Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Three: A Complete History of the Illuminati

Part Three: A Complete History of the Illuminati

Tue, 28 Feb 2023 11:00

Robert sits down with Garrison and Margaret to talk about Kerry Thornley, who would go on to help resurrect the Illuminati.

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It's changed a lot for me, especially how much I can enjoy the outdoors. No worrying about contacts or glasses when I'm out camping. If you want to make your life a lot easier, I can't recommend LASIK Plus enough. LASIK Plus is simple and it's surprisingly affordable, especially since right now you can get $1,000 off LASIK when you're treated in March. That's $500 off per eye. Visit to schedule your free consultation. That's In 1967, Joseph Stalin's only daughter, flees Russia for her new home, America. Hello, everybody. I am very happy to be here. That story alone is worthy of a podcast, but Spedlana is about what comes next. And it's the craziest story I've ever heard. It has KGB agents, a Frank Lloyd Wright commune, weird sex stuff, three Olga's two Spedlana's and one neurotic gay playwright. That's me. Listen to Spedlana's Spedlana on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Oh, it's behind the bastards. A podcast that is opened in a radically different way pretty much every week, but usually one that involves me making sounds with my mouth. I don't understand how you're this successful of a podcast. No one does, Garrison. Nobody does, but they can't stop it. They can't stop the signal. I'm like the rolling stones of podcasting. The Andrew Tate of podcasting. Thank you, Margaret. Thank you for that. That's what everyone's saying. For that unalloyed compliment. So we have we have we started this episode by talking about Adam Vyshopped and the Bavarian Illuminati, which started out as a nerdy kid kind of trying to find a way to smuggle cool books into Bavaria that were banned. And in doing so, he created a fake religion so that rich people would feel like wizards, and he could use their money to buy more books, and it ended up with him funding illegal abortions until a lightning strike exposed to society to the cops. And then he had to flee and spend the rest of his life having the equivalent of an extended Twitter argument. This sounds so fake. This sounds like such a fake story. It is, it's both sad and funny. And I've continued my reading on this. One of the troubles here is that there's an actual posity of good historical books about the Illuminati who are not written by cranks. I pick the one of the Charles River editors are not usually my ideal source, but they do a decent job of summarizing all of the actual facts that are known. I found another book that I have been reading through that is one of the crank books. It's called The Illuminati, the secret society that hijacked the world by Jim Mars. With two Rs. And Mars is absolutely a crank. For an idea of what a cranky is, his book on secrets in the chapters on the Illuminati, part one is Germany and part two was Zionism. So you know we're going some good directions in this book. That's going to bridge what we're going to have to talk about today, isn't it? I want to read there's some wild quotes in here. And most of them will not be most relevant until we get later on in here. But I want to read a portion of something that I cannot speak entirely on the veracity of. But this is a chunk of his book when he's talking about the formation of the Illuminati. In 1779, two years after Vyshop's initiation into Freemasonry, he wrote to Swack and Hurtle, suggesting the order be renamed the Society of Bees. The bee connection again demonstrates the close ties to the Illuminati of the Illuminati to Masonry, as the bee hive has long been an important Freemason symbol. Today's Masonic lodges were once referred to as Hives. And any internal disputes are called Swarming. One 18th century Masonic ritual stated, the bee hive teaches us that as we are born into the world, rational and intelligent beings, so what we also be industrious ones and not stand idly by, were gazed with listless indifference on even the meanest of our fellows in a state of distress if it is in our power to help them without detriment to ourselves or our connections. The symbol of bees also connects to the aforementioned ancient Greek elucinian mysteries in which honey was thought to be a divine product of the gods. So that's kind of cool. Now, I wish I mentioned. Yeah. I am all for a bee hive. I like the discussion of arguments within Masonic temples as Swarming. Yes. Yeah. It's all so much of this story is extremely Twitter, like almost back. Yeah. It's nice to know that radicals have always been more or less the same kind of people. Nice isn't the word I would use. Yeah. It's reassuring. I don't know. It's a thing that's undeniable. Yeah. So that's good stuff. So we should probably get back into the story. When we had left off, we had just been talking about how the conspiracy theory about the Illuminati started up after the French Revolution and kind of merged with existing fears about Masonry in the United States to be part of this big anti-Masonic movement. You've got guys like Abigail Adams and even George Washington himself who bought into this conspiracy. And this would be like one of the funny things about Jim or about, I don't know, whatever Mars's book is that like when he talks about American connections to the Illuminati, he just says that like we know that, you know, multiple members of the founding fathers were aware of the Illuminati. And it's like, yeah, they believe the same shit you did. Like they all did. Yeah. The same conspiracy, buddy. So far the bastards is the people who believe in the Illuminati, not the Illuminati. No, the Illuminati are not bastards. Although, again, perhaps if you create a fake cult in order to do a good thing, you might wind up causing more problems than you solve. That's true. That may be a lesson from the Illuminati that we can take into us today. That's true. You know what, so if you let the initiates out of the cage, I think maybe we've been going down the wrong road. You couldn't even get that sentence out. Yeah, I would never tell you to let the initiates out of the cage. That's where they live now. So over time, over time, the Illuminati conspiracy theory died out would be the wrong word, but it kind of faded. But America's public obsession with conspiracy theories never quite did. And politicians learned over the decades that stoking these conspiracies was an easy way to get votes after the Mason's popular American conspiracy culture pivoted to obsess over the Jesuits and then the communists, which despite the fact that they are kind of diametrically opposed and fundamental ways, often got looped in together as like a Jesuit communist conspiracy. That was a whole big thing in the early half of the 20th century. And of course, every time you would have sort of a new era in American conspiracy culture, the trappings of prior manias would roll forward into each new conspiracy that enraptured the voting public. It's syncretism. This is a thing that Umberto Eco talks about when he talks about like one of the key attributes of fascism. And I think it is kind of worth noting and a little bit beyond the scope of this episode, but to talk about how American conspiracy culture has always been proto fascist in many ways. And this is the syncretism of it. And we've really seen this come to roost with Donald Trump and QAnon. And sort of this is why you get a lot of liberals who are very surprised when they see these kind of people who have been sort of formerly crunchy granola hippie types. Yeah. Get into the hardcore right wing QAnon stuff. And it's like that