We shall not cease from explorationT S Eliot
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
The most foolproof way to spark an exploration for truth is to attempt to smother it. When the lone gunman alleged to have murdered the US president was himself murdered, supposedly by another lone gunman, less than 48 hours after the assassination, the official and unlikely story of lightning striking twice in such a short space of time was the spark that ignited the search for the truth behind JFK’s assassination.
Fox News hosts the most-watched cable news shows in the US, by a long shot. Sixty years of searching has culminated in Fox’s Tucker Carlson announcing on 15 December that a source with intimate knowledge of the contents of official records surrounding the 1963 assassination of US president John F Kennedy has confirmed the CIA was involved.
The ‘revelation’ of a conspiracy to murder JFK actually isn’t news to a majority of Americans. Perhaps in this sense, America has arrived where it started. But we can only know this place for the first time if we discover something truly new, not just about the perpetrators of the crime but about what the event really tells us about the state of the world and our democracies, then and now. And then, more importantly, what do we do with this information?
Robert Kennedy Jnr called Tucker Carlson’s announcement “the most courageous newscast in 60 years”. I can understand why he would say that: as a distinguished attorney and member of the Kennedy clan, he must have formed a considered view, not just about his uncle’s assassination in 1963, but about his own father’s assassination in 1968. But, fully 60 years after the event, when the criminals involved can’t be held to account, is it really that courageous to discuss what most people already know? With public doubt going mainstream, it appears that the public is now being given permission to say out loud what they were quietly thinking all along.
There are many ways to explore the real meaning of this story. I want to use it as a springboard to discuss:
- The sham of American and Western democracy. I said a fair bit about that in my last piece, but the Kennedy assassination is an important addendum.
- The enduring, thought-terminating cliché of ‘conspiracy theory’ and why thinking people should treat this label with the contempt it deserves.
- What Fox News’ explosive non-revelation means at a time when a global neo-fascist tyranny is unfolding at pace.
But first a brief note on why so many counter revolutions in history are led by an ‘educated’ middle class. Although an overall majority of Americans believe that Oswald did not act alone in the JFK assassination, the only demographic that does believe he acted alone is college-educated white people. I find this unsurprising for two reasons. First, this is a demographic whose interests are well served by the establishment. Second, covid has exposed those with the best formal education as being the most credulous, to put it politely, because institutions of ‘higher’ learning are the factory assembly lines for automatons programmed with up-to-date establishment orthodoxy. Universities are the conveyor belts for delivering the professional managerial class to the institutions which serve as the economic and academic pillars of society and its entire power structure. That class of people will absolutely not need to be brain-chipped to ensure full compliance in the brave new transhumanist world of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Zapruder film – subliminal programming for American presidents after 1963
The official CIA line, or more accurately lie, is that JFK was killed by a shot fired by a lone gunman (Oswald) who was positioned up behind the presidential limousine, on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building. This lie was corroborated by the famous American broadcaster Dan Rather, who described the President’s physical reaction to being hit by a bullet from behind – “his head could be seen to move violently forward.” [emphasis added]. On March 6, 1975, the Zapruder film, named after the man who took it with a home-movie camera, was broadcast to a national audience. It was not until then that the American people and the world were allowed to see that the President’s head jerked violently backwards, and that the fatal shot had therefore been fired from the front.
This was just one lie in a complex web of untruths, cover-ups and propaganda stunts the CIA engaged in to hide the truth about Kennedy’s murder. The hasty and illegal removal of Kennedy’s body from Dallas by Secret Service men and the fraudulent autopsy that followed is another piece of the monumental cover-up. Under Texas law the autopsy should have been performed there but was not. Kennedy’s assassination was more than the murder of a US president. It was a coup that has reverberated through the American political system ever since. November 22, 1963 was the day America locked its ailing democracy in the attic. Every so often, the muffled screams of its tormented soul can be heard as it pleads with its captors to be released. Bill Hicks, the late American comedian and satirist, joked that before every American President is sworn in, men in dark suits from the CIA usher the President into a dark room where he is made to watch the Zapruder footage on a loop, over and over again.
