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Who was Pierre Laffite?


Ron Bulman

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Was he real?  Yes.  More on his background later.  For now, did he have any established connections with known US intelligence persons?  Yes.

"White's first meeting with Gottlieb took place in Washington DC in early May 1952 . . . White actually invited Gottlieb to New Haven to observe narcotics work up close.  Gottlieb's flight into New York's Idlewild airport on June 9 was met by Pierre Laffite, White's "special employee' at the time.  On the drive to Connecticut Gottlieb was intrigued to hear Laffite tell about his involvement in the FBI's attempts to solve the January 1950 robbery of over $1.2 million from the headquarters of the Brinks armored car company in Boston . . . "he was a natural story teller  said Gottlieb, able to make every detail come alive without invention...a fascinating person".  Pgs. 409-410, A Terrible Mistake.

"In June 1952, according to a letter by George White, the CIA officially recruited Laffite as a "special employee" after he was summoned to Washington, DC, to meet with CIA officials Dr. Sidney Gottlieb and James Jesus Angleton."  Expecting to be there only a day he was held over to meet Security Chief Sheffield Edwards, Frank Wisner and Richard Helms.  Gottlieb later:  "I'm not sure he exists in the epistemology of the CIA.  He gives a whole new meaning to the label 'spook'."

"There would be dinners with Angleton, who would become a close friend . . ."  Pg. 95, Coup In Dallas.

There is a lot more to this.  In the Congo when Lumumba died, as was Gottlieb.  Visiting Martino in prison in Cuba, knowing him seven years before that.

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"In 1952, several federal agencies, including the CIA, FBI and FBN began widely planting the cover story that Jean Pierre Laffite had first arrived illegally in the United States in 1951 from Europe and that he had been promptly arrested and imprisoned.  However, the truth about how Laffite first set foot on American soil is far more fascinating."

"On several occasions Laffite claimed he was born in 1902 or 1907 and even 1912, in the United States, the illegitimate son of a Louisiana madam named Sabina, who ran a string of brothels . . . said when he was about seven years old, his mother's business holdings had gone sour and she left the United State for France. About a year after settling in Marseilles, Laffite's mother vanished.  Later Pierre would tell people she abandoned him . . .  However, from sketchy French accounts, it appears that Sabina was murdered, although her body was never found."  Taken in by relatives and treated like a servant he ran away.  Living on the streets for three years he began working in restaurants for the warmth, dryness and free meals.  He became a talented chef.  Pgs. 99-100, Coup in Dallas.

It seems he returned to the US in his early-mid teens if he was born in, 1902?  As his first involvement with intelligence operations was in WWI.

". . . Corps of Intelligence Police (CIP), part of the Army's Military Intelligence.  The CIP, forerunner to the Army's better known Counter Intelligence Corps, originated in 1917, and at it's peak operated with 250 agents.  . . .  The CIP also served as a special security group for the American Expeditionary Force in France.  Col. Ralph H. Van Deman, who earned the title "Father of American Military Intelligence," had initially wanted to recruit CIP agents who possessed "outstanding personal character, military aptitude, fluent linguistic ability, social poise and diplomatic manner."  Informed by veteran recruiters, "There ain't no such animal," Van Deman had to settle instead for more flexible standards.  His initial group of recruits consisted of a former felon, a French deserter, a mentally unbalanced individual, several "morons", "a coterie of Harvard men . . . (among others)."

"On October 25, 1917, just as this motley band set foot on French soil, U.S. Marines arrested them because of their suspicious appearance.  Among the rag tag group was a French teenager from Louisiana (perhaps younger than sixteen . . .) who would later work in New York under the name Jean-Pierre Laffite, on assignments for George White and Garland Williams."  Pg. 405, A Terrible Mistake.

He supposedly stayed in France/Europe after WWI, returning to the US somewhere between 1936-38. 

