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Jan Klimkowski
03-14-2009, 02:51 PM
FRIENDLY WARNING: THE ENDING OF THE FILM WILL BE DISCUSSED IN THIS THREAD! :pepsi:

Directed by Robert De Niro, from a script by Eric Roth in development for a long long time.

It is clearly drama drawing on realpolitick events and the transformation of the OSS/establishment secret societies into the CIA & Cold War paranoia.

The wiki entry identifies many of the historical personages & events alluded to in the movie:


The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, with an extensive supporting cast. Although it is a fictional film loosely based on real events, it is advertised as telling the untold story of the birth of counter-intelligence in the Central Intelligence Agency. It is a Morgan Creek Productions film distributed by Universal Pictures. The film's main character, Edward Wilson (portrayed by Matt Damon), is loosely based on James Jesus Angleton and Richard M. Bissell.[citation needed] William Hurt's character, Phillip Allen, is largely based on Allen Dulles,[citation needed] while General Bill Sullivan, played by Robert De Niro, is loosely based on Major General William Joseph Donovan.[citation needed.]

Plot
In 1961, the Bay of Pigs Invasion into Cuba fails due to an as of yet undisclosed leak. Afterwards, a photograph and an audio recording on reel-to-reel tape are anonymously dropped off at the home of Edward Wilson (Matt Damon), a senior CIA officer.

The narrative flashes back to 1939: Edward is attending Yale University and is a new member of Skull and Bones, a secret society that grooms future U.S. leaders. As part of his initiation, Edward must reveal a secret about himself: he reveals that as a young boy, he discovered his father's suicide note. After the ceremony, a fraternity brother tells him that Edward's father, an admiral, was to be chosen as Secretary of the Navy, until his loyalties were questioned. He asks Edward what the suicide note said, and Edward tells him that he never read it.

Shortly after the Skull and Bones ceremony, Edward is recruited by an FBI agent (Alec Baldwin), who claims that Edward's poetry professor, Dr. Fredericks (Michael Gambon), is a Nazi spy. Edward is asked to help expose the professor, which he does, resulting in Dr. Fredericks' deportation. It is also heavily implied that the professor is homosexual (taboo in this era), and that the professor has an attraction to Edward, which would aid Edward in exposing him.

Edward begins a relationship with a hearing-impaired student named Laura (Tammy Blanchard). However, while attending a Skull and Bones retreat on Deer Island, Edward meets Margaret 'Clover' Russell (Angelina Jolie), his friend's sister. General Bill Sullivan (Robert De Niro), who is not a member of the Skull and Bones Society, asks Wilson to join the OSS, offering him a post in London. Soon after, Clover aggressively seduces Wilson, and they have sex in the woods behind the Skull and Bones club house.

A few months later, while Edward and Laura are at the beach, Clover's brother arrives and privately talks to him. The brother reveals Clover is pregnant with Wilson's child and asks if he will "do what is expected." Laura, able to read lips, sees this and walks away. Edward marries Clover, and during the wedding reception, a U.S. Army courier arrives, reiterating General Sullivan's offer for a position at the OSS London office. Edward accepts, whereupon the courier then hands over his orders, requiring him to be in England in one week. Clover is to remain in the US. To his surprise, Edward's former professor, Dr. Fredericks, is also in London; he is actually a British intelligence operative. While at Yale, he had sought to infiltrate a Nazi organization, causing the American authorities to suspect he was a Nazi spy. Edward's betrayal of his professor ruined two years of espionage work. Despite this, Fredericks recognized Edward's gifts and recommended him to be trained in counter-espionage methods in London.

Soon after, a British intelligence officer, Arch Cummings (Billy Crudup), tells Edward that Fredericks' indiscriminate homosexual relationships pose a security risk and asks Edward to deal with his former mentor. As they walk, Fredericks refuses Edward's chivalrous suggestion to protect himself by returning to teaching, and he, in turn, advises Edward to "quit the dirty work . . . while you still have a soul." However, he understands if Edward wants to "tie his shoe" (a signal to watchers that the meeting went badly). Edward delays, which prompts Fredericks to kneel down and tie Edward's shoe for him. As their meeting ends, Fredericks leaves Edward, and, after turning a street corner, is killed and his body dumped into the river.

