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Problems of using sources to solve the JFK case


John Simkin
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One of the student members of this Forum is writing about the problems of using sources when investigation the JFK assassination. I have told her we will help her with this.

Here is my list. Please add your own examples of problems that you have encountered with using sources while researching the JFK assassination.

(1) The most difficult problem is that so many documents concerning the assassination are unavailable. This mainly includes documents under the control of the FBI and the CIA.

The usual argument is that the publication of these documents would endanger “national security”. It is difficult to see how they can justify this. For example, see the recent refusal of the CIA to release records concerning George Joannides who is appears to have been part of the conspiracy to link Lee Harvey Oswald with the government of Fidel Castro.

In fact most of the withheld CIA and FBI documents are linked to the activities of Oswald.

(2) Related to this is the case of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. As a result of pressure from the CIA the HSCA forced all members of the committee, all staff members, all consultants to the committee, and several independent researchers working with the committee, to sign a "Nondisclosure Agreement". According to Richard Sprague: “This CIA weapon has several parts. First, it binds the signer, if a consultant, to never reveal that he is working for the committee. Second, it prevents the signer from ever revealing to anyone in perpetuity, any information he has learned about the committee's work as a result of working for the committee. Third, it gives the committee and the House, after the committee terminates, the power to take legal action against the signer, in a court named by the committee or the House, in case the committee believes the signer has violated the agreement. Fourth, the signer agrees to pay the court costs for such a suit in the event he loses the suit.”

Some of the testimony, including that of William Seymour and Sylvia Duran, has never been released.

(3) People involved in a conspiracy such as that of killing a president, obviously take care not to leave any documentary evidence of their crime. In normal cases, the police would properly investigate the crime and what evidence that exists would be revealed. However, as this did not happen, it has been very difficult for modern investigators to find this evidence.

(4) It is clear that the FBI and CIA destroyed a lot of evidence during the weeks following the assassination. It could be that these agencies were destroying evidence that showed that the FBI and the CIA was incompetent organizations. It is possible they were destroying evidence that they were linked in some way to Oswald or the real assassins.

(5) Some of the evidence available is open to different interpretations. For example, photographs or films. This problem has been made worse by the possibility that this evidence was altered soon after the assassination.

(6) It is believed that anyone that solves the “crime of the century” will become very rich from book sales, etc. This has encouraged some investigators to falsify evidence. Others have come forward to claim they were a witness to the conspiracy. In some cases, people have made “confessions” claiming they were one of the assassins. It is sometimes difficult to make accurate judgements about these "confessions".

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One of the student members of this Forum is writing about the problems of using sources when investigation the JFK assassination. I have told her we will help her with this.

Here is my list. Please add your own examples of problems that you have encountered with using sources while researching the JFK assassination.

(1) The most difficult problem is that so many documents concerning the assassination are unavailable. This mainly includes documents under the control of the FBI and the CIA. 

The usual argument is that the publication of these documents would endanger “national security”. It is difficult to see how they can justify this. For example, see the recent refusal of the CIA to release records concerning George Joannides who is appears to have been part of the conspiracy to link Lee Harvey Oswald with the government of Fidel Castro.

In fact most of the withheld CIA and FBI documents are linked to the activities of Oswald.

(2) Related to this is the case of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. As a result of pressure from the CIA the HSCA forced all members of the committee, all staff members, all consultants to the committee, and several independent researchers working with the committee, to sign a "Nondisclosure Agreement". According to Richard Sprague: “This CIA weapon has several parts. First, it binds the signer, if a consultant, to never reveal that he is working for the committee. Second, it prevents the signer from ever revealing to anyone in perpetuity, any information he has learned about the committee's work as a result of working for the committee. Third, it gives the committee and the House, after the committee terminates, the power to take legal action against the signer, in a court named by the committee or the House, in case the committee believes the signer has violated the agreement. Fourth, the signer agrees to pay the court costs for such a suit in the event he loses the suit.”

