Tuesday, April 01, 2014

You're a Good Man, Akhenaten

You're a good man, Akhenaten.
You're the kind of reminder we need.
You have humility, nobility and a sense of honor
That is very rare indeed.

You're a good man, Akhenaten,
And we know you will go very far.
Yes it's hard to believe. Almost striking to conceive
What a good man, you are!

Wouldn't you know, historical revisionists have pounded my inbox these past two weeks to disagree with a previous post. I have clarified this issue I don't know how many times.

Okay, so I only clarified the issue once. You'd think that would be enough. I nevertheless have to do it again. So, for those who couldn't see the truth if it slapped them repeatedly in the face whilst singing “Yankee Doodle,” we'll go over this one more time.

Here's a sample of what I'm talking about:

Your statement about Robert Palmer being Linus van Pelt is incorrect. I have proof positive that Linus was none other than the current usurper of the Oval Office, Barack Hussein Obama. Everyone over at Prism Planet knows this. Why can't you wake up and smell the bacon?

You're just assuming that because Linus and Robert Oalmer [sic] look exactly alike they must be the same person. But what you fail to understand is that Soviet plastic surgery methods perfected the art of making anyone look like anyone else. Robert Palmor [sic] was in fact a KGB agent named Stanislav Richterkov. He was part of a Rusky plot to unload a secret shipment of tainted soft drinks in order to impurify, infiltrate, corrupt and sap our precious bodily fluids. Click here for proof positive.

Have you seen the video? [The correspondent doesn't specify, but I'm assuming he's referring to 'Simply Irresistible']. The women in it look nothing like Linus' sister, Lucy. They're actually clones of Pottsylvanian superspy Natasha Fetale [recte:Fatale]. Now Natasha was a cartoon who had the steroid 3-D treatment. And this is where you made your mistake. You mixed her up with Palmerr [sic], and Palner [sic] with Linus.

Now, if you know anything about the Peanuts comic strip, you'd realize that Lucy isn't Linus' sister. She's his mother.  She's always bossing him around and putting him in his place when he gets going with all that uppity talk, or when he can't let go of that pinko blanket. And she didn't stay a cartoon, no way Jose. She went 3-D too. And if you look very closely, you'll see that they are a dead ringer. I'm attaching an instagram of both of them at the end of this e-mail so that even you can make the connection.

In case you're even stupider than I thought, let me repeat this shortly and sweetly: Linus van Pelt is Barack Obamination. He is not Robert Oalnorr [sic].

Tired of this bullshit,
Jack D. Tripper
2012 Presidential nominee, Tea Smoking Party

Figure 1. Attached Instagrams of Dr. S. Ann Dunham and Lucy van Pelt Schroeder.

I don't really know where to begin with something like this. It's clear these people have no serious evidence. And you'll note there's a bit of inconsistency here. He's making the connection between van Pelt Schroeder and Dr. Dunham based on similarities in physical appearance. However, he dismisses the connection between Palmer and Linus for the same reason. And frankly, these two women don't look much alike, other than their hair color.

I also find that e-mails such as these insult the intelligence of the average person. Then again, I guess we've gotten used to it, what with the President accused of (1) being born in Kenya, (2) being a mind-controlled robot of communist 1960s terrorists—the worst kind, (3) being a terrorist, (4) being a Muslim, (5) being a Muslim terrorist, (6) participating in cocaine-fueled gangbangs with gay midgets in the back of a Kia Sephia, (7) causing earthquakes in California, (8) creating the common cold in a laboratory, (9) selling the nation into slavery to pay off the mortgage on his house, (10) forcing Catholics to wear condoms and have sex at atheistic state hospitals where only Obamacare is allowed and abortions are strictly enforced, (11) being the anti-Christ, (12) being a 1960s communist terrorist Muslim anti-Christ, and so on.

To date, mainstream pundits have leveled, encouraged, or supported forty-five unfounded conspiracy hypotheses against the President, the latest, of course, his allegedly secret past as Linus van Pelt.

I realize that you're all too smart to believe that.

Besides, everyone knows that President Obama is actually the clone of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.


You don't believe me? Watch this.

Figure 2. Important, rational political-historical analysis done by a keen expert mind.

So, there you have it. There's your proof positive.

Obviously, going from Pharaoh to President constitutes a severe demotion for Mr. Obama. But he seems to be tolerating the situation quite well. And I kinda like the fact that we have a chief executive with some experience in the role, for a change.

