Friday February 18, 2000
curious attracted by legend of Golem
PRAGUE -- The stately Charles Bridge transports travelers into old Jewish
Town here. Built in 1357 by King Charles IV and lined with 30 magnificent
baroque statues, the bridge is also a kind of portal back in time.
A centuries-old debate over whether a creature
once lived at one end of this Gothic bridge makes the journey even more
In the late 1500s, Prague's Rabbi Judah Loew (1520-1609), one of the most
respected and beloved sages
in Eastern Europe, is said to have built a man of clay,
which he called the Golem.
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
The Jews of ancient Prague had lived in this city for 600 years by then,
arriving as merchants in the 10th century. By the 1300s, however, the burgeoning
community was confined to the walled
Loew, also known as the Maharal, feared for the safety of his community. As a
practitioner of Kabbalah, or Jewish
mysticism, he decided to breathe life into a clay creature. This
protector would be summoned when needed, while otherwise laboring in the Alt Neu
-- or Old New -- Synagogue.
Unfortunately, after performing some heroic feats of rescue, the Golem became
infused with ego and disobeyed its creator. Loew managed to trick the Golem and
cause its life force to disperse.
the creature created by a shemgod, rebelled and was
The legend goes on to say that the Golem's body has been kept in the attic of
the synagogue ever since.
But did the Golem actually exist?
"Many do come to Prague attracted by the legends, especially many Chassidic
Jews," said Leo Pavlat, the director of Prague's Jewish Museum.
"Twice I was woken in the middle of the night when some people called,
asking that I take them to the roof of the Alt Neu shul to see the Golem. I
managed to convince them that he didn't exist."
Pavlat scoffed when told that many consider the Golem to have been a living,
breathing creature. He also said that Loew was not a kabbalist. There is
"no actual link" between the rabbi and Kabbalah, he asserted.
These denials provoked a pointed response from a leading Canadian Chassidic
leader, Rabbi Moishe New, director of the Montreal Torah Centre. The rabbi is a noted
authority on Kabbalah, giving lectures and teaching classes on the
subject to beginners and veterans alike.
"The Talmud recalls instances where sages
fashioned golems for the protection of Jewish lives, much as the Maharal
did," New said.
"The body of the Golem was
infused with a soul, becoming a type of angel
enclosed in a man-made body. Angels are considered to be like creatures
or animals in daily Jewish prayer. They have no free choice and are not capable
of making moral decisions. They are spiritual robots, subservient to their
Uh....jewish fable, for their nephilim freely and
willfully rejected the Creator
And the Maharal certainly did practice Kabbalah, New also stressed.
"He was an outstanding kabbalist, philosopher and talmudist and wrote an
entire series of books, 20 in all, based on Kabbalah. They were called 'Gevurot
Hashem,' or the Might of God. Rabbi Loew's genius was that he expressed
kabbalistic teachings in a rational manner, thus making it accessible to the
"As a matter of fact, the Chassidic movement owes its inception, to a
significant degree, to his teachings."
But what of the existence of the Golem of legend? The tale was certainly
inspirational enough to cause German Czech journalist Franz Klutschak, in 1838,
to write a story titled "The Golam and Rabbi Loew," for a popular
periodical, Panorama des Universums.
In 1847, the Galerie der Sippurim, published by Prague bookseller Wolf
Pascheles, mentions Loew's Golem amongst its many fairy tales about famous Jews.
A 1915 bestseller by Vienna-born Gustav Meyrink featured the Golem as well.
Even Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer got into the act, publishing his
English version of "The Golem" in 1982. He had written the Yiddish
original for the Jewish Daily Forward in 1969, with his Prague protagonist a
kabbalist named Rabbi Leib.
The motion-picture world also got into the act with two
German silent movies, a 1914 version co-directed by the film's star and
co-producer, Paul Wegener, followed by another in 1920, also featuring Wegener.
Visiting Prague, it's easy to get caught up in the legend, with two sites of
interest to Golem-seekers.
The unforgettably bleak, yet thrilling landscape of the Old Jewish Cemetery
in Jewish Town is a Kafkaesque arrangement of over 12,000 stones dating back to
the 15th century. Bodies are buried vertically in rows of 12, as Jews were not
allowed to inter their dead anyplace else. Many stones are tilted, pointing like
jagged shards of glass.
