Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswald b

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Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswald b

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:56 am

Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswald
by Brian Doherty
Reason Online
August/September 2004




Kerry Thornley lived and died in obscurity. But while few people noticed, he invented one of the 20th century’s more influential religions, helped launch ’60s-style sex-and-nature neopaganism, and was a major force behind the first modern libertarian ’zine.

He was also, to hear him tell it, part of the conspiracy to murder JFK, and thus escalate the Vietnam War -- a conspiracy so secret even Thornley didn’t know about it at the time.

Thornley was one of America’s most fascinating unknowns. It is fitting, given the underground nature of his claims to fame, that his first biography, The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture, by Adam Gorightly, is published in the quasi-clandestine form of a print-on-demand book from Paraview Press.

Thornley helped his high school buddy Greg Hill invent the comedic religion of Discordianism in dull suburban Southern California in the late 1950s. It was dedicated to the worship of Eris, the Greek goddess of Chaos. Its flavor can be gleaned from this bit of powerful magick, the Turkey Curse, from its holy book, the Principia Discordia: "Face...towards the direction of the negative aneristic vibration that you wish to neutralize. Begin waving your arms in any elaborate manner and make motions with your hands as though you were Mandrake feeling up a sexy giantess. Chant, loudly and clearly: GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! The results will be instantly apparent."

Thornley joined the Marines in 1959, where one of his buddies at the El Toro Marine Base was Lee Harvey Oswald, an openly communist "outfit eight ball" known to his fellow grunts as "Oswaldskovitch."

Thornley began writing a novel based on his disillusioning experience in the Marines. After hearing that ol’ Oswaldskovitch really meant it with that commie stuff when he defected to the Soviet Union, Thornley transformed the book, called The Idle Warriors, into a roman à clef about Oswald -- making Thornley the only person to write a book about Lee Oswald before that fall day in Dallas.

Thornley was living in New Orleans when John F. Kennedy was killed, hanging out, according to his own recollections (which some friends suspect Thornley invented) with a curious cast of characters. Among them were some unfortunates caught in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s feckless investigation into the JFK assassination.

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What is definitely not Thornley’s imagination, though, is that he was dragged into the "Who Killed Kennedy?" melodrama, testifying before the Warren Commission and targeted by Garrison, who thought Thornley might have been part of the conspiracy as a "second Oswald." The two men allegedly looked quite similar, and there was a weird series of coincidences linking them.

In the mid-’60s Thornley headed back west and became a major writer for the first modern libertarian ’zine, The Innovator. In those years he also became an advocate of the early SoCal free love cult Kerista, which neopagan historian Margot Adler credits, says Gorightly, as "the true beginnings of the neopagan movement in contemporary culture."

Through the ’70s and the ’80s the "order" reflected in his insanely elaborated conspiracy theories won Thornley’s heart away from the chaos of Eris, and also lost him most of his old friends. No one wants to hang with someone who is sure you are part of a baroque conspiracy against him. Thornley had decided that Garrison was right after all, that he was a CIA mind-control slave, that a mysterious pal in New Orleans was E. Howard Hunt, and finally that he had been a Manchurian candidate from birth, with his parents Nazi spies.

He spent the last years of his life (he died in 1998) occasionally washing dishes and living in storm drains, and hanging out as a local eccentric in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood. A sad fate for someone dedicated to spreading forces of upheaval and chaos: from his Discordianism to his advocating a libertarian diaspora populating stateless floating cities in The Innovator, to his inspiration of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s classic trilogy, Illuminatus!, to all the aftershocks spreading from that earthquake of a novel.

But Thornley still got in his prankish fun, for example putting up flyers urging people to "Boycott the illegal weapons amnesty program: Don’t bring your illegal weapons to the Super Bowl in exchange for tickets!" when the game was held in Atlanta in 1994.

A strange and troublesome man, that Thornley, serving Eris to the end, and proof that, while you don’t have to be crazy to warp American culture, it helps.

Brian Doherty is a Reason senior editor and author of This Is Burning Man, out in August from Little, Brown.
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Re: Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswa

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:57 am

Letter From Kerry Thornley to Dr. Doc Hambone
by Kerry Thornley



Dr. Doc Hambone
c/o Anathema Enterprises
2002-A Guadalupe Street #227
Austin, TX 78705

Dear Doc, I'm uncertain of the spelling of many names in this account, as indicated by: (?), but here goes:

Much of my information came from articles by Eric Wynants that appeared in CRITIQUE, a magazine that was published in the eighties in Santa Rosa, CA, by Bob Banner. According to Wynants, the Vril is headquartered in Paris and run by one Claude Monet (same name as the painter but presumably a different guy -- or maybe a KFC zombie, I don't know) and they idolize Chairman Mao and Wotan, believing that the Nordics as "the most intelligent race," should join forces with the Chinese, being the most numerous, and take over the world.

According to some screwball in Baltimore that thinks Kerry Thornley and Adolph Hitler are the two most intelligent men that ever lived, the Vril and the the British Knights Templars known as the Avonites are one in the same.

Rumors of a secret society called the Avonites have reached me through the intelligence community grapevine often. Their philosophy is outlined in MORNING OF THE MAGICIANS (an Avon Book); they are a guild of scientists who have mystified and complicated physics (with, in my opinion, Buddhist metaphysics, i.e. THE TAO OF PHYSICS) in order to keep secrets of how to build superweapons out of the hands of politicians; they seem to be very technocratic and I understand they believe more intelligent people should be able to conduct experiments on less intelligent people, etc. It was also in MORNING OF THE MAGICIANS that I first read about the Vril Society. I have heard that Warren Commission critic Mark Lane is one of their agents (which still doesn't mean the Warren Report was truthful). A similar Avon Book is THE OCCULT REICH, arguing that Nazism was mostly secret society warfare and noting Hitler's special hatred for Rudolph Steiner groups; Steiner was also a principal source of teachings of the Golden Dawn, about which more later.

I also believe, for a great number of half-assed reasons, that I am the product of a Vril Society breeding/environmental manipulation experiment which is also somehow involved, at least as cover, with Parsons, Crowley, et. al. Methinks the typical Magickal Child is actually simply a baby farm infant disguised as something else in order to account for all the covert attention it is getting. My parents appear to have been spying for Japan during WWII and for North Korea during the Korean War. And at least two lodges of the OTO appear fascinated with me despite my lack of much interest in their teachings. I have received what I believe are a few indications that the OTO is backed by Pepsico, by the way.

I'm also told that after WWII the Japanese Fifth Column in Korea held a big meeting and divided into two groups -- those who hated Communism the most (who then became the government of South Korea) and those who hated Americans most (who then became the government of North Korea). So there would very likely be a connection between both Koreas and the Vril, as well as with Japan, China and Germany.

Your idea about Japanese sponsored Vril infiltration of the CIA accords much with what is already my conception of reality. According, again, to intelligence community scuttlebutt, Marine Air Group 11 (in which Oswald served first and I served later) in Atsugi, Japan, was infiltrated by a Nazi secret society which they call Maggie (for MAG-11). Atsugi was a former Japanese kamakazi base with air raid tunnels under the runway in which were housed, in 1959-60, CIA offices. Atsugi was also a U-2 base, although I doubt claims that Oswald knew any more about the U-2 than I did until that fateful May Day crash aftermath. MACS-1, our squadron (at different times: he left Japan before I met him and I went to Japan later) was definitely not a unit that was, as some claim, assigned to protect the U-2. We were assigned to ignore the mysterious black airplane, which we could see taking off and landing, when it came up on our radar scopes; if we reported a high-speed, high-altitude aircraft, the control tower would radio back to us "no airplane at that position."

Anyhow, according to his autobiography, Howard Hunt was stationed with the CIA at Atsugi at the same time I was there, and I'm rather certain it was E. Howard Hunt, the Watergate burglar, who later discussed assassinating JFK with me in New Orleans -- and that man knew a great deal about Nazi secret societies. In recent years I've heard rumors that Hunt was working for my (probably Vril) family. This man, presumably Hunt, also talked about the Reichstag Fire and how if Van der Lube(?), the Communist who was blamed, had a friend who knew he was innocent, that friend could have cleared Van der Lube and saved everybody a lot of trouble. Mark Lane's very first remark to the press, upon becoming Lee Oswald's mother's attorney, was that the JFK murder was a Reichstag Fire. I was supposed to take the hint, but didn't. Later on, when Garrison was after me, Lane told David Lifton that it serve me right because my role had been to clear Oswald and instead I wrote a book (OSWALD, New Classics House, 1965) attributing psychological motives for his alleged act of assassination. (That I actually believed Oswald was the lone-assassin when I wrote that book did not appear plausible to to Lane, who obviously thought I was paying more attention than I was.) So perhaps the Vril are Nazis who think the Reichstag Fire was a bad idea.

