(*Age  of  Secrets*   by   Gerald  Bellett.   Maitland,  Ontario:
Voyageur North America, 1995.  ISBN:  0-921842-42-2.   To  order:
telephone -- 1-800-268-2946; fax -- 1-800-444-5899.)

Cay  Sal  is  one of the cays and islands stretching out from the
southern tip  of  Florida.   In  1976,  John  H.  Meier, a former
associate of Howard Hughes, landed there under cover of darkness.
Guided by "Chuck," Meier snuck past  armed  patrols.   They  both
reached a shed. "Chuck" picked the lock and they entered.

Inside was a case measuring about 7 feet long by 3 feet high.  On
closer  inspection, the "case" was found to be a cryonics chamber
containing the frozen corpse of Howard Hughes.

Or so says *Age of Secrets*.

Is the  book  true?   On  the  one  hand,  if  I  wanted to avoid
upsetting those readers sensitive to human doubt,  I  could  just
"cop  out" by saying, "Hey, who knows?  I'm not an expert."  Then
again, "signs point to 'yes.'"  Bottom line:  the waters are deep
and it's hard to see all that's there, down below.

Readers familiar  with  Gerald  Carroll's  classic  work  on  the
"Gemstone  Thesis,"  *Project  Seek* (Carson City:  Bridger House
Publishers,   Inc.,    1994.     ISBN:    0-9640104-0-2.    Phone
1-800-729-4131),  may  recall  the  Howard  Hughes/Richard  Nixon
connection alluded  to  therein.   Nixon's  brother,  Donald,  is
mentioned as possibly engaged in business activities feared to be
potentially  harmful to President Nixon's 1972 re-election hopes.
Quoting from a February 4,  1974 UPI (United Press International)
report, Carroll substantiates the claim:

  ...The White House got the Secret  Service  to  investigate
  business  activities  of the President's brother, F. Donald
  Nixon, and put him under  electronic surveillance at a time
  when aides were worried that Donald's  affairs  would  hurt
  Nixon's 1972 re-election chances.

  The   President   told  a  news  conference  last  fall  he
  authorized electronic surveillance  of  his brother because
  of a national security matter.

  But government sources report that  administration  concern
  about  Donald  began with his dealings with an associate of
  billionaire Howard Hughes and  later  included trips to the
  Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Hawaii.

And who is the "associate of billionaire Howard Hughes" mentioned
in the above UPI article?  Carroll goes on to  quote  *Las  Vegas
Sun* publisher Herman "Hank" Greenspun:

  ...For  more than a year, the investigation centered on the
  brother's [Donald Nixon's] business  deals with John Meier,
  a Hughes scientific advisor for  mining  claims  now  under
  indictment for income tax evasion.

According  to  *Age  of Secrets*, one of Meier's "business deals"
with Donald Nixon consisted of Meier's inadvertantly facilitating
a $1 million bribe.  The  money  is  said to have passed, through
intermediaries, from Howard Hughes to President Nixon  in  return
for  Nixon's  greasing  the  skids  on Hughes' acquisition of Air
West.  Meier, reportedly, was asked to keep a locked briefcase in
his hotel room  overnight.   Next  morning,  Ken  Wright, head of
Howard Hughes' Medical Institute, came to Meier's room to reclaim
the briefcase.  Unfortunately for Meier, Wright  had  imposed  on
him  by arranging, without Meier's foreknowledge, to exchange the
contents of the briefcase with one  Bebe Rebozo -- right there in
Meier's hotel room.

Wright is said to have  opened  the briefcase and a stunned Meier
saw it contained rows of $100 bills totalling $1 million.  Wright
then, according to the book, phoned Bebe  Rebozo,  a  banker  and
close friend of Richard Nixon, and told him to come up to Meier's
room.   Uneasy  about  what  was  transpiring,  Meier  hid in the
bathroom.  Rebozo is said to have then arrived and begun counting
the cash.

Our old  "friend,"  the  Central  Intelligence  Agency  (CIA), is
alleged to have been a  key  player  in  the  transaction:   "The
secret   transaction   linked  three  powerful  entities  --  the
presidency,  the  CIA  and  the  Hughes  empire  --  whose  vital
interests would  be  imperilled  by  any  disclosure  of what had
happened in that room..."

