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Thread: Praise from a Future Generation: Another e-book

  1. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelin View Post
    I've always been flattered by the mostly-favorable remarks people make about the book...even those that punish me.

    I prefer hard copy too.

    As for the Sixth Floor...someone once said it was the only "conspiracy book" sold there. I don't know that for a fact. Some raise an eyebrow. Others equate it with the mark of the beast. The best comment is no comment.
    John: As you know I loved your book. Could not put it down.
    Re the very little info you were able to garner from Mary Ferrell, I am wondering if you have had an opportunity
    to read Joe McBride's book? I believe he is the first researcher-aside from Harry Livingstone in Killing The Truth- to really burst through the sham that was Mary Ferrell.
    Any thoughts on this?

    Dawn

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn Meredith View Post

    John: As you know I loved your book. Could not put it down.
    Re the very little info you were able to garner from Mary Ferrell, I am wondering if you have had an opportunity
    to read Joe McBride's book? I believe he is the first researcher-aside from Harry Livingstone in Killing The Truth- to really burst through the sham that was Mary Ferrell.
    Any thoughts on this?

    Dawn
    Well, Dawn, since you asked...

    [This post wound up being longer than anticipated -- sorry about that.]

    Joe very kindly sent me a copy of his book some months back, and I read the Ferrell sections with great interest.

    My first inklings that there were doubts about Mary Ferrell were when Livingstone's book came out -- whenever that was, mid-90s I guess. I was then fairly new to the critical community. At the time, I balanced what I knew about HL, with the vigorous defenses of MF that appeared along with the accompanying condemnation of HL's book. But I came to no conclusions. An agnostic, as it were.

    A year or two later I heard more suspicions, more like certainties, from "J" -- I think it's okay to use his name now, but I'll cautiously err and omit it. I met him through your Pfluegerville friend. So, doubt began piling upon doubt.

    I interviewed Mary Ferrell in person on two occasions, both over a Dallas conference weekend, Nov. 17-18, 2000. I did not know her and set the interviews up through Robert Chapman. I briefly describe these interviews in the intro to my book. What I did not mention was my sense that the whole interview situation was somewhat controlled.

    First of all, the evening was not conducive to an interview. It was late, the end of a long day of the Lancer conference. I was tired, MF's suite was filling with admirers and others. They were drinkin' champagne. I had barely introduced myself, and described what I wanted to do, when the conversation was steered to the topic of Jim Garrison. I did not bring it up (though I would have eventually).

    Immediately, Mrs Ferrell described her initial contacts with Tom Bethell in 1966. Bethell contacted her on JG's behalf. Quoting from my transcript of that interview: "...in December of 1966, Garrison had heard about me through Tom Bethell, I presume. Possibly Penn Jones, because he knew about him. And he called. And he went through a series of, you know, 'go to, let me give you a pay phone number, and you go to a pay phone and call this pay phone in New Orleans, and I’ll call you back.' I mean, it was really, you know, playing spy games."

    So, right away she was portraying him as a paranoid, a kook.

    She described going to New Orleans a few months later. All of this, by the way, was speaking without notes or any other apparent memory aid. She told me she met with Garrison in his office and he showed her evidence against Shaw that, as a non-participant, she should not have seen -- impropriety on his part, in other words.

    Leaving the courthouse that afternoon, she told me her son and daughter-in-law, who were with her, said that JG was great, then asked what she thought.
    "He’s the most charming man I’ve ever met," Ferrell said she replied. "But, poor dear, he’s let this assassination drive him crazy!"

    MF corresponded with Sylvia Meagher beginning, to the best of my knowledge, in 1970. MF's first letter, which appears to be the beginning of their acquaintance, describes her activities on 11-22-63, which more or less square with what she told me 30 years later, then segues to a discussion of Garrison. Sylvia, of course, was at this time on the record as opposing the DA, whose case by then had concluded.

    "We spent two whole days in Garrison's office completely spell-bound by his charm," Ferrell wrote in this 1970 letter. But at the end of the first day, leaving the courthouse, the son and daughter-in-law asked what she thought.

    "I said, 'Yes, he is the most charming man I’ve ever met but I’ve never felt as sorry for anyone in my life.' They were appalled and wanted to know what I meant. I said, 'The man is completely insane. He has let this drive him crazy.' Of course, I was later to decide that he had been insane long before he ever heard of Kennedy or the assassination."

