New Life in Sirhan Defense
<p><!--StartFragment --><span class="cauthor"><font size="4"><a target="_blank" href="http://tinyurl.com/5e97a">New Life in Sirhan Defense</a></font></span></p>
<p><span class="cauthor">By John Hiscock, John Hiscock is an L.A.-based British journalist who writes for the London Daily Telegraph.</span> </p>
<div class="content">Ever since he was seized with a .22-caliber
revolver in his hand in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in June
1968, Sirhan Sirhan has maintained he was hypnotized into shooting Sen.
Robert F. Kennedy. <br><br>The contention was discounted by the jury,
which, after deliberating for 16 1/2 hours, found him "alone and not in
concert with anyone else" guilty of murder in the first degree. Almost
everyone who studied the case subsequently agreed. <br><br>But nearly
40 years later, the story refuses to die. In recent months, several
people have emerged to suggest that Sirhan may have been telling the
truth; that he may have been hypnotized into becoming a "Manchurian
Candidate"-style assassin. The catalyst for the campaign is a new book,
"Nemesis," by British author Peter Evans, who, using CIA documents and
interviews, claims to have identified the hypnotist as Dr. William
Joseph Bryan, who had worked on CIA mind-control programs and who was
later found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room in mysterious circumstances.
<br><br>Is it nuts?
Another meaningless conspiracy theory? You be the judge. Celebrities
and journalists Robert Vaughn and Dominick Dunne among them have
taken up the case and are pressing the federal government to open an
investigation into the case. Vaughn, who was a good friend of Sen.
Kennedy's (and who starred in the long-running television series "The
Man From U.N.C.L.E"), has sent a copy of the book to Sirhan. In his
accompanying letter he told Sirhan: "It contains important new
information about your case that I believe substantiates your claims of
having been hypnotized at the time of the shooting and also produces
the first credible evidence of motivation and method
. Important people
are talking of it opening the door to a long overdue federal
investigation into the assassination." <br><br>Sirhan's lawyer,
Lawrence Teeter, has always maintained that his client was under
hypnosis at the time of the shooting. Now he has filed a lawsuit in Los
Angeles Superior Court in connection with the demolition of the
Ambassador Hotel. He says the pantry must not be destroyed because, he
claims, bullet holes in the walls and ceiling demonstrate conclusively
that more than one gunman fired shots at Kennedy. <br><br>Both
Evans and Teeter argue that Sirhan was there as the "patsy" to be
either arrested or, preferably, shot to death by police while the real
assassin escaped. They both agree that although Sirhan fired some shots
before he was wrestled down, none of them hit Kennedy.<br><br>Evans
contends Sirhan was hypnotized during a three-month period known as the
"white fog" when the police task force later investigating the
assassination and trying to construct a meticulous timetable of
Sirhan's activities up to the shooting lost track of him. Evans
quotes LAPD Detective Bill Jordan, who was Sirhan's first interrogator,
as saying the investigators were unable to penetrate the "white fog"
surrounding the 12-week gap, about which Sirhan appeared to have total
also reproduces parts of Sirhan's diary that contain what he says are
"trance-like" entries and which some psychiatrists he interviewed
identified as "automatic writing" a technique sometimes used by
hypnotherapists to implant ideas in the subconscious of a hypnotized
patient. <br><br>Hypnotism is considered hokum by many, but others
argue that it has been effectively used to help smokers give up the
habit, cure sleep disorders and reduce stress and for other purposes.
It is also now accepted in many quarters that hypnotism was used by the
CIA and military intelligence as part of a U.S. government program to
enable handlers to make people commit crimes with no knowledge of what
they were doing. <br><br>For the moment, few credible historians or
students of the assassination are signing on to this latest version.
"The Manchurian Candidate," the satirical novel by Richard Condon about
a U.S. soldier brainwashed by communists into becoming a political
assassin, was, in their opinion, nothing more than a work of fiction.
But to hear Evans and Co. tell it, his premise may have been
unsettlingly accurate. </div>
<div class="content"> </div>
<div class="content"><a target="_blank" href="http://tinyurl.com/5e97a">http://tinyurl.com/5e97a</a></div>
<h5>Message From Sithan's Attorney (via Cia Drugs List)</h5>
<p><b>LETTER TO THE EDITOR</b><br>
Hypnosis in the Case of Sirhan Sirhan</p>
Re "New Life in Sirhan Defense," Commentary, Jan. 31: As Sirhan
Sirhan's attorney, I must correct the record about hypnosis in the
Sirhan case. Herbert Spiegel MD, a New York psychiatrist and world-
renowned expert on hypnosis who teaches at Columbia University, has
concluded that Sirhan was probably programmed through hypnosis to
fire a gun in the presence of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy without knowing
what he was doing and without being able to recall either the events
or the process of being programmed.
I am continuing to advance Dr. Spiegel's conclusions in currently
pending federal habeas corpus proceedings on Sirhan's behalf. Sirhan
has consistently maintained that he cannot recall the assassination
and has no memory of being programmed. Most of the books about the
RFK case support the "Manchurian Candidate" defense, but this defense
was not presented at Sirhan's trial. Instead, the late Grant Cooper,
Sirhan's trial attorney, told the jury that Sirhan was a paranoid
schizophrenic a diagnosis that Dr. Spiegel maintains is
contradicted by the defendant's high level of hypnotizability.
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