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The CIA and Religious Cults


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I discovered this article by Jim Hougan, the author of Secret Agenda, a very well researched book on Watergate.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/A...gan-lobster.htm

I have also read disparate accouts of other CIA involvement of with religious cults, and am wondering how widespread this was. I think in Joan Mellons book,

A Farewell To Justice, she writes of some of these connections among those who had contact with Oswald in New Orleans. If we can get these connections on one thread, it might be easier to see a common denominator.

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I discovered this article by Jim Hougan, the author of Secret Agenda, a very well researched book on Watergate.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/A...gan-lobster.htm

I have also read disparate accouts of other CIA involvement of with religious cults, and am wondering how widespread this was. I think in Joan Mellons book,

A Farewell To Justice, she writes of some of these connections among those who had contact with Oswald in New Orleans. If we can get these connections on one thread, it might be easier to see a common denominator.

Sort of related...

I never got to the Jesuits - are you limiting this to JFK related [doesn't appear so from the link]? 'Cults' only or Religious organizations as well?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...mp;hl=religious

- lee

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Anything written by Jim Hougan is time well spent, I am more than a little familiar with the topic & can add some quick notes.......Charles Willoughby when he was in Japan, appears to have had more than a passing familiarity with some of the Japanese Secret Societies....See American Shogun......

There is a linkage between David Ferrie and individuals whose names come up in regards to him.

See "The Bishop and the Boys" Peter Levenda's blog

http://sinisterforces.info/blog/index.php?...s-Part-One.html

Note: I cannot vouch for the accuracy of information contained regarding Levenda's work, but a quick perusal seems to be a thumb's up.......

From his website he has this link....

The Domestic Impact of Foreign Clandestine Operations: The CIA and Academic Institutions, the Media, and Religious Institutions, (Section X of the Church Report), p. 202

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Anything written by Jim Hougan is time well spent, I am more than a little familiar with the topic & can add some quick notes.......Charles Willoughby when he was in Japan, appears to have had more than a passing familiarity with some of the Japanese Secret Societies....See American Shogun......

There is a linkage between David Ferrie and individuals whose names come up in regards to him.

See "The Bishop and the Boys" Peter Levenda's blog

http://sinisterforces.info/blog/index.php?...s-Part-One.html

Note: I cannot vouch for the accuracy of information contained regarding Levenda's work, but a quick perusal seems to be a thumb's up.......

From his website he has this link....

The Domestic Impact of Foreign Clandestine Operations: The CIA and Academic Institutions, the Media, and Religious Institutions, (Section X of the Church Report), p. 202

************************************************************

I've studied and researched some the world's different religious sects, and what I've come to observe is that the more devoutly religious, or the more zealously religious, a particular group of people embrace their particular faith, the more easily manipulated they appear to be as a group. Especially, when viewed by those not affected by that particular affiliation, or belief system.

This seemingly praiseworthy virtue of innocent blind faith, would appear to make them easy targets for certain organizations to extort, or recruit the services of those seeking a sure passage or a one-way ticket to paradise, heaven, nirvana, or wherever their particular faith believes there is an afterlife.

To those religiously-minded, spiritual individuals, who actually believe in the goodness, and charity they may wish to bestow upon those of a lesser faith, or those who would be relegated to the status of infidel, may have all the best of intentions in their hearts. But, it only serves to label the individual as one who is easily lead. Easily lead, because they're required, as individuals, to pledge themselves, so heavily, emotionally, as well as, financially to an iconic belief, in order for them to feel secure enough as to have been saved or redeemed, and worthy enough to enter paradise, heaven, nirvana, etc.

I find this to be most disturbing due to the conclusion that faith such as this, has been fostered through intense fear of retribution, and/or the pain of the fires of hell, or the banishment of one's soul to walk through purgatory for all eternity. This is once and foremost, archaic, and secondly, only serves to keep the believer forever servile to a dogmatic system rooted in the minds of those prophets who manifested these stories thousands of years ago, as a means of control, and manipulation of their tribes.

How else can one allow himself to be put in harm's way, or kill another person thought of as an enemy, without believing he will be saved for his efforts, should he die for what he is supposed to believe in. Another form of hypnosis on a grand scale, on both sides of the Jordan River, as well as, on both sides of the Atlantic. A sheer and utter waste, at face value. Yet, on the other hand, another means by which to cull the world's population.

