Mind of
Mae Brussell
Is "The Queen of Conspiracy"
going to break the JFK case
wide open, or is she just a
paranoid housewife who likes
to clip newspapers?

by Paul Krassner

(from OUI magazine, May 1978)

"Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens
you can be sure it was planned that way."

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

    There she is, the Bionic Researcher. Every day she feeds herself ten newspapers from around the country. This diet is supplemented with items sent to her by a network of conspiracy students. She also consumes magazines, underground papers, unpublished manuscripts, court affidavits, documents from the National Archives, FBI and CIA materials obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and hundreds of books on espionage and assassination. "About 80 percent of all CIA intelligence information comes from printed news," she says, "so I am doing what they are doing but I'm using all the material." Each Sunday, she sorts out the week's clippings into various categories as though she were conducting a symphony of horror. Yet she is cheerful. She almost sways in counterpoint to the rhythms of hypocrisy. For, while there are those who try to discredit her by saying she's crazy, Mae Brussell remains high on her responsibility.
    Mae has been our nation's number-one, self-appointed conspiracy freak since the day Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. She has written hundreds of articles detailing the unpleasant connections between what most people consider diverse chapters in American history—like Oswald and Francis Gary Powers, the Kennedy murders and Watergate. For the past seven years, the house-wife-turned-crusader has shocked and dismayed listeners of her syndicated radio program, Dialogue: Conspiracy (KLRB-FM, Carmel, California), uncovering choice tidbits about everything from Chappaquiddick to Chowchilla. She unabashedly calls herself the country's best researcher.
     It would be difficult to question that she knows as much as anyone about people involved in "The Assassinations." The Queen of Conspiracy is currently writing five separate books on what happened that day in Dallas, all of which, she claims, "contain entirely new material. Collectively, these books will finally answer the question: Who killed JFK?"
    At 54, she is plump and energetic; she wears long peasant dresses patchworked with philosophical tidbits, and her favorite adjective is "cute." Occasionally, she slurs her words—information overload—but her eyes seem to reveal the deep sense of compassion permeating every fact she shares. One senses a touch of appropriate incongruity about this white, upper-middle-class, twice-divorced mother of a talented brood, who is knitting a sleeve while calmly describing the architecture of a police state in progress.
     I first met Mae Brussell when she provided me with leads for a story I did on Charles Manson. Then, a few months after the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, Mae rang me up. She recognized names and methods of operation from all her assassination research. For example, she knew that Watergate burglar James McCord had crossed paths with Lee Harvey Oswald when both had been working for CIA intelligence, and that Frank Sturgis had been interrogated by the FBI in Miami the day after JFK was assassinated. She also had a possible tie between McCord and a "secret army" of police who allegedly had planned to disrupt the 1972 Republican Convention with riots and possible assassination attempts on Nixon, which would then be blamed on leftist radicals and hopefully result in a further shift to the right—possibly under the figurehead leadership of Spiro T. Agnew.
    And then there was L. Patrick Gray, who as acting director of the FBI would later burn evidence from the files of E. Howard Hunt and deep-six numerous documents. Mae recalled the murder of a Los Angeles reporter, Ruben Salazar, at the first Chicano-sponsored antiwar protest. U. S. Attorney Robert Meyer was later pressured by Gray into halting his investigation and resigning from his post. Mae called Meyer, asking if he would help with her research. She wanted to find out why the Justice Department in Washington was stopping an attorney in Los Angeles from investigating the simple killing of a reporter. A month or so later, ex-U. S. Attorney Meyer was found dead "of an apparent heart attack" in a parking lot in Pasadena.
     Three weeks after the Watergate break-in, while the establishment press was calling it "a caper" and "a third-rate burglary," Mae Brussell completed a manuscript titled "Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped?" She named names—John Mitchell, L. Patrick Gray, Richard Nixon, the FBI, the CIA—and I published her first by-lined article in The Realist.
    "The CIA that killed President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy," she wrote, "did a test case in Greece on canceling elections. Andreas Papandreou, often compared with John Kennedy, appeared to have a good chance of winning the Greek election in 1967. The U.S. Army, the CIA and government agencies helped replace their elections with a coup d'etat. . . . The significance of the Watergate affair is that every element essential for a political coup in the United States was assembled at the time of the arrests."
