Draft 11/25/98, comments appreciated,email@example.com
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In his book Rethinking Camelot (Boston: South End Press, 1993), Noam Chomsky challenges the plausibility of all the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories because their core argument, "holding that that JFK's plans for withdrawal from Vietnam (or some other broader policy claims) provide the motive for the cabal" is "entirely without foundation." Chomsky also makes some observations, which provide a useful framework for assessing any proposed conspiracy theory,
Of all of these theories, the only ones of any general interest are those that assume a massive cover-up, and a high-level conspiracy that required that operation. In that case, the assassination was an event of true political significance, breaking sharply from the normal course of politics and exercise of power. Such ideas make little sense unless coupled with the thesis that JFK was undertaking radical policy changes, or perceived to be by policy insiders.
The scale of the presumed conspiracy should be appreciated. There is not a phrase in the voluminous internal record hinting at any thought of such a notion. It must be, then, that personal discipline was extraordinary among a huge number of people, or that the entire record has been scrupulously sanitized. There has not been a single leak over thirty years, though a high-level conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy and conceal the crime would have to involve not only much of the government and the media, but a good part of the historical, scientific, and medical professions. An achievement so immense would be utterly without precedent or even remote analogue.(pg. 37)
These are the same issues addressed by Michael Morrissey in an article, Rethinking Chomsky, which first appeared in The Fourth Decade 1.4 (May 1994). Morrissey quotes Chomsky's own words from the book Manufacturing Consent (NY: Pantheon, 1988) to assert a smaller conspiracy capable of "manufacturing consent" within the media, historical, scientific, and medical professions to implement the cover-up. He also builds a case to suggest Kennedy's policies were significantly changed after his assassination.
This article will propose another answer to Chomsky. It will demonstrate historical precedents and identify an organizational infrastructure capable of implementing the assassination, powerful enough to conceal the truth and motivated to commit the act. It is an answer few Americans will easily accept.
The organization that could have pulled off the Kennedy assassination cover-up is American Freemasonry. Freemasonry is secret society with millions of American members. A British investigative work, Inside the Brotherhood by Martin Short (copyright © 1989), quotes a member of the fraternity to help explain the purpose of the organization:
Freemasonry is a mechanism of social control. It's a feudal pyramid, whereby people of influence in British society can mix with the ordinary bloke and lend a little lustre to his dreary life. But only certain kinds of bloke. Have you ever thought why the police are so cultivated by Freemasonry? I have met scores of policemen throughout my Masonic career, but I haven't met a single fireman or postman. There must be some firemen and postmen in Freemasonry but nowhere near as many policemen, lawyers, local government officials and businessmen. By drawing these kind of people into this network, the landed aristocracy and big business filter their values down through the social structure.
One of the first things you are taught in Freemasonry is to obey rank. There is a line in the ritual that tells how the workmen building Solomon's Temple were split into small lodges in a way 'best calculated to ensure promotion to merit, preserve due subordination and prevent confusion in the work'. Well, you can forget about merit. Freemasonry is all about due subordination. (pg. 136)
On Masonic business dealings:
This petty corruption becomes second nature to Masons, so that in the end they cannot see how corrupt it is. I know one Mason who used to work as manager of a local water board. As soon as he retired he formed a company with other Masons to tender for pipeline work from the water authority. You can be sure he won a lot of contracts not just because he knew about water but because he was 'on the square'. Freemasonry is insider trading by another name.
I was particularly disturbed by the attitudes of top Masons. I got to know several who are high court judges. In private they talk as if ordinary people are an expendable nuisance. I've also become very friendly with Harley Street surgeons. One told me how he'd invested his exorbitant fees in all sorts of doubtful, money-making rackets. He would brag about them over dinner after the lodge. These people say appalling things about the working man. Once my provincial grand master made a ferociously anti-Labour remark in Open Lodge. I was a local Conservative official at the time but even I was shocked by his sentiments. (pg. 135)
American Freemasonry dates back to the revolution and concerns over its influence dates back almost as far. William J Whalen describes the role of Freemasons in the American Revolution in his book Christianity and American Freemasonry,
Many of the leaders of the American Revolution such as Washington and Franklin were Masons, but according to the Masonic writer Charles Van Cott, more Masons remained loyal to the crown than to the colonial cause and at the start of the revolt only one of the one hundred or so lodges sided with the patriots. Washington joined the Masonic order in 1752 and at the time of his election as president was serving as Master of his lodge. Benedict Arnold was also a Mason.
