The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00005: The Gay Crusader

Rev. Raymond Broshears at the first Gay Pride Parade, June 26, 1972.
San Francisco Examiner.

In 1972, Rev. Raymond Broshears founded the San Francisco branch of the Gay Activists Alliance and that same year helped organize the city’s first Gay Pride parade.

An equal opportunity troublemaker, Broshears eventually pissed off nearly everyone who entered his orbit regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Due to a disagreement with fellow Gay Pride parade organizers, the following year (1973) Broshears staged his own gay pride event in competition with the official one, which in due course led to a mini-schism within the San Francisco gay rights community. (Hail Eris! All Hail Broshears!)

Although a polarizing figure, Broshears was a tireless advocate of the homeless, poor and elderly, operating a community center in the Tenderloin called “Helping Hands” that provided free lunches for senior citizens. Other volunteer efforts included an annual Christmas event he organized for patients at Fort Miley Hospital called the “Gay U.S.O. Show.”

1981 Flyer for the Annual Gay U.S.O. Show at Fort Miley Hospital.

To publicize his political activism, Broshears started a newsletter called The Gay Crusader and was continually firing off letters to political figures of the era—from Harvey Milk to Dianne Feinstein to George Moscone—and damn near anybody else who came into prominence during the late-60s and 70s San Francisco political scene. More often than not, these letters (found in abundance in the Broshears Archive at the GLBT library) consisted of long-winded rants not easy to track (even for someone like yours truly who is sort of a kook-whisperer). The Broshears Archive includes this letter from Harvey Milk, who seemed equally mystified by whatever Broshears may have been getting himself wrapped around the axle about.

June 5, 1978 letter from Harvey Milk to Rev. Raymond Broshears.
The Raymond Broshears Papers.
Courtesy of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Broshears enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame when he formed a group called the Lavender Panthers in response to gay bashing incidents that occurred in San Francisco during the early-70s. This led to a feature story in the October 8, 1973 issue of TIME Magazine describing the Lavender Panthers as a “stiff-wristed team of gay vigilantes… The basic band numbers 21 homosexuals, including two lesbians who are reputedly the toughest hombres in the lot.” The Lavender Panther’s mission, Rev. Broshears informed TIME, was to strike terror in the hearts of “all those young punks who have been beating up my faggots.”

News clipping of Rev. Raymond Broshears and a couple of his Lavender Panthers.
San Francisco Examiner.

The Lavender Panthers used the same sort of agitprop that the Black Panther Party became infamous for: openly carrying fire arms and training in hand-to-hand combat tactics, such as the martial arts, although much of these activities appeared to be a PR stunt to generate a media buzz, particularly in regards to the Lavender Panthers.

The prestigious 'San Francisco Number 1 Psychopath Award'
presented to Rev. Raymond Broshears on February 25, 1979.

Broshears resided in a hotel in the Tenderloin, and in his room he maintained a printing press for various newsletters he published over the years that included Light and Understanding; The S.F. Crusader (later called The Gay Crusader), and his last production, Focus.

Rev. Broshears’ 1981 press pass for the S.F. Crusader.

According to a lengthy Broshears’ obit in the January 14, 1982 edition of the Bay Area Reporter,

“A former Golden Gate Business Association official told Bay Area Reporter that many Gay businesses felt they were being extorted by Broshears because they would not advertise in his newspaper. He revealed that in 1979 some GGBA officials and others met to share their knowledge of what they saw as Broshears’ continuing and costly harassment, but they did not know of any legal action they could take. One obstacle they faced was attorney B.J. Beckwith, who was constantly pressing cases against them for Broshears…. Beckwith helped Broshears sue numerous private parties and some businesses, including Bay Area Reporter, on a variety of charges. They were considered by many to be “nuisance” suits that involved the hiring of attorneys by those sued while Broshears enjoyed Beckwith’s services gratis…

“Local Gay businesses were regularly affected by Broshears’ behind the scenes reporting to the police and city agencies. Although he attacked city officials for crackdowns on sex-related businesses in his newspaper, he had his own continuing crusade. Gay bars, bath houses, sex clubs, adult book stores and most recently video cassette stores were constantly threatened by Broshears’ challenges to their permits and licenses. He telephoned and wrote city officials and police officials, plus appeared (often as the only complainant) at hearings to revoke or deny permits and licenses…”

“In 1978, Broshears personally and somewhat gleefully ‘exposed’ an alleged male prostitution operation in the city. Many Gay activists never forgave Broshears for this act because it resulted in the arrest of the popular Jack Campbell, an official of the Club Baths chain and a major financial supporter of Gay rights over many years…”

Rev. Raymond Broshears

In January 2018, I appeared on Radio Misterioso with Greg Bishop to discuss our new book ‘A’ is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees (Available now in a Black & White version or a Full Color version!).

During our conversation, we referenced Rev. Broshears and his connection to famed ufologist Dr. Frank Stranges, mentioned in Part 00003 of this startling series.

In the course of our discussion, I noted how I’d recently happened upon an episode of NPR’s Radio Lab concerning Oliver Sipple, a tragic figure who reluctantly became a national hero over night. On September 22, 1975, Sipple was standing in a crowd of spectators outside of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco—awaiting an appearance by President Gerald Ford—at which time Sara Jane Moore pulled a .44 caliber Charter Arms revolver out of her pantsuit and fired a single shot that missed the President and ricocheted off a nearby wall. When Moore attempted a second shot, Sipple grabbed her arm. As Sipple recalled: “I saw [her gun] pointed out there and I grabbed for it… I lunged and grabbed the woman’s arm and the gun went off.”

Sipple made every effort to avoid the limelight, mainly because he felt he wasn’t the hero everyone was making him out to be. However—when he arrived home that evening—Sipple was met by a gaggle of reporters who had learned he was a former Marine that had served in Vietnam. Sipple told the reporters not to mention that he was a vet, and added that he didn’t really consider himself a hero. But as much as Sipple attempted to slip into the shadows, the national media quickly latched on to his story, and the following day he was the front page headline in newspapers across the country, basically presented as a war veteran who had heroically saved the President’s life.

Oliver Sipple grabs Sara Jane Moore as the lady in stripes with the smart hat gets the hell out of Dodge.

Initially, Sipple was hoping his new found fame would blow over in a day or two; that he’d simply be treated to a round of drinks at a local tavern and be done with all the hoo-hah, but a couple days after the story broke, prominent San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen received a message on his answering machine from none other than Harvey Milk, who informed him that Sipple was an active member of the San Francisco gay community. This was during the timeframe when Milk, with great gusto, was encouraging fellow gays to come out of their respective closets. This, it appears, was the main motivation why Milk contacted Caen, along with an agenda to place stories in the media that portrayed the gay community in a more positive light.

Sipple, it turns out, was long time pals with Harvey Milk, and actually worked on one of Milk’s political campaigns. Although Sipple was a guy who clearly wanted to stay in the closet to a certain extent, the gay activist movement of the early 1970s swept up everyone in its path, and unfortunately for Sipple, he got caught up in the shifting winds of a generational change he didn’t have the emotional tools to deal with.

Broshears, independent of Harvey Milk, also called Herb Caen to inform him that Sipple was gay. Broshears, like Milk, thought it would help break the negative stereotype of gay men as limp-wristed sissy-boys who would never raise a finger to save the life of a President. To this end, it’s in no way an understatement to suggest that Sipple most likely saved President Ford’s life. Geri Spieler’s Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot At Gerald Ford details how Sara Jane Moore’s trusty .44 caliber had been confiscated by the SFPD a day before her assassination attempt, and how the following day Moore purchased a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson. Fortunately for Gerald Ford, the gun sights on the Smith & Wesson were six inches off the point-of-impact, causing Moore’s first shot to just narrowly miss Ford’s noggin. Her second shot would have been at even closer range, and Moore probably wouldn’t have missed that one, had not Sipple intervened.

The revelation of Sipple’s sexual preference soon leaked to other reporters via Caen, and once the genie was out of the bottle Sipple’s fifteen minutes of fame had been given another shot in the arm as national media outlets seized on part two of Sipple’s story, and this news eventually made its way to his parents and friends in Detroit, who were unaware of Sipple’s sexual proclivities, which was the main reason he’d been trying to keep under wraps to begin with. Afterwards, Broshears became a witness in a defamation lawsuit filed by Sipple against the San Francisco Chronicle, claiming that the newspaper had shared his private information against his wishes.

The Radio Lab episode I mentioned featured an interview with Oliver’s nephew, a fellow named George Sipple. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the very same George Sipple had contacted me in August 2016 with some Discordian-related information concerning CREEM magazine.

1970 CREEM Magazine, Vol. 2, No 18.
'Hail Eris. All Hail Discordia.'

At the time, I really had no idea who George’s uncle, Oliver Sipple, was, nor was it relevant to our Discordian-related communiqués. After my Radio Misterioso appearance—and the mention therein of his late uncle—George Sipple contacted me to say, “Hey, I was the guy who sent you that info on CREEM magazine a couple years ago, and I happened to hear you on Radio Misterioso… and oh, btw, I was on that episode of Radio Lab you mentioned. I’m Oliver Sipple’s nephew!”

These are the sort of synchronicities that always seem to happen to me, Hail Eris!

Oliver Sipple was never really the same after the assassination attempt on Ford, not to mention when the personal revelations of his private life became a national story. These dramatic events no doubt contributed to Sipple slowly drinking himself to death by 1989.

As for Rev. Broshears’ demise, the January 14, 1982 edition of the Bay Area Reporter noted that: “The most controversial Gay personality in San Francisco was found dead in a hallway of his 990 Geary Street apartment on Sunday night [January 10]… of a cerebral stroke.” Broshears was 46 years of age.

Rev. Raymond Broshears' death certificate.

Subsequent rumors surfaced that Broshears died of HIV, although this has never been confirmed. Broshears passing was just after the discovery of AIDS became public, so such conjecture may have certainly some substance.

In our next and final installment of this series, we’ll explore some recently discovered FOIA files pertaining to the one and only Reverend Raymond Broshears.

Stay tuned!

Posted in book, discordianism, interview, monkey business, photo, podcast, writings | 2 Comments

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February Eris of the Month 2019: Neural-Style Eris by Victor Espinoza

February Eris of the Month 2019: Neural-Style Eris by Victor Espinoza

Oof! A bit late on this year’s February Eris of the Month, but you know, chaos and all.

This gem was found via reddit created by vic8760.


Send us your Eris of the Month Club submissions (more info here) by using the form at the bottom of The MGT. page.

Posted in art, discordianism, eris of the month, monkey business | Leave a comment

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The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00004: The Multiple Wave Oscillator Debacle

The Rev. Raymond Broshear
circa early 1970s.

In March 1970, Discordian Society member Stan “Doc” Jamison (aka Coman Ra—Lt. Colonel, Commanding 1st Intergalactic Confederacy Advance Detail—Planet Shan) was exchanging information with Rev. Raymond Broshears regarding a contraption called the “Multiple Wave Oscillator.”

How Doc Jamison became acquainted with Rev. Broshears one can only guess, although it was probably due to their mutual affiliation with the Universal Life Church.

The Multiple Wave Oscillator (MWO) was invented in the 1930s by Georges Lakhovsky, and was said to produce healing therapies through the application of “ultra radio frequencies.”

Lakhovsky's Multiple Wave Oscillator.


The MWO has a long history in conspiratorial lore as one of those suppressed inventions along the lines of Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Accumulator. Here’s a paper Jamison put together on the MWO, to further enlighten (or befuddle) your mind.

From what I’ve been able to piece together, Jamison acquired the MWO from someone in the San Francisco bay area, and Broshears was holding the unit in safekeeping until Jamison had an opportunity to pick it up. That’s when all the fun started.

Louise Lacey, late 60s/early 70s.
Photo courtesy of Louise Lacey.


On March 11, 1970, Jamison sent a letter to fellow Discordian Louise Lacey aka Lady L, F.A.B. (Fucking Anarchist Bitch) alerting her that “in a very few days, Rev. Ray Broshears should have a Lakhovsky M.W.O. unit in his possession…”

March 11, 1970 letter from Stan Jamison to Louise Lacey.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Lacey responded to the above letter on June 22: “I’m writing Rev. Ray Broshears about the Lakhovsky MWO unit, and hope to get together with him…” A short time later, Lacey received a phone call from Broshears, as documented in the letter below.

