|Aug/Sep 1998 Miscellany|
I came across Mike Ruppert’s website by accident, and at first was only mildly interested in what I found there. However, as conspiracy "theorists" go (Mike will tell you he only deals in conspiracy fact), this former LAPD narcotics investigator has a great deal of credibility. Getting to know him in preparation for this interview, I found his story to be compelling, but more importantly I find the man himself offers a remarkable perspective on this country we live in. Whether you believe him on the big issues or not, I think you’ll find truth in what he has to say.
If you’ve ever delved into the realm of conspiracy on the world wide web, you know that there’s literally an entire world of explanations out there for everything from Abraham Lincoln’s assassination to the Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City. Often these explanations provide a wealth of documented evidence. Often they connect wildly different events and point toward a "shadow" government that uses agencies like the CIA to extort wealth and power from the masses. One has to assume that all these theories can’t be true (in fact, the theorists themselves are sometimes at odds with each other), but likewise it’s hard to imagine that NONE of them are true, given the preponderance of evidence and the number of government scandals that have already been exposed by the mainstream media. And for good or bad, it’s this line of thinking that keeps conspiracy theorists afloat.
Initially, I thought it'd be interesting to talk to one such whistle-blower, to learn more about what makes the clock tick in his world where the bad guys aren't just in the movies. Mike Ruppert was a good candidate. For one thing, he had connections. His mother was a cryptographer for the NSA (National Security Agency). His father was an Air Force officer involved with the Titan IIIC project that launched the CIA's satellite surveillance system. He has cousins who were CIA agents, one of whom was with the OSS during WWII. And Mike himself was a highly regarded LAPD narcotics agent who was at one time engaged to a CIA domestic operative. In recent years, Mike served as the LA County spokesperson for Ross Perot's failed presidential campaign. It was in that capacity that he finally received some national media attention, including mention in People Magazine.
Mike’s areas of expertise are numerous, but the one that caught my attention and imagination first was the issue of Robert Kennedy’s assassination. I was well aware that the circumstances of his brother John’s death were never satisfactorily cleared up (to use a little understatement), but I didn’t know there was any cloud of controversy around Bobby’s shooting. Silly me.
My first question to Mike, then, concerned the night Bobby Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in June of 1968.
Eclectica: Mike, let’s just jump right into the heavy stuff. What do you contend took place the night RFK was shot?
Mike Ruppert: Bobby Kennedy was not killed by Sirhan Sirhan. Out of 76 witnesses in the pantry that night, not one placed Sirhan in a position where he could’ve fired the shots which killed RFK. The autopsy was irrefutable in its findings that the fatal shots were fired from one to three inches behind RFK’s right ear. Sirhan never got behind or close enough to accomplish that.
Sirhan was a hypno-programmed patsy, firing loud blanks as a distraction from the real assassins, one of whom was Thane Cesar, a private security guard just hired out of Lockheed. The LAPD was part of the conspiracy even before the shots were fired and documentary evidence shows key LAPD personnel being arranged in key positions before the assassination. It was essential that Bobby be killed that night, the night of the California primary, because he had clinched the nomination and would’ve been under Secret Service protection as the Democratic nominee from that day forward. Documentary evidence shows that Sirhan and other members of the conspiracy were turning up close to Bobby in the last three days before the primary but they never got the right opportunity.
Eclectica: You know, one thing I don’t understand, is why would the killers have Sirhan shooting blanks? I mean, wouldn’t it be more thorough to have him firing the real things? Which ties into my other question: I’m assuming that if there was a conspiracy to kill Bobby, the conspirators would want to draw as little suspicion to themselves as possible. To that end, it seems like having multiple assassins in a crowded room, along with a visible assassin who was shooting blanks, would just increase the chances that someone would suspect sinister forces at work. Finally, if Sirhan was firing blanks, how do you account for all the bullets they recovered from the walls of the pantry?
Mike Ruppert: First, the fact that Sirhan was firing blanks has nothing to do with the fact that probably fifteen or more REAL shots were fired. I am very familiar with the bullet holes in the door jams and the walls. Sirhan's gun held only eight rounds. Many more than that were fired and analysis of tape recordings proves that.