For some reason not clear to me, Meier then made the big  mistake
of  leaving his bathroom hiding place, thereby alerting Rebozo to
his presence.  Rebozo was not pleased to have Meier as a witness.
He grabbed the  loot  and  made  a  hasty  exit.  Through Rebozo,
President Nixon then learned that "leftist" Meier had  the  goods
on him and could start talking.

So  Richard Nixon, with all the power of the executive branch, is
said to  have  launched  a  "pre-emptive  strike"  against Meier.
"Their formula was simple," writes Meier in the book's Afterword.
"First they charged me with something  since  most  people  think
that  indictment  is synonymous with guilt...  They persecuted me
in  the  press  and  the  courtroom...   My  story  is  of  a man
devastated by a corrupt system..."

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was unleashed  against  Meier.
They  searched  his Los Angeles office.  The IRS investigation of
Meier  was  reportedly  launched   at   the  behest  of  John  D.
Ehrlichman, a high-ranking Nixon White House official.  President
Nixon, on his part, was said to have dreaded the IRS  discovering
the  $1  million  bribe  from  Hughes.  A trap was allegedly laid
whereby R.M. Nixon and associates were lured by certain Democrats
into  the  ill-fated   Watergate   break-in.   "Watergate  was  a
masterpiece of political espionage that can be boiled down  to  a
few  important  elements:   the  deliberate  baiting of the Nixon
camp; the laying of a  false  trail  to the DNC headquarters; the
use of an inside spy... and the collaring of the burglary team by
accident or by design," writes *Age  of  Secrets*  author  Gerald

Meier apparently had witnessed the bribing of Nixon; he passed on
what  he  knew  to certain Democrats; and they laid a trap that a
nervous Nixon fell for.  Meier,  through his contacts with Donald
Nixon, suckered Donald into believing that  the  DNC  (Democratic
National   Committee)   had  incriminating  info  hidden  in  the
Watergate complex.  Donald  passed  the  false  story  on, to his
brother, Richard Nixon, and President Nixon fell right  into  the

President  Nixon,  for  his  part  uneasy  about  Meier's  likely
blabbing  on what he knew, sought through his executive powers to
discredit and harass Meier.  Meier was hounded, but had the laugh
on Nixon who  was  toppled  from  power  in  spite of his vicious
attempts at "damage control." So says the book.

Meier's allegations are corroborated by "The Gonzalez Affidavit."
Virgino Gonzalez (not his real name) was a deep-cover  CIA  agent
who  apparently  suffered  pangs of conscience in connection with
deeds committed during his employment with "The Company" (a.k.a.,
the CIA).  Deciding to tell all  and expose to the world what the
CIA had been doing, he surfaced in Mexico City on May 2nd,  1975.
He  carried a 10-page affidavit into the law offices of Goodrich,
Dalton and Rigueline, signed it,  and asked that it be translated
into Spanish and filed in the Mexican federal  court.   Here  are
excerpts from the Gonzalez Affidavit:

  I  love  the  United States and am grateful for all that it
  has done for me...   It  is  not  my intention to place the
  security of the country at risk and to involve  any  of  my
  colleagues  in  this  statement.  My intention is simply to
  show that the agency [CIA]  is  a tool of the President and
  those close to him in power and is used in a  wrongful  way
  to harass people for personal political purposes.

  At  the  end  of  1971  I was ordered to an assignment that
  included monitoring the  activities  of  John Meier and was
  shown a file on him, along with other agents.

  On file were photographs taken at Orange County Airport  on
  July  8,  1969,  showing  Meier  with Don Nixon and others.
  These were taken by the  Secret Service and had been passed
  to Bebe Rebozo at the President's request.

  The Hughes people, I was told, were still worried about the
  campaign but I was then told that the IRS would  release  a
  story  on  Meier  in  May [1972].  This they did on May 11,
  saying they were investigating his affairs in Nevada.

  [I handed] to the IRS some  of  the files we had taken from
  Tom Benavides' office in Albuquerque; included were Meier's
  own tax files and letters to and from politicians.

