John F Kennedy 1967 Issue-13c.jpgBy James F. Tracy

The most efficient system of opinion management functions largely absent of the conscious intent or effort of intellectual governance. A society detached from its historical bearings will frequently resort to myths and falsehoods which over time form a coherent worldview resistant to unconventional perspectives. The informal priesthood beholden to such a belief system is ensconced in the officialdom of journalism and academe.

[Image credit: Wikimedia Commons]

Poorly understood “deep events” are especially helpful models where this hypothesis may be further postulated. For example, the “lone gunman” theory is strongly urged by such a ministry to obscure the many anomalies surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Persuasive observers are offered to reconfirm the laity’s faith in proper beliefs, particularly upon the anniversaries of such events, which act as powerful occasions where commemoration reaffirms belief.

On the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death longtime journalist and intelligence operative Hugh Aynesworth appeared across a broad array of major media outlets. He was, after all, the only man who claims to have witnessed JFK’s assassination, the aftermath of Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit’s murder, the apprehension of suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in a Texas movie theater, and Oswald’s murder two days later by Jack Ruby.

He has received accolades from American journalism’s finest. ”Hugh Aynesworth knows more about this tragic story and the reporters who reported it than anyone I know,” CBS News legend Bob Schieffer exclaims. ”I was proud of what we did on that story,” PBS’ Jim Lehrer remarks, “but really it was Hugh’s story from day one.”  ”No one–repeat, no one–in America knows more about the Kennedy assassination,” says U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, and Business Week‘s Michael Ruby.[1]

Aynesworth is a self-proclaimed “witness to history,” a devotee of the Warren Commission, and with such credentials and accolades is accordingly sought out by mainstream journalists to revalidate the official folklore.

“Aynesworth was at Dealey Plaza that day,” McClatchey News reports,

where the president was shot. “I heard three definite, distinct shots,” he said, “as did those trained observers, police and reporters.” Then he went to Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood after hearing a report on the police scanner, and arrived just after [Dallas police officer J. D.] Tippit was shot. Following that, Aynesworth dashed to a Texas theater and watched police arrest Oswald.[2]

“Hugh Aynesworth, a former Dallas Morning News reporter, was the only person present to witness all three key moments of a tumultuous weekend,” the Times of London observes.

[T]he assassination of President Kennedy; the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald; and the moment when Jack Ruby, the violent nightclub boss, shot Oswald dead live on television … Aynesworth remembered standing right underneath the Texas School Book Depository 50 years ago as the President’s car passed by. “Everybody was ebullient, we were in a good mood. Then I heard what I thought was a motorcycle backfire. Only that was the first shot.” He heard on the police radio that an officer had been shot three miles away and persuaded a TV crew to given him a lift. Then they learnt that there was a suspect in the Texas Theatre cinema and he sprinted there. As he entered the lights went up … “I looked over and I was about fifteen feet from Oswald, he was right at 10 o’clock.”[3]

On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, Aynesworth goes slightly off script and requires the host’s intervention.

Aynesworth: You know, I don’t know how fast I reacted [upon the assassination] because it was such an instantaneous bedlam there. People were crying already, they were screaming, they were bumping into each other and I don’t know how I reacted or how fast but I knew somewhere in that first minutes [sic] my journalistic background kicked in. But it was just, wow, because we didn’t know who was shooting, we didn’t know how many were shooting, we didn’t know where they were shooting from.

Morgan: Now there were three shots you heard, you began to speak to witnesses, you grabbed a sort of make shift pencil and paper from a little boy I think you saw right?

Aynesworth: Yeah.

Morgan: And began making notes, then you heard on a police radio that a police officer had been show, you know, if that was J. D. Tippit and that Lee Harvey Oswald was obviously on the run, you didn’t know who he was at the time but the suspect was on the run.[4]

Aynesworth relates yet a different version of his recollections to National Public Radio’s Steve Inskeep.

Inskeep: … Mr. Aynesworth, you were in that crowd. What did you do in the moments after that shooting Hugh Aynesworth?

Aynesworth: Well, I looked directly in front of me, across Houston Street; and I saw a man jumping up and down, and pointing up to the sixth floor window up there. I didn’t know what he’d known or what he’d seen or anything else, but I knew I had to get to him and find out. And as it turned out, he was the only real eyewitness that saw Oswald in the window.[5]

“’Everyone was cheering when, zing, I heard something,'”Aynesworth similarly explained to the Chicago Daily Herald. “I will tell you there were three shots and no more. All of a sudden there was chaos. I thought I better start interviewing people.’” The unprepared Aynesworth then “pulled two utility bills from his back pocket to write on and bought a foot-long souvenir pencil from a little boy for 50 cents to take notes.”[6]

In both broadcast and print news outlets Aynesworth’s recollections and good fortune to witness the varied historical events are accepted without question. “The problem is,” historian James DiEugenio observes, that it’s hard to locate “evidence for him being at any of these places at the time he says he was—let alone all four of them.”[7] What is more, in the months leading up to the assassination Aynesworth was seeking an assignment in Cuba with the Central Intelligence Agency. While no specific documentation substantiates whether the CIA extended such a mission, it nevertheless places his assassination-related “eyewitness” accounts in a fresh light.

Aynesworth would go on to conduct a rival investigation into the assassination because he did not trust Earl Warren’s stewardship of President Johnson’s assassination investigation commission. In the process he developed a brief relationship with Oswald’s widow, Marina Oswald, thus arguably interfering with a key witness in the investigation.[8]

Together with various other indiscretions documented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Aynesworth’s role in the aftermath of John Kennedy’s murder goes much deeper. In his recently updated volume, November 22, 1963: Witness to History, released in late 2013, the would-be reporter vehemently attacks New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison for the latter’s purportedly ill-conceived assassination investigation and prosecution of CIA operative Clay Shaw (1967-1969). What the author disingenuously excludes from the account is the principal role he played in hindering Garrison’s inquiry while posing as a journalist, a fact now well-established in light of extensive documentation released through the Assassination Records Review Board.

“Whatever his covert ties in 1963-1964,” DiEugenio notes, “by 1967 Aynesworth was on three payrolls. Ostensibly on the Newsweek staff, he was also being paid by Time-Life and by [Shaw’s personal attorney] Ed Wegmann, for whom he would do special assignments.”[9] In fact, primary documents suggest how Wegmann relied on Aynesworth specifically to coordinate the infiltration of Garrison’s office, “find out who prospective witnesses were, and get to them before Garrison did.”[10]

As Wegmann’s covert associate, “Aynesworth adopted the FBI’s strategy for his attacks on Jim Garrison,” Professor Joan Mellen observes. “Garrison is ‘losing his sanity,’ Aynesworth insisted. People who had changed their minds about testifying for Garrison were now ‘in danger of being harmed and possibly killed.’” When Aynesworth attempted to bribe a Louisiana police officer to keep him from testifying for Garrison on Oswald’s intelligence-related activities, Garrison finally had him subpoenaed before the Orleans Parish grand jury, a request the  journalist-mole ultimately spurned.[11]

Indeed, while Aynesworth conducted espionage for Shaw’s legal defense, he functioned ostensibly as a reporter, filing reports to Newsweek consisting primarily of “attacks on Garrison, profiles of [Shaw and Oswald cohort and CIA operative] David Ferrie, and hagiographies of Shaw.” Aynesworth even sent a rough draft of one such story to President Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary, with an accompanying cover letter which read in part,

My interest in informing government officials of each step along the way is because of my intimate knowledge of what Jim Garrison is planning … I intend to make a complete report of my knowledge available to the FBI, as I have done in the past.[13]

The moral dimension of Aynesworth’s clandestine activities under journalistic cover were not lost on his peers. “At least three members of the Shaw trial press went beyond the normal bounds of journalistic interest in the story,” Time magazine’s Roger Williams and the Baltimore Sun’s Michael Parks wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Jim Phelan and Hugh Aynesworth, both fiercely anti-Garrison, became in effect special advisers to the defense. They consulted frequently with Shaw’s attorneys, passing along tips on all aspects of the case they knew best from time spent covering it as reporters. The two of them, says chief defense attorney F. Irvin Dymond, were “extremely valuable” to the Defense case.[13]

In contrast, as the above suggests, today’s journalists appear oblivious to a complex and troubling history—one that involves their own profession deeply intertwined with America’s intelligence netherworld and similar forms of profound corruption. Both then and now, news media have acted to foster a certain preferred recollection of November 22, 1963 and subsequent deep events, this despite indisputable and copious evidence to the contrary.

