Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bibliography: CIA/Media War Against 9/11 and CIA Assassination "Conspiracy Theorists"

Some of the most vociferous critics of 9/11 "conspiracy theories" move on to engage in ridiculous conspiracy theories themselves. Fox News, for instance, has promoted Birthers and finds the Executive Office involved in a slew of lucicrous "socialist-Nazi" plots - employing rhetorical tools of McCarthyism and Holocaust denial. Ridicule is their most effective tactic. Others include reductio ad absurdum, lumping legitimate research with conspiratorial garbage (Birther claims, for instance) planted on the web by the far-right and intelligence assets, also unbridled disinformation. - AC

* Ramon Gilsanz, Contributor to the NIST 9/11 Study, Changed His Story/Vanishing Reports

* National Geographic Special Marginalizing 9/11 Truthers Brought to You by Rupert Murdoch and the CIA

* Kathy Shaidle, UnTruther & Unabashed Racist

* The Media War Against “Conspiracy Theorists”: The World According to CIA Mockingbird Richard Miniter


* "THE PATH TO 9/11" (PART 8): Southeastern Asset Management (SAM), Longleaf Partners and Perception Management TV

* The BBC, Amazing Pederast James Randi and CIA Mind Control

* Fascist Conspirator Arnaud de Borchgrave Blames Ft. Hood Murders on 9/11 Truthers

* Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story, is no Conspiracy Theory

* Vincent Carroll's Lazy-Man's Guide to 9/11

* New Book Groups 9/11 Truth Movement with Holocaust Deniers, Creationists and Medical Quacks

* Letter to the NYT - 9/11 and the “War on Terrorism”: Facts and Myths

* CIA Infiltration of Pacifica - Larry Bensky's Hang-Ups


* Dr. Patrick Leman, New Scientist's Debunker of Conspiracy Theories, and the NAZI History of the Nuffield Foundation, which Funds Dr. Leman

* Who Killed Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake? Also: TCI/Heritage Communications' Jim Cownie, News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch & the "Paranoia" of Theresa Duncan

* Film Targets JFK Conspiracy Theories & the Boston Globe's Reviewer Alex Beam Reviles 9/11 Truthers, too (Update: BOSTON GLOBE'S ALEX BEAM - SON OF A NAZI/CIA COLLABORATOR - DEFLECTS ATTENTION FROM HIS OWN FAMILY BY WRITING ABOUT QUISLING FRANCES GOULD)

* David Corn: Controlled Liberal, Status-Quo-9/11-Card-Marking-Limited-Hang-Out Water Carrier for the CIA

* Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi Terrorizes 9/11 Truthers Also: Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi is Mentally Ill and will Only be Hunter S. Thompson in his most Far-Fetched Dreams

* Chomsky Manufactures Consent on Official 9/11 Cover Stories

* Fascism is Inherently Conspiratorial - Response to Dallas Observer

* Peter Roff - a Sun Myung Moon Cultist - Attacks "Fringe" 9/11 Truth Movement in US News & World Report

* Establishment Media Debunkers of Conspiracy Research - Who are They? (Part One): RM Scaife Concubine Emerson Vermaat

* Establishment Media Debunkers of Conspiracy Research - Who are They? (Part Two): Lev Grossman, the Time Reporter who Hated V for Vendetta

* Commission Atty. John Farmer Claims 9/11 was the Result of "Massive Bureaucratic Failures"

* Homeland Security Links 9/11 Truthers to Taliban (2007)

* The Media 9/11 Debunking Machine is now a Smoking Gun

* Two Fake Books on the Kennedy Assassination, Ultimate Sacrifice & Legacy of Secrecy, Shift the Onus from the CIA to the Mafia

* Max Holland's Fake Book on JFK Murder Lauded by the Propaganda Press

Ritual Abuse, CIA Mind Control & the False Memory Hoax

Also see: "Ritual Abuse"

I first publshed this in 1994. Some details have changed with the passage of time, eg. MKULTRA's Martin Orne, an advisory board member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), an association of highly disingenupus pedophile advocates and veterans of CIA mind control experimentation, is deceased. The CIA's West Coast mind control coordinator, Louis Jolyon West of UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, and his LSD experimentation colleague, Margaret Singer, a phony "expert" on cults who glossed over CIA connections in her books, both of whom were also on the FMSF advisory board, are also dead now. - AC

Excerpt: Psychic Dictatorship in the USA
By Alex Constantine
Posted January 1996

-CIA Connections to the Mind Control Cults

- The CIA, The False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and the Politics of Ritual Abuse

-The Devil Denuded

-Friendly Fire

-The Forgettable "Remembering Satan"

CIA Connections to the Mind Control Cults

Within hours, 27 other members of the Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple were found dead at chalets in Granges, Switzerland and Morin Heights, Quebec. Luc Jouret, the Temple's grand master, the London Times reported, "espoused a hybrid religion that owed more to Umberto Eco's novel Foucault's Pendulum than to any bible. His followers called themselves 'knights of Christ.' The crusading codes of the Knights Templar, the rose-and-cross symbolism of the medieval Rosicrucian Order, Nazi occultism and new age mysticism were joined together into a mumbo-jumbo mishmash that seemed more designed for extracting money from disciples than saving souls."

Jouret, born in the Belgian Congo in 1947, set out in youth as a mystic with communist leanings, but his politics apparently swung full circle. He has since been linked to a clutch of neo-Nazis responsible for a string of bombings in Canada. He told friends that he had once served with a unit of Belgium paratroopers.

French-Canadian journalist Pierre Tourangeau investigated the sect for two years. A few days after the mass murder, he reported that the sect was financed by the proceeds of gun-running to Europe and South America. Simultaneously, Radio Canada announced that Jouret's Templars earned hundreds of millions of dollars laundering the profits through the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), closed by authorities worldwide in 1991. Montreal's La Presse observed: "each new piece of information only thickens the mystery" - but the combination of international arms smuggling and BCCI presented a familiar enough picture of CIA sedition. The Manhattan D.A. who closed the American branch announced that 16 witnesses had died in the course of investigating the bank's entanglements in covert operations of the CIA, arms smuggling to Iraq, money laundering and child prostitution.

The average coffee table would crumple under the weighty BCCI Book of the Dead. Journalist Danny Cassalaro and Vince Foster appear in it - grim antecedents to the Solar Temple killings. The cult's connection to BCCI (reported in Europe but filtered from American newspaper accounts) fed speculation among Canadian journalists that followers of Jouret were killed to bury public disclosures of gun-running and money laundering.

But the fraternizing of America's national security elite and the cults did not begin in Cheiry, Switzerland. Jouret's Order of the Solar Temple was but the latest incarnation of mind control operations organized and overseen by the CIA and Department of Defense.

In a sense, we are in the same ethical and moral dilemma as the physicists in the days prior to the Manhattan Project. Those of us who work in this field see a developing potential for a nearly total control of human emotional status. - Dr. Wayne Evans, U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine, 1978

Scientists in the CIA's mind control fraternity lead double lives. Many are highly respected, but if the truth were known they would be deafened by the public outcry and drummed out of their respective academic haunts.

Martin T. Orne, for example, a senior CIA/Navy researcher, is based at the University of Pennsylvania's Experimental Psychiatry Laboratory. He is also an original member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation's advisory board, a tightly-drawn coterie of psychiatrists, many with backgrounds in CIA mind control experimentation in its myriad forms. The Foundation is dedicated to denying the existence of cult mind control and child abuse. It's primary pursuit is the castigation of survivors and therapists for fabricating accusations of ritual abuse.

Dismissing cult abuse as hysteria or false memory, a common defense strategy, may relieve parents of preschool children. In a small percentage of cult abuse cases it's possible that children may be led to believe they've been victimized.

But the CIA and its cover organizations have a vested interest in blowing smoke at the cult underground because the worlds of CIA mind control and many cults merge inextricably. The drum beat of "false accusations" from the media is taken up by paid operatives like Dr. Orne and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation to conceal the crimes of the Agency.

Orne's forays into hypno-programming were financed in the 1960s by the Human Ecology Fund, a CIA cover at Cornell University and the underwriter of many of the formative mind control experiments conducted in the U.S. and abroad, including the gruesome brainwashing and remote mind control experiments of Dr. Ewen Cameron at Montreal's Allen Memorial Institute. Research specialties of the CIA's black psychiatrists included electroshock lobotomies, drugging agents, incapacitants, hypnosis, sleep deprivation and radio control of the brain, among hundreds of sub-projects.

The secondary source of funding for Dr. Orne's work in hypnotic suggestion and dissolution of memory is eerie in the cult child abuse context. The voluminous files of John Marks in Washington, D.C. (139 boxes obtained under FOIA, to be exact, two-fifths of which document CIA interest in the occult) include an Agency report itemizing a $30,000 grant to Orne from Human Ecology, and another $30,000 from Boston's Scientific Engineering Institute (SEI) - another CIA funding cover, founded by Edwin Land of the Polaroid Corporation (and supervision of the U-2 spy plane escapades). This was the year that the CIA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) geared up a study of parapsychology and the occult. The investigation, dubbed Project OFTEN-CHICKWIT, gave rise to the establishment of a social "laboratory" by SEI scientists at the University of South Carolina - a college class in black witchcraft, demonology and voodoo.

