Mae Brussel was a housewife, mother, and granddaughter of wealthy retail magnate Issac Magnin. Not too much about her is on record up until the assassination of JFK and the subsequent Warren Commission report, which Mae received for Christmas (all 23 volumes of it). She read and annotated the entire report, using her newfound empty-nester free time.

Thus was born the first big on-the-air conspiracy theorist. The Art Bells of the world owe much to Mae Brussel; she (and her loyal listeners, cutely nicknamed the Brusselsprouts) blazed the trail.

Now, whether or not you believe her, you must respect some of the work she's done; she was a hyperactive reader and a tireless researcher, compiling and cross-indexing the output of over a dozen daily newspapers and nearly a thousand monthly magazines, along with whatever book happened to walk her way. On web sites devoted to her, I've seen her report of each and every word that Lee Harvey Oswald was reported to have said inbetween the assassination of JFK to, well, the assassination of Lee Harvery Oswald - a gargantuan task.

From this ever-growing stash of reports and articles, Mae Brussel began to build a theory about how the most powerful governments in the world are controlled by a cabal of 5000 men, a group that had dug underground after the fall of the their last great tool, the Third Reich. She often traced events back to the movement of Nazi gold or connected incidents based on usage of 'well-known German code names', the best-known example of this being the discovery of the name 'Adolf Schicklgruber' in a book of Marina Oswald's poetry. Shicklgruber was the last name of Adolf Hitler's mother.

To get the word out, she started a weekly radio show in 1971 named Dialogue : Conpsiracy, where she would tee off on the powers-that-be until her time on-air ran out. Based on transcripts of the show (occasionally available on web sites), she spent most of the time jumping from different occurences and happenstances, connecting them all in a seriously funky Gordian knot of facts and speculations.

In 1968, she compared notes with Jim Garrison, who was then leading an alternative investigation into the JFK assassination, and afterwards had a good working relationship with him. (Garrison's investigation was the focus of the Oliver Stone movie, JFK.) Larry Flynt was a fan and publisher of her work; one of his magazines (Rebel?) published an article by her detailing the connections of Nazi and neo-Nazi groups to the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and Malcolm X. Supposedly, Frank Zappa gave her a computer, to be used of cross-referencing and organizational purposes, but it was never used.

She reported to the authorities that, after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan's life (who was, to her, the handpicked figurehead of the neo-Nazi cabal), she claimed a young man who had been hanging outside of her house before the attempt looked like John Hinckley Junior. The FBI and the Secret Service interviewed her, describing her as a crackpot and a reliable witness, respectively. Neither agency would look at her library of books and clippings (she begged them to). Beyond that, the only visible involvement that the FBI had with her was a 120-page file, mostly made of letters she wrote to the White House and various members of Congress.

She claimed that Robert Anton Wilson is a tool of the conspiracy, under the Rockefeller wing; Wilson does not deny this, and he publicly thanks David Rockefeller for the two thousand bars of gold.

Mae Brussel died of cancer in 1988, at 66 years on this Earth. Hey, Art - say thank you.

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