Nathaniel Weyl

Nathaniel Weyl

Nathaniel Weyl was born in New York City on 20th Jictor Perlo. Weyl later recalled that he was "sucked into a so-called nuclear cell of government officials supposedly destined to rise rapidly, I found secret membership in this cell while a US official duplicitous, and resolved my personal problem by resigning from government."

In 1939 Weyl left the Communist Party. This was mainly as a result of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin signing the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Weyl now accepted the post as head of the Latin American research unit at the Federal Reserve Board. Later he moved to the Board of Economic Warfare. He also spent two years in the US Army during the Second World War.

After the war Weyl worked as a journalist. In 1961 he published the best-selling Red Star Over Cuba. Weyl also helped John Martino write I Was Castro's Prisoner (1963). He also worked for a while with the former United States diplomat, William Pawley, with his autobiography.

In an article published in January, 1964, John Martino claimed in had important information about the death of John F. Kennedy. Martino argued that in 1963 Fidel Castro had discovered an American plot to overthrow his government. It was therefore decided to retaliate by organizing the assassination of Kennedy. In his book Someone Would Have Talked (2003), Larry Hancock wrote: "In 1964... both he (John Martino) and Nathaniel Weyl actively promoted the story that Oswald had been in Cuba beforehand and that he had been in contact with Cuban intelligence and Castro himself. Their story described Castro's motivation as revenge for continuing attempts on Castro's life by the United States government."

Shortly before his death in 1975 John Martino confessed to a Miami Newsday reporter, John Cummings, that he had been guilty of spreading false stories implicating Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination. Cummings added: "He told me he'd been part of the assassination of Kennedy. He wasn't in Dallas pulling a trigger, but he was involved. He implied that his role was delivering money, facilitating things.... He asked me not to write it while he was alive."

Weyl is the author of books and articles "relating to communism, especially in Latin America; espionage and internal security in the United States; and racial, ethnic and class analyses of political and intellectual elites" Books by Weyl include The Jew in American Politics (1968), Traitors' End; the Rise and Fall of the Communist Movement in Southern Africa (1970), American Statesmen on Slavery and the Negro (1971), Creative Elite in America (1979), Karl Marx, Racist (1979), Encounters With Communism (1981) and Geography of American Achievement (1990).

Nathaniel Weyl died at his home in Ojai, California on 13th April, 2005.

Primary Sources

(1) Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2003)

At this point (1962), John Martino was working with a right-wing ghostwriter named Nathaniel Weyl (Red Star Over Cuba). Weyl was also working with ex-Flying Tiger and millionaire William Pawley on his autobiography...

In 1964... both he (John Martino) and Nathaniel Weyl actively promoted the story that Oswald had been in Cuba beforehand and that he had been in contact with Cuban intelligence and Castro himself. Their story described Castro's motivation as revenge for continuing attempts on Castro's life by the United States government.

(2) Nathaniel Weyl, Encounters With Communism (2003)

Alan Courtney, a commentator on Miami radio, introduced me to John Martino and persuaded me to help him write the story of his imprisonment for several years in Castro's prisons. John told me he had helped set up gambling devices in Cuban hotels under Batista and had been arrested for returning to Cuba to get his employers' money out. I knew that the mob had largely controlled Cuban gambling and assumed John worked for them in a minor capacity.

The Martino story seemed to me a fascinating account from the inside of the experiences of his fellow prisoners, mostly political dissidents, as they faced execution. John Martino turned out to be a mild, very likeable man whose ash-white pallor revealed years of deprivation and suffering.

Although he was an American citizen, Martino had received no help during his ordeal from the Embassy in Havana. Considering the long history of pro-Soviet infiltration of our Latin American foreign service, this did not astonish us. He felt bitter resentment toward the State Department and attributed its abandonment of him to pro-Castro American officials.