The timeline moves to post-war Berlin, where the Allies and the Soviets, in a race for technological superiority, are vying to recruit as many German scientists as possible. Edward encounters his Soviet counterpart, codenamed "Ulysses", who praises Edward as a formidable adversary. They and their subordinates meet in a bombed out church in Berlin and exchange scientists to the other side---the Soviets asking for German Nazi and Slavic scientists, while the Americans asking for Jewish scientists.

Edward interviews potential German informants with the aid of a female interpreter, Hanna Schiller (Martina Gedeck), who wears a hearing aid. When Edward makes a rare phone call home, he inadvertently learns from his young son, Edward, Jr., that Clover is seeing another man. After the phone call, Hanna enters Edward's office and invites him to her house. After cooking dinner, she asks him to stay, and they end up having sex. Afterwards, Edward realizes that Hanna can hear him without the use of her hearing aid, exposing her as a Soviet operative who has infiltrated OSS activities. Edward has Hanna killed and notifies Ulysses by having her hearing aid planted into his tea pot.

After six years in London, Edward returns to the United States and is greeted by Clover (who now prefers to be called Margaret). Edward presents his son with a miniature model ship he made that is inside a glass watch casing. He learns from Margaret that her brother was killed in the war, and she confesses that she was seeing another man. When she asks if he had any relationships, Edward replies that, "it was a mistake." She suggests they sleep in separate bedrooms until they become reacquainted, to which Edward agrees. General Sullivan approaches Edward again to help form a new foreign intelligence organisation (the CIA) where Edward will work with his former colleague, Richard Hayes (Lee Pace), under Phillip Allen (William Hurt). Edward accepts, hiding the details about his job from his wife's friends and other acquaintances.

Edward's first assignment deals with an unnamed Central American coffee-growing country where the Russians are trying to gain influence. Edward spots Ulysses in the background of some stock footage of the country's leader, but chooses to conceal this information from others in the room. An agent, also a Skull and Bones member, is sent undercover as a representative of the Mayan coffee company. In order to intimidate the Central American leader, Edward arranges for airplanes to fly over and release locusts during a public event where the Russians (including Ulysses) are present. Edward later receives a can of Mayan coffee, presumably from Ulysses, containing the severed finger of the American agent.

Edward interviews Valentin Mironov, a Russian requesting asylum and claiming to be a high-ranking official who knows Ulysses. While attending the theatre with Mironov and Cummings, Edward unexpectedly encounters his former sweetheart, Laura. Edward and Laura leave the theatre separately, then meet at a restaurant and discuss old times before having sex at Laura's house.

Sometime later when Edward has gone ahead to a Skull and Bones dinner, Margaret anonymously receives photos of Laura and Edward getting into a taxi together and kissing. A distraught Margaret confronts him at the dinner. Edward ends the relationship with Laura by sending her jewelled crucifix to her by messenger, which he had kept from their college romance days.

Edward receives a call from a Soviet defector (Mark Ivanir) claiming that he is the real Valentin Mironov, and the person they know as Valentin is an impostor whose real name is Yuri Modin, a KGB operative working for Ulysses. Edward does not believe him, and agents torture the Russian in an attempt to uncover his true identity. The defector never changes his story, even enduring a form of waterboarding. Eventually, he is administered liquid LSD, because of its alleged truth serum properties, which ultimately causes erratic behavior. But he solidly clings to his stated identity; he shouts that he is Valentin Mironov and commits suicide by hurling himself out the window to the pavement several stories below. This is apparently based on[citation needed] an actual event when U.S. Army scientist Frank Olson died in a similar way, allegedly as a result of unwittingly participating in CIA-conducted LSD experiments called MKULTRA. The first man claiming to be Mironov, who witnessed the ordeal from behind a two-way mirror with Edward, offers to take LSD to prove his innocence.

