an article from:
Steamshovel Press #16 1998
St. Louis, MO 63121
A GREAT job of reporting by esteemable CTRL member Mr. Kenn Thomas.
Lots to think about. The players, but no game say Mr. Pettie,... maybe?
Lots of other great articles and pixs. Go out and find, if you are serious.
Merry Christmas, Ted.
The Finders' Keeper: An Interview with Marion Pettie
By Kenn Thomas and Len Bracken,©1998
A 1994 reference work- on utopian communities refers to the Finders as "a
rather spontaneous non-organization ... Their overall approach to life is to
make it into a game--a challenging and educational process where the rules
change from week to week, day to day, sometimes even by the hour." Contrast
that with investigator Ted Gunderson's handwritten description, attached to
Treasury Department memoranda on the Finders that Ted Gunderson circulates in
a info-packet about the group: "the Finders are a "CIA front established in
the 1960s. It has TOP CLEARANCE and PROTECTION in its ASSIGNED task of
kidnapping and torture-programming young children throughout the US. Members
are specially trained GOVERNMENT KIDNAPPERS known to be sexual degenerates who
involve children in Satanic sex orgies and bloody rituals as well as murders
of other children and slaughter of animals."
The Finders group found itself in the news in February 1987 when an anonymous
caller phoned police to report two formally dressed men (Michael Houlihan and
Douglas Ammerman) supervising six casually dressed children--according to
police, they were unkempt, disheveled and bruised--at Myers Park in
Tallahassee, Florida. The police charged the men, members of the Finders, with
child abuse, and Detective Jim Bradley of the metropolitan police in
Washington, DC, used the arrest as a pretext to raid one of the Finders'
properties there, Bradley's men seized evidence they said may have been
indicative of an organized ring of pedophilic child kidnappers who made animal
sacrifices to Satan.
A report by Customs Special Agent Ramon J. Martinez claimed that documents
found at the Finders property "revealed detailed instructions for obtaining
children for unspecified purposes. The instructions included the impregnation
of female members of the community known as the Finders, purchasing children,
trading, and kidnapping. One telex specifically ordered the purchase of two
children in Hung Kong to be arranged through a contact in the Chinese embassy
there-" Martinez also reported that the seized Finders evidence included
"numerous photos of children, some nude, at least one of which was a photo of
a child 'on display' and appearing to accent the child's genitals ... a series
of photos of adults and children dressed in white sheets participating in a
"blood ritual." The ritual centered around the execution, disembowelment,
skinning and dismemberment of the goats at the hands of the children, this
included the removal of the testes of a male goat, the discovery of a female
goat's 'womb' and the 'baby goats' inside the womb and the presentation of a
goat's head to one of the children."
Despite this, charges against the men in Tallahassee were dropped, the
children were sent home to their parents unharmed (although the court attached
conditions to the return of two of them), and prosecutions were not pursued in
DC. Police authorities both in DC and Florida complained that the case was
mishandled because the Finders work for the CIA. When Martinez went to meet
with Detective Bradley to review the case, he was directed to a third party
who advised that all the passport data from the seized Finders material check
out as legal According to Martinez, "the individual further advised me of
circumstances which indicated that the investigation into the activity of the
Finders had become a CIA internal matter. The MPD (DC metropolitan police)
report has been classified secret and was not available for review. I was
advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the investigation several weeks prior
and that FBI Foreign Counter Intelligence Division had directed MPD not to
advise the FBI Washington Field office of anything that had transpired."