July 1, 1970 letter from Louise Lacey to Stan Jamison.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Broshears fired off a letter a few days later, on July 7, informing Jamison that the MWO unit had “gone with the wind” and that Lacey and “her bunch of rotten bastards can go to hell.” This letter included a mini-rant criticizing Jamison for apparently withdrawing support for “Light and Understanding” —whatever that actually entailed. (“Light and Understanding” was Broshears’ newsletter—maybe Jamison let his subscription lapse.) Broshears also notes that the “Council of New Age Churches (CNAC) Convention was an absolute financial disaster, and I resigned the presidency as the honorable thing to do. Dr. Stranges will make an excellent president…”

July 8, 1970 letter from Rev. Raymond Broshears to Stan Jamison.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Dr. Stranges, of course, was the one and only Rev. Frank Stranges, noted ufologist and close associate of Broshears, who was mentioned in the last installment of this startling series.

Cover of the July 1970 issue of Light and Understanding, featuring Rev. Frank Stranges (with his charming wife Bernice) in his new role as President of the 'Council of New Age Churches.'

As noted in our first installment, Rev. Broshears was a key witnesses in Jim Garrison’s case against Kerry Thornley, which at this time was unresolved. When Thornley heard through the Discordian grapevine that Lady L. had been interacting with Rev. Broshears, he implored her: “Please don’t try and convert him; he is far more valuable on the other side as a hostile witness.”

1970 letter from Kerry Thornley to Louise Lace regarding
her puzzling interactions with the Rev. Raymond Broshears.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

In response, Lacey sent a letter to Thornley, dated August 1, 1970, chronicling her brief but befuddling interactions with Broshears, which she described as a “mind-cracking experience… 30 minutes of tortured insanity about his fear the cops were going to bust him because he had the MWO machine… His head is so messed up that I can’t think of a better hostile witness you could have… I have without a doubt established to my own satisfaction that he doesn’t know what he is talking about…”

August 1, 1970 letter from Louise Lacey to Kerry Thornley.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Posted in discordianism, jim garrison, kerry thornley, letters, louise lacey, writings | Leave a comment

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Standing in the Shade of Love By Brenton Clutterbuck


The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, although the command staff here at Historia Discordia has no reason to doubt the central thesis presented herein, based–as it is–on evidentiary documentation referenced by Mr. Clutterbuck, not to mention his own personal journey down the sock-puppet filled Rev. Loveshade rabbit hole. – The MGT.


Reverend Loveshade with
Binky The Wonderskull.

I am writing this article not just as a Discordian, but as an Award Winning Discordian, having been granted the Order of the Pineapple, an award that has been bestowed (dare I say, imposed) on other Discordians including Professor Cramulus, Adam Gorightly, Sondra London, Miley Spears, Pope Hilde, Gypsie Skripto and Princess Unicornia.

The order of the Pineapple was first presented in 1982 by the Ek-Sen-Trik-Uh Cluborguild. Except it wasn’t – which is the problem. It wasn’t invented in ’82, more likely it was invented in 2015. And many of the recipients – Spears, Hilde, Skripto, Unicornia etc – are entirely fictional.

This is just one symptom of the problem that lives very, very deep in current day Discordianism. It is the problem of Reverend Loveshade.


The Loveshade Family Tree

How do you write the history of a serial liar? It doesn’t make sense to simply assemble their lies and present them. Loveshade is a difficult liar because he is a Discordian liar – he is always winking at the camera. Many of the claims he makes are tongue in cheek and ridiculous, but there are certain ‘facts’ that are presented repeatedly. For instance, Loveshade’s involvement in adult film when younger, or his commune, or his persecution by the government—all are consistent moments referenced both seriously and playfully in different places. But why bother? If we can trust anything about Loveshade, it’s that we can rely on him to be a liar.

Loveshade appears to be a member of a large and eclectic community of Discordians, whose brand of Discordianism is liberty driven, owing much to the free love movements of the hippie scene. The community involves a number of young, often related young girls, including some of the above recipients of the Order of the Pineapple. There’s the Spears clan, the Black family, and the Loveshades, and a sprinkling of outsiders. Interactions between what we might call ‘the Loveshade family’ and others tend to be fraught with tension; some on philosophical grounds, some because I can tell you from experience that Loveshade’s adventures in forums and comment sections can be a tad antagonistic, and some because he likes to namedrop.

We can trace Loveshade’s internet history back to somewhere between 1998 and 2000. Loveshade’s mythology often references a bygone figure called Bloodstar/Alien Loveshade. Bloodstar appears real (in some sense), a figure on Geocities around the turn of the millennium. Bloodstar had some interactions with another Geocities user, A.D. Lea.

Between the two, the evolution of the Loveshade family can be seen. Both websites (Bloodstar and Alien Loveshade) have a fixation on copyright and image use that resembles current Loveshade family pages. Both pages pay tribute (including photos) to a model skull referred to as Binky the Wonderskull. Both pages link to the five key beliefs and other writings of Loveshade. A.D. Lea writes about gender in a passage called Gender Genesis – this is now on ‘Alden Loveshade’s’ page, attributed to him.

A.D. Lea also has photos of a Halloween party, some of which appear now on pages run by Alden Loveshade. This involved a kind of spooky tour, with pictures of wizards, wackos and wolfmen. The aforementioned ‘wacko’ is a bearded cleaver wielding maniac named Dr Sinister Craven. The man in that picture will come up again soon. The ‘Wizard’ is also later referenced as ‘The Wizard Lea’. It is a picture many will recognise as the self-portrait of Alden Loveshade. Most pictures are copyright A.D. Lea, but this one is attributed to another person called Dan, who will also come up again.

Bloodstar has another classic Loveshade attribute; he puts forward an interest in nudism, linking to several pages. Those pages often have a focus on selling images of ‘family nudity’. He also shares a ‘self-portrait’–a photoshopped floating head with exaggerated facial hair. The unedited image is commonly used as a self-portrait by Alden Loveshade.

Both A.D. Lea and Bloodstar link to Loveshade’s page at different times, often with the suggestion that it is coming soon – both linked to the Loveshade page as a work in progress. In fact, Bloodstar may even have alluded to creating Reverend Loveshade in his 1998 end of year letter (a tradition Alden Loveshade continues) – I established a Secret Earth Identity this year. I can’t talk about that too much, either.

We can assume A.D Lea and Bloodstar/Alien Loveshade are the same, and that they’re both Reverend Loveshade.


SubGenius Revelations

It wouldn’t quite be a Discordian story without dramatic jumps through space and time, but I feel this is a good time to talk about ‘The Biography of Alden Loveshade’ because I will be making references to it from here on, and I want to give credit where due.

The current Loveshade preoccupation of Wiki editing has not made Loveshade (or his ostensible community members ‘Pope Hilde’ and ‘Miley Spears’) many friends. In the SubGenius community in particular, there has been push-back against Miley Spears’ hostile takeover of the Subgenius Fandom Wikia. I’m unclear of the specific details, but around two years ago some members did some digging into Loveshade, and made a host of accusations, and were told to come back with proof.

They did. This PDF documents Loveshade’s court records from 2002 and identifies a few things about those early Geocities pages that I hadn’t spotted — in particular, his use of meta descriptions that seem designed to attract a… questionable community of fans.

“…closer inspection of the HTML shows a trend that becomes all too frequent in Loveshade-related online materials. Meta Descriptions, such as those seen in the screenshot below, containing tags like, ‘pregnant, pics, children, preteens, teenagers,’ and so on.”

I stumbled across this PDF through a series of leads, each more tenuous than the last. This lead—a guy I’d seen fall out with Loveshade on Facebook—was deeply paranoid of me when I introduced myself. Even after I sent a video of myself, clearly stating my name, it didn’t stop his suspicions that I was–or was affiliated with–Loveshade. I have to say, I don’t blame him.

In the end though, he was kind enough to decide to trust me. His name was M. Otis Beard, and he was himself an internet celebrity of a kind, a member of the Ur-Internet Troll association of ‘Kibologists’, and in particular had become a kind of unofficial spokesperson for faking your own death on the internet, something he did in 1999. Beard mentioned ‘the PDF’ offhand, assuming I knew of it, before directing me to a Subgenius group where I could find it.

Around this same time, I received an email from another individual, stating simply:

Heard your asking about Loveshade. I can tell you shit.

This was followed by a completely different document with an aesthetically similar cover. However the title was ‘The Biography of Reverend Loveshade’, and the content was wildly different. Without going into full details, there’s a simple reason for this; the person who sent it to me is Reverend Loveshade and he’s trying to muddy the waters, so that the reaction to the Subgenius document is the same as the current reaction to the whole of the Loveshade saga– ‘this is a weird mess, so I’m just not going to think too hard about it.’ In total, the moral of this second document is as follows – the man you think is Loveshade is framed, the real Loveshade is another person, and all his sock-puppets are real, too.

Like I said, I don’t blame Beard for his paranoia.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

The first notable instances of Loveshade interacting with other Discordians is on a Yahoo group called Illuminatusinnersanctum. His first post is in July of 2001, and he speaks of being invited by user ‘Chezire_Katt’, who seems to have performed several membership runs to gather new users. His last is in 2012, by which point the forum was basically a wasteland of spambots.

This puts Loveshade as a participating member of Illuminatusinnersanctum forum at the time of his reported 2002 arrest by Texas Law Enforecement officials, which allows us to put together a timeline. Further details can be found in the PDF.

On March 19, 2002, Loveshade posts his last message on the Illuminatusinnersanctum forum, after being an incredibly active poster.

‘The Biography of Alden Loveshade’ lists March 29, 2002 as Loveshade’s arrest.

On May 13, 2002, Chezire_Katt mentions that they wonder where Loveshade is.

On Feb 14, 2003, George_W._Bust (could be Loveshade out on bail, or a friend) writes the following message:

Somebody brought up an old message of Reverend Loveshades so I thought I’d better comment.

For those who dont remember him, he used to be a frequent poster here. That was until he was investigated by the FBI and the Secret
Service and arrested on an imaginary charge. He’s currently being held in solitary confinement.

He’s been threatened many times with arrest because of his fights for freedom. Now that fundamental American freedoms are being
threatened in the name of security, we are all vulnerable.

His writings can be found on many web sites. Please read the first one below at least. It has suggestions for what you can do. Don’t bother emailing him now. He has no way to respond.

http://www.geocities.com/bloodstar84/stripfreedom.html
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/7971/panpleasant/apocrypha.html
http://www.neuroatomic.com/stealthis

We are hopeful that the Rev will soon be released. Remember his words when he said:

“Don’t wait for your grandchildren to ask you why you watched fundamental American freedoms being stripped away and did nothing.”

Loveshade’s sentencing date is April 12, 2003.

Suddenly, on October the 18th, 2005, Loveshade reappears:

As Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m back!

I’d like to clarify several things, but I won’t because other people are involved and everything is yet to be resolved. And frankly, I’m still a little scared myself (for a while, I was scared as hell). A lot of what I write is B.S., but the rest of this is as true as I can make it.

I and some of my associates were a part of a national investigation in the U.S.A. which may have extended internationally, we aren’t sure. This began not too long after Sept. 11, 2001. Part of that investigation, and perhaps only a small part, was an attempt to learn the true identity of the Discordian “BloodStar,” who still remains in “hiding,” and of “Reverend Loveshade.”

As I have no reason to want to pin down my “true” identity, I’ll leave it at this:

* we were investigated for a number of “crimes,” many having to do with freedom of speech. As one of our group is on the edge of having the last charge dismissed, I don’t want to go into details
* there were almost certainly bugs planted, and informants for government agencies planted as well (some of this was well done, and some was so clumsily handled as to be almost laughable)
* one of us was held for months in solitary confinement
* several of us were threatened by citizens/government agencies/police officers
* there were several searches conducted in various parts of the U.S.A.
* the work (writings, photos, etc.) of many of us were seized (including writings of some people who posted to this site, some of whom are likely still unaware of the investigations)
* at least two people who posted to this site were questioned in person by the authorities (we suspect more)
* at least a dozen agencies in the U.S.A. were involved in the investigation, including the FBI (we don’t have official documentation that the Secret Service was involved, and at this point their involvement seems doubtful. But an attorney said it appeared quite probable that a then-prominent person in the federal
government was our “enemy”)
* not a single agency found a single thing that agency identified as being illegal–except for a small-town police department. (Note that the “evidence” from this local cop was turned over to various agencies including the FBI, which had it for almost a year–after that cop held it for two years–before admitting they found nothing illegal).