     Mae Brussell contends that Nixon's own Watergate plumbers, and the entire intelligence network they represented, were prepared to overthrow Nixon whenever it was deemed necessary by the true powers. Ultimately, she believes, the same men who brought Nixon to power via the Kennedy assassinations were also pulling the strings at Watergate.
    Papandreou wrote to her from exile in Canada: "I am overwhelmed by the amount of work you have done and the documentation you bring to support your thesis. I have tried myself for a long time to bring out the conspiratorial aspects of the Greek coup of 1967. People are now beginning to understand how it happened that Greece went under a dictatorship. Your work is tremendously important. You have understood the framework in which these events take place, but more than that, you have dug out the facts. . ."
     Five days before Richard Nixon's would-be adversary, Robert Kennedy, was assassinated in Los Angeles, Mae Brussell handed a letter to Rose Kennedy, expressing her fear of imminent danger to his safety. A month before Mary Jo Kopechne died at Chappaquiddick, Mae warned Teddy Kennedy of "the nest of rattlesnakes" that wanted to abort his presidential possibilities. A few weeks before the SLA kidnapped the media as well as Patty Hearst, she told a Syracuse University audience that the SLA shooting of a black school superintendent in Oakland was merely the preliminary to a main event yet to come.
    "A lot of stuff comes to me psychically and then the documents follow," Mae explains. "After Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, I found it very interesting that one of the first things Ruby said was: 'I wanted to show them that a Jew had guts.' Well, the most anti-Semitic man in Dallas was H.L. Hunt, and he was publishing Lifeline and was meeting with Reverend Billy Hargis and all these neo-Nazi groups and the Minutemen down in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A radio script from a Hunt-owned station about being a 'hero' was found in Jack Ruby's car. No one ever asked him to explain how he got it. The Wednesday before the assassination, Ruby took a young woman to Hunt's office, trying to get her a job. Suddenly the whole plot of the Kennedy assassination began to open up in front of me. Here was this Jew, Jack Rubinstein, being used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. When the Warren Report came out, the very first witness I pulled to, the most important of the 552, was Oswald's friend George de Mohrenschildt, a man surrounded by neo-Nazi oil people, who was also suspected of being a Nazi during World War Two. De Mohrenschildt had set Oswald up with his oil-industry contacts in Texas. He also helped arrange for Oswald to get his job at the schoolbook depository and at the printing office where he learned all the details of the Dallas motorcade."
     In 1977, shortly before he was to undergo more questioning, De Mohrenschildt purportedly "shot himself" to death with a shotgun. According to the report in the Dallas News, just prior to his death he had been under the impression—or delusion—that the FBI was out to "get him" and therefore had been in a mental ward at Parkland Hospital.
    Mae Brussell spent eight years cross-filing the Warren Commission report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. She cross-filed every single minute of Jack Ruby's life that doubly fatal weekend, from Thursday (the day before Kennedy was killed) through Sunday (the day Ruby shot Oswald). She was able to account for his whereabouts totally, except for two hours in the afternoon on Saturday. Although she cannot prove it, she is convinced he was at the home of H.L. Hunt.
     "And then there was the testimony of Bernard Weissman. He was only one of twelve military intelligence people that were brought from Germany to Dallas for the assassination. He testified that Lamar Hunt and twenty members of the Birch Society used his name on that inflammatory 'Wanted for Treason' ad in the Dallas Times Herald about Kennedy because he was Jewish and they wanted a Jewish name on it. Somehow, on November 24, 1963, the Nazi link, the oil Nazis, the American military from Munich and the two Jew patsies, Rubinstein and Weissman, were all right there in Dallas. As I collected every possible document, the world picture began to get clearer to me, and my interest in the Kennedy assassination became more involved with the Nazi links than with the anti-Castro Cuban links. My disagreement with researchers at large is that they want to stop with the Bay of Pigs operation, and I think it's bigger."
    But why the Nazis? Racism, for one thing, says Mae. The Bormann Society, still dedicated to the establishment of the Fourth Reich, did not appreciate Kennedy's drive to educate Southern blacks and register them to vote. Nor did they care for the fact that he was Catholic and stood in opposition to the neo-Nazi oil interests.
