April 19th, 2007 at 5:14 pm
Cho Seung-hui lost his mind. I think the public deserves to know who stole it from him.
Cho gave us lots of hints, and probably a lot MORE hints remain among the pages not yet published by NBC. And he also left us those photos that have run incessantly behind the talking heads of the news networks. I was watching CNN last night and most of the interviews were done split screen with the images of Cho dwarfing the images of whoever was being interviewed. That gun kept pointing right in my face over and over again. I simply had to stop watching.
And I hate to reprint one of those images here except that someone at Something Awful, a discussion board I know nothing about, noticed the similarity between one of Cho’s images and the poster for OldBoy. Here’s the original:
Alone that doesn’t tell us too much. It’s not that strange that a violence-haunted young South Korean would be attracted to a violent South Korean film. However, I think it’s worth noting that the film is not just about violence and revenge, it is also about mind control and manipulation. The hero of the film is kidnapped by an enemy (not the government) and held in a prison for fifteen years while repeatedly drugged and hypnotized to forget aspects of his life and to be “programmed” to carry out a variety of tasks under the illusion that they are of his own free will.
One can be “programmed” in this way by life itself. Given enough trauma in childhood, whole separate selves can split off and carry out lives that the primary personality isn’t even aware of. I don’t know that Cho had multiple personalities. He could simply have been suffering from schizophrenia. However, I do think it is quite reasonable to assume that Cho had experienced some fairly serious abuse. His writings and statements, disjointed as they are, focus very much on this abuse. For some reason, no one is asking many questions about that. Nor does anyone seem to be asking questions about why Cho’s high school has produced TWO psychotic young adults who went on gun rampages within one year of each other. Last May, Michael Kennedy, a student at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia, went on a shooting rampage at a police station, killing two police officers before being fatally shot himself. Authorities consider this just a “horrible coincidence”. Adding to the coincidence is that Michael’s father, Brian Kennedy, was just recently released from jail in charges related to that killing. In fact, he was due in court the day after the Cho killings.
Kennedy was another troubled loner. He suffered, say news accounts, from delusions and grandiose paranoia. Said one friend:
“He thought he was Jesus. He talked about aliens,” said Brandon Baker, a friend of Kennedy’s since sixth grade. Baker said Kennedy told him he sometimes took medication. “He was talking about how he was superhuman.”
Kennedy had also recently changed his MySpace profile name from Kennedy to “Herr Azriel,” in reference to an angel of destruction.
Just before his killing spree, Kennedy text messaged a friend to say that therapy and medication had not worked for him. The only thing he could think of was an “exorcism.”
What didn’t help things much is that Kennedy’s parents, who knew Michael was mentally ill, kept weapons around the house. A LOT of weapons:
The indictment states that Brian Kennedy illegally possessed 20 firearms, including an AK-47 and several bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. He also owned a large variety of handguns — among them a .38 Special Taurus and a 9 mm Luger Commander semi-automatic pistol.
Weapons were everywhere in the Kennedy home; the inventory list of items seized is 10 pages long. Under the mattress in the master bedroom were a Colt 9 mm handgun with one round in the chamber and a leather sheath containing a 9-inch knife. On the nightstand were a bayonet plus high-velocity ammunition for a Remington, semi-automatic shotgun.
A Smith & Wesson knife was under the left, loveseat cushion in the living room, and both a 12-gauge shotgun and a 22-caliber long rifle stood in the corner of the hallway to the basement. An M80 explosive was tucked inside a kitchen cabinet to the right of the stove, and an Atlanta Sharptec knife was stored in the ceiling above the utility-room door.
And his mom did what any concerned mother might do…she took him to a firing range to practice with his new AK.
Strangely, news accounts calling the two shooter’s connection via Westfield High a “coincidence” suggest that they were not at the school at the same time:
Cho and Kennedy lived in Centreville and graduated from Westfield High School, said Officer Courtney Thibault of the Fairfax County Police Department. She said Cho graduated four years ahead of Kennedy.
I’ve only had one cup of coffee this morning, but help me with this math. Michael Kennedy graduated in 2005 and Cho Seung-hui graduated in 2003. Probably just an oversight.
I’ve seen no evidence that these two knew each other. But I also haven’t seen much evidence that anyone has bothered to check it out.
It gets worse, of course, as these things always do. First, have a look at Cho’s literary efforts. Two very short plays that were so horribly written it does make one wonder how he made it to his senior year at Va Tech. One is called “Mr. Brownstone“. In that play, three young people at a casino complain that they can’t find anywhere safe from “Mr. Brownstone.” That name is used by band Guns-n-Roses to mean heroin, but in this case it is a math teacher who has “ass-raped probably half the kids in the school.” That, after all, says one character, is “what high school teachers do.”
When Brownstone does show up, one character asks: “I feel a satanic presence around me. Do you guys feel it?” They then sing much of the Guns -’n-Roses song. Then the main character John wins at the slot machine only to have his winnings taken by Brownstone.
In Richard McBeef, the abuser is this time “John’s” stepfather. In this play, John is only 13. While having a talk with John, Richard puts his hand on the boy’s lap and John explodes, calling him a pedophile and a “Catholic priest.” He then claims that this step-father had murdered his real father and covered it up like “the government has done to John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe.”
Really all I have done here is show that two troubled young adults came out of the same school. But what a school. Westfield High School happens to be in the second richest county in the country. In fact, the median income is over $94,000 per year. And a lot of that cash is coming from defense contractors…with a large subset of THAT being from companies who outsource for the CIA and other intelligence agencies. You may be familiar with “Booz Allen Hamilton” who is called in this article a “huge supplier of intelligence contracting.” They were a primary contractor for the officially defunct “Total Information Awareness Program” as well. Another contractor of interest to readers of this blog who is a big employer in Fairfax is Science Applications International Corporation. These are the folks who took over the remote viewing program, with help from our old friend Jolly West (from Jim Schnabel’s Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America’s Psychic Spies. For more on West, you can check out this previous post.
Now, West died in 1999 and I have no idea if he ever even visited the Virginia branch of SAIC. I am merely giving you a sense of the flavor of the dark world of intel and defense contractors in which both Cho and Kennedy, were raised.
A final intelligence contractor of interest here is Northrup Grumman’s Intelligence Group. Not only does Northrup Grumman have a presence in Fairfax, they in fact have a “business partnership” with Cho’s alma mater, Westfield High. As you can see from that last wiki link, the school has a very high level of academic achievement, including even an Aerospace Science program. So it makes sense that a military and intelligence contractor would “partner” with them in order to help steer students into helpful directions and perhaps engage in outright recruitment. Perhaps this is how Cho’s sister ended up working for McNeil Technologies, another contractor who also has an intelligence division which provides services for clients including Northrup Grumman. She now is working on the “reconstruction” of Iraq in some unnamed capacity.
This is the world Cho grew up in. None of this proves anything about why, ultimately, Cho did what he did. He and Kennedy were both outsiders, as far as I can tell, even though Cho’s sister made it to Princeton and into a defense contractor herself. But here, with overt ties to an intelligence contractor and in the very heart of the military industrial complex, we have a not-so-secret school which has now produced two young men haunted by demons that only mass murder will quiet. With rumors of Satanism (Kennedy) and sexual abuse of children (Cho) and the uncomfortable recognition of both of these themes within that same military/intel complex, it’s time to have a longer look at these latest lone gunmen.
(Note, this is a draft. I do not have time to revise or edit until later but I wanted to put this up now. Comments on typos or inaccuracies are welcome.)