syncretism baby. That's exactly what Echo was talking about. This also ties into like the idea of like the cultic milieu and how the the shares say with all these types of conspiracy, conspiracy's operate, feed off each other and and do and do kind of coalesce into this weird like a crypto or a quasi fascist politic. Yeah. And if you if you want to if you want to look at this as like, I don't know if you wanted to like diagram this as like a a soil or something like that or sedimentary layers, the base of it all is the Illuminati, right? That is the ur conspiracy and American political culture. So yeah, meanwhile, the end of the 1800s and the start of the 1900s saw another surge of interest in the occult. It seems like this kind of happens once every century or so. That's been pretty consistent for like the last 300 years, something like that. And over in Europe, a pair of wizards resurrected the Illuminati. The founders were tied to the OTO and Alistair Crowley. And the second Illuminati was never really much more than a side show. It's it's primary contribution to kind of a cult history in Europe was that in 1902 it allied itself with the order of the golden dawn. Now the golden dawn had also been founded on, shall we say shaky, shaky grounds truthwise. Yeah. Rose accrucian named Wentworth Little who claimed to have come into the possession of a coded manuscript that led him to a woman named Anna Sprangel in Germany who was in touch with unknown superiors who had taught him about a secret organization behind the secret organization behind the myth of the Rose accrucians. And you can see shades of kind of what Vyshop was doing with the Illuminati here. I've you know this organization has a history that's actually much older than people know. There's this group of unknown folks in addition to me who are actually running things. Yeah. I want to quote here from our old friend pro cult activist Massimo Introvine again because he's he saw again. If you got a right to tell the history of this shit, you're going to wind up quoting a lot of cracks and weirdos. It's mostly going to be cracks and weirdos. That's this is just a fact of the matter. Wescott claimed who have found Sprangel's address to have written to her and to have obtained the authorization of the unknown superiors to found an order in England placed under their authority the golden dawn. In spite of the great influence it exerted on art and literature, the golden dawn rested on a mystification. There was no Anna Sprangel and Wescott had simply invented the whole story. It was Alistair Crowley who had been initiated into the golden dawn in 1898 and had immediately engaged in trying to overthrow its leaders who in 1900 revealed the deception. Crowley's very complicated. He sure is. And he I think in a lot of ways qualifies as a bastard. Yeah. But one of the cool things that he did was completely over throw every magical community that he that he went into. His guy into your wizard club. He's going to take over. He will take over your wizard club. And make you admit that you made the whole thing up. Yes. And then have a lot of gay sex in the wizard. So I'm okay. I am certainly the least knowledge about knowledgeable about Crowley in our organization. But my the thing that I always took from readings about him is that he was able to do that in all these organizations. Because he had he's got some jock energy to him. Yes. That like most wizard's. He just kind of had that confidence to let him bully his way. Is this kind of like when punks go to like nerd conventions, we're just in charge because we actually have social skills. And we like. Yeah. Oh, this is going to this is going to be very controversial on the subreddit. Margaret Killjoy just got canceled. Yeah. I can finally read Crowley was really the first poke is what you're trying to say. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to take a stand and say that I absolutely no, I actually don't know that somewhere underground in the vault vault of the golden dawn is the very first battle jacket. I mean to it. Yeah. But also, but you keep talking about the stigma. It's like it seems like the cultists are the okay ones and the conspiracy theorists are the ones who do the Nazi shit. Yeah. I mean, because these these guys, the people forming this new order of I mean, the people who kind of formed this new illuminati and married to the golden dawn, I haven't come across any evidence that they're bastards like they were there were people who wanted to dress up and do magic. Like there's nothing harmful about what they're doing here. It's just it's not wildly influential. But Engel, who is one of the people who winds up in charge of this new illuminati, funds it. I found this interesting by writing a series of like short stories for dime novels under a shitload of different names. Yeah. He kind of does an L Ron Hubbard, but in reverse, where like Hubbard writes all these dime novels and then creates a cult because he wants to get out of that industry, whereas Engel funds his little coat by writing a bunch of like shitty weird fiction. I don't know if it was shitty. Actually, I haven't read it. I shouldn't be judgmental like that. It might have been good weird fiction. His illuminati limps on into the 1970s when they fall a foul of Germany's militant post-war anti-cult movement. There is we talk about this in the episode. Sorry. That's just really funny. Yeah, well, we talked about this in the episodes titled The School that that raped everyone, which is a dark episode about how there was an element of kind of the progressive left in post-war Germany that embraced free love politics to such an extent that they started justifying the molestation of children. And this is a big part of what gets the illuminati in trouble. I have not found any evidence that they are molesting anybody, but they are teaching sex magic. And because there are a lot of problems with other kind of people in who are broadly in the same sort of cultic milieu, you might say, as the illuminati in this period, who are molesting children, they get caught up in, I don't even want to call it a moral panic. A lot of people were actually harmed, but the illuminati does not seem to have been justifiably targeted here. They were just like adults who were doing satanic orgies, which is fine. Yeah, I mean, but this complaint continues on today. How a lot of sex cults are specifically the OTO is just kind of a sex cult for its older male members. This is something that is very much a continuing critique. And there's nothing inherently wrong with making a sex cult for you and your friends. I've been in a couple of sex cults. It's fine. They always end great is what everyone says about sex cults. Some of them do. Yeah. And the illuminati doesn't end all that terribly, but it just kind of peeders out after this point. The last leader of the second illuminati, a guy named Metzger dies a lonely alcoholic in 1990, which is a pretty common way for things to end for the leaders of sex cults. While Metzger's illuminati was limping through the last arthritic stages of its life, events over in the United States were about to bring the illuminati to a level of fame. It hadn't enjoyed even in the days of Adam. I shopped. Ah, Kerry Windle Thornley was born on April 17, 1938 in Whittier, California. Whittier is today a suburb of Los Angeles. It is back then it was kind of just like its own little town in the middle of southern California. If you Google the neighborhood that Kerry Thornley grew up in today, you'll immediately be shown a map that depicts the unincorporated community boxed in by bold blue pins that indicate a Costco, a home depot, a savers, a target, and a trader Joe's. They surround East Whittier like