Wednesday, January 20, 2016

MK ULTRA and the JFK Assassination

by Ralph C. Cinque

This article is about the mental manipulation of Warren Commission witness Marina Oswald, who was, undoubtedly, the most damaging witness against Lee Harvey Oswald. It was inspired by Chapter 12 of David Talbot's excellent book, The Devil's Chessboard

The title of that chapter is Brain Warfare, and it is about the CIA's mind control program known as MK ULTRA. I am going to explain why I believe Marina Oswald was subjected to MK ULTRA-ish techniques, and that that is how they got her to make such false, incriminating, and outlandish statements against her deceased husband.  In a word: Marina was brainwashed. 

But first, I would like to give a synopsis of this important chapter from Talbot's book, which will hopefully serve as an introduction to MK-ULTRA.  

On April 19, 1953, CIA Director Allen Dulles gave a speech at a Princeton alumni conference about the threat of a new Soviet tactic in the Cold War: mind control. "The Soviets are now using brain perversion techniques to prosecute the Cold War. Some of these techniques are so subtle and so abhorrent to our way of life, we have recoiled from facing them." These techniques can "wash the brain clean of thoughts and mental processes of the past... to create automatons the State can use." 

What Dulles didn't tell his Princeton audience is that just several days before, he launched the MK ULTRA mind control program within the CIA, which dwarfed anything the Soviets were doing.

From the beginning, the program recruited doctors, specialists, universities, and hospitals in research that violated both medical ethical standards and the law.

Richard Helms, who later became CIA Chief, oversaw the top-secret MK Ultra program. From the start, it involved experimental drugs, particularly LSD, which Helms called the "A-bomb of the mind."  He wrote, "the goal was to bend a subject's mind to the agency's will."

The program grew out of "enhanced interrogation techniques" which used drugs, hypnosis, shock treatment, and other methods now considered torturous to extract information from prisoners. Some of the research was done outside the US, for instance, at Camp King in Germany, a "black site" which during WW2 had been a Nazi interrogation center, but then (with former Nazis still involved) it was aimed at Soviet prisoners. Some of the subjects were provided by the Gehlen Organization- if you recall that top Nazi spymaster Reinhard Gehlen who switched sides at war's end and teamed up with Allen Dulles- to keep doing the same anti-Soviet espionage he had always done but now doing it for us. 

It involved dangerous combinations of drugs. Besides LSD, there was Benzedrine (a strong amphetamine), Sodium Thiopental (then used to induce medical comas) , and Mescaline (another hallucinogen) to name four. Harvard anesthesiologist Henry Knowles Beecher was brought in to advise on the best way to induce amnesia in Soviet prisoners after they were interrogated. "Beecher even began drawing on the work done by Nazi doctors at Dachau."

The chief CIA chemist was Sidney Gottlieb who specialized in developing undetectable delivery systems. Another recruit was New York city allergist Dr. Harold Abramson, who conducted LSD tolerance tests. They even brought in a magician, John Mulholland, who taught agents how to trick subjects by sleight-of-hand. 

Another top figure in MK ULTRA was Dr. Harold Wolff, chief of Neurology at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Wolff was a fan of "insulin shock therapy" which put the subject into a coma and often induced convulsions. He also liked electroshock therapy, which was in vogue in Medicine at the time. 

Another important name is Dr. Wilder Penfield, a leading neurosurgeon at Montreal's McGill University. Also, Scottish psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, who had known Dulles since before the war and was a doctor at the Nuremberg trials, was recruited. Cameron was sent to McGill to do brainwashing experiments that were later condemned as barbaric. Cameron's experiments in the notorious "Sleep Room" involved insulin overdoses, massive infusions of hallucinogens like LSD, and alarming amounts of electroshock therapy. 

"It was a process Cameron called 'depatterning' to wipe the brain clean of 'bad behavior patterns.' After blasting away the negative thoughts, Cameron sought to replace them with 'good ones' through what he called 'psychic driving'- playing taped messages to his nearly comatose victims for between 16 and 20 hours a day, week after week, as they slipped in and out of consciousness."