Like their academic counterparts, journalists are bound to the dutiful maintenance of a sanctioned collective memory they are often too fearful to question or loath to interrogate. Together these are the guardians of a mythic and erroneous past; one that at once sustains and betrays present realities alongside the possibilities of future generations.


[1] Dust jacket blurbs. Hugh Aynesworth, November 22, 1963: Witness to History, Brown Publishing, 2013.

[2] Maria Recio, “Half a Century Later, JFK Conspiracies Still Thrive,” McClatchy Washington Bureau, November 15, 2013.

[3]David Taylor, “After Decades of Conspiracies Over JFK, All That’s Left is Regret,” The Times (London), November 23, 2013.

[4] Piers Morgan, “JFK: 50 Years Later,” CNN, November 13, 2013.

[5] Steve Inskeep, “2 Reporters Recall The Assassination That Shocked the World,” National Public Radio, November 22, 2013.

[6] “Memories of Two Days in Dallas,” Chicago Daily Herald, November 21, 2013.

[7] James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case, Second Edition, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, 249.

[8] DiEugenio Destiny Betrayed, 250.

[9] James DiEugenio, “The Obstruction of Garrison,” in James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, eds., The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X, Feral House, 2003, 26.

[10] DiEugenio, “The Obstruction of Garrison,” 27.

[11] Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and The Case that Should Have Changed History, Washington DC: Potomac Books, 2005, 152, 235-236. The article was published as Aynesworth, “The JFK ‘Conspiracy’,” Newsweek, May 15, 1967, 36, 38, 40.

[12] William Davy, Let Justice Be Done: New Light on the Jim Garrison Investigation, Reston VA: Jordan Publishing, 1999, 133. Aynesworth’s activities in this regard were not unusual. See Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media: How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up,” Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977. Available at

[13] Roger M. Williams and Michael Parks, “The Clay Shaw Trial: Reporter-Participants,” Columbia Journalism Review, Spring 1969, 38-41. Cited in Davy, 134.

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63 thought on “Guardians of the National Mythos”
  1. Thank you, James, for your substantial article this Good Friday, when MIT has hosted a giant lawn party and memorial service for Sean Collier, practically right on the spot where he was alleged to have been shot by the Tsarnaev’s. There is a headstone-like memorial put in place for the ages.

    1. It can be deeply depressing to think how deep these lies permeate our culture. I was watching Forrest Gump the other day, a movie I used to enjoy and admire. But seeing with my new eyes, made it seem more like a propaganda film meant to permeate the lies deep into the culture by passing as entertainment. I had to look at all the events and wonder how many were real, how many were manufactured? How many were a little of both, lies and the opportunistic “wagging of the dog”.

      1. Aynseworth’s confusing proclamations to the public are taking advantage of the collective unconscious surrounding a real event deeply embedded in the American soul – the lone gunman assassination of Lincoln. We forget too easily that the authorities are playing off this major piece of history, and ensuing tragedy. The National Park Service goes to great lengths to make this event seem like the lone gunman had no help, too. On a tour of the Ford’s Theater not too long ago, the ranger kept talking about Booth, never mentioning his assistance getting away and later hiding. When asked, he answered that he was given orders to tell the story that way and the story boards in the display area mention the truth about the co-conspirators. Most people don’t even know that one of these co-conspirators went to Julia Dent Grant at Willard Hotel the day before the assassination to try to persuade her to make sure and go to theater the following night with her husband. She describes him as dirty and scruffy. It’s in The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant.
        Now we have Boston today, which is still playing on the lone gunman scenario, although two actually for this non-event. The memory of Booth is far reaching and the propaganda ministers know it’s painful enough that they can get away with all kinds of mischief.

        1. Actually, Marzi, the entire story of the Lincoln murder is a mass of obvious lies, as Dave McGowan is explaining in his new series (Part 5 was published over the weekend):

          It’s called Anatomy of America’s First Presidential Assassination
          or All the Stuff that Bill O’Reilly and Various Others Left Out of Their Lengthy Works of Historical Fiction.

          The whole story was concocted myth from the start. Part 4 is about how the trials and executions of the supposed conspirators were extremely hasty; one of them got away, however (John Harrison Surratt, Jr.) and the federal government knew exactly where he was (Italy, in the Pope’s employ, if you can believe it), but did everything possible to ensure he was not brought back for trial. Dave points out that this is because, after years had passed, the trial would be very hard to control (oh, but they tried really hard–as hard as the “Justice Department” does in our own, corrupt, day). The whole business of trying, convicting and hanging the government’s selected patsies was meant to happen all at once, providing the country with “closure,” whereupon we could move on. This guy’s capture would reopen the wound, and perhaps expose the whole fraud.

          Now, where have we seen something like that before?

  2. Excellent article, as usual, thanks. I can’t help thinking that what we see today is actually relatively old. In my lifetime many have complained about the lies of the “press”. This didn’t begin with Kennedy, although that operation may have been the first leap into “in your face” boldness on their part.

    For some time there was a certain concern to maintain at least the semblance of objectivity. Not anymore.

    When I was young I remember people talking of the Soviet Union, of TASS and Pravda and how “those people are fed on lies”. Naturally, the implication was that we were not. After all, the way it was supposed to work in a “democracy” was that we were “informed voters” and our government was responsive to our wishes.

    How were we to be “informed” if our “news” could not be trusted? The major changes that I see are in the utter lack of pretext any longer for truth telling or “reporting”. Coupling that with the technology of digital photography has enabled them to literally manufacture “reality” without having to actually go out and get the action shots needed to support their narrative.

    Now, when their patrons want a meme, they simply manufacture one. When actual events occur they simply spin those in any direction they are told to. It isn’t uncommon to flip through “news” channels and find the readers presenting the same material verbatim.

    Aynesworth is obviously a classic “Mockingbird” graduate. In many ways the internet has enabled us to offer a curative solution for this. I suspect this presents a problem for them. As they lose viewers and the alternative media gains acceptance, they will, no doubt, take measures.

    1. I think in the old Soviet Union where it was very apparent and obvious you were being fed lies, what did you end up with, a very disenchanted and cynical people, who expected to be lied to, I wonder if we are not on the same path, here in the US? When there is some obvious blunder so big on these false flags that even ordinary folks can no longer deny it, we will end up with the same helpless cynicism, our own 1984.

      1. The Soviets had the excuse that Siberian concentration camps awaited them, from the Tsar’s time onwards, if they stepped out of line with the official orthodoxy. Today, the cynicism has been on the part of the leaders who encourage and permit these hoaxes, and they are drawing upon deep totalitarian ideas of how one rules. It would behoove us to read them (like Patton reading Rommel’s book about tank warfare), and to get the drift of what they stand for. Plato is their philosopher and Professor Kagan (I believe it is) of Yale Classics Dept. who espouses the “noble lie” for leading men less intelligent than himself. Others sleep in their beliefs in authority, authority believes in nothing but power. As Kissinger put it, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and perhaps even the fountain of youth that keeps such Galapagos tortoises alive.