a capitalist pentagram, almost as if her medic capitalist visits were trying to keep some sort of dangerous energy contained within. These are the things you think about when you spend 16 hours writing about the illuminati later nights. No one fuck up those stores or all hell of the people in the world. These are the seven seals of neoliberalism. This is a John Garnel model and I would read it. Kerry was raised Mormon and for much of the first seven years of his life, his father was overseas, fighting it a little thing you might have heard of called the Second World War. Most of the context we have for his childhood comes from a letter, his brother wrote decades later that I found reprinted in a scene published by Kerry's ideological children. Most of the good history on Kerry you find scattered in Zines that are like 30 years old so it is a whole thing piecing it together. I'm going to read a quote from that letter now though and this is his brother talking. We were living behind my grandparents when I was born and what is now called Watts on 77th Street in LA and our dad was in the Navy station in Okinawa at the time. When dad had returned from World War II, Kerry was waiting to welcome him dressed in a sailor's outfit my mom had gotten him and I was a newborn in a cradle. Dad came in the door and brushed over to see me before he hugged Kerry. Kerry got so pissed that he ran out the back door and climbed up the wallnut tree and refused to come down. That event more than any other set the tone for Kerry's relationship with me. The rest of my life is punctuated with events in which Kerry did his best to get even with me from what I called his intellectual muggings when I was in college to writing parodies of letters that I would send him later in life. Our father was a raging alcoholic so by necessity, Kerry became like a father figure to me and dick. So he's like a complicated guy. He's the fact that his dad is absent. I think has a big impact on him and he feels this sense of jealousy for his father's attention because it had been so absent. But also because his father is this violent asshole, he sort of acts to protect his younger brothers. It's a complicated thing. I think he does, he's obviously he's a kid so there's sometimes he does shit out of spite to his brothers. But you get the feeling that he did the most that he could to try and fill that gap that was left by his dad being a non-functional person. Like he did the best job. I think you could have expected of a kid in that circumstance. It's a difficult way to grow up. Yeah. Kerry met Greg Hill who was three years younger in high school in 1956. The two were members of the very first generation of their nerds. They're big fucking nerds and they were sometimes mocked by it. I think like George McFly from back to the future that is exactly the kind of kids that we're talking about. They were huge into Mad Magazine, which was kind of like that was a lot of people who wind up very radical in the 60s and 70s. Yeah. Start by reading Mad Magazine. The early 60s or whatever. And they were interested in radical political ideas, much like the ones that had animated Adam Vyshop centuries before. They were also again big sci-fi nerds with what one biography describes as a fondness for crackpots. Their childhoods would have involved colorful, weirdly horny comic books and the short stories of men like Bob Heinlein, Philip K Dick, and El Ron Hubbard. Greg and Kerry were so excited by this stuff that they briefly attended meetings of a nearby UFO cult as adolescents called understanding. Greg later recalled, through our mutual general interest in wondering just what was going on out there in that gigantic world. And our many common specific interests in humanism, anti-religionism, an enjoyment for Omar Kiam, and a curiosity for the bizarre black magic and hypnotism, plus our common warped sense of humor, we formed a close friendship. So that's who these guys are, right? Like they're kind of young kids in this boring town and they get really into science fiction and fantasy, and that leads them into reading about the occult and reading. All of these also kind of like mystic. They're into the Sufis, they're into Zen Buddhism. Like they're not just into like golden dongs. Yeah, they're pretty cool actually. Yeah. I would say. I don't know how it's going end up. So I'm going to hold on to them as being real cool right now. They're it's going to end in a couple of different ways, Margaret. Everyone involved in the movement we're talking about has a very, very different ending. Okay. I got to your adventure novel. Yeah, yeah, exactly. I do want to talk a little bit about Omar Kiam, who is a he was a guy who lived from like basically around a thousand ish to 1100 AD. He's a polymath, one of these guys who's like he's doing math and he's a philosopher and he's writing poetry that's still very popular today. And he's one of the things I've out him that's kind of interesting and that's probably going to be relevant. That's going to definitely be relevant to the way that Kerry Thornley uses him because Thornley's obsessed with this guy is that for kind of centuries and centuries after his death, it became a tradition in a chunk of at least Islamic poetry to attribute your poems to Omar Kiam. And this started being done this like for whatever reason in the 1800s, Europeans start doing this too. And this some of this is tied in with like Orientalism. I'm not a great person to discuss this because this is a very influential figure. But one thing that's important to know is he is a real poet who also has become kind of this, I don't know if it's calling him a symbol is the right thing, but people decided to attribute poems to him that had not been written by him. There's a bunch of these throughout history, these like shared author names. They're really interesting in me. Yeah, it is, it is really interesting. Obviously, Kerry Thornley is very interested in this guy, maybe in part because of that. A lot of a lot of like a cult authors also have this. There's like Hermes, Trismagistus. There's a lot of even the, I forget the name, let me look it up quick. That's why I have a new book coming out by Alex or Crowley. The name I read under now. I'm doing a totally different thing. I'm just going to credit my next book to Stephen King and just take that money. Just take that cash, baby. In terms of a cult authors who also did this, there was the fourth book of a cult philosophy by Agrippa, probably not written by the actual Agrippa who had been dead for several thousand years. Yeah, it's interesting trend that continues because the types of communities that were writing these cult text as groups really do get continued by the stuff that Greg Hill was actually inadvertently developing. It's interesting, just how similar this type of stuff is. Okay, and one of the other of these shared names, Luther Blissett is a Italian collective of radicals who then lots of people right under this name that put out a book called Q that's a conspiracy book that came out before any of this before the Q and on. I believe, and I might have, I don't have the notes in front of me, but Luther Blissett is some famous soccer player and these Italian radicals were just like, we're just going to use his name. The dude was alive. They wrote this best seller called Q that's a conspiracy novel. Well, shit's weird. That is very funny. And you know what else is funny, Margaret? The stuff, the products and services, the ads supporting this podcast, all of which, by the way, all of our ads are written and produced by Omar Kiam. So, you know, enjoy some of this classic Seljuk capitalism poetry. It's just going to be some math ads. I hope it's gold. I bet he had gold. Might not everyone did back then. Yeah. This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. 