In my last piece, I linked American hegemony, global capitalism and the CIA as the boss of bosses overseeing a vast criminal syndicate. What I did not add – but should have – is that, a decade after it had begun orchestrating coups around the globe, the charcoal-burnt heart of the CIA was ready to pull off its biggest coup: replacing the leader of the so-called free world, a man hated by the CIA for his determination to withdraw from Vietnam, improve US-Soviet relations, achieve nuclear disarmament, increase aid to Africa and Latin America (to foster economic self-sufficiency), curtail the powers of the Federal Reserve, and perhaps most relevant of all, to defang or even eliminate the CIA. Cui bono?
‘Conspiracy theory’ – the ultimate political thought-terminating cliché
Much of the discussion in this section draws on Lance DeHaven-Smith’s lucid analysis of how the term ‘conspiracy theory’ is deployed in the mainstream. His analysis exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of its use as a thought-terminating cliché, and his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, is vital reading.
One clue to the CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination lies in the fact that the term ‘conspiracy theory’ was weaponised by the CIA in a propaganda campaign to deflect criticism of the Warren Commission’s bogus finding that a lone gunman assassinated JFK. The term simply wasn’t part of the American lexicon of political speech until 1964, when the Warren Commission issued its report and the CIA went to work “to employ propaganda assets…to refute the attacks of the critics”.i
DeHaven-Smith introduces the term State Crime Against Democracy (SCAD) to elucidate how and why the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ is deployed as a pejorative to shut down debate. Examples of typical SCADs conveniently kill two birds with one stone by explaining what a SCAD is while handily pointing out that many, if not most, SCADS are provable conspiracies. Officials in the Nixon administration did conspire to steal the 1972 presidential election. Officials in the Reagan White House did participate in a criminal scheme to sell arms to Iran and channel profits to the Contras in Nicaragua. The US and UK administrations did collude to mislead their electorates about the strength of evidence for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.ii Senior intelligence agency officials had to have colluded among their own ranks and with high-ranking cabinet officials in the orchestration of countless coups around the world to subvert democracies in countries with national policies deemed disadvantageous to American and Western interests.
Conspiracy deniers put a lot of effort into formulating definitions of conspiracy theory that place irrational ways of thinking at its centre. Here are some typical examples of the mainstream definition of conspiracy theory:iii
“A theory that traces important events to a secretive, nefarious cabal.”
“An explanation of important events as a result of coordinated scheming by mysterious forces that try to control worldly affairs.”
Or, how about this for full-on gaslighting:
“Fears of non-existent conspiracies”
But, if not just some but quite a few conspiracy theories are true, it is patently witless to deploy a blanket dismissal of ‘conspiracy theory’ as irrational. The purpose of the ‘conspiracy-theory’ label is, of course, to discourage us from speaking about SCADS. As a putdown, it is a “defence mechanism used by political elites to suppress mass suspicions that inevitably arise when shocking political crimes benefit top leaders or play into their agendas”iv. And its enthusiastic deployment by useful idiots in the mainstream press and academia has had a tremendous multiplier effect on the wider professional managerial class and the public in general.
Another fact that makes conspiracy an unavoidable reality is the very system under which we live. Nearly all human systems are pyramid hierarchies – apathetic majorities surrender decision-making and executive functions to minorities in the vain hope that the ship will be steered in the best interests of everyone. Today’s political and economic framework is arguably the most extreme wealth- and power-concentrating system under which humanity has succeeded in enslaving itself. When decisions within this system are made transparently and benefits accrue to most, we proclaim that things are working. But when decisions are not made transparently and benefits accrue to the few in whose hands power and wealth are concentrated, we can often trace this breakdown to conspiracies – the minority who make decisions and hold power or a faction within the minority acting on hidden agendas to advance their own interests at the expense of the majority. This shouldn’t be earth-shattering news to us. It’s an inevitable confluence of the flaws in human nature and our hierarchical power systems.
As realists, we ought to be able to face up to this recipe for disaster that may see the vast bulk of humanity dispossessed and enslaved in a digital gulag while a corrupt oligarchy and its servant class enjoy the privileges of a neo-feudal technocratic order. As realists, we should be able to argue that political and economic life is in fact a never-ending series of conspiracies and a struggle to curb them. This bizarre refusal to see the pattern in successive abuses of power has led to a destructive adoption of conspiracy denial that uses irrational coincidence theory as its crutch.
