OpEd News June 10, 2022
By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
Violence begets violence, war begets more wars. These facts have been known to generations before our time and we should not have to learn this horrible truth again. Events have been forgotten by history and covered up by administrations. Angers and hatreds have been instilled in generations. We cannot continue in this manner and survive as a people. We must calm down, face the facts of where we have come from, and put our minds to diffusing the crises and not making it worse. Is there a solution? YES, there is; knowledge, understanding and the courage to face our past and vow to resolve it without violence or prejudice. Americans are in a unique position to help through JFK's peace legacy enshrined in his American University Speech. Activating his plan will be a new Declaration of Human Rights for the 21st century that will lay the foundation for a peaceful world to emerge out of the final chaotic stage of empire.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy is regularly rated as one of our greatest presidents, a testament to his continuing ability to inspire hope, faith and courage in Americans. He asked us to take on the most important challenge of our times in 1963; helping him to create world peace. His American University Speech laid out that plan with words that are powerful - so powerful he could have lost his life five months later just because of them. Resurrecting JFK's plan for world peace is long overdue! We the People must do it. We the People can do it! We the people will do it! And the first step is for We the People to imagine the peaceful future we want, starting today.
Research into how positive ideas move from one person to the next suggests that just sharing ideas is not sufficient to change the world. We need to translate consciously the power of positive ideas into action. The first step is to unblock our feelings of fear and despair about the threats to our planet from the endless war agendas we face. If we don't unlock our creative power to imagine the peace we want now it will not be able to materialize as our future. Once we do unlock the full potential for peace everyone will eventually join with us to make it happen.
The next step is transforming JKF's June 10, 1963 American University speech into the blueprint for world peace intertwined with historical and mythical stories from his Fitzgerald family's Irish roots. The finished plan would be delivered at a musical concert set in Ireland. It will be modeled after the 1985 Live Aid concert for famine relief in Africa. The sponsors of Live Aid took an issue nobody cared about, put it in front of 2 billion people through music, and raised $127 million. Unfortunately, not only are millions of lives still at risk today from famine in the third world, the first world is facing an unprecedented food crisis of its own. This exposes the truth that focusing on famine relief was never going to be a remedy for famine itself. Our concert will promote the real solution; establishing the peace as the only underlying foundation that will address all human-made problems.
Our musical "peace" focus will be modeled after the wildly popular American Tribal Love-Rock Musical HAIR. In its time HAIR was the center of the Anti-Vietnam War Movement; delivering a riveting political and social awakening that we experienced in 1970 as participants in the Boston production for a year. Its finale song Flesh Failures Let the Sunshine In still stirs the soul to know that, in their heart, all people want peace and not war. It will become the anthem for the world wide peace movement we are building.
Our effort towards peace through dialogue and music will break us free from the dialectic's narrative of defeating the "other," opening us to a self-aware perspective that can function as a spiritual and moral gauge by testing our own values instead of others. The concert will also be a re-awakening to bring back the peace robbed from our generation by dark forces manipulating from behind the scenes. Those forces did destroy our generation's cohesion but our vision for activating world peace is even more inspired towards action by what we connected to back then.
Finally a new and shocking departure from the toxic war narrative is needed to totally change the tone and reorient people's thinking away from war to peace as the only solution. This can be accomplished by connecting to our shared past in Ireland, the land that gave birth to the prophecy of the Fitzgerald family's most beloved ancestor, Gearóid Iarla. It has been believed for close to 700 years that he will rise from the dead at the end of time to free the Irish people from the tyranny of empire. The time is now for the fulfillment of that prophecy and we believe that can be accomplished by resurrecting JFK's plan for world peace.
The perfect setting for a concert that will promote world peace through music is at Newgrange, a fifty-five hundred-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site north of Dublin. Originally known as Bru na Boinne (mansion on the river Boyne), the structure is central to pre-Christian Irish mythology having been built by the Dagda, the father of the Tuatha de Danaan (people of the light), who was known as the Good Father as a benefactor to all the people. Described as a "passage grave" by scholars, it was considered a "house" where the dead could live and pass in and out of supernatural reality into this world at will. It was also a place where the living could commune with the spirits of the Otherworld and see, hear and feel the bountiful Grail that awaited them in the spirit-world beyond.
According to Joseph Campbell in his book Occidental Mythology, The Masks of God; "By various schools of modern scholarship, the Grail has been identified with the Dagda's caldron of plenty. According to Masonic lore, Newgrange's history and mythology is also central to the biblical Enoch, grandfather of Noah, who is found in all three Abrahamic religions. This ancient mythology can provide a new narrative outside the fracturing framework of today's violent struggles. But most of all Newgrange stimulates something in the imagination; a deeper connection to the past and the evolution of human thought that has been lost and forgotten to both the East and the West.