Some of the testimony, including that of William Seymour and Sylvia Duran, has never been released.

(3) People involved in a conspiracy such as that of killing a president, obviously take care not to leave any documentary evidence of their crime. In normal cases, the police would properly investigate the crime and what evidence that exists would be revealed. However, as this did not happen, it has been very difficult for modern investigators to find this evidence.

(4) It is clear that the FBI and CIA destroyed a lot of evidence during the weeks following the assassination. It could be that these agencies were destroying evidence that showed that the FBI and the CIA was incompetent organizations. It is possible they were destroying evidence that they were linked in some way to Oswald or the real assassins.

(5) Some of the evidence available is open to different interpretations. For example, photographs or films. This problem has been made worse by the possibility that this evidence was altered soon after the assassination.

(6) It is believed that anyone that solves the “crime of the century” will become very rich from book sales, etc. This has encouraged some investigators to falsify evidence. Others have come forward to claim they were a witness to the conspiracy. In some cases, people have made “confessions” claiming they were one of the assassins. It is sometimes difficult to make accurate judgements about these "confessions".

An excellent and informative warning to those who enter the doors of this subject.

1. Much of the "smoke" which has been generated on this subject is a result of persons who were seeking their fame and fortune, and therefore could care little or less in regards to the validity of evidence which they reportedly have stated as being factual.

2. Much of the "smoke" which has been generated on this subject is a result of persons who, for lack of understanding of portions of the physical evidence, either drew or were intentionally lead to incorrect and improper conclusions as to what the evidence represented.

3. Much of the "smoke" which has been generated on this subject is a result of actions by persons who for whatever reason, proceeded with theories which have lead investigators into the quagmire of never-ending possibilities.

As in the Garrison/Clay Shaw fiasco. (Certainly my favorite one!)

4. Much of the "smoke" which has been generated on this subject is a result of attempting some form of "damage control" by those of the WC who originally misrepresented the actual facts of the assassination and did not pursue proper evaluation of that information which would have easily revealed that LHO was involved in some sort of conspiracy to assassinate JFK.

5. Much of the "smoke" which has been generated on this subject is a direct result of the actions of JEH in manipulation of the facts and evidence to send many persons chasing body kidnappers; multiple assassins; badge man; black dog man; sewer drain man; Dal-Tex Man; James Files; etc; etc; etc; etc.

Tom

P.S. So long as you keep them chasing the smoke, they are not likely to find the fire.

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Many of the still living eye-witnesses to the assassination are reluctant, or unwilling to reply to questions regarding their experience. Some have been unfortunate victims of bad researchers, others are annoyed at the celebrity status they have acquired by circumstance, while some may simply still live in fear, due to the strange circumstances surrounding the deaths of so many of the witnesses. Furthermore, some witnesses may have had their memory colored by theories and information that has emerged over time, which makes their information somewhat questionable.

Many of the eye-witnesses are deceased. Some were never even called to give testimony before the Warren Commission.

The Warren Commission provided a slanted view of the assassination, in support of the lone nut theory. Therefore, the official record is filled with inconsistencies, unasked questions, overlooked testimony, missing exhibits, etc.

We could expand on that one. :huh:

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Many of the still living eye-witnesses to the assassination are reluctant, or unwilling to reply to questions regarding their experience.  Some have been unfortunate victims of bad researchers, others are annoyed at the celebrity status they have acquired by circumstance, while some may simply still live in fear, due to the strange circumstances surrounding the deaths of so many of the witnesses.  Furthermore, some witnesses may have had their memory colored by theories and information that has emerged over time, which makes their information somewhat questionable.

Many of the eye-witnesses are deceased.  Some were never even called to give testimony before the Warren Commission.

The Warren Commission provided a slanted view of the assassination, in support of the lone nut theory.  Therefore, the official record is filled with inconsistencies, unasked questions, overlooked testimony, missing exhibits, etc. 

We could expand on that one. :huh:

Again, entirely correct.

Dr. Humes is now deceased, and even when living had refused further comment to researchers.