Edward visits his son, Edward Jr., at Yale, where he has also joined the Skull and Bones society and has been approached for recruitment by the CIA. Margaret (Clover) pleads with Edward to persuade their son not to accept, but Edward Jr. joins anyway, believing it will bring him closer to his loving, but distant father. This widens the rift between Edward and Margaret, and she eventually leaves him and moves to Arizona to live with her mother. Later, while at a Skull and Bones retreat, Edward discusses the upcoming Bay of Pigs invasion with Hayes. Edward Jr. inadvertantly overhears the discussion and a reference to "Bahía de Cochinos", Spanish for "Bay of Pigs." Edward suspects that Edward Jr. may have overheard the conversation and warns his son not to repeat anything that was discussed.

Time passes, and the Bay of Pigs invasion fails. The CIA thoroughly analyzes the photograph (which depicts a Caucasian man and a woman of color making love) and the edited version of the tape that was anonymously dropped at Edward's house earlier in the movie. From visual clues such as the ceiling fan's brand name and the church bells and other sounds heard on the tape, CIA specialists deduce that the photograph may have been taken in Leopoldville, Congo. Edward goes there and finds the room. He realizes that the photograph and tape are of his son Edward Jr. when he sees the model ship in the glass watch casing that he gave his son is sitting on the nightstand; its blurred image was the one object in the photo that the CIA team was unable to identify. Ulysses has apparently been awaiting Edward's arrival. He plays Edward an unedited version of the tape, which reveals that Edward Jr. repeated "Bahía de Cochinos", the classified information he overheard his father discussing, to his lover—a Soviet spy. It is that information that led to the Cubans' and Soviets' knowledge regarding the CIA landing at the Bay of Pigs. Ulysses reveals that the woman spy has truly fallen in love with Edward Jr. Ulysses encourages Edward to spy for the Soviets in exchange for them protecting his son. Edward is non-committal, however; he confronts his son, who says that he is in love with the woman and plans to marry her. When Edward tells him she is a spy, Edward Jr. refuses to believe him.

Edward exposes Valentin as a Soviet spy after finding evidence hidden in the book binding of a copy of Ulysses: inside are a passport with his real name and an escape plan. Arch Cummings is also exposed as a co-conspirator. In an earlier scene, Cummings gave the book to Valentin as a seemingly clever benign gift, playing on Valentin's knowledge about Ulysses, the Soviet spy. Arch Cummings flees to the USSR. After this, Edward declines to run counter-intelligence for the Soviets. Edward explains that the Soviets have won in Cuba and that it is not necessary to hurt his son. Ulysses makes a reference to Edward doing him a future favor, having placed Edward in a compromising position. Ulysses notes of Edward Jr.'s fiancée: "neither of us can be sure about her", and asks Edward, "Do you want her to be part of your family?" Edward says nothing. Shortly after this, Ulysses' aide asks him for change to purchase his daughter a souvenir from the gift shop. Edward asks how much it is, and, upon hearing it is a dollar, hands him a one dollar note, commenting that a cardinal rule of democracy is generosity. This appears to be a reference to a scene from the film's beginning, where a young boy on a bus asks Edward for change for a dollar—when Edward returns to his office, he matches the bill's serial number to a CIA asset codenamed "CARDINAL". So Edward is, in fact, returning the "marked" dollar to the asset, who is Ulysses' aide.

Edward and Margaret arrive separately in the Congo for Edward Jr.'s wedding. His fiancée boards a small plane to travel to the ceremony. In mid-flight, she is thrown out the door by the co-pilot. When she fails to arrive at the church, Edward informs a worried Edward Jr. that his fiancée is dead. Edward Jr. tearfully asks his father if he had anything to do with her death, to which Edward denies any responsibility. Edward Jr. reveals that his fiancée was pregnant; this news shocks and saddens Edward.

Edward then meets with fellow Skull and Bones classmate Hayes (loosely based on Richard Helms) at the new CIA headquarters still under construction. Hayes tells him that Allen is resigning under a cloud of financial improprieties, and that the President has asked him to be the new Director. The President has directed him to do some "house cleaning" and he tells Edward that he needs someone he can trust, saying, "after all, we're still brothers" and that Edward is the "CIA's heart and soul". He then shows Edward a wing of the CIA that will be Edward's "part of the world" and tells him he will be the first head of counter-intelligence.

Edward is then shown opening a floor safe in his closet and pulling out the suicide note that his father, Thomas, had left before killing himself. Edward finally reads the note, in which his father's words reveal that he had betrayed his country. He left loving words for his wife and son, particularly urging the latter to grow up to be a good man, husband, and father and to live a life of decency and truth. Edward burns the note.