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In 2010, J. Simkin posted this on this website:

Part of Anthony Frewin's review of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments:

http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lob...9/lobster59.pdf

On Thursday 19 November 1953 Olson attended a meeting at Deep Creek Lake with several of his colleagues and was slipped LSD laced with a ‘truth drug’ before being interrogated. He began to display strange behaviour, extreme anxiety, and feelings of paranoia. The loose cannon was now ricocheting about like the ball in a pinball machine. He was taken up to New York to see the CIA-approved Dr Abramson who seems to have realised that there was going to be no easy fix here. Then it was decided that Olson should be taken away to a secure CIA-approved asylum and the forcible removal of Olson from the Hotel Statler was entrusted to two ‘goons’. Things got out of hand in the hotel room and Olson was precipitated out the window with the goons probably thinking, they’ll thank us for this (indeed, they might even

have been instructed to do same). The two goons were Pierre Lafitte and Francoise Spirito. Who they?

Spirio and Lafitte

Spirito has been dubbed the father of modern heroin traffickers. He was born in Sicily in 1898 and spent his formative years in Marseilles. The 1970 French film Borsalino was largely based on his life but left out much of his less pleasing side, such as his Nazi collaboration during the war.

Just before the Olson business Spirito had been released from Atlanta’s Federal Penitentiary where he had been serving a

sentence for drug trafficking. Less than three weeks later he was picked up by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service and deported back to France where he died in 1967.

Spirito had known Lafitte since about 1939 and they had first met in Marseilles. It was Lafitte who engaged him for the job.

Now let’s turn to Lafitte. In 1952 nine large framed paintings including The Flaying of St. Bartholomew, believed to be by Mattis Preti, a famous Neapolitan artist, were stolen from St Joseph’s Cathedral in Bardstown, Kentucky. In April 1953 FBI agents arrested three people in Chicago in connection with the theft: Norton I Kretske, an attorney, Joseph DePietro, a deputy bailiff for a Chicago court, and an individual identified as Gus Manoletti. The case went to trial in October and the government’s second prosecution witness answered to the name of Jean-Pierre Lafitte but as he approached the stand he was recognised as Gus Manoletti.

Lafitte said he lived in San Diego and had been employed for the last three years as a special investigator for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Before that he had been employed overseas on ‘special missions for the United States government.’ He explained that he had been engaged by the FBI to locate the stolen paintings and had posed as a buyer in the art world and after months of undercover work had purchased the stolen paintings from Kretske and DePietro for $35,000. They were then arrested in a sting operation.

Since Lafitte was the government’s star witness, the attorneys for the defendants made strenuous efforts to find out more about his background. The prosecutors objected and the judge sustained their objections citing public interest issues and forbidding any disclosure. So, here we have a man trusted by government agencies and seemingly employed by

them over many years. It’s unclear when and where Lafitte was born; possibly Corsica in the early 1900s. He certainly grew up in Marseilles and in his early teens, either having run away from home or having been abandoned by his mother, was working in restaurant kitchens where he discovered a natural aptitude for cooking, a talent that would stand him in good stead throughout his peripatetic life.

His involvement in the Marseilles underworld parallels his restaurant work. The late 1930s found Lafitte travelling back

and forth between New York, Montreal, Boston, Paris and Marseilles, probably facilitating drug deals. During the 1939-45

war he is thought to have been involved in a number of OSS operations in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Sometime after the war he hooked up with George Hunter White, a buccaneering agent of the Federal Narcotics Bureau, who would provide plenty of work for him. (White had free access to LSD in the early 1950s and was dosing unwitting subjects left, right and centre in the many safe houses he ran for the FNB and other agencies).

In 1951 White enlisted Lafitte’s help in a major narcotics case. A Joe Dornay, an alias of Joseph Orsini, was arrested in

New York for drug trafficking. When he was placed in a cell on Ellis Island prior to deportation who was his cellmate? None

other than Lafitte, put there by the FBN to gather information about Orsini’s network. Orsini spilled the beans thinking that

Lafitte could mind the store while he was away. As it was, Orsini effectively handed the network on a plate to the FBN

and the FBI via Lafitte.

Lafitte’s career as a ‘non-attributable’ agent for various government agencies is described in great detail by Albarelli and includes the remarkable story of Joe Valachi, the Mafia song-bird, who had murdered John Joseph Saupp in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary yard. The US Attorney there had sought the death penalty but Valachi, through a go-between,

got a message concerning his predicament through to Robert Morgenthau who was then the US Attorney for the Southern

District of New York. The message was that he was prepared to tell all about the mob, as he subsequently did, in exchange

for the death penalty going away.4 Albarelli reveals Lafitte was that go-between.

