Within my studies of the Beatles and their connections, I sometimes come across information that I am not exactly sure how to interpret. This is definitely the case here in this article. I am hoping that someone reading this will be able to help shed some light on what may be happening here. This article is meant to serve as a sort-of sequel to my previous entry “The Way things are Going“, but should serve as only a small nibble of the whole enchilada.
The weird connection?
Weird right? Where even to start? Cuba has a very interesting history. Cuba and the US obviously have a bit of history going back to the 1960’s and even earlier. The US has operated a naval base from Cuba’s south-eastern shore (approximately where Columbus is said to have disembarked centuries ago)since 1898. Now probably most infamous for its prison camp, Guantanamo Bay- where prisoners are held without due process and subjected to torture and ghastly interrogations since the Bush Jr. Administration in 2002. Oddly enough, Wikipedia directed me to an interesting little factoid that I was previously unaware of in regards to Guantanamo Bay. It’s something to keep in mind as we proceed:
From 2003 to 2006, the CIA operated a small site, known informally as “Penny Lane,” to house prisoners whom the agency attempted to recruit as spies against Al-Qaeda. The housing at Penny Lane was less sparse by the standards of Guantanamo Bay, with private kitchens, showers, televisions, and beds with mattresses. The camp was divided into eight units. Its existence was revealed to the Associated Press in 2013.
Penny Lane? Now why on earth would they call part of a prison camp known to house spies-in-training Penny Lane?!? Odd.
Oh yeah, and the area in which “Penny Lane” resides is deemed… Strawberry Fields.
In 2003 a secret compound, known as Strawberry Fields, was constructed near the main Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. It was not until August 2010 that reporters found that it had been constructed to hold CIA detainees classified as “high value”. These were among the many men known as ghost detainees, as they were ultimately held for years for interrogation by the CIA in its secret prisons known as black sites at various places in Europe, the Mideast, and Asia, including Afghanistan.
This is precisely the compound that gained so much attention in recent years with the torture and water boarding scrutitny. What on earth persuaded them to name these areas of espionage training and torture facilities after Beatles songs?
Anyhoo… moving on.
Most notably here though, is the US conflict with Cuba during the Kennedy Administration and the Bay of Pigs incident in 1961, and its’ dealings with Castro during the Cold War era. As covered in brief in the previous article “The Way Things are Going” about the circumstances revolving around John Lennon’s assassination-style death, we find a possible strange Cuban connection with the Dakota Doorman, Jose Perdomo, Operation 40, and Brigade 2506. In 1961, Brigade 2506 was the name given to a CIA-sponsored group of Cuban exiles formed to attempt the military overthrow of the Cuban government headed by Fidel Castro. It carried out the abortive Bay of Pigs Invasion landings in Cuba on 17 April 1961. Operation 40 was a “secret” CIA operation in which trained assassins (Cuban exiles) attempted multiple times to assassinate Fidel Castro and seize control of Cuba following the failed Bay of Pigs operation. Perdomo is said to have been the head recruiter of assassins-to-be for Operation 40. Source
Jose Perdomo was present at the Dakota where he was employed as a doorman/security guard the night John Lennon was shot. He was one of only four complete witnesses to the crime that evening (the other three being Yoko Ono, Mark David Chapman [the suspect] and John Lennon himself, really you could say Perdomo was the ONLY known witness to see all the events as they occurred). He has been suspected of being a recruiter as well as trainer for the CIA and Brigade 2506 by many researchers around the world for decades. Organizations thought to also be collaborators in this effort are World Vision (who have had a recent scandal within its ranks tied to corruption and terrorist groups) Source And, whom Mark David Chapman (Lennon’s assailant) was employed. There are plenty websites and books on the subject, and the speculations are not abstract in any way. Truly, it appears that Jose Perdomo was indeed used as an asset by the CIA at the very least during the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. One such piece of evidence is in this archived newspaper article from the September 13th, 1989 L.A. Times (linked) where Jose Perdomo speaks about the sudden mysterious death of Brigade 2506 Commander J.A. San Roman and is quoted:
“He has been depressed for a long time over the problem in Cuba,” said Jose Perdomo, who fought under San Roman at the Bay of Pigs.”
If interested, you can learn more about Jose Perdomo, his various aliases and associations here or multiple other places around the internet or your favorite local library. Many “researchers” have made wild speculative claims about Jose Perdomo’s role in John Lennon’s murder. I am not going to do that here. I think it is important for readers to take all the information presented and make up their own mind, or be further inspired to look deeper in order to make sense of it. Let me say- this is just a scratch of the surface. There is a whole lot more. This is about to get even more interesting.
