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Guest James H. Fetzer
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Regarding Oswald's dyslexia (and again, dyslexia is a reading disability. . .):

Yes, it is. And I again ask you to show me where Oswald had any reading difficulties. Mrs L claimed he was a poor speller and poor reader, to be sure - but she put it down to lack of help and practice at home.

You should look look up the story of Emma Livingston, Oswald's teacher in the fourth grade at Arlington Heights Elementary School. She was not called as a WC witness, but was interviewed by the FBI, and the details are also laid out in stories in the NY TImes, Life Magazine, and the Dallas newspapers.

She does not mention "dyslexia". Not once.

Ms Livingston describes at length the personalized help she extended to Oswald in the fourth grade (school year 1949-1950); and how his reading and spelling improved considerably. At the Christmas party that year, Oswald gave her, as a gift, a puppy from his dog's litter.

Oh, well. That proves it. He gave her a puppy. He must have been dyslexic. On a par with any other evidence you serve up.

Dyslexia of course, requires specialized programs to overcome, not a little boning up - even with the teachers help after school. Any improvement (in spelling) was short-term - and further evidence the problem was not dyslexia. The after school help did however, compensate for the lack of help and practice at home, and he needed no further assistance in that discipline afterwards.

As a consequence of this personalized help in reading and spelling--and the relationship, fwiw, extended beyond 1949-50 and into the following year or two--Oswald's IQ (when tested) jumped from 103 (when tested in 1950) to 118 (when tested in NYC, at Youth House, in April, 1953). This "IQ jump"--I believe--is related to his increased ability in reading comprehension, and I have had detailed discussions about this with qualified persons.

Good for you. Mrs L was surprised to learn of his reading material in later life. She didn't think he'd progress past comic books. But the fact that his reading ability improved with practice without the need for any special program, but the spelling improvement was short-lived in itself, rules out dyslexia.

I think WC atty Liebeler started to become enlightened about a lot of this towards the tail end of the WC investigation (between June and September, 1964), because his wife (whom I knew personally, because I visited with them) was a teacher at a school for the gifted (Montessori).

Gifted kids??? ROFL It is for idiot parents with too much money.

Then, at the end, Liebeler was in communication with Dr. Rome, of the Mayo Clinic and, as I'm sure you know, he compiled a multi page memorandum (dated 9/8/64) setting forth his belief (based on spelling evidence) that Oswald suffered from dyslexia (WCE 3134). One of the unusual things about this Liebeler/Rome communication is that Liebeler went completely outside of channels to do this. (Normally, everything had to be channeled through General Counsel Rankin. Here, you will note, that Dr. Rome writes back to Liebeler directly. This was quite unusual. WC attorneys were NOT supposed to communicate with the "outside world" in that fashion).

"The Warren Commission sought an opinion on Oswald from Dr Rome of the Mayo Clinic based on examples of Oswald's writing. Dr Rome diagnosed "constitutional dyslexia". This was once referred to as "word blindness", and indeed, Dr Rome confirmed in his letter to the commission (CE 3134) that this is what he had in mind, saying, "It is a specific disorder of function and not merely the result of external factors. It was established early that difficulties in reading are always accompanied by difficulties in writing and spelling…" Thus Rome, never having examined Oswald, assumed incorrectly that Oswald had a reading disability as the basis of his spelling problems."

http://reopenkennedy...s-than-dyslexia

As shown above - Oswald never had a reading disability. He had a lack of practice in reading (as concluded by myself, and your own witness, Mrs L), and some after school practice was sufficient to permanently remedy that. It was not a permanent solution to his spelling problem.

Anyway. . .None of this has anything to do with Asperger's (or autism). It has everything to do with dyslexia, "word-blindness" etc. That was Dr. Rome's diagnosis, and I think he was spot on.

He made a diagnosis of dyslexia based on some spelling samples. Hartogs made a diagnosis of "personality pattern disturbance" based on his own interview with Oswald and various test results and other professional reports. Asperger's was not recognized in the US until the 1970s, so neither Hartogs nor Rome could have diagnosed it. They did the best they could with the evidence they had. Hartogs almost got it right. As previously stated, Asperger considered the condition named after him to be a "personality disorder".

I refer you to the very start of the article linked to above:

From Dr Asperger's original case-notes:

"His handwriting, as would be expected from his general clumsiness, was very poor. He carried on writing carelessly, and messily, crossing out words, lines going up and down, the slant changing. His spelling, however, was reasonably accurate. As long as his attention was focused on one word, he knew how to spell it. It was very significant then that he made more spelling errors when copying than at dictation.Really, one would expect that copying should not present any problems at all since the words were in front of him; but this very simple and straightforward task simply did not interest him".

Now doesn't that sound like Oswald, who did spell VERY well on occasion as an adult, and then very poorly the rest of the time where his writings are littered with crossed out words, lines all over the place, and are altogether messy. Exactly as described above.

