Back somewhere in the mid-90s, my pal Matt Lutz of Working Class Hero Magazine conducted this wonderful interview with Kerry Thornley.
I’ve lost touch with Matt over the years, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind us reviving it here.
K.T.: His defection to the Soviet Union. I was writing a novel about my experience in the military. When Oswald deserted, I pretty much understood why. At the time I was feeling pretty anti-American myself and in retrospect I realized I didn’t know shit. But back then I felt I knew exactly why he did this.
W.C.H.: What, do you feel, made him want to defect?
K.T.: I thought he was disgusted with the way we (the military) behaved overseas. They think they are “concrete heroes”. A generation after the war when they go to Japan, they still feel like they are concrete heroes. They’re very loud, very belligerent.
W.C.H.: The “Ugly American Syndrome”?
K.T.: Right. I read THE UGLY AMERICAN the summer after Oswald defected and it was partly an inspiration for my THE IDLE WARRIORS. That’s why my book seems so disjointed, because I felt I didn’t need any unity or continuity. I just wanted to tell a bunch of different stories.
W.C.H.: When you were stationed with Oswald, did he express to you what he felt an ideal Marine Corps life would be like before the reality of the situation hit him?
K.T.: No, my guess was that he had come from a Marine Corps’ family. I also sensed he was disillusioned by the fucked up morale situation in the Far East. My main character was a third generation marine. As it turned out, I was pretty close; his older brother was in the service. For Lee it was a matter of being too gung ho in the beginning, in my opinion, and later becoming disheartened because things were nowhere near perfect. They were below zero. (laughs)
W.H.C.: Yes… I can understand that, I’m a vet myself. Was Lee Harvey Oswald a loner?
K.T.: He seemed to enjoy solitude. He didn’t reach out to form friendships. But I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. When I was younger, I was pretty shy myself, so it wasn’t anything hard for me to understand, or anything puzzling to me.
W.C.H.: So he was reluctant towards active participation?
K.T.: It seemed that way to me… I hate to reinforce anything the Warren Commission ever said, including the idea that he was a loner. But nevertheless, when you got too close he pulled away. You saw my testimony about how he spoke for the last time. I didn’t actually say: “…comes the revolution”; I said something so unbearably silly that I didn’t even want to tell the Commission what it was. (laughs) We were sitting there looking at this parking lot with gravel on it, and I was thinking in terms of “1984,” because I was reading it at the time. Oswald loaned me his copy. So I said something about the revolutionary gravel, and Lee turned to me and said, “Not you, too, Thornley?!”, then got up and walked away.
W.C.H.: Like he was pissed?
K.T.: Yes, he was quite pissed about it! To me it was a perfectly harmless statement and at the time I felt he thought I was “Red Baiting” him. If I’d known that he was going to become one of history’s most interesting individuals, I would have corrected his impression. (laughs)
W.C.H.: Well, he had been in numerous misdemeanors or misconduct.
K.T.: Lee was extremely rebellious.
W.C.H.: Vying for attention possibly?
K.T.: Look, he was a CID agent. There’s no possibility he was anything else. He was working for military intelligence; he was trying to identify communists in the outfit by pretending to be a communist. I’m sure of it.
W.C.H.: Which outfit? CID or CIA?
K.T.: No they call them CID outfits; he went into the CIA later… I don’t know what CID stands for.
W.C.H.: Aaaahh… Central Intelligence Of Defense, I believe.
K.T.: Yeah, probably.
W.C.H.: I was in the NSA for several years.
K.T.: If you want to hear a hair raising story about that period in the marines…
W.C.H.: Love to.K.T.: David Bucknell was in that outfit. He contacted me in 1978. And asked me if I remembered an incident that involved myself, him and Oswald. I told him I didn’t remember the whole incident, except for certain highlights. All right… Bucknell made notes about this incident the next day. Oswald, Bucknell and I were called on the PA system to go into the administration office of our radar outfit on the perimeter of the base. We did, and they sent us over to base security. On our way over there Bucknell and Oswald were talking to one another and I was lagging behind about 20 feet. I caught up with them and said something. Oswald looked at me and said, “Thornley, this is a private conversation.” I said, “Oh well, excuse me,” dropped back and let them finish their talk.
Bucknell told me what was going on was that he and Oswald were running a loan sharking operation. Bucknell was afraid that that’s what the security inquiry was about and Oswald was arguing saying, “No, then why would I be involved?” We went into a room with a bunch of guys from other outfits and a captain got up and introduced this man in civilian clothes, a Latin-looking guy with a “DA” haircut. The captain only gave his name as “Mr. B.” Mr. B said, “We’ve called you all together, because we understand that you’re all admirers of Fidel Castro.” This was right after the Cuban Revolution, before Castro came out as a Marxist. They said we have reason to believe Soviet Agents have infiltrated Castro’s government, and we want volunteers to help get rid to them. Then they interviewed us, one at a time.
Now as best I’ve been able to figure out, what I think probably happened is that they found out I was about to go overseas and I didn’t qualify for the training program. As for Bucknell, he said he went in and talked to Mr. B privately and they filled out a little form first. A security clearance form. One thing he had to do was list 3 references. One of them he listed was a maternal grandfather of his, whose first initials were “E.H.” and last name happened to be Hunt.
