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Youth Houth/NYC welfare/Justice Kelley/Hartogs


Greg Parker
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Brief history of YH

Youth House actually started out as an all girl institute in 1928. It's name then was the Hanavah Lavenburg Home for Working Girls. It was during the 1940s that it became Youth House for Boys.

The funding was through the Lavenburg Foundation set up by Fred Lavenburg. I have to date, found few other projects funded by this foundation, though it existed at least into the 1960s, and perhaps beyond.

Fred Lavenburg

Lavenburg's wealth was derived from housing estates. Although no evidence has been found linking Lavenburg to corruption and/or racialism, it nonetheless is worth noting at least, that the history of estates in NYC is rife with stories of corruption and a creepy kind of racial paternalism, if not outright bigotry.

It was an era when eugenics was not a dirty word. It was the answer, and some Lanvenburg's foundation money did go into "social surveys" of ethnic groups, and in another case, into supporting the Council for Exceptional Children.

At some point, Lavenburg's foundation became the conduit for funding, building and managing new estates. During the 1940s/50s/60s, "managing" including running private spy networks - sometimes in direct competition with government agencies, and sometimes working with them. Such networks were used to root out those ineligible for public housing (these were joint private/government ventures into public housing), and in other cases, to weed out "troublemakers" (read "radicals").

Excerpted Articles on NYC Welfare agencies by Michael Kent

Article one

"I know from long and grim experience on the ACLU Church-State Advisory Committee that religious organizations are not obliged to disclose their budgets -- even to their members -- and the only reason you are not reading of another scandal daily is because of the embarrassment that disclosure causes. I was there and sawmajor cover-ups excused on this basis -- the Protestant Council of the City of New York, for which I worked one summer, was a complete scam run by an Albany slum landlord and his out-of-town honcho friends. Only many years later was their cover finally blown. You will probably not remember the names of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. or Norman Vincent Peale, but they were prominent clergy who were used as fronts and covers for its scams (from which they did not benefit.). The Boy Scouts in manyparts of the country are just as bad. And the head of United Way, who spent two years in jail for defrauding this central charitable

fund raising organization, is now disputing whether his $2 million special supplementary retirement benefit can be canceled. The national treasurer of the Episcopal Church made off with a bundle a few years back. We will most likely be reading of a faith-based pig trough of scandals in a few years -- funded by us tax payers!"

Article two

Many years ago I had a student summer job that entailed among other things updating the directory for the Protestant Council of Churches of the City of New York. I had taken on this job because at the time the National Council of Churches housed in the same building (the Protestant 'Vatican' at 475 Riverside Drive in Upper Manhattan) had been a leading force in the then civil rights efforts being launched by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. I thought that the Protestant Council would be the local equivalent. How wrong I was!

Things started out okay with the assignment to update the Council's annual directory of NYC Protestant churches. Traditional denominations sent in their lists of churches as requested with particulars. However,as I moved down the line I began to discover odd things -- that many listed churches actually had the phone numbers of local bars; others were rather weird organizations with mysterious identities that, I discovered, were using their directory listing as a credential. And as I became more familiar with this operation some of the Council staff confided to me that I was really working for a scam outfit that raised money exclusively to support its leadership's salaries, that its right wing businessmen (fundamentalist) trustees did not even reside in NYC, that its executive head was a slum landlord in Albany, that several of the major Protestant organizations (Episcopalians and Presbyterians and its Brooklyn branch) were fully aware of these anomalies and had quietly disassociated themselves from this $1,000,000 a year operation which was foisting itself on the public as the Protestant 'voice' of NYC. As fronts, it had enlisted 5 popular Protestant clergy -- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Norman Vincent Peale among others -- whose names were prominently displayed in its promotions and probably did not know what was going on -- I hope. Wider details were filled in by the then executive director of the Protestant Welfare Agencies to whom I took my concerns and who pled what could he do and suggested that maybe the church was not the place for me?

What was additionally disconcerting about this operation was that it was functioning wherever it could as a counter to social justice. For example, it was doing its best to put down civil rights efforts behind the scenes, as the dissertation of a young Columbia political scientist, Henry Pratt, clearly documented. It was making pronouncements to the effect that 1,000 Protestant Churches opposed ending the Sabbath laws which forbid Sunday openings of most stores (It had sent out postcards and received mixed responses from about 300+ 'churches'. Later Lindsay told the police to stop enforcing these discriminatory (anti-Semitic) laws and they were eventually repealed.)