(3) Nathaniel Weyl, email to John Simkin (5th May, 2004)

Yes, I collaborated with John Martino on his autobiography, specifically having him send or give me tapes, and then organizing them in a more coherent structure. I would discuss anything with him that struck me as improbable, but the book was his story of his prison experiences. You will find a brief account of how I got involved in this in my brief political autobiography (Encounters with Communism, Xlibris, 2004)

I worked with William Pawley for several months on his autobiography, but the collaboration didn't work out. I understand that he turned over the task to someone else and that a published book emerged, but I haven't seen it.

Re the Martino "confession". I first ran across it about a year ago when checking a few items on the Internet for my Encounters with Communism book. Hadn't seen it earlier because I had long since lost interest in Cuba. While John Martino and I had had a pleasant and friendly collaboration, the relationship more or less ended when he used the John Birch Society to popularize his book despite my advice to the contrary.

My first impression of the confession is that it was fictitious. My impression was that John Martino had played a small role in political events and had a psychological need to magnify it and that he invented conspiracies. If he had any advance knowledge of the impending assassination of President Kennedy he of course did not share it with me.

(4) Nathaniel Weyl, Encounters With Communism (2003)

In 1963, John Martino came to me with a fascinating story. He had attended a meeting in Palm Beach at which a Cuban who used the nom de guerre of Bayo claimed that the Soviets had deceived President Kennedy and that Russian missiles were still in Cuba. Bayo said he knew tills because two of the Soviet officers guarding these clandestine missiles had defected, were being hidden and guarded by the remnants of the anti-Castro underground and were desperately anxious to tell their story.

I was told that this was an emergency. The Russians could be captured by Castro's forces at any time. John Martino said that their Cuban protectors could get them safely to the northern coast of the island and thence by boat to some agreed-upon rendezvous point in the Bahamas if we acted immediately.

Martino added that Bayo and the other Cuban patriots would have nothing to do with anyone from the CIA because they believed that the Agency had betrayed them at the Bay of Pigs.

Could I get a yacht, designate a time and place to meet on some remote Bahamas island, get there and bring the Russian officers to the American mainland? If it was to be done, it must be done immediately.

(5) Nathaniel Weyl, Encounters With Communism (2003)

The Bayo operation has been covered in several article and books. It has been a hunting ground for conspiracy theorists, such as Peter Dale Scott (Deep Politics and the Death ofJFK, University of California Press), who suggest that the Bayo affair was linked to the Kennedy assassination.

We know now that the defecting Soviet colonels never existed, that there were no Russian missiles left in place in Cuba, that the Bayo story was a hoax.

What happened to the Cubans who were offloaded from the Flying Tiger, heavily armed with ClA-supplied weapons? We know that the Pawley yacht weighed anchor ten miles to sea from the port of Baracoa in Oriente Province on the night of June 8, 1963. Three CIA people kept machineguns trained on Bayo and his Cuban commandos as the latter piled into the speedboat that was to take them to shore (Warren Hinckle and William W. Turner, Deadly Secrets, p. 194). Weapons were aimed at the Cubans because the CIA considered the possibility that they were Castro agents and that the operation was an ambush.

The commandos vanished into the night. Pawley saw to it that a Catalina flying boat search the skies for them until a week had elapsed. The generally accepted theory is that their secret purpose had been to get modern arms with which to kill Castro, but that they had been intercepted and killed or captured in a firefight. A year or so after the tragedy, Bill Pawley told me he believed that the men never landed. When they boarded the speedboat, he warned them that it was dangerously overloaded and urged them in vain to take rubber rafts aboard. Pawley heard a large freighter pass between the Flying Tiger and the shore. He believed that the Cuban boat was swamped in the freighter's wake and that the men drowned.

Was their secret purpose to get CIA arms with which to kill Fidel Castro? This is the conclusion researchers have arrived at, but it seems to me illogical. When I was approached to find a yacht and meet the defectors at sea, there was no mention of sending armed commandos ashore. Nor did I have any access to assault weapons nor did Martino have any reason to imagine I would be willing or able to supply them.