I'll leave it there in discussing Talbot's chapter on MK ULTRA. Now, let's talk about Marina Oswald.

You know that Marina was taken into custody immediately after the assassination. She was effectively incarcerated although the word they used was "sequestered." She spent exactly one night at Ruth Paine's house- the night of the 22nd- and then she went under lock and key. Initially, she was kept at the Inn of the Six Flags in Dallas, and then, with FBI/SS approval and oversight, she went to live at the home of her business manager, James Herbert Martin. Marina lived at the Martin home from November 29, 1963 until February 9, 1964. She remained under complete FBI/SS control until the completion of her Warren Commission testimony.  

By all accounts, Marina was cooperative with authorities from the start- including while Oswald was still alive. I would think that Marina would have decided with her husband about what to do, what to agree to. And I am curious to know what they told her about why she was being detained. Did they tell her that they were doing it for her protection because someone might try to kill her? If so, maybe she believed them. But, I don't believe them. They only held Marguerite a few days, and when they released her, she asked for continued protection, and they said, "Nah, you don't need it." But regardless, it doesn't sound like Marina put up any resistance. 

And don't you think it's interesting that she should get a "business manager" right away? Do you think it was her idea? I doubt it. I doubt she would have thought of it. And of course, we are talking about the business of marketing the tabloid interest in the wife of the world's most infamous assassin.

But, let's be clear: the promise of money for media interviews and statements and photographs was contingent on her supporting the official story. Americans wanted to love Marina. Americans wanted to embrace Marina. Americans wanted to shower Marina with money, often cold hard cash in an envelope. But, it was totally dependent on her endorsing the official story the US government was telling that her husband was a bad, evil man who did terrible things. 

Did anyone actually spell it out for her? "Say that he did it and you'll be richly rewarded." I don't know. Perhaps not.  But, she was a sharp cookie; she could read the handwriting on the wall.  

I say that the whole process by which Marina was converted into an Oswald accuser was MK-ULTRA-ish.  And keep in mind that there are varying degrees of mind control. At the extreme, there is the example of Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate, who became a zombie-like killing machine. I'm not comparing her to that; it wasn't as extreme as that. But, the outcome- in which she calmly stated very bizarre things about Oswald which couldn't possibly be true- was pretty damn extreme. 

I don't know that drugs were involved, but I don't know that they weren't. I am looking into it. 

But, I know that waving the carrot was involved, and the use of the carrot is a well-established behavior modification technique. Isn't it used all the time in animal training, administering treats immediately upon completion of a desired task? In this case the treats were money, sympathy, and outpourings of love and compassion. But, the first one, money, was the kicker. When you consider how poor Marina was living as Oswald's wife (destitute), and then suddenly, money was raining down from the sky. And remember it was 1964, before major inflation hit. So, when TIME magazine dropped $20,000 on Marina for the Russian diary which was never even hers, it was a lot of money. All told, following the assassination, Marina Oswald took in between $200,000 and $300,000 in 1964 money- a fortune. Here's a reference:

I'm not saying she became uber-rich, but Marina's economic well-being took a powerful upswing, and it was the direct result of her cooperating. It was a huge incentive, a very positive reinforcement.  

And, while we're on the subject of positive reinforcement, I should note that Marina started having consensual sex with Mr. Martin. She also revealed to LBJ's mistress Madeleine Brown, who became a close friend of hers, that federal agents started having sex with her as well. How consensual that was I don't know. Legally, it certainly could not be considered consensual. FBI agents are not supposed to have sex with those in their protective custody. I learned about it from OIC member and investigative journalist Pat Shannon who was a close friend of Madeleine Brown and her husband and was a frequent house guest of theirs. 

So, to be clear, Marina told Madeleine; Madeleine told Pat; and Pat told me.

What role this played in Marina's conversion into Oswald accuser I can't say. But, we know that opioids are released during sex, and that sex tends to trigger receptiveness and mental susceptibility. Look what happened to Patty Hearst. After being kidnapped, she wound up toting a gun for Symbionese Liberation Army on raids, and there was sex involved. So, am I saying that Marina Oswald was like Patty Hearst? Yes, I am.   