    Okay -- maybe this is no big deal. But of course MF was not a shrink and thus not qualified to make any assessment of JG's psyche. And it bothered me that she directed our conversation straight to Garrison (as if I had a pro-Garrison agenda she wanted to torpedo) and really dumped on him. It also bothered me that she used almost exactly the same language to me as she did in a 30-year-old letter to SM. Maybe that just means she has consistently quoted herself accurately. But the overall anti-Garrison tone, which I had not invited, disturbed me. I definitely felt like she was trying to influence me.

    Finally -- and I've already gone on longer than I meant to, but in for a penny, in for a pound -- that night in her room, I observed as she screened phone calls and told Chapman, who was answering the phone, that she did not want to speak with so-and-so. Maybe she was tired. Maybe she was too busy entertaining and enjoying her bubbly. But when I later attempted to follow up with phone interviews I never did get through. Either she wouldn't answer the phone, or had an excuse why she could not talk. Closest I came: she answered the phone, but once I ID'd myself said she had to rush her son to the hospital because he broke his arm. I had met her son. He was older than me. Old enough to get himself to the hospital. In fairness, she followed up with an email apologizing for being so abrupt on the phone. But all future attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

    Maybe it all means nothing, and I'm reading too much into it. At the time, I thought I was the one who failed -- I felt bad she was so underrepresented in the book. Someone even phoned me in 2007 and read me the riot act over this. How could you leave her out, etc etc.

    I'm sorry if this post is an instance of TMI. And I'm sorry to ramble on like this. It might not even be what you were asking about. I guess I have wanted to share these anecdotes for a long time!



  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn Meredith View Post

    John: As you know I loved your book. Could not put it down.
    Re the very little info you were able to garner from Mary Ferrell, I am wondering if you have had an opportunity
    to read Joe McBride's book? I believe he is the first researcher-aside from Harry Livingstone in Killing The Truth- to really burst through the sham that was Mary Ferrell.
    Any thoughts on this?

    Dawn
    Well, Dawn, since you asked...

    [This post wound up being longer than anticipated -- sorry about that.]

    Joe very kindly sent me a copy of his book some months back, and I read the Ferrell sections with great interest.

    My first inklings that there were doubts about Mary Ferrell were when Livingstone's book came out -- whenever that was, mid-90s I guess. I was then fairly new to the critical community. At the time, I balanced what I knew about HL, with the vigorous defenses of MF that appeared along with the accompanying condemnation of HL's book. But I came to no conclusions. An agnostic, as it were.

    A year or two later I heard more suspicions, more like certainties, from "J" -- I think it's okay to use his name now, but I'll cautiously err and omit it. I met him through your Pfluegerville friend. So, doubt began piling upon doubt.

    I interviewed Mary Ferrell in person on two occasions, both over a Dallas conference weekend, Nov. 17-18, 2000. I did not know her and set the interviews up through Robert Chapman. I briefly describe these interviews in the intro to my book. What I did not mention was my sense that the whole interview situation was somewhat controlled.

    First of all, the evening was not conducive to an interview. It was late, the end of a long day of the Lancer conference. I was tired, MF's suite was filling with admirers and others. They were drinkin' champagne. I had barely introduced myself, and described what I wanted to do, when the conversation was steered to the topic of Jim Garrison. I did not bring it up (though I would have eventually).

    Immediately, Mrs Ferrell described her initial contacts with Tom Bethell in 1966. Bethell contacted her on JG's behalf. Quoting from my transcript of that interview: "...in December of 1966, Garrison had heard about me through Tom Bethell, I presume. Possibly Penn Jones, because he knew about him. And he called. And he went through a series of, you know, 'go to, let me give you a pay phone number, and you go to a pay phone and call this pay phone in New Orleans, and I’ll call you back.' I mean, it was really, you know, playing spy games."

    So, right away she was portraying him as a paranoid, a kook.

    She described going to New Orleans a few months later. All of this, by the way, was speaking without notes or any other apparent memory aid. She told me she met with Garrison in his office and he showed her evidence against Shaw that, as a non-participant, she should not have seen -- impropriety on his part, in other words.

    Leaving the courthouse that afternoon, she told me her son and daughter-in-law, who were with her, said that JG was great, then asked what she thought.
    "He’s the most charming man I’ve ever met," Ferrell said she replied. "But, poor dear, he’s let this assassination drive him crazy!"