The Justice Department released Martinez's report and other documents about
the Finders when it opened a new investigation into the group's activities in
1993, in part to determine if the CIA had put the kibosh on the 1987
investigation. One memo claimed that the "CIA made one contact and admitted to
owning the Finders organization as a front for a domestic computer training
operation, but that it had gone bad." The operation, called Future
Enterprises, had hired a Finder, but dismissed him when his connection to the
group was exposed. North Carolina's Democratic representative Charlie Rose and
Florida's Republican representative Tom Lewis supported and publicized that
investigation, as did a former CIA operative named Skip Clemens (reported upon
by Chris Roth in Steamshovel Press #111 see also pp. 295-296 of Popular
The Finders have more-or-less rational explanations for even the most bizarre
behavior attributed to them, especially in the context of a group that exists
to challenge social paradigms. Even the goat sacrifices, known as "Goatgate"
to the group, have been attributed to the Finders just play-acting at being
witches and warlocks, another "game" to dumbfound lookers-on. Many of the
Finders' games serve as parody or put-on. The store windows of its offices
include strange scarecrow artifacts and bumper sticker slogans like "Call
Police" with the letter "C" missing. The words "Promise Keepers" adorn the
marquis of an old theater owned by the Finders, although their meaning-perhaps
something to do with the manic Mtn of the infamous Christian movement Promise
Keepers--is lost to strangers. Not all the weirdest at Finders HQ is Finders
generated, however. Travelers arrive at Finders headquarter in Culpeper,
Virginia, an hour and a half northwest of Washington, DC, via state route 666
The Tallahassee incident and subsequent interest placed the Finders'
reputation at the center of DC's conspiracy culture. That's no small feat in a
town where Operation Monarch sex-slave operations and powerful pedophilic
politicians rule the rumor roost. Steamshovel editor Kenn Thomas and author
Len Bracken (whose 1990 novel Freeplay included fictionalized reference to the
Finders) dropped in unannounced at the Finders facilities. At the time, eight
former members had filed a chancery action against the group to recover money
they had pooled into they currently considered a defunct partnership. More
evidence that Goatgate did cost the Finders money and members. Marion Pettie
was still holding court in Culpeper, however, and granted the -following
impromptu interview. It is presented here as a rare look at the controversies
surrounding the group, verbatim from the perspective of the main personality
at its core.
Q: How far back can you trace the origins of the Finders?
A- I had two apartments back in the 30s and 40s in Washington and just kept
open house. It was supported by the gift economy and I would throw something
in, Some people would say I threw in my good taste. So anyway, it goes bark
that far. Four people here with me now have been with me for over twenty-five
years- In fact, I kept another thing called the Free State back in the hippy
period, back in the mountains here.
Q: The Free State?
A- Yeah, it was called the Free State and it
was known all over the world.
Q: This was where?
A; About twenty miles from here. About a hundred people would usually be there
at any one time. A few other people have done that. A man named Gottlieb, have
you ever heard of him, a musician? He kept open house like that and the
government came out and closed him down. But the local authorities let me keep
it going up there.
Q: This was the 40s?
A: No, we've moved up to the 60s here. Before that, just to give you an idea
of the time period, the sheriff came out and put a gun on me one day and said,
"show me some ID." I showed it to him and he says, "Oh, I know you. You're the
guy what keeps beatniks." So I kept open house to beatniks. We're talking
about the 50s now. Going back to World War 11, 1 kept open house mainly to
intelligence and counterintelligence people in Washington. OSS people passing
through, things like that. So the open house at that time was more or less at
that level. The main ones were beatniks, though, like Dick Dabney. Ever heard
Q: What's the name?
A; Dick Dabney, He was the number two king of the beatniks in Washington and a
Q: But the group is basically different from the Kerouac/Ginsberg/Burroughs
A; I just keep open house. That's about all I do. It changes as people show
up. Basically, we have about 600 acres up there and a few houses and people
who are here more or less permanently now-They spend part of the time in this
town [Culpepper] and part of the time in DC and part of the time up in the
mountains, and another part traveling all over the world.
Q: But it's still basically the same drift in, drift out kind of thing.
A: Nobody signs anything.
Q: It's an interesting philosophical difference with the culture at large.
A, Personally, I'd say the only thing that has been different is --I'm closest
to being Taoist.
Q: I noticed you have a Lao Tzu quote framed on the wall there.
A; Two ministers were going to come over here and pray for me. I thought you
two might have been them.
A, They said they had a problem with me being a skeptic and me being in this
Q: There's a church next door. That's got to be difficult.
A: How so?
0: I was thinking in terms of having a bohemian crowd around. Also, that's a
real thing to infiltrate in terms of the intelligence agencies.
A; Some investigators back in the 60s tailed me for four years. At first they
said they thought I was a dope dealer big time because, I didn't use it
myself. Then they decided that I was a front for the CIA. They asked I was a
front for the CIA. Of course I wouldn't have told them anyway, but I asked
those people, they said they ran the name through the computer and they said,
"No, we don't own that guy." So then the investigator says, "I've been working
on you for four years and I can't figure out what you're doing. What the hell
are you doing?" So the point is that actually I'm not doing anything, just
enjoying life and working on good ideas all of the time. I considered when I
was 12 years old that my mission in life was to know everything and do
Q: I wonder if in the 1950s you ever encountered the name Wilhelm Reich or any
of the Reichian people?
