by Virginia Lee McCullough

Good morning Rotarians.  I am grateful for the invitation to address your club and I am honored to be asked to speak about the incredible researcher, writer, radio talk show host and archivist Mae Brussell.

Unique individuals such as Mae Brussell diligently document the history of the world's events so that all our memories are clearer and our minds sharper.  Archivists have held tightly to all of history's mementoes from Moses and his stone tablets to the modern day computer scanners as they weave the rich tapestry of our world.  They collect, compile, cross-index, catalogue, chronicle, calendar, copy and leave as their legacy their search for the truth.

And perhaps the greatest of them all was a little known woman who quietly became known as the Queen of Conspiracy, a title she wore with great pride. Her small home in the Carmel valley was a stopping station for her fans who labeled themselves Brussell Sprouts.  Her admirers included many of the world's  top intellectuals for over 25 years.  Her raspy voice, quick laugh and rapid fire delivery on her weekly radio shows were listened to world wide by people who still treasure the one-hour tapes just as they treasure fine books and good wine.  And she accomplished all of this while raising five children from two husbands.  Mae Brussell once told an interviewer that until the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, she was "just a housewife interested in tennis courts and dance lessons and orthodontia for my children."  Mae watched the televised assassination coverage of JFK surrounded by her children.  Her daughter, Bonnie, saw Lee Harvey Oswald being led down a hallway and he had obviously been beaten and Bonnie felt sorry for him.  Mae helped Bonnie wrap up her teddy bear to send to Oswald.  The next day the two of them watched as Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald.

From that moment on the "normal" life that Mae and her family had been living, ended and her life of research began. On many of her radio shows Mae would talk about how this decision of hers to dedicate herself to research affected her life and the lives of her family.  Her second husband, Bill Brussell was quoted as saying, "The end of our marriage began when I paid $86.00 for the 22-volume Warren Commission Report as a Christmas present for Mae."  Mae promptly sat down and became the first person to cross-index all 26 volumes by names, dates, events, etc.

Mae said, "My concern over who killed Jack Kennedy was basically selfish.  To find out if there had been a coup--was the United States going fascist?  Would I be like Anne Frank's father, who told his family that things were okay and that people were basically good -- while they were living their last days -- instead of saying when it was coming down that some people are worse than others?  And they never fought Nazism but just watched it all go by, and hid in the attic until their turn came to be taken away.  With a family of five children, my husband and myself, we had an obligation to understand the world outside the home, in which they would someday live and become part of the larger community, part of the entire world political scene."

Bill Brussell's Christmas present to his wife grew into the Mae Brussell Collection which now contains over 10,000 books, countless hard copy articles, 38 file cabinets of extensively researched subject matter, boxes of video tapes and 852 audio tapes of Mae's radio programs.  Her radio shows Dialogue Conspiracy and World Watchers International were aired coast to coast originating from her home stations, KLRB in Carmel, California and KAZU in Pacific Grove, California.  >From the time of the Kennedy Assassination until her death of cancer at the age of 66 on October 3, 1988, Mae Brussell consumed a steady diet of 15 daily newspapers, 150 monthly periodicals, and some 1000 books a year.   Once a week for seventeen years Mae would assemble, organize, and discharge the world news of that week into a one hour oral history lesson for her beloved  Brussell Sprouts.  Because the history of Ronald Reagan's years as Governor of California remain under lock and key at the Hoover Institute jealously guarded by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, this audio history is extremely valuable.   In 1983 Mae Brussell was listed in The International Who's Who of Intellectuals and in 1987 she was awarded the George Seldes Award from the Society of Journalists.

As her stature as researcher and archivist grew, so to did the circle of supporters who called her friend.  These people came from as varied a background as the subject matter Mae researched.

Of her friend famous author Henry Miller, she said that "Henry freed me from a lot of the hang-ups that I was brought up with.  He opened up the whole field of sex as being as normal as the air you breathe.  He brought out that sex and wine and a good man and companionship and a good book or whatever, are part of a day's experience.  It's not something you do on Saturday night and have the maid turn down the beds like my relatives used to do.  The husband had one room, the wife another.  There was no discussion of sex, no openness.  It was never thought of as fun."

Her friend and supporter Hustler Magazine  founder Larry Flynt payed $3,000 a week to Mae so that she could afford to send her cassettes to Members of the United States Congress. When certain members of Congress criticized her for accepting money from the likes of Larry Flint she wrote them the following letter.

Dear Members of Congress:

My communications with you will be facilitated because Larry Flynt is generous enough to provide the $3,000 each week for these cassettes.

If you act surprised that a twenty year researcher and student of history, who had dedicated her time and energy to this subject, would combine resources and projects with the publisher of Hustler and other such material, you are being naive or hypocritical.

Sex and politics have always been bedfellows.

Hitler knew how to use sex for almost total control of the entire world.

Lyndon Johnson and Bobby Baker used sex to influence Congressional votes.

Suzie Parks and your Koreagate scandal included the rooms behind the offices for sex and blackmail.

When suspecting voters send you off to Washington, D.C. they have no idea how many of you are sleeping with women behind their wives, or with men, or all three.

History books of USA government will some day combine evidence of Congressional blackmail because of what you do with yourselves, not the magazines.

Remember Watergate "comedian" Tony Ulasewicz?  Representing White House payroll and NYC police, he bragged about his one way view, cameras, rolling "fixing" men, women, for sexual political use later.

Attorney General John Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, G. Gordon Liddy, paid by our tax money, CIA, etc. were exposed arranging ships and sex, during Miami convention.  That wasn't for pleasure.  That was for political blackmail.

Howard Hughes, and then the Hughes organization, one of the largest recipients of US tax dollars, used blackmail, sex for contracts.  Johnny Myer knows of this.  The later John Meyer began the sex for Generals, Admirals, defense profits started rolling in.