I strongly recommend that you Google "Emma Livingston" and read up on her experiences with Oswald.

And I strongly recommend you consider that Dyslexia not only does NOT explain his spelling mistakes, it explains none of the odd aspects of Oswald's personality which have caused many a researcher to go to ludicrous lengths to try and grasp. Asperger's explains it all -- his occasional bad spelling (and why it IS occasional rather than all the time); his foreign language skills; his accent which again has researchers grasping at straws imagining all manner of things; his social awkwardness; his intensity etc etc...

DSL

Edited by Greg Parker
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FWIW, I have read quite a bit about Asperger's due to concerns about my son. Asperger's is primarily a social problem. Kids who don't play well with others, are addicted to routines, and have unusual obsessions, such as trains, are often diagnosed as having Asperger's. Children with Asperger's quite often live with their parents for the bulk of their lives. (Think of it as Autism-light.) There is little in Oswald's life that suggests he had Asperger's, IMO. Someone afflicted with the disorder would not be expected to join the Marines at age 17, go to Russia, marry an attractive young woman, etc.

Dyslexia seems far more likely, IMO. Although not diagnosed by a physician, the assumption among most of my family is that my brother is dyslexic. By the time I was in third grade I was reading at an eleventh grade level, while my brother, in the fifth grade, was reading at a second or third grade level. Within two years of that point, however, he learned to focus and was able to improve. His problems were also related to the fact that, when he was taught to read in school, the teachers had momentarily abandoned teaching phonics--sounding out words.

Dyslexics, famously, have problems with the order of letters within words. This affects their spelling far more than their reading, however. At one point I read quite a bit on human cognition. I discovered something which should have been obvious--that people don't read individual letters when they read words. They see the first letter and a bunch of other letters, and "see" the word based on the combination of letter shapes they observe. Dyslexics can learn to read far easier than they can learn to spell, which forces them to focus on each letter in sequence.

In short, when someone has a high IQ, like Oswald, but also has problems spelling, like Oswald, they are considered a likely candidate for dyslexia.

Edited by Pat Speer
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FWIW, I have read quite a bit about Asperger's due to concerns about my son. Asperger's is primarily a social problem. Kids who don't play well with others, are addicted to routines, and have unusual obsessions, such as trains, are often diagnosed as having Asperger's. Children with Asperger's quite often live with their parents for the bulk of their lives. (Think of it as Autism-light.) There is little in Oswald's life that suggests he had Asperger's, IMO. Someone afflicted with the disorder would not be expected to join the Marines at age 17, go to Russia, marry an attractive young woman, etc.

Hmm, and yet when Mr Lifton raised this issue to try and rub my nose in it, I got an email from someone with an Asperger's son saying he has long thought Oswald had AS for the same reasons I've cited because he recognizes those same traits in his son. I won't quote the whole email, but a couple of key points he made were, "This [Asperger's] accounts for many strange things, IMHO - Oswald's apparent gullability, his conflicting politics..." "his obvious high IQ (learning Russian on his own) and Demohrenschildt's comments in his book on Oswald - all adding up to a personal complexity full of contradictions. And his clear learning disabilities are a part of that, as well. Aspergers kids are seen to be widely variable - brilliant in some areas, clueless in others. .."

Dyslexia seems far more likely, IMO. Although not diagnosed by a physician, the assumption among most of my family is that my brother is dyslexic. By the time I was in third grade I was reading at an eleventh grade level, while my brother, in the fifth grade, was reading at a second or third grade level. Within two years of that point, however, he learned to focus and was able to improve.

Then your brother most definitely has something in common with Oswald. Neither was ever diagnosed with dyslexia.

Dyslexics, famously, read letters in the wrong order.

Myth

This affects their spelling far more than their reading, however. At one point I read quite a bit on human cognition. I discovered something which should have been obvious--that people don't read individual letters when they read words. They see the first letter and a bunch of other letters, and "see" the word based on the combination of letter shapes they observe. Dyslexics can learn to read far easier than they can learn to spell, which forces them to focus on each letter in sequence.

In short, when someone has a high IQ, like Oswald, but also has problems spelling, like Oswald, they are considered a likely candidate for dyslexia.

By definition, "likely candidates" are not easily missed by multiple professionals across a range of disciplines. Moreover, dyslexics are not measurably improved by a bit of extra curricular tuition as David would have us believe.

Edited by Greg Parker
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FWIW, I have read quite a bit about Asperger's due to concerns about my son. Asperger's is primarily a social problem. Kids who don't play well with others, are addicted to routines, and have unusual obsessions, such as trains, are often diagnosed as having Asperger's. Children with Asperger's quite often live with their parents for the bulk of their lives. (Think of it as Autism-light.) There is little in Oswald's life that suggests he had Asperger's, IMO. Someone afflicted with the disorder would not be expected to join the Marines at age 17, go to Russia, marry an attractive young woman, etc.