It was into this system that Oswald was swept when he became a "truant".

Justice Florence Kelley

The New York Post of Nov 30 reported that "Lee Harvey Oswald... had a psychiatric and truancy record in the Bronx."

In relation to what Justice Kelley told them, the story becomes confusing, as it starts by saying that Kelley told the Post she had given some information to the FBI. It then goes on to say "It was learned from other sources that the psychiatric report recommended young Oswald - then only 13 - for committment" but that this recommendation was "turned down by the court" adding that "the probation report found schizophrenic tendencies and said that Oswald was 'potentially dangerous'." The confusing aspect is that is not made at all clear whether the "other sources" referred to are sources for the Post or Kelley.

Renatus Hartogs

Whatever information the Post had and who it ultimately came from, Hartogs memory post-assassination reflects the exact same information in regard to making a recommendation to Oswald being committed, and to a diagnosis.

Mr. LIEBELER. Can you recall what kind of institution you recommended that Oswald be committed to?

Dr. HARTOGS. I never make a recommendation as to the name, the specific institution. This is a prerogative of the court.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you make a recommendation as to the type of institution to which you recommend a child?

Dr. HARTOGS. Yes; I do that, either a mental hospital or training school or residential treatment center, but I do not recall in this case what I recommended.

Mr. LIEBELER. But you do recall quite clearly that you did recommend, because of this boy's personality pattern, disturbance?

Dr. HARTOGS. Yes; that he should not be placed in the community.

Mr. LIEBELER. Or placed on probation?

Dr. HARTOGS. Yes; that is right.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you recall being interviewed on this question by the FBI?

Dr. HARTOGS. Yes.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember approximately when they interviewed you?

Dr. HARTOGS. No; I don't know the date.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember that you told them the same thing, that is, that you recommended institutionalizing Oswald as a result of his psychiatric examination which indicated that he was potentially dangerous?

Dr. HARTOGS. Yes.

but more questioning reveals the Post story as "jogging" those memories.

Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us how you first became aware, after the assassination, that Lee Oswald was a child with whom you had had previous contact?

Dr. HARTOGS. The first time was, I read it in the newspaper, Justice Kelley, you know, Florence Kelley, made a statement to the press that Oswald had been in the Youth House, and she revealed details of the psychiatric report which immediately made me aware of the fact that I was the one to examine the child, because this was my wording.

There it is. Kelley (or whoever the source was) had used terms he commonly used in his diagnoses. He recognised his style in the phrasing.

Evidence (falling short of absolute proof) that their were two psych reports - each with a different diagnosis and recommendation. If in fact, two reports existed, one was certainly meant for (and ended up in) the court file. The purpose of the other is obviously unknown. To perhaps get close to realising its purpose, the question to ask is, "who could make use of this fraudulent report?"

Oswald at YH

In relation to any possible connection between YH and mkultra/medical experiments... consider that YH was not a treatment centre. It therefore had no "legitimate" cover for such work. If this was happening, YH was once removed from the action. As Hartogs pointed out, "I see them [new arrivals] right away on an emergency basis and send them out because we cannot keep too disturbed children in Youth House. We send them then to a mental hospital." Claude Brown, in his autobiography, named that "mental hospital" as Bellevue.

Oswald's stay there did have some "oddities". YH staff reports on him for instance indicate that Oswald was left alone by the other boys. Why is this "odd"? Simply because, as Carro noted, Oswald was smaller than most black and Latino inmates - including violent offenders with raps for murder and armed robbery among them. Claude Brown 's book clearly indicates fights among the boys were common occurences. Oswald then was surely an easy target for bullying. The other "oddity" is that he was freed from normal routine to go to his room and read. We are not told what he was reading - but given the adverse publicity comics were receiving at the time - I think Batman can be ruled out. Was he studying something perhaps? And left alone to do so because the other boys had strict instructions that he was out of bounds?

Edited by Greg Parker
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Oswald's stay there (Youth House) did have some "oddities". YH staff reports on him for instance indicate that Oswald was left alone by the other boys. Why is this "odd"? Simply because, as Carro noted, Oswald was smaller than most Black and Latino inmates.