        1. “The Soviets had the excuse that Siberian concentration camps awaited them”

          I think the threat of punishment concentrated the common man’s mind in the USSR. They used to joke “they pretend to pay us; we pretend to work.” Even if they DID get payed real money, there was nothing to spend it on. If you saw a long line, you got into it, and waited for however many hours it took, under the assumption you would be able to buy something. It might be toilet paper or it might be some food item.

          They were cynical, but very quietly so, because spies were everywhere.

          Here, it is not the stick that is used to control us, but the carrot. We have an abundance of everything. Our poor people are grotesquely fat, and they all have cable television with which to entertain themselves into uselessness. Henry Miller called what he saw developing “the air-conditioned nightmare.”

          That is, Americans are distracted from any investigating the truth behind the lies that permeate their lives. Abundance, and coddling, has proved to be a far more effective tool. Mark Steyn linked to this absolutely horrifying story ( over the weekend, about how the college debating teams that used to be such useful tools for learning to think and argue propositions have been done away with of late. Fools who simply refuse to argue the case they are assigned, and proceed to argue anything they want, using rap music antics to do it, even, and who ignore the clock that regulates the debate, ARE REWARDED for breaking all the rules. Instead of being disqualified and escorted from the room, they are being declared the winners of the tournament, if you can believe it.

          A world without standards, where all the requirements of life are abundant, is a world that transforms everyone into those huge, helpless, clueless baby-people on the space ship in the cartoon Wall-E. Such people cannot even formulate questions about the manufactured reality they exist within. Some think they can, but they are headed off at the pass by means of postmodern reality deconstruction, where texts are meaningless, and everything is what the observer wants it to be. Coddling taken to a level that obviates cynicism. It’s kind of brilliant, when you think about it.

          Nothing is real in a world where everything is done to eliminate pain. At least Soviet subjects knew that pain is real.

      2. I remember very well that the Russians were not a monolithic bloc. They used to joke all the time about how one had to “know how to read Pravda”. Frankly, I don’t think we’re “moving toward” that, we’re there.

        At the current pace we will soon be a memory. The youth will have become thoroughly indoctrinated. They will not understand “dysfunctional thinking” and will expect the marvelous State to step in and re-educate anyone with “strange” ideas”.

        Cynicism is the natural product of living in a communitarian fascist state and recognizing it. It’s pretty hard to paint a smiley face on that. It is also important to realize that the cynicism is directed at government. The importance of that depends on whether one is waiting for government to do something or they are going to do what’s necessary themselves.

        They can control what you say, they can’t control what you think. Brute force only works for as long as you are staring down the muzzle of a gun. If a person uses their head, they can be very busy at accomplishing nothing. When everything they force others to do doesn’t work, it is actually pretty difficult to stay in control.

        So, I say we are only “helpless” when we become dependent on government to fix everything. As horrible as it is, they still don’t have enough of them to watch all of us all the time. In conditions like that, unorganized resistance happens. While they are talking to you it’s “yes boss, whatever you say”. While that is happening those who have their backs turned to your neighbors are having the air let out of their tires.

        So, “cynicism” is the correct and proper attitude with regard to “your” government. If you’re not cynical you don’t understand what is happening.

    1. Exactly.

      Fortunately, it doesn’t take fifty years anymore to identify a societal parasite. Those days are over. People are still reading Crossfire with respect and admiration for Garrison.

      Aynesworth, Valenti, Hoover, Angleton, and the Warren Commission have been consigned to history’s bad joke bin.

  3. Thank you for providing another thought-provoking & in-depth report of this incident. I remember questioning the “official explanation” at the time (when I was still in high school) & how we secretly passed around the “Zapruder Report” like it was stolen Russian intelligence & the FBI would storm our houses. Then a couple of yrs. later seeing Ruby shoot Oswald on live TV, I always felt there was more to this than was being offered.

  4. We citizens of the United States have to thread our way through a dangerous minefield of information, picking out what is true from what is not true. The “mainstream media” has the vaunted position it does precisely because it is controlled by intelligence interests. Those news outlets which are not so controlled are suppressed (and belittled) before the true version of events can get traction.

    You’ve done a great service here, James, in shining a light on one of the CIA operatives responsible for pushing the myth, as well as the constellation of sycophants which revolves around him to promote his unbelievable story. Hugh Aynesworth. Let’s all remember that name. Let’s mock this “journalist impersonator” to the end of his days. He deserves our contempt not only for foisting a myth on the public, but because he did so to conceal his employers’ involvement in the crime itself.

    1. To be candid, I do not understand this sentence: “The most efficient system of opinion management functions largely absent of the conscious intent or effort of intellectual governance.”

      It is that term “intellectual governance” I do not understand. Whose intellect are we talking about? Does this simply mean people are unaware that their opinions are being stage-managed?

  5. Will have to swallow hard to go back & finish ! As soon as I read this “distinguished journalist” was a devoted fan of the Warren commission, I vomited into my mouth ! So difficult for this 70 yo to navigate this journalistic minefield !

  6. “The most efficient system of opinion management functions largely absent of the conscious intent or effort of intellectual governance.”

    I strongly disagree. The population is largely unconscious of this opinion management, but the powerful exert an enormous conscious effort to guide and restrict the mainstream truth consensus. The current untruth of the media about the Ukraine crisis reaches a new High in this regard.

    The historical reason that these conspiracies are important is because there is a close relation between homicide and untruth. Truth is not merely the first casualty of war, it is the major victim of homicide. The coverup conspiracies of these homicides are therefore in some sense more important than the operation conspiracies, because they pervert and restrict the truth consensus to make the simple concise truth Unmentionable in the Free Press.

    The Free Press is an ideological fraud; a Great Untruth that is more general than the Big Lie. Truth governance is not primarily conducted by Big Lies, but by what the intelligence agencies refer to as a ‘partial or limited hangout.’ The partial truth is emphasized and repeated endlessly to cover up the more damaging holistic truth, while the simple reality-based truth that subverts the authorized truth is de-emphasized to the point of exclusion.

    Real democracy is not possible unless the people control the mainstream truth organs. In modern times, with the invention of television, the internet, and other truth medium innovations, this is increasingly a central form of power. Truth is a power asset in the same way that military weapons and money is, and must be taken away from the powerful in the same way that their weapons and money are. The first task of a power revolution empowering the people is a truth revolution, especially in the USA where untruth is the mainstream norm.

    1. I think this depends on how we define “intellectual governance,” and perhaps this is a misleading term or context. What was meant by this is those involved in conveying that intellectual governance–journalists and academics in particular, and the broader layer of opinion shapers they speak to and inform.

      Your comments are well taken, yet as we address what constitutes intellectual governance it might also be helpful to further define what actually constitutes “democracy.” As Edward Bernays reminds us, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits of the masses is an important element in democratic society.”

      1. Somewhat of an easy task to differentiate for anyone doing any research at all. We were given a Republic ! We throw the term “democracy” around like it’s an admirable thing, but it is not. It is rule by the majority, not real freedom.

        1. Bonni,
          I’m glad you brought this point up. We are a Republic “if we can keep it”!
          I’m so tired of the Democratic Party brain washing the public with this phrase. Even President Obama on nation television called America a “Constitutional Democracy”.

          What does that even mean? Mob Rule? Oligarchy?

          I feel TPTB are following Hitler’s play book page by page and no one seems to care.

          I find it interesting that both Bush’s, Both Clinton’s and Obama have all called themselves “Progressives”. It is the hidden third party.

          Since Bush sr. was President and he announced his NWO plan in 1991, both parties have followed the same plan.

          DHS=Standing Army, Brown shirts
          NSA=be scared we know what your doing
          Gun Control=People Control(those pesky patriots)
          Control of ALL Media=Propaganda. Obama even just changed the old law that prevented our government from using propaganda on its own citizens.
          Youth Corps=Brain washing

          Taking over the Education System in1994 by Bill Clinton was a huge move. You didn’t see real movement until Obama took over and it’s now petal to the metal with Common Core brain washing.