There is in fact nothing inherently irrational about suspicion directed at powerful persons and institutions. The only rational way to define conspiracy theory is:
“A conspiracy occurs when two or more people collude to abuse power or break the law. A conspiracy theory is a proposal about a conspiracy that may or may not be true; it has not yet been proven.”v
Based on this perfectly rational viewpoint, a plausible conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy fact when sufficient evidence has been gathered to support it.
All of this makes it easier to digest a multi-layered and yet entirely plausible conspiracy theory about the JFK assassination: in 1964, the CIA hatched a conspiracy to gaslight people into believing conspiracies don’t exist in order to obfuscate its conspiracy to murder JFK in 1963. To propagate this deception, it used the class of people most susceptible to idiotic thinking – the professional managerial class in academia and the mainstream media. The result is that today we live in a world in which we are expected to believe that the most obvious things are not true. All of this makes even more sense if we accept Douglas Valentine’s definition of the CIA – “a criminal conspiracy on behalf of wealthy capitalists.”
For all these reasons, the ‘conspiracy-theory’ label is losing its power to silence debate, and its use only throws up a mirror to the obtuseness of the people using it in a knee-jerk defence of power.
Conformity as a lever for gaslighting
Psychological experiments on conformity are for the most part often just experiments about the effects of gaslighting. They tend to demonstrate that no matter how hard reality slaps the average person in the face, they will bend to the perceived will of the crowd or to commands from authority.
And then there is the psychological effect of the Big Lie which is axiomatic in gaslighting. The paradox here is that the bigger the lie, the harder it is for the mind to bridge the gulf between perceived reality and the lie that authority figures are painting as truth. I believe that the prospect of being deceived evinces a primitive emotional response on a par with staring death in the face. We are hard-wired to fear deception because we have evolved to interpret it as an existential threat. That’s why deception can elicit the same emotional response as the miscalculation of a serious physical threat. Lies told to us don’t always bear the same cost as a misjudged red light, but the primitive part of the brain can’t make this distinction and we rely on cerebral mediation for a more appropriate but delayed response. And in the long run, the lie is often just as dangerous as the physical threat. Many government whoppers – ‘safe and effective’ – do cost lives.
To avoid the death-like experience of being deceived, a mental defence is erected to deny that the lie is happening. This defence mechanism was understood only too well by the first director of the FBI. These words are attributed to J Edgar Hoover:
“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous that he cannot believe it exists.” [emphasis added]
The National Security State understands conspiracy better than we do because conspiracy and lies are the currencies it trades in. These institutions understand how to lie and how to gaslight us after the lie so that our minds shut down.
Conformity as the enemy of personal responsibility
One of the most famous studies on conforming to authority pressure, the Milgram experiment, demonstrated that people will do the most disgusting things if they are given a guarantee that they will not be held responsible for their abandonment of common decency. This speaks to the role of personal responsibility in functioning civilised societies. Turning a blind eye to SCADs is obviously not the same as committing them, but we should all start putting our energy into being outraged by SCADs rather than denying them. Being gaslit into denying SCADs is incredibly disempowering because it is a forced denial of personal responsibility. If we deny the existence of SCADs by denying the conspiracies that accompany them, who will rectify them? The same authorities committing them? We should be outraged when the people we pay to govern society lie to us. A lie is theft – theft of the truth, and often a lot more.
Permission granted to rebel…sixty years later
There are several issues to grapple with in Tucker Carlson’s non-revelation, as we are now confronted by equally if not more terrifying SCADs 60 years on. More important than Robert Kennedy Jnr’s commendation of Carlson’s broadcast was his observation that:
“The CIA’s murder of my uncle was a successful coup d’état from which our democracy has never recovered.”
America’s national security state – the Deep State, the not-so-shadow state that runs the visible state – deployed vast resources to undermine democracy abroad. But, to do that much damage abroad, it had to destroy democracy in the heartland. That’s what the JFK assassination was about. Until Americans and indeed the bulk of humanity can see that event and countless others that followed for what they are, the mainstream media confessional will do nothing to change the course of current events.
In fact, Carlson’s Fox News non-revelation fits perfectly with the way our ‘democracies’ handle the Big Lies, the truly shocking SCADs – suppression by the state and its accomplices in the media followed by an official media ‘revelation’ when sufficient time has passed to remove the venom from the public’s reaction. The effect is three-fold:
First, it allows us to tell another lie to paper over the original Big Lie. We get to say: “Look! We really are a democracy after all! We’re confronting the lie, even if it is 60 years late.”