While many of the city's renowned leaders are buried here, the prize is the
grave of the Maharal himself. It is probably the
most visited Jewish site in Prague, and like Jerusalem's Western Wall, is filled
with notes of prayer and hope thrust into every nook and cranny.
Then there is the nearby Alt Neu Synagogue itself. Dating to 1280, it is the
oldest Jewish house of worship in Europe and one of Prague's oldest Gothic
buildings. Services have been held continuously for over 700 years, with the
exception of World War II.
Worshippers can gaze at the vaulted ceiling, wondering whether the Golem is
in the attic, as purported.
"Certainly, the Golem's existence was witnessed by the people of that
time and forms part of the oral history of the Jewish people," New said.
As to where its body lies, the rabbi sticks to the legend.
"It is in the attic of the Alt Neu Synagogue, under piles of weathered
old holy books. The body may be crumbled by now, but that is the
As to why community leaders like Pavlat continue to deny the Golem's
existence, New can only offer an educated guess.
"The Maharal would not have wished it to be venerated, and it has
therefore been kept a guarded secret over the centuries. That is probably the
motive for not showing the body."
"Tax" Man Cometh, watch the whore of Babylon wail
Dan:11:20: Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
grandfather, Frederick A. Kerry
(born Fritz Kohn), was born
in the town of Horni
(in what is now the Moravian-Silesian
Region of the Czech
Republic), and grew up in Mödling (a small town near Vienna,
Friend of the theosophist of Talmud Bavli, Quabalah,
He immigrated to the US arriving at Ellis
Island with his wife Ida (née Loewe, who was born in Budapest,
and son Erich on May
Mildred was born (c. 1910)
and in Massachusetts, Richard was born (c. 1916).
but the family concealed its background upon migrating to
the United States, and raised the Kerry
children as Catholics.
the normal deception, posing as
A Czech historian has shown that Ida is a descendant of Sinai
Loew, one of three older brothers of Rabbi Judah
a famous Kabbalist,
philosopher and talmudist
known as the Maharal
Two of Ida's siblings, Otto Loewe and Jenni Loewe, died in the Nazi
respectively), after being deported from Vienna in 1942, about a year before Kerry's
I've got some ocean front property on mars. Why would
they conceal their name coming to Amaraka ?
Frederick committed suicide
by gunshot to the head at the Copley
Plaza Hotel in Boston.
His second son, Richard, was only six at the time.
Richard John Kerry,
John's father, graduated
University in 1937.
He received a degree from Harvard
Law School in 1940,
and then joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. In his adult career, he worked for the Foreign
Service and served as an attorney for the Bureau of United Nations Affairs
in the U.S.
Department of State. In 1937, he met Rosemary
Forbes, a member of the wealthy Forbes
family. One of eleven children, she studied to be a nurse, and served in the
France during World War II. She would stand to inherit (in 2004 dollars)
approximately $20 million to 40 million from her father and the Forbes family.
The couple married in Montgomery,
Ala., in January 1941.
maternal grandfather, James
Grant Forbes, was born in Shanghai,
China, where the Forbes
family of China and Boston accumulated a fortune in the opium
and China trade, and became an international businessman and attorney
living in France and England.
maternal grandmother, Margaret Tyndal Winthrop, came from a family with deep
roots in Massachusetts history, and was raised in Boston. Her grandfather was Robert
Charles Winthrop, the conservative Whig Speaker
of the House and a senator, and her ancestors include James
Bowdoin, former governor of Maine,
Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts
Bay Colony. Other notable figures in this branch
of Kerry's family tree are Franklin
Coolidge, and ironically, George
H.W. Bush, and George
Enforcers of Quaballah
Kerry has said that
his first memory is when, as a 3-year-old, he held his mother's hand while she
cried as they walked through the broken glass and rubble of her childhood home
in Saint-Briac, France. The memorable visit came just a short period after the
United States had liberated Saint-Briac from the Germans
The family estate, known as Les
Essarts, had been occupied as Nazi headquarters during the war, and when the
Germans left Les Essarts, they bombed it and burnt it down.
The sprawling estate was rebuilt in 1954.
