Thomas, Kenneth F. to me -- Thanks, Kenn :-)
Kenn Thomas has written more than a dozen books on various conspiracy topics. Murdoch Books published the last one, Conspiracy Files, and another entitled Secret and Suppressed II will be published by Feral House this fall. Thomas operates out of the American Midwest and keeps a post office box in St. Louis, Missouri: POB 2100553, St. Louis, MO 63121. He regularly publishes the conspiracy magazine Steamshovel Press, available for $10 (checks payable to “Kenn Thomas” not “Steamshovel Press.”) His website can be found at steamshovelpress.com, which also offers DVDs of his lectures and television appearances.
Q: What's your take on what the most enduring conspiracies of our time are, and why?
A: The JFK assassination, of course. Just today the two major news items about the current political campaigns have become a mysterious draw-down of security for Barack Obama and an accident in Hillary Clinton’s motorcade that killed a police officer on a motorcycle. Both stories come from Dallas, Texas, which give them a resonance they might not otherwise have had. John Kennedy died in a Dallas motorcade that had lax security.
The JFK assassination endures because during every election season the electorate tries to harken back to a memorable time of prosperity and purpose. JFK represents that unrealized potential, whereas the succeeding presidencies bogged America down in conspiracy and corruption. No one harkens back to the good ol’ days of Richard Nixon, for instance. The Iran-contra and Inslaw scandals mar the memory of Reagan; the Bush and Clinton dynasties brought on the current state of war. Obama directly tries to recapture the JFK chemistry and his candidacy to a certain extent seems like an attempt to reboot Camelot.
Another enduring conspiracy would be the UFO cover up, from before Roswell to the present day. That’s why science-fiction remains such a vital part of the American popular culture and, in fact, conspiracy theory has become some kind of offshoot genre of that. The US space program always includes some level of secrecy. NASA even announces that it sends up secret payloads on some space shuttles.
9/11 will be an ongoing thing, too, especially as more of the people in office when it happened leave office. and the people who came up with all the many crazy theories—like no plane ever hitting the Pentagon--move on to other things. The urge among serious scholars to straighten it out will lead to many revelations over time, perhaps starting with what the reporter Danny Pearle was on to before he was captured and killed.
Q: Why doesn't mainstream media, in your opinion, focus on other aspects of stories like 9/11, and G. Bush's back-room politics. Would more publicity make conspiracies more legitimate in the eyes of some? Or why do you believe people are reluctant to accept these as fact?
The media sells soap via commercials and it’s own scrubbed up reality tunnel via its “news” reports. It has no interest in the truth about anything, let alone conspiracies that may involve power elements it wants to serve. To test this, find a topic that you know something about and watch a newscast about that topic. The distortion will amaze you. The media imposes that same distortion on all topics, since most people are not specialists about any one.
The latest example for conspiracy students involved some JFK assassination memorabilia recently found in Dallas County. The media played up the sensational aspect that it included a transcript of a conversation between Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald—proof positive of conspiracy. So that brings in the conspiracy audience, only to drop the other boot at the need of the story: the transcript was probably a movie script that Dallas DA was working on. They always end on the no-conspiracy angle. Neither scenario had any truth, however. The transcript actually came from a Texas letter, sent to J. Edgar Hoover, and has long been published and well-known to students of the assassination.
Q: Are there are theories without any basis in reality? Do fringe theories, ie; Dinosaurid-like alien reptiles are secretly controlling earth, take-away from, or hinder the development of legitimate or political conspiracies, such as those surrounding the JFK assassination, or the invasion of Iraq?
Well, reality rarely has only a single dimension. I have always believed that the shape-shifting reptilian theory put forth most famously by an author named David Icke, is an insult to reptiles. Nevertheless, some powerful socialites do seem to be have at one time injected themselves with cobra venom as a means of prolonging life, and some of them no doubt developed some rather leathery skin. It’s something worthy of more study. But even the craziest theories serve the purpose of drawing more people into the debate about parapolitics (conspiracy theory), so I allow a wide berth. It’s what people do in lieu of a media that presents the full spectrum of facts and perspectives.
The most notable conspiracy concerning the Iraq war concerns Saddam Hussein’s interest in getting yellow cake uranium from the country of Niger. Documents surfaced establishing this true fact that became discredited. Discredit the document, discredit the fact. This provides the basis of the Valerie Plame scandal and demonstrates clear intent on the part of the intelligence community to undercut Bush’s foreign policy, the Iraq War. Since that seems counter-intuitive to conspiracists who oppose the war, the opportunity to observe that tactic of covert agency became lost on many. But as I say, reality has many dimensions.
Q: What smoking guns exist for the big conspiracies? ie; JFK and 9/11.
The Zapruder film has always been the smoking gun on JFK—a clear film of the grassy knoll shot. This, despite the fact that Life Magazine reversed its frames and Dan Rather made a radio report saying it shows JFK being hit from behind. Forty five years of that kind of coordinated cover up in the media hasn’t been able to wipe away the reality seen in the film.
A document called the Lew Douglas memo triangulates with another one in the National Archives called the Cutler-Twining memo that conclusively proves the existence of MJ12. MJ12 was the secret group supposedly put together by Harry Truman after the Roswell crash. Several “MJ12 documents” exist of questionable provenance, but these two are quite real and their appearance in archives in different parts of the country, uncovered at completely different times, with dates that match perfectly, is as definitive proof as anyone can find about anything.
Congressional testimony exists that pretty much establishes that Dick Cheney gave a stand-down order after the 9/11 events started to happen. That’s a smoking gun only to the idea that Bush and company decided to take advantage of what happened that day, not that they caused it.
Many other smoking guns exist for various things. You just have to sniff the smoke.
Q: Is there anything going on right now, that you think people should be aware of, that is being kept under wraps?
Good heavens, it’s an election year in the US. No doubt many behind the scenes things are going on that will only come out in time. Hillary Clinton has been running as the incumbent, which supports everything said about her husband’s connection with the Bush power bloc. Bill Clinton came to power in part because he covered up an Iran-contra operation in a place called Mena, Arkansas, and he maintains a global profile in partnership with the first George Bush. If Barack Obama prevails as Democratic candidate, questions will emerge about his religion, since he has Islam in his near family background and people worry about the global jihad conspiracy. Even the Christian church Obama attends in Chicago calls itself “afro-centric” and Muslim sympathetic. So expect that to come under close scrutiny.. Many on the conspiracy circuit regarded Mitt Romney’s campaign as a Mormon plot to take over the country. This is not just religious prejudice but a genuine concern about secret groups using non-rational beliefs to manipulate people. Religion always remains ripe with conspiracy.