Check out this Tom Jackson interview with Adam Gorightly about Caught in the Crossfire in the Sandusky Register.
Here’s a brief summary of the book:
Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation
By Adam Gorightly
Kerry Thornley never imagined that after starting a spoof religion in the 1950s dedicated to the worship Eris—the Greek Goddess of Chaos and Discord—that such an irreverent yet light-hearted endeavor would unleash, in the years to come, a torrent of actual chaos into his life and turn his world upside down.
In 1959, Thornley served in the Marines with Lee Harvey Oswald and was actually writing a novel based on Oswald three years before JFK’s assassination. These connections would later cause New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to suspect that Thornley was one of the notorious Oswald doubles and part of a JFK assassination plot. Initially, Thornley denied these allegations, but later came to believe that he’d been used as an unwitting pawn in a conspiracy that ran far deeper than the JFK assassination and may also have included the RFK and MLK assassinations, as well as the disturbing specter of government sponsored mind control.
On or before October 26, 2017, a slew of previously unreleased JFK assassination files are scheduled to hit the streets after being buried away in some Deep State dungeon all these years, part of the Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, identified as “Volume 5,” corresponding—of course—to the Discordian Law of Fives, Hail Eris!
From what I understand, the only thing that could potentially derail this roll-out is President Trump who has the final say—yea or nay—although there’s no indication he’s considering putting the skids on any of this—assuming of course his handlers in the Kremlin are on board and there’s nothing in the files that could potentially cast Mother Russia in a negative light.
From what I’ve been able to piece together, some of these files concern Lee Oswald’s trip to Mexico City in late September 1963, when Oswald—or an Oswald double, or someone going by the name of Oswald, or maybe a rabbit named Oswald—paid a visit to the Soviet and Cuban consulates there.
Some people are saying there may even be sensitive materials in the files related to Mexico, which is another possible reason to keep a lid on them—to appease the Mexican government—though I doubt Trump would give a rat’s ass about any of this wimpy “sensitivity” stuff. And if there’s indeed some dirt linking Mexico to JFK’s assassination, maybe he could even use it to apply leverage to get Mexico to pay for his wall after all! (Don’t ya love it when a plan comes together?)
In things JFK assassination-related, all roads inevitably lead to Discordianism… and Kerry Thornley. (Maybe.) The gist of Jim Garrison’s conspiratorial claims concerning Thornley were to the effect that he was one of the notorious Oswald doubles, and that he (Kerry) met up with his old Marine Corps pal Oswald in Mexico City—and then later in the French Quarter—all part of some diabolical plot designed to frame Oswald as a commie red.
Among the “evidence” Garrison presented to bolster his theory re: Thornley-meeting-Oswald-in-Mexico included a postcard Kerry sent to a French Quarter poet pal named Phil Boatright. Of course, Kerry never denied traveling to Mexico City in early August ‘63, all of which occurred during the same general time frame he traveled from New Orleans to California and then back again to New Orleans during the summer of that year.
On the way to California, the Greyhound bus carrying Thornley cross country made a piss stop in Texas which led Garrison to conclude that Kerry was the dastardly dude who faked the funky photo of Oswald standing in the courtyard of his Dallas apartment holding the deadly Mannlicher-Carcano rifle in one hand and some dirty commie literature in the other.
This all fed into Garrison’s propinquity theory suggesting that if you’re ever anywhere near anyone in time and space who might have known another someone who might have been involved in something then there was a reasonable reason to believe that you were most likely involved in something that the other people you knew may have also been involved with. Or something like that. (It’s all about connectin’ the dots, dude.)
The most curious document I’ve come across regarding this alleged Oswald-Thornley-Mexico meet-up is one I’ve never actually seen addressed by other researchers—pro or con—which I post below for you to wrap your heads around.
Like a number of Thornley-JFK assassination-related documents, the first time I came across this little ditty I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it: was it a fake or the real McCoy? I bring up the possibility of “fake” mainly because there were a number of documents foisted off on Garrison by independent investigators (otherwise known as Grassy Knoll Irregulars), such as the doctored Thornley photos that Harold Weisberg had his hand in, or a couple of spurious letters connected to Fred Crisman which I’ll discuss in a future installments here at Historia Discordia (if I haven’t bored you to tears already). However—in the case of this Murdock Memo—it seems consistent with similar internal FBI documents I’ve seen, and I’d venture to guess it is indeed authentic, which of course doesn’t speak to its accuracy, although I’m sure there are many who would ceremoniously proclaim at first sight: “Checkmate, Thornley! You’re busted, bub!”
The memo is dated November 25, 1963—three days after you know what—based on a tip from Det. J.C. Murdock of the Grand Prairie, Texas P.D. advising “that one Karry [sic] Thornley… has recently been in Mexico and California with Oswald. Secret Service has been notified.”
In 1959, Oswald and Thornley served together at El Toro Marine Base in California, although without going all Wikipedia on you, I don’t recall Oswald ever returning to California after his Marine Corps stint (and subsequent 23 skidoo to Moscow).
The first document in this six page bundle is an internal FBI memo stating that Special Agent Richard K. Harrison conducted an investigation of the Murdock Memo.
“On November 23, 1963, Detective SIMS, Homicide and Robbery Division, Dallas Police Department, advised he had received information from one J.C. MURDOCK, Grand Prairie, Texas, police officer, that one, LARRY [sic] THORNLEY, white male, age 24, address 1824 Dauphine, New Orleans, Louisiana, was a close friend of OSWALD and served with him in the U.S. Marines at the El Toro, California, Marine Base. MURDOCK alleged and that THORNLEY is presently a waiter in New Orleans and has recently been in Old Mexico and California with Oswald.”
Although Special Agent Anderson lays out some pretty specific info ala Detective Murdock—including the misidentification of Kerry as Larry—there’s no indication that any of these allegations were ever confirmed, or to what extent they were followed up on by the Feds. The phrase “Old Mexico” seems a bit out of left field; “Old Mexico,” in some instances, is used as a colloquial term for the former portion of Mexico now incorporated into Southern California, the same geographic area where Thornley and Oswald served together in the Marines, so it all might have been a matter of conflation: Murdock heard something secondhand and then connected it to some other secondhand info and what we’re left with is another among the many confounding head scratchers you’ll discover in the always entertaining Garrison investigation files.
Also, the dates don’t match up from one memo to the other, whatever that suggests. The original Murdock Memo sent out was supposedly on November 25 whereas Special Agent Anderson stated it was composed on November 23, which is not unusual for raw intelligence—not getting names straight or dates exactly right—although it demonstrates the hurried nature of such memos dashed off in the assassination’s aftermath when the wounds were raw and the facts and fictions flying fast and furious across the newswires, teletype machines, and TV screens.
Following the assassination, the FBI and Secret Service questioned Thornley and he was on their radar for awhile—or at least Thornley suspected they were tailing him around New Orleans—and one would think they’d have look into this Murdock Memo matter and put it to rest.
Whatever the case, the memo appears legit, although I wouldn’t have put it past Harold Weisberg to have had a hand in some sort of fuckery of this type (creating a fake document) given his past involvement in the touched up Thornley photo caper.
Besides Weisberg, there were a handful of other Grassy Knoll Irregulars (as the press referred to them) who were tracking the wicked Thornley scent, among them Mark Lane and his comedic cohort Mort Sahl who took a break from his stand-up career to patriotically dedicated himself to Garrison’s freewheeling funfest. Among Thornley’s voluminous writings, he briefly mentioned encountering Sahl when he went in for questioning one day to Garrison’s office. Sahl—upon the first sight of Thornley—turned a ghostly shade of pale and quickly exited the room like he’d just caught a glimpse of the Grim Reaper himself, convinced—as Sahl apparently was—that Thornley was some sort of evil CIA assassin up to no darn good.
The Lane/Sahl tag team is on exhibit in a January 22, 1968 memo documenting an interview with a Mrs. Fenella Farrington who recalled a September (or October) 1963 visit to the Mexican consulate in New Orleans. While waiting to be attended to, a young man came in, inquiring, “What do you have to do to take firearms or a gun into Mexico?”
After JFK’s assassination—on November 25, 1963—FBI agents informed Mrs. Farrington that the squirrelly guy asking about guns in the Mexican Consulate was none other than Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK’s alleged assassin. In this regard, the Lane/Sahl memo suggests that FBI agents pressured Mrs. Farrington to confirm that this gun enthusiast was indeed our boy Lee.
According to the memo, Lane “showed 17 photographs to MRS. FARRINGTON and she selected just 2, one of KERRY THORNLEY and two of LEE HARVEY OSWALD as possibly showing the person whom she had seen in 1963 at the Consulate. She said THORNLEY’s face on the photo appeared more full than the face of the man she had seen…”
Was this supposed Thornley photo (mentioned above) the same one that Harold Weisberg had doctored (shown to the right) to make Thornley more resemble Oswald?
Just about the time I thought I’d wrapped up this hot mess, another story came across the Internet wires claiming that there may be some Oswald related files missing from the soon to be released (maybe) JFK Assassination Volume 5.
Stay tuned, dear conspiracy comrades, for further developments…
One of the more curious characters (and when I say character, I mean, yeah, this guy was definitely a character) to emerge from the Oswald/Thornley/Garrison rabbit hole was a oddball named A. Edward Horsey, who somehow finagled his way into the fringes of the Garrison Investigation during the same time frame that Kerry Thornley was up to his ass in it.
