|In Words and in Deeds:|
Ernest Hemingway defined the joy of life in terms of the deliberate decision to abandon cowardice for the sake of courage. In the process of cherishing every last minute of his bold struggle, he made the conscious determination that the only psychiatric treatment he was ever willing to tolerate was his Portable Corona No. 3.
Primary Motive: People with vision and courage die with their boots on.
March 18 2000
By BOB WHITE and CYNDI SMITH
People never fail to selectively fill in the blanks to close the book on every mystery. A frivolous suicide verdict is frequently the source that satisfies every anxiety. On the one hand, it establishes the highly sought after sense of "closure" and on the other, it is the perfect alibi.
If only the truth were that simple. Unfortunately, the truth is mired in politics, deception and cover up, and it is rarely unravelled because it is too frequently, too difficult to recognize. Indeed, as long as we are victims of limited perception instead of keen observers of everything there is to perceive, we rarely know the truth.
Ernest Hemingway was a keen observer of the truth. He possessed the perception, the passion and the ability to shred deceit, to expose the barren truth, and to cause those who did not share his extraordinary gifts, to challenge his very sanity.
Hemingway is an ideal case study of buried truth which conspires to turn our history books into a series of fairy tale delusions. In the world according to J. Edgar Hoover, Ernest Hemingway was "Public Enemy #1" and while that may be very difficult for normal people to understand, Hemingway's FBI file showed that Hoover resented his amateur but alarming intrusion into their territory, that he unsuccessfully attempted to control, mock and vilify him and that he feared his personal prestige and political power. Now where did all this paranoia come from?
In fact, prior to his strange death, Ernest Hemingway had a 20-year-long rivalry with Hoover's FBI. In 1940, Hemingway earned the wrath of Hoover's FBI because he had organized a spy network in Cuba to gather information about Nazi sympathisers. Hemingway called his anti-Nazi operation the Crook Factory and despite repeated attempts to close down the operation, Hoover failed. J. Edgar Hoover was not the sort to be denied, and the effort to control Hemingway persisted. In 1942, Hoover wrote: "Any information which you have relating to the unreliability of Ernest Hemingway as an informant may be discreetly brought to the attention of the Ambassador Braden. In this respect it will be recalled that recently Hemingway gave information concerning the refuelling of submarines in Caribbean waters which has proved unreliable." Hoover repeatedly and persistently challenged Hemingway's judgment, and Hemingway accurately exposed Hoover's character. In 1950, when most Americans were having a love-in with the Director and his "infallible" FBI, Hemingway claimed that Hoover's FBI was antiliberal, pro-Fascist and prone to become "America's Gestapo".
Ernest Hemingway was certainly a formidable enemy. Every attempt to mock and vilify him failed.
At the same time, J. Edgar Hoover always destroyed every target he could not control, and that placed Hemingway's life in serious jeopardy. When J. Edgar Hoover failed to convince the world that Hemingway was a worthless, pathetic drunk with a proclivity to support Communist causes, he invariably escalated the plot to destroy Hemingway.
The extreme hostility between Hoover and Hemingway was explosive. Hemingway opposed the mindless, McCarthy-style persecutions that Hoover secretely supported. Quoted in Look in May of 1954, Hemingway said there is nothing "wrong with Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin that a .577 solid would not cure". Hemingway was not a gun-toting extremist and the frustration over the fact that justice was not being served was obviously claiming a heavy toll.
In retrospect, the fact that Ernest Hemingway was a routine target of illegal, FBI surveillance,
is not deniable. Moreover, the object of that surveillance is equally obvious. J. Edgar Hoover was prepared to do whatever was necessary to destroy Hemingway. The irony of this intrusive, illegal surveillance is that it was used to promote the frivolous charge that Hemingway was crazy. On the contrary, Hemingway was very rational, he clearly understood the serious threat that Hoover's FBI posed, and the only people who were paranoid and delusional is the ones who ignored the danger.
One would have to be absolutely senile to ignore the vast pool of resources that were deployed to destroy Hemingway. In 1959, the FBI New York office had over 400 agents working on controlling "Communists" like Hemingway, while only four worked on organized crime. In 1960, when Hemingway arrived in New York, Hemingway told his wife that the FBI was tailing him and she promoted the absurd claim that he was irrational. On the contrary, given the "keystone cop" mentality of Hoover's FBI, if Hemingway did not have at least 40 agents trailing him at every turn, what were they all doing?
Having managed to poison the sanity of his own wife, Hoover's FBI was on the verge of destroying Hemingway. In 1960, suffering from high blood pressure, liver and kidney diseases and haemochromotosis, a rare chronic form of diabetes, Hemingway entered the Mayo Clinic and hoped to return home in time for Christmas. But the FBI tracked Hemingway to the walls of the Mayo clinic and discussed Hemingway's case with psychiatrist Dr. Rome. At the Mayo Clinic, instead of treating his physical ailments, Hemingway was given a series of electric shocks to the brain. It's called electro-convulsive therapy, and it is reserved for hopeless, psychiatric patients. In the case of Ernest Hemingway, it destroyed his brain, and Hoover had finally accomplished his mission.
Clearly, it is futile to argue that J. Edgar Hoover was not directly responsible for the brain damage that shock therapy produced. Tragically, the law betrayed Ernest Hemingway as certainly as history restores his reputation. History clearly proves that repressive societies never fail to destroy penetrating thinkers, and if Hoover's covert McCarthyism is not responsible for destroying Hemingway, then one would have to manufacture a fairy tale reality that did not exist, to explain the death of Ernest Hemingway.
A final thought about the clear distinction between the "behavioral sciences" and disturbing, "mind control" campaigns. Current postings in newsgroups strongly suggest that intelligence spooks still use the behavioral sciences to psychoanalyze all the so called conspiracy kooks who refuse to accept the idiotic conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Some things never change. Posting in the newsgroup alt.conspiracy.jfk, Dr. Karla Sofen, who claims professional interest in the psychological aspects of conspiracy beliefs, seeks to convince the world that a conspiracy did not claim the life of John F. Kennedy. These postings, under the heading A
Clinical Study of JFK Conspiracy Believers, are a transparent effort to disparage anybody who exposes the truth about the Kennedy assassination, and they manifest the current desperation to keep the truth buried. Is Karla Sofen a psychiatrist, is Karla Sofen a historian or is Karla Sofen an imposter academic? In the final analysis, we should all challenge the sanity of anybody who claims the extreme delusion that Lee Harvey Oswald is responsible for the assassination he witnessed. Now that is clearly a legitimate use of behavioral science.