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JFK Researchers: Divergent Thinkers?


John Simkin
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I have a theory that most JFK researchers share a common personality. It is for this reason they often spend too much time arguing with each other.

What do I mean? Well, I think most JFK researchers have divergent personalities. This means they are reluctant to automatically accept the views of those in authority.

Like everybody else, my personality developed as a child. At the age of 11 my primary school made be a prefect. This included giving me a bright green badge with the word “prefect” embossed in gold. I was very excited by this idea and ran all the way home to tell my father about this. Much to my surprise he was not very impressed. Instead he gave me a lecture on the dangers of doing a job like a prefect. My father, a man with left-wing political opinions, who always identified with those receiving orders, told me of the dangers of being someone in authority. In fact, he had always encouraged me to question people in authority (not fathers though). The fact that my father was killed a few days later gave this talk great significance.

Throughout my life I have thought I owed it to my father to question those in authority. In other words, I became a divergent thinker. Therefore, I was automatically sceptical about the findings of the Warren Report.

To quote Oscar Wilde: “Disobedience in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and rebellion.”

There is of course a downside about being divergent thinker. For example, we tend to be argumentative. We are also reluctant to be organized. Especially if it means giving other people power over us. I am sure this is one of the reasons that some members of the JFK Forum have resisted the idea of posting their biographies and photographs as avatars. It is also possibly true that after a lifetime of taking on those in authority, we develop a tendency to be slightly paranoid.

However, it is clear that we have much more chance exposing the cover-up of the Kennedy assassination by working together.

I would be interested in hearing what other researchers think about this theory.

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John

Another word for divergent is "contrarian" --

We question authority, the State's and each others, and we take 'contrary' positions. As I told Tim Carroll, I have worked hard to break free of

"INDOCTRINATION, SOCIALIZATION and BEHAVIOURAL CONDITIONING."

I am willing to put up with quite a bit of anarchy to associate with others of like mind. However, the sniping, intimidation and ugly remarks serve no purpose; I noticed both your threads on rules, (really only suggested guidelines) bogged down into puerile hypotheticals and baseless accusations. Shame on them.

I look at this FORUM like it is a graduate seminar or legal team's research, really, like an investigative committee. We "virtually" hand evidence around the table asking the others "What do you think of this?" Then the array of responses from various "divergent" or "contrarian" sources is absolutely priceless.

Our common sense is worth more than ten billion dollars of government "spin," and there are always going to people who constitutionally can not question authority. Their are tangible benefits to toeing the line (Arlen Spector and Bob Bennett are in the Senate, Gerald Ford was made President, Posner and Rather are famous...)

But we are breaking ground and solving this thing, at least to my satisfaction, because we are so much farther along in understanding the assassination than when we started.

STAY FOCUSED PEOPLE!

Edited by Shanet Clark
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John,

I don’t believe that I fit your theory, if it’s true our personalities develop as we’re children. I grew up respecting and believing those in authority. It's true that by the time I was grown I had moved away from the fundamentalist religion I had been taught in the Southern Baptist church, but I clung to it for most of my childhood, and my independent religious thinking as a young adult did not translate into politics.

When JFK was murdered, the thought that there was a conspiracy didn’t even enter my mind. Why? Because the killer was caught within hours. I saw that loser in custody on TV. Conspiracy didn’t even occur to me when Ruby shot Oswald. Why? Because it was soon determined that Ruby was just very upset at Oswald for killing the president. When the Warren Commission said Oswald did it, for me that was that. I even voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, because he said that he was not going to send American boys to Vietnam to do what Asian boys should be doing. When Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment was published, I didn’t bother to read it, because I read in Time magazine that it was just a piece of trash. Would Time lie? Years later when the library where I worked acquired a copy of Best Evidence, I wouldn’t read it, because I knew its claims of “disguise and deception” in the case couldn’t be true. Our government had been in charge of the case, had it not? So disguise and deception by whom? Even after Watergate I was in denial about those in authority. Nixon and his band of crooks were some kind of aberration.

It was only after I finally read Best Evidence and my brother’s copy of Crossfire that I became convinced that we had been lied to. And that if the government would lie about that, it would lie about anything. Iran/Contra added confirmation, as did the political murders of the Clinton years. Now 9/11 and the Kean whitewash commission have confirmed in the starkest way that the U.S. government is unbelievably, frighteningly corrupt, and that the democracy I was taught about in civics class is a sham. But for me this has all been a slow revelation in my adult years, a matter of overcoming naivete and denial and of applying common sense to known facts. It has not been, as far as I can tell, a product of personality, though there are people who believe I am definitely paranoid because of my “conspiracy theories.” But how one might develop a paranoid personality is another story. (Mine perhaps?)

