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Introducing George Michael Evica's "A Certain Arrogance"
#1
The following is my "Introduction" to A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups and Individuals in Two World Wars and the Cold War -- and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald (2006; The Iron Sites Press), by the late George Michael Evica, PhD.

(If I may exercise author's prerogative: The original edition's typesetters butchered my words -- much to George Michael's chagrin. So here's my chance to set things right.)

George Michael was -- and remains -- my friend, mentor, and comrade. He honored me in this life in so many ways. When he asked me to introduce what would be his final major work, I received the most important, lasting, and loving compliment of my professional life.

CD

*********

To Withdraw From the Tumult of Cemeteries

By Charles R. Drago


… human kind
Cannot bear very much reality

-- T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton,” Four Quartets

Let me be clear from the outset: A Certain Arrogance is no more or less “about” the assassination of John F. Kennedy than cancer surgery is “about” the tumor.

George Michael Evica, one of the preeminent prosectors of the malignant growth that disfigured the American body politic on November 22, 1963, for decades has focused his intellect and intuition on the search for a cure for the underlying disease. In the course of forty years of research, analysis, writing, broadcasting, and teaching, he has followed its devastating metastasis through the vital organs of politics (deep and otherwise) to the extremities of business, culture, and religion. All the while he has cut away necrotic tissue and struggled valiantly, in the company of a surgical team as distinguished as it is obscure, to keep the patient alive.

Professor Evica, author of And We Are All Mortal: New Evidence and Analysis in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1975; University of Hartford), can be numbered among the most honored of the so-called second generation of Kennedy assassination researchers. Their labors to refine, reinforce, expand upon, and draw attention to the discoveries of their predecessors -- and to break new ground -- validate this direct statement of fact:

Anyone with reasonable access to the evidence in the homicide of JFK who does not conclude that the act was the consequence of a criminal conspiracy is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime.

Conspiracy in the Kennedy killing is as well-established an historical truth as is the Holocaust. Further, those in a position to know this truth who nonetheless choose to deny it in service to the darkest political and cultural agendas are morally akin to Holocaust deniers.

A Certain Arrogance stands as Professor Evica’s response to the long suffering question: How do we define and effect justice in the wake of the world-historic tragedy in Dallas?

Clearly he understands that, at this late date, being content merely to identify and, if possible, prosecute the conspiracy’s sponsors, facilitators, and mechanics would amount to hollow acts of vengeance. Cleaning and closing the wound while leaving the disease to spread is simply not a survivable option.

With the nobility of knowledge comes obligation: How can we utilize all that has been learned through our post-Dallas experiences to heal and immunize the victims of the malady of which the assassination of John F. Kennedy is but the most widely appreciated and putrescent manifestation?

The method by which Professor Evica honors his noblesse oblige is, at first blush, hardly novel. Like many other researchers, he has chosen to begin his exploration by focusing on an aspect of the complex life of the lead character in the assassination drama, Lee Harvey Oswald. To carry the cancer metaphor forward: Think of the falsely accused killer as a tumor cell whose sojourn through the host organism in theory can be traced back to its source.

Oswald’s movements, however, are not easily discerned. False trails and feints abound. Promising clues have been obscured by a host of ham-handed interlopers and sinister obfuscators.

Rather than traverse well-worn pathways, Professor Evica sets out by following one of the few remaining under-examined passages of an otherwise over-mapped life. His uniquely painstaking investigation of Oswald’s involvement with Albert Schweitzer College (hereinafter ASC), including the processes and implications of his application, acceptance, and nonattendance, has led both to major discoveries and to significant refinements of previously developed hypotheses.

In the former category our attention is drawn to what Professor Evica terms “one of U.S. intelligence’s last important secrets,” the involvement by the Central Intelligence Agency and psychological operations (psyops) in student and youth organizations – especially those with religious affiliations.

The U.S. government’s faith-based initiatives, it seems, did not originate with George W. Bush’s alleged presidency.

As he meticulously follows Oswald’s ASC paper trail, the author is led not toward the Swiss campus, but rather into brick walls and empty rooms. A prime example: Oswald applied to the college on March 19, 1959. Less than two months later, when the chairman of ASC’s American Admissions Committee (and, at the time, the pastor of the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island) submitted to Switzerland the applications and related materials of prospective American students, Oswald’s folder was included.

Today those documents – critically important evidence in the investigation of the crime of the 20th century – do not exist in any official repository. This in spite of the fact that copies, or perhaps even originals, were in the Providence ASC file seized by the FBI after the assassination. This troubling absence, within a broader context fully substantiated in A Certain Arrogance, inevitably leads the author to conclude that Oswald’s application to ASC is “a still-protected American intelligence operation.”