Much of which was due to his having relayed his knowledge of events to investigations as well as independent researchers, only to thereafter be told that he was either wrong or covering up as some part of some large conspiracy.

Not to mention the repeated references to his "incompetence" at conducting the autopsy.

Dr. Finck, who at last account was still living, has followed the same philosophy of Dr. Humes. Except, rather than moving to Florida, he returned to Switzerland where persons normally give some credence to individuals with his qualifications, experience, and credentials.

Rest assured, Dr. Finck knows that the WC was not a search for the facts and truth.

Which leaves us with Dr. Boswell, who although still living, (at last account), nevertheless has at minimum, some diminished memory, as do all of us who are "over the hill".

Therefore, the "NEW" researcher is progressively losing the "first account" capability to clarify questions and answers to these questions.

Much has already been erased by time and death. And, no doubt, those responsible for the WC lie as well as those who bear the responsibility for LHO, know that time is on their side and favors their side of the battle.

Tom

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Tom...I agree with your observations. As a prominent researcher I often felt that I was being "led" into certain avenues of research that were red herrings, and I soon learned to avoid them and reach my own conclusions.

Prominent are Files, Baker and others. I spent much time on Donald O. Norton which may be a false trail. As the discoverer of Badgeman, I sometimes wondered HOW IT COULD HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED, SINCE IT IS SO PROMINENT in Moorman.

There was a period of a couple of years that Marguerite Oswald called me almost weekly. After Marguerite died, Marina often called me. Both seemed to want to steer my LHO research.

My friend and benefactor and premier researcher Mary Ferrell often seemed to be pushing certain agendas while being very helpful. Mary had some very suspicious friends like Gordon Novel. And her husband Buck had once been an employee of Carlos Marcello.

My friend Penn Jones sometimes seemed to be taken in by "inside information".

Numerous "former CIA agents" contacted with with various spurious information. Forty years later, the govt is still producing false information.

The first rule of research...don't trust anything or anybody till you check it out for yourself. The first sentence in CROSSFIRE by my friend Jim Marrs is DO NOT TRUST THIS BOOK.

Jack :huh:

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Self as a problem

One tends to recognise and give added weight to familiar things. The information that enters the mind / body phenomena is filtered by the various sense organs in particular ways.

Overlaying evaluation of evidence are layers of reaction that pre judge. This pre judice can be a problem if not guarded against. For example a 'right wing' person might find it very difficult to accept interpretations of evidence in ways that convict for example a republican politician. A 'left wing' person might look at the same evidence and find it difficult to convict castro, for example.

Fear of ridicule. Peer pressure. Ego. lots of different mindsets that filter the information.

For example, the accepted wisdom is that the motorcade was shifted to be closer to the assassins. I play with the contrasts : why wasn't the motorcade shifted to take it away from the assassins? Dead ends in some cases for sure, but as exercises in keeping the mind open perhaps useful.

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Not sure how this fits in exactly - Fear of the source.

a. Fear of certain sources, or b. the pursuit of acquiring certain source materials.

Lot's of folks I have no intention of ever contacting or looking for to contact.

Plenty of materials I am confident exist, but fear of the consequences in attempting to acquire same - and make public.

Maybe that deserves it's own piece - fear to publish the information acquired from, or about certain sources. Fear to publish certain source material.

:huh:

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This isn't really problems, but information nonetheless..

When I got into this case, the first three things I accepted were:

1.) The vast majority of fellow "researchers" are NOT your friends. A lot of these people will stab their own mother in the back to make a quick buck. There are a few amazing people ( Jack White, James Richards, Carrie Gallagher-Driscoll, and the late John Ritchson to mention a few of the ones that have been nicest to me ), but you have to watch your back and be very particular about who you get close to.

2.) This is a dangerous hobby. Plenty of good people have died for this. You can't let fear control you, but you can't get careless either.