In Harvey & Lee, John Armstrong conducted extensive research on Oswald and the Youth House and uncovered numerous oddities. Among them, according to Armstrong:

Oswald's height of 4-foot-6 or 4-foot-8 was in sharp contrast to New York school records, which are published in the Warren Volumes and list Oswald's height a month later (May, 1953) at 5-foot-4 1/2.

Curiously, Marguerite Oswald was interviewed by John Carro and she made numerous, inexplicable misstatements concerning the Oswald family background. She told Carro false information about Lee's father, her date of marriage, a past residence in Corning, TX, Lee's date of birth, her sister's name, and where Lee was baptized.

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Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us how you first became aware, after the assassination, that Lee Oswald was a child with whom you had had previous contact?

Dr. HARTOGS. The first time was, I read it in the newspaper, Justice Kelley, you know, Florence Kelley, made a statement to the press that Oswald had been in the Youth House, and she revealed details of the psychiatric report which immediately made me aware of the fact that I was the one to examine the child, because this was my wording.

There it is. Kelley (or whoever the source was) had used terms he commonly used in his diagnoses. He recognised his style in the phrasing.

To me, this exemplifies with great clarity:

1) Why it is not permissible to bitch-slap a witness, or,

2) Why I do not practice law, or,

3) Perhaps both.

Seriously, thanks very much for this yeomanly job of research. I had many failed attempts at an adequate response before I realized that an adequate response is not possible and had to settle for this one instead.

For the record, I've never really considered that YH was an "on-site MK-Ultra mind-pretzeling machine." I repent deeply for anything I said that might have led to such a conclusion.

I have considered, and still consider, the possibility that it was a clearing house, a "feeder unit" of some description, for just such chicanery, which the testimony of Warthogs—I mean, Hartogs—has done nothing to alleviate in the slightest, no matter how many times I've read it.

I'm afraid that nothing else in your post has led me away from such a possibility, either. I think that this event in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald (or at least one of them) has significance, and that it has some tie in with later anomalies with his whereabouts and doings, particularly in the military.

In the immortal words of Ahme: "I can say no more..."

Ashton

Edited by Ashton Gray
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I seem to remember Hartogs being the subject of some sexual assault charges during the mid to late 1960's.

That's absolutely right, James. In 1973 he was ordered to pay $350,000 for sexual exploitation of a patient. I wrote about it in the thread called 1950's CIA "Manchurian Candidate" Memo?

Here's the relevant excerpt from that post:

...in 1973 the sweet and caring Dr. Renatus Hartogs, with "good credentials" and a column in Cosmopolitan magazine, was sued by Julie Roy, who claimed that Hartogs had sexually exploited her. Hartogs attacked her as "an incurable schizophrenic"—then two other women came forward at the trial and said he'd done the same thing to them. He was ordered to pay $350,000.

Ashton

Edited by Ashton Gray
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The Thing about Hartogs that is important for me is - according to Gerald Posner, he gave LHO a test - a Minnessotta Multi-Phasic Personality Invitory - MMPPI? - which identified LHO as a "Passive-Aggressive" type, that Lt. Commander Narut, USN said was the type the Navy/USMC looked for in recruiting those they train for special assassination training.

Narut was attending a NATO conference in Norway when he was interviewed by an English reporter, who quoted him as saying these "Passive-Aggressive" personality requirements were recruited from Navy sub and special units and "programed" using films and special desensitizing techniques. After training these specially trained assassins were stationed at US Embassys around the world.

After publication of Narut's quotes, the US government said he was only talking hypothetically. While stationed at Naples, US Med Fleet HQ - and San Diego, at the Navy neuro-psycho lab, nothing else has ever been heard from Lt. Com. Narut, USN.

Still, LHO's "Passive-Aggressive" personality invitory would also have been known to the Navy/USMC.

BK

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Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us how you first became aware, after the assassination, that Lee Oswald was a child with whom you had had previous contact?

Dr. HARTOGS. The first time was, I read it in the newspaper, Justice Kelley, you know, Florence Kelley, made a statement to the press that Oswald had been in the Youth House, and she revealed details of the psychiatric report which immediately made me aware of the fact that I was the one to examine the child, because this was my wording.

