by Virginia McCullough

Mike Riconosciuto

The mainstream media has reported that two years after John Philip Nichols took control of the Cabazon Reservation employing his family in the company called Pro Plan Inc. a young genius named Michael James Riconosciuto was introduced to him. However, even the timing of the introduction, the location of the first meeting, the reason for the initial contact, the people who arranged the meeting, the reason for bringing the two men together, the entities behind the scenes still remain a mystery to this day. Just like "Magic Mike" the fascination is wrapped up in the unknown.

John Philip Nichols
Albert Einstein said, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."

Ever since the first meeting between the general manager of the Cabazons and the strange young man who had built his own laser when he was barely a teenager, reporters around the world had their eyes wide open and they remained captivated with the ever expanding web that started with this first meeting.

"Dr." John Philip Nichols was interviewed by Ambrose I. Lane, Sr. in 1995 for his book Return of the Buffalo. Lane wrote that Nichols was asked how the relationship with the giant Florida security firm Wackenhut came about and Lane recounted that "According to him [Nichols], establishing that contact was a source of pride.  Because of the uncertainty of adequate income to meet the increasing expenses of the Tribe, he was pushed to concentrate on seeking new business opportunities. He described the hookup with Wackenhut this way:

When I was told to go out and look for new business, that's what I did. Wackenhut -- I was very proud of this and the way that came about -- Mr. Wackenhut's mother was a friend of a guy named Charles Emmert, and Emmert was a friend of Mike Riconosciuto's father, Marshall Riconosciuto. He was also a friend of Beryl Barber and Beryl Barber had reportedly developed a lot of the hardware for the AWAC's [Airborne Warning And Control System] airplane. This Charles Emmert was the head of a group calling itself something like "We Won't Pay Income Tax." They refused to pay income tax because of wars and all that stuff, and he [Emmert] just wouldn't pay it. So, of course the federal government was really hot on his tail. But he was also a conservative.

Apparently Emmert was also a friend of a fellow named Pat Moriarty who owned Red Devil Fireworks Company. Moriarty, allegedly a former CIA agent who had worked overseas and in Northern Japan, was an acquaintance of Robert Meskunas who knew me. Meskunas supposedly told some of them I was a social worker who often successfully treated people with severe mental and emotional problems, citing for example my work in Kentucky and Michigan. Apparently they had been discussing Mike Riconosciuto.

So what happened, Charles Emmert called me and said, "Look, I have a problem. We have a genius by the name of Michael Riconosciuto." He said Michael had shot down an RCA satellite in Mozanbique where he had gone when he had gotten mad at RCA. Now Mike was hanging around the Stanford Research Institute and he knew all the scientists there. Mike had lived with Janis Joplin in the past and it was stated he was a cook for the Hells' Angels for making amphetamines. I said, "He sound pretty sick to me."

Emmert felt I could help get Mike cleaned up for Wackenhut. Emmert felt Wackenhut would like to have him mentally and emotionally straight to use his genius. I went to Pinole, California, accompanied by Peter Zokosky and my wife and his wife. Pinole was the site of Hercules Powder Company, which had been owned by Dupont. It has been sold, and Michael's father had gotten control of this mammoth, mammoth plant. His son Mike was manufacturing amphetamines, apparently unknown by his dad. Mike wanted to hire me. He brought with him to the meeting $100,000 in street money. He was disheveled, dirty looking and smelled like he needed a bath. He said, "I would like to work with Wackenhut," as Emmert had said Wackenhut could use him. Zokosky still thought he really was a genius. Zokosky had been president of Armtec, which made caseless ammunition that was used in the Vietnam War. They made artillery ammunition out of nitrocellulose, with a metal cap and a traditional nose on each shell. The case, when fired, would disintegrate. After disintegration, only the bottom of the shell would be left. Before this invention, the entire hot shell would be left, burning the legs of the soldiers. Zokovsky had been president of this company which was the sole source for these shells, located in Coachella.

Zokosky, Riconosciuto, Bob Frey and myself went to two U.S. Arsenals, one was Dover Arsenal in New Jersey, and I forgot the name of the second in Indiana. We sat there with the absolute top brass in the United States in military physics talking about particle beams.

