View Full Version : James Douglass speaking tour: "JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable"

Ed Jewett
09-29-2010, 02:23 AM
James Douglass speaking tour: "JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable"

Submitted by liberte (http://911blogger.com/users/liberte) on Tue, 09/28/2010 - 11:29am

James Douglass (http://911blogger.com/taxonomy/term/8600)
JFK (http://911blogger.com/taxonomy/term/1891)
Obama (http://911blogger.com/taxonomy/term/2961)
Speaking Tour (http://911blogger.com/taxonomy/term/12845)

James W. Douglass, author of "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters" (Orbis, 2008), will be on a speaking tour in the Northeastern US, Sept 30 - Oct 6. This superbly documented book is perhaps the most important among hundreds written on the JFK assassination. Douglass is a highly esteemed and well-published author, professor, Catholic theologian, co-founder of Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth (http://rl911truth.org/), and a lifelong antiwar activist and nuclear disarmament advocate.
http://911blogger.com/sites/default/files/inline/image/Harvard%20campus%20poster-flyer%203%20for%20Jim%20Douglass%20at%20Harvard-Epworth%20UMC,%20Oct%201st%20-%201-fifth.JPGDouglass is under contract with Orbis Books (in conjunction with Simon & Schuster) for publication of a trilogy, on the political assassinations of the 1960's, including those of JFK, RFK, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his powerful new book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, Douglass explores JFK's transformation from a conventional Cold Warrior to someone who was determined to pull the world back from the brink of apocalypse -- a transformation undertaken by JFK, Douglass writes, which then led, inexorably, to his execution, by those determined to nullify, and even exterminate his vision. Only by unmasking those forces of what is so clearly "Unspeakable," he argues, can we possibly free ourselves, and our country, so that we may yet pursue a global vision of peace, justice and meaningful democracy for all.
James and his wife Shelley were co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in 1977, inspired by opposition to the Trident Nuclear Submarine Base near Seattle, Wash.; and, of Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker hospitality house in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.

Six lecture/presentations in New England, starting Thursday, Sept. 30th until Tuesday, Oct. 5th; concluding with a seventh in Philadelphia, Pa., on Wednesday, Oct. 6th:
September30 Portland, Maine October 1 Cambridge, Massachusetts October 2 Leverett, Massachusetts October 3 Weston, Vermont October 4 New Britain, Connecticut October 5 Worcester, Massachusetts October 6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Specific and comments at link:

Ed Jewett
10-03-2010, 10:06 PM
Is there anyone else planning on attending any of these events?

Might it be feasible to submit, through the publisher, a list of questions to Mr. Douglass? I am curious to hear what he will say about the current nuclear weapons situation, events, etc., let alone any questions in re: Dealey Plaza or other assassinations. There are previous indications (in one of the videos or articles I posted when the book came out) that he is not and will not be an online presence (our loss, his gain).

Dawn Meredith
10-04-2010, 11:17 PM
Is there anyone else planning on attending any of these events?

Might it be feasible to submit, through the publisher, a list of questions to Mr. Douglass? I am curious to hear what he will say about the current nuclear weapons situation, events, etc., let alone any questions in re: Dealey Plaza or other assassinations. There are previous indications (in one of the videos or articles I posted when the book came out) that he is not and will not be an online presence (our loss, his gain).

My old friend Harvey Yazijian -(Assassination Information Bureau)- saw him in Cambridge on Friday night and was very impressed.

Jim Douglas is not online but if someone has questions I am sure he would be happy to respond. I can call him. As a peace activist I am sure he is alarmed about the present world situation. As for the other assassinations, he is writing a book on the assassinations of MLK, RFK and Malcolm X.


Ed Jewett
10-06-2010, 05:01 AM
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the event in Worcester tonight, meeting the man in person, buying a new edition of the book by Simon and Schuster (with a guide for discussion and reading groups), getting it autographed, and more.

It was a small gathering on a rainy fall evening (not more than 35 in the audience), in a cold library room with an at-times overpowering mike and the interruptions on two occasions by the internal library PA system. There might have been one reporter there, and a retired radio man I met, and a wriiter for the Catholic Worker newsletter (local edition). Mr. Douglass had injured his Achilles tendon and so sat at the table in the front with a hand-held microphone reading from prepared notes and telling the story you are all familiar with, especially if you have read his book. There are still parts, even though I have heard them, that send shivers down my soul.