Like sources have indicated that my real father was Admiral Doenitz, last fuhrer of the Third Reich, and that my mother (Helen Isabel Switzer) was adopted by the German Switzer Family from a Castilian Spanish genetic line. (While the Switzers claimed to be Irish during WWI, no friends of the family had Irish names and most had German or Spanish names.) Nazi admiration for Visgothic/Castilian genes was a significant factor in turning hostile U.S., attention away from Castro and toward Indochina in the early sixties.

Perhaps relevant, and perhaps not: Aquino, the high-ranking career man in Army Intelligence who replaced Anton LaVey as head of the Church of Satan, is according to Terry Maury's THE ULTIMATE EVIL, descended from the "bluest of blue-blooded Spanish aristocrats." David Bucknell, who was in the Marines with Oswald and me, told me in 1979 that security for Marine radar outfits was handled by Army Intelligence, and there are rumors that Oswald and David Ferrie were involved in Satanist activities in New Orleans. And there are many reasons for believing that when Bucknell and I knew him, Oswald was a military intelligence operative pretending to be a self-styled Marxist "shitbird."

I have also been informed, or misinformed, via intelligence community methods of elusive communication, that the Vril is divided into two groups -- one which supports central banking and one which is in agreement with "Appendix Vau" of the ILLUMINATUS TRILOGY. I've also heard it said that Robert Anton Wilson was originally with "Maggie." An impression was conveyed to me that the same two groups were also divided in one way or another about homosexuality -- and that only one of them deems the Chinese the master race of Asia. (Which are which was not made clear.)

I tried to read THE COMING RACE and did not find it very interesting or informative, although I, too, have heard it was the ATLAS SHRUGGED of the Vrilites.

Based on what I speculate about my own life, based in turn on things different people said to me at different times that in retrospect seem significant, the Vril is closely linked with Solzeny's Werewolf Commandos -- despised for their brutality by the SS! Howard Hunt (or whoever he was) and Robert Anton Wilson both said to me that in the last days of the Third Reich Hitler came up on the radio and pleaded for "the werewolves of Germany" to aid the Nazi cause. That evidently was a way of finding out whether the listener new the Werewolves were actually a commando group. Mae Brussell wrote in "The Nazi Connection," published at the cost of much suffering by Larry Flint (at the hands of G. Gordon Liddy and Timothy Leary, according to Brussell), that several Nazi Werewolves were in Dallas two weeks before 22 November 1963.

As you probably know, the purpose of the Vril is supposed to be creating a race of supermen. Maybe it was coincidence, but the first paperback issues of the ILLUMINATUS TRILOGY (Dell Books, 1975) contained on the back cover the sentence: "Psychedelic Supermen?" And the man I think was Hunt, repeated, for no visible reason, that Dell Books only printed paperbacks. (Admittedly, the reason he said this way back in the early sixties still isn't very visible.) I told Jon Vankin I didn't think the Vril's goal of creating a super-race was necessarily genocidal, but that there was so much overlapping Nazi ideologies and cults that it was all the same anyhow. He quoted the first clause of the sentence but not the second. His publisher was the Korean Unification Church. However, there is evidence cited below that the second clause may not have been fair.

That Narconon is a Scientology front is handy to know; Atlanta's hip scene is under attack lately by a psychotic Narconon grad with several cops and judges in his pocket and seemingly unlimited funds. He manages a Texaco station owned by his Korean father-in-law and has opened up a yogurt stand. Jim Herchek is his name. For the last few months he has been having people arrested right and left. He seems to think everybody is a drug dealer. When he can't get them for anything else, he frames people for trespassing. He has his father-in-law convinced that all the hippies are against Koreans. (So let me say here that I credit most of my success and happiness to North Korean mind control, which I think began when I was in the seventh grade. At that time I was a fanatical Mormon, therefore a little anti- Semitic on religious grounds, believed in preventive nuclear war of annihilation against Red China, and periodically went on campaigns of extermination against the ants in our back yard - and evidently was a candidate for future fuhrer of the next Reich. So the Koreans spared me a boring life as a Mormon elder and an antisocial existence as a genocidalist.)

As for the energy vril, I think it is the same as the chi in Tai Chi, the ki in Akido, biotic energy, orgone energy, elan vital, etc. Colin Wilson's WILHELM REICH: A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY says reliable witnesses said Reich developed a generator that ran on a five-volt battery and put out 25 volts of energy -- drawing the difference, according to Reich, from the orgone energy field around the machine. A similar generator made a brief splash in the news five or six years ago.

Huntington Oil seemed to be bankrolling my father, Ken Thornley, in his efforts against the sexual prudishness of the Templar Switizers on my mother's side. Brill Cream and Wild Root Cream Oil t.v. commercial jingles of the 1950s seem to refer to this, the Wild Root jingle being a take-off on the Brill Cream jingle, which was dangerously close to spilling the Vril beans to Templar (HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL) grand master, Charles de Gaulle - "Get Wild Root Cream Oil, Charlie..." on "Brill Cream, a little dab'll do ya..." (dabble due you).

In 1975 or 1976 a friend of Wilson's named Stan Jamison began sending me informative letters about the JFK assassination. He claimed that Hitler's scientists developed cheap, nonpolluting energy sources based on vril at the very end of the war and that this technology is suppressed by oil and uranium interests. UFO's, he said, are Nazi aircraft powered by alternative energy sources.

Such energy secrets would make the blackmailing of oil-producing nations and firms a cinch. Many old Nazis took refuge in the Arabic Middle East. Walter Cronkite once whimsically advanced the theory that the entire world is divided between Pepsi and Coke - noting than at that time (1978 or 1979) Pepsi had Russia and Coke had China, Coke had Israel and Pepsi had the PLO, and he went on to point out that PLO and Israeli soldiers shoot holes in signs advertising the soft-drink of the opposition.

In Chiapas, Mexico, I read somewhere, the conservatives drink Pepsi and the radicals drink Coke -- and you can be shot for drinking the wrong cola in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Israel is surrounded by oil-producing nations. Many early Zionist were, incredibly, Germanophiles. Mr. Begin wrote letters to both Adolph and Bento requesting their help in getting the Jews to leave Europe. Hunt (or whoever -- I usually call him Brother-in Law) was fond of remaining me that the Nazis put a sign that said "Jewish Heaven" over the gas chamber door in some death camp.

Jamson was allegedly one of my mind controllers. I was evidently passed over to him when it became clear that I was failing utterly to perform my anticipated function of clearing Oswald, etc. He gave me a lot of useful data when I finally did become interested in solving the assassination.

One of the things he said was that the Nazis are divided into two groups, although he did not specify that they were Vril Nazis, the Shambhala and the Argarthe. Argartha, according to some article in CRITIQUE, is a legendary underground city in Mongolia and whoever rules Mongolia is supposed to thereby rule the world. Shambhala (meaning, according to Theosophy, "where the will of God is known") is supposed to be a similar city under Tibet. Jamison said the Argarthe is rightwing and the Shambhala is leftwing, but since then I heard (through that damned elusive grapevine) that he switched them around for my protection -- I guess, so I wouldn't know too much for my own good, although knowing what I think I know now hasn't got me killed yet.

Shell Oil and, again, Pepsico seem to be the big bucks behind the Argathe, which uses the mirror-image of Hitler's swastika and opposes racism but favors extermination and/or sterilization of the mentally retarded. Before Hitler actually put it into practice, that was a very popular idea known as Eugenics and supported by Presidents Coolidge and Hoover, the Morgans, Harriman, et. al. What have since renamed themselves Psychiatric associations were originally Eugenic Societies and Carl Gustav Jung played an important role in the transition. Mary Bancroft, assistant to Allen Dulles, was in therapy with Jung when -Dulles began playing footsie with the SS in Operation Sunrise. My surmise is Dulles, Jung and the SS guys created a secret society when Kim Philby sabotaged their separate peace idea based on Jung's conception that one of the few problems with Nazism was Hitler and the strong role of the dominating father in the German family unit that made Hitler appealing. Renegade CIA agent John Stockwell, who was close to Dulles, told me that is exactly what happened.