I do not wish to spoil the bittersweet joy of discovery to be experienced as readers accompany Professor Evica on his journey through terra incognita. Yet the methodology and ultimate value of A Certain Arrogance as a “whodunit” (as opposed to the “howdunit” nature of the overwhelming majority of JFK assassination-related volumes) must be fully appreciated. To discover the identities of Oswald’s early manipulators is to be drawn into the necrotic nucleus of the disease. And so, thanks to the Evica investigation of the ASC charade, we are left with a preliminary, shattering conclusion regarding the “who” we seek.

“Whoever directed the Oswald [assassination] Game was thoroughly knowledgeable about both the OSS’s and CIA’s counterintelligence manipulations of Quakers, Unitarians, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed clerics and World Council of Churches officials as intelligence and espionage contacts, assets, and informants.”

From the mountains and snowfields and quaint villages of Switzerland, Professor Evica escorts us through a darker, more mysterious inner landscape. Examinations of what he neatly summarizes as “U.S. covert intelligence operating under humanitarian cover” leads us to a confrontation with psychological operations – psyops and its propaganda, disinformation, and morale operations alter egos.

Professor Evica was the first scholar/researcher to understand the Kennedy assassination and other intelligence operations as by-design theatrical productions, replete with all the essential elements of drama – including shameless manipulations of audiences’ minds and emotions. Within these pages he further supports and refines this hypothesis.

“Psychological manipulations of individuals and groups, whatever the procedure may have been called in the 18th and 19th centuries, drew upon discoveries in anatomy, mesmerism, hypnotism, counseling, studies in hysteria, rhetorical theory, psychoanalysis, advertising, behavior modification, and psychiatry. In the same periods, the literary forms of irony, satire, and comedy and the less reputable verbal arts of slander, libel, and manufactured lies were applied.”

Before we are tempted to argue that the realities of war often require an honorable combatant to mimic, for a limited period and with noble intent, the darker designs of an evil foe, Professor Evica reminds us that, “Most of these genres and strategies were enlisted in the service of social, class, and political power.” He then identifies a likely second unit director of the aforementioned Oswald Game.

C. D. Jackson was “the psyops expert who organized and ran General Dwight David Eisenhower’s Psychological Warfare Division at SHAEF … an official of the Office of War Information … [and] a veteran of the North African campaign.”

Jackson’s career and its impact upon American history, heretofore marginally understood at best (he is widely identified as the Time-Life editor who purchased the Zapruder film) are major focuses of A Certain Arrogance. Nowhere is both the validity of Albert Einstein’s observation that “the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion” and the contemporary relevance of Professor Evica’s discoveries more clearly evident than in the author’s exposition of the Jackson oeuvre. In particular we are drawn to the discussion of how mass media early on was identified as a key weapon in the mind control arsenal.

In a 1946 letter to Jackson, General Robert McClure, at one time Eisenhower’s chief of intelligence for the European theater, boasted to his psyops counterpart of the scope of their manipulation.

“We now control 137 newspapers, 6 radio stations, 314 theaters, 642 movies, 101 magazines, 237 book publishers, 7,384 book dealers and printers, and conduct about 15 public opinion surveys a month, as well as publish one newspaper with 1,500,000 circulation … run the AP of Germany, and operate 20 library centers.”

Fairness and balance, it seems, did not originate with the Fox Network’s alleged news division.

Haunting the pages of A Certain Arrogance in the company of the shades of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald is a revelation so menacing in its assault on convention as to provoke a reflexive shielding of our eyes from its searing light. Yet the author cannot spare us the psychic pain that is the unavoidable side effect of his scholarship, insofar as such suffering remains the sine qua non for the eradication of our common malady and the return to robust good health.

Within the nucleus of the disease, Professor Evica has discovered “a treasonous cabal of hard-line American and Soviet intelligence agents whose masters were above Cold War differences.”

In light of this revelation, we are left with no choice but to embrace a new paradigm of world power.

Professor Evica reveals the universally accepted vertical, East v. West Cold War confrontation to have been a sophistic construct, illusory in terms of its advertised raison d’etre, all too real in its bloody consequences, created by the powerful yet outnumbered manipulators of perception to protect what they recognized to be an all too fragile reality. The true division of power, he teaches us, then as now is drawn on a horizontal axis.

Envision the earth so bifurcated, with the line drawn not at the equator, but rather at the Arctic Circle. Above the line are the powerful few – the “Haves.” Below the line, in vastly superior numbers, are the powerless many – the “Have-Nots.”