Kerry and his parents
would often spend the summer holidays there. Kerry
occupied his time there racing his cousins on bicycles and challenging relatives
to games of kick
the can. During his summers there, he became good friends with his first
Lalonde, a future Socialist
Party leader in France who ran for president
of France in 1981.
Because Kerry's family
moved around a lot, he attended several schools as a child. Many years later, he
said that "to my chagrin, and everlasting
damnation, I was always moving on and saying goodbye. It kind of had an
effect on you. It steeled you. There wasn't a lot of permanence and roots. For
kids, [that's] not the greatest thing." He went to a Swiss
school at age 11 while his family lived in Berlin.
When he visited home, he biked around and saw the rubble of Hitler's
bunker, and also sneaked into East
Berlin, until his father found out and grounded him. The boy often spent
time alone. He biked through France, took a ferry from Norway
to England, and even camped alone in Sherwood
Forest. While attending the boarding school, Kerry
saw the film Scaramouche,
which became his favorite movie. He later would name his powerboat after its
(right) in the St. Paul's yearbook, 1962
While his father was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo,
Norway, Kerry was
sent to Massachusetts to attend boarding school. In 1957, he attended the Fessenden
School in West Newton, a village in Newton,
Massachusetts. There he met and befriended Richard
Pershing, grandson of the famed U.S. Gen. John
The following year, he enrolled at St.
Paul's School in Concord,
New Hampshire, and graduated from there in 1962.
His father's Foreign Service salary did not earn enough to pay the school's
childless great-aunt, Clara
Winthrop, then very much advanced in age, voluntarily covered the costs. At
St. Paul's, Kerry felt
like an outsider because he was a Catholic and liberal while most of his fellow
students were Republican
Despite having difficulty fitting in, he made friends and developed his
interests. He learned skills in public
speaking and he became deeply interested in politics.
In his free time, he enjoyed ice
hockey and lacrosse,
which he played on teams captained by classmate Robert
S. Mueller III, the current director of the FBI.
Kerry also played electric
bass for the prep school's band The Electras, which produced an album in
1961. Only 500 copies were made, and in 2004 one of the copies was auctioned at EBay
In 1959 Kerry
founded the John
Winant Society at St. Paul's to debate the issues of the day; the Society
still exists there. In November of 1960,
Kerry gave his first
political speech, in favor of John
F. Kennedy's election to the White
JFK....John F. Kohn
While living in the U.S., Kerry
spent several summers at the Forbes family's estates on Naushon
Island off Cape
Encounters with President Kennedy
In 1962, Kerry
volunteered to work for Ted
Kennedy's first senatorial
campaign. Kerry was known
to broadcast the words "Kennedy for Senate" from a loudspeaker in his Volkswagen
Beetle, adding the words "And Kerry
That summer, he began dating Janet
Jennings Auchincloss, Jacqueline
Kennedy's half-sister. Auchincloss invited Kerry
to visit her family's estate, Hammersmith
Farm in Rhode
Island (home to Janet and Jackie's mother Janet
Lee Bouvier Auchincloss and her husband Hugh
D. Auchincloss, Jr.), on Sunday, August
26. It was then that Kerry
met president Kennedy for the first time.
When Kerry told
Kennedy that he was about to enter Yale University, Kennedy grimaced because he
had gone to rival school Harvard
later recalled, "He smiled at me, laughed and said, 'Oh, don't worry about
it. You know I'm a Yale man too now.'" According to Kerry,
President uttered that famous comment about how he had the best of two
worlds now: a Harvard education and Yale degree," in reference to the fact
he had received an honorary degree from Yale a few months prior (June
Later that day, a White House photographer snapped a photo of Kerry
sailing with Kennedy and his family in Narragansett
Bay. They met again a few weeks later while at the September 1962 America's
Cup race off the coast of Rhode Island.
Just one big Danaaite family
1966 Yale yearbook photo
In 1962 Kerry
entered Yale University, where he majored in political
science, graduating with a bachelor's
degree in 1966.
To earn money during the summers, he loaded trucks in a grocery warehouse and
sold encyclopedias door to door.
As a student, he lived in a three-room dormitory suite.
During the summer of 1963,
Kerry and some classmates
drove from Paris to Austria,
where they visited an old ski instructor of Kerry's.