     Mae Brussell's ascension to the throne as the queen of conspiracy investigations began with a harsh dose of culture shock during her childhood. Raised in Beverly Hills affluence, she was unhurt by the Depression (her grandfather founded the posh I. Magnins), and her family's house-guests ranged from Jack Warner and Louis B. Mayer to Thomas Mann. Her father used to go bike riding with Albert Einstein. "I grew up," she recalls, "thinking this is the way life was." Then, in her early teens, the family took a trip around the world, and her awareness of suffering expanded in the process. In Bombay, she saw people sleeping in the streets. They had no homes or possessions, let alone memberships in tennis clubs. In Shanghai, their boat hit a sampan and split it in half. Other people came out in boats to get the clothes off the victims' bodies. Some lived and died on their sampans, never getting to shore. She was not used to seeing such overwhelming poverty. In Egypt, it was the same. In Tel Aviv, the hotel her family stayed at was bombed. They were the last Americans out of Spain in 1936.
    "We were happy little tourists," she muses. "But it always bothered me. I never felt the same again. I was haunted by the I imbalance. I wanted to help people, but I didn't know what form it would take." In a few years, she would attend Stanford University, majoring in philosophy. "I think the discipline of it helped me with my research later."
    Then there was the influence of Henry Miller during Mae's 40s. "Henry freed me from a lot of hang-ups that I was brought up with. He opened up the whole field of sex as being normal as the air you breathe. He also helped me realize that freedom of the press, freedom to live and to love is what the struggle is all about. It's simply rhythm. People gotta shake their bodies—and relate to each other in their minds and hearts."
     A turning point in her comprehension of the global aspect of conspiracy occurred when she came across the story of a Heidelberg professor named E. J. Gumbel, in the book Inspection for Disarmament by Seymour Melman. Gumbel was forced to resign from his academic post during the Nazis' rise to power, because of his unpopular stance as a pacifist and an anti-fascist. He wrote three books between 1919 and 1922—Four Years of Lies, Two Years of Murders and Four Years of Political Murders. In these, Gumbel documented over 400 political assassinations, most of which were admitted to by the Minister of Justice in 1924.
    Mae Brussell began to study the pattern of Nazis coming to the United States after World War Two and patterns of murders identical to those in Nazi Germany. It was as if an early Lenny Bruce bit—on how a show-bit booking agency, MCA, chose Adolf Hitler as dictator—had actually been a satirical prophecy of the way Richard Nixon would rise to power. The parallels were frightening.
    "How much violence was there in Nazi Germany," Mae asks rhetorically, "before the old Germany, the center of theater, opera, philosophy, poetry, psychology and medicine, was destroyed? How many incidents took place that were not coincidental before it was called Fascism? What were the transitions? How many people? Was it when the first tailor disappeared? Or librarian? Or professor? Or when the first press was closed or the first song eliminated? Or when the first political science teacher was killed coming home on his bike? How many incidents happened there that were perfectly normal until people woke up and said, 'Hey, we're in a police state!'
     "Hitler was gassed in World War One and they took him to the hospital and, according to a U.S. Navy Intelligence report, they brought in a Dr. Forster, a hypnotist, and they groomed him. They told him that he would have troops that would someday invade Russia and kick the Communists out. They hypnotized him so that he would always believe that he'd be a great leader, like Joan of Arc.
    "Now, take a man like Nixon, a man who is going to be President of the United States. He's known for his poker playing, his straight face. He already has a proclivity for intelligence. He wrote to Hoover, asking to join the FBI. After World War Two, the great poker player of the South Pacific was assigned to the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, negotiating settlements of terminated defense contracts, where he helped escalate the importation of 642 Nazi specialists into the U. S. defense and aerospace industry—Project Paperclip. Then he gets a call from Murray Chotiner, who works with Howard Hughes and the Bank of America, inviting him to run for Congress against Jerry Voorhis. What did he have besides a poker face? In 1951 Senator Nixon introduced a bill to bring Nikolai Molaxa into the U. S. Molaxa was a former head of the Iron Guard and was allegedly involved in Nazi atrocities. Nixon set him up in an office of his own."