Regarding the Linus van Pelt issue, I'm hoping that I've finally made this clear: van Pelt and Robert Palmer are one and the same. Case closed..

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Elementary Penguins

As I was saying....
Expert, textpert choking smokers
Don't you think the Joker laughs at you?
--John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “I Am the Walrus,” Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The YouTuber going by the handle Iamaphoney has drawn considerable attention from those looking into the Paul-Is-Dead narrative, and not only because of his/her deceptive presentation in some of the videos, or because of the scatter-shot delivery of unverifiable information. Rather, many have fixated on Iamaphoney because of the mystery surrounding his/her identity. Obviously, someone like me can understand the need for a fellow netizen to maintain a modicum of privacy by using a carefully guarded nom de plume. Some, however, feel that the identity of the poster might possibly shed some light about his/her motivations, and consequently the purpose of the videos.

While some names (e.g., Heather Mills) have been playfully thrown into the list of usual suspects, it's curious to see that much of the speculation centers around people associated with the Beatles or Apple Corps Ltd.

There's good reason for the speculation. For the bulk of its history, Apple Corps has aggressively protected its trademark and copyrights. The company forced settlements with such corporate titans as EMI and Nike in 1979 and 1988, respectively. On 5 February 2007, the Beatles ended what had become an epic struggle between themselves and Apple Computers with a settlement that allowed the latter to purchase all rights to the corporate name 'Apple' in return for a nine-figure sum.* In return, Apple Computers granted the Fab Four an exclusive license to continue using the Apple Corps brand for all Beatle-related projects and business interests.

The lengths to which Apple Corps has gone to ensure its trademark and copyright seemed rather odd in light of the fact that Iamaphoney has made available voluminous amounts of Beatles music, film clips and photography that extend far beyond fair usage. One of the main tests of fair usage involves the issue of diminished monetary value. In practical terms, if someone wanted to be entertained by the Beatles, could they go to Iamaphoney's free YouTube channel instead of buying a CD or DVD licensed by Apple?

In this case, the answer is definitely yes. The Iamaphoney videos are extraordinarily entertaining precisely because of their Beatles content.

Earlier, in an update to the original PID series, I cited the declaration made by moderators of the Nothing-Is-Real board, a forum for the Paul-Is-Dead rumor, that one of their main posters, Apollo C. Vermouth, was in fact former Apple Corps CEO Neil Aspinall. Vermouth not only knew of Iamaphoney's videos but alluded to them. If Aspinall and Vermouth were one and the same, then it's clear that he did not wish to pursue litigation against Iamaphoney—or at least force YouTube to remove the offending material, something one often finds on the site when potential copyright violations have occurred. This would imply that at the very least Aspinall endorsed the Iamaphoney project.

Some contend that Aspinall did more than simply endorse Iamaphoney. If, for instance, you ask Wikianswers, “Who is Iamaphoney” you'll get the following response:
The iamaphoney org was formed by Neil Aspinall in 1990 to set the record straight about the death of Paul McCartney in 1966. Knowing it might scare most fans they decided to tell the truth (the revelation) over a decade.
Neil Aspinall died in 2008 and left the org without any directions and a true false flag operation was planned. Now in 2009 the rotten apple series are run by MPL, Paul McCartneys own firm. **
Yeah, I don't know who pens these replies for Wikianswers, either.  But I do know the genesis of the supposition. As Aspinall told author Peter Dogget shortly before the former's death:
Paul called me...saying, 'You should collect as much of the [film] material that's out thee, get it together before it disappears.'***
This conversation between McCartney and Aspinall occurred in 1970, in the context of McCartney's absolute (and for excellent reason) distrust of Allen Klein, who only months before had taken the helm of Apple Corps. This collection effort ultimately culminated in the broadcast of Anthology, a 1995 documentary mini-series produced by Apple Corps.

The point of this conversation was to develop a hidden cache of material away from Klein's ability to horde and subsequently exploit it.**** And the Beatles had a mechanism with which to do this: namely a clustersmurf of subsidiary corporations that ex-Python Michael Palin gleefully called 'The Money-Go-Round;” myriad companies created, sometimes on an ad hoc basis, for cross-collateralization and tax-sheltering reasons.

