WHOSE CONSPIRACY IS THIS, ANYWAY?
ART RAVES ON
About the JFK Assassination Literature
& Other Related Material
Honest journalists, serious historians, dedicated researchers, well meaning amateurs, dilatants, opportunists, propagandists, disinformation peddlers, deluded half-wits, crackpots and fools continue to pry into the JFK assassination, churning out endless volumes, year after year, with no sign of let up. Amazon currently lists 2,669 books on the subject, on it’s website.
I drift in and out of my own nagging obsession with the material, overdosing and swearing it off, time after time, but eventually, slowly settling back in, to forage through yet another stack of freshly-penned entries, in hope of uncovering some new, tantalizing tidbit of minutia. Listed here are around forty or so books and a few films meant to enlighten or lobotomize you. In the cryptic, prophetic words of Lee Harvey Oswald, “You work it out.”
CONSPIRACY – by Anthony Summers
Covers all of the relevant material; the shooting and subsequent Warren Commission investigation, conflicting eyewitness testimony, the physical and medical evidence and an in-depth, meticulously researched look at the real Lee Harvey Oswald and his relationship with the intelligence community. If you only read one book on the subject, this should be it.
CROSSFIRE – by Jim Marrs
Marrs’ clearly written, common sense approach makes this one of the best and most comprehensive summaries of the overwhelming evidence against the government’s case for a lone assassin. Stands with the Summers’ book as one of the best.
BEST EVIDENCE – by David Lifton
Lifton delves into the hocus-pocus of the hearse, the two caskets and their broken chain of possession, revealing courtroom quality evidence that extensive surgery was done on Kennedy’s body, dramatically altering the wounds somewhere between Parkland Hospital in Dallas and the Bethesda Naval Hospital.
ON THE TRAIL OF THE ASSASSINS – by JIm Garrison
Here’s Jim Garrison’s actual, riveting, first-hand account of the Clay Shaw investigation and trial, that Oliver Stone mixed in with a lot of the later assassination findings, in his movie, “JFK”.
RUSH TO JUDGEMENT – by Mark Lane
Lane deserves a lot of credit, as this was the first book written shortly after, and critical to, the Warren Commission.
PLAUSIBLE DENIAL – by Mark Lane
Diehard crusader Mark Lane returns to get the goods on E. Howard Hunt, best known as one of Nixon’s Watergate break-in team, and widely regarded as the poor man’s Ian Flemming. Bombastic and brilliant!
THE DAY KENNEDY WAS KILLED – by Jim Bishop
An older but still valid, minute-by-minute account of the events of November 22nd, 1963.
THE SECRET TEAM – by L. Fletcher Prouty
Background information on the U.S. Intelligence community’s assassination capabilities, written by the ultimate insider. Stupendous!
JFK – by L. Fletcher Prouty
The Kennedy assassination, as seen by a former Army intelligence officer, who was the Pentagon’s liason to CIA’s black operations, back in 1963. Essential reading.
SPY SAGA – by Philip Melanson
Was Lee Harvey Oswald a highly-trained military intelligence agent, or “Ozzie Rabbit”, (as his fellow Marines liked to call him), a confused, bumbling, self-proclaimed Marxist-Lenninist “nut job”?
THE LAST INVESTIGATION – by Gaeton Fonzi
Was the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations another coverup? Gaeton Fonzi, a researcher on that investigative body, claims it was.
THE KILLING OF A PRESIDENT – the photographic record – by Robert J. Groden
Get out the magnifying glass and step back in time to 1963! Most amazing to me has always been the absolute chaos unleashed, immediately after the shooting. Who’s that peering over the picket fence? Looks a little like Peter Lawford. Of could it be Joey Bishop?
THE TORBIT DOCUMENT -Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal- by William Torbit
A detail-oriented look at how an assassination is conceived of, set up and carried out. This could only have been written by someone intimate with the inner workings of the intelligence world.
OSWALD IN NEW ORLEANS – by Harold Weissberg
Oswald’s mysterious comings and goings in the Big Easy. An interesting, but hard to follow book, due to its tortured writing style.
OSWALD’S TALE – by Norman Mailer
Mailer’s exhaustive, fascinating examination of Oswald’s life in the USSR, falters in it’s second half, bolstering the Warren Commission and mainstream media in setting up Lee as the lone assassin.
JFK AND VIETNAM – by John Newman
Newman contends that JFK would have called back the troops from Viet Nam. Could that have been a motive for taking him out?