3.) This case will control your life, or at least a very large part of it. I'm eighteen years old, and instead of going to parties or clubs, I sit at home filling out FOIA requests, writing letters, and reviewing the same films and photographs I've been over at least a thousand times. You can't take this halfway and drop it, it's all or nothing. It is a part of you. It's difficult to deal with sometimes, but at the end of the day, I don't regret it - and I can't say I've ever met someone that regrets it.

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This isn't really problems, but information nonetheless..

When I got into this case, the first three things I accepted were:

1.) The vast majority of fellow "researchers" are NOT your friends. A lot of these people will stab their own mother in the back to make a quick buck. There are a few amazing people ( Jack White, James Richards, Carrie Gallagher-Driscoll, and the late John Ritchson to mention a few of the ones that have been nicest to me ), but you have to watch your back and be very particular about who you get close to.

2.) This is a dangerous hobby. Plenty of good people have died for this. You can't let fear control you, but you can't get careless either.

3.) This case will control your life, or at least a very large part of it. I'm eighteen years old, and instead of going to parties or clubs, I sit at home filling out FOIA requests, writing letters, and reviewing the same films and photographs I've been over at least a thousand times. You can't take this halfway and drop it, it's all or nothing. It is a part of you. It's difficult to deal with sometimes, but at the end of the day, I don't regret it - and I can't say I've ever met someone that regrets it.

I have to agree with all of the above Nic.

I also see people's distrust of EVERYTHING involving the case as the biggest hurdle. I have the utmost respect for several researchers but loathe the majority. I believe that many key facts are staring us in the face and have yet to be recognized because too many of us doubt. Is it possible that we've already been told the truth? Maybe not all at once and maybe not 100% of it but I think we know most of what happened. It's just a matter of piecing it together.

I honestly believe that the biggest problem with getting information is doubt.

-C

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This is one of those threads where it is important that we keep on the topic (I am sure Simone will only become confused if we bring up old conflicts with fellow researchers).

To help Simone I will try to summarize what we have got so far.

Lee’s point is a very good one. There is no doubt that some “witnesses” are reluctant to explain what they know about the case. The main reason for this is fear. This could be broken down into two categories:

(1) The witnesses are afraid of the people who actually carried out the assassination.

(2) The witnesses are afraid of the people or organizations attempting to cover up the conspiracy.

These fears could be “real” or “imagined”. However, the result is the same. Privately, several witnesses I have been in contact with have claimed that the lives of their loved ones have been threatened. Obviously, this is enough to keep anybody quiet. Especially as this case is full of witnesses who have had “early” deaths.

The problem with this is that some “false” witnesses have come forward claiming that the reason they have kept quiet for so many years is that they have been afraid to do so.

The point that Thomas Purvis and Jack White make is also very important. There has been an attempt to mislead researchers. This is what the CIA call a “limited hangout”. This involves taking a piece of evidence that is undoubtedly true but then linking it with manufactured evidence. The idea behind this is to take the researcher into another direction. This is what some researchers refer to us a “disinformation campaign”. The two main examples of this is of disinformation agents attempting to convince researchers that JFK was killed as a result of a plot organized by Fidel Castro or the KGB. Some of these people are paid to be disinformation agents (often called CIA assets). Others do it for ideological reasons, for example, they have a deep hatred of communism.

Some like Billy James Hargis, Michael Eddowes and Edward Jay Epstein have even gone as far as to use this “disinformation” to write books about the assassination. Journalists like Jack Anderson has also used FBI and CIA “leaks” to write stories suggesting that Castro/KGB was behind the assassination.

The other major CIA “limited hangout” concerns the Mafia involvement in the assassination. This is an attempt to provide both a convenient scapegoat for the crime (the public hate the Mafia and are willing to believe they are capable of such an act) and it helps explain why the names of certain CIA agents appear in the evidence, for example, William Harvey.

