"The organizing principle of any society is for war. The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in its war powers."
These are the words, spoken by “X” in Oliver Stone’s film JFK which are so often associated with Lieutenant Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, an advisor on the film itself, as well as the basis for the shadowy characterization memorably portrayed Donald Sutherland. These words themselves, however, did not belong to or originate with Prouty. They appear in his book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, as a quotation from another book, the Report from Iron Mountain by Leonard Lewin, which at the time, Prouty considered to be a government document. However, it was not:
But in the 1990s, Lewin discovered that bootleg editions of his book were being distributed by and to members of rightwing militia groups who claimed it was an authentic report. His 1972 admission seemed to have bypassed rightwing America. Lewin sued for copyright infringement, though the groups argued it was a public domain document – i.e. an official document – and that Lewin’s name as author was part of the government deception. In short, they argued that the publication was genuine, but, once leaked, the government did damage control and claimed it was a hoax, asking Lewin to admit to it.
The judge ruled in favour of Lewin, and all remaining copies were turned over to him. But… In 1993, the book made an appearance in the controversial movie JFK, in such a way that it was one of the most powerful scenes of the movie; a scene that “explained” why there was – could be? – a conspiracy why the “military-industrial complex” would want to kill Kennedy. How did this happens? Because Col. Fletcher Prouty believed the Report was authentic and cited it as such in his book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy –which was worked into the film script, Fletcher being portrayed by Donald Sutherland, meeting Kevin Costner (Jim Garrison) in Washington – a meeting that never occurred in reality. Stone used a section from Prouty’s book that comes from the Report and worked it into the dialogue: “The organizing principle of any society is for war. The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in its war powers. . . . War readiness accounts for approximately a tenth of the output of the world's total economy.” For Stone – and many others – it was clear that the government was a co-existence of various interest groups: the oil industry; the pharmaceutical industry; but mainly, the military-industrial complex… warmongers.
In his book, Prouty goes in more detail, writing that the Group’s existence “was so highly classified that there is no record, to this day, of who the men in the group were or with what sectors of the government or private life they were connected.” Still, he claimed to have managed an exclusive interview with a “purported member of the Iron Mountain Special Study Group", who told Prouty he "believes that the group's mission was delineated by McNamara, William Bundy, and Dean Rusk." In 1996, Simon & Schuster reprinted the Report, with a new introduction, underlining that the book was a political satire.
Why did Prouty decide to invent such an interview and include it in his book? Perhaps to give himself a measure of authority with the types of organizations and individuals who had seen fit to distribute the Lewin novel as factual – extreme right wing patriot militia. This is exactly what you might expect, though, from someone on the advisory board of the Populist Action Committee, the anti-Semitic and blatantly national socialist arm of holocaust denier Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby, and an organization dedicated to promoting the public candidacies of members of the American Nazi Party, including Art Jones and David Duke. The membership list of that board is a real who’s who:
The members (and their descriptions) as of March 9, 1992 included:
Abe Linclon Austin (Monetary Scientist) Mike Blair (Investigative Reporter) Ken Bohnsack (Founder, Sovereignty) Robert Brock (Black Nationalist) Howard Carson (Publishing Consultant) Capt. G. Russel Evans (Historian) Lt. Col. James (Bo) Gritz (US Army, ret.) Dr. Martin A. Larson (Author) Roger Lourie (President, Devin-Adair publishing) Donald A. MacPherson (Constitutional Attorney) Pauline Mackey (Treasurer, ret. David Duke for President) Tom McIntyre (Former Chairman, Populist Party) Eustace Mullins (Author) John Nugent (Financial Consultant) Lawrence Patterson (Editor & Publisher, Criminal Politics) Col. L. Fletcher Prouty (US Air Force, ret.) John Rakus (President, National Justice Foundation) John Rarick (Former Congressman, D-Louisiana) Vince Ryan (Editor, The Spotlight) Sherman Skolnick (Chairman, Committee to Clean Up the Courts) Maj. James H. Townsend, Ret. (Editor & Publisher, The National Educator) James P. Tucker (President, National Media Services) Tom Valentine (Host, Radio Free America) Raymond E. Walk (President, Rayan Associates, Inc.) Robert Weems (Founding Chairman, Populist Party)
Prouty prepared to act as a character witness on Carto’s behalf during the latter’s dropped libel suit against Mel Mermelstein. And his book, The Secret Team was reprinted by the Institute for Historical Review in 1992, a noted neo-nazi, holocaust revisionist organization.
Prouty had, perhaps just as meaningfully, an extremely friendly association with the Church of Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard. He had a long history of publishing in Scientology's Freedom magazine. and was employed by the CoS as an “expert witness” regarding Hubbard’s claims regarding his war record, for which he submitted a sworn affidavit testifying to to the impeccability of Hubbard's Naval Intelligence credentials in Scientology v. Armstrong. This affidavit was prepared only four years after the trials for Operation Snow White, a trial to determine culpability in a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of it in more than 30 countries by members of the church, and which culminated in the conviction and imprisonment of a number of high-ranking scientologists including the wife of L. Ron Hubbard. By the way, guess who wrote the authorised biography of L. Ron Hubbard? That's right!
As long as we're at it, we might as well acknowledge his work with Lyndon LaRouche as well, and throw in the fact that he was issued a CIA commendation for the creation of an Air Force worldwide system for "Military Support of the Clandestine Operations of the CIA" in 1954.
And did you know he’d seen a UFO? Funny thing is, that's not one of the reasons I don't really trust L. Fletcher Prouty.