This strange saga began on July 8, 1967, when Mr. A. Edward Horsey (of 3330 Virginia Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan) contacted Special Agent V. Lemar Curran of the Detroit FBI Field Office. At this time, Horsey informed the Bureau of his involvement with a group of researchers who were trying to get to the bottom of the JFK assassination. According to Horsey, he and his associates had enlarged frames of the Zapruder film and discovered two men lurking on the Grassy Knoll immediately following the assassination, one of whom held a literal smoking gun that Horsey identified as a CIA operative named Al Grout, a name first connected to the JFK assassination by way of an extremely rare and obscure book entitled, The Plot to Kill JFK.
But that wasn’t all: Horsey had uncovered evidence (or so he said) that another CIA agent named Bill Medina had recruited Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City, all part of a dastardly plot to set Oswald up as the assassination fall guy. Afterwards, the FBI checked with the CIA who denied employing any agents named Al Groat or Bill Medina. (But, of course, that’s what you’d expect ‘Them’ to say!)
Around the time Horsey was sharing his conspiracy theory with the Feds, a book well known to assassination buffs was published called Were We Controlled?, authored by the pseudonymous “Lincoln Lawrence.” Were We Controlled? presented the scenario that Oswald was a sleeper agent (ala The Manchurian Candidate angle) mind controlled by a secret technology called Radio-Hypnotic Intracerebral Control (R.H.I.C.) and Electronic Dissolution of Memory (E.D.O.M.)
Lawrence described R.H.I.C. as the “application of post-hypnotic-suggestion triggered at will by radio transmission. It is a recurring hypnotic state, re-induced automatically at intervals by the same radio control. An individual is placed under hypnosis. This can be done either with his knowledge—or without it by use of narco-hypnosis, which can be brought into play under many guises. He is then programmed to perform certain actions and maintain certain attitudes upon radio signal… an R.H.I.C. controlled person can be processed as Oswald was in Minsk, allowed to travel to any country… and be put to use years later by the application of RHIC controls. In short, like the toy, he can in a sense be ‘wound up’ and made to perform acts without any possibility of the controller being detected… He can be made to perform acts that he will have no memory of ever having carried out. In a manipulated kind of kamikaze operation where the life of the ‘sleeper’ is dispensable, R.H.I.C. processing makes him particularly valuable because if he is detected and caught before he performs the act specified… nothing he says will implicate the group or government which processed and controlled him.”
As for E.D.O.M., “it enables man to juggle with other men’s sense of time… through the use of radio-waves and ultra-sonic signal tones…. It in effect blocks memory of the moment.” According to Were We Controlled?, E.D.O.M. was employed to erase from Oswald’s brain the identities of the assassination conspirators. However, this shadowy group (referred to in Were We Controlled? as—you guessed it—“The Group”) didn’t want to take any chances, so as an extra precaution they brought in another patsy and did the same RHIC-EDOM number on his head. In this second instance, Jack Ruby was mind controlled to kill Oswald.
As for “Lincoln Lawrence”—the pseudonymous author of Were We Controlled? who was “working in liaison with the department of defense”—he was later revealed to be a New York media personality named Art Ford, most well known for his 1950’s television show Art Ford’s Jazz Party.
In 1976, assassination researcher Dick Russell met Art Ford in the NYC offices of Circus magazine. Russell described Ford as a “prominent radio announcer and longtime student of parapsychology with many connections in the publishing world.” However, publisher and UFO scene maker Tim Beckley informed me that Ford’s star had been pretty much faded by the mid-70s and at that time he was eeking out a living writing for Circus, having been relegated to a converted broom closet as his “office.” One of the circumstances that contributed to Ford’s tarnished falling star status was his involvement in the payola scandal of the early-60s.
Beckley recalled that around the time Were We Controlled? was released, Ford was trying to get him interested in a manuscript, but Beckley found Ford a bit too pushy and steered clear. As for Ford’s parapsychology interests, he was part of the Long John Nebel/UFO scene in New York during the 50s and 60s and appeared as a guest speaker at the Big UFO Show there in 1967. During his presentation, Ford claimed to have discovered an ET ray gun at the North Pole that was 100,000 years old! However—to those who had a chance to catch a glimpse of this weapon (such as Beckley)—it looked like a toy gun. During this same period, Ford produced an obscure and now impossible to find film on the Bermuda Triangle.
During their meeting, Ford told Dick Russell that the source for Were We Controlled? was an “intelligence insider” who passed info to him through a middle man, a New York Attorney named Martin J. Schieman, who was most noted for his representation of Mad Magazine in a precedent setting case, Berlin v. E.C. Publications, Inc., which established that parody does not infringe on copyright.
Around the time of the publication of We’re We Controlled?, Schieman was discovered in his office at the Time-Life building with a gun beside him and a bullet through his head, the result of an apparent suicide. However, Ford intimated that Schieman’s death was probably no coincidence and that Ford feared for his own life as well.
“I never met Lawrence,” Ford told [Russell]. “Whoever he was, he was very clever. He covered himself well. The only reason I am sure the man actually existed is, I got a telegram from him and then he managed to reach me by phone. I received payment, in cash, for helping him research his book. The research I did all went to a certain mail drop and was picked up. When he first contacted me, he told me to look into mind control techniques….”
In the introduction to We’re We Controlled?, “Lincoln Lawrence” cites another book which he claimed held the ultimate answer to the JFK assassination:
“We were told quite flatly that there was in existence a report that named three men who concocted a diabolical plot to kill JFK. It was supposed to be fifty-eight pages in length and was circulating in Chicago. We thought that this was a slim lead, but decided that we must find it and read it.
“In view of the fact that we devoted most of our waking hours for three years to this investigation, perhaps it isn’t surprising that we did indeed find that ‘report!’
“Its author, David M. Warren, refers to it as an ‘explosive documentary novel.’ In the early pages appears the claim that it ‘blows the lid off the secrecy surrounding the facts of Kennedy’s assassination.’
“Mr. Warren begins his strange story with these words: ‘Contrary to the findings of the FBI and the Presidential Investigating Commission, there was a plot behind the senseless slaying of President John F. Kennedy…. The killing was not the work of a lone assassin as most people have been led to believe…. A private investigating firm located in New York City have in their possession documented evidence which backs up the charge.
“Mr. Warren’s cast of characters includes two directors of the plot and a third person who was the key man in the plot. The fatal shot was fired by a marksman other than Lee Oswald, and Oswald was merely a dupe used by the key man.
“This odd document ends with a strange statement. In the beginning of his narrative, Warren writes, ‘Part of the mass of evidence unearthed by the private investigators included a diary, a small black book that contained, in shorthand, a detailed account of the plot to assassinate the President…”
Although “Lincoln Lawrence” identified the author of the above mentioned “report” as David M. Warren, for some strange reason he neglected to provide the actual the title of the book—or even the publisher’s name—but simply gave their address as 2715 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL. The title of this “explosive documentary novel” it turns out—drum roll please—was The Plot to Kill JFK.
This is where the Discordian connections first come into play. The Chicago publisher mentioned by Lincoln Lawrence happened to be Novel Books, the very same outfit that published Kerry Thornley’s Oswald. Both Oswald and The Plot to Kill JFK hit the shelves in 1965, two of the earliest JFK assassination themed books. Thornley’s editor at Novel Books was a young lady named Louise Lacey who established a friendship with Kerry and would later be ordained as a Discordian Pope. She’s also a good friend of mine!
Among the rarest of JFK assassination tomes, The Plot to Kill JFK was actually a two-fer—two-paperback-books-in-one—a gimmick publishers used back in the day to market novellas that we’re long enough for a regular sized title. The other book combined with The Plot to Kill JFK was a lusty romance yarn provocatively titled Summer of Want by Jenmary Cady. (Don’t worry, this all will come together shortly… sort of.)
The Plot to Kill JFK featured Al Groat as the trigger man in the caper, the same shadowy individual that A. Edward Horsey had claimed was a CIA agent and part of a Dealey Plaza assassination hit team. Also featured in the book was another supposed CIA agent (that Horsey also identified to the FBI) named Bill Medina.
The Plot to Kill JFK was authored under the apparent pseudonym “David M. Warren” and is considered among the rarest of JFK assassination conspiracy books. In fact—when I first started traveling down this odd avenue—there were zero copies available anywhere on the Net, and one of the few existing copies was located in the special collections at the University of Oregon, part of the personal library of Linus Pauling donated after his death. Not unlike Art Ford, Pauling was a man of many interests, among them the JFK assassination and UFOs!
Unfortunately, The Plot to Kill JFK was unavailable for interlibrary loan, and so on the remote chance that maybe I could connive them into making me a scan, I contacted the U of O Library and was informed that The Plot to Kill JFK had just recently been scanned into their system. and boom, the next thing I knew it landed in my dropbox! Once downloaded into my hot little conspiratorial hands, I immediately dove into The Plot to Kill JFK to get to the bottom of this whole JFK assassination thing.
The Plot to Kill JFK goes something like this: During the McCarthy commie scare era, this industrialist dude named Silas Proctor hired this other guy named Judson P. Starkey who ran an investigative firm with its main function being to flush out commies from private businesses. And so Proctor and this Starkey dude became associates, and after the Red Scare pretty much petered out, Starkey turned his investigation firm into an organization called the America First Society. The America First Society (as the name suggests) wanted to Make America Great Again by not only busting out a can of whoop ass on any commies they came across, but also put minorities in their place and that whole bit, kind of like the KKK meets the John Birch Society with a bit of fascism throw in for good measure.
In a nutshell, Proctor and Starkey were pissed at JFK because they saw him as a globalist do-gooder who loved the coloreds and was in bed with the Reds, so they decided a Dallas dust-up was in order and got this Al Groat guy who had been a sharpshooter in the military to do the dirty work.
The Bill Media character in the book is Oswald’s handler who gets him a job at the Texas School Book Depository under the pretense that he’s recruiting Oswald to be a CIA agent there to prevent JFK’s assassination, when in reality, they were setting-up patsy Oswald to take the blame for the crime of the century!
