22 November 2008
You may note that this appears to be the first entry I’ve made on this blog since I launched it three years ago. Well, yes and no. I put up this blog coincident with the 25th anniversary of the assassination. I was at the Strawberry Fields/Dakota murder/memorial site on that day, walking around with a sandwich sign and handing out flyers positing the
I wanted to give anyone interested in following-up an outlet, a bulletin board essentially, where they might visit and interact. I really didn’t intend to do blog-like stuff, e.g. expounding on a daily basis. So my main goal was to attract comment, feedback, new information, ruminations. And this has happened, as the blog has attracted a a mix (albeit small) of support, queries, derision. I have responded to most comments left on the site within the comments area, so while the blog may appear to be dead, it in fact continues to serve its primary function.
Another constraint: there is a limited amount of material out there relating to this theory, as a quick Web search will show you. In fact, it’s remarkable how little, given the scope of the Internet. I monitor the Web for any material related to the Lennon assassination and/or Chapman, and I can tell you it’s been mighty sparse. To me, that speaks to the success of the assassination mechanism: Chapman has no idea what happened to him. No one in the (probably) very small circle of planners and actors who pulled this off has tipped their hand. Ergo, nothing new emerges except return visits to a very cold trail.
But there is more to say. Recently I rented the DVD The Killing of John Lennon by Andrew Piddington. This is a fine film, given its premise: that Chapman was a psychotic lone gunman. Interestingly, Piddington includes a scene of Chapman firing at a practice range next to an unidentified lawman - this is Dana Reeves, Chapman's likely handler, and the guy who gave him the hollow-point slugs to kill Lennon (the bullets, prominently featured in the film, are visibly not hollow-point, even though they are referred to as such in the script – the continuity person must have been asleep at the switch, but that’s a minor quibble) . Piddington's footage hints at that but does not identify him, nor does Piddington remark on this in his voice-over commentary on the DVD (who is this guy??). Nor does he mention Chapman's unaccounted-for layover in
The film’s depiction of Chapman’s mental landscape raises an interesting, and critical, question: could an MKUltra-style “programming” produce a Chapman who would appear to be psychotic – specifically, to be paranoid schizophrenic – while in fact his head was full of “programming”? Of course, we have no way of knowing. I thought more about this while reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (which has my highest recommendation, by the way). Klein recounts the story of Ewen Cameron, the McGill psychiatrist who “regressed” psychiatric patients, using sensory isolation, electroshock, and hallucinogens to “depattern” the mind, turning it into a “blank slate” ready for the installation of a new patterning through “psychic driving” which might include playing taped messages to the patient 16 to 24 hours a day for weeks. The CIA was so interested in Cameron’s work that the company hired him in 1957 to further their “special interrogations techniques” project (which included MKUltra), leading to the production of the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation handbook, believed to be in use today at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
Now consider Chapman’s own words, quoted by Jack Jones in his 1992 book Let Me Take You Down (Villard Books). Jones spent 200 hours interviewing Chapman in
Prior to 8 December 1980:
“Things were going on in my mind that I didn’t even know about.” (p. 173)
“And it was almost like I was handed something – that here was a solution. Kill John Lennon.” (p. 180)
Chapman describes his “revelation”, in late January 1981 in his cell on Rikers’ Island, that his decision to assassinate Lennon was “a choice that was made by somebody or something else…a wicked satori of realization that I had been called by a far higher power to do this, that this was something much bigger than me.” (pp. 213-214)
I’ll be posting more about specific elements of the Chapman story in the future, so stay tuned…