RETHINKING CAMELOT – by Noam Chomsky
The great Chomsky debunks the myth of Camelot and counters John Newman’s theory that Kennedy would have wound down the Viet Nam War. He contends Kennedy was a diehard cold warrior with no intention of deescalating the war.
THE DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT – by Seymour Hirsch
Despite their brutal elimination, the Kennedy brothers were by no stretch of the imagination, angels, as Hirsch’s electrifying, tell-all expose reveals. John and his brother Bobby ordered the CIA to train hit squads to take out a number of world leaders, unfriendly to America’s empirical aspirations. John’s White House and on-the-road extra circular shenanigans, (facilitated by his brother-in-law Peter Lawford and other “rat pack” pals, and ignored and covered up by a fawning press corps), more resembled the bedroom antics of the Emperor Caligula than the courtly manners of old King Arthur. Hirsch contends that disgruntled secret service agents were diverted from their official duties to carry out multiple odious assignments, including ferrying women in and out of the White House, and babysitting Jackie, so she didn’t accidentally stumble into one of her husband’s swinging poolside orgies.
DEEP POLITICS AND THE DEATH OF JFK – by Peter Dale Scott
Scott, who has a totally unique take on this subject, shows us the dark underside of American politics and the workings of a “permanent government”. Contends that the JFK hit was no more than “business as usual”.
DEADLY SECRETS – by Warren Hinckle and William Turner
A wonderful and humorously written account of the intelligence community’s endless schemes to invade Cuba and assassinate Castro, with the bumbling assistance of E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and Johnny Roselli.
THE YANKEE AND COWBOY WAR – by Carl Oglesby
Oglesby contends the murder of Kennedy was at least in part connected to the power struggle between the northern money elite, and the big oil money interests and defense contractors, located in the southern states.
THE JFK ASSASSINATION – The facts and the theories – by Carl Oglesby
Many of the most notable theories examined, including the claim by KGB defector, Yuri Ivanovitch Nosenko, that Oswald was a U.S. Intelligence agent. One opinion, Nosenko would have been much better off to have kept to himself.
WHO KILLED JFK – by Carl Oglesby
A thin, short primer on the basics. A great gift for curious friends.
HIGH TREASON – by Robert J. Groden and Harrison Edward Livingston
Livingstone and Groden do an exhaustive job with the autopsy evidence.
HIGH TREASON 2 – by Harrison Edward Livingstone
Livingstone’s latest claims of coverup, perpetrated by both the Parkland Hospital and Navy autopsy doctors, triggered a strong knee-jerk reaction by JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, upholding the findings of both autopsies – but which version? The original statements by the Parkland doctors contradicted their later, updated official Warren Commission version.
KILLING THE TRUTH – by Harrison Edward Livingstone
Livingstone comes down hard on the “cult of assassination”, denouncing various researchers, and accusing former colleagues, (including his High Treason co-author, Robert Groden), of tampering with the evidence. Claims only he, (Livingstone), is searching for the truth.
ACT OF TREASON – by Mark North
North accuses Hoover of taking an active role in the coverup of the JFK assassination, making him an accessory after the fact.
THE KENNEDY CONTRACT – The Mafia Plot to Kill the President – by John Davis
After involvement with the failed CIA sponsered project to assassinate Castro, the Mafia, Davis claims, decided to take out JFK. Davis is another guy I disagree with, but I get the feeling he’s honest and does believe in his own conclusions. In other words I don’t think this is your usual for-hire disinformation tract. He definately offers the most persuasive argument for the Mob as JFK’s executioner.
MAFIA KINGFISH – by John Davis
More theories on the mob’s role in the JFK assassination, this time focusing on Carlos Marcello, boss of a vast criminal empire, based in New Orleans and extending throughout the southern United States. Well researched.
COUP D’ETAT IN AMERICA – The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy – by A. J. Weberman and Michael Canfield
A.J. Weberman acquired a fleeting fifteen minutes of fame in the 70’s as a “garboligist”, by picking through, and analyzing Bob Dylan’s garbage. Dylan’s song, “Like a Rolling Stone” makes an obscure reference to the “mystery tramps”. Weberman tries to prove that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Strugis, were the mystery tramps. Got that? Sounds like some kind of conspiracy to me.