Paul Laxalt, for Gov. of Nevada, knows the intrigues of his state Politicians, other powerful people, bugged photographed, controlled by sex.  That is his power base.  Not intellect or intelligence.

J. Edgar Hoover kept rolling over listening to wire taps of his enemies having sex.

There isn't room on this page to describe the importance of your lust and how is affects the votes.

You can give World War III without a blush, rather than be exposed at home for the things you pretend you don't like on pages.  Double tragedy...YOU trade pages of a magazine for pages in the flesh.

This information I broadcast is SERIOUS, not a joke.

At least Mr. Flynt wants you to be exposed to the REAL world as it is... the things you refuse to admit or recognize.

Sincerely,    Mae Brussell


From sex to the Pentagon, Mae's friends crossed financial, political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The one thing they had in common is that they were truly, one and all, Brussell Sprouts.

The one man that Mae Brussell considered her confident, her confessor, and her life long protector was Col. L. Fletcher Prouty.  This is the same man that Oliver Stone identified as the real "man X" in his controversial film, JFK.  The great actor Donald Sutherland played the part of Prouty in the film about the "crime of the century".  Prouty's military career spanned 23 years in the Pentagon from 1955 until 1964, then he assumed the role of protecting and informing the Queen of Conspiracy, Mae Brussell.  For those of you who are interested in the details of Col. Prouty's life his correspondence with Mae Brussell can be found at

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were also Brussell Sprouts and gave Mae her one and only computer which remained boxed until her death.

The woman was loved by many.

Mae researched political murders, Nazis, mind control, man-made viruses, the Vatican, secret societies, espionage, organized crime, terrorism and hidden governments.  These subjects were and are dangerous ground for researchers. Mae and her family were often threatened.  In 1970 Mae was considering moving her family to Canada because of the increased repression in this country and because of the continuing threats to her family.  However, before she could do so,  two of her daughters were involved in a serious auto accident on December 15, 1970 just north of Castroville at Highway 1 and Lupis Road.  Fourteen old Bonnie Brussell was killed and her older sister was critically injured.  Two other people also died at the scene.   Mae believed that this crash was deliberately arranged in retaliation for her research into the JFK assassination.   To this day her daughter Bonnie's picture remains affixed to the file cabinet containing the JFK files.   Mae had worked with Jim Garrison during the New Orleans Grand Jury days in September of 1967.  This earned Mae her own FBI file which states in part:


On 9/15/67 at 6:45 p.m. a reservation agent at  Delta Airlines, Dallas received a call that a bomb was on board Delta Airlines, Flight 827.  Flight 827  originated at Atlanta and was enroute to San Francisco via Dallas.  A search of the aircraft failed to locate any bomb.

(Redacted) but referring to Mae Brussell, who was boarding this flight for San  Francisco made comments at Love Field, Dallas, she had conducted research on the Kennedy assassination and had been in conference with DA Jim Garrison, New Orleans, for three days.  San Francisco determined that (redacted) Mae Brussell in the past had expressed great alarm over the fact that the United States is becoming fascist.  She is the daughter of (redacted) Rabbi Edgar Magnin of Los Angeles.  It has been reported (redacted) Mae Brussell has "left-wing" leanings and is not in good favor with her father.  She supports Mark Lane's book, Rush to Judgment and takes the view Lee Harvey Oswald was not a communist.  She pictures America as controlled by conspirators in the Government which view she has stated publicly.  She is writing a book on the assassination and claims the Government is withholding information on the assassination and the press is suppressing news on the investigation being conducted by New Orleans DA James Garrison.  (redacted)  Mae Brussell is described as an author and a playwright, and due to her thinking which she has expressed publicly, Dallas and San Francisco (FBI) are to incorporate information into letterhead memoranda suitable to dissemination to the Department and the U.S. Secret Service.

Compatriots who shared the 1960s and 1970s often wrote about Mae Brussell eloquently but none more so than the publisher of The Realist, Paul Krassner.  In a September 1991 article entitled "The Ballad of Mae Brussell" that he wrote for High Times he says:

Mae Brussell was my favorite conspiracy researcher.

There she would be: plump, energetic, no makeup, wearing a long peasant dress patchworked with philosophical maxims, breathlessly slurring her words with information overload--but her eyes would always reveal the deep sense of compassion permeating every fact she would share so eagerly.  How did it happen that this white, upper-middle class, twice-divorced mother, busily content with tennis lessons and orthodontia, had become an expert on political assassinations., cheerfully knitting the sleeves of a sweater while describing the architecture of a police state in progress?

Her late father, Edgar Magnin was the head rabbi of Los Angeles.  As a child raised in Beverly Hills affluence, Mae was unhurt by the depression, but expressed sympathy for the underprivileged to the point that her family would see a hobo on the highway and tease her: "Oh look, there's one of Mae's friends."  One of her actual friends was the daughter of movie-star Tom Mix.  House guests ranged from movie moguls to philosophers and scientists, from Louis B. Mayer to Thomas Mann, from Jack Warner to Albert Einstein.

"I grew up," she once recalled, "thinking this was the way life is."

Then, in her early teens, the family took a trip around the world and her awareness of suffering expanded in the process.  In
Bombay, she saw people sleeping in the streets.  They had no homes or possessions.  In Shanghai, her boat hit a sampan and split  it in half.  Other boats came out to get the clothes off the victims' bodies.  Some lived and died on their sampans, never getting to shore.  She wasn't used to seeing such overwhelming poverty.  In Tel Aviv, the hotel her family stayed at was bombed.  They were the last Americans out of Spain in 1936, leaving a civil war behind.

"We were happy little tourists," she mused