The movie ends with Edward leaving his old office moving to his new wing in CIA.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Shepherd_(film)

Jan Klimkowski
03-14-2009, 03:05 PM
The mood of chill paranoia, the Matt Damon character distrusting everyone because everyone is suspect, is well executed. Some of the acting is excellent. However, I find Angelina Jolie totally miscast and the scenes involving her almost unwatchable.

On the history, the Bay of Pigs narrative is rubbish. As a way of examining the personal morality of intelligence agents, and their family loyalty, it's a decent - if tortuous - parable. But the Bay of Pigs is a real and very important historical event, and it's used as mere plot scenery in the movie.

Also, as a matter of history, I refuse to accept this portrayal of Angleton with a bit of Bissell - as played out in the Matt Damon character.

Le Carre's material works because its characters are largely fictional creations. For me, the achilles heel weakness of The Good Shepherd is that its characters are historically identifiable, as are its key events -such as the Bay of Pigs.

David Guyatt
03-14-2009, 06:40 PM
What particularly struck me about the film was it's very strong WASP/Anglo elitism operating in the shadows as the secret government. America may have many Italians, Jews and untold numbers of other nationalities as citizens, but the Damon character makes clear in one scene they re present there only under sufferance and will never be part of the guiding hand of the state.

At Frank Wisner's funeral there was left a floral tribute in the shape of a "7" from the University of Virginia. It was noted by one historian and author who wrote a book about Wisner that the tribute signified that Wisner had been tapped as one of the nations leaders. This tribute was from the "Society of Seven". When I tried to research this there was nothing on the internet about it. Today, the SoS has it's own Wiki page:


even Society
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about a secret society at the University of Virginia. For the College of William & Mary secret society, see Seven Society (Order of the Crown and Dagger).


The sign of the Seven Society on a plaque outside Old Cabell Hall
The Seven Society (founded 1905)[1] is the most secretive of the University of Virginia's secret societies. Members are only revealed after their death, when a wreath of black magnolias in the shape of a "7" is placed at the gravesite, the bell tower of the University Chapel chimes seven times at seven-second intervals on the seventh dissonant chord when it is seven past the hour, and a notice is published in the University's Alumni News, and often in the Cavalier Daily. [2] The most visible tradition of the society is the painting of the logo of the society, the number 7 surrounded by the signs for alpha (A), omega (?), and infinity (?), and sometimes several stars, upon many buildings around the grounds of the University.[3]
There is no clear history of the founding of the society. There is a legend that, of eight men who planned to meet for a card game, only seven showed up,[4] and they formed the society. Other histories claim that the misbehavior of other secret societies, specifically the Hot Feet (later the IMP Society), led University President Edwin A. Alderman to call both the Hot Feet and the Z Society into his office and suggest that a more "beneficial organization" was needed.[1]
The only known method to successfully contact the Seven Society is to place a letter at the Thomas Jefferson statue inside the University's historic Rotunda (accounts differ on the exact placement of the letter, either on the base or in the crook of the statue's arm).[5]
Contents [hide]
1 Philanthropic gifts
2 Notable members
3 Seven Society at other colleges/universities
4 References
5 See also
[edit]Philanthropic gifts

The group contributes financially to the University, announcing donations with letters signed only with seven astronomical symbols in the order: Earth, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Uranus, and Venus. Saturn is not included. The Society gives large monetary donations and scholarships to the University each year in quantities that include the number 7, e.g. $777 or $1,777. Significant past gifts to the University include the Seven Society Carillon in the UVA Chapel, donated in memory of deceased members of the society, and given with the request that there should be a toll of seven times seven bells on the passing of a member;[6] a memorial to past Seven Society members who gave their lives in World War I[7]; $17,777.77 for a loan fund in honor of University president John Lloyd Newcomb; the ceremonial mace carried in academic processions;[2] $10,777.77 in support of the re-establishment of Homecoming;[8] a plaque on the Rotunda honoring University students who died in the Korean War;[9] $7,077.77 to endow the Ernest Mead Fund for the Music Library;[10] $47,777.77 for the making of a film on the honor system;[11] and $1 million in support of the University's South Lawn Project.[12] Most recently, the society gave a $777,777.77 grant to fund the Mead Endowment, which awards grants to professors to teach their "dream classes."[13]
In addition to granting spontaneous gifts, the Seven Society sponsors an annual $7,000 graduate fellowship award for superb teaching.[14]