THE SEARCH FOR THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE – by John Marks
The CIA slips us a mickey! In trying to create a “manchurian candidate” (a zombie-like, mind-controlled assassin), super-secret MKULTRA project researchers went on a spook spring break, dropping Acid and Pscilocybin long before the advent of Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary. Other less fortunate subjects, were experimented on without their knowledge or consent, including one unwitting group of hospital patients, who were given massive doses of LSD for seventy-seven consecutive days!
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH – by Dick Russell
The strange and electrifying story of Richard Case Nagle, a CIA/KGB double agent and prospective Oswald-type patsy, who the author claims warned Oswald he was being set up, and may have even tried to stop the assassination. I couldn’t put this one down. Fascinating reading.
THE MAN ON THE GRASSY KNOLL – by John R. Craig & Philip A. Rogers
In this fictionalized story, we follow one of the shooters; a psychotic, cold blooded sociopath, who makes David Berkowitz look like Pee Wee Herman. Is this a reference to the mythical character known as “Frenchy”?
BETRAYAL – by Robert D. Morrow
Morrow, who claims to have been a CIA contract employee, weaves a convoluted and unintentionally hilarious tale of clandestine operations, complete with a hot “Bond girl”, who falls hard for him. The story focuses on Mario Garcia Kohly, (the de-facto Cuban president in exile), who frequently asks Morrow, “So what’s new, compadre?” Not much here, as far as I can see, but still a lot of fun.
RULE BY SECRECY: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids – by Jim Marrs.
Despite my highest praise elsewhere in this column for Marrs’ seminal work; CROSSFIRE, I have to acknowledge my less than enthusiastic view of this follow-up book, in which he presents some of his Jewish conspiracy theories, including his belief in the existence of “The Elders of Zion”; a long-discredited, nasty bit of propaganda, originally contrived by the notorious secret police of Czarist Russia and subsequently dredged up and propagated by the Nazis. If by chance there actually is an Elders of Zion organization out there, could someone please finally get my membership application in the mail? I’ve been itching to try my hand at ruling the world.
CASE CLOSED – by Gerald Posner
Posner goes all-out to prove Oswald was the “lone nut” the Warren Comission claimed he was. Absolutely no conspiracy here. Brilliantly designed, forced perspective charts, creatively prop up the ludicrous “magic bullet” theory. His citing of Oswald’s psychiatrist is laughable, as even the Warren Commission found Renatus Hartogs thoroughly unreliable, despite the fact that he bolstered their own portrayal of Oswald as a deeply disturbed loner. This jury-rigged, obvious coverup got rave reviews from mainstream media still wedded to the Warren Report. I’d like to nominate this book for the Judith Miller Award for Excellence in Journalism.
DOUBLE CROSS – by Sam and Chuck Giancana
In this epic Mafia tell-all, Sam “Mooney” Giancana, the famous Chicago Godfather, is credited with masterminding a long list of hits, including John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Lee Oswald, as well as a few surprises; Jack Ruby, (injected with cancer) and Marilyn Monroe, (administered a poison suppository). Great guest appearances by members of the Rat Pack, with Old Blue Eyes setting up JFK with “party broads”, for the purposes of blackmail. Worth reading, if only for the fractured prose style.
THE TWO ASSASSINS – by Renatus Hartogs and Lucy Freeman
Oswald’s thoroughly discredited childhood shrink, Renatus Hartogs, who claims he diagnosed Oswald as a “nut job” at the age of 13, and later paid out a hefty $350,000, after losing a 1972 court case for molesting a number of his female patients, now climbs out from under his rock to try to cash in on the assassination gravy train.
JFK – directed by Oliver Stone
Stone once and for all demolishes the “lone nut / magic bullet” fairy tale in a dramatic colorful way that makes it clear to the average viewer, that there’s something fishy going on here. For his efforts, he caught a lot of flack from many quarters, (including the research community), but especially from the mainstream media who launched a monolithic smear campaign. As Dick Gregory put it, “You might have thought he was some new kind of cancer.” Despite the myriad objections to this film, Stone brilliantly presents much of the evidence uncovered by researchers over the years and also manages to work it into a gripping, suspenseful story based on the Garrison investigation and trial of Clay Shaw. For those who still criticize Stone for playing with the material, creating composite characters and creative conjecture, I recommend watching the film while running the director’s revelatory commentary. Think of this brilliant, well-crafted and heroic feature film as some badly needed deprogramming.
INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN – directed by Neil Burger
Bone-chilling, detail specific, faux-documentary confession by the “second shooter”. The portrayal of Walter Ohlinger; one of those scary guys that littered the landscape of the JFK crime scene, feels dead-on accurate. As Ohlinger and Ron Kobeliski, (the skeptical TV camerman who films his confession), search for the mysterious, special ops handler; John Seymour, (the only man who can prove his story is true), we find ourselves caught up in a palpable, growing paranoia.
BEYOND JFK – directed by Danny Schechtor & Rory O’Conner
Schector and O’Conner get high marks for this solid, well made, factual documentary. Covers all the major points most serious researchers would probably agree on.
WUSA – directed by Stuart Rosenberg
This muddled attempt, put out by some well meaning liberals, has it’s heart in the right place, but lacks the guts to focus on any real reference point to JFK. In the end we’re left with a generic, nameless, half-baked conspiracy thriller and vague, anti-fascist warning. None of that is a bad thing, but any reference to the JFK murder is peripheral.
THE PARELLAX VIEW – directed by Allan J. Pakula
A lot of credit should go to Pakula for the first feature film to directly point to the Kennedy assassination. Hard hitting, but again, only a reference to the real historic events. By the way, Pakula died in a horrible car crash years later. Hey, I’m just saying. . .
WINTER KILLS – directed by William Richert
Kennedy assassination as shaggy dog high-jinx. Decent, in that it gives a good rough outline of the cast of conspiratorial suspects. Entertaining black comedy.
EXECUTIVE ACTION – directed by David Miller
Mark Lane wrote the screenplay for this factually based, but unfortunately badly dramatized film on how-to-do a political assassination. Reminds me of the boring protest songs of Phil Ochs, whose sentiment I agree with, but whose horrible music and overbearing, heavyhanded lyrics once had me daydreaming about joining the Republican Party. High marks for the films courageous stand.
MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE – directed by John Frankenheimer
A wild and hilarious rollercoaster ride, with Frank Sinatra and my all-time, favorite ham actor; Lawrence Harvey, as two remote-controlled assassins, hypnotized and progammed by sinister Chinese commies. Angela Lansbury steals the show, as an over-the-top, power-crazed, right wing, middle American dragon lady.
SEVEN DAYS IN MAY – directed by John Franhenheimer
Frankenheimer scores again with this realistic, suspenseful plot, where right wing forces overthrow the U.S. government. That couldn’t REALLY happen here, could it?
Z – directed by Costa Gravas
A cast of celebrated European actors, including Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trignant and Irene Papas, star in in this suspenseful, hard hitting dramatization of events leading up to the June 1967 military coup in Greece.
DAY OF THE JACKAL – directed by Fred Zinnaman
Against all odds and a nationwide dragnet, the mysterious Jackal, (Edward Fox), gets close to DeGaule. Can’t keep a good assassin down.
LE CRAB TAMBOUR – directed by PIerre Schoendorfer
Brilliant, haunting film, that touches on how an assassination attempt gets started and what happens to the plotters when it fails.
BUBBA HO-TEP – directed by John Coscarelli
As it turns out, JFK, (played by the great Ossie Davis), never died after all. The Bethesda Naval Hospital doctors just scooped out what was left of his brain, filled the skull cavity with sawdust, sewed him up, reanimated the body and shipped it off to the same nursing home where Elvis, (Bruce Campbell), would eventually check in, for a well-needed rest. The two team up to combat a mysterious, evil mummy, who’s been sucking souls out of the facility’s geriatric residents. Almost as believable as Gerald Posner’s book; Case Closed.
GARY NULL’S NATURAL LIVING – HIDDEN AGENDA SERIES – WBAI FM (NY) –1982-83
Null’s thirty or so programs on the Kennedy Assassination, rounds up all the usual suspects and many we’ve never heard from before. He interviews all the hardcore researchers such as; Jerry Polikoff, Robert Hennelly, David Lifton, Dr. Cyril Wecht, Harrison Livingstone, Jim Marrs, Harold Weissberg, Gary Shaw, Danny Schector, John Davis, Jones Harris, Gaeton Fonzi, Peter Dale Scott, John Newman, Carl Oglesby, Jack Schwike, L. Fletcher Prouty, Jim Lesar, Philip Malenson, James DiEugenio, Daniel Sheehan, Mark Lane, Gus Russo, Robert Morningstar, Dick Russell, John Judge and former FBI agent, William Turner. Great, hard hitting interviews with Robert Morrow, who claims to have supplied the guns that killed Kennedy and Jean Hill, an unshakable eyewitness to the assassination. Null goes all out to uncover the truth.
