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Disinformation: Real or Imaginary


Pat Speer
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Being relatively new to the research "community," I find myself surprised by the amount of distrust among researchers. What with all the talk of false sponsors and disinformation one would think we had among us the plans for the A-bomb, instead of strongly held convictions on an historical event. I'm wondering as to why this is. Is it inherent in assassination research that one ponders one's own mortality? Is it due to Penn Jones' and Jim Marrs' accounting of "mysterious deaths." Is it because the possible involvement of the CIA, which is itself paranoid and which engenders paranoia in others? Or is it because the first step in becoming a part of the community is to let go of the security blanket called faith in the government?

I find the level of distrust distressing. I remember putting down a book by Harry Livingstone when he accused his former partner Robert Groden of deliberately withholding important photographs. Robert Groden?? Who made his career off stealing or borrowing other people's photos and films and making them available to the public? There are many who believe the Zapruder film, the single most important piece of evidence used in keeping talks of conspiracy alive, is itself a fake. There are some even who believe that the Jim Garrison investigation was part of a plot to discredit the whole community.

I think this drives the Peter Jenninggs of the world to side with Posner and his ilk. While it's clear that books by Ford, McMillan, Posner, and Myers, et al, have received help from those in favor of protecting the status quo, it's just as clear that many of the researchers and their publishers have pushed their own agenda, and have tainted their books with exaggerated claims and simplified views of human behavior.

That said, I have noticed a few things here and there that have inspired momentary paranoia. A prominent writer said he'd e-mail me right back and never did, a noted web-site mislabeled some of its exhibits, etc...

And so I ask you, is the paranoia based on anything real, or is it imaginary?

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Pat, a fascinating question. Part of it obviously has to do with the fact that evidence and testimony has clearly been managed, Agency officers have destroyed or concealed evidence and in some cases committed obfuscation in testimony and in other cases given either disinformation or outright lies (depending on your interpretation) - an example being Helms denial that Sturgis was associated with the CIA or that Martinez was anything more than a casual contract employee. When you start with that baseline it makes you certainly creates a healthy skepticism...which can easily extend to other researchers.

Another part has to do with the fact that most long term CT folks develop pretty strong opininons and some of those beliefs are are very much based in larger scale political or social beliefs which for many involve a certain lack of confidence or mistrust of government in general and a healthy concern that it has its feelers out in anything having to do with challenging official/establishment story lines. It's not hard to go from worry about instrusive government agencies a suspicion of "forward leaning" activities, as some of our CIA folks used to call it.

I think another thing which feeds paranoia (I know it does for me occasionally) is the number of die hard LN folks who seem to spend an awesome amount of time and energy challenging conspiracy data - after a time you sort of wonder why they just don't let us obviously misguided CT folks wonder off by ourselves - since it's unlikely we are going to harm anyone or change any textbooks - and not waste their time on us. After all, are there similar efforts to counter folks in the flat earth society? So after awhile there is a tendencey to go - hmmm, somebody must be paying them for that, its so tiresome and such a waste of time they can't be doing it for entertainment. However, it's important to keep in mind that there is a large international skeptics organization filled with folks who apparently enjoy doing just that sort of thing so perhaps it's not that mysterous.

Oh, did I mention all those opened letters and packages, the beeps on the telephone lines, the undelivered and delayed emails, the researchers who take out their wallets and their FBI ID drops out on the table, you know that stuff.....grin.

-- Larry

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Pat,  a fascinating question.  Part of it obviously has to do with the fact that evidence and testimony has clearly been managed,  Agency officers have destroyed or concealed evidence and in some cases committed obfuscation in testimony and in other cases given either disinformation or outright lies (depending on your interpretation) - an example being Helms denial that Sturgis was associated with the CIA or that Martinez was anything more than a casual contract employee.   When you start with that baseline it makes you certainly creates a healthy skepticism...which can easily extend to other researchers. 

Another part has to do with the fact that most long term CT folks develop pretty strong opininons and some of those beliefs are are very much based in larger scale political or social beliefs which for many involve a certain lack of confidence or mistrust of government in general and a healthy concern that it has its feelers out in anything having to do with challenging official/establishment story lines.  It's not hard to go from worry about instrusive government agencies a suspicion of  "forward leaning" activities, as some of our CIA folks used to call it.