    Another turning point in Mae's research occurred when she attended the trial of Hugo Pinell, who had been charged with killing a Soledad prison guard. "A public defender was assigned on Friday to begin the case on Monday, and none of his witnesses could appear. The whole trial was rigged, and I was just outraged. It was then that I decided not only to study who killed John Kennedy, but also to find the relationship between the corruption of the courts, political prisoners in this country and the political assassinations and conspiracies. When you think of Hitler, you think of prisons like Auschwitz and Dachau. And when I thought about the killing of Kennedy and all the Nazis involved, I realized that the prison system had to be directly related to it. And that's when I began to correspond with prisoners and make friends with them and get more information about prison deaths and mind-control experiments. I found there were incidents identical to what occurred in Nazi Germany, where the innocent were locked up or killed and the guilty were allowed to go free.
    "Instead of just researching the deaths of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Mary Jo Kopechne, and the George Wallace shooting, I began collecting articles about the murders of people involved in those cases. And I began paying attention to the deaths of judges, attorneys, labor leaders, musicians, actors, professors, civil rights leaders—studying what I considered to be untimely, suspicious deaths."
     In preparation for an upcoming campus lecture in Seattle, Mae spends a day and a half cross-filing one ten-year-old article—"The Murder of Malcolm X" by Eric Norden—into some 30 different subjects. The actual motives behind the assassination. Collusion between Federal intelligence and local police. Involvement of bodyguards. Prime witnesses killed. Perjured testimony that doesn't fit the evidence. . .
    Sometimes Mae's theories seem like they've been pulled from the pages of a James Bond—or perhaps an E. Howard Hunt-spy thriller. "I found it interesting that the Cuban Watergate burglars—who were later given a $200,000 payoff by the CIA—were looking for the air-conditioning plans for the hotels in Miami, when later it was discovered that Legionnaire's Disease may have come through the air-conditioning ducts. There is the capability to use germs to neutralize people. The CIA has the germs. Legionnaire's Disease has the exact symptoms of a disease they were experimenting with at Fort Detrick, Maryland. When you hear of weapons control, you think of guns, tanks, planes, but you don't hear that they're selling germs, or that Nixon ordered Richard Helms to destroy the germs at Fort Detrick and Helms didn't. Nixon was put out as a bad man, isolated and ridiculed, but Helms went on to become ambassador to Iran and is immune to perjury charges."
    And now the Bionic Researcher is rolling her big wax ball of conspiracy at full speed.
    "Jimmy Carter and the Pentagon can talk about disarmament, but the real tragedy is the chemical weapons used for mind control. Some people are programmed and have lost their minds. What we call the motiveless crime or senseless killings are actually people being trained as zombies."
     She zips out the Congressional Record from February 24, 1972, and reads the testimony of Dr. Jose Delgado from Yale University, who was arguing against the proposed discontinuation of research into psychosurgery:

We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated. The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal view. This lacks historical perspective. Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electrically control the brain. Someday armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain.

    "So these are not just feelings I have," says Mae. "That speech was greeted by Congress with thundering silence—and money—government-funded programs paid for with our tax dollars. We are witnessing pockets of violence, because they are now able to electronically, surgically and hypnotically kill citizens. The army alone spent $26 million in projects to alter human behavior, and they not only did it with electrode implants but with LSD plus electrodes. They alter minds so that people act without knowing why. They can make someone murder a whole family and then kill himself."
     And that is where the prison system comes in. It is like a farm team to develop "talent" for the outside world. "You can't just take anybody off the street and make him decide to walk up and shoot people," Mae insists. "But take people who have had no love or affection, who are in prison, who in adolescence broke a school window and the court put them away. You lock them up—heterosexuals with homosexuals—you break their spirit, dehumanize them, take away chances for education, increase their feelings of inferiority. If you have hostility combined with this lack of opportunities, you begin nurturing a situation where children or young adults like Charles Manson or Gary Gilmore—people with high intelligence but a lot of misery—sit smoking and watching TV, covering up their anger, and become very ripe for indoctrination. These are the people that they select for electronic or hypnotic control. Hitler was gassed and told his mother had cancer, that a Jewish doctor let her die. . . so he transferred his various hatreds.