  [On September 8th, 1973, Meier] met with  George  Clifford,
  Jack  Anderson's  [1]  assistant, at Vancouver airport.  It
  later showed from  the  stories  coming  out that Meier had
  talked about payoffs, the President, Air  West,  and  other
  things bad for the administration.

Meier's  troubles  with  the  U.S.  government  escalated when he
helped the tiny nation of  Tonga, located between Fiji and French
Polynesia, improve their airport so that the little kingdom could
improve its tourism  industry.   For  some  reason  not  directly
stated,  the  United  States  did not want Tonga to have a modern
airport.  Hinted at in the book  is a wish to keep Tonga isolated
so as to lessen the chance of curious eyes  discovering  a  major
illicit  narcotics  operation being run through there.  The Peace
Corps, says the book, had built and operated a warehouse in Tonga
which cleared parcels entering  and  leaving the U.S. Cocaine was
discovered.  But why would cocaine be going through Tonga?  Isn't
the enormous international narcotics industry laid  out  so  that
South and Central America handles the cocaine and the Pacific Rim
manages the heroin?

The  bottom  line  is  that  for some reason the American octopus
became even more  displeased  with  Meier, and federal harassment
against him increased.  The U.S. Secret Police apparatus began to
get quite nasty.  Meier is said  to  have  been  railroaded  into
prison  on  dubious forgery charges.  While a prisoner, Meier was
visited by the CIA.  He offered  to prove his innocence by taking
a lie detector test.  He did so, says Meier, and passed.  The CIA
didn't care.  One of the agents is purported to have  said,  "Mr.
Meier,  isn't  it  obvious that we can charge you and convict you
and sentence you for anything we like?  We know you didn't commit
forgery, but let me tell  you,  if  you don't cooperate your life
will be a disaster..."

But Meier did not cooperate.  The CIA wanted Meier to  play  ball
with  them  by signing some documents.  One would have forced him
to reveal government sources  who  had  been secretly feeding him
information.  Another would have granted the feds complete access
to his files.  Meier said, "No deal."  Result?  Right after Meier
was  released  from  prison,  after  serving  his  sentence   for
"forgery,"  he was framed-up on a murder charge.  Although, after
years of trouble, the charge  of  murder  was found to be without
merit, in the meantime Meier suffered  enormously.   He  had  his
bail  set  at  a  million  dollars (which he at first had trouble
meeting), was shuffled from prison  to  prison, was often kept in
solitary confinement, was beaten by  guards,  and  generally  had
horrible  treatment.  Reading what happened to Meier -- all of it
without his having yet been found  guilty of the murder charge --
made me sick.  I keep coming across this type of story again  and
again:   individuals  targeted  by a government from Hell, either
because of greed hiding behind the badge of authority, or because
some politician  is  afraid  of  being  found  out.  The American
people, commonly these days  referred  to  as  being  furious  at
"their"  government  --  just  where  do  you think this anger is
coming from?  Are millions of Americans all "crazy?"  Or could it
maybe, possibly, by some stretch of the imagination be that there
is some =real= reason for all  the horror stories having as their
origin Mr. Uncle Sam?

*Age of Secrets* sums it up like this:

  In Cold War days, while the Soviet  Empire  still  existed,
  Western democracies perpetuated the image of communist bloc
  governments as sufficiently hostile to human freedom to pit
  the  apparatus of the State against dissenting individuals.
  Heroes have been made out  of Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov for
  their fortitude in resisting.

  Ironically, in the United States of America -- for  many  a
  symbol  of  freedom  --  the  government marshalled equally
  sweeping forces to crush dissent.

  Where openly repressive  regimes  silenced their dissidents
  through committal to psychiatric wards and banishment,  the
  American  way  led  to  more  subtle forms of harassment by
  government agencies and  ruin  through  the courts.  If one
  method was cruder, it was only because  it  operated  in  a
  climate  in which there was no need to maintain an illusion
  of freedom while punishing enemies of the State.

---------------------------<< Notes >>---------------------------
[1]  Jack  Anderson  was  a well-known newspaper columnist of the
time, who  broke  many  inside  stories  on  Watergate  and other

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