In 1953 Lafitte had been working undercover doing lowly work in several New York hotels, probably for the FBN, certainly for George White. He was working at the Hotel Statler when Olson exited the window.

Shaw, Oswald, New Orleans

Now we’ll go to a contemporary ‘parallel’ universe: Clay Shaw, Lee Harvey Oswald, and New Orleans.

In 1967 the New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested Clay Shaw for conspiracy in the assassination of John

F Kennedy. Shaw was a prominent New Orleans businessman and a leading director of the World Trade Center, a ‘non-profit association fostering the development of international trade, tourism and cultural exchange.’ In 1969 Sidney Gottlieb

announced at a staff meeting that the FBI had arrested Lafitte in New Orleans where he was working as the manager-chef of the Plimsoll Club within the World Trade Center5 (Shaw had praised him as ‘the best chef in New Orleans’ (Others who sang his praises included the Louisiana Governor John McKeithen and Mrs Lyndon Baines Johnson who sent him a letter from the White House. See ‘The Gourmet Pirate’, Time magazine, 19 December 1969.). Richard Helms, now director of the CIA, wanted to know what was going on and ordered an inquiry.

It transpires that the Feds had little choice but to pick Lafitte up as six years earlier he had swindled a businessman

out of $400,000 in an elaborate scam that involved diamond mines in South Africa.

However, Lafitte’s ‘interfacing’ with the Kennedy assassination and its aftermath do not end there. Earlier, in 1967 or 1968, with Allan Hughes, a CIA operative who had attended the Deep Creek Lake meeting where Olson had been dosed, and the reporter James Phelan, Lafitte burgled Garrison’s office to retrieve papers relating to Shaw.

And there’s an even more intriguing connection. On 9 May 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald applied for work at the William B Reily Coffee Company in New Orleans. The eponymous Reily was a rabid anti-communist who gave financial support both to Sergio Arcacha Smith’s Crusade to Free Cuba Committee and Ed Butler’s partially CIA-funded propaganda outfit, the Information Council of the Americas (INCA). The Reily vice-president, William Monaghan, was a former FBI agent and was a charter member of INCA. Jim Garrison believed that Reily’s was part of an intelligence apparatus. A view bolstered somewhat by Gerry Patrick Hemming’s claim that William Reily had worked for the CIA for years.

Oswald worked for Reily May through July, and Albarelli notes that ‘Around the time of JFK assassination’ Lafitte too

was working for the Reily company. The world gets smaller and smaller.

Lafitte is unknown in the literature of the JFK assassination. I checked the indices of some ten works. He’s obviously a person for whom further and better partics are needed.

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4 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Hard to imagine Lafitte working at the coffee company

He was working undercover as the Bell Captain at the Statler Hotel in NYC the night Frank Olson went out the window.  With a pass key to every room, including the door between the room Olson and Lashbrook were in and the adjoining room. 

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11 hours ago, Chuck Schwartz said:

In 2010, J. Simkin posted this on this website:

Part of Anthony Frewin's review of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments:

http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lob...9/lobster59.pdf

On Thursday 19 November 1953 Olson attended a meeting at Deep Creek Lake with several of his colleagues and was slipped LSD laced with a ‘truth drug’ before being interrogated. He began to display strange behaviour, extreme anxiety, and feelings of paranoia. The loose cannon was now ricocheting about like the ball in a pinball machine. He was taken up to New York to see the CIA-approved Dr Abramson who seems to have realised that there was going to be no easy fix here. Then it was decided that Olson should be taken away to a secure CIA-approved asylum and the forcible removal of Olson from the Hotel Statler was entrusted to two ‘goons’. Things got out of hand in the hotel room and Olson was precipitated out the window with the goons probably thinking, they’ll thank us for this (indeed, they might even

have been instructed to do same). The two goons were Pierre Lafitte and Francoise Spirito. Who they?