Dr. Orne, with SEI funding, marked out his own mind control corner at the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1960s. He does not publicize his role as CIA psychiatrist. He denies it, very plausibly. In a letter to Dr. Orne, Marks once reminded him that he'd disavowed knowledge of his participation in one mind-wrecking experimental sub-project. Orne later recanted, admitting that he'd been aware of the true source of funding all along.

Among psychiatrists in the CIA's mind control fraternity, Orne ranks among the most venerable. He once boasted to Marks that he was routinely briefed on all significant CIA behavior modification experiments: "Why would they come to him," Martin Cannon muses in The Controllers, which links UFO abductions to secret military research veiled by screen memories of "alien" abduction, "unless Orne had a high security clearance and worked extensively with the intelligence services?"

To supplement his CIA income, the influential Dr. Orne has been the donee of grants from the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. "I should like to hear," Cannon says, "what innocent explanation, if any, the Air Force has to offer to explain their interest in post-hypnotic amnesia."

According to Army records, Orne's stomping grounds, Penn U., was a bee-hive of secret experiments in the Vietnam War period. The Pentagon and CIA - under the auspices of ORD's Steve Aldrich, a doyen of occult and parapsychological studies - conferred the Agency's most lucrative research award upon the University of Pennsylvania to study the effects of 16 newly-concocted biochemical warfare agents on humans, including choking, blistering and vomiting agents, toxins, poison gas and incapacitating chemicals. The tests were abruptly halted in 1972 when the prison's medical lab burned to the ground.

Testimony before the 1977 Church Committee's probe of the CIA hinted that, as of 1963, the scientific squalor of the CIA's mind control regimen, code-named MKULTRA, had abandoned military and academic laboratories, fearing exposure, and mushroomed in cities across the country. Confirmation arrived in 1980 when Joseph Holsinger, an aide to late Congressman Leo Ryan (who was murdered by a death squad at Jonestown) exposed the formation of eccentric religious cults by the CIA. Holsinger made the allegation at a colloquium of psychologists in San Francisco on "Psychosocial Implications of the Jonestown Phenomenon." Holsinger maintained that a CIA rear-support base had been in collusion with Jones to perform medical and mind control experiments at People's Temple. The former Congressional aide cited an essay he'd received in the mail, "The Penal Colony," written by a Berkeley psychologist. The author had emphasized: Rather than terminating MKULTRA, the CIA shifted its programs from public institutions to private cult groups, including the People's Temple.

Jonestown had its grey eminence in Dr. Lawrence Laird Layton of the University of California at Berkeley, formerly a chemist for the Manhattan Project and head of the Army's chemical warfare research division in the early 1950s. (Larry Layton, his son, led the death squad that murdered Congressman Leo Ryan, who'd arrived at Guyana to investigate the cult.) Michael Meiers, author of Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?, scavenged for information on the People's Temple for six years, concluding:

"The Jonestown experiment was conceived by Dr. Layton, staffed by Dr. Layton and financed by Dr. Layton. It was as much his project as it was Jim Jones"

Though it was essential for him to remain in the background for security reasons, Dr. Layton maintained contact with and even control of the experiment through his wife and children." The African-American cult had at its core a Caucasian inner-council, composed of Dr. Layton's family and in-laws.

The press was blind to obvious CIA connections, but survivors of the carnage in Guyana followed the leads and maintained that Jim Jones was "an employee, servant, agent or operative of the Central Intelligence Agency" from 1963 - the year the Agency turned to cult cut-outs to conceal MKULTRA mind control activities - until 1978. In October 1981 the survivors of Jonestown filed a $63 million lawsuit against Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Stansfield Turner, former director of the CIA, currently a teacher at the University of Maryland and a director of the Monsanto Corporation. The suit, filed in U.S. district court in San Francisco, accused Turner of conspiring with Agency operatives to "enhance the economic and political powers of James Warren Jones," and of conducting "mind control and drug experimentation" on the Temple flock.

The suit was dismissed four months later for "failure to prosecute timely." All requests for an appeal were denied.

Ligatures of the CIA clung to the cults. Much of the violence that has since exploded across the front pages was incited by CIA academics at leading universities.

Small wonder, then, that Ted Goertzel, director of the Forum for Policy Research at Rutgers, which maintains a symbiosis with the CIA despite media exposure, should write that the most susceptible victims of "cryptomnesia" (a synonym for false memories) believe "in conspiracies, including the JFK assassination, AIDS conspiracies, as well as the UFO cover-up." The problem, Goertzel says, "may have its origins in early childhood," and is accompanied by "feelings of anomie and anxiety that make the individual more likely to construct false memories out of information stored in the unconscious mind."

This side of gilded rationalizations, the CIA's links to the cults are no manifestation of "cryptomnesia."

Like Jonestown, the Symbionese Liberation Army was a mind control creation unleashed by the Agency. The late political researcher Mae Brussell, whose study of The Firm commenced in 1963 after the assassination of John Kennedy, wrote in 1974 that the rabid guerrilla band "consisted predominantly of CIA agents and police informers." This unsavory group was, Brussell insisted, "an extension of psychological experimentation projects, connected to Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park." (She went on to lament that "many of the current rash of 'senseless killings,' 'massacres,' and 'zombie-type murders' are committed by individuals who have been in Army hospitals, mental hospitals or prison hospitals, where their heads have been literally taken over surgically to create terror in the community.")

Evidence that the CIA conceived and directed the SLA was obvious. The SLA leadership was trained by Colston Westbrook, a Pennsylvania native. Westbrook was a veteran of the CIA's murderous PHOENIX Program in South Vietnam, where he trained terrorist cadres and death squads. In 1969 he took a job as an administrator of Pacific Architects and Engineers, a CIA proprietary in Southern California. Three of Westbrook's foot soldiers, Emily and William Harris and Angela Atwood (a former police intelligence informer), had been students of the College of Foreign Affairs, a CIA cover at the University of Indiana. Even the SLA symbol, a seven-headed cobra, had been adopted by the OSS (America's wartime intelligence agency) and CIA to designate precepts of brainwashing.

When the smoke cleared at SLA headquarters in L.A., Dr. Martin Orne was called upon to examine Patricia Hearst in preparation for trial. The government charged that she had participated voluntarily in the SLA's gun-toting crime spree. Orne's was a foregone conclusion - he sided with the government. His opinion was shared by two other psychiatrists called to appraise Ms. Hearst's state of mind, Robert Jay Lifton and Louis Jolyon West. Dr. Lifton was a co-founder of the aforementioned Human Ecology Fund. The CIA contractor that showered Orne with research grants in the 1960s. Dr. West is one of the CIA's most notorious mind control specialists, currently director of UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute. It was West who brought a score of mind control psychiatrists of the ultra-right political stripe to the UCLA campus.

Drs. Orne, Lifton and West unanimously agreed that Patty Hearst had been "persuasively coerced" to join the SLA. She had been put through a grueling thought reform regimen. She'd been isolated and sensory deprived, raped, humiliated, badgered, politically indoctrinated with a surrealistic mutation of Third World Marxism. Ms. Hearst was only allowed human companionship when she exhibited signs of submission. Orne and his colleagues assured that attention was narrowed to their psychologizing, conveniently rendering evidence of CIA collusion extraneous to consideration by the jury.

Another psychiatrist called to testify at the trial of "Tania" surfaced with Dr. Orne in 1991 on the board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. (The FMSF board is almost exclusively composed of former CIA and military doctors currently employed by major universities. None have backgrounds in ritual abuse - their common interest is behavior modification. Dr. Margaret Singer, a retired Berkeley Ph.D., studied repatriated prisoners-of-war returning from the Korean War at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland (1952-58).

Singer turned up in 1982 on the book jacket of Raven - the CIA's code-name for Jim Jones - by San Francisco Examiner reporters Tim Reiterman and John Jacobs, a thoroughly-researched account of the People's Temple that completely side-steps CIA involvement. Co-author John Jacobs was supposedly one of the country's leading authorities on CIA mind control, a subject he studied at length for a series published by the Washington Post. Reiterman had been the Examiner reporter on the Patricia Hearst beat. Yet both writers managed to avoid obvious intelligence connections. Dr. Singer commended the book as "the definitive psychohistory of Jim Jones." Raven, she opined, conveyed "the essence of psychological and social processes that Jim Jones, the ultimate manipulator, set in motion." The true "manipulators," of course, were operatives of the CIA, and the public disinformation gambit lauded by Dr. Singer was, according to Meiers, in tune with "a concerted attempt to suppress information, stifle investigations, censor writers and manipulate public information."

The CIA and Pentagon have quietly organized and influenced a long line of mind control cults, among them:

The Riverside Lodge of the Ordo Templis Orientis:

Also known as The Solar Lodge of the OTO, which followed the teachings of cult messiah Aleister Crowley, whose fixed gaze on the astral equinox resulted in instructions from his deities to form a religious order. Crowley, high priest of the OTO and a British intelligence agent, gave Winifred T. Smith a charter to open an OTO lodge in Pasadena. The high priest of the lodge was Jack Parsons, a rocket expert and founder of the California Institute of Technology. Parsons, who took the oath of the anti-Christ in 1949, contributed to the design of the Pentagon under subsequent CIA director John J. McCloy. He was killed in a still unexplained laboratory explosion. There is a crater on the moon named after him.