The use of blanks accomplished several things. I am a firearms expert. When the bullet is removed from the cartridge, the muzzle flash and noise are greatly increased behind a standard powder charge. Witnesses reported that Sirhan's gun was exceptionally loud. A heavier powder charge produced a totally distracting noise which drew all attention to Sirhan. .22 rounds are not very noisy. But when you load one up with a heavier powder with no projectile the difference is astonishing. The bad guys wanted all eyes on Sirhan and not on Cesar or any other shooter. Lynn Mangan and John Christian absolutely agree with me on this point.
Also note that when Bobby fell he grabbed Cesar's tie. It's in the infamous photo of Bobby lying on the floor. Cesar, by all accounts was the only person directly behind Bobby in position to fire the fatal shots, and he was armed. It is a very common practice to build a .22 revolver on the frames of .38's and .357's for target practice. The guns look and weigh and feel exactly like the heavier caliber. Security Guards carried .38's. A longer barrel (4-6 inches) would reduce and/or eliminate both muzzle flash and noise. Sirhan, meanwhile, fired a snub nose.
You ask why the fake bullets and the multiple shooters? In order to close a homicide you must have a killer. Patsies are perfect in that they are dead ends. Both Oswald and Sirhan (and Ray) were the ultimate cul de sacs. In Bobby's case the killing was much more haphazard because of the time constraints and the previously failed attempts.
Eclectica: So, you’ve explained who did it, how they did it, and why they had to do it that night. But why do it at all? What did the CIA and/or the LAPD have against Bobby Kennedy?
Mike Ruppert: The motive was clear and entirely consistent with the assassination of JFK. Bobby was going to immediately end the war in Vietnam. The nation was on the verge of civil war, over civil rights and Vietnam, and the military-industrial complex stood to lose billions. Bobby was probably going to make good on JFK's promise to scatter CIA into a thousand pieces. LAPD was the ideal tool because it had been a CIA playground for fifteen or so years thanks to the machinations of former LAPD Chief Bill Parker.
Eclectica: There is an essay, "Bobby, I didn't know!", on your web page, that explains your connection to the Robert Kennedy assassination. You were only a teenager at the time, but years later when you joined the LAPD, you crossed paths with many of the principle players. However, this doesn’t necessarily explain how you’ve come to be one of the people who won't let the circumstances of his death be swept under the rug. Why are you one of those people, and how would you characterize some of the others fighting the same fight?
Mike Ruppert: The assassinations are not my main area of expertise or interest. There are many who are dedicated to revealing the truth. Unfortunately, there are also many dedicated to making a living from it and protecting their sinecures in the field. I have said that I am more afraid of being shot by an assassination researcher whose stature or pet theory I threatened than by the CIA. I have never once failed to mention and bring forth the real fighters against tyranny. The minute that self-serving ego or petty jealousies enter the picture the enemy is being served and not the truth. The net result is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic or worse, a liberal firing squad.
Eclectica: You draw a distinction, then, between people who are dedicated to revealing the truth, and those who are in it for personal gain. In our society we enjoy a certain freedom to disseminate information, especially with the advent of the internet. However, this freedom has made it easy for false information to proliferate as well. How do you respond to people who dismiss what you have to say as conspiracy theory hype, exploitation, paranoia, a personal vendetta on the part of a disgruntled former LAPD employee... in short, what do you say to the non-believers? And how have people attempted to refute you?
Mike Ruppert: If what I say was hype, then the motive would have to be profit. In twenty years I have made less than seventeen thousand dollars from this while having spent more than thirty. "Conspiracy theory" is a piss-poor term by any standard. I deal in conspiracy FACT, and, as you will note from my web page, I make no assertions without documentation. That takes things out of the realm of theory, doesn't it? As for a personal vendetta I guess I must admit that the pain of being betrayed by my fiancee (a CIA agent) and left hung out to dry and die by LAPD has never quite healed. So what? My motive however, is not to get even. What I felt then and feel now more than ever, is that if these kinds of crimes can happen to me, they happen, de facto, to all of us as citizens. As Jim Garrison said, "If I don't do this, who will?"