Spirio and Lafitte

Spirito has been dubbed the father of modern heroin traffickers. He was born in Sicily in 1898 and spent his formative years in Marseilles. The 1970 French film Borsalino was largely based on his life but left out much of his less pleasing side, such as his Nazi collaboration during the war.

Just before the Olson business Spirito had been released from Atlanta’s Federal Penitentiary where he had been serving a

sentence for drug trafficking. Less than three weeks later he was picked up by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service and deported back to France where he died in 1967.

Spirito had known Lafitte since about 1939 and they had first met in Marseilles. It was Lafitte who engaged him for the job.

Now let’s turn to Lafitte. In 1952 nine large framed paintings including The Flaying of St. Bartholomew, believed to be by Mattis Preti, a famous Neapolitan artist, were stolen from St Joseph’s Cathedral in Bardstown, Kentucky. In April 1953 FBI agents arrested three people in Chicago in connection with the theft: Norton I Kretske, an attorney, Joseph DePietro, a deputy bailiff for a Chicago court, and an individual identified as Gus Manoletti. The case went to trial in October and the government’s second prosecution witness answered to the name of Jean-Pierre Lafitte but as he approached the stand he was recognised as Gus Manoletti.

Lafitte said he lived in San Diego and had been employed for the last three years as a special investigator for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Before that he had been employed overseas on ‘special missions for the United States government.’ He explained that he had been engaged by the FBI to locate the stolen paintings and had posed as a buyer in the art world and after months of undercover work had purchased the stolen paintings from Kretske and DePietro for $35,000. They were then arrested in a sting operation.

Since Lafitte was the government’s star witness, the attorneys for the defendants made strenuous efforts to find out more about his background. The prosecutors objected and the judge sustained their objections citing public interest issues and forbidding any disclosure. So, here we have a man trusted by government agencies and seemingly employed by

them over many years. It’s unclear when and where Lafitte was born; possibly Corsica in the early 1900s. He certainly grew up in Marseilles and in his early teens, either having run away from home or having been abandoned by his mother, was working in restaurant kitchens where he discovered a natural aptitude for cooking, a talent that would stand him in good stead throughout his peripatetic life.

His involvement in the Marseilles underworld parallels his restaurant work. The late 1930s found Lafitte travelling back

and forth between New York, Montreal, Boston, Paris and Marseilles, probably facilitating drug deals. During the 1939-45

war he is thought to have been involved in a number of OSS operations in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Sometime after the war he hooked up with George Hunter White, a buccaneering agent of the Federal Narcotics Bureau, who would provide plenty of work for him. (White had free access to LSD in the early 1950s and was dosing unwitting subjects left, right and centre in the many safe houses he ran for the FNB and other agencies).

In 1951 White enlisted Lafitte’s help in a major narcotics case. A Joe Dornay, an alias of Joseph Orsini, was arrested in

New York for drug trafficking. When he was placed in a cell on Ellis Island prior to deportation who was his cellmate? None

other than Lafitte, put there by the FBN to gather information about Orsini’s network. Orsini spilled the beans thinking that

Lafitte could mind the store while he was away. As it was, Orsini effectively handed the network on a plate to the FBN

and the FBI via Lafitte.

Lafitte’s career as a ‘non-attributable’ agent for various government agencies is described in great detail by Albarelli and includes the remarkable story of Joe Valachi, the Mafia song-bird, who had murdered John Joseph Saupp in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary yard. The US Attorney there had sought the death penalty but Valachi, through a go-between,

got a message concerning his predicament through to Robert Morgenthau who was then the US Attorney for the Southern

District of New York. The message was that he was prepared to tell all about the mob, as he subsequently did, in exchange

for the death penalty going away.4 Albarelli reveals Lafitte was that go-between.

In 1953 Lafitte had been working undercover doing lowly work in several New York hotels, probably for the FBN, certainly for George White. He was working at the Hotel Statler when Olson exited the window.

Shaw, Oswald, New Orleans

Now we’ll go to a contemporary ‘parallel’ universe: Clay Shaw, Lee Harvey Oswald, and New Orleans.