The OTO's Solar Lodge in San Bernardino was presided over by Georgina "Jean" Brayton, the daughter of a ranking Air Force officer in the 1960s. The cult subscribed to a grim, apocalyptic view of the world, and like Charles Manson believed that race wars would precipitate the Big Cataclysm. In the Faustian Los Angeles underworld, the lodge was known for its indulgence in sadomasochism, drug dealing, blood drinking, child molestation and murder.

Candace Reos, a former member of the lodge, was deposed by Riverside police in 1969. Reos said that Brayton controlled the thinking of all cult members. One poor soul, she said, was ordered to curb his sexual urges by cutting his wrists every time he was aroused. Mrs. Reos told police, according to the report, that when she became pregnant, Georgina was angry and told her that she would have to condition herself to hate her child. Reos told police that children of the cult's 43 adult members were secluded from their parents and received "training" that took on "very severe tones."

"There was a lot of spanking involved," she said, "a lot of heavy criticism. There was a lot of enclosed in dark rooms." The teachers, she added. "left welts."

If so ordered, adult cultists would beat their children.

According to a Riverside County Sheriff's report, a six year-old child burned the group's school house to the ground. The boy was punished by solitary confinement in a locked shipping crate left in the desert, where the average temperature was 110 degrees, for two months. The boy was chained to a metal plate.

When police freed him, they were nauseated by the suffocating stench of excrement. The child was smothered in flies swarming from a tin-can toilet.

The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Movement:

In 1985 the Portland Oregonian published a 36-part, book-length series linking the cult to opium trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, arson, slave labor, mass poisonings, illegal wiretaps and the stockpiling of guns and biochemical warfare weapons. The year-long Oregonian investigation revealed cult ties to CIA-trained mercenaries in El Salvador and the Far East. Domestically, Rajneesh's secret police force worked with Agency operatives.

The Finders:

On February 7, 1987 Customs agents raided a child-porn ring in Tallahasee, Florida. Eight suspects and six children were taken into custody. The children, according to a Customs Department memo, behaved "like animals in a public park," and "were not aware of the function and purpose of telephones, televisions and toilets."

The children told police that they were forced to live outdoors and were given food only as a reward. A check on the backgrounds of the adults turned up a police report, "specific in describing 'bloody rituals' and sex orgies involving children, and an as-yet unsolved murder."

Customs agents searched a cult safe house and discovered a computer room and documents recording "high-tech" bank transfers, explosives, and a set of instructions advising cult members on moving children through jurisdictions around the country. One photographic album found in the house featured the execution and disembowelment of goats, and snapshots, according to a Customs report, of "adults and children dressed in white sheets participating in a bloody ritual."

An American passport was found. The investigating agents contacted the State Department and were advised to "terminate further investigation."

They investigated anyway, reporting that "the CIA made contact and admitted to owning the Finders ... as a front for a domestic training organization, but that it had 'gone bad.'" The late wife of Marion David Pettie, the cult's leader, had worked for the Agency, and his son had been an employee of Air America, the heroin-riddled CIA proprietary. Yet Pettie denied to a reporter for U.S. News & World Report any connection to the Firm. Police in Washington refused to comment. Officials of the CIA dismissed as "hogwash" allegations of any connection to the Finders cult.


The Order of the Temple of Astarte in Pasadena, California is a "hermetic" occult organization that practices "Magick in the Western Tradition." The cult is led by Fraters Khenemel, a police officer, and Aleyin, a veteran Green Beret. The cult's everyday language is unusual for a mystical order - one group schedule is laden with words like "operation," "sixteen-thirty hours," and "travel orders." Demonology is among the OTA's primary occult interests.

The police connection recalls the statement of Louis Tackwood, the former LAPD provocateur whose revelations of secret police subterfuge set off a political tempest in Los Angeles in 1973. "You don't know," he told journalist Donald Freed, "but there's a devil worship cult in Pasadena. Actually in Altadena." Tackwood alleged that the cultists were "on the LAPD payroll."

The CIA and Pentagon cooperate in the creation of cults. To be sure, the Association of National Security Alumni, a public interest veterans group opposed to covert operations, considers it a "primary issue of concern" that the Department of Defense has a "perceived role in satanic cult activities, which qualify in and of themselves as very damaging exercises in mind control and behavioral modification."

It is beginning to dawn on the psychiatric community at large that the CIA's mind control clique is a menace reminiscent of Nazi medical experimentation. In 1993, Dr. Corydon Hammond, a professor at the University of Utah's School of Medicine, conducted a seminar on federally-funded mind control experiments. Topics covered by Hammond included brainwashing, post-hypnotic programming and the induction of multiple personalities by the CIA. Hammond contended that the cult underground has roots in Nazi Germany, and that the CIA's cult mind control techniques were based upon those of Nazi scientists recruited by the CIA for Cold Warfare. (Researcher Lenny Lapon estimates in Mass Murderers in White Coats that 5,000 Nazis resettled in the U.S. after WW II.) Hammond was forced to drop this line of inquiry by professional ridicule, especially from the CIA's False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and a barrage of death threats. At a recent regional conference on ritual child abuse, he regretted that he could no longer speak on the theme of government mind control.

The psychological community is waking to the threat in its ranks, to judge by APA surveys and personal communications with ranking members of the mental health field, but the world at large remains in the dark. The "mass hysteria" and "false memory" bromides disseminated by the establishment press obscure federal and academic connections to the mind control cults, which are defended largely by organized pedophiles, cultists and hired guns of psychiatry. An ambitious disinformation gambit has led the world at large to side with cultists operating under federal protection. As at Jonestown and Chiery, Switzerland, the denouement of cult activity often ends in the destruction of all witnesses. This cycle of abuse and murder can only be ended by full public awareness of the federal mind control initiative.

The CIA, The False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and the Politics of Ritual Abuse

The conference session bears a passing resemblance to a 12-Step meeting. Assembled in a Portland religious retreat, members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), all accused of child abuse, are encouraged to unload their anguish. Only women take the stage (they leave reporters with a sympathetic impression - men stigmatized by child abuse do not). Pamela Freyd, a Foundation founder, assures these victims of pernicious therapies they are not alone. The Foundation's office in Philadelphia, she says, takes 60 calls on a typical day from distraught adults hounded by their own confused children, rogue therapists and sensation-seeking pack journalists.

The number of dues-paying members (each contributes $100 a year) varies according to the source. The group reported in January 1993 that 1,200 families had made contact in its first year of operation. The same month, the San Jose Mercury News declared flatly that "nearly 3,000 families" from across the country had been recruited. The FMSF now claims 5,000 families. Time magazine raised the figure to "7,000 individuals and families who have sought assistance."

The Foundation's distinctive handling of statistics is incessant. In April of this year the FMSF claimed 12,000 families have been strained by false child abuse allegations. A month later, the figure dropped to"9,500 U.S. families."

Yet the Foundation prides itself on accuracy. One FMSF newsletter advises members to insist the media "report accurate information. The rumors and misinformation surrounding the false accusations based on recovery of repressed memories are shocking." The same author regrets that "65% of accusations of abuse are now unsubstantiated, a whopping jump from 35% in 1976." This figure, once gleefully disseminated by such pedophile defense groups as NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) and VOCAL (Victims of Child Abuse Laws) was debunked years ago. It was fabricated by Douglas Besherov of the American Enterprise Institute, a hard right-wing propaganda factory fueled by the Olin Foundation, a CIA funding cover. (Christian conservatives are often accused of propagating ritual abuse "hysteria," yet in the 1992 presidential election the para-conservative wing of the Republican Party slipped into its platform a strategy to put an end to investigations of child abuse.)

The FMSF selectively ignores child abuse data that disagrees with their own. Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Recovery, reported in the Harvard Mental Health Letter that false abuse allegations by children "are rare, in the range of 2-8% of reported cases. False retractions of true complaints are far more common, especially when the victim is not sufficiently protected after disclosure and therefore succumbs to intimidation by the perpetrator or other family members who feel that they must preserve secrecy."

Other statistics shunned by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation include a survey presented at a 1992 psychiatric conference that found that a full 88% of all therapists in a large sampling consider ritual child abuse to be a very real social problem with devastating emotional effects. Another: In 1990 the State University of New York at Buffalo polled a national sampling of clinical psychologists on ritual abuse. About 800 psychologists - a third of the poll - were aware of treating at least one case. Only 5% of all child abuse cases ever enter the courtroom - half of these end with the child in the custody of the abusive parent..

The recovered memory debate was discussed at a 1993 conference on multiple personality disorder. Richard Lowenstein, a psychiatrist from the University of Maryland Medical School, argued that the Foundation is "media-directed, dedicated to putting out disinformation."

Other conference participants contemplated funding sources and "possible CIA connections."

The Devil Denuded

The CIA, in fact, has several designates on the FMSF advisory board. They have in common backgrounds in mind control experimentation. Their very presence on the board, and their peculiar backgrounds, reveal some heavily obscured facts about ritual child abuse.

Martin T. Orne, a senior CIA researcher, is an original board member of the Foundation, and a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania's Experimental Psychiatry Lab in Philadelphia. In 1962 his forays into hypno-programming (the elicitation of "anti-social" behavior, dissolving memory and other mind-subduing techniques) were financed by a CIA front at Cornell University. He was also funded by Boston's Scientific Engineering Institute, another front, and a clearinghouse for the Agency's investigation of the occult.