          In 5 years this is how the pledge will go:
          I pledge allegiance to the….and to the Democracy and mob rule for which it stands, One
          Oligarchy, ran by Fascists and controlled by DHS and brown shirts, with no liberty and Justice for the Elites. And you better not have said under “God” in that pledge. We know where you live. Now turn back to the Govt. sanctioned channel for your “History” lesson.

          I usually keep it down to a low roar. This may be a little over the top..haha

  7. Thank you for the thorough investigation.

    District Attorney Jim Garrison was a true hero and a trail blazer for truth seekers. The badge of conspiracy theorist can now be worn with honor in the light of all the public humiliation the government, and it’s branch of the media, throw at their ‘enemies.’

    Here’s a radio interview with Mr. Garrison with a wealth of information on the war mongers and murderers.

  8. Well, yes, journalists and academics shape and govern public opinion, as do artists, priests, and political and social scientists. But they only do so within the restrictions of the truth institutions they are embedded in: the media, universities, churches, and Entertainment venues. And they are controlled by the oligarchs and their professional agents. Most of the mainstream media is owned by a few corporations which are controlled by billionaires, multi-billionaires, and aspiring billionaires. The oligarchs or Marx’s ruling class. They not only own the media corporations, but also the corporations and businesses that supply most of the advertising income with which the truth institutions need to survive.

    What is emphasized is the public debate of professional truthers but what is concealed as much as possible are the constraints of the oligarchy within which they must function. Perhaps this is the case in journalist schools as well, or perhaps not; I wouldn’t know. You are obviously well aware of this as your whole career in telling the reality-based truth has been attacked in media, which does not allow you to rebut it. And this is the case, usually to a lesser extent, for all professional truthers. There is no point in telling the simple reality-based truth if the truth institution will not print or air it, and fire or downgrade you for doing so.

    Since the reality-based truth consists not only of what is stated and emphasized, but what is not stated and excluded, intellectual governance must include the oligarchy which, largely invisibly, controls it, which is conscious. But it is also the case, now that I think of it, that the mainstream truth is also inherited from previous generations, as is the conceptual language that conveys it. And the conceptions and preconceptions that are inherited may well be unconscious, which would support your argument. Intellectual governance therefore may be consciously directed by an oligarchy and their truth shills, but also historically directed unconsciously by inherited preconceptions.

    I’ll have to think about what constitutes a useful definition of real democracy, formulated from a people’s perspective.

    1. I enjoy this widening of the discourse to describe the age in which we live, Mark. One consideration – which always brings out the people who rail against conspiracy theories/ theorists if they are writing an intellectual piece for the Atlantic or NY Time Op-Ed, or scream you are wearing a tinfoil hat if you comment on a story – is the idea that somewhere, in some board room or other place off-limits to everyone else, in private quarters – there are actual plots being hatched, which must be the case but which is somehow unspeakable – deep history-making.

      The other consideration is that many people who function in a deep hierarchy, if you will (their powers passed down the line from the money at the top) understand without anyone saying so that it is career suicide to go against the grain. They don’t even need signals most of the time from their betters that they should not broach certain topics, even if someone upstairs has made it patently obvious that questions abound because of the transparent sham of their event. The horse was broken to the bit a long time ago.

      It isn’t that we aren’t right, it’s that we are asking other people to violate the rules by which they are allowed to function in society and to draw their paychecks. In ever more narrow areas of expertise, they ply their intellectual trades, making things for the oligarchy like the patient bookmakers to the king they are descended from. There are so many good reasons not to rock the boat. One good one is being too busy to examine the evidence, too important to spare the time, and too damned scared that one will stand alone, exposed to scorn from all the others who have compromised and do not want to be associated with anyone so against the ever tightening system that must, daily and hourly, since the event, remind and condition the public into total belief in the official story of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Their energy has been unflagging. They cannot allow a single shaft of light between themselves and the intelligensia of Boston. It’s just remarkable.

      Without an oligarchy or a few kingpins directing this thing, it would have broken down into dissent by now. But how can you sneer at what — 37 – 25 -16 – however many plucky amputees and those bereaved parents? They have carried the brand into the local communities, showing up as celebrities who won the lottery. It’s gone on non-stop even harder than a race for the presidency. That takes mucho dinero, or at least much tribute swag from lesser powers.

    2. I’m inclined to think, and what I sought to get across, is that a Steve Inskeep, a contributor to the London Times, and to a lesser degree a Piers Morgan, have more or less internalized certain assumptions and perspectives that comprise a worldview capable of dismissing or overlooking accurate historical facts and observations out of hand. After all, in this instance they have “one of their own” (or so it would appear) attesting to the “lone assassin” theory’s veracity.

      One comes to accept and believe this set of understandings in order to rationalize their own activities and livelihoods, which are themselves obscured through “professional” journalistic tenets, indeed evident in the curricula of J schools and professional news organizations. In turn, these views are legitimated through the self recognition of their own influential positions (admittedly no longer the case for Morgan, who will probably soon reemerge with a show on TruTV or the equivalent).

  9. The details of Aynesworth’s story changes from interview to interview brought to mind the video compiled by a Boston Marathon Bombing investigator posted on the Memory Hole website. It was basically the investigation of BMB “hero” Bruce Mendelsohn, who couldn’t keep the (tall) tale of his actions on that day straight. I suppose this tactic could be a calculated attempt to confuse and obscure, or maybe Mendelsohn – and Aynesworth – are just sloppy. You tend to be that way if you are convinced that no one is looking. These days citizen journalists are. And they are among those who are manifestly not “too fearful to investigate or loath to interrogate”. They are, taken together, a sign of great hope. Thank you for your work, Dr. Tracy. And I learn almost as much from the commentators of Memory Hole Blog as I do from your dispatches.

  10. In addition, Musings, the last series of conspiracies revealed primarily by James are emotionally very difficult to believe. I have had a very difficult time emotionally believing that the Sandy Hook Massacre is essentially a fraud even though I know intellectually that it must be. An intelligent friend was very disturbed by the Massacre of children and had bad dreams about it. He simply can’t believe that the whole thing was largely a fraud, a mock drill, because that would mean that he was emotionally duped.

    Another friend, a physicist, simply laughs about my adherence to Conspiracy Theories, although he easily accepts other unconventional theories. Here the problem is that when he studies physical reality, it may be inscrutable but it is not malevolent. Physical reality is not trying to deceive him; so it is hard to accept the notion that this is not the case with political and social reality.

    The librarians in the library I use are good people who think the War on Terrorism is a fraud. But they cannot accept that the Boston Bombings were (I’m in southern California.) When lies are piled on lies that are piled on lies, they are very emotionally difficult to unravel. And they continue: there is a new book out by a NY Times reporter dishonestly supporting most of the official version of the Warren Report. That is why the reporting on Aynesworth, etc, is still important, another rope to hang the official versions.

    The basic problem is not intellectual ignorance, not knowing, but emotional denial, not wanting to know. But intellectual truth can help pave the way for emotional truth. And accepting operation conspiracies and the coverup conspiracies that conceal them can lead to viewing a power system as a conspiracy of the powerful against the people. and the media truth as an historical truth conspiracy. And in the USA at the present time under the War on Terrorism, this is a big step forward.

    1. Mark, I hear you about the rejection by most scientists of an examination of what we are presented in the news that cannot be true. It cannot be denied that most of them are beholden to agencies in the federal government for funding, so they get the hint. They didn’t even attack the Bush administration all that much, even when the anthrax and other bio-terror claims were truly outrageous, against Saddam. They never confronted head-on, nor did doctors I know attack torture at Gitmo and use their positions to drive from their own profession any doctors co-operating with the military and CIA there. So there is a long history of ignoring the problems, waiting for history to force them into making a stand, something which they hope will never come in their lifetimes. They are willing to put up with it.

      When I have queried my own contacts, I have learned that they long ago delegated authority to the magazines and newspapers associated with high status in this country, and they trust their writers to tell them about what they are not themselves directly observing or experimenting upon.