The source of guns was the CIA and Bayo and his companions had made it abundantly clear that they distrusted the agency and wanted to have nothing to do with it.

The conclusion I draw is that Bayo's initial plan was to land two or three mysterious people in Florida, to allege that they were Soviet colonels and spread the story of missiles still in Cuba to influence the American presidential elections. The purpose would have been to defeat Kennedy since many Cubans believed he had betrayed them and their cause.

Would any such imposture have been promptly detected and exposed? Or would continuing uncertainty and suspicion have poisoned the air for the young President?

When the plan mushroomed to comprise a Cuban commando force, heavily armed by the CIA with weapons, none of which was, of course, of U.S. origin, plans may well have changed. Assassination? Mere havoc and sabotage? We will probable never know.

(6) Nathaniel Weyl, Encounters With Communism (2003)

Toward the close of the Kennedy Administration, an American of non-Hispanic origin, called on me at our oceanfront place in Highland Beach, Florida. He wanted to interest me in a plan to send commandos secretly into Cuba to blow up the petroleum storage facilities in the Havana area. This seemed to me a senseless and criminal terrorist act.

Sabotaging oil facilities would deprive the Cuban people of a vital resource without necessarily weakening the dictatorial regime. Since we were not at war with Cuba, any incidental loss of life would constitute murder.

I told the mysterious person who approached me that this was not the sort of thing I do and that I was not interested.

(7) Nathaniel Weyl, email to John Simkin (10th May, 2004)

I agreed to work with Bill Pawley on his book in 1964 or later. I would not call myself a ghost writer or right wing, depending on how the latter term is defined. Nor was Pawley an aviator. FDR gave him the sub rosa task of creating the Flying Tiger organization in the months prior to Pearl Harbor. He was also close to Harry Truman and pushed Ike to seek the presidency. I can't comment on what Martino may have said or believed. I thought at the time that the JFK assassination probably had Soviet or Castro links. As for Oswald, not too long after the assassination a Special Agent phoned me, said he understood I had claimed Oswald had tried to infiltrate a Cuban anti-Castro group in Florida, but had been kicked out and roughed up, and asked whether he could come up to our place and talk to me. I said that my source was a reporter on the Sun Sentinel, named him, and suggested that the Bureau might prefer to go directly to that source, which I suppose they did.

As for your queries: (1) No. I think Oswald may have tried to get Cuban support when he went to Mexico, but doubt the Cuban government would have used that flaky a character. (2) John Martino didn't give me any Cuban names nor did he suggest that he was working with the CIA; in fact my recollection is that he distrusted the CIA. He did say that the United States government was turning over the job of killing Castro to the Mafia and that the latter as professionals wouldn't botch the job. (3) Never heard of David Morales.

(8) Nathaniel Weyl, The Intelligence of White Rhodesians (March, 1967)

For the past five years, all Standard Two European, Coloured and Asiatic students in the Salisbury District of Rhodesia (which contains over 50 per cent of the white population) have been given South African group intelligence tests. Those scoring 130+ have then been tested individually, using the latest international standardization of the Terman-Merrill test.*

About 95 per cent of those scoring 130+ on the group test did so on the individual test. The Terman-Merrill tests revealed that about 7 per cent of the white children in the government schools of the Salisbury district had IQs of 130 or better. This compares with about 2.5 per cent in that range in the U.K. and the U.S. and about 3 per cent in New Zealand. Group testing of pupils in privately operated schools indicated that their inclusion would not have lowered the percentage of gifted children.

Thus, white Rhodesians are an elite element within the English-speaking world in terms of psychometric intelligence. This finding is reinforced by visual impressions. Salisbury whites appear larger, healthier, more vigorous, alert and bright than London whites. Beatniks, transvestites and obvious homosexuals are conspicuously absent.

(9) Nathaniel Weyl, Envy And Aristocide, The Eugenics Bulletin (Winter 1984)

In this article, I shall advance the hypothesis that envy of non-achievers against creative minorities is the mainspring of modern revolutionary movements, that this envy is incited and exploited by alienated intellectuals, and that the result is aristocide - the murder of productive, gifted and high-achieving people - along with consequent genetic decline.

