Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Harry Alan Towers

According to Anthony Summers, Harry Alan Towers was by 1960 "a prosperous film producer working, out of Hollywood and Toronto". Towers was a regular visitor to London and at a party held by American millionaire Huntington Hartford he was introduced by Stephen Ward to Mariella Novotny. She later claimed that "Towers said he could make me into a television model for commercials in America." In December 1960, Mariella Novotny arrived in New York City. She later told a friend that "I wanted to be famous and show my mother that I could make a go of life myself." Novotny was arrested on 3rd March 1961 by the FBI and was charged with soliciting. Three days later Towers was charged with violation of the White Slave Traffic Act, alleging that he had transported Novotny from England to New York for the purpose of prostitution.In a statement made to the FBI, Novotny claimed that: "Towers took me to the Great Northern Hotel... The following afternoon Towers brought a prostitution date to me, who paid me $40 to commit a sexual act. Thereafter I entertained prostitution dates regularly and earned approximately $400 a week. I gave Towers about $300 of this money." Novotny added: "Towers was present when prostitution acts were committed." She provided detailed lists of madames and prostitutes who had arranged dates, or gone on threesomes with her - all, she claimed, introduced to her by Towers. Novotny also told the FBI that "Towers was a Soviet agent and that Soviets wanted information for purposes of compromise of prominent individuals."Towers provided a different interpretation on what happened: "I had an affair with her (Mariella Novotny) and didn't know she was a hooker. Our total involvement was that she joined me in New York and lived with me in a couple of hotels... I got into trouble through my own stupidity.... I was in the other room writing a screenplay. She came rushing into the room - she wasn't living with me then, she'd asked if she could come up to meet somebody - I was busy working when she rushed in naked and said there was a policeman in the other room." Philip Knightley explains that: "Towers was held in the Manhattan House of Detention on $10,000 bail until his hearing, set down for 7 March... On 15 March Towers's bail was reduced to $5,000 and he was released. He appeared before a grand jury on 12 April on five counts of violating the WSTA. On 25 April he came up before judge Charles M. Metzner and pleaded not guilty to all five charges." Knightley adds that the District Attorney asked that bail be increased to $25,000 because "a large number of influential and wealthy persons involved in this case would like to see the defendant out of the country." The judge refused the request and as a result by the time his trial was due to begin on 16th May 1961, Towers had fled the country. According to a report written by J. Edgar Hoover, Towers was now living in the Soviet Union. On 31st May 1961 Mariella Novotny boarded the Cunard liner, Queen Mary, using the false name of Mrs R. Tyson. By the time the ship reached Southampton, the British immigration authorities had received word from the FBI that Tyson was really Mariella Novotny and that she was wanted in the United States in a "sex-for-sale" case which involved men in "high elective office in the United States government."The FBI case against Towers and Novotny was eventually dropped. Novotny returned to running sex parties in London. So many senior politicians attended that she began referring to herself as the "government's Chief Whip". As well as British politicians such as John Profumo and Ernest Marples, foreign leaders such as Willy Brandt and Ayub Khan, attended these parties.Mandy Rice-Davies later wrote in her autobiography: "In early 1962 I received an offer to make a television commercial in the States. The producer had come to England to find a girl with a British accent, typically British-looking." On 11th July, 1962, Rice-Davies and Christine Keeler, arrived in New York City. They stayed at a hotel on Fire Island. According to Rice-Davies she fell asleep on the beach and was badly sunburnt. She telephoned the studio and told them: "I've had this accident - first-degree sunburn. It will take about a month if I am lucky to get my skin back in order." The women returned to London on 18th July. It later emerged that their movements in America were being monitored by the FBI. Was this producer Harry Alan Towers? Rice-Davies does not name the producer but it is an interesting fact that Rice-Davies later appeared in a film, Black Venus, that was produced by Towers. In June, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover produced an internal memo on the Profumo Scandal: For information. John Profumo was British Minister of War until his recent resignation following disclosure of his relations with Christine Keeler. Stephen Ward, London osteopath, has been arrested in London charged with living on the earnings of Keeler and Marilyn Rice-Davies, prostitutes. Ward's operations reportedly part of a large vice ring involving many people including many prominent people in the U.S. and England including other Ministers of British Cabinet not yet identified. Other individuals involved include Yevgeny Ivanov, aka Eugene Ivanov, former Soviet Naval Attache, London, who patronised Keeler and who reportedly requested Keeler to obtain information from Profumo; Thomas J. Corbally, U.S. citizen engaged in business in Britain, who reportedly gave wild parties in his flat; Michael H. B. Eddowes, British attorney for Keeler, now in the U.S. representing her interests re sale of her story to publications; Horace Dibben, British citizen, in whose residence sex orgies were held is husband of Maria Novotny; Maria Novotny is prostitute who operated in NYC, was arrested on March three, one nine six one, and was victim in white slave case involving her procurer, Alan Towers. She fled to England and has participated in orgies at Ward residence. Alan Towers was in NYC for two years prior to his arrest in above white slave case. He jumped bail and is now a bureau fugitive. He is reportedly now permanently residing behind Iron Curtain. Novotny alleges Towers was a Soviet agent and that Soviets wanted information for purposes of compromise of prominent individuals; Lord Astor of England on whose Cliveden Estate sex orgies reportedly occurred: it was here that Profumo first met Keeler; Douglas Fairbanks, Jnr, movie actor; Earl Felton, American screen writer; and many others also involved.Hoover was wrong to claim that Towers was living in the Soviet Union. In fact, he was successfully producing films in London. However, it is this passage that is very interesting: "Ward's operations reportedly part of a large vice ring involving many people including many prominent people in the U.S. and England including other Ministers of British Cabinet not yet identified. Other individuals involved include Yevgeny Ivanov, aka Eugene Ivanov, former Soviet Naval Attache, London, who patronised Keeler and who reportedly requested Keeler to obtain information from Profumo; Thomas J. Corbally, U.S. citizen engaged in business in Britain, who reportedly gave wild parties in his flat... Novotny alleges Towers was a Soviet agent and that Soviets wanted information for purposes of compromise of prominent individuals; Lord Astor of England on whose Cliveden Estate sex orgies reportedly occurred: it was here that Profumo first met Keeler; Douglas Fairbanks, Jnr, movie actor; Earl Felton, American screen writer; and many others also involved." Hoover was obviously being kept in the dark about what was really happening. It was a MI5/CIA honeytrap operation. Both Thomas J. Corbally and Earl Felton were both CIA informants. Towers was clearly rewarded for the help he gave MI5/CIA. He enjoyed a successful career in movies. Despite being 88 years old he is currently producing Moll Flanders that will be released next year. For more information on Towers read my page on him. Then compare it to the page provided by Wikipedia: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYtowers.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Alan_TowersFor his television and movie career see:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0869935/