However, Mr. B said: Who’s this? Bucknell told him and Mr. B chuckled to himself. Whoever he was, he knew Howard Hunt… Now, when I went over to Atsugi afterwards, Howard Hunt was there at the same base. He was with the CIA at the time. Of course, I didn’t find this out until years later when I read his autobiography, so it appears to me that if Oswald was in Military Intelligence already, he was recruited at that meeting.
There also was one guy in that outfit named Delgado and he was a fan of Castro. I remember this part too, I remember being surprised that he wasn’t there. So I went back to the outfit and I said to Delgado, “I’m surprised that they didn’t want to talk to you.” He said, “Kerry, I think Castro’s turning communist.” And I said. “Oh, all right.” He thought everyone was a communist; he thought Oswald was a communist. None of the rest of us took him seriously, you know?
So that’s the hottest piece of information I’ve come across about that period in the Marine Corps. David Bucknell, I don’t know where he is, the last I heard he was living in San Francisco. There’s a guy who’s living in San Jose by the name of Bottello. He’s a judge now. He was in the same outfit. Bucknell was going to get the three of us together. Bottello wasn’t with us that day, but we were all going to get together, anyway. Bottello later told one of my friends that he didn’t remember Bucknell. However, I remember Bucknell vividly! I even remember his nickname; they called him “Bucky Beaver.” I’m sure Bucknell was telling the truth.
W.C.H.: So, do you think that there’s any connection between the Gary Powers incident and…
K.T.: Oh yeah! Very possibly. Powers said something to that effect. The U-2 used to take off and land at Atsugi all the time, and we didn’t know what it was. We were told “not to even think about it,” unless we wanted to get our asses in a sling. I thought it was an experimental aircraft. The U-2 incident occurred while we were over there.
W.C.H.: Do you think Oswald was set up from day one?
K.T.: Sure he was! I think they were out to set up one of us. I had a whole lot of talks with a guy I now feel was Howard Hunt. Ever since Watergate I’ve been ranting and raving about this everywhere, getting very few people to pay any attention to it. When I was in New Orleans after I got out of the service, I met a man who looked exactly like Howard Hunt, except he was bald. And he told me his name was Gary Kirsten and claimed he was a Nazi and had come from a family of Nazi’s in the Mid-West. He talked at great length about assassinating Kennedy…
I just thought: this guy’s nuts, you know? But, his idea of reality was very different from mine…
As it turned out, mine was very naive! (laughs) The last thing he ever said about Kennedy—2 weeks prior to the assassination—was, “The only remaining question is, who to frame?” I said, “Why do you have to frame somebody?” “People need answers.” His idea was to frame a “jail bird.”
I said, “Why do you want to frame a jail bird?”
“Because criminals who are so stupid as to get caught, shouldn’t be allowed to breed. They should be locked up, so they can’t produce offspring.”So I said: “I don’t think you should frame a jailbird,” and he asked, “Who should I frame?” And he knew what I was going to say, ’cause he was smirking so hard he couldn’t look me in the eye. I said, “Why don’t you frame some communist.” He was setting me up. He knew then that he was going to kill JFK. Because one of the first things he ever said to me was, JFK was a menace to the country and ought to be assassinated.
Since I was into “AYN RAND” at the time—very right wing and very anti JFKmdash;I agreed with him, and we shook hands on it. My only problem was, I didn’t find him very credible. What he was probably hoping for is that I would name Gary Kirsten to the Warren Commission. And that way, if they insisted Oswald had an accomplice, they would accuse this alleged Nazi from the Mid-West, who in reality was probably a KGB agent or something. I’m certain though it was Hunt or someone that looked like himmdash;to thoroughly confuse the issue.
W.C.H.: And the final payoff was the continuation of The Vietnam War?
K.T.: Yes. His thing was, he didn’t want a war with Cuba, because Castro was a “White Man.” And he felt if there was to be another war against communism, it should be against an Asian country.
W.C.H.: Who felt this? Johnson?
K.T.: No, Hunt.
W.C.H.: E. Howard Hunt?
W.C.H.: I didn’t think he had that much clout.
K.T.: I think he’s an enormously powerful man. He had other people with him like Charles Cabell, John Connally.
W.C.H.: Kennedy had a lot of enemies, especially after the attempt to dissolve the CIA, and the plans to pull out of Vietnam.
K.T.: Well, according to Oliver Stone… I think what Stone left out was the Nazi angle.
W.C.H.: Nazi angle?
K.T.: Right. In the movie, “Mr. X” was Fletcher Prouty. Prouty is buddy buddy with Willis Carto. Carto is a raving anti-Semitic who publishes the SPOTLIGHT. He also publishes some of Mark Lane’s stuff and the CIA renegade, Marchetti…
That’s the one thing that Stone did not touch upon. Mike Painemdash;husband of Ruth Paine, with whom Marina Oswald lived with in Sept. ’63mdash;was working for a Nazi at the time at Bell aircraft, General Walter Dornberger. There were all these ex-Nazis over here. According to Mae Brussell, there was a god dammed “WEREWOLF TEAM”, a Nazi commando team. Known members of the famous Nazi werewolf commandos were in Dallas two weeks before the assassination. George DeMohrenschildt’s wife admittedmdash;when he diedmdash;that he had been a Nazi agent during World War II.
W.C.H.: Who do you think actually killed Kennedy?