I think another thing which feeds paranoia (I know it does for me occasionally) is the number of die hard LN folks who seem to spend an awesome amount of time and energy challenging conspiracy data - after a time you sort of wonder why they just don't let us obviously misguided CT folks wonder off by ourselves - since it's unlikely we are going to harm anyone or change any textbooks - and not waste their time on us.  After all,  are there similar efforts to counter folks in the flat earth society?   So after awhile there is a tendencey to go -  hmmm,  somebody must be paying them for that,  its so tiresome and such a waste of time they can't be doing it for entertainment.   However,  it's important to keep in mind that there is a large international skeptics organization filled with folks who apparently enjoy doing just that sort of thing so perhaps it's not that mysterous.

Oh,  did I mention all those opened letters and packages,  the beeps on the telephone lines,  the undelivered and delayed emails,  the researchers who take out their wallets and their FBI ID drops out on the table,  you know that stuff.....grin.

-- Larry

Larry...I remember a quote Penn Jones once told me:

JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE PARANOID DOESN'T MEAN THE BASTARDS AREN'T AFTER YOU.

This was not long after his newspaper offices in Midlothian were FIREBOMBED.

This was not long after Penn, Gary Shaw, Larry Harris, others and I were meeting at Mary Ferrell's house. It was after midnight when we left. Two men in a black car wearing suits and HATS watched us and appeared to be taking our license numbers. Mary Ferrell told us of evidence that her phone was tapped. Gary Shaw and Larry Howard of JFK-AIC told me how all packages received in the mail had been opened and retaped before delivery. Larry told me how "researcher" Dave Perry "volunteered" to work at the center under false pretenses, and after gaining their confidence, stole legal documents from a locked file cabinet.

As soon as I became well known as a researcher, I was suddenly beset by "strangers" attempting to "ingratiate" themselves into my friendship. The first was an "art dealer" from Keemah, TX, who said he wanted to be an agent for my paintings. But I soon found that what he was really interested in was my research regarding the Mannlicher-Carcano. (I believe Keemah was the location where Ruby was alleged to be involved with a gun-runner.) Not long thereafter, I was contacted by Roy Pope of San Diego, who pumped me endlessly about my rifle research. Pope admitted to being a "former CIA agent. Author Robert Morrow got Mary Ferrell to arrange for me to show him my research. Morrow is an admitted former agent.

There have been at least half a dozen others who all use the same approach to try to gain acceptance and then to pump for information. Typical of those using this phony-front approach are Gus Russo and Dave Perry. Back in those days I was easily taken in by such people, as I was eager to share my research with everyone. Three people I met in the Plaza (including Mr. Miller), attempted to gain my confidence with the same tactics as Russo and Perry. One guy I met on the internet dazzled me with some of his computer expertise, and wanted to come to my house and show me his discoveries. At that time I trusted "researchers", so I invited him to come, as I had Russo and Perry.

Gary Mack, who pretended to be my friend for 15 years, eventually revealed himself to be something other than what he had claimed.

So Larry...it is wise to be wary. People are not always what they seem. It is better to be paranoid than sorry. I no longer admit strangers to my house. While I was assisting Oliver Stone with JFK, an intruder broke into my house and tried to kill me. I spent 22 days in the hospital at a cost of $55,000. I now have a burglar alarm and no longer admit strangers to my house. Maybe I am paranoid, but I am still alive.

Jack :)

Edited by Jack White
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So, by your response, Jack, I take it you believe there is an organized cover-up that continues to this day. I'll keep my eyes open. Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that my computer crashed the day after downloading the autopsy photos...

On the other hand, I believe much of the infighting among CT personalities is a natural extension of a community where people share information, but secretly want the credit or financial rewards for being the one to "crack the case." When I was first getting into this I spent a lot of time on Weberman's website, which has a mountain of information, most of it solid, all of it fascinating. But it was disheartening to see that he still held onto the belief that the three tramps were CIA. I mean, c'mon, like the CIA wouldn't have a better escape plan than hiding in a box car and hoping not to get caught?

There is an expression in screenwriting, that one must "kill one's darlings" in order to write a good script. It seems to me that a lot of researchers get attached to their "pet" theories, and would prefer to believe that other more skeptical researchers are out to get them, than that anyone could have a sincere difference of opinion regarding their "darling."