Another division that I am aware of is between the Hitler-Doenitz Nazis, who were grooming me for volk-king, and the anti-Hitler or Cehlen-Dulles Nazis who, it seems to me, were a lot smarter. Once more, I don't know whether I'm talking about the same two divisions as above or not and, if so, who is on which side.

Hitler once said it would have been better of the Germans were Buddhists or Muslims than Christians. Vrilists seem to favor Buddhism. Both in Germany and Italy, the fascists denounced the Catholic Church in word, but supported it at every turn in deed. There are theories that the Jesuits wrote MIEN KAMPF and theories that it was written by the founder of the Vril, Karl(?) Hoefstadder (?). Both visited Hitler in prison. My conclusion from careful study is that the Society of Jesus, at a time when the Church still held all Jews responsible for nailing up The Naz, created the Nazis and manipulated them without their knowledge, and made them anti-Catholic to put the appearance of some distance between the Party and the Church.

Hitler seems to have been manipulated by a Superman who many believe was Gurdjieff-- which notion I think was created by followers of the real, and Jesuit, Superman, Crowley. A letter in THE MAGICIANS OF THE GOLDEN DAWN to London from MacGregor in Paris ends with the line, "They may be Jesuits." He was warning them about a couple of con artists who had just ripped him off and were headed their way. Who should pop up out of nowhere just in time to save the day? The Beast himself. I once had a friend who saw a Jesuit seminarian catch a frog by moving the fingers of his left hand hypnotically in front of the frog's eyes and grabbing it from behind with his right hand. I think the con artists were the left hand and Crowley was the right hand. The Golden Dawn was at once so close to and so far (because of the belief that Biblical miracles were works of magic) from Catholicism that it was probably deemed a dangerous heresy. Who finally destroyed the Golden Dawn? Crowley's disciple, Israel Regardie, by publishing its secrets.

So the Vril Society, in other words, could be a creation of the Catholic Church. Presumably, the other half of whatever it is are into Islam -- although that is just speculation. Between Norse mythology, Maoism, Buddhism and Catholicism and Islam we cover a lot of territory -- which undermines anything very definitive. Then, too, there is Technocracy, which was popular in the 1930s.

Christian Technocracy, apparently an offshoot, was created by a man named Hillman Holcomb(?) , one sample of whose writings were sent me in some publication by Jim Keith, I found them quite anti-Semitic. Jamison said that over the years 27 or 29, I forget which, people became big-time members of Christian Technocracy - and every one of them was a Nazi. This group held or holds that Biblical miracles were all technological -- some Old Testament temple fits the description of a Faraday cage, the burning bush could have been an amplifier (because for some reason fire does amplify sound the same way a cone amplifier does as can be demonstrated, so I'm told, by wiring an input into a gas flame on a kitchen stove). Norseen and French Illuminati initiates also heard voices booming at them out of fires.

How tied in Technocracy is with the Vril I don't know, but the ideology of the Vril is very technocratic.

I wish I knew more. If you find out anything, tell me. Thank you for your interest.

Sig Eris,
[Original signed]
Kerry Wendell Thornley, POB 5498, Atlanta, GA 30307
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Re: Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswa

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:00 am

Kerry Thornley
by Nationmaster.com




Encyclopedia: Kerry Thornley

Kerry Wendell Thornley (April 17, 1938 - November 28, 1998) is perhaps best-known as co-founder of discordianism, in which context he is usually known as Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst. He co-authored the religion's foundational volume Principia Discordia with Greg Hill.

Less known is a series of Zenarchy articles written for Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger under the pen name "Ho Chi Zen". "Zenarchy" is described in the introduction of the collected volume as "the social order which springs from meditation," and "A non-combative, non-participatory, no-politics approach to anarchy intended to get the serious student thinking." Raised as a Mormon, in adulthood Kerry shifted his central ideology as prodigiously as to rival any countercultural figure of the era. Aside from discordianism, atheism, anarchism, neo-paganism and buddhism were all the subjects of conceptual scrutiny during the course of his life.

Thornley believed, among other things, that he was involved with MK-ULTRA's LSD-soaked assassin-conditioning program. While more incredulous types may be predisposed to write off as conspiracy theory the notion of his involvement in the JFK assassination or that he was the result of Nazi Vril breeding initiatives, his claims regarding the secret government mind-control trials seem somewhat plausible, as they are consistent with the time period and his involvement with the military.

Having been a reservist for some time, Thornley was called upon for active duty in the Marines in 1958 at age 20, soon after finishing out his freshman year at the University of Southern California. (Incidentally, this is the same period that he and Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger or Mal-2) shared their first Eristic vision in a bowling alley in Whittier, CA, as the story goes.) Thornley served for a short time in the same platoon as Lee Harvey Oswald in 1959 at El Toro Marine Base in Santa Ana, California. He and Oswald were acquaintances who shared a common interest in society and politics, and whenever duty placed them together, discussed such topics as literature and communism, particularly Oswald's interest in the latter. Some time after the two men parted ways as a result of reassignment, Thornley read of Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union in a military newspaper. Kerry had been eager to write about his observations as a marine, and Lee served as inspiration for the book. The aspiring writer saw Oswald as the metaphorical embodiment of the peacetime soldier, disenfranchised by the totalitarian structure of military life. (In later years Thornley became convinced that Oswald was an intelligence agent, whose purpose was to ferret out communist sympathizers.) In rare prophetic form, he wrote a fictionalized account of his experiences with the heretofore unknown Oswald and the Marine Corps called The Idle Warriors. Although unpublished until 1991, the manuscript was finished fully one year before the Kennedy assassination. It has the peculiar distinction of being the only book written about Lee Harvey Oswald before President Kennedy's assassination in 1963. Due primarily to the serendipitous nature of his choice of subject matter, Thornley was called to testify before the Warren Commission on May 18, 1964. The work was subpoenaed by the commission and stored in the National archives.

Struggling with illness in his final days, Kerry Thornley died of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia on November 28, 1998, a Saturday, at the age of 60. 23 were in attendance at the Buddhist service the following morning. Near the end of his life, Thornley reportedly said he felt "like a tired child home from a very wild circus," a reference to a passage by Greg Hill from the Principia Discordia:

"And so it is that we, as men, do not exist until we do; and then it is that we play with our world of existent things, and order and disorder them, and so it shall be that Non-existence shall take us back from Existence, and that nameless Spirituality shall return to Void, like a tired child home from a very wild circus."

Bibliography and References

Malaclypse the Younger (Greg Hill); Principia Discordia, 5th Edition, September 1991, IllumiNet Press. Introduction by Kerry Thornley.
Thornley, Kerry; Zenarchy, IllumiNet Press, June 1991
Thornley, Kerry; The Idle Warriors, IllumiNet Press, June 1991
Gorightly, Adam; The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture, Paraview Press, November 2003. Foreword by Robert Anton Wilson.
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Re: Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswa

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:02 am

The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture
Book by Adam Gorightly, Review and Interview by Ronnie




Adam Gorightly sure picks interesting subject matter for his books. Last years' THE SHADOW OVER SANTA SUSANA: BLACK MAGIC, MIND CONTROL AND THE "MANSON FAMILY" MYTHOS gave us one of the best books on Charles Manson in well over two decades. Now Gorightly has delivered another tantalizing glimpse into the fringe of society, this time with the colorful counterculture hero (or anti-hero?) Kerry Thornley in his book, THE PRANKSTER AND THE CONSPIRACY (The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture).

They say that there is a fine line between genius and insanity and Kerry Thornley is a classic example. Like a combination of Lenny Bruce and Syd Barrett, Thornley's genius burned out much too soon. Was it a case of too much acid (amongst other drugs) in the '60s? Or was he programmed by MK-ULTRA (which Kerry believed)? Was he the result of a Nazi breeding experiment (another belief of his)? Can his mental condition be blamed on an oppressive father (a convenient scapegoat in this generation)? While I don't totally believe that he was 'programmed' (although the CIA DID experiment with LSD and mind control), I do believe that a simple answer could be found in the combination of his high-strung, energetic personality AND his consumption of drugs, especially LSD. In the book, Becky Glazer recalled - "Kerry got high off of everything." While I don't totally blame Kerry's drug use on his later mental illnesses, you have to look at the other side of the coin. Would have Kerry's creative output have been as prolific if he HADN'T taken the drugs? Gorightly documents Thornley's prolific output as a writer. He was also a key player in the history if independent zines, printing his own one-page "wall newspapers" in the mid-'70s, well before the zine craze caught on in the '80s.