Questions were, unfortunately, limited; I went armed with eight and got to ask one. I took some notes, met some interesting people (aside from the main focus on the night), heard of new groups and efforts, and left with even more questions than I went with. I shall do a write-up of it all in good time.

In theory, the new edition contains new material which Douglass was supposed to have explained, but it might be the "bits" about Obama. [There appears also to be a new afterword written in January 2010 with information about Douglass' activities and correspondence since the original edition was published which I shall annotate for you soon.] I did manage to ask where people might ask further questions of him, and he indicated that people should feel to write to him at Mary's House in Birmingham, AL.

A note of caution: On introducing myself, he repeated my name as if he knew me and said he remembered the name, and I told him I wrote to him right after reading the Orbis edition.

"Where?", he asked.
"At Mary's House..." "
"I did answer you, didn't I?" "

He is a busy man, on a speaking tour, and presumably also writing further books about other assassinations, so I'd be patient.

The one question I did ask was whether he knew of James Carse and/or David Ray Griffin, or corresponded with them. (I think it would be a fascinating evening to have the three of them on the same podium talking about Christian morality versus an unspeakable evil.) He obviously didn't know or recognize the name of Carse (a retired professor from NYU), but did ask if I meant the author of the books on 9/11. When I indicated 'yes', he said he'd just recently had dinner with him, that Griffin was on the mend (good news), and that Griffin recommended his "new" book on the collapse of WTC7. This opened up a lovely exchange, which I will talk about later, along with notes on my unanswered questions, his unwavering focus, and the questions it and some of his remarks raised for me.

The evening was too short.

Dawn Meredith
10-06-2010, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the Ed. Will be looking forward to hearing more. In Dallas I only got to ask one question too but his answer really surprised me. It had to do with the article that said CIA Director Leon Panetta and Obama are afraid of the CIA. The artilce also reforred to Jim Douglas's book. So I asked if he thought either one had a copy of JFKU. To my surprise he told me that they both did, that he had been an old school chum of the CIA director.
Now I wonder if they both have read the book. I am betting yes.


Ed Jewett
10-06-2010, 08:16 PM
A Parable of Turning

Seeing James Douglass last night was a memorable event. From his entrance on crutches, in worn clothes, with long hair around a balding head, he lacked perhaps only the donkey and the palms. If that sounds totally inappropriate to say, let me explain. What I think I glimpsed for a too short time was a man whose very life was an attempt to be like He who Douglass obviously reveres, and he is well along the way. As the founder of Mary’s House, a facility dedicated to serving the poor elderly in need of health care, part of the Catholic Worker movement, and as a peace and social justice movement leader, active in anti-nuclear non-violent protest, he has walked the walk.

I came to the event having read not only JFKU but also his “Resistance and Contemplation”: I mistakenly ordered two copies, gave one to a friend and misplaced the other, and then bought a used version and re-read parts of it on the way. So I had somef amiliarity with the man who sat before me, microphone in hand, in some small way.

His remarks for the evening, I discovered after the fact, were based in great part on the Afterword that appears in the new Simon and Schuster version of the book that is regarded by many critical JFK researchers as the best and most recent definitive answer to why JFK died, how that came to pass (and at whose hands), and why it matters to you and I. True to his reverence, he spoke of miracles, and turned the tale of the death of our President, the first Catholic president, on its head by describing it (and, by later direct and indirect inference, the events of 9/11) as a miracle that opens the way in our own understanding and our own action. Twice, Douglass gave thanks that we were able to meet in this room on this day, for if it had not been Kennedy’s success in standing down the generals in the Cuban Missile crisis, “this all be would radioactive rubble”.

John Kennedy, he said, lived with The Raven on his shoulder, having battled a number of illnesses and near-death experiences. Death was always just a step away. Douglass repeated many of the elements of the story from his book, noting especially Lincoln’s quote in JFK’s handwriting “I knew there is a God, and I see a storm coming. If He has a place for me, I believe I am ready.” Since World War II, there has been a gun to the head of the world in the form of nuclear weapons, and it is also a gun to the head of the President of the United States.

Douglass also recounted the tale of Merton’s perception that every President would have his Bay of Pigs moment in which he was challenged by the military-intelligence apparatus with a covert op. Kennedy fired Dulles after that; Douglass says the Warren Commission was misnamed and should have been the Dulles Commission. The confrontation with US Steel was his second; Luce’s Fortune magazine responded with a shot across Kennedy’s bow entitled “Steel: The Ides of April”. Douglass also recounted the dinner with Dorothy Day in which they and others talked deep into the night “of war and peace, of man and state”, and Kennedy’s confrontations with the generals around the issue of sending troops to Vietnam (a parallel he drew with Obama, Petraeus and McChrystal), of Khrushchev the atheist and the Pope and the idea that the Ark needed to retain its buoyancy and successfully complete its cruise with the clean and the unclean gathered together in its hold.

