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The People's National Archives: A Joint Deep Politics Forum-CTKA Presentation
#1
I am pleased to announce, on behalf of the founders of the Deep Politics Forum, the on-line publication of the first in what is envisioned to be an ongoing series of research projects, essays, and related endeavors presented jointly by the DPF and CTKA -- Citizens for the Truth about the Kennedy Assassination.

I wrote The People's National Archives: To Preserve, Protect, and Defend at the urging and with the invaluable assistance of James DiEugenio, one of CTKA's principals and the author of the essential Destiny Betrayed : J.F.K., Cuba, and the Garrison Case.

Please visit the CTKA website:

http://www.ctka.net/home.html

My essay is available there at

http://www.ctka.net/2009/drago.html

and below.
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#2
The People's National Archives: To Preserve, Protect, and Defend

By Charles R. Drago

The two largest, privately held collections of JFK assassination-related materials, which include original documents and photographs that likely do not exist in any other repository or form, are off-limits to history. Their respective owners will not permit direct public access to what amount, in the aggregate, to millions of pages of files and research notes, and thousands of images, books, periodicals, records of legal proceedings, and audio and video tapes, plus first-state medical and physical evidence.

I write of the Mary Ferrell and Jay Harrison archives—major components of the People's National Archives, if you will—which today remain physically inaccessible to the people.

Are these figuratively priceless holdings protected from the elements? From predation (human and otherwise)? Have they been accessed by "government" officials for ostensibly "legitimate" reasons? Have they been sanitized? Do plans exist for their transfers to traditional and secure repositories (university libraries, museums, etc.)?

The late George Michael Evica and I were witness to certain events surrounding the purchase of the Mary Ferrell holdings. Over the intervening years we spoke often of those troubling and all-too-mysterious doings, and we agreed that, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, it was reasonable to conclude that our friend Mary's life's work likely had been taken and was being controlled by the very forces she had endeavored to understand and confront.

It was at JFK Lancer's 2000 November in Dallas conference that Mary, tearful with joy, called George Michael and me to her wheelchair and told us a dream-come-true story that, coming from any other source, would not have passed the laugh test.

In a nutshell: a "billionaire" venture capitalist had offered to buy the Ferrell archives—which included not only JFK materials, but also significant collections relating to deep political phenomena in general and even the history of UFOs—for one million dollars.

In addition, he would pay for Mary's health care in the facilities of her choice, regardless of cost or location, for the rest of her life, and he would "take care of" her children.

Mary invited us to join her and the benefactor for dinner that evening at the Lancer awards banquet.

And so, over fossilized lettuce and chicken Naugahyde, Evica and I made the acquaintance of Oliver "call me 'Ollie'" Curme.[1]

The man could not have been more charming. Or unconvincing. With tightly cropped blond hair and a pinched cherubic grin, dressed in understated Brooks Brothers grey, he looked like Kelsey Grammer after a Jenny Craig intervention gone wrong.

Evica and I had agreed to administer, if not the Third Degree, then at least a One-and-a-Half Degree interrogation of Mary's previously unknown savior. George Michael led things off with the simple and logical question. I can hear his lilting "just curious" tone now.

"So Ollie, when did you become interested in the Kennedy assassination?"

The answer to disarm: "I really don't know the first thing about it."

Hmmm ...

"Then why," I wondered innocently enough, "are you doing this?"

Curme's story: He recently had invested in computer software designed to transfer huge volumes of analog materials to digital formats. Mary's collection, he advised, represented the perfect test for the system.

But wait, there's more. Mary reported that Curme, as part of the acquisition deal, would create and fund a foundation through which all of her work would be made accessible to researchers. And he wanted Evica and Drago to run it!
[2]

That was the last time George Michael and I ever saw Oliver Curme. I did speak with him about a month later, at which time we agreed to get together after the holidays to discuss the foundation in depth.

Since then: nothing.

Eventually the Mary Ferrell Foundation was launched with great fanfare and to great expectations. Apparently Curme's software works just fine; it's safe to assume that just about everyone reading these words has made good use of its myriad capabilities. Further, Rex Bradford, the JFK researcher chosen by Curme to serve as Senior Analyst & Archivist for the MFF, in my estimation is an honorable man and a first-class historian.

