knelt down around it and made obeisance... the spontaneous way in which it was done made me realise they had all done it many times before...' "
(The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward, Anthony Summers & Stephen Dorril, pgs. 47-48)
The sadomasochistic nature of these sex parties is a reoccurring theme among the networks Corbally investigated, so do keep it in mind. Ward's interest in the occult is most interesting as well, for reasons that shall be evident in a future installment.
There are indications that these ritualistic sex parties were carried on at Cliveden in the early 1960s when Profumo was unfolding as well. In the aftermath of the scandal, Lord Astor's health deteriorated rapidly. His wife blamed this on the forces Wad had unleashed at Cliveden.
"Astor's health declined to such an extent that his wife decided to have Cliveden exorcised and as the well-known Roman Catholic exorcist Dom Robert Petipierre to perform the ceremony. A few weeks later Dom Robert returned to exorcise Ward's cottage – the new tenant had committed suicide by drowning himself in the kitchen sink. Bronwen remembers, 'Dom Robert wouldn't let me near the cottage otherwise I would have been knocked sideways. Even he could hardly walk through the door.' According to Dom Robert's own account, 'the evil powers emanating from the cottage were some of the strongest I've ever experienced.' "
(An Affair of State, Phillip Knightly & Caroline Kennedy, pg. 257)
|Stephen Ward's cottage at Cliveden|
Clearly, A Journey has a bit of an occult flavor to it. These duel interests in the occult and science fiction had an enormous influence on Astor's daughter, Ava Alice Muriel Astor, more commonly known as Alice Bouverie. During the late 1940s, Alice Bouverie became one of the chief financial patrons of ARTICHOKE scientist Andrija Puharich. In 1948, Puharich established the Round Table Foundation with the financial assistance of Bouverie, which is curious considering the English branch of the Astor had their own far more notorious Round Table group noted above. Puharich would use the Round Table Foundation to initially explorer his theories concerning ESP, but later it would become deeply involved in early research into entheogens, specifically magic mushrooms, in the 1950s. Alice Bouverie was deeply involved in this aspect of the research as well, as was noted before here.
And here we find that less than a decade later her distant relative Lord William Waldorf Astor II appears to have been conducting his own curious rituals at the family estate of Cliveden. Clearly, the Astor family had developed some strange interests by at least the 1950s.
Lord Astor was not Ward's only high society friend with curious interests either. There was also J. Paul Getty Jr., the son of the American oil tycoon from Texas.
"Ward knew the oil baron's executive assisting Claus von Bulow – real name Claus Borberg – a Danish aristocrat whose functions for Getty reportedly included obtaining a supply of 'rejuvenation' drugs and organising parties. Getty, a relentless womaniser, once boasted of having had sex with five women in a single day."
(The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward, Anthony Summers & Stephen Dorril, pg. 192)
|J. Paul Getty Jr. and wife Talitha Pol|
"The screenings also opened up new streams of finance, as younger heirs to foundational American fortunes became entranced with the burgeoning hippie movement and wanted to participate, or at least invest. One such scion, John Paul Getty Jr., invited Anger to London, where he was scooped up by the demimonde and soon found himself at parties with the art dealer Robert Fraser, hanging with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and eventually living with Mick Jagger and his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, and later Keith Richards and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Both couples soon became interested in the occult movement and devil worship, dabbling in it to the extent that Anger’s teachings pushed them to record a new song called 'Sympathy for the Devil,' with new converts Faithfull and Pallenberg singing backup."Anger would go on to make his most famous film, Lucifer Rising, several years later. Initially set to feature a soundtrack by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, the film starred Mansonite and convicted murderer Bobby Beausoleil (who ultimately did the soundtrack, from prison, as well). Anger is now widely considered to be an icon of underground and gay cinema, the inventor of the "Midnight Movie," an an enormous influence on the then-emerging 1960s counterculture.
Around the time of Profumo affair going public, Mr. Billy had hooked up with Timothy Leary and had opened up his estate at Millbrook to Leary's psychedelic evangelicalism. Mr. Billy would later become the banker for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, which by the end of the 1960s had become the largest LSD syndicate in the world. To say that Mr. Billy played an enormous role in the spread of LSD would be an understatement. And given the curious interests of the Astor and Getty families, he would have certainly been in receptive company. More on Mr. Billy's role in the Profumo scandal will be noted in a moment so do keep him in mind.