The Seven Society sign in front of Maury Hall
[edit]Notable members

The Seven Society is unusual among University of Virginia secret societies in including members who were not students or alumni of the University. Notable examples include Mary Proffitt, secretary to Dean James M. Page and Dean Ivey F. Lewis;[15][16] and Ivey F. Lewis himself, a non-alumnus professor and longtime dean of students at the University.[17]
Several notable individuals whose Seven Society membership was disclosed at their death include:
James Rogers McConnell, student and volunteer for the Lafayette Escadrille during World War I, memorialized in Gutzon Borglum's statue The Aviator[18]
Frank Wisner - head of Office of Strategic Services operations in southeastern Europe at the end of World War II, and the head of the Directorate of Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency during the 1950s.[19]
John Lloyd Newcomb, second president of the University of Virginia
Edward Stettinius, Jr., secretary of state under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman[20]
Adm. William F. Halsey [20]
Frank Hereford, fifth president of the University of Virginia
H. Lockwood Frizzell, drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles[21]
[edit]Seven Society at other colleges/universities

There have been several secret societies with "seven" in their name. No connection between the societies has been shown, but there is at least some tradition in the use of the names.
One such secret society is the Seven Society (Order of the Crown and Dagger) known to exist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The founding date of the William and Mary society is reported to have been as early as 1826.[22]
A second unrelated society was the Mystic Seven Fraternity, constituted in 1885,[23] of which the Virginia Temple of the Hands and Torch was the parent chapter. Prior to the Civil War, there had been a Mystical Seven Society, with several chapters across the South. One surviving group at Mississippi created a chapter at Virginia. That Virginia chapter later organized the Mystic Seven Fraternity, also calling the new organization Phi Theta Alpha. [24] Five years later the Mystic Seven Fraternity merged with Beta Theta Pi, with the Virginia chapter becoming the Omicron chapter of Beta Theta Pi. [25]
A third unrelated society, also called Mystical Seven, was founded in 1907 at the University of Missouri. It is often claimed that this society was directly inspired by the Seven Society at Virginia, (although no citations are given), but it took the older Mystical Seven name.

There is a lot to digest in this Wiki entry. For example, on the origin of the name Seven and the eight men who arranged to play cards of who only 7 turned up, my guess is that the cards in question were Tarot cards.

The symbolism of the SoS '7" as follows is clearly occult in nature:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/Sevensociety.jpg/300px-Sevensociety.jpg
The sign of the Seven Society on a plaque outside Old Cabell Hall

And

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/76/Seven_Society_Maury_Hall.jpg/200px-Seven_Society_Maury_Hall.jpg
The Seven Society sign in front of Maury Hall

7 is a number of great significance for the Knights Templar.

I have spent quite a lot of time looking at the numbers "7" and a higher expression "777" in all sorts of contexts in the past. One notable area is this"

http://flagspot.net/images/z/za}awb.gif

Also rendered this way:

http://flagspot.net/images/z/za}awbtv.gif

Both are flags of the South African Neo-nazi Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)

Which, if one follows it back in history takes one to Druidism with which SS-1 Heinrich Himmler and his occult buddies of the SS Ahnenerbe were mightily interested in.

**

My apologies for hijacking yet another thread Jan. It can't help myself. It's a case of "word association football", I think - one set of thoughts unlocks others and I'm off down the slippery slope I'm afraid.

Jan Klimkowski
03-14-2009, 06:47 PM
My apologies for hijacking yet another thread Jan. It can't help myself. It's a case of "word association football", I think - one set of thoughts unlocks others and I'm off down the slippery slope I'm afraid.

David - no apologies needed. There's much fascinating material in your post.

The WASP-infested nature of much of the old eastern seaboard establishment, and their links with the secret world, are well captured in The Good Shepherd. As is the sense of 360-degree paranoia.

