In the late 1960s, a brave New Orleans District Attorney suspected a coverup in the JFK assassination. Since crucial segments of the case fell within his jurisdiction, he initiated a secret investigation. Unfortunately, this investigation was immediately penetrated, revealed to the public, and for the rest of his life, Jim Garrison was blanketed in spooks.
Suddenly, ordinary citizens like myself were forced to become amateur sleuths, lining up available dots to determine what happened because it was obvious intelligence footprints were all over the case, and the Warren Commission’s magic bullet theory made no sense. But suddenly, there arrived a lot of noise and confusion, and some of that was a result of Operation Mindfuck.
Mindfuck began with a missive from Robert Anton Wilson to his editor at the Realist, Paul Krassner. The Realist was one of the only outlets covering the emerging psychedelic revolution, as well as the latest research into the political assassinations. Although circulation was small, influence over the counterculture was immense. Wilson’s instructions included: “circulate all rumors contributed by other members,” and “attribute all national calamities, assassinations or conspiracies to the other member-groups.”
After the Garrison investigation was exposed, Garrison was forced to rush his case to court, where he easily convinced a jury JFK had been assassinated as a result of a conspiracy, but failed to convince them Clay Shaw had been Oswald’s CIA handler and paymaster. (Many years later, it would be determined that role probably fell to David Atlee Phillips.)
One of Garrison’s chief supporters in the media was Art Kunkin, founder of the Los Angeles Free Press. Kunkin received a letter from the “Order of the Phoenix Angel” stating the jurors involved had all been members of the Illuminati, the evidence of which was that all had only had one nipple. Meanwhile, Krassner published “The Parts Left Out of the Kennedy Book,” which seemed entirely plausible until it ended with LBJ in the back of Air Force One fucking JFK’s head wound to change the direction of the bullet, a story that momentarily got traction in some gossip corridors inside the Beltway. If you’re going to tell a lie, make it a whopper and it’s more likely to be believed, as Goebbels used to say.
This sort of pranking was not new to Krassner. After all, the Realist was a satire magazine that mixed fact and fiction on a regular basis in the interest of comedy. In 1964, after Lenny Bruce got blacklisted, the Realist published his death notice. Bruce was not amused. He got enlightened, and then was disappeared, a trajectory I’m not personally unfamiliar with.
Soon, Wilson created a fake religion through the inspiration of Kerry Thornley, who in hindsight could have been an MK/Ultra mind robot. Thornley was posted in Japan with Oswald and before the assassination, moved to New Orleans to write a book about Oswald. He gave key testimony to the Warren Commission to convince them Oswald was a true Communist at heart. It later turned out Thornley was well-known to Clay Shaw, and after testifying in Washington, he moved to California and became buddies with Johnny Roselli, who always claimed to have been one of the shooters before ending up in pieces in a drum barrel in Biscayne Bay.
Wilson and Thornley planted stories about the Illuminati in various leftist, libertarian and hippie publications, introducing the secret society to the counterculture. “We accused everybody of being in the Illuminati,” Wilson recalled. “Nixon, Johnson, William Buckley, Jr., ourselves, Martian invaders, all the conspiracy buffs, everybody.”
After I became editor of High Times, I made Krassner a regular contributor and assigned him feature stories on the history of the counterculture. Krassner soon introduced me to Wilson, and he also began contributing. At this time, I had my own research going into the Franklin Savings and Loan that involved child abuse at the most famous Catholic orphanage in America, Boy’s Town in Nebraska. A key figure in my investigation was a colonel stationed in California named Michael Aquino, who had become the number two satanist under Anton LaVey, before creating his own Temple of Set.
A boy in Nebraska claimed Aquino was involved in programming children. The Discovery Channel funded a documentary, but it never got aired, although you can watch the rough cut on Youtube while it remains up (see video below).
Suddenly a data dump on the case that included details on Aquino’s background appeared on the internet, posted by a relatively new researcher named Dave McGowan. I asked all three of these writers to suggest a conspiracy story for High Times. Wilson submitted a story on Priory of Sion that tracked into the Masonic lodge P2 that had been fomenting terror events under a leftist false flag in order to destroy the left in Italy. Krassner wanted to attend a David Icke lecture, something that eventually morphed into a book dedicated to Wilson titled: “Murder at the Conspiracy Convention.” McGowan sent me a manuscript titled “Wagging the Moondoggie,” which claimed the moon landings were faked. Meanwhile, the Aquino data dump disappeared from the web.
After I emailed McGowan that I would never publish anything so absurd as “we never landed on the moon,” he got immediately hostile, and also became suspicious of my email address, email@example.com. “Phoenix is the name of the CIA’s biggest assassination project, and 4/20 is Hitler’s birthday, so what is going on with you, Steve?”