Can we bear so much reality?

While contemplating the implications of Professor Evica’s research, I was reminded of how Francis Ford Coppola struggled to find the best thematic hook on which to hang the plot of The Godfather, Part III. It is said that he considered and ultimately rejected a treatment of the Kennedy assassination as the most cinematically viable expression of systemic evil in full flower. Instead – perhaps wisely, perhaps not – he opted to dramatize the Vatican Bank scandal.

Upon initial examination, the conjoined stories of the looting of the Banco Ambrosiano, the perfidy of Roberto Calvi and P2, the assassination of John Paul I, and the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church at its highest levels present as the cellular components of yet another tumor, arguably the most horrific manifestation imaginable of the disease being probed by Professor Evica.

We are incredulous. We are outraged.

Then reason returns.

The manipulations of religious institutions by elements of the deep political structure for unholy purposes should provoke neither surprise nor anger. For is not organized religion merely politics by other means?

The assault on Albert Schweitzer, however, is another matter.

“The ethical spirit … must be awakened anew,” Dr. Schweitzer instructed at the height of the Cold War. The defiling of the name and the perversion of the mission of that saintly man no doubt provoked sweet satisfaction within the breasts of those for whom a worldview informed by ethics is simply not a survivable option.

What then of justice? Have we any reason to expect the guilty to be punished, the disease to be eradicated? The novelist Jim Harrison:

“People finally don’t have much affection for questions, especially one so leprous as the apparent lack of a fair system of rewards and punishments on earth … We would like to think that the whole starry universe would curdle … the conjunctions of Orion twisted askew, the arms of the Southern Cross drooping. Of course not; immutable is immutable and everyone in his own private manner dashes his brains against the long suffering question that is so luminously obvious. Even gods aren’t exempt; note Jesus’ howl of despair as he stepped rather tentatively into eternity.”

It is for us to deliver justice and heal ourselves, to muster the courage to ask questions and the strength to endure answers.

Within the pages of A Certain Arrogance, George Michael Evica leads by example.
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#2
Charles Drago Wrote:The following is my "Introduction" to A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups and Individuals in Two World Wars and the Cold War -- and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald (2006; The Iron Sites Press), by the late George Michael Evica, PhD... to muster the courage to ask questions and the strength to endure answers.

Within the pages of A Certain Arrogance, George Michael Evica leads by example.

I'm part way through this, and richly rewarding it has proved already.

The pages given over to the Noel Field affair/Operation Splinter Factor (OSF) are worth the price of admission in and of themselves. They go to the heart of the myth of "roll back" and shed revealing light on the true nature of US objectives, strategies and tactics.

In brief, OSF was designed to preserve and maintain the status quo in post-WWII Europe. The rhetoric of liberation was for suckers. The lessons for those seeking to comprehend US policy in late-1950s Cuba and beyond are direct and profound.

Evica might usefully have looked at Beria's programme of reform in the immediate post-Stalin era: OSF was in large measure designed to shape the post-Stalin succession to thwart those within the Soviet elite who realised the dead-end into which the Party and the Red Army had, under the curious figure of the grotesque Stalin, driven the colossus.

Paul
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#3
Thanks, Paul.

Please do continue your review when time permits.

FYI, I'm working with George Michael's estate and a major publisher to bring out an updated version of ACA in 2009.
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#4
Charles Drago Wrote:Thanks, Paul.

Please do continue your review when time permits.

FYI, I'm working with George Michael's estate and a major publisher to bring out an updated version of ACA in 2009.

Do take a look at the figures targeted by the CIA's OSF - reformists, almost to a man, with Beria as their main patron. The Berlin "Uprising" represented a classic confluence of interest, with East Germany party, Red Army and the Agency united in the desire to destroy economic reform and political liberalization, not merely in Russian-controlled Germany, but throughout eastern Europe, each for their own complex of self-interested reasons. The dead give-away, from the point of exposing the hypocrisy and deceit of the East German party establishment, was the subsequent sustained campaign to point the finger at CIC, not the Agency.

Once one sees clearly what it was that Beria was attempting, we see immediately that Gorbachev's campaign of reform did not arise ex nihilo, but was firmly rooted within the divisions within the Soviet elite of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Gorby got the boot, by the way, not for rushing through reform, but for resisting it: He wanted to preserve the Union. The ascendant Chekists did not.

Paul
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#5
Paul Rigby Wrote:Gorbachev's campaign of reform did not arise ex nihilo, but was firmly rooted within the divisions within the Soviet elite of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Paul

Much to think about here.