Ron

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We question authority, the State's and each others, and we take 'contrary' positions. 

Shanet, how did you develop these ideas?

Ron, that was fascinating. Many people must have been convinced by books like Best Evidence and Crossfire. But what made you do something about it? I suspect it was something to do with your views on democracy. Most researchers seem pretty committed to ideas of democracy and freedom of speech.

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Little hard to have respect for Warren Commission as well as CIA. When the Warren Commission didn't receive all of it's documents from CIA in a total of over one million documents. This is why no resprect for any authority of it's findings. It would be innaccurate findings with not all of the evidence placed in front of them.

Also, the Warren Commission was done by Senator's appointed by Johnson who should have been placed into prison and never been made to be a Vice President in the first place. A paper from Files states that the operation of killing Kennedy was done prior to JFK even becoming president. The deal with Hoover and Johnson was to kill JFK long before Johnson and Kennedy were on the ticket to even run for Presidency.

Then to know that there is cover up's with military records again also doesn't draw us to have no repect for an operation that took place later on the shooting of JFK.

When it is thought to be that this group was in fact involved in the shooting of Kennedy. 82nd airbourne division in 1959, no records of them even being there when in fact they were.

As for some refusing to post their knowledge of themselves and pictures I am not one bit surprised on this. They may not be who they say they are. To be corned to put it blunt would cause them problems. This is corning some of them.

Many researchers have had threats thrown at them one way or another, for this to cause paranoid feelings. It would and be surprised on how many these threats were given to them. Some maybe pranks but not all are pranks and are serious.

Also, causing them to wish to hide a bit more.

Not like most teachers given a pattern to tell students and agenda and lesson plans. This isn't the same thing at all.

This is more like teaching religion that has theories rather then the actual evidence. Why so many missing docucements? It is dealing with historical unknowns, not like Algebra unknowns of math equations, one has principal and facts and the other of historical does not have.

A reseacher has to be bolder then a teacher and hard as nails when it comes to the remarks of many. Turn a face around when it comes to ones own family even when it hurts bad of what they have done to try to make someone pull back. I wanted to so many times and still do now.

Why someone can complement this own forum in the early part of a day and by the end of the day walk off in anger? Change of fate, a twist in it from one moment to the next dealing with circumstances that were handed to them, being cornered would cause this.

On the other side of this. Teachers in general have the same kind of disrespect from many students. Is there a topic on here on how to handle a hard to manage child or rebellious child, to balance out your views on this form of study?

Many teachers do have a problem with this, one rebellious child can upset the whole class because of lack of training at home or no respect for authority or hyperactive child in general? I had a hyperactive child once in one of my own classes and know full well as to what a challenge it is to gain the whole class onto the lessons planned for that day as well conduct it and at the same time deal with a rebellious child who is wanting attention.

Each teacher has his or her own way of dealing with each child and under each circumstance. I guess in that way both teaching and being a researcher is the same both have challenges of their goals and both have frustrations.

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I don’t believe that I fit your theory, if it’s true our personalities develop as we’re children. I grew up respecting and believing those in authority. It's true that by the time I was grown I had moved away from the fundamentalist religion I had been taught in the Southern Baptist church, but I clung to it for most of my childhood, and my independent religious thinking as a young adult did not translate into politics....

It was only after I finally read Best Evidence and my brother’s copy of Crossfire that I became convinced that we had been lied to. And that if the government would lie about that, it would lie about anything. Iran/Contra added confirmation, as did the political murders of the Clinton years. Now 9/11 and the Kean whitewash commission have confirmed in the starkest way that the U.S. government is unbelievably, frighteningly corrupt, and that the democracy I was taught about in civics class is a sham. But for me this has all been a slow revelation in my adult years, a matter of overcoming naivete and denial and of applying common sense to known facts. It has not been, as far as I can tell, a product of personality, though there are people who believe I am definitely paranoid because of my “conspiracy theories.” But how one might develop a paranoid personality is another story. (Mine perhaps?)

Ron

Ron,

I believe that in a way you have corroborated John's theory and added to it. Despite a respectful "personality" with a good measure of respect for authority, your intelligence eventually brought you to this skeptical place. So I don't hear John as necessarily saying that it is "free-thinkers" or rebellious types who come to this skepticism; I like to think that intelligence alone, when unfettered, will become increasingly skeptical. That is why Shanet's remark about freeing himself of "INDOCTRINATION, SOCIALIZATION and BEHAVIOURAL CONDITIONING" is key to seeing the world clearly. This is not about contrarianism or having necessarily "divergent" personalities; it just works out that way for intelligent people who take off the rose-colored glasses. Unlearning is the hardest part of seeing the world more clearly.