     "The case of Donald DeFreeze is identical to Adolf Hitler's. Colton Westbrook, a mind-control expert who worked with [CIA Director William] Colby in Southeast Asia, helped DeFreeze with the Black Culture Association at the Vacaville prison in California. DeFreeze was told he would be a new black leader to replace Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Later, he was shot and burned to death with all-white associates, no blacks, in of agents from the Defense Department—no different from Hitler or Lee Harvey Oswald."
     If, indeed, we each create our deities as extensions of our own personalities, then the first thing that Mae Brussell's version of God would have done was to make a list. She can spew out a ticker tape with names of dead witnesses—literally hundreds of deaths she finds not exactly above suspicion.
    Labor leaders: Waiter Reuther, Joseph Yablonski, Saul Alinsky, Jimmy Hoffa, Sam Bramlet—"And there was a contract to kill Cesar Chavez, from the Treasury Department no less—the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency. Meanwhile, Argentine, Chilean and Brazilian police squads are killing off labor people."
     Mafia leaders: Sam Giancana, Jimmy Hoffa, John Roselli—"It was just a fluke that he bounced up; his legs were cut off and his torso put in an oil drum. Carlo Gambino—given a shot of swine flu inoculation when he had a heart disease. Sheffield Edwards was killed and William Harvey was killed—the CIA contacts with the Mafia people—and the CIA agent Guy Bannister was killed. He worked with Robert Maheu and with Lee Harvey Oswald, and he flew out a window. The same people who were behind it are alive today, and they're sweeping away the bodies. It's at the highest levels that these conspiracies are planned, not just with a few Cuban exiles."
     Musicians: Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Mama Cass Elliott, Jim Croce, Tim Buckley—"And almost thirty other fine musicians have died under mysterious circumstances. Rock musicians had an ability to draw together youth at a time when protest meetings were being broken apart, and the hippie, antiwar youth became too visible with their own, unique art form at Woodstock. The Senate investigation documented that persons seeking 'racial harmony' and 'social protest' were defined as enemies of the state. Only people like Sonny and Cher, the Osmonds, John Denver and the Captain and Tennille make it as role models. They either have to tame you or kill you."
     And then there's Freddy Prinze. "He was an active Democrat, entertained by the President at the White House, a symbol for the Chicano. He had a deep concern about who killed Kennedy. He had a copy of the Abraham Zapruder film, and he kept playing it over and over. Time magazine says he had an intrigue about death because he kept watching Kennedy die. Well, you could say he was worried about how Kennedy was killed.
    "I know researchers who've played that film over two hundred times. It's not because they are preoccupied with death, but because it's perfectly obvious that the government is lying, that Kennedy's head is going back. And here's a guy, Freddy Prinze, who every time somebody comes over, he shows the film to them and talks about it. He tells a psychiatrist he's suicidal, who takes his gun, and then when he leaves, he hands it back to him. Then Freddy goes to Vegas and picks up a hundred Quaaludes from another doctor. The removal of Freddy Prinze means one less visual person from that stratum of society. They lose a symbol for the Puerto Rican kids sitting on the steps in New York. There are no positive visual images of Chicanos on the screen. No encouragement for the young ones, because this one's heavily doped and has blown his brains out."
    In lieu of the frightening conclusions she's made, does she have any basis for optimism?
    "No, I'm not optimistic now—not when government agents work with germ warfare and genocide, and those who put Hitler into power are still at it. Instead of having low-cost housing, there are SWAT teams for food riots when there's no shortage of food.
    "I see pockets of fascism. You can still read about a Jewish butcher in Miami having his window broken every night, and in San José a bookstore broken into like in Nazi Germany, and Mein Kampf coming out all over Latin America. Those Nazis were brought there and now they're surfacing. The Rockefellers' attorney, Allen Dulles, consulted with Reinhard Gehlen, the Nazi intelligence chief, to form our own CIA. George Ball writes about getting rid of people by the millions. Patrick Buchanan writes an article justifying the use of torture. Zbigniew Brzezinski, head of our National Security Council, writes that 'with the use of computers, human behavior itself will become more determined and subject to deliberate programming,' and that 'it will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen.'