By aristocide, I do not mean destruction of artificial aristocracies of pedigree and status. I use the term to denote the extermination of what Thomas Jefferson called "the natural aristocracy among men" grounded on "virtues and talents," and constituting "the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society" (Jefferson, 1813). Jefferson believed that the preservation of this elite was of cardinal importance. The "natural aristocracy" possess not only high intelligence, but also "virtue"- in more modern terms, character and humanity.

Envy should be distinguished from ambition. Envy is not the desire to excel, but the spiteful urge to pull down the more gifted...

It remained for the messianic totalitarian movements of our century - Nazism and Communism - to exploit envy on a massive scale as a vehicle for attaining power. Propaganda of both movements depicted the envied people as bestial and unfit to live. Nazi ideology stressed the extermination of the Jewish people on the grounds that they were "sub-human."

The Jew was shown as a hideous lecher in the Nazi press. Red artists made capitalists appear comparably odious and despicable. The enemy must be made to seem vile so that his future murderers (who may possess remnants of decency and morality) can feel justified in their crimes.

The leadership element of revolutions is rarely composed of indignant peasants or enraged lupenproletarians. It generally consists of frustrated, alienated and misguided intellectuals, without whom the envy of the masses would remain directionless, nothing more than sullen and silent resentment. Alienated intellectuals serve as catalysts, inciting and actuating the prevalent sentiment of envy, providing it with a seemingly legitimate target, even gracing it with an ideology and a meretricious sort of moral justification. Yet many converts to totalitarian movements themselves come from the upper and middle classes. They belong not to the ranks of the enviers, but to those of the envied. How does one explain this paradox?

I would suggest that, in many cases, their original motivations are benevolent: sympathy for the poor and passionate hatred of social injustice. However, to rise up in the ranks of the movement, pity for the downtrodden must gradually be supplanted by hatred of their supposed oppressors. The envy of the masses is the revolutionaries' most potent weapon to overthrow the social order, and the best method of exploiting it is to offer a tangible, living object of hatred. Those who don't adequately grasp this fact tend to drop by the wayside. Clearly, a revolutionary who proclaims to the crowd that their poverty is due to sparse natural resources, overpopulation, and their own shortcomings is not destined to lead the revolution. Explanations of this sort fail to provide the enormous psychological satisfaction of Marxist ideology that poverty is caused by class exploitation. Marxist ideology also offers a wonderfully direct and instantaneous "solution" - liquidation of the exploiters - which is far more appealing to mob mentality than the dreary prospect of a lifetime of patience, hard work and sacrifice.

(10) Blurb for Nathaniel Weyl's Geography of American Achievement (1990)

A Jewish authors study of various ethnic stocks and their comparative successes in America. Jews, Asians, Anglo-Saxons, Irish and British are compared by noting the achievements made by each group in various fields. The Black race is conspicuously absent from, "significant achievements".

(11) Nathaniel Weyl, review of Amy Chua's World on Fire (5th October, 2003)

This is a book of great importance to anyone who cares to engage in a serious examination of the strategic goals of American foreign policy toward the third world. Its central thesis is that the simultaneous effort to create free market economies and democracy invites disaster.

Amy Chua presents massive evidence of the way these process have recently unravelled throughout the impoverished lands of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Her style is clear and vivid. Her account of these unfolding disasters is gripping.

The central thesis of World on Fire is that the free market system, minus the social welfare institutions of the modern world, has led to vast concentrations of economic power in the hands of tiny ethnic minorities throughout the third world. Chua shows case after case where these minorities have had their property expropriated, their homes torched, their women raped and they themselves expelled or massacred by enraged, impoverished majorities. She argues that our national zeal to impose democracies on these countries often leads to misrule by demagogues who attain power by appealing to the envy and hatred of the masses. It can be argued, however, that dictatorships may be just as likely to stir up xenophobic frenzy as democracies.

