No sooner had my epic seven-part series on Hunter S. Thompson, “Father of Fake News,” wrapped up — well, maybe a few months later — than Miles Mathis, the doyen of online conspiracy research, turned his gimlet eyes onto the same hapless subject in “Hunter S. Thompson: Spook Baby.”
Cazart! Was this another conspiracy? Synchronicity? Or just a coincidence? (Sure, that’s exactly what They’d want you to believe).
Indeed. Whatever you think of Miles’ obsession with the genealogies of the elite families — the Phoenician Navy, as he calls them — and his corresponding belief that basically every “historical” event has been faked by bad actors from the elite families, he does offer some interesting new (or as Thompson would say, “neo-pertinent”) facts and some very, uh, original perspectives on some that we’ve already covered:
But for now I point out that Hunter being from the families means he didn’t name his son for F. Scott: the name Fitzgerald probably comes from his own lines. That is why he was so interested in Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the rest: he was one of them.
“One of them” means a scion of one of the Phoenician Navy’s ruling families, usually an otherwise useless kid sent out to occupy his time promoting some phony cultural project, like Modernism or the drug culture, or conduct a psyop like Sandy Hill or the Milgram Experiment.
What Miles doesn’t mention, and Wills does, is that Juan was born in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination — supposedly a formative event in Thompson’s political evolution — and so was named for both his favorite writer and the martyred President; “John” becoming “Juan” to make it less on the nose, and as a hat tip to Thompson’s extensive Latin American travels (which we’ll see Miles debunking as well).
See, that’s the trouble with all-encompassing theories like Miles’: If literally every historical actor is part of a small group of Phoenician families, who like to signal each other and mock outsiders by using the same names over and over (Edmund Spenser = Lady Diana Spencer = Richard Spencer), then, by the same token, those names will be all over the place, and it’s entirely plausible for someone’s favorite author and a recent President to just simply have the same name.
Miles accepts the official story of Thompson being “born rich, living during his childhood in the Highlands in Louisville, Kentucky,” but immediately grabs the steering wheel and goes off in his own direction. The tale of his family becoming impoverished after his father’s death, and his mother working as a librarian and thus introducing Hunter to great literature, is dismissed as the usual sob story: Great writers and actors are always supposed to be born in impoverished circumstances and rise through pluck and merit, surely not through elite connections.
So when 14-year old Hunter is picked up by “the famed Athenaeum Literary Society in Louisville, which was just for bluebloods,” this is not in recognition of his talent but of his status. And the rest of the dominoes fall into place:
They want you to think Hunter had been ejected from highschool before graduation, then bumped out of Air Force early with an honorable discharge at age 21, but that all looks like a cover story. I would say it is far more likely — due to his being a blueblood and his background at the Athenaeum — that he was recruited for Air Force Intelligence, which would require a highschool degree. They made up the story about him being “in the same car” as a robbery suspect, so that you would think he hadn’t graduated. That conviction and lack of a degree would make him appear to be ineligible for any sort of Special Forces. You are supposed to think he was enlisted, with a top rank of airman first class, but that again is unlikely given his background and what he was doing while enlisted.
Not only was he taking classes at Florida State — which requires a highschool degree and indicates he was being groomed to be an officer — but he immediately became the editor of the local Air Force newspaper. They try to get around that by claiming he falsified his experience to get that job, but that makes no sense. Since he was just 18 at the time, he wouldn’t be expected to have any experience. He would get the job because he was being groomed as an officer and was the son of a very prominent family. Otherwise, such a person would never become editor at age 18.
They admit he was writing a sports column for the city newspaper at the same time, which is more evidence in the same direction. They again make up a story about him writing it under an alias, since the Air Force forbade outside employment, but that isn’t the question. The question is why the city paper would hire an 18-year-old highschool dropout and accessory to robbery to write a column. Were they really that desperate for writers? The only way this makes sense is if the Air Force placed him there itself, in order to get him some experience. He was being groomed for big things, obviously.