Masonic orators and writers sometimes get carried away and assert that most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons, but the evidence of Masonic affiliation for many of these signers is flimsy or nonexistent. A recent publication of the Masonic Service Association identifies only nine of the fifty-six signers as Freemasons, and some historians put the figure at eight. (Pg. 15-16)
Freemasons did play a more significant, but certainly not dominate, role in creating the American Constitution. A document whose purposes have been summarized by President Wilson in his book, Division and Reunion, as follows,
The Federal government was not by intention a democratic government. In plan and structure it had been meant to check the sweep and power of popular majorities. The senate, it was believed, would be a stronghold of conservatism, if not of aristocracy and wealth. The President, it was expected, would be the choice of representative men acting in the electoral college, and not of the people. The Federal judiciary was looked to, with its virtually permanent membership, to hold the entire structure of national politics in nice balance against all disturbing influences, whether of popular impulse or of official overbearance.
Only in the house of representatives were the people to be accorded an immediate audience and a direct means of making their will effective in affairs. THE GOVERNMENT HAD, IN FACT, BEEN ORIGINATED AND ORGANIZED UPON THE INITIATIVE AND PRIMARILY IN THE INTEREST OF THE MERCANTILE AND WEALTHY CLASSES (emphasis added). Originally conceived as an effort to accommodate commercial disputes between the States, it had been urged to adoption by a minority, under the concerted and aggressive leadership of able men representing a ruling class. The Federalists not only had on their side the power of convincing argument, but also the pressure of a strong and intelligent class, possessed of unity and informed by a conscious solidarity of material interests.
President Wilson's assessment of the motivations of the Masonic framers of the constitution is restrained compared to the case built by Allan L. Benson in his book Our Dishonest Constitution (B. W. Huebsch:1914). He remarks, 'If the patriot fathers were still living and doing business as they did 125 years ago we should call many of them grafters' (pg. 5).
The historical precedent for a massive conspiracy to cover-up an assassination occurred in the early 19th century, when Captain William Morgan was abducted and murdered by Freemasons for his efforts to expose the organization's inner working. The crime, which led to the formation to the first third party political movement in this country, was described in The Address to the People of the United States issued from the United States Anti-Masonic Party convention, held in 1830:
In 1826, William Morgan, your free fellow citizen, was, by highly exalted members of the Masonic fraternity, with unlawful violence, seized,-- secretly transported through the country more than one hundred miles, to a fortress of the United States, then in charge of freemasons, who had prepared it for his reception,-- there imprisoned, several days and nights, against his utmost efforts to escape,-- and after suffering the most unmanly insults, and the most inhuman abuse, he was privately murdered. Previously to his seizure, numerous meetings of freemasons, in lodges and otherwise, were held for the purpose of contriving and adopting the most certain means of carrying into effect, their unlawful objects upon him. These meeting were attended, and the designs of them approved, by several hundred of the most respectable and intelligent of the Masonic brethren. They included legislators, judges, sheriffs, clergymen, generals, physicians, and lawyers. And they proceeded in discharge of, what they deemed, their Masonic duties.
After the crime was exposed, a massive cover-up was required and executed by the Masonic brotherhood. It was also described in The Address to the People of the United States:
In this alarming emergency, the agents of government seemed paralyzed. Our public institutions for the preservation of tranquillity, and the repression of crime, seemed nugatory.... No arts were left untried by freemasons to baffle the pursuit of truth, and defeat the administration of justice. The lion's grip of the order was upon our courts, and loyalty to that, displaced fealty to the state.
A large proportion of the constables, justices of the peace, lawyers, judges, sheriffs, and jurymen, of the counties where these acts were performed, were members of the society, and had taken oaths binding them,..., to conceal each other's crimes. The high sheriffs were all masons, and at that time, summoned as grand jurors, at their discretion, any such men as had the common qualifications.
The preface to former President John Quincy Adams's 1847 book Letters on the Masonic Institution describes the implementation of the crime:
That so many men, at so many separate points, should have acted in perfect concert in such business as they were engaged in, would scarcely be believed, without compelling the inference of some distinct understanding existing between them. That they should have carried into effect the most difficult part of their undertaking, a scheme of the most daring and criminal nature, in the midst of a large, intelligent and active population, without thereby incurring the risk of a full conviction of their guilt and the consequent punishment, would be equally incredible, but for the light furnished by the phraseology of the Masonic oath.
The preface goes on to say of the oaths:
Upon the first hasty and superficial glance, a feeling might arise of surprise that the frivolity of its unmeaning ceremonial, and ridiculous substitution of its fictions for the sacred history, should not long ago discredited the thing in the minds of good and sensible men everywhere. Yet upon closer and more attentive examination, this first feeling vanishes, and makes way for astonishment at the ingenious contrivance displayed in the construction of the whole machine. A more perfect agent for the devising and execution of conspiracies against the church or state could scarcely have been conceived.
The preface also describes difficulties in energizing the public against the conspirators:
Multitudes preferred to believe the Masonic oaths and penalties to be ceremonies, childish, ridiculous and unmeaning, rather than to suppose them intrinsically and incurably vicious. They refused to credit the fact that men whom they respected as citizens could have made themselves parties to any promise whatsoever to do acts illegal, unjust and wicked. Rather than to go so far, they preferred to throw themselves into a state of resolute unbelief of all that could be said against them.
