Friday, June 30, 2006
You Can Always Go Home Again
Thank all of you for the well wishes, for I did indeed have an excellent visit with the folks. Things were about the same as when I last saw them, but that might change soon. If you look closely at the photo to your left, you can perhaps see the “For Sale” sign currently in front of my boyhood home. My parents are willing to move if they get a decent bid on the house, for they got dibs on a much bigger place, one that will actually save them money in the long run (ironically). There’s a chance that the next time I see the folks, it won’t be here, in this particular building where so many of my memories reside.
Because my parents are actively selling the house, I wasn’t able to lounge about, or drop so much as a crumb. Any perceived taint might knock thousands of dollars off a bid. We sometimes had to leave on a moment’s notice so that the realtors could showcase the old homestead to perspective buyers. It was like waiting for a fire drill that might or might not occur at any second.
Complicating the frequent bugouts were my nephews (aged five and seven), whom my parents and I babysat last week. They’re extremely (actually eerily) well behaved. They don’t talk back. They eat all of their vegetables (actually, that’s not surprising since Sis is a vegan). They never throw temper tantrums when you tell them ‘no.’ They don’t manipulate adults to get their way. Good luck trying to catch them in a lie. They even left without incident whenever we had to clear for the prospective buyers, despite the fact that ‘something really good’ always seemed to start on Bommerang right after the realtor called.
My parents and I tried numerous times to, in my father’s words, “spoil them rotten,” but had only negligible success on this front. The three of us plan to regroup, however, and form a better plan of action for their next visit.
Other than family, I saw only two people I knew from way back when. I bumped into my dad’s best friend when shopping at the local mall. We chatted for about five minutes. When picking up Sis at the airport, I found that she had embarked on her trip to the Caribbean with her best friend from college, whom I hadn’t seen for almost two decades. I remember her as this sweet, innocent child, whose lips had never touched alcohol until I bought her a drink for her twenty-first birthday (at the bar pictured to your left). My sister later told me that she got a little “tipsy” that night, and has ever since blamed me for the massive hangover she suffered the next morning. Fortunately, she no longer holds a grudge.
I also got to see my only living grandparent on several occasions. Grandma celebrated her ninetieth birthday last February, despite suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s for the last fifteen years or so. Her prognosis is as good as it can be, however. Although wheelchair-bound she can still walk a little, and she can still recognize me, despite the fact that I hadn’t seen her since my other grandmother’s funeral in 2003.
Other than the bus rides to and from (which I don’t want to talk about), nothing really exciting happened, really. I rented a cabin in the woods so that I could play Henry David Thoreau for a night. Of course, I had a cooler and a radio to entertain me, so it wasn’t quite the same. I visited the old campus, and a lot of other memorable places. My dad loaned me the use of his digital camera so that I could take photos of them (and yes, you will see them in future posts, starting with my next one).
I also set up my father’s computer because he missed being on the Internet. He’s still waiting for the guy from the phone company to come and hook him up to broadband. I ocassionally responded to some of your sites. I would have responded to all of them, but I had forgotten about the orneriness of dial-up and Ain’t On Line, Incorporated. I kept getting booted out, and it was slow as hell. It’s really hard to believe that this was how we used to surf in the old days. Still, I got a tremendous rush every time I heard that modem kick in.
But now I no longer worry about 56K modems, for I’m back home, at work on the dissertation. Hope I haven’t lost you all.
Labels: personal stuff
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Ode to Miss Texas: Pt. VII
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real-life intrigue.
My spy friend, the former counterintelligence NCO, filed a missing persons report on Miss Texas, and that backfired somewhat. One day, after stepping out of the shower, I heard this thunderous knock, followed by “Open up! Police!” By the time I cracked the door, the neighbors had emerged from their apartments, and were staring at me as if I had just gotten caught selling heroin-laced crack to a fifth-grader.
“We’re investigating the disappearance of the occupant of this address,” asked one officer. “Are you him?”
I explained that the missing person wasn’t me, but my former houseguest. The other cop, examining his paperwork, realized he’d gotten his facts mixed up. He and his partner then made an embarrassing retreat to the elevator. A few weeks later, the missing persons report turned up zilch in New York, New Jersey and Texas.
That April, I set about to do some spring-cleaning, vowing to get the apartment so spic and span that I could eat from the bathroom tile. Lifting up the mattress, I found that Miss Texas had left something else besides the coat and disc: a ziplock bag full of papers. Among the articles were a number of photo IDs: a press pass, a badge identifying her as an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspector, and a few other employee identification cards, issued by companies I had never heard of. There were also loose, unruled, notepad-sized papers with individual messages and telephone numbers on them, including mine. She had business cards sporting area codes from all over the US. The most interesting item was a reminder for an upcoming interview with an Albuquerque, NM journalist concerning nuclear testing in Nevada.
I sat on the bed for at least an hour, poring over the mini-documents she left behind. I had previously dismissed the inconsistencies as delusions, or other things pathological, never stopping to consider that her subterfuge might have been for professional reasons. While I always knew that she had money coming from somewhere, I thought it came from her parents. But now, it seems, it came from her job--whatever that was.
When I first saw her, that New Year’s Eve, she’d already been looking at me. There’s nothing special about me, at least to a stranger. Could she have known about me beforehand? She and my ex-spy friend had business together. Could he have shown her my picture, and described me as a “safe” person to know? Maybe he suggested that she meet me in case I could be of use later on. Granted, there’s nothing to prove this. I’m simply imagining a scenario based on my own intuition and knowledge of both parties.
I would also guess that her job included some kind of field research, perhaps as a private investigator, or journalist. After all, how many other professionals use multiple IDs? I can rule out that she did that much traveling on public assistance. I can also rule out that she was the uneducated rube she claimed to be.
This “Jimmy” guy might not have been CIA, but he could still be a federal employee of some sort. If she too were a federal employee, and if she were trying to get information from him, then this might have been a case where one faction of the government was snooping on another. In The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence
, former CIA Executive Officer Victor Marchetti, and ex-State Department intelligence officer John Marks stated that such was quite common, due to the “tribalistic” mentality among US spy networks. As far as she was concerned, I didn’t really need to know the actual agency that Jimmy represented, if he in fact represented anything other than himself. She only had to impress me, hoping that I would take some action--and the term ‘CIA’ usually arouses some type of visceral response.
While I don't really don't think this has anything to do with espionage, I can safely say that this Jimmy guy tried to follow her, and now believe he had the wherewithal to do it. She correctly predicted that he would. When she departed for Queens, she might have left the ziplock bag on purpose, hoping to impress upon me that her dangers were not imaginary, but all too real. For all I know, she might have been trying to warn me.
Still, I wonder if she had given me a glimpse into real-life cloak-and-dagger.