David Guyatt
03-14-2009, 09:29 PM
From Wiki:


Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. For other uses, see Virginia (disambiguation).

Commonwealth of Virginia

Flag of Virginia Seal of Virginia
Nickname(s): Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents
Motto(s): Sic semper tyrannis (Latin)[1]
before statehood, known as
the Colony of Virginia

Official language(s) English
Spoken language(s) English 94.6%, Spanish 5.9%
Demonym Virginian
Capital Richmond
Largest city Virginia Beach
Largest metro area Northern Virginia
Area Ranked 35th in the US
- Total 42,774 sq mi
(110,785 km²)
- Width 200 miles (320 km)
- Length 430 miles (690 km)
- % water 7.4
- Latitude 36°?32? N to 39°?28? N
- Longitude 75°?15? W to 83°?41? W
Population Ranked 12th in the US
- Total 7,769,089 (2008 est.)[2]
- Density 193/sq mi (75/km²)
Ranked 14th in the US
- Median income $59,562[3] (9th)
Elevation
- Highest point Mount Rogers[4]
5,729 ft (1,747 m)
- Mean 950 ft (290 m)
- Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[4]
0 ft (0 m)
Admission to Union June 25, 1788 (10th)
Governor Timothy M. Kaine (D)
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R)
U.S. Senators Jim Webb (D)
Mark Warner (D)
Congressional Delegation 6 Democrats,
5 Republicans (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Abbreviations VA US-VA
Website www.virginia.gov

The Commonwealth of Virginia ( /v??d??nj?/ ) is an American state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. The state is known as the "Old Dominion" and sometimes as "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents. The state is geographically shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, home to much of the state's flora and fauna. The capital of the commonwealth is Richmond, Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The state population is over seven million.[5]
The roots of Virginia trace back to the founding of the Virginia Colony in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London as the first permanent New World English colony. Slavery played a significant role in Virginia's early economy and politics. Virginia became one of the Thirteen Colonies in the American Revolution and subsequently joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which the state of West Virginia separated. Although traditionally conservative and historically part of the South, modern Virginia is a politically competitive state for both major national parties.[6]

And


Statehood
Virginians were instrumental in writing the United States Constitution. James Madison drafted the Virginia Plan in 1787 and the Bill of Rights in 1789. Virginia ratified the Constitution on June 25, 1788. The three-fifths compromise ensured that Virginia initially had the largest bloc in the House of Representatives, which with the Virginia dynasty of presidents gave the commonwealth national importance. In 1790, both Virginia and Maryland ceded territory to form the new District of Columbia, though in 1847 the Virginian area was retroceded.[48] Virginia is sometimes called "Mother of States" because of its role in being carved into several mid-western states.[60]

And


In 1583, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted Sir Walter Raleigh a charter to explore and plant a colony north of Florida.[45] In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh sent an expedition to the Atlantic coast of North America. The name "Virginia" may have been suggested by Raleigh or Elizabeth, perhaps noting her status as the "Virgin Queen," and may also be related to a native phrase, "Wingandacoa", or name, "Wingina".[46] Initially the name applied to the entire coastal region from South Carolina to Maine, plus the island of Bermuda. The London Company was incorporated as a joint stock company by the proprietary Charter of 1606, which granted land rights to this area.[47] The Company financed the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Jamestown, named for King James I, was founded in May 1607 by Captains Christopher Newport and John Smith. In 1609 many colonists died during the "starving time" after the loss of the Third Supply's flagship, the Sea Venture.[48]

Obviously, Virgin-ia is named after QE1, the Virgin (not) Queen, who's first born son was Sir Francis Bacon - aka Shakespeare - founder of the original Rosicrucian Order, i.e., the "Crossed Rose" or "Rosy Cross".

It is said that all things begun under the Rose are secret (sub Rosa). Not all things so begun are intrinsically evil or bad, but sometimes are commenced with the best possible motives and purpose for the advancement of mankind.

All secret things, however, have an intrinsic weakness which is, of course, their inherent strength. They get corrupted by human nature and they suffer the inevitable weakness of secret societies - and spy agencies - throughout the world: betrayal.

And soon what was begun as a moral and ethical endeavour becomes twisted and subjugated to other ends. It's Yin-Yang (a philosophy well worth attention imo).