Dogget mentioned one such company hidden within this web called Stand By Films, ostensibly formed in 1970. If you go to its website, you'll find a rather Spartan page, its sole (hidden) link connecting to an e-mail address (info@standbyfilms.com).

Odd. You'd think the Beatles could afford to hire a webslinger, someone who could really make a snazzy page.

Online PID researchers have speculated that Stand By Films produced the Iamaphoney videos. Blogger Redwell Trabant, posting at a site simply titled Beatles Conspiracy gave a somewhat comprehensive run-down of links between Apple Corps and the Iamaphoney videos.***** First off, Trabant noted that one Billy Martin, a man claiming credit for the Iamaphoney videos on his LinkedIn page, listed his employer as Stand Up Films. When Trabant wrote Martin, asking about a possible connection between that company and Stand By Films, he/she got the following reply.

Figure 1. Screenshot of LinkedIn page.


Trabant then followed up with what purports to be a balance sheet of Stand By Films. Dated 31 March 2007, it lists an expected outlay of £213,362 to unnamed creditors for 2006-2007.

Figure 2. Alleged balance sheet.

Iamphoney posted the first video on 10 November 2006. Anonymous speculated that this balance sheet entry was in fact a payment for the first batch of Iamaphoney videos.

One feature of the videos noted by virtually everyone who has seen them is that their quality improves as the series progresses. But if you view them semi-carefully, you'll notice jumps in this improvement. One such jump can be seen between Episode 26 and Episode 27, which one can note literally within the first ten seconds. The intro features what sounds like a very familiar recording, namely “Let It Be.” But there's a difference. First off the voice does not sound like McCartney as he sounded on the original track, but rather how he sounded in his late-sixties, early-seventies; the voice here is deeper, heavier, with a bit of rasp, and limited vocal range. More important, there is a change in lyric that directly addresses the PID rumor, specifically the addition of the name 'Bill,' an obvious reference to Billy Sheppard/Campbell/Pepper/Shears who supposedly replaced McCartney in 1966.

The reason this strikes me as interesting is two-fold. One, Iamaphoney posted this on 7 February 2007. In other words, this was the first video posted after the settlement with Apple Computers. Two, Episode20, posted on or around 24 December 2007, was pulled. According to a statement on the player, YouTube pulled the video because it violated the copyright of Apple Corps Ltd.

You read that right.

That's a real screamer of a reason, since the entire series features substantial Beatles material. If someone at Apple objected to the release because it contained Beatle material, you'd think they'd pull the plug on the others as well. Seeing that it's clearly listed with the episode number of, um, 20, they'd have realized that there were nineteen other episodes. Yet they zeroed in on that one.

Speculating just a bit, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Iamaphoney is either endorsed by, connected to (via joint venture) or a part of Apple Corps Limited. Note the date of Episode 20 and the context. Apple Corps is in the fight of its life trying to establish control of the Apple brand. It's facing an uphill struggle, one which will require it to make a severe compromise six weeks later. I've never seen the video, nor a description of it. But if we suppose that the subject of the video might have been Apple Computers, or in some way touched upon the ongoing dispute with the company formed by Steves Jobs and Wozniak, then we would have one explanation for why the record-label pulled the video. It could have possibly violated Apple Computer's licensing, or have fallen into a real legal gray area. For all we know, it could have been vetted by Apple's attorneys, and given the thumbs down. If that were the case we might even consider the possibility that in a fit of cheekiness Apple Corps released—or allowed and/or encouraged the release—a pre-censored video, or a video that very few would see before its swift and complete redaction from YouTube.

One could further conjecture that any backing the Beatles might have given to the Iamaphoney project had been kept hush-hush while the lawsuit pended, not only because viewers could then easily discern the purpose of the videos, but because, by calling it “The Rotten Apple” series, they might have fanned the legal flames that characterized The War of the Apples. If McCartney indeed contributed the opening to Episode 27, it could have represented a celebration, of sorts. Perhaps with the weight of litigation off its back, Apple could kick up its heels a little and participate more directly in this series' production.

Okay. That's not a bit of speculation. That's a whole lot of speculation. The reason I offer it here is that it is so very consistent with other observations that require no speculation at all.

*You'll have to forgive me, but the computer that I started this series on has bit the dust, and have since had to replace it with a new one. In the process, I lost some of the notes I had not yet backed up, including the exact price involved. If memory serves, it was somewhere in the $360 million range.