K.T.: I think basically it was General Gehlen’s organization, which I don’t think really had an actual name to it… Gehlen defected to the Allies when the war was over and entered the U.S. Army without a reduction in rank. He was given a monopoly on the intelligence area about the Soviet Union. But he never did tell the CIA who was in that outfit.
(Editor’s note: The Gehlen organization became the West German Federal Intelligence Agency (FIA) after his defection. During the war, Gehlen had been a member of the German General staff under µr Hitler and was in charge of wartime intelligence for Foreign Armies East. He had been recruited into the CIA by then Bonn Station Chief, Henry Pleasants. Gehlen employed many former SS and Wehrmacht intelligence officers. Gehlen’s organization was not officially part of the West German government until July of ’55. Three of those former Germans employed by Gehlen, hence CIA, were Heinz Felfe, Hans Clemens, and Erin Tiebel. They actually conducted espionage against West Germany for over ten years and were arrested, tried, and convicted in July of ’63.)
W.C.H.: Do you think they continued on with Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X?
K.T.: The guy I talked to in New Orleans always said that they were going to get Martin Luther King. As for Bobby Kennedy, I don’t know. There’s one common thread that runs through all this stuff and that’s an organization that was organized shortly after Kennedy’s death and that was the PROCESS CHURCH.
W.C.H.: I’m familiar with that.
K.T.: They had tried to frame me in New Orleans for something I didn’t do, which had been my actual participation in the assassination, which I didn’t realize until later. They were involved in Kennedy’s death somehow, I believe. That might be the link right there.
W.C.H.: They seemed to almost be a Manson like cult.
K.T.: Some of them were. Some of them were with Papa Doc Duvalier, some were with Trudeau, (laughs) I forget the other name… but there were three questions to find out whether you were a Satanist, a Luciferian, and a Jehovist. The Satanist answer was Papa Doc; the Luciferian answer was Trudeau. So their politics were quite varied.
W.C.H.: It seems like the church was involved in the conspiracy.
K.T.: It’s like fate, the conspiracy. There were Nazi breeding experiments which I think Oswald and myself may have been products of.
W.C.H.: Similar to the CIA mind control experiments?
K.T.: That was involved also, but it was a little more complicated than that. The North Koreans had some enormously sophisticated mind control technology. As it turns out members of North and South Korea’s government were part of the Japanese (column?). During the war, they were getting this technology from the Japanese, it was stuff the Germans developed unbeknownst to American Intelligence. I believe I was being mind controlled by them even before I went into the military. Then the CIA got a hold of me up until the Kennedy assassination.
W.C.H.: Controlled in what manner?
K.T.: Well, it’s spooky; very hard to believe.
W.C.H.: Like the Russian ESP experiments?
K.T.: Very strange. They could influence my choice of words, so that it would sound like I was speaking in intelligence code. Things that I didn’t realize even existed. And I think back on arguments I had with my parents, and I remember how “freaked out” they were at the time. It was like, all of a sudden one day I started speaking these double entendre sentences. Like a type of “cant” language.
W.C.H.: Like doublespeak?
K.T.: Yeah, exactly! Precisely! And my parents thought I was a “genius” (laughs) of some kind, to have figured all of this out by myself. Then later on they deduced I was being mind controlled. Also Dulles went nuts trying to figure out how the Koreans got a hold of such sophisticated techniques. Then when I got into the marines, I think Delgado at Yale planted something in my head at that point. I believe one of the purposes of the Kennedy assassination was to get those of us who had been torn out of the clutches of the Japanese by the CIA., back into the hands of the Japanese. (laughs)
K.T.: Everything nice Robert Anton Wilson says about me is a lie! (laughing) Especially in COSMIC TRIGGER. He was just trying to sniff out impersonators that way.
W.C.H.: Are you still in contact with him?
K.T.: He stopped speaking to me in 1976.
K.T.: I’ve never actually held more than a 15 second conversation with Bob Shea years ago when he was publisher of “CAVALIER”, before I met Wilson. Also, Shea stopped corresponding with me around the same time I lost track of Robert Anton Wilson. They both became very strange as far as I was concerned. Greg Hill and I were in contact up until my appearance on “A Current Affair”. I called him up and told him I was going to be on the show and asked if they would let them interview him. He was very pleased to hear from me, but he didn’t want anything to do with Current Affair. He felt that they were “Yellow Journalists”. I told him that I’ve been ranting and raving since 1975 about being involved with the Kennedy assassination and I haven’t been able to get this stuff in front of the American public. I’m not in a position to be choosy about how I get my information across.
W.C.H.: Have you read any of Wilson’s other work?K.T.: Just THE ILLUMINATUS! TRILOGY and COSMIC TRIGGER I. He changed a lot in the early 70′s and sort of lost me. He was very much into politics and individualist Anarchism, Tucker Spooner, Lawrence Lapperty and all that. He converted me to a lot of their ideas. I found him a very exciting person, very knowledgeable about psychology. Then he got into magic and everything and just lost me.
W.C.H.: Right. I bought COSMIC TRIGGER II, thinking it would be a continuation of the first COSMIC TRIGGER and it was completely different.
K.T.: Wilson has gone to great lengths to avoid me, including telling Greg Hill that he didn’t want me to know where he was living.
W.C.H.: I think he’s in L.A.
K.T.: He just got really strange on me every time I’d bring up the Kennedy hit. Why, I don’t know.
W.C.H.: That sucks. Anyway, there were a couple other things I wanted to ask you… Have you heard about Bill Cooper?