As to posting “jokes” about Sept. 11, some of the postings almost certainly were a part of the investigation. Fortunately, some investigators had enough brains to realize the postings were jokes before more people who posted here were questioned.

Be careful what you kid about in a public forum; be careful what you take photos of (you never know what contemporary community standards are out there); be careful what you write in fiction that someone might think is true; and be careful claiming that the government is a bigger threat to freedom than terrorists–especially if they are.

Reverend Loveshade
discordia.loveshade.org

So the timeline is consistent. Loveshade was investigated, arrested, found guilty, went to jail, and came out again, to resume his online Discordian career where he left off.


Co-opting Wikis For Fun and Profit

One oft repeated piece of mythology is a variation of this: ‘Loveshade married a 15 year old girl to three grooms and everyone was naked.’ The truth of that matter is that a bunch of people had a goofy conversation in chat in November 2001. Loveshade has tendency to exaggerate the innocuous and downplay the serious. But there’s some things to note. One is that one of the three grooms, Danacasso, is known to Alden in the real world. Remember the Wizard photo? On his website, Alden attributes it to the photographer’s real name; on Facebook he attributes it to Danacasso. I contacted Danacasso, but received no reply.

Not so notable, but interesting to see, are Loveshade’s interactions with Shereed Volva on Illuminatusinnersanctum. There’s no speculation here – Shereed Volva, the editor of an edition of Discordian Open Source periodical ‘Intermittens’ outed himself as Loveshade, and gleefully pointed out that his name was an anagram for Reverend Loveshade. So when you see Volva and Loveshade interact remember – this is a man conversing with his own sockpuppet account.

One of Loveshade’s goals, in both Discordianism and Church of the Subgenius, is to rewrite the history of both to his liking. There’s a few tools he’s used to achieve these ends. The absolute control of basically all Discordian and SubGenius wikis is one. (The simplicity of this is almost admirable. Disused wikis lie around everywhere, waiting to be infiltrated with a sock army.) Another is presenting things as rumour from a sockpuppet, followed by a kind of smirking not-quite-denial from Loveshade. This is the method he’s used to suggest that he may be the child of Robert Anton Wilson’s murdered child Luna Wilson (it goes without saying, but no). And the final, most ambitious, is the wholesale construction of historical figures.

Richard Marshall. Gypsie Skripto. Mike Quinn ‘The MGT’. All historical figures. All bullshit.

Here’s the rule for working out if it’s a Loveshade sockpuppet. Can you draw lines between one verified human and another? If not, it’s a puppet. And the same is true of these ‘historical figures.’ There’s no evidence for Gypsie’s existence, outside of being a construction of Greg Hill in the 4th Edition afterword of the Principia Discordia. There’s no evidence of Mike Quinn/The MGT existing outside of the character created by Robert Anton Wilson. And the proof of Richard Marshall is that an obituary exists for a James Richard Marshall… but the links to Discordians? Nada.

One strategy Loveshade used to create these characters is through the purchase of the website kerrythornley.com, run under the pseudonym ‘Johnny Shellburn’ (the protagonist from Kerry Thornley’s Idle Warriors). Apart from all of the other painfully obvious clues I managed to avoid seeing at the time, I realised this connection when interviewing Shellburn for my book Chasing Eris, and my email bounced, delivering this message:

Your mail message to the following address(es) could not be delivered. This is a permanent error. Please verify the addresses and try again. If you are still having difficulty sending mail to these addresses, please contact
Customer Support at 480-624-2500.

<domains@loveshade.org>:
68.142.202.129 failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 554 Message not allowed – [PH01] Email not accepted for policy reasons. Please visit http://postmaster.yahoo.com/errors/postmaster-27.html [120]

The site exists to put ‘Shellburn’ in contact with seekers who he can baffle with bullshit. It also exists to muddy the waters of fact and fiction. Sondra London’s entirely credible interview with Kerry Thornley sits beside Richard Marshall’s fake interview with ‘Pope Hilde’. Possibly credible letters from Thornley sit alongside Thornley’s ‘Order of the Pineapple award.’


A Sea of Sock-Puppets

A few years ago, in a moment of astonishingly bad judgement, I agreed to do an interview with ‘Alden Loveshade’ for Yahoo News. (At the time, I regarded Reverend Loveshade as simply a troll, and Alden Loveshade as a separate person.) That news story never happened, and Alden instead, under the name ‘Johnny Shellburn,’ used my interview in his history-rewriting edition of Intermittens. In particular, he contrasted my entirely true allegations that ‘Gypsie Skripto’ and ‘Richard Marshall’ are bullshit, against his own evidence that they existed. It’s not enough for Loveshade to be able to make his own sandcastles in the sandpit – anyone who points out that the castles are made from sand must be punished.

Here’s another one: Reverend Loveshade developed a strong disagreement with a latter day Discordian who I refer to in my book Chasing Eris by the name ‘Smith’. Loveshade chased Smith around with a series of sock-puppets, and when Smith insulted Miley Spears, Loveshade looked up Smith’s address and mailed him cease and desist letter to demand a retraction for Smith’s supposedly defamatory statements. Then, in another scheme using sock-puppets, Loveshade tried to further entangle Smith into his web by posting in multiple places a lengthy conspiracy theory that he and Smith were the same person.

While googling Chasing Eris one day (vanity, darling), I discovered a website I hadn’t created called chasingeris.com. It had a decidedly Loveshadian look to it. Panicking, I contacted the webmaster to request they state clearly that they had no official connection to me, and to my great surprise they offered to transfer me the site. Phew! The owner then made a massive song and dance about how their name was a secret.

Now we’ll ask you a big favor. For me to do the transfer and for you to pay $30 into my paypal account, I’ll have to give you my real name. PLEASE don’t give this out. When you see my name, you may understand why. Or not.

Who am I.

Their first name was one that Loveshade commonly claims is his real name. Their surname was Smith’s real-life surname. I believe Loveshade was leaving breadcrumbs towards the theory that he and Smith were somehow connected. In fact, many of his schemes seem based on leaving little clues for internet detectives, surnames, anagrams, numbers, etc. It must be hard to be a big-brain genius that nobody appreciates.

Remember the trick to telling a human from a sock-puppet? A line between one flesh and blood human to another? I’ve only seen this twice – One between Alden and Daniel/Danacasso. The other is Alden and Doctor Sinister Craven.

Remember that Halloween party where many of Loveshade’s pictures come from? There’s a man with an evil grin and a meat-cleaver. He is the only person on that page that I’ve seen reappear over and over. He uses his real name, not Craven, however I won’t repeat it here. You’ve seen it though if you’ve viewed Loveshades’ blog – one clueless real human making comments in a sea of sock-puppets.

I bring up Craven because of what I’ve seen on his Facebook page. He writes a lot of poetry for Melissa Spears who is perhaps catfishing him, and has had disagreements online with members of the Loveshade clan. Craven posts online to say that his psychologist is telling him there is no such person as Melissa Spears, and Loveshade alts rush to contradict him. Alden warns Craven that MU Spears, who is defending Melissa’s honour, is a trained killer from the military. Bob Black scoffs at Craven, saying MU Spears could break his arm with his little finger. Of course, the Blacks, the Spears, the Loveshades; they’re all Alden.

Craven is not well, and Loveshade is using his army of sock-puppets to harass, threaten, gas-light and perhaps cat-fish him all at the same time.


It Gets Darker

By far the most creeped out I felt in the great Loveshade atrocity exhibition was in perusing the diary of Lorien Loveshade aka Princess Unicornia (but really, again, who cares – they’re all one person). Lorien’s diary, incidentally, is where scepticism about Loveshade’s sock-puppet army goes to die. Forget the ice-bucket challenge, forget the bird-box challenge, it’s time for the Loveshade challenge.

1. Spend 5 – 10 minutes perusing Lorien Loveshade’s page.
2. Look somebody in the eyes.
3. Repeat these words; “It’s totally plausible that this is the website of a 30 year old woman with a career in education.”

You just can’t do it.

The ‘Biography of Alden Loveshade’ covers this page quite well:

Lorien Loveshade is a webpage which began in 2005, presenting itself as that of an 18-year-old girl’s online diary, sharing intimate details of her life from pre pubescences forward, while simultaneously being heavily steeped in discussions of a sexual nature–Essentially erotic fiction geared towards pedophiles.

But this only gives a rough outline of the whole thing, and while I don’t want to be grotesque for the sake of it, I do want to give a sense of what’s there.

The diary entries are divided into three sections – preteen, teen and adult.

These diary entries include two preteen stories that are deeply uncomfortable to read. One is of a ten year old Lorien having her first tongue kiss while having her bottom fondled. Another is of a young Lorien having a fun day on the internet playing on chat with a stranger encouraging her and her friend to strip and touch each other (fortunately, that is not what happens).

There’s a narrative at play here. Compare to the story behind Miley Spears, or some of Lorien’s more vivacious friends. Lorien has been fondled, tongue kissed, exposed to internet perverts, visited the set of a porn shoot, and as a result? Has remained pure and virginal well past the legal age of consent. Miley Spears however was protected by her parents from sex, and as a result, had sex very early. Not only does exposure to sex apparently not harm a child, it actually is really good for them!

We don’t need to guess at this worldview – ‘Lorien’ spells it out for us in an article tastefully titled ‘Teen Sex.’

“One of my best friends was raised extremely strictly. Her father wouldn’t let her have email because he thought the Internet was a bad influence. She couldn’t even use it at school. He spied on her, searched her bedroom, called to check on her wherever she went, and wouldn’t let her go to parties unless it was all girls or there were a lot of adults there.

One day when she was 14, school was cancelled because of a teacher’s conference. She didn’t tell her parents school was closed that day. She left just like she always did. But she met her secret boyfriend near her school, then he took her somewhere and they had sex. All her father’s spying and trying to protect her meant nothing.”

We could get more examples from Alden’s various ‘community members’, but why bother? It’s there in black and white, for all to see, again, and again, and again.

It’s.

Fucking.

WEIRD.

It’s weird because, in case you forgot, NONE OF THESE PEOPLE EXIST. They are the creations of a 62 year old man who is writing the great American weirdo novel for people who aren’t allowed within 500 metres of schools or public parks.

But I’m sorry to say, dear reader, it gets darker. In 2013 Lorien’s diary went private. Alas, that doesn’t mean that ‘she’ took it offline like a normal person. If you access her diary in the conventional way, you’ll see mostly normal text titles, with a few hyperlinks that take you to stories, and a few hyperlinks that ask you to log in. Diary entry My and Beckys 14th b-day slumber party! Mar 15 2002 asks you to log in. So does the opinion piece I’M A VIRGIN AT A PORN SHOOT.

But then, that’s what you’ll see at http://lorien.loveshade.org/diary_public/selections.html, the page you end up at if you access the diary in the conventional way.

At http://lorien.loveshade.org/diary_public/special.html, the story is different. Every single diary entry is a hyperlink, and most invite the reader to log in. I’ve spent hours upon hours on Loveshade’s pages this week, and honestly don’t even remember how I found that this separate page existed, and was just fortunate to find it in again in my Internet history. My guess is that there’s some secret path in one of the many pages of utter crap. [My friends > Becky > Becky's Mom's Dog > Diary] or something. But the links on Lorien’s main page do not direct you to this page. It is hidden.

Who gets to log in? What do you think is on the other side of that login page? How do you get the login? Probably by sending a message to Lorien via the email ‘she’ puts on the front of her website. As stated on ‘her’ opinions page: “IF YOU WANT TO PRIVATE FILES, SEE SOME OF MY SEND ME A REQUEST EMAIL! MY ADDY IS ON MY HOMEPAGE”.

And then?

When a man who sees a diary filled with a young girl’s sexually charged experiences emails another man who fantasizes about young girls what happens? What do they talk about? What do they send each other? What plans do they make?


When All Else Fails Go Look At Goats

Very soon I will offer you a link to a funny goat compilation to shake off some of the worst vibes of this utterly horrible mess. But let’s go over it again.