Douglass mentioned the American University commencement address, its parallel to King’s Riverside speech, both marking out each of them for their assassination, and of that poignant dramatic turning point the book’s study guide asks us to revisit in which the five-year old Caroline, having interrupted her father in White House Rose Garden, recites to the National Security Council the poem her parents taught her to memorize: http://www.bartleby.com/104/121.html . He tells us what we know: that, in the end, Kennedy stood his ground and took the bullets.

I went armed with questions which I never got to ask. I am left to infer his answers based on his remarks, the background of “Resistance and Contemplation”, the text of the book and the study questions and the answered questions for the author at the conclusion of the Simon and Schuster edition.

I wanted to ask:

Who gave the order?

What role, if any, did the role of the Israeli efforts to attain nuclear power with the assistance and imprimatur of the President play in his death?

What role was played by the confrontation with the Federal Reserve play? Was this another “Bay of Pigs moment”, like the confrontation with Big Steel and its warning of the Ideas of April?

I wanted to ask what reactions and thoughts he had to Obama’s looking the other way at Israeli’s nuclear posture, the testing recently conducted by the US, and his involvement with the current Federal Reserve issues, the Wall Street bailouts, BP and the Gulf of Mexico.

I wanted to ask if he was aware of the allegations by Pilger and Madsen that Obama had been brought along by the people of the Grand Chessboard, and the CIA, and had been an instrument of theirs?

I wanted to ask of politics today, the left-right paradigm, of Obama as the last hope for change.

I wanted to ask of biowar, cyberwar, weather warfare, assassination squads, and extrajudicial shenanigans, and of the empowerment of corporate and military squads engaged in their own mini-evils.

In the back pages of the Simon and Schuster edition, there are 15 study questions. I have selected four for the reader’s contemplation.

The first asks us “How does the government’s doctrine of plausible deniability rely on personal denial of responsibility for the Unspeakable?” I would add “How does it assist the citizens in simply accepting their own denial by enabling this doctrine to be used to create doubt and uncertainty about real events?”

The second of my inclusions asks ‘If JFK had been assassinated on 11/2/63 in Chicago on November 2nd rather than Dallas on 11/22/63, LHO would be an unknown and Thomas Arthur Vallee would be notorious. What were the similarities between the two?’

Douglass wrote “Understanding that the CIA coordinated the assassination does not mean that we can limit the responsibility to the CIA. To tell the truth at the heart of darkness in this story, one must see and accept a responsibility that goes deeper and far beyond the CIA.” How much deeper and far beyond? What is the truth at the heart of darkness in this story?

Finally, what are the implications of state murders that target not just visionaries, but the fulfillment of their visions as well?

In the same back pages, Douglass is asked what surprises he discovered in doing his research. Douglass answers, “I was surprised by John Kennedy…. The grace within his struggle was the big surprise….”

In responding to a question about the time pressures in completing the book, he notes “Patience is a revolutionary virtue.”

He is asked if there is anything left uncovered and says he included only that which could be backed up with solid sources (footnoted) that the reader could check out. Yet he says “There is far more than this beneath the surface. Yet we know enough, and have known enough for a long time, to see the truth. I believe that what is written here about the assassination is only a tiny, visible piece of a systemic evil that continues to reach into the depths of our world.”

The work of Vincent Salandria and E. Martin Schotz is noted by Douglass in the dedication, acknowledgments and end notes:

See http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKsalandria.htm and

Mr. Douglass was introduced by Michael True, the director of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions (see www.nonviolentsolutions.org ), a cause in general to which Douglass is committed. He said that “our job is to open our ears and hear”, and that “change will come not from Washington but when we bring change to Washington”. And so I suspect Douglass’ answer would have been couched in terms of massed nonviolent resistance… there was a good deal of discussion about Gandhi and Reverend King, as well … and I thought back to his parable of the turning and the need to bring change to Washington.

I wanted to ask him of the posture of the Unspeakable in its procedures of mass unrest, infiltration and detention of protesters, the militarization of civil authority, the Empire itself. In this unspoken exchange, I could only listen to the words of his talk and reflect back on the book he’d written long ago on resistance and contemplation, and how the doorway to the jail cell was the path to freedom, the way of the Cross.