There it is. Kelley (or whoever the source was) had used terms he commonly used in his diagnoses. He recognised his style in the phrasing.

To me, this exemplifies with great clarity:

1) Why it is not permissible to bitch-slap a witness, or,

2) Why I do not practice law, or,

3) Perhaps both.

Seriously, thanks very much for this yeomanly job of research. I had many failed attempts at an adequate response before I realized that an adequate response is not possible and had to settle for this one instead.

For the record, I've never really considered that YH was an "on-site MK-Ultra mind-pretzeling machine." I repent deeply for anything I said that might have led to such a conclusion.

No worries, Ashton. I must have misunderstood.

I have considered, and still consider, the possibility that it was a clearing house, a "feeder unit" of some description, for just such chicanery, which the testimony of Warthogs—I mean, Hartogs—has done nothing to alleviate in the slightest, no matter how many times I've read it.

The possibility it was a feeder unit is why I posted Hartog's comments about sending "clients" to a psych hospital (Bellevue). He could of course, make that a recommendation for the court. But he also had the authority to send "urgent" and "obvious" cases immediately without court approval. Bellevue had been used in 1948/1949 by Andrija Purahrich and Warren McCulloch for experiments with implants.

I'm afraid that nothing else in your post has led me away from such a possibility, either. I think that this event in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald (or at least one of them) has significance, and that it has some tie in with later anomalies with his whereabouts and doings, particularly in the military.

A number of possibilities present themselves concerning the possibility of a second psych report by Hartogs.

1. The report referred to by the Post (referred to from here as "the Post report") was made by Hartogs in order to refer Oswald to Bellevue, but for whatever reason, this plan was abolished and a new report written (the "official" one).

2. The Post report was written for The subcommittee on Juvenile delinquency to bolster their claims on a link between comics and delinquency. Dr Harris Peck was in charge of the Court Clinics and he gave evidence for the government during those hearings - which were held not long after Oswald's stay in YH. Hartogs would have had to have had a professional relationship with Peck.

3. The Post report was written for the inquiry into Korean war POW's who had been allegedly brainwashed. This inquiry was interested in both how to use those techniques on enemy agents and how to prevent US agents and soldiers from succumbing to those same techniques. Part of the inquiry focused on boys in the 13 to 17 age bracket to learn what may make them later susceptible - and what may help "wash-proof" them. They found that orgs such as Boy Scouts, YMCA, Big Brother and CAP had major roles to play. One Recommendation to come out of this inquiry was to form something called the National Security Training Corps. It also came up with a profile of future defectors... the inquiry ran from 1953 through '56.

In the immortal words of Ahme: "I can say no more..."

Balderdash!

Ashton

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  • 4 months later...

In the book, "The Assassination's - Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK & Malcom X," there is a section regarding Dr. Milton Kurian. Apparently both John Armstrong and Dick Russell participated in an interview of Dr. Kurian, circa September 1977. While I am not aware of Dr. Kurian's name cropping up in the WC Documents, that certainly does not mean he isn't "in there" somewhere.

At any rate, on page 95 of the above, it states......"From September 1952, through January of 1953,

Warren Commission records show Oswald attended only 24 days of school. His

truancy brought him to the attention of the Board of Attendance. On the last Friday in March of 1953, a probation officer brought Oswald to the office of Dr. Milton Kurian.

Kurian, a psychiatrist employed by the Domestic Relations Court of New York.

Dr. Kurian noted that Oswald was quite small for his age. Dr. Kurian was 5'7" and estimated

Oswald's height at 4'6". Oswald discussed his background with Dr. Kurian and said his mother had been married five times, even though she had been married three times. Oswald told Kurian he had numerous stepfathers and was close to only one of them. But Oswald had only one stepfather, Edwin Ekhdal in 1945-47. After interviewing Oswald for 45 minutes, Dr. Kurian described Oswald as the most paranoid individual he ever interviewed. However, Dr. Kurian is not mentioned anywhere in the Warren Report or the 26 Volumes. The only psychiatrist Oswald was supposed to have seen was Renatus Hartogs".........

I am not an expert on the period of Lee Oswald's time spent in New York, but I am somewhat sure that the Probation Officer is John Carro...If matters couldn't get stranger, ostensibly the HSCA wanted to interview Oswald's childhood friend Edward Voebel but was unable to as Voebel had died a few years earlier at age 31 at the Ocshner Clinic, in New Orleans.

