Monday, February 22, 2016

The Russian Priest - "The Old Man will take care of it."

Peter Dale Scott and the Russian Priest
The Russian Priest - "The Old Man will take care of it." 

From David.Talbot's  “The Devil’s Chessboard” (p. 457-458)

“In the summer of 1963, Peter Dale Scott, a young English literature professor at the University of California’s Berkeley campus, found himself in the thick of anti-Kennedy ferment. Scott, the son of distinguished Canadian poet F. R. Scott, a mentor of Leonard Cohen, had served as a Canadian diplomat to Poland, and much of his social life when he arrived at Berkeley revolved around passionately anti-Soviet Polish émigrés. One day, a former Polish army colonel who had befriended Scott invited him to a dinner party at the Palo Alto home of Glenn Campbell, the intellectual entrepreneur who built Stanford’s Hoover Institution into a leading center of the conservative resurgence in America."

"At Campbell’s home that evening, the conversation among the sixteen or so guests soon grew heated as it turned to the man in the White House. ‘In those days, I was not very active politically, but I was amazed even shocked, at how reactionary the conversation became around the table,’ Scott later recalled. ‘Most of the talk focused on the danger presented to the nation by its aberrant president, John F. Kennedy. His failure to dispose of Castro, especially during the missile crisis, may have been one of the chief complaints, but it was by no means the only one. The complaints threatened to drag on forever, until one man spoke up with authority. I’m not sure, but he may have even stood up to do so.’ The striking figure who commanded the group’s attention was a Russian Orthodox priest in a dark cassock with crucifix around neck. He spoke quietly, but with confidence, assuring the group that they had no need to worry. ‘The Old Man will take care of it,’ he said simply.”

 “At the time, Scott assumed the priest was referring to old Joe Kennedy, who presumably could be counted on to set his son straight. But by 1963, the Kennedy patriarch was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a massive stroke in December 1961 that left him severely debilitated. It was not until years later that Scott realized to whom the Russian priest was more likely referring to. By then, the Berkeley professor was a respected dean of the JFK research community and had devoted years to studying the president’s murder. In conversation with a fellow Kennedy researchers one day, Scott was reminded of the nickname by which Allen Dulles was affectionately known in intelligence circles: the Old Man.”

“On that summer evening in 1963, the Russian emerge priest spoke with the calm assurance of a man who knew something the other guests did not. The Old Man will take care of it. That was enough to calm the heated discussion around the table. The Old Man will take care of the Kennedy problem.”

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