The minorities which have attained this enormous economic power in the third world and whose rise to power is so brilliantly described in this book include the ethnic Chinese throughout southeast Asia, the Indians in Burma and east Africa, the Lebanese in west Africa, the Tutsis in Rwanda and the Jews in post-Soviet Russia. These ethnic minorities may have lived in the countries where they succeeded for generations, but this does not protect them. Visible differences in language, culture, physical appearance and perhaps religion conspire to set them apart and make them far more vulnerable targets than a native economic elite.

(12) Nathaniel Weyl, email to John Simkin (15th July, 2004)

I had no relationship with JFK. I had a brief, uneventful meeting with him once when he was a Senator. Senator Smathers, who knew him fairly well since they had gone on double dates when both were in Congress, tried without success to get him, when he was President, to read my book on Cuba. Probably in 1962, a friend, who had been one of the top people in Cuban Intelligence, introduced me to a gorgeous heiress with whom he was having an affair. She was, or had recently been, one of JFK's women. Both the lady and my friend, Manolo, wanted me to meet JFK and talk to him about changing his policies toward Cuba. I was less than enthusiastic. I thought backdoor approaches to a President through his women a poor idea. If she made the attempt, it failed...

My father, Walter Weyl, died when I was 9. He was an editor of the New Republic, minor adviser to Theodore Roosevelt, more or less of a socialist, increasingly radicalized by the senseless slaughter of WW1 and the vengeful peace of Versailles. As a student at Columbia, I became one of the youth leaders of the Socialist Party. After a year at the London School of Economics, returned to USA and shifted to the Communist Party. In 1933, given a medium level policy job in a New Deal agency. Sucked into a so-called nuclear cell of government officials supposedly destined to rise rapidly, I found secret membership in this cell while a US official duplicitous, and resolved my personal problem by resigning from government. (The cell at the time I left it merely read propaganda and talked; later its members would be drawn into espionage and one of them, Alger Hiss, would go to prison for perjury). Years of newspaper reporting and writing, mainly in Latin America, followed. In 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a pact that would precipitate World War 2. I left the CPUSA and rejoined the US Government to head Latin American research for Federal Reserve Board, later to serve in Board of Economic Warfare, then 2 years in a combat infantry division, then work on US grants and loans to the postwar world. Resigned from government for a second time around 1947 because the questionnaires in the Truman loyalty program would have unearthed my red past and forced me to engage in the distasteful task of testifying against former CP associates.

From 1947 on I wrote books and articles and earned a living from investments. I shifted from the Democratic to the Republican Party. My interest in Cuba made me write a book, Red Star Over Cuba, which blamed Castro's rise to power in part on covert State Department support of his cause, engineered by a clique of officials whose loyalties seemed questionable. Since the book sold about a quarter of a million copies, including Spanish, Portuguese and German language editions, it brought me into the world of Cuban anti-Castro exiles.

My attitude toward JFK was largely shaped by his Latin American policies and was highly critical. I agreed with my Cuban friends that the US Government had a moral obligation toward the force of Cuban volunteers that invaded Cuba and sought to liberate the island, that it had pledged them military support. JFK's last minute decision to abort the planned air strike that the small invading force needed for survival and/or orderly withdrawal and to leave people we had sent into battle stranded was dishonorable and unworthy of the United States. After the debacle of the invasion, which we now know would probably have failed anyhow, JFK's people advanced the slogan "Fidelismo without Fidel", in short an endorsement of the dictator's domestic policies. At the same time, the White House was pushing its Alliance for Progress, which sought to impose some US social measures on Latin countries which did not want them, and which helped cause a massive flight of domestic capital from the area and encouraged left-wing upheavals in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. I felt that Kennedy was a great charmer and master of rhetoric, but that unsound ideas proliferated like rabbits in the brains of those people who made policy decisions on Latin America for him. The tragedy of his assassination made such negative judgments seem petty and trivial.