Put in a modern western setting, it is the eternal "conflict of opposites" where reaching one extreme engenders the birth of its opposite.

Yours in rambling-ness

David

Magda Hassan
03-14-2009, 11:01 PM
The group contributes financially to the University, announcing donations with letters signed only with seven astronomical symbols in the order: Earth, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Uranus, and Venus. Saturn is not included.I wonder why this is the case? Why this order and not Saturn? I can see that the names of the planets go alphabetically from the beginning to the end of the alphabet but why no Saturn?

Also is the name 'Cabell' that is mentioned on the Old Cabell Hall is the same family of Earl and Charles Cabell? They were Texans though.
But more likely this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Branch_Cabell Unless of course they are part of the same family. Just curious.

Charles Drago
03-15-2009, 03:34 AM
The WASP-infested nature of much of the old eastern seaboard establishment, and their links with the secret world, are well captured in The Good Shepherd.

They are most memorably depicted in the scene with Damon and, in the Sam Giancana-inspired role of "Joseph Palmi,", Joe Pesci:


Joseph Palmi: We Italians, we got our families and we got the church. The Irish, they have the homeland. The Jews, their traditions. Even the Niggers, they got their music. What about you people Mr. Carlson, what do you have?

Edward: The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.

Charles Drago
03-15-2009, 04:01 AM
Le Carre's material works because its characters are largely fictional creations. For me, the achilles heel weakness of The Good Shepherd is that its characters are historically identifiable, as are its key events -such as the Bay of Pigs.

And because Le Carre is simply a masterful novelist.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is the most satisfying and deep literary meditation on the nature of betrayal -- of and by country, spouse, lover, youth, ideals, ideology, and self -- of which I am familiar.

It is the Philby story -- or, to be more accurate, the story of David Cornwell's struggle with it and the catharsis it instigated -- more fully probed in terms of motivation and psychology than by any other investigation. And there have been many.

In the late '60s, Le Carre could barely restrain his contempt for Kim and his "whiskey voice."

By the '90s, he was wholly disillusioned with the West -- a process that clearly had begun in 1974 with the writing of TTSS.

When the novel's historically identifiable Philby character, Bill Haydon, is asked by George Smiley why he turned on England, the answer is succinct and delivered with a contemptuous smile that disguises -- but not by any means fully -- smoldering inner conflict of the sort Le Carre was enduring:

"Someone had to."

By the way, the BBC six-part adaptation of TTSS by Arthur Hopcraft and starring Sir Alec Guinness, is, for my bankroll, by far the most successful dramatic adaptation of a serious novel ever presented on the small screen. It is available on DVD, and I urge all who find this forum to be of interest to buy the set immediately.

For those who aren't aware, Le Carre once was asked why he had not written a novel "about" the JFK assassination.

His reply: "It's too difficult."

That being noted, I must take issue with you, Jan. In the hands of a better informed and more gifted writer, The Good Shepherd might have succeeded not in spite of, but because of its direct historical depictions of characters and events.

Yes, the job would have been immensely more "difficult." But to quote Rocco, one of Michael Corleone's two most trusted hitters, when asked by his boss in The Godfather, Part II if Hyman Roth can be killed ...

"Difficult, but not impossible."

One last observation before I go to the mattress: I've not read this anywhere else, but I see the Corleone family in part as a Kennedy family analog: The Don is papa Joe; Sonny is Jack; Michael is Bobby; and poor Fredo is Teddy.

David Guyatt
03-15-2009, 10:23 AM
The group contributes financially to the University, announcing donations with letters signed only with seven astronomical symbols in the order: Earth, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Uranus, and Venus. Saturn is not included.I wonder why this is the case? Why this order and not Saturn? I can see that the names of the planets go alphabetically from the beginning to the end of the alphabet but why no Saturn?


The Moon is not included either. Traditionally, the seven heavenly bodies would be listed as: Earth, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, with Saturn, Uranus and Pluto being attributed to to a different level altogether. The fact that in their list Neptune and Uranus replace the Moon and the Sun is very interesting.

Charles Drago
03-15-2009, 10:35 AM
David, et al,

Are you aware that Hitler's Nazi Party membership number was 555?