Meanwhile, Krassner’s manuscript arrived, and it seemed in order until suddenly a murder took place towards the end and chaos broke out at the conspiracy convention. There was a lot of dialogue between Icke and Krassner, some of which had actually taken place between Krassner and Mae Brussel years earlier, before Krassner determined Brussel was off the deep end and lost interest in real conspiracy investigation. We never had a real conversation on the subject and he explained his loss of interest in conspiracy on a freakout he had at his dentist’s office. Conspiracy theory was making him paranoid and unstable. But I was horrified to see Aquino enter his story and get painted as an innocent victim, so I immediately called Krassner on the phone and asked about the murder.
“I made it up,” said Krassner.
I had no idea how to fix this mess since I was on deadline and crunched for time, and even though I knew this piece was putting mud in the water on Franklin, I went ahead and published it against my better instincts because I respected Krassner as the dean of counterculture journalism. Knowing what I know today, I would have rejected it.
Many decades later, I did some investigations into the Illuminati, only to discover Yale’s Skull & Bones is the only chapter we know of for sure, and that fraternity is just a recruiting ground for potential members, and not a place for hatching crimes (other than crooking, which involves stealing ceremonial objects and possibly also, human remains, which actually qualifies as a black satanic ceremony).
The point is to bind 15 juniors into a cohesive unit that will always put the order first. The new inductees make their bios available to the older members and some careers will advance accordingly. There is one rule: In any situation, a Boner must be chosen before all others, qualifications be damned. And since the original Illuminati plan was to have two wings: one involving people of high moral calibre and the other involving people willing to do anything necessary to achieve goals (and never let those two wings mingle), you can’t blanket all Boners with some universal condemnation.
The other significant factoid is that George H. W. Bush’s father was high in Skull & Bones and may have crooked Geronimo’s remains, which is why his tribe requested their return a few decades ago. One of the Bush brothers is the lawyer who represented the society in the court case. And, of course, George himself is wrapped up in details all over the place, including a memo he sent Hoover on “misguided Cubans,” as well as the fact many were warned to stay away from the Franklin story because it tracked straight to the top of the Republican Party. That was President George H. W. Bush they were undoubtedly talking about. Maybe you know Georgie has a flair for groping the asses of young girls on stage near him despite being confined to a wheelchair. And he typically uses the same lame joke while abusing them, something about “David Cop-a-feel.”
In keeping with the bizarre aspects of this case, William F. Buckley, one of the targets of Wilson’s wild Illuminati attacks, is a high-placed Boner, and we know this because he personally padlocked the door to the tomb when one class tapped some females. The entire society had to vote on the issue before the girls could be admitted.
Real conspiracy research involves real people, with real names, committing real crimes that can be brought into a courtroom. Mindfucking created a huge problem, and certainly played a role in keeping a lid on some dark deeds. In retrospect, I wish I’d been a bit more sophisticated and more careful. By the time I had things almost figured out, I was already disappearing.
Meanwhile, the Wilson fan club hounds me for saying Wilson’s Illuminati research is bunk, although they admit it’s 99 percent fantasy. In my world, it’s a sin to mix fantasy with conspiracy research. That is called fake news today, and we have too much of it. Meanwhile, McGowan went on to write highly detailed stories on how the Boston Marathon bombings were fake (nobody got hurt) and how the entire hippie counterculture was invented by the CIA. He died young of cancer and if you question any of his obvious rabbit holes, there’s an organized Tin Foil Hat Patrol that will appear to defend him and attack your credibility. Same thing with Wilson though.
I made a few trips out to Nebraska to do my Heads versus Feds debate with former NY DEA chief Robert Stutman and made friends with John DeCamp, the lawyer who appeared on the scene to represent the abused kids pro bono. DeCamp informed me one of his clients had identified Aquino as being involved, and accepted my invitation to the Heads versus Feds debate, sat in the front row, and during the question and answer segment, I introduced him and thanked him for his efforts to help the kids. Somewhere I have video of the encounter. What I didn’t know at the time, was that both DeCamp and Stutman had been posted under William Colby’s Phoenix Vietnam assassination project that destroyed the fabric of Vietnamese culture by assassinating the alpha tribal leaders. According to what DeCamp learned after the war, the people making the list of who should be killed turned out to be double agents. They were killing to make the Commie takeover easier, not resist it.
But then DeCamp, I much later found out, had lived at Boy’s Town himself as a teen, spoke Farsi, married a Vietnamese woman, and had remained extremely close with CIA chief Colby until Colby’s suspicious death by drowning.
If you can figure out this wilderness of mirrors, let me know.