Eclectica: That makes me think of one of my favorite quotes, said by Jerry Garcia: "Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us."
Mike Ruppert: There is not a sane soul I can think of who would not say that it was wrong to witness a murder and keep silent about it. What I have witnessed is hundreds of times worse than that and belies the existence of hundreds and thousands of murders. Having gone before so many others down this road I feel primarily responsible to the other victims who have been betrayed in their decency and faith in right-doing.
I have largely been refuted in one of two ways. Either people say I am crazy, which conveniently gives them an excuse to avoid looking at my evidence, or else I have been ignored. Not once in twenty years has any official source ever been willing to debate me on the facts or my evidence. They can't! All I have asked for (and I have been promised four times that I would be allowed to testify in Congress) was an opportunity to present my case in a public forum and have the government respond. They can't allow that.
As to my sanity, let me ask this question: If a man came running up to you on the street and told you that a house was on fire and people were trapped inside, would you have him psychoanalyzed before you went to check the house? If you did, then who would be the crazy one?
Eclectica: You said that RFK’s assassination isn’t your main area of expertise or interest. I gather from your web page that your primary fight has been to expose the CIA’s drug trafficking activities, domestically and abroad. This fight has almost had an ironic and anticlimactic ending, as the powers that be have all but admitted CIA involvement in drugs after the Iran-Contra affair. I also read about John McCarthy, who is a remarkable person in his own right with an equally remarkable story. Is there another issue you’re involved with besides those that you feel strongly about?
Mike Ruppert: In 1994 I sponsored a conference in Indiana concerning more than 100 mysterious suicides in the military. These were very suspicious suicides in that they involved military personnel being handcuffed and shot in the back of the head, etc. The people at this conference had sons, husbands, and brothers murdered. The most important things in their lives were ripped away without recourse of any kind. That changes you forever. That happened to me. I was not in the military and did not have a loved one murdered, but when I brought these people together we understood each other immediately. I fight for and am one of those people.
The sad part is that we look out at people like you and say, "You could be next. Then you will understand."
Eclectica: It's interesting that you should say that. It's possible I already was one of those people. My father passed away when I was four, and I believe he died as a direct result of exposure to Agent Orange. There is no history of such a thing in his family, and yet he died of systemic cancer (kidneys, lungs, etc.) at the age of 42. He served in Korea and did two tours in Vietnam, and was an extremely decorated Marine who apparently died of a preventable, deliberate exposure to a chemical whose grand purpose was to clear foliage.
Mike Ruppert: The main purpose of Agent Orange was not to clear foliage. The main purpose was to sell chemicals which the government knew would kill our own people. When you understand that, you’ll have a better grasp on what this is all about.
Eclectica: Any way you look at it, it was a shitty deal.
Mike Ruppert: It sounds like your father was a brave man, wasted for a lousy cause. There were thousands like him and I love them all.
Eclectica: Here’s a slightly "lighter" question. There’s been a lot of attention given to conspiracies by the entertainment industry in recent years. Oliver Stone’s JFK, Conspiracy Theory starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, the X-Files, to name a few... What is your opinion of these movies and shows? Is there one you feel to be particularly accurate? Do you have any favorites?
Mike Ruppert: My favorite movie of all time is Braveheart. Field of Dreams comes in second. Both are about inner faith and conviction which public opinion, bribery or outside pressure cannot influence. They are about integrity and honor. They are also about facing and overcoming fear.
JFK was a truly outstanding film, especially because of the influence of Fletcher Prouty who teaches people how to think, to examine and stand independent in their thoughts, even from the so-called experts who would tell them which conspiracy theory to believe. Using the CIA and drugs as an example I often make the point in my lectures that if sanity were prevailing then we would need nothing other than one entry from Oliver North's diary, (July 5, 1985), which stated that "$14 million to buy arms for the Contras came from drugs", to bring the government to a screeching halt.
The same logic applies to the magic bullet in JFK and the autopsy in RFK. The problem is not a lack of evidence. The problem is people's inherent unwillingness to face things of which they are afraid, thereby scapegoating and sacrificing their fellows to an evil they dare not confront themselves.