The reality of which is starkly grave, yet can be viewed as an efficient means to garner the resources necessary for those who wish to profit from them.

Edited by Terry Mauro
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I commend to your attention, "A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups And Individuals in Two World Wars And the Cold War -and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald," by George Michael Evica.

And the "Sinister Forces" trilogy, by Peter Levenda.

Two sides of the same coin.

Charles

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Guest John Gillespie
I discovered this article by Jim Hougan, the author of Secret Agenda, a very well researched book on Watergate.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/A...gan-lobster.htm

I have also read disparate accouts of other CIA involvement of with religious cults, and am wondering how widespread this was. I think in Joan Mellons book,

A Farewell To Justice, she writes of some of these connections among those who had contact with Oswald in New Orleans. If we can get these connections on one thread, it might be easier to see a common denominator.

_______________________________________________

Nat,

Kudos for attaching that URL. I spread that piece around the forum several times last year. It is a very good thing and, I believe, always pertinent to have it available. Check also "Is The Canon Of Jonestown Closed" by Rebecca Moore. This site, from the U. of California Press, has a link to her essay and another link to commentary and response by Moore.

Here's the site: http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/abs/10.1525/nr.2000.4.1.7

Regards,

JG

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Does the Roman Catholic Church qualify as a religious cult?

From EHH's "American Spy," : "Once a person had been recruited, he was often able to help identify other Aemricans and Mexicans who could prove useful...Most of the informants were businessmen, but occupations varried. There was even a popular Catholic priest who worked in the anti-Communist movement at one of the universities...About the same time, the priest I had recruited came to visit me. He was a charming and handsome Notre Dame graduate who had played football in school and gained a sizeable congregation in Mexico, led no dbout by adoring females. According to Mexican law, he was not allowed to wear an abbot in the country, so he was dressed in civilian clothing. I had met him several times and never seemed him distubed before."

"He explained that his church had been sending religous delegations to Guatemala. 'The last group we sent,' he told me,' were seized by police, beaten up, and thrown out of the country.' We both knew that one of the first things that happened in Communist-leading governments was a power struggle between government and church. This was not good news. 'I'll send someone to assess the situation.' I told him."

Thus EHH takes credit for being the first to begin the CIA opposition to the Arbenz government of Guatemala and sparking Operation Success.

Among the CIA's "Family Jewels" were MKULTRA, the plots to kill Castro, the use of media assets and the recruitment of religious personel as agents.

BK

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Does the Roman Catholic Church qualify as a religious cult?

...

BK

Oh gads yes. A very successful cult.

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/CIAtimeline.html

"1943-Donovan recruits Catholic Church in Rome to be center of Anglo-American spy operations in Fascist Italy. It becomes one of America’s most enduring spy alliances in the Cold War."

I don't know if it's true, but given that the source is Steve Kangas (murdered by Richard Mellon Scaife) I consider it extremely credible.

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I discovered this article by Jim Hougan, the author of Secret Agenda, a very well researched book on Watergate.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/A...gan-lobster.htm

I have also read disparate accouts of other CIA involvement of with religious cults, and am wondering how widespread this was. I think in Joan Mellons book,

A Farewell To Justice, she writes of some of these connections among those who had contact with Oswald in New Orleans. If we can get these connections on one thread, it might be easier to see a common denominator.

Sort of related...

I never got to the Jesuits - are you limiting this to JFK related [doesn't appear so from the link]? 'Cults' only or Religious organizations as well?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...mp;hl=religious

- lee

And then there's this link:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...mp;hl=Marquette

[Regarding McAdams]:

"On top of that, his university has found it necessary at times to reprimand him for his excesses. He features writings by questionable agents of disinformation. His specialty is superficial "debunking" of important information concerning Roscoe White, Jean Hill, Lee Bowers, Madeleine Brown, etc. His website, though apparently from Marquette, apparently is not sponsored by the school nor related to his area of study and teaching.

Marquette University is operated by the Jesuit Order, which has notorious ties to the CIA."

(Per Jack)

The fact that Marquette owns the McAdams domain makes the Jesuits very suspect to me.