    MF corresponded with Sylvia Meagher beginning, to the best of my knowledge, in 1970. MF's first letter, which appears to be the beginning of their acquaintance, describes her activities on 11-22-63, which more or less square with what she told me 30 years later, then segues to a discussion of Garrison. Sylvia, of course, was at this time on the record as opposing the DA, whose case by then had concluded.

    "We spent two whole days in Garrison's office completely spell-bound by his charm," Ferrell wrote in this 1970 letter. But at the end of the first day, leaving the courthouse, the son and daughter-in-law asked what she thought.

    "I said, 'Yes, he is the most charming man I’ve ever met but I’ve never felt as sorry for anyone in my life.' They were appalled and wanted to know what I meant. I said, 'The man is completely insane. He has let this drive him crazy.' Of course, I was later to decide that he had been insane long before he ever heard of Kennedy or the assassination."

    Okay -- maybe this is no big deal. But of course MF was not a shrink and thus not qualified to make any assessment of JG's psyche. And it bothered me that she directed our conversation straight to Garrison (as if I had a pro-Garrison agenda she wanted to torpedo) and really dumped on him. It also bothered me that she used almost exactly the same language to me as she did in a 30-year-old letter to SM. Maybe that just means she has consistently quoted herself accurately. But the overall anti-Garrison tone, which I had not invited, disturbed me. I definitely felt like she was trying to influence me.

    Finally -- and I've already gone on longer than I meant to, but in for a penny, in for a pound -- that night in her room, I observed as she screened phone calls and told Chapman, who was answering the phone, that she did not want to speak with so-and-so. Maybe she was tired. Maybe she was too busy entertaining and enjoying her bubbly. But when I later attempted to follow up with phone interviews I never did get through. Either she wouldn't answer the phone, or had an excuse why she could not talk. Closest I came: she answered the phone, but once I ID'd myself said she had to rush her son to the hospital because he broke his arm. I had met her son. He was older than me. Old enough to get himself to the hospital. In fairness, she followed up with an email apologizing for being so abrupt on the phone. But all future attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

    Maybe it all means nothing, and I'm reading too much into it. At the time, I thought I was the one who failed -- I felt bad she was so underrepresented in the book. Someone even phoned me in 2007 and read me the riot act over this. How could you leave her out, etc etc.

    I'm sorry if this post is an instance of TMI. And I'm sorry to ramble on like this. It might not even be what you were asking about. I guess I have wanted to share these anecdotes for a long time!


    Wow. No definitely not TMI.
    Much food for thought here.
    First, it is fine to say J's name now. Only when he was alive did he demand that total privacy. Jay (Harrison) was very aware that Mary was a fraud. He spend the last several months of his life in 05 trying to get this info out there. At least that is how I saw it during my visits to his home. I don't know how Walt (Brown) has dealt with this, if at all.

    Tom Bethel did show up at Mary's home, according to her son Jimmy, and pretended to be doing a story on NO jazz. Later he admitted to the Ferrells that he was "working for" Clay Shaw. So no way JG sent him. (Wonder why he would admit this.) As far as finding JG "charming" that sounds like a sugar coated front to me. JImmy told me she sent him to NO when he was fifteen to be a spy in Garrison's office. (He remains plagued by this).
    Did your interviews with her occur before or after talking with J? I am assuming it was her son Jimmy to whom she was referring , her other son had been killed.
    In spite of the negative views of HL's book, I think his section on MF is fantastic. It covers who she truly was. The stuff about taking people's pic and side views, like mug shots has been verified by her son Jimmy, to me at many meetings in the late 90's and early 2000's when he was visiting J with a mutual friend and researcher Rachel Rendish.

    The critical community has been conned by many a good agent, but there was none better than was Mary. I began to be suspicious of her after a very strange phone conversation in 1990. Around the Roscoe White story. She seemed utterly disingenious. Later would I learn bits and pieces of just how badly so.

    Saint Mary being revealed, at last.

    Dawn

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn Meredith View Post
    Wow. No definitely not TMI.
    Much food for thought here.
    First, it is fine to say J's name now. Only when he was alive did he demand that total privacy. Jay (Harrison) was very aware that Mary was a fraud. He spend the last several months of his life in 05 trying to get this info out there. At least that is how I saw it during my visits to his home. I don't know how Walt (Brown) has dealt with this, if at all.

