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An Interview with Jim Marrs


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:01 PM

Jim Marrs began working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in Dallas in 1968. He is the author of Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (1992), Alien Agenda: Investigating the Extraterrestrial Presence Among Us (1998), The Enigma Files: The True Story of America's Psychic Warfare Program (1999), Rule by Secrecy (2000), PSI Spies (2000), The War on Freedom (2003), Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies (2004) and The Terror Conspiracy: Provocation, Deception and 9/11 (2006).

(1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become an investigative journalist and historian?

(2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian?

(3) How do you decide about what to write about?

(4) Do you ever consider the possibility that your research will get you into trouble with those who have power and influence?

(5) You tend to write about controversial subjects. Do you think this has harmed your career in any way? Have you ever come under pressure to leave these subjects alone?

(6) The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the “committee believes, on the basis of the available evidence, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. However, very few historians have been willing to explore this area of American history. Lawrence E. Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report suggests that senior politicians were involved in and covered-up serious crimes. Yet very few historians have written about this case in any detail? Why do you think that historians and journalists appear to be so unwilling to investigate political conspiracies?

(7) What is your basic approach to writing about what I would call “secret history”? How do you decide what sources to believe? How do you manage to get hold of documents that prove that illegal behaviour has taken place?

#2 Jim Marrs

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:09 PM

[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become an investigative journalist and historian?[/quote]

I have always been inquisitive and wanting to know the truth about everything. I received a very good grammar school education and published my first article and a cartoon in a 6th grade school paper. At the university, I was editorial page editor for the school paper and went on to write professionally for several Texas newspapers. I always sought out unusual stories and ones that I felt were important to the readers. I joined the journalism fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, in 1965 and went through an initiation in which I pledged to seek and report truth. Since then I have always believed that was my calling.


[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian?[/quote]

I see very little difference between a journalist and a historian other than the journalist probes current events while the historian studies the past. Both should look behind the conventional accounts presented by the victors and spin doctors and seek the truth of both history and current events.


[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](3) How do you decide about what to write about?[/quote]

I write about what interests me with the belief that if I am interested, many other people will be also. So far, this has proved to be true.


[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](4) Do you ever consider the possibility that your research will get you into trouble with those who have power and influence?[/quote]

I was concerned about that early on when I had to take into consideration my wife and daughters. But both girls are now grown and on their own and I don't have that much concern today. Besides, I was always taught that I live in the land of the free and home of the brave. Are you saying that's not true?


[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](5) You tend to write about controversial subjects. Do you think this has harmed your career in any way? Have you ever come under pressure to leave these subjects alone?[/quote]

I personally have never felt threatened but I have had four books cancelled on me despite signed contracts plus several important projects suddenly dropped for insignificant or no reason. As long as a person is limited in his or her audience, the powers that be will simply ignore you. But if you are about to break into the mainstream, actions are taken. And if you really start to impact on the nation...well, just ask Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy what happens to you.


[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](6) The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the “committee believes, on the basis of the available evidence, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. However, very few historians have been willing to explore this area of American history. Lawrence E. Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report suggests that senior politicians were involved in and covered-up serious crimes. Yet very few historians have written about this case in any detail? Why do you think that historians and journalists appear to be so unwilling to investigate political conspiracies?[/quote]

The answer to this one is quite simple. Journalists take a cue from their superiors and today the major media is owned and controlled by one of about four multinational corporations. For example, the NBC TV network is almost half owned by General Electric, a major defense contractor. The people at the top obviuously would not like honest reporting on the latest war as it might affect the profit line. This attitude trickles down to the lowest reporter, who quickly learns to stick to safe topics if they want to keep their job and retirement. Historians mostly work for universities and here too they face loss of job and are attacked by their peers if they veer too far from orthodoxy. These universities are largely subsidized by grants from the major corporations which discourages any deviation from conventional thinking that might upset these donors.


[quote name='John Simkin' post='62569' date='May 16 2006, 06:01 PM'](7) What is your basic approach to writing about what I would call “secret history”? How do you decide what sources to believe? How do you manage to get hold of documents that prove that illegal behaviour has taken place?[/quote]

I consider myself more of a reporter than a researcher, although often I have been forced to do some original research. First, I study everything I can lay my hands on concerning a topic, no matter what the source. Secondly, I evaluate this information and it soon becomes evident which information is well founded and which is mere speculation or theory. I then write about the topic with more weight given to the best documented evidence. But I also include the fringe evidence, usually with a caveat such as "Some researchers contend that..." I was taught, and I believe, that the reader should make up his or her own mind. It is not my place to tell anyone how to think. But no matter how brilliant a person may be, if they are operating on incomplete or erroneous information, they cannot be expected to make a correct decision on any matter.

#3 Dr. Gregg Wager

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 04:26 PM

I have read both Jim Marrs’s CROSSFIRE and RULE BY SECRECY. In fact, I finished the latter recently and even remember sending Marrs a message about it.

Marrs is an extraordinary writer and his books have a grassroots quality to them, which are stylistically a wonderful change of pace from typical journalistic or history books. I sometimes find his mind is more open than mine about certain things, especially in his RULE BY SECRECY book. I wrote my doctoral dissertation about composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, a topic which required that I study and evaluate UFO theories and the theories of Erich van Däniken. No one can deny the mysteries presented by such things, but it is quite a leap to say that either camps of thinking are proof of extraterrestrial visitations.

Marrs’s study of the Priory of Sion is especially worthwhile, not to mention timely now that his movie THE DA VINCI CODE is out. Whether you believe the Priory of Sion theories or not, it is one of the worst atrocities a historian can commit to omit such things from history, even if they are untrue. I personally believe that the Priory of Sion was a viscous hoax by right-wing minded Europeans trying to restore the French monarchy by proving the Merovingian Dynasty was directly descended from Jesus Christ. That may discredit its historical validity per se, but not the historical validity of how such a hoax changed people’s minds and influenced their politics.

There is a danger that mixing UFO and Erich van Däniken theories with the theories of JFK’s assassination contaminates that which has been proven scientifically or are downright immutable facts (such as coroner Cyril Wecht’s conclusions about the “pristine bullet”; or even the entire premise of this forum, as stated eloquently by John Simkin, that the HSCA investigation revealed that there probably was a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, which should have trumped once and for all the conclusions of the Warren Commission, and which continues to be ignored by the mainstream press). Nonetheless, it is important to take note of people’s suspicions and how they motivate certain things in history.



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