In your essay you will need to distinguish between primary and secondary evidence. The problems raised by John, Nic and Carrie relate to secondary sources (historians, journalists, researchers, etc.). As John points out, there has been a concerted smear campaign against researchers who refuse to believe the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. When this campaign failed to work (all public opinion polls have shown a large majority rejecting the “lone gunman” theory) the strategy was changed. Some researchers were actually given help with their work by those in authority. This was part of this “limited hangout” strategy. The leaking of evidence to “friendly” researchers was done in order to persuade the public that the Mafia was behind the assassination. This strategy has been highly successful and I would expect that if a public opinion poll was held today about who carried out the assassination of JFK, the Mafia, would be at the top of the list.

Nic and Carrie have pointed out the “backbiting” that goes on amongst researchers. In some cases this is true. This is partly caused by ideological and personality clashes. In some cases it involves jealousy. Others are motivated by financial gain. They target people who disagree with their “theory” as they pose a threat to their ability to produce the blockbuster book or video that will solve the case.

However, this problem should not be overstated. I have found most researchers to be motivated by the best of intentions. They want to discover the truth and have no great desires to make a lot of money out of their research. The vast majority are extremely helpful and generous with their time. I think this forum is an example of how researchers are willing to collaborate in order to solve the “crime of the century”. They do so because they realize that we are playing for high stakes. The main thing that motivates us is a belief in democracy. The state must not be allowed to get away with covering up the removal of the elected leader in the world’s most powerful country.

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Simone, one way of dealing with this issue is to look at the variety of different sources available and then consider the problems these sources have caused historians working on the case. I provide just four examples. I am sure other members will add to this list.

Photographs

There were a large number of people taking photographs of JFK when he was assassinated. Evidence of people like Jean Hill and Mary Moorman reveals that these photographs were taken away by the Secret Service and the FBI. Some of these photographs were never returned to the photographer.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmoorman.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhillJ.htm

Film

Abraham Zapruder filmed the assassination of JFK. Soon afterwards Zapruder sold the 26-second film for $150,000 to Time-Life magazine, which published individual frames but did not allow the film to be screened in its entirety. Time-Life was owned by Henry Luce, a key figure in the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird and a sponsor of covert operations against Fidel Castro’s government.

The Zapruder film was kept from the American public until March, 1975. Some experts believe the Zapruder Film has been altered.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKzapruderF.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmockingbird.htm

Eyewitness Accounts

Eyewitnesses were interviewed by the FBI after the assassination. On the recommendation of the FBI, some of these people went onto be interviewed by the Warren Commission. Some researchers believe that several key witnesses did not give evidence before the Warren Commission. Even those that did appear, they were incompetently interviewed. Key questions were not asked and witnesses were sidetracked when they began to give interesting information. Witnesses often gave evidence that contradicted the lone gunman, non-conspiracy theory. The Warren Commission refused to believe this evidence, even when it came from a reliable source. For example, see the case of Seth Kantor.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKkantorS.htm

As you can see, the Warren Commission would rather believe Jack Ruby than Seth Kantor on this issue.

Mannlicher-Carcano Rifle

The murder weapon is obviously a key piece of evidence in this case. A group of Dallas Police Department detectives, including Will Fritz, Seymour Weitzman, Roger Craig, Eugene Boone and Luke Mooney searched the Texas School Book Depository soon after the assassination. On the sixth floor they discovered a rifle hidden beneath some boxes. The detectives identified it as a 7.65 Mauser. District Attorney Henry M. Wade, in a television interview, told the nation that the rifle was a Mauser. It was the FBI who announced that the officers had been mistaken. According to them it was a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano, an Italian bolt-action rifle used in the Second World War. All the detectives agreed to change their mind about the rifle except Roger Craig.

The FBI discovered that the rifle had been purchased from Klein's sporting goods in Chicago on 12th March, 1963, by a man using the name, A. J. Hiddell. When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested he was carrying a forged identity card bearing the name Alek J. Hiddell. A palm print taken from the barrel of the rifle was identified as belonging to Oswald.