I don't know where Miss Texas is now, or whether she's living or dead. A couple of years ago, I read of a woman, who's life history was similar. I found a photo, and indeed she looks a lot like what I would imagine Miss Texas would ten years after the events here. Like Miss Texas, she speaks in grand terms, especially on cloak-and-dagger subjects. On her defunct website, she described herself as ". . . a CIA trained [sic] operative in the highly secretive MK ULTRA program. Sold to the US Government by her parents . . . ." She has created quite a stir in the "lunatic fringe" of conspiracy theory, yet she has many prominent supporters, among them Ted Gunderson, former Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Los Angeles FBI field office.
Despite the physical resemblance, I doubt that this woman is Miss Texas. For one thing, she sounds nothing like her. Her speech cadence is much faster, and her accent has a slight tinge of New England in it. I also think that I'm probably imagining the two women are one simply because I want to believe that Miss Texas is still alive and okay.
The letters I've written this other woman remain unanswered.
Meanwhile, Miss Texas' beige winter coat still hangs in my closet, in the dwindling hope that she might need it again.I hope I haven't bored you guys too much with this, but it has weighed on my mind for quite some time now. Your comments have been invaluable, and have afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of this in a more dispassionate light, and from other points of view.For the next two weeks, I'll be visiting my parents in Cincinnati, so my contributions to your blogs, and my own posting will be sporadic if at all. I haven't seen much of Mom and Dad over the last few years, and I'd hate for them to remember only the back of my head as I sit at the computer. Enjoy the summer and life. I'll catch up to you all in a fortnight.
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Friday, June 16, 2006
Ode to Miss Texas: Pt. VI
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real life intrigue.
I turned up the phone machine’s volume just in time to screen a call from Miss Texas. Some twelve hours early, she explained that a couple of suspicious-looking people in Oklahoma made her nervous. She snuck past them, and called her father, who picked her up at a nearby hotel and drove her back to her parents’ house in Lubbock. She gave me the Lubbock phone number in case I needed it for something, and reminded me about the disc.
I had to go down to the university’s computer lab to run the floppy. At the time, I only owned an Apple IIc, and that wouldn’t take a 3.5 inch disc. Discreetly disconnecting a pre-Windows PC, I searched its contents. It consisted of several subdirectories bearing women’s names. Each required a password to open. I sought help from the resident hacker. He got so far as getting a listing of the subdirectories’s files, each of which contained between five to seven word processing documents, also titled with women’s names.. I thanked the friendly geek, waited for him to leave and reconnected the PC to the mainframe.
She came back in town the day before my birthday, and crashed at my place. On the sixth day of her visit, I told her that my building had a rule forbidding visitors from staying over seven days. The apartments were subsidized to allow students to live there for under half the rent they normally went for. My lease came with a number of restrictions, including that one. I guess, nobody would have minded if she stayed two or three more days. I could tolerate the situation for two or three more days. But she’d begun settling down as if she lived there. I meant it more to let her know that this arrangement couldn’t go on indefinitely. She understood it as a request to get out immediately.
She arranged to stay in Queens with a single friend who had a two-bedroom apartment. Why she didn’t stay there to begin with, I don’t know. Maybe she had worn out her welcome. Miss Texas displayed no bitterness, however. She left a few things in my apartment, including a nice, beige women’s coat. She usually wore a plain navy one. This other one seemed more for dress up.
She said that her first order of business when arriving in Queens would be to find the password for the disc. If I didn’t hear from her in ”a few weeks” I would give her a call. A week went by, and I heard nothing from her. Although her Queens friend didn’t seem nearly as creepy as the one from New Jersey, I still worried. I dialed this friend’s number. To my surprise, I found that Miss Texas went home to Denton the day after she left my place.
Confused, I tried calling her in Denton, and at her parents’ house in Lubbock. Both times, all I got were three chimes followed by a disjunct, feminine voice saying, “The number you have dialed.. . has been disconnected.”
I tried to call the alleged CIA agent in New Jersey. His number was disconnected as well. I couldn’t remember the exact name of his office. I called a few places listed in the telephone directory that had ‘AIDS’ in their title, but couldn’t find him. My friend, the former-counterintelligence NCO said that he hadn’t heard from her in a while, and didn’t know how else to reach her.
Miss Texas had vanished into thin air, just as she always feared.
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Ode to Miss Texas: Pt. V
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real life intrigue.
After putting Miss Texas on her bus, I headed to Lincoln Center. On the way, part of me patted myself on the back for my cleverness. Still, the fifty dollars haunted me. Were it really a matter of life and death, I wouldn’t have given the money a second thought. I tried to put it out of my mind, concentrating instead on her relief and smile. If for no other reason, I kept telling myself, I spent the fifty bucks wisely.
I made it back to my apartment by about 6:30pm. The red light on my phone machine blinked three times, indicating the number of calls I had received. The first message was a hangup. The second one came from her supposed CIA kidnapper in Jersey. He wanted to know if she got on the bus okay. The third call was from the same guy, repeating the earlier message. I called back and told him that Miss Texas was on her way back to Denton and that I watched her get on the bus myself. He wished me good night, then hung up.
Around nine o’clock, I got another call from him. He asked again if Miss Texas had gotten on the bus. I assured him that she did.
“Well, that’s strange,” he said. “I had some friends in Washington who were coming over to meet her. They waited for the bus. It came, and she wasn’t there. She wasn’t in Philadelphia or Baltimore either, and I’m getting kinda worried. Are you sure she left okay?”
“All right, then,” he said, before wishing me good night again and hanging up.
Why would he send friends to meet her? Why would he be worried if she didn’t get off the bus? Her original route didn’t have her changing coaches in Washington, Philly, or Baltimore. She could have just been asleep in her seat, or doing crossword puzzles while her bus sat at the gate. Did he really have three different sets of friends who were just going to casually meet her in all those bus terminals? Or was it one set of friends who were following the bus? Either way, those had to be some friends.
I started playing video games. Soon, the phone calls, Miss Texas, work and ten thousand other things faded into RBI Baseball. In the middle of an inning, the phone rang. Same guy. Same questions.
“Are you absolutely sure she boarded?” he asked, unmasked hostility in his voice.
“I put her on the bus myself.”
“Was it her scheduled bus?”
“It was her scheduled bus,” I replied, not exactly lying. We scheduled it. Twenty minutes before it left, we scheduled it.
“Listen,” he commanded, “I want you to tell me the truth. Where is she?”
“On her way to Denton, Texas.”
“She was scheduled to make a stop in [some podunk town, the name of which I can’t recall], and my friends still haven’t seen her yet! Did she leave anything there?”
“Nothing that I’ve seen,” I lied. In addition to the disc, she also left behind the basketball and the beach pail.
“And she left exactly at 3:30?”
“Yup.” Hell, I had already told one outright fib. As they say, in for a penny, in for a pound.
“The bus that goes through Washington?” he continued.
“I believe the one you’re looking for goes through Washington --”
“Tell me the truth. Where is she?”
Tired of this merry-go-round, I told him I didn’t know, said goodbye, and promptly hung up the phone.
This guy had done all he could to keep from going into complete rage over the telephone. His questions sounded like they had come out of the mouth of a prosecutor, or police detective, or some other hostile person with authority. CIA or no, this guy was obsessed. From the tone of his voice, I would have no trouble believing him to be potentially violent. Even though I still had a hard time buying into Miss Texas’ cloak-and-dagger story, I now knew that he really would “get” her if he had half a chance. I haven’t missed that fifty dollars since.
