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Cryptonym: QKOPERA

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Congress of Cultural Freedom, sponsoring Western intellectuals, artists, and musicians - some knew about their CIA benefactors, while others did not. It was set up as a "foundation type proprietary" that supported individuals and international organizations involved with cultural matters.
157-10014-10144: [No Title]

QKOPERA/DTGODOWN: "This foundation type proprietary supported individuals and international organizations involved with cultural matters. To give the entity substance and provide funds for day-to-day administration, the Agency started the organization with a substantial grant which was invested in income producing securities. At the time the agency withdrew its support (sometime between 1965-1975), the assets of the entity were given to its witting Board of Directors with the understanding that approximately 60% of the portfolio of investments would be retained by the organization to sustain its continued operation without Agency support, and 40% of the proceeds of the portfolio would be immediately granted to other organizations and activities which fostered the objectives of the QKOPERA project."

See the CIA's internal analysis of the Congress of Cultural Freedom:


Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War (2000), p. 86.

Source that QKOPERA was the CCF.

Frances Stonor Saunders,”Modern Art was CIA ‘Weapon’”, London Independent, 10/22/95.

QKOPERA, often linked to the LCPIPIT program for journalist “songbirds” based in Paris, refers to the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Touted as a pushback against Communist influence in the arts, it was a Western version of psychological warfare aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the general public. “It was (Cord Meyer’s International Organizations Division) which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html Also see Lisa Pease’s discussion in The Assassinations, pp. 300-303.

Lisa Pease, The Assassinations (2000), p. 301.

"The body was set up to combat Communist efforts to paint America as culturally bereft. The Congress sponsored artists, writers, poets, musicians and other cultural figures, some with their consent, and some without." The head was journalist Tom Braden. On this subject, also see https://www.openculture.com/2017/10/how-the-cia-funded-supported-literary-magazines-worldwide-while-waging-cultural-war-against-communism.html - "Whitney’s book, Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, documents the Agency’s whirlwind of activity behind literary magazines like the London-based Encounter, French Preuves, Italian Tempo Presente, Austrian Forum, Australian Quadrant, Japanese Jiyu, and Latin American Cuadernos and Mundo Nuevo. Many of the CCF’s founders and participants conceived of the enterprise as “an altruistic funding of culture,” Whitney tells von Aue. “But it was actually a control of journalism, a control of the fourth estate. It was a control of how intellectuals thought about the US.” While we often look at post-war literature as a bastion of anti-colonial, anti-establishment sentiment, the pose, we learn from researchers like Iber and Whitney, was often carefully cultivated by a number of intermediaries. Does this mean we can no longer enjoy this literature as the artistic creation of singular geniuses? “You want to know the truth about the writers and publications you love,” says Whitney, “but that shouldn’t mean they’re ruined.” Indeed, the Agency’s cultural operations went far beyond the little magazines. The Congress of Cultural Freedoms used jazz musicians like Louie Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and Dizzy Gillespie as “goodwill ambassadors” in concerts all over the world, and funded exhibitions of Abstract Expressionists like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollack, and Willem de Kooning."

Patrick Lawrence, "How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers", The Nation, 5/31/17: https://www.thenation.com/article/cia-tricked-worlds-best-writers/

Lawrence interviews Joel Whitney, the author of "Finks". Whitney states, " The Congress for Cultural Freedom was within the OPC. There were a number of fronts that they wanted to beat the Soviets out of: labor, students, and culture being just three of them. Eventually they were doing stuff in refugee relief. They had penetrated the IRC [International Rescue Committee], in their way, which was another interesting story, but the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s main outlet was the almost three dozen magazines that the CIA directly created. What was interesting to me is they also started working with other magazines that they saw as friendly, which would vastly expand their influence on intellectuals...The CCF was headed by this guy called Michael Josselson. They created magazines, they sponsored symphony orchestras and junkets. I think the first things they did were these conferences that were intended to be the West’s answer to the World Peace Council... I wanted to sort of bridge the gap—to break down the wall between the Cold War and the cultural Cold War, and to marry [the latter] with those great books, by people like Stephen Kinzer, of political assassinations and the CIA’s legacy of ashes. I wanted to marry the legacy of ashes to the legacy of letters and see if they were the same tale. I think they are." Lawrence comments: "You name a lot of names, which I found riveting from page one onward. Some were previously disclosed, some new, at least to me, and they’re now all in the same place. I was astonished as I read some of these—and they’re more or less endless. George Plimpton,  Peter Matthiessen, James Michener, Arthur Hayes Sulzberger, William F. Buckley, of course, Robert Lowell of all people, the Asia Foundation, The Paris Review, Viking Books, William Morrow, Sol Stein and Patricia Day, Bill Styron, Richard Wright, W.E.B. Du Bois, Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Isaiah Berlin, James T. Farrell. It just doesn’t stop."