Edited by Robert Howard
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In the book, "The Assassination's - Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK & Malcom X," there is a section regarding Dr. Milton Kurian. Apparently both John Armstrong and Dick Russell participated in an interview of Dr. Kurian, circa September 1977. While I am not aware of Dr. Kurian's name cropping up in the WC Documents, that certainly does not mean he isn't "in there" somewhere.

Robert, good on Russell for taking an interest in Kurian. I did once, too, before deciding it was either mistaken identity, or complete fabrication. Did Russell also come to that conclusion? I have the latter edition of his book, and there is no mention of Kurian in it - or any indication of swallowing the "Harvey & Lee" travesty. Maybe in the earlier edition?

At any rate, on page 95 of the above, it states......"From September 1952, through January of 1953,

Warren Commission records show Oswald attended only 24 days of school. His

truancy brought him to the attention of the Board of Attendance. On the last Friday in March of 1953, a probation officer brought Oswald to the office of Dr. Milton Kurian.

Kurian, a psychiatrist employed by the Domestic Relations Court of New York.

Dr. Kurian noted that Oswald was quite small for his age. Dr. Kurian was 5'7" and estimated

Oswald's height at 4'6". Oswald discussed his background with Dr. Kurian and said his mother had been married five times, even though she had been married three times. Oswald told Kurian he had numerous stepfathers and was close to only one of them. But Oswald had only one stepfather, Edwin Ekhdal in 1945-47. After interviewing Oswald for 45 minutes, Dr. Kurian described Oswald as the most paranoid individual he ever interviewed. However, Dr. Kurian is not mentioned anywhere in the Warren Report or the 26 Volumes. The only psychiatrist Oswald was supposed to have seen was Renatus Hartogs".........

I am not an expert on the period of Lee Oswald's time spent in New York, but I am somewhat sure that the Probation Officer is John Carro...If matters couldn't get stranger, ostensibly the HSCA wanted to interview Oswald's childhood friend Edward Voebel but was unable to as Voebel had died a few years earlier at age 31 at the Ocshner Clinic, in New Orleans.

It was indeed, John Carro. Here are some quaotes from his WC testimony:

Mr CARRO - ...As a matter of fact, I recall the case was put on the calendar before Judge Sicher in November of that year, 1953, when she was told, yes, that it was necessary to have the boy remain here, and that that is when the judge ordered a referral to the psychiatric clinic of the court, and to the Big Brothers who subsequently accepted the boy for working with. With that the mother took off in January, without letting us know, and just never came back.

Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned that the boy was going to go to your own psychiatric clinic. That is a different proposition from the Youth House, is it not?

Mr. CARRO - Yes. This is the psychiatric court clinic, that is on 22nd Street, which in some instances, where we are not able to effect the kind of placing we need or so, we will utilize that as a last resort, and the boy would go there periodically and be seen by the psychiatrist.

According to Carro, Oswald was not ordered to the Court Clinic until November, and that such a referral was always only ever a last resort. Was Carro lying? Was he part of the plot and/or cover up? Did Armstrong attempt to interview Carro? If no, why would he avoid him? Carro was certainly still alive in '77, and may still be alive today.

Although not a psychiatrist, Carro, I'm sure, could recognize paranoia - especially such a profound case as described by Kurian. The closest Carro ever got to such a description however, was saying he was "guarded" in his answers. Other than that, he thought he was a likable lad. Physically, Carro did describe Oswald as "small". Unfortunately, he didn't offer an estimate - what he did was qualify that by suggesting this was only by comparison to the African-American and Puerto Rican boys he mainly dealt with.

I'd be reasonably certain Kurian is not mention anywhere in the WC volumes. For once, the omission is completely explicable.

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Is it considered just a close coincidence that whilst in custody LHO attempted to call a person called 'Herty' or 'Hertig', which is quite close to 'Hartogs'? If I had been mistaken for somebody else, intentionally or otherwise, that I knew existed and wished to disassociate myself from that person, a good way would be to communicate with someone who knew who I really '''was''' some time ago. This failed call is mentioned in Anthony Summers' "Conspiracy - Who Killed President Kennedy?" page 175-176.

Edited by Steven Tomlinson
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