It's a shame. I believe the combined knowledge and brainpower within the research community could be used to write an important chapter in world history.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Great thread Pat. I am fairly new to the JFK research community (nine months) and was deeply shocked by the level of hostility that existed between the various factions. At the same time I was extremely impressed by just how generous some researchers were with their information. Larry Hancock is a prime example of this. The same goes for Jack (although I don’t expect an invite to his house).

I believe there are several things going on here. There is no doubt that both the CIA and FBI were involved in disinformation campaigns for many years after the assassination. They were very successful at undermining any attempt to get to the truth. This is evident in both the Jim Garrison investigation and the work of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. One strategy has been to point researchers in the wrong direction. This has been a highly successful strategy and many researchers have been convinced that the assassination has been carried out by organized crime. It is probably no coincidence that nearly all the so-called assassination confessions have been made by people linked to the criminal underworld.

Given this background it is understandable that researchers tend to be very wary of new witnesses or new theories. There is of course a more important reason for this. Within a short period of studying the assassination people develop quite strong theories of who was responsible. Once established, most people have difficulty questioning this theory. Few have the intellectual confidence to approach the new evidence in an objective way. This problem is made worse by the fact that the researcher usually has a strong desire to be the one who solved the “crime of the century”. In some cases, researchers are motivated by the possible financial rewards of solving the mystery.

Those with fixed ideas are highly likely to react in a hostile way to people who provide new evidence that undermines their own theory. There are a few open-minded researchers, but they appear to be in a minority.

In some cases, people have spent so much time taking pot shots at researchers with different theories, that they have no time left to do any more original research.

It is possible that some of these researchers are being paid by the CIA to provide disinformation. I am sure that happened it the past but doubt if it is happening now. We have got to the stage where the CIA can allow human nature to take its course.

It has been claimed several times that John McAdams and Gary Mack are disinformation agents. I reject this view. Although I do not share their opinions I believe they are both honest men. They are both members of this forum but they never post. I hope one day they will start asking us some questions about our theories. I believe it is only by rigorous intellectual debate that we will come up with the answer to the question of who killed JFK.

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So Larry...it is wise to be wary. People are not always what they seem.

This is where I agree 100% with Jack. We have already seen examples of that right here. Vast interests and powers are connected to this case and thus keeping the truth surpressed. Don't think for a second they would not use any means at their disposal.

Wim

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Jack and William, first no worries. It just so happens I'm paranoid in general and was watching over my shoulder well before I got hooked on JFK research - not only do strangers not get in but I have a clear 360 field of fire.

My comments were largely directed towards current day researchers and perhaps more obviously frequent online posters - in my expereince many of the very best researchers are extremely low profile and you don't see their names on the internet. And they do share research - once they have vetted you.

Of course here is no doubt that there was active agency interferance, monitoring of researchers and penetration by agency assets not to mention official counter conspiracy campaigns during the 60's and 70's. And I'm personally convinced that some folks (who get publishers) have been at best maneuvered - I'd put 'they call me Gus over at the CIA' in that category but that's just an opinion. I have a nice document with Helms signature describing how they convinced one big name reporter that Oswald was not filing reports on his Russian trip and a note at the bottom expresses the hope that they can keep him convinced at least until the program in question airs. Others most likely have their own agendas from the start - some make careers out of defending the party line and become official media historians (like Posner who has no history credentials at all and gets called as a talking head all the time; someone like Newman who does have credentials is obviously not nearly as high up on the media call lists). Some just do hit and run, collecting everything they can get and publishing and then on to something else.

I do think there is a big difference between obstruction by agencies....some of which is clealy just traditional CYA and some of which may be more personal (after all folks, our new CIA Director to be worked at JMWAVE during the secret war, it's not like some of this stuff is ancient history) and the current activities of researchers. But then I've been accused of being an asset for somebody myself because I tend not to belive in grand, long term conspiracies.....

....Larry (if somebody is paying me the mail intercept program must be getting the checks).

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So, by your response, Jack, I take it you believe there is an organized cover-up that continues to this day.  I'll keep my eyes open.  Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that my computer crashed the day after downloading the autopsy photos...