W.C.H.: Have you read his book?
K.T.: No, I listened to a tape of his. He doesn’t sound like a very convincing person. He’s entirely misinterpreting facts.
W.C.H.: He seems to have patched together a number of different sources.
K.T.: Well, we all have to do that (laughing) when we write.
W.C.H.: He’s been accusing everyone of being a CIA plant.
K.T.: I know why that happens. I went through a phase of that also. There are a lot of people in the Intelligence Community and there are a lot of people, without realizing it, are working for the Intelligence Community because they’re connected with organizations like the Rosicrucians and The Masons and so forth. It’s very compartmentalized and they all think their working together and each group thinks they’re serving that group. So it’s very easy to get the idea you’re surrounded by CIA agents, when in fact there are agents of many, many powers. (laughs)
W.C.H.: So then you think The Illuminati and Bilderbergers are real organizations?
K.T.: Undoubtedly! Yeah, I have to deal with these people all the time. There’s been some kind of misunderstanding between me and them that has been deliberately cultivated by the KKK. They’re Aleister Crowley people—probably not Adam Weishaupt’s Illuminati—but its inspired by similar ideas.
W.C.H.: There have been all kinds of claims about this group, fiction or otherwise. One of the claims involves satanism.
K.T.: There’s a lot of satanism, because within the Catholic Church you’re going to have somebody into satanism. Then you can blackmail them in the church, control them. And use them as spies within the church. So a lot of so-called “satanism” serves a purpose. It’s not that people actually believe in a “devil”, per se. They can be atheists and still be a satanist. Shell Oil Company is deeply involved with present day illuminati. They’re not particularly into Central Banking; the original conspiracy was supposed to be a conspiracy of bankers and revolutionaries.
W.C.H.: Like the Rockefellers?
K.T.: The impression I get is that these Illuminati are monetary federalists. They’re against central banking.
W.C.H.: So then what’s their game plan?
K.T.: To make the whole world look like the U.S.; turn it all into a Gringo Planet. (laughs)
W.C.H.: A McDonalds and Burger King on every corner? I see Coke is pretty pissed off that they can’t open up shop in Vietnam.
K.T.: Shell Oil Co. has all kinds of property in Vietnam. I had a friend over there during the war and he said he saw Shell Co. property everywhere he went.
W.C.H.: I read a review of your book IDLE WARRIORS in “Anarchy”, and I’m not sure if it was a direct quote from you or not, but the inference was that the Kennedy hit was a starting point to set the “New World Order” scenario into motion?
K.T.: I don’t remember seeing that in the review myself; I read it, also. I can tell that guy had only read one or two chapters in the book. I can’t say for sure which chapters. He didn’t read the intro section; he probably read the chapter: “At Comocura”, maybe one or two others. He was just faking it, basically.
W.C.H.: Really? I thought it was a good review.
K.T.: It was a nice review.
W.C.H.: What’s the thrust of your books?
K.T.: All different types of things. In 1964 I wrote a book about Oswald, which I tried to explain why I thought he shot J.F.K., a non-fiction book. It was published by “New Classics House”. I’m not all that proud of it, because at the time I accepted the Lone Assassin Theory”, because conspiracy theories to me smacked of McCarthyism. I wanted to be an intellectually respectable right winger, not a McCarthyite. After that I wrote the IDLE WARRIORS and that was published in 1991. That same publisher (Illuminet) also put out my ZENARCHY. It basically popularizes the ideas of the beat era.
W.C.H.: Getting back to the ü Korean mind control experiments: Did you ever think you were just really paranoid?
K.T.: Oh yeah! I spent years fearing paranoia so much that I wouldn’t look at the stuff at all, you know? That’s why I testified the way I did at The Warren Commission, because I didn’t want to look like a paranoid. I didn’t even mention the guy who discussed killing Kennedy for 3 years in New Orleans. Evidently they thought I was covering up for him, or they thought that I thought I was covering up. (laughing) I was very impressed by the “Caine Mutiny” and all that stuff. I found people I thought were paranoid very entertaining and I went to great lengths to avoid actions that might be considered paranoid.
W.C.H.: A little bit of paranoia’s healthy.
K.T.: Paranoia is heightened awareness, actually. A lot of paranoids are confused as to who’s persecuting them, not that they aren’t being persecuted. Claude Steiner, (a radical therapist) said that most people are persecuted beyond their wildest dreams. (laughs)
W.C.H.: Are you still right wing?
K.T.: No, I’m a raving left wing anarchist. I’ve been that way since 1969. Wilson converted me to a far left, anarchical point of view.
W.C.H.: Given that stance, what do you think about Clinton?
K.T.: He’s a crypto republican. I think Nixon assassinated all the liberals in this country. A friend of mine read an article that said Nixon has assassinated 400 of his political enemies since he left office. Nixon and Hunt found out that the CIA bureaucrats would sign anything that was in their “in” box without reading it, because they trusted their underlings that put the stuff there. They created their own government that way. And so on paper it all looks perfectly legal. One of the things they did was to pick certain people and said that they were assets to national security and anyone who tried to kill them could be legally killed themselves. And they used us to provoke enemies of Nixon to try and kill us. But they were killed instead. I was one of the people used for those methods.
W.C.H.: Bill Cooper touches on that a little bit.