Riconosciuto held his own all the way through. I didn't know a particle beam from a sunbeam. I gave Wackenhut a lot of help with Mike because he was sent to me. That's how we met Riconosciuto. The bottom line was Riconosciuto was nuts. He brought with him a young man named Victor. They said they were running teenage prostitutes to service L.A.cops. They brought some of their prostitutes with them. Mike said he owned that business. Of course, he had all this money from manufacturing and selling drugs. He had been busted, because to escape detection he had built an under-the-water laboratory to make drugs [1972]. This way the lab couldn't be detected by Seattle Police helicopters. The guy is the closest to, if you ever read comic books, [Lex] Luthor in Superman. He is one of the most evil people I ever met. My diagnosis was he suffered from a combination character defect and was a sociopath."

The bottom line was that Nichols, according to those who introduced him and the Tribe to Wackenhut, gave Wackenhut what it wanted -- an attempt by Nichols to treat Riconosciuto to make him more functional -- and Wackenhut gave Nichols what he wanted, a tribal joint venture business relationship. As events would prove it was not a good bargain for either. [Source: Return of the Buffalo, pp. 75-77]

If Dr. Nichols' account of his first meeting with Michael Riconosciuto is correct, the impact it had on what transpired in future years at the Cabazon Reservation is overwhelming. But is there any independent verification that Nichols' story is true?

Court records reveal that the Cabazons were locked in a fight for survival with local, county and state officials over the tribe's desire for legalized gambling on their reservation. Because of this fight the business committee recognized the need for funds to support the legal bills involved in the struggle as well as the day to day expenses necessary to keep the staff paid, the offices open and health insurance paid.

According to John Philip Nichols he had to expand his consulting business and it is said he used his personal funds to support the tribe during this time. However, it must be pointed out that Nichols' family company, Pro Plan received 50% of the monies derived from businesses he brought to the reservation. In Nichols' account of his first meeting with Riconosciuto he states that Michael brought $100,000 in "street money" to their meeting at the old Hercules Powder Company and Nichols states he knew that "Mike was manufacturing amphetamines, apparently unknown by his dad". The remainder of Nichols' statement about this first meeting implies that Nichols accepted the money and soon those involved were visiting U.S. Arsenals with "Magic Mike".  And those welcoming them apparently had no qualms about interacting with Michael Riconosciuto whose history included associating with scientists at Stanford Research Institute where Edwin and Ursula Meese held court at the Foundation for the Future.

It cannot be denied that Michael Riconosciuto came to the Cabazon reservation armed with some very powerful connections. In his statement Nichols lists a few influential people such as Charles Emmert, Beryl Barber, W. Patrick Moriarty, Robert Meskunas, and Bob Frye. These men had extended connections that led to several presidents and many foreign leaders. Michael Riconosciuto came into his power through his family's generational friendships and business relationships.

But when did this first meeting take place? That is a much harder question to pin down. What is known is that in September of 1980 the tribe formed The Cabazon Security Corporation Inc. in anticipation of some future relationship with the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida. On April 1, 1981 Wackenhut and Cabazon entered into a joint venture that would last until October 1, 1984.

A five-page document given to this reporter by the mother of Michael Riconosciuto's daughter is on letterhead for Emmert & Associates. It is entitled Weekend Outline and details meetings taking place from 1-24-1981 through 1-26-1981. Among those attending this weekend conference were Robert Meskunes associated with the Energy Group who would be discussing alcohol plants and Beryl and Herma Barber who would be discussing solar pumps and an airport industrial park. These are names referred to by John Philip Nichols. On page two was a reference to Hercules Research.

Hercules Research

(1) Michael Riconosciuto

Methane Plant

(2) Marshall Riconosciuto

Scientific Village
Land Development
Port Facilities

Hercules Properties was a real estate development project built around the partnership of long time friends Marshall Riconosciuto and W. Patrick Moriarty who were also partners is the huge fireworks company called Pyrotronics.

On page 5 the summary of this conference states "The scope and potential of the people, projects and inventions could and will change the direction of the world".

The preceding information provides a time window for Nichols version of his first meeting with Michael Riconosciuto. But what does Michael Riconosciuto say about their initial encounter?