In 1967 the New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested Clay Shaw for conspiracy in the assassination of John

F Kennedy. Shaw was a prominent New Orleans businessman and a leading director of the World Trade Center, a ‘non-profit association fostering the development of international trade, tourism and cultural exchange.’ In 1969 Sidney Gottlieb

announced at a staff meeting that the FBI had arrested Lafitte in New Orleans where he was working as the manager-chef of the Plimsoll Club within the World Trade Center5 (Shaw had praised him as ‘the best chef in New Orleans’ (Others who sang his praises included the Louisiana Governor John McKeithen and Mrs Lyndon Baines Johnson who sent him a letter from the White House. See ‘The Gourmet Pirate’, Time magazine, 19 December 1969.). Richard Helms, now director of the CIA, wanted to know what was going on and ordered an inquiry.

It transpires that the Feds had little choice but to pick Lafitte up as six years earlier he had swindled a businessman

out of $400,000 in an elaborate scam that involved diamond mines in South Africa.

However, Lafitte’s ‘interfacing’ with the Kennedy assassination and its aftermath do not end there. Earlier, in 1967 or 1968, with Allan Hughes, a CIA operative who had attended the Deep Creek Lake meeting where Olson had been dosed, and the reporter James Phelan, Lafitte burgled Garrison’s office to retrieve papers relating to Shaw.

And there’s an even more intriguing connection. On 9 May 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald applied for work at the William B Reily Coffee Company in New Orleans. The eponymous Reily was a rabid anti-communist who gave financial support both to Sergio Arcacha Smith’s Crusade to Free Cuba Committee and Ed Butler’s partially CIA-funded propaganda outfit, the Information Council of the Americas (INCA). The Reily vice-president, William Monaghan, was a former FBI agent and was a charter member of INCA. Jim Garrison believed that Reily’s was part of an intelligence apparatus. A view bolstered somewhat by Gerry Patrick Hemming’s claim that William Reily had worked for the CIA for years.

Oswald worked for Reily May through July, and Albarelli notes that ‘Around the time of JFK assassination’ Lafitte too

was working for the Reily company. The world gets smaller and smaller.

Lafitte is unknown in the literature of the JFK assassination. I checked the indices of some ten works. He’s obviously a person for whom further and better partics are needed.

Thanks for posting this Chuck.  I'd never heard of Laffite until I read Coup in Dallas, it seemed somewhat incredible initially, but it led me to A Terrible Mistake.  Between the two of them Hank provides a wealth of documented information about him, which is fascinating.

I was going to mention some of the things in the article/review, in particular the go between for Valachi and Morgenthau on "spilling the beans."  But there is much more detail on other instances than I would have ever posted.

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Did Laffite know Bill Harvey?

According to the CIA report, "the Executive Action program [as placed under Harvey] came to be known as ZR/RIFLE."  It's principle asset, as we know from above, was QJ/WIN, who was recruited earlier by Jean-Pierre Laffite for use in the planned assassination of Lumumba in the Congo.

In early 1962, Harvey asked (Sheffield) Edwards to put him in touch with Roselli.  . . . on April 8, Harvey and O'Connell met with Roselli in the Elk room at the Savoy hotel in NYC, Maheu joined them.  On April 21 Harvey headed to Miami with a package of lethal pills manufactured at Fort Detrick.

In Miami over dinner at Joe's Stone Crab, Roselli told Harvey that Trafficante was out of the picture now, after Castro closed the last of the casinos in Cuba, Trafficante no longer had access to the island.  However, Roselli said, not to worry, he had a man who could handle the job better than any other.  The man's name was "Maceo."  It is not known whether Harvey, at this point, knew that "Maceo" was "Frank Maceo", another of Pierre Laffite's many aliases.  That Harvey did, within a few days, realize it was Laffite is certain; the two were seen having dinner and drinks several times during the last week of April.

The following month, Laffite called Roselli in Los Angeles to report that he was in Cuba and the lethal pills were with him, but Varona's "inside man" was nowhere to be seen.  Laffite called Roselli again the next day to report that "things are getting a little hot around here, and I think I'm coming back to the States soon."  When Laffite returned to Los Angeles he told Roselli "I've had enough of Cuba for a long time to come to come."  Roselli tried to convince Laffite to consider returning to the island after a few weeks, but Laffite replied, "Are you kidding?  Johnny they're lining people up over there and shooting them like clay pigeons.  And they don't care if you're an American or not."