The results of the Anti-Masonic movement were described in the Anti-Masonic Scrap Book, published by the National Christian Association in 1883.
The excitement caused by Morgan's abduction and murder lasted ten years. And Daniel Webster, Edward Everett, John Quincy Adams, John Marshal, Wm. H. Seward, Thaddeus Stevens, and other great men condemned the lodge in the strongest languages men can use. The lodges feigned dead in the free States, and hid beyond discussion in the slave. The Anti-Masonic army disbanded, and the lodges silently crept back into power.
This 19th century event could be dismissed, as an irrelevant bit of Masonic history, except upon investigation one finds Freemasonry has not been inactive. It has been identified as the parent of a violent and far right American organization, the Ku Klux Klan. In the book Christianity and American Freemasonry, by William J Whalen, on pages 17-18 we find:
A former Confederate general and Freemason, Nathan Bedford Forrest, founded the Ku Klux Klan and served as its first Imperial Wizard. Albert Pike held the office of Chief Justice of the Ku Klux Klan while he was simultaneously Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction. Pike's racism was well known. He expressed his concept of Masonic brotherhood succinctly: "I took my obligation to White men, not to Negroes. When I have to accept Negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it." Some believe Pike concocted the ritual for the original KKK.
In The Ku Klux Klan by William Pierce Randel, on page 200 we learn:
The Klan shared its Protestant restrictiveness with the Masons and more than once sought to capitalize on the parallel. Kleagles commonly remarked to prospects, in an offhand manner, that 'the Klan is, in fact, a Masonic movement.' Many leading Klansmen, in both the old Klan and the new were Masons; [Hiram] Evans himself gained the 32nd degree.
The institution of Freemasonry remains largely segregated even today.
Another Masonic spin-off created after the Civil War was the Knights of Labor. This organization, originally created as a secret society, can be viewed as a fascinating case study of a failed attempt to use an elaborate, cult like, 'value system' to suppress political activism and control the labor movement. In his book Inside the Brotherhood, Martin Short points out, "It seems wherever Masons have common political aims, but cannot pursue them through Freemasonry, they set up parallel public movements (pg. 239).
Martin Short describes how the OSS, later to become the CIA, reintroduced Freemasonry into Italy after WWII as a tool "to prop up a sickly democracy threatened by Soviet-inspired destabilization and the prospect of a communist election victory" (pg 399). From 1970 through 1981 a far right Italian Masonic lodge, P2, with links to Ronald Reagan, the Republican party, the CIA, British Intelligence and British Freemasonry are now believed to have been preparing for a coup against "clerico-Communists", should they seize power (pg. 399-401). This lodge was disbanded when its activities became public.
The P2 case is a documented modern example of a Masonic lodge positioned as an extra-governmental body for the execution a coup. It is therefore not implausible to suggest that elements within the American Masonic lodges successfully executed a coup in the United States by assassinating President John F. Kennedy. In his book, Freemasonry in American History, the Masonic scholar, A. E. Roberts identifies some of the Masonic participants in the investigation of the Kennedy assassination,
Johnson had received the Entered Apprentice Degree in Johnson City Lodge No. 561, Texas, on October 30, 1937. Reasons for him going no farther are unclear. Until the 1850s becoming an Entered Apprentice made a man a full member of the lodge conferring the degree. During the 1850s all Grand Lodges adopted laws making the Master Mason (or Third) degree the criteria for a man to be considered a Freemason. Before then, all Masonic business was conducted in the First Degree (and still is in some foreign countries). With the adoption of the new law, business can be considered only in a Master Mason Lodge.
One of Johnson's first acts was to order the Federal Bureau of Investigation to check every aspect of the assassination. The FBI was headed by J. EDGAR HOOVER, who had become a member of Federal Lodge No. 1, District of Columbia, on November 9, 1920... But the public wanted more answers concerning the murder of the President than any agency could provide. So, on January 29, 1963, Johnson issued an executive order creating a special commission. It would take the name of the man chosen to head it, Chief Justice EARL WARREN.
Warren, a Past Grand Master of Masons in California, was joined on the Commission by two other known Freemasons. They were Senator RICHARD B. RUSSELL, a member of Winder Lodge No. 33, Georgia, and Representative GERALD R. FORD of Michigan. John Sherman Cooper, Hale Boggs, Allen W. Dulles, and John J. McCloy made up the balance of the Commission. (pg. 379)
It is difficult to reliably determine if other members of the Warren Commission were also Freemasons, because no published records of membership exist. Even Mr. A. E. Roberts, who should have excellent access to Masonic sources of information, qualifies his list of Masonic participants on the Warren Commission to describe 'known Freemasons'. It is clear that millions of Americans have taken the Masonic oaths to secrecy and obedience. These would include people in the government and the media, historical, scientific and medical professions.