  • Reverend Loveshade was arrested in 2002 for Obscene Wholesale Promotion. (Source: ‘The Biography of Alden Loveshade’)
  • Runs a massive sock-puppet army which essentially have full control over the SubGenius and Discordian wikis.
  • Actively constructs historical figures out of whole cloth and develops elaborate schemes to try to have them accepted as historical fact.
  • Runs ‘Lorien Loveshade’s Diary’ which contains a hidden page where all entries are accessible to persons who have obtained log-in credentials.
  • That is all. Here are your goats:

Posted in book, brenton clutterbuck, discordian timeline, discordianism, greg hill, kerry thornley, monkey business, principia discordia, robert anton wilson, subgenius, Uncategorized, video, writings | 4 Comments

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PDF of the New, Improved Version of Goetia Discordia

The Great Roldo

A couple years ago or so, our dear friend and fellow Discordian, Roldo, gave us the OK to post a PDF of Goetia Discordia: Kerry Thornley’s Illustrated Book of the Demons of the Region of Thud, a Thornley-Roldo collaboration from the mid 1980s.

In 2017, Roldo came out with a new and improved version of Goetia that was published by Bathtub Books, and which apparently sold like hot cakes (or hot dogs) and is no longer available in its corporeal form.

That being the case, Roldo recently released this Bathtub Books PDF version of Goetia for your possible downloading pleasure!

Posted in art, book, discordianism, kerry thornley, writings | 1 Comment

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Imaginary Sources Creating Imaginary History

Rev. Loveshade with one of his sock puppets.

In 2015, a somewhat amusing bio of yours truly was posted at Discordia Wikia that is almost 23 percent accurate and presumably written by someone identified as Miley Spears, who in reality is a sock puppet of a self-styled Discordian named Reverend Loveshade who—it appears—has not only created this Miley Spears persona, but also a number of other phony Discordian characters such as Pope Hilde, Gypsie Skripto, not to mention a certain Johnny Shellburn (the same name of the protagonist in Kerry Thornley’s Idle Warriors) who operates KerryThornley.com where you can find an imaginary interview conducted by the aforementioned Pope Hilde with a supposed early Discordian named Richard Marshall who also probably never existed—or at least never existed in the sense that the interview suggests.

Confused yet?

Richard Marshall—it so happens—also has a Discordia Wikia page which is also probably 23 percent accurate (at best!) although there actually was a real Richard Marshall who lived in San Francisco during the same period as Discordian Society co-founder Greg Hill, although none of the real Early Discordians I’ve talked to have ever heard of the guy.

According to Richard Marshall’s Discordia Wikia page (written by Miley Spears), Marshall contributed to Principia Discordia and The Illuminatus! Trilogy although I’ve never come across anything in the Discordian Archives to even remotely suggest that these claims have the slightest relation to reality or that Marshall ever knew Greg Hill or Robert Anton Wilson or Kerry Thornley—let alone Michael Arthur Quinn (aka The Midget) who is another imaginary character (based on an Illuminatus! character) apparently cooked up (once again) by Rev. Loveshade, who—it should be noted—also has a Discordia Wikia page submitted by (you guessed it!) Miley Spears, who—as previously noted—is actually the one and only Rev. Loveshade. In other words, the whole thing is a giant sock puppet circle jerk perpetrated by somebody with a lot of spare time on their hands.

In 1970s—according to Loveshade— his mother was purportedly friends with Robert Anton Wilson’s daughter and because of this Loveshade and his hippie mom became acquainted with Wilson, who he affectionately referred to as ‘Grandbob’ and along the way Loveshade “became obsessed with meeting the original Discordians” and that inspired him to (supposedly) track down Greg Hill in the 1990s at a San Francisco watering hole, an account of which appeared in Loveshade’s Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht.

Some might suggest that a shaggy dog story about meeting Greg Hill is perfectly acceptable from an Operation Mindfuck standpoint, as a form of pranking and modern myth making. On the one hand—being a card carrying Discordian—I can appreciate this type of culture jamming. On the other hand—with Historia Discordia and related projects — I’ve taken seriously the task of chronicling, as accurately as possible, the early days of the Discordian Society and its influence on the 1960s counterculture and onward. So when imaginary sources create imaginary history, it certainly leads us down a slippery slope.

In 2012, I was contacted by an enterprising Australian lad named Brenton Clutterbuck (which totally sounds like another made up name, but no he’s an actual dude) who informed me that he was working on a book project about modern day Discordianism entitled Chasing Eris.

While discussing with Clutterbuck different latter-day Discordians during a 2012 midnight Skype session, he informed me that as part of his Chasing Eris project he was planning a tour of the U.S. to interview prominent Discordians, including someone going by the name of Gypsie Skripto who had been introduced to him by Johnny Shellburn of KerryThornley.com, who—as previously noted—is another one of Loveshade’s alter egos.

Using the email address given to him by “Johnny Shellburn,” Brenton started a correspondence with Gypsie Skripto, who claimed that she had been friends with Greg Hill and part of the early Discordian scene in San Fran in the 1970s. In response, I told Brenton that I thought someone was yanking his chain, that the Gypsie Skripto in Greg Hill’s Principia Discordia afterword was an obvious literary construct, and that this person posing as Gypsie Skripto had basically co-opted Hill’s imaginary character as a way to troll the internet and create phony Discordian street cred.

Ultimately, Brenton’s planned meeting with Gypsie Skripto in Austin, Texas failed to materialize when she stood him up, using the pretext that she had to attend some last minute political activist hippie rally fundraiser (or some-such) and Brenton soon came to the realization that I was correct in my assumption that “Gypsie Skripto” was just one among a host of other spurious Discordian sock puppets courtesy of Rev. Loveshade. 

With all this in mind, we’ll soon have a post up from Mr. Brenton Clutterbuck himself regarding his take on adventures with the Rev. Loveshade and his various sock puppets.

Stay tuned!


UPDATE: Here is Mr. Clutterbuck’s post on Rev. Loveshade.

Posted in book, brenton clutterbuck, discordian timeline, discordianism, greg hill, illuminatus!, interview, kerry thornley, monkey business, principia discordia, robert anton wilson, writings | 2 Comments

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The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00003: Flying Saucer Attack!

Rev. Raymond Broshears
circa late 1960s.

Our last entry recounted Rev. Broshears’ association with Jim Garrison’s investigation, and what Garrison called “Odd Sects” (not to be confused with “odd sex”!) that included a cast of characters scattered not only across JFK assassination lore, but also the funky field of ufology.

Ufology—for those not in the know—is the study of flying saucers, and the spacemen (or spacewomen) who flew in them. As good a place as any to start tugging on this Broshears-UFO thread is with Fred Crisman, who as noted in past installments was (allegedly) one of the three mystery tramps (apparently up to no good) picked up in Dealey Plaza following the JFK’s assassination. But long before Kennedy’s assassination was but a gleam in his eye, Crisman—along with a buddy named Harold Dahl—gained notoriety (or infamy, as the case may be) for their involvement in the Maury Island UFO Incident.

Before traveling back in time to Maury Island, we should acknowledge Kenneth Arnolds’ sighting of “nine gleaming objects” over Mt. Rainer in Washington State on June 24, 1947, an incident that essentially launched the Modern Era of UFOs. An experienced pilot with over 9,000 hours of flight time, Arnold’s sighting added an air of seeming legitimacy to what was considered, at the time, the playing field of crackpots and hoaxers. Not long after his seminal sighting, Arnold became acquainted with Ray Palmer, publisher of the science fiction pulp magazine Amazing Stories, which featured not only the standard sci-fi fare, but also Richard Shaver’s supposedly non-fiction accounts of encounters with diabolical subterranean creatures called Deros who first appeared in his story, “I Remember Lemuria.”

March 1945 edition of Amazing Stories
with Richard Shavers 'I Remember Lemuria.'


In July of ’47, Palmer received a cigar box filled with “flying saucer fragments” mailed to him from two men in Tacoma, Washington: Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl. Needless to say, Palmer was a tad dubious about these “flying saucer fragments,” as he’d previously corresponded with Crisman a year earlier. At that time, Crisman claimed that during World War II he and another soldier engaged in a firefight with the some Deros in a cavern in Burma at which time his fellow soldier had been shot with a ray gun that left a dime sized hole in his hand. But that wasn’t all: Crisman offered to travel to a cave in Texas to recover some ancient Dero machinery if Palmer was willing to pony up $500 for expenses. Palmer wisely declined Crisman’s come-on. Not sure what to do with the box of “flying saucer fragments,” Palmer enlisted Kenneth Arnold to investigate what would become known in the annals of ufology as the Maury Island Incident.

Fred Crisman circa early 1970s

On July 29, Arnold flew to Tacoma and his first order of business was to find a hotel room for his stay. After calling around to the cheaper hotels and having no luck securing a room, Arnold phoned the most expensive hotel in town, the Winthrop, and was informed by the desk clerk that there was already a room reserved in his name. When Arnold informed the clerk he hadn’t made a reservation—and that it was probably another person by the same name—he was told that the reservation was indeed booked for a Mr. Kenneth Arnold of Boise, Idaho. Later that day, Arnold interviewed Dahl and Crisman, and this was the story they shared…

On June 21, Dahl (a timber salvage worker/harbor patrolman) was out on his boat on the eastern bay of Maury Island along with his teen-age son and dog when “six large donut-shaped machines” appeared in the sky. One of the ships began laboring when another of its companion craft descended and touched the laboring donut ship as if to repair it, after which it “spewed out” molten fragments—later referred to as “slag”—that rained down on Dahl’s workboat, killing his poor pooch and severely scorching his son’s arm. After ejecting slag spew, the craft rejoined its fellow donut ships and zoomed away. Dahl gathered up some of the slag fragments and returned to the harbor to give his supervisor the lowdown. Dahl’s “supervisor” was Fred Crisman.

Harold Dahl, date unknown.

Uncertain as to the veracity of Crisman and Dahl’s claims, Arnold called in his friend, Captain E.J. Smith (Big Smithy)—a pilot with United Airlines—to assist in the investigation. On the evening of July 30, Arnold received a phone call from UPI reporter Ted Morello, who said he’d received information from some “crackpot” who repeated a full account of Arnold’s investigation up to that point. This led Arnold to suspect his hotel room had been bugged, and that his reservation surreptitiously arranged so that his activities could be monitored. Throughout his investigation, Arnold attempted to keep it on the down-low, and the only ones privy to his activities were Palmer, Big Smithy, Crisman, and Dahl. Because of this, Arnold grew to suspect that Ted Morello had been tipped off by either Crisman or Dahl in an attempt to promote their story. Concerned he was being set up by a couple of confidence men, Arnold placed a call to Air Force Lt. Frank Brown and Captain William Davidson inviting them to join the investigation. The officers accepted Arnold’s invite and flew to Tacoma that same day, but after questioning Crisman and Dahl, they apparently were unimpressed by the men’s story.

Kenneth Arnold (middle) with his buddy, Big Smithy, on the left,
no doubt trippin' out on a UFO photo.

Crisman and Dahl invited the Air Force officers to a boat trip to Maury Island, but Brown and Davidson declined, stating they had to return to California early the next morning. As a parting gift, the officers were given a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes filled with slag fragments. Arnold and Big Smithy, however, agreed to the Maury Island trip, which ultimately turned out to be a bust. According to Dahl and Crisman, their “patrol boat” had been severely damaged by the slag that had rained down, but when Arnold and Big Smithy examined the vessel there were no signs it’d been damaged, or recently repaired; nor was there any indication of it actually being a patrol boat, and it appeared totally unseaworthy. Unsurprisingly, Crisman and Dahl were unable to start the engine of the boat, which seemed like a convenient excuse to cancel the outing.

Shortly after take-off from McChord Field in Tacoma—in the early hours of August 1, 1947—the B-52 transporting officers Brown and Davidson caught fire and went down in flames, killing both men. The next afternoon, the Tacoma Times featured a curious headline: SABOTAGE HINTED IN CRASH OF ARMY BOMBER AT KELSO. The article reported that the B-52 “had been sabotaged ‘or shot down’ to prevent shipment of flying disc fragments…” and “that the ill-fated craft had been carrying ‘classified material.’” One can assume that Crisman had a hand in spinning this tale, which—if such was the case—seemed like a tasteless PR stunt. To this end, many suspect that Crisman cooked up the Maury Island caper, the intent of which was to sell it to Ray Palmer and cash in on the sudden saucer-craze sweeping the nation. This would support the theory that Crisman, under an assumed identity, contacted reporter Morello to leak details of Arnold’s investigation, and that Arnold’s hotel room had not actually been bugged—it was simply Crisman (affecting an anonymous identity) repeating conversations he’d had with Arnold.