      Therefore, this must have been taken into consideration by those who realized a story about a pan that took off lots of legs with nails galore that never nicked the sidewalk or anything around them, just selectively destroyed legs (not arms or fingers or ears), would be accepted because it came from trusted sources, and after all, the scientists would not be trying to replicate the experiment because it wasn’t their speciality. After all, who would want to try and test such a home-made bomb?

      Okay, maybe watch the guys on “Mythbusters”, but why would they feature such a story? They’d have to get gel-filled dummies and spread them around and set up a whole Forum Restaurant re-creation. It would be disrespectful of the injured and dead. Not going to happen, since the wave of skepticism never breached the threshold of where they have explain something away as a worthless conspiracy theory.

      So we are left with the knowledge that somewhere along the line, we doubted. There was something out of place. It didn’t necessarily happen right away. But like other things in life (finding out there is no Santa, not because other kids told us, but because Mom and Dad had a fight about how many Christmas presents one of them bought), we are the type of people who do not wish back an earlier myth which once made us secure. Few grown-ups continue to believe in Santa, but it may be that they did not learn to reject the myth for the same reason. It may be a question of conformity for most. It may not be a shocking discovery. Then, there may be a reason for the myth to continue – is it benign or not? – the jury is out – but still, we know what it is.

      There are different ways to build the story, different perspectives. One might be to see that it is a story about “smart” prostheses and that these are being manufactured only for legs, and that it is associated with the toll IED’s have taken on soldiers, so there is big money available to compete for to get the contracts to build them. Ring any bells about what institutions might be involved with that?

      So is this caper benign? Is believing in Santa as an adult benign? How angry would people be if the veil were ripped off the thing? Would they be forgiving of the perpetrators? I don’t think so. Time for “bodyguard of lies” to protect something – funding I’d say, for worthwhile stuff, but privileged funding, beating out others for it. Not competing on a level playing field. This is my theory. It is only a theory. I have no actual evidence, just a hunch.

  11. It is now abundantly clear that the machine has been successful in controlling the very core of our beliefs and thoughts, until the invention of the internet.

    Even on this blog, trolls hammer each other back and forth, consuming hundreds of comments and pages of jabbers. It is very peculiar that there are only certain subjects they appear to be employed to discredit.

    The latest Nevada ranger story shouted out the current hoodwink to me. When the leader of the senate declared all those who supported him, are domestic terrorists, that sealed the deal in my mind.

    Read the comments in this article of the locals that perhaps reveal a closer picture to the truth.

    Also interesting on this day, released was the heavily redacted Clinton report on the “The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce,” originally some 331 pages, was reduced to only 28 pages in the sanitized and heavily redacted version posted by the presidential library.


  12. I don’t think so, Musings. I think the major problem is power. Most people tend to prefer power to truth. We are Educated, Informed, and Entertained from childhood by the truth institutions of our power systems to emotionally identify with authorized power. And Freud has suggested in his critique of religious delusions, THE FUTURE OF AN ILLUSION, that there is a biological-cultural basis for our identification with this process.

    Humans have a longer childhood than other species when we are entirely dependent on the power of our parents for our very survival. We tend to identify with this power, and project powerful gods that will protect us in adulthood like our parents did in childhood. Freud suggested that our political regulations are delusive in the same way that our religious beliefs are, identifying with our Founding Fathers and the Father of our country and they laws they promote for Our Benefit.

    Of course there are material interests as well, but I think they are often secondary. We tend to think of them as primary because the major world social theory in the 20th century was Marxism, and Marxist theory emphasized material factors which influenced all other ideologies. I think in the 21st century we need a more general comprehensive theory.

    A state or power system, for example, can be conceived as a protection racket, a more general view initiated by Smedley Butler in WAR IS A RACKET. It protects and takes care of us like our parents did, and therefore we give it the benefit of the doubt even in dubious claims. I can’t think of any other reason when certain and obvious truths in plain sight, produced by James, the commenters, and other truthers, are simply ignored when they don’t fit the mainstream truth consensus. As a species, we prefer power to truth, not only a reflection but a cause of the nightmare of history.

    1. But as you say it is a “protection racket” and that cuts two ways – emotional protection and financial scam. My analysis of the interests at stake comes from my direct local observation of the faculty at MIT, never questioning the event when their expertise is should at least produce a few curious engineers to review the scene which is a hop, skip and a few Smoots away from them (Smoot being a unit of measure of a local bridge). They are mute on the topic of the bombs’ impact, although they could have led a vanguard against the probability of the official story. Instead, they conceded all to the empty-headed media in the area. I think they are scared of losing funding, as simple as that, and they learned a long time ago how not to offend their government. They were never even feared when this thing was pulled off. Maybe it is because, except in the case of Sean Collier, whose reported death may or may not be genuine (none of them apparently came upon his body – police were there first), the BMB did not affect them directly and they cannot measure or test it at the scene.

      They would be forced like us to speculate and use logic, but that is reserved for things like string theory and other novelties in their world.

      So it is left for the “humanities” if you will to examine and analyze photos and reports of the event.

      Michael Dertouzos, a computer science professor and director of the lab which is now housed at the site of the Collier incident, who died somewhat unexpectedly in August 2001, used to write books about his regret over the split about 500 years ago between “Techne” and humanities. He wanted to heal the breach between them. At the building overlooking the quad where the memorial for Collier just took place, there is a Greek-style open air theater, which he wanted to use to help in the process of understanding. It is never used.

  13. Happy Easter greetings to all on this most significant day in American culture.

    I have a great admiraton for the American Indian vision of reality. It isn’t loaded with century-old myths and hidden truths. Michael Ruppert committed suicide this past week at a place in the Rocky Mountains where he retreated for solace from what he saw as the slow demise of civilization. You might recall his brave stand against organized drug cabals in Los Angeles back in the l970s. He fought the good fight.

    In one of his last videos from his retreat he quoted a Cree prophecy and attributed it to Chief Joseph, chief of the gallant Nez Perce tribe of Northwestern Oregon. Here is the quote; put it into prespective on this Holy Sunday along with your other devotions, realizing we are all connected on this small, fragile planet:

    “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”

    Some people realize this intuitively; some never will.

    1. I’m still mad at Mike Ruppert, who actually had left the Rockies and gone to live in Napa where he died. He brought huge reserves of energy to bear on assembling arguments for his book Crossing the Rubicon and his award-winning film, Collapse (with a companion book). With great energy came great depletion of his own personal reserves, financial and spiritual, although he sought to restore both. The early sixties is a critical time for men, and there are many serious health problems lurking beneath the surface. I believe the demographic he was in at his death is one with a huge suicide risk for those who are single, financially strapped, unknowingly harboring serious heart disease. He might easily have simply died from a heart attack as well, as one can name many in his place who have. So I do not buy his death as a voluntary cosmic answer to his questions about life. I see it as the result of illness (and I do not distinguish mental from physical illness – they are the same). But I am still kind of angry with him for not seeking conventional help. My husband is alive across from me in this room because he did, and after heart surgery has been walking about five miles a day and seems better. My father and first cousin also had by-pass surgery (two each), and it allows a more easeful life which may last two or more decades. Mike in his eighties would have been a good thing for us all.

      1. ————————————

        Musings if you will view his last videos which explain in graphic detail why he finally gave up. He believed in the afterlife and decided he could do no more to convince a collapsing world of the errors we are making. I feel he did not want to see his apocolyptic vew transpire.

        Seems he gave enough to merit a place of peace on the other side.
        I have his book, “Crossing the Rubicon.” Peak oil has been roundly debunked but taking the place of sweet oil, we find the environmentally-flawed Tar Sands project in Canada and fracking for natural gas across the US extends the curse of fossil fuel explotation. Very disturbing but something to consider. All these events weighed heavily on his mind. He said if Fukushima falls, it will be the end of life on earth. The northern Pacific Ocean is already dying from the Japanese tsunami pollution.

