An overlooked person in the JFK death saga was one Mary Meyer, an artistic, sensitive beauty who became JFK’s close confidante and, reportedly, lover in the early 1960s. Meyer, the ex-wife of the CIA’s Cord Meyer, was murdered under mysterious circumstances in October of 1964. What she did and what she knew presented a great danger to the intelligence cabal that plotted and covered up JFK’s death, according to author Peter Janney. His book Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy To Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, And Their Vision For World Peace lays out a stunningly frank and revealing tale of the relationship and demise of America’s original peace activists.
I stumbled upon a fantastic review of this book, and I share it with you here. Written by an Australian named Greg Maybury, it presents a perspective that is representative of foreigners' certainty that is lacking in the American media. The rest of the world knows what our Mockingbird media refuse to acknowledge. Here is what Maybury wrote:
“The great 19th Century American author, historian, poet, philosopher, naturalist, prototype environmentalist and anarchist Henry David (HD) Thoreau, once opined the following: 'Some circumstantial evidence does exist, as when you find a trout in the milk.' In few areas of the Grand Narrative of his native country does this aphorism come into its own than with The JFK Thing, especially so when it comes to the discussion of who actually murdered him and why. (Spoiler Alert: It was not Lee Harvey Oswald on his Pat Malone, not by a long shot - or three - from the Grassy Knoll or an even longer one -or two - from the Texas School Book Depository Building).
"And it is with this in mind - this being the 50th anniversary of that monumentally pivotal historical event on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, TX - that one should approach reading Peter Janney's thoroughly engrossing story of the life and death of Mary (Pinchot) Meyer. After reading this book, it's clear Meyer is the sort of person one hopes America still produces in enough numbers because it is then and only then that we can truly hope the 'empire' will be able to save itself from itself. Yet by the same token, given where America is at present, it's equally clear they haven't been doing so.
"At the risk of resorting to lazy, glib cliché, this is one time where it might be OK to say that ‘if you only read one JFK book this November’... readers, you all know the
rest. On its own, it's a multi-genre read - combining crime, legal, political, spy thriller, history, murder, tragedy, mystery, conspiracy and love story/human interest - and in ways that fiction can never invent. Easily one of the most fascinating of the JFK related books I've ever read, and I've read quite a few as part of our research on a planned documentary on POTUS 35. That it fills in several gaps in our understanding of the man they called JFK and his truncated tenure as commander in chief is a not to be sniffed at bonus.
"It also is easily a story about one of the most fascinating and - in extraordinarily intriguing and unexpected ways - influential, women of her age. Yet in the hallowed hallways of historical academia let alone in the minds of those with more than a passing interest in American history, she is hardly a 'household' name. Even most of the JFK 'tragics' appear to have overlooked her role somewhat. Peter Janney's recently published and up to the minute book - presumably re-published and re-released to coincide with the imminent Anniversary of 11/22 - hopefully may change that.
"By all accounts Meyer was an extraordinarily intelligent, artistic and creative person. Indeed, she later became an established, exhibited artist. And along with being a professional and respected journalist, also a compulsive diarist, a 'compulsion' that, along with her refusal to be cowed or intimidated, may have contributed to her untimely demise.
"All round, she was a unique individual, not to mention a unique beauty. Hey, it was JFK after all - few had a keener eye for a 'plum looker', or to use the popular lingo of the era, a classy dame. Indeed, JFK had the ‘hots’ for Meyer for over two decades prior to their respective deaths, and it's a measure of this woman's class, substance and style that she resisted the Kennedy come-on for so long. Few women did, as history now tells us.
"But more than that, Janney presents solid evidence that Meyer was one of JFK’s most trusted policy advisors and political confidantes in those crucial, last years of his life, maybe even equalling that of his brother Robert (RFK), who himself by all accounts was also an ardent admirer of this intriguing woman. For her part Meyer had very definite ideas on America's role in the geopolitical firmament at the height of the Cold War. She clearly had an influence on his thinking about nuclear disarmament amongst other Big Issues of the time; she was a free spirit and prototype peace activist if one likes, who makes John Lennon look like a Johnny come lately in the Make Love, Not War stakes.