A: Oh yeah.
Q: Do you have any specific memories about that?
A: At that particular time I also kept open house mainly to the humanist
psychology movement. They would come up to the country and have all these
various gatherings and movements and some of them were Reichians. But I
wouldn't say that I'm an expert on Reich. I think I've read most of his books.
I would say that I had an interest but I don't really have any inside
connection to that personally.
Q: Reich's last years were in Jail, as you know, and he was considered
paranoid, and they burned his books and all that. He was considered paranoid
because he said he was a victim of a Rockefeller conspiracy. But Rockefeller
was the money behind the New Republic which ran an anti-Reich smear campaign
and whose editor, Michael Straight, later confessed to being a Soviet spy.
A: He was a little bit paranoid, they said ... when a plane would go over, hed
say it was one of Rockefeller's planes...
A- It might have been a mixture of both of those.
Q: What do you make then of these stories that connect the Finders up to a
pedophilia ring in the CIA?
A- The pedophiles and all that stuff..
Q: That's all smear?
A; I just kept open house to a lot of the counter-intelligence and
intelligence people over the years. I have been reported to their security
officers probably plenty of times for trying to find out what's going on in
the world. I've tried all of my life to get behind the scenes in the CIA. I
sent my wife in as a spy, to spy on the CIA for me. She was very happy about
it, happy to tell me everything she found out. She was in a key place, you
know with the records, and she could find out things for me. And my son worked
for Air America which was a proprietary of the
CIA. There are some connections, but not to me personally.
Q: But do you have any suspicions ... the Finders sounds like a real open
group that attracts a lot different elements ... disinformation stories could
be planted by certain elements to try to connect it to pedophilia...
A: The reason the CIA wouldn't hire me is that they wouldn't have the control
factor over me. That's one of the things. They may have used me at some time
without me knowing it. They have categories of unwitting agents. Maybe you two
were sent here by them. But I'm pretty open about this kind of stuff, though.
They wouldn't hire me as a contract employee because 1 wouldn't sign the
papers. Anybody that's a contract employee must sign an agreement and then
they pay you out the money. Well, I don't
need the money, but I am trying to find out all about them. Basically, the one
sentence about the CIA is that I have been studying them since before they
were burn, I was studying them back in the 30s. It was ONI
Back then [Office of Naval Intelligence], and then the Coordinator of
Information comes on, and after that it turns. into the OSS and OSS turns into
the CIAU and the CIAU_ turns into the CIA. So I've been studying that all of
my life. But I wasn't personally working for them.
Q: The renown case, of course, took place in Florida.
A! Would you like to hear about it?
Q: I'd like to hear everything you have to say about it, actually.
A; It's very simple, We had the kids and the general idea was that they would
go up to the country up there, twenty miles from here, and they would go to
school, a self-governing school. Adults would be available to them,
intelligent, well-balanced people. And they would never be alone with it kid
so that no one could accuse them of any pedophiles stuff. At least two would
have to be there. As far as I know, they did all that. Then they were just
taking them on a camping trip to Florida. There were four intellectuals with
them and they just happen to drive into a park and somebody was suspicious
because the two men were well
dressed They had four people with them on the trip and they were all well-
educated, well-balanced people. So I don't think them
was any funny stuff going on.
Q: There were just police suspicions?
A: Well, somebody called up and said, "there's two well-dressed men with some
kids in a van over there," So the police come and then they take them down and
by their standards these well-dressed men weren't answering the questions
properly- So then they called Washington and somebody in the Washington police
says, "Yeah, we know those people. They're Finders and we're just about to
find out what they're up to up here and we'll use this as an excuse to go in
there and rig them."
Q: So you were still under surveillance by them.
A: Surveillance? I have been personally, I know, for forty years because in
other countries and so forth, counter-intelligence, come out and want to know
what !'in doing ... if you go around acting mysterious and just find out
what's going on, naturally, people come to find out what it is.
Q: So then it snowballs. First there are unfounded suspicions by these people
and the police. The local police connect to here in Washington and they say,
"oh yeah, we know about the Finders" :and that plays into their paranoia.