The CIA and Pentagon have formed a partnership in the creation of cults. To be sure, the Association of National Security Alumni, a public interest veterans group opposed to clandestine ops, considers it a "primary issue of concern" that the Department of Defense has a "perceived role in satanic cult activities, which qualify in and of themselves as very damaging exercises in mind control."

The smoothing over of the national security state's cult connections is handled by academic "experts."

A forerunner of the Foundation is based in Buffalo, New York, the Committee for Scientific Examination of Religion, best known for the publication of Satanism in America: How the Devil Got More Than His Due, widely considered to be a legitimate study. The authors turn up their noses to ritual abuse, dismissing the hundreds of reports around the country as mass "hysteria." Cult researcher Carl Raschke reported in a March, 1991 article that he coincidentally met Hudson Frew, a Satanism in America co-author, at a Berkeley bookstore. "Frew was wearing a five-pointed star, or pentagram, the symbol of witchcraft and earth magic," Raschke says. Shawn Carlson, a contributor to the book, is identified by the media as a "physicist." Yet he runs the Gaia Press in El Cerrito, California, a New Age publishing house with an emphasis on witchcraft and occultic lore. Carlson is also a "scientific and technical consultant" to the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal" (a promoter of the "false memory" theory of ritual abuse and UFO abductions), publisher of the Skeptical Inquirer.

The FMS Foundation is no less eccentric. Within two years of its founding, it was clear that the Foundation leadership was far from disinterested on the workings of childhood memory, and concealed a secret sexual and political agenda.

FMSF founder Ralph Underwager, director of the Institute of Psychological Therapies in Minnesota, was forced to resign in 1993. Underwager (a former Lutheran pastor) and his wife Hollida Wakefield publish a journal, Issues in Child Abuse Allegations, written by and for child abuse "skeptics." His departure from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was hastened by a remark in an interview, appearing in an Amsterdam journal for pedophiles, that it was "God's Will" adults engage in sex with children. (His wife Hollida remained on the Foundation's board after he left.) As it happens, holy dispensation for pedophiles is the exact credo of the Children of God cult. It was fitting, then, when Underwager filed an affidavit on behalf of cult members tried in France in 1992, insisting that the accused were positively "not guilty of abuse upon children." In the interview, he prevailed upon pedophiles everywhere to shed stigmatization as "wicked and reprehensible" users of children.

In keeping with the Foundation's creative use of statistics, Dr. Underwager told a group of British reporters in 1994 that "scientific evidence" proved 60% of all women molested as children believed the experience was "good for them."

Dr. Underwager invariably sides with the defense. His grandiloquent orations have graced courtrooms around the world, often by satellite. Defense lawyers for Woody Allen turned to him, he boasts, when Mia Farrow accused her estranged husband of molesting their seven year-old daughter. Underwager is a virtual icon to the Irish Catholic lobby in Dublin, which raised its hoary hackles against a child abuse prevention program in the Irish Republic. He was, until his advocacy of pedophila tarnished an otherwise glittering reputation, widely quoted in the press, dismissing ritual child abuse as a hysterical aberration.

He is the world's foremost authority on false memory, but in the courtroom he is repeatedly exposed as a charlatan. In 1988, a trial court decision in New York State held that Dr. Underwager was "not qualified to render any opinion as to whether or not (the victim) was sexually molested." In 1990 his testimony on memory was ruled improper "in the absence of any evidence that the results of Underwager's work had been accepted in the scientific community." And In Minnesota a judge ruled that Underwager's theories on "learned memory" were the same as "having an expert tell the jury that (the victim) was not telling the truth."

Peter and Pamela Freyd, executive directors of the Foundation, joined forces with Underwager in 1991, and their story is equally wretched. Jennifer Freyd, their daughter, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, openly leveled accusations of abuse against her parents at an August 1993 mental health conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"My family of origin was troubled in many observable ways, " she said. "I refer to the things that were never 'forgotten' and 'recovered,' but to things that we all knew about." She gave her father's alcoholism as an example. "During my childhood, my father sometimes discussed his own experiences of being sexually abused as an 11 year-old boy, and called himself a 'kept boy.'"

Peter Freyd graduated to male prostitution as an adolescent.

At the age of 13, Jennifer Freyd composed a poem about her father's nocturnal visits:

I am caught in a web,
A web of deep, deep terror.

she wrote. The diaries of her youth chronicle the "reactions and feelings (guilt, shame and terror) of a troubled girl and young woman. My parents oscillated between denying these symptoms and feelings ... to using knowledge of these same symptoms and feelings to discredit me."

"My father," she says, "told various people that I was brain damaged." The accusation was unlikely. At the time, Jennifer Freyd was a graduate student on a National Science Foundation fellowship. She has taught at Cornell and received numerous research awards. The "brain damage" apologia did not wash. Her mother suggested that Jennifer's memories were "confabulations," and faulted therapeutic intervention. Pamela Freyd turned to her own psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Lief, currently an advisory board member of the Foundation, to diagnose Jennifer.

"He explained to me that he did not believe I was abused," Jennifer recalls. Dr. Lief's diagnosis was based on his belief that Peter Freyd's fantasies were strictly "homoerotic." Of course, his daughter furrows a brow at the assumption that homoerotic fantasies or a heterosexual marriage exclude the possibility of child molestation. Lief's skewed logic is a trademark of the Foundation.

He is a close colleague of the CIA's Martin Orne. Dr. Lief, a former major in the Army medical corps, joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1968, the peak of federally-funded behavioral modification experiments at Holmesburg Prison. Dr. Orne consulted with him on several studies in hypnotic programming. His academic writing reveals a peculiar range of professional interests, including "Orgasm in the Postoperative Transsexual" for Archives of Sexual Behavior, and an exploration of the possibility of life after death for a journal on mental diseases edited by Foundation fellow Paul McHugh. Lief is a director of the Center for Sexuality and Religion, past president of the Sex Information and Education Council.

And an original board member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Two others, Jon Baron from Penn U. and Ray Hyman (an executive editor of the aforementioned Skeptical Inquirer), a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, resigned from the board after Jennifer Freyd went public with her account of childhood abuse, and the facetious attempts of her parents and their therapist to discredit her. They were replaced by David Dinges, co-director - with the ubiquitous Martin Orne - of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.

"At times I am flabbergasted that my memory is considered 'false,'" Jennifer says, "and my alcoholic father's memory is considered rational and sane." She does not, after all, remember impossible abuses: "I remember incest in my father's house.... My first memories came when I was at home a few hours after my second session with my therapist, a licensed clinical psychologist working within an established group in a large and respected medical clinic.

"During that second visit to my therapist's office, I expressed great anxiety about the upcoming holiday visit from my parents. My therapist asked about half way into the session, whether I had ever been sexually abused. I was immediately thrown into a strange state. No one had ever asked me such a question. I responded, 'no, but...' I went home and within a few hours I was shaking uncontrollably, overwhelmed with intense and terrible flashbacks." Jennifer asks herself why her parents are believed. "In the end, is it precisely because I was abused that I am to be discredited despite my personal and professional success?"

Pamela Freyd published an open letter defending her husband in Ralph Underwager's Issues in Child Abuse Accusations in 1991. It was reprinted in Confabulations, a book published a year later. Laced with lubricious sentiment, the book bemoans the "destruction of families" brought on by false child abuse accusations, and maligns "cult-like" support groups and feminists, or "lesbian cults." Executive director Freyd often refers to the feminist groups that have taken up the cause of child abuse survivors as "lesbians," after the bizarre Dr. Underwager, who claims, "these women may be jealous that males are able to love each other, be comrades, friends, be close, intimate."

Pamela Freyd's account of the family history, Jennifer insists, is patently false. In an electronic message from her father, he openly acknowledged that in his version of the story "fictional elements were deliberately inserted."

"'Fictional' is rather an astounding choice of words," Jennifer observed at the Ann Arbor conference. The article written by her parents contends that Jennifer was denied tenure at another university due to a lack of published research. "In fact," Jennifer counters, "I moved to the University of Oregon in 1987, just four years after receiving my Ph.D. to accept a tenured position as associate professor in the psychology department, one of the world's best psychology departments.... My mother sent the Jane Doe article to my colleagues during my promotion year - that is, the year my case for promotion to full professor was being considered. I was absolutely mortified to learn of this violation of my privacy and this violation of truth."

Manipulative tactics are another Foundation imprimatur. Lana Alexander, editor of a newsletter for survivors of child sexual abuse, observes that "many people view the false memory syndrome theory as a calculated defense strategy developed by perpetrators and the lawyers and expert witnesses who defend them."

A legitimizing barrage of stories in the press has shaped public opinion and warmed the clime for defense attorneys. The concept of false memory serves the same purpose as Holocaust denial. It shapes opinion. Unconscionable crimes are obstructed, the accused is endowed with the status of martyr, the victim reviled.

The emphasis on image is obvious in "How Do We Know We are Not Representing Pedophiles," an article written for the February 29, 1992 FMS Foundation Newsletter by Pamela Freyd. In it, she derides the suggestion that many members of the group could be molesters because "we are a good-looking bunch of people, greying hair, well dressed, healthy, smiling; just about every person who has attended is someone you would surely find interesting and want to count as a friend."