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I commend to your attention, "A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups And Individuals in Two World Wars And the Cold War -and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald," by George Michael Evica.

And the "Sinister Forces" trilogy, by Peter Levenda.

Two sides of the same coin.

Charles

Thanks Charles. I've had the hardest time finding good books about Jonestown and the CIA link.

Even Mark Lane's book leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and he's usually the oracle.

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Anything written by Jim Hougan is time well spent, I am more than a little familiar with the topic & can add some quick notes.......Charles Willoughby when he was in Japan, appears to have had more than a passing familiarity with some of the Japanese Secret Societies....See American Shogun......

There is a linkage between David Ferrie and individuals whose names come up in regards to him.

See "The Bishop and the Boys" Peter Levenda's blog

http://sinisterforces.info/blog/index.php?...s-Part-One.html

Note: I cannot vouch for the accuracy of information contained regarding Levenda's work, but a quick perusal seems to be a thumb's up.......

From his website he has this link....

The Domestic Impact of Foreign Clandestine Operations: The CIA and Academic Institutions, the Media, and Religious Institutions, (Section X of the Church Report), p. 202

************************************************************

I've studied and researched some the world's different religious sects, and what I've come to observe is that the more devoutly religious, or the more zealously religious, a particular group of people embrace their particular faith, the more easily manipulated they appear to be as a group. Especially, when viewed by those not affected by that particular affiliation, or belief system.

This seemingly praiseworthy virtue of innocent blind faith, would appear to make them easy targets for certain organizations to extort, or recruit the services of those seeking a sure passage or a one-way ticket to paradise, heaven, nirvana, or wherever their particular faith believes there is an afterlife.

...

Oh heck yes. Perfectly said Terry. Blind faith is fresh meat for vultures. Or would sharks make it a better metaphor?

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I commend to your attention, "A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups And Individuals in Two World Wars And the Cold War -and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald," by George Michael Evica.

And the "Sinister Forces" trilogy, by Peter Levenda.

Two sides of the same coin.

Charles

Thanks Charles. I've had the hardest time finding good books about Jonestown and the CIA link.

Even Mark Lane's book leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and he's usually the oracle.

Myra,

Do you know "Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?: A Review of the Evidence" (Studies in American Religion, Vol 35),

by Michael Meiers. Currently available on Amazon for $160, but well worth the expense if possible.

Charles

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I commend to your attention, "A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups And Individuals in Two World Wars And the Cold War -and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald," by George Michael Evica.

And the "Sinister Forces" trilogy, by Peter Levenda.

Two sides of the same coin.

Charles

Thanks Charles. I've had the hardest time finding good books about Jonestown and the CIA link.

Even Mark Lane's book leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and he's usually the oracle.

Myra,

Do you know "Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?: A Review of the Evidence" (Studies in American Religion, Vol 35),

by Michael Meiers. Currently available on Amazon for $160, but well worth the expense if possible.

Charles

Never heard of that one Charles.

$160 eh? Sounds like it'd be well worth the trouble of ordering it at the library.

Thanks.

Pssst, what did they decide on whether it was a medical experiment: yes or no?

Seems like if they decided no they wouldn't have had much of a book...

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From Mellen Press:

Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment? A Review of the Evidence

Meiers, Michael

Description:

A work of investigative journalism that presents the theory that the Central Intelligence Agency employed the Reverend Jim Jones to administer a pharmaceutical field test in mind control and ethnic weaponry to a large test group, namely the membership of the Peoples Temple. Proposes that Dr. Laurence Layton (Former Chief of the U.S. Army's Chemical and Biological Warfare Division) cultured the AIDS virus to be tested and deployed in a CIA-backed experiment in Jonestown, Guyana.

http://www.mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm...d=1366&pc=9

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I discovered this article by Jim Hougan, the author of Secret Agenda, a very well researched book on Watergate.

http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/A...gan-lobster.htm

I have also read disparate accouts of other CIA involvement of with religious cults, and am wondering how widespread this was. I think in Joan Mellons book,

A Farewell To Justice, she writes of some of these connections among those who had contact with Oswald in New Orleans. If we can get these connections on one thread, it might be easier to see a common denominator.

