Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 12  Num. 04
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


(Age of Secrets by Gerald Bellett. Maitland, Ontario: Voyageur North America, 1995. ISBN: 0-921842-42-2. To order: telephone -- 1-800-268-2946; fax -- 1-800-444-5899.)

Cay Sal is one of the cays and islands stretching out from the southern tip of Florida. In 1976, John H. Meier, a former associate of Howard Hughes, landed there under cover of darkness. Guided by "Chuck," Meier snuck past armed patrols. They both reached a shed. "Chuck" picked the lock and they entered.

Inside was a case measuring about 7 feet long by 3 feet high. On closer inspection, the "case" was found to be a cryonics chamber containing the frozen corpse of Howard Hughes.

Or so says Age of Secrets.

Is the book true? On the one hand, if I wanted to avoid upsetting those readers sensitive to human doubt, I could just "cop out" by saying, "Hey, who knows? I'm not an expert." Then again, "signs point to 'yes.'" Bottom line: the waters are deep and it's hard to see all that's there, down below.

Readers familiar with Gerald Carroll's classic work on the "Gemstone Thesis," Project Seek (Carson City: Bridger House Publishers, Inc., 1994. ISBN: 0-9640104-0-2. Phone 1-800-729-4131), may recall the Howard Hughes/Richard Nixon connection alluded to therein. Nixon's brother, Donald, is mentioned as possibly engaged in business activities feared to be potentially harmful to President Nixon's 1972 re-election hopes. Quoting from a February 4, 1974 UPI (United Press International) report, Carroll substantiates the claim:

...The White House got the Secret Service to investigate business activities of the President's brother, F. Donald Nixon, and put him under electronic surveillance at a time when aides were worried that Donald's affairs would hurt Nixon's 1972 re-election chances.

The President told a news conference last fall he authorized electronic surveillance of his brother because of a national security matter.

But government sources report that administration concern about Donald began with his dealings with an associate of billionaire Howard Hughes and later included trips to the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Hawaii.

And who is the "associate of billionaire Howard Hughes" mentioned in the above UPI article? Carroll goes on to quote Las Vegas Sun publisher Herman "Hank" Greenspun:

...For more than a year, the investigation centered on the brother's [Donald Nixon's] business deals with John Meier, a Hughes scientific advisor for mining claims now under indictment for income tax evasion.

According to Age of Secrets, one of Meier's "business deals" with Donald Nixon consisted of Meier's inadvertantly facilitating a $1 million bribe. The money is said to have passed, through intermediaries, from Howard Hughes to President Nixon in return for Nixon's greasing the skids on Hughes' acquisition of Air West. Meier, reportedly, was asked to keep a locked briefcase in his hotel room overnight. Next morning, Ken Wright, head of Howard Hughes' Medical Institute, came to Meier's room to reclaim the briefcase. Unfortunately for Meier, Wright had imposed on him by arranging, without Meier's foreknowledge, to exchange the contents of the briefcase with one Bebe Rebozo -- right there in Meier's hotel room.

Wright is said to have opened the briefcase and a stunned Meier saw it contained rows of $100 bills totalling $1 million. Wright then, according to the book, phoned Bebe Rebozo, a banker and close friend of Richard Nixon, and told him to come up to Meier's room. Uneasy about what was transpiring, Meier hid in the bathroom. Rebozo is said to have then arrived and begun counting the cash.

Our old "friend," the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is alleged to have been a key player in the transaction: "The secret transaction linked three powerful entities -- the presidency, the CIA and the Hughes empire -- whose vital interests would be imperilled by any disclosure of what had happened in that room..."

For some reason not clear to me, Meier then made the big mistake of leaving his bathroom hiding place, thereby alerting Rebozo to his presence. Rebozo was not pleased to have Meier as a witness. He grabbed the loot and made a hasty exit. Through Rebozo, President Nixon then learned that "leftist" Meier had the goods on him and could start talking.

So Richard Nixon, with all the power of the executive branch, is said to have launched a "pre-emptive strike" against Meier. "Their formula was simple," writes Meier in the book's Afterword. "First they charged me with something since most people think that indictment is synonymous with guilt... They persecuted me in the press and the courtroom... My story is of a man devastated by a corrupt system..."

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was unleashed against Meier. They searched his Los Angeles office. The IRS investigation of Meier was reportedly launched at the behest of John D. Ehrlichman, a high-ranking Nixon White House official. President Nixon, on his part, was said to have dreaded the IRS discovering the $1 million bribe from Hughes. A trap was allegedly laid whereby R.M. Nixon and associates were lured by certain Democrats into the ill-fated Watergate break-in. "Watergate was a masterpiece of political espionage that can be boiled down to a few important elements: the deliberate baiting of the Nixon camp; the laying of a false trail to the DNC headquarters; the use of an inside spy... and the collaring of the burglary team by accident or by design," writes Age of Secrets author Gerald Bellett.

Meier apparently had witnessed the bribing of Nixon; he passed on what he knew to certain Democrats; and they laid a trap that a nervous Nixon fell for. Meier, through his contacts with Donald Nixon, suckered Donald into believing that the DNC (Democratic National Committee) had incriminating info hidden in the Watergate complex. Donald passed the false story on, to his brother, Richard Nixon, and President Nixon fell right into the trap.