K.T.: Hunt, Hoover and General Gehlen were at the core of the assassination. I think they also tricked Charles DeGaulle into participating, by convincing DeGaulle that Kennedy was trying to kill him.
W.C.H.: We just saw a lecture by a guy called Jim Marrs. Are you familiar with him?
K.T.: I looked through his book.
W.C.H.: His lecture was very convincing. He came across as real down to earth, a “good ole boy” kind of guy, being from Texas and all. His contention was that a french assassin killed J.F.K.
K.T.: Frenchie they called him, yeah. I think that was William Seamore. He was an anti Castro activist at the time. I met John Stockwell (he’s a renegade CIA agent) when Oliver Stone interviewed me. He said that the Corsican Mafia and the French Intelligence are synonymous. There’s been numerous articles indicating and linking the Corsican Mafia with the Kennedy assassination. I believe Hunt was posing as a CIA agent named Maurice Brooks Gatlin Sr., who was supposed to be a legal advisor to Guy Bannister. He went over to France and gave a lot of money to some French generals who were plotting to kill DeGaulle. And they arranged for DeGaulle to be tipped off about the alleged hit. So DeGaulle thought Kennedy, through the CIA, was trying to kill him. So DeGaulle and The Corsican Mafia really muddied the waters, so to speak. It left all kind of evidence laying around that didn’t point to Nixon, Hunt or Gehlen.
WCH: How or why do you think so many people allegedly got involved in the Kennedy hit?
KT: The guy I called “Brother-In-Law” (aka Gary Kirsten)—who I thought was Howard Hunt that I talked to about assassinating JFK—told me that he was going to talk to everybody in the country who wanted Kennedy dead. He also said to me, he thought it would be a good idea to involve a whole lot of people, who all thought they were working on other projects.
WCH: The Triangulation of Fire Theory?
KT: A maximum complicity crime. In other words, if everyone—the CIA, FBI, French or Corsican Mafia, the KGB, the Cubans—thought they were the only ones sitting around with Howard Hunt talking about killing Kennedy, then they’d all think they did it. This was the opposite approach I wanted to use, which was to use as few people as possible and to tell as few people as possible. It seemed very impractical the way he (Hunt) wanted to do it, to me at the time. I didn’t understand that he was a goddamm CIA trained assassin who knew exactly how to pull these things off and how to pull off a political coup.
WCH: How feasible, do you think it is, that the possibility of a “New World Order” scenario will happen?
KT: I think… I’m not sure how you pronounce her name, Stephanie Caruana? The woman who wrote THE GEMSTONE FILES. I met her at Phenomicon. Everybody there was talking about, well, what are the plans of the New World Order, The Ideology of the Illuminati and so forth. Stephanie said, “Don’t be so naive! These people don’t have any ideology!” She said people with power want to keep their power and they use any ideology at hand for purposes of accumulating power. And I think that’s exactly what it is. I don’t think they have any particular plan for this, that or the other thing. When they take over, that’s all they want to do, period.
WCH: In the Cooper book BEHOLD A PALE HORSE, there’s a chapter called “Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars” which is a sort of preconditioning for a one world government. The “Mark Of The Beast” and all that.
KT: Well, the thing is they’ve got pretty much what they want already. A central banking system, where if someone wants to borrow money they have to pay the bankers interest for doing virtually nothing. When in fact they can issue their own money on their own collateral or their own credit. Basically, they’re milking everybody for all they’re worth, the poor, the middle class, even the rich to some degree. It’s just a matter of them consolidating their own gains, I think.
WCH: Getting back to Clinton: Do you think he’s screwed—or in the process of screwing up—the Democratic party for another 12 years?
KT: He sounds just like George Bush to me. He hasn’t said anything that Bush wouldn’t have said. He’s been as vacillating and unprincipled as Bush, besides.
WCH: I think he has lied more than Bush.
KT: Probably so (laughs). It’s really discouraging. It’s really in the hands of the Rockefellers, as far as I can tell. Clinton’s a Rockefeller man. Bush was a Rockefeller man. Perot’s a Rockefeller man…
WCH: And Carter?
KT: Carter’s undoubtedly a Rockefeller man, although personally I liked Carter. He’s the only president I have liked, for that matter.
WCH: Right. You, me and about 10 other people—maybe Tip O’Neal.
KT: I had very high respect for the man, because he restrained himself so much over the hostage situation, which is where he lost everybody else. He was the first Democrat that didn’t get us in a war. I’m very proud of him for that. Be that as it may, it didn’t impress anybody else (laughs).
WCH: If Clinton blows it for the Democrats, who do you think will be the front runner in ’96?
KT: I’m an Anarchist. To me, whoever wins, we all lose (laughs). People are so far from understanding Clinton. Man, we shouldn’t be worrying about paying off the deficit, we should be canceling the National Debt and demanding reparations from bankers. (laughs) And shooting Reagan for creating such a huge deficit to begin with, putting him before a firing squad, you know? To my way of thinking, Clinton doesn’t even mention anything about the banks, about the role the banks create. There’s a book called THE ILLUMINATI CONSPIRACY by Donald Holmes. Read the introduction by Robert Anton Wilson if you want my view of the whole banking situation. To me, Clinton’s just a pawn of the bankers, who pretty much rule the world.
WCH: The bankers being…?
KT: Not the Jewish bankers; the Templar anti-Semitic bankers; the German bankers.
WCH: i.e. The Bilderbergers?