For those who didn't bother to read Jim Hougan's excellent article on Jonestown and the unresolved implications, I've extracted a part of it that takes us to Philadelphia and then directly to Cuba, places we've been before on the trail of the JFK assassins. Has anybody actually looked closer at both Father Devine and the CIA's Dwyer, to see if they show up in other ops? - BK

Jim Hougan:

II.4 JONES AND FATHER DIVINE

By the late 1950s, the Peoples Temple was a success, with a congregation of more than 2000 people. Still, Jones had even larger ambitions and, to accommodate them, became the improbable protege of an extremely improbable man. This was Father Divine, the Philadelphia-based "black messiah" whose Peace Mission movement attracted tens of thousands of black adherents and the close attention of the FBI, while earning its founder an annual income in seven figures.

For whatever reasons, beginning in about 1956, Jones made repeated pilgrimages to the black evangelist's headquarters, where he literally "sat at the feet" (and at the table) of the great man, professing his devotion. With the exception of Father Divine's wife, Jones may well have been the man's only white adherent.

It was not entirely inconvenient. Living in Indianapolis, Jones could easily arrange to transport members of the Peoples Temple by bus to Philadelphia---where they were housed without charge in Father Divine's hotels, feasted at banquets called "Holy Communions," and treated to endless sermons.[1] [53]

That Jones made a study of Father Divine, emulated him and hoped to succeed him, is clear. The possibility should not be ruled out, however, that Jones was also engaged in collecting "racial intelligence" for a third party.

Whatever else Jones may have picked up from his study of Father Divine, there is reason to believe that it was in the context of his visits to Philadelphia that he was introduced to the subject of mass suicide. Among Jones's personal effects in Guyana was a book that had been checked out of the Indianapolis Public Library in the 1950s, and never returned. In the pages of Father Divine: Holy Husband, the author quotes one of the black evangelist's followers:

"'If Father dies,' she tells you in the

calmest kind of a voice, 'I sure 'nuff

would never be callin' in myself to be

goin' on livin' in this empty ol' world.

I'd be findin' some way of gettin' rid of

the life I never been wantin' before I

found him.'

"If Father Divine were to die, mass suicides

among Negroes in his movement could certainly

result. They would be rooted deep, not alone

in Father's relationship with his followers,

but also in America's relationship with its

Negroe citizens. This would be the shame of

America." (Emphasis added.)[2] [54]

II.5 JONES GOES TO CUBA

In January, 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista dictatorship, and seized power in Cuba. Land reforms followed within a few months of the coup, alienating foreign investors and the rich. By Summer, therefore, Cuba was in the midst of a low-intensity counter-revolution, with sabotage operations mounted from within and outside the country.

Within a year of Castro's ascension, by January of 1960, mercenary pilots and anti-Castroites were flying bombing missions against the regime. Meanwhile, in Washington, Vice-President Richard Nixon was lobbying on behalf of the military invasion that the CIA was plotting.

It was against this background, in February of 1960, that Jim Jones suddenly decided to visit Havana.

The news of Jones's visit to Cuba---one is tempted to write "the cover-story for Jones's trip to Cuba"---was first published in the New York Times in March, 1979 (four months after the massacre in Guyana). The story was based upon an interview with a naturalized American named Carlos Foster. A former Cuban cowboy, Baptist Pentecostal minister and sometime night-club singer, Foster showed up at the New York Times four months after the massacre. Without being asked, he volunteered a strange story about meeting Jim Jones in Cuba during the Winter of 1960. (Why Foster went to the newspaper with his story is uncertain: news of his friendship with Jones could hardly have helped his career as a childrens' counselor).[3] [55]

Nevertheless, according to the Times story, the 29-year-old Jones traveled to Cuba to expedite plans to establish a communal organization with settlements in the U.S. and abroad. The immediate goal, Foster said, was to recruit Cuban blacks to live in Indiana.

Foster told the Times that he and Jones met by chance at the Havana Hilton. That is to say, Jones gave the Cuban a big hello, and took him by the arm. He then solicited Foster's help in locating forty families that would be willing to move to the Indianapolis area (at Jones's expense). Tim Reiterman, who repeats the Times' story, adds that the two men discussed the plan in Jones's hotel-room, from 7 in the morning until 8 o'clock at night, for a week. More recently, Foster has elaborated by saying that Jones offered to pay him $50,000 per year to help him establish an archipelago of offshore agricultural communes in Central and South America. Foster said that Jones was an extremely well-traveled man, who knew Latin America well. He had already been to Guyana, and wanted to start a collective there.