One example of Kerry's brilliance was co-founding of the Discordian Society (along with Greg Hill)! While the Discordian Society wasn't the only 'spoof' religion created in the '60s (another example is the Reformed Druids of North America founded in 1963), it was one of the most ingenious. Discordianism can best be described as a "revelation of the doctrine of chaos and the worship of the Goddess Eris. The practice of Discordianism, i.e. sowing the seeds of chaos as a means of achieving a higher state of awareness - is a perpetual game, better known in some quarters as 'operation mindfuck'."

Kerry's kinetic attention span also covered the areas of politics. Thornley was renowned for changing ideas in conversation roughly every two minutes and over the years Kerry shifted from right-wing politics to libertarianism, to anarchy and finally to his own "zenarchy" (a combination of anarchy and Zen Buddhism- Social Order which springs from Meditation).

Finally, the subject that became Thornley's 'albatross' was his association with the Lee Harvey Oswald and several seemingly random coincidental meetings with such notorious players in the Kennedy assassination saga such as Guy Banister, David Ferrie and possibly even E. Howard Hunt. Kerry Thornley almost seems like the Forrest Gump of the Kennedy assassination! As for the Oswald connection, Thornley shortly served with Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marines and Oswald later influenced Kerry's book IDLE WARRIORS. While Kerry stated that he didn't see Oswald after the Marines, they both lived in New Orleans at the same time, even living near each other. Unfortunately, Kerry didn't write down his Kennedy assassination-associated memories. By this time, he was already suffering from mental problems. Kerry's paranoia grew and he once stated, "It's hard to be an anarchist when your head is talking to you!". Although a practicing psychiatrist told him that he was schizophrenic, Thornley refused any type of treatment.

The Kerry Thornley story is an interesting twist on the 'tragic hero' - a gifted and talented counterculture figure that eventually succumbed to his demons. Adam Gorightly has delivered a book that is both funny (some of Kerry's antics were inspired hilarity) and sad (his decline in his later years) and gives you lots of twists and turns in between. Whether you are a Kennedy assassination buff or simply interested in the counterculture, THE PRANKSTER AND THE CONSPIRACY is definitely a must read.


What follows is an interview with the book's author, Adam Gorightly...

EC: First, congratulations on another fascinating book! I am curious, how did you come up with the subject of Kerry Thornley? I know you have a fascination with various conspiracies - so was this an offshoot of your readings of the Kennedy assassination?

Adam Gorightly: Yes, it was through the Kennedy assassination that I first became acquainted with Kerry Thornley. However, the Kennedy Assassination--though obviously an important event in the storyline--is only one sub plot of many that appear. Kerry was an important figure in the 60s counterculture, and this is another important subplot I try to capture in the book.

EC: I've gotta admit - the first thing I did when I got this book was flip forward to the pictures. Some said that Kerry was a 'double' for Oswald, but it was hard to see a resemblance in the photos of Kerry in the book. Did you run across any photos in which Kerry did look like Oswald?

Adam Gorightly: Actually, I did have some photos of Kerry that more resembled Oswald, however the publisher decided to leave them out of the book, mainly because they didn't reproduce very well. I will be showing these in a power point presentation during my upcoming book signing tour in the spring.

EC: Do you think it was ultimately the drugs that led to Thornley's mental problems? Was it a combination with his high-energy personality? Or, if you were to believe Kerry himself, was he programmed? Could Garrison's harassment have led to his breakdown?

Adam Gorightly: Not to sound flippant, but yes to all of the above. Kerry was a complex individual, and the story of his life was one wild ride.

EC: In your book, the shady character of "brother-in-law" made several ominous appearances. Do you think this person could have actually been E. Howard Hunt?

Adam Gorightly: Sure I do. Do I know for sure…no. Recently I've come across more information on "brother-in-law" aka Gary Kirstein and his partner in crime, Slim Brooks. Whether these guys were using pseudonyms or not, I don't believe Kerry totally imagined them. I do believe they existed, and that they were involved with the mafia and intelligence agency operatives.

EC: You state that Kerry "coined" the word "paganism" to describe various nature religions. But doesn't "coined" seemed to intimate that he created that word? I mean, that word has a long history. I just want to clarify what you meant.

Adam Gorightly: Actually, I never said he coined the phrase. It was the editor, on the back cover copy of the book, who made that claim. However, Kerry was a seminal figure in the neo-Paganism scene in the America during the late 60's.

EC: Also, your book seems to infer that the "peace sign" of the '60s was started by the Discordians. Or were you just pointing out similarities?

Adam Gorightly: Robert Anton Wilson claims that the Discordians were waving the peace sign a few years before them damn hippies and yippies started up. And since Bob Wilson can do no wrong, who am I to say different?

EC: I especially like your quote of Bob Black as telling Kerry: "You used to satirize conspiracy theories; now you believe in them." It took Kerry almost 10 years until he started compiling notes on his Brother-in-law/Kennedy assassination-associated memories. Police often say that your first account, right after an incident is the most correct. How accurate do you see his remembrances, especially coming so far after the actual events?

Adam Gorightly: Obviously, there was some amount of confabulation in Kerry's recollections. However, there are also elements of his story that ring true to me. I really can't answer your question in any more detail than that. But I understand where you're coming from-the passage of time certainly clouds our memories, or distorts them.

EC: Your book mentions Kerry's vast collection of papers that he kept. What happened to these when he was 'homeless'? And what ultimately happened to Kerry's collection of papers after he died?

Adam Gorightly: I don't know for sure, but I suspect that Kerry's ex-wife, Cara, took care of Kerry's papers during the years he was homeless. I believe she still has a lot of this material, though I don't know for sure. Cara didn't want to be interviewed for my book, although she did hook me up with a few other important players in the story, who I interviewed.

EC: The story of Kerry Thornley would make a very interesting book - has there been any interest in a film version?

Adam Gorightly: No, no one's approached me. But I agree, it would make a great movie if approached in the right spirit. In case anyone's interested in optioning the rights to the story, feel free to contact my agent Jim Fitzgerald at: james@jfitzagency.com

EC: Finally, do you have a subject for your NEXT book yet?

Adam Gorightly: Yes. To be released shortly is a chapbook called "Adam Gorightly on Death Cults" which will published by Victor Thorn's Sisyphus Press.
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Re: Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswa

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:03 am

Testimony of Kerry Wendell Thornley
by Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XI



The testimony of Kerry Wendell Thornley was taken at 9:40 a.m., on May 18, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue N.E., Washington D.C., by Messrs. John Ely and Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

MR. JENNER: Mr. Thornley, in the deposition you are about to give, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?


MR. JENNER: You are Kerry Wendell Thornley, spelled K-e-r-r-y W-e-n-d-e-l-l T-h-o-r-n-l-e-y?

MR. THORNLEY: That is correct, sir.

MR. JENNER: Mr. Thornley, where do you reside now?

MR. THORNLEY: At 4201 South 31st Street in Arlington, Va.

MR. JENNER: Did you at one time reside at 1824 Dauphine Street in New Orleans?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: What is your present occupation?

MR. THORNLEY: I am a doorman at the building where I reside, Shirlington House.

MR. JENNER: Doorman.

MR. THORNLEY: At the building where I reside.

MR. JENNER: What is the name of that building?

MR. THORNLEY: Shirlington House. I also work on the switchboard there three nights a week.

MR. JENNER: I see. By the way, Mr. Thornley, you received, did you not, a letter from Mr. Rankin, the general counsel of the Commission in which he enclosed --

MR. THORNLEY: Confirming this appointment --

MR. JENNER: Copies of the legislation, Senate Join Resolution No. 137, authorizing the creation of the Commission and President Johnson's Order 11130, bringing the Commission into existence and fixing its powers and duties and responsibilities?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: And also a copy of the rules and regulations of the Commission for the taking of depositions:

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: I take it you understand the basic obligation placed upon the Commission is to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding and bearing upon the assassination of President Kennedy, and events collateral thereto.