For the moment, know that your sense of divisions within ostensibly monolithic constructs is key to understanding the deeper political complexities of broader (hemispheric, etc.) ideological conflicts.

An example: To view post-revolutionary Cuba as an ideologically coherent state is to misapprehend -- fatally -- the forces whose conflicting agendas and the battles they engendered remain the focus of our attention now.
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#6
Charles Drago Wrote:Much to think about here.

For the moment, know that your sense of divisions within ostensibly monolithic constructs is key to understanding the deeper political complexities of broader (hemispheric, etc.) ideological conflicts.

An example: To view post-revolutionary Cuba as an ideologically coherent state is to misapprehend -- fatally -- the forces whose conflicting agendas and the battles they engendered remain the focus of our attention now.

The Beria Interregnum

Throughout the Cold War, British and U.S. intelligence spent sizable quantities of tax payers money lying to the latter about their crimes. A favourite front was the émigré and/or dissident, and the preferred medium, the book. Thus in Mihajlo Mihajlov’s “Moscow Summer” – reassuringly, copyrighted in 1965 by those noted bibliophiles of the American Labor Conference on International Affairs, Inc. – we learn, ostensibly from the fearless Yugoslavian dissident-author, that Patrice Lumumba was killed by the same institutional hand that placed an ice-pick in Trotsky’s skull (1). The revelation of the existence of the CIA prior to 1947 was not the work’s only addition to the sum total of knowledge. Elsewhere, we learned that “only the destruction of all power will open the door to spiritual unity for mankind” (2), a proposition that no doubt elicited a chuckle or two from the CIA professor charged with overseeing the fulfilment of that year’s Langley literary quota.

Such vehicles also offered another use - the opportunity for the spooks to vent their deepest fears and neuroses. In the CIA’s case, the simmering terror was that the Soviet Union would de-ideologise and deprive it of its public raison d’etre. A second Mihajlov book, this one published in 1977, expressed this fear in the course of an episodic analysis of Solzhenitsyn’s “Letter to the Soviet Leaders.” Here, Mihajlov/the CIA overseer reinterpreted Soviet history from Lenin on, noting that the very revolution itself represented a repudiation of classical Marxism and its tenets. Even more revealing was this section:

Quote:On Yugoslav TV screens not long ago, there was shown weekly for two months a new Soviet series entitled “Seventeen Moments of Spring,” based on a screenplay by Julian Semyonov. Although the hero of the series was a Soviet secret intelligence officer – a KGB man who worked at the end of the war in the highest echelons of Hitler’s Reich – due to the wonderful directing of Tatyana Leonova and Vyacheslav Tikhonov, the series became a truly artistic creation rather than a stereotyped KGB spoof. The most interesting thing is that the author…crammed into the series a great number of very interesting reflections and thoughts on the totalitarian system (3).

What lay at the heart of these “very interesting reflections and thoughts”? Semyonov’s indifference to Marxist ideology; and boundless contempt for democracy. What was there in this to trouble the CIA’s more thoughtful elements, given that the CIA itself had spent its entire history destroying democracy at home and abroad? The fear that the Cheka would gain the same freedom from supervision and ideology as the CIA enjoyed.

It is a measure of the dismal nature of most Anglo-American scholarship on the post-Stalin succession that one must turn to a book, published in the late 1950s, and authored by a German former inmate of the gulag, to find lucidity and insight into what Beria sought to do, and why only a Chekist and the secret police bureaucracy could have attempted it. Bernhard Roeder’s analysis has a further vital utility: It offers us a precedent for the Gorbachevian revolution-from-above.

“Did Beria really intend to introduce a new regime, grant more freedom to the oppressed nations, abolish collective farming, initiate a policy of concilitation with the West – in short, revert to the Menshevik, Social-Democratic ideals of his youth?

One thing is certain: nobody knew better than he, Beria, in his position of potent, omniscient Chief of Secret Police, that extensive reforms were objectively necessary to get the Soviet system out of the blind alley into which Stalin had led it. And nobody but he could make such an attempt, for his Cheka was not, like the Party, entwined with the whole machine of State and economy. The Cheka was isolated, and therefore efficient; Cheka officials were in no danger of losing their jobs in the course of such radical reforms, as would be the case with Party officials, but would rather gain new positions of influence. Most important of all, the Cheka was not, like the Party, tied to a rigid ideology. The Cheka was an instrument of power for power’s sake. It can do without any ideology, can serve any ideology and betray any ideology. It has no ideology of its own, because it is the abstract organisation of absolute power which is not ashamed of its nakedness and therefore does not need the fig-leaf of an ideology…” (4).


