San Francisco Examiner, October 6, 1988
CIA-Mafia conspirators can rest easier
by Warren Hinckle
Mae Brussell died this week. The question is, who killed her?
Mae was the grandest conspiracy theorist of them all, the Madame Defarge of paranoia.
Her last passion before she slipped through the narrow door was investigating
satanic cults in the military.
She found conspiratorial links in events large and small, from the Kennedy
assassinations to Watergate to contragate, and anytime anyone of note died,
she was at the ready with a fascinating theory of why the death fit the Pattern.
Not one of her many friends, which included this writer, would doubt she
would come up with a compelling conspiracy theory of her own death at a
vibrant 66. Among the many enemies she was constantly exposing on her
weekly radio show that was gospel to conspiracy buffs were Nazi scientists
in the U.S., the Mafia, the CIA and the oil cartels -- and that's a mean
lot of enemies. The doctors say she died of cancer, but that was what
they said about Jack Ruby, and Mae knew better than that.
"Mae was multi-motivated," her old friend, publisher and co-conspiratorialist
Paul Krassner said, admiringly, "but her specialty was Lee Harvey Oswald"
Mae was a complacent Carmel housewife raising a bunch of kids until the
John F. Kennedy assassination. The horror of having her kids watch Jack
Ruby bump off Lee Harvey Oswald right on daytime TV in what was obviously a
set piece of work made her a conspiratorial crusader. If at times Mae was
short on theory, she was always long on facts -- at the time of her death
Monday she had amassed more than 80,000 pages of research material amassed
from a compulsive clipping of 15 newspapers a day and a couple of hundred
magazines a month. She was the first researcher to come up with the facts
of Richard Nixon's career links -- unquestionably earlier, more speculatively
later to the mob.
Krassner said Mae had called him up after he published a famously crude piece
of faction in The Realist about an alleged act of neckrophilia between Lyndon
Johnson and the corpse of John Kennedy aboard Air Force One returning from
Dallas to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 22, 1963, and told him things even he
hadn't imagined about the Kennedy assassination.
Mae remained in the pack of Kennedy assassination researchers but came into
her own with Watergate. "Three weeks after Watergate, when the press was
still treating it like a third-rate burglary, Mae sent me a piece that had
the goods on the entire cast of characters -- Hunt, McCord, Martinez and
the rest -- and linking them back to CIA-Mafia ties to the Kennedy
assassination," Krassner said.
The main Brussel thesis, if I dare risk commit the sin of summary on her
complex work, was that an ex-Nazi scientist-Old Boy OSS clique in the CIA
using Mafia hit men changed the course of American history this past
quarter-century by bumping off one and all, high and low, who became an
irritant to them. She believed the Manson family was set up by
counterintelligence types to blacken the image of anti-war-music-and-youth
longhairs who were becoming a threat to the dominant culture and that
Jonestown was a medical and mind-control experiment in getting rid of
Mae never had a theory she couldn't back up with a bewildering mass of news
clippings and assorted facts. The question that must in all respect and
sobriety be asked about Mae Brussell is the one Tom Wolfe asked about
Marshall McLuhan: Whaaaat if she was right?
"Way back then in the '60s, way back before Watergate even happened,
Mae told me that all the crazy and violent things going on in the
country were part of a plan to get Ronald Reagan in office," said Krassner.