In the course of doing that the Commission and its staff, and I, Albert E. Jenner, Jr., a member of the Commission legal staff, have been interviewing and taking the testimony of various persons who, among other things, came in contact with a man named Lee Harvey Oswald. We understand that you had some contact with him, fortuitous or otherwise as it might be. Are we correct in that?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Would you tell us the -- may I ask you this first. Were you born and reared in this country?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Are you married or unmarried?

MR. THORNLEY: Unmarried

MR. JENNER: Unmarried you said?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: What is your age?

MR. THORNLEY: I am 26.

MR. JENNER: When was your birthday?

MR. THORNLEY: April 17, this last month.

MR. JENNER: April 17 of this last month? I am poor in mathematics, what year was your birath?


MR. JENNER: When did you first become acquainted with him?

MR. THORNLEY: I was -- it was around Easter of 1959, either shortly before or shortly after.

MR. JENNER: Let's see. He was in the Marines at that time?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: I take it you also were?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: How long had you been in the Marines?

MR. THORNLEY: At that time I had been in the Marines over half a year. I had been in the Reserve for many years. I had been on active duty for over half a year.

MR. JENNER: You were then 21 years of age?

MR. THORNLEY: About; yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Tell me about what your occupation and activity had been up to the time you enlisted in the Marines.

MR. THORNLEY: Well, the year before I was a student at the University of Southern California,. and before that I was a student at California High School in Whittier, Calif.

MR. JENNER: I take it then that you are a native Californian?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Did you receive your degree?

MR. THORNLEY: No. I was -- I completed my freshman year and then I went on active duty to serve my 2-year obligation in the Marine Reserve.

MR. JENNER: You did not return to college after you were mustered out of the Marines?

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir.

MR. JENNER: Was your discharge honorable?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Where were you based when you first met Lee Harvey Oswald?

MR. THORNLEY: At a subsidiary of El Toro Marine Base, referred to as LTA, Santa Ana, Calif., or just outside of Santa Ana.

MR. JENNER: What was your rank at that time?

MR. THORNLEY: At that time I was acting corporal.

MR. JENNER: What was your assignment then?

MR. THORNLEY: I was an aviation electronics operator. I was working in an aircraft control center reading radarscopes and keeping track of ingoing and outgoing flights.

MR. JENNER: What was Lee Harvey Oswald's assignment and activity servicewise at that period?

MR. THORNLEY: At that time his assignments and activities were primary janitorial. He was -- he had lost his clearance previously, and if I remember, he was assigned to make the coffee, mow the lawn, swab down decks, and things of this nature.

MR. JENNER: What were the circumstances as you learned of them, or knew of them at the time, as to how or why he lost his clearance as you put it.

MR. THORNLEY: Well, I asked somebody, and I was told, and I don't remember who told me, it was a general rumor, general scuttlebutt at the time, that he had poured beer over a staff NCO's head in an enlisted club in Japan, and had been put in the brig for that, and having been put in the brig would automatically lose his clearance to work in the electronics control center.

MR. JENNER: I was going to ask you what losing clearance meant. You have indicated that -- or would you state it more specifically.

MR. THORNLEY: Well, that meant in a practical sense, that meant that he was not permitted to enter certain areas wherein the equipment, in this case equipment, was kept; that we would not want other unauthorized persons to have knowledge of. And on occasional information, I imagine, would also come to the man who was cleared, in the process of his work, that he would be expected to keep to himself.

MR. JENNER: I assume you had clearance?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir; I was, I think, cleared for confidential at the time.

MR. JENNER: Cleared for confidential. I was about to ask you what level of clearance was involved.

MR. THORNLEY: I believe it was just confidential to work there at El Toro on that particular equipment.

MR. JENNER: That is the clearance about which you speak when you talk about Oswald having lost it?

MR. THORNLEY: Oswald, I believe, had a higher clearance. This is also just based upon rumor. I believe he at one time worked in the security files, it is the S & C files, somewhere either at LTA or at El Toro.

MR. JENNER: Did you ever work in the security files?

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir.

MR. JENNER: And that was a level of clearance --

MR. THORNLEY: Probably a secret clearance would be required.

MR. JENNER: It was at least higher than the clearance about which you first spoke?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: The clearance that you had in mine of which you first spoke was the clearance to operate radar detection devices?


MR. JENNER: And your knowledge of his loss of clearance was by hearsay or rumor. As I understand it the circumstances took place off base one day?

MR. THORNLEY: No; this was on base as I understand it. It was in an enlisted club or staff sergeant's club, something of that nature.

MR. JENNER: He had gotten into difficulty with a staff sergeant and had poured beer on the person of a staff sergeant and gotten into some kind of an altercation?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: As a result of that he was court-martialed and had been subjected to the loss of clearance?

MR. THORNLEY: That is correct.

MR. JENNER: Was that clearance of his restored?

MR. THORNLEY: I doubt it very much, because 3 months afterwards, after I had left the outfit -- I know it wasn't restored while I was in the outfit.

MR. JENNER: When did you leave the outfit?

MR. THORNLEY: I left in June and went overseas.

MR. JENNER: Up to that time his clearance had not been restored?

MR. THORNLEY: Definitely not. And shortly thereafter he got out of the service.

MR. JENNER: So that as far as you have any personal knowledge Oswald never operated any radar equipment while he was at El Toro, did you say?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes; El Toro, LTA. As far as my personal knowledge goes, he didn't.

MR. JENNER: Would you state the circumstances under which you became acquainted -- let me put it this way first. What was the extent of your acquaintance with Lee Harvey Oswald, and here at the moment I am directing myself only to whether you were friends, were you merely on the base together? Indicate the level of friendship first or acquaintanceship.

MR. THORNLEY: I would say we were close acquaintances in the sense that we weren't friends in that we didn't pull liberty together or seek each other out, yet when we were thrown together in an assignment or something, moving equipment, something of that nature, we spoke and when we were on the base and happened to be in the same area and were not required to be working, we would sometimes sit down and discuss things. That would be my statement there.

MR. JENNER: So there was a degree of affinity in the sense that you were friendly in performing your military tasks together whenever you were thrown together in that respect. You felt friendly toward each other. You were never off base with him on liberty?

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir.

MR. JENNER: There were times when you were at liberty on the base, I assume, and you and he fraternized?


MR. JENNER: Now, did you live in the same quarters?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, not actually. We lived in quonset huts there, and he lived in a different hut than I did. We did live in the same general area, however.

MR. JENNER: This acquaintance arose in the spring of 1959, is that correct?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Can you fix the time a little more definitely than merely the spring?

MR. THORNLEY: I really can't, sir. I have been racking my brain on that one since November, and I can't fix the time. I do remember having taken some time off that year around Easter and going on a trip with some civilian friends of mine, who were out of school for Easter vacation, and I know I was in the outfit that Oswald was in at that time, and I know that either shortly before that trip or shortly afterwards, I can remember from the books I was reading at the time and things like that, that I met him.

MR. JENNER: Do you associate the books you were reading at that time with anything Oswald may have been reading?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes. Oswald was not reading but did advise me to read George Orwell's "1984" which I read at that time.

MR. JENNER: Was he on the base when you came there?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, I was on the base in a different outfit before I came into MACS9, the outfit I was in.

MR. JENNER: Marine Air Control Squadron.

MR. THORNLEY: I was in MACS4 which was right next door to MACS9 or was at that time, on the base.

MR. JENNER: Were you aware of his presence when you were in the other MACS?

MR. THORNLEY: No; not until I came into his outfit. And only sometime after I came into that outfit did I become aware of his presence.

MR. JENNER: Were you -- I will withdraw that. Was Oswald as far as you knew on the base before you came over to his unit?

MR. THORNLEY: I would assume so, but I wouldn't know for sure. I know he was recently back from Japan as were most of the men in Marine Control Squadron 9 when I came into it. How long he had been back I don't know. I certainly didn't know at that time. And thinking on what knowledge of him I have gained since then, I still couldn't say.

MR. JENNER: Well, in any event you first became acquainted with or aware of his presence around Easter time in 1959?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: And you transferred from that base when?


MR. JENNER: In June. So likely it was that you knew him in April, May, and in June until you were transferred out?


MR. JENNER: When in June were you transferred out?

MR. THORNLEY: Once again the exact date would be available in my military record, but offhand --

MR. JENNER: Give it to me as best you recall it, forepart, latter part, middle?