Yet when one looks closely at what has been made available on the MFF website to date, it becomes clear that just about all of it is obtainable elsewhere—albeit from disparate and difficult to locate sources.[3]

In other words, the MFF's primary purpose seems to be to serve as an easy access, "one-stop" repository for JFK research. Which is just fine, as far as it goes.

So where are Mary's original materials? When will the unique-to-Ferrell holdings be forthcoming?

The best known publicly displayed representation of the sheer scale of the Ferrell archives is to be found in The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas: a mural-sized photograph of Mary standing amidst her holdings in the dedicated outbuilding constructed on their property by her late husband Buck.

Almost two years ago, after conferring with Evica, I broke the Oliver Curme story on the pages of a U.K.-based JFK Internet forum. I asked why, until then, the MFF addressed its origins in the most opaque of manners.[4]

At that time, the only official reference to Curme described an anonymous benefactor whose singular largesse was responsible for the creation and maintenance of the Foundation and its ever-growing list of services.

I also asked Bradford to account for the whereabouts and condition of the original materials, and to indicate when we might gain access to them for legitimate research purposes and under appropriately strict security conditions.

The response was quick and to the point.[5] Bradford assured one and all that the Ferrell archives were being stored in such a fashion as to protect them from the elements and other threatening agents (insects, criminal trespassers, etc.). He would not divulge the location of the materials or offer specifics on the measures undertaken to secure them.[6]

Further, he stated in no uncertain terms that public access to the archives was not contemplated.

The Sixth Floor mural is as close as we're going to get.

I'll return to the MFF in just a moment. But now we move on to the strange case of Jay Harrison and Walt Brown.

I only recently learned of the late, very below-the-radar Jay Harrison and his decades-long private investigation of the JFK assassination. It is no accident that there is not much information publicly available on Harrison; the former Dallas police officer conducted his research from the shadows. By all accounts he was a savvy, indefatigable hunter of records and primary evidence; those who knew him tell of a man not so much obsessed as savagely focused on the ultimate prize: bringing JFK's murderers to justice.

Harrison died a few years ago. He left his archive—at an estimated four million pages, significantly larger than the Ferrell collection—to author and former FBI agent Walt Brown, who today guards it jealously and will countenance no sharing.

In February of this year, having refused to learn history's lessons, I went public on The Deep Politics Forum website and asked Brown to account for the Harrison materials.[7] The response was, well, highly idiosyncratic.[8] Brown warned that, should further accusations that he is one of the "accessories after the fact" to the assassination (an accusation never made—at least by me) or any further inquiries relating to Harrison's archives be forthcoming, he would "consume [sic] the files to the flames."

*****

If we have benefited in no other ways from our labors in too many deep political pastures, we have honed our investigative instincts to the degree that we can anticipate the presence of an intelligence operation in full flower long before our five senses can confirm it. Yet sometimes a rose is just a rose.

I have no way of knowing if the Mary Ferrell and/or Jay Harrison[9] archives have been sanitized by the true accessories after the facts to political assassinations and related deep political crimes committed by their co-conspirators. Which is precisely my point.

I can tell you that the Oliver Curme cover story (sorry, but some terms of art simply cannot be avoided) sets off alarm bells. And I will be the first to admit that my suspicions may be the products solely of my lack of access to the full story.

I can tell you that Walt Brown's explanations for why he keeps the lid on Jay Harrison's materials are similarly disturbing. Yet it would be consummately unfair to criticize him for failing to undertake the herculean task of digitizing four million pages.

Perhaps there is hope for an honorable resolution to these issues—one that will satisfy the archives' current custodians and the materials' ultimate owners and protectors. Time will tell. Let us, as the saying goes, reason together.

I began this essay by describing the archives of Mary Ferrell and Jay Harrison as "the People's National Archives." Understand their importance. The war currently being waged by those who would cover up the truth about the deep political events of the 20th century is a war on history. Our enemy's goal is to create a level playing field for their lies and our truth. They do not wish to eradicate "conspiracists" and "conspiracy theories" (which, when cleverly manipulated by their propagandists, can advance the conspirators' agendas), but only to deflate and demonize them by counterbalancing their "unofficial" weight with the officially approved gravitas of officially approved archives and published histories.