X-Files is a lot of fun and I watch it fairly regularly. Chris Carter gets away with a lot of stuff nobody else can. The problem is that the truth which is out there gets lost in the fiction that he has to create in order to sneak in the truth.
Conspiracy Theory was a terrific movie and, unfortunately, based on a great many real events like MK-ULTRA. I was contacted by Gibson's people to participate in a promotional about it but it was decided on all parties’ accounts to not use me because they did not want to diminish my credibility, which, they felt, was very good. This was right after I confronted John Deutch. I wanted to put some distance, however, between me and any notion that I live in a booby-trapped apartment and act the way Gibson’s character did. I'm not that good looking either.
Eclectica: Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory brings up a good question though. Given that even presidents and presidential candidates haven't been safe from the people to whom you are drawing unwanted attention, do you have any fear for your own life? If not, why? If so, what precautions have you taken to prevent any "accidents?"
Mike Ruppert: I was shot at twice. Both times were almost twenty years ago. I believe both times were intended to frighten me. It worked but it did not stop me. If these people had wanted me dead they would have succeeded. I now enjoy a certain amount of protection by virtue of my visibility but my attitude has changed drastically. I own only one firearm and would seriously debate whether or not to use it. I now believe that I will not die one minute before God has decided. I heard Anwar Sadat say that many years ago and it is truer for me more than ever now. My life is all about refusing to live in fear. I don't look over my shoulder, nor do I set booby traps or anything like that. I am careful and prudent, yes, but I refuse to let fear govern my life. I live as a free man, walking the earth as a free man should. When I decide to let fear govern my actions then those whom I oppose have truly won. I followed that path for a while and found it to be the ultimate dead end.
Eclectica: Okay, so you've been fighting this fight for twenty or more years. You've been shot at and ignored. You've lost money. While you say you've learned to walk the earth a free man, are you also walking the earth an unhappy man? What would have to happen for you to achieve a sense of closure—a sense of inner peace? Would it be the opportunity to testify before congress? Or perhaps the arrest and condemnation of the men who were behind RFK's assassination? In other words, is there a goal that when achieved would bring you contentment?
Mike Ruppert: I am what I am. I have walked away from the issues of CIA's complete destruction of our democracy on behalf of Wall Street three times. Three times my life has been torn apart so that this was the only thing left for me to do. This struggle is in my heart and I would (and sometimes do) do it without consideration of reward. I thought I was different for a long time. But as I have met others whose lives were destroyed, and their consciousness shredded by this "thing," I have discovered that all of us react pretty much the same. Some have been able to walk away, to pretend forgetfulness. I cannot. This is my calling and what I was born to do. I believe that.
As to a goal that would satisfy me I'm hard pressed to give a complete answer. I'll know that when I feel inside that my work is done. Bill Davis, formerly of the Cristic Institute, said once, "This is a relay." He's right.
Personally, I think I'm entitled to twenty years of back pay from LAPD and a pension. Would I stop if I got it? Absolutely not!
Do I like my life now? The loneliness is sometimes very difficult. Michael Jackson's marriage lasted longer than mine did. Finding a woman who wants to hang around with phone taps, assassinations, conspiracies, CIA documents and political intrigue is a bit like buying the winning lottery ticket. Financial stability has not been my strong suit. Only commitment has.
Why did William Wallace do what he did in Braveheart though? In a ham and eggs breakfast the chicken is involved and the pig is committed.
But that reveals a larger question which I'll rephrase as, "Is there a price that would make you give this up?"
I was told by a Special Forces veteran back in 1981 that if I continued to pursue this I should never have children because they could be killed. I have no children for a variety of reasons but I realized that if I was ever in fear of losing something then I was not totally free to speak out. As Janis Joplin said, "When you ain't got nothing you got nothing to lose."
Testifying before Congress would be a good start. A complete overhaul of the government would be good. A massive awakening on the part of my fellow man would be best. I'll know what's enough for me when it happens and, believe me, nothing would make me happier than to know that this work is done.
Eclectica: Do you think the government will ever ‘fess up to all they’ve done?