"This influence likely revealed itself publicly in Kennedy’s seminal June 1963 American University address, where he openly canvassed the very real prospect of a lasting rapprochement with the Soviet Union, not just with a view to heading off any further escalation of this destructive and totally avoidable conflict, but to nip it in the bud altogether. It is widely acknowledged that this speech (the first ever by an American president publicly broadcast in the SU since the advent of the Cold War) caused considerable alarm amongst the architects of the US national security state; in the words on one writer, they viewed JFK as nothing more than a heretic. And we all know what happened a scant few months later.
"Like her husband Cord Meyer (later to become one of the CIA’s most effective ‘assets’ and architect of their Grand Propaganda Strategy), Mary actively advocated for a world government in the post-War years. In fact in 1947, Cord Meyer was elected president of the United World Federalists, an organisation pushing for world government in the wake of the establishment of the United Nations. For her part, Mary – a fully-fledged and qualified journalist - wrote for its official organ, The United World Federalists.
"She was by all accounts JFK's true soul mate - personal and political. Utterly devastated by his death, and, not without some justification, she even suspected her former husband – one of its charter members - played a role in, or had some prior knowledge of, the Big Hit.
"Even without her connection to JFK, her story is compelling enough on its own. But in the context of the JFK hit - and her own murder less than 12 months later - the yarn is irresistible, one that is still unfolding as we speak, and is likely to do so in the weeks and months ahead. This woman might have changed the course of history in more ways than I can list here or possibly even imagine later, but it was not to be. She's also a genuine, true American hero – of the type we rarely see anymore - albeit one whose been sadly unsung for the most part until now.
"The Meyer story is truly a key missing link in the JFK story, and one that should put to bed once and for all any lingering doubts about the lone-nut, single bullet theory, although that does not appear to be the main premise of this book.
"(It should be noted on this point, anyone still holding to this view may be the real 'lone-nuts' themselves, and anything short of the threat of a single bullet to their heads, is unlikely to change this view. In this case such folks may not be interested in reading this book. They may wish to read the Warren Commission Report instead so they don't stray too far from their comfort zone! After all, there is no better fictionalized account of The JFK Thing out there.)
"Janney has brought her story to vivid life, and deserves enormous kudos alone for his painstaking research and relentless effort over decades to find at least a truth if not indeed the truth about this highly intelligent, remarkable, courageous and unique woman. He also deserves great marks for his own unerring courage - not the least being that even now there are powers in America that don't want the full story of her death to come out.
"Which is to say, the real story of her death has implications for the broad sweep of modern US history (even beyond a resolution once and for all of the The JFK Thing, to begin with, a serious reboot of some of the cherished myths and illusions (delusions anyone?) that keep the Good Ship America afloat may indeed be required), and indeed its political system, its democratic structures (what's left of them at least), even its standing in the world.
"Meyer's story as told by Janney is one that both history and the mainstream media have virtually ignored. And it is a very big part of history that is being ignored without some answers as to why she 'had to die'. It's a mystery almost as complex as the JFK thing, on a much smaller scale of course, but possibly no less intriguing. But that's the thing: solving the riddle of Meyer's death could well be The Key to solving the JFK Thing once and for all, at least to a sufficient critical mass of folk that might help trigger that 'reboot.' And Janney has come as close as anyone to doing this.
"This of course is not to suggest that Janney is the first writer to appreciate her story in the last fifty years and attempt to get it out there. The author even details, draws upon - and openly acknowledges - the efforts of many others before him to do so, citing at least one of them who came tragically unstuck in the process.
"But his achievement is not only to aggregate the previous work of other writers and investigators, but to tell the story more completely, coherently and with an unmistakable passion and respect for his subject. As a CIA child, Janney himself grew up in spy v spy world, of which Meyer herself was so much a part of in these early days. Indeed, Janney's relationship to Meyer appears to be that of being a second mother to him. Yet the author is careful to eschew allowing his personal feelings towards his subject to 'interrupt' the ebb and flow of this meticulously laid out, and sleep-depriving narrative.
"Janney makes the point that even before her death, she was a danger to those who didn't want the dirty linen of 11/22 airing itself in public view. Of course he argues that that was why she was murdered, and tells of the elaborate efforts the CIA went to make her murder look like a random (lone-nut?) attack, so that the case would be closed once and for all. But for some very determined, dogged, intrepid folks (again, of the type that America needs more of in critical mass quantities), the CIA – and the broader government forces that were also part of the monumental act of treachery that was JFK’s assassination – might have escaped any suspicion at all in relation to her death.