A thought came to me. The ticket clerk at the Greyhound station kindly printed out all of her scheduled itineraries. I looked at the town he had just mentioned. The call came about ten minutes after her original bus was supposed to have gotten there.
If you’ve never had the pleasure (ahem!) of traveling by dog, then I should point out a couple of things. Believe it or not, the buses usually arrive on time or early, even though they are notorious for leaving the gate late – chalk it up to lead-footed drivers. So, the schedules that I had were quite reliable. Looking up the next town, I correctly predicted the time of the next call.
Secondly, only major cities have what can honestly be called ‘bus stations’. Stops in East Podunk might occur outside one-room Greyhound offices, local businesses, or even a bench at the crossroads. He couldn’t have just called the station and had her paged, for he really wouldn’t know whether she had taken another bus, or simply ignored him. For really small towns, there’s no station to call to have someone paged. The Greyhound offices certainly wouldn’t release any information regarding passenger manifests without a subpoena. The only way he could be sure that she wasn’t on her original bus, would be to physically inspect the bus. And he sounded quite sure.
The next call came right on time. Same conversation, only more intense on his end, not that he believed a word I said. It didn’t matter. I felt duty bound to keep him at bay. I finally turned off the telephone ringer, and began screening calls. He kept ordering me to pick up the telephone, but I hate taking orders. He then began shouting, swearing, and accusing me of being up to something -- which, of course, I was.
The next call surprised me since it came earlier than I expected. He must have been trying to guess the alternative route. The towns he mentioned indicated that his people were looking primarily in the southeastern US, far away from the Canadian countryside where she actually was at the moment, so I didn’t panic. All the same, I vowed not to answer the phone for fear that I might say something that would give her away.
The calls continued into the wee hours of the morning, so I turned off the phone ringer, and lowered the volume of the machine. When I woke up, the little red light flashed for a solid twenty-five seconds. The calls continued all the next day, following night, the day after that, and the day after that. At one point, they came every five minutes. I even ran out of tape on one side. In those days, I recorded my own musical messages. I selected a particularly long one that ran over a minute. I used it when I didn’t feel like responding to silly messages. Most people lost patience waiting for the beep, and hung up unless it was actually important. If he wanted to harass me, at least I could make him pay for it.
The calls eventually tapered off. Had she traveled her original route, Miss Texas would have already been in Denton, possible abduction notwithstanding. I checked my messages over the past four days to see if I had gotten any real ones. This “CIA Jimmy” had gone through a litany of tactics to get me to tell him where she was. He threatened me. He accused me. When that didn’t work, he tried to reason with me, stressing that Miss Texas was “a very sick woman” who had all kinds of wild notions about him. Granted, her notions about him were wild. But, her description of him as a creep was dead on the money.
By the end, he almost sounded broken. His voice grew hoarse and weak--not surprising since he had called me nonstop over the past few days. He said that he had given up his search and would “appreciate it” if I told him her whereabouts.
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Ode to Miss Texas: Pt. IV
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real life intrigue
The morning was bright and cloudless, hardly a setting conducive to despair. Nevertheless, Miss Texas sat on the edge of the bed, and sighed. The fear had given away to sadness. Tears gushed down her face.
Breakfast proved to be a rather moving experience. I encouraged her to order anything she wanted, hoping that food- might cheer her up a little. She ordered a number of dishes, nibbled little samples of them, then passed them to me, asking that I clean the plate.
We got back to the apartment about 11:00am. I asked if she wanted to do anything. She didn’t. Although her bus wouldn’t leave the Port Authority until 3:30 that afternoon, we both decided to head out at about 11:15am. Walking down 42nd St., neither of us uttered a word.
Since we arrived four hours early, we didn’t bother checking in at the ticket counter right away. We went downstairs, bought Cokes, and took a seat across from the Greyhound office, where she continued the silent sob of that morning.
“Hey!” I said. “You’re home free. I’m going to watch you get on the bus, so there’s still somebody expecting you to be at a certain place at a certain time.”
“No. He [the alleged CIA agent] is still going to get me,” she lamented.
“How? He’ll be in New York, and you’ll be fifteen hundred miles away.”
“You don’t understand. He’s got people everywhere. As soon as that bus stops someplace, somebody’s just gonna take me out back and kill me. I know too much.”
If she were pulling some type of con, then she had definitely missed her calling. With her looks, she could have gone to Hollywood and won three Oscars by then. But there she was, shivering, crying, broke and living out what she believed were the last hours of her life.
On the other hand, my patience with the paranoia bit had reached its end. I told her that she would be fine. After an hour of discussing the implausibility of the situation, she nodded and said, “You’re probably right.”
I thought that I had finally “talked some sense into her,” and that she had just realized how silly her fears sounded. As soon as she could manage a permanent smile, I reached out to give her a hug. I don’t know why, but something about that hug gave me pause to think. I don’t really remember if she did anything special. I couldn’t tell you whether she simply hugged me back, or if she clung to me. But something in her touch made me realize that her terror remained. Nevertheless, she saw what all the talk of her impending doom had done to me.
I still didn’t believe that she was really in any danger. I only knew that she believed it. True or not, spending three days on a bus in mortal fear is not what I would consider fun. I looked over at the Greyhound office, and then it hit me.
“C’mon,” I said, rising so quickly it startled her.
“What’s the matter?”
“I have an idea.”
With that, we joined the line. Still resigned to shuffling off this mortal coil, she didn’t ask what I had in mind. She only heard it when I explained it to the ticket clerk.
Presenting her ticket, I asked the lady at the counter if that were the only bus to Denton. She typed into her computer, and confirmed that it was. The bus that left New York for Texas had sort of a square route, with major layovers in Washington DC and points south, with a change of bus followed by stops in New Orleans and Dallas. From there, she would catch another bus to go to Denton.
I reasoned, however, that the Dallas station had to have buses that went to places other than New York. In turn, those destinations would have round trip service between there and the Port Authority. Catching my drift, the clerk went back to the computer, and came up with a route that would take her directly from New York to St. Louis where she could catch another bus to Houston, which then had a bus to Denton. Still, I thought, just for argument’s sake, that if this “Jimmy” didn’t find her on the expected route, he might start looking for her on this one. I asked the clerk to find an alternate way to St. Louis. Amused, and somewhat puzzled, she found one where “Miss Texas” would have to take three separate buses: one in New York, the second in Montreal, the third in Detroit, with a long layover in Chicago.
Once the clerk found the route, she punched it up. It would add thirty-six hours to an already long trip. It would also cost extra. I had the required fifty-something dollars and change. For someone like me, though, that’s a lot of money to spend. Only the look of relief, joy and amazement on my companion’s face compelled me to take a crowbar to my wallet and fork it over.