1947 Tacoma Times.

In the aftermath of the B-52 crash, Ted Morello contacted Arnold and Big Smithy telling them he’d received another phone call from an anonymous tipster who informed him that the B-52 had been shot out of the sky.00001 Morello’s source added that, immediately following the crash, Crisman had been reactivated for military duty and assigned to Alaska, which suggested the Feds swooped in and spirited him away as a means of quashing further Maury Island inquiries.

Before leaving Tacoma, Big Smithy contacted an Army intelligence officer stationed at McChord Field named Major George Sanders, who met with Arnold and Big Smithy and informed them that the B-52 crash had been an accident, and not the result of sabotage.00002 Sanders then drove the men to a local steel mill to show them a smelter which he believed was the source of the supposedly otherworldly slag.

On Arnold’s flight home, the apparent veil of doom hanging over this episode reared its head when he lost power to the engine of his plane. Fortunately, Arnold was able to land safely in Boise, although afterwards he needed a change of undergarments. Shaken by these events, Arnold dropped the Maury Island case, as he felt no conclusive evidence had emerged during his investigation, as well the suspicion that Crisman and Dahl had been trying to pull a fast one.

A few days after Arnold left Tacoma, Crisman and Dahl visited the local FBI office claiming they had no clue about anything related to Maury Island or a saucer sighting there.00003 Crisman and Dahl’s story was that they’d discovered fragments of what they believed might have been flying saucer, then afterwards sent them to a lab at the University of Chicago for analysis. Somewhere along the way—according to Crisman and Dahl—Ray Palmer learned about the slag and contacted them, which in turn led to Kenneth Arnold’s involvement with the case.

August 10, 1947 The New York Times article on Maury Island Incident.

The deeper one delves into the Maury Island Incident, the more conflicting stories emerge, which is to be expected when you have an apparent flimflam man like Crisman involved, as demonstrated in this New York Times story from August 10, 1947.

After the dust (or slag) had settled, Project Sign investigators determined that the Maury Island Incident was a hoax, and at one point the Air Force considered filing charges against Crisman and Dahl. Crisman sent a letter to Fate Magazine in January 1950 denying he’d perpetrated a hoax or that he bore any responsibility for the deaths of the two Air Force officers.00004

Contrary to popular legend, Crisman hadn’t actually been spirited away to Alaska immediately following the Maury Island caper, although he had been called up for active duty in the Korean War in 1951 and assigned overseas as a P-51 fighter pilot. According to researcher Mike Sylwester: “[Crisman] suffered a great deal from a premonition he would be killed, and he was reassigned to fly transport flights between Korea and Japan. Eventually, he began to suffer such anxiety that he was hospitalized in Japan. He began to abuse tranquilizers during this period…”00005

In 1953, Crisman separated from the military, leaving with the rank of reserve major. That same year he became a high school teacher in Elgin, Oregon, and then later, in 1956, the Superintendent of Schools in Huntington, Oregon.

Crisman became “involved in the UFO fringe with Frank Stranges and Wayne Aho” in 1958.00006

That same year, in an issue of Ray Palmer’s Flying Saucer magazine, Crisman (using the pseudonym of Eldon Everett) wrote in to the letters section to recount his Maury Island yarn, in addition to other saucer encounters he’d supposedly experienced in the ensuing years. Also in 1958, Crisman was arrested for drunk driving and disorderly conduct, at which time it was discovered he was under the influence of barbiturates. Due to this incident, Crisman was fired from his teaching job. According to Mike Sylwester: ”[Crisman] aggravated this situation [with the police] by making strange remarks, such as that he had a metal plate in his head.” Following his firing from the teaching job, Crisman worked for a couple years at Boeing Aircraft as a “personnel representative.”

In the mid 1960s, Crisman was joined in his flying saucer hobby by the one and only Thomas Edward Beckham, a colorful and criminally inclined character introduced in Part 00002 of this series.

In his testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1978, Beckham stated that “Crisman had been a CIA agent and he had worked on a thing called Project Bluebook…”

1972 mug shot of Thomas Edward Beckham.

Crisman claimed it was Harold Dahl who first introduced him to Tom Beckham, which differed from Beckham’s account, who said he was living in Olympia, Washington, in late 1964 when he came across a magazine ad for membership with a “Parapsychology Association” operated by Crisman. Afterwards, Beckham traveled to Tacoma to meet with Crisman and the two men became partners in a wide range of dubious activities. During this same period, Crisman re-entered the teaching profession with a job at Cascade Union High School in Salem, Oregon, a position that lasted only two years before he was fired for “forming a secret student organization… Crisman formed the organization and conducted meetings on school premises without authority.” A school board ruling stated that the “organization is of such a nature that it should not be condoned or authorized to exist in this district.”

Newspaper article about Fred Crisman being fired as a high school teacher.

After his dismissal from Cascade Union High School, Crisman began a career as what some have described as a right-wing propagandist employed by the Riconosciuto Marketing Agency. Crisman’s job description included speech writing and PR for conservative politicians in the Tacoma area, activities that overlapped with a daily radio show Crisman hosted, using the alias of Jon Gold, on radio station KAYE. At the time—according to certain accounts—Crisman was involved in spreading political propaganda, which he presented as an anti-corruption campaign waged against local government. Crisman’s version of events was later recounted in Murder of a City… Tacoma (1970), authored by Crisman under his Jon Gold pseudonym. The book blurb for Murder of the City… Tacoma reads:

“Fred L. Crisman, known to his radio and television audiences as Jon Gold… born in Tacoma… was swept up in the battle of political philosophy that now rages in that city… Naming himself a Liberal Democrat, he has been classified as a Far Right extremist… He denies being anything but what he is, a sincere man, dedicated to seeing the return of decent, honest, representative government to his home town. His planned broadcasts of political propaganda were never… other than… propaganda. (A) conspiracy… worked to bar him from the airwaves…”

Cover of Murder of a City... Tacoma by Jon Gold (Fred Crisman).

Murder of the City… Tacoma is quite rare, so I haven’t been able as of yet to lay my hands on a copy, but an industrious researcher named Jeff Suwak has been posting about the book here.

One of the players involved in the Murder of a City saga was Crisman’s boss, Marshall Riconosciuto, the father of Michael Riconosciuto (aka “Danger Man”), a scientific whiz kid who referred to Crisman as his “mentor.” In the early 1980s, Riconosciuto was involved with a secret version of the Promis software a la the Inslaw affair, all part of an elaborate conspiracy laid out in The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro.

Michael Riconosciuto aka 'Danger Man.'

In the Martinsburg, West Virginia, hotel room where Casolaro allegedly committed suicide in August of 1991, notes were discovered that mentioned “MJ 12—extraterrestrial,” and “Area #51.” The source of Casolaro’s UFO info was Michael Riconosciuto, who also alleged that Fred Crisman had hoaxed the Maury Island Incident to cover up a radioactive liquid metal that had been sprayed over Maury Island by Boeing Aircraft as part of a secret experiment. As previously noted, Crisman worked at Boeing in the late 1950s/early 1960s, and due to this association conspiracy researchers have connected Boeing and Crisman as agents of the dastardly military-industrial complex that also allegedly had a hand in the JFK assassination dance party.

More saucer news! On August 12, 1967, Fred Crisman and Thomas Beckham organized the “First Midwest UFO Conference” in Omaha, Nebraska, although Crisman was a no-show for the event.00007 That same year, Crisman appeared at the “Northwest UFO Space Convention” in Seattle where he recounted the Maury Island Incident and claimed that he possessed photos of the slag spewing donut ships, but for whatever reasons decided not to present them, nor have these photos ever surfaced, if indeed they ever existed (which of course they probably didn’t).

In early 1968, Crisman (using the pseudonym of Fred Lee) wrote to Lucius Farish of the Parapsychology Research Group, stating that, “Mr. Crisman is probably the most informed man in the United States on UFOs and also one of the hardest to find—as the FBI has learned several times!”00008

Researcher Mike Sylwester interviewed Crisman’s son, Fred Lee Crisman, Jr., who informed him that: “In the last weeks of his life, [Fred Crisman] was at home reading a book about alien abductions, and he suddenly passed out because of kidney failure. When he regained consciousness, he was in an intensive care ward, hooked up to a lot of hospital equipment and surrounded by personnel in masks and gowns. For a few moments, [Crisman] wondered if he himself had been abducted on to a spaceship…”00009 Crisman, at one time or another, claimed that the character of David Vincent, portrayed by Roy Thinnes in the ‘60s TV series The Invaders, was based on his life.

Another odd UFO twist in the Crisman saga was his association with a group called the “Servants of Awareness” that nowadays goes by the name “Cosmic Awareness Communications.” According to JFK assassination researcher Joan Mellen: “By 1968 Crisman would be investigated for narcotics activity in connection with… [the] Servants of Awareness.”00010 In the late 1980s, I became aware of this group courtesy of Tim Cridland’s Off The Deep End zine that featured, on occasion, Cosmic Awareness Communications broadsides and advertisements, such as the kooky one below.

Cosmic Awareness Communications advert.

Although there’s no evidence that Rev. Broshears ever met Crisman in the flesh, he corresponded, on occasion, with Thomas Beckham. Beckham, Crisman and Broshears were acquaintances of the Reverend (or Dr., depending on how he wished to present himself) Frank Stranges, author of Stranger At The Pentagon, the story of Venusian Captain “Valiant Thor.” According to Stranges, after Val Thor had met with the President and members of the Joint Chiefs, he had a meeting with Stranges at the Pentagon.

Frank Stranges and his charming wife Bernice
with Buddy Ebson, television's own Jed Clampett!

Stranges was director of the National Investigations Committee on Unidentified Flying Objects (NICUFO), a group he started after being kicked out of the more well-known and quasi-respectable National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).

Membership brochure for Frank Stranges’ National Investigations Committee
on Unidentified Flying Objects.

In addition to his saucer activities, Stranges was President of the International Theological Seminary of California, which appears basically to have been a diploma mill he cooked up. To this end, Stranges was famous for bestowing titles upon himself, including the prestigious FBI Gold Medal, which in reality was also a totally made up award. Stranges’ supposed association with the FBI drew the ire of the Secretary of NICAP, Richard Hall, who contacted the Feds on April 27, 1962, as documented in the letter below:

April 27, 1962 letter from Richard Hall of NICAP
to J. Edgar Hoover, FBI reagarding Frank Stranges.

According to an FBI memoranda dated May 3, 1962:

“…a review of the enclosed material indicates that allegations against Dr. Stranges pertain to a period in August and October, 1960. In October, 1960, the Seattle Office conducted an investigation concerning Dr. Stranges after information was received that he was implying that he was at that time or previously connected with the FBI. During the investigation no one was located who had actually heard Dr. Stranges make any such allegation although it was generally conceded that he had left a number of people with such an impression. Dr. Stranges is an evangelist. Based on his background, numerous addresses and organizations which he has had and the fact he claims to have talked to an individual from the planet Venus, it appears he may be also something of a confidence man…”

Rev. Broshears hosted a number of UFO events at which Stranges appeared as guest speaker, such as this following promoted in Broshears’ Light and Understanding from November, 1968.

November 1968 Light of Understanding.

That same year, Stranges assumed leadership of a “religious organization” formerly overseen by Rev. Broshears called The Council of New Age Churches (CNAC). It’s not clear what CNAC was about, but some of Broshears correspondence suggests it never really amounted to much, but was yet another title that Stranges could add to his ever expanding rolodex of fake titles.

Rev. Broshears’ Doctor of Divinity diploma provided by Frank Stranges and the Faith Bible College and Theological Seminary. (Fake!)

Crisman and Beckham likewise ran a number of dicey diploma mills, and it was from one such that Dr. Stranges earned a Ph.D. from the National Institute of Criminology, a title listed on the back cover of The Stranger from the Pentagon.