Further, understand the importance of absolute control of information to the perpetuation of political, economic, and social hegemony—ill-gotten or otherwise. As far as the killers of JFK are concerned, the inaccessibility to the people of the People's National Archives—whether this state of affairs exists at their command or simply at the direction of well-intentioned but dangerously naïve custodians—is a sine qua non for the literal survival of their persons and power.

We, the people, have every right to demand access to our archives. Indeed, we are obliged to do so—obliged by history, by moral code, and by the unquiet spirits of the countless victims of the deep political system.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Notes
[1] From his ZoomInfo entry: "Ollie Curme has over 20 years of venture capital experience, investing in numerous companies worldwide and facilitating technology transfer. He joined Battery Ventures in 1985. During Ollie's 20 years at Battery, the firm became a leading US venture capital firm, managing $2.2 billion in committed capital. Ollie played a major role in institutionalizing Battery from 1998 to 2003, when he built and ran the software investment group of 20 investment professionals.

"Ollie has made 28 investments, invested $155 million, realized (+value) $480 million, with an overall IRR of 41% and 7 IPOs. He has been a lead investor in many successful public companies including HNC Software (NASDAQ: HNCS), Infoseek (NASDAQ: SEEK), Parallan, and Pixelworks (NASDAQ: PXLW) as well as numerous privately held companies including Fingerhut Direct Marketing, Netezza, and OutlookSoft. "[Ollie] received his B.S. from Brown University and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School."

[2] Offered in the spirit of full disclosure. You will have to take my word: there are no sour grapes in evidence here.

[3] Credit is due to JFK Lancer for being the first organization to attempt to collect and digitize the Ferrell archives. Its CDRom issues of documents and other holdings have proven to be invaluable assets to contemporary deep political research. Yet in terms of sheer volume, they pale by comparison to what is offered via the MFF website.

[4] From the MFF website's "About" page: "The Mary Ferrell Foundation (MFF) is a non-profit 501©(3) group engaged in an ongoing effort to bring accessible and interactive history to a new generation of critical thinkers. With a wide topic base including the assassinations of the 1960s, the Watergate scandal, and post-Watergate intelligence abuse investigations, the MFF's vast digital archive at http://www.maryferrell.org contains over 1.2 million pages of documents, government reports, books, essays, and hours of multimedia."

[5] Alas, I cannot access the original exchange due to the fact that the owners of the forum in question have declared me persona non grata. But that is a story for another campfire.

[6] A very well known JFK author has reported that, to his personal knowledge, the Ferrell archives are stored in one or two simple, non-climate-controlled containers on a Curme property in Wellesley, Massachusetts. To my knowledge, independent verification of this claim has not been forthcoming.

[7] See http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com, of which I am a co-founder, and in particular the thread titled "A Public Appeal to Walt Brown: Release Jay Harrison's Archive" (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/....php?t=861).

[8] See Post #7 on the latter link above. My response to Brown is Post #14 on http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/...861&page=2

[9] A controversial "player" of deep political games in the 1960s and '70s—at least—reports that Harrison's archives have been moved to Washington, D.C. and reviewed in depth by federal authorities, and that a former U.S. senator who chaired a committee investigating intelligence agency operations of that period has been queried about how confidential materials formerly in his custody ended up in the hands of Harrison.
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#3
Bravo CD. And thanks also to Jim DiEugenio for this joint effort. I have been involved in JFK assassination related activities since the halcyon days of the Cambridge- based Assassination Information Bureau, who, traveled the country speaking out on these issues, hosted the first ever national Politics of Conspiracy Conference at Boston Univeristy for three days in 1975, and then spent two years in Washington DC working with HSCA. In the intervening years what I have sadly noticed is the utter lack of cooperation between people in the research comminity. Today's joint effort with DPF and CTKA hopefully marks a new change in arriving at our mutual goal: justice in the assassination of our 35th president. It is what my friend Jay Harrison worked for the entire time I was proud to call him a dear friend. ( 11/21/97-5/25/05) . Hopefully today he is resting more easily in peace.