**More accurately, MPL is the parent company of McCartney's other businesses.

 ***Dogget, Peter. 2009. You Never Give Me Your Money. New York: HarperCollins.

This book features a pretty interesting business history of the Beatles and their unbelievably complex corporate structure.

****This is precisely what Klein did with the Sam Cooke catalog. He kept tight controls with respect to licensing Sam's music.

*****Note the URL. There's an American film company called Beacon Films, but I was unsuccessful in locating a British company with that name. But you can see that this Beatles Conspiracy page has a UK web-address. Were some of our old friends from the previous series around, they could, with good reason, suspect an ARG of some sort.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The X-Spot, Year Eight

Well, here I am, in the eighth year of my five-year blogging plan. Still haven't gotten everything out that I wanted. But we'll get there. So what if it takes another five years.

I don't know if this is noticeable or not, but there are certain conventions that I want to adhere to regarding this page. I want to put up at least one post every month. I also want to post on April 1 (April Fools Day), November 22 (anniversary of the coup in Dallas), and February 11, the date on which I accidentally started this blog.

So, I'm not getting into much depth here. After the brouhaha of the last series (which thankfully happened in my in-box, for the most part), it's been kinda quiet, with me vamping on an old familiar topic until I can get my second wind.

Meanwhile, I'm researching a couple of new series that I'll post once the half-year project starts winding down.

In other words, I haven't left this blogosphere quite yet. As CJ might put it, you can think of this page as the bad penny.

Or a boomerang. They're coming back, you know.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

The Inner Darkness

Without going out of your door,
You can know the ways of Earth.
Without looking out of your window,
You can know the ways of Heaven.

The farther one travels,
The less one knows.
The less one really knows.
---George Harrison, “The Inner Light” (1968)

3. As alluded to in an earlier post, the Paul-Is-Dead rumor has received more and deeper scrutiny in the last ten years than it did in 1969. To a large degree, this illustrates one of the most critical aspects of the Internet. It's a medium that allows for the instantaneous dissemination of information (and, for that matter, misinformation) without the restrictions of editors, publishers, movie studios, record labels or any other cultural gatekeepers.

Conversely, the 'Net offers these traditional gatekeepers new means and opportunities to increase the presence, and consequently the value, of their brands. In the previous series, I mentioned the utilization of Alternate Reality Gaming (ARGs) in publicizing Hollywood movies and other products. More important, the buzz created around a viral media sensation can likely crossover to exposure and success in such older electronic media as radio and television.

When looking at the Paul-Is-Dead hoax from that perspective, one immediately discovers the hubs that keep the story percolating. A couple of them, The King Is Naked and the Nothing Is Real 
boards have been up for a long time. There are a number of other sites, including that of our friend Doc. T, that continue to examine the question.

Yet, there is one hub that everyone discusses at some length. On 10 November 2006, a mysterious netizen going by the handle Iamaphoney posted the first of what would be a series of seventy-eight YouTube videos dedicated solely to the rumor. The content of the videos began simply enough, with the same rehash of backwards messaging and “clues.” One could readily find such information in any other discussion of the topic. But what made this series more compelling, in the sense of being fun to watch, was the numerous photos, film footage, interviews and special effects interwoven with a Beatles soundtrack.

Over the course of the series, Iamaphoney introduced certain items that, at first, seemed out of context, but would later be revisited. This gave the video series something resembling a narrative, albeit not a very clear one. In these diversions one finds Aleister Crowley, Charles Manson and later a cavalcade of other characters (e.g., the guy I call suitcase man). The implication here is that sometime during his life, Sir J. Paul McCartney had become a posthumous acolyte of Thelema, and that he and John Lennon had some nebulous connection to the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Although Iamaphoney seemingly tried his deliberate best to be vague, he occasionally made short, unambiguous, sensational claims that aren't readily substantiated. In one video, for example, he declared that McCartney met Manson at Dennis Wilson's house on 28 July 1968.* In another he declared that he had solved the Paul-Is-Dead rumor and was now staking a claim for the prize that (rumor has it) accompanies the feat.

As for the latter declaration, who would know whether or not he she or they actually submitted anything to Apple Corps limited, and won the fabled prize of a hundred grand for their troubles? In other words, it's the statement of a fact that's highly dubious, and can't be readily verified. As for the former statement, one could see that it involves a fair degree of speculation.