Her bus left in twenty minutes. Once at the gate, she gave me a warm hug, and then boarded. I dragged the suitcase to the baggage handler. When it took off, she flashed her, by now, familiar perfect-tooth smile and waved goodbye.
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Ode to Miss Texas: Pt. III
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real life intrigue.
Animated, almost beside herself, her emotions vacillated between murderous rage and paralyzing terror. Miss Texas insisted that this alleged CIA guy would “get” her – for what, I didn’t know. In response to what quickly degenerated into incoherent babbling, I brewed her some tea. By the time I got it into the mug, she had calmed down to the point where could tell me her version of what went on.
She said that the morning she left with the purported spy, they went down to Atlantic City, where for two days they enjoyed what remained of the good weather on the beach, while doing some sightseeing, shopping and gambling. He then took her home, and placed her, for lack of a better term, under house arrest. He started by suggesting that she stay in the house all day while he went to work. When she didn’t, he started drugging her food, so that she couldn’t leave her bed. She ultimately decided to play along, and he stopped poisoning her. She then took the opportunity to snoop around his place, and ultimately found that he had been keeping a number of different women against their will in various places around New Jersey, and from that point on, she knew that she had to find some way to get out of there.
When I asked her what this had to do with the CIA, she explained that he worked as a director for some kind of federal AIDS program that served as an Agency front. He had been part of a group who in the late-1970s had infected a number of gay men with the fatal disease as part of an experiment. His people were supposedly monitoring the first several generations of AIDS victims. For some, unexplained reason, they also kept a number of women.
Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a 3.5 inch floppy that she admitted swiping before she left. She said it would prove everything, and asked me to see if I could open any files on it. If I needed help with a password, she could find it out. How, she left to my imagination.
I couldn’t believe a word of anything she said. Had she so much as mentioned anything about space aliens, I might have called the hospital. But, since she would be going back to Texas the following afternoon, I reckoned that I would just put her on the bus and let her parents take care of her.
I didn’t call her crazy, or anything. I just listened, and occasionally interjected questions that might point out the inconsistencies in her story. She had an answer for each and every one. I pointed out that if he wanted to keep her in New Jersey that badly, he could’ve just chained her up, or made her wear one of those dog collars that shocks the hell out of you if you try to cross a certain boundary. She said that he had threatened to handcuff her to the bed, which I guess would be kinda similar had he actually done it.
Miss Texas insisted that she could only escape by making him believe that there would be people looking for her if she were delayed. That was the whole point of it. He couldn't afford for it to appear as though she simply vanished. She had lied to him, saying that I knew who he was, where he lived, and his telephone number. If anything happened to her, then I would know whom to blame. Since she had left some stuff back in my apartment, I would naturally have expected her back. If she never returned, she figured that I would call local police.
When we went to bed that night, I could see that she was still very afraid. Lying in my dirty clothes, I assured her that everything would be fine. I offered to stay with her for the duration of her remaining time in New York. Still, she kept talking as though she were trying to accept her fate. She went over the terms of her will, and worried about how her kids would turn out in her absence.
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Monday, June 12, 2006
Ode To Miss Texas: Pt. II
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real life intrigue.
Miss Texas called again the following week. She sounded a bit strained over the telephone, so I asked if anything was wrong. She said no, but then told me that she needed to sleep over, and that she’d be there in ten minutes. Per her request, I waited at the curb, presumably to haul that lead weight of a suitcase.
Ten minutes turned into twenty before a blue mini-van pulled up in front of my building. She got out along with a guy, not much taller than she, late-thirties/early-forties, sporting a short, graying afro. He took out the suitcase, and a lot of other stuff too--shopping bags, a beach pail, and a multi-colored basketball among the loose items. She wanted to make it up to my place in one trip, despite this guy’s suggestion that we should make two. Her companion then insisted that she put the stuff back into the mini-van, and go back to New Jersey with him. She declined, politely at first; but as his insistence wore on, it began to sound like an order. He started going on and on about how unfair it was for her to make me sleep in my dirty clothes, and she countered by declaring that I didn’t mind. Of course, nobody paid any attention to me. This was strictly an argument between the two of them. It finally ended when she turned to me and said, “Let’s go.”
Once inside, I put down the suitcase while we waited for the elevator. I caught her friend watching us from the street through the glass doors of the lobby. In the twilight outside, I had spent a good deal of my time trying to butt out of their “conversation.” Consequently, I didn’t get a good look at her by the curb. Indoors, with bright lights reflecting off mirrors both behind and in front of the elevator, I saw that she was deathly white. Golden bangs matted against her sweaty forehead, she trembled.
“Something’s wrong,” I said.
“Is he still out there?” she asked.
“I’ll explain soon as we get to your apartment.”
The elevator finally came and we got in. She couldn’t come close to relaxing. Still clutching her shopping bags and the pail, she stood rigidly in front of the door.
“If he attacked you, we have to call the police.”
“Oh, no!” she said. “Just wait ‘til we get to your place.”
We finally reached my studio. I ambled inside. She followed, her hand on my back. She didn’t really push me, but her sense of urgency seemed clear enough. I dropped most of what I had in front of my electric piano. She just threw everything on the floor, locked the door, checked the bathroom, and the closet, then under the bed.
“What happened?” I asked, now that we had reached the promised land where she would explain all.
“That guy out there?” she started.
“He says his name is Jimmy. But it’s not Jimmy.”
She shook her head. “He’s CIA. Real creepy.”
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Ode to Miss Texas, Pt. I
An unadorned, unexaggerated account of real-life intrigue.
December 31, I found myself yet again in my neighborhood dive bar, waiting with 500,000 people for the ball to drop from the Newsday building around the corner. I would have liked to gone somewhere else; but an army of police patrolled the Times Square area, making it difficult to get to, or leave 44th St. I didn’t feel like battling the crowds and cops just to come back home. I had the good fortune to hook up with some tourists from Brookfield, WI, two towns over from my old stomping grounds in Waukesha. The look of awe on their faces infected me. It felt as though I were seeing the ball drop for the first time.
As the crowd started to thin, I noticed a table occupied by one lonely occupant, a petite, “All-American” blonde with sharp blue eyes and a tiny, sharp nose. She flashed a perfect-toothed smile at me. I returned the smile, then went back to chat. I ordered a fresh beer for her, and spent the remaining time getting acquainted. Within the first five minutes of conversation, she told me of her life as a former Miss Texas, an impoverished mother of two children, ages nine and thirteen, and as a high-school dropout with no GED, no job, no work history to get one, and no money. I asked why she’d come to New York. She explained that she wanted to visit a friend. She then changed the subject to small talk: weather, interests, etc.
I mulled over everything she had said concerning herself, and little of it rang true. To this day, I’ve never expended the effort necessary to verify whether or not she actually won a Miss Texas pageant. Granted, she looked the part, minus a couple of wrinkles and fifteen years. Still, a title like that seemed a little too grandiose for me to buy. She had to have some sort of income other than welfare if she were going to support two kids, and take trips to Manhattan. She’d made the trip twice in the last ten months, well beyond the means of somebody living on public assistance at $400 a month. Her clothes, while by no means extravagant, were new and stylish. I noticed her manicured fingernails, her make up, and her new shoes wondering how she could afford them all.