We can tell I am right by where he went right after leaving the Air Force. He boarded a plane immediately for New York, having a job lined up at TIME. As you do when you are bumped out of the military for insubordination.
The next year he was sent to Puerto Rico to work with William Joseph Kennedy, a cousin no doubt through the Fitzgeralds. The next year he was in Big Sur working at Esalen. There he rubbed elbows with Henry Miller and Dennis Murphy, again as you do when you are a nobody Air Force dropout. In 1962 they sent him down to Rio de Janeiro, allegedly as a correspondent for a Dow Jones newspaper, but more likely as a spy or agent in the making. Working for Brazil’s only English language daily, he was almost certainly working for or with the CIA. Hunter returned to the US in 1963, writing first for the CIA-front National Observer and then for the Berkeley Spider, but produced nothing of import.
But now, we’re ready for Hunter to step out on the big stage with his first major assignment: Apparently The Nation decided its pencil-necked New York shitlib audience needed to hear about a California motorcycle gang. Thus was born the article, and later book, that would make Thompson famous.
Of course, Miles isn’t buying the Hell’s Angels as anything more than a CIA front: “just the fattest and ugliest CIA agents . . . just Langley Lads in Leather”:
I remind you that the Hell’s Angels, despite being sold as rebels, always seemed to come down on the side of government. Strange that. Remember the anti-war protests at Berkeley in 1965, where the Angels attacked protestors as anti-American. The Oakland police stood aside and let it happen, telling you where the real alliances lay. Just like with Antifa now, where these rich kids pretend to be rebels but actually come down on the side of government, as with masking and vaccines. Antifa, brought to you by Pfizer. The Hell’s Angels were incorporated as a non-profit in 1966. Wow, what rebels.
In the context of our theme, Thompson as the Father of Fake News, we can see how, right from the start, Hunter has the method at his fingertips: He starts his proposal, the article, and the book, bitching about the “lies” and “slander” being spread by The Man and The Media against these poor, innocent rebels in order to get votes or readers; but not to worry — Bwana Thompson, the Great Hunter, has lived among them and brought back what we would eventually modestly call The Wisdom. Of course, The Wisdom is just another bullshit story, this time promoting whatever angle the CIA wants, and with Thompson as the Hero.
And so it goes. One Station of the Gonzo Cross after another falls. Here’s a twofer: After noting that Thompson spent most of his adult life in one of the richest places in America outside of the Hamptons, Miles asks:
What did Hunter name his homestead in Aspen? Owl farm. Hmmm. We have seen that Intelligence also loves the owl, using it for many of their special operations groups. Same for NRO, which uses the owl almost exclusively. This is because the owl moves silently through the night, an analogy of covert ops.
The owls are not what they seem! Nor is Thompson’s ultimate anti-establishment credential, his life-long obsession with Richard Nixon: “Let’s see, who else despised Nixon? The CIA, who got him in Watergate.”
Although apparently well-educated, even with a Ph.D. in philosophy, Miles necessarily is mostly self-educated in the various areas he explores and writes and publishes independently. While his research is well-done on the whole — though a little fanatical — he’s prone to getting tripped up. His sneers about Thompson’s writing, especially the “Wave” passage that Wills devotes so much qualitative and quantitative study to, lead up to this pratfall:
Nothing in the book is as good as the title Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and he stole that from Nietzsche.
Miles wouldn’t be the first person, even with a doctorate in philosophy, to confuse Nietzsche with Kierkegaard, but a good editor, or just a friend to provide a second pair of eyes before publishing, would prevent deflationary moments like that.
Readers will recall that both I and Wills took Thompson to task for his callous treatment of his brother Jim, whom Hunter never spoke to again after his “coming out,” even at his death. Miles fills in some details that lead to an intriguing speculation: Jim was not simply a random gay man but an activist, who — according to his FindaGrave entry, which Miles is paraphrasing here — “was disdainful of homosexuals who were effeminate, and loathed the drag queen aspect of gay culture. He was also critical of those he called ‘Castro clones,’ who were gay men living conventional lifestyles.”