Before moving along, it is worth noting one final reputed member of Ward's circle: Mary Ann MacLean, more commonly known as Mary Ann De Grimston. Along with her husband Robert, Mary Ann founded the infamous Process Church of the Final Judgment, the cult that has long been linked to the Manson and Son of Sam killings. It should be noted though that no compelling evidence has emerged linking Mary Ann to the Profumo scandal and former Process member (and apologist) Timothy Wylie is quick to dismiss such notions:
"It's been suggested in some recent articles that Mary Ann might have had some involvement with the Profumo affair, the sex scandal that brought down a cabinet minister and the conservative government. Before I joined The Process I bumped into Christine Keeler, one of the two call girls called as witnesses, who had heard nothing of Mary Ann. Besides, I'm perfectly certain that had she played a part in the scandal she'd have been only too ready to tell us all about it."
(Love Sex Fear Death, Timothy Wylie, pg. 55)
|the infamous Mary Ann De Grimston|
But even if Mary Ann had nothing to do with Profumo, it cannot be denied that the circle around Stephen Ward would play an enormous role in funding the American counterculture and later New Age movement. The Astor, Getty and Mellon families were all among the most prominent financial backers and here they are, engaged in bizarre sex parties featuring key members of a Conservative British government. But moving along.
"... During 1958 Susan Rosenstiel insists that she was dragged by her husband to the infamous get-together hosted by Roy Cohn in 'a beautiful suite... all done in light blue' at the Plaza in Manhattan at which the Director the FBI confronted her in false eyelashes and a black wig, his short legs crossed demurely beneath his fluffy hemline. A follow-up orgy allegedly featured the Director in a feathered boa, involved with a couple of sleek young street hustlers in a maneuver requiring – this was squeamish old Hoover, after all – rubber gloves!"
(Bobby and J. Edgar, Burton Hersh, pg. 87)
|J. Edgar Hoover|
"One corroboratory sidelight turned up one New York attorney John Koltz began to investigate Roy Cohn on behalf of a client. Declassified New York government files and spadework by a private detective substantiated the allegation that there was indeed a 'blue suite' at the Plaza, Suite 233. 'Roy Cohn was providing protection,' Koltz discovered. 'There were a bunch of pedophiles involved. That's where Cohn got his power from – blackmail.' Like scorpions investigating coitus, Roy Cohn and J. Edgar Hoover would continue to circle each other with wary fascination for decades."
(Bobby and J. Edgar, Burton Hersh, pg. 88)
It seems highly likely that an opening salvo in the feud between Hoover and the Kennedy brothers involved the RFK-led Justice Department's attack on Roy Cohn.
"With John Kennedy president, Cohn sensed a hardening of the atmosphere. He rang up Jim Juliana, who had worked for him on McCarthy committee before signing on with Bobby. Should Cohn be concerned? Let's put it this way, Juliana warned him, 'Hoffa's number one. You're number two. Get out of town.'...
"... Before long Cohn heard that a ten-man team of tax investigators had been detached from the IRS to dig through Cohn's affairs, the 'Get-Cohn Squad.' It was soon evident to Cohn that an extraordinary barrage of covert methodology – mail cover, wiretaps, undistinguished physical surveillance – was starting to pound in, coordinated by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Roberts Morgenthau..."
(Bobby and J. Edgar, Burton Hersh, pg. 390)
"... In the 1950s, Meyer Lansky, and other mob figures such as Sam Giancana, supplied women to John F. Kennedy, some of whom were logged into Hoover's growing files of dirt on the young senator. In the 1960s this deep-political equilibrium was threatened by Robert Kennedy's war on organized crime, which alienated Hoover. Feeling increasingly threatening, especially after the Kennedy's began to collect their own files on Hoover, both Hoover and the mob began to escalate their collection of Kennedy sexual dirt. At first Hoover gained White House influenced by protecting the Kennedys against mob blackmail, but in 1963 Hoover, desperate, began to leak some of his own dirt on Kennedy to the public."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pg. 228)Fortunately for Hoover, Cohn's close associate Thomas Corbally had made some interesting discoveries in the UK of late.