Mike Ruppert: I do not want the government to admit to a conspiracy. I want the People to admit to a conspiracy and thereby accept responsibility for changing the government. That admission cannot be a half-assed, "I don't trust the government," but a straight-on, adult admission that our democratic form of government is an illusion and the illusion is not acceptable in place of the reality. This CAN be done if enough people overcome their fear of challenging authority and begin to grasp the essentials of what they have been denied and not focus on the consumeristic, mind-conditioned STUFF they are afraid of losing. In my opinion one of the main things the major media does well is deprive people of their imaginations and dreams of what might be possible. The results would, necessarily, be viewed as epochal and produce a drastic change in society. Good. We're long overdue for that.
Eclectica: What is a question you wish that interviewers WOULD (and/or wouldn't) ask you?
Mike Ruppert: There is not a single question that I am afraid of being asked. There are some painfully dumb ones, however. (None were asked by you). I try to be as patient with those questions as possible.
The question I would like to be asked is, "What is this really all about?" I would answer that ALL of this is about fear. People are much more afraid than they care to admit and they even refuse to see the ways in which fear governs their lives. These conspiracies and the machinations of a ruling elite are as old as mankind. And the rules for implementing and sustaining the power structure are absolutely ancient. They have not changed. The basic rules used against us are: 1 - Keep the people in fear of losing their protection from unspeakable evils; 2 - Keep the people afraid of each other by means of race, sex, age, language, culture, etc; 3 - Create conflict so that the powers that govern can be seen to solve the conflict, thus keeping people submissive; 4 - isolate and destroy any independent thinkers; and 5 - always deny the truth.
This corruption I and other brave friends fight is very much like a cancer which reduces societies to lowest common denominators. It is insatiable in its demands for more.
Eclectica: Mike, thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and approaching all of these questions so thoughtfully. I wish you the best of luck with all of your future endeavors.
Mike Ruppert: Thank you.
Mike finances his battle against the CIA with lecture fees, newsletter subscriptions, and other contributions. If you’d like to contact him or learn more about the causes he supports, you can visit his website at www.copvcia.com. I recommend, if you read nothing else, the preface to his congressional testimony (as yet, undelivered).
One question that occurred to me while preparing this interview, and which still causes me some unease, is this: if a man in a gray suit were to appear at my door and urge me, in no uncertain terms, to delete every word on my computer having to do with Mike Ruppert, what would I do? How far would I be willing to go, and what would I be willing to sacrifice to ensure that you can read this interview? I’d like to think I’d do the right thing, but what that is and whether or not I would have the courage, I just don’t know.
Mike left me with a quote from George Fowler, who Mike termed his "favorite spiritual writer.":
"Now I understood for the first time that all these problems are caused by a
race asleep and thrashing about in its panicked nightmares. There will be
wars and holocausts and genocides as long as God is portrayed and thought of
as a tight minded Legislator, a feudal Lord, an offended King, a
hypersensitive Artisan - even if church managers condescendingly tack on to
that ridiculous list the not very convincing footnote that He is also
loving. As long as people dream on that they are in some sort of eternal
jeopardy, there will be atrocities. But as the human race grows up
spiritually, and as individuals gain a personal experience of the God they
have been worshipping in fear, they will recognize that much of their
philosophy is built on nightmares. That will be the day of the rethinking of
of presuppositions and of vested positions. That will be the day of peace. I
suddenly found myself unwilling to sit it out on the mountains of Utah. I
wanted to play an active role in the process of the world's awakening."
Read my editorial, where I blabber about the nature of truth.
Read Chris’s editorial, where he let’s fly against a government oppression of the truth having to do with our very own Eclectica Magazine!
Read Mike Ruppert’s aforementioned Congressional testimony.
Read a real-life mystery culled from the pages of the local paper. This news story reads like the opening of an action/suspense novel. Mike had this to say about it: "The poor honest cop who found himself expendable is but a metaphor for all honest cops. The link for me is how little difference there really is between Mexico and the U.S. Drug-related corruption among American law enforcement agencies has become pandemic and the subject of recent stories in the LA Times and other major papers."
Read additional conspiracy stuff... enough links here and on Ruppert’s page to keep you busy for the next three months.