So, was Thompson, though publicly a macho journalist, really a deeply closeted drag queen or at least a macho-performing Castro clone, and was this the root of their mutual disdain? Miles at this point offers no proof other than some admittedly odd photos of Hunter: one doing “his best Truman Capote impression,” another where he’s “looking extravagantly gay, with two silk handkerchiefs, flip shades, a mannequin head in his lap,” and even the iconic photo of him during his run for Sheriff, in black shirt, Star of David badge, shaved head and sunglasses: At the time it was supposed to be “scary” by suggesting Anton LaVey, but it could be interpreted as Castro clone.
Of course this “proves” nothing, but we do recall that an essential element of Thompson’s “gonzo” method involved various kinds of “dressing up,” and Wills observes that once he had perfected his “look” — baggy shorts, sunglasses, cigarette holder, Chuck Taylor basketball shoes, etc., which he began affecting already in the early ‘60s — he would carefully enumerate the elements and brands in his writing so that it began to look like product placement. Perhaps this was simply an odd character quirk that Hunter was lucky enough to be able to put to good use in developing his writer persona, which Jim interpreted as a cover for repressed homosexuality, provoking his disdain. Who knows?
Indeed, who knows anything? For Wills Thompson is an immensely talented writer whose struggles against downward social mobility and the Establishment are inspiring. Miles takes the same facts and notices a pattern he’s seen over and over: someone from the Establishment families is recognized as having a useful talent for creating and promoting one of their social engineering projects, and provided with a fictious backstory to hide their origins and account for their career in terms of “talent” or “hard work” rather than ethnic/social networking: pluck rather than luck:
Like Whitman and the Beats, Thompson was always much ado about nothing, the only content being a poorly disguised propaganda.
My conclusion, based on Wills’ account — which he intended to be positive, but honest — was that Thompson was a sociopath; Miles’ attempt to link him to the intelligence community (IC) and the Families is an interesting alternative, but also consistent with my own: the IC is loaded with funny-named sociopaths bred among the “elite” families, from “Wild Bill” Donovan and James Jesus Angleton to the likes of today’s James Clapper and Peter Paul Strzok II. With “elites” like these, who needs enemies, foreign or domestic?
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 David S. Wills, in the book reviewed during my series, notes that Thompson’s logomania included becoming fascinated with particular words, which he would use compulsively, often giving them idiosyncratic meanings. On the back cover of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas he refers to the “neo-pertinent background,” which puzzled me as a 16-year-old reading the first edition, but I eventually figured out he used “neo” to mean “quasi.” He should have known better, being an ordained minister of the Neo-American Church (a “Boo Hoo.”)
 In much the same way that, in normal “history,” third or idiot sons are sent into the priesthood, the elder sons serving in the military or as political rulers; the difference is that Miles thinks those famous names or “great men of history” are Phoenicians, too. Also compare Fredo being sent out to Las Vegas.
 As I said before about Dave McGowan’s Laurel Canyon theories, the large number of ‘60s rock musicians from military families is easily explained by a thing called “the Second World War” and the subsequent “boom” of post-war births, rather than evidence of a CIA psyop.
 Despite the coverage directed to Sonny Barger, the Angels were actually founded by one Robert Zimmerman; yes, just like Bob Dylan. They do love their little jokes.
 Wills quotes Douglas Brinkley to the effect that Thompson only let people think it was from Kierkegaard, when actually Thompson found it in Thomas Wolfe’s The Web and the Rock; giving Wolfe credit “was too much of a hassle,” since everyone would think he meant Tom Wolfe.
 In the same way the skinhead circle was constantly shadowed by gays who affected the same look; I knew a guy in New York City years ago who claimed to be a member of Gay Aryan Skin Heads (GASH).
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