Hmm, and yet when Mr Lifton raised this issue to try and rub my nose in it, I got an email from someone with an Asperger's son saying he has long thought Oswald had AS for the same reasons I've cited because he recognizes those same traits in his son. I won't quote the whole email, but a couple of key points he made were, "This [Asperger's] accounts for many strange things, IMHO - Oswald's apparent gullability, his conflicting politics..." "his obvious high IQ (learning Russian on his own) and Demohrenschildt's comments in his book on Oswald - all adding up to a personal complexity full of contradictions. And his clear learning disabilities are a part of that, as well. Aspergers kids are seen to be widely variable - brilliant in some areas, clueless in others. .."

Dyslexia seems far more likely, IMO. Although not diagnosed by a physician, the assumption among most of my family is that my brother is dyslexic. By the time I was in third grade I was reading at an eleventh grade level, while my brother, in the fifth grade, was reading at a second or third grade level. Within two years of that point, however, he learned to focus and was able to improve.

Then your brother most definitely has something in common with Oswald. Neither was ever diagnosed with dyslexia.

Dyslexics, famously, read letters in the wrong order.

Myth

This affects their spelling far more than their reading, however. At one point I read quite a bit on human cognition. I discovered something which should have been obvious--that people don't read individual letters when they read words. They see the first letter and a bunch of other letters, and "see" the word based on the combination of letter shapes they observe. Dyslexics can learn to read far easier than they can learn to spell, which forces them to focus on each letter in sequence.

In short, when someone has a high IQ, like Oswald, but also has problems spelling, like Oswald, they are considered a likely candidate for dyslexia.

By definition, "likely candidates" are not easily missed by multiple professionals across a range of disciplines. Moreover, dyslexics are not measurably improved by a bit of extra curricular tuition as David would have us believe.

Greg, the term "dyslexia" was rarely used or heard in the 40's and 50's, when Oswald was growing up. Your apparent belief that "if he'd had it someone would have caught it" is not accurate, IMO.

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FWIW, I have read quite a bit about Asperger's due to concerns about my son. Asperger's is primarily a social problem. Kids who don't play well with others, are addicted to routines, and have unusual obsessions, such as trains, are often diagnosed as having Asperger's. Children with Asperger's quite often live with their parents for the bulk of their lives. (Think of it as Autism-light.) There is little in Oswald's life that suggests he had Asperger's, IMO. Someone afflicted with the disorder would not be expected to join the Marines at age 17, go to Russia, marry an attractive young woman, etc.

Hmm, and yet when Mr Lifton raised this issue to try and rub my nose in it, I got an email from someone with an Asperger's son saying he has long thought Oswald had AS for the same reasons I've cited because he recognizes those same traits in his son. I won't quote the whole email, but a couple of key points he made were, "This [Asperger's] accounts for many strange things, IMHO - Oswald's apparent gullability, his conflicting politics..." "his obvious high IQ (learning Russian on his own) and Demohrenschildt's comments in his book on Oswald - all adding up to a personal complexity full of contradictions. And his clear learning disabilities are a part of that, as well. Aspergers kids are seen to be widely variable - brilliant in some areas, clueless in others. .."

Dyslexia seems far more likely, IMO. Although not diagnosed by a physician, the assumption among most of my family is that my brother is dyslexic. By the time I was in third grade I was reading at an eleventh grade level, while my brother, in the fifth grade, was reading at a second or third grade level. Within two years of that point, however, he learned to focus and was able to improve.

Then your brother most definitely has something in common with Oswald. Neither was ever diagnosed with dyslexia.

Dyslexics, famously, read letters in the wrong order.

Myth

This affects their spelling far more than their reading, however. At one point I read quite a bit on human cognition. I discovered something which should have been obvious--that people don't read individual letters when they read words. They see the first letter and a bunch of other letters, and "see" the word based on the combination of letter shapes they observe. Dyslexics can learn to read far easier than they can learn to spell, which forces them to focus on each letter in sequence.

In short, when someone has a high IQ, like Oswald, but also has problems spelling, like Oswald, they are considered a likely candidate for dyslexia.

By definition, "likely candidates" are not easily missed by multiple professionals across a range of disciplines. Moreover, dyslexics are not measurably improved by a bit of extra curricular tuition as David would have us believe.

Greg, the term "dyslexia" was rarely used or heard in the 40's and 50's, when Oswald was growing up. Your apparent belief that "if he'd had it someone would have caught it" is not accurate, IMO.

Yes. You are right, Pat. Prior to the 1950s, "word blindness " was the term used. Which is why Rome used both terms...

Theories of dyslexia, usually using the term "word blindness" were first developed in 1896. Medicine paid little attention to dyslexia until the 1950s.