        1. It’s hard to argue with a fait accompli like Mike’s. I can easily see that he warned of where we now find ourselves, with self-destructive energy creation that threatens the environment, and that not only may it become the case that we will not even receive the benefits, such as they are, from it, they may be used to pay off debts which our leaders have incurred for us to countries like China (a real hell-hole for those who live there, more experienced in the ways of self-destruction than we are).

          But you must always look to a person’s traditions too, when they do things like this, and I have no idea whether or not it is a habit within his family, as it was with Hemingway’s (about the same age at his own death).

          When I think of Apocalypse, I go back to its Greek sense of being a completely new chapter, a new beginning. Mel Gibson uses that sense of it in his great film Apocalypto, in the very last scene. All that we are and know can be greatly changed, but we may still survive, perhaps to flourish. What happens now has perhaps happened before. I still think no one individual can comprehend the total, cosmic picture. It is to be, unfolding, mysterious, and life is to be respected and cherished, even our own.

        2. ————————————-

          Mel Gibson has a knack for drumming up movies that excite, rather than inform. “Apocalypto” received good reviews and I admit to missing it.

          However, being a skeptic, might it have more to do with encouraging a Globalist agenda? Has Gibson signed onto the UN Agenda 21 with populatiion descreases and major land appropriations, and relocatomg the remaining population into urban corrals with living quarters the size of a doll’s house? I can research to see if this perspective is too far out of the rational realm to fit his script. It will be interesting in any event. (Hollywood has been among the vanguard promoting the NWO.)

          We all read evemts through the narrow prism of personal experience. Michael Ruppert is far advanced in his
          analyses, thus his failure to reach the muddled crowd.
          Mel Gibson should be so astute.

        3. I doubt that Gibson would be involved with the UN or even think of the world in that post-Enlightenment, false logic sort of way. He’s too impulsive a person for that. You might imagine some far out rapper in the same role and being a tad more likely to find him sitting with those kind of suits. If anything anchors him, it is his occasional touching base with paleo-Catholicism, and it is no accident that he has produced a huge brood of his own children. His father believes that Vatican II created a false papacy (too tolerant) just for starters, and that return to all the encrustations of the faith from before the 1960’s is just the ticket to paradise.

          I will however say I am privy to a story about him, which I have on the best source, about his trying to raise money to make a movie about the Rwandan genocide and forgiveness. So if being interested in Africans makes him a tool of the UN, perhaps he is. But more likely he saw a violent story and wanted to use it as he does violence in all of his films. With him, a Nativity scene would show the Massacre of the Holy Innocents down in the town, Roman soldiers cutting babies in half, that kind of thing. It would be a great hit in many a town square, in a kind of Clockwork Orange sort of way.

        4. ———————————–

          Hi, Musings, Pigging-backing on your previous comment as reply button disappeared. Re Mel Gibson’s contributions to the art of the cinema…

          Your factoid that he is interested in the bloody internecine Unganda conflict is eye-opening. We, as a country have invested tons of money, hardware, and schemes to recolonize Africa. So don’t think that anyone’s interest–from Oprah to Kissinger (endorsing our first ‘black’ president), to the CIA’s constant forays on the continent isn’t connected Can we ever dispell the sight of the Libyan invasion and tragic consequences as mere happenstance?. I fear not.

          This is NWO strategy to conquer all, leave no patch of land unexploited.

          So please don’t discount the subtle use (or not so subtle in Gibson’s vernacular) to sway public opinion. And after all, film is very persuasive on so many levels. Gibson feeds into our reptilian brain the darkest of images. He knows it sells–just as porn sells to the sex addicted

          A review from the NYT nails the technique and is expressed with deft analysis. My take exactly.

        5. The review you link to, Marilyn, ends with this:

          “And it is, all in all, a pretty good show. There is a tendency, at least among journalists, to take Mr. Gibson as either a monster or a genius, a false choice that he frequently seems intent on encouraging. Is he a madman or a visionary? Should he be shunned or embraced? Censured or forgiven?

          “These are the wrong questions, but their persistence reveals the truth about this shrewd and bloody-minded filmmaker. He is an entertainer. He will be publicized, and he will be paid.”

          I’m not certain what the poor fellow is after, and as I say in my recent comments about him on my blog, he’s definitely a sad case.

          But the truth is that each of these movies he has chosen to create have violence at the center for an essential purpose. Whatever one thinks about England’s acquiring Scotland, it was a very violent business, and it was about time that the romanticization was reversed. Call it a corrective perspective. And, certainly, no one had pointed out before, in the movies, that it was the militia–the average fellow–who defeated Britain. It was a war, and wars are ugly. The price Christ paid to redeem us was particularly ugly, and it was about time some on gave us a sense of it. And the long nightmare that Central America had been living through–tens of thousands of live human sacrifices to false gods every single year–was ended when Hernando Cortez arrived. Almost no one knows how unimaginably evil was the world Cortez encountered; all we are told is that the conquest was ugly (that is, white people are always the bad guys; the noble savage is always wonderful, until Europeans destroy his way of life).

          Is there something wrong with Mel, that he feels that these essential, revolutionary, events in out history must finally be told to the common man, in a way that brings out the visceral cost that paid for them?

          Can his personal failings be connected with that drive he feels, on a professional level? I tend to doubt it. Chaplin would be the model I would use, were this a forum that provided sufficient space. I can see no connection between the destructive personal conduct there, with the intensity of the drive, and the content of it, that Charley’s creative side represents.

          So please, musings, don’t think about A Clockwork Orange when you think about Mel Gibson’s vision. His is not insane, irrational, ultra-violence for its pleasure value, as the characters indulge in, and he certainly is not motivated by whatever it was that inspired Kubrick.

  14. Are you a woman, Musings? I always assumed that you were a man. You are free to make the appropriate comments.

    Good point about the funding of MIT, a lot of military research.

    About Ruppert, some men, like myself, don’t like to be fussed over. We’d rather die than go though the horrid medical stuff, and do. You shouldn’t be mad at him for ending his life, which I agree was a tragedy. Everybody owns their own life and can end it when they wish. It is not uncommon among leftists, such as Abby Hoffman and Marxists and Trotskist families, so there is a (possibly bad) tradition he was following.

    1. Bless your heart Mark, I am indeed a female (with a law degree too). I grew up in Anaheim, if that means anything to you. My life was quite pleasant there when young, though I always felt it had an intellectual life about as deep as a greasy melmac plate (the OC that is). I soon found Pasadena and my love at Caltech, and the Big Bang became my reality.

  15. My wife got a law degree at UCLA. She is much smarter than I am, the usual case in male-female pairings. But women like to keep it secret, not a difficult task with their dumbo males.

    Sensing a lack in my spiritual development, she and some friends took me to Hollywood during Holy Week to see the Book of Mormon.

    Not known to most people, there are actually THREE testaments to the Holy Bible, the last written during biblical times in the early 19th century.
    This was explained at the play, a harmless satire, brilliant staged, which the Mormon church favored. As they say in Hollywood, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    The church sends young men in pairs as missionaries to other lands to distribute the Book. One of these was Arnold, the anti-hero, who never actually read it (its so boring.) So he tends to make things up from popular culture that he is familiar with. Most people don’t know this but Jesus actually visited the USA, as the Book states, arriving according to Arnold on the starship Enterprise.

    Arnold and his partner is sent to Uganda where the people suffer from Aids, poverty, and warlords. By modifying the Holy Word in his usual way, ( in Salt Lake City the warlords are kind, they help you across the street) he gets the villagers to unite against the local warlord, general Buck-fucking Naked, converting him to the new book, the Book of Arnold.