It is quite possible Masonic elements representing many interests conferred and reached a consensus on Kennedy's fate, as occurred in the Morgan case in 1826, each knowing their discussions would be held in confidence.
Their motives would probably be to protect and advance business interests and their social positions (wealth and power). These would include:
"whatever bigotry is in evidence in the United States is exhibited solely by the Roman Catholic hierarchy; that the Canon Law of the Roman Church and the directives of the Pope validate the fears of the people that the dual allegiance of American Catholics is a present danger to our free institutions, and lastly that the people in passing upon the qualifications of a Catholic candidate for the Presidency will be guided by their knowledge of history and their great store of plain old-fashioned common horse sense, and their innate caution not to gamble when their LIBERTIES AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARE AT STAKE (emphasis added).
Among American citizens there should be no question or suspicion of allegiance to any foreign power, but in the case of the Roman Catholic citizen, his church is the guardian of his conscience and asserts that he must obey its laws and decrees even if they are in conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States."
CIA resources developed in the anti-Castro campaign Kennedy was canceling, and redirected against the internal threat, Kennedy, probably executed the assassination. The investigation, which followed the assassination, was overseen and directed by Freemasons, who could influence the selection of the rest of the investigative team and effectively control the results.
The Kennedy assassination appears to have been part a campaign of assassinations against a generation of leaders, who posed challenges to the entrenched power structure. The death toll included John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Viewed as a whole, one is driven to the conclusion that the anyone advocating or supporting serious social reforms (share the wealth and power) will not be tolerated in a leadership position. You can read The CIA's Greatest Hits by Mark Zepezauer for an overview of the assassination cases. These assassinations suggest the merger of KKK ethics with CIA resources and techniques.
If we agree with Michael Morrissey's analysis in the article, Rethinking Chomsky, which states that it is irrefutable that Kennedy was planning to withdraw from Vietnam 'by the end of 1965' and that Freemason Lyndon Johnson reversed Kennedy's policy toward Vietnam, it is clear that the escalating involvement in the Vietnam conflict was driven by the Freemasons who seized control of the United States government after the assassination of President Kennedy. Both the American and Vietnamese peoples paid dearly in both squandered resources and lost lives to pursue the dubious objectives of the illegitimate Masonic leadership.
The CIA and modern Freemasonry can be viewed as tools for America's corporate ruling elite. The CIA principally focused on influencing events overseas, Freemasonry's old-boy and increasingly old-girl networks used to influence domestic interests. The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and the Kennedy's revealed the undemocratic and brutal character of America's ruling elates and demonstrates their ultimate control of modern society. The domestic campaign of social repression and control seems to have moved from assassinations to manipulation of the media, intimidation, harassment and reprisals against any person or organization, which pose a challenge to business interests or the entrenched power structure.
As Americans are bombarded by the media with distortions and distracted by trumped up issues, often designed to divide the public, a massive consolidation of wealth has occurred, labor unions crushed, social welfare programs attacked and media outlets consolidated. The government and the judiciary have made a dramatic move to the right, essentially erasing much of the 'New Deal'. A case can be made that the government helped foment the recent 'terrorist' attacks in Oklahoma and at the World Trade Center to protect the massive military budget and advance the enactment of broad new police powers, which strip away American civil liberties and protect the entrenched power structure. It is remarkable that no effective voice has been raised in opposition, until one realizes we have lost those voices. We have a new generation of "pro-business" Democrats and a history of ineffective or, more likely, dishonest civil rights, union and progressive political leadership.
A Masonic conspiracy addresses all the points raised by Chomsky at the start of this article:
The larger question, which still needs to be answered, was asked in an American Anti-Masonic pamphlet published in 1829 and holds true for today:
Ought a secret society to exist amongst us whose members can commit murder and yet escape punishment? MASONS HAVE done this, and their brethren ... are sworn to protect them.
Fellow citizens, are men bound by such obligations and possessing such principals, FIT to be rulers of a FREE PEOPLE."
It also warned us:
It is to be hoped that an institution whose very principles lead directly to such horrid outrages, and which is entirely made up of dissimulation and fraud, will be completely suppressed in this country and throughout the world, and that a barrier be instituted to prevent it from ever again polluting the earth with its insidious influence. But the public must not expect to accomplish this desirable object without unwanted pains and incessant vigilance; their task is but commencing, and, should they lack in circumspection or perseverance, the monster will yet flourish with more power and commit greater enormities than ever.
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers, which are cited to justify it.
John F. Kennedy—address to newspaper publishers, April 27, 1961
Acacia Press is working to re-publish early 19th and early 20th century books and pamphlets on Freemasonry and 'Progressive' Political Topics. It also resells modern books on Freemasonry.