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There's a reason I'm going to focus primarily on Thornley and Hill here. I'll be suggesting a book later if you want to learn more about every single person who was involved in this next stage of the Illuminati. But yeah, the core of this circle seems to be Thornley and Hill. And there's something kind of magnetic about the two when they are together. Part of us do with the fact that Kerry is an undeniably talented public speaker and he seems to have kind of an ability to lead people or at least be so obsessed with something in such an endearing way that people feel the desire to follow him. One of the things that he Kerry and Greg both were really into was playing pranks on their classmates. And I'm going to read a segment from a biography by a guy named Adam Goe rightly that talks about one of the pranks that they played on their school jumps. Kerry Greg and other unnamed cohorts made a recording of what at first appeared to be a regular radio program with music playing innocently from a radio positioned on the apron of the stage. In actuality, the sounds were projected from a reel to real tape machine hidden backstage inserted into the seemingly mundane radio program. The pranks had implanted a series of interruptions made by a newscaster to the effect that Soviet playins were invading the US and dropping bombs. As one classmate recalled, somebody had told me early on that it was a joke, but some of the students didn't know and got really scared. What made me feel bad was that one of the boys in the class was so scared he was praying. This is like I kind of know where this story goes from from from this point on. And the fact that they were doing this shit as kids is hilarious because this is this exact same style of prank and the kind of recklessness that they go about it gets continued on to massive proportions. Like they do so much inadvertent damage by pranks of this style on a national scale very soon. And it's so weird to just you're like just watching the train about about to crash and you're seeing it going you know what's going to happen. And it kind of in line with that, Garrison, Kerry's friends at the time when interviewed later would note that as a kid, he had a habit of excess. He did not seem to know how to stop himself when the playing around got out of hand. Yeah. That said, he was also intensely empathetic. And one of the stories told about him is that after his high school graduation, one of his close friends came out of the closet to him as gay. This is in 1957. And that friend when interviewed was like, yeah, he just like embraced me like there was never any judgment. He was completely completely accepting and fine. Which is really is not worthy. Some of these people are like actually really decent people and have had and have like pretty good politics. And we're doing kind of rad stuff in the 1950s and 60s. Yeah. Well, some of yeah. And let's let's put a pin in that one. Thornley graduated high school in 1957. He attended Marine Corps Reserve boot camp that summer. This is not a thing he had a choice in. Like a lot of people would just kind of join ahead of getting drafted in order to have some amount of like choice. And where they went, I had a lot of relics where like, well, if I join, then I get to like pick kind of what I'm I have more agency in this process. Yeah. So he goes to boot camp and then he gets into the University of Southern California. He spent a lot of time still at home with his friends, many of whom namely Greg hadn't yet graduated. They spent the bulk of their free time at 24 hour bowling alleys where they could buy alcohol one night in 1957. Yeah. And he's buying alcohol. Greg is a couple of years younger than Kerry. So Greg is or Kerry is often the one buying alcohol for his underage friends. Which we always support here at Cool Zone. I definitely didn't make my living doing that. Yeah. When I was a 21 year old street punk, no way. You would never do something like that. What it was the only way to make money. Uh-uh. One night in 1957, Hill and Thornley were discussing poems. Kerry had written on order emerging from chaos. Hill argued that order was a construction of the human mind. Only chaos was real. Now, there's a couple of versions of what comes next in the version that mirror subjective reality. Hill, an atheist, expressed his frustration with modern organized religions for claiming the existence of an organizing principle behind the universe. The ancient Greeks he expressed had gotten it closest to right because they had a goddess of chaos. Her name was Eris or discordia in Latin. Hill felt that Eris was the only deity he'd ever seen in the evidence of. And he suggested it might be a good idea if someone created a religion based around her. It's going to go great. Now, while he was at college, Thornley attempted to join a fraternity, delta sigma phi. And what would be one of his only real brushes with the square world he pledged and he went through a hazing ritual called Hell Week. That year, the brothers allowed a black student to pledge. They made him go through Hell Week and then after he had gone through all of that kind of hazing shit, they laughed at him and told him that of course as a black guy, he was not allowed to join their fraternity. This was enough to get carried away and to turn him away from the concept of fraternities forever. If he ever made a secret society, it was going to be one defined by radical acceptance. Hill and Thornley kept up their correspondence on the subject of creating some sort of like, you know, they're talking about doing the same kind of shit that ViShop is doing. They're just talking about doing it from a perspective of like, this would be kind of a funny thing. And they said chat about it. It's just a prank, bro. It's just a prank. It's a prank. It's fine. It's fine. It's casually. And it is mixed with things they seriously believe. You know, Hill is, yeah, you might call Hill a very early atheist activist, right? You know, pre-dockins, pre, all of that, you know, that kind of guys who became really prominent in the late 90s, early 2000s. Hill is that in the late 1950s, early 60s. But also he's like much less insufferable than the guy that followed. Because he understands like the chaotic nature of existence. Yeah. And Thornley, I think, is, is, is, Sanpatico with Hill on a lot, but Thornley is a little more mystical, right? Like, yeah, he seems to be kind of more moved by that stuff, although not to an agree, that a degree that it seems to like, great on Hill, who is kind of fundamentally a materialist value or vision of the universe. That's at least my take on this. There's so many, much, also this very contradictory about these guys. So if you do your own research on this, you may come to some different conclusions about some of this than I am. It really depends on which scenes you stumble into. And like a lot of these guys who are writing stuff about themselves, wrote it contradictory on purpose to make things confusing because they thought it was a funny prank. Because they thought it was a funny prank. So all of French philosophy, I really, yeah. Yeah. Thornley winds up joining the Marine Corps. You know, after he does his, like, a little bit of time in college, he becomes active duty in the Corps. And so he spends a couple of years as a Marine. And while he is a Marine, state side, he spends, I think it's a little less than a year, serving alongside a bright young man that you might have not heard of named Lee Harvey Oswald. And Kerry and Lee Harvey Oswald become pretty good friends. They are, they are buddies. And one of the things