See below for an account of some of the problems caused by this evidence:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKSmannlicher.htm

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I am sure that I was watching coverage which repeated the British Enfield 303 story, even before the Mauser turned Carcano. That early misreporting fundamentally changed me and the way I perceived the world. For the first time, I began to consider sinister possibilities behind what could be a facade of deceit. Before that, I was just a completely patriotic American boy - hardly questioning much of anything. I think people who lived through that weekend retain an uncomfortable "sense" of what it was they experienced - like an internal, personal "time-stamp" which they will never really relinquish - no matter how many tomes of gobbledy-gook they are bombarded with. It's something they truly own. Conclusions arrived at from their own perceptions and the sifted analyses of what they experienced and interpreted so deeply for themselves. I doubt the perpetrators and their progeny have much concern about what is perceived to be true or not true - as long as an amoeba of muddled confusion keeps everyone silent and ineffective until the world of actual witnesses and participants dies away.

This case always reminds me of what Chico Marx exclaimed in "Duck Soup" - "WHO are you gonna BELIEVE!?!? ME... or your OWN EYES!?!?"

Excuse me if I have wandered off-topic. Where's my nurse? NURSE!!! Come quickly... I'm in a very old Marx Brothers movie...

By the way, in an effort to contribute to the actual thread title - I have been completely discouraged in attempts to pursue information at official websites purporting to provide research materials to the public. The pathways to obtain data seem so convoluted and incomprehensible - with so many different designations of letters and numbers for the same pieces of evidence from so many "official sources". If it was a truly sincere effort - it seems it could have been so much simpler and straightforward - not such an obstacle.

Edited by JL Allen
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This is one of those threads where it is important that we keep on the topic (I am sure Simone will only become confused if we bring up old conflicts with fellow researchers).

To help Simone I will try to summarize what we have got so far.

Lee’s point is a very good one. There is no doubt that some “witnesses” are reluctant to explain what they know about the case. The main reason for this is fear. This could be broken down into two categories:

(1) The witnesses are afraid of the people who actually carried out the assassination.

(2) The witnesses are afraid of the people or organizations attempting to cover up the conspiracy.

These fears could be “real” or “imagined”. However, the result is the same. Privately, several witnesses I have been in contact with have claimed that the lives of their loved ones have been threatened. Obviously, this is enough to keep anybody quiet. Especially as this case is full of witnesses who have had “early” deaths.

The problem with this is that some “false” witnesses have come forward claiming that the reason they have kept quiet for so many years is that they have been afraid to do so.

The point that Thomas Purvis and Jack White make is also very important. There has been an attempt to mislead researchers. This is what the CIA call a “limited hangout”. This involves taking a piece of evidence that is undoubtedly true but then linking it with manufactured evidence. The idea behind this is to take the researcher into another direction. This is what some researchers refer to us a “disinformation campaign”. The two main examples of this is of disinformation agents attempting to convince researchers that JFK was killed as a result of a plot organized by Fidel Castro or the KGB. Some of these people are paid to be disinformation agents (often called CIA assets). Others do it for ideological reasons, for example, they have a deep hatred of communism.

Some like Billy James Hargis, Michael Eddowes and Edward Jay Epstein have even gone as far as to use this “disinformation” to write books about the assassination. Journalists like Jack Anderson has also used FBI and CIA “leaks” to write stories suggesting that Castro/KGB was behind the assassination.

The other major CIA “limited hangout” concerns the Mafia involvement in the assassination. This is an attempt to provide both a convenient scapegoat for the crime (the public hate the Mafia and are willing to believe they are capable of such an act) and it helps explain why the names of certain CIA agents appear in the evidence, for example, William Harvey. 

In your essay you will need to distinguish between primary and secondary evidence. The problems raised by John, Nic and Carrie relate to secondary sources (historians, journalists, researchers, etc.). As John points out, there has been a concerted smear campaign against researchers who refuse to believe the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. When this campaign failed to work (all public opinion polls have shown a large majority rejecting the “lone gunman” theory) the strategy was changed. Some researchers were actually given help with their work by those in authority. This was part of this “limited hangout” strategy. The leaking of evidence to “friendly” researchers was done in order to persuade the public that the Mafia was behind the assassination. This strategy has been highly successful and I would expect that if a public opinion poll was held today about who carried out the assassination of JFK, the Mafia, would be at the top of the list. 