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

John Profumo

It is 45 years since Stephen Ward committed suicide. At the time, there was a complete cover-up of what was really happening. I thought it might be worthwhile looking at what we really know about the case today.

Stephen Ward was involved in recruiting young women to take part in sex parties held for the ruling elite in Britain. One of the women who held these parties was called Mariella Novotny, who had an expensive home in London provided by a wealthy night-club owner, Horace Dibben. These parties were attended by several ministers in the government.

Ward was in constant contact with a man who was known as “Woods”. At his trial Ward said that he had contact with Woods at Room 393 at the War Office. According to Christine Keeler in her autobiography published in 2001, Ward used to meet Woods at their flat. Ward told Keeler that Woods was interested in the names of the people who went to these sex parties.

Ward told the court that in early 1961 he informed Woods that John Profumo, the War Minister and Eugene Ivanov, an naval attaché at the Soviet embassy, were attending these parties.

In 1987 an investigation by the Sunday Times identified “Woods” as being Keith Wagstaffe, an MI5 officer working for DI Operations, a section of the Counter-Intelligence branch. We know from Stephen Ward's unpublished memoir, and from the report provided by MI5 for the government inquiry held by Lord Denning, that the intelligence services were especially interested in the activities of Eugene Ivanov, who they rightly considered was spying for the KGB. In one of these early meetings Ward asked if he should continue seeing Ivanov. Wagstaffe replied that he should but he needed to keep him informed about Ivanov's activities. The authors of the two main books about the case, An Affair of State and Honeytrap, claim that MI5 were attempting to entrap Ivanov is some sort of sex scandal in order to backmail him into becoming a double-agent. They are surely right about this.

We also know that the FBI were monitoring the women that Ward was using to entrap Ivanov. Mariella Novotny, Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies all visited the United States between 1960-62 and that released FBI documents show that they were suspected of having sex with leading politicians, including John and Robert Kennedy.

Mandy Rice-Davies, one of the prostitutes, involved in this “honeytrap” pointed out in her book published in 1980 that Ivanov resisted their advances. Keeler later claimed that she had sex with Ivanov on one occasion but most people who investigated this case, suspect that she was lying. This is also the view of Rice-Davies. It would seem that the “honeytrap” was not working.

Keith Wagstaffe was refused permission by MI5 to talk to the Sunday Times in 1987. However, unofficially, he did provide Philip Knightley, the journalist working on the case, with some key information. We now know for example that Ward warned MI5 that John Profumo had become embroiled in this “honeytrap”. However, it was sometime afterwards that Profumo was warned about this and he broke off contact with Keeler. This suggests to me that the intention of this honeytrap was to compromise politicians as well as KGB agents.