I went to bed, thinking that she was probably deranged. I felt sorry for her, but didn’t see what I could possibly do. New York is an expensive place. I figured she would spend what little money she had in a couple of days, then go back home to Denton, TX.
Nine months later, I found her at the same table, suitcase beside her. She waved me over, and asked if she could stay at my place. I carried her suitcase – which was heavy for me, let alone for someone as tiny as her – to my apartment. She crashed on the bed while I slept in my dirty clothes on the floor. I went out the next morning, and by the time I came back, she had just finished up a telephone conversation to a New Jersey friend, who would take her back to his place. I lugged the suitcase downstairs while she waited for him to arrive. I would have stayed with her, but I had to dash off to the library.
I didn’t hear from her for a while. Miss Texas had left some things at my place, so I figured she would come to get them. A little over a week went by before I accepted a collect call from her. Two things floored me when I got the telephone bill a month later. First of all, we talked for less than ten minutes, but the charge came to over $15.00. Secondly, she called from Cranford, NJ, the town next to where my very good friend, a former Marine Corps counterintelligence NCO, lived. I think there might have been a good chance that she went there to see him. While I had never seen them together, they knew each other quite well, and each had spoken to me about the other.
Labels: domestic ops, espionage, Miss Texas, Nanis, personal stuff
Friday, June 09, 2006
Checking into the Motel Amore
One thing about secrets: it’s hard to keep them indefinitely. There’s always somebody who can’t resist yakking away. So the challenge for sneaky people and organizations isn’t so much maintaining the secret, but managing it once things came out into the open.
If you really want to nullify the impact of an exposed secret, circulate alternative stories. For instance, say you witnessed a friend cheating on his/her spouse. You call the husband or wife (whatever the case may be), and tell him/her that you just saw their significant other renting a room at the Motel Amore with person X. Imagine what might be waiting for the adulterer when he/she staggers back home at 3:00 in the blessed a.m..
“Where have you been?” baits the offended partner.
“I’m getting killed on the job. We’re so behind I had to work late. Then the car service got lost.”
So far, so good. No accusations, no evidence.
“I just got a call from your friend [i.e. you] saying that you went to the Motel Amore with person X.”
Whoa! Now the secret’s out. The adulterer realizes that you have armed their loved one with accurate information. If your friend is quick on the uptake, he or she would realize that by asking the innocent question “where have you been,” this person to whom the cheater swore chastity with the outside world (in front of their families, friends, and clergy in a house of worship no less) is open to alternative explanations.
Thinking fast, the adulterer might come back with something like “That again?” tacitly implying that the problem isn’t with him/her, but rather the person who supplied the information (once again, that would be you). “They must be off their medication. Last week he/she [whatever gender you are – my apologies if you belong to a third gender] told the guys in the office that Gloria down in accounting was sleeping with person Y at the Waldorf Astoria. Like for sure either one of them could afford a rendezvous at the friggin’ Waldorf Astoria. Six months ago, he/she [i.e., you again] called up the CEO and tried to tell him/her that everybody in my division started off each meeting with a gangbang. It’s getting out of hand.”
Here we have several alternative explanations: (1) I worked late, something which I have done before; (2) it was compounded by the fact that the car service got; something it has done before; and (3) the person calling always makes false accusations, not just against me, but against Gloria, and the rest of the people in my company.
It’s not so much that the cuckolded spouse wants to believe a lie; it’s just that they would rather believe any other explanation that seems rational. If they willy-nilly accepted the bad news given by a third party, then they would have to come to the realization that their whole existence was in fact a lie. “My spouse doesn’t work hard,” the loyal one might say to themselves “He/she plays around. I must not be desirable anymore.” If the adulterer comes back with alternative explanations, it allows everybody to save face (almost). Person X seems no more a home-wrecker than poor Gloria down in accounting. The friend (you) come out as well-meaning, although sick. Most importantly, the offended partner can say to themselves that they still are apple of their loved one’s eye.
Of course, alternative explanations can only sustain themselves if they can touch, at least tangentially, upon something verifiable. After all, you might find yourself with your friend and his or her spouse at a social setting. At first, you might be relieved that they’re still together. Just then, the non-cheating one taps you on the shoulder and asks if you’ve taken you’re medication.
“What medication?” you ask, perhaps for the first time in your life with real innocence.
“Denial,” whispers the cheater, desperately hoping that you’ll take the hint and play along.
The partner continues. “Listen, [fill in your name], my wife/husband told me about your little sex problem. You really need some kind of counselling.”
By now, you would probably feel compelled to defend yourself. How could you prove that you were in fact not suffering from sexual delusions?
Fortunately, Gloria down in accounting happens to be there. She mingles into your threesome. The spouse tries to confirm that you accused her of traipsing off to the Waldorf-Astoria, but Gloria denies it. Likewise, the CEO is there too. He/She tells him/her that you never said anything about orgies in the board room, then asks where would he/she ever got such a ridiculous notion about someone so reliable as you/you.
Hmm. Might the cheater feel a little overexposed at this point?
It all goes to show, that you should never lie about anything which doesn’t at least touch upon the truth. By now, since all of the reasons the offended spouse had for not believing the secret have gone by the wayside, he/she is then forced to accept the accurate version of events. Had there been anything of merit in the cheater’s explanation at all, the secret would have remained intact. What if you were on some such medication as Lithium or Prozac? What if you once made an offhand joke about the boardroom being a good place for an orgy? What if you had once asked Gloria down in accounting (out of concern, of course) if she thought the new intern was kinda cute? Then the secret’s still safe, for the alternative explanations seem credible.
People who have secrets know that they will escape to the public, eventually. So, the circulation of alternative explanations becomes very important to them. And, since they are better liars than your cheating friend, they know that what they offer has to contain at least some hint of veracity.
Labels: political theory
Thursday, June 08, 2006
That Boy's Still Crying Wolf
Several weeks ago, The National Post
, a conservative Canadian daily, reported that the Iranian Parliament was voting on a law that would require all Muslims to wear traditional Islamic garments, and all non-Muslims to wear badges of various colors signifying their individual religion. This shocked many sensible people who noted the similarities between this and the Nazi law that forced German Jews to wear yellow stars of David in the 1930s. Rush Limbaugh spread the story on his syndicated radio show, and newly elected Canadian PM Stephen Harper publicly stated, “Iran is very capable of this type of action.”
The major problem with this report: not a word of it is true.
This was one of the rare instances where the mainstream press exposed a conspiracy before it could get going. Still, the blogosphere beat the majors to the punch, with many ‘conspiracy’ sites questioning and covering the case in situ
. (Read excellent posts on the affair at CovertHistory
Amir Taheri, the columnist who first reported on the badges, is a client of Benador Associates
, a public relations firm that represents a number of neocon clients, among them Richard Perle and former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey. In 2003, Eleana Benador, the company’s founder, pushed a number of op-ed columns into your local newspaper declaring that Iraq had full nuclear first strike capability, a rumor that mainstream media belatedly concedes was never true.