Nic and Carrie have pointed out the “backbiting” that goes on amongst researchers. In some cases this is true. This is partly caused by ideological and personality clashes. In some cases it involves jealousy. Others are motivated by financial gain. They target people who disagree with their “theory” as they pose a threat to their ability to produce the blockbuster book or video that will solve the case.

However, this problem should not be overstated. I have found most researchers to be motivated by the best of intentions. They want to discover the truth and have no great desires to make a lot of money out of their research. The vast majority are extremely helpful and generous with their time. I think this forum is an example of how researchers are willing to collaborate in order to solve the “crime of the century”. They do so because they realize that we are playing for high stakes. The main thing that motivates us is a belief in democracy. The state must not be allowed to get away with covering up the removal of the elected leader in the world’s most powerful country.

John, it's possible you misunderstood my input.

I was talking largely about a problem I have when evaluating evidence. My self.

I am made up of a set of sense organs including mind that percieves the world. If like Van Gough I have an eye problem that makes me see predominately yellow then I may believe that the world is yellow. Or like Monet in later life , faithfully reproducing a world blurred by failing eyesight.

There is the case of a man having his eyesight restored. He is then taken to a zoo and is placed in front of a gorillas cage. The gorilla is sitting in the middle of the cage, it's pointed out to the man but he can't see it. Next to the cage is a statue of a gorilla. The man closes his eyes and runs his hands over the statue. Now when he looks he can see the gorilla.

Someone else may have been bitten by a gorilla at some point. The gorilla bares its teeth, the person sees a fierce dangerous gorilla. Another person has a wonderful memory of playing with gentle animals, the gorilla is smiling.

Gross examples to be sure (gross in the sense of simple or broad), but they illustrate what I was getting at.

The physical characteristics of the sense organ.

The familiarity with that which is percieved.

The reaction to that which is percieved.

The physical characteristics in this case that may hinder proper evaluation of evidence could be overcome for example by recognising that the eye poorly differentiates grayscale at the extreeme ends of scale therefore tends to see large areas of black or white where in fact there is a lot of texture or shape. This can be overcome by first recognising that this problem exists and secondly using means such as digital enhancements to compensate. Thus evidence can be evaluated in a more correct way.

Not recognising the importance of 'familiarity' can lead one to miss important evidence. Often by revisiting something again and again slowly something emerges that otherwise may be missed.

If one has had unpleasant experiences at the hands of cops or the mob or communists or any recognisable entity, then one tends to tag a label onto evidence according to that experience. This leads on to the vulnerability an 'unaware' mind places itself in by forming relationships with say other researchers or with groups of evidence. Love IS blind. Love is also good. A balanced attitude to evidence based on what it is rather than what one may feel about it can over come this problem.

I also did go into the hindrances one experiences in not being able to free ones mind from such things as fear, ego, and other layers of pre judice. In doing so I was talking about the self. Or my self.

Threough these filters the evidence comes to me. There may very well be nothing wrong with the evidence. It may in fact be starkly simple and clear. My filters, or any researchers adopted or involuntary filters may obscure this clarity.

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elaborating on the above

therefore any information about evidence that is not first hand runs the risk of being tainted by these factors. Opinions are not facts. Attitudes are not facts. Feelings are not facts. Also just because someone may be correct in one thing doesn't mean the a re correct in all things. Similarly, if someone is wrong in one thing it doesn't mean the are wrong in all things. I think the legal system tends to give a false perception of truth in how it will discount evidence from certain sources because those sources have been shown faulty at some point, and vice versa.

Hence the repeated exhortation, develop your own critical thinking. Be skeptical. Keep an open mind.

Edited by John Dolva
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