    Tom Bethel did show up at Mary's home, according to her son Jimmy, and pretended to be doing a story on NO jazz. Later he admitted to the Ferrells that he was "working for" Clay Shaw. So no way JG sent him. (Wonder why he would admit this.) As far as finding JG "charming" that sounds like a sugar coated front to me. JImmy told me she sent him to NO when he was fifteen to be a spy in Garrison's office. (He remains plagued by this).
    Did your interviews with her occur before or after talking with J? I am assuming it was her son Jimmy to whom she was referring , her other son had been killed.
    In spite of the negative views of HL's book, I think his section on MF is fantastic. It covers who she truly was. The stuff about taking people's pic and side views, like mug shots has been verified by her son Jimmy, to me at many meetings in the late 90's and early 2000's when he was visiting J with a mutual friend and researcher Rachel Rendish.

    The critical community has been conned by many a good agent, but there was none better than was Mary. I began to be suspicious of her after a very strange phone conversation in 1990. Around the Roscoe White story. She seemed utterly disingenious. Later would I learn bits and pieces of just how badly so.

    Saint Mary being revealed, at last.

    Dawn
    Hi Dawn,

    J also expressed to me those same sentiments regarding Mary. Rarely, if ever, did I witness that level of acrimony in J toward anyone or any topic. To say he found her repugnant would be a gross understatement.
    GO_SECURE

    monk


    "It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."

    James Hepburn -- Farewell America (1968)

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn Meredith View Post
    Wow. No definitely not TMI.
    Much food for thought here.
    First, it is fine to say J's name now. Only when he was alive did he demand that total privacy. Jay (Harrison) was very aware that Mary was a fraud. He spend the last several months of his life in 05 trying to get this info out there. At least that is how I saw it during my visits to his home. I don't know how Walt (Brown) has dealt with this, if at all.

    Tom Bethel did show up at Mary's home, according to her son Jimmy, and pretended to be doing a story on NO jazz. Later he admitted to the Ferrells that he was "working for" Clay Shaw. So no way JG sent him. (Wonder why he would admit this.) As far as finding JG "charming" that sounds like a sugar coated front to me. JImmy told me she sent him to NO when he was fifteen to be a spy in Garrison's office. (He remains plagued by this).
    Did your interviews with her occur before or after talking with J? I am assuming it was her son Jimmy to whom she was referring , her other son had been killed.
    In spite of the negative views of HL's book, I think his section on MF is fantastic. It covers who she truly was. The stuff about taking people's pic and side views, like mug shots has been verified by her son Jimmy, to me at many meetings in the late 90's and early 2000's when he was visiting J with a mutual friend and researcher Rachel Rendish.

    The critical community has been conned by many a good agent, but there was none better than was Mary. I began to be suspicious of her after a very strange phone conversation in 1990. Around the Roscoe White story. She seemed utterly disingenious. Later would I learn bits and pieces of just how badly so.

    Saint Mary being revealed, at last.

    Dawn
    Bethell admitted to Ferrell he was "working for" Clay Shaw? This is news to me. Is this also according to Jimmy?

    When I spoke to Ferrell she stuck with the story about Bethell writing a jazz book. I transcribed the interview and quote therefrom (bracketed remarks in original):

    Quote
    ...and he [Tom Bethell] took a vacation, and went to New Orleans, and he was intrigued with it, and decided to write a book about New Orleans jazz. And he did write the book, later. And it was published by the University of California—it was a great book, on the clarinet player George Lewis. [George Lewis, A Jazzman from New Orleans, University of California Press, 1977—jk]

    And of course, Tom Bethell is like Tony Summers. They’re both Oxford graduates, and they’re both great writers. Tom Bethell is a great writer, and so is Anthony Summers.

    But I didn’t know he was working for Garrison. I had never heard of Garrison.
    End of quote.

    My conversations with Jay were two or three times before the Ferrell interview, and possibly once afterward. My Dallas trips tend to blur together. He took me to Tippit's grave and around back behind the house on Beckley, among other things.

    Re: Bethell...what a worm. I loved the account in A Farewell to Justice where a "weeping" Bethell admits to his treachery when confronted by Garrison staffers. He later boasted about his treachery in a 1975 article.

    Bethell made contact with numerous early critics between late 1966 and early 1967. Weisberg alludes to him early in Oswald in New Orleans. I have a 1966 letter he wrote to Vince Salandria somewhere but can't seem to find it at the moment.