Dawn
Reply
#4
Dawn Meredith Wrote:Bravo CD. And thanks also to Jim DiEugenio for this joint effort. I have been involved in JFK assassination related activities since the halcyon days of the Cambridge- based Assassination Information Bureau, who, traveled the country speaking out on these issues, hosted the first ever national Politics of Conspiracy Conference at Boston Univeristy for three days in 1975, and then spent two years in Washington DC working with HSCA. In the intervening years what I have sadly noticed is the utter lack of cooperation between people in the research comminity. Today's joint effort with DPF and CTKA hopefully marks a new change in arriving at our mutual goal: justice in the assassination of our 35th president. It is what my friend Jay Harrison worked for the entire time I was proud to call him a dear friend. ( 11/21/97-5/25/05) . Hopefully today he is resting more easily in peace.

Dawn

Dawn,

the quote in your sig block: "There exists in this country a plot to enslave every man woman and child. Before I leave this high and noble office, I intend to expose this plot."
- President John F. Kennedy 7 days before he was assassinated.

Where and under what circustances did JFK say this?
Thanks,
David
Reply
#5
Dawn Meredith Wrote:Bravo CD. And thanks also to Jim DiEugenio for this joint effort. I have been involved in JFK assassination related activities since the halcyon days of the Cambridge- based Assassination Information Bureau, who, traveled the country speaking out on these issues, hosted the first ever national Politics of Conspiracy Conference at Boston Univeristy for three days in 1975, and then spent two years in Washington DC working with HSCA. In the intervening years what I have sadly noticed is the utter lack of cooperation between people in the research comminity. Today's joint effort with DPF and CTKA hopefully marks a new change in arriving at our mutual goal: justice in the assassination of our 35th president. It is what my friend Jay Harrison worked for the entire time I was proud to call him a dear friend. ( 11/21/97-5/25/05) . Hopefully today he is resting more easily in peace.

Dawn

Dawn...what prompted Walt Brown to say that Jay Harrison
"hated Jack White."

I never met nor heard of Harrison till after he died. Why did
he hate me?

Jack
Reply
#6
Excellent essay Charles. And I'm really proud to have this link, literal and figurative, with CTKA.
Reply
#7
Jack White Wrote:
Dawn Meredith Wrote:Bravo CD. And thanks also to Jim DiEugenio for this joint effort. I have been involved in JFK assassination related activities since the halcyon days of the Cambridge- based Assassination Information Bureau, who, traveled the country speaking out on these issues, hosted the first ever national Politics of Conspiracy Conference at Boston Univeristy for three days in 1975, and then spent two years in Washington DC working with HSCA. In the intervening years what I have sadly noticed is the utter lack of cooperation between people in the research comminity. Today's joint effort with DPF and CTKA hopefully marks a new change in arriving at our mutual goal: justice in the assassination of our 35th president. It is what my friend Jay Harrison worked for the entire time I was proud to call him a dear friend. ( 11/21/97-5/25/05) . Hopefully today he is resting more easily in peace.

Dawn

Dawn...what prompted Walt Brown to say that Jay Harrison
"hated Jack White."

I never met nor heard of Harrison till after he died. Why did
he hate me?

Jack
Jack: I never heard Jay say an unkind word about you. So I have no idea.
I certainly cannot speak for Walt Brown, I have only met him on two occasions. A few phone calls and emails. Your name never came up, so I have not a clue. IF Jay did not like someone he did not mince words. But he stayed in the background. Even in Dallas at conferences. He loved putting people together. One of my favorite memories of Jay would be to get in from court and him call and say "I need you to get up here, how fast can you be here?" Nothing more. Then when I 'd arrive he'd have a bunch of others there. This happened many times.
The last time I saw Jay my husband and I went up early one Sunday afternoon. We were there until quite late that evening, sitting at Jay's table talking with Walt, who was very pleasant and had an uncanny memory for JFk trivia. It was a most enjoyable envening under the saddest of circumstances. The only researcher I can recall Walt saying anything negative about that night was Harry Livingstone.
Dawn
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#8
Charles Drago Wrote:We, the people, have every right to demand access to our archives. Indeed, we are obliged to do so—obliged by history, by moral code, and by the unquiet spirits of the countless victims of the deep political system.

Charles,

You're right of course, although gaining access to those collections may not solve the case.

It would be interesting to see how this argument would play out in a Court. Did Harrison conduct the investigation for himself or on behalf of the research community. Do you know what year be began his investigation?

CTKA looks good.
Reply
#9
He began his investigation the afternoon of the assassination...to his dying day.
Reply


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