Let's Fulfill JFK's Dream for World Peace: A Plan For Action. Join Us! A FREE Zoom Event June 29, 2022 3-4:30 p.m./EST RSVP Required HERE
Key Passages from JFK's June 10, 1963 American University Speech
"Some say that it is useless to speak of peace until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitude... for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward... by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union and toward freedom and peace here at home.
"First, examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many think it is impossible. But that is a defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. Our problems are manmade. Therefore, they can be solved by man. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable and we can do it again.
"Let us focus on an attainable peace based on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. With such a peace, there will still be conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just settlement.
"So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.
"And second, let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to read a Soviet text and find claims, such as the allegation that 'there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that the political aims of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive wars.' It is sad to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.
"No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. No nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. A third of the nation's territory, including nearly two-thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland.
"Today, should total war break out our two countries will be the primary targets. It is a fact that the two strongest powers are in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. We are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be devoted to combat poverty and disease. We are caught up in a dangerous cycle with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting counter weapons.
"In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours. So, let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. For our most common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal." Read the full speech here.
The Fitzgerald History and Mythology embodied in JFK's life, death and resurrection
Myths have been created by every culture world-wide for millennia. They are the stories of our encounters with the mystical handed down from one generation to the next. When myths are merged with the historical record the interaction aids in deciphering a more complex meaning of history. In our research into the Fitzgerald family's rise and fall from power "starting with the 12th-century Norman invasion of Ireland and ending four hundred years later with the beheading of the last earl of Desmond by Elizabeth I" we were faced with the limits of the historical record. Fortunately the age of myth lived on in Ireland into the mid-20th century allowing us the ability to access a rich layer of meaning beyond history.
Starting with the Fitzgeralds' arrival in Ireland in 1169 an outpouring of prophecies believed to be connected to the family were already in existence. Over time these prophecies became entwined with the prophetic legacies of Merlin, the Grail legends from Wales, the Irish prophets Moling, Brechan, Patrick and Colmcille, and the ancient Irish legends of Finn and the Dagda.
The myths about the Earls of Desmond began to form in the early 14th century. Maurice Fitzgerald's son Gerald, known as Gearoid Iarla in Gaelic, inspired the origin myth of the family. Born in 1338, Gearoid succeeded to the Earldom in 1358 making him the 3rd Earl of Desmond and the leader of the Munster branch of the Fitzgeralds... the most powerful Norman family in late medieval Ireland. Gearoid's castle at Lough Gur, Co. Limerick became the center of the earldom and a home for his love of Gaelic culture. As a highly respected composer of Gaelic love poetry, Gearoid became a leading example of the Norman lords' willingness to embrace their own Gaelicization. "More Irish than Irish themselves" was a phrase used by later historians to describe this phenomenon of total cultural assimilation.
The Fitzgeralds, as the new Norman overlords of Munster, adopted the mythic symbolism of the Gaelic tradition and embraced Aine as their goddess of Munster sovereignty. A poet in their employ in the 14th century referred to Gearoid's father, Maurice, as "Aine's king" and Gearoid as "the son of Aine's knight." According to the folklore, Maurice was walking by the shore of Lough Gur when he saw Aine bathing, seized her cloak, which magically put her under his power, and then lay with her. Aine told Maurice that she would bear him a son Gearoid Iarla whom he was to bring up with the best of care. One caution she gave to Maurice; he was not to show surprise at anything however strange his son should do.
The boy grew into a handsome young man and one night there was a gathering at the castle with dancing. None of the ladies could compete with Gearoid's dancing. When the dance ended one young woman engaged him in another contest as she rose and leaped over the guests, tables and dishes and then leaped back again. The old Earl turned to his son and said "Can you do anything like that?" Gearoid rose and leaped into a bottle, and out again. There was great applause for his feat. Then the Old Earl looked with shock at his son's performance. "Were you not warned," said the young Earl, "never to show surprise at anything I might do?" The Old Earl's display forced his son to leave his father's world. Once Gearoid's feats were recognized as magical he would have to go with his mother into the otherworld. "You have forced me to leave you" were his last words to his father. When Gearoid left the castle he entered the water of the river, and swam away in the form of a goose.