At the beginning of Marina's WC testimony, Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin announced that he had received and gone through the records of more than 46 interrogations that the FBI did with Marina. Only 60-some days had passed by that point, so it was a lot of interrogations. But, Rankin implied that there were a lot more than 46.  

Mr. RANKIN. Since your husband's death and even back to the time of the assassination of President Kennedy, you have had a number of interviews with people from the Secret Service and the FBI, have you not?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I did.
Mr. RANKIN. We have a record of more than 46 such interviews, and I assume you cannot remember the exact number or all that was said in those interviews, is that true?
Mrs. OSWALD. I don't know how many there were.

There probably were a lot more than 46 because the FBI must have cherry-picked them to a great extent. Don't you think they probably left out a bunch? Not every interview could have gone well. There had to be some interviews they wanted to keep from the Warren Commission.    

But, how could they have conducted that many interviews with her just to ask her things? How much could she have had to tell them? How long could her narrative, from beginning to end, have been? 

I suspect that it leapt from them asking her things to them telling her things. They were essentially "prepping" her for trial, the way a lawyer preps his client. I bet they told her that she was traumatized; in shock; that her mind was blocking out memories, playing tricks on her, and that they could help her get them back. She became surrounded by people who were speaking all the time of Oswald's monstrousness and his monstrous acts, and she was completely separated from anyone who knew him differently. In a word, she was isolated among Oswald accusers 24/7.  It was full immersion.

Marina was thrust into a whole different world, with a different present, a different future, and even a different past. It was like The Twilight Zone. Do you remember the Seinfeld joke about The Twilight Zone?

Jerry: This is like that episode from The Twilight Zone where everyone around the guy was crazy except for him.
Kramer: Which one was that?
Jerry: They were all like that.

Marina's world was like that except that "they" couldn't be crazy because they were too sure, too strong, and there were too many of them. They were absolutely sure that Oswald did terrible things. They showed her records and receipts. They were certain; they were unanimous. So, how could it not be true? 

When you think about how totally and radically Marina's life changed: her circumstances, her surroundings, and all the people, except for her children, it was a complete metamorphosis. She leapt from one life to another. It was like a different universe.   

And it led to sweeping, polarized changes in Marina's memory of her past life with Oswald, her distant past life. For instance, it is a fact that when first asked, Marina knew NOTHING about Oswald going to Mexico City, but by the end, she had him visiting embassies, going to bull fights, buying her gifts there, and more.

First, Oswald did not go to Mexico City. He said he didn't go there. He said that the only place in Mexico he ever went was Tijuana. There are no photographs of Oswald from Mexico City. The CIA was supposedly tailing him constantly, but there are no photographs of him? How is that possible? However, there are photographs of Oswald impostors. 

The fact is that there is no conclusive evidence that Oswald ever went to Mexico City. I had the privilege of speaking to Mark Lane on the phone once, and he told me that Oswald never went to Mexico City. And, I have communicated more frequently with John Armstrong who also denies that Oswald ever went to Mexico City. Here is a video of John talking about it:

In Plausible Denial, Mark Lane wrote that, "At first, Marina stated that Oswald did not go to Mexico City." Others have said the same thing. And I believe we should put a lot of stock in Oswald's denial of going to Mexico City for the simple reason that he was innocent. The trip to Mexico City had no association whatsoever with the JFK assassination. It wasn't illegal for him to go there, and he wasn't being accused of committing any crimes there. Therefore, why on Earth would he lie about it? 

If you were accused of a crime which you didn't commit and they were interrogating you, and suddenly, they asked you: "Did you make a trip to Las Vegas last March?" and you knew you did, would you lie about it?  Of course, you wouldn't! Well, neither would Oswald. If he went to Mexico City, he would have admitted it. He had nothing to hide. He didn't hide his interest in going to Russia and Cuba. 

So, here's what I think happened: At first, Marina denied knowing anything about Oswald going to Mexico City, but they worked on her. They kept assuring her that he definitely went there. They probably showed her things, such as hotel records, embassy records, witness statements. I'm sure they were extremely adamant about it. 