    In a January 1967 letter to Sylvia Meagher, L.A. Jones wrote that Bethell was staying with the Joneses. He was quite the freeloader, according to this letter. "He is physically dirty, he wears a shirt (usually one of ours) FOR ONE WEEK. He is extremely lazy. It takes both Penn and me to get him out of bed before noon. Or maybe 1 o'clock. He's arrogant about everything..."

    Meagher wrote back a few days later. She did not refer to Bethell by name but it is clear who she means. "I had the pleasure of his company only for a mere five hours and of course he was extremely well-behaved, except that I thought he would never leave and I had nothing with which to feed him...why should you have to suffer him? Tell him about the many hotels in Dallas...but you and/or Penn probably are too much of a softie to do it."

  6. Default

    A marvelous book, John, with eloquent tributes
    to the pioneers in the field and much fascinating
    and revealing information on their early
    investigations and what they contributed
    to lay the foundation for all of us who follow them.
    A superb job of research and writing and historiography.

  7. Default

    John: Yes this is all according to Jimmy. That Bethel admitted this.
    Not surprised that he contacted so many others.
    What a laugh, that Mary would say she had never heard of JG.
    I am hoping that Jimmy writes something that will paint the entire truth
    of his life growing up with Mary. The witchcraft. The abuse.
    He has been though cancer twice but is doing much better now.
    Yes J always took people on the tour that included grave sites and LHO's house.
    What a guy. Remember when he told you something you would get a near book of information.
    It was impossible to even take notes.
    He'd be outraged at what is taking place in Dealey Plaza on the upcoming 50th.
    Dawn

  8. #28

    Default

    When I was most active, well funded, on a roll and still in the USA and attending Dallas yearly [or more], I tried a few times to meet with MF at her home. At the time I was focused on [but NOT exclusively] trying to make sense of the Plumlee story and its connected stories [Ayers, Licovoli, Roselli, Col. 'Bishop', Alpha-66, Red Bird, Iran-Contra, Bush, many other threads related to]; and the main research threads on Dallas and the cover-up. MF refused to meet with me - even though several persons she allowed to meet with her gave me a good reference. I had been warned and suspected she played a 'dual' role...I still do. I think she wanted to know the truth; but was a gatekeeper and information manipulator for some forces connected to the assassination and/or its cover-up [not that there is much difference, there]. I always wondered why she was not interested in meeting with me to ask or give information or disinformation. Also, related [in my mind] Bud Fensterwald, when I first met him in DC at the AARC was alone in there. I came in, asked him if he knew the name Plumlee. He said he did not and asked me why I was interested in this obscure name he did not know. What he did NOT KNOW at that moment was I had a letter signed by him to Tosh Plumlee - a cover letter to about 325 pages of mostly FBI [but some other intel agency] de-classified documents on Plumlee, he'd [Fensterwald] had sent to Plumlee only two years before. So, he lied to me for some reason. Also of interest is it was [I'm 100% sure] the quickest FOIA response ever other than for the President or Congress. It was accomplished by spooky Bud F. in less than 3 weeks!...that has to be a RECORD! I had not only his cover letter, but copies of the released documents. I then went back to all the agencies and re-filed my own FOIA and had to fight for years tooth and nail to get some of what Bud had gotten - eventually got almost all of it again, and a bit more.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  9. Default Overshadowed

    Today is the official release date of the e-book edition of Praise from a Future Generation.

    Just slightly overshadowed by the government shutdown, here in the USA.

    I set up a Facebook page for the thing yesterday. Mostly it's a bunch of pictures, more or less related to the topic at hand.

    https://www.facebook.com/praisefromafuturegeneration

    I also made a short blog post about it.

    http://bluelung.blogspot.com/2013/10...eneration.html

    In my view this sort of promotional activity is a necessary evil, but it doesn't come naturally. I think I'll go clean up now.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelin View Post
    Today is the official release date of the e-book edition of Praise from a Future Generation.

    Just slightly overshadowed by the government shutdown, here in the USA.

    I set up a Facebook page for the thing yesterday. Mostly it's a bunch of pictures, more or less related to the topic at hand.

    https://www.facebook.com/praisefromafuturegeneration

    I also made a short blog post about it.

    http://bluelung.blogspot.com/2013/10...eneration.html

    In my view this sort of promotional activity is a necessary evil, but it doesn't come naturally. I think I'll go clean up now.
    I pre-ordered it and it downloaded to my iPad Kindle app at midnight last night/today - can't wait to read it and a big congratulations.

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