The folklore concerning Gearoid continued to spread. During the 15th century, London grew nervous about the growing power of the Desmond earls. Despite continued challenges to their rule the Fitzgeralds maintained control as their prestige throughout Europe grew. The Gherardini, a leading Florentine family, claimed they were related. But tension continued to mount in the early16th century as rumors spread that the Fitzgeralds were plotting to invade and seize London's power.
For over four hundred years the Fitzgeralds were absorbed into the local mythology. Then in 1558, the 14th Earl of Desmond succeeded to the title. His name was Gerald, the first to have that name since Gearoid Iarla. The English had deprived Gerald of his family estates by locking him up in London Tower for long periods of time. Rather than breaking his will, when Gerald returned home in 1573, he took on a stronger pro-Irish stance by joining the rebellion against the English. Hopes ran high for the Fitzgerald campaign as the prophecies were circulated. In later folklore it was claimed that the new Gearoid embodied the great Fitzgerald spirit of his 14th-century ancestor. Gearoid Iarla had not died but returned at the hour of the family's greatest need.
It is said that a man passing by Lough Gur saw a light and found the entrance to a cavern, where he saw an army of knights and horses asleep. There was a sword on the floor, and as the man drew it out the army awakened. Then its leader, Gearoid Iarla, asked if the time had come yet, but the man ran away. The army fell back to sleep, and the entrance could not be found later.
Although Gerald was an inspiration, by 1583 his cause was lost and he was beheaded. The great affection for the family lived on, as did the hope that one of them would someday free Ireland. There are repeated references to this mystical belief in documents from the 17th to the 19th centuries as well as London's concern for the Fitzgerald's embrace of Gaelic ways in clear defiance of English law.
Despite London's fierce opposition, Gearoid Iarla and the myths surrounding him would continue to inspire future Fitzgeralds while winning the admiration of the Irish people. But as the power of these myths became entwined with Ireland's political history London found itself justifying a genocide to eliminate an existential threat to London's rule far beyond mere competition. To the royals, siding with the "people" over loyalty to the Crown was the highest treason of all. That revelation made clear why the marriage of the first Fitzgerald, Gerald of Winsor to Princess Nest in 1097, would inevitably lead to the killing of JFK in 1963 for his attempt to bring peace to the world.
Our HAIR experience and why its music still matters
We had done research for an article on mind control that included the role of MK-ULTRA; a CIA project that operated from the early 1950s through the 1960s. MK-ULTRA had used Americans without consent to alter their mental states. The project remained secret until 1975 when the Church Committee Hearings revealed the CIA's illegal activities. But what really got our attention back then was confirming that MK-ULTRA had infiltrated the Anti-Vietnam War Movement to undermine its legitimacy with the distribution of psychedelic drugs.
As teenagers growing up in the1960s the music scene and the antiwar movement were synonymous. A new age was dawning and our generation wanted to keep war from becoming part of it. What we didn't know until recently was how much influence military intelligence and the CIA had in forming what we believed was an organic outgrowth of popular sentiment against the Vietnam War.
Before bands such as The Doors and The Byrds became famous; the songwriters, musicians and singers who would form those bands flocked to Laurel Canyon. What was strange about this migration was the absence of a music industry in the area. What it did have was Vito Paulekas and the Freaks; a regular feature of the Sunset Boulevard Club scene starting in 1964. Paulekas was known for supplying wildly frenzied dancers to stir interest in the bands and is credited with their early success. Having materialized a musical revolution out of thin air, he has also been credited as the inspiration for the Hippie movement's fashion and free-love communal lifestyle.
Another oddity was that many of the artists who arrived were descended from influential families, had military or intelligence backgrounds or connections to high-ranking military personnel. Frank Zappa, creator of The Mothers of Invention, spent his youth at the Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Biological Center where his father was a chemical-warfare specialist. Edgewood Arsenal was connected to MK-Ultra's mind-control program. Major Floyd Crosby, father of David Crosby of Crosby, Stills and Nash, was an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer descended from the Van Rensselaers, a prominent American family.
Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek served in the highly selective Army Security Agency as an intelligence analyst in Laos in the run-up to the Vietnam War. Doors producer Paul Rothchild also served in the same Military Intelligence Corps in 1959. Jim Morrison was the son of U.S. Navy Admiral George Morrison.
In August of 1964, U.S. warships, under Morrison's command, claimed to have been attacked while patrolling Vietnam's Tonkin Gulf. Although the claim was false, it resulted in the U.S. Congress passing the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which provided the pretext for an escalation of American involvement in Vietnam. Morrison never spoke publicly of his father's role in creating the "false flag" that was used to deceive the American people into accepting a war against Vietnam.