"He must have told you about it, and I'm sure if you try, you'll remember. But, don't try too hard, and don't worry about it. We'll come back to it, and the memory will come back to you. The important thing right now is that you realize that he really did go there; we have the evidence; we have the records; we have the witnesses. So, there is no doubt about it; it's just a matter of getting you to recall it. But, I'm sure you will- over time. So, have confidence. We know you are trying. And we appreciate it. You're doing a great job, Marina. The whole country appreciates it."

Over time, from hearing it again and again, Marina accepted that Oswald went to Mexico City, and "the" story, repeatedly told to her, became "her" story. She learned to recite it and say it with ease. And what helped, what made it easy, was the fact that she wasn't with Oswald at the time. She was in Dallas with Ruth Paine. So, it did not involve rewriting her script, the memory of her own life.  If they had tried to get her to say that Oswald was in Mexico City at a time that he was elsewhere with her, it would have been much more difficult.    

And, at first, Marina also denied knowing anything about Oswald owning a rifle, and I have a reference for that too, also from Mark Lane:

"We discovered that Mrs. Oswald stated that she never knew that her husband owned a rifle nor did she know he owned a pistol (New York Times, Dec. 8). 

"Marina Oswald's assertion that she never even knew that her husband owned a rifle, buried in the 14th paragraph of a story appearing on page 63 of the New York Times, is a total repudiation of the fabrication that he shot at General Walker."

"In view of Marina Oswald’s lack of knowledge regarding the rifle, and in view of the statement made by Mrs. Paine, at whose home the rifle was alleged to have been stored, one questions whether Oswald ever actually possessed the rifle."

These statements and more can be found in Oswald Innnocent: A Lawyer's Brief by Mark Lane, which was published on December 19, 1963.

And again I want to say that, knowing that Oswald was innocent, I put tremendous stock in the fact that he denied owning any rifle. Put yourself in that situation: you show up at work; someone gets shot from your building; and they find your rifle on the 6th floor. So, they accuse you of doing it, but you know you didn't. So, are you going to lie about owning the rifle? Of course not! You're going to say:

"Yes, that is my rifle, but I didn't bring it here, and I didn't shoot anybody with it. Someone must have stolen it from where I had it stored and brought it here to frame me. I don't know anything about this. I certainly did not shoot anybody."

Weapons gets stolen. They get stolen all the time. And crimes are committed with stolen weapons. That happens a lot too. And if that's what happened, Oswald would have said so. He would not have lied about owning the rifle. That's because he was innocent, and innocent people don't have to lie. Every fiber of their being impels them NOT to lie. An innocent person is not going to make like a guilty person and start lying- and for no reason at all. 

If you go to John Armstrong's website, he's got a blurb on the home page about Oswald never having ordered the rifle.

And there, John offers this link about the phony money order by which Oswald supposedly ordered the rifle:

Click the link below to see that the U.S. Postal Money Order that was NEVER cashed, NEVER exchanged, nor EVER deposited into a bank or financial institution. The only stamp on the back was "rubber stamp" endorsement from Klein's Sporting Goods, the rifle retailer.  Also included for comparison are a series of checks issued to Oswald that show multiple bank stamps on each and every item. Also shown is the WC "evidence" showing the money order was "deposited" a month before it was issued.

Below, Gil Jesus lays out 10 reasons why he believes the rifle wasn't Oswald's:

And here is another video by a Mr. Chrillemannen on why Oswald never ordered a rifle:

So hopefully, that settles it, that Oswald, being innocent and not being stupid, did not lie to police when he told them he did not own a rifle. He didn't own one. He really didn't. 

But, what about Marina? She related all kinds of things about Oswald and his rifle. 

Mr. RANKIN. Do you recall the first time that you observed the rifle?
Mrs. OSWALD. That was on Neely Street. I think that was in February.

According to officialdom, Oswald didn't come home with the rifle until March 25, so it was practically April.

Mr. RANKIN. Was it out in the room at that time, as distinguished from in a closet in the room?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, it was open, out in the open. At first I think---I saw some package up on the top shelf, and I think that that was the rifle. But I didn't know. And apparently later he assembled it and had it in the room.