that Kerry likes about Oswald is that he's a little bit of a prankster. Just a just a just a kooky guy. That's what everybody knows about Lee Harvey Oswald. He's going to tell a very famous joke in the not too distant future from this point. Get some a lot of attention. It's a lot like. Hit tweet. Hit tweet. There we go. I'm going to advertise the projectors under this one. Yeah. I'm going to read another quote from Adam Goright Lee's book. Quote. Later, Kerry would describe Oswald as the outfit eight ball. Earning this dubious distinction by openly subscribing to communist newspapers such as Profta and cracking jokes with an exaggerated Russian accent, answering questions with Da or Nip and referring to his fellow Marines as comrades. It was common knowledge that Oswald was studying Russian and was fairly fluent in conversational Russian because of this. He inquired the nickname Oswald's Kovitch. And this is no one's reporting this. You're in a war against Russia. No, no, it's like I'm a communist. See, this is actually I want to talk about this. This is a thing. I think a lot of folks who because of the fact that they are more on the left side of things and maybe don't have a lot of firsthand experience with the military, don't get so much because there's like there's like a conspiracy theory going around right now, right? That it has been going on for a while because it was Pat Tillman got brought up at the Super Bowl by those fucks at the NFL. This was was talked about recently where folks are like, oh, he was obviously murdered by his own guys because they heard him talking about how the war was bullshit and like saying like anti American stuff. And so they assassinated him. This is a conspiracy theory that's not what happened. It's incredibly common. If you talk to guys who were serving in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq for people to say this war is bullshit, what we're doing is stupid. I have talked to people who'd be like, yeah, half the unit thought that what we were doing over there was bullshit. It was not uncommon for people to be like, fuck this stupid war. It's like a thing that like soldiers fuck around and soldiers like anyone else often while they are participating in whatever war express opinions that are contra to the like and Oswald is one of these guys. And so he does get in trouble a couple of times, but like he's never drummed out of the Marines for making for doing jokes about being a communist. Yeah. And they're not also entirely jokes. And in fact, Oswald is for at least a period of his military service seen as a pretty good soldier. And a later part of his life carry and another one of their comrades would claim that he Oswald and this other marine were approached by someone that they believe was a representative of the CIA and given aptitude tests. Oswald and this other marine were asked if they would be interested in parachuteing into foreign countries and helping rebels do things like build radios. This is school of America's shit. And there were absolutely US soldiers who had this experience. I can't confirm or deny whether or not that happened to Oswald in specific, but this is a thing that occurred, right? Like so it's not unlikely that some version of this happened. By all accounts, he seems to be like decent at being a soldier. He was a pretty good shot. So Robert, you're saying on the record that the CIA hired him to assassinate John F. Kennedy. That is exactly what I'm saying. It actually Margaret hold up because it gets a lot more conspiratorial here. Okay. So carry would also later, and this is an a point of his life when his mental health is not so great. Would also later claim that he was targeted by the MK Ultra program during this part of his life. Now here's the thing. After his time with Oswald, he was stationed at Tsugi Air Base in Japan as a radar technician. And it is while he was stationed here that he starts having auditory hallucinations at night of radio chatter in his head. Carry the came convinced that he was hearing actual radio traffic in his head. This is at a later portion of his life. Now at Tsugi Air Base is host to a major was host to a major CIA base. And it was one of two foreign bases where the CIA conducted MK Ultra experiments. In a Rolling Stone investigation published years later, an anonymous marine who served at Tsugi around the same time as Kerry did and Oswald at a separate period of time serves at Tsugi Air Base. This guy claims it was pretty weird. I'm 18 at the time and chasing all the horrors in town and the CIA guys are buying me drinks and paying for the horrors and giving me a whole round of drinks with lots of weird drugs in them. Pretty soon all the shadows are moving around. We're in the bar. See the samarizer everywhere and I started seeing skeletons and things. My mind just started boiling over going about a thousand miles a minute. Now there's a distinctly higher than zero chance that either Oswald or Thorneley or quite possibly both of them were dosed as part of the MK Ultra experiments. And if doing so, by the way, this is not like trying to say some conspiracy about the Kennedy assassination here. They would, if that happened to them, they are just some of hundreds and hundreds of US servicemen who were dosed by the CIA against their will. This happened constantly to tens of thousands of people as we've talked about in our MK Ultra episodes. We will never know for certain because the architect of MK Ultra burned all of the files. So just keep in your mind. It is possible that the first time Kerry Thorneley has LSD, it's because the CIA drugs him, which convinces him that he's hearing voices at night. We will never know. It's also there's stories from Oswald around this period that like one night he starts freaking out that there's guys shooting at him from like the woods when he's on guard duty. That some people of theorized like, oh yeah, maybe he just got fucking dosed and had a breakdown. This happens to a lot of guys. It's certainly not impossible that it happened to Oswald and Thorneley. As someone who's been dosed against my will before this all tracks. Yeah, because when you don't know that you're on drugs, it's a completely different experience than when you know you're on drugs. Yeah, that is entirely possible. And I think, I think there's actually a pretty good chance at least one of them did, because they're both added Tsugi and we know the CIA is doing this shit to service men in Tsugi. Yeah. So, you know, again, I guess I have to just continue the story. Oswald and Thorneley were only stationed together for a brief portion of their service after which they probably never saw each other again. Or did they? Or did they? Well, a lot of people are going to ask that question, Mark. Carrie gets sent to Manila next where he sees such heartbreaking poverty that he becomes a Marxist linenist. He starts reading books on Marxist political theory and he becomes more committed than ever to his pranks. The ultimate example of this is a fake marine that he creates under the name Omar Kaim Ravenhurst. And he does this by inserting fake records into the administrative files. He gets so far into this that he gets the military to issue a locker and a bunk to this fake soldier. And then after he leaves, there's a big base inspection and all the inspectors can't find this guy who has a bunk and who has like a locker and who is supposed to be turning out for inspection. And it causes like a big problem that he is he's made a fake man. He's a he's a very fun character in this part of his life. After their time in the marines. After their time in the marines, Oswald defecs the Soviet Union from 1959 to 1962. So some amount of the jokes that Oswald was making about communism