On the other hand, I believe much of the infighting among CT personalities is a natural extension of a community where people share information, but secretly want the credit or financial rewards for being the one to "crack the case."  When I was first getting into this I spent a lot of time on Weberman's website, which has a mountain of information, most of it solid, all of it fascinating.  But it was disheartening to see that he still held onto the belief that the three tramps were CIA.  I mean, c'mon, like the CIA wouldn't have a better escape plan than hiding in a box car and hoping not to get caught?

There is an expression in screenwriting, that one must "kill one's darlings" in order to write a good script.  It seems to me that a lot of researchers get attached to their "pet" theories, and would prefer to believe that other more skeptical researchers are out to get them, than that anyone could have a sincere difference of opinion regarding their "darling."

It's a shame.  I believe the combined knowledge and brainpower within the research community could be used to write an important chapter in world history.

Pat, the coverup continues MOSTLY IN THE CONTROLLED MEDIA. It is virtually

impossible for me or Jim Fetzer or John Armstrong to get press coverage for

works like THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX or HARVEY&LEE...but jerks like

Gerald Posner are called by the major networks to comment on any new

development. Posner obviously is presenting the "CIA viewpoint", and no

opposition is tolerated.

The era of physical attacks has ended, I think. Now they use STOOGES

in organized internet PERSONAL attacks. Several of the stooges appear

to have invaded this forum to provide disruption, just as they did on Rich

DellaRosa's JFKresearch Forum before they were banished.

For truth.

Jack

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The era of physical attacks has ended, I think. Now they use STOOGES

in organized internet PERSONAL attacks. Several of the stooges appear

to have invaded this forum to provide disruption, just as they did on Rich

DellaRosa's JFKresearch Forum before they were banished.

For truth.

Jack

Anyone that disagrees with your view is considered by "you" to be a stooge who is out to attack you. I guess the two major Dallas Conferences are run by stooges too, for they would just as soon go out of business before they let you you speak at another conference. You've become known as a rambling nut who says things without having the facts to back it up. DellaRosa kissed your ass. On his forum you could make stupid allegations and get away with it. There DelleRosa would not insist that you get your facts straight. So far you have not gotten away with it on other forums. If one looks at the history of DellaRosa's site they will see that those members who are left are predominately alteration believers and those who were banned were anti-alteration believers. Isn't it odd that mysterious coincidence you (Jack) don't seem to be interested in exposing.

Edited by Bill Miller
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I absolutely agree that the cover-up continues within the mainstream media. But what I'm trying to decide is whether it is reasonable to assume that it's by design--as in secret meetings held in corporate offices--or it's just that the lone nutter crowd has been more successful in selling their story to those pre-conditioned to believe their nonsense, i.e. those with the most at stake in American society and therefore those most likely to resent the intrusion of troublesome conspiracy theorists.

As someone who is trying to learn the lessons of history I believe there are times when there is a popular wave, a backlash, that is beyond the control of any individual. Right now in the U.S. we face the frightening spectre of those who desire to go back and win the Vietnam war, through altering history. They seek to villify John Kerry for stating what he believed to be true, and what was subsequently shown to be true in various courts, that we did not behave like the "good guys" in Vietnam, that we did not conduct ourselves as the saint-like proponents of freedom we so desperately want to believe we were. I predicted a year ago that this election would end up being about Vietnam and I am horrified to find I'm right. Similarly, I think there is a faction of America that is retreating into dogma and a form of fascism, and resent the CT crowd with the same passion they hate Michael Moore. These people attempted to shut down this site.

I think the Posners and the McAdams of the world give comfort to this growing faction. I believe that they are of the mind-set that in the absense of 100% proof of a conspiracy it is safer and better to say there's no evidence of a conspiracy. (They neglect to accept that as historians we should deal with what is likely to be true, and not accept as valid only what can be proved. Their approach automatically favors "official" evidence and "official" reports, neglecting the lesson of history that almost all "official" evidence is doctored to some extent, filtered through a prism of what is considered politically acceptable to the officials with the power to make something "official." ) Similarly, I think Gus Russo was seduced by Seymour Hersh' negative portrayal of the Kennedys, and sought to make peace within himself through blaming the Kennedys for their fate.

In sum, then, I find it hard to believe that any of them are on a payroll or have knowingly lied. (I mean obviously Posner has lied many times, but I'm not so sure he doesn't believe his lies.) There is a seduction in being the guy to tell everyone they're wrong, just as there is a seduction involved in being the one to know "what really happened."

