L. Fletcher Prouty was Mr. X, Oliver Stone’s version of “deep throat” in the movie “JFK.” Prouty was “a retired colonel of the US Air Force, jet pilot, and former professor of air science and tactics at Yale University….during the Kennedy years, [he] served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was directly in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for the clandestine activities of the CIA.” (From the book jacket.)
While those credentials can give Prouty a tremendous amount of credibility, they can also throw up a red flag. Something like this–a tell-all by someone associated with the intelligence community–almost always spells disinformation in my experience. Furthermore, it was first published as a serial by the Church of Scientology. That in itself is not enough for me to dismiss the book’s veracity–I know a few Scientologists and they are not as nutty as they are made out to be, however, I have read convincing reports that L. Ron Hubbard was a government operative whose personal history was a “legacy” created for him by Intelligence and whose operations were fronts for psychological experimentation. Therefore, it is somewhat suspect to me that this work by a special operations chief first appeared in a Scientology publication, and I must consider the possibility that this book is in fact disinformation. On the other hand, if this is not disinfo, then Prouty is a courageous hero who should be honored. It’s a tough call!
No matter which way Prouty shakes out, though, good disinformation is still mostly true. This is necessary to establish veracity and can be described as a “limited hangout,” in which the intelligence community deems that it is worth saying some things against interest in order to drive home critical disinfo. My goal in examining a work like this is to take from it the real information, the stuff they are “hanging out,” while not falling for the disinformation.
With that in mind, let me share with you what, to the best of my judgment, are profound truths found in this book. Specifically, what drives the power elite? And how exactly does the CIA micromanage events to serve their goals?
What drives the power elite?
Prouty claims that the power elite spans countries and creeds and surely it does. He gives no more detail than that, thereafter using Winston Churchill’s nebulous name for it: the High Cabal. So, while he doesn’t tell us who they are, he does tell us their underlying assumptions, which do seem to explain the direction modern history has taken. In Prouty’s words:
The power elite is…influenced by the persuasion of a quartet of the greatest propaganda schemes ever put forth by man:
1. The concept of “real property,” a function of “colonialism” that began with the circumnavigation of Earth by Magellan’s ships in 1520. A “doctrine of discovery and rights of conquest” was described by John Locke in his philosophy of natural law.
2. The population theory of Malthus.
3. Darwins’ theory of evolution, as enhanced by the concept of the survival of the fittest.
4. Heisenberg’s theory of indeterminancy, that is, that God throws the dice, and similar barriers to the real advancement of science and technology today.
Although all four of Prouty’s points are fundamental, the first one was the only one that was totally new to me. As an anarcho-capitalist, I believe in absolute property rights and I don’t believe the government has any right whatsoever to infringe upon them, but there is always the question of where property rights originate, particularly in land. Locke’s idea, to simplify, was that mixing toil with soil yielded land ownership and I’ve accepted that, but with nagging reservations. If a hunter-gatherer society claims a territory, is it theirs? They are actually parasites on the land and do not mix their toil with the soil, but do they have rights of occupation? If not, what then justifies claiming territory such as the Louisiana Purchase and selling it off to speculators before any of the parties involved had ever even stepped foot on that land, much less mixed toil with soil?
As an American, these questions remained for me highly theoretical because land was effectively limitless for anyone who actually did want to mix toil with soil to get it. England, on the other hand, seems to derive its class system from inherited property without questioning the origin of the property rights that buoy their upper classes from generation to generation.* But that’s their problem—or so I thought. Prouty claims that the original worldwide seizure of real property following Magellan’s historic voyage is the bedrock of today’s power structure.
It may be postulated that this single bit of physical awareness brought about the greatest change in the mind of man since the dawn of creation…From that date on (circa AD 1520), the powerful rulers of the seafaring countries assumed the ownership of all real property in those discovered lands, and the natural resources on that property became one of the driving forces of mankind.
To clarify, once Magellan made clear that ships could circumnavigate the Earth, it became self-evident there was a finite surface area and the greatest of the western powers determined to claim it all through colonization. This method was not simply a matter of sending pilgrims abroad to mix their toil with soil. As Prouty puts it, “The power centers of that period were taking over the real property of the world—no matter who was on it or who had been living there—using little more than the surveyor’s chain, the missionary’s cross, and the explorers’ gun.”