were not jokes. He's like sitting around learning Russian being like, hey guys, I'm going to defect to the Russian that there was like, oh, oh, leharvy. Yeah. I'm going to, I'm going to make a, I'm going to make a sitcom about leharvy Oswald called O leharvy just to just about all his many pranks. Um, like that one he carried out in Dallas. And anyway, um, so Kerry is like, wow, it's weird that this guy who I was a friend with left the marines in order to defect to the Soviet Union. That's kind of a neat story. I'm going to write a book about it. So he decides he starts work on a fictional book based around a character that is a thinly veiled leharvy Oswald. Um, this book is out today. You can read this, this book that is a fictional story he wrote about his real friend, leharvy Oswald. Um, and while he was starting this project, his work on his first novel, he comes across a copy of another book that's going to change his life. And unfortunately, it's Iron Rans at the shrugged. Um, he is so blown away by Miss Rans pros that he converts from Marxism to Lausier Capitalism overnight and basically becomes an objectivist. Now, the thing you might be starting to get from Kerry right now is that he's a little bit of a seeker ideologically. He is very prone to encountering a book and feeling that book on a almost spiritual level and changing his life as a result of that book. This will be a pattern for him throughout his life. Um, now while he's doing this, he still has the same creative images and he maintains his friendship with Greg Hill and he moves back home with his parents, uh, briefly at least. And during that period of time, he and Greg Hill launch a project that is an attempt at creating a humor magazine, which I mostly mentioned because of its title, Apocalypse, a trade journal for Doom profits. Um, which is a great title. I would nobody really. Yeah, nobody. I haven't found a copy of this. I would love to. I don't even know if it exists anymore. This is proto-zene culture, um, which by the way, these are going to be two of the guys generally credited with inventing the concept of zines. Um, and uh, yeah, they uh, this, this particular magazine does not work very well. Um, so, you know, they, uh, they, they, they give up that project pretty early on. Life back in Whittier, graded on them both, particularly the fact that the police would keep pulling them over for wandering around at night with no clear purpose, which was legal back then. There were actually laws about like being out at night without a reason to be out at night. Um, so they decided to move to a place where there were no laws about staying up all night and being weirdos. And that place was New Orleans. And uh, yeah, I think that's a good point to lead into an ad break. Is it an ad for New Orleans? I hope it's an ad for New Orleans. Uh, go to New Orleans. It's a city where you can eat a shitload of alligator meat. And I assume other things. Benye. Benye's exactly. You can stuff a Benye with Gator. I mean, you were. Gator. I'll put Gator in anything. I love Gator. And I like New Orleans. This podcast is sponsored by Life Lock by Norton. There's no better time than the new year to resolve to protect your identity and finances. Identity thieves can take out loans in your name, take over and drain your banking and investment accounts, and more. It could be dangerously easy to become a victim of identity theft. Life Lock makes it easy to help protect your identity and financial future. 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After Oswald got back from the Soviet Union, he wound up moving to New Orleans too. He and Thornley are living just blocks away from each other and Thornley would claim for the rest of his life that he was unaware of this that they never saw each other again. And it's worth noting that according to Kerry's friend Becky Glazer, Kerry spent his time in New Orleans, quote, getting high off of everything. So it's not odd that he would have been unaware. There are stories that he gets high smoking banana peels, which do not get you high. But Kerry claims he makes blunts out of banana peels and claims to get wasted off of them. There's going to be some stuff later in the story that makes this make sense. This is more what I think of New Orleans about is instead of Gatorney is getting high off of everything. So yeah. Well, that is again. So Kerry is going to claim I didn't see Oswald. There's a decent chance of that purely because like he is spending most of his time getting wasted and hanging out with like weirdos on kind of the fringes of society. And this is what's going to wind up bringing him into contact with a number of people who later what become central parts in some of the early JFK assassination conspiracy theories people besides Oswald. One of these guys is a friend of Kerry's named Slim Brooks. Now Slim may have been a navigational consultant on the Bay of Pigs invasion. We don't actually know who this guy is. There's a couple of people that we know Kerry is hanging out with who give him names that we know our fake names because no one ever existed under those names, which is part of like what leads to these guys being part of the JFK conspiracy. Also, this is a man who's known to make up people. This is a man who's known to make up people. Although other people recall these folks. Okay. Okay. And this is an unpleasant part of Kerry's history because Slim introduces him to a guy named Gary Kirstin. And some conspiracy theorists of the Kennedy assassination think that Gary Kirstin was actually Watergate Berglier in CIA spy master E Howard Hunt because Gary Kirstin was not a real person. Now to Kerry, the man who identified himself as Gary Kirstin claimed to have unclear ties to intelligence agencies while he regularly spouted neo-Nazi propaganda. Kerry later wrote quote, one of the first things I learned about Gary was that he also hated Kennedy. But for somewhat different political reasons than mine. What a what a what a funny bit. It is it is a funny bit. The bit's going to get funnier quote. He expressed his dislike for Jews, polls, gypsies, homosexuals, Russians, Mexicans, and so on with a chuckle usually, which left me with room to assume he wasn't really very serious about it. That of course was the assumption I preferred to make since I really liked Slim a lot and Gary was his friend. Now this is where we're starting to see some of the moral downsides of being as open-minded to dude as Kerry was because he's kind of willing to be like, well this guy likes talking a lot about Nazi stuff but maybe he's joking. I like his friend so I'm not going to cause a problem which is a bad thing to do. And Gary makes another bad decision after this point which is he decide he it kind of becomes a common thing for him when he's hanging out at bars with these guys to joke about murdering President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Now this this may have been recorded and it happens often enough that numerous people have experiences of Kerry talking about killing JFK. He puts up posters calling for JFK to be like arrested or otherwise taken out of the presidency. What was one might have seen? It's not impossible. Although yeah this is what is JFK at this point. We're going to talk about that. So there's a couple of things he has against JFK. One of them is that JFK supported the side who was fighting against the side backed by Rhodesia in the Congo. It is unclear why he was angry and he talks a lot about something called the Catanga massacre which during the Catanga war which is this war that happens in the Congo. There were massacres on both sides. I don't know specifically what he was talking about there. He also he's again he's an objectivist at this point. So he hates Kennedy's economic policies right. But he also hates Kennedy for trying to invade Cuba. Wait there was so many steps all over the map. There's so many steps around. Yeah. That I lost the negative of the negative of the negative. Tell me where did JFK sit on Rhodesia and where did it? Well JFK under him the United States backed a side in a civil war in Congo. Yeah. That was opposed to the side that was backed by Rhodesia. And I don't know. Kerry never said anything. So Kerry was angry that there were massacres in this war which he blamed on Kennedy. He was also angry at Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs and for attacking Cuba. So it's all over the map. There's this next of like right wing and left wing things that are like again he's all over the map kind of on this stuff. But whatever reasons he had for hating Kennedy he and his new buddies slim and Gary the Nazi have a lot of theoretical discussions about killing JFK. Kerry's contributions to the conversation include advocating the use of a poison dart that would quote blow his stomach apart as well as another scenario involving a remote control plane carrying a bomb which is at least innovative. And for now. Yeah. Yeah. Gotta get. Gotta give Kerry credit for predicting drone warfare. Yeah. After Kerry finished with his mock assassination plots, Kirsten added and next we'll get Martin Luther King. Now this is the point at which Kerry started to wonder if maybe he hadn't fallen in with a bad group of people. But again, he has terrible judgment and he just kind of lets this slide. Another example of his terrible judgment comes when Gary Kirsten pays him to help research a book with the title. Strap in for this one folks Hitler was a good guy. Now. The premise of this book. What is that? Tell please please let me know. It's a little different than what you're expecting. The premise of this book is that all of the other Nazis and the Third Reich were worse than Hitler. So it's good that he was the Nazi who wound up in charge. Now this isn't insane. This is this is full stop idiotic. And Kerry does not get involved in this. Kerry is like, well, this guy's a weird Nazi but he's willing to pay me and I am broke and kind of willing to do anything for money. Like I don't mind writing out. He's writing research for this thing, right? So basically what he's research for this is he's going through the library and he's reading books on guys like Gerbels and then he's writing out things that Gerbels said that sound worse than things that Hitler said. Like that's his research on this project. So yeah, it's all it's good for good for you, Kerry. Now while this is going on, he is a pretty prominent member of the New Orleans fringe community. And this is again, we talked about we did in our episodes on Gabriel Denonziro, who's the guy who's this Italian poet who's generally considered to be the ideological founder of Fascism. He's the guy who inspired Mussolini. He takes over this city on the coast of in between kind of it's in Croatia now, but it's it's near Italy and it's after World War I, this city, Fume is in this kind of awkward position where it's an independent city, but it wants to be part of Italy and he just goes and he takes it over. And Denonziro is like a proto-fascist and a lot of the guys who back him in this are proto-fascists, but also a lot of them are anarchists and there are like anarcho-syndicalists involved in the government of Fume and even some Marxists. And part of what's happening here is that it and this happens periodically. I think you could look at the internet as sort of a digital fume and like the late 90s early 2000s. And we're in another New Orleans in this period is another similar situation where you've got all of these kind of fringe people, many of whom are going to be very influential in the 1960s. Go to the big parts of like the hippies and all this stuff that happens are like hanging out with like weirdo objectivists and satanists and occult people and Nazis. And they're all hanging out in a lot of the same spaces because none of them fit anywhere else. And that's kind of what happens to in periods of time and places. This is like a pattern that repeats itself, which I'm not saying to justify in a moral level. Like you should never sit down and talk to or work with or take money from a Nazi for a job like this. That's an immoral act full stop. I'm saying that like this pattern of you having all of these different radicals coming at stuff from different views. This happens repeatedly in history. Like the punk scene. It just that. Like the punk scene. Right. Then in the punk scene, there's a lot of work putting into making sure Nazis can't hold space there. Right. But it's why this is why in radical spaces you have to be so diligent and proactive about, you know, we'll summarize it as punching Nazis because otherwise shit like this happens. Right. But that culture didn't really exist at this point in that part in that area or at least thorny was not a part of it. Now he's also hanging out with, it's not just these two weirdos. He's hanging out with a lot of musicians, a lot of like members of the locals sit like there's this kind of unique little satanist sect in New Orleans at the time and his friends with a lot of those guys. He's just kind of generally in the counter culture. Now he is also again very vociferously an opponent of JFK. And largely this comes down to I think economics because by this point, Kerry considered himself a capitalist revolutionary. And so he had wished death on the president on numerous occasions for the president not sticking to kind of Randian principles of La Zai Fair capitalism. I've met so like this in the Goth scene. Yeah. Yeah. This is not a totally unique journey. Yeah. In November of 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Kerry was working at a restaurant at the time. And when it came out that the police had arrested a former Marine, he immediately and publicly said, I bet it was my friendly Harvey Oswald. Now his co-workers think this is peculiar. And here's an opsec tip for you. Kids out here. If you, if you believe your friend has assassinated the president, maybe keep that one to yourself. You might not want to be talking about that to the other guys at the kitchen. If there's one thing that Thorne Lee cannot do, it is to fuck up physically incapable of shedding his mouth. Absolutely not. So this is a funny prank. It is so funny. Like the French Revolution, the JFK assassination is a moment so horrific and inconceivable that it's fond conspiracy theories immediately. Yeah. Kerry's co-workers suspected that he was connected to it since he looked like Oswald. This is another factor in it. He kind of resembles Lee Harvey Oswald. There's talk that they might secretly be brothers. These are the beginning stirries of what's going to become a surprisingly influential conspiracy. For his part, Kerry believes that Oswald is innocent. He thinks that he was a patsy for the real killers. And he, I think this is just because he was legitimately friends with the guy. And he just didn't really think that he could do it. And in fact, when Oswald gets killed, he falls into a deep depression because he's like, now no one's ever going to find out the truth. The state has successfully murdered my friend in order to hide the fact that he was innocent of the terrible crime. So that's where Kerry is immediately after the Kennedy assassination. And obviously, when the president is murdered, the secret service and the FBI, you know, get out there, start looking at people, start knocking on doors. And as they begin their investigations, they centred them around these radical political communities that Oswald had also spent time around. Oswald had been living in the same part of New Orleans. So one of the areas in which the secret service and the FBI are looking around his New Orleans. And they start running into a lot of people who are like, you know, there's this weird guy who spent like a solid year talking about killing JFK and putting up posters. And he kind of looked like Lee Harvey Oswald. And then they're like, oh yeah. And also he talked about how he and Oswald were friends. So the feds become interested in Kerry. And Kerry becomes convinced that he's being tailed by the feds. Now, what if he created the he convinced Harvey Oswald? Like what if a homonculus? That's it. Yeah. Docklegaer. Yeah. He made his own he made his own tolpa to kill the assessor. Not as far from what he winds up believing as I wish was the case. Oh no. So, but here's the thing. Again, you cannot emphasize how different kind of this the left is in this period of time and how differently people talk. If one thing what we know now today about like Cointel Pro and the infiltration of radical communities by the FBI, there are rumors about it then. But we don't like have all of the papers that we do now. Yeah. This is like in one like this. This is like 63. Yeah. 63, right? So Kerry when he finds that, when he decides when he realizes the feds are tailing him and he hears them and looking around, he just goes to the FBI and he's like, Hey guys, I hear you're interested in me and the Kennedy killing. You want to give me a light detector test? Well, Thorne makes a lot of bad choices throughout his life. I mean, this one might not be the worst call. And this actually doesn't because like the FBI immediately is like, Oh, this guy's kind of a cook. Yeah. Um, he also he does have like an airtight alibi for the assassination. And he, Kerry frames it to them as I want to help you track down the real killer because he wants to avenge Lee Harvey Oswald, which the FBI is probably also why the FBI is like, Okay, this guy's a little bit of a cook. Kerry would later recall that the main question the FBI asked him was whether or not Oswald had been quote unquote a homo. I'm not my god. I love it. Good, good work, guys. Okay, was he? I know his man. I don't think so. Okay. No, I don't think so. I don't think so. That would be a proud moment. I mean, those are not easy shots to make. So pretty weird. I'm really excited about this line of a. I'm just really excited to see the reddit after the. Yeah. No, it's just going to be people arguing that they could have hit that shot easy with a man liquor carcano. Um, it's hard folks. It's hard. Look, not a great rifle. That's why he had it anyway, whatever. Um, so yeah, Kerry for the next year or so, um, Kerry like conspiracies start to swirl around this guy. Like the, the conspiracy culture in the US gets ignited again by the Kennedy assassination in a way it really hadn't been before. And Kerry is kind of the first guy people suspect of being involved. When Kennedy conspiracy theories take off the ground. Yeah. And that is going to have a lot of negative long term consequences for Kerry and also everyone else in the world. But the fast, fascinating like butterfly effect that is continuing on today. But yeah, uh, let's, uh, let's, let's let's let's talk about that next time and let's talk about Y'all's motherfucking pluggables this time. Well, if you want a copy of me that is armed with what was the rightful? No, way, I shouldn't do that. Uh, if you want a book, I wrote, I wrote a book called Escape from Insol Island and you can read it in afternoon and it has people in it who are escaping from Insol Island. And if you want to hear us play a role playing game based on it, we did a live play that you can hear on the podcast strangers in the tangled wilderness. It'll be one of the most recent episodes because well, I mean, at the time this releases us, otherwise you might have to search for it. Um, and I have a podcast. I have a podcast called cool people who did cool stuff. We probably won't be covering this exact subject. Um, and well, yeah, you know, Margaret, this is interesting. I actually did escape from an insol island once. Um, I think, I think you people in the East Coast call it road road road island. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yes, yes. Yes, very similar to your story, my experience on Rhode Island. Yeah, it's just made of roads. Also, not in roads and in cells. Yeah. In the 90s, when I did like weird website, zine stuff, I definitely wrote weird things about being like, why is Rhode Island lying to you about everything? And it's, it's a great, it's a great place to target for, for like cruel jokes because like four people live there. So yeah, what are they going to do? Yeah, organize against us. Well, and it's because I was involved, actually the culture that I was involved in in the 90s was like I R C discordian stuff. So I was hanging out with like older Goths who were all part of this shit. So yeah, of the shit we're about to talk about next time. And garrison, my plugs are if you want to contribute to, uh, uh, well, it's it's not quite discordian, but if if you want to feel, if you want to feel like you're contributing to the work of, of people in, in very secretive groups who are doing, who are doing, uh, important work, you can donate the Atlanta Solidarity Fund. That is the main thing I'm going to plug along with my, my, my four part series on stop cop city that was just released on it could happen here. And uh, yeah, let's uh, you know, support people in Atlanta. Um, where this story ends, by the way, uh, we are, we are, we are, we are building to the city of Atlantic, garrison. I didn't know. I, I, I, I, I, I, because I'm the only one that is, which actually is right. That is because of the main. From the ocean. Um, I, I, I have been, I have been screaming about this for years into my CV radio, Margaret. Very excited to talk with you all about this. Um, anyway, go to, go to, go to hell. All of you, go to hell. I love you. Go with Christ to hell. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone media. For more from Cool Zone media, visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It's been eight months for me since I got LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. It's changed a lot for me, especially how much I can enjoy the outdoors. No worrying about contacts or glasses when I'm out camping. If you want to make your life a lot easier, I can't recommend a LASIK plus enough. LASIK plus is simple and it's surprisingly affordable, especially since right now you can get a thousand dollars off LASIK when you're treated in March. That's five hundred dollars off per eye. Visit to schedule your free consultation. That's In 1967, Joseph Stalin's only daughter, flees Russia for her new home, America. That story alone is worthy of a podcast, but Spedlana Spedlana is about what comes next and it's the craziest story I've ever heard. It has KGB agents, a Frank Lloyd Wright commune, weird sex stuff, three Olga's two Spedlana's and one neurotic gay playwright. That's me. Listen to Spedlana Spedlana on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. When my daughter ran off to hop trains, I was terrified I'd never see her again, so I followed her into the train yard. This is what it sounds like inside the box car. And into the city of the rails. There I found a surprising world so brutal and beautiful that it changed me, but the rails do that to everyone. There is another world out there and if you want to play with the devil, you're gonna find them there in the rail yard. Undenail Morton, come with me to find out what waits for us and the city of the rails. Listen to city of the rails on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or