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED358409&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED358409

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FWIW, I have read quite a bit about Asperger's due to concerns about my son. Asperger's is primarily a social problem. Kids who don't play well with others, are addicted to routines, and have unusual obsessions, such as trains, are often diagnosed as having Asperger's. Children with Asperger's quite often live with their parents for the bulk of their lives. (Think of it as Autism-light.) There is little in Oswald's life that suggests he had Asperger's, IMO. Someone afflicted with the disorder would not be expected to join the Marines at age 17, go to Russia, marry an attractive young woman, etc.

Hmm, and yet when Mr Lifton raised this issue to try and rub my nose in it, I got an email from someone with an Asperger's son saying he has long thought Oswald had AS for the same reasons I've cited because he recognizes those same traits in his son. I won't quote the whole email, but a couple of key points he made were, "This [Asperger's] accounts for many strange things, IMHO - Oswald's apparent gullability, his conflicting politics..." "his obvious high IQ (learning Russian on his own) and Demohrenschildt's comments in his book on Oswald - all adding up to a personal complexity full of contradictions. And his clear learning disabilities are a part of that, as well. Aspergers kids are seen to be widely variable - brilliant in some areas, clueless in others. .."

Dyslexia seems far more likely, IMO. Although not diagnosed by a physician, the assumption among most of my family is that my brother is dyslexic. By the time I was in third grade I was reading at an eleventh grade level, while my brother, in the fifth grade, was reading at a second or third grade level. Within two years of that point, however, he learned to focus and was able to improve.

Then your brother most definitely has something in common with Oswald. Neither was ever diagnosed with dyslexia.

Dyslexics, famously, read letters in the wrong order.

Myth

This affects their spelling far more than their reading, however. At one point I read quite a bit on human cognition. I discovered something which should have been obvious--that people don't read individual letters when they read words. They see the first letter and a bunch of other letters, and "see" the word based on the combination of letter shapes they observe. Dyslexics can learn to read far easier than they can learn to spell, which forces them to focus on each letter in sequence.

In short, when someone has a high IQ, like Oswald, but also has problems spelling, like Oswald, they are considered a likely candidate for dyslexia.

By definition, "likely candidates" are not easily missed by multiple professionals across a range of disciplines. Moreover, dyslexics are not measurably improved by a bit of extra curricular tuition as David would have us believe.

Greg, the term "dyslexia" was rarely used or heard in the 40's and 50's, when Oswald was growing up. Your apparent belief that "if he'd had it someone would have caught it" is not accurate, IMO.

Yes. You are right, Pat. Prior to the 1950s, "word blindness " was the term used. Which is why Rome used both terms...

Theories of dyslexia, usually using the term "word blindness" were first developed in 1896. Medicine paid little attention to dyslexia until the 1950s.

http://www.eric.ed.g...&accno=ED358409

I guess I should have added that he wasn't diagnosed with "word blindness" either -- nor any other interchangeable term. The fact that the term "dyslexia" was not coined until the 1950s is irrelevant when it only replaced other terms. And I would be amazed if the professionals at YH had no inkling about such learning disabilities since it would be a common cause of the truancy and petty crime issues they dealt with daily.

Any further objections?

David, what about you?

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I'm a newbie here, officially, though I've been lurking around here about 10 years, believe it or not; I've been in touch with Greg Parker, because I've long believed that Oswald was a classic case of Aspergers (I have a 23 year old son with son with that condition); here's some of what I wrote to Greg in a recent email:

"(it is wrong to say) that Aspergers kids live with their parents, can't

join organizations, etc. I see people with Aspergers in all realms of

life, I work with a few; and many CREATIVE people have it in some way

or form - I'm a jazz musician and have known about 50 others with this

characteristic; many Aspergers people are high functioning (a cross

diagnosis is PDD NOS, Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise

Specified) - think Benny Goodman, for one example (do a little reading

on his odd and socially inappropriate behavior).

just think of that guy you worked with once who was real smart but did

not know how to get along with people (for example, all the IT guys in

computerland) - this is very common,

Oswald was very likely in this category; it is why some people thought

he was idiot, others that he was brilliant (and I will say, having

listed to that radio show he did, that he had the classic Aspergers

way if talking; a little self conscious and stumbling, yet very

logical)."

let me add that this might also account for some of Oswald's political contradictions; though I agree he was a tool of the CIA and Naval intelligence, hearing him speak on politic leads me to believe that he was sincere in his neo-Marxist pronouncements. This, too, I see as part of his Asperger's, his failure to see the conflict between his various behaviors. Someone like this is very easily manipulable, overly trusting and naive at the same time that he is capable of certain kinds of sophistication.