So that’s the basic premise of The Plot to Kill JFK, and while the book is very rare, I think my description will save you the time of actually reading it, because—in my estimation—it’s pretty cornball. However, if you do want to read it, I’ve uploaded a copy here for your possible reading enjoyment!
If you’ve been crazy enough to follow me this far, here’s where things start to link up to Discordia, and in particular Kerry Thornley and the Garrison Investigation. In December 1967, Harold Weisberg (the main thorn in Thornley’s side in relation to Garrison’s investigation) received a letter from a St. Petersburg, Florida housewife name Helen Hartmann. In her letter, Hartmann describes how she just recently caught the JFK assassination conspiracy bug and heaps lavish praise on Weisberg as being one of the key researchers who opened her eyes to the Warren Report “Whitewash.”
Hartmann also mentioned a St. Petersburg radio show on WLCY-AM hosted by a fellow named Bob Ruark who, in her opinion, was doing important work interviewing different researchers on the JFK assassination beat. To keep him in the loop, Hartmann started transcribing some of these interviews for Weisberg. In a January 17, 1968 letter, Hartmann included a rough transcript of a Florida TV interview with Kerry Thornley, and in this same letter, curiously enough, she asked Weisberg what he knew about Lincoln Lawrence of Were We Controlled? fame, and then goes on to write:
“I heard him [Lawrence] one night on a northern radio station and almost thought I could identify the voice but, unfortunately, conditions were such that the station kept fading away and I could not hear enough of it to be positive. His book is one of those suspected of being subsidized by some agency of the government, as I wrote in my first letter—writing of the possibility of some books being subsidized. In his case, it would have been because he presented such a far-out theory that all other critics would be made to appear ridiculous as well…”
Bear in mind that at the time of its publication, Were We Controlled? was very obscure and went virtually unnoticed, and those who did notice thought it was some sort of disinformation or pseudo science fiction. In the mainstream of JFK assassination research, Were We Controlled? was pretty much dismissed and really didn’t get talked much about until a decade or so later when the likes of Mae Brussell started name dropping it. By the time remote distance mind control started being talked about in the conspiracy research circles of the late 1980s, many were pointing to Were We Controlled? as one of the first books to explore the topic.
Hartmann’s correspondence to Weisberg ran over the course of a year-and-a-half and was quite detailed. She was obviously a hardcore researcher and went into a lot of minutiae back-and-forth regarding the assassination and different evidence that pointed toward a conspiracy. In some of her letters, Hartmann mentioned meeting a researcher named A. Edward Horsey.
In a December 17, 1968 letter to Hartmann, Weisberg writes:
“…There were some strange doings. First a man identifying himself as Horsey called me at home about Thornley and himself, beginning by saying [Thornley] had clobbered me on TV and perhaps should not have. He called me several more times in N.O. [New Orleans], or someone did, the last time leaving a message. When I called back the woman who answered the phone said he’d moved, leaving no forwarding address, about three days earlier—before this call was placed. Meanwhile, he or someone else had phoned my home, found where I was staying, and phoned there. The one who phoned there was impolite, identified himself as Thornley, and declared the alleged intention of ‘getting to the bottom of this.’ Now the man with whom I stayed in N.O. knows something of the story and asked for a number to which I could return the call. The caller refused to give it… Can you explain Horsey to me? This strange behavior?…. How did he get in all this, meet you, etc?… It looks strange…”
In a December 23 response to Weisberg, Hartmann starts her letter saying, “I am a little frightened by all that has been taking place here is to understate. I will start at the beginning and see if I can put things in some kind of order then some sort of picture may emerge…
What proceeds from there is a chaotic (Hail Eris) nine page account detailing her odd interactions with A. Edward Horsey who Hartmann became aware of through a local TV and a radio program Horsey appeared on in early September in which he stated ‘that he was in this area doing some investigations and that he would be leaving to return to Kalamazoo very shortly… A couple weeks later I received a phone call from him and he asked to visit me to talk about the investigation. He said he had been given my name and phone number by a man who lives near where he was staying….”
Soon after, Horsey paid Hartmann a visit and explained that he was involved with a loose knit group of researchers that included Josiah Thompson, author of Six Seconds in Dallas, and noted that: “This ‘group’ had arranged to receive all mail at an address in Houston, Texas in the name of Dr. John Smith.” Horsey mentioned they were using this mail drop because he and his associates had been threatened and harassed by those who wanted to shut down their investigation so they had to keep everything very hush-hush. Horsey also mentioned that he was trying to track down Kerry Thornley (during this period Kerry lived in Tampa.) At a later date, Horsey informed Hartmann that he’d indeed met up with Thornley and was trying to help him with his pending case in the Garrison Investigation.
Hartmann’s letter goes into exhaustive detail concerning the crazy intrigue surrounding Horsey’s visit to St. Petersburg, which you can read here.
The letter includes death threats (from anonymous sources) against both Horsey and Hartmann, all of this on account of Horsey’s claim he had solved the JFK assassination. Throughout the letter, Thornley played a prominent role in Horsey’s “investigation” and communications with other researchers in the field—like Vincent Salandria and Sylvia Meagher—seemed to suggest that Thornley was somehow throwing a monkey wrench into everything and, due to these antics, getting other researchers mad at Horsey. Or at least this is how Horsey portrayed the situation. If the intent of Hartmann’s rambling letter was to confuse the hell out of Weisberg, it no doubt succeeded.
In a letter dated 12/27/68, Weisberg shared this bombshell: “When [JFK assassination researcher] Gary Schoener told me that the call Vincent Salandria was deliberately led to believe was from David Lifton, in which he was asked to undertake Thornley’s defense, was really from Ed Horsey…” which clued Weisberg into the reality that Horsey was most likely spreading disinformation.
On account of these shenanigans, Weisberg decided to call Kerry Thornley to see what the hell was going on with this Horsey character, and Kerry told Weisberg that “He apparently had heard this call was by Horsey, not Lifton. He denied making any of the calls to me, or those to Sylvia Meagher [that] Horsey told me he [Thornley] had made and presumably charged to his phone….”
In subsequent letters, Hartmann informed Weisberg (and other correspondents) that she was now on to Horsey’s game and that he was “poison.” And yes, it was true that Horsey had been placing phony phone calls pretending to be other researchers and doing remarkably good vocal imitations of them, thereby gaining access to information while at the same time spreading disinfo and turning other researchers against each other.
In January 1969—as these curious Horsey revelations were coming to light—the Weisberg/Hartmann correspondence apparently ceased around the same time that Horsey also seems to have fallen off the map.
A few years back—when I first stumbled on the Hartmann/Weisberg correspondence—I didn’t know quite what to make of it all, as Horsey seemed like just one among the many sketchy characters that associated themselves with the Garrison Investigation. Then—a couple years ago—I was contacted by a quite well known conspiracy researcher of the 1990s (now retired) who had mysteriously disappeared from the scene toward the end of that decade. Anyway, this “retired” conspiracy researcher (we’ll call him Commander X) re-emerged from the shadows, albeit briefly, to alert me to Horsey’s connection to The Plot to Kill JFK and quite possibly Were We Controlled? To this end, Commander X voiced his suspicion that the author of both books might very well have been A. Edward Horsey, a theory that indeed makes a certain amount of sense.
Let’s look at the Were We Controlled?/The Plot to Kill JFK parallels. The narrative of both books, although non-fiction, are presented in a novelized form and read like fictional accounts in terms of action and dialogue. Both books feature a shadowy group of conspirators consisting of industrialists and businessmen with right wing affiliations and intelligence agency connections.
The Plot to Kill JFK conspirators were motivated to kill President Kennedy not only because they felt he was soft on Communism, but that he would be bad for big business; whereas the assassination plot in Were We Controlled? was designed to manipulate the New York Stock Exchange and allow the conspirators to profit from their foreknowledge of JFK’s death. In both scenarios, Oswald was set up as the patsy.
When Horsey talked to the FBI, he informed them that Jack Ruby had been acting under a post-hypnotic command when he shot Oswald, which was the exact plotline featured in Were We Controlled? Horsey claimed he’d been harassed and threatened. Similarly, Art Ford aired his suspicions that attorney Martin Schieman had been murdered due to the publication of Were We Controlled? and that Ford said he feared for his life, as well.
Commander X also suspected that Horsey may have been a closet Discordian and that he and Thornley were working in cahoots (ala Operation Mindfuck) to disrupt and spread disinfo among JFK assassination researchers. In response to Commander X, I pooh-poohed this idea, noting that in the hundreds of letters—and reams of Thornley/Garrison Investigation materials I’ve reviewed—not once had I ever come across any communications between Thornley and Horsey or any mention of Horsey by Thornley and I seriously doubt the two ever met. Commander X was also suspicious because Thornley’s book Oswald had been published by the same outfit—Novel Books—that was responsible for The Plot to Kill JFK, hence the possibility there might have been some sort of nefarious link between the two.
Goddess only knows…
But get this: I’m now fairly certain that it was actually Horsey who penned the “Helen Hartmann” letters! The Hartmann/Weisberg correspondence ended around the same time Horsey dropped off the map, and Hartmann—as far as I can tell—was the only one who met Horsey in the flesh or talked to him at any length. A lot of researchers got crazy phone calls from the guy, but no one ever seems to have actually met Horsey.
Although Horsey claimed he was living in Kalamazoo at the time of his St. Petersburg “investigation,” I suspect Kalamazoo was also a snow-job and that he was actually living in St. Petersburg the whole time. In addition, it seems that Horsey fed the FBI a line of BS (which is a crazy thing to do) about living in Kalamazoo, along with all the other bogus information he passed along.