So with 777, 'Dolph brackets the Sign of the You-Know-What.

Above all there is 9 -- three trinities.

And it has been said that Hitler could not have been the anti-Christ because he never claimed the title.

Magda Hassan
03-15-2009, 11:08 AM
The selection of planets doesn't make a lot of sense. Helocentricly or geocentricly.

David Guyatt
03-15-2009, 11:24 AM
Charlie, I didn't know that. Very interesting.

Speaking of triple numbers, especially "777" these were, as I'm sure you'll recall the Yen value in billions of WWII Japanese plundered gold stashed on the Philippines just prior to the end of the war.

But rather intriguingly, Crowley wrote a rather obscure book entitled "Liber 777" that summates Qabalistic doctrine.

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/crowley/liber777/777_01.gif

Jan Klimkowski
03-15-2009, 01:53 PM
That being noted, I must take issue with you, Jan. In the hands of a better informed and more gifted writer, The Good Shepherd might have succeeded not in spite of, but because of its direct historical depictions of characters and events.

Yes, the job would have been immensely more "difficult." But to quote Rocco, one of Michael Corleone's two most trusted hitters, when asked by his boss in The Godfather, Part II if Hyman Roth can be killed ...

"Difficult, but not impossible."

I wouldn't disagree. But I suspect it also comes down to intellectual honesty and one's conception of truth.

The Bay of Pigs storyline in The Good Shepherd is posited on the notion that a mole betrayed the timing of the invasion. For dramatic reasons, this "mole" turns out to be the Damon/Angleton character's son, presenting Damon with ultimate moral choices.

The moral dilemma is fine... as drama. Its supposed historical context cannot be other than rubbish... as history.

Having said that, those people who believe Lee Harvey Oswald assasinated JFK alone doubtless conclude that Oliver Stone's movie, JFK, is rubbish.

The combination of Angelina Jolie's gross miscasting and the Bay of Pigs nonsense make it impossible for me willingly to suspend disbelief when watching The Good Shepherd.


One last observation before I go to the mattress: I've not read this anywhere else, but I see the Corleone family in part as a Kennedy family analog: The Don is papa Joe; Sonny is Jack; Michael is Bobby; and poor Fredo is Teddy.

Not a bad fit at all. JFK was rather headstrong, whilst Bobby was intellectually calculating. And Teddy is the compromised family idiot.

Charles Drago
03-15-2009, 02:23 PM
The Bay of Pigs storyline in The Good Shepherd is posited on the notion that a mole betrayed the timing of the invasion. For dramatic reasons, this "mole" turns out to be the Damon/Angleton character's son, presenting Damon with ultimate moral choices.

The moral dilemma is fine... as drama. Its supposed historical context cannot be other than rubbish... as history.


Jan,

Your criticism of the use of the Bay of Pigs by the writer of The Good Shepherd is right-on. I'd say the story line represents reckless disregard not only for literal truth, but for the long-term consequences of such an act.

That the April, 1961 invasion was a "perfect failure" is beyond reasonable doubt. Not to split hairs, but the operation was NOT blown; it was designed to crash and burn, and giving advance notice to certain elements within the Cuban and Soviet deep political structures was simply part of the design.

To be even more accurate: Those elements likely were involved in operational planning.

Given what TGS alleges, the film stands as enemy propaganda. A better-informed, more gifted, less compromised writer would have known the truth and not sacrificed it on the altar of dramatic expediency.

To be absurdly generous, the character of "Angleton's" son may represent the part of his psyche that drove his own double game ...

But conducting such analysis, I'm afraid, to quote the Senator Long character in JFK, is best likened to digging gnat shit out of pepper.

David Guyatt
03-15-2009, 03:41 PM
The selection of planets doesn't make a lot of sense. Helocentricly or geocentricly.

I'm sure logic is involved in their choice. It's just that there is unusual logic involved. Backwards logic perhaps?

The traditional bodies I listed earlier, and in the order I listed them, are those that correspond with the ascending Sephira of the Qabalistic Tree of Life (the journey of the Fool) - falling short of the Supernals at the emerging Sephiroth Daath and the Abyss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(Kabbalah)) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(Kabbalah)).

Very exotic stuff.