While Prouty’s critique might sound like a call to so-called social justice (a fraudulent movement that I detest), one must not ignore real injustices merely because they are exploited by ideological rivals, especially when those injustices continue to defile not only our own economic and personal liberties, but those of the most powerless around the world. The process Prouty describes continues today as the IMF, transnational corporations and the rest engage in neo-colonialism, a coercive and fraudulent cronyism that unfairly takes and besmirches the name of capitalism in an effort to gain control of resources and stifle local competition in under-developed countries.
How on Earth does this all relate to who killed JFK? It sets the stage for the who, what and why of world power, money and politics, and justifies the theory that JFK’s decision to withdraw from Viet Nam would have interfered with a centuries old process of cronyism, colonization and transformation around the world by a power elite he could not dominate.
What really happened in Viet Nam?
Several times in this book, Prouty refers to The Report from Iron Mountain, a “novelized” account of a study group commissioned during the JFK administration that addressed the question, if there is no war, will there still be a way to control society? The answer: “No.” The report claims that if a major leader is unable to garner support for a “desired war,” the results would be “catastrophic.” This could not be allowed. When I first read this, I recalled how Obama tried and failed (yes, he DID try), to start a war with Syria in August 2013. That’s when I knew he (“they”) would keep trying until they succeeded, and they have. But I had failed to make the connection that The Report might have been referring to JFK himself–perhaps he was the leader who failed to conduct a desired war, not because he couldn’t garner public support for it, but because he himself did not support it. If that were the case, he might have had to go. The CIA had put a lot of effort over two decades into manufacturing war in Viet Nam and no mere elected official was going to derail it.
As an Air Force pilot and a special operations chief, Prouty was on the scene beginning in the 1940s straight through the 1960s observing and participating in the machinations of the CIA in creating conflict in Viet Nam. The most significant activities in this regard, according to Prouty, are:
(1) Bringing arms from the Pacific theater at the end of World War II into both Korea and Viet Nam – arms that Ho Chi Minh later used in his communist conquest of Viet Nam.
(2) The US government’s physical relocation of totally non-political villagars (Tonkinese)–1.1 million of them–from the North Viet Nam to South Viet Nam. These refugees, supported by our puppet government in the south, displaced local natives (Cochinese) who had occupied the land for tens of thousands of years, driving them into the forests to be falsely labeled “Viet Cong.”
(3) The lawlessness created by the displaced Cochinese was exacerbated when the new South Viet Namese government ordered all French officials (the only law and order in the country) to leave.
(4) Finally, economic devastation ensued when that same South Viet Namese government (our puppet government), made the Chinese merchants and traders leave. Rice rotted on the docks and natives were unable to trade for the necessities of life.
According to Prouty, these were some of the ways the CIA deliberately created upheaval in Viet Nam to intensify conflict and suck the US military into a war there with purposes ranging from societal transformation to creating demand for helicopters. This war, and the big spending that was to become associated with it, was an indispensable part of the military-industrial complex’s plan for post-World War II America.
L. Fletcher Prouty makes a coherent, convincing case that JFK was killed by the CIA in the service of the “High Cabal” for disrupting a 20 year effort to conduct war in Viet Nam, generate defense spending and debt, and transform peoples and politics in Asia. I’m sure I wouldn’t agree with Prouty’s politics, so I take his prescriptions and social judgments with a grain of salt, nonetheless, I found his narrative compelling and plausible.
Although my usual purpose in reviewing books like this one is to identify and distill the critical points the author has made so busy, working people can stay informed without having to slog through pages and pages of nonfiction. In this case, however, I recommend you read it yourself. It’s a very well-written, well-edited narrative that goes into just enough detail to be convincing and explanatory without going into so much detail that the narrative is lost. Even if the purpose of the book is to throw us off the scent of who the “High Cabal” really is, there is enough truth and insight in it to qualify as a must read.
NB These were both posted before I ever even heard of L. Fletcher Prouty….
What’s at the bottom of the rabbit hole? The Report from Iron Mountain.
CFR ==> CIA ==> JFK ==>
*Since writing this review, I read a good little article about the origin of property ownership in the English aristocracy: Downton Abbey’s Dirty Secret