Friendly Fire

People forget things. Horrible things. Here at the Foundation someone had a repressed memory, or what would be called a false memory, that she had been sexually abused. -- Pamela Freyd, FMS Foundation Founder

The debate's bloodiest stage is the courtroom. The hired guns of Martin Orne's circle of psychiatrists are constantly called upon to blow smoke at the jury's gallery to conceal CIA mind control operations. This branch of the psychiatric community is steeped in the programming of serial killers, political assassins and experiments on involuntary subjects. Agency psychiatrists on the witness stand direct the press away from the CIA, and the prosecution to a predetermined end. Martin Orne's high-toned psychologizing in the Hillside Strangler case, for example, is a strategy adopted by the FMS foundation to stifle the cries of mind control survivors.

Orne's influence contributed to the outcome of a high-profile abuse case, the $8 million lawsuit filed by Gary Ramona of Napa, California against child therapist Marche Isabella and psychiatrist Richard Rose. Ramona charged that his daughter Holly's therapists elicited from her flashbacks of sexual molestation that never occurred, decimating his marriage and career as a vice president at Robert Mondavi wineries. His wife and employer, note, immediately believed Holly's accusations. In May of 1994 Ramona received a $500,000 jury award. He hailed the decision as a "tremendous victory."

Nevertheless, Holly Ramona still maintains that she was sexually abused by her father, though no criminal charges have been filed. Holly first confronted her father with the allegations on March 15, 1990, with her mother and Isabella present. She filed a civil action against him in Los Angeles County, but before it went to trial her father's suit got underway in Napa.

The suit turned on the use of sodium amytal to resurrect buried memories. Holly Ramona exhibited telltale symptoms of abuse - fear of gynecological examinations, a phobia of pointy teeth, like her father's - and asked to be treated with sodium amytal. Dr. Rose wrote in his notes that under the influence of the drug, Holly "remembered specific details of sexual molestation." But Orne, who has pioneered in the use of sodium amytal in hypnosis research, cautioned in a court brief that the drug is "not useful in ascertaining 'truth.' The patient becomes receptive to suggestions due to the context and to the comments of the interviewers."

Yet the jury foreman stated for the record that Isabella and Rose did not implant false memories of abuse, as Holly's father had complained, but were negligent in reinforcing the memories as Holly described them under the influence of the barbiturate. The court considered it irrelevant whether Holly actually suffered abuse, narrowing the legal focus instead to the chemical evocation of Holly's recollections and her therapist's leading questions.

Left hanging was the question of Ramona's guilt or innocence, not exactly an irrelevant issue. Orne offered no opinion. The "tremendous victory" in Napa, given these facts, begins to look like a manipulation of the court system, especially the use of "expert" testimony.

The therapists did not, contrary to most press reports, bear the full brunt of blame. The jury found that Ramona himself bore 5% of the blame for what happened to him, Holly's therapists 55%, and 45% was borne by the girl's mother and the Robert Mondavi winery.

But the 55% solution is diluted by Holly's memories. Contrary to the impression left by the press, her past has not been explained away. "I wouldn't be here if there was a question in my mind," she testified in Napa.

False memory had no clinical history or symptomology (repressed memory has both), but the concept had held up in court.

All that remained was to provide a scientific explanation. The Foundation had spread the word that a "syndrome" was winding through society and "destroying families." But what is the origin of false (not inaccurate or clouded or fragmented) memories? What are the symptoms? It remained to supply a cognitive model for false memories of ritual molestation.

One of the most prolific and quotable popularizers of false memory is Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of psychology and law at the University of Washington in Seattle, and an advisory board member of the Foundation. Her dual academic interests have fueled suspicions that the organization is more committed to defending perpetrators than ferreting out the facts. Loftus testified in over 150 criminal cases prior to joining the Foundation, always on behalf of defendants. In 1991 she published a professional autobiography, Witness for the Defense, a study of eight criminal trials in which she appeared as an expert witness. In her book, Loftus - billed as "the expert who puts memory on trial" - conceded that her critics deem her research "unproven in real-life situations," and her courtroom dissertations "premature and highly prejudicial."

One book reviewer for the New York Times grumbled: "Her testimony would be less controversial if she could distinguish between the innocent and the guilty and reserve her help for the former."

Elizabeth Loftus has two criteria for taking the stand. The first is when eyewitness identification is the sole or primary evidence against the defendant. Secondly, the accused must act innocent - she regrets testifying on behalf of Ted Bundy because the serial killer once smiled at the prosecutor, which she regards as an expression of guilt - and defense attorneys must believe it.

Loftus stood at the Harvard Medical School podium in May, 1994 to inform a conference on false memory of her research, "in which false memories about childhood events were created in 24 men and women ages 18 to 63." Dr. Loftus reported that the parents of volunteers "cooperated to produce a list of events that had supposedly taken place in the volunteer's early life." Three of the events actually took place. But one, a shopping trip, never happened. Some of the volunteers had memories, implanted by suggestion, of wandering lost on the fictitious shopping expedition.

Karen Olio, the author of scores of articles on sexual abuse, complains that Loftus's memory studies "examine only the possibility of implanting a single memory with which most people could easily identify (being lost in a mall, awakened by a noise in the night). The possibility of 'implanting' terrifying and shameful memories that differ markedly from an individual's experience, such as memories of childhood abuse in individuals who do not have a trauma history," remains to be proven."

Psychiatrist John Briere of the University of Southern California has found that nearly two-thirds of all ritual abuse survivors report episodic or complete amnesia at some point after it occurred. The younger the child, the more violent the abuse, the more likely that memory lapses occurred. These findings have been duplicated at the University of California at San Francisco by psychiatrist Lenore Terr, who concluded that children subjected to repeated abuse were more likely to repress memories of it than victims of a single traumatic event.

Clinical psychologist Catherine Gould has treated scores of ritually abused children at her office in Encino, California. At the September 1993 National Conference on Crimes Against Children in Washington, D.C., Gould objected that the studies of Elizabeth Loftus ignore past research on trauma and its influence on memory.

"My concern about Elizabeth Loftus," Gould said, "is that she has stated in print, and correctly so, that her data tells us nothing about the nature of memory of traumatic events. And yet she has failed to protest the misapplication of her findings by groups who are involved in discrediting the accounts survivors are giving of their traumatic history. I believe that Dr. Loftus, like other psychologists, has an ethical responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that her research findings are interpreted and applied accurately, and are not manipulated to serve the political agenda of groups like the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. I question whether she has met this ethical responsibility."

Some psychologists accuse Loftus of faking her research data.

Her study did not live up to its promise. But now that she had "proven" that a false memory could be implanted, friends of the Foundation at the Harvard conference announced they'd identified the neurological and cognitive causes of disorder. Daniel Schacter, a Harvard psychologist and conference organizer, claimed that the "confabulator" selects a fragment of a real memory, "but confuses its true context, and draws on other bits of experience to construct a story that makes sense of it." Dr. Morris Moscovitch, a neuro-psychologist at the University of Toronto, claimed that "brain damage" could also evoke false memories. He noted that mental patients with frontal lobe defects frequently confuse imaginary stories with actual memories.

A superficially plausible revelation was provided by Cornell psychologist Stephen Ceci, who reported on five studies of 574 preschool children. After 10 weeks of repeated questioning, 58% of them concocted a false account for at least one fictitious event.

But like the studies of Elizabeth Loftus, Ceci did not attempt to explain the supposed amnesiac effect of severe trauma on children and adults alike (veterans of WW II and Vietnam have been known to "forget" atrocities of war). Besides, the average preschooler is bound to invent at least one fantasy in 10 long weeks of repetitive questioning. Toddlers aren't known for their consummate adherence to objective reality. An invisible playmate and the Cat in the Hat are not "false memories."

The research results presented at the Harvard conference were not exactly staggering. All that had been proven was that children forget, become confused and make things up.

Seattle therapist James Cronin, one of the Foundation's harshest critics, believes that the false memory concept is promoted by "fact and artifice" to a public conditioned to the fragmentation of knowledge, intellectual charades, elitism and the sterile abstractions that often pass for university education and expertise. The so-called experts now jumping on the side of false memory and therapist 'bias' are opportunists."

Yet the New York Times hailed the Harvard conference as "epic." The conference had given a gracious "scientific nod to the frailty of memory." Victims of aggravated child abuse had nothing to celebrate, but the Times reporter was ecstatic. At long last, scientists everywhere had arrived at "a consensus on the mental mechanisms that can foster false memories." A consensus? Actually, the "consensus" of psychologists, at least the 88% mentioned earlier - only a vast majority - believe it to be a very real scourge.

The Times story is typical of the scorn the press has shown ritual abuse victims and their therapists.

60 Minutes, for example, publicly exonerated Kelly Michaels, a day-care worker in New Jersey, of charges that she sexually molested dozens of youngsters in 1984. Michaels was sentenced to 47 years in prison for sodomizing the children in her care with kitchen implements, among related charges. Her conviction was overturned in March 1993 when the state appeals court ruled that Michaels had not had a fair trial.

