Lee Harvey Oswald and the Jesuits

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This should send conspiracy theorists shooting off towards the Andromeda Galaxy:

 

This sounds totally make-believe, but every single word of it is true: On July 27, 1963, less than four months before he assassinated President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald was invited to deliver a lecture to a group of Jesuits in Mobile, Alabama, at their House of Studies.

This, of course, didn’t just happen in a vacuum. Oswald’s cousin, Eugene Murret, was in formation to become a Jesuit. Since Eugene’s parents, Lillian and “Dutz” Murret, were among the only remaining family Oswald had — and they had shared with Br. Eugene his cousin’s trouble finding a job since his return from the Soviet Union, as well as the fact that he had a young wife and two small children — Eugene apparently took pity on his younger cousin. In a letter dated July 4, 1963, and forever marked as Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2648, Eugene wrote to his uneducated and poverty-ridden relative, Lee Harvey, saying:

Here at the [Jesuit] House of Studies during the summer months we have a series of lectures on various subjects given by different persons from the neighboring areas. These subjects usually deal with art, literature, economics, religion, politics, etc.

Oswald, who had never finished high school and was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps, knew next to nothing — indeed, nothing at all — of art, literature, economics, or religion.

However, since he had defected to and lived (briefly) in the Soviet Union from 1959-1961, Oswald “knew” a bit about life under a Communist regime. His cousi, Eugene continued in his missive, that:

We were hoping that you might come over to talk to us about contemporary Russia and the practice of Communism there.

Concerned perhaps that this might amount to a public de-lousing, Eugene double-clutches and becomes a bit more gregarious and expansive:

Go here to read the rest at The National Catholic Register.  Oswald was a lone nutcase assassin, but his contacts in the last year of his life are expansive and peculiar enough to help establish the cottage industry of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories that is happily chugging along more than a half century later.

 

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16 Comments

  1. (Sigh) The Great Man of course must be brought down by a Great Plot. It just wouldn’t do to level him with the rest of the poor victims of murder or mayhem by lone villains. Might remind us that Great Men are still men, and that if you prick them, they do bleed.

  2. Every time I hear the word “conspiracy theorist” my mind shifts immediately to a man named Judas Iscariot. They do happen, but not as often as we like to think..

  3. My mom used to tell us that every member of her generation could probably remember where they were on Dec, 7,1941 when they heard Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Same for mine about JFK’s death. This post brought that to mind – I was sitting in freshman Religion class at Convent of Mercy H. S. in downtown Mobile, AL when news of the president’s assassination was announced to us. Mercy was all girls and many in my class were sobbing uncontrollably. At the time we lived out near the Jesuit Spring Hill College where Oswald would have lectured. As far as the college goes my dad gave me driving lessons in the chapel parking lot. Like most Jesuit built churches of a certain age, it had the most beautiful, ornate altar with tabernacle… appropriate for housing the Body and Blood of God.

  4. I despise the phrase “conspiracy theory.”

    It’s almost never applied in the sense it’s used — “a vast, secret network! Dum-dum-DUM!!!”
    It’s usually used to dismiss folks thinking that people will act in ways they believe will promote their own interests, without broadcasting it. Which happens all the time.

    I think it’s entirely possible, or even probable, that people were aware Oswald was a nut and wanted to strike against JFK (or just “authority”) and that they helped him along on the off chance it’d be useful to them. It’s like an evil inverse of how folks escaped Nazi Germany– folks “incidentally” doing, or not doing, something that made a thing possible.

    That would be others being involved, without going into Mulder territory. (Am I the only one who gets a kick out of how Mulder was usually right, but he’s still a gold standard for excessive credulity? Same way everyone in the DCU dismisses The Question…even though he’s usually right.)

  5. I think it’s entirely possible, or even probable, that people were aware Oswald was a nut and wanted to strike against JFK (or just “authority”) and that they helped him along on the off chance it’d be useful to them.

    ??

    Oswald had one talent: getting fired from his job. The person helping him (or more precisely, helping his wife and children with knock-on effects benefiting him) was Ruth Paine. Ruth Paine was a mildly eccentric social worker manque of the Quaker sort. (She’s still alive, btw). Blowing away Gov. Connolly with a Carcano rifle wasn’t one of her objects, much less killing the President in the process.

  6. The person helping him (or more precisely, helping his wife and children with knock-on effects benefiting him) was Ruth Paine.

    Art… it is amazing sometimes to watch you fail to grasp a generalization. Foxfier was pointing out possibilities, not specifically accusing anybody. Something can organically arise from group think which appears to be a conspiracy but is not actually one the way people imagine the term.

  7. Art… it is amazing sometimes to watch you fail to grasp a generalization.

    And you fail to grasp my point. We know (after 55 years) just who was helping him, and that person was and is harmless.

  8. Not at all surprised that that many Americans believe Oswald/Kennedy horse hockey. Nearly as many voted twice for Obama and nearly elected Hillary. That is saddening and unsurprising.

  9. And you fail to grasp my point. We know (after 55 years) just who was helping him, and that person was and is harmless.

    But that’s not who Foxfier was talking about and applies only by the slimmest of tangents.

  10. “Every time I hear the word “conspiracy theorist” my mind shifts immediately to a man named Judas Iscariot. They do happen, but not as often as we like to think..

    True. But they seldom remain a secret. Grand conspiracy theories, whether about the JFK assassination or 9/11, are always “revealed” by outsiders, never by people in the know, of whom the complicity of hundreds would be required if there were any truth to such theories.

  11. But that’s not who Foxfier was talking about and applies only by the slimmest of tangents.

    Again, Nate, this is what she said, “I think it’s entirely possible, or even probable, that people were aware Oswald was a nut and wanted to strike against JFK (or just “authority”) and that they helped him along on the off chance it’d be useful to them. It”

    ‘Who she was talking about” do not exist. Ruth Paine does exist.

  12. And you fail to grasp my point. We know (after 55 years) just who was helping him, and that person was and is harmless.

    Right. Because if you give help to a homicidal maniac who assassinated a young, attractive president, with ill intent, you’d be trumpeting it to the sky? Especially if you wanted him to cause trouble?

    As opposed to someone doing an innocent good deed for someone who turned out to be nasty.

    This clearly proves the Parkland cops didn’t actually visit the school shooter on several calls, but not arrest him so as to improve their crime stats– because he was helped by a family of one of his friends, who wanted to do good by the orphan. And as you have insisted, being helped innocently and openly by good people means only a total idiot who believes in Conspiracy Theorys(!!!11!1!1Eleven!!!) could ever consider that there might have been those who helped and had selfish motives, when they’d also been helped by someone who openly helped for innocent motives.

    Thank you for your awesomely air-tight statement of a law of nature.

    ***********

    Nate-
    Thank you. I was wondering if I’d been unclear and somehow written about X-File’s Smoking Man and a bunch of clones killing off JFK, or something.

  13. We already know that it’s a standard tactic for Russia to do stuff just because they think it will cause trouble. They’re not even shy about how they’re still doing it, for heaven’s sakes– yet it’s to be impossible that such a tactic existed before, what, ten years ago? No, wait, have to be at least 15, they were definitely doing stuff just to be annoying then… probably 20 years ago, too.

    But surely not in the ’60s. And nobody else could’ve ever used the same tactic of doing stuff just because it might confuse your enemy.

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