When they arrived at the Austrian Alps,
Kerry insisted on
climbing a mountain even though it was only 5 a.m., and then raced his friend
down the peak. When they visited London that summer, Kerry
delivered an impromptu speech from the famed Speaker's
Corner in Hyde
During his time at Yale, Kerry
He was also on the fencing
team and took flying lessons.
In his sophomore
year Kerry became
president of the Yale
Political Union. His involvement with the Political Union gave him an
opportunity to be involved with important issues of the day, such as the civil
rights movement and president Kennedy's New
Frontier program. Under the guidance of the speaking coach and history
Osterweis, Kerry won
dozens of debate contests against other college students from across the nation.
In March 1965,
as the Vietnam
War escalated, he won the Ten
Eyck prize as the best orator in the junior class for a speech that was
critical of U.S. foreign policy. In the speech he said, "It is the specter
of Western imperialism that causes more fear among Africans and Asians than
communism, and thus it is self-defeating." Because of his public speaking
skills, he was chosen to give the class oration at graduation. The speech was
hastily rewritten at the last moment, and was a broad criticism of American
foreign policy, including the war.
1965, his friend John
Shattuck (who would later become CEO of the John
F. Kennedy Library Foundation) inducted
him to Yale's Skull
and Bones secret society, three years before George
W. Bush joined the same group.
A few weeks before graduating, Kerry
and all of the Skull and Bones seniors went on a trip together to the fishing
camp owned by the organization on the secluded 50-acre Deer
Island, located on the St.
Lawrence River. According to an article by Joe
Klein for The
New Yorker in 2002, David Thorne remembered there was a serious ongoing
discussion about Vietnam.
He said, "There were four of us [Kerry,
Smith, Pershing and Thorne] going to war in a matter of months. That tends to
concentrate the mind. This may have been the first time we really seriously
began to question Vietnam. It was: 'Hey, what the hell is going on over there?
What the hell are we in for'?"
Medals awarded to Lt. Kerry
include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.
First tour of duty
After an application for a twelve month deferment to study in Paris was
denied, Kerry joined the United
States Navy on February
He was ordered into active duty on October
19, and received his Navy commission on December
16. After completing a year of training, in December 1967 he began his first
tour of duty, serving as a Second
Lieutenant in the electrical department on the guided-missile frigate
In February 1968, the Gridley sailed into war to support aircraft
carriers in the Gulf
of Tonkin, but was far removed from combat. Kerry
had no contact with the enemy during that time. His ship returned to port in Long
Beach, California on June
Second tour of duty
Initially, Kerry had
hoped to keep a relatively safe distance from most of the fighting by obtaining
an assignment as commander of a Swift
Boat. He commanded his Swift Boat Patrol Craft Fast-94 during several
operations, including Operation
Sea Lords (raids on the NLF-controlled
Cua Long River in the Mekong
near the Cà
Mau province), and proved an aggressive commander.
Kerry lost five
friends in war, including Pershing, who was killed
in action on February
17, 1968. The death had a devastating impact on Kerry,
who expressed his grief in a letter to his parents.
Kerry was awarded his
Heart for an injury incurred during his first combat experience (on December
2, 1968). He was treated for a small piece of shrapnel in his arm and he
immediately returned to duty. On February
he earned a second Purple Heart when his left thigh was hit with shrapnel and,
again, he was treated and returned to duty. Eight days later, on February
28, 1969, Kerry's
boat was hit by a B-40
rocket. After beaching his boat, Kerry
chased down and killed a wounded National
Liberation Front guerilla, who had been shot in the leg by a crew-mate and
was fleeing with another B-40 rocket. Kerry
came back to the boat with the rocket and launcher. He was awarded the Silver
Star medal for his actions. On March
13, 1969, Kerry's
boat detonated a mine (as his position took heavy fire) and his arm was wounded.
For his injury and rescuing U.S. Army Green Beret James
Rassmann on the same occasion, Kerry
was awarded a third Purple Heart and the Bronze
Star with Combat
V. The last of his three injuries included a bruised arm and shrapnel in his
posterior which, according to Kerry,
cost him about two days of active service.