But in its rush to present Michaels as a blushing innocent, the Sixty Minutes research department somehow overlooked a May 1991 New York Times story on the abuse trial, and the testimony of four Essex County corrections officers who witnessed Miss Michaels and her father kissing and "fondling" one another during jail visitations. Jerry Vitiello, a jailer, said that "he saw Ms. Michaels use his tongue when kissing his daughter, rub her buttocks and put his hand on her breasts." Similar incestuous liaisons were detailed in the courtroom by three women working in the jail. The bizarre sexual antics of Kelly Michaels - damningly chronicled in Nap Time by Lisa Manshel in 1990 - was nixed from the one-sided Sixty Minutes account, which made her out to be grist for the meat grinder of wrong-headed child abuse laws.

The Forgettable "Remembering Satan"
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation made its collective debut in "Remembering Satan," a two-part story by Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker for April and May 1993. The story (republished in 1994 in book form) concerns a ritual abuse trial in Olympia, Washington that culminated with a 20-year prison sentence for Thurston County Sheriff Paul Ingram, chairman of the local Republican Party. Ingram has since filed motions to withdraw his guilty plea, a move rejected by an appellate court in 1992. Also charged, but not convicted, were Jim Rabie, a lobbyist with the Washington State Law Enforcement Association and a former police detective assigned to child abuse cases, and Ray Risch, an employee of the State Patrol's body-and-fender shop. Wright's conclusion, however, is based on the opinions of False Memory Syndrome Foundation psychiatrists: that accusations made by Ingram's two daughters, and his own confession to police, were fantasies misinterpreted by Ingram himself and his daughters as actual memories.

Wright fumigates any question of abuse with false memory theory. Among the authorities consulted by Wright was Foundation board member Paul McHugh, director of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. Like Margaret Singer, he is a veteran of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (1961-64) and moves in political circles. For three years (1986-89), McHugh was chairman of the bio-psychology study section of the National Institutes of Health, and a former member of the Maryland Governor's Advisory Commission.

McHugh is an unshakable skeptic of repressed memories. He told Wright that "most severe traumas are not blocked out by children but are remembered all too well." Most, in fact, are. But McHugh's own professional opinion leaves open the possibility that some severe traumas are repressed.

He cites as an example the children of chowchilla, California, who were kidnapped in a school bus and buried alive. McHugh claims they remembered the horror "all too well." Not exactly. In fact, the FBI's subsequent use of investigative hypnosis was largely the result of the Chowchilla children's failure of memory. After their release, none of the children had a clear recollection of the kidnappers, could not identify them - and neither did the bus driver, Ed Ray, who managed to recite the license-plate number of the abductor's van under hypnosis.

Wright's defense of Ingram turns on the opinion of Richard Ofshe, a Berkeley psychologist, reputed mind control expert and friend of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Ofshe has written, Wright explains, "extensively about how the thought-control techniques developed in Communist china, the Soviet Union and North Korea had come to be employed and refined by various religious cults in the United States." Pointing to mind control in Communist countries is a favorite tactic of the American mind control fraternity to divert attention from the highly sophisticated techniques employed in "Democratic" countries (often in the form of experimentation on unknowing subjects). This historical revision is a fine example of "mirror imaging," the CIA technique of vilifying others, and ignoring the Agency's own role in the formation and control of mind control cults. Ofshe has not been directly linked to the CIA, but his work parrots the writings of UCLA's Louis Jolyon West and other psychiatrists with Agency credentials.

Wright somehow failed to mention that Ofshe is sharply at odds with much of the American Psychological Association. He has filed a suit, with Margaret Singer, for $30 million against the APA for engaging in a "conspiracy" to "destroy" their reputations and prevent them from testifying in the courtroom. Both Ms. Singer and Richard Ofshe derive a significant part of their income as consultants and expert witnesses on behalf of accused child abusers. Their complaint, filed under federal racketeering laws - tripling any financial damages - claims that members of the APA set out with "repeated lies" to "discredit them and impair their careers."

The Association flatly denied the charges. Two courts quickly dismissed the case. The APA released a statement to the press stating that the organization had merely advised members against testifying in court on the subject of brainwashing with "persuasive coercion" (a concept, after all, pushed during the Korean war by the CIA to justify barbaric mind control experimentation on American citizens), and had in no way conspired to impair the careers of Ofshe, Singer or anyone else.

Many in Ofshe's own profession believe him to be a world-class opportunist. He is a constant in newspaper interviews and on the talk show circuit, where he claims there is "no evidence" to support ritual abuse allegations. His categorical denial ignore's Ingram's own confession and a number of jury decisions across the country. And then there are, to cite one documented example of evidence from the glut that Ofshe ignores, the tunnels beneath the McMartin preschool, the most widely-publicized case. And a raid on the Children of God compound in Argentina in 1993 turned up videos of ritual abuse and child pornography. Evidence does exist - Ofshe simply refuses to acknowledge the fact. A cult specialist with Ofshe's credentials would surely explore the abundance of evidence if he was a legitimate psychologist. Instead, he chirps a categorical "no evidence," perfectly aware that most mental health professionals will see through him. A credulous public will not.

On the December 3, 1993 Rolanda talk show, a woman was interviewed who'd had flashback memories of abuse before consulting with a therapist. Dr. Ofshe appeared on the program, his silver beard groomed, looking every inch the authority. Rolanda asked Ofshe if "a terrible childhood memory, as bad as child abuse, (can) actually be repressed."

"There is absolutely no reason to think that that is true," Ofshe told her. "And it's not just what I say - this is the sum and substance of everything science knows about how memory works." This, of course, is a transparent lie. Ofshe dismissed repressed memories of abuse as the reigning "psychological quackery of the 20th century."

Dr. Daniel Lutzker, a psychologist at the Milton Erickson Institute, was sitting in the audience - turning crimson with rage at Ofshe's misrepresentations of the psychology of trauma. He stood up and argued that sex abuse can indeed begat buried recollections. "Repressed memories," Lutzker countered, "are not only important, they are the cornerstone of most psychotherapies. the fact is that the more awful the experience, the more likely it is to be repressed!"

Ofshe responded that there was "no evidence" so support such "nonsense."

Grimacing with disbelief, Lutzker said that Ofshe wouldn't make such outrageous comments if he bothered to pick up "any basic textbook on psychotherapy."

"Your making it up!" Ofshe spat. Lutzker stared at him in disbelief.

But the crowning contradiction to Ofshe's "expert" opinions appeared in a September 1994 L.A. Weekly article on alien abductions (another phenomenon said by the Foundation to breed "false memories").

"There are a lot of not particularly well-certified people out there," Dr. Ofshe told Gardetta, "using very powerful techniques on people. Visualizing this kind of stuff under hypnosis - abduction, Satan cults, sexual abuse - is the closest thing that anyone can experience short of the experience itself. That's why it's so traumatic to the individuals undergoing hypno-therapy, and why the hypno-therapist today can be seen as a new form of sexual predator."

But one morning, shortly thereafter, Gardetta awoke to find a triangular rash on the palm of his left hand.

"It didn't surprise me," Gardetta wrote. "Things around the house - which sits on a hilltop in a semi-rural area - had been getting weird. A jet-wash noise buzzed some afternoons around the house, its origin impossible to discern. Lights were turning themselves on, and the alarm system's motion sensor was tripping itself every morning between 5 and 6. One early evening, small footsteps crossed the roof. I ran outside to find the electrical wires leading to a nearby telephone pole swaying in the windless dusk."

The mysterious federal mind control fraternity had struck again, leaving behind more memories to be denounced by the "skeptics" of the FMS Foundation - the CIA's answer to the Flat Earth Society.

Web published at:

Newsmax Columnist: Military Coup "to Resolve the 'Obama Problem' " is not "Unrealistic"

by Terry Krepel
September 29, 2009

From John L. Perry's September 29 Newsmax column:

No, not Dick Cheney - flabby NewsMax coup plotter John Perry

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.


Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don't shrug and say, "We can always worry about that later."

In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.

Thanks to Ralph Hernandez for the lead.
Is the author of this fascist diatribe an Aryan Nations huckster? Not at all - he's a typical, "mainstream," run-of-the-propaganda-mill media professional appointed the executive branch by two DEMOCRATIC presidents, president of the National Association of Broadcasters. As such, he is a measure of how close we are to open fascist rule:

John L. Perry Biography

John L. Perry, an award-winning newspaper editor and writer, who served on White House staffs of two presidents, contributes a regular column to

Newspapers under his direction were consistent winners of awards for journalistic excellence. The Associated Press Managing Editors Association named him one of the 12best newsroom managers among the AP's member newspapers.

Perry has received numerous awards for column and editorial writing and for public-service and spot-news reporting.

He has worked as an editor or reporter for several daily newspapers, including the Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times, the Buffalo Evening News and the Clearwater Sun.

With a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, he was one of the first American journalists allowed into the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin.

Perry also has had a distinguished career in public policy. He served President Lyndon B. Johnson as deputy under secretary of commerce and was a White House speech writer and race-relations trouble-shooter for President Johnson. In the Jimmy Carter administration, he was executive assistant to the under secretary of Housing and Urban Development and was interim director of public information for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Perry served as press aide to Gov. LeRoy Collins of Florida and executive assistant to the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

A specialist in corporate communications, strategic planning and crisis management, he was public-affairs counselor to several international and national businesses.

Perry was also assistant to the president of the National Association of Broadcasters, a member of the top-management team and director of public relations for the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., and an academic fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smartphones Blamed for Rash of France Telecom Suicides

by Warren Riddle
Sep 26th 2009

France's largest telecommunications company, France Telecom, has suffered through a staggering 22 employee suicides over the last year. If that isn't enough, another 13 workers actually survived failed attempts. In an interview with Reuters, company CFO Gervais Pellissier discussed exactly why he believes so many employees have been distraught and suicidal.