Oh, Yoko! What can be said that hasn’t been said already about dear Yoko. Well, I don’t hear many researchers discuss her family ties too often- so let’s start there. Yoko Ono comes from a Japanese line of nobility. She was born into a very wealthy banking aristocratic family on February 18, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan. Coming from a long distinguished line of Samurai warriors, Ono was the eldest of Isoko and Eisuke Ono’s three children. Eisuke, Yoko’s father worked for the Yokohama Specie Bank, and was transferred to San Francisco, California in 1933. Ono’s mother held the nobility line in the family. Her grandfather, Zenjiro Yasuda established the Third National Bank in 1876, the Yasuda bank in 1880 (later known as the Fugi Bank- and now the Mizuho Financial Group) which became the financial arm of Imperial Japan. John Lennon, on seeing Yasuda’s photograph, is alleged to have said ‘That’s me in a former life’, to which Ono replied ‘Don’t say that. He was assassinated‘. source The Ono family moved to New York in 1940 and then back to Japan in 1941, when her father was transferred to Hanoi on the eve of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7th, 1941 for those keeping track- 39 years + 1 day before John Lennon’s assassination). After WWII Yoko’s family moved intermittently between the US and Japan, continuing in the banking industry and allowing for Yoko and her siblings to attend prestigious schools, such as Sarah Lawrence in Scarsdale NY where Yoko attended- as did Linda Eastman (Sir Paul McCartney’s deceased wife) and Barbara Walters (Nancy Shevell’s cousin- now married to Sir Paul McCartney). Yoko would later be institutionalized in Japan- where she became pregnant with her first child- Kyoko, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. That will have to be discussed another time. There is not too much information available about Yoko’s brother, and her sister is pretty scarce as well- but oddly that’s where the Cuban connection is found.
Yoko’s younger sister, Setsuko Ono, like Yoko is an artist and sculptor. She happens to be married to a Mr. Piero Gleijeses. Gleijeses is a professor of United States foreign policy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He happens to be the only non-Cuban to have been allowed access to the Cuba’s Castro-era government archives. He is also a Castro-sympathizer as well as friend of the recently deceased Fidel Castro. He has completed scholarly, investigative works determining the CIA’s role in usurping regimes within countries and regions such as Cuba, and South Africa. He speaks 7 languages. Personally, I am not sure what to think exactly of Fidel Castro and all the X,Y, and Z we have been told about him, what is real or what has been fabricated- but regardless, this man Piero Gleijeses has spent a good part of his life trying to clear his name. He has some fascinating work available online, I will post some links below for continued interest.
What does this information mean? I don’t know to be honest- this could all be happenstance and coincidence. All I know for sure is that the 1960’s and beyond throughout the Cold War was a very turbulent time in America and throughout the world. I am also certain that the Beatles were the biggest band in the world at that time (and even still??) and held MAJOR influence over the masses of the baby boomer generation. If a person or group of persons wanted to influence the minds of the largest generation of Americans of that time- through the Beatles might be a very strategic ploy. I also know that the Beatles and their music was banned in Cuba in 1964, much like the USSR despite the Beatles releasing such songs as Revolution and Back in the USSR. Also like the USSR, the Beatles became an underground sensation within the Cuban populace. A true “weapon” of the Cold War as described by Leslie Woodhead in a previous article “Behind the camera” . I also know for certain that John and Yoko were being watched closely by the alphabet agencies of the US.There have been literally hundreds of declassified FBI documents made public that confirm the CIA and FBI had extensive efforts to deport, discredit and disable the life and works of John Lennon. He was also receiving death treats frequently, as well as multiple attempts of extortion. Quite a few parallels to ponder here. With all that in mind, we just might have some potential within these bits of information for real value and importance to the bigger picture. Let’s break it down into simpler terms if possible.
- John Lennon was killed on December 8th, 1980- in front of very few witnesses, one being Jose Perdomo, employed by the Dakota Apartment building in which John and Yoko resided.
- Jose Perdomo was apparently anti-Castro, having worked for the CIA in a plot to overthrow the Fidel Castro and the Cuban regime in the early 1960’s.
- Perdomo is also likely to have recruited Cuban exiles in the US for Operation 40 from refugee camps to be trained as assassins to be used against Castro in Cuba.
- Setsuko Ono, younger sibling of Yoko Ono is betrothed to Castro sympathizer, whistle-blower type investigative researcher; Piero Gleijeses.
In 2000, an unlikely(?) thing happened. On December 8, 2000 – the 20th. anniversary of Lennon’s murder in New York City – a special ceremony was held at Parque Menocal, in Havana. The ceremony was to commemorate John Lennon of course (no, not Lenin- John Lennon ex-Beatle). Castro himself was in attendance, and unveiled a bronze statue of John Lennon sculpted by Cuban artist Jose Villa Soberon depicted sitting on a park bench. It was announced, the name of the park was now being officially changed to John Lennon Park, and the statue is forever immortalized in Havana’s Revolution Square.
“What makes him [John Lennon] great in my eyes, is his thinking, his ideas. I share his dreams completely. I too am a dreamer who has seen his dreams turn into reality.” -Fidel Castro
In conclusion, I don’t really have a conclusion. On the surface, it seems as though we have a major conflict of interest here- playing out on the world stage of the Cold-War era. We have powerful influentials and communist regimes being mentioned through many different facets- Japan, USSR, Cuba. But considering the time and place of events, all of the other individuals discussed on TheNumberNineBlog in and around the Beatles camp with seemingly questionable ties and motives, and the peculiar circumstances surrounding the death of John Lennon- it is difficult to fully understand the scope of the issue here, but I feel we are getting closer. In my opinion, the Beatles were bigger than ‘just a band’, even if you count only their influences on the culture (and counter-culture) of the 1960s and beyond. Could there be even more clandestine operatives in play here? It certainly seems that way at times. But I also can’t seem to shake the infamous quote by Lenin (yes, Lenin not Lennon this time) while studying these Beatles mysteries.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”
― Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
…To Be Continued…
References used in this article: