Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Killers

The killers that run
the other countries
are trying to get us
to overthrow the killers
that run our own
I for one
prefer the rule
of our native killers
I am convinced
the foreign killer
will kill more of us
than the old familiar killer does
Frankly I don’t believe
anyone out there
really wants us to solve
our social problems
I base this all on how I feel
about The Man Next Door

In the vicinity of L. Cohen
I just hope he doesn’t
get any uglier
Therefore I am a patriot
I don’t like to see
a burning flag
because it excites
the killers on either side
to unfortunate excess
which goes on gaily
quite unchecked
until everyone is dead

- From “The Energy Of Slaves”

Leonard Cohen double ca. 1979

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Bunch of Loathesome Heroes

I'd rather end the year on a positive note, but that's turning out to be a challenge. I've begun and abandoned several new blog posts since the last one. It's hard to recover from a massive downer like finding more evidence that Leonard Cohen was involved in covert ops. Believe it or not, I recoil from these revelations - but that doesn't stop them from coming. And not because I go looking for the dark side. It just seems to pop up when I least expect it, beyond my conscious control.

So I've been quiet lately - but it's not for lack of trying. I'm in fact sitting on three new posts. All are the result of rereading Marianne Ihlen's memoir So Long, Marianne, and finding it loaded with references that nobody seems to have followed up. Some are definitely clues, offering strange insights into what was really going on back in the late 1950s and early 60s, when a fascinating cast of characters came together on Hydra. They included LSD guru John Starr Cooke - vocal supporter of Marianne's marriage to novelist Axel Jensen who was Starr's protegé. Then Axel ran off with American artist Patricia Amlin - who later made a famous documentary about the Mayans.

Meanwhile, back on Hydra, Marianne joined the drug culture through a circle of women like author and traveller Olivia de Haulleville, niece of Aldous Huxley.

For some odd reason all these Hydra acquaintances seem to have deep connections to the elite circles that funded and promoted the dubious "counterculture" movement -- and we're talking Rockefelllers, Hitchcocks, Mellons and Rothschilds -- because that's the sort of crowd that took over Hydra and turned it into a haven for drug dealers, diamond smugglers, mercenaries, and retired spooks.

Looking at old photos of Hydra life, Jackie Kennedy also shows up, along with Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn -- as a reminder that this tiny Greek island has been a hub for jetsetters and glitterati -- and that despite its reputation as a simple paradise of the Aegean, it was anything but unspoiled.

So I'll start there -- with the caveat that these new leads (at least, new to me) are wormholes that can end up taking us places we aren't quite ready for. Like the Beat Hotel, in Paris. Or London at the dawn of Scientology. Or Tangier, Morocco where Paul Bowles was setting up shop. Or Cuernevaca, Mexico where the counterculture was being cooked up by a raunchy assortment of alchemists and intelligence agents. All these roads were lit by a drug-fuelled revolution that many thought was real.  And even today, we live in the aftermath - the ruins of a dream that turns out to have been more of an evil scheme to take over the world on behalf of the most reactionary people on the planet.

And how is Leonard Cohen connected into all this? Where all this leads, involves the world I grew up in -- the world of MKULTRA mind control, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the murder of John F. Kennedy -- all of which were happening as my generation was coming of age, and while Marianne and Leonard were meeting as young adults on a Greek island and living their romance -- which I suspect was not always as romantic as we have been told.

In an interview with Alison Gold a few years back, Marianne admitted that she "was a part of Leonard's secret life." She didn't elaborate, but what was she referring to? Is there anything in her memoir to suggest such a thing? Not to my knowledge. She leaves us guessing. But she had to know all kinds of things that couldn't be said in the open. As we've seen, she had to know about Leonard's double, and what he was doing on Hydra. She also had to know about Leonard's arrest in Havana, six months later - and the fact that she never even mentions it, is proof that she knew exactly what couldn't be talked about. So, what else did she know? Chances are, a whole lot.

Well, that's the thread I'm attempting to follow, while avoiding the pitfalls the official story and the deaf cheers of clueless fans who believe it. But every now and then, I get a little prompt from Leonard himself. This morning it came in a dream, the kind you wake up from feeling the way you do after visiting a friend.

In the dream, Leonard was lying in bed, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, and I was somewhere off to the side, conscious that I had not spoken a word in quite some time. I was also aware that the reason Leonard was bedridden was because of something I had recently said that had affected him. He'd been hoping I would correct the negative impression my words had left on his family -- and I agreed to try, even though I felt as numb and disappointed about all this as he did. But in the dream, we were both in agreement that something had to be done to straighten out the record, and soon.

In reality, i.e. in my conscious waking life, I'd gone to bed the night before, after having an important realization. I think that's why Leonard showed up in my dream this morning: to encourage me to come out and say it, before it vanished.

So here it is, but it doesn't begin well. Over the past few weeks, since it was the anniversary of JFK's murder, I've been reading articles and looking at some YouTube videos about Dallas, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the various theories out there about who really killed Kennedy. There's general agreement out there, in case you didn't know, that Oswald was a patsy -- although his degree of innocence is disputed, most people who study this saga are convinced he could not have killed the President. And there is general agreement that the real killers are a shadowy group comprised of the Italian Mafia, Cuban anti-Castro extremists, the CIA, and a branch of the Jewish Mafia that can be linked to a Montreal branch that happened to employ many of families who lived in the same neighbourhood young Leonard Cohen grew up in.

This is something I talked about with Jasun Horsley in a recent podcast - in which I refer to the book Dope, Inc which investigates the Montreal-based Bronfman family -- and their links to a conspiracy theory about a company called PERMINDEX which may have ordered the hit on Kennedy, in league with Israelis working for Mossad.

It came as a shock to me to learn that Leonard's family owed their livelihood to an international firm with ties to Israeli intelligence, and that made a living off drugs, human trafficking and assassination. And yet it didn't really come as a surprise, as I had heard Leonard sing the praises of the extremist Stern gang, on a tour that ended in Tel Aviv in November 1980. The Stern gang were Jewish terrorists who committed mass murder in the cause of Israeli independence, and Leonard had made no secret of his admiration for men like Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, and Mossad's Yitsak Shamir -- all of whom wanted Kennedy dead in 1963 because he opposed their nuclear weapons program.

Still, I never got the impression that Leonard could have hated Kennedy. If you were to ask me to guess how he felt about JFK's assassination, I would have said his feelings boiled down to guilt and ambivalence -- because a lot of details point to his having known about the plan to kill the President.

It's been termed a ritual assassination, connected to the pagan rite of "The Killing of the King." America, and the world, have never recovered from this traumatic event - even decades later, we still talk about it as a turning point with hellish consequences that spill over into our daily lives. In a sense, we're all living under its spell.

But as I was mulling all this over yesterday, I suddenly remembered a speech Leonard gave in 1964 to a group of Jewish leaders in Montreal. The actual text of this speech has been lost, but his notes remain in the archives of Toronto's Fischer Library, along with news stories describing the outraged reaction of the audience.

Now, just to be clear: I'm of the opinion that Leonard Cohen associated with some of the very same gangs and individuals who invaded Cuba in April 1961, and later assassinated Kennedy in November 1963. This sounds like another wild accusation, but there's no honest way around it. In the early sixties, Leonard was employed by the CIA. His whereabouts at the time of Kennedy's death are, as far as I know, hard to determine. I thought I had read somewhere that he was in New York that week, at a launch for The Favorite Game - which had just been published in London.

I do know he tended to place support for Israel above every other political allegiance.

But in 1964, he went out of his way in addressing a group of Jewish businessmen, to attack the morals of that community. And specifically, he attacked the Bronfmans, who at one time employed the poet A.M. Klein as a speechwriter. "He became their clown," Leonard told the audience. You can hear the clank of jaws dropping as he went on to castigate the very same elite that had paid for his recent trip to Cuba.

You can listen to the speech, with its poetic and Biblical digressions, but you will miss the point unless you understand he was addressing the people who, half a year before, had aided the plot to kill Kennedy. And the point is, he knew it, which is why he spoke in parables about a dead poet who had once served them.

That takes a certain amount of courage. It also explains the overheated reaction he got from the assembled business community - because obviously there were people in the audience that night who knew exactly what the 30-year-old Cohen meant when he said the Jewish community no longer honoured its prophets, and raised plaques to names like "Bronfman and Beutel."

Then he talked about himself, making it plain he wasn't going to follow in Klein's footsteps and end up depressed, suicidal, and alone.

"The prophet follows the idea wherever it goes, and ideas, by their very nature, like to travel to dangerous places. The chase, then, is a lonely sport, and the community, observing the prophet, becomes suspicious. Most people would rather visit lifeless and antiquated things in air-conditioned museums than seek thrills in steaming swamps, running the risk of getting bitten by something wild."

He had been to some steaming swamps, training with professional killers, and he had traveled to dangerous places. And now he was back in Montreal, facing a community that supported murder from a safe distance. They no longer recognized their hero.

So he had nothing left but his story - which he soon began to tell in songs.