KT: Them, too. They’re just some of the richest people in the world. A lot of those (German) bankers are members of the Bilderbergers. See there’s a lot of bankers in Germany who proudly proclaim to be directly descended from the Templars, because the Templars were the first Christians who were allowed to practice banking and the Pope gave them a special dispensation. I believe they originated anti-Semitism. They spread the ideas that Jews were stingy and so forth.
WCH: Like the “Elders Of Zion”, that type of thing?
KT: Yeah! In fact the “Elders Of Zion” is supposed to be the minutes of a Templar meeting that were doctored to look like… they think they are the original Jews; they think that Europeans are the lost tribes of Israel. And they dug up some stuff on the temple mound and they thought they had recreated the original religion that preceded modern Judaism and Christianity… I think in this country it’s mostly the Rockefellers, the Warburgs, the Helphands. In my opinion, the Templar bankers financed both Bolshevism & Nazism and are now financing laissez-faire capitalism. Because with every laissez-faire capitalist institute you will find some revisionist historian and the revisionist historians say there was no holocaust, all of this stuff. If you read AMERICAN SWASTIKA by Charles Highams or Sandor A. Diamonds book HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN NAZI MOVEMENT, you’ll find that this was the German propaganda line during the war. These days it seems laissez-faire capitalism is gaining a lot of support.
WCH: It just seems ironic in light of the rise of the neo-Nazis in Germany and all of the white supremacists around the states, that lot of kids today don’t study or could care less about recent history. So when they hear this revisionist bullshit, they believe it.
KT: Oh yeah, a lot of the “Nation Of Islam” people believe it, too. It’s really scary, but then again look at Israel, how reactionary they are. I think Zionism might be a Nazi plot. It’s very easy for Jews and Germans to pass themselves off as each other in the post war confusion.
WCH: How do you see the “Christian Right” as playing a role in the ’96 election.
KT: I really don’t speculate about elections that much. I don’t think they make that much difference. I try not to predict the future. Cone Bendid (sp?) in his book OBSOLETE COMMUNISM speaking about the Ô68 student uprising in France said he was attending the commune meetings, the ad-hoc communes that had come together as the government was being paralyzed by the strikes. He said, you could tell they weren’t ready to rule themselves because instead of talking about what they were going to do, they were saying, what’s going to happen to us? To me, it’s like, that’s not a very fruitful area of speculation, worrying about what’s going to happen. Whatever you predict, it almost never happens that way.
WCH: The only reason I say that, is growing up in the ’50′s & the ’60′s, the Cold War and all of that. It seems to me that lately there has been a definite conservative shift, or pendulum swing to the far right.
KT: I feel there’s been a goddamm “war” on Cold War liberals, which involves both the extreme left & right. And in some ways, rightly so. I can see why the Communists were unhappy about the Cold War liberals and why the right wing was unhappy with them, also. Although I can see the liberals viewpoint. In the late ’50′s/early ’60′s, there were a lot of people who were totally liberal except for the fact that they hated Communists, because they didn’t want to be accused of being Communist. And they went out of their way to be anti-Communist. J.F.K. was one of those “types”. And I think probably Oswald. That’s partially what I think the Kennedy assassination was; war on those types of liberals.
WCH: That you feel is still going on today?
KT: Oh yeah! I feel they’ve pretty much won by now. “Brother-In-Law” used to say the Nazis won WWII. I’m beginning to think he was right (laughs).
WCH: What I’m referring to is, oh say, the popularity of someone like Rush Limbaugh.
KT: The country’s in a very strong right wing mood. It was surprising that Clinton got elected.
WCH: I was amazed!
KT: There’s no doubt we’re living in very reactionary times.
WCH: Now that you’re on the subject of right and left extremism, it’s almost turned into a sort of “Civil War”!
KT: That’s very interesting! Because I was told that George De Mohrenschildt & his wife were KGB agents and by the time of the Kennedy assassination that Khrushchev was trying to stir up a civil war in the U.S. And you’ve got everybody in this country arguing about who’s straight or who’s gay.
WCH: Right, all of these petty distractions from the real issues. And that’s what Kennedy seemed to address, the real issues.
KT: Well in that respect, yes, but even he was appointing racist southern judges and federal judgeships up until the time he was assassinated. He was not a raving radical. He was a very pragmatic man.
WCH: Pragmatic, i.e. political. He knew which side his bread was buttered on. It just seems there is a type of Civil War going on and who’s going to win?
KT: I don’t think anyone wins a war.
WCH: I consider myself an anarchist, definitely leftist. Do you think there’s any hope for the left?
KT: Well, I like to think there is, but I’ve become—in the process of dealing with the Kennedy assassination over the last 17 years—extremely cynical. Someone accused me the other day of being “a little” cynical. I said I’m not a little cynical, (laughs) I’m overwhelmingly cynical! The thing about anarchism is that it’s so logical that once people understand what it is, they can usually convert to it. But until such time as anarchists take over a major media network or something, then—and only then—will there be any type of anarchist society. The other thing that worries me is the ecology. It seems to me that possibly I’ve misspent my life politically with all this anarchism because… the ocean for example is extremely delicate. If it ever stagnates, if the seas ever stagnate, which they very well may, that’s going to be the end of human life on this planet.
WCH: That’s what bugs me so much about the right. They really don’t give a shit about ecological concerns. With those clowns it’s money/power/industry—the ecosystem be dammed! We need jobs, now!