Pgs. 343-344, A Terrible Mistake.

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10 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

According to the CIA report, "the Executive Action program [as placed under Harvey] came to be known as ZR/RIFLE."  It's principle asset, as we know from above, was QJ/WIN, who was recruited earlier by Jean-Pierre Laffite for use in the planned assassination of Lumumba in the Congo.

Could you cite the document source for this claim that Jean-Pierre Laffite recruited QJ/WIN to assassinate Lumumba? Not a secondary book but the source the secondary book cites? 

14 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

I'd never heard of Laffite until I read Coup in Dallas, it seemed somewhat incredible initially, but it led me to A Terrible Mistake.  Between the two of them Hank provides a wealth of documented information about him, which is fascinating.

That's what is needed, the documentation for the claim. 

 

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9 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

Could you cite the document source for this claim that Jean-Pierre Laffite recruited QJ/WIN to assassinate Lumumba? Not a secondary book but the source the secondary book cites? 

No, I can't but I can tell you where to look and which references I think are most relevant.  You can take it from there.

A Terrible Mistake has 32 pages of end notes for the 826 page book.  They are not numbered.  I've read some authors prefer not to interrupt the flow of their work with reference numbers scattered throughout the text, same thing about (end of) page notes.  All three of Hank's books are done this way.  The end notes are separated by chapter and the notes themselves in general relate to a given chapter in chronological order but many often do not state specifically what they relate to in the text.

That said, the Laffite recruited QJ/WIN to assassinate Lumumba quote is from Book II, Brainwashing to LSD, Chapter 8 on Assassinations.  Subtitles in it start with Who Was QJ/WIN, Boris T. Pash and Assassinations, then Lt. Col. Lucien Conein but the relevant quote is from Attempts to Assassinate Castro.

The first reference possibly related to this in the end notes regard Senator Gary Hart's involvement in the Church Committee and his attempt to meet with QJ/WIN in Amsterdam.  Albarelli contacted Hart about this in 2202.  Hart responded.  QJ/WIN didn't show.

The next entry/possibility is:  QJ/WIN file and notes, National Security Archives, Washington, D.C.

"unpublished 1987 article by Stephen J. Rivele entitled "Three Contracts, Who Is QJ/WIN?  National Reporter Vol. 10 No. 3, Spring 1987; "The Plot to Kill Lumumba: The Corsican Connection."  by Rivele, Vol. 10-11, No. 4-1, Fall 1987.

FBI files and dossier on Sam "Momo" Giancana, 1936-1975; FBI files and dossier on Santo Trafficante, Jr. 1950-1973, FNI files on Jean-Pierre Laffite, FBI and FBN files on John Maples Spiritto, 1958-1961.

CIA memorandum for the record, Subject: Report on the Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, by J.S. Earman, Inspector General, 23 May1967.

A one time free dig Greg.  If you distrust Hank, believe him naive or inept, that he was easily deceived, buy the book, read the references, research their origin.  You can get a copy on Amazon for $11.  It has great reviews.

A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of... by Albarelli Jr., H. P. (amazon.com)

 

  

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4 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

No, I can't but I can tell you where to look and which references I think are most relevant.  You can take it from there.

In other words, you are not able to produce an identifiable document for the claim even though you have the book. I have the book but it does me no more good than it has you. I could not identify a specific reference either.

I am not about to look through the haystack you gave me. You are the one presenting the claim. You should be the one going through that haystack, not me.

Usual protocol is when making a claim to cite a specific document and quote from it. You are not doing that. 

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The chapter in ATM after Assassinations is on Pont-St.-Esprit France in August, 1951.  When the CIA sprayed the local population with LSD from the air.  When it came to further attention after much publicity over the results (5 or 7 people died, two committed suicide, lot's of other crazy stuff) eventually a list of those involved appeared on Whitehouse stationary.  Top of the list was Laffite, it included George H. White and "Olson" among others.  Frank Olson reportedly supervised this experiment, took a personal picture of a crop duster taking off.  Later had regrets about the results and other things he's seen over the years.  He wanted out.  He said something to someone he shouldn't have, and it got back to people who took his slip up seriously.  This is explained in detail.  The Whitehouse list is in the book but can be seen midway through this article which explains the French overdosing better, by Hank.