Tim

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John

To quote Oscar Wilde: “Disobedience in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and rebellion.”

Many years ago I had the opportunity to teach a class to very advanced high school students. I chose these two books for the class:

Fifteen Decisive Battles of History, by Edward Creasey

The Perennial Questions, by: Tinker

The course attempted to follow the history of philosophy (Perennial Questions) and overlay it on Creasey's Fifteen Decisive Battles of History. I could have used the Wilde quote to make my point.....progress in thought has not been made without an ugly cost.

For me history is a puzzle. Lots of pieces. The more you can put together the clearer the picture. I like puzzles and always start by seperating the pieces. Edge pieces in one pile, colors in their own piles, etc. I guess I disagree with your idea of being unorganized but I usually do consider myself very unorganized.

I may be a minority in this group, I use the Warren Report as my primary source. After all, if there was a coverup (and I believe there was), the Warren Report is the primary piece of evidence while the commissioners were the perpitrators of this percieved cover up. To me this is a very simple truth. Of the commissioners I find John J. McCloy the most interesting:

"As for myself, I don't want to overemphasize it, but I spent 10 years of my life on a case which people have now forgotten about, but it was a rather famous case at one time. It was called the Black Tom case. It involved litigation--you probably heard of it--it had international and national prominence, at one time. It is hard to conceive of any experience that required any more exacting or more sustained investigative work than that litigation did. The outcome of it finally didn't take place until just before the beginning of World War II. It related to crimes that had been committed by the German Government in this country while we were neutral in World War I-murder, arson, explosions, and sabotage were involved. I won't go into all the details of it, but it took years of my time and experience, and I had rather extensive investigative training as a result of it." TESTIMONY OF JOHN J. McCLOY before the HSCA

McCloy spent ten years of his own life uncovering a German governmental coverup involving spies, "murder" and "sabotage." What better man to have on the commission? And we concentrate on who was in Dealy Plaza instead of the big picture. I think McCloy would appreciate that.

Jim Root

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I always had this habit of not believing what I hear. I don't take advice. I have to get hurt, and be proven wrong, and then get up, brush myself off, and believe it. I have to get my hands dirty. I can't just take anything as gospel.

My family are all die-hard overly-religious Republicans, and none of them really cared about JFK at all. I had this, feeling in my stomach that I had to prove Oswald innocent. Before I knew anything about the case, I had to prove him innocent. I'd spend days without sleeping looking at books and documents and talking to people, running off pure drive. I worked myself so hard I spent a week in the hospital from exhaustion. I wouldn't give up.

I've had this problem with authority for years. I did my teenage rebellion, and got into this ridiculous habit of wearing all black ( woo for growing out of it ). Because of this, regardless of the fact that I've never been a violent person, someone reported that I was planning the next Columbine, and I had to spend two hours in the principal's office being watched by district police while they searched my bag, my locker, and all of my classrooms. This pissed me off because a popular guy was beating up a "nerd" on the track at the same time, but I was the one being treated like trash. It's hard to take people seriously when they single you out because you're quiet and wear black. I instantly became skeptical of any authority figure telling me who was guilty and innocent, because I was presumed guilty just for something I wore.

Wow, that's a way-too-long post.

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For myself still being a teenager and a college student I am far more likely to be pashionate about something now than I will in later life, its far easier to get involved in something like this as my generation is very cynical yet it is hard to get all I want out of it as I have no source of income to fund any research. I am fairly distrusting of any authority in the higher ranks of any government but I have to upmost respect for local councillors and my former teachers. The reason politicians are not respected enough is because they are in power to serve their own interests, for example Robert Mcnamara was the president of the Ford Motor Company and was raking in money, however whem he became secretary for defence his wage was cut to $25,000 per year, being in government is all about insider training. I am quite a cynical guy and I suppose if I hear something about an assassination or voter fraud I am likely to think the worst and in some cases this is justified. Teenagers like myself are the easiest people to get interested in a subject like this as they have a lot of free time and and very inquisitive, speaking for myself I tend to want to know everything in a short space of time which motivates me to read more.

John

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McCloy spent ten years of his own life uncovering a German governmental coverup involving spies, "murder" and "sabotage." What better man to have on the commission? And we concentrate on who was in Dealy Plaza instead of the big picture. I think McCloy would appreciate that.

Jim Root

Jim,

As an example of John Simkin's theory of divergent personalities studying the Kennedy assassination, I would ask you to consider the information contained in a number of books. Among them would be Donald Gibson's The Kennedy Assassination Cover-Up and Kai Bird's establishment pap biography on McCloy The Chairman:.