It has never been claimed that the rifle was shipped to Oswald disassembled. 

Mrs. OSWALD. Of course I asked him, "What do you need a rifle for? What do we need that for?"
He said that it would come in handy some time for hunting.

Would Oswald have said that? They lived in the city- a long way from where any hunting could be done. He had no car to get him to a hunting site. He had no friends to take him hunting. George DeMohrenschildt didn't take him hunting, and he had practically no relationship with brother Robert. So, how could he go hunting? With whom? It's true that in Russia he went hunting with his friends there, but in Texas? There was no basis for Oswald to say that or do that. 

Mr. RANKIN. Did you see him clean the rifle a number of times?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. Could you help us by giving some estimate of the times as you remember it?
Mrs. OSWALD. About four times---about four or five times, I think.

No gun-cleaning kit was ever found among Oswald's possessions.

Mr. RANKIN. Do you know where he practiced with the rifle?
Mrs. OSWALD. I don't know where. I don't know the name of the place where this took place. But I think it was somewhere out of town. It seems to me a place called Lopfield.
Mr. RANKIN. Would that be at the airport---Love Field?
Mrs. OSWALD. Love Field.
Mr. RANKIN. So you think he was practicing out in the open and not at a rifle range?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.

Out in the open? On whose land? A vacant field? Near the airport? He just went there and started shooting? At what? At what targets? Nobody in his right mind would do that today, but is there any reason to think that Oswald did that in 1963? 

I won't go any further with this except to say that Marina's entire testimony about the rifle, including his shooting at General Walker, and her taking the Backyard photos is fraught with incredulity. But, I will cite this: 
ROBERT LEE OSWALD … advised that on January 13, 1964 JAMES HERBERT MARTIN, business manager for Marina Oswald, told him that MARINA had told MARTIN that when RICHARD NIXON visted Dallas, date unknown, MARINA found out that LEE HARVEY OSWALD intended to shoot NIXON.
MARTIN indicated to ROBERT OSWALD that MARINA had locked LEE HARVEY OSWALD in the bathroom the entire day that he planned to shoot NIXON to prevent him from doing so.

You can't lock someone in a bathroom because bathrooms only lock from the inside. So, the revised version of the story, which Marina told, was that she just held Oswald in the bathroom against his will by holding the doorknob shut. So, they were struggling at the door, a tug of war, and she, all 5'2" 100 pounds of her (plus her pregnancy weight) was able to overpower him? And for how long? Minutes? Hours? And when it was finally over, he settled down? This was April 1963, and Richard Nixon wasn't even in Dallas at the time.

And remember that Oswald was supposed to have "beaten" Marina, as in beating her up. Repeatedly. Well, if she was strong enough to overpower him at the bathroom door, how could he ever get away with beating her? Why did she allow it? Where was all her strength then? 

What a farce. What a joke. The Warren Commissioners should have burst out laughing.

But, it's no laughing matter that Marina Oswald actually said those things about Oswald- with a straight face. 

Lying about the rifle was a very different thing than lying about Mexico City because it involved her own life. She wasn't just talking about Oswald and what he told her about what he did; she was talking about her own experience, what she lived through, what she saw and heard. She couldn't incorporate the story as a memory without suppressing what she actually remembered.

I don't think it was just lying in the conventional sense of knowingly saying something that was false. And that's because I doubt she was that good a liar. Furthermore, if she was just lying, imagine the guilt she would have experienced, betraying her husband like that.  It would have been lifelong guilt, haunting her to the grave. 

I think that Marina mentally surrendered to her captors and made their reality her reality. And, I suspect she has never faced it; she has never unearthed it. The truth is encased inside her mind like the concrete-covered reactor at Chernobyl.   

But, I suspect it helped her a lot to start referring to her husband as Lee. She didn't call him Lee in Russia. She called him Alik. That's how she knew him for nearly two years in Russia before they came to the US. She didn't know anything about the name Lee. And they continued to speak to each other in Russian after they got here. Do you think she switched to the Russian translation of Lee? I doubt it. I don't know that there is one. And why should she have when they were only speaking to each other? You can call it a pet name, but she would have stuck with it .When she wrote to her aunt and uncle in Russia, she referred to him repeatedly as Alik, never even mentioning that he went by Lee over here. But, after the assassination, she switched to "Lee" in speaking of him, and I bet that made it easier to tell the stories because she wasn't talking about Alik; she was talking about Lee.