Due to questions regarding the nature of his wounds, the Kerry
Campaign released his military records. These show second citations for a Silver
Star and a Bronze Star were issued by John
F. Lehman, who was Secretary of the Navy eleven years after Kerry's
Return from Vietnam
Within a week of his receiving his third purple heart, Kerry
requested reassignment to the U.S. He was entitled to an early departure from
Vietnam, subject to approval by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, according to then
current regulations which said those who are wounded "three times,
regardless of the nature of the wound or treatment required ... will not be
ordered to serve in Vietnam and contiguous waters or to duty with ships or units
which have been alerted for movement to that area."
17, 1969, Commodore
Horne, an administrative official and commander of the coastal squadron in
which Kerry served,
filled out a document that said Kerry
"has been thrice wounded in action while on duty incountry Vietnam.
Reassignment is requested as a personal aide in Boston, New York, or Washington,
D.C., area." Kerry
ended his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969
after 11 months in-country. He remained on active duty for one more year with
Sea Transportation Service, Atlantic based in Brooklyn,
N.Y. All told, he was on active duty for four years, from 1966 until 1970.
He was transferred to the U.S.
Naval Reserve in 1970. There is no documentation that he fulfilled his
active Reserve obligations while engaged in his anti-war
activities. Transferred to the Standby (inactive) Reserve in 1972, he then
no longer was required to participate in Reserve activities. He received his honorable
discharge in 1978.
speaking at an anti-war rally.
Kerry returned to
America in 1969. In 1968, Kerry's
first cousin, Lalonde, became president of the National Student's Union at the Sorbonne,
and had actively participated in the May
1968 student uprisings in France, which showed all of Europe (and the U.S.)
the power of student protest and confrontation. Peggy Kerry,
his sister, was also active in anti-war activities then.
He was involved in anti-war activities while on active duty as an admiral's
aide in Brooklyn. Arranged by his sister, in October
1969 he spent
two days flying Ted
Kennedy's advisor Adam
Walinsky to present antiwar speeches. The Boston
Globe says "the experience helped convince him that he wanted to become
a public leader of the antiwar movement." In November
he requested release from active duty so he could campaign for a Congressional
seat in the House.
He was transferred from active duty to the Naval Reserve (inactive) on January
3, 1970, so
he could fulfill his Ready Reserve obligations. Within three months he lost the
caucus to Father Robert
F. Drinan, and later became manager of his campaign.
On May 7, 1970,
he appeared on The
Dick Cavett Show for the first time, to speak about his opposition to
the United States' involvement in the Vietnam. Just a few weeks later, May
23, 1970, he married Julia
Thorne, his girlfriend of six years, at a lavish ceremony attended by
approximately 250 guests in Bay
Shore, New York. After honeymooning in Jamaica
he met with Hanoi peace talk representatives in Paris. Kerry
then stepped up his antiwar activities, becoming a media celebrity for his
outspoken opposition to the war, behavior which, according to some reports,
served as a great annoyance to the Nixon
Joining the Vietnam Veterans against the War
In June 1970, Kerry
joined the newly formed Vietnam
Veterans Against the War (VVAW), where he became a prominent spokesman and
member of the Executive Committee, leading numerous protests, marches and
rallies. On September
7, Kerry spoke at an
event that the group organized called Operation
RAW, or Rapid American Withdrawal, in which Vietnam veterans marched 86
miles from two Revolutionary
War sites, Morristown,
New Jersey, and Valley
Protest in Washington, D.C.
As part of the VVAW, Kerry
organized a non-violent protest of the war entitled Operation
Dewey Canyon III, which occurred from April
18 to April
The organizers called the protest "a limited incursion into the country of
19, a procession of about 1,100 veterans moved across the Lincoln
Memorial Bridge to Arlington
Cemetery, led by the Gold
Star Mothers who lost their sons in the war. There, on the small plot of
grass outside the cemetery beneath the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier and the grave of president Kennedy, Reverend Jackson
Day led a brief ceremony for the war dead. In the following days, the
protestors, who camped out on a grassy quadrangle between Third and Fourth
streets, took part in guerilla
theatre, marches, and speeches.
Testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
Kerry spoke before the
Senate Armed Services Committee. He informed the committee about the VVAW's Winter
Soldier Investigation, an event which took place from January
31 to February
2, 1971 in Detroit,
Michigan. That event was presented as having over 150 honorably discharged
veterans who testified to war crimes supposedly committed in Southeast Asia
during the war. Questions had already been raised by the Detroit Star about the
testimony, and an investigation found that claimed events could not be
confirmed, some participants were not Vietnam veterans, some were not honorably
discharged, some were impostors. Although Kerry
interviewed the participants before the meetings, it is not known when he
learned about the problems with the testimony.
The medal-tossing incident
The following day, April
23, Kerry and other
veterans threw medals and ribbons over a fence at the U.S.
Capitol building to protest the war. This became a controversy when it was
discovered that he has his service medals on display, suggesting that what he
threw were not his own medals. Kerry
later said that he “threw some medals back that belonged to some folks who
asked me to throw them back for them."
President Nixon comments on Kerry
In a secretly recorded White House conversation of April
president Nixon discussed Kerry
with his counsel, Charles
Colson. Nixon said, "Well, he is sort of a phony, isn't he?"
Colson agreed, and mentioned that during the antiwar demonstrations that had
just taken place, Kerry
stayed at the home of a Georgetown
while the other protesters slept on the National Mall. Colson opined, "He's
politically ambitious and just looking for an issue. Yeah. He came back [from
Vietnam] a hawk and became a dove when he saw the political opportunities."
"Sure," said Nixon. "Well, anyway, keep the faith."
In the following months, The FBI engaged in surveillance of Kerry
and his activities with the VVAW. They followed him, recorded the content of his
speeches, took photographs, and reported their findings to FBI Director J.
Edgar Hoover and president Nixon. In May of 1972, the FBI stopped monitoring
his activities, stating in a final memorandum that "It should be noted that
a review of the subject's file reveals nothing whatsoever to link subject with
any violent type activity... Thus, considering the subject's apparently
legitimate involvement in politics, it is recommended that no further
investigation be conducted regarding subject until such time as it is
Colson sent a letter of apology to Kerry
for his and Nixon's behavior against him in the 1970s.
All of the events of 1971 thrust him into the national spotlight. On May
he appeared in a segment of 60
Minutes entitled "The First Hurrah," produced by Morley
In the Washington
Star on June
6, 1971, Kerry
is quoted: "We established an American presence in most cases by showing
the flag and firing at sampans and villages along the banks. Those were our
instructions, but they seemed so out of line that we finally began to go ashore,
against our orders, and investigate the villages that were supposed to be our
targets. We discovered we were butchering a lot of innocent people, and morale
became so low among the officers on those 'swift boats' that we were called back
to Saigon for special instructions from Gen. Abrams. He told us we were doing
the right thing. He said our efforts would help win the war in the long run.
That's when I realized I could never remain silent about the realities of the
war in Vietnam."
On June 20,
appeared on The Dick Cavett Show to debate the White House-selected
Navy veteran John
O'Neill, who represented a group called Veterans
for a Just Peace. He was also parodied
in the comic strip Doonesbury
In 1978 he
Veterans of America.
He maintains a lifetime membership in the Veterans
of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization.
Vietnam War era photos
Among the related attacks, one photo WAS widely circulated to attempt to
associate Kerry with Jane
Fonda, a symbol to some of betrayal and a target of blame for the harsh
treatment brought on U.S. soldiers upon returning stateside.
Claimed by Kerry's
political foes as evidence of Kerry's
ties to Fonda, the photo is from the rally in Valley Forge, although their
sitting several rows apart belies the involvement in both with the VVAW event.
Both were among eight speakers at a VVAW
rally in Valley Forge, and Kerry
was involved in organizing the rally. VVAW records show that four days later
there were arrangements for her to tour and raise funds. This was before Fonda's
famous visit to Vietnam, and after Kerry's
first meeting with Hanoi representatives.
In 2004, a
new photograph emerged, that showed Fonda standing by Kerry's
side at an antiwar demonstration. It made the rounds on the Internet, and was
quickly found to be a hoax.
The event, known as the Register
for Peace Rally, took place on June
New York, with thousands in attendance. Kerry
spoke at the rally, but Jane
Fonda was not in fact present.