"As the son of one of her husband's CIA colleagues Wistar Janney, Janney's Mary's Mosaic is an illuminating insight into the development of the national security state, the early history of the CIA, and in particular, the extraordinary influence and control the CIA exercised over the most powerful media folks and organisations - the impact of which is enduring to this day. For his part, Cord Meyer was one of the most interesting, compelling characters in CIA history. His crowning glory was oversight of Operation Mockingbird, the ongoing CIA operation that would go on to not just influence but infiltrate, all key elements of the media and publishing industries in the US and beyond, and even included major school book publishers. Mockingbird went on to become arguably one of The Company's most nefarious, insidious yet supremely successful covert operations, with Cord Meyer almost certainly aware of the Big Hit going down in Dallas if not directly involved.
"Of course being in this role Cord Meyer was also very closely associated throughout this period with the two most enduring, powerful, influential and amoral CIA players of all time - the first civilian director Allen Dulles (the CIA’s ‘Dagger’, who actively sought out Meyer for recruitment) and his redoubtable chief of counter-intelligence, the disarmingly and deceptively named and inclined James Jesus Angleton (the ‘Cloak’), both of whom almost certainly had their fingerprints all over the events of 11/22 and its subsequent cover-up, if not in Meyer's demise. Angleton himself has been described by one author not given to hyperbole as one of the "most evil" of the Cold War players, an opinion this writer has difficulty finding fault with.
"As a writer and researcher, I was always keenly aware of and intrigued by Mary Meyer, but her political influence over and personal impact on Kennedy was extraordinary to an extent I didn't fully appreciate before this book. It's abundantly clear she was 'offed' by the CIA (October 1964), and her ‘ex’ Cord Meyer was certainly aware The Company had a hand in it, even if he wasn't actually involved. Many years later he reportedly said as much that the CIA were involved, but stopped short of admitting any involvement on his own part. In the grand cover-up of the JFK Thing, Mary Meyer was not the type to let it go, and the CIA folks weren't prepped to let her go, if readers know what I mean.
"And for the pruriently, deviantly and morbidly inclined, Mary's Mosaic has everything: sex, power, drugs, corruption, lust, lies, adultery, murder, infidelity, deceit, amoral ambition, conspiracy, suicide, addiction, treachery, depression, treason, dipsomania, monomania, megalomania, moral turpitude, madness, and a whole host of other elements essential for a great ‘family story’...all seemingly part and parcel of the Grand American Narrative.
"Oh and one other thing, Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) again gets the nod – at the very least as someone who was ‘in the know’ well and truly before 11/22, if not in Janney's assessment directly involved in its planning. Insofar as this writer is concerned, it is becoming increasingly obvious - indeed, irresistible - that POTUS Number 36 (along with his redoubtable side kick J Edgar Hoover, and as a member of the Warren Commission, ably supported by the aforementioned Dulles, and his side kick/deputy sheriff, Angleton) was The Key Man behind it all, albeit with a cast of thousands and a large cult following providing the back-up to the Big Event and its subsequent and thus far, all too successful, cover-up.
"Fitting then that in the 50th anniversary year that we are closer to an answer than ever before to one of history’s greatest and most controversial unsolved (or at least as yet unresolved) crimes. For this writer at least there is no further argument. For those that dispute this, let them read what I have read and viewed. LMK and I will forward you a list. And in the top five would be this book about the redoubtable Mary Meyer, who in my book should be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They have given them out to far too many folk much less deserving, that's for sure!
"And I have no doubt that Meyer herself would have little difficulty appreciating the cosmic irony of such an award.”
Greg Maybury is a Perth WA based freelance writer, author, publisher, blogger and documentary filmmaker. With the support of like-minded folk, he is developing a documentary on JFK. His recently launched blog Pox Amerikana (see links below, or Google it) will feature a weekly four-part examination of what he calls The JFK Thing. The first part is scheduled for November 1, and will run for four weeks.
editor/publisher: pox amerikana
producer/writer: off piste productions