Second, there is no-one to punish, so there is no accountability. If there is no justice, the culture and institutions responsible for the crime remain unscathed and fortified.
Third, we are setting ourselves up to kick current covid crimes into the long grass for the next 60 years. Except this time it’s different. If we let covid go, there will be no revelatory broadcast in 2080 about covid-related crimes against humanity. Covid is our last chance to end the long arc of impunity because covid criminality is part of the Great Reset – the final revolution. Biomedical fascism, the digital gulag, digital currency, the climate crisis, and the transhumanist Fourth Industrial Revolution are the final dominoes in the endgame for total control. If we don’t stop these dominoes from falling now, our grandchildren will not have the luxury of waving their fists impotently in the rear-view mirror of history. History will have been memory-holed, the word ‘rebellion’ will have been removed from the dictionary and the emotion of anger will have been deleted from the brain-computer interface.
Designating the State as a terrorist organisation
Carlson reminded viewers that in 1976, a House of Representatives committee concluded that JFK’s assassination was almost certainly the result of a conspiracy. Full disclosure of the documents was mandated by 2017, 54 years after the murder. That a government should be able to grant itself a 54-year long stay of execution in disclosing information rightly belonging to the public is in itself a ludicrous insult to citizens who were labouring under the mistaken belief that they own their government. To make matters worse, when the 2017 administration requested the then-director of the CIA to hand over the documents, he politely stuck two fingers up at them. The administration then played along with this charade by pretending that nothing could be done. The CIA’s refusal to release the documents in its possession make it the prime suspect.
If the US and other Western states are terrorist entities by virtue of their participation in assassinations and coups at home and abroad, then it makes perfect sense that the state would extend that terrorism by refusing to uphold legal mandates to disclose information to the public about its unsavoury activities. And it is precisely that inability of citizens to obtain documents from their own government that confirms that the National Security State is a terrorist entity answerable to no-one but itself. In a sane and functioning democracy, there would be a judicial mechanism for declaring the National Security State apparatus a terrorist organisation and empowering the police to arrest the heads of those agencies responsible for obstructing justice.
The questions not addressed by Carlson are: why does the executive branch of government have no control over its security agency? If the executive branch of government has no control over the National Security State, then who does? Is the executive colluding with the National Security State to keep the documents secret? If so, why aren’t citizens up in arms over the government’s refusal to uphold the law? Ultimately, it may not be the case that most people don’t care. It may simply be that, faced with the growing realisation that they are being held hostage by their own government, most people don’t know what to do.
Imagine returning home to find your house occupied by squatters. You go down to the police station believing that, on making a report, the squatters will be evicted, and you will get your house back. But the policeman informs you that he is friendly with the squatters. He has decided that they need accommodation and that your house is as good as any they can find. The policeman concludes his summation of this perverse turn of events with the words: “What are you going to do about it?”
Was Tucker Carlson’s JFK broadcast borne out of a sincere realisation that things can’t go on like this or was it simply the rinse and repeat of a filthy ‘democracy’ that effectively keeps the cycle of crimes going? I don’t know the answer to that, but I have compared America’s resistance against covid tyranny to the rest of the world’s. While the UK at the moment seems content to submit craven petitions, of which I have grown weary, to its WEFminster mafia, battle-hardened US attorneys like Aaron Siri and Robert Kennedy Jnr are taking on their terrorist government and enjoying some victories. While the UK’s health Secretary exhorts the public to continue playing Russian roulette with the unsafe and ineffective covid injections, the US state of Florida has impanelled a statewide grand jury to investigate mRNA vaccine manufacturers for “any and all wrongdoing”.
Despite my well-founded cynicism about the state of American democracy, I have concluded that, with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, America is still the place where this colossal battle for human freedom might be won.
You can find more of Rusere’s work at https://plagueonbothhouses.com/
i Lance DeHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press, 2nd ed 2016, Appendix CIA Dispatch #1035-960, pg 199 & Intro page 21
ii Lance DeHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press, 2nd ed 2016, Intro, page 6
iii Lance DeHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press, 2nd ed 2016, Ch 1, page 37
iv Lance DeHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press, 2nd ed 2016, Intro, page 9
v Lance DeHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press, 2nd ed 2016, Ch 1, page 39