Although Stranges presented himself as a pseudo law enforcement official, there’s no indication he was ever on the right side of the law, and on many occasions found himself leaning more towards the dark side. In 1972, an aircraft with a bent propeller attempted to take off from Thermal, California. Besides the pilot, the only other person on board was Rev. Stranges. Police found about 400 pounds of marijuana in the plane. Stranges was convicted of attempting to transport an illegal substance and sentenced to eight months in prison and three years probation.

In 1974, Stranges hosted the “8th Annual UFO Space and Science International Convention” in Anaheim, California, advertising William Shatner, astronaut James Irwin, and U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers as featured speakers. All said they had either refused, cancelled, or never heard of Rev. Stranges.

Rev. Robert Short synchronizing his chakras.

Another of Broshears’ ufological allies was Rev. Robert Short, for whom Broshears organized an event at the Los Altos Public Library chronicled in a July 9, 1968 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram entitled “Outer Space Chef Tosses Bewildering Salad.” Staff writer Frank Anderson described Short as:

…an outer space chef, [who] cut some green cheese from the moon, mixed it with horse radish and served it up on flying saucers…

Billed as a lecturer of unidentified flying objects, Short confined most of his remarks to communiqués from extra-terrestrial sources which have been published in the Solar Space Letter of his Solar Space Foundation at Joshua Tree.

The audience of 30 persons appeared mystified by it all, for the knowledge by Short flew by faster than the cafeteria line at a tape worms’ convention.

Short was introduced by Rev. Raymond Broshears, pastor of the sponsoring Church of God of Light. After some Hawaiian music, the lecture began with Short telling his audience how outer space beings tune in on earthlings.

It’s done, he said, by means of a resotron, a device that fits on the head like a hair-dryer and immediately translates earthlings thoughts and language into super space intelligence.

Having cleared up this awesome technology, Short read some documents, the substance of which is that the United Nations just isn’t interested in UFOs and “please stop writing to this office.”

Next came the slides. The first one purported to be outer space lights seen through pink clouds—but if you thought it was a slice of liver left too long in the hot sun, you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

This was followed by what appeared to be a human eyeball the day after New Year’s—or an under-fried egg.

Short —perspiring freely in his royal blue turtleneck, dark blue blazer and canary yellow slacks—got the next slide in upside down and backwards. But his apology was wasted—the audience didn’t know the difference…

Pity the poor Martian trying to decode Monday night’s proceedings on his resotron. He’ll think he blew a fuse.

Like a number of UFO contactees, Rev. Short channeled Commander Ashtar and by the mid-1950s (under the non-de-plume of Bill Rose) started an organization called “Ashtar Command” to monetize his otherworldly communications. Rev. Short and his spunky wife Shirley operate the Blue Rose Ministry out of their home in Cornville, Arizona, and publish The Solar Space Newsletter where “You can learn the mystic connection between the Hopi’s, the Pope’s and the UFO’s!” For many years, the Shorts were familiar figures on the flying saucer lecture circuit where the good reverend was usually more than happy (for a free will love offering of around $20 or so) to put on eye shades and perform psychic readings courtesy of Ashtar or Korton or whatever entity was possessing his vocal chords at the time. As my friend Greg Bishop recalled:

At the International UFO Congress in 2004, Bob Short set up a TV tray in the merch room (because he couldn’t afford a table) and gave psychic readings. I gave him $20 and he gave me a $20 performance. He went into a trance and began to spout extreme generalities which could apply to almost anyone. I was not very helpful with any feedback to lead him, so he continued in this vein. It was a fun session, mainly because I just wanted to help him out with a few bucks and see how good he might be. I recorded the session, but mistakenly recorded over it with a bootleg recording of a Hasil Adkins concert.

Rev. Short’s psychic readings table at the 2004 UFO Congress. Photo: Greg Bishop.




'A' is for Adamski:
The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees

by Adam Gorightly and Greg Bishop

Thanks to Greg Bishop for assistance with portions of this article, some of which were ripped from the pages of our recently released “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees (Available now in a Black & White version or a Full Color version).

I’ve compiled a hot mess of Maury Island files, FOI and otherwise, here.

Listen to my Untamed Dimensions interview with Rev. Frank Stranges here.

And here’s a link to Dr. Stranges’ historic recording, Flying Saucers Unlimited! posted by Greg Bishop for his Stop Hitting Yourself show on WFMU.

Adam Gorightly with Rev. Frank Stranges
at the 2007 Retro UFO Convention in Landers, CA.



Previous Reading:
The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00001: Welcome to the Garrison Investigation Funhouse

The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00002: Odd Sects and Wandering Bishops



 
Notes

00001 Fred Nadis. 2013. The Man From Mars: Ray Palmer’s Amazing Pulp Journey. Pages 130-131.

00002 ibid.

00003 ibid.

00004 ibid.

00005 The Crisman-Beckham Archives (JFK Lancer).

00006 Larry Hancock, The Crisman-Beckham Archives (JFK Lancer).

00007 Thomas, Kenn. 1999. Maury Island UFO: The Crisman Conspiracy. Lilburn, Georgia: IllumiNet Press.

00008 Gulyas, Aaron John. 2015. The Paranormal and the Paranoid: Conspiratorial Science Fiction Television. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. Pages 30-31.

00009 Mike Swlvester interview with Fred Crisman Jr., August 4, 1993. The Crisman-Beckham Archives (JFK Lancer).

00010 Mellen, Joan. 2005. A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case that Should Have Changed History. Potomac Books. Page 282.

Posted in book, jfk, jim garrison, letters, photo, ufos, writings, zines | 2 Comments

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January Eris of the Month 2019: Eris by IrenHorrors

January Eris of the Month 2019: Eris by IrenHorrors.

January Eris of the Month 2019: Eris by IrenHorrors at DeviantArt.


Send us your Eris of the Month Club submissions (more info here) by using the form at the bottom of The MGT. page.

Posted in art, discordianism, eris of the month, official business | Leave a comment

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The Discordian Society Meets the Psychedelic Venus Church by Adam Gorightly and Mike Marinacci

December 14, 1967 issue of the Berkeley Barb, featuring Jefferson Fuck Poland (in his professional-agitator prime) just after getting kicked out of San Francisco State for publishing an 'obscene' underground campus paper called Paisley Power.

During the late 1960s and early-70s, the Discordian Society’s own Greg Hill interacted with a wide range of counterculture figures, including such luminaries as Rev. Jefferson Fuck Poland, co-founder of the Sexual Freedom League (SFL).

On August 25, 1965, Poland staged a “Nude Wade-in” along with compatriots Ina Saslow and Shirley Einseidel at Aquatic Park in San Francisco. The “Nude Wade-in”—as you might have guessed—was exactly that: the three of them wading naked into a public pool to the shock and amazement of other wide-eyed waders. If that wasn’t enough, in May 1968 at the Fillmore West, Poland orchestrated a public sex orgy in cahoots with the Diggers.

Late-1960s Flyer for a Psychedelic Venus Church religious gathering-cum-orgy.

In 1970, Poland founded the Psychedelic Venus Church with bisexual Navy submariner and Vietnam vet, Brian Traynor (aka “Mother Boats”). The official sacrament of the Psychedelic Venus Church was marijuana “…and, after lighting up, at each meeting a woman was chosen to be Venus. At the beginning of services, she was placed on an altar, candles were lit on each side of her, and her vulva was smeared with honey. Each of the males (and some women if so inclined) at the meeting licked the woman’s vulva in order to honor the goddess Venus. Then the orgy began in earnest…” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_Freedom_League

The Psychedelic Venus Church had amassed 700 members before disbanding in 1973. One of these members was our Discordian co-founder Greg Hill, although it’s doubtful Hill ever partook of the divine sacrament in a group orgy setting. However, he did receive his very own membership card.

Front of Greg Hill's very own Psychedelic Venus Church membership card.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Back of Greg Hill's very own Psychedelic Venus Church membership card.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

In June of 1971, Poland was attempting to start a collective known as the World Council of Psychedelic Churches, which he was encouraging the Discordian Society to join.

Listing of “World Council of Psychedelic Churches” as of June 9, 1971.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

The Hill-Poland correspondence included the group’s newsletter, Intercourse, as well as this index card suggesting Poland, or someone in the Psychedelic Venus Church, was dealing acid at one time or another.

Acid for sale

Poland, it so happens, had a general physical resemblance to Discordian Society co-founder Kerry Thornley, especially in his younger adulthood. There were other parallels as well:

* Like Thornley, Poland was both highly intelligent and deeply disturbed, spent most of his life living in voluntary poverty, and had *boundary issues* when it came to sexuality (he molested a preteen girl in San Diego during the 1980s, and earned jail time and Sex Offender status for that act.)

* Like Thornley, he operated under *noms de guerre* for his communications. In his last years in San Francisco he called himself “Tortuga Bi-Liberty”; earlier he’d used such monikers as “Tahanga” (“naked” in Maori) and “Jomo Kabouter.”

* Like Thornley, he spent much of his life publishing crude broadsides and zines to publicize sexual/body freedom and other causes he advocated.

* Like Thornley, he founded his own half-serious Goddess-centric religion: The Psychedelic Venus Church, an early neo-Pagan sect that used cannabis as a sacrament, and held nude orgiastic rites among Bay Area hippies.

* Not sure if the two ever met in real life, but they have a connection: Richard Thorne, a ranking member of the East Bay Sexual Freedom League, was a close associate of Poland’s. Thorne, as readers may recall, called himself “OM” and led nude parades through the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco, which earned him Discordian Pope status and a story in the SF CHRONICLE.

Tortuga Bi-Liberty (aka Jefferson Poland) and friend
at a post-Burning Man Decompression event in San Francisco.
Photo by Mike Marinacci.



Mike Marinacci is the author of CALIFORNIA JESUS, WEIRD CALIFORNIA, and other books about fringe culture and history. He is currently working on a biography of Jeff Poland.

Posted in book, discordianism, greg hill, interview, kerry thornley, letters, off-topic, photo, pope cards | 2 Comments

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The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00002: Odd Sects and Wandering Bishops

Reverend Raymond Broshears circa late 1960s. (The Raymond Broshears Papers. Courtesy of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society)

Jim Garrison not only implicated the military industrial complex, homicidal homosexuals, and anti-Castro Cubans in the plot to assassinate JFK, but he also fingered fringe religions—or “Odd Sects,” as he fancied calling them—in his everything-in-the-kitchen-sink conspiratorial cosmology.

Goddess only knows how Garrison first saddled up on this “Odd Sects” hobby horse, but there’s a good chance that one of his key witnesses, Jack Martin, was responsible for planting this curious seed—as well as our own Rev. Raymond Broshears, who also played a part in advancing the “Odd Sects” theory.

On November 25, 1963—two days after JFK’s assassination—an inebriated Jack Martin phoned the New Orleans FBI office to drop a dime on David Ferrie, implicating him as a getaway pilot in the assassination plot. On November 28, the Feds contacted Ferrie to get his side of the story:

“…FERRIE claimed that JACK S. MARTIN was a private detective who he first met in the fall of 1961. He said that since that time MARTIN has attempted to insert himself into his, FERRIE’S personal affairs. He claimed that at the time he first met MARTIN, MARTIN was working for a woman in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, named CATHERINE WILKERSON or WILKINSON or some similar name. He stated that MARTIN was endeavoring to expose various frauds in the Diploma Mills and Ecclesiastical Mills and was particularly interested in CARL J. STANLEY of Louisville, Kentucky who called himself CHRISTOPHER MARIA. He stated that MARTIN was desirous of obtaining some of the phony certificates of ordination and consecration used by STANLEY and to forward them to Washington, D.C. He said that MARTIN asked his assistance in this investigation and that he accompanied MARTIN to Louisville. He stated that he received only part of his fee for the investigation conducted with MARTIN. FERRIE said that he was slow in catching on to MARTIN but determined that MARTIN WAS dealing in phony certificates. He said that he regarded MARTIN as being an unethical and dangerous person. FERRIE claimed that in 1962 MARTIN disappeared from the scene and after several months suddenly re-appeared. He stated that MARTIN began visiting him at the office of attorney G.WRAY GILL and that Mr. GILL did not want MARTIN hanging out around his office. FERRIE claimed that in June of 1963 he put MARTIN out of Mr. GILL’S office in an undiplomatic manner and that since that time MARTIN has bedeviled him in every manner possible.