    The underlying theme of this musical bothered me, that the ideology is not important if the political culture helps people, but my wife has little patience with theological speculation (you mean that you don’t believe the Garden of Eden was originally located in Missouri? a sacred Mormon tenet.) But since today is Easter, or Holy Paskha in the orthodox countries such as Ukraine, I thought a brief description might raise your spirits as well. Happy Easter.

  16. Thank you Mark & Musings for the belly laughs today! You are so right, they can manipulate us all they want, but they cannot take away our love and joy of this life we have, if we do not let them.

    It seems to me, both genders have certain qualities that support each other. Mothers have a third eye that can spot a lie a mile away.

  17. I know this is a place for analysis of events which have already been produced by the news media according to a certain story line. But when I woke up near Boston on this Marathon day I wondered if there might not be more tricks up their sleeves. I still wonder what might be produced on an ongoing basis to convince the populace they need massive protection.

    A few days ago, there was an announcement in the online Boston Globe that helicopters were in the area checking for radioactive materials, along the Marathon route. In fact, I live about 2 miles from Heartbreak Hill, the last big push spot for runners before they descend into the Boston area in their last lap. Indeed, I heard helicopters flying low most of the day. It really made no sense from a preventive point of view – because you’d imagine someone bent on mischief would easily evade such announced surveillance. The item disappeared quickly from the Globe’s website, but left a residue of questions for me about not my own safety, but security interpretations of public safety, and whether seizure of property could actually happen.

    I began to think about all the neighbors who just took off for the three-day weekend, including a government employee I see regularly. Again, not getting all woo-woo here – it IS a three-day holiday here, and getting away would have been an excellent idea for anyone with foresight who wanted to catch those last spring skiing days. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Too set in my ways.

    But this morning I learned that one of the main roads into Boston, the Zakim Bridge, is shut down due to a big truck and car fire with one fatality. This NEVER happens on this bridge, which is modern, broad, easy to move on. It just seems improbable. But indeed, shutting would be one way of sealing off access to Boston for a time for many people coming from the north, like New Hampshire. In my opinion, it is drill-ready if there ever was such a site. I am not ready to say it is fake, just kind of unusual, given the day, like the fire at the Kennedy Library on the other Marathon Day.

    I put this out only to give you the atmosphere that will panic some and make others of us say – “Well, isn’t that special.” And yet, we are living in a world in which random things do happen.

  18. ———————————–

    Patrick, don’t see the analygy between Chaplin and Gibson. SMaybe I am misreading your point.

    Always thouight Chaplin’s mesage was cloaked in a tender respect, though often terse presentation of the human animal. He definitely telegraphed his distain for the mind-sapping rigor of modern industry. Probably why he was labeled an undesireable. But then so many creative people don’t fit into the pattern designed by an insurlar, self-satisfied culture.

    Who is Mel Gibson? Essentially, an actor turned producer and director with his own vision. That vision is skewed by the drive to succeed as an artist. So he uses the whole gamut of film sorcery with the skill of a tycoon whose real goal is to make money. It is difficult to pin down his duality; that is why the NYT’s critique ends in confusion. Art must stand or die on its own.

    But please spare the public any more blood-saturated films posing as art. Discering people aren’t buying it; others will satiate their subliminal need for carnage. Too bad..

    1. “Who is Mel Gibson? Essentially, an actor turned producer and director with his own vision. That vision is skewed by the drive to succeed as an artist. So he uses the whole gamut of film sorcery with the skill of a tycoon…”

      Replace “Mel Gibson” with “Charles Chaplin” and it is equally true.

      “…whose real goal is to make money. ”

      I doubt this is true of either one.

      As I summarized the four self-created movies of Gibson the NYT mentioned, all are violent for a purpose: to point out the price of freedom. Scotland (lost); America (won); Jesus (won); Central America (the Spaniards stopped the monstrous violence depicted in the movie with no violence at all–Montezuma’s abdication came a few months after the movie ended). I, for one, am deeply grateful that he depicted these events in the painfully visceral way he did, because we need to FEEL it.

      I don’t know if he chooses projects like this because there is something wrong with him, that he wants to tell violent stories because he is mentally ill. If that is the case, it is an amazing coincidence that all four are related in the sense that they have the same core message: freedom that is paid for with a terrible price.

      If Mel Gibson were, as musings mused, desirous of creating worlds like A Clockwork Orange, he’d be making pictures like Saw, or those Chuckie monstrosities, or slasher flicks. But he never does. He takes historical realities whose violence has at its core an essential goodness (or, in the case of Central America, its cessation-by-conquest is the good thing), and portrays it in a sickening way, because we need to understand the price that freedom costs.

      Sorry, but I’m with Mel. Even if, as I wrote on my blog, he has spent the last decade demonstrating he’s not on the Stairway to Heaven.

      The pattern pif his art tells us that he has a coherent vision, just as Chaplin did. Both are/were relentless and dedicated to bringing it to us, and both wonderfully skilled at that task. The market paid both fantastically well in exchange. Good for them.

      And both had different lives, personal lives that were/are not so noble. I argue that in both cases, the two (professional and personal) are not reflective of one another.

      1. I can’t recall what word the “helpful” Mac software turned into “pif”; what I meant to say is that the pattern we can see in his choice to create these four movies should be obvious. And the violence, while central, is not at all the reason he chose those stories to tell. He told those stories because they need to be told, in the way that does not side-step the violence. But he’s not making violent movies because he likes violence. The movies make clear that he hates it, and wants a stop to be put to it. The four films are all about that one central thing: freedom ends the violence, but getting there sometimes requires violence.

      2. I think you misunderstood what I wrote about Clockwork Orange – I was riffing on the problem of nativity scenes in the public square, and imagining some future in which it could be sold to the public by including the massacre warned of (by an angel, I think) that precipitated the Flight into Egypt. I did not say Gibson was about Clockwork Orange, but that he did play up violence, and that the public enjoyed it, perhaps for the reasons brought out in Clockwork Orange, where I think the protagonist imagined himself as a Roman soldier during the Stations of the Cross, administering the beatings. There is a definite parallel, though I agree that Gibson’s intentions are not the same as Kubrick’s. Gibson’s use of the Spanish priests in Apocalypto were as heroes to the people of central America, and liberators really from the culture of human sacrifice, much as Christ is seen as a long-term liberator from the conquest and slave culture of ancient Rome. He does have a lot to say about the price of freedom, but on the way to the story’s end, he gratifies the mob’s love of violence (much as the BMB tale does, come to think of it, to lesser ends).

        1. Your memory is good, musings! I remember well when Alex “imagined himself as a Roman soldier during the Stations of the Cross, administering the beatings,” and should have immediately understood your allusion. I apologize for not flashing on that memory, and misunderstanding your comment.

          Mark Steyn, in his otherwise positive reflections on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of The Passion of the Christ says this:

          “Worst of all are the Roman soldiers who torture Christ and laugh and spit and jeer like corrupt banana-republic cops in an action movie. Regardless of whether that’s a slur on one of the great empires of our civilization, it serves Gibson poorly: the sins that Jesus died for are our everyday ones, not the worst excesses of an Amnesty International report. A brisker, more professional soldiery would have made the point better.”

          Making your guess even more apposite. As usual, you are unerring in your instincts.

      3. ————————————

        Again, can’t see the comparison between Chaplin and Gibson. Chaplin’s success was predicated on reaching the human element and
        it resonated with the general public. Don’t see any volence; he tells a poignant story (didn’t he make the film about the Klondike Goldrush?.Plenty of grist for the mill there, but no overt bloodletting.)

        Most horrific to me was the horses and mules who it is said walked off a cliff to death rather than prolong the torture. It is amazing what the human mind can conjure to foster the appetite for money. Don’t know if that scene was part of the original but the image is riviting…now that is film art, if so, and it actually happened.

        Incidently, that old silent “Goldrush” masterpiece (and it was just that) is being remastered by men with half the talent and artistic insight as Chaplin. So it goes when people run out of fresh ideas. They drag out and tinker with Shakespeare or Chaplin–lol.