In attempts to continue the association of Kerry
with Fonda, Rep. Sam
Johnson and other Republicans referred to Kerry
as Hanoi John in
House of Representatives, although chamber rules do not permit personal
attacks on senators.
Resignation from VVAW
12 to 15,
1971, a VVAW meeting was held in Kansas
City, Missouri, in which a member proposed that they escalate their tactics
and assassinate pro-war politicians. The statement was immediately shouted down
by a disgusted majority. However, some groups use this story to paint VVAW as a
violent group. VVAW did decide to meet with North Vietnamese leaders, an action Kerry
thought was disastrous for the appearance of the group.
Over the years, Kerry
said that he did not remember attending the meeting in Kansas City, stating that
he retired from the organization at the St. Louis meeting in July 1971. However,
there are conflicting accounts, including newspaper articles, FBI reports, and
witnesses who have different recollections.
Law, Politics, Public Service
College Law School in Newton,
Mass., in September
days of the birth of his first daughter, Alexandra.
He graduated in May
1976, the same
year his second daughter, Vanessa,
was born. Also in 1976, he and friend K. Dun Gifford opened a cookie and muffin
shop called Kilvert
& Forbes in Boston’s Quincy Market area.
Law practice and first election
He was the First Assistant District
Attorney of Middlesex
County, Massachusetts, from 1977
In 1979 he opened a private law practice, and in the fall of 1981 began his
campaign for lieutenant
governor of Massachusetts. During the campaign, he separated from his wife
Julia, but it had no effect on the election; he won in November
served under Michael
Dukakis until 1984.
In January 1984, Kerry
announced his decision to again run for Congress. This time he set his sights on
the United States Senate, running as a Democrat to replace Paul
Tsongas. In his campaign he promised to mix liberal compassion with tight
budget controls. In the November election he won the seat, despite a nationwide
landslide for the re-election of Republican president Ronald
Reagan. In his acceptance speech, Kerry
asserted that his win meant that the people of Massachusetts "emphatically
reject the politics of selfishness and the notion that women must be treated as
1986, Kerry and
Dodd (D-Conn.) proposed that hearings be conducted by the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee regarding charges of Contra
involvement in cocaine
trafficking. Sen. Richard
Lugar (R-Ind.), the Republican chairman of the committee, agreed to conduct
the hearings. Meanwhile, Kerry's
staff began their own investigations, and on October
14 issued a report which charged that Lieut. Col. Oliver
North set up a private network involving the National
Security Council and the CIA
to deliver military equipment to the Nicaraguan rebels. Furthermore, the network
was thought to be involved with shipping cocaine and marijuana
to the United States, with profits from their sales going to pay for more arms
for the insurgents. The investigation, the report said, raised "serious
questions about whether the United States has abided by the law in its handling
of the contras over the past three years." The Kerry
report generated a firestorm of controversy and lead to years of investigations,
hearings, and widely-seen television proceedings, known collectively as the Iran-Contra
eventually widened to look not just at the Contras, but at events in Cuba,
Haiti, the Bahamas,
In 1989 he
released a report that slammed the Reagan administration for neglecting and
undermining anti-drug efforts while pursing other objectives in foreign policy.
The report noted that the government "turned a blind eye" in the 1980s
to the corruption and drug dealings of Panamanian
Noriega, who had assisted the contras. The report concluded that the CIA and
the State Deparment had known that "individuals who provided support for
the contras were involved in drug trafficking...and elements of the contras
themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug
traffickers." While some critics attacked him as being a conspiracy
theorist, a decade later the CIA inspector general released a pair of
reports that affirmed Kerry's
During the investigation of Noriega, Kerry's
staff discovered that the Pakistan-based Bank
of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) had facilitated Noriega's drug
trafficking and money laundering. This led to a separate inquiry into BCCI, and
as a result, banking regulators finally shut down BCCI in 1991.
In December 1992
Kerry and Sen. Hank
Brown (R-Colo.), released "The
BCCI Affair," a report on the BCCI scandal. The report showed that the
bank was crooked and was working with terrorists, including Abu
Nidal. It blasted the U.S.
Department of Justice, the U.S.
Department of the Treasury, the U.S.