“FERRIE said that he had learned that some time after he put MARTIN out of Mr. GILL’S office MARTIN was moving around to various parts of the United States contacting first one clergyman and then another who were connected with the old Catholic Church trying to get ordained and gave FERRIE’S name as a character reference… FERRIE said he also learned that MARTIN had been a sergeant in the U.S. Army and while in the service had been mixed up in obtaining phony degrees in medicine, chiropractic and naturopathy by finding a college that was not in operation but whose charter was not defunct…”

During his November 27, 1963 FBI interview, Attorney G. Wray Gill stated that “Ferrie and Martin were once close friends until they got involved in an ‘ecclesiastical’ deal.” This “ecclesiastical deal” concerned Ferrie’s membership in the Apostolic Orthodox Old Catholic Church (AOOCC). Although details are scant concerning Ferrie’s involvement with the church, Gill informed the Feds that Martin tried to use Ferrie’s standing in the AOOCC to leverage his way into the clergy, which apparently was one of the factors that led to a dispute between the two men, as Ferrie was unwilling to give Martin an endorsement. Due to these events, Ferrie and Martin had a contentious falling out, partly due to the so-called “ecclesiastical deal.” The FBI’s interview with Ferrie was followed a couple days later with this memo:

December 11, 1963 FBI memo on Ferrie and Stanley.

The Most Reverend Christopher Maria Stanley in living color.

On February 22, 1967—just one day after Ferrie’s sudden and (some say) mysterious death—Carl John Stanley (aka the Most Reverend Christopher Maria Stanley) placed a call to the Louisville PD, the details of which were passed on to the FBI and captured in the memo below:

February 28, 1967 FBI memo on Carl John Stanley.

Included with the Stanley-FBI memo was the Most Reverend’s rap sheet, a portion of which I’ve included for your possible reading enjoyment. I found it somewhat humorous that a couple of Stanley’s convictions resulted from obscene letters, which—for a man of the cloth—seemed a bit odd… but what part of this story isn’t?

Carl J. Stanley's rap sheet courtesy of the FBI.

At some point, Garrison wove together his Odd Sects theory like a manic Carrie Mathison in the The Homeland with news clippings, push pins and red strings on the wall, connecting Ferrie to odd ducks like Carl Stanley—and a whole host of other marginal figures—all part of some feverish plot involving rogue men of the cloth moonlighting as CIA hit men.

In Garrison’s “Odd Sects” files you’ll find any number of oddball letters from fringe ministers who wrote in for no other reason, it seems, than to commend Garrison on his investigation and lend their moral support. Each time Garrison or his staff received one of these beauties, into the Odd Sects files it would go!

Actual photo of Jim Garrison's 'Odd Sects' files, courtesy of the National Archives.

During Rev. Broshears deposition before Garrison, he identified a number of mail order religions he’d been involved with, such as Kirby Hensley’s Universal Life Church (ULC) in Modesto, California, that in 1967 ordained Rev. Raymond Broshears as a self styled man of the cloth.

Rev. Broshears ULC ordination certificate.
(The Raymond Broshears Papers. Courtesy of the
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.)

The ULC became renowned for ordaining anyone at the drop of a hat—all you had to do was write into headquarters in Modesto, California, to request ministerial credentials and before you knew it your very own embossed certificate was speeding to you in the mail. Discordian Society founder Greg Hill was an ordained ULC minister, and in many ways modeled certain aspects of Discordianism after the ULC, in particular the mantra that anyone could become an ordained minister (or Discordian pope) just by asserting the privilege. The ULC identifies itself “as a non-denominational religious organization founded on a simple doctrine, ‘Do that which is right,’ and states that every person has the natural right (and the responsibility) to peacefully determine what is right.”

The ULC was a nexus for free thinkers, crackpots, draft dodgers, and con men alike. It was through the ULC that Broshears became associated with several of Garrison’s suspects, including Fred Crisman, who was alleged to have been one of the mystery tramps picked up in Dealey Plaza in the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination.

Fred Crisman photos from the Garrison Files. (Courtesy of the National Archives.)

In his deposition, Broshears was questioned about Crisman and an equally sketchy Crisman associate named Thomas Edward Beckham. Garrison’s investigators showed Broshears a series of photos of suspected conspirators, one of whom was Beckham.

Snippet of Broshears' testimony to Garrison regarding Thomas Beckham.

It appears that Broshears was recruited by Garrison as an informant, due to a letter I came across in the GLBT archives dated August 26, 1968, that Broshears sent to the ULC’s Kirby Hensley with the following request:

“…Dr. Hensly[sic], do you have a pic of yourself, Dr. Crisman, Dr. Brister for publication in the next issue of LIGHT? If so, I would sure appreciate them. I already have one of Beckham. I will get one of Brother Douglas this week. This is for a special Universal life section we are preparing…”

August 26, 1968 letter from Rev. Broshears to Dr. Hensley of the ULC. (The Raymond Broshears Papers. Courtesy of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society)

“LIGHT” in the letter referred to Broshears’ newsletter, Light and Understanding. It appears Broshears was using this request as a come-on to obtain photos (for Garrison’s investigators) of Hensley, Crisman and other supposed “Odd Sects” suspects. To close his letter, Broshears requested that Dr. Hensley send “minister ordinations” to four members of Garrison’s team: Barbara Reid, Steve Jaffee, James Alcock, and Louis Ivon. This request was most likely a pretext to assist them in infiltrating the ULC, and gather information on other ULC members that Garrison linked to the assassination.

The key evidence that got Garrison hot on Fred Crisman’s trail came in the form of a couple dodgy letters sent from anonymous sources, one of which included the allegation that Crisman was “the first man that Clay [Shaw] called after being told he was in trouble…” However, there’s no evidence that Shaw and Crisman ever actually knew each other.

Dubious letter from anonymous source claiming Crisman called Clay Shaw.

This link will take you to some of the other phony Crisman docs that ended up in Garrison’s inbox and afterwards provided endless fodder for conspiracy buffs in the years to follow. As you peruse said documents, you will notice that our friends at the FBI or CIA (or some other alphabet soup agency) stamped FABRICATION on several pages to inform future generations of conspiracy sleuths that they were big, fat fakes.

According to researcher Larry Hancock, who has probably taken the deepest dive down this Crisman-Beckham rabbit hole:

“Crisman’s self-promotion was so obsessive and all-encompassing that I strongly suspect he himself wrote the anonymous letters to Garrison, identifying himself as a suspect.”

As for Beckman, his background was even more colorful than Crisman’s—if that’s at all imaginable—and to make some sense of it we need to take a dive into Beckham’s Orleans Parish grand jury testimony.

Beckham—in his mid-twenties at the time of his testimony—described himself as an entertainer, psychologist, criminologist and evangelist. So he was a pretty busy guy. The claim of being a psychologist, it appears, was a title Beckham bestowed upon himself using phony credentials. As for being an evangelist, Beckham received his ordination papers from a shifty character in Toronto named Earl Anglin James, a bishop in the Old Roman Catholic Church.

Garrison claimed that David Ferrie had placed calls to an unlisted number in Toronto supposedly belonging to the aforementioned Earl Anglin James. In a press interview from November 1967, James denied any association with Ferrie, and stated that the only call he had ever received from New Orleans was “in March 1965 and it was from Mr. J. S. Martin.  It was personal.”

In 1970, the Toronto P.D. came into possession of a stolen wallet belonging to James, and while going through its contents discovered a number of phony cards, including the sampling below, which included Louisiana law enforcement credentials. It’s my suspicion that Jack Martin was responsible for some of these fake cards. As Beckham noted in his grand jury testimony, he became a protégé of Martin’s because he wanted to acquire all of his “cards.”

A smattering of cards from Earl Anglin James' wallet.

As for Beckham’s criminology degree, that was a caper he and Crisman cooked up during the period they first met in late-1965, at which time our dynamic duo formed a number of dummy corporations that included the “Northwest Relief Society,” “Professional Research Bureau,” “Associated Ambulances,” and, most notably, the “National Institute of Criminology, Inc.” from which they advertised a “PHD” course costing several hundreds of dollars. The Seattle FBI Field Office determined that “the firm is very likely a confidence game aimed at those with very little educational background.” According to the Dean of Beckham research, Larry Hancock: “Crisman was involved in bunco activities with Beckham that included stolen car trafficking connected to a car lot in Miami…”

As for the entertainer bit, Beckham promoted himself as a singer going by the name of Mark Evans. During Crisman’s grand jury testimony, when asked about his first visit to New Orleans, he replied:

“I came here with a young man [in early 1966], Tom Beckham, he has a show name of Mark Evans. It was in the vain hope that we could promote a record he was getting ready to cut and I was unfortunate enough to believe that he could promote it here and I went ahead and financed the trip and it turned out to be nothing…”

According to researcher Mike Sylwester:

“While working for the radio station, Subject [Crisman] acquired some knowledge about how the music industry operated. He understood that if a singer managed to sell a certain number of records, then his records would get more air time, which increased the record sales, and this process snowballed. [Crisman] therefore got involved in a scheme to artificially purchase large amounts of records…”00001

Thomas Beckham aka Mark Evans circa mid 1960s.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Beckham’s testimony was his purported association with Jack Martin dating back to 1960. According to Beckham, he idolized Martin, and for some inexplicable reason modeled his life after him, which was a totally crazy thing to do given the fact that Martin (real name Edward Stewart Suggs) was an alcoholic with a sordid criminal history and sociopathic tendencies. According to researcher, Dave Reitzes:

He was arrested in January 1945 in Fort Worth, Texas, for carrying a pistol; he was fingerprinted in Los Angeles in December 1945; he was arrested in December 1947 for disturbing the peace in San Diego and again in May 1949 in Dallas. He later would be investigated on numerous occasions for allegedly impersonating a doctor, an FBI agent, a CIA employee, a US Army colonel, and an ordained priest. Subsequent to his 1949 arrest, Suggs moved to Texas.

In Houston, Suggs took up a new trade as practitioner of illegal abortions. In 1951, he fled the state when one of his unfortunate patients, one Helen Nichols, died shortly after undergoing an operation at the hands of “Dr. Suggs.” A state grand jury indicted Suggs for murder in June of that year.
Suggs was arrested in Los Angeles on May 2, 1953, as a fugitive from Texas, but he managed to get the murder charge dismissed. He would later describe his philosophy of life as, “The strong take from the weak and the smart take from the strong,” and he “considers himself one of the smart.” He related the details of the “‘murder rap’ he was involved in” and bragged that he “outsmarts everyone.”

In March 1954, Suggs was fingerprinted in Galveston, Texas, for vagrancy and a drunk-and-disorderly charge. Soon after this, he moved to New Orleans and adopted the name, John Stewart Martin, Sr. He had difficulty holding a job and was largely supported by his wife, Paula. Concerned about his erratic behavior and excessive drinking, Mrs. Martin eventually insisted that her husband enter an alcohol treatment program in the Psychiatric Department of Charity Hospital.

In January 1957, Martin caused a disturbance in a New Orleans store and told store authorities he was an FBI agent. The FBI “instituted inquiries in this matter… and determined that he [Martin] was in a psychiatric ward [at] Charity Hospital, New Orleans as of January 17, 1957. His psychiatrist informed our agents that Suggs was suffering from a character disorder…”00002

Jack Martin's mugshot.

Beckham followed his mentor’s lead by getting into a number of scrapes himself. In February of 1961—during Army basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in the Missouri Ozarks—Beckham went AWOL, and in short order found himself in the stockade. As is typical in such cases, the Army figured it best just to let him go. Beckham resurfaced later that year in New Orleans where he was arrested for vagrancy.

In 1962, Beckham was running a scam called the “United Cuban Relief Missionary Force” that was subsequently dismantled by the FBI. As part of this con, Beckham sported a clerical collar, pretending to be a Catholic priest, while soliciting donations that he apparently pocketed. That same year he was charged with the rape of a minor, and a second vagrancy charge. Some priest.

Thomas Beckham's rap sheet.