Of course, many critics have taken Iamaphoney to task over the years. Sometimes they chided his, her or their deceitfulness. For the most part, they question the presumed authority and confidence he/she/they exude(s).

Most important, they question Iamaphoney's identity and purpose.

*In case you're wondering, many sources place McCartney in the Los Angeles area on that date. He went to California to show the brass at Capitol Records a promotional video for Apple Records, hoping that the EMI subsidiary would distribute their line in the US, which they did for many years. While there it's possible that McCartney visited Wilson, and if so might have come across Charles Manson or Charles Watson. But I have yet to find corroboration of this.

To be continued.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Out with the Old...

Well, here we go with another year.

This year, and the one before it were two of the most stressful I’ve had in the blogosphere, and they came at the worst possible time: when my freelancing started picking up, and amidst the death throes of my beloved laptop due to a Kentucky Fried Motherboard.

I just got a new laptop a few days before Christmas, and it took about a day to download my backup files and software onto the new machine. To speak the plain truth, it’s kinda nice to have a new machine, free of freezes and blue screens. It’s got double the RAM of the old one, four times the cores, and one magnificent TB of hard-disk space.

On top of this, I’ve been in the process of moving for the past several weeks. So, for me, 2014 will look very different than 2013. Then again, nothing lasts forever.

I haven’t given up blogging, for I have tons more to write about. But, as you can see with me puttering around with a long–dead series, I’ve been more or less vamping until I can write what I really want here.

For those of you who’ve hung around, I thank you and wish you a fantastic new year. We’ll get back on track, eventually. And I look forward to getting back on track sometime around May or June. Until then, be sure that you all are in my thoughts and prayers.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Assailing the Tender Age: How to Beat It All the Way to Ohio

Thursday, 20 November 2003.  On this date, thousands of anti-war activists were preparing for a weekend of international demonstrations against the United States’ impending invasion of Iraq.   But this event received little press. 

Another story upstaged it. 

Television stations went live around the US to report that a plane from Las Vegas would be landing sometime in Santa Barbara, CA. 

Pop star Michael Jackson had taken the flight in order to turn himself in to local authorities following an arrest warrant for child sexual abuse.  The subsequent news coverage of the arrest and ultimate adjudication of the case added mew meaning to the cliche “media circus.”  Amid Jackson’s ultimate acquittal on all of the fourteen charges against him on 13 June 2005 were numerous doubts regarding his innocence in the matter.  However, the Wilshire division of LAPD and the Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services had concluded in a 26 November 2003 investigation that the charges were “unfounded.” Also other celebrities, most notably Tonight Show host Jay Leno, swore or testified that the family of the boy appeared to want to shake them down.  And the family itself insisted on 19 February 2003, six days after the LAPD investigation began,  to British documentary producer Martin Bashir, that no molestation took place. 

Figure 1.  Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services Report.

Of course, that leads to the question of why the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office would spend so much of its resources prosecuting a case that its own investigators characterized as “unfounded.”  Between 2003 and 2005, I noted how the intense coverage of this case dominated the mediasphere to the distraction of more important stories, among them the prosecution of the war in Iraq, the sharp increase in wealth disparity that had occurred during the Bush administration, or the unsound trading practices that would shortly lead to an economic crisis in the US.

Sources conflict as to the origins of one hypothesis explaining the prosecutor’s office dogged pursuit of Jackson.  What’s not in dispute is that a private investigator hired by Jackson, one Gordon Novel, disclosed the particulars of it to Vanity Fair reporter Maureen Orth in 2005.  According to him, Michael’s brother, Jermaine, suspected that SONY records, it’s former head Tommy Mottola, and Deputy District Attorney Tom Sneddon had conspired against his brother.  The point would be to bring criminal charges.  A conviction would lay the foundation for a  civil case that would bankrupt Michael and force him to sell off his assets, among them all of his intellectual property. This included Northern Songs, a gold-mine firm that among other things administers the rights to the Beatles catalogue.*

According to some sources, Novel left Jackson’s employ because he felt Mottola too dangerous a person to tangle with.  But Novel said that he quit the case because Jackson stiffed him for five grand of his $25,000 retainer.  Novel then approached news outlets in an attempt to sell his knowledge about the case.  As Orth pointed out, however, Vanity Fair had a policy of not paying for information.