He attributed some worker unhappiness to the recent privatization and restructuring of the company, which dramatically shifted the job responsibilities of over 15,000 of France Telecom's 102,000 employees. But, he believes a more significant contributor to the tragic phenomenon is the "CrackBerry" syndrome. Pellissier asserted that the stress of privatization has been exacerbated by having to constantly be connected, because employees, who have no escape from work or e-mail, have had difficulty discerning "between personal life and professional life."

To combat further attempts, Telecom plans to implement counseling services, and (since one employee stabbed himself in the stomach during an office meeting and a woman jumped from an office window) add increased surveillance. Pellissier believes the problem to be a "global society issue," so hopefully US companies will investigate and adopt preventive measures, rather than wait and take reactive ones. [From: Reuters]

We Have Met the Nazis, and They are Us

I've been documenting this inescapable fact for over 20 years while vapid corporate
reporters, many planted by the CIA (Mockingbirds), lie through their teeth to uphold status quo ignorance and complacency. America's leaders have sent the American Dream to Guantanimo where it is bleeding to death. Bury it with a tea-bag, recite a jingoistic eulogy. Wallow in apathy. It's the fault of "The People," common scum, that fascism has trumped democracy. Sure, a David Horowitz or Glenn Beck embodies the spirit of the Ugly American, but that pejorative applies to everyone who watched John Kennedy or Paul Wellstone die and failed to ask hard questions. America has also been assassinated - by those who profess to "love" her most. And the assassins were greatly "respected," even idolized by the kind of animal that runs in herds.

- AC

CIA atrocities revealed to a national shrug
by Ted Rall
Boise Weekly
September 09, 2009

Godwin's Law be damned--it's impossible to read the newly released CIA report on the torture of Muslim prisoners without thinking of the Third Reich.

Sadism exists in every culture. A century ago, for example, Western adventurers who visited Tibet reported that the authorities in Lhasa, that supposed capital of pacifism, publicly gouged out criminals' eyes and yanked out their tongues. But Nazi atrocities were stylistically distinct from, say, the Turkish genocide of the Armenians or the Rwandan massacres of the early 1990s. German war crimes were characterized by methodical precision, the application of "rational" technology to increase efficiency, the veneer of legality and the perversion of medical science.

Nazi crimes were also marked by public indifference, which amounted to tacit support. Here and now, only 25 percent of Americans told the latest Pew Research poll that they believe torture is always wrong.

"The CIA's secret interrogation program operated under strict rules, and the rules were dictated from Washington with the painstaking, eye-glazing detail beloved by any bureaucracy," observed The New York Times. We have much in common with the Germans.

"In July 2002," the declassified report reveals, a CIA officer "reportedly used a 'pressure point' technique: with both of his hands on the detainee's neck, [he] manipulated his fingers to restrict the detainee's carotid artery." Another agent "watched his eyes to the point that the detainee would nod and start to pass out; then ... shook the detainee to wake him. This process was repeated for a total of three applications on the detainee."

The CIA's rinse-lather-repeat approach to torture is reminiscent of Dr. Sigmund Rascher's experiments at Dachau and a parallel project conducted by the Japanese Imperial Army's infamous Unit 731 in occupied Manchuria in 1942-43. Rascher, who was tried for war crimes after World War II, froze or lashed detainees nearly to death, then revived them over and over. German and Japanese doctors developed detailed protocols governing the severity of exposure to which inmates could be subjected--protocols seized by U.S. occupation forces and turned over to the OSS, predecessor of the CIA.

So it was in the CIA's prisons at Guantanamo, Bagram, Diego Garcia, Eastern Europe, Thailand and elsewhere.

(Or, to be more accurate, so it is. George W. Bush publicly banned torture in 2006, but we know it was still going on as of 2007. President Barack Obama supposedly banned it again earlier this year, but then his CIA director Leon Panetta told Congress the agency reserves the right to keep doing it. Until the entire secret prison network is dismantled and every single prisoner released, it would be absurd to assume that torture is not continuing.)

Among the verbal treasures in the CIA papers is the "Water Dousing" section of the "Guidelines on Medical and Psychological Support to Detainee Rendition, Interrogation and Detention," which "allow for water to be applied using either a hose connected to tap water, or a bottle or similar container as the water source." Ah, the glorious war on terror. Detainees may be soaked in water as cold as 41 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as 20 minutes­--no longer, no colder.

For the record, the CIA's medical expertise is about as reliable as its legal and moral sense. Forty-one degrees is bracingly cold; 41 was the temperature of the Hudson River when US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into it earlier this year. (Remember the ice floes?) "Generally, a person can survive in 41-degree water for 10, 15 or 20 minutes," Dr. Christopher McStay, an emergency room physician at New York City's Bellevue Hospital told Scientific American magazine.

Like its Gestapo and SS antecedents, the CIA is highly bureaucratic. CIA employees were informed that "advance headquarters approval is required to use any physical pressures [against prisoners]." And those permissions came from the very top of the chain of command: the White House, which ordered the Office of Legal Counsel and other legal branches of the federal government to draft "CYA" memoranda. The memos, wrote Joshua L. Dratel in his introduction to "The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib," a compilation of memos authorizing torture of Muslim detainees, reflect "a wholly result-oriented system in which policy makers start with an objective and work backward."

Also reminiscent of Nazism is the utter absence of firewalls that has come to characterize the behavior of top government officials. Totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany corrupt the judiciary by using the courts to carry out political policy. Beginning under Bush and now under Obama, judicial independence has been eradicated.

On Aug. 28, The New York Times reported: "In July, Leon E. Panetta, the CIA director, tried to head off the investigation [of the CIA's torture program], administration officials said. He sent the CIA's top lawyer, Stephen W. Preston, to [the Department of] Justice to persuade aides to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. to abandon any plans for an inquiry." There's a term for this: obstruction of justice. You're not supposed to try to influence the outcome of an investigation. It was count six of the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon.

To Holder's credit, he has appointed a special prosecutor. To his discredit, the focus of the investigation is narrow: He will only go after officials who went beyond the Bush administration's over-the-top torture directives (which allow, as seen above, freezing people to death). He does not plan to go after the worst criminals, who are the Bush administration lawyers and officials, including Bush and Dick Cheney themselves, who ordered the war crimes--much less those like Obama who are currently covering them up.

He should change his mind. While he's at it, he should throw Leon Panetta in jail.

Holder's brief currently involves just 20 cases, which include detainees who were murdered by the CIA. But even those will be tough to prosecute, reports The New York Times: "Evidence, witnesses and even the bodies of the victims of alleged abuses have not been found in all cases."

Because, you see, the bodies were burned and dumped. They--the CIA--are Nazis for committing the crimes.

And we are Nazis for not giving a damn. Only one-third of Americans told the April 27 CBS News/New York Times poll that there ought to be an investigation of Bush-era war crimes--and they don't care enough to march in the streets, much less break a few windows. So few of my columns on torture have been reprinted by American newspapers or Web sites that I seriously contemplated not bothering to write this one. We have met the Nazis, and they are us.

Ted Rall, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, is author of the books To Afghanistan and Back and Silk Road to Ruin.

Father & Son Nazi Terrorist Team Arrested

If it was Muslim extremists, how much press would they receive (I've seen very little about this case in the public print) - and what would the bail be? ... "An Antioch man [Nazi] released on $100 bond even though police found weapons, explosives and an anti-tank rocket and launcher in the house he shares with his father ... "


US Bids to Erase its Lao Past

Edited by Alex Constantine

General Vang Pao (Opium? CIA? Air America? - fringe "conspiracy theories," utter lunacy - besides, prosecution could affect the morale of the CIA's torturing jackals ... and Rupert Murdoch's partner Peter Abeles was instrumental in setting up Nugan Hand, the CIA bank used to launder the opium proceeds ... let's drop this embarrassing case ... )

" ... Some believe the decision to drop the case was prompted by a realization that continued prosecution of Vang Pao in court could be embarrassing for the US .... " (and Rupert Murdoch, Gen. John Singlaub, etal. ... )

By Brian McCartan
Asia Times
Sep 29, 2009

BANGKOK - A United States Justice Department decision this month to drop charges against former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) collaborator Vang Pao clears the 79-year-old ethnic Hmong leader from a possible terrorism trial in an alleged plot to overthrow the Lao government.

However, a new indictment issued by a California court against a dozen men - 11 of them ethnic Hmong and a former US Special Forces officer during the Vietnam War - raises new questions about connections between anti-government insurgents in Laos and their ethnic brethren in the US.

The new indictment claims a dozen men - including 10 mentioned in the previous dropped charge - violated the Neutrality Act by giving money, weapons and material support to Hmong rebels in Laos, who have continued their resistance against the Lao government since the Vietnam War. The indictment also contains new charges, including conspiracy to receive and transport explosives through interstate and foreign commerce.

Hmong supporters of Vang Pao and many of his former CIA handlers say the federal government's case lacks substance and reads like the plot of an action movie. The case stems from a tip received by investigators in 2006 by a man the US government termed a "defense contractor", but whose main vocation seems to be selling potions he claims cures chronic diseases, including cancer.