KT: There will probably be some enormous ecological disaster that will destroy all life on the planet before any anarchist uprising. I used to be extremely optimistic. I thought when the ILLUMINATUS TRILOGY was published that there would immediately be an anarchist revolution. (laughs)
WCH: Did you see the bombing of The World Trade Center?
KT: I heard about it.
WCH: That was leading into my question about synchronicities.
KT: Well, you know with The World Trade Center, that’s the same Bloomfield/Shaw… All those people were tied into the Defense Industrial Security Command… All that Torbitt manuscript stuff. I thought that was an interesting choice of targets.
WCH: Right. It just struck me as funny. Now terrorism is starting to hit our shores.
KT: Well, it has off and on from time to time. Hijacking airplanes to Cuba used to go on all the time.
WCH: There was a long shot of the Trade Center on CNN, and in the upper left corner of the shot on the building was the #23. I saw that and my jaw hit the floor.
KT: (Maniacal laughter)
WCH: After I’d read COSMIC TRIGGER I for the second time, I started seeing 23′s all over the god dammed place. I’m still seeing them to this day. And I get all these weird little synchronicities all the time, like driving over here tonight. There was this car in front of me with a mason plate on it. Does that happen to you a lot?
KT: Oh, yeah. Keep one thing in mind: If you decide 23 is a significant number, you’re going to notice it every time it appears somewhere. There are two clandestine communication networks in the U.S. One of them is one the Japanese created during the war, which was a camouflaged German propaganda network. The other one is the Masons; they communicate the same way. A lot of cryptic symbolism, numbers and so forth.
WCH: I still think my “seeing” the 23′s is some kind of subconscious mind trick.
KT: I have a friend who does the same thing with the number 22 (laughs). But one night I went to St. Petersburg to borrow a copy of BRAVE NEW WORLD from an assassination buff named Helen Hartman in 1969. I got home and there was a letter from Robert Anton Wilson. There was a certain passage from BRAVE NEW WORLD that I wanted to quote… about he was trying to free people, and they wanted to lynch him…basically about the slave mentality. Anyway, Wilson’s letter was about the #23 and Burroughs, Capt. Clark and so on. I turned to the copy of BRAVE NEW WORLD to search for the chapter I wanted and it was on page 23, and the scene took place in the Park Lane Hospital! That was the same hospital they took Kennedy to & it rhymes with Mark Lane (laughs). I just flipped, it was very spooky.
WCH: Do you still have those types of synchronicities?
KT: Oh, all the time. Sometimes it’s obviously things that couldn’t possibly be anything but coincidences. I used to assume that stuff was coincidence; now I assume that it isn’t, until proven otherwise. In some book I was reading, they were talking about intelligence agents and they said: Officers in intelligence are very wary of coincidence because they’re usually not near as many coincidences as people have been led to believe. In fact many people, myself included, believe Jung was a raving Nazi—not a Hitler Nazi, but a raving Nazi, nonetheless. Dulles—when he was in Switzerland, striking up a deal with the S.S., trying to negotiate a secret separate peace—his principle assistant was Mary Bancroft, who was in therapy with Carl Jung. Jung’s theory was: The chief problem with Nazism was the father in the German family. The authoritarianism was the problem because Germans were so male patriarch oriented. Basically, the idea was if Nazism was a matriarch it wouldn’t have been so bad. I read a lot about Dulles before I came up with this idea and I mentioned it to John Stockwell, who was friends with Dulles. He said, “Kerry, that’s exactly what happened, exactly!” Anyway, Jung had been accused many times of being a Nazi, plus he was the one who came up with the theory of synchronicity. Let me say something else about the #23. The code book that the Nazi’s used during World War II was MEIN KAMPF. After the war, because they needed protection from the U.S. government, ex-Nazi’s began to work for Communist countries, particularly North Korea, especially when we were at war with North Korea, because they were very used to working for the enemy, including my own parents. At some point they began using the “Little Red Book”. All right… five was the number this guy named “Brother-In-Law” talked about. He said it was a very important number. That’s why I made it the sacred number of The Discordian Society. Five in the “Little Red Book” means we must work with non party people within the intelligence community. There are three kinds of people who believe in working with non party people. One of them are the page nine people; these are people who believe history is driven forward by its contradictions and therefore they are double agents. George De Mohrenschildt and his wife are in vol. 9 of the 26 volumes. Nine signifies the middle of the roaders. Page 17 of Mao is: Reactionaries will make a last ditch effort. 17 signifies the type of page 5 people who want to work against the Communist party. And 23 says the Communist party is young & full of vigor. So 17, 9, 5 and 23—before I ever realized this—are numbers that were being bandied about between me, Shea and Wilson. I think that was somebody’s little lesson to show how the intelligence community was processing people.
WCH: Since I’ve been aware of the #23, I still don’t fully believe it’s all a mind trick.
KT: Well, nowadays it’s become a fad to graffiti the #23 all over the place.
WCH: I see it in underground magazines a lot.
KT: Oh, yeah. Wilson has a lot of readers (laughs).
WCH: Bill Cooper was calling him a CIA plant.
KT: I have heard that he’s a member of the Illuminati. I have heard that the “real” R.A.W. was assassinated by Gerald Ford’s agents and replaced by a double. I’ve heard all kinds of stories like that. It’s very possible that any one of those are true. I’ve heard that he was a Nazi all along. He’s a very brilliant man, whatever he is.