After a month in Cuba, Jones returned to the United States (alone). Six months later, Foster followed, on his own initiative, but the immigration scheme went nowhere.[4] [56]

The anomalies in this story are many, and one hardly knows what to make of them. Foster's information that Jones was well-traveled in Latin America, and had already been to Guyana, comes as a shock. None of his biographers mentions Jones having taken trips out of the United States prior to this time. Could Foster be mistaken? Or have Jones's biographers overlooked an important part of his life?

An even greater anomaly, however, concerns language. While Reiterman reports that Foster was bilingual, and that he and Jones spoke English together, this isn't true. Foster learned English at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx---after he'd emigrated to the United States.[5] [57] (Reiterman seems to have made an otherwise reasonable, but incorrect, assumption: knowing that Jones did not speak Spanish, he assumed that Foster must have been able to speak English.)

Today, when Foster is asked which language was spoken, he says that he and Jones made do with the latter's broken Spanish.

The issue is an important one because Foster is, in effect, Jones's alibi for whatever it was that Jones was actually doing in Cuba. That the two men did not have a language in common makes the alibi decidedly suspect: how could they converse for 13 hours at a time, day in and day out, for a week---if neither man understood what the other was saying?

As for Jones's own parishioners, those who've survived have only a dim recollection of the trip. According to Reiterman, "Back in the States, Jones revealed little of his plan, depicting his stay more as tourism than church business." This sounds like a polite way of saying that the trip served no obvious purpose. Nevertheless, he did bring back some strange souvenirs. "He showed off photos of Cuba... One picture---a gruesome shot of the mangled body of a pilot in some plane wreckage---indicated that Jones witnessed the pirate bombings of the cane fields. Jones told his friends that he had met with some Cuban leaders, though the bearded man in fatigues standing beside Jones in a snapshot was too short to be Castro."[6] [58]

It would be interesting to know just what Reiterman is talking about here. The presumption must be that there is a photograph in which Jones is seen with a man who might easily be confused with Castro---if it weren't for the latter's diminutive size. In fact, however, it probably was Castro. When Jones arrived in Brazil in 1962, he carried a photograph of himself and his wife Marceline, posing with the Cuban premier. Jones said that the picture was taken on a stopover in Cuba on the way to Sao Paulo.[7] [59] That is to say, in late 1961 or early 1962.

How Jones met Fidel Castro---and why---is an interesting question. So, too, we can only wonder at his proclivity for taking photographs of mercenary pilots in their crashed planes. Pictures of that sort could only have been of interest to Castro's enemies and the CIA.

Returning to Carlos Foster, if the tale that he told to the Times was a pre-emptive cover-story, a "limited hang-out" of some sort, what was Jones actually doing? Why had he gone to Havana? At this late date, and in the absence of interviews with officials of the Cuban government, there is probably no way to know. What may be said, however, is this:

Emigration was an extremely sensitive issue in the first years of the Castro regime. The CIA and the State Department, in their determination to embarrass Castro, did everything possible to encourage would-be immigrants to leave the island. As a part of this policy, U.S. Government agencies and conservative Christian religious organizations collaborated to facilitate departures.[8] [60] Jones's visit may well have been a part of this program.

But there is no way to be certain of that. Cuba was in the midst of a parapolitical melt-down. While the CIA was conspiring to launch an invasion, irate Mafiosans and American businessmen had joined together to finance the bombing-runs of mercenary pilots. Meanwhile, the Soviets had sent their Deputy Premier, Anastas I. Mikoyan, to Havana for the opening of the Soviet Exhibition of Science, Technology and Culture.[9] [61] The visit coincided with the Soviets' decision to give Cuba a long-term low-interest loan, while promising to buy a million tons of Cuban sugar per annum. The "Hilton Hotel" at which Jones was staying was the temporary home of a Sputnik satellite that the Soviets had put on

......

Edited by William Kelly
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