On October 18, 2005 Michael Riconosciuto hand wrote an 8 page letter addressed "To Whom It May Concern" and Anita Langley, who said she spoke for "Magic Mike," faxed this reporter a copy. On page 2 and 3 Riconosciuto tells his side of the story:

(2) There are a string of unsolved homicides that authorities readily acknowledge the deceased parties as having a person connection to me and the Wackenhut/Cabazon joint venture. San Francisco homicide investigator Eddie Erdelatz is quoted in a 12/30/91 San Francisco Chronicle article as describing these still open homicide cases"...It's the craziest mix of characters and circumstances that any of us has ever come across...". The article further states that police detectives describe the murders as the most bizarre they have ever seen, and that all leads...keep going back to the group of people involved with the Cabazon tribe.

It is not a matter of dispute that a string of homicides have been committed that are closely related. It is also agreed upon as fact by media and law enforcement that I personally knew the victims and that we all had some connection to the Cabazon tribe.

What is in dispute is my claim of high level U.S. Intelligence officials and government agencies with the Cabazon tribe's joint venture with Wackenhut Corporation. Ambrose Lane's book on the Cabazon Tribe entitled Return of the Buffalo unambiguously states I was the reason Wackenhut became involved with the Cabazon Tribe. Lane clearly "blames" me for the military and weapons related projects undertaken by the Wackenhut/Cabazon joint venture. At the same time Lane's book portrays me as a "psychiatric patient" of Dr. John P. Nichols. The "wacko genius" that Wackenhut wanted Dr. Nichols to try to salvage.

The proclaimed doctor/patient relationship of Dr. Nichols to me was used as an excuse to prevent homicide detectives in the Morasca murder [January 1982] from meaningfully questioning Dr. Nichols on the Morasca murder. The fact is that John P. Nichols has no professional credentials medical, psychiatric, or otherwise. The San Francisco District Attorney's office and the FBI allowed J. P. Nichols to get away with this ruse. The so-called credential J. P. Nichols used to establish his standing to claim doctor/patient confidentiality was a mail order SOCIAL WORKER'S CERTIFICATE. This would be laughable but for the fact that it was used to shield J.P. Nichols from the full force of an active homicide investigation.

There is some third party documentation that both supports and discredits the stories told by both Nichols and Riconosciuto. There is a strange document that Michael Riconosciuto refers to as "the service contract with JPN". Anita Langley emailed this reporter on March 9, 2005 and said "Michael asks if you can find a copy of the service contract with JPN, would you please sent it to him" at FCI Allenwood, Whitedeer, PA. This "service contract" suggests that John Philip Nichols and Michael Riconosciuto had entered into an agreement where JPN would assist Riconosciuto is somehow "altering" his behavior. Many references to this service contract occur in the years following that first meeting between the two men. As Riconosciuto states this bizarre document plays a central part in many homicides and the personal relationship Michael had with his wife Phyllis. Additionally JPN's future use of this contract bring into sharp focus the possibility of Nichol's use of mind control, not just of Riconosciuto and his wife, but of other Cabazon Indians who met strange deaths while Nichols controlled the reservation.

Riconosciuto is accurate when he infers that Nichols' social worker's certificate was issued by a paper mill in Manitoba, Canada The name of the school was Philathes Seminary and according to a letter signed by the Archbishop of the church "Nichols graduated from Philathes Seminary in July 1971 with the Degree of Doctor of Religious Education. His minor was pastoral counseling, his claim to a Ph.d is not correct."

The website "Welcome to" reveals that:

 The Philalethes Society was founded on October 1, 1928, by a group of Masonic students. It was designed for Freemasons desirous of seeking and spreading Masonic light. In 1946, The Philalethes magazine was established to publish articles by and for its members. For many years it has been voted the best Masonic publication in the world. The sole purpose of this Research Society is to act as a clearinghouse for Masonic knowledge. It exchanges ideas, research searches problems confronting Freemasonry, and passes them along to the Masonic world.
[URL internet ] 

Each reader must make up his or her own mind about when and how the initial meeting between the mysterious "Dr." John Philip Nichols and "Magic Mike" Riconosciuto took place . The only thing one can be certain of is that this unique encounter forever changed the future of the Cabazon Nation.

Virginia McCullough © 2/4/2010