As the drum beats for an invasion of Iran, Benador and Taheri stand by the badge story. In a nonsensical rant full of bombast and evasion, Benador tried to convince a skeptical Bob Garfield of NPR’s On the Media
that her company's entire line of nationally sponsored terrorism stories was accurate--despite the fact that National Post
Editor-in-Chief Douglas Kelly apologized
for the article the following Wednesday.
Benador Associates’ role in seeding false information to the press is reminiscent of PR firm Hill-Knowlton’s
involvement with the first Gulf War. On November 10, 1990, Hill-Knowlton executive Lauri Fitz-Pegado publicized the plight of Nayirah, a young woman posing as a Kuwaiti nurse. Nayirah testified before the US Congress and the United Nations that she personally witnessed Iraqi troops taking newborns out of their incubators and smashing them onto the ground.
Like the law requiring Iranian Jews to wear their religion on their sleeves (so to speak), the story of the Iraqi baby atrocities was equally bogus. Nayirah wasn’t even in Kuwait at the time of the Iraq/Kuwait border dispute. She was in New York. You see, she just so happened to be the daughter of Sheikh Saud Nasir al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US.
From the Gulf of Tonkin incident that led us into Vietnam to the current quagmire in Iraq, the United States has swindled American support for war by trumpeting false pretences. Afer forty-two years, many of my countrymen will nevertheless buy the latest lie, provided that they see it on ABC News (where more Americans get their news than from any other source), or from like venues that seem authoritative.
Labels: domestic ops, media, political theory
Monday, June 05, 2006
JFK Assassination Trivia Answers
Due to the fact that Angie disqualified herself by admitting that she Googled for one correct answer, Bellarosa is the winner (with one half point out of eleven) for correctly identifying Johnny Carson as the host of the Tonight Show. Bellarosa will thus select the topic of a post published before the end of the month. Congratulations.Ralph Schoenman
–Currently the co-host of Taking Aim
, a radio show that reviews newspaper articles and scholarly journals for evidence of conspiracy, Schoenman was the assistant of British mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell
during the 1960s. Russell took an active interest in the JFK assassination. Consequently both he and Schoenman investigated European links to the crime as two of Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison’s
volunteers. Among other things, they found that Lucien Sarti, an international Mafia liaison working out of Marseillaise, helped organize mob involvement with the assassination.L. Fletcher Prouty
–X, played by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stone’s JFK
, was a composite character, who combined aspects of Col. Fletcher Prouty, and another man, CIA agent Richard Case Nagell. Nagell, who had personally met Oswald on two occasions, confirmed Lee’s connection to former FBI SAC and ONI spy Guy Banister
, and his assistant David Ferrie
. Prouty provided Garrison with the Pentagon and intelligence info discussed in the scene at the Washington mall. Prouty passed away in 2002.Kerry Thornley
–Thornley, a colorful character who claimed to have been the product of a secret Nazi eugenics experiment, wrote two books about Lee Oswald. The second, titled Oswald
, was a non-fiction work that agreed lock, stock and barrel with the findings of the Warren Commission
. The first was a slightly fictionalized biographical novel titled The Idle Warriors
, which he published in 1962, one year before the assassination.
Thornley served in the US Marine Corps with Oswald at El Toro, and was transferred with Lee to Atsugi Air Force Base (Japan). Though he barely knew Oswald, he was the only member of Oswald’s unit to testify before the Warren Commission.
A number of coincidences led Garrison to believe that Thronley was also one of the men impersonating Oswald the summer before the assassination. (1) Although one can easily tell them apart, Thornley and Oswald were similar in appearance and height, so a general eyewitness description of one could easily apply to the other. (2) Thornley, and a woman who looked generally like Marina Oswald, created a scene at a local New Orleans hotel lobby--which seemed to Garrison a ploy to strengthen the lone nut mythology. (3) In several photographs taken at the Neely Street Apartment building in Dallas, a pistol-toting Thornley was misidentified as Lee Oswald in official records. Garrison believed that Thornley was the original model in the famously doctored Life Magazine
photo that shows Oswald’s face clumsily superimposed on the body of a man wielding the Mannlicher Carcano rifle that the Warren Commission declared the murder weapon. (4) Thornley’s New Orleans landlord, John Spencer, happened to be a close friend of Clay Shaw, the CIA agent Garrison indicted as a conspirator in JFK’s assassination. (5) Thornley moved out of Spencer’s apartment building the day after Ruby murdered Oswald on live national television. Three months later, Thornley turned up in Washington, DC, where he wrote a letter to someone in Omaha, NB, reading in part:
The whole thing was very interesting for awhile, the assassination, because–on the surface–there was good reason for the unenlightened SS [Secret Service] and F.B.I. to suspect I might’ve had a hand in it. We had some polite conversations and finally, I guess, I was cleared. No word from them lately. I hope, though, my move to this area scared the piss out of ‘em. Whether or not I’ll be asked to put my 2¢ in at the Warren hearing, I don’t know. Or care. When it is all over, though, I may yet go piss on JFK’s grave, RIP.
Given the above quote and his actions, one could speculate that Thornley believed he had been a second patsy, one who had to take protective measures to ensure that he wouldn’t end up as dead as Oswald. Evidence has since surfaced that suggests that Thornley might have been subject to narcohypnosis at Atsugi. During the 1970s, he came to the belief that he in fact had impersonated Oswald under a narcohypnotic trance.
After years of bouncing between menial jobs and publishing counter-culture zines, Thornley passed away in 1998.Priscilla McMillan (pictured right, her face partially obscured by Marina Oswald's head)
—Currently a professor of Russian history at Harvard University, McMillan—then a freelance reporter-- interviewed Oswald in 1959 a week or two after his defection to the Soviet Union. Long rumored by Frank Camper and other researchers to have been a veteran CIA agent, she is now one of a handful of people who actively promote the findings of the Warren Commission. Her 1977 book Marina and Lee
has since set in stone the lone-nut mythology about Oswald.
Presently, McMillan has made sort of a cottage industry of putting words in Marina’s. Since the 1981 exhumation of Lee's casket, Marina (nowadays, Marina Porter) has become cryptic and evasive on the subject of JFK’s assassination. She refuses to speak to the press. Thus, McMillan has been called upon to report on what her thoughts and private statements. One could easily surmise, however, that Marina’s been under tremendous pressure not to challenge the Warren Commission, leaving McMillan and others free to paint any version of Lee that they choose.Perry Russo
—The character Willie O'Keefe, played by Kevin Bacon in the movie JFK
, was a composite character drawn mostly from the experiences of Russo, who also acted in the movie. (He’s the drunk yelling, “They should give him a medal for shootin’ Kennedy.”) Russo socialized with Shaw and Ferrie, who introduced Perry to Oswald at a party.Gaeton Fonzi
—Fonzi was the chief investigator for the Senate Select Committee on Assassinations
, which rendered the second official version of the JFK assassination.Joan Mellen
—Mellen, currently a professor of English at Temple University, was an associate of Garrison’s and a friend of his family. Last year, she published A Farewell to Justice
, a highly regarded book on the Kennedy assassination. Based on her recollections of Garrison, hundreds of hours of painstaking records research, and countless interviews she compellingly argues that Garrison was essentially correct. Because she had the benefits afforded by time, she was able to extend Garrison’s case and offer plausible speculation on some of the most enigmatic features of the case, not the least of which Attorney General’s Robert Kennedy’s reluctance to investigate his brother’s death, and his endorsement of the Warren Commission findings.Johnny Carson
—On a visit to the Tonight Show
, comedian Mort Sahl
mentioned that he had spent some time doing volunteer work for Garrison’s investigation. Sahl then related a few facts about the case against Clay Shaw, and suggested that Carson book Garrison for an on-air interview. Carson promised that he would.
A week later (January 31, 1968), Garrison flew out to Los Angeles to appear on the Tonight Show, only to find a team of lawyers from NBC’s legal department awaiting him. They grilled him on the questions that Carson had written in order to prep the host for an all-out assault on Garrison’s integrity.
A few months earlier, in 1967, NBC had aired The JFK Conspiracy: The Case of Jim Garrison
, a special program that utterly vilified Garrison as homophobic, incompetent, corrupt, and Mafia controlled. The station had apparently intended the popular Carson to put a final nail in the coffin of Garrison’s national reputation.An audiotape of the hour-long interview
(click here for part two
) shows Carson's increasing hostility at Garrison, who begins to score points with the studio audience. At various points in the broadcast, Carson insisted that Garrison had no proof of a conspiracy, whereupon Garrison would take out photographic evidence and present it to the cameras for a close-up. Every time Garrison did this, Carson immediately cut to a commercial. The ploy had become so naked, that Garrison began to joke about it. After one particular accusation of having no proof, Garrison responded, “I’d like to show you proof, but I’m afraid we’d have to go to a commercial.” Said Carson, “You got that right.” Carson explained to Garrison off-camera that NBC censors would not allow him to present evidence on the air.
For the first forty minutes or so, the studio audience sat stone silent. Upon first listening to the audiotape, I began to suspect that they had become either bored, or hostile. But at one point, Garrison utters a small witticism that elicits a loud chuckle, indicating that the audience had been hanging on to his every word from the start of the broadcast. By the end of the broadcast, the crowd was applauding Garrison on every other point.
Carson came off so mean-spirited and stubborn that the network issued an apology of sorts to its affiliates the next morning, stating that Carson was actually the open-minded, fair, and congenial man he seemed to be, but had played the devil’s advocate in order to create a more interesting broadcast. Carson then fumed over NBC’s apology.
One of the things that the Tonight Show
appearance indicates, however, is that as early as January 1968, many Americans had serious doubts about official denials of government complicity in the JFK assassination.Hale Boggs
—In the movie JFK
, Senator Russell Long (played by Walter Matthau) inspired Garrison to reopen his investigation of the JFK assassination. Garrison initially said that Long prodded him to reopen the invesgation in order to protect the real source, Louisiana Congressman Hale Boggs, the lone dissenting member of the Warren Commission. Through Boggs, Garrison learned that the primary goal of the Commission was to make a case for a lone assassin, the evidence be damned. Boggs presumably died in 1972 after his airplane went missing over the wilderness of Alaska.George de Mohrenschildt
—A white Russian émigré living in Dallas, Baron de Mohrenschildt had ties to numerous intelligence agencies from around the world. He befriended Lee and Marina (interesting, for Lee openly claimed to be a Marxist-Leninist), finds them places to live and jobs in Dallas and New Orleans. In a 1977 interview with JFK assassination researcher Edward Epstein
, de Mohrenschildt stated that he had interceded in the Oswalds’ affairs at the behest of J. Walton Moore, a CIA officer who handled domestic contacts. After breaking for lunch from this interview, de Mohrenshildt was found dead in his bedroom from a gunshot wound to the mouth. Authorities ruled his death a suicide.Charles Harelson
—Harrelson was a professional hitman, frequently employed by the Mafia. A local Dallas newspaper photographed Harrelson and four others as police escorted them from behind the grassy knoll area minutes after the shooting.
Harrelson, the father of movie star Woody Harrelson
, denies that he is the one of the men in that photograph, despite the face-recognition software analysis saying that there is over a 98% chance that Harrelson and the man in the photograph are one and the same. The human eye would most likely say 100%.
Regardless of his denials, Harrelson most likely fired the shot that splattered JFK’s brains all over the limousine.
Harrelson, who abandoned his family shortly after the assassination, is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated hit. Meanwhile, he and Woody have reunited. The younger Harrelson has since mounted a campaign to win his father’s release.
Labels: Answers, assassinations
Sunday, June 04, 2006
JFK Assassination Trivia
Angie asked me to post something on John F. Kennedy's assassination. It's not a subject I normally write about for two reasons: (1) mostly everyone understands that it was a conspiracy (70% of Americans, according to a 2003 ABC poll, and 66% according to a Fox News poll); and (2) the second official investigation, conducted by The Senate Select Committee on Assassinations, ruled that the death of JFK was a "probable conspiracy." I did plan to write about the topic now and then, for the murder of JFK was a pivotal moment in American history. But I wanted to approach the subject from a different angle.
Oliver Stone, in the movie JFK, wrote that public speculation about who killed Kennedy had become a parlor game of sorts.
Okay. If it's a parlor game, then let's play it. Below are eleven names that didn't make it into Mr. Stone's movie. Who are these people? And, what role did they play in the JFK assassination.
No Googling allowed. The winner gets to pick a subject for a subsequent post.
L. Fletcher Prouty
George de Mohrenschildt
Labels: assassinations, gamesa
Saturday, June 03, 2006
The Almighty Tag Response
I’ve gotten tagged again, this time by The Almighty Heidi. Since I promised myself I wouldn’t do another one of these, I decided to do something else, along the same lines.
I have marveled at the number of interesting people I have met online. The people that you see in my blogroll (if you’re reading this, you’re likely to be one of them) are those I consider my friends. As far as I know their ages range from seventeen to fifty-two. They inhabit five different nations, on five different continents—of course, everybody’s a local, really, for as the commercials promised, there’s no more there, there. They have a wide range of interests, histories, and ideologies, and I find them all fascinating. They have since become, for me, important teachers.
There are also many other bloggers with whom I’ve become acquainted, and whom I am visiting with more frequency. Perhaps you’ll see their names added to the sidebar.
Cora (right), the proprietor of Mayden’s Voyage
, blogged tributes to our mutual cyberpal Lux and myself, over the past few days, and that got me thinking. How did I become so blessed with all of you?
My entry to blogging began with the woman you see at left, SukiHoshi, the amateur astrologer who writes creative forecasts called Biblioscopes (check out yours
). She and her boyfriend Drongo (aka Johnny
) are my only two cyberfriends who are also meatspace friends. I met her through a Craigslist personals ad--the only one I’ve ever answered--looking for someone to write conspiracy stories with. This is how she recounted our get-together in her blog, Love, Suki
I put an ad in looking for someone to write stories with me, under "strictly platonic". I got a couple of pleasant responses, and then forgot it was up. Several days later, a nice guy wrote to me. We're working on the stories now. He writes faster than I do. We'll see how this goes.
Early this year, Suki decided to start a team blog devoted to conspiracy, the occult, science fiction, and all weird things in general. The prospect intimidated me, for I’d never done blogging. I didn’t know if I could handle setting up the templates and all that or if anyone would actually read anything I had to write. Nevertheless, we put the best foot forward and began the 23rd Mandalation. It’s been a real blast ever since.
Suki also invited a brilliant man, who most of us know and love as Dr. T
(who coined the phrase, “I pity the molecule”). I enjoyed his witty page the minute I first laid eyes on it. He likes to be rather provocative, and thus has a knack for eliciting sharp responses from his readers. When I started following their blogs, and responding, Doc consequently became the second major branch of my blog tree, introducing me directly to Fatty
, the precociously impish teenager from Os; the effervescent Schaumi
who always brings the word ‘gemutlich’ to mind when I think of her; the inventive storyteller Vivienne King
, a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance; my fellow Buckeye, the mischievously fun Libby
; the hard-edged intellect of Enemy of the Republic
; the adorable Cora, a talented sweetheart of a woman; and the wry Foilwoman
. Through Schaumi I found the hilarious Heidi and a boldly courageous and perceptive beauty going by the handle of Lux
, who led me to Kate
. Through Fatty I experienced the genius of Cocaine Jesus
, the thoughtfulness of SJ
, the savvy intelligence of Johnb
, and the informative observations of PDXBiker
. I found the spiritually refreshing Da Gal
, the hip Reflextion
and the crackerjack Angie
through SJ. I met the Jaded Prima Donna
(who isn’t so much jaded as she is hardworking and clever) on Kira’s pages. Da Gal connected me with Charles
, a young man with a good head on his shoulders.
One day, I had posted an article on the 23rd Mandalation, and got a comment out of the blue from some Oklahoman named Rinda Elliot
. What followed was an intense discussion, back and forth on the comment board between this then-unknown woman and myself that lasted for the next twenty-four hours. That day was the first time blogging became really fun for me, and I don’t think I have thanked her enough for it. Obviously, I had to check out her site.
Rinda (left) became the third major branch of my blog world. She and her blogfriends are serious, highly-skilled writers; real pros, and a delight to read. I’m so grateful that Rinda introduced me to Betty S., whose page Sometimes a Sleeping Dragon
I immediately bookmarked, for it’s choc full of handy-dandy, quick-and-dirty resources that no writer should be without. Her main page, Dishin’ the Dirt with Friends
is a treasury of wit and wisdom, and I sometimes think of her as kind of a James Thurber in drag. Through Rinda, I also encountered the incorrigible Dana Pollard
, the funny and no-nonsense Lyn Cash
, folksy Kelli McBride
and new literary sensation Jill Monroe
. Betty also introduced me to the comical Rayke
, who’s story about a CD player and a gated community
is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.
The fourth branch is, of course, Obasso
(left), who linked to my HNT article (which Libby indirectly inspired). Because of that link, I’ve met some really beautiful (though not necessarily work-safe) souls, many of whom—Bellarosa
(who are getting added to the blogroll soon), Caronfire
, Gabby the Guy
, Avery’s Mom
(who for whatever reason thought of me as female)—I visit regularly, or semi-regularly.
Lastly, I thank my friend Drongo for leading me to the only person I have yet too mention. Gary Buell
, a somewhat historic figure in conspiracy circles, has posted a complete transcription of the legendary Gemstone Files
. For the preservation of this document alone, many of us owe him a debt of gratitude.
“What the #@$! are the Gemstone Files?” you ask.
To be continued. . . . someday. . . . unless somebody else tags me.
Labels: cyberculture, personal stuff
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Ultra Head Games, Pt. XII
Before and since Candy Jones came out of the hypnosis closet, the press have paraded in front of us a number of angry, lone nuts, amateur killers who easily elude sophisticated security. Many times, there is a conspicuous stimulus and subsequent memory loss reminiscent of the Manchurian Candidate’s
Red Queen. John Hinckley obsessed over actress Jodie Foster. Mark Chapman fixated on the J.D. Salinger novel Catcher in the Rye
. Ex-spy Frank Camper, in The MK/Ultra Secret
, alleged that Lee Oswald was himself subject to narcohypnosis when stationed at Atsugi Air Force Base in Japan.
Dr. William J. Bryan retired from the CIA in 1969. He spent his idle time with prostitutes over the next eight years until his death from cancer in 1977. Late in his life, he regaled his friends-for-hire with detailed descriptions about the Kennedy assassination. He bragged that he, and another of Candy Jones’ physicians, Dr. William Kroger, personally programmed Sirhan Sirhan to play the role he did in the killing.
Although officially ended in 1963, research and operational use of mind control continued under such names as Project/Operation Monarch
. No doubt, intelligence agencies have pursued thought reform so fervently because of continued success. CIA chief Richard Helms
firmly believed in the project and used his considerable clout to push it through in the face of the Olson and Midnight Climax fiascos. After Nixon fired him as DCI in 1973, Helms primarily devoted his last thirty days to shredding most of the documents pertaining to the extremely sensitive operation. The 16,000 remaining pages, those that went to Marks, only refer to failures.
While Marks did his best to remain faithful to those documents, he concluded The Search for the Manchurian Candidate
with considerable scepticism. He felt that this tiny fraction of paperwork could not explain why the CIA remained so insistent upon the operation. He seemed to regard the documents, and their existence, as probable misinformation that strengthened his belief that the Company had indeed found success in both selective amnesia and mind control.For those of you who wish to know more about goverenment-backed psychological operations (PSYOPS) and research, click on the links below:
Click here and scroll down to watch Misson Mind Control, a 1979 ABC News documentary on mind control programs. Approx. 56 minutes; RealPlayer.
Click here and scroll down to watch "The CIA and the Mind Sciences," a short Guerilla News Network documentary on government mind control programs. Approx. 8 minutes, 30 seconds; Windows Media Player.
Click here to hear Candy Jones and Donald Bain discuss her experiences with narcohypnosis and the CIA. Approx. 15 minutes; QuickTime.
Click here to read the transcripts of the 1977 Senate Hearings on mind control, chaired jointly by Senators Ted Kennedy and Daniel Inouye. Included are statements by then DCI Admiral Stansfield Turner, the CIA's top psychiatrist Dr. John Gittinger, and Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA chemist in charge of mind control operations.
Click here for an overview of Congressional and Presidential investigations on the intelligence services.
Click here to see the Church Committee Final Report and Supplements. Although this mentions mind control only in passing, it's the most important document online in understanding depth and seriousness of illegal domestic operations.
Labels: mind control, MK-ULTRA
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The Gemstone File
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