So who the hell is/was A. Edward Horsey? An online search conducted in 2014 indicated that A. Edward Horsey (aka Aubrey Ted Horsey, aka A.E. Ted Horsey, aka Aubrey E. Horsey) was still alive (now in his mid-70s) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Further Internet sleuthing revealed that “A.E. Ted Horsey” was listed as the director of two religious organizations located in Florida.
When I entered the addresses of Horsey’s “churches” into Google Earth Street View, I discovered a couple of normal, though dumpy looking suburban homes, giving the impression that Horsey and his religious affiliations were some sort of scam. At one time, Horsey was using the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org, so a couple years back I tried to send him some fan mail there but it bounced back—but who the hell uses AOL anymore?
During a recent online search, I found a link indicating that Horsey had passed on (in 2007) to that big JFK Assassination in the Sky. This news came as a bit of a head scratcher because when I first conducted online searches for Horsey a couple years back all indications seemed to suggest he still alive. Now I don’t know what to think.
On this date in 1963—in the aftermath of the JFK assassination—we find the first mention of Kerry Thornley’s The Idle Warriors, his novel based on Lee Harvey Oswald and life in the Marines during the Cold War era. Thornley’s observations at this time about his old Marine Corps pal would—not long after—form the basis of his Warren Commission testimony and his subsequent book titled, appropriately enough, Oswald.
Thanks to Charles Faris for inviting me take the helm for this week’s Cosmic Trigger reading. I ended up writing a lot more than I’d initially intended… but sometimes that happens! (I blame it on the Dog Days.)
We pick up with The horrors begin (page 150 of the Hilaritas edition) through to Ishtar’s Walk: a guided tour of Hell, a section that covers RAW’s lean years after he quit his cushy Playboy job and tossed caution in the wind to devote himself to full time freelancing. This was a difficult period when he went on public assistance (the dreaded “W” word: “Welfare”) to keep his family fed and a roof over their heads in a rundown Berkeley apartment complex with neighbors on either side who appeared to be going off their heads—like so many others who emerged from the madness that’d gripped the country at the end of the 60s—from the highs of the Woodstock Nation to the lows of Altamont, Kent State and the riots of Chicago, which RAW witnessed first-hand. RAW was smack dab in the middle of the cultural sea change taking place—that all of the sudden seemed to have lost traction, like Hunter Thompson’s wave that “finally broke and rolled back.”
Before we knew it, the 70s were upon us and something had changed. So many of the heroes of the movement had either burned out or sold out or spun out. By 1973, the sixties looked a thousand light years away in the rear view mirror as the lost idealism of that decade bled over into the early seventies. A hung-over generation awoke one morning to discover President Nixon’s “War on Drugs” in full swing, its crosshairs trained on the country’s youth, poor and minorities; draconian drug laws designed, it seemed, to create a prison state of mind, with RAW’s good friend Tim Leary—who Nixon proclaimed “the most dangerous man in America”—serving as the poster boy for all things immoral and indecent.
Amid Watergate revelations of government snooping gone wild, paranoia ran high in a fragmented counterculture, as out of this era emerged a generation of damaged goods—like some of RAW’s loony Berzerkeley neighbors—or his friend Kerry Thornley, who had a job done on his head not only by the “brown acid,” but due to the trials and tribulations of the Garrison Inquisition. Operation Mindfuck had come full circle, it appeared, biting its creator, Kerry Thornley, square on the ass.
Against this backdrop, occasional self doubt crept into RAW’s reality tunnel. Since the whole world seemed to be going mad, maybe he was, as well… filled with doubts that he’d made the worst decision of his life quitting Playboy all the while the prospect hanging over his head that he’d never become a successful writer, let alone afford to pay his bills. Also the uncertainty of Illuminatus! was still dangling in the wind, yet unpublished.
In the midst of unsure times, RAW continued his path of self discovery, practicing Sufi heart-chakra exercises to free his mind of troubles and open himself up to the wonders of the universe—which all sounds pretty new agey in retrospect, but it was a sign of the times. It was the Aquarian New Age and RAW was at the forefront, not only diving headfirst into those trendy currents, but also examining them with a critical eye. Much the same way Aleister Crowley had done decades before, by examining consciousness (magick) using the scientific method, and at the same time approaching these practices in an unbiased/unconditioned manner, the ultimate goal to metaprogram one’s self and open higher circuits.
“We place no reliance on virgin or pidgeon.
Our method is science, our aim is religion.”
It was a transition period when the counterculture crossed its own abyss—from the social activism, sexual liberation and drug induced revelations of the 60s—into a state of creeping dread brought on by Watergate, Cointelpro and the War on Drugs. Out of this madness emerged the New Age Movement, which many of the old guard radical left considered a cop out, people staring at their navels when they should be overthrowing The Man.
This period witnessed a renewed interest in the JFK assassination, as well as the other political assassinations of the late 60s, as conspiracy buffs began noticing a pattern from one assassination to another, this coupled with a deepening mistrust of government, and a growing Police State, all contributed to The Paranoid Period.
Then Kerry Thornley, high priest of Eris, re-entered my life, dragging the Kennedy Assassination horrors with him. (p.151)
At this point in the narrative, RAW brings up Thornley’s feud with Jim Garrison, which I’d be remiss if I didn’t attempt to explain. But don’t tell me I didn’t tell you it gets way convoluted.
Thornley—as weird history instructs—served with Oswald in the Marines for a short period and due to this association went on to author a couple books about his Marine Corps chum titled Oswald and Idle Warriors. Garrison conjectured that these books were written as a means to portray Oswald as a commie influenced lone nutter with an itchy trigger finger in order to set him up as a patsy in the assassination… all part of a convoluted conspiracy caper that Thornley (maybe) was party to. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
As to the nature of Garrison and Thornley’s beef, this date backs to Kerry’s association with JFK researcher David Lifton, author of the classic Kennedy assassination tome, Best Evidence.
In his initial discussions with Lifton in 1965, Thornley mentioned how Oswald spoke Russian in the ranks at El Toro with a Marine whose name he thought might have been John Renee Heindel. This revelation (that Oswald conversed in the Russian tongue with Heindel) came as a surprise to Lifton, because he was quite familiar with Thornley’s Warren Commission testimony and the fact that Kerry hadn’t actually identified Heindel as the Russian speaking Marine in question. In fact, Thornley’s only mention in the Warren Report concerning this topic is a passage where he’s trying to recollect the name of the Russian speaking Marine, and he can’t. In later conversations, Kerry admitted that he’d only recalled Heindel’s name (after delivering his testimony) when he and Warren Commission attorney, Albert Jenner, were having lunch together and Jenner provided Thornley with the name “Heindel.” How Jenner came to this conclusion (that Heindel was the guy who spoke Russian) is unclear, but it stuck in Thornley’s mind only later to be repeated to Lifton. And I haven’t even started getting convoluted yet! Hang on…
Another curiosity concerning Heindel (according to a Warren Commission affidavit) is that his nickname in the Marines was “Hidell,” which was certainly a head scratcher, given that fact that Oswald used the “Alec Hidell” alias when he ordered the Manlicher-Carcano rifle allegedly used to kill Kennedy.
In mid 1967, Lifton discovered that our man Heindel was then living in New Orleans, which just happened to be the base of operations for Jim Garrison’s investigation and, in mid September, Lifton contacted Garrison to pass along this info about Heindel.
Not long after, Garrison called Heindel in for questioning, who denied the whole bit about speaking to Oswald in Russian. This led Garrison to somehow arrive at the conclusion that Heindel was lying. In addition, Garrison and his crew uncovered “evidence” that Heindel was seen with Oswald at several New Orleans bars during the summer of 1963. (Whether this “evidence” against Heindel was of any substance is another matter entirely.)
Long story short, Garrison wanted Thornley to travel to New Orleans to “confront” and “identify” Heindel as, you guessed it, the guy who spoke to Oswald in Russian. In the interim, Garrison requested (through Lifton) that Thornley write up a statement summarizing his memories of Oswald and Heindel. To this end, Lifton got together with Thornley (they were both living in Los Angeles at the time) and Lifton prepared an affidavit that Thornley signed and then Lifton afterwards mailed to Garrison in September 1967. Mainly, it was Lifton who behind all of this, and it’s doubtful that Thornley would have pursued the matter had not Lifton insisted.
Garrison’s ultimate plan was to call Heindel before a grand jury, and ask him if he’d ever heard Oswald speak Russian. Previously, Heindel had gone on record stating that he had not, thus it was Garrison’s assumption that Heindel would once again testify to the same tune. Then—following Heindel’s testimony—Thornley would be called into testify that he, in fact, had heard Oswald and Heindel speaking Russian—or at least that’s the convoluted scenario Garrison envisioned. As a result—according to Garrison’s madcap plan—Heindel would then be indicted for perjury. Ultimately, Garrison envisioned a far grander scenario than simply implicating Heindel as a low level player in JFK’s assassination: his eventual goal was to persuade Heindel to provide detrimental testimony against some of the other suspects in the case, like Clay Shaw.
Lifton’s willingness to cooperate with Garrison on the matter soon soured after he examined the charges against Heindel and came to the conclusion that it was a whole bunch of nothing. When Lifton informed Thornley of these developments, Kerry attempted to distance himself from Garrison’s investigation by sending this letter to the New Orleans District Attorney’s office dated October 24, 1967:
Dear Mr. Garrison,
As a personal favor to Mr. Lifton I spent a whole day with him preparing that damned affidavit. It says everything I know about the subject. I regret that I bothered.
When I said I would speak to you ON MY TERMS, as you had apparently offered to do through Mr. Lifton, I meant it. And since you chose, when I called you the first time, not to deal on those terms, to hell with it.