More intriguing was Morrison's lack of interest in music until he transformed into one of the most glorified rock stars of all time. As the Door's lead singer, Morrison played a major role in forming the band's identity. He chose its name from Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception. Huxley's "doors" opened through the use of psychedelic drugs. He was also a key player behind the use of MK-Ultra's research into mind control. In a 1949 letter to George Orwell, Huxley described psychedelic drugs as far more efficient than prisons.
As an acolyte of the Greek god Dionysus and the Dionysian Mysteries Morrison reveled in the use of drugs, drink and frenzied dancing. MK-Ultra's objectives had much in common with the Dionysian Mysteries and Morrison's philosophy of life, who said "I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown." Morrison was also described as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Doors manager Paul Rothchild explained, "You never knew whether Jim would show up as the poetic scholar or the kamikaze drunk.
Americans need to look back and reconsider the turning points that brought our country to this crossroad of endless war. How did we come from being so much against war in Vietnam into preparing for a war against everyone on the planet today? Was the Laurel Canyon scene the only operation sabotaging the legitimacy of the anti-war movement by co-opting its message? Was the CIA responsible for permanently wrapping the anti-war movement and public dissent in a cloak of freaked-out hippies, communal sex and acid trips on LSD?
The 1950s and 1960s saw America in direct competition with the Soviet Union, not only for military superiority but also for the world's hearts and minds. The Cultural Cold War waged by Washington embraced activities that were intended to outshine anything done by its communist rival in literature, music and the arts. A psychological-warfare campaign to break down traditional patterns of behavior had already been laid out in 1953 by the CIA's Psychological Strategy Board's doctrine for social control known as PSB D-33/2. With an emphasis on the strange and avant-garde, the CIA began bringing artists, writers and musicians into what was known as its "Freedom Manifesto". The CIA came to view the program as a landmark in the Cold War, not just for solidifying its control over the non-communist left and the West's intellectuals, but for enabling the CIA to secretly disenfranchise Europeans and Americans from their own political culture in such a way they would never know it.
As the historian of the CIA's secret co-optation of America's non-communist left, Christopher Lasch wrote in 1969, "The modern state is an engine of propaganda, alternately manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument that can effectively deal with them. This propaganda, in order to be successful, demands the cooperation of writers, teachers, and artists not as paid propagandists or state-censored time-servers but as 'free' intellectuals capable of policing their own jurisdictions and of enforcing acceptable standards of responsibility within the various intellectual professions."
While declaring itself as the antidote to communist totalitarianism, one CIA officer viewed PSB D-33/2 as interposing "a wide doctrinal system that accepts uniformity as a substitute for diversity," embracing "all fields of human thought--all fields of intellectual interests, from anthropology and artistic creations to sociology and scientific methodology." He concluded "That is just about as totalitarian as one can get."
The evidence that the birth of the psychedelic 1960s New Age music scene was guided by the invisible hand of military and intelligence operatives is well documented. But what about the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical HAIR that swept the world in 1968 after opening to rave reviews on Broadway?
We lived our experience with HAIR when we became a part of the Boston production in 1970 while college students. HAIR was on the front lines of the anti-war movement and we waved the banner every night before sold-out audiences. To us, the Vietnam War was nothing more than what Daniel Ellsberg described as a neocolonial enterprise. America's Winter Soldiers joined us on stage to celebrate our right to dramatize the undoing of American society by the terror being inflicted on Southeast Asia.
HAIR was a worldwide phenomenon with casts in every major U.S. city and nineteen productions outside North America. Its anti-war theme was shared by millions of Americans who watched and participated in it. Every HAIR cast was local to the city it performed in and established new standards for racial diversity unheard of at the time. HAIR made the war and its impact on human beings personal in ways that nothing else could.
But that impact and the anti-war momentum it had accrued was lost and channeled away from the universal peace we believed was possible. Was HAIR's popularity part of a cultural cold war experiment to influence public opinion and then made to go away? A 1977 revival of HAIR at the Biltmore Theatre, where it ran for 1750 performances from 1968 to 1972, was surprisingly attacked by the NYT as too far gone to be timely; too recently gone to be even nostalgia.
With its antiwar message dismissed and President Carter's Russo-phobic National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, taking over security policy at the White House, the message was clear. The antiwar movement would not be coming to power in Washington in 1977 and never would be. When the film version of HAIR was released in 1979 - it was rewritten and detached from the show's anti-war theme. With Vietnam disposed of; the West's endless war against the Soviet Union could be put back on the track. By the time Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the anti-Vietnam War movement had been reduced to a "Syndrome" and cured with a World War II-size defense budget that transformed the U.S. from a creditor to a debtor nation.