        1. My point in making the comparison is the contrast between the personal, destructive, lives, and the obsessive drive to succeed in the professional lives. I did not say that the contents of both men’s work is violence. What I did say is that in both cases one cannot say that the obsessions that drove them to succeed professionally are related to their private destructiveness. In both cases, there is a firewall between private and professional. In Chaplin’s case, it seems that his work ethic actually amplified his destruction of personal relationships, though–today we call it workaholism.

          I use Chaplin as a comparison because I think the parallels are obvious. Maybe not to you, Marilyn, which is fine, but I do take issue with you over the idea that Gibson is obsessed with violence, personally, so it spills over into his films. I see the violence in his work as being a thematic element in his overall focus on the price we must pay to be free; he does not like the violence, clearly–at least it seems so to me.

          Equally clear is his helplessness in keeping it together on a personal level. He’s perfectly focussed and disciplined on a professional level, and is telling a big story, as these projects’ similarities demonstrate. Too bad he can’t be the same way in private. The exact same thing can be said of Chaplin: his screen persona was concerned and loving; in private, his life did not work out so well. As I mentioned, however, this is a bigger story than can be told here.

        2. Both of them are artists. Whether an artist turns him/herself into the work itself is one of form, not talent. Both are truly awe inspiring.

          Emerson said “to be great is to be misunderstood”. That’s not really all that profound. If artists were “normal” we would pay no attention.

          Their art is their accomplishment, not their personal lives (unless that is part of their art). If we are touched or moved in some way by art it is successful. That is the point of art, to see with new eyes or hear with new ears.

          Even with natural gifts great art is the result of unrestricted giving. The art is the perfect expression of the artist. Their personal lives are just hints. Without passion there is no art. It would be odd to expect someone capable of that much passion to lead a dispassionate life.

  19. This is hysterical to me, the MSM is celebrating that an American finally won the race, after several decades of not. They totally disregard the fact that he, just as all the other winners, was born in Kenya.

    Yes we can buy winners and Olympic champions!

    On a side note, love Mel Gibson, but have been boycotting anything Hollywood for awhile now.

    Appreciate the reporting on the scene from the very intelligent Musings, but cannot understand why folks who recognize the tyranny just don’t pack it up and leave. We left a highly taxed and corrupt area to a lovely place in the US, which I am reluctant to reveal, lest it may also be invaded, but am sure there are still many oases in this great country.

    1. “have been boycotting anything Hollywood”

      Too bad. Movies are our shared mythos. If you don’t know the Matrix, or the Big Lebowski, you can’t understand the people around you when they casually reference these things. When Paul went to Mars Hill, he could communicate with the men he found there, because he knew that they had an “unknown god” that they acknowledged; he used it to reach them with the Gospel message. He had to learn about lots of pagan gods to find out about that one. And he had to know how to talk to pagans about the rest of their gods. We need to be able to do the same.

      If there is a Jungian world of shared archetypes in our debased culture, it is found in the movies. To ignore it is akin to cutting out one’s eyes, and one’s tongue. How can we speak to each other if we simply boycott the shared set of myths?

      Another thing: there is truth in art, and there is evil in it, too. If you read my articles on the Noah movie, you will know why we need to know what the lie is in order to be able to give an answer to it.

  20. Well the truth is we have cable, so are not total recluses but get your point. Much the same as those who refuse to pay attention to the news of day, observations of what is and is not reported is critical.

    Weather modification is the most serious threat to our livelihood, in my opinion. Here, on April fools day no less, they are bragging that the coldest winter on record is proof their experiment worked!

    Here’s further proof that the tin foilers were right all along. If you have a billion dollars, you can join the club.

    1. Good Stuff. I tried to get the redacted ACDC report but no luck. It must have been giving to “TheGreenGrok” to filter it out. They just admit to what they already have been doing..

  21. On the interesting topic of probable news fraud’s financial benefits: families of Malaysian flight 370 may sue Boeing in the US. As we observed at this site when the hype at CNN was ongoing in its truly ground-breaking over-the-top way (enough to have comedians joking about a plane crash, because they too probably realized its unlikelihood), the “reporter” Richard Quest suddenly “remembered” he’d ridden in the cockpit with the co-pilot (“Hamid”) on a “training flight” resembling one which could as easily have been the simulator another CNN reporter in Canada was in simulating the same flight to show possible scenarios of what might have happened to it. Quest and “Hamid” had met up only two weeks before to enjoy their moment together, and it had been such a big shock to Quest that they had done so, although he had to be reminded of it by someone else, on twitter.

    Another feature of the story was that the families were already have been said to have been paid off a few days into the missing flight by Allianz, which insures Malaysian Airlines, so whether this is Allianz seeking indemnification from Boeing or the families seeking another pay-out, hard to know at this point.

    Just special, really special. Obviously very open money changing hands for what had been a black op of some sort. Wonder why they need to get us involved and on their side about it.

    1. It sure is interesting to speculate on why that current distraction. CNN seemed to cover the mystery 24/7, and as reported their dismal news ratings improved. Hard to believe, but that is what’s they said. Some call it the CIA News Network.

      Royles Royce, the manufacturing of that engine, knows exactly when that engine was turned off or stopped functioning. My husband tells me there is an additional gps function that would identify location, but they opted out of that option for this model. Hard to believe that is even an option.

      Perhaps distraction from the real news, while the healthcare government takeover was failing miserably with outrageous costs and a non-functioning website, the numbers suddenly ballooned to over 8 million signing up. Pay no attention to the fact that the numbers cannot be substantiated, some may have had their plans that they were paying for cancelled, some may not be enrolled at all as they cannot afford to pay, some may be Medicaid participants who would have been covered anyhow, many were probably illegal immigrants as the consulate offices had special outreach productions.

      Our tax accountant advised us not to believe what the sellers of the government health care scammers have tried to sell, she has received zero information on the health care tax credits they propose are there.

      Cannot help but think, that most news is just a distraction to keep us from realizing what is actually happening.

      How about the 16 year old who crawled into a wheel compartment of a Hawaiian plane and somehow survived the almost 5 hour flight, reported to be 50 degrees below zero and there was no oxygen at that altitude? One report was he was discovered passed out on the tarmac, the other he was looking for help. No charges will be filed.

      A rather bombastic host/reporter on Fox, who I would not normally watch, caught my attention yesterday declaring yah right, just because the FBI said this happened, we are supposed to believe it? I do not think so, this is ridiculous that a person would survive! He was not at his normally scheduled show today.

  22. Stories circulating that George HW Bush was deeply involved in the Kennedy assassination, that he was a CIA agent at that time, though he denied it later, bring a troubling side to this story of the measured distance that journalists and academics maintain from this most critical event in 20th century US history. One wonders how much of this long experience with media and academic inattention helped to shape the bravado with which the 9/11 false flag was carried out. Evidence that the Bush family has long been behind covert operations within and without the country is both very convincing and very disturbing.

    1. Yes, in a way this is timely. There are pictures of him in Dallas that day and a phone record he made trying to frame a political opponent.

      The Bushes, just like the Harrimans, Walkers, et al, are prime “agents” of the controllers. So, while he may have been a CIA agent, that is largely a “cover”.

      None of these guys are who they say they are, nor do they work for us. The “timely” aspect comes into play when you consider how long ago this happened, how much has been written about it, the intensity of the study of it, and nothing to date has been done. What do you think the odds of the SHES pageant being “revealed” are?

      The “news” has always been controlled. There was a time when there were alternative outlets who didn’t tow the party line. That has been replaced by the internet. They are desperately trying to get control of that. If they can’t control it, those who post will be investigated and eliminated by other means.

      Virtually every act of government (anywhere in the Western World) these days is fascistic. It may have a “happy face” or be described differently, but that is what it is. The question is whether or not we will support it.

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