As you are probably aware, there have been a number of conspiracy hypotheses surrounding Jackson’s death in 2009--ranging from speculation that Sir J. Paul McCartney masterminded Michael's demise in order to finally gain control over his own music, to reports that Jackson faked his own passing.  Obviously, there’s no reason to take such stories seriously.  Yet, I’m intrigued by how much of the conjecture centers on the relationship between Jackson and Novel.   

Novel had a, let’s just say “colorful,” past that entangled itself with ufology and other parapolitical tales.  But it’s his involvement with one particular conspiracy story that compels our attention on 22 November 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the JFK assassination. 

Novel, a New Orleans native, had a fairly broad background, studying engineering at Northrup Aeronautical Institute of Technology, and continuing his education at Louisiana State University and the University of Southern California.  Before working as a private investigator, Novel also tried his hand in showbiz, serving as a director for films shot in conjunction with the Pasadena Playhouse.  According to one researcher, Alan J. Weberman, Novel also belonged to a neo-Nazi group, an involvement that led to his arrest for the bombing of a Metairie, LA movie theater that allowed integrated audiences.

As a private investigator, he worked on some fairly high-profile cases, among them the defense of automaker John DeLorean against drug charges.  He also worked for Uncle Sam, investigating the deaths of seventy-six adults and children at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX.**

Most important,, he worked for Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison on the JFK assassination. 

Garrison told Novel to beat it after a number of suspicious actions led him to believe that the latter was deliberately trying to thwart his investigation.***  Garrison subsequently learned of other things, which convinced him that Novel was a CIA contract agent, starting with his close association to David Ferrie and Guy Banister.  As Garrison explained in an October 1967 Playboy magazine interview:
In 1961, he [Novel] raided a munitions bunker in Houma, Louisiana, with David Ferrie and a prominent anti–Castro exile leader, and the weapons seized were subsequently shipped by CIA agents to the counterrevolutionary underground in Cuba. He also worked for the Evergreen Advertising Agency in New Orleans, a CIA front that alerted anti–Castro agents to the date of the Bay of Pigs invasion by placing coded messages in radio commercials for Christmas trees. Novel himself was a paid employee of the CIA.

As I mentioned earlier, Novel’s own lawyer, Stephen Plotkin, has admitted that his client is a CIA agent. On May 23, 1967, Plotkin was quoted in the New Orleans States–Item as saying that his client ‘served as an intermediary between the CIA and anti–Castro Cubans in New Orleans and Miami prior to the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.’
Garrison subsequently sought his former investigator for questioning.  But Novel wouldn’t wait around for the third degree.  He fled New Orleans.  Garrison cited a newspaper source reporting that days after he left the Big Easy Novel was present in McLean, VA, a town near the CIA’s headquarters in Langley.  Yet, in his haste to avoid the District Attorney, Novel left behind yet one more piece of incriminating evidence:
After Novel fled the city in March, my investigators and the city police both scoured his apartment for evidence, but Novel appeared to have covered his trail pretty effectively. I’m afraid, in this case, we weren’t as efficient as two young girls who moved into Novel’s apartment a few weeks later and, during a thorough house cleaning, found a penciled rough draft of a letter under a strip of linoleum on the kitchen–sink drainboard. One of the girls gave it to her boyfriend, a student at Tulane University, and he in turn passed it on to one of his professors, who subsequently showed the letter to Hoke May, a reporter for the New Orleans States–Item. May had the letter examined by an independent handwriting analyst, Gilbert Fortier, who compared it with other samples of Novel’s writing and determined that the draft had been written by Novel — a fact that was confirmed by Novel’s attorney, who said that 'everything in the letter as far as Novel is concerned is actually the truth.'

This letter makes fascinating reading. It is addressed to a Mr. Weiss, Novel’s apparent superior in the CIA. Novel tells Weiss: ‘I took the liberty of writing you direct and apprising [sic] you of current situation expecting you to forward this through appropriate channels. Our connection and activity of that period involved individuals presently about to be indicted as conspirators in Mr. Garrison’s investigation.’ Novel goes on to warn that my probe was in danger of exposing his ties to the Double–Chek Corporation in Miami, which the book The Invisible Government exposes as a CIA front that recruited pilots and saboteurs for the Bay of Pigs and subsequent anti–Castro adventures.