The celebrity arm of the non-communist left was well represented at our 1970 HAIR opening night with the presence of Peter, Paul and Mary's Peter Yarrow and the show's executive producer Bertrand Castelli; a member of Europe's cultural cold war elite. Yarrow's Ukrainian-born father, Bernard, was a member of the CIA's European cultural front organization, the National Committee for a Free Europe. Having served during World War II in the OSS and then joining the Dulles brothers' law firm, Bernard helped found Radio Free Europe and became its senior vice president. Following Vietnam, Yarrow transferred his activism to Soviet Jewry and their emigration to Israel, a major component of the neoconservative agenda.
By the 1980s the issue became a key platform of the Reagan administration's ability to stop de'tente with the Soviet Union. As for HAIR, stripped of its antiwar message, it was reduced to being the poster child of a 1960s debauched hedonism. Or as Castelli labelled a revival in 2008, "Everything that was joyful and harmless became dangerous and ugly." Dangerous and ugly is not the way we remember our experience with HAIR. Nuclear war and Vietnam were dangerous and ugly and in the intervening years that danger and ugliness has returned to haunt us.
If HAIR was part of a psychological campaign to energize the youth of America to action in the pursuit of peace, freedom and happiness, it succeeded. But if the ultimate objective was to then crush that freedom and numb us to the danger of permanent war, it too succeeded. At the time, HAIR's success helped us believe that we had changed our future for the better. The war ended and the troops came home, but we now accept that the new age we sought was nothing more than an illusion.
President Eisenhower warned us what would happen if our country dedicated itself to war. Endless war puts you in a hell of madness from which there is no escape. The madness of war on the world has come full circle and is now in our schools, parks, bars and homes. It was always there as part of our nature. We have given in to a part of our nature that should have matured and been processed but instead has remained aloof from our humanity. That part of our nature is still unlearned and untamed. We are the victims of our own design and therefore we can change it.
The CIA did succeed in redirecting Americans anti-war sentiment towards accepting permanent war. To paraphrase, Hermann Goering's statement at his Nuremberg trial: People don't want war, but people can be brought to the bidding of their leaders by instilling fear or denouncing the pacifists for exposing the country to danger, and it works the same way in any country.
Our only course is to step outside today's endless-war narrative and see where we are in the paradigm. The false narratives that control our thinking will fall away as we replace them with the deep knowledge and acceptance of what we have actually lived through. As the past finally becomes prologue; we can imagine the genuine future we truly want and start to make it happen.
We'll end with a video of Paul Fitzgerald singing Flesh Failures Let the Sunshine In with the Boston Cast of HAIR at the 1970 Performance in front of the Boston City Hospital. It was a cloudy afternoon when the cast started singing the words, Let the Sunshine In and the sun literally burst through the clouds as if on cue. Unknown to us at the time, the concert was filmed by the hospital's mortician and magically found its way to us a decade later. Although the video is of rough quality, the healing tone generated while delivering HAIR's finale song of peace to audiences for a year still shines through. Click here to view the 3:30-minute Flesh Failures song.
Let's Fulfill JFK's Dream for World Peace: A Plan For Action. Join Us! A FREE Zoom Event June 29, 2022 3-4:30 p.m./EST RSVP Required HERE
Lyrics to Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In, Anthem for the World Peace Concert
We starve--look at one another Short of breath
Walking proudly in our winter coats
Wearing smells from laboratories
Facing a dying nation
Of moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new-told lies
With supreme visions of lonely tunes
Somewhere Inside something there is a rush of
Greatness who knows what stands in front of
Our lives I fashion my future on films in space
Silence Tells me secretly
We starve--look At one another Short of breath
Walking proudly in our winter coats
Wearing smells from laboratories
Facing a dying nation Of moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new-told lies
With supreme visions of lonely tunes Singing
Our space songs on a spider web sitar
Life is around you and in you
Answer for Timothy Leary, dearie
Let the sunshine Let the sunshine in The sun shine in
Let the sunshine Let the sunshine in The sun shine in
Let the sunshine Let the sunshine in The sun shine in...
Copyright © 2022 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story, published by City Lights (2009), Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire, published by City Lights (2011). Their novel The Voice, was published in 2001. Theirs novelized memoir, The Valediction Three Nights of Desmond Book 1 was published by TrineDay (2021). Coming July 22, 2022, The Valediction Resurrection Book 2. For more information visit invisiblehistory , grailwerk and valediction.net