MR. THORNLEY: Let's see, it was the latter part. In fact, I can give you pretty close to the exact date. It was around June 25, because we arrived in Japan on July 4 and it took 11 days to get over there. It took us some time to get debarked or to get embarked, rather.

MR. JENNER: All right. I take it from the remark you have made in your reflecting on this matter that you were -- you devoted yourself to some fairly considerable extent to reading?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: And in what fields?

MR. THORNLEY: Completely omniverous. Anything that I would happen to get a hold of I would read. At that time I was reading, well, at Oswald's advice I rad "1984." At someone else's advice I was reading a book called "Humanism," by Corliss Lamont, as I remember, and I was reading either "The Brothers Karamazov" or the "Idiot" by Dostoevsky, I forget which, at that time.

MR. JENNER: But your reading had some reasonable amount of organization or direction?

MR. THORNLEY: None whatsoever; no sir. It never had.

MR. JENNER: You weren't engaged in any organized reading at that time, were you?


MR. JENNER: But there were areas which did draw your attention by and large?

MR. THORNLEY: Definitely; yes.

MR. JENNER: What were those areas?

MR. THORNLEY: Philosophy, politics, religion.

MR. JENNER: Did you find that Oswald had reasonably similar interests?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes; I would say.

MR. JENNER: In his reading?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes; I would say particularly in politics and philosophy.

MR. JENNER: Was it those mutual interests that brought about your acquaintance with him or some other fashion?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir; it was those interests. My first memory of him is that one afternoon he was sitting on a bucket out in front of a hut, an inverted bucket, with some other Marines. They were discussing religion. I entered the discussion. It was known already in the outfit that I was an atheist. Immediately somebody pointed out to me that Oswald was also an atheist.

MR. JENNER: Did they point that out to you in his presence?


MR. JENNER: What reaction did he have to that?

MR. THORNLEY: He said, "What do you think of communism?" and I said --

MR. JENNER: He didn't say anything about having been pointed out as being an atheist?

MR. THORNLEY: No; he wasn't offended at this at all. He was -- it was done in a friendly manner, anyway, and he just said to me -- the first thing he said to me was with his little grin; he looked at me and he said, "What do you think of communism?" And I replied I didn't think too much of communism, in a favorable sense, and he said, "Well, I think the best religion is communism." And I got the impression at the time that he said this in order to shock. He was playing to the galleries, I felt.

MR. JENNER: The boys who were sitting around?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: Engaged in scuttlebutt?

MR. THORNLEY: Right. He was smirking as he said this and he said it very gently. He didn't seem to be a glass-eyed fanatic by any means.

MR. JENNER: Did you have occasion to discuss the same subject thereafter?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: From time to time?

MR. THORNLEY: From time to time.

MR. JENNER: Was it reasonably frequent?

MR. THORNLEY: I would say about a half dozen times in that time period.

MR. JENNER: In those subsequent discussions were some of them private in the sense you were not gathered around with others?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, I don't recall us ever having a private serious discussion. A couple of times we were working together. There would be others around, not on a constant basis anyway, but coming and going, and as I recall a couple of times we were thrown together. Working together, we weren't having a serious discussion; we were joking.

MR. JENNER: Did you have occasion in those additional half dozen instances of discussions with him, the viewpoint you have just expressed, that is, that his initial raising of the issue was more by way of provoking or shocking those about him rather than any utterances on his part of sincerity in a belief that communism was itself a religion?

MR. THORNLEY: It became obvious to me after a while, in talking to him, that definitely he thought that communism was the best -- that the Marxist morality was the most rational morality to follow that he knew of. And that communism was the best system in the world.

I still certainly wouldn't -- wouldn't have predicted, for example, his defection to the Soviet Union, because once again he seemed idle in his admiration for communism. He didn't seem to be an activist.

MR. JENNER: Would you explain what you mean by idle in his admiration of the communistic system?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, it seemed to be theoretical. It seemed strictly a dispassionate appraisal -- I did know at the time that he was learning the Russian language. I knew he was subscribing to Pravda or a Russian newspaper of some kind from Moscow. All of this I took as a sign of his interest in the subject, and not as a sign of any active commitment to the Communist ends.

MR. JENNER: You felt there was no devotion there. That it was somewhat of an intellectual interest, a curiosity. But I don't want to put words in your mouth, so tell me.

MR. THORNLEY: I wouldn't put it quite that weakly. While I didn't feel there was any rabid devotion there, I wouldn't call it a complete idle curiosity either. I would call it a definite interest.

MR. JENNER: A definite interest.

MR. THORNLEY: But not a fanatical devotion.

MR. JENNER: You said you knew at that time that he was studying Russian. How did you become aware of that?

MR. THORNLEY: Probably by hearsay once again. I do remember one time hearing the comment made by one man in the outfit that there was some other man in the outfit who was taking a Russian newspaper and who was a Communist and when I said, "Well, who is that?" he said, "Oswald," and I said, "Oh, well." That is probably where I learned it.

MR. JENNER: How did you learn that he was a subscriber to Pravda and the other Russian publications you have mentioned?

MR. THORNLEY: Well. I don't think -- it was either Pravda or some other Russian publication.

MR. JENNER: I see.

MR. THORNLEY: The way I learned that was a story that I believe Bud Simco, a friend of mine in the same outfit, in the outfit at the same time, told me that one time a lieutenant, and I forget which lieutenant it was (I do remember at the time I did know who he was talking about) found out that Oswald, by -- he happened to be in the mailroom or something, and saw a paper with Oswald's address on it.

MR. JENNER: That is the officer happened to be in the mailroom?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes; and that it was written -- he noticed this paper was written in Russian and at the time got very excited, attempted to draw this to the attention of Oswald's section chief, the commanding officer, and, of course, there was nothing these people could do about it, and at the time the story was related to me. I remember I thought it was rather humorous that this young, either second or first lieutenant should get so excited because Oswald happened to be subscribing to a Russian newspaper.

MR. JENNER: Was this lieutenant's name Delprado?

MR. THORNLEY: I will bet it was. That is very familiar. I think so.

MR. JENNER: Have you ever subscribed to a Russian language newspaper or other publications?

MR. THORNLEY: Other Russian publications?

MR. JENNER: Yes, sir.

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir.

MR. JENNER: Have you ever subscribed to a publication that was printed in the Russian language?

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir.

MR. JENNER: Have you ever subscribed to a publication that was printed in the Russian language?

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir.

MR. JENNER: Have you ever been a subscriber to any literature by way of news media or otherwise, published by any organization reputed to be communistic or pink or that sort of thing? I don't want to get it too broad.

MR. THORNLEY: Only I. F. Stone's newsletter and that certainly --

MR. JENNER: Whose?

MR. THORNLEY: I. F. Stone's newsletter and I wouldn't say --

MR. JENNER: Tell me about that.

MR. THORNLEY: He is a Washington reporter who is a rather extreme leftist, but certainly within the bounds of what is accepted in this country as non-subversive.

MR. JENNER: Describe yourself in that respect. Where are you, a middle-of-the-roader?

MR. THORNLEY: I would say I am an extreme rightist. I call myself a libertarian, which is that I believe in the complete sovereignty of the individual, or at least as much individual liberty as is practical under any given system.

MR. JENNER: You don't have to be an extreme rightist to believe in the sovereignty of the individual.

MR. THORNLEY: Well, it is getting that way in this country today. At least most people who listen to me talk call me a rightist. I wouldn't say so either. I think the political spectrum was fine for France at the time of the revolution. I don't think it applies to the United States of America today in any respect whatsoever. I don't think you can call a man an extreme leftist, rightist, or middle-of-the-roader and have him classified that simply.

MR. JENNER: Do you have any brothers and sisters?

MR. THORNLEY: I have two brothers.

MR. JENNER: What do they do?

MR. THORNLEY: They go to, one of them goes to junior college, I believe, and the other one goes to high school. They are in Whittier, Calif.

MR. JENNER: Are your folks alive?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: What does your father do?

MR. THORNLEY: He is a photoengraver.

MR. JENNER: Let's get back to Oswald. Describe this individual to me. First describe him physically.

MR. THORNLEY: Physically, I would say he was slightly below average height. Had, as I recall, gray or blue eyes. Always had, or almost always had a petulant expression on his face. Pursed-up lip expression, either a frown or a smile, depending on the circumstances. Was of average build, and his hair was brown, and tending to, like mine, tending to bald a little on each side.

