“Think of two parallel lines…One is the life of Lee H. Oswald. One is the conspiracy to kill the President. What bridges the space between them? What makes a connection inevitable? There is a third line. It comes out of dreams, visions, intuitions, prayers, out of the deepest levels of the self. It’s not generated by cause and effect like the other two lines. It’s a line that cuts across causality, cuts across time. It has no history that we can recognize or understand. But it forces a connection.”
–Don DeLillo, “Libra”
Every once in a while, I revisit the topic of Lee Harvey Oswald’s possible doppelgangers. I do this because I’m generally a well-adjusted person who is fun at parties.
And on the top of my list of books on the subject I wanted to read was John Armstrong’s much-cited 2003 tome Harvey and Lee. (official site here) Well, I’ve finally got through a lot of it (it’s an absolute beast at 983 pages), and here are my thoughts…
Regardless of you believe Armstrong’s premise–that there were two “Oswalds,” their identities intertwined since adolescence–there is one undeniable fact per the author’s research. And that is: this kid (or kids, if you believe the theory) had a shitty, shitty, lousy childhood.
Which really brings us back to that other boogeyman icon of the Sixties, Charlie Manson. Who also had a shitty, shitty, lousy childhood.
Now, I don’t say this as a way to make you “feel sorry” for either man. There are plenty of people who have had shitty, shitty, lousy childhoods who don’t kill people and such. But in both the Manson and Oswald cases, you have boys growing up in highly unstable environments with highly unstable moms, who seem completely open to and unprotected from anybody who wished to exploit them.
According to Armstrong’s research, Oswald’s mother Marguerite (either of them, if you believe the doppelganger theory) was a very sketchy woman. She had a number of children from a number of very short relationships, constantly moved, constantly got fired from jobs, seemed to get into some romantic unions specifically for the financial advantage, and also occasionally received $ out of seemingly nowhere.
Marguerite routinely threw her kids into orphanages, pulled them out of orphanages, enrolled them in any number of schools in any number of cities, would suddenly pull them out of school, and so on. So by the time her youngest, Lee Harvey (or simply “Lee,” if you believe the theory) was of age, he was practically being put into and pulled out of school every year or even six months.
And this woman just seemed as shady as fuck. So as to the idea that she might have possibly “sold” or “lent” her young son Lee’s identity to a Russian double-agent? And/or got her son involved in some sort of CIA “recruiting” scheme???
I realize that the monent you hear “JFK assassination researcher,” you might think “tin-foil hat squad.” But regardless of what you think of Armstrong’s conclusions…he builds a very strong case that at the very least, there are MANY contradictions between Oswald’s whereabouts in the official report and eyewitness testimony/documents. Basically, over and over again we see records/testimony of Oswald–from childhood into the military and beyond–being in two completely different places at the same time. Not just once or twice (that we could attribute to witness or clerical error), but continually to a ridiculous degree!
And this is not evidence that Armstrong just pulled out of his ass or got from a message board. Baylor University holds an online digital archive of most of the documents and other data he dug up. Which I doubt they would have done if he indeed pulled this shit out of his ass.
So what does this all mean? Does this “absolve” Oswald (either/or Harvey/Lee) of the assassination?
My gut feeling is as follows: I think at some point, either Marguerite one of her paramours (and I’m leaning towards a man named Ekdahl in this, who might have had “connections”) basically fucking sold her son out. I really do believe it. And got him involved in all this cloak-and-dagger bullshit, which eventually totally ruined his life.
Now, while I was researching the Armstrong stuff, I decided to dip my toe back into the theory that Kerry Thornley, estranged friend of Robert Anton Wilson and co-creator of Discordianism, was also an Oswald “double.” Thornley was friends with Oswald during the war…and found himself in some of the same shady social circles after the war. He also got roped into Jim Garrison’s assassination investigation as a suspect!
Later in Thornley’s life–after he burned bridges with Wilson and also possibly came down with schizophrenia–he believed that he might have been part of an MKUltra-type CIA conspiracy to create “multiple Oswalds.” And further, that perhaps he (like, if you believe the theory, Oswald) was “groomed” as a teen to take on these roles and assignments. (Which then makes you think…if that was really true, could Discordianism really been some sort of spook psy-op?)
Which (seeing as this post got rather long & I need to wrap it up)…leads me to my concluding point.
Per current technology–which includes Elon Musk’s recently announced neurolink–there is no longer any need for such MKUltra-esque brainwashings. Per current technology, a photograph doesn’t need to be painstakingly composited to “create” an ersatz Oswald. You could just deepfake a surveillance video or Skype chat.
Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you here? This basic desire for, and process of, assassination plots and even using doubles…has been going on since at least Roman times! This is not like saying lizard people exist. This is something that has gone on in human society for a long, long time.
And while these stories of “Multiple Oswalds” seem exciting, almost quaint in its old-time Mission Impossible-type “feel”…with the tech both currently widely available and being tested, what does the future hold?