|Pope Francis with Vice President Biden and congressional leaders last week (AP Photo)|
The part the mainstream media mentions about Merton, a Trappist monk, was his advocacy of interfaith dialogue and outspoken anti-Vietnam War views. The most intriguing part about Merton ignored by the media is his coining of the phrase "The Unspeakable" Madsen says in Merton's book, "Raids On The Unspeakable," delves into the plots Americans fear raising in public. As Madsen explained in a column titled, Is the Pope a Conspiracy Believer," Merton was one of the early conspiracy theorists in this country, the term the CIA chose to derisively describe anyone who questions the official government narrative. Merton believed in government plots to assassinate President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy and the big lie Americans were told for entering the Vietnam War. Merton himself died under questionable circumstances while visiting Bangkok in 1968.
Merton believed that included among “the Unspeakable” crimes of the 1960s were the interwoven murders of the two Kennedys and King. In other words, Merton was a conspiracy realist at about the same time the Central Intelligence Agency came up with the pejorative term “conspiracy theorist” to describe those, including Merton, who questioned the official stories on political assassinations and the reasoning behind America’s entry into the Vietnam War.
Merton wrote in his book that The Unspeakable “is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said, the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss.”
Author Jim Douglass picked up on Merton’s theme in his detailed work on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, titled JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.
Pope Francis has taken on many powerful and secretive enemies since becoming pontiff. He has elected to live in a guest apartment in the Vatican and not the official papal quarters, the scene of many intrigues of the past, including the questionable 1978 death, some would call it an assassination, of Pope John Paul I on the 33rd day of his papacy. Was Francis sending us all a message in his praise of Merton? The Washington Post, in its coverage of Francis’s speech and his reference to Merton, made no mention of Merton’s strongly-held belief in wider conspiracies surrounding the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK. This should come as no surprise since, historically, the Post has been a major element in the cover-ups of the three state-sanctioned and state-sponsored murders.
At the height of the Vietnam War, in 1968, Merton attended an interfaith meeting between leading Catholics and Buddhists near Bangkok. Merton had become quite an expert on Jainism, Sufism, Hinduism, and Taoism and, especially, the Buddhist religion. Merton established close contacts with the Dalai Lama and other leading Tibetan Buddhists.
On December 10, 1968, Merton is said to have been electrocuted by a faulty fan while stepping out of the shower of his guest house at the conference venue some 30 miles south of Bangkok. Merton’s death at the age of 53 is clouded in mystery, with some accounts saying he was electrocuted and others claiming he died of a heart attack. When Merton’s body was discovered, there were severe electrical burns across the torso. Witnesses reported voice coming from Merton’s room shortly before his death. The Thai coroner’s report stated the following about Merton’s death: “death was caused as a result of fainting—due to acute cardiac failure.”And Pope Francis just wasn't indulging members of Congress to take seriously the unsettling, devious plots of their own government while he was in Washington. He also had a private meeting with the controversial county clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, who was jailed by a federal judge after she refused to sign same-sex marriage licenses, according to Davis' attorney. Pope Francis reportedly spoke to Davis in English at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, saying "thank you for your courage" and "stay strong." I wonder if Pope Francis was told how many times Davis had been married herself.