Novel writes in the letter: 'Mr. Garrison … is unaware of Double–Chek’s involvement in this matter but has strong suspicions.' He also adds that he lied to the FBI: 'I have been questioned extensively by local FBI recently as to whether or not I was involved with Double–Chek’s parent -holding corporation … My reply on five queries was negative. Bureau unaware of Double–Chek association in this matter.' The letter indicates that Novel was growing edgy, because he complains: 'We have temporarily avoided one subpoena not to reveal Double–Chek activities … We want out of this thing before Thursday, 3/ — /67. Our attorneys have been told to expect another subpoena to appear and testify on this matter. The Fifth Amendment and/or immunity and legal tactics will not suffice.'****  
After Virginia, Novel’s movements became more difficult to trace.  But Garrison finally tracked him down to Ohio, where he sought Novel’s extradition to Louisiana for questioning.  Curiously, Ohio Governor James Rhodes denied the request unless the Orleans Parish District Attorney specifically promised not to ask him questions about the JFK assassination.

Of course, that would kinda defeat the purpose of bringing him down to New Orleans.

Novel’s involvement in a lot of weird, high-profile and conspiracy cases is something worth noting.  Not just because of Novel’s knack over the years for sticking his fingers in a lot of interesting pies, but because it exemplifies something that I and a number of other writers have observed. 

On The X-Spot you will find the JFK assassination mentioned in seemingly unrelated stories.  For example, former Harper’s editor Jim Hougan, CBS newsman Daniel Schorr and former Nixon-Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman all discovered a link between Kennedy’s assassination and the events of Watergate.  Mae Brussell noted that Ed Butler Lawrence Schiller and Larry Ball, all of whom played critical roles in propagating the single shooter story, attempted to crystalize public opinion against black militancy and the youth counterculture in the wake of the Tate-LaBianca slayings.*****  The role of Kerry Thornley, a reputed second-Oswald and a confirmed (yet spurious) witness for the Warren Commission, in forming Discordianism, the very existence of which confounds serious inquiry into sensitive political issues, came up in the story of Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan.  The previously cited JFK researcher A.J. Weberman came up in The Grounded Walrus series, due to a declassified FBI item documenting his harassment of both John Lennon and Bob Dylan.

And we’re just getting started.  There are a lot of other cases where you can  find the footprints of JFK assassination issues crisscrossing the path of understanding.  Over the years, I’ve occasionally seen self-described skeptics depict the overlapping of personnel between the JFK assassination and other conspiracy stories as "proof" of the latter’s implausibility: the gist of them is that shadowy people like Novel, the CIA, the military industrial complex serve the same function as other putative “villains” of spurious conspiracy lore, such as the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and certain ethnic groups. 

To me, the appearance of the same characters in so many stories seems more indicative of well-trained and experienced professionals who, by now know what they are doing when it comes to shaping public opinion, especially with respect to politically sensitive topics.

Gordon Novel passed away in his sleep on 3 October 2012.

* Mottola stepped down from his stewardship of SONY in January 2003, a month before the investigation into the child sex abuse case against Jackson began.

**Specifically, he was tapped by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark to investigate David Koresh et al.

***Novel is loosely fictionalized in Oliver Stone’s JFK as Bill Broussard, played by actor Michael Rooker.

****The Double-Chek Corporation was a CIA money-conduit front that maintained the cover of a private holding and investment firm.  Headquartered in Miami Springs, FL, it secretly funneled money on behalf of the Agency.  For example, when four CIA-backed pilots illegally participating in The Bay of Pigs Invasion–contrary to orders of President Kennedy–were shot down, their widows were paid a $450/month “insurance” benefit by the Double-Chek Corporation.  In their aforementioned 1964 book The Invisible Government, David Wise and Thomas Ross felt that this money was used to silence the widows, or dissuade them from contesting the official story given them: namely, that their husbands died as test pilots for experimental aircrafts.

*****Ball consulted for the Warren Commission, and later with Susan Atkins.  Schiller recorded Ruby’s fraudulent confession for Capitol Records shortly before the nightclub owner’s death, and co-wrote Atkins’ memoir, which honed the dubious Helter-Skelter motive.  Butler hosted Oswald’s radio appearance with Carlos Bringuier, thus painting Lee as a Communist, and possibly a Soviet or Cuban fifth columnist, and wrote an op-ed piece titled “Did Hate Kill Tate?” in which he blamed the Tate-LaBianca killings on the Black Panthers.

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A Chat with Gordon

From a 2010 interview with Gordon Novel for NewRealities.


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