Edited by Allen Lowe
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I'm a newbie here, officially, though I've been lurking around here about 10 years, believe it or not; I've been in touch with Greg Parker, because I've long believed that Oswald was a classic case of Aspergers (I have a 23 year old son with son with that condition); here's some of what I wrote to Greg in a recent email:

"(it is wrong to say) that Aspergers kids live with their parents, can't

join organizations, etc. I see people with Aspergers in all realms of

life, I work with a few; and many CREATIVE people have it in some way

or form - I'm a jazz musician and have known about 50 others with this

characteristic; many Aspergers people are high functioning (a cross

diagnosis is PDD NOS, Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise

Specified) - think Benny Goodman, for one example (do a little reading

on his odd and socially inappropriate behavior).

just think of that guy you worked with once who was real smart but did

not know how to get along with people (for example, all the IT guys in

computerland) - this is very common,

Oswald was very likely in this category; it is why some people thought

he was idiot, others that he was brilliant (and I will say, having

listed to that radio show he did, that he had the classic Aspergers

way if talking; a little self conscious and stumbling, yet very

logical)."

let me add that this might also account for some of Oswald's political contradictions; though I agree he was a tool of the CIA and Naval intelligence, hearing him speak on politic leads me to believe that he was sincere in his neo-Marxist pronouncements. This, too, I see as part of his Asperger's, his failure to see the conflict between his various behaviors. Someone like this is very easily manipulable, overly trusting and naive at the same time that he is capable of certain kinds of sophistication.

Allen, thanks for joining. You provide a cooler, more articulate argument than I can muster.

I do think it's important that members understand one thing - that we came to this same conclusion about Oswald quite independent of each other.

I recently read that people with Asperger's are often fascinated with the way things work. Have you found that to be true in your experience?

I think there are good examples of Oswald showing such interest - though it would be a stretch to say it was at any extreme level. Still...

An interesting discussion among Aspies here:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt182660.html

I also once came across a blogger who had AS and listed all the reasons AS would make him a good spy... unfortunately unable to relocate it for now...

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yes, Aspergers types are often fascinated with process - and hence a little OCD - once they land on something they tend not to let go. Perseveration is very characteristic.

And yes, we came to this conclusion completely separately. One of the things that always really bothered me about characterizations of Oswald was the way in which the LN'ers tried to call him a loser and stupid - classic ways of insulting the learning disabled. There are some comments from his former fellow Marines that go this way, and I have seen such turncoats as Gus Russo call him a loser and worse. It always reminded me of the way these kids were treated when I was growing up - in those days, before anything was really diagnosed, people called them 'stupid' and 'crazy.' These disabilities make them into loners, isolate them and force them to do everything on their own.

To me the most interesting and charitable portrait of Oswald is in DeMohrenschildt's book, I Am A Patsy. Whatever DeMohrenschildt's role in all this (and I tend to think his was a very compartmentalized assignment and that there was a lot he did NOT know) he clearly understood what an intelligent and interesting guy Oswald was (he called Oswald, IIRC, 'the first hippy').

(btw, and off topic, I also tend to think that DeMorhenschildt was, like Oswald, somewhat to the Left politically, in spite of some of his history; I think it was Dick Russell who interviewed him when he was teaching at an all-black college).

Edited by Allen Lowe
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How did a thread about TInk and the Umbrella Man turn into this?

And why are there two of them now?

How? He-Whose-Name-May-Not-Be-Uttered brought up my Oswald-having-AS theory in an effort to deflect from his many problems on this thread.

I started another thread (if that is what you mean by "two of them") in order to draw the subject over to that thread and away from this one.

If you're not interested in understanding Oswald, that's fine. Don't read it. This one now can get back on track - at least until He-Whose-Name-May-Not-Be-Uttered feels the need to attempt more mud throwing.

p.s.

Funny -- whenever I start a thread about specific Oswald incidents or history and the thread gets hijacked by Two Oswald proponents - my pleas to take it elsewehere have been met with "no one has propriety ownership of threads". IOW - we'll hijack your threads whenever we feel like it and you can go jump...

Edited by Greg Parker
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yes, Aspergers types are often fascinated with process - and hence a little OCD - once they land on something they tend not to let go. Perseveration is very characteristic.

And yes, we came to this conclusion completely separately. One of the things that always really bothered me about characterizations of Oswald was the way in which the LN'ers tried to call him a loser and stupid - classic ways of insulting the learning disabled. There are some comments from his former fellow Marines that go this way, and I have seen such turncoats as Gus Russo call him a loser and worse. It always reminded me of the way these kids were treated when I was growing up - in those days, before anything was really diagnosed, people called them 'stupid' and 'crazy.' These disabilities make them into loners, isolate them and force them to do everything on their own.

To me the most interesting and charitable portrait of Oswald is in DeMohrenschildt's book, I Am A Patsy. Whatever DeMohrenschildt's role in all this (and I tend to think his was a very compartmentalized assignment and that there was a lot he did NOT know) he clearly understood what an intelligent and interesting guy Oswald was (he called Oswald, IIRC, 'the first hippy').

(btw, and off topic, I also tend to think that DeMorhenschildt was, like Oswald, somewhat to the Left politically, in spite of some of his history; I think it was Dick Russell who interviewed him when he was teaching at an all-black college).

Well, since the thread has evolved into this, Allen, I'll comment since it's interesting.

1. I agree with Jim Garrison who said it is impossible to call Oswald 'stupid' and have it stick, because Oswald learned Russian while still a teenager. Most people could not do that if they tried.

2. If Oswald had Asbergers, dyslexia, or some OCD, this might help explain his lack of advancement, but it can't explain the fact that the US Intelligence community took an interest in him from his early Marine days - when he was very young.

3. As for Oswald being a loner - Jim Garrison didn't find evidence for that. Oswald had friends and was surrounded by people wherever he went. We have plenty of photos to prove this.

4. However, Oswald's community - the Russian Exiles in Dallas - were somewhat predatory when it came to Marina and Lee. They backed Oswald into a corner, and for the first time he started beating Marina (according to her and some neighbors who heard the beatings and reported them to police).

5. Also, his final social group was underground and very secret -- so it probably *appeared* that Oswald was a loner, when actually he had lots of contacts; but they were underground.

6. As for DeMohrenschildt's booklet, "I'm a Patsy! I'm a Patsy!", his guilty conscience shows through from beginning to end. DeMohrenschildt's role was predatory, as I read it. He was supposed to keep an eye on Oswald and report to the CIA, in exchange for help and information toward getting a lucrative oil contract in Haiti.

7. George DM's deal with the CIA would have worked, but George DM could not keep himself from meddling in Oswald's life. George DM and Volkmar Schmidt tried to influence Oswald to hate General Edwin Walker, and they succeeded all-too-well. As I read it, Oswald tried to kill Walker based on their goading. Here is where Oswald's OCD may come in. He got a fixed idea from them, and he could not let it go.

8. I agree that there was lot that George DeMohrenschildt did NOT know. But he what he DID know he refused to tell, because he was to blame for part of it - and his guilty conscience haunted him until the very end.

9. In my theory, what George DM knew was this:

9.1. George knew that Oswald was Walker's April shooter.

9.2. George knew that the CIA people he told about it told General Walker immediately.

9.3. George knew that Walker set up a paramilitary tribunal to get justice for the April Crime of Lee Harvey Oswald.

9.4. George knew that Walker (and his pals in NOLA, Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Jack Martin) planned something elaborate.

9.5. George knew that Walker (with wide-ranging support) and the NOLA conspirators, and the JBS, and the dangerous Minutemen organization, perhaps also the KKK, got revenge against JFK, RFK and Oswald, all in the same moment.

9.6. George knew that he played an unwilling role in making Oswald a patsy; and it tortured him for the rest of his life.

10. Yet it would be a mistake to try to clear George DM. He was originally a Nazi spy. He later became a CIA spy. His walk to South America really ended in a location that let him support a Cuban Exile training camp preparing for the Bay of Pigs invasion. George DM acted for money. That was his main motivation.

11. George DM stood to make more than $500K from the Haiti oil deal he was working on for years. (That's about $5 million in 2011 dollars). But because of the JFK shooting and the Warren Commission subpoena, George lost his Haiti deal!

12. In no way was George DM to the left, politically, although he probably tried to put on an act about it, to keep suspicion away from himself and his actual contacts. If he was ashamed of his Nazi past, it is because he was not ideological, but an opportunist. Now he was in the USA which was anti-Nazi, so he tried to hide it from the general public, but he still used his right-wing (wealthy) connections for everything.

13. Also, his big money would be made in Haiti, which was almost entirely Negro in population, so he had to fake being a non-racist, e.g. when he taught at an all-black college.

14. The tragedy of George DeMohrenschildt was that he lost his Haiti contract, and then he lost his marriage with Jeanne DeMohrenschildt, and he went from being a dapper playboy to being just another old, poor guy, increasingly paranoid and very much alone. Even Volkmar Schmidt didn't want him around anymore.

15. Under these circumstances, I'm not surprised to read that George DM committed suicide.

16. Did George DM know enough so that the cover-up squads killed him? Some people think so. Perhaps that is true, but I don't see the need for it. George wasn't connected with the Mafia.

17. I think George was depressed because he blamed himself for the Oswald episode (and his booklet suggests this, in my reading). George tried to hide this for decades, and he was broke, and his wife left him. And now he was old. And now the HSCA wanted to question him again.

18. It seems, rather, that George thought that he might make some money by writing a book about Oswald. But after he wrote it, and read it, he realized it would never be a best-seller. Possibly his friends told him, too. He was all washed up at the end.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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I agree to most of that - however -

1) "contacts" do not change the fact that Oswald was close to few people; sure he knew lots of people and had plenty of contacts (so does my son, not to make this too personal, but he's Aspergers); but he lets few into his inner life, and I believe the same of Oswald; this is one prime reason, post-assassination, we see so little detail about Oswald's actions, movements, true beliefs. It is as though there was a barrier between Oswald and everyone else; he would be happy to talk about the things that interested HIM (politics, etc) but made very little effort to connect with others, unless it was operational or related to a personal agenda (also classic Aspergers). This also, and not coincidentally, made him a perfect patsy.

2) DeMohrenschildt was a liberal; I have no doubt about that; but you're right, he was also an a-moral opportunist; the rest is speculation (it makes no sense that his teaching at a Southern black University was some kind of cover for his attempts to prove he was pro-Negro). I agree on the basic points you make about him, but the other 80 percent is speculation. And I still believe his decision to teach at an all-black University is significant; it shows a degree of personal politic which, progressive or not as Texas may have been, could not have been common among White Southerners in the 1960s. His Liberalism is further proved by his charity toward Oswald in I am a Patsy; and let's face it, Liberals led the cover up of the JFK assassination and felt no moral compunction about lying and burying the whole thing. This was the USA in the 1960s. Liberals supported the CIA; liberals supported the overthrow of Castro.

(also, if he lost all that money because of the assassination, then his true interests lay elsewhere; this would tend to indicate he did not know there was an assassination in the works). As for George KNOWING all of that - knowing all of the interests who conspired to kill JFK - there is just no proof. I tend to think if he had, that his wife, at the very least, would have said more than just that she believed it was a conspiracy. In that particular conversation she sounds like she believes this but that she really knows very little.

as for, again, his decision to teach at that University; I am reminded of the great wave of German immigrants who were the ones who provided musical educations for African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century, accepting African American students at a time when domestic teachers would not. As a foreign national DeMohrenschildt likely was less encumbered by prevailing racial attitudes.

Edited by Allen Lowe
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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree to most of that - however -

1) "contacts" do not change the fact that Oswald was close to few people; sure he knew lots of people and had plenty of contacts (so does my son, not to make this too personal, but he's Aspergers); but he lets few into his inner life, and I believe the same of Oswald; this is one prime reason, post-assassination, we see so little detail about Oswald's actions, movements, true beliefs. It is as though there was a barrier between Oswald and everyone else; he would be happy to talk about the things that interested HIM (politics, etc) but made very little effort to connect with others, unless it was operational or related to a personal agenda (also classic Aspergers). This also, and not coincidentally, made him a perfect patsy.

2) DeMohrenschildt was a liberal; I have no doubt about that; but you're right, he was also an a-moral opportunist; the rest is speculation (it makes no sense that his teaching at a Southern black University was some kind of cover for his attempts to prove he was pro-Negro). I agree on the basic points you make about him, but the other 80 percent is speculation. And I still believe his decision to teach at an all-black University is significant; it shows a degree of personal politic which, progressive or not as Texas may have been, could not have been common among White Southerners in the 1960s. His Liberalism is further proved by his charity toward Oswald in I am a Patsy; and let's face it, Liberals led the cover up of the JFK assassination and felt no moral compunction about lying and burying the whole thing. This was the USA in the 1960s. Liberals supported the CIA; liberals supported the overthrow of Castro.

(also, if he lost all that money because of the assassination, then his true interests lay elsewhere; this would tend to indicate he did not know there was an assassination in the works). As for George KNOWING all of that - knowing all of the interests who conspired to kill JFK - there is just no proof. I tend to think if he had, that his wife, at the very least, would have said more than just that she believed it was a conspiracy. In that particular conversation she sounds like she believes this but that she really knows very little.

as for, again, his decision to teach at that University; I am reminded of the great wave of German immigrants who were the ones who provided musical educations for African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century, accepting African American students at a time when domestic teachers would not. As a foreign national DeMohrenschildt likely was less encumbered by prevailing racial attitudes.

Allen, your points are intersting, so I'm now getting back to them.

1) Yes, Oswald had an inner life that he kept to himself - he was not ready to come out of his self-made closet. So, I think your psychological profile of Oswald is accurate.

2) We agree that DeMohrenschildt was an a-moral opportunist liberal. Although he taught at an all-black University, we don't find him with any black friendships. That's why I speculate that this was to prove that he could get along in Haiti for hundreds of thousands of dollars. As for his charity to Oswald in "I Am a Patsy," I've had a problem with this claim since his Warren Commission testimony. He tells about his first contact with the Oswalds; he and George Bouhe took it on themselves to visit Marina Oswald out of the blue, when Lee was at work. In my opinion that was a very arrogant thing to do. Marina invited them in although Lee wasn't home. George Bouhe fell in love with her. Later, as Jeanne DM testifies, George Bouhe gave her one hundred dresses. Later, as George DM testified to the WC, George Bouhe was terrified of Oswald. I don't sense charity here - I sense cat and mouse toying.