I have no interest to speak of in this matter and from now on intend to keep out of it, as actions on my part can only in my view stimulate the state to violate the rights of others who for all I know may be innocent. “It is far better to reward the guilty than to punish the innocent,” said Robert Ingersoll, and every time you subpoena an innocent individual you punish him to the extent that you have violated his precious and unalienable right to liberty.
But what you do is your business, sir, and you are welcome to it.
In late November 1967, Lifton met Garrison in Los Angeles, and at this time, “[Garrison] now had a brand new hypothesis. Kerry had been rapidly shifted from star-witness-to-be-list, to that of CIA agent/bad guy, who had met with and presumably conspired with Lee Oswald in the fall of 1963. The ostensive vehicle for this shift of position from star witness to culpable defendant was nothing more than a theory of the assassination postulating Kerry’s involvement invented and promulgated by Warren Report critic Harold Weisberg, and some testimony from a local New Orleans character named Barbara Reid…” —Excerpt from May 1968 letter from David Lifton to Mark Lane chronicling the Thornley/Heindel/Garrison matter. Courtesy the Discordian Archives. Read the PDF here.
Over the next three years, Thornley was repeatedly hassled by Garrison and drug through the mud. Due to all this, “[He] had begun to enter a different belief-system. He was puzzled over many aspects of the case Garrison had tried to manufacture against him, and kept brooding over the details. Basically, the case rested upon what ordinary people call coincidences. Jungians and parapsychologists call them synchronicities. Garrison called them ‘propinquities’ and said they proved the existence of “a conspiracy so vast as to stagger the imagination!” (p.151)
Garrison believed (or theorized or concocted) that Kerry Thornley was part of a JFK assassination cabal based out New Orleans, a notion that Thornley initially dismissed, but later—starting around 1973 or so—he began to suspect that Garrison might have been on the right track, at least in terms of an assassination cabal that both Oswald and Thornley were somehow associated with, or more correctly, manipulated by, and used as unwitting dupes—all of these machinations dating back to their time together in the Marines.
Thornley—as RAW notes—became obsessed with this whole notion that he’d been manipulated and perhaps even mind controlled and his paranoia grew to the extent where he began suspect that even his friends may have been in on the conspiracy, including those involved in the Discordian Society, like RAW and Bob Shea.
Then, early in 1975, Thornley remembered an odd conversation in 1963 with a New Orleans man whom we will call Mr. M. The subject was — are you ready? — how to assassinate a President and get away with it. (p. 152).
RAW’s reference to a “Mr. M” is somewhat puzzling, as in most of Thornley’s writings he refers to the mystery man in question (who conversed with him about assassinating a President) as a pro-Nazi spook named Gary Kirstein (aka Brother-in-Law) who Kerry—at one time or another—suspected was actually Watergate burglar and CIA big-shot E. Howard Hunt (in disguise.) However—for a short period of time—Kerry suspected that Kirstein/Hunt may have actually been someone named Tom Miethe, another supposed neo-Nazi intelligence community type, so maybe that’s how RAW latched on to “Mr. M.” Or perhaps RAW wanted to avoid libel charges, so just used “Mr. M” instead of Kirstein to play it safe.
Then Thornley read about the case of Robert Byron Watson. (p. 153)
In mid 1975, Thornley came across a series of articles in Atlanta newspapers concerning the case of Robert Byron Watson, a young man who claimed he’d been framed on drug charges due to information he had regarding the MLK assassination—details of which sounded strikingly similar to Kerry’s own experience with certain shadowy characters (Gary Kirstein and Slim Brooks) in New Orleans in the early-60s. Kerry contacted Watson’s lawyers and sent them this memo outlining his knowledge of The Conspiracy:
I must point out that two weeks after Thornley first made his charges against Mr. M. (to the Atlanta police) he was robbed, pistol-whipped and had his I.D. taken. (p. 154).
As a sidebar, I recently discovered that The Discordian Archives (which were passed on to yours truly in 2009) were in RAW’s safekeeping during the period Greg Hill moved to New York City in 1974. Evidently Hill couldn’t afford or didn’t want the hassle of transporting them to New York and decided to leave them with RAW (then living in Berkeley) who became the Discordian Archives curator, so to speak. So the chain of chaotic custody over the years has been this: Greg Hill > RAW > Greg Hill > Bob Newport > Me.
RAW evidently made good use of the archives, utilizing it as source material (it would appear) for portions of Cosmic Trigger. For instance, the inclusion of the thumbprint letter.
RAW attempted to bring some attention to Thornley’s plight by authoring an article called “Assassination Scene Heats Up,” which he sent to Kerry for comment. Download PDF here. Courtesy of The Discordian Archives.
As you can see, Thornley scrawled comments on each page, which became increasingly hostile as the pages turned, because he felt RAW was misinterpreting or not understanding him. However, the main reason RAW penned the piece in the first place was to help Kerry bring some attention to his claims. As far as I know, the article was never published.
Thornley began writing to me regularly about his solution to the assassinations, and insisted more and more often that his life was in danger. I tried to calm him down a bit by reminding him of the difference between theory and proof. It soon became evident, from his subsequent letters, that he was now half-convinced that I was part of the assassination conspiracy team. (p.156)
After sending out his JFK assassination related memos to Watson’s attorneys and other law enforcement officials, Kerry attended an Atlanta house party where he was given some “funny-tasting” marijuana. At this party he talked to a group of individuals about the JFK assassination, one of whom he suspected was RAW.
A few days later, Kerry met again with one of the party goers, who passed him a pipeload of weed that—after puffed upon—blistered the inside of his mouth, making him suspect someone was attempting to poison him. Kerry delivered an affidavit to the Atlanta police describing this incident, dated July 25th, 1975, along with the pot pipe and its contents:
“I have spoken to several people about the group of very nice people I met at a party at the Celestial Mansion on Flat Shoals Road last Saturday night.
“One person I met there who may or may not have been part of this group (which knew more about the JFK assassination re Gary Kirstein, it seemed, by what they said and the questions they asked me, than I do) was a guy who said his name was Jack Wolverton…
“While we sat in the kitchen rapping, I filled up the enclosed pipe with a few leftover roaches and passed it to Jack. There was a long interval when my attention was directed elsewhere and Jack had the pipe.
“When he passed it back to me, I took a drag and IMMEDIATELY felt a large blister form inside my right check. Puzzled, I passed the pipe back to Jack, running my tongue over the blister. I did not observe carefully whether Jack actually smoked the pipe or merely made a pretense of doing so. When the pipe was returned to me, Eve, who had been out, came in the door. I took another puff only to have yet another blister, pop up right next to the other one at the exact time the smoke made contact with the membrane inside my cheek.
“Thinking it might be some sort of allergic reaction, I commented on it, and passed the pipe to Eve. She took a drag and experienced no unusual reactions.
“I then went into the bathroom and examined the blisters in the mirror. They were dark red blood blisters and each was about the size of a deformed collar button.
“I have had only one other experience with blisters forming instantly from any cause other than direct burns by fire, and that was in Atomic, Biological, and Chemical Warfare School (‘Defense’ I think they call it, not ‘Warfare’) in the Marines. That time our instructor demonstrated the effects of mustard gas to us by placing an infinitesimal amount on each of our fingertips—the result: instant blistering.
“I returned to the kitchen and commented that the blisters had formed when I had taken a drag on the pipe. Jack said: ‘Oh, I don’t think there is any relation.’ Something about the certainty of his unsolicited opinion, something about the tone of voice and timing—too hasty an interjection—has caused me to become very suspicious.
“Earlier I had asked Jack if he knew who those other people were at the Celestial Mansion or understood what we had been discussing. He said ‘no,’ that he had been playing music at the time on his guitar, which was true. He had been playing John Prine songs, which occupy a special place in my heart in relation to the Celestial Mansion because of a very high experience I had there in 1972 upon first discovering John Prine’s music. The whole incident at the Celestial Mansion had been carefully orchestrated by people who knew a great deal about me, people I correspond with, and the JFK assassination, particularly my involvement. I was made to feel as comfortable as possible, and then I was pumped just enough to see if it was Gary Kirstein that I was naming. (Does Kenner, Louisiana, mean anything to you was one of the questions I got asked.)
“On the way from The Plaza to the apartment was when I asked Jack if he knew those other people. He said he did not. I then explained to him what had happened and my suspicions concerning Gary Kirstein.
“Enclosed is the pipe and its contents, along with the plastic bottle the roaches were in before Jack got there, and to which he had no access. It seems to me this material should be analyzed. It was fished out of the trash by me a few days after the incident. Several important witnesses, including Ruby and Shaw died of cancer, for one thing, and some chemicals (nicotine for example) can stimulate cancer…”
In a follow-up memo dated July 27th, 1975, Kerry further addressed the pipe smoking incident:
“Occasionally in the past people have misinterpreted comments I have made which were only suggestive or indicative, taking them for firm opinions. I’m not at all sure whatever gave me those blisters was something intended to give me cancer, specifically. It could have been that stuff (Philip) Agee mentions in a recent PLAYBOY interview which causes a ‘nasty respiratory ailment.’ Since the smoke caused blisters in my mouth—which must have been sore in that spot—I didn’t inhale much of it. I do seem to have minor throat and lung irritation at this time. Just don’t want to seem like more of a crackpot paranoid than I really am after nearly twelve years of bizarre experience relating to JFK’s death.
“Also the ‘Celestial Mansion’ is the old name for a commune which was in the house I still call by that name. It is not the formal name of a business establishment.
“Upon checking, I have discovered that I have a sample of Jack Wolverton’s handwriting, for he wrote out his address for me in my notebook last week.
“Finally, concerning Wolverton, please give him the benefit of every doubt. I would hate to dump on him if his only mistake was that of befriending a person who happened to be feeling somewhat paranoid last week.