In the question-and-answer period, for which there was only limited time, the conversation turned. Many there were also interested in the questions of 9/11 and when my question about David Ray Griffin elicited comment and more questions, Douglass has this to say (and I will do my best to paraphrase with integrity):

‘If they can get away with killing JFK in broad daylight, and get away with it for over forty years, what is not possible for them to do? If they can get away with bringing down the Towers on national TV for a decade, what is next? Is there anything that will not do?’

“… one prays every step of the way for patience and the Spirit.”

Lauren Johnson
10-06-2010, 09:15 PM
I went to his talk at Elliot Bay Books in Seattle shortly after the publishing of JFKU. Someone asked about Madeline Brown. He said he did not include her because he could not get enough confirmation. He said he found her to be very credible. He also believed LBJ at least knew about the assassination before hand.

Peter Dawson
10-07-2010, 01:02 AM
JFK and the Unspeakable is the most moving book I've read in quite a few years. It certainly creates a strong, solemn mood as one reads it, and it appears that Douglass creates the same mood when one meets him in person. There should be more of it.

I actually put Douglass' book down after reading only two thirds of it, because I felt it was pointless continuing the journey of reading the book alone - pointless to deal with the subject matter on my lonesome, especially as I'm not an American myself. I dip back into it now and then and find interesting new things. I'm sure I'll eventually complete reading it, but the more important objective at this point is to see that more Americans read it. We don't need a small number of experts on this topic, we need a large number of committed novices.

The question is, what would these committed people do, if it did come to pass that a large group of them was formed? I was so taken with Douglass' writing that I bought some of his other books. One of them was called "The Non-violent Coming of God." I haven't read much of it. I didn't engage with it on my first attempt at reading it, and I think the reason why is that I've got some conflicting ideas running around my head about the notion of "non-violence".

You get to an age in life where moving books and novel ideas become thinner on the ground than they once were, and apart from Douglass' JFK book, something else that has caught my attention recently is an idea put forth by John Lamb Lash. Actually, his book Not in His Image was the last profoundly moving book I read before reading JFK and the Unspeakable, but the specific idea I'm referring to is Lash's suggestion that a righteous violence is not only possible, but necessary for the survival of all that is good.

He has written about the idea, so I will simply provide a link (http://www.metahistory.org/RiteAction/openseason.php), and end with a Ghandi quote which I have recently discovered:

I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence... I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.

But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier...But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature....

But I do not believe India to be helpless....I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature....Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

We do want to drive out the beast in the man, but we do not want on that account to emasculate him. And in the process of finding his own status, the beast in him is bound now and again to put up his ugly appearance.

The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence.

Edited to add: Upon re-reading Lash's essay at the link, I must say, I'd forgotten how "out there" Lash can be. He can be pretty out-there!

Ed Jewett
10-07-2010, 02:19 AM
There is, in America, at least in some quarters, a running debate which I think has been hastened upon us by those who chose to divide. There are organizations and interests in the political and cultural arena that is currently America who suggest that organized militia groups are a threat to the safety of the US and to the national interests. The Second Amendment debate ripples back and forth amidst erroneous and purposefully enraging opinions are expressed about the Right or the Left, the possibility of a third party influence, the Tea Party, the degree to which the Tea Party has been corrupted or engineered by others, a push by some to ban weapons, and a push back by others to arm against an intrusive, snooping and actively-interfering and violent government. In the midst of this, I said today that "Docility and acquiescence will not change anything; the only choice is violence or non-violence. Non-violence is the preferred way, but violence in self-defense may be necessary, otherwise it appears as docility and acquiescence."

In a situation in which any attempt to coalesce a movement, a gathering, or an organization is quickly met with surveillance, COINTELPRO and infiltration.... In a situation in which essential commodities are being bought up and privatized... in a situation which is more and more starting to make James Howard Kunstler's vision of "The Long Emergency" look prescient... in which condottieri are beginning to be commonplace... in which crime spills over borders and erupts from within ... saintliness (however preferred) begins to look foolish. Personally, I remain a student of Morihei Ueshiba's "Art of Peace" (aikido, the way of harmony of spirit) which, while not aggressive, never in attack, still uses sufficient force to protect one's self and the nearby undefended if simple or subtle avoidance and protective non-violence prove insufficient.