MR. JENNER: Above the temple. What would you say he weighed?

MR. THORNLEY: I would say he weighed about 140 pounds, maybe 130.

MR. JENNER: How tall was he?

MR. THORNLEY: I would say he was about five-five maybe. I don't know.

MR. JENNER: How tall are you?

MR. THORNLEY: I am five-ten.

MR. JENNER: Was he shorter than you?


MR. JENNER: What habits did he have with respect to his person -- was he neat, clean?

MR. THORNLEY: Extremely sloppy.

MR. JENNER: Extremely sloppy?

MR. THORNLEY: He was. This I think might not have been true of him in civilian life.

MR. JENNER: You don't know one way or the other?

MR. THORNLEY: No; but I do have reason to believe that it wasn't true of him in civilian life.

MR. JENNER: You don't know one way or the other?

MR. THORNLEY: No; but I do have reason to believe that it wasn't true of him in civilian life because it fitted into a general personality pattern of his: to do whatever was not wanted of him, a recalcitrant trend in his personality.

MR. JENNER: You think it was deliberate?

MR. THORNLEY: I think it tended to be deliberate: yes. It was a gesture of rebellion on his part.

MR. JENNER: Did you ever discuss that matter with him, as dress.


MR. JENNER: The attitude of rebellion?

MR. THORNLEY: No; because this attitude of rebellion was a fairly common thing in the service.

MR. JENNER: On the part of others as well as Oswald?

MR. THORNLEY: As well as Oswald. Oswald did carry it to -- was the most extreme example I can think of stateside. However, overseas, in the outfit he had been in before, as I discovered later, this was quite common.

MR. JENNER: How much later?

MR. THORNLEY: Three months -- well, immediately, as soon as I left, as soon as I got overseas. I walked in to the barracks on the Fourth of July over there and saw beer bottles spread all over, and some character sitting in the back of the barracks with a broken beer bottle cutting his arm, for what reason I don't remember. They found beer cans in a trash can in MACS9 and there was a drastic investigation; so there is an indication of a difference between stateside and overseas. Oswald was typical, very typical of the outfit he had just left overseas.

MR. JENNER: So that is your impression, you would say. I gather, that as of that particular time when you first knew him that he was still carrying some of his experience personal attentionwise from what he had experienced overseas?


MR. JENNER: And he was still following the habits he had acquired overseas?


MR. JENNER: Did you think it went beyond that, this unkemptness or this sloppiness?

MR. THORNLEY: It did go beyond that, because he seemed to be a person who would go out of his way to get into trouble, get some officer or staff sergeant mad at him. He would make wise remarks. He had a general bitter attitude toward the Corps. He used to pull his hat down over his eyes so he wouldn't have to look at anything around him and go walking around very Beetle Bailey style.

MR. JENNER: What is Beetle Bailey?

MR. THORNLEY: Beetle Bailey is a comic strip character who walks around with his hat over his eyes very much as Oswald did.

MR. JENNER: You want to keep in mind, Mr. Thornley, I am an old man and these are things I don't pick up or get hep to.

MR. THORNLEY: This is nothing recent. This is a comic strip that has been around quite a few years now.

MR. JENNER: You go on and tell us about his personality.

MR. THORNLEY: All right.

MR. JENNER: Including any physical characteristics or habits.

MR. THORNLEY: I think I have covered all physical characteristics. His shoes were always unshined. As I mentioned, he walked around with the bill of his cap down over his eyes and you got the impression that he was doing this so he wouldn't have to look at anything around him.

MR. JENNER: And he was doing that so that he would not be assigned additional work or --

MR. THORNLEY: No; he was just doing that -- this was just an attempt, I think, on his part, to blot out the military so he wouldn't have to look at it; he wouldn't have to think about it. In fact, I think he made a comment to that effect at one time; that when he had his bill of his cap over his eyes so he would see as little as possible, because he didn't like what he had to look at.

He had, as I remember, he had a sense of humor, and I can only think of a couple of examples of it. I have only been able to think of a couple of examples of it over the past few months, but I have a strong general impression in my mind that there were more examples that I just don't remember.

MR. JENNER: Well, you draw on your recollection as best you can and you just keep telling us now in your own words and I will try to not interrupt you too much.

MR. THORNLEY: All right. One example was, that I remember -- of course, it was well known in the outfit that, or popularly believed that Oswald had Communist sympathies --

MR. JENNER: You didn't share that view?

MR. THORNLEY: Not as much as some did, and while this was popularly believed, I mention this as kind of a framework for the significance of Oswald's comment: Master Sergeant Spar, our section chief, jumped up on the fender one day and said, "All right, everybody gather around," and Oswald said in a very thick Russian accent, "Ah ha, collective farm lecture," in a very delighted tone.

This brought him laughs at the time, and he had gotten me to read "1984," as I mentioned earlier, and this was one of his favorites --

MR. JENNER: Tell me what "1984" was.

MR. THORNLEY: This was a book about -- it is a projection into the future, supposed to take place in 1984 in England under a complete police state. It is, I would say, an anti-utopian novel, by George Orwell, a criticism of English socialism and what it might lead to, based upon Orwell's experiences with communism and nazism, his observations about a society in which a mythical leader called Big Brother dominates everybody's life. Where there are television cameras on every individual at all times watching his every act, where sex is practically outlawed, where the world is perpetually at war, three big police states constantly at war with one another, and where thought police keep every, all of the citizens in line. Oswald would often compare the Marine Corps with the system of government outlined in "1984."

I remember one day we were loading equipment --

MR. JENNER: By way of protest against the Marine Corps?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes; humorously, satirically. One day we were unloading, moving a radarscope off the truck and it slipped, and he said, "Be careful with Big Brother's equipment."

It was things like this. He did a lot of that.

I remember one day he -- I was walking along with my hands in my pocket, which is something you don't do in the service if you are -- certainly if you are in an infantry outfit you don't dare. Things were a little lax in our outfit, so we could get away with it once in a while, so I happened to be walking along with my hands in my pockets and suddenly I heard a voice: "Hey, Smith, Winston," and rattle off a serial number, "get your hands out of your pockets," which was a direct quote from the book "1984."

These are the only examples of Oswald's, that particular aspect of Oswald's character that I recall.

MR. JENNER: I am stimulated to ask you this question by something you just said. Did he have a good memory?

MR. THORNLEY: I think he must have had a good memory; yes. If he wanted to remember something, he could. I think he also had good ability to blot out unpleasant thoughts in his mind.

MR. JENNER: What about his powers of assimilation of what he read, and his powers of critique?

MR. THORNLEY: I certainly think he understood much more than many people in the press have seemed to feel. I don't think he was a man who was grasping onto his particular beliefs because he didn't understand them. I don't think he was just trying to know something over his head, by any means. I think he understood what he was talking about.

Sometimes I think there were gaps in his knowledge. I think there were many things he didn't know, and this came from a haphazard education.

MR. JENNER: You became acquainted with the fact that he had had a somewhat haphazard education?

MR. THORNLEY: It was obvious. I didn't become acquainted with it specifically until recently in the news. But --

MR. JENNER: You had that impression at the time?

MR. THORNLEY: I had that impression; yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: How did the impression arise? Because of the lack of analysis or real critique on his part of that which he was reading? Inability to assimilate the thrust of a work?

MR. THORNLEY: No; I wouldn't say that. I would say he could analyze what he read very well, but it was a very subjective impression, and the idea I got was that there were a lot of things he didn't know, and just a lot of facts that he wasn't familiar with. I guess sometimes, probably in discussions, I would run into something. I would mention something and he would say, "What is that?"

I know we did have a couple of very hot arguments and I am sure we were throwing facts at one another, and he was certainly able to belt them out when he wanted to, facts that suited his purpose in arguing.

MR. JENNER: What was your impression of his -- the extent of his formal education and the extent of any private education of his; that is, reading -- self-education.

MR. THORNLEY: Self-education. I was certainly surprised that -- when I read in the papers that he had not graduated, I think they said he had not graduated from high school

MR. JENNER: That is correct.

MR. THORNLEY: I thought he had graduated from high school. I assumed that. I would say that his self-education certainly must have been -- perhaps, in fact, he took USAFI courses, U.S. Armed Forces Institute courses, or something along that line, because he was one who gave the impression of having some education, certainly.

MR. JENNER: Do you have an impression of his intellect?

MR. THORNLEY: Yes; I think he was --

MR. JENNER: I am speaking in the abstract.

