Updated: Mar 3, 2022
“The Ps and Qs of Mr.X”
(Paranoid Planet Podcast: Season 1, Episode 2.2, Chapter 1)
Scene from Oliver Stone’s JFK featuring “Mr.X”
There’s a scene from the 1991 film JFK by director Oliver Stone that features a heart-pumping conversation between a man calling himself “Mr. X” and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison—the only person ever to prosecute someone for Kennedy’s murder. X tells Garrison that while he served in the military, he became aware of a plot—planned by the CIA—to assassinate President Kennedy. According to X, this was done to stop Kennedy from withdrawing troops from Vietnam. Why? Because, X argues, a powerful group of international financiers had been planning the Vietnam War decades before it began, and they were planning to make billions of dollars from it building and selling weapons and equipment to the U.S. military who would be stuck fighting this unwinnable war for decades, all of it funded by American taxpayers.
Stone’s film claims this happened in real life—that Kennedy was trying to make peace with the Cubans and Soviets, that he was gunned down in broad daylight by a group of assassins, that Lee Harvey Oswald was set up as a scapegoat, and that the new President, Lyndon Johnson, was an accomplice in starting this war on behalf of the "military industrial complex". This film has been criticized harshly by many historians for being inaccurate, and for making wild claims that it could not support. We don’t have the time to delve into the details of the Kennedy assassination today, but we will be talking about the “why?”—or, at least, about the reasons why some who believe JFK was killed by a massive conspiracy think that the deep state—or something fitting that description—was the ultimate reason for Kennedy’s death, for the Vietnam War, and for the billions of dollars weapons contractors make every year.
One of these believers happened to be Mr. X—or rather, the person who inspired him: United States Air Force Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty. Here’s what Prouty wrote in the 1997 foreword to his book, The Secret Team:
“We live in a world of big business, big lawyers, big bankers, even bigger money-men and big politicians. It is the world of "The Secret Team" and its masters. [...] the Secret Team is the functional element of the dominant power. [...] In this capacity, it acts independently. It is lawless. It operates everywhere with the best of all supporting facilities from special weaponry and advanced communications, with the assurance that its members will never be prosecuted. It is subservient to the Power Elite and protected by them. The Power Elite or High Cabal need not be Royalty in these days. They are their equals or better. [...] They are always anonymous, and their network is ancient and world-wide. [...] the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level High Cabal, that may include representatives and highly skilled agents of the CIA and other instrumentalities of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. [...] This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure.” 
We couldn’t speak directly to Fletcher Prouty since he passed away shortly before the 9/11 attacks in 2001, leaving us two books, a trove of articles and interviews, and some personal documents in which he claimed that the world is run by a “Power Elite” that manipulated elections, starts wars, embezzles large sums of taxpayer money, and eliminates those who stand in its way. What we’ll do instead is interview one of his greatest supporters: Internet radio host and conspiracy researcher Len Osanic, who spent a great deal of time with Prouty in the late Nineties, and who hosts The L. Fletcher Prouty Reference Site, a website dedicated to Prouty.
Here’s a portion of an interview Fletcher Prouty recorded in the early Nineties. We’ll follow that up with our interview of Len Osanic:
L. Fletcher Prouty on the Secret Team (interviewed by John Judge, 1992):
Michel J. Gagné, 2020.
Fletcher Prouty (right) being interviewed on the Larouche Connection (1992)
Readings and media related to Episode 2.2:
1. Black Op Radio. Homepage of Len Osanic’s internet radio program.
2. The Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty Reference Site (administered by Len Osanic).
5. L. Fletcher Prouty: “The Guns of Dallas,” Gallery, October 1975.
6. L. Fletcher Prouty: JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy. Birch Lane Press/Carol Publishing Group,1992. (Skyhorse, 2011).
7. JFK (Warner Brothers, 1991), Directed by Oliver Stone; Starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joe Pesci.
8. Nixon (Hollywood Pictures, 1995), Directed by Oliver Stone; Starring Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, James Woods, and J.T. Walsh.
9. Jonathan Kay: Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground, Harper, 2011.
10. “The Church of Scientology, Fact-Checked.” An interview with journalist Lawrence Wright. NPR: Fresh Air, February 8, 2011.
11. Jonathan Nashel: Edward Lansdale’s Cold War. University of Massachusetts Press, 2005.
12. Max Boot: "The Road Not Taken," Politics and Prose, Jan 24, 2018. YouTube. (A public lecture on Boot’s 2018 book on General Edward Lansdale and his role in Vietnam, Cuba, and clandestine operations).
13. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Author unknown. Originally published in Russian, circa 1905. (hosted here by The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team website).
14. Leonard Lewin: The Report from Iron Mountain, Dial Press, 1967.
(Be sure to read Lewin’s confession—that he wrote this book as a satire of think tanks—in the New York Times Book Review, March 19, 1972, which can be found at the end of this edition.)
15. Quassim Cassam: Conspiracy Theories. Polity Press, 2019.
16. “The Umbrella Man”, featuring Josiah “Tink” Thompson. Directed by Errol Morris. New York Times. Nov. 21, 2011.
17. Christopher Barger: Interview Summary: ARRB Interview with L. Fletcher Prouty. Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), September 24, 1996. (Cited in Fred Litwin: "L. Fletcher Prouty Talks to the ARRB," On The Trail Of Delusion (blog), Nov 13, 2020.)