Quote:(1) Mihajlo Mihajlov. Moscow Summer (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1966), p.214.
(2) Ibid., p.168.
(3) Mihajlo Mihajlov. Underground Notes (Routledge & Keegan Paul, 1977), p.96.
(4) Bernhard Roeder. Katorga: An Aspect of Modern Slavery (London: William Heinemann,1958), p.210.
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#7
Paul Rigby Wrote:The Beria Interregnum

I wrote the brief passage years ago. I was both surprised and delighted to see that Anne Applebaum, in her “Gulag: A History” (London: Penguin edition, 2004), offers a very fine two page summary of the sweeping reforms Beria launched almost the instant Stalin died. The most profound domestically concerned a) the gulag, and b) the conduct of the secret police:

Quote:…Beria requested that an amnesty be extended to all prisoners with sentences of five years or less, to all pregnant women, to all women with young children, and to every one under eighteen – a million people in all. The amnesty was announced on 27 March. Releases began immediately…on 16 June he laid all of his cards on the table, openly declaring his intention to ‘liquidate the system of forced labour, on the grounds of economic effectiveness and lack of perspective’…

…Beria made other changes as well. He forbade all secret police cadres from using physical force against arrestees – effectively ending torture. (1)

The point isn’t to start some sort of cult of Beria, but instead to see him clearly for what he was and what he sought to do – and thence to understand the CIA’s desperate desire to thwart him and his reforms. The relevance of Beria to the Kennedy assassination? Kennedy, like Beria before him, sought to end the Cold War.

(1) Anne Applebaum. Gulag: A History (London: Penguin, 2004), pp.430-431.
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#8
Paul, I am finding this thread most interesting. I am also reading ACA at the moment. It has been 25 years or more since I delved into Soviet politics and even then it was for other reasons that what I am interested to know now. Do you or any one else here know any good information (in English preferably) on factions with in the Soviet power structures over the years? Worth a try, hey?
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#9
Magda Hassan Wrote:Paul, I am finding this thread most interesting. I am also reading ACA at the moment. It has been 25 years or more since I delved into Soviet politics and even then it was for other reasons that what I am interested to know now. Do you or any one else here know any good information (in English preferably) on factions with in the Soviet power structures over the years? Worth a try, hey?

I found Boris I. Nicolaevsky's "Power and the Soviet Elite: 'The Letter of an Old Bolshevik' and other Essays" (London: Pall Mall Press, 1966), edited by Janet D. Zagoria, a very useful place to start. The same author wrote a number of very interesting and informative pieces for The New Leader in the late 40s and the 50s.

The best English-language overview of Beria and his policies I've come across is Amy Knight's "Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant" (Princeton UP, 1993). On p.169, for example, Knight illustrates the clear link between Kremlin power struggles and the purges in Eastern Europe. The missing dimension, of course, it what the CIA and its directors were up to, all of which is a no-no for Knight:

Quote:The Prague trial can be seen as a forerunner of the subsequent Doctors' Plot trial in Moscow, In fact, the charge of political murder by doctors introduced in Prague was to be a central theme, along with Zionism, of the Doctors' Plot.

As Knight notes, Slanksy and Bedrich Geminder were Beria's men: "...acting with Beria's sanction, they had made Czechoslovakia a center for funneling aid and weapons to Isreal..." (Ibid.)

At one point in the same book, Knight claims that the truth of Beria's reform programme (and much else) was hidden until recent revelations. This is purest balls, as we shall now see.

In Nicolaevsky's "Power and the Soviet Elite: 'The Letter of an Old Bolshevik' and other Essays," there is reproduced an article first published in Sotsialistichesky Vestnik in 1955, wherein the author notes: "We know definitely that while living in the USSR, Slansky and Geminder were high-ranking officials of the MVD-MGB and that they maintained this connection later, when they held major posts in their own country. Geminder had a direct telephone line the MGB in Moscow; those who arrested him knew this, and the first thing they did was to cut off his line to Moscow."

In a footnote on the same page added in 1964, Nicolaevsky stated baldly that Slansky had acted "on the instructions of Beria" in the arms flows to Israel.

CIA knew all of this in real-time, it almost goes without saying, and acted accordingly. Bolstering Soviet anti-semitism was no great leap for a man as inhumane as Allen Dulles, of course, who never once batted an eyelid at the same tactic in Germany. Evica misses a trick here, I can't help thinking.

Paul
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#10
Thanks Paul Smile.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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