A, Then it goes back down to here.- Like 1 said, in the 60s I was under
surveillance for four years, from '64 to '68, and they get all their files out
and everybody starts comparing them. Basically, they come up with idea that
"we don't know what with the, idea they're doing. We don't know who they're
connected with," What were those people called in Holland?
Q- The Provos?
A: Yeah. We are more or less like Provos or Situationists or something like.
Actually, we're not connected with anybody, other than trying to know what's
going on the world and improve the world a little bit.
Q: So you haven't heard anything more about that? A guy named Skip Clemons
took all this and turned it into, "this is a Satanic cult." Apparently his
daughter actually successfully prosecuted somebody for satanic ritual abuse at
a Montessori school. Have you heard of this?
A; Oh yeah. Maybe this is something big.
Q: There's also a computer trainingcenter that was actually training CIA guys
how to operate, right?
A. There's some partial truth to it. We go out and do emergency services and
get employment for a lot of people. So one of them was in there working, where
you're talking about, but we didn't have any connection other than one man
going down there. And the man didn't know it but he was so-called "hiring a
Finder". Tile company was actually doing training for the CIA- We had no
particular connection to that man other than what anybody else would call a
temp worker. But it looks like on the surface that it all ties together- A lot
of these things do happen, but we're not connected anymore than any of the
individuals in the Provo of the Situationists were. Maybe there are some
people who have been around here have been doing some intelligence work. I
don't know about it. Mainly, there's no connection and it's just like I'm
telling you- Individuals, I don't know. People show up. They may be sent here
by the CIA, the FBI, the state police or anybody.
Q: Having it such a loose association furthers that. It's not like you join
the Finders and get a membership card.
A; That's right.
Q: It's a scene. Drop in, drop out.
A: There's no such thing as the Finders. It's just a group term for people who
like to hang around me. That could be anybodyThere's nothing in writing.
There's not even a group,
Q: I notice you're reading Arthur Koestler's Thirteenth Tribe. Is that a
particular interest of yours? Did you know Koestler?
A- I didn't know him, but I really like his books, his style of writing.
Q: Did you know Tim Leary?
Q: Was he in and out of the Finders scene?
A; At one time, when he was up in New York, he would send people down here and
sombody[sic] got tired of something down here, they would go up there. It was
a pretty close connection. He gave me LSD but I never took it. I kept it in
the ice box in case I wanted to take it. I figured it must be pretty good if
it came from him.
Q: Did he ever ask you about it afterward?
A: No. Actually, one of the people connected with Leary accidentally burned
the house down. He was; putting in a sauna and he was so efficient he burned
the house down and burned the LSD up- I never did take it, But I had a
particularly close connection to him at that time, were talking about the 60s
again, by me running a place down here and him running one up there and people
going back and forth all of the time.
STEAMSHOVEL DEBRIS, The Finders
Readers will rind the most interesting material that circulates
about the Finders below. It comes from an memo entitled "Investigative Leads"
with the attribution that It was "produced sometime during the
Pettie met Joseph Chiang, a chinese agent operating under Journalistic cover,
in 1939 and remained in close contact with him throughout the war. Around this
time Pettie also made Connections with the OSS, through George Varga, Earl D.
Brodie and Nick Von Neuman (John Von Neumann's brother) -- all lowlevel OSS
offciers. Sometime near the end of the war, Chiang introduced Pettie to
Charles E. marsh, at the National Press Club. Marsh, who ran the best private
intelligence network of his era and was an intimate of FDR, Henry Wallace and
later Lyndon Johnson, became, Pettie's mentor and role model, shapiong[sic]
his career. (Marsh's mentor and role model was Colonel Edward M. House, who
was a personal advisor to President Wilson, circa 1919, often mentioned in
connection to the Council on Foreign relations). Marsh died in December 1964.
His last known address was Austin, Texas.
In the 1950s and 60s Marsh provided funds for Pettie to purchase hundreds of
acres of farmland in Madison and Rappahannock Counties, near his estate in
Culpeper County. Later Petty arranged for William Yandell Elliott (1896- ) of
Harvard University to purchase a property adjacent to him, in" Madison County.
Elliott was a government professor at Harvard University who was on the
National Security Council's planning board and a trustee of Radio Liberty
(sponsored by the CIA). As of 1984 Elliott was a board member of Accuracy in
media. Wrote numerous books.