“I’m still very puzzled about the Celestial Mansion incident of last Saturday night. I continue to feel on a subjective level that the people who talked to me had my best interests at heart. It was as if they were checking me out to make sure I was not involved in the assassination. It was really stupid of me not to ask them how they came to know so much. One person who spoke to me, briefly, during the half-hour or so before the ‘team’ moved in, identified himself as Lew Deadmore. I find an architect by that name listed in the phone book. One of the members of the ‘team’—the one who spoke to me most—bore an uncanny intellectual and psychological resemblance to an anarchist writer friend of mine who lives-in California whom I have only met face-to-face once (in 1968), but with whom I’ve corresponded extensively. I have written him a letter about the incident, wondering if that was him. If it wasn’t he’ll probably think I’ve lost my mind.
“I doubt if I have been any too coherent about the Celestial Mansion incident. It requires more detail than I am inclined to deal with, considering the other writing I should be doing about Gary Kirstein. I’ll be glad to answer any questions about it, however. Meanwhile, let me summarize it by saying that I was questioned very informally but extremely skillfully by what seem to be a ‘team’ of five or six people who faded in and out of the crowd at a party. I’m quite sure this really happened and can give hard, objective reasons for so believing it was not just my imagination.”
In the above memo, SOME FURTHER COMMENTS ON THE PIPE SMOKING INCIDENT, Kerry notes that one member of the “team” at the Celestial Mansion, “…bore an uncanny intellectual and psychological resemblance to an anarchist writer friend of mine who lives in California whom I have only met face-to-face once (in 1968), but with whom I’ve corresponded excessively.” This “anarchist writer friend” was supposedly RAW.
In RAW’s intro to The Prankster and the Conspiracy, he wrote:
I remember my last phone conversation with Kerry, during which he announced that just a week earlier I had come to Atlanta, argued with him about my alleged CIA connections, spiked his drink with LSD, and brainwashed him again. I told him that I had not left San Francisco in months, and that if he had a bad acid trip the previous week then somebody else gave him the acid, not me. I insisted on this as persuasively as I could.
Finally, Kerry relented—a bit. “Well, maybe you believe that”, he said. “But that means your bosses have been fucking with your head and implanting false memories in you too!”
How do you argue that you haven’t had your head altered? “Look,” I said, I’ll put my wife Arlen on. She’ll tell you I haven’t left here in months.”
“That won’t prove anything,” he said with the calm certitude of a Grand Master announcing checkmate. “They probably fixed her head too.”
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I felt lost in an Escher painting…
As Discordian history instructs, Reid claimed that she saw Kerry Thornley and Lee Harvey Oswald together in New Orleans in September 1963, although Thornley denied this accusation, insisting that the last time he’d been in contact with Oswald was at El Toro Marine Base in 1959.
According to Jim Garrison in On The Trail of the Assassins (Amazon):
“From his own admission, as well as from the statements of Barbara Reid and a number of others, we learned that Thornley had been in New Orleans in 1963, finally leaving the city only a few days after Kennedy’s murder. Reid, a long-time French Quarter resident who had known both Thornley and Oswald, described seeing them together on several occasions. One of them was in early September 1963 at the Bourbon House, a combination bar and restaurant in the French Quarter. Thornley, who usually wore his hair extremely long, had just returned from a trip out of town. This time he was wearing his hair unusually short and closely cropped, as Oswald invariably did. Reid recalled having said to them, “Who are you guys supposed to be? The Gold Dust Twins?
“We were eager to talk to Kerry Thornley, but he was not an easy man to locate. It took us a lot of legwork and more than a year to do it. We had investigators going to every place in the French Quarter until we learned what had been his main hangout—Ryder’s Coffee House. Except for occasional visits to the Bourbon House on Royal and Bourbon Streets, Thornley seldom went anywhere else.” 00001
Inside the span of two mere paragraphs, Garrison was able to stuff a staggering amount of misinformation. His claim that Barbara Reid knew Oswald has no factual basis, as Reid’s only encounter with Oswald (or someone she thought was Oswald) occurred during her supposed sighting of Oswald and Thornley at the Bourbon House in September 1963.
How Garrison came up with the notion that Reid actually knew Oswald is another head-scratcher. Reid never claimed that she knew Oswald. In her 1968 affidavit, Reid recalled “associating a sense of familiarity with this individual who had received some publicity as a Communist because of his earlier activity of distributing Fair Play for Cuba leaflets in front of the International Trade Mart in New Orleans.”
Garrison further states that Reid saw Thornley and Oswald together on several occasions. However, Reid never said anything of the sort. The only time Reid claimed she saw Thornley and Oswald together (according to her affidavit) was at the Bourbon House.
Reid’s claim that she told Oswald and Thornley they looked like “the Gold Dust Twins” is another little nugget that didn’t appear in her 1968 affidavit, suggesting that Reid later spiced up her story (during her 1978 interview with the House Select Committee on Assassinations) to fit with Garrison’s theory that Thornley was one of the notorious Oswald doubles.
Garrison’s claim that Thornley “wore his hair extremely long” has no substance. Thornley—as was the style of the day—let his hair grow long in the late 1960s, but the claim that he sported a new haircut to more resemble Oswald in 1963 is just another among Reid and Garrison’s impossible-to-prove-allegations.
I suspect the reason Garrison glommed on to the notion that Thornley sported long hair may have been on account of a July 1967 memo (posted below) from Assistant District Attorney Jim Alcock documenting his interview with Clifford Wormser, owner of Cliff’s Junkyard in New Orleans.
According to Wormser, he was visited in September 1963 by Lee Oswald, his wife and baby, along with two other men, one a Latin looking fellow and the other a Caucasian with long blond hair. At the top of the memo, Garrison scribbled ‘Kerry Thornley’ indicating his suspicion that Thornley was one of the individuals accompanying Oswald during this junkyard visit.
Late September 1963 was the time-frame when Lee Oswald and Kerry Thornley were both in New Orleans during a 2 to 3 week period, which evidently led Garrison to theorize that the long blond haired fellow identified by Cliff Wormser was actually Thornley, and that Kerry cut his hair shortly afterwards. One of the problems with this scenario was that Thornley had brown hair, not blond.
Whatever the case, the apparent intent of Thornley cleaning up his act with this fresh new haircut (once again according to Garrison’s convoluted theory) was due to his recurring role as an Oswald double, which begs the question: If Thornley was masquerading as an Oswald double why would he have allowed himself to be seen in the company of Oswald? Wouldn’t that have potentially compromised the whole Oswald double caper?
Garrison’s assertion in On The Trail of the Assassins that Thornley left New Orleans a few days following the assassination was also inaccurate, as it was actually three weeks after the assassination that Thornley moved to Arlington, Virginia on December 13th, 1963. This might seem like splitting hairs to some, but it only goes to illustrate how—when it came to Thornley—Garrison never got anything exactly right, and more often got it totally wrong.
To suggest that Thornley was difficult to locate was another fallacy perpetrated by Garrison to create the aura around Kerry as someone always in hiding or on the lam. At the time, Thornley was married with an infant child and held down dozens of menial jobs, while living at a few locations, in California and later Florida. He was also doing a lot of writing during this period, and his articles appeared in numerous publications. That Garrison encountered such difficulty tracking down Thornley says more about Big Jim’s dubious investigative skills than it does Thornley’s supposed elusiveness.
Garrison’s claim that the Ryder Coffee House had been Thornley’s main French Quarter hangout is also inaccurate. Kerry noted in his writings over the years that the Bourbon House—not the Ryder Coffee House—had been his main base of operations where he spent his idle hours writing or shooting the bull with other patrons. In recent correspondence with your humble author, Thornley’s French Quarter friend, Grace Zabriskie (formerly Grace Caplinger), confirmed that the Bourbon House was indeed Kerry’s main French Quarter hangout, and to a lesser degree, Carlos Castillo’s Mexican Restaurant.
In regards to the Ryder Coffee House, Barbara Reid claimed she had evidence of Oswald and Thornley both signing the guestbook belonging to Jack Frazier, the manager of Ryder’s. In a memo from Harold Weisberg to Garrison, Weisberg noted that “several names may be disguised in this book, for example, Thornley’s in the ‘Discordian’ language on the ninth page. You have the Discordian files that I obtained on a previous trip. These will reflect which Omar Khyam is who….” 00002
Make of this what you will, but apparently Weisberg thought he was hot on the trail of a diabolical Discordian conspiracy and provided Garrison with copies of Frazier’s guestbook as evidence of this perceived diabolism. A review of the guestbook reveals that Thornley did indeed sign it using his Discordian moniker of Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, which indicates that Thornley visited Ryder Coffee House on at least one occasion. However, there’s no evidence that Oswald—using his real name or an alias—ever signed the guestbook.
Robert Karno—who in the absence of Jack Frazier managed Ryder Coffee House during the relevant timeframe—stated in an interview with Asst. D.A. Jim Alcock that he thought he met Oswald at Ryder’s on one occasion, although he didn’t sound completely positive: “Well, I—I believe I did. I’m almost sure I did…” As for Thornley, Karno remembered meeting him there only once, as well, and said nothing about having seen Thornley and Oswald together. 00003
A second supposed witness to the Oswald/Thornley Bourbon House meeting was a French Quarter bookie named Peter Deageano. According to Deageano’s affidavit:
“It was between 2:00 and 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon either in August or September of 1963. I was sitting at a table in the Bourbon House eating a hamburger. There weren’t too many people in the Bourbon House and as I looked around I noticed Kerry Thornley, Jeanne Hack, and (Oswald) sitting at a table close to me, I looked at them and said hello and either Kerry Thornley or Jeanne Hack introduced him to me. I cannot remember how he was introduced or any of the conversation that we may have had as it was a very casual meeting. However, I remember thinking to myself that he might be related to Kerry Thornley as he resembled him quite a bit.
“After the assassination of President Kennedy a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald appeared on television and I immediately recognized him as being identical to the person that I saw sitting in the Bourbon House with Kerry Thornley…”
Although it’s not indicated in Deageano’s affidavit—which happened to be unsigned—he was in Barbara Reid’s company during this alleged Oswald/Thornley sighting. That Deageano’s affidavit remained unsigned speaks volumes (perhaps) to the methods of Garrison and his staff. Nowhere else in Garrison’s files does an actual interview with Deagano appear, and it’s my suspicion that Reid and/or the D.A.’s office drafted the affidavit, but when they presented it to Deagano he refused to sign it, assuming it was ever shown to Deagano at all.
For more about Barbara Reid and the Dealey Plaza Irregulars read Caught In The Crossfire: Kerry, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation (Amazon) .
The Truth Shall Set You Confused… in 2,500 words or less!
2015 (or 3181 on the Discordian calendar) marks the 50th anniversary (maybe!) of the first edition of Principia Discordia, or How the West was Lost, published in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1965, consisting of a mere five copies that—according to Discordian co-founder Greg Hill—“were mostly lost.”
The details surrounding this rare 1st edition are enshrouded in as much myth and mystery as the JFK assassination itself, which—it so happens—will be forever linked to Discordianism due to its association with Discordian Society co-founder Kerry Thornley who served with Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marines.
Curiously enough, Thornley was writing a book based on Oswald three years before the Kennedy assassination and afterwards testified before the Warren Commission and was later accused (ridiculously so) by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as being part of a JFK assassination conspiracy.
“A search through the Discordian Archives revealed that the earliest of the Discordian holy books—How the West Was Lost, by Malaclypse the Younger (Greg Hill) — was originally printed on the Xerox machine of D.A. Jim Garrison, in summer 1963. (Greg’s girlfriend was Garrison’s secretary.)”
Thus was birthed the legend of how this mostly missing 1st edition was copied on a Xerox machine belonging to the very same man, Jim Garrison, who would later link Kerry Thornley to a shadowy cabal that allegedly orchestrated Kennedy’s awful offing.
Although RAW was partly correct regarding Jim Garrison’s association with the 1st edition Principia Discordia (PD), it appears that he might not have had his facts quite right. In the Loompanics edition of PD, Greg Hill added an afterword in which he corrected RAW’s claim about the Garrison copying machine caper:
“…Bob [RAW] says that when Oswald was buying the assassination rifle, my girlfriend was printing the first edition of Principia on Jim Garrison’s Xerox. It wasn’t my girlfriend, it was Kerry’s; it wasn’t the First Ed Principia, it was some earlier Discordian thoughts; it wasn’t Garrison’s Xerox, it was his mimeograph; and it wasn’t just before Kennedy was shot but a couple of years before that… The First Ed Principia, by the way, was reproduced at Xerox Corp when xerography was a new technology. Which was my second New Orleans trip in 1965. I worked for a guy on Bourbon Street who was a Xerox salesman by day.”
Afterwards, Hill received further clarification from Kerry Thornley, which he added as a footnote to his Loompanics afterword:
“I checked this further with Mr. Thornley. He says that the woman in question was not his girlfriend, she was just a friend, and it wasn’t a couple of years before Kennedy was shot but had to be a couple of years after (but before Garrison investigated Thornley).”
To confuse matters more (Hail Eris!), Thornley’s introduction to the IllumiNet Press edition of PD states:
“…the First Edition of Principia rolled off District Attorney Jim Garrison’s mimeograph machine (without his knowledge) in New Orleans in 1964. That was the work of Gregory Hill and of Lane Caplinger, a Discordian typist in the DA’s office.”
During the course of researching The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture (2003 Amazon), I exchanged email correspondence with Lane Caplinger’s sister, actress Grace Zabriskie. For some reason, it’d never dawned on me to ask Grace about the legend of the 1st edition—probably because Grace, by her own choosing, was never really part of the Discordian scene.
In December 2012, I contacted Grace via email with some follow-up questions for my then book in the works Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation (Amazon) and at that time asked: Was the Garrison copying machine caper “truth, legend, or a combination of both?” Grace passed on my query to her sister Lane who replied, quite simply: “Legend. I recall occasional Discordianism reading and giggling only.”
Lane’s response now leaves us in a quandary and seems to put the kibosh on this whole wonderful mythos that the PD was created right under Jim Garrison’s nose by a diabolical Discordian conspiracy.
But wait, let’s not be in a hurry to dismiss the Garrison mimeograph legend. If we examine each of the seemingly conflicting stories regarding the origins of the 1st edition PD, I think in the final analysis there’s some measure of truth to each story, or as the old Discordian saying goes:
All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.
In the IllumiNet Press introduction to PD, Kerry Thornley identifies 1964 as the year of the publication of the 1st edition and that Greg Hill and Lane Caplinger were the culprits.
Thornley moved to Arlington, Virginia in late 1963 through 1964. Meanwhile, Greg Hill returned to New Orleans in 1964 and was there until mid-1965, which was the relevant period when the 1st edition was published.
My working theory is that Lane Caplinger did indeed run off some mimeograph copies of letters and writings by Hill and Thornley that later found their way into the first edition PD. However, it’s my impression that Lane had but a vague idea at best of what she was involved with—other than just copying some material for a couple of friends who were tinkering around with a joke religion called Discordianism.
As Greg Hill noted, only five copies of the 1st edition Principia Discordia were produced, most of which were lost. Later iterations of PD departed greatly from that long ago 1st edition, evolving into a collaborative art project that included the involvement of such notables as Robert Anton Wilson (Mordecai the Foul), Robert Shea (Josh the Dill), Camden Benares (The Count of Fives), Robert Newport (Rev. Hypocrates Magoun), Bob McElroy (Dr. Mungojerry Grindlebone)—and, of course, Thornley and Hill.
I first became involved in researching this craziness in the late-90s when I was overtaken with an obsession of writing a biography of Kerry Thornley, who had captured my imagination not so much due to my interest in Discordianism (that would come later) but because of all the other high weirdness surrounding his life.
In 2001, I initiated a Freedom of Information Act request for any Kerry Thornley related documents in the CIA and FBI files. Shortly after I was informed by the Feds that these Thornley FOIA materials had been previously released and were available through the National Archives. In short order, I obtained the materials, most of which had been assembled during the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1977 and released to the public in 1992 through the Assassination Archives Research Center (AARC.)
In this Kerry Thornley-National Archives package were documents related to Jim Garrison’s investigation, including 36 Discordian related pages which didn’t mean a whole lot to me at the time as I was more interested in getting to the bottom of Thornley’s alleged Kennedy assassination associations than I was all of this Discordian doo-dah. If I’d been paying closer attention, I would have noticed that these Discordian related materials appeared to be the first edition of Principia Discordia, Or How the West Was Lost—or at least a collection of writings from the early days of The Discordian Society. These same materials were later identified in 2006 as the 1st edition PD by a fellow named Karl Musser, who came across the material during a visit to the National Archives.
At the time, Musser shared these documents with Discordian historian Dr. Jon Swabey who afterwards transcribed this apparent 1st ed. PD and posted it on the Internet via Creative Commons.
At the time, I was unaware that the Musser/Swabey tag team had brought to the Discordian world this apparent 1st edition PD. A couple years later, Dr. Robert Newport passed on to me Greg Hill’s Discordian Archives, consisting of all 5 editions of PD. However, the discovery of these different PD editions wasn’t immediately apparent and it took me some time to sift through the Discordian Archives and identity exactly what was what. The most amazing discovery of all was an actual honest-to-Goddess copy of the first edition of Principia Discordia, Or How The West Was Lost, numbered one of five, written in Greg Hill’s own hand.
My discovery of the Holy Grail of Discordianism led to a period of intensive research into the history of PD. After a review of the Musser/Swabey/National Archives version of PD, I initially arrived at the conclusion (which I now consider erroneous!) that the National Archives version was a later and incomplete reproduction of the 1st edition PD. However, more recently I’ve come to suspect that the National Archives version is actually an early draft of PD.
For sake of clarity, I’ll henceforth refer to these two different versions of Principia Discordia, Or How The West Was Lost as: 1) the National Archives (NA) version, and, 2) the Discordian Archives (DA) version.
Although there are similarities between these two versions—the NA and DA—there are also a number of differences, one of which is the type font. Secondly, the NA version numbers only 36 pages while the DA version comes in at a whopping 60 pages including a number of illustrations that do not appear in the NA version.
My reasoning behind this theory—that the NA version is an early draft of PD—is based, in part, on the handwritten address on the front cover:
5326 85th Street
At first glance, I was a bit befuddled by this address because Thornley’s Warren Commission testimony stated that he’d moved to Arlington, VA in late 1963 and lived there until late 1964. But after giving it some thought, I remembered correspondence in the Archives where Thornley noted that he’d stayed for a period of time—in late-1963/early–1964—with his friend Robert McDonald in Maryland before his Arlington move. This provides further evidence that the NA version actually predated the DA version, and that some of the content in the NA version (as my theory goes) were pages Lane Caplinger ran off on Jim Garrison’s mimeograph machine.
Additionally, my colleague Grouchogandhi pointed out that on the title page of the NA version the author is listed as “Malaclypse the Younger, H.C.” The curiosity, in this instance, is the title of “H.C.” In subsequent editions of the PD—including the 1st edition in the Discordian Archives (DA)—Malaclypse is referred to as “K.C.” (Keeper of the Chao) and in later editions as “K.S.C.” (Keeper of the Sacred Chao).