Customs Service, the Federal
Reserve Bank of the United States, high-level lobbyists, and the Central
Intelligence Agency. One of the Bush administration figures criticized for his
handling of BCCI was Robert
Mueller who, as deputy attorney general, had dragged his heels on the
As a senator, Kerry
has supported various gun
control regulatory measures including:
- The Brady
Bill and mandatory background checks
- Legislation to close the so-called "gun show loophole"
- Bans on several type of semi-automatic rifles known as the Assault
- Mandatory gun
It is worth noting that Kerry
is also an avid hunter.
In the Senate, Kerry
serves on the Committee
on Foreign Relations, Committee
on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Committee
on Finance. He was the chairman of the Committee
on Small Business and Entrepreneurship from 2001
to 2003 and
remains the ranking
Kerry is also the
ranking member of the Subcommittee
on Oceans, Fisheries and the Environment and the Subcommittee
on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He also serves on the Subcommittee
on Communications, Subcommittee
on Transportation (both part of Commerce, Science and Transportation); the Subcommittee
on Health Care, Subcommittee
on International Trade and the Subcommittee
on Social Security and Family Policy (Finance subcommittees); and on the Subcommittee
on European Affairs and Subcommittee
on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps & Narcotics Affairs (Foreign
Political chairmanship and presidential nomination
Kerry was the chairman
of the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee from 1987
to 1989, and
was reelected to the Senate in 1990,
the candidacy of popular Republican
Weld), and 2002.
His current term will end on January
In 2003 and 2004, the Presidential
campaign of John Kerry
defeated Democratic rivals Sen. John
Edwards (D-N.C.), ex-Vermont Gov. Howard
Dean and retired
Gen. Wesley K. Clark, all but clinching the Democratic nomination for Kerry.
Kerry is running for President
of the United States against incumbent George
Home Life and Interests
Teresa and John Kerry
on the campaign trail.
is 6-feet 4-inches (1.94 meters) tall and has been called the "Lanky
Yankee." His oldest friends and family call him Johnny. He speaks fluent French,
having spent time in Switzerland
with his family as a young man. He enjoys surfing, hockey, hunting, and playing
Kerry's favorite films
His favorite books are said to be James
Bradley's Flags of Our Fathers and Stephen
Ambrose's Undaunted Courage. While campaigning in 2003, he read Clyde
Prestowitz's Rogue Nation, and Barbara
In 2003, he was diagnosed with and cured of prostate
Kerry was married to Julia
Thorne in 1970, and they had two children together: Alexandra
Kerry (b. 1973),
who graduated in June 2004 from a film-school in the Los
Angeles area, and Vanessa
Kerry (b. 1976),
a graduate of Phillips Academy like her grandfather, Yale University, and
currently a student at Harvard
Medical School. Vanessa has been active in her father's Presidential
Kerry and Thorne were
separated in 1982 and divorced July
"After 14 years as a political wife," she wrote in A Change of
Heart, her book about depression, "I associated politics only with
anger, fear and loneliness." The marriage was formally annulled by the Roman
Catholic Church in 1997.
Thorne later married an architect named Richard Charlesworth, and moved to Bozeman,
Mont., where she became active in local environmental groups such as the Greater
Between his first and second marriages he dated actresses Morgan
Fairchild and Catherine
Kerry and Teresa
Simões-Ferreira Heinz, the widow of Pennsylvania
John Heinz III
(R-Pa.) and formerly a United
Nations translator, met at the U.N.-sponsored Earth
Summit at Rio
de Janeiro in 1992.
They married on May
Mass. Teresa has three sons from her previous marriage: John
Heinz Jr., André Heinz, and Christopher Heinz (b. ~1973).
Today, the combined net worth of the Kerry-Heinz
fortune is reported to be between $199 million and $839 million, making Kerry
the wealthiest U.S. senator. Kerry
is wealthy in his own name, and is the beneficiary of at least four trusts
inherited from Forbes
family members, including his mother, who died in 2002.
Kerry has an older
brother, Cameron Kerry,
who is a litigator in Boston, and two sisters, Diane and Peggy.
Eating Rainbow stew with a
silver spoon....underneath a Noahide Sky, this one intend to make you
obedient...or we are all gonna die in their threat of flesh death, Oh but satan
cannot touch the soul of the saints of Christ Jesus....and we'll be back with
the LORD, his army