    "I believe that the Nazis and the Minutemen and the Christian movement are going to get very strong, and at the same time there's going to be a massive depression. I see large masses of people around the world being deliberately starved every day. I see terrible things happening to reduce the population of this earth, so that those who control the corporations don't have to provide for the needs of the poor."
    At KLRB one Monday, somebody called and asked Mae the question that she is asked most often: "How come you're still alive?"
     "Well, I'm not," she chuckled. "I'm a robot."
    But it is a question that Mae Brussell has obviously considered. If she knows so much, why haven't they killed her?
    "The way they handle you is to ignore or discredit. But if I were at Madison Square Garden and had that big an audience, then I wouldn't be alive. I don't want to meet large masses of people. My role is mostly to educate people and let them figure it out for themselves. Tell them books to read and sources of information. The main contribution that I've tried to make with my research is to study things individually and then find the connecting links. I'm not a movement or organization, because if I had five people, one would probably be an agent. The ratio is four to one."
     She pauses to count her stitches. Mae is knitting sweaters for each of her children.
     "That's why the CIA works on a basis of need-to-know. Because if you know too much, you may not do what you're supposed to do. If you know that the end result is that somebody's going to be blown up twelve miles away—and all you're supposed to do is deliver an envelope—you may think about it. One man who called me had killed ten people—a number of the murders were chemically induced 'apparent heart attacks'—for the CIA. But when he was ordered to kill a Congresswoman, he refused. Another CIA agent then tried to kill him by cutting his jugular vein, but he had it sewn up and survived. Now he's vowed vengeance against them. He told me that agents listen to my show, Dialogue: Conspiracy, and I asked,'What do they think about it?' He said they think it's right on, that they can understand. That it's also a safety valve for them, something that lets them know just how far things are going."
    And so we are left with the bizarre possibility that the intelligence community allows the Bionic Researcher to function precisely because she knows more than any of them do.
    Despite her obsession, Mae Brussell claims she has not had to sacrifice her family because of her work. "It's not my whole life," she says. "It's important to find out who killed Kennedy, but not at the expense of your own humanness. I don't lose anything if they never find out who killed him. I still have my self-respect. And I like having children and preparing meals and mastering everything having to do with the home. In fact, my initial concern over who killed John Kennedy was basically a selfish one. I wanted to find out if there had been a coup, if the United States was going fascist. Would I be like Anne Frank's father, who told his family that things were OK and that people were basically good—while they were living their last days? They never fought Nazism, but just watched it all go by and hid in the attic until their time came around to be taken away. With a family of five children, my husband and myself, I had an obligation to understand the world outside my home.
    "When Hitler failed, his officers were brought to the U. S., from inside Rockefeller Center, and to the Bahamas and Southern states to build that dream of the Fourth Reich. It is in this context that the Kennedys, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, labor leaders, judges, entertainers, reporters, authors, students, Black Panthers, Indians, Chicanos and hippies are being slain, and why the masses are being doped into control."
    In December 1970, Mae's daughter, Bonnie, was killed at the age of 15 in a suspicious auto accident. The driver of the other car—a soldier in the U. S. Army at Ford Ord—went AWOL two weeks after the crash, returned to his home and was not sought by authorities. Barbara Brussell, another daughter, was also in that accident. Her legs were severely injured; she also suffered from a broken back, face injuries and a broken nose and arm, but now dances with graceful agility. She took a course called "American Assassinations" that Mae taught at Monterey Peninsula College. "Mom combines being a researcher and a mother," Barbara says. "They have to overlap at times. Mom tends to doubt almost everything; that's her first instinct—especially as events are described in the news—instead of taking any chances of agreeing first, then having to go back later. It's a way of perceiving things that adds a little negativity to events—worrying or being suspicious if a person is an agent or not. But it's her world."
    Her mother is casually devouring the obituary page for clues. A neighborhood pharmacist has died at the age of 81 of "natural causes." The clipping triggers no conspiratorial connections in Mae's computer. "Here," the Bionic Researcher laughs, "I'll give you this one ..."

Paul Krassner, now publisher of Hustler, was between unemployment checks when we commissioned this article.