There is no record and no evidence of Marina having mentioned a rifle to anyone before the assassination. She didn't even mention it to Ruth Paine with whom she lived. After the assassination, George DeMohrenschildt and his wife testified about a weird experience with the Oswalds and the rifle. I call it weird because George refused to admit that he ever laid eyes on the rifle. He claimed that they were visiting the Oswalds, and they were talking about the rifle, and George jokingly asked Oswald if he was the one who took the potshot at General Walker. The rifle was supposedly in the next room at the time, but George did not get up off the couch to go look at it- even though he was a gun collector and gun enthusiast himself. And even when he got up to leave, he didn't go into the next room to look at it. He just wasn't interested. Now, how credible is that?  

To me, a big question is whether there were any drugs involved in Marina's brainwashing. Did she see any doctors during the time of her sequestration? I would be surprised if she didn't. For one, the shock and trauma could easily have caused symptoms of illness: headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive distress, etc. But for two, the FBI would likely have wanted to vet her, to vet her health, including her mental health. So, they may have taken her to a doctor as a matter of protocol. If only I could find a record of that...

Did Marina cooperate out of fear of being deported? Maybe, but that would not have given her the capacity to lie. And, the first thing that Attorney Rankin asked her, for the record, is if anyone threatened to deport her if she didn't cooperate, and she said no. Do you think she was lying? Maybe she was because her whole testimony was riddled with lies; florid, fanciful, preposterous lies.

So far, we don't know that techniques as severe as those described by David Talbot in his chapter on MK ULTRA were used on Marina Oswald. We don't know if such techniques were used even in a milder form. But, even if her treatment was limited to psychological and psychosexual manipulation and outright monetary bribes, the results were profound. She became a true believer. She vouched for the official story. She depicted her husband as a monster. And by all accounts, she did it with ease and conviction. 

Somehow, Marina made her peace with accepting and believing that Oswald really did those terrible things. Either that, or she deserved the Academy award for Best Actress in a leading role. Take your pick. It's one or the other. I go with the former because she was no actress. She crossed over. Mentally, she crossed over to the other side. And I'm sure she had help doing it.

So, what exactly did they do to Marina Oswald? What did they say to her? What were all the ways they tried to influence her? We don't know exactly, but we do know the results. And the results speak of a woman who was completely indoctrinated, whose memories were completely replaced, and whose mind was altered at a very deep level. 

The Manchurian Candidate is one of my favorite movies, and the climax, the real climax, occurs not at the end, but when Bennet Marco (Frank Sinatra) tries to help his friend Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) overcome his brainwashing. In the story, Raymond's mind control was triggered by a playing card, the Queen of Diamonds, and orders were given to him (to kill) by having him play Solitaire. 

Raymond Shaw: They can make me do anything, Ben, can't they? Anything.
Bennett Marco: We'll see, kid. We'll see what they can do and we'll see what we can do. So the red queen is our baby. Well, take a look at this, kid...

[he fans the deck open and keeps holding up the cards]

Bennett Marco: 52 of them! Take a good look at 'em, Raymond. Look at them! And while you're looking, listen. This is me, Marco, talking. 52 red queens and me are telling you something... You know what we're telling you? We're telling you it's over! The links, the beautifully conditioned links are smashed. They're smashed as of now because we say so, because we say they are to be smashed. We're busting up the joint; we're tearing out all the wires. We're busting it up so good that all the queen's horses and all the queen's men will never put old Raymond back together again. You don't work any more! That's an order! Anybody invites you to a game of Solitaire, you tell 'em sorry, buster, the ball game is over.

I wish somebody had done that, the equivalent of it, with Marina Oswald, and I still wish that somebody would. I wish that somebody would snap her out of it, so that she can tell us what really happened, what they really did to her, how they got her to say those terrible things about her husband Lee Harvey Oswald before she exits this world. 


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