April 1962 QKOPERA memo from IO/3 to Paris on Johnson, in response to Richard Pipes' recommendation that she receive a "position" regarding a "Soviet survey". This memo states that "in view relative importance this new opening ()LIMNITE and need for witting contact ()LIMNITE ()EARTH complex, Headquarters requests opportunity (to) submit other possible candidates this position prior any decision. Will cable recommendations your consideration."

104-10119-10284: JOHNSON, PRISCILLA MARY POST #71 589

7/24/62, memo by Victor White of the Office of Security: Memo re a May 25, 1962 request for a "Proprietary Approval to utilize the Subject (Johnson) as a News Editor and Writer for magazines subsidized by ()LEAFAGE under Project ()OPERA." Office of Security had no information in files for Johnson subsequent to 1958.

104-10529-10354: Cable: Rescheduling TDY MEXI 21 Through 24 Oct

mid-Oct 1963: KUWOLF QKOPERA Keith Bastear is given TDY in Mexico City. This occurred after an earlier rescheduling October 4, when an illness of the "QKOPERA principal agent" caused Huyette to have to fly to Europe. The 10/4/63 memo also mentions that Choaden (David Phillips) is presently at HQS: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/104-10100-10127.pdf


10/17/63, memo from CA/B3 Walter Raymond to Mexico City, DTDORIC QKOPERA slugline: Huyette and Bastear arriving on separate flights on Oct 21, and available to meet Choaden/David Phillips and Tichborn for dinner later that night if desired. Note that "Edward Tichborn" was an alias for Henry P. Lopez: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=65962#relPageId=2 Tichborn ran an Agency-sponsored magazine and reported on activities/attitudes of Mexican left-wing intellectuals: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=30383&search=tichborn#relPageId=4&tab=page


10/28/63, memo from Win Scott to Chief KUWOLF, and DTDORIC/QKOPERA/DTGODOWN slugline: "From 21-25 October Keith J. Bastear and Geoffrey T. Huyette met with Mexico Station officers and Edward G. Tichborn to discuss the further development of the DTGODOWN program. The major focus was on the creation of a Mexican intellectual journal."


10/31/63 from Director to MEXI: KUWOLF is very pleased with the successful talks concerning QKOPERA programming held in Mexico City by Hqs, station officers, and Huyette and Tichborn.


The aforementioned 5/25/62 Request for Approval for Priscilla Johnson. This time her CI/OA number is handwritten as "70300", after the typed "70300 or 52373" are crossed out. Different from the "71589" used two months later, as seen in the preceding source. That is because the 70300 is her CI number and not 52373, and because 71589 is her SO (Security Office) number: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=25004&relPageId=2&search=52373 c-52373 is a reference to the alleged "Patricia Livingston McMillan", see http://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=51733&relPageId=2&search=52373_%22c-52373%22 She is identified by "CA Security" that she "has been of previous interest to the Agency although she has not been hired by either a proprietary operation or used in any FI project...subsequent to clearance and hire will be considered by the Project (QKOPERA) for possible re-assignment into more responsible work. Appropriate security clearance upgrading will be then requested."

Spartacus International: Michael Josselson. http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKjosselson.htm

Michael Josselson was the CIA officer that ran the CCF. Technically, Josselson's supervisor was Lawrence de Neufville, who rarely overruled him. De Neufville was the CIA liaison to the High Commissioner of Germany, future Warren Commission member John McCloy. See http://articles.courant.com/1998-07-14/news/9807140521_1_connecticut-historical-society-west-hartford-memorial-services

Lisa Pease • Bill Simpich

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