MR. THORNLEY: I think he was extremely intelligent, with what information he had at hand he could always do very well and in an argument he was quick. He was quick to answer, and it was not a matter of just grabbing at something. It was a matter of coming back with a fairly precise answer to your question or to your objection to his argument.

MR. JENNER: I take it then it was your impression -- I will change my question because I don't want to ask a leading question here.

What was your impression as to whether his learning, in the sense we are talking about now, was superficial or was he able to master that which he read, and engage in personal self-critique of that which he read, discover its weaknesses, and apprehend its major thrust?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, I would say as I have said before, he certainly understood what he read. How much he had read, I don't know, but I do know that when he got on a subject in which he was interested, he showed a grasp of it. This is true with the book "1984" for example. It is true with Marxism.

MR. JENNER: Now that interests me also. You mentioned that before; that is, his espousal of or interest in Marxism as such. What was his ability, if he had any, and I am talking now idealistically only, to compare Marxism, communism, democracy?

MR. THORNLEY: I understand. I think --

MR. JENNER: And did he understand the distinctions?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, I think he understood the distinctions as well as most reasonably educated people do. I think he certainly had a Marxist bias in how -- where he drew the lines.

For example, he could look upon the Soviet system today as a democracy by, of course, giving a completely different definition to the word "democracy" than I, for example. He would give --

MR. JENNER: Can you remember some discussions or incidents that explain that? Would he use objectivism?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, I remember one in particular that always reminded me of his general outlook.

One day we got into an argument and I thought I was really going to pin him to the wall, I thought I was going to win this argument.

MR. JENNER: On what subject.

MR. THORNLEY: On Marxism. On the theory of history.

MR. JENNER: Reconstruct the argument for me.

MR. THORNLEY: Well, all right. Let me add this.

When I was in my freshman year in college, in my English class, I believe it was, perhaps it was a history class we had been required to read, it was a history workshop, we had been required to read the Communist manifesto which presents an outline of the theory of the Marx-Engels outlook on past and future history. The dialectical outlook. Oswald was also familiar with this outlook. As to what it constituted we both agreed. Oswald had argued previously that communism was a rational approach to life, a scientific approach to life, Marxism.

MR. JENNER: This was in argumentation with you?


MR. JENNER: All right.

MR. THORNLEY: With me. I challenged him to show me any shred of evidence to support the idea that history took place in the manner described by Engels and Marx (this was not just an arbitrary system looted as many suspect, from Hegel) and he, after some attempt to give me a satisfactory answer, which he was unable to do, became aware of that and he admitted that there was no justification, logically, for the Communist theory of history or the Marxist theory of history, but that Marxism was still, in his opinion, the best system for other reasons that there was --

MR. JENNER: Best as against what?

MR. THORNLEY: As against, well primarily as against religions. He did -- that first comment of his always sticks in my mind, about communism being the best religion. He did think of communism as, not as a religion in the strict sense but as an overwhelming cultural outlook that, once applied to a country, would make it much better off than, say the Roman Catholic Church cultural outlook or the Hindu cultural outlook or the Islamic cultural outlook, and he felt that, as I say, to get back to this argument, he felt that there were enough other things about communism that justified it that one could accept the theory of history on faith.

MR. JENNER: What other things?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, for one thing; the idea that he felt -- as did Marx -- that under capitalism workers are exploited, that in some way they are robbed of their full reward for their work by means of entrepreneurs' profits, and he felt that Marxism took his money but instead of taking it away from the worker spent it on the worker.

He felt that under a Soviet -- under the present Soviet system, for example, that the money was spent for the benefit of the people rather than going to the individual who happened to be running the enterprise, and he thought this was a juster situation.

MR. JENNER: Did you raise with him the price the individual had to pay for the material accommodation accorded the worker under the Communist system; for the substance or money, of which you speak, being returned to the worker? The price paid in terms of individual liberty as against the capitalistic or democratic system?

MR. THORNLEY: You couldn't say this to him. Because he would say: "How do you know? How do you know what is going on there."

MR. JENNER: First, did you raise it with him?

MR. THORNLEY: I raised it with him.

MR. JENNER: You being a libertarian as you say?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, at that time I was -- my ideas have changed since that time. At that time I was much to the left in my political thinking once again; well, I would say about in the same position that Mr. Stone who I spoke of earlier is now. I was on the "left-hand" side of the acceptable political spectrum in this country, and so, therefore, these issues, the issues I would now raise with him had I again the chance to speak to him, would be much different than the issues I raised with him at that time. I did not raise that issue particularly, I did not push it.

MR. JENNER: Was there much, if any, discussion at the time on the issue of individual liberty?

MR. THORNLEY: No; very little, because I wasn't too concerned about it at the time and neither was he. We were both concerned about what was the best for the greatest number of people. I don't think that concept was clear to either one of us.
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Re: Historia Discordia: Meet Kerry Thornley, The Second Oswa

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:07 am

MR. JENNER: In using his name, I don't wish to, I am not suggesting anything personal as to Sergeant Spar, but I am going to use him as a faceless Marine sergeant.

MR. THORNLEY: And a very good one.


MR. JENNER: That was a definite feeling?

MR. THORNLEY: I wouldn't say anything in my experience with him caused me to particularly notice that he felt superior because he did read. But except, yes, there is one time a friend of his, I don't know who it was, I haven't been able to recall the name at present, one morning looked over at our commanding officer who was walking by, Colonel Poindexter, an air ace in Korea --

MR. JENNER: A what?

MR. THORNLEY: An ace pilot in Korea, and made the comment, "There goes a mental midget" which drew glee from Oswald, as I remember.


MR. JENNER: What was your dexterity with Marine weapons?



MR. THORNLEY: I was a sharpshooter.


MR. JENNER: Did Oswald have a nickname?

MR. THORNLEY: Not that I know of except Oz sometimes.

MR. JENNER: Did you ever hear him referred to as "Ozzie Rabbit"?

MR. THORNLEY: Well, yes; I didn't realize that anybody else referred to him as such, but I always thought of him as such. He reminded me very much of a cartoon character at that time. It was kind of pathetic. There was something about this little smile of his, and his expression on his face and the shape of his head, just the general, his general appearance established a definite association in my mind with some Warner Bros. cartoon character, I believe Warner Bros. And I, very recently, in a discussion with someone, describing Oswald mentioned that he reminded you of -- I said: "I think there is a character called Oswald Rabbit who appears in movie cartoons." And they shook their head.

Now, I know where I got that particular example so I probably heard him referred to as "Ozzie Rabbit," though I don't recall specifically.


MR. JENNER: For further identification of the document which I will mark Thornley Exhibit No. 3, page 1 is entitled "Chapter 1, Gung Ho."

Page 4 is entitled "Chapter 2, Fallen Comrade."

Page 7, in the center, is entitled "Chapter 3, Hush Hush."

Page 11 is entitled "Chapter 4. Blue Marines."

Page 14, in the upper portion, is entitled "Chapter 5, Peace Gospel."

Page 21 is entitled, at the head, "Chapter 7, The Killer."

Page 24, near the center, is entitled "Chapter 8, Captain Kidd."

Page 27 at the bottom, "Chapter 9, Mutiny."

Page 31, "Chapter 10, John Henry."

Page 34, "Chapter 11, The Storms."

And page 37, "Chapter 12, The Chicken."

MR. JENNER: I take it, Mr. Thornley, that you commenced the preparation of Exhibit No. 3 subsequently to the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

MR. THORNLEY: Yes, sir.

MR. JENNER: And that Exhibit No. 3 reflects a course of events and their imprint upon you that occurred on and after November 22, 1963.

MR. THORNLEY: No, no; Exhibit No. 3 reflects the same course of events reflected in Exhibit No. 2.


MR. JENNER: All right. Now, Mr. Thornley, tell me something about Kerry Thornley. You obviously, to me, are not a doorman.

MR. THORNLEY: Oh, yes; I am a doorman.


MR. JENNER: We occasionally have been off the record, not often, and I have talked with you on the telephone. Is there anything that was said between us in the course of our telephone conversations or in any off-the-record discussions that you think is pertinent to the Commission's assignment of investigating the assassination of President Kennedy that I have failed to bring onto the record?

MR. THORNLEY: No, sir; I think we have very thoroughly covered it.

-- Testimony of Kerry Thornley to the Warren Commission
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