The Gibson book suggests that the organization McCloy was a part of may have been involved in the assassination. In fact, this author suggests this might be the very reason McCloy and Dulles were "chosen" to participate in the farce. If this were so, McCloy would be in a good position to know who ordered the assassination, as both he and Dulles were very high-ranking members of this organization, in fact part of the inner core.

According to establishment author Bird, McCloy rubbed shoulders with a lot of high-ranking military types while serving in the State Department's War Department during the second World War. In fact, McCloy was instrumental in the building of the Pentagon, and it was known as "McCloy's folly". In fact, McCloy, according to Bird, went quail hunting with Lyman Lemnitzer, the man who was fired by Kennedy as head of the JCS.

One item Bird fails to tell his readers, though, was that McCloy and Dulles had previously worked together while McCloy was High Commissioner in the American Sector of Germany after the war, and Dulles was moved from his Swiss office to Germany.

This is the same McCloy who was supposed to have attended the famous Murchison party on the eve of the assassination.

So you see, Jim, how incredibly divergent opinions can be with regard to McCloy. You ask the question, what better man to serve on the commission, as my response would be exactly, totally, precisely, especially if you were part of the plotting team that assassinated the president.

John

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The reason politicians are not respected enough is because they are in power to serve their own interests, for example Robert Mcnamara was the president of the Ford Motor Company and was raking in money, however whem he became secretary for defence his wage was cut to $25,000 per year, being in government is all about insider training.

Very good statement of truth. Ironically, however, the one name you cite, and about which I know most people don't agree with me, is McNamara. He personified much of the wrongdoing we seek to expose, but unlike any of his counterparts, he has sought to reveal the errors in thinking that led him down the path to war. I definitely recommend his book, In Retrospect, as well as the recent movie turned video, Fog of War. I respect his efforts to get the history right. After almost 40 years, it's easy to forget that he didn't even last for the duration of one full presidential administration under LBJ.

Tim

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Great thread, fantastic posts.

John J. McCloy was the SEVEN SISTERS oil conglomerate attorney. Or was it McCone, the Atomic Energy Chief? McCloy was the US Oil Mouthpiece..........Before World War Two brought him immense influence in the world of MILITARY INDUSTRIAL CONGRESSIONAL COMPLEX, JACK MCCLOY was with CROMWELL & SULLIVAN, I believe, the New York international law firm that was the legal face of this post-Versailles treaty material (posted) , this firms agents masked and papered over the international agreements (with the Nazis, and post 1933, and post 1939 ) Patents and worldwide production and sales rights on leaded fuels, chemical additives, rubber synthetics and other war materials.

The US and the Germans shared and fought over Nylon, fuel additives, dyestuffs, materiel.. petrochemical products made by the seven giant american oil companies, monsanto, dow, dupont and ashland (synthetic coal based gasoline technology) Lots of industrial espionage and sanctioned US German intertwinings.

Jim Root and Ron Ecker and Jon Korienek are all confirming each other mutually, not as much dissention as portrayed, a cor consensus on this exists here... they show the ugly connections US elites had with I.G. Farben and the Krupps Thyssen industrial complex...thats the whole shadowy settlement, this international legal and commando action linked to Harriman Brown Bros. and Prescott Bush. McCloy was near willing to give up a second gunman, he knew Oswald was farce.

Please, John Simkin, glad you asked....my philosophy of life in 39 seconds:

Critical thinking. Incisive use of reason. Self-awareness. Tendency to corgi-like yipping into the face of authority... where did I develop it?

The great books, protestant anti-clerical theory, whig theory, media political agenda theory, critics like Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ginsburg and Kerouac and Gary Snyder, also Alan Watts... Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear... Artists and songwriters, poets, radical independents. My father was a Nixon antagonist exta ordinaire, the father is the source for much political variance.

I have always been contrarian. I read Oscar Janiger, Vance Packard, the logic of political participation theory, the rhetoric of the founders and Lincoln, the rhetoric of MacCaulay and Bishop Gilbert Burnet, Rene Descates...Samual Clarke and Issac Newton, Montesquie, DeToqueville and Voltaite. Jean jacque ROUSSEAU...

Irish Bishops, ancient martyrs, native American myth and tradition, British tradition (Boadicca, Bran, Caroadoc, Linus, Coel, and the Silurian Court in first century Rome) Madoc ObGwinet 1170 AD, Saint Patrick, Saint Augustine of Hippo, the first autobiography and a pious Victorian grandmother who was insistent on sanitation and church on Sunday.

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i did indeed see the fog of war. its an excellent documentary, the phone conversations between mac and lbj show it is more lbjs fault that they went into vietnam and he also states that kennedy was going to bring people out of vietnam by the end of 1963 and the signifigance of the vietnamese assassination.

john

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