Sunday, November 12, 2017

COLD CASE — Who smeared Richard Feynman? [FBI FILES]

From Intel Today, Oct. 21:
“The author repeatedly invokes Eisenhower’s name in awe and respect, and offers to swear either on a Bible or to the President himself. The author talks of Feynman’s “long hatred of Republicans,” but knows that Feynman registered as a Republican in 1956 — which the author believes to have been part of a long-game deception to infiltrate the government. The author could be faking it, of course, but it doesn’t read like that to me.”
Alex Wellerstein — The Nuclear Secrecy Blog
In March 2012, the website MuckRock filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain and release Feynman’s full FBI file. Obviously, someone really did not like Feynman and told the FBI that he was a risk to the US National Security.
In 1958, Feynman was being considered for a position on Eisenhower’s President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC), a very high-level advisory board created in the wake of Sputnik.
A 9-page letter written directly to J. Edgar Hoover — dated August 8, 1958 —  is a very serious attack on Feynman’s character. The author argues that “Feynman is a master of deception, and that his greatest talent lies in intrigue, not physics”.
“I do not know—but I believe that Richard Feynman is either a Communist or very strongly pro-Communist—and as such as a very definite security risk.
This man is, in my opinion, an extremely complex and dangerous person, a very dangerous person to have in a position of public trust…
In matters of intrigue Richard Feynman is, I believe immensely clever—indeed a genius—and he is, I further believe, completely ruthless, unhampered by morals, ethics, or religion—and will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve his ends.”
So who smeared Feynman? Alex Wellerstein has suggested that it was his second wife, Mary Louise Bell, to whom he was married from 1952 until 1956.
“That’s not a long marriage, but it’s plenty of time to hear someone’s stories ad nauseam, and plenty of time to learn to hate someone.”
Wellerstein certainly did a good work and he makes a convincing case. But something still bothers me. I would not be surprised if Bell had been coached by a physicist who wanted to get rid of Feynman. Edward Teller comes to mind....MORE
Here's earlier Feynman with wif-the-first at Brainpickings: 
Love After Life: Nobel-Winning Physicist Richard Feynman’s Extraordinary Letter to His Departed Wife

And later Feynman hangin' at Esalen, Big Sur, CA:
During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas -- which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact, that we have difficulty in understanding how witch doctors could ever have existed, when nothing that they proposed ever really worked -- or very little of it did.

But even today I meet lots of people who sooner or later get me into a conversation about UFO's, or astrology, or some form of mysticism, expanded consciousness, new types of awareness, ESP, and so forth. And I've concluded that it's not a scientific world.

Most people believe so many wonderful things that I decided to investigate why they did. And what has been referred to as my curiosity for investigation has landed me in a difficulty where I found so much junk that I'm overwhelmed. First I started out by investigating various ideas of mysticism and mystic experiences. I went into isolation tanks and got many hours of hallucinations, so I know something about that. Then I went to Esalen, which is a hotbed of this kind of thought (it's a wonderful place; you should go visit there). Then I became overwhelmed. I didn't realize how MUCH there was.

At Esalen there are some large baths fed by hot springs situated on a ledge about thirty feet above the ocean. One of my most pleasurable experiences has been to sit in one of those baths and watch the waves crashing onto the rocky slope below, to gaze into the clear blue sky above, and to study a beautiful nude as she quietly appears and settles into the bath with me.

One time I sat down in a bath where there was a beatiful girl sitting with a guy who didn't seem to know her. Right away I began thinking, "Gee! How am I gonna get started talking to this beautiful nude woman?"

I'm trying to figure out what to say, when the guy says to her, "I'm, uh, studying massage. Could I practice on you?"

"Sure", she says. They get out of the bath and she lies down on a massage table nearby.

I think to myself, "What a nifty line! I can never think of anything like that!" He starts to rub her big toe. "I think I feel it", he says. "I feel a kind of dent -- is that the pituitary?"

I blurt out, "You're a helluva long way from the pituitary, man!"

They looked at me, horrified -- I had blown my cover -- and said, "It's reflexology!"

I quickly closed my eyes and appeared to be meditating.....
That, of course is the introduction to Feynman's famous 1974 CalTech commencment speech, "Cargo Cult Science"
More here.