TAKING AIM – WBAI FM (NY)
Utelizing their vast resources and myriad areas of expertise, the fearless, outspoken Ralph Schoenman and Mya Schoen, uncover a number of conspiracies behind many recent earthshaking events, including 9/11. Occasional shows dealing directly or peripherally with political assassination, including those of JFK, RFK and MLK, are scrupulously researched and clearly laid out. Revelations galore!
FLETCHER PROUTY http://astridmm.com/prouty/
Col. Prouty holds forth on viewers questions. Don’t miss this one!
ONLINE TRIP TO DALLAS http://home.cfl.rr.com/mayhr01/dallastop.html
If you can’t make it to Texas with your magnifying glass, here’s the next best thing.
PROBE MAGAZINE http://www.ctka.net/fullarticles.html
Probe is a serious periodical dedicated to uncovering the truth about the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations.
TRUTH REDACTED http://www.redacted.com/
Good bits and pieces, but a bit disjointed.
THE GUNS OF DALLAS (PROUTY) http://www.ratical.com/ratville/JFK/GoD.html
Who had the ability to limit the investigation as well as manipulate and hold back the evidence provided to the Warren Commission ? This is one of the best websites I’ve encountered.
The late, great researcher Mae Brussel is resurected and presented on these two sites, thanks to Fletcher Prouty and Paul Krassner.
recipe for an assassination
“I knew Clay Shaw in New Orleans”, he said, in a soft, barely audible voice, interrupting our discussion about the Kennedy assassination. This was twenty years before the Stone film, and whatever little we knew about the assassination came from Mark Lane, a few derisive news articles on the Garrison trial and WBAI. Other than ordering drinks, no one had ever heard him speak more than a word or two, previously, and he never spoke at all to any of us long-haired, young knuckleheads. I had only ever seen him sitting at the bar, drinking quietly and minding his own business. He was a retired merchant marine the regulars called Renard, who lived in a rent controlled walkup on Renwick Street and had been a fixture in the local dive bar we were sitting in, for as long as anyone could remember. We were all stunned.
Regaining our composure, my buddies and I started firing questions at him concerning Shaw, Oswald, Garrison, the importance of New Orleans, etc. “I don’t know anything about that shit”, he said. “I just knew the guy slightly, before he ever got in the papers. We had a mutual friend.” This set us off again. Did he ever have a real conversation with him? Did they ever talk politics? Had he ever mentioned Kennedy? I was floating on air, thinking I had just stumbled over the Rosetta Stone. All I had to do was pump this old guy a bit, and I could write my own ticket. I was already planning how to spend the advance, for what would surely become a best selling, award winning JFK assassination expose.
Still nursing his usual shot of bourbon, he turned slightly toward us, bracing himself against this next round of invasive questions, before finally cutting us off, saying, “The only thing the guy ever said to me, that I still remember, was that he really liked some dish called Pompano a la Maitre d’Hotel.” That brought the conversation to an immediate, crashing halt. Talk at the bar eventually turned to the Mets’ acquisition of Don Cardwell. No one mentioned Kennedy again.
In honor of our old, long-gone drinking buddy, Renard, I would now like to present a recipe for a classic New Orleans Creole dish; Pompano a la Maitre d’Hotel. Hopefully, it’s fairly close to the one Clay Shaw might have prepared for himself, and a few close friends.
Pompano a la Maitre d’Hotel
(Reprinted with permission from Classic Creole Cooking by Avril Bouchard)
2 1/2 – 3 lb whole pompano
1 Tb olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 lemon, sliced
Sauce a la Maitre d’Hotel
1. Scale, clean and split a 2 1/2 – 3 lb pompano.
2. Rub with salt, pepper and olive oil.
3. Broil until nicely browned, turning once.
4. Serve immediately, with lemon slices and Maitre d’Hotel Sauce.
Sauce a la Maitre d’Hotel
1 Tb butter
1 Tb flour
1 pint of consomme
juice of half a lemon
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 Tb or more chopped parsley
1. Over a low flame heat butter and flour in a saucepan, stirring to keep it from burning.
2. Add one pint consomme.
3. Add juice of half a lemon and parsley.
4. Let boil 15 mins.
5. Remove from stove and add beaten yolk, stirring in well.
© Art Raveson 2010.
|Art Raveson is an artist and student of conspiracy liturature.|