WCH: That sounds like a disinformation campaign directed at him by rivals possibly.
KT: He’s a very mysterious person.
WCH: When you were still conversing with him, was he a pretty regular guy?
KT: No, not at all!… What do you mean by that? To me a regular guy is somebody who’s a conformist. He was very much a non conformist. He had a rather macabre sense of humor. He was just a brilliant anarchist and could explain to me what Laurence Lapperty didn’t like about central banking and what Phurdome (sp?) didn’t like about land monopoly. And he helped weed out all the irrationalities of “Ayn Rand”.
WCH: Did you like him on a personal basis?
KT: I only met him once. That was down in Tampa in 1969. I liked him enormously. He radiated a very relaxed, very sensual… aaahhh…
KT: Yeah, and he was very hip. He had taken acid many times by then. He seemed very unarmored in the Reichian sense. You could almost feel the sexual energy coming out of him. He had enormous sympathetic eyes, which at the time I found very reassuring, until I read the appendix in THE ILLUMINATUS TRILOGY where he was talking about making human sacrifices and identifying with the victim (laughs).
WCH: I’ve read that he’s in so many churches, covens…
KT: He believes in being as many things as you can be and joining as many secret societies as possible.
WCH: Then at times he seems to downplay all this conspiracy stuff as if he’s trying to throw people off the track.
KT: Well, yeah. He enjoys playing mind games. He eventually got me so fuckin’ paranoid about him, by 1975—when I was trying to find out about all of these matters—he would write me, ever so often, and ask: “Are you getting paranoid about me yet? Because I know I say some pretty weird things in my letters to you.” However, it was becoming increasingly hard not to (laughs).
WCH: Do you miss being in contact with him?
KT: Oh, hell yeah! He taught me half of everything that I now know.
WCH: That’s what I was getting at. It seems like you two have so much in common that he would still be in touch with you.
KT: He was here (Atlanta) at Phenomicon a couple years ago and I had low blood pressure, because I still had my kidney condition and I couldn’t stand on my feet without getting dizzy, so I couldn’t go see him. But I wrote him a letter right afterwards; he never answered it, so fuck it! And that’s the other thing I’m suspicious about: He has gone out of his way not to see me in person, all this time. Howard Hughes was that way and Oglesby thinks he was killed and replaced with a double. So I don’t know. I think it’s very possible he’s not the same guy I knew back in the sixties.
WCH: Do you mean in a physical sense or a mental sense?
KT: I believe Gerald Ford killed him and replaced him with a double, at least that’s what I was told. I didn’t know whether or not to believe it at the time.
WCH: It sounds almost too farfetched to believe.
KT: Well evidently the ILLUMINATUS TRILOGY revealed a bunch of information which sabotaged the plans Lyndon Johnson had made to create a welfare state. A lot of people were pissed at him including a lot of left wing people. I didn’t realize this until recently, so I don’t know—t could have happened. I wish all of this stuff didn’t sound so far out, because I know you’re trying very hard to be credible with your audience. But that is why they get away with so fucking much. Did you see that movie RUBY?
KT: Well, in there, Jack Ruby is dealing with a CIA agent who acts likes the comedian George Gobel more than anybody else (laughs). And later on in the movie, Ruby is talking with one of his gangster friends and says, You know, I’ve figured out what the CIA’s scheme is: They act in such a kooky way, that if you tell someone about it, they wouldn’t believe you. It’s a form of camouflage. It really is!
WCH: The further I delve into conspiracy work, invariably the strangest scenarios seem the most plausible.
KT: The stuff I laughed at initially was the stuff I wound up believing later on.
WCH: That’s why the way out ideas and theories don’t deter me from further research.
KT: I know, but you’ve still got your readers, you’ve got blue collar readers who try to work within consensus reality.
WCH: Not really. Most of the people that read this are very interested in this type of material.
KT: And I haven’t even touched on the stuff they do with technology that nobody even realizes exists because it didn’t have any commercial value, so they used it for political purposes.
WCH: Like What?
KT: Wireless transmission of currents, things that Nikola Tesla invented. He was a good friend of J. P. Morgan and George Westinghouse. And I believe they created the “Miracle Of Fatima” in order to blackmail the Pope. It’s amazing what they could do with that technology! A lot of the things people think is magic(k) is just a bunch of German scientists with this advanced technology that nobody realizes exists… J. P. Morgan was financing breeding experiments, as well. Look at it this way, they staged the “Miracle Of Fatima”, which is all stuff Tesla could have done. Tesla used to have shows on weekends where he would run thousands of volts of electricity through himself, without being hurt. Then they’d get the Pope to certify “Fatima” was a miracle and afterwards reveal to the Pope it was man-made. So the Pope is proven to be fallible, then they can blackmail him. They want the Pope to keep his mouth shut about the Nazi’s, he keeps his mouth shut!
WCH: Do you ever read Mondo 2000?
WCH: In some of the recent issues, they’d been featuring a guy named Xandor Korzybski, who kind of goes along with what you’re telling me.
KT: There’s another guy (Alfred Korzybski) I laughed at until I found out what he was talking about… Tesla could make lightning strike during a storm. He figured out a way to suspend the earth’s gravity. He never actually did it, obviously, (laughs) but he did figure out how to.