In 1946 Pettie, acting as chauffeur to General Ira Eaker, Marsh arranged for
him to be trained in counterintelligence in Baltimore, Maryland. Around this
time Pettie established close ties to two guards of atom bomb secrets, Captain
Michael Altier (?) and Major Harry Wolanin, both retired. In 1954 Pettie
recruited Eric Heiberg who lost his NSA clearance at about this time. Heiberg
was redeployed as a private investigator and subsequently as a talent spotter
at Georgetown University (now retired). Pettie received intelligence training
at Georgetown University in 1956 and was sent to USAF intelligence training
school in Frankfurt, Germany in 1956-1957. Through Marsh, Pettie got his wife
a job with the CIA from 1957 to early 1961, working in Washington as secretary
and in Germany for the Chief of Station, Frankfurt- Colonel Leonard Weigner,
USAF (deceased 1990) trained Pettie and advised Pettie retire from active
military service and surround himself with kooks, recruiting agents from youth
hostels and universities. Major George Varga became Pettie's case officer,
relaying Weigner's instructions until Varga died in the 1970s,
Under Varga's instructions, Pettie recruited a network of agents in Europe,
including Dr. Keith Arnold (recruited in Paris in 1958) who he accompanied to
Moscow in 1959 or 1960. Arnold, currently based in Hong Kong with the Roche
Foundation, has made over 40 trips to mainland China and has stayed in contact
with Pettie. In the 1960s Pettie established connections with the 'beat'
movement. Norman Mailer and Dick Dabney (died in November 1981) frequented his
Virginia farm. Dabney's widow Dana has extensive files on Pettie. Peter
Gillingham (intermediate Technology. Palo Alto, CA) and Christopher Sonne
(currently Goldman saches, NY) met Pettie in Moscow in 1961. In the early 60s
Pettie allowed Ralph Borsodi and Mildred Loomis to use his Virginia property
for the School of Living, a 'decentralist' one-world government front
organization. Around 1964 Pettie recruited Bosco Nedelcovic and deployed him
to penetrate the Institute for Policy Studies (he is currently an interpreter
at the war College in Washington). In 1967 or 1968 Pettie established a
'futurist, network, assisting Edward S. Cornish in founding the World Future
Society and working through Roy Mason and John Naisbitt. At this time Pettie
also penetrated the hippy drug culture through retired naval intelligence
officers Wait Schneider (Timothy Leary and Billy Hitchcock's private pilot)
and Willard Poulsen (cut out bewtween[sic] Pettie activities and those of
Leary at millbrook), In 1971 Pettie infiltrated the 'human potential'
movement, setting up Ken Kesey (Living Love) as a prominent guru and working
through Dr. Stephen Beltz (related to Judith Beltz, a behavior modification
specialist more recently deployed to the Institute of Cultural Affairs and the
Meta Network cult.
Christopher Bird, former CIA officer who served in Japan and a psych warfare
specialist in the Army, and author of New Age and occult books has also been
associated with Pettie. Bird wrote The Secret Life of Plants with Peter
Tompkins, New York: Avon, 1974, Tompkins wrote on new age subjects like the
pyramids, and once served in the OSS (now anti-CIA).
Pettie's activities took a different turn in 1979 when he recruited John J.
Cox. founder of general Scientific (a computer firm specializing in classified
defense, contracts). Cox trained several of Pettie's Finders in computer
programming and communications technologies and took two or more Of them to
Costa Rica and Panama in 1980-81. Cox worked through Miguel Barzuna, a
prominent Costa Rican money launderer, the Vienna, Virginia-based Institute
for International Development and Cuban exile Emilio Rivera in Costa Rica and
Panama. Through Cox, Pettie and the Finders linked up with several Washington
area computer-oriented groups, including Community Computers, a front
organziation[sic] for The Community, a cult run by Michael Rios (aka Michael
Versacc). (Pettie's son, David Pettie, is a member of the Community, Pettie's
other son, George, may be the one who was in Air America) Cox also recruited
Theordore[sic] G. reiss (wife; Ann), 4 reston-based computer programmer and
highly active member of Werner Erhard Seminars (EST). Cox also recruited Susan
Gabriel and Judith Beltz as couriers. Pettie and Cox have simulated a failing
out and pretend to be enemies...
from:STEAMSHOVEL PRESS, POB 23715, St. Louis, MO 63121