Although Beckham repeatedly named-dropped Jack Martin as a close associate and mentor in his House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) testimony, there’s no other evidence I’ve seen to confirm that the two men had actually known one another. I recently posed this question to researcher Larry Hancock, and this was his response:

“I found indications that Beckham was known to some of the street guys who served as sources and runners for Guy Bannister and there is ample reason to think Beckham knew of Bannister and his office – Beckham was a street guy and was charged with a couple of minor robberies along with the underage wife thing before he got his DJ job with the radio station. No sign that he ever knew Jack Martin though.”00003

Like his supposed mentor Martin, Beckham had a history of psychological instability, and was in and out of loony bins during 1962 and 1963, and then later a return visit in 1974. In the latter part of the ‘60s, Beckham shifted his base of operations to Omaha, Nebraska, and spent part of his time traveling around the country preaching the good word, as documented in this letter to our very own Rev. Ray Broshears!

Letter from Tom Beck to Ray Broshears dated July 6, 1968, page 00001.

Letter from Tom Beck to Ray Broshears dated July 6, 1968, page 00002.

When quizzed by Garrison’s investigators about Rev. Broshears, Beckham gave one of his typically inscrutable answers:

At some point, Garrison got a bee in his bonnet that Beckham was a CIA assassin—but of course Garrison was convinced that everybody and his mother were CIA agents at one time or another, so make of that what you will.

When Beckham was pressed by Garrison about whether he had moonlighted with the CIA—or had known Clay Shaw or David Ferrie—Beckham steadfastly denied these allegations. However, a decade later—during testimony before the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations—Beckham was now singing a completely different tune, claiming he’d indeed been recruited as a would-be CIA assassin by none other than Fred Crisman. Around the time of his HSCA testimony, Beckham was shopping around a “300-page manuscript about the assassination,” so this may have been a ploy to wrangle a book deal. Beckham seemed to be one of those guys always on the make.

Rabbi T.E. Beckham

In 2005, Joan Mellen jumped the Thomas Beckham shark with A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case that Should Have Changed History. The ironically titled Farewell to Justice includes a number of Beckham-related revelations that read like JFK assassination fan fiction, including claims that Fred Crisman and Jack Martin had been Beckham’s CIA handlers, all part of some dastardly plot to groom “Tommy” (as Mellen endearingly refers to him) as an alternate patsy (ala Oswald) in a conspiracy featuring the usual Garrison suspects. Mellen’s source for the Beckham material was none other than Beckham himself, who had somehow snookered his way back into the JFK assassination fray during the 2000s, at the same time he was peddling his self published Remnants of Truth: Revealing Evidence on the Jim Garrison Investigation under the moniker of T.E. Beck’am. This alternate spelling of his name seemed associated with Beckham’s claim he’d became a full-fledged rabbi during this period. In 2003, Rabbi T.E. Beckham founded “The Spanish-American Rescue League Inc,” an LLC that received what’s known as a “Standing B” status from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). (Standing B basically means “bad”). This wasn’t Beckham’s first run-in with the BBB, as they’d been busting his chops as far back as 1967. But you can’t keep a good con down.

BBB alert on Thomas Beckham.

The key piece evidence Mellen presented in her book was a letter Fred Crisman allegedly “bestowed upon Thomas Edward Beckham…a government document meant never to be seen…The letterhead is not that of the CIA, but ‘United States Army Air Defense Command’ suggesting that many elements of President Eisenhower’s ‘military industrial complex’ contributed to a collaborative effort to murder John F. Kennedy, an effort in which the CIA stood in the front line…a number connoting his military service name is on this document, along with his correct social security number….The document describes Thomas Edward Beckham’s ‘intelligence service from October 27, 1963,’ under ‘Gov Control Fact Finding Missions.’00004 According to this letter, Beckham was “taught how to be an assassin” in 1963 at Camp Peary, a “CIA training installation…also known as The Farm.”

In my recent email exchange with Larry Hancock, I asked if he had any knowledge of this letter, and this was Larry’s reply:

“Crisman was a proven forger, with a tendency to steal blank stationary from various agencies and departments to use for his work. I advised Joan [Mellen] of that as well as gave her several warnings about Beckham but I’m afraid she decided to trust him as a sincere source…I have no doubt the letter you reference is a Crisman forgery. The ‘United States Army Air Defense Command’ did exist from ‘57 to ‘74 and its primary responsibility was NIKE anti-aircraft missile bases. Crisman may have swiped stationary from them, there were sites in Seattle and at Hanford. It goes without saying that no agency would ever put what was in that letter in print…”

“United States Army Air Defense Command” sounds strikingly similar to an outfit called “Defense Industrial Security Command” that never actually existed, and is cited in a curious tome entitled Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal (1970).

Also known as the Torbitt Document, it was authored by the pseudonymous William Torbitt, and claimed that:

“The chain of evidence connecting Albert Osborne, Fred Lee Chrismon[sic], alias John M. Bowen, Permindex, and his co-workers became iron clad when a Black Star photographer snapped a picture a few minutes after the assassination of Chrismon, alias Bowen, and two of his charges in the process of being arrested by two young Dallas police officers at Dealey Plaza. Fritz later released all three. The Chrismon, alias Bowen, arrest picture received limited public distribution in 1969 when it was published in the Midlothian Mirror by Penn Jones, the Texas editor.

Co-Director of the Mexico based assassins, John H. Bowen, alias Fred Lee Chrismon, alias Free Lee, alias Jon Gould, alias Jon Gold, and Thomas Beckam [sic], front, and another assassin in the process of being arrested at Dealey Plaza immediately after the assassination.”

One curiosity that jumps out of the above text was the misspelling of the names of both Beckham and Crisman, which seemed intentional and perhaps a way to avoid a potential libel suit.

The smoking gun that some point to as proof of Beckham’s role in the JFK assassination is a photo of Beckham, Oswald and others in front of the New Orleans Trade Mart. According to Larry Hancock, the New Orleans Trade Mart photo “…shows Beckham chatting with his underage wife and some of her friends – they are off to the side of a photo showing Oswald on the same street passing out leaflets. Beckham appears to be paying no attention to Oswald at all…his attention is totally focused on the young women.”

In the mid-2000s, researchers started digging into Beckham’s recent activities and discovered a Kentucky LLC called the Life Management Clinic.

Although this link no longer lists Beckham’s bio, back in 2006 the Life Management Clinic website provided the following info:

r. Thomas Edward Beckham
Clinical Director
Dr. Beckham has a degree in Osteopathic Medicine and is educated in both non-allopathic and allopathic medicine, as well as multiple mental health disciplines. He is an internationally known author and speaker…His professional certifications and memberships include the National Association of Forensic Counselors, International Association of Counselors and Therapists, American Medical Directors Association, American Institute of Clinical Psychotherapists, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and International Association of Pastoral Psychologists. Dr. Beckham serves as our Clinical Director making him responsible for all staff, oversight, budgeting and general actions of Life Management Inc. His experience in this role is without parallel.

Beckham continued creating sketchy LLC’s in the years to come. In 2008, he launched a corporation called “World Congress For Justice and Human Rights, Inc.”

In 2012, an individual I assume to be our very own Dr. Beckham rolled out another sketchy enterprise called “The American Institute of Clinical Psychotherapists, Inc.” Beckham’s apparent partner in this operation was an evangelical minister named Josiah Drawhorn.

If that wasn’t enough, I was surprised to find a Youtube video of “Rabbi Dr. Beckham” preaching before a congregation in 2011. Admittedly, I only lasted a couple of minutes with this video, so if you want to torture yourself further go here.

The video is linked to a website no longer active called http://www.shalomrabbi.net/ which I’m guessing was registered our beloved Dr. Rabbi Beckham. However, if you’re jonesin’ for more Dr. Beckham goodness, I discovered he has a blog which appears to be active! On it, Dr. Rabbi dispenses pearls of wisdom he probably copy and pasted from other sources.

Creepy photos from Jim Garrison's 'Odd Sects' files.

Jim Garrison’s “Odd Sects” was further fleshed out by author Peter Levenda with his “Wandering Bishops” theory concerning a network of consecrated con men engaged in political witchcraft. According to Levenda, this lineage of Wandering Bishops started with a schism in Catholicism at the end of the 19th century that resulted in the emergence of the Old Roman Catholic Church, which also appears to have spun-off from the Russian Orthodox Church. This, in turn, gave rise to a smattering of splinter sects which produced “a weird world of monks, priests, and bishops” that crept clandestinely about the country, concealed in the cloak of religion.

This supposed band of Wandering Bishops included the usual “Odd Sects” suspects: Beckham, Crisman, Martin and Ferrie, not to mention our very own Rev. Ray Broshears who got lumped into Levenda’s mix of religious nuts, no doubt due to his association with the Garrison investigation. It’s Levenda’s contention that these Wandering Bishops basically used their religious organizations as fronts for intelligence operations to promote fascist agendas that included the assassinations of U.S. political figures.

Levenda’s entrée into the weird world of Wandering Bishops began in the late ‘60s when he was a “familiar face for about a year at the headquarters of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York…as well as the American Orthodox Catholic Church headquarters in the Bronx.“ These activities involved trying to pass himself off as a priest to avoid getting shipped off to Vietnam. It was through the American Orthodox Catholic Church that Levenda became acquainted with Archbishop Walter Myron Propheta, who he has described as a right wing wacko somehow involved in the JFK assassination. While I doubt Propheta had any real connection to JFK’s assassination, he did indeed make his way into Garrison’s Odd Sects files.

Letter from Archbishop Walter Myron Propheta to Jim Garrison dated September 12, 1967.

I suspect Propheta’s letter was something Levenda discovered among a trove of Garrison investigation documents that were released in the early 1990s, and from it he wove together his “Wandering Bishops” storyline, which like a lot of Levenda’s material is highly entertaining while at the same time connects dots in a, shall we say, somewhat speculative fashion. Whatever the case, the connecting link—Odd Sects to Wandering Bishops—seems to be Jack Martin, who is named in Propheta’s letter. Martin, in my estimation, was probably the guiding light behind a lot of the Odd Sects conspiracies that bedeviled Garrison’s brain.

In Dead Names, Levenda—using the “Simon” pseudonym—claims that it was through his association with certain Wandering Bishops that he came upon a copy of the original Necronomicon, a grimoire featured in the tales of H.P. Lovecraft that was supposedly written in Damascus in the 8th century A.D. by the “Mad Arab,” Abdul Alhazred.

The Necronomicon was supposedly reprinted in a number of languages including Latin, Greek and English, and then at some point was lost to the ages, mainly because everyone who messed around with the cursed thing ended up dying in a mysterious and/or gruesome manner. Long story short, Simon aka Levenda claimed he came into possession of the only existing copy ofThe Necronomicon in the late-1960s, then afterwards translated it from Greek so your average Joe on the street could summon their very own Cthulhu! This translated version of The Necronomicon—mass marketed as non-fiction in 1977—is considered one of the great literary hoaxes of our times.

Curiously enough, the Cthulhu Mythos was featured in Wilson and Sheas’ Illuminatus! where it was interwoven with a kitchen sink of conspiracies that revolved around the Bavarian Illuminati, ritual magick, and nazi occultism—central themes Levenda later explored in Unholy Alliance and Sinister Forces.

This leads your humble author to conclude that The Necronomicon was deeply influenced by Illuminatus!

Levenda has been steadfast, over the years, in his denial that he was/is Simon, although The Necronomicon is registered at the U.S. Copyright Office with “Simon” listed as Levenda’s pseudonym. The one thing Levenda has been consistent about is his evasiveness in this matter, as he’s continued to try to distance himself (to the point of absurdity) from the persona of “Simon.”

More recently, Levenda has been involved with Tom Delonge’s To The Stars Academy, a group dedicated to UFO Disclosure, which segues nicely into what will be our next startling installment of this series: The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00003: Flying Saucer Attack!





Click this to read The Raymond Broshears Files Part 00001: Welcome to the Garrison Investigation Funhouse!



 
Notes

00001 Crisman-Beckham Archives (JFK Lancer)

00002 http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100whomar.html

00003 Oct 12, 2018 email correspondence with Larry Hancock

00004 Mellan, Joan. 2007. A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case that Should Have Changed History. (pgs 371-372)

Posted in book, discordianism, greg hill, illuminatus!, interview, jfk, jim garrison, lee harvey oswald, letters, photo | 2 Comments

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