President Nixon, for his part uneasy about Meier's likely blabbing on what he knew, sought through his executive powers to discredit and harass Meier. Meier was hounded, but had the laugh on Nixon who was toppled from power in spite of his vicious attempts at "damage control." So says the book.

Meier's allegations are corroborated by "The Gonzalez Affidavit." Virgino Gonzalez (not his real name) was a deep-cover CIA agent who apparently suffered pangs of conscience in connection with deeds committed during his employment with "The Company" (a.k.a., the CIA). Deciding to tell all and expose to the world what the CIA had been doing, he surfaced in Mexico City on May 2nd, 1975. He carried a 10-page affidavit into the law offices of Goodrich, Dalton and Rigueline, signed it, and asked that it be translated into Spanish and filed in the Mexican federal court. Here are excerpts from the Gonzalez Affidavit:

I love the United States and am grateful for all that it has done for me... It is not my intention to place the security of the country at risk and to involve any of my colleagues in this statement. My intention is simply to show that the agency [CIA] is a tool of the President and those close to him in power and is used in a wrongful way to harass people for personal political purposes.

At the end of 1971 I was ordered to an assignment that included monitoring the activities of John Meier and was shown a file on him, along with other agents.

On file were photographs taken at Orange County Airport on July 8, 1969, showing Meier with Don Nixon and others. These were taken by the Secret Service and had been passed to Bebe Rebozo at the President's request.

The Hughes people, I was told, were still worried about the campaign but I was then told that the IRS would release a story on Meier in May [1972]. This they did on May 11, saying they were investigating his affairs in Nevada.

[I handed] to the IRS some of the files we had taken from Tom Benavides' office in Albuquerque; included were Meier's own tax files and letters to and from politicians.

[On September 8th, 1973, Meier] met with George Clifford, Jack Anderson's [1] assistant, at Vancouver airport. It later showed from the stories coming out that Meier had talked about payoffs, the President, Air West, and other things bad for the administration.

Meier's troubles with the U.S. government escalated when he helped the tiny nation of Tonga, located between Fiji and French Polynesia, improve their airport so that the little kingdom could improve its tourism industry. For some reason not directly stated, the United States did not want Tonga to have a modern airport. Hinted at in the book is a wish to keep Tonga isolated so as to lessen the chance of curious eyes discovering a major illicit narcotics operation being run through there. The Peace Corps, says the book, had built and operated a warehouse in Tonga which cleared parcels entering and leaving the U.S. Cocaine was discovered. But why would cocaine be going through Tonga? Isn't the enormous international narcotics industry laid out so that South and Central America handles the cocaine and the Pacific Rim manages the heroin?

The bottom line is that for some reason the American octopus became even more displeased with Meier, and federal harassment against him increased. The U.S. Secret Police apparatus began to get quite nasty. Meier is said to have been railroaded into prison on dubious forgery charges. While a prisoner, Meier was visited by the CIA. He offered to prove his innocence by taking a lie detector test. He did so, says Meier, and passed. The CIA didn't care. One of the agents is purported to have said, "Mr. Meier, isn't it obvious that we can charge you and convict you and sentence you for anything we like? We know you didn't commit forgery, but let me tell you, if you don't cooperate your life will be a disaster..."

But Meier did not cooperate. The CIA wanted Meier to play ball with them by signing some documents. One would have forced him to reveal government sources who had been secretly feeding him information. Another would have granted the feds complete access to his files. Meier said, "No deal." Result? Right after Meier was released from prison, after serving his sentence for "forgery," he was framed-up on a murder charge. Although, after years of trouble, the charge of murder was found to be without merit, in the meantime Meier suffered enormously. He had his bail set at a million dollars (which he at first had trouble meeting), was shuffled from prison to prison, was often kept in solitary confinement, was beaten by guards, and generally had horrible treatment. Reading what happened to Meier -- all of it without his having yet been found guilty of the murder charge -- made me sick. I keep coming across this type of story again and again: individuals targeted by a government from Hell, either because of greed hiding behind the badge of authority, or because some politician is afraid of being found out. The American people, commonly these days referred to as being furious at "their" government -- just where do you think this anger is coming from? Are millions of Americans all "crazy?" Or could it maybe, possibly, by some stretch of the imagination be that there is some =real= reason for all the horror stories having as their origin Mr. Uncle Sam?

Age of Secrets sums it up like this:

In Cold War days, while the Soviet Empire still existed, Western democracies perpetuated the image of communist bloc governments as sufficiently hostile to human freedom to pit the apparatus of the State against dissenting individuals. Heroes have been made out of Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov for their fortitude in resisting.

Ironically, in the United States of America -- for many a symbol of freedom -- the government marshalled equally sweeping forces to crush dissent.

Where openly repressive regimes silenced their dissidents through committal to psychiatric wards and banishment, the American way led to more subtle forms of harassment by government agencies and ruin through the courts. If one method was cruder, it was only because it operated in a climate in which there was no need to maintain an illusion of freedom while punishing enemies of the State.

---------------------------<< Notes >>--------------------------- [1] Jack Anderson was a well-known newspaper columnist of the time, who broke many inside stories on Watergate and other matters.

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