CIA: What Really Happened in the quiet French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit, by Hank P. Albarelli Jr. (voltairenet.org) 

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How could this have happened they wondered.  Doctors and other officials from surrounding towns were dumbfounded by the hallucinations, peoples actions, the deaths and suicides.  Did someone cause it?  The butcher, baker or candlestick maker.  Somehow Ergot mold became a suspect.  From grain.  Ah ha, the baker!

How did they fixate on Ergot mold, the original source of LSD?

“The Pont Saint Esprit ‘secret’ was that it was not the bread at all.” Continued the Sandoz official, “For weeks the French tied up our laboratories with analyses of bread. It was not the grain ergot, it was a diethylamide-like compound.” By this, of course, the official meant a man-made drug had provoked the Pont St. Esprit outbreak.

The CIA informer then asked, according to his report, “If the material wasn’t in the bread then how did it get into the people?”

To this, the official responded, “An experiment.”

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1 hour ago, Ron Bulman said:

How did they fixate on Ergot mold, the original source of LSD?

 

Ergotism, or ergot poisoning producing hallucinogenic effects, was well known in Middle Ages Europe and in other periods and places, determined by deduction (and experiment?) in the days before lab analysis.  That's one reason why Sandoz chemists turned up their noses at testing grain: they were ergot snobs, they'd been around the block with rye ergot and now were holding instead The Real Junk (as Lux Interior once put it).

Maybe Wisner aerosolized it over France figuring that, historically, the source would be pegged at natural grain corruption.  Among the medieval Euro-maladies blamed on Ergotism were religious mania, witch persecution, pilgrimages of flagellantes, etc.  If sex were involved - it was the devil's work.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6640538/

"Ergotism is thought to have occurred in ancient times (de Costa, 2002; van Dongen and de Groot, 1995), but had its peak level in Europe in the Middle Ages when the disease affected many thousands of people. A monastic order especially cared for the afflicted, the patron saint of which was St. Anthony (Fig. 1). The malady itself was known at that time as ignis sacer (holy fire), or St. Anthony's Fire, because of the burning sensations in the limbs (Matossian, 1989).

"The first well‐documented epidemic of ergotism was in ad 944–945, when about 20,000 people living in Paris and the Aquitane region of France, at that time about one‐half of the population, died of the effects of ergot poisoning (Matossian, 1989; Schiff, 2006). Matossian (1989) also speculates that the slow recovery after the plague epidemics in Europe in the 14th century was at least partly caused by reduced fertility as a result of ergot toxifications. Ergot poisoning is nowadays widely believed to have influenced social history, such as the witch trials of Salem and in Norway during the 17th century (Alm, 2003; Caporael, 1976) and even mystic religious movements (Packer, 1998). Already in the late 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries, observations of the link between ergot‐contaminated rye and disease were made (Bauer, 1973), but it was not until the 19th century that the mycologist Louis Rene Tulasne revealed the correlation between infected rye and ergotism (Tulasne, 1853). This led to increased efforts to reduce ergot contamination in rye (for example, by flotation of seeds to remove sclerotia); therefore the occurrence of larger epidemics became rare. The most recent epidemic in Germany occurred in 1879–1881; however, there have been more recent epidemics in parts of Russia (1926–1927) (Barger, 1931; Eadie, 2003) and Ethiopia (1977–1978) (Urga et al., 2002), and, in India, outbreaks continued until the late 20th century (Tulpule and Bhat, 1978)."

 

Edited by David Andrews
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Thanks Dave.  I'm just now reading the full section on LSD/Ergot in ATM.  This shit gets deep.  I had no idea it went back to the time of Christ or before.  In rainy years the ergot mold decimating the rye crops causing famine.  People using what there was of the infected grain unknowingly causing miscarriages and infertility resulting in further population shifts. 

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