This is also the case in the United States. Bobby Baker, who used some of the same girls as Stephen Ward, was mainly interested in entrapping politicians. It is assumed, that this enabled Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover to blackmail these politicians. John and Robert Kennedy both became victims of this plot.

One of the most interesting aspects of this US/UK honeytrap operation was the use of Mariella Novotny. It was not just enough to have evidence that politicians were having sex with prostitutes. It was vitally important to persuade them that were involved in a relationship with a KGB spy. The reality is that Mariella Novotny was not a KGB spy. In fact, Mariella Novotny was not even her right-name. Her birth certificate states that she was Stella Capes and she was born in the East End of London in 1942.

It was later claimed that her grandfather was Antonín Novotny, the President of Czechoslovakia from 1957 to 1968 and the General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1953 to 1968. If this is the case, and Mariella Novotny was a KGB spy, why would she make it easy for the intelligence services, by changing her name to indicate a link with a communist regime? It makes no sense at all, unless the real motive, was to aquire information to blackmail senior politicians with this story.

For more information on this story see the following pages of the Spartacus Educational website:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYkeeler.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYwardS.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRprofumo.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYivanov.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYdavies.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKnovotny.htm

Period House Style Archive Group

Have a look at our Flickr photographs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/freepedia/
This digital photographic collections allows you to research hundreds of images on period design details. You can also contribute by added comments or starting relevant topic discussions. Opening up your own Flickr account will enable you to add your own images and contribute to the Period House Style Archive Group.

Lou Bernstein

I have added a page on Lou Bernstein to my Directory of Documentary Photographers
http://www.freepedia.co.uk/DIRPhoto.php

Lou Bernstein was known as “The photographer’s photographer”, among the prominent great photographers of his generation. During the 1950’s through the 1980’s, Bernstein’s personal views, articulations on the aesthetics of photography, established him as a much sought after lecturer, critic, and teacher. He conducted numerous private individual and public group photographic workshops, as well as becoming a college educator. Bernstein taught at The Phoenix School of Design, NY, and at the request of W. Eugene Smith, took over Smith’s classes at Cooper Union, when Smith went to Japan for Life Magazine.
http://www.freepedia.co.uk/DIRPhotoBernstein.php

Monday, 15 December 2008

President Kennedy

President Kennedy was assassinated on 22nd November 1963. He was replaced by Lyndon Johnson. Some historians have claimed that the death of JFK had a tremendous impact on the development of modern history. For example, JFK was involved in secret talks with the Soviet Union at the time of his death to bring an end to the Cold War. His leading advisers also claim that he was also about to withdraw US involvement in Vietnam. These issues are covered on the following pages:

John Kennedy

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/j/John_F._Kennedy.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAkennedyJ.htm

Assassination of John Kennedy

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKindex.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/j/John_F._Kennedy_assassination.htm

Lyndon Johnson

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAjohnsonLB.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/l/Lyndon_B._Johnson.htm


Cold War

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ColdWar.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/c/Cold_War.htm

Vietnam War


http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/vietnam.html

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/v/Vietnam_War.htm

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Race Relations in the United States

At the end of the American Civil War radical members of Congress attempted to destroy the white power structure of the Rebel states. The Freeman's Bureau was established by Congress on 3rd March, 1865. The bureau was designed to protect the interests of former slaves. This included helping them to find new employment and to improve educational and health facilities. In the year that followed the bureau spent $17,000,000 establishing 4,000 schools, 100 hospitals and providing homes and food for former slaves.

Attempts by Congress to extend the powers of the Freemen's Bureau was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson in February, 1866. In April 1866, Johnson also vetoed the Civil Rights Bill that was designed to protect freed slaves from Southern Black Codes (laws that placed severe restrictions on freed slaves such as prohibiting their right to vote, forbidding them to sit on juries, limiting their right to testify against white men, carrying weapons in public places and working in certain occupations).

The first branch of the Ku Klux Klan was established in Pulaski, Tennessee, in May, 1866. A year later a general organization of local Klans was established in Nashville in April, 1867. Most of the leaders were former members of the Confederate Army and the first Grand Wizard was Nathan Forrest, an outstanding general during the American Civil War. During the next two years Klansmen wearing masks, white cardboard hats and draped in white sheets, tortured and killed black Americans and sympathetic whites. Immigrants, who they blamed for the election of Radical Republicans, were also targets of their hatred. Between 1868 and 1870 the Ku Klux Klan played an important role in restoring white rule in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

You will find more information about these related subjects here:

Slavery in the United States

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAslavery.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/s/Slavery.htm

The American Civil War

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAcivilwarC.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/a/American_Civil_War.htm

The KKK

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAkkk.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/k/Ku_Klux_Klan.htm

Civil Rights Movement

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAcivilrights.htm

http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/c/Civil_rights.htm