Also, in "I Am a Patsy", George DM lied and said the 'Dallas Russian community' gave her those dresses. And he also said that Oswald wanted to get away from the 'Dallas Russian community'. In both cases George DM probably meant George Bouhe, who was hitting on Oswald's wife. Why was this not pursued? (Another lie in "I Am a Patsy": he said he could not remember who told Oswald that General Walker was another Hitler. He could not remember "Messer" Schmidt? In another interview he remembered Volkmar Schmidt very fondly, and near the end of his life he begged Schmidt to take him in. But in "I Am a Patsy" George DM says, "I think he was Jewish." So he was trying to protect Volkmar Schmidt.

2.1) I agree fully that George DM did not know there was an assassination in the works - his attention was on a possible oil fortune in Haiti. I also believe that George did not expect that Oswald would actually shoot at General Walker; after the shooting, George and Jeanne worried for days that Lee might have been the shooter. If so, this might have jeopardized his relationship with the CIA which was helping him set up his relationships with the Haiti government.

2.2) I don't believe that George knew all of the interests who conspired to kill JFK, but there is a trail. The night George DM had solid evidence that Oswald was Walker's shooter, he told Igor Voshinin, who he knew was connected to the FBI. Voshinin's wife told the FBI that very night (says Dick Russell). The FBI, out of normal protocol, would have told Walker the next day. I think we have reason to believe that George DM could figure that much out.

George DM knew that Walker was closely associated with HL Hunt, the John Birch Society and a number of paramilitary organizations. George DM knew the people in Dallas quite well. George actually lived down the street from where Walker lived. So, although George DM didn't know the details, he knew the background very well. This is why George DM insisted in the Warren Commission and in his article, "I Am a Patsy", that Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy. That much he could figure out. But as for the hard facts - I agree with you - George DM had very few.

2.3) I believe George DM's greatest guilt was that he had an indirect responsibility for Oswald's shooting at Walker. Volkmar Schmidt speaks about this topic on video at least two different times - one time feeling guilty about it, and the other time rejecting any guilt about it. But this single conversation was not the extent of it. In "I Am a Patsy", George DM admits that he and Lee used to call General Walker, "General Fokker", and this suggests a lot more than just one conversation with Volkmar Schmidt.

I believe that George DM felt guilty all of his life for the shooting at General Walker - I believe he felt an indirect role in it - as an indirect accessory - making it a possible felony. If that came out, all of his dreams would be dashed, so he had to keep it a deep dark secret. The problem I have with George DM's "I Am A Patsy" (which he wrote in lieu of testifying for the HSCA) is that it still keeps many secrets, hides relationships, and refuses to come clean. Because if Oswald really was made a patsy as punishment for shooting at Walker, then George DM was the first one to ruin Oswald.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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Guest Robert Morrow

The "Oswald shooting at Edwin Walker" is a canard of the JFK assassination. It is a lie that was posthumously created by the murderers of JFK (or their lackeys, rather) to frame Oswald for the death of John Kennedy. I give it zero percent credence.

It did not happen.

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The "Oswald shooting at Edwin Walker" is a canard of the JFK assassination. It is a lie that was posthumously created by the murderers of JFK (or their lackeys, rather) to frame Oswald for the death of John Kennedy. I give it zero percent credence.

It did not happen.

Robert, zero percent denotes a rather high level of certainty. One would have to possess proof that Marina Oswald lied - and not only that, but that she played along with a conspiracy fomented through the FBI in which Oswald wrote a letter to her the night before, in Russian, in his own handwriting, of what she must do in case he was arrested.

One would also have to possess proof that the conspirators worked with the FBI to (1) forge this letter; (2) convince Marina to lie, saying she found this letter; (3) forge photographs of Oswald holding a rifle, pistol and militant newspapers; (4) convince Marina to lie again, saying she took at least one of these photographs (the others of which were altered into variations); (5) forge Oswald's signature on the back of one of these photos; (6) get Marina to write "Hunter of Fascists, ha, ha" on that same photograph; (7) place this photograph among George DeMohrenschildt's possessions; (8) take pictures of General Walker's house, backyard and surrounding area; (9) distrubute these photographs among Oswald possessions in Ruth Paine's garage and in his Dallas rooming house; and (10) convince George and Jeanne DeMohrenschildt to also lie to the Warren Commission about their certainties that Oswald shot at General Walker.

That's a very elaborate scheme, obviously. General Walker himself had a different scheme. To the end of his days (as I shared with David Lifton) he claimed that Oswald was arrested on April 10th, 1963 on suspicion of this shooting, but was released on the orders of RFK and the Secret Service. Walker was also convinced that Oswald had a second shooter with him, and demanded to know - to the end of his days - the identity of that second shooter; whether he was connected with the CIA.

Dick Russell suggests that the second shooter was Larrie Schmidt, who owned a tan Ford Sedan. Russell says Schmidt's brother confessed to joining Oswald on this shooting. The eye-witness to the April Crime saw two men running from the scene, one to a tan Ford Sedan, and the other to a Chevy at the local Church parking lot. So it seems one would also need proof that Dick Russell's source was lying.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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