Still, without going in to too much detail, I noticed a few government documents put up on the the McAdams website, which differed significantly from the same documents as shown on the History Matters website, and it's led me to wonder if others have noticed anything similar.

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Larry...I remember a quote Penn Jones once told me:

JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE PARANOID DOESN'T MEAN THE BASTARDS AREN'T AFTER YOU.

This was not long after his newspaper offices in Midlothian were FIREBOMBED.

This was not long after Penn, Gary Shaw, Larry Harris, others and I were  meeting

Jack ;)

Jack, I was under the assumption that Delbert Ray firebombed Penn's paper. Ray was an associate of Gen. Edwin Walker, ranch owner, and suspected member of the Minutemen.

Dave

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Pat, as far as the media goes, to a certain extent they are in the same boat the CIA, FBI etc.

Do you want to be the long time investigative reporter and industry name who stands up and says....uh, well we missed that JFK conspiracy but we do everything else right so trust me, trust my network, trust my publishing house. Even if you have a stroke of conscious your media ownership group is not going to be excited. Certainly easier for the media establishment in general to say - as I have heard DPD and FBI people say, hey, we got our man, you guys are just wasting your time.

Or do you want to be the new CIA Director that admits that former Directors lied and covered up and consciously chose not to investigate.... but that we should all trust you and your Agency now.

Or the FBI Director that fesses up to what they really knew about Oswald...heck, they won't admit what they really know about the OKC bombing and how they let that slide into 911. But that's another story.

Never understimage the power of CYA...

Or the pain of admitting you screwed up....especially if it's not just you but a Corporation or government agency - or administration.

As to those documents....well my advise would be to rely on History Matters.... I know Rex doesn't have a position to defend, McAdams truly does. Then again, so do I, which is why try to get people to read primary sources whenever possible.

-- Larry

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I absolutely agree that the cover-up continues within the mainstream media.  But what I'm trying to decide is whether it is reasonable to assume that it's by design--as in secret meetings held in corporate offices--or it's just that the lone nutter crowd has been more successful in selling their story to those pre-conditioned to believe their nonsense, i.e. those with the most at stake in American society and therefore those most likely to resent the intrusion of troublesome conspiracy theorists.

As someone who is trying to learn the lessons of history I believe there are times when there is a popular wave, a backlash, that is beyond the control of any individual.  Right now in the U.S. we face the frightening spectre of those who desire to go back and win the Vietnam war, through altering history.  They seek to villify John Kerry for stating what he believed to be true, and what was subsequently shown to be true in various courts, that we did not behave like the "good guys" in Vietnam, that we did not conduct ourselves as the saint-like proponents of freedom we so desperately want to believe we were.  I predicted a year ago that this election would end up being about Vietnam and I am horrified to find I'm right.  Similarly, I think there is a faction of America that is retreating into dogma and a form of fascism, and resent the CT crowd with the same passion they hate Michael Moore.  These people attempted to shut down this site.

I think the Posners and the McAdams of the world give comfort to this growing faction. I believe that they are of the mind-set that in the absense of 100% proof of a conspiracy it is safer and better to say there's no evidence of a conspiracy.  (They neglect to accept that as historians we should deal with what is likely to be true, and not accept as valid only what can be proved.  Their approach automatically favors "official" evidence and "official" reports, neglecting the lesson of history that almost all "official" evidence is doctored to some extent, filtered through a prism of what is considered politically acceptable to the officials with the power to make something "official." ) Similarly, I think Gus Russo was seduced by Seymour Hersh' negative portrayal of the Kennedys, and sought to make peace within himself through blaming the Kennedys for their fate.

In sum, then, I find it hard to believe that any of them are on a payroll or have knowingly lied. (I mean obviously Posner has lied many times, but I'm not so sure he doesn't believe his lies.)  There is a seduction in being the guy to tell everyone they're wrong, just as there is a seduction involved in being the one to know "what really happened."

Still, without going in to too much detail, I noticed a few government documents put up on the the McAdams website, which differed significantly from the same documents as shown on the History Matters website, and it's led me to wonder if others have noticed anything similar.

Dave... In my opinion General Walker was one of many entities used by the conspirators, both operationally and as a convenient "scapegoat" and red herring. Use of him to firebomb Penn's office would fit into the plan then.

Jack ;)

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