The tip sparked an investigation in 2007 by a federal anti-terror task force in Sacramento, California, which it claimed was a US$26 million plot to overthrow the Lao government.

Vang Pao's arrest, however, sparked at least one mass protest among the Hmong community in the US. Because Vang Pao is not included in the new case, it is not expected to draw as much media and public attention. US Attorney Lawrence G Brown of the Eastern District of California, said the charges against Vang Pao had been dropped "based on the totality of the evidence in the case".

In a court motion, Brown wrote, "The government believes, as a discretionary matter, that continued prosecution of defendant Vang Pao is no longer warranted." And in a news release, he said prosecutors could drop charges for a variety of reasons, including vaguely "other consequences if the person is convicted".

Some believe the decision to drop the case was prompted by a realization that continued prosecution of Vang Pao in court could be embarrassing for the US, particularly as Washington bids to forge closer ties to the Lao government. The US re-established full diplomatic relations with Laos in 1992 and granted it Normal Trade Relations (NTR) status in 2004. A bilateral trade agreement entered into force in February 2005 and the two sides exchanged military attaches in 2008.

In June, US President Barack Obama removed Laos and Cambodia from a blacklist that limited government support for companies doing business in both countries. The move was intended to open the way for more US investment in both countries by allowing American companies to apply for financing through the Export-Import Bank of the United States for working capital guarantees, export credit insurance and loan guarantees.

Laos does not represent a large or high purchasing power market for US companies. American exports to Laos were a mere US$18 million last year, while Lao exports to the US tallied $42 million. United States trade with Thailand and Vietnam, in comparison, amounted to $30 billion and $15 billion respectively. At the same time, the US is keen to counterbalance China's rising influence in the region, including in Laos.

Chinese companies have recently moved into Laos in a big way, with Beijing widely recognized as Laos' biggest economic patron. China has financed the construction of major roads, including the recently completed Route 3 linking China and Thailand through northwest Laos, and other high-profile projects such as the National Cultural Hall in downtown Vientiane and the main stadium for the biennial Southeast Asian Games to be held in the capital city in December. ...

Vang Pao High School

Vang Pao, Drugs and the CIA
Marc Eisen

Who is Vang Pao? Two online sources are helpful if not disturbing in how they portray the Hmong general for whom a new Madison elementary school will be named.

The transcript for a May 17, 1988, investigative report by PBS's Frontline -- "Guns, Drugs, and the CIA" -- names Vang Pao as a key player in the drug trade during the Vietnam War. The report directly connects the transport of opium and its conversion into heroin to the Hmong CIA mercenary army fighting an undeclared war against the North Vietnamese and Laotian communists.

The Hmong raised poppies for opium as a traditional cash crop. But the war disrupted the market, the report says, prompting Vang Pao's army to buy the opium from Hmong villages and transport it for sale via the CIA-controlled Air America and Vang Pao's own airline.

"I know as a fact soon after the army was formed the military officers soon got control of the opium trade," photojournalist John Everingham told Frontline. "It helped not only them make a lot of money and become good loyal officers to the CIA, but it helped the villagers. The villagers needed their opium carried out and carried over the land in a war situation that was much more dangerous and more difficult, and the officers were obviously paying a good price, 'cos the villagers were very eager to sell to the military people."

Though high-ranking CIA officials deny that the agency countenanced drug running, several pilots told Frontline they witnessed the shipments.

"Vang Pao wanted control of the aircraft," said pilot Ron Rickenbach. "It would give that much more freedom and that much more flexibility to use these aircraft to go out and pick up the opium that needed to be picked up at this site or that site and to bring it back to Long Chien, and there was quite a hassle, and Vang Pao won.

"Not only did he get control of the aircraft, but there was also a question of the operational control of the airplanes that were leaving Long Chien," Rickenbach said. "And there was an embarrassing situation where the Americans knew that this could be exposed, and it would be a very compromising situation.

"The way they got around that," the pilot explained, "was to concede, to create for Vang Pao his own local airline, and Xieng Kouang airline came into reality as a direct result of this compromise.... That aircraft was largely used for the transshipment of opium from Long Chien to sites further south."

Tony Poe, Vang Pao's former CIA case handler in Laos, describes the situation in even starker terms, saying that Vang Pao personally profited from supplying opium to a high-level South Vietnamese heroin syndicate.

"Oh, he was making millions," and he put the money in "U.S. bank accounts, Switzerland, wherever," Poe said.

Vang Pao and his many Hmong supporters in the U.S. have strenuously denied the heroin connection over the years. But in the Frontline documentary, Joe Nellis, a former chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Narcotics, flatly says: "Van Pao had a heavy hand in the production of heroin in that area."

A fuller but still troubling picture of Vang Pao emerges in the winter 2000 issue of the Hmong Studies Journal. It contains 'Warlord," a chapter from Keith Quincy's book, Harvesting Pa Chay's Wheat: The Hmong and America's Secret War in Laos [PDF].

Quincy, a retired historian at Eastern Washington University, compares Vang Pao to successful, old-fashioned political bosses like Boss Tweed in New York, Richard J. Daley in Chicago and Thomas Pendergast in Kansas City.

With a touch of Al Capone, it seems.

The chapter's abstract credits Van Pao with creating a political machine with "a vast system of patronage and graft designed to co-opt clan notables (many of them potential political rivals) and, if this failed, a program of assassination for troublemakers."

Vang Pao used CIA money and sponsorship, Quincy says, to create "a massive system of welfare that would eventually make more than a 100,000 Hmong dependent on him for their survival."

For the CIA's purposes, the Vang Pao's army would become the U.S. version of the Viet Cong -- "an indigenous guerrilla force that harassed and bled a militarily superior enemy, frustrating him at every turn."

Quincy, as does other chroniclers of the secret war, credits the Hmong army for being a ferocious fighting force and Vang Pao for being an inspired political and military leader. The CIA was appreciative, and its subsidy was so bountiful, Quincy notes, that Vang Pao was able to pay his soldiers ten times more than soldiers in the Royal Laotian Army received."For thousands of poor Hmong peasants earning less than lowland rice farmers, soldiering for Van Pao was a way to abandon a life of grinding poverty for one of relative affluence," he writes. "Eldest sons had the right to take the place of wounded or killed fathers to keep the family on the military dole."

In time, as the war worn on and Hmong casualties kept mounting, Quincy writes, "young teenagers replaced their dead elder brothers, creating platoons of Lilliputian soldiers in baggy uniforms with sleeves rolled up to the elbows to free tiny hands for the operation of man-size weapons."

Vang Pao, in other words, was using child soldiers to fight the communists.

Quincy explains that money, rice and weapons were sent to Hmong villages that supplied young men for his army. They also benefited from the general's push to establish some 300 elementary schools in Hmong villages -- a program that is cited today as a major reason for naming the new Madison school for Vang Pao.

But Hmong villages that refused to turn over their young men for his army paid a price. They were considered pro-communist and might be bombed, as happened to the village of Long Pot.

Vang Pao also used marriage -- he was reportedly a polygamist with eight wives -- to consolidate the 18 or so Hmong clans under his leadership.

His first marriage was for love, Quincy writes, the rest were politically motivated -- "an effort to forge family links to powerful clan leaders or as a goodwill gestures to the disaffected."

As for his use of assassination, Quincy says it was another technique to maintain his power. How many times he resorted to killing troublemakers isn't clear, he says, but one member of his inner circle "believed there may have been dozens; hardly a reign of terror but substantial nevertheless."

Quincy paints a more nuanced view of Vang Pao's involvement in the drug trade than other chroniclers, but still leaves no doubt that it was considerable.

"Vang Pao had mixed feelings about opium," he writes. "He preached against the evils of addiction, but was pragmatic with addicts; occasionally he airdropped opium to troops in the fields so addicted soldiers involved in a prolonged campaign would not suffer withdrawal and impede the effectiveness of their unit. Nor did he have any reservations about trafficking in the drug if it advanced his ends."

Quincy traces Vang Pao's involvement in the opium trade to 1963 when he desperately wanted to add more soldiers but lacked the money to pay them. "He used military helicopters to collect opium from mountain villages and delivered the narcotics to merchants in central Vietnam where opium fetched top dollar."

The Russians tried to subvert Vang Pao's opium operation, Quincy writes, by shipping 15 tons of silver and 3.5 million feet of cloth to North Vietnam in a failed to effort to buy the drug from the villagers before Vang Pao's troops bargained for it.

The Frontline investigation points out a profound irony: As drug problems worsened among U.S. troops in Vietnam and back home, President Nixon ordered the CIA to participate in a new program aimed at stopping the trafficking.

The incongruity didn't go unnoticed in the field when an unnamed intelligence agent filed a report, according to Frontline, questioning the CIA's role in drug interdiction when the agency "was, in fact, facilitating the movement of opiates to the U.S."

Former CIA agent Victor Marchetti explained the incongruity this way to Frontline: "I doubt that they had any strong deep understanding of what they were allowing to happen by turning their head the other way and letting Vang Pao ship his dope out, which was made into heroin which was going to our troops, which was corrupting people through Southeast Asia and back here...."

A cynic might conclude that the Madison school board overlooking Vang Pao's checkered past is just another example of how government officials avert their eyes from unpleasant facts when they're consumed by a single goal.

In this case to honor a Hmong hero with a bloody history.