The third page of the NA version consists of a Legion of Dynamic Discord (LDD) certificate awarded to early Discordian Barbara Reid. Conversely, this certificate does not appear on the third page of the DA version. However, there is a blank LDD certificate on page 55 of the DA version, which suggests that the NA version was sent from Kerry Thornley (aka the Bull Goose of Limbo) to Barbara Reid in 1964 and included a signed LDD certificate as confirmation of Reid’s ordination into the Discordian Society.
So how, pray tell, did this early Principia Discordia draft wind up in the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HCSA) files? My guess is that Barbara Reid provided the document to the HSCA in the late-70s when she testified before the committee regarding her claims that she saw Kerry Thornley in the company of Lee Oswald in New Orleans in September of 1963. However, another person who might have submitted this document to the HSCA was assassination researcher Harold Weisberg, who worked closely with Barbara Reid during the Garrison Investigation period and entertained the notion, at one time or another, that the Discordian Society was some type of CIA front organization involved in the Kennedy Assassination dance party.
Hail Eris, indeed!
Adam Gorightly presents a brief introduction to the 1st edition of the Principia Discordia, courtesy of Brenton Clutterbuck of Chasing Eris.
Adam Gorightly presents the 1st through 5th editions of the Principia Discordia.
Early Discordian Barbara Reid was a familiar figure in New Orleans bohemia of the 1960s. Known in the French Quarter as “Mother Witch,” she was an avid voodoo practitioner, claiming to have learned the craft from an Orleanian Creole who was a spiritual descendent of Marie Laveau. According to Reid, she was the only Caucasian to whom this knowledge was passed on.00001
Reid worked as a writer and producer for New Orleans television station WDSU and made occasional appearances on local radio, including a 1970 episode of The American Legion Hour on WTIX-AM called “Witches and Metaphysics.” She frequently appeared in newspaper stories, such as a June 1969 Times-Picayune article about Friday the 13th superstitions in which Reid informed the reporter: “I am not a witch, but I’ll show you what a witch can do if you make me out as a kook.”
A Times-Picayune story from September 1964 concerned the closing of Kerry Thornley’s favorite French Quarter hang-out, The Bourbon House. To mark the event, a mock funeral procession was staged, which—along with jazz band accompaniment—included Barbara Reid in a coffin “…clad in her usual all-black garb and sporting a black beret and cigarette holder.”
Known for its rag-tag collection of beatniks, poets and jazz music aficionados, many of the Bourbon House regulars—at the urging of Barbara Reid—began staging informal jazz sessions in the early-60s at Larry Borenstein’s art gallery, an institution that would eventually be renamed—and gain international acclaim—as Preservation Hall, the legendary French Quarter music venue still in operation.
Preservation Hall officially opened its doors on June 10th, 1961, an enterprise launched by Reid and her partner in the venture, Kenn Mills. These activities—with Reid at the helm—led to a revival of the traditional jazz scene in New Orleans. However, Reid’s participation in the early days of Preservation Hall has been mostly expunged from the historical records due to a falling out she had with Larry Borenstein, the owner of the venue.
Reid was instrumental in recording many of the local jazz musicians of the era and—according to her husband, Bill Edmiston—helped integrate the two New Orleans musician unions that had previously segregated blacks and whites.
If all that wasn’t enough, Reid was one of the first members of the New Orleans branch of the Discordian Society, claiming at one time or another to be the reincarnation of Goddess Eris herself! Whatever the case, Reid certainly brought a high degree of chaos into Kerry Thornley’s life during the Jim Garrison investigation period when she placed Kerry in the company of Lee Oswald in September of 1963, a couple of months before JFK’s assassination.
According to Discordian Society co-founder Greg Hill, Barbara Reid was an aspiring politician, pot dealer and former lover of Jim Garrison:
“When Barbara ran for City Council [in 1964], Garrison was absolutely against it and, she told me, repeatedly warned her to stop playing around where she might get hurt. And that, of course, made her all the more anxious to run. I was going to be her Campaign Secretary, but the draft caught up with me and off I went Ft. Polk. When I returned for a day, 8 weeks later, the election was all over with and she placed #3 out of four (not bad, considering). She was pushing for the black vote, and had some kind of lowdown on corruption with the Fed Housing section of the city. She also had the bohemian vote; her posters depicted a caricature of her, all glasses, beret and cigarette holder. It was during this time that she told me that Garrison was an ex-lover of hers and that his warnings to her were as a friend to a friend (though later I got the impression that he was pretty exasperated with her). Like everything else she told me, I didn’t know if I should believe it or not and so, like everything else she did and said, I just enjoyed the circus and didn’t bother believing or disbelieving. I think she said that the affair was sometime ago before Garrison became prominent. She spoke of him with fondness, though annoyed with his not backing her attempted sojourn into city politics.
“I left before Barbara was busted for pot (curiously enough, I felt that the Quarter was being very uncool narc wise, and predicted a giant bust by October—but nobody took me very seriously. I missed the mark by about a month, I think. Many people got it bad, according to what I heard later.). Anyway, she once spoke of not being too concerned with being busted because she ‘could take care of it.’ At the time I wondered if she meant Garrison, but didn’t press the delicate subject…”00002
According to the New Orleans States-Item, Reid was arrested on April 10th, 1966 following a six month investigation when narcotics officers seized a large quantity of marijuana from her apartment. Reid—identified as an “unsuccessful candidate last November for District C”—told officers that she was a “den mother” at the Quorum Club, a bohemian coffee house in the French Quarter where she presided over a gaggle of hippie kids. Evidently, the Quorum Club was at the center of this six month investigation. Curiously, Reid’s arrest record for the pot bust identifies her as a “fugitive from Arizona.” These charges were later dropped.
Perhaps what Reid meant by taking “care of it” was that—because of her inside track to Jim Garrison—she could either blackmail or bribe her way out of the charges. Contrary to popular mythology, Garrison was not immune to this type of corruption. In 1970—following a performance by The Grateful Dead at a New Orleans venue called “The Warehouse”—the band’s hotel rooms were raided by police and several members were arrested on drug charges, an incident recounted in their song “Truckin’” and the line: “Busted down on Bourbon Street…”00003 Afterwards, The Grateful Dead tour manager was able to bribe Garrison to take the bust off the records.00004>
In February 1965, Reid was arrested with members of the Hell’s Angels and charged with “bringing the Hell’s Angels to New Orleans.”00005 A February 25th, 1966 New Orleans States-Item article stated that the charges against Reid (identified as “Barbara Reed” in the arrest report) had been dropped, although the four Hell’s Angels “would be held as possible fugitives…”
Ed Sanders claimed that The Process Church had a “baleful influence” on Manson and his minions, while Maury Terry alleged that the group was implicated not only in the Tate-LaBianca murders, but the Son of Sam slayings, as well, and that Process Church leadership oversaw a vast Satanic network dealing in drugs, pornography and ritual murder.
In correspondence with this author, Kerry Thornley wrote that he “…first encountered the Process Church in New Orleans in Feb. ’68 when I was there to testify, reluctantly, to the Grand Jury. Barbara Reid, the principal witness against me, and a friend (!) of mine, was said to be ‘up to her ass’ in The Process, which, indeed, maintained a coffee house half a block from Barbara’s apartment. I went over there with Slim (Brooks)… and saw pamphlets about Satan On War and Lucifer on War and Jehovah on War—which I found confusing because I thought Satan and Lucifer were both the same guy, until then, (of course—heh-heh)… A bunch of pale, thin zombies were sitting around in this place. I was telling very funny Garrison stories but nobody was laughing…”
In the next installment we’ll explore Barbara Reid’s involvement with Jim Garrison’s investigation and her role as a Dealey Plaza Irregular.
To read the whole crazy story pick up my book Caught In The Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation (Amazon) while supplies last!
Thanks to Tim Cridland for unearthing many of the materials used in this post.
“In some sense, Thornley comes across as a martyr to the paranoid cosmic indeterminacy that his faux-mock religion was supposed to worship. Before Oswald ever entered the picture, Discordianism had already been discovered by Thornley and his high school fellow traveler Greg Hill, in a Chaos Theology epiphany at the Friendly Hills Lanes bowling alley in Whittier, California.”
The Dangerous Minds last-minute shopping guide for rock snobs, audiophiles & culture vultures
“Two great books from Feral House that I could not put down this year were The Essential Mae Brussell: Investigations of Fascism in America and Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation by Adam Gorightly about the man who was Lee Harvey Oswald’s one time army buddy as well as being the co-founder of the joke religion of Discordianism popularized by Robert Anton Wilson. I was already a huge fan of Gorightly’s earlier Thornley bio, The Prankster and the Conspiracy and this expanded book really sucked me in with its twisted plot. Wait, plot? This is a biography!”
ADAM GORIGHTLY INTERVIEW
Author: Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation
“Adam Gorightly takes us through the looking glass in his new book, Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation (Feral House Publishers, 2014). Adam accomplishes an uncovering of Kerry which will provide new insight into the JFK assassination and more.”
Victoria’s Reviews > Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society
“Historia Discordia is obviously a labor of love by the editor, Adam Gorightly, who has created a glorious collection of humorous, ludicrous and inspirational letters, essays and ephemera from the founding fathers of Discordianism. Inspirational? Yes! Many of the quips and clever epistles gathered within this colorful and well designed tome are the sort that make one scratch ones head in wonder and awe; ‘Wonder why I never thought of that?’ and
‘What an awesome and polite way of mocking political (or religious) pundits!'”
THE LONE GUN MAN PODCAST EP. 47 ~ ADAM GORIGHTLY INTERVIEW PT. 1 & PT. 2
“Renowned historian, musician, and author Adam Gorightly joins me on the show this week to talk about his newest book Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald, and the Garrison Investigation.”