Tag Archives: popular culture

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #99

The CIA used a mind-controlled assassin to kill the most politically-outspoken recording artist in modern music history. This is the claim of attorney and UK legal reporter Fenton Bresler, who spent eight years investigating the December 8, 1980 murder of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman.

At the time of his death Lennon was poised to secure US citizenship and in the process of launching a comeback with chart-topping albums. At the same time the former Beatle’s political views were at sharp variance with the election of Republican Ronald Reagan to the US presidency that took place one month before Lennon’s assassination.

Bresler argues in his 1989 book Who Killed John Lennon? that the CIA oversaw Lennon’s murder by collaborating with Atlanta police intelligence to train Chapman as the assassin. Author Phil Strongman reached a similar conclusion after his detailed study of Lennon’s death. Atlanta police officer Dana Reeves was Chapman’s handler, “guid[ing] Chapman through his path of becoming a drugged and hypnotized CIA tool, in the way other investigators believed had been done with Robert Kennedy’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan,” according to historian John L. Potash.

Dana Reeves was working as a Dekalb County sheriff’s officer in the Atlanta area, where he developed a close relationship and extreme control over Chapman by the time he was nineteen years old. Chapman’s parents feared Reeve’s involvement with their son, and said the police officer changed their son’s personality. For example, the parents and others described Chapman as anti-gun throughout his teens, but Reeves turned Chapman on to guns, training him to be a very competent shooter. Chapman had worked at a regular YMCA summer camp in Atlanta. In 1975, Chapman applied for exotic positions in YMCA’s abroad program, first unsuccessfully in the Soviet Union, despite not speaking Russian, and then working in Beirut, Lebanon in June 1975.

Reportedly a hotbed of CIA-backed terrorist activity in the mid-1970s, Chapman was “blooded” (desensitized to violence) in Beirut before returning to the US to work as an armed security guard. In early 1977 he moved to Hawaii where he was eventually treated for clinical depression at Castle Memorial Hospital., a Seventh Day Adventist institution. Bresler argues that at Castle Memorial and several other locations Chapman underwent “CIA-developed behavior modification” as he was honed as a mind-controlled assassin.

In the remaining period leading up to late 1980 Chapman, who continued employment as a security guard, allegedly received a loan from Castle Memorial to tour the world, visiting a dozen countries where he sometimes lodged at luxurious hotels Such an excursion would have been difficult on his modest security guard salary.

After Chapman shot Lennon with a .38 caliber revolver at the entrance of the musician’s residence on the night of December 8, 1980, instead of fleeing the scene the assailant calmly took out a copy of J.D. Salinger’s A Catcher in the Rye and waited for law enforcement to arrive.

Lieutenant Arthur O’Connor, a police officer who oversaw the murder investigation, informed Bresler “that someone could have programmed Chapman for the murder of Lennon. ‘I studied him intensely,'” O’Connor said.

“[Chapman] looked like he could have been programmed, and I know what you are going to make of that word! that was the way he looked and that was the way he talked.” He was the second police officer to make that assessment. After Chapman was arrested for killing Lennon, his bizarre behavior was never checked with a drug test.

John L. Potash, Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac, and Other Activists, Walterville OR: 2015, 208-213.

 

 

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Tony Hendra: Key Observations of a Veteran Satirist (Video)

By James F. Tracy

In this edited video legendary humorist and author Tony Hendra discusses his role in the history of postwar comedy. Hendra is best-known for playing Ian Faith, manager of the mock heavy metal band Spinal Tap. He was also a pioneer in early British political satire, working with Monty Python founding members Graham Chapman and John Cleese, and was the first managing editor of the National Lampoon, America’s pioneer multimedia comedy powerhouse, where he worked alongside Lampoon founders Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman. While at Lampoon Hendra produced the Woodstock mockery Lemmings, discovering comedy giants John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Christopher Guest.

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Key Observations of a Veteran Satirist

Legendary iconoclast Tony Hendra joins Real Politik to discuss the history of postwar comedy and his role therein. Hendra is best-hendra-photo5known for playing Ian Faith, manager of the mock heavy metal band Spinal Tap. He was also a pioneer in early British political satire, working with Monty Python founding members Graham Chapman and John Cleese, and was the first managing editor of the National Lampoon, America’s pioneer multimedia comedy powerhouse, where he worked alongside Lampoon founders Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman. While at Lampoon Hendra produced the Woodstock mockery Lemmings, discovering such figures as John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Christopher Guest.

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George Carlin’s Foreknowledge of 9/11? “Lost” Comedy Special Aired for Anniversary of Attacks

by Vivian Lee

The US news media is gearing up for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a diverse and perverse set of offerings to bolster the official story. None is stranger than the release of “I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die,” which George Carlin recorded on September 9-10, 2001, for an HBO special that would have been aired in November but was shelved after the attacks – since it “seemed in bad taste after nearly 3,000 people were killed a day later,” according to a story in the New York Times this week.[1]

Carlin, the brilliant comedian and brutally honest social critic, died at the age of 71 in 2008; he was posthumously awarded the Kennedy Center’s 2008 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.[2] Despite Carlin’s anti-establishment bent, you don’t get big awards without friends in high places.

George Carlin 2003 NYT
George Carlin, 2003. Image New York Times.

“I Kinda Like It” is set for release on September 16, 2016, and can be pre-ordered at amazon or GeorgeCarlin.com (download, CD, or vinyl). But for those who can’t wait, it has been available on SiriusXM, Channel 400 (Carlin’s Corner) since September 1.[3] Mocking the public’s fascination with disaster scenarios, Carlin says he enjoys mass destructions where lots of people die – such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanoes, monsoons, forest fires, avalanches, heat waves, famines, and, his favorite disaster, “an asteroid.”

“I’m always rootin’ for a really high death toll,” he says. “That’s why I like the natural disasters … that no one can control.” According to Carlin, “the world is one big theatrical production.” In the face of mass tragedy, “folks, you gotta have fun.”[4]

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The Drug-Induced Suicide of Robin Williams Two Years Later

And the Perils of Being a Drugged-up Insomniac Celebrity

By Gary G. Kohls, MD
PPJ Gazette

55 years ago (July 2, 1961) an American literary icon, Ernest Hemingway, committed suicide at his beloved vacation retreat in Ketchum, Idaho. He had just flown to Ketchum after being discharged from a psychiatric ward at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN where he had received a series of electroconvulsive “treatments” (ECT) for a life-long depression that had started after he had experienced the horrors of World War I. In the “War To End All Wars: he had been a non-combatant ambulance driver and stretcher-bearer.

220px-Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)
Image Credit: Wikipedia

One of Hemingway’s wartime duties was to retrieve the mutilated bodies of living and dead humans and the body parts of the dead ones from the Italian sector of the WWI battle zone. In more modern times his MOS (military occupational specialty) might have been called Grave’s Registration, a job that – in the Vietnam War – had one of the highest incidences of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that arose in that war’s aftermath.

Hemingway, just like many of the combat-induced PTSD victims of every war, was likely haunted for the rest of his life by the horrific images of the wounded and dead, so there was no question that he had what was later to be understood as combat-induced PTSD with depression, panic attacks, nightmares, auditory and/or visual hallucinations and insomnia.

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