"... Ward liked to tell people he had been a back-channel intermediary between the Soviets and the British government during the Cuban missile crisis. 'He knew a lot of pretty girls,' Corbally told the author Anthony Summers. 'And I like pretty girls. He liked to gossip and talked incessantly about the things he knew … I entertained a lot and Stephen was around my flat a lot.' One of the people Ward brought around to Corbally’s flat was the Russian, Yevgeny Ivanov."
"Sharing Corbally's London apartment was another American, William 'Billy' Hitchcock IV, grandson of the founder of Gulf Oil and a nephew of the immensely wealthy Mellon family. His monthly income was estimated at $100,000, an extraordinary sum in those days. Some of that money went to financing drug guru Timothy Leary's project to spread LSD use worldwide."
(The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward, Anthony Summers & Stephen Dorril, pg. 249)
|Mr. Billy is on the right|
Macmillan had been hearing rumblings about the affair for months, but in January of 1963 he turned to a most curious source to confirm or deny them.
"Macmillan's closest American friends was the ambassador, David Bruce, a great Anglophile, with whom he lunched regularly at Bucks Club. Macmillan had been hearing rumors about Profumo and Keeler since November the previous year. He had begun to suspect that his own advisers were not telling him the truth about the affair, either because they were involved in it themselves, or they were trying to cover up to avoid a scandal. So at one of his lunches with Bruce, the Prime Minister asked the ambassador to make discreet inquiries to see what he could discover.
"Bruce went to Thomas Corbally, the American businessman who was a friend of Ward. Bruce knew of this friendship from his nephew, Billy Mellon Hitchcock, the cousin of Center Hitchcock, the American who had taken Mandy Rice-Davies to Paris three months earlier. Corbally recalls, 'Ambassador Bruce asked me to find out what was going on and to let him know as quickly as possible. I telephoned Ward from Bruce's office and arranged a lunch --Ward, me, the ambassador's secretary Alfred Wells, and Billy Hitchcock.
" 'The lunch was held upstairs at Simpson's in Piccadilly in a booth where, we hoped, none of us would be recognised. There Ward told Wells the full story, including Christine's dealings with the newspapers and the letter from Profumo she had kept which made clear her relationship with him.' "
(An Affair of State, Phillip Knightly & Caroline Kennedy, pg. 157)
"What then of Ambassador Bruce himself? Did he or his office brief Prime Minister Macmillan in late January, as indicated by the FBI's dossier? A State Department document, an 'Eyes Only' report from Ambassador Bruce to President Kennedy sent in June 1963, offers more food for thought. It reads: 'Few people believe that Macmillan, whose private integrity has never been questioned, would have connived at a clumsy attempt to avoid an almost inevitable disclosure if he had known that Profumo had lied. Nor would it consort with the character of the PM to have done so.'
"How to explain this message, if Bruce had been given information on the Profumo case as early as January? How to explain it if, as memories of others and the file indicates, he had ordered his assistant Wells to investigate, and if Wells had informed the Prime Minister's office of what Corbally and his friend had learned from Ward, then what Wells learned directly from Ward – weeks before Profumo repeated his lie to Parliament?
"We examined not only Bruce's papers as released by the State Department, but also his journals, preserve since his death by the Virginia Historical Society. Bruce kept a meticulous record of each day's activity, down to comments on people he spoke with or met – even details of food served at dinner. The journal is almost pedantically detailed, and the entries for 28 and 29 January – when the Ambassador or his office supposedly told the Prime Minister's office what it had just learned – contain no mention of Profumo. Oddly, though, an entire page is missing from the journal at the relevant point. There is no way of knowing whether it once contained material on a tip-off to Prime Minister Macmillan.
"It may be no coincidence that, in the FBI dossier as released, Ambassador Bruce's response to a report of the FBI's interview with Corbally also turns out to be missing. So is a letter on the subject to Secretary of State Dean Rusk. The FBI files indicate, moreover, that the original information given to Ambassador Bruce was not even passed to the State Department in Washington. It seems possible, therefore, that – until the case became public – Bruce simply decided to sit on it."
(The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward, Anthony Summers & Stephen Dorril, pgs. 254-255)