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John Barbour: "No such thing as conspiracy theories,

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Filmmaker denies JFK conspiracy theories

By Katie Mettler | IDS | January 18, 2012

University of Indiana Daily Student newspaper


At 88 years old, John Barbour is a man made for the hills of Hollywood. His golden-brown skin, shiny jewelry and blue-and-brown pinstripe suit allude to his early pursuits in gambling, acting and stand-up comedy.

But the passion in his raspy and convincing voice reveals the second half of Barbours life, the half consumed by conspiracy theories that have baffled America for almost 50 years.

Wednesday, Union Board presented Barbours 1992 documentary The JFK Assassination: The Garrison Tapes, followed by a question-and-answer session with Barbour.

The film features Barbours exclusive interviews with late New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who was ridiculed for his investigation into the CIAs involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The questions surrounding who shot Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, are infinite, and Kennedy-themed literature has lined bookshelves for decades. But Barbour dismissed these accounts; in his opinion, there is no such thing as conspiracy theories, only an abundance of facts.

And he said the facts that convinced him came from Garrisons book: Lee Harvey Oswald was involved with members of the CIA, and the CIA killed Kennedy.

In 1970, Gallop polls indicated that more than 80 percent of the public believed Oswald didnt act alone, if at all. But only 22 percent thought there should be another investigation, Barbour said.

How do you say your mothers not a virgin? It just sounds ugly, Barbour said. How do you say your leaders are murderers? It just sounds ugly. When its obvious, it sounds ugly.

Garrison published Heritage of Stone, a book that spelled out what he found during his investigation into the CIA. In 1979, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that four shots had been fired at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, vindicating the potential for conspiracy theories.

In 1980, Barbour invited Garrison to come on his hit NBC show Real People, Garrison was on film for three hours, and Barbour said it was … the most frightening, exhilarating, terrifying three hours I have ever spent in my entire life.

When Barbour tried to make a documentary, critics ran amuck, and he lost Real People in the early 1980s.

Finally, in 1992, Barbour released the documentary. It won the 1993 San Sebastian Film Festival award the same day Garrison died.

Since then, Barbour has traveled the globe, answering questions about the documentary at film screenings. However, his documentary has never aired on public television in the United States.

But Barbour said he is less concerned by money and more motivated by educating people about what he thinks truly happened in 1963.

Barbour talked about the injustice of the 24-hours news coverage of recent wwmurder cases, involving Casey Anthony, O.J. Simpson, Laci Peterson and Natalee Holloway.

Those murders were tragic, he said. But they only affected one person. The murder of John Kennedy changed the economy, changed our foreign policy, changed our political structure. … I guarantee you, if we had cell phones or the Internet on Nov. 22, 1963, there would be at least a dozen prominent Americans hung or shot for the murder of John Kennedy.


Since I posted the above article, the publication has reacted to public criticism of its original misleading headline by changing it to make it more accurate of what John Barbour said.

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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