Peter Dawson
10-07-2010, 05:59 AM
My eyes glazed over when I started hearing about the Tea Party movement, at the time. They're cunning bastards, the guys who thought it up - the way they allowed the hint to persist that the TP was the movement that would address the worst corruptions of the current US power structure, so that even some 9/11 Truthers could feel at home under its banner, yet somewhere along the line it morphed from being a potential lethal threat to the crony capitalism of the Bush junta into something that was quite at home bursting the false bubble of hope that Obama claimed to represent. Into a movement that was determined to save America from...wait for it...from SOCIALISM!!

I wasn't thinking of the Tea Party when I brought up the topic of violence, and upon re-reading Lash's essay, I realise that Lash isn't even talking about actual physical violence - he's basically talking about people of good will getting together to put some kind of hex on humans who are preying on other humans. Which may well be impossible, but now that I think of it, it has infinitely more hope of success than hoping that something of lasting good might come out of the TP movement.

It isn't as far-fetched as it sounds, really. The hard part is gathering people of good will and common purpose together - the hard part is defining the common purpose as a group.

But then, maybe that's not as hard as it sounds. I think it would be hard to argue against the proposal that George W. Bush should be put to death for the crimes against humanity he has participated in as President, for the countless lives destroyed as a direct result of the decisions and policies he supported as leader. So as a target for a non-physical, psychic attack, George Bush is a prime candidate. We could join together at regular intervals to wish George Bush into an early grave, and there wouldn't appear to be anything illegal about doing such a thing.

Some people wouldn't like the vibe surrounding such an exercise, and wouldn't be able to participate in it, but for other people, having no viable way to practically resist or fight the evil that currently controls the world, to do nothing when one could at the very least join together with others to put a hex on George W. Bush amounts precisely to the cowardice which Ghandi speaks of in the above quote. And the beauty of it is, it wouldn't matter if hexes are "real" or not. People hearing of a group putting a hex on Bush would be affected by it. If done well it would be good publicity, a force for change. Bush may even be a little perturbed by it if he came to hear of it. Others like Bush might sleep a little less easily at night for fear that they might be next, and they may even change their behaviour as a result.

And we may even end up killing the bastard!

Think about it!

* *

I never knew Ghandi was such a violent man:

No Cowardice

I want both the Hindus and Mussalmans to cultivate the cool courage to die without killing. But if one has not that courage, I want him to cultivate the art of killing and being killed rather than, in a cowardly manner, flee from danger. For the latter, in spite of his flight, does commit mental himsa. He flees because he has not the courage to be killed in the act of killing.

My method of nonviolence can never lead toloss of strength, but it alone will make it possible, if the nation wills it, to offer disciplined and concerted violence in time of danger.

My creed of nonviolence is an extremely active force. It has no room for cowardice or even weakness. There is hope for a violent man to be some day non-violent, but there is none for a coward. I have, therefore, said more than once....that, if we do not know how to defend ourselves, our women and our places of worship by the force of suffering, i.e., nonviolence, we must, if we are men, be at least able to defend all these by fighting.

No matter how weak a person is in body, if it is a shame to flee, he will stand his ground and die at his post. This would be nonviolence and bravery. No matter how weak he is, he will use what strength he has in inflicting injury on his opponent, and die in the attempt. This is bravery, but not nonviolence. If, when his duty is to face danger, he flees, it is cowardice. In the first case, the man will have love or charity in him. In the second and third cases, there would be a dislike or distrust and fear.

My nonviolence does admit of people, who cannot or will not be nonviolent, holding and making effective use of arms. Let me repeat for the thousandth time that nonviolence is of the strongest, not of the weak.

To run away from danger, instead of facing it, is to deny one's faith in man and God, even one's own self. It were better for one to drown oneself than live to declare such bankruptcy of faith.

Ed Jewett
10-08-2010, 01:28 AM
I should like to think (but I could be entirely wrong) that the Tea Party's early moments were built around a citizen frustration/awakening that was then harnessed and corrupted for other ends. There is data that exists that suggests that the great NSA bank of data that is fed into filters, simulations, and action centers can "read" or forecast things early enough that they can be easily frustrated or turned. The long discussion among key leaders who are familiar with mass movements against power and corruption, among experts in counteracting evil, is overdue. I am currently reading more (in this case, from the book "Extraordinary Knowing" by Elizabeth L. Mayer, Ph.D.) about the scientific research into "distant intentionality", intercessory prayer, and related topics. I have seen it said that such talents, where they exist and can be harnessed, will not work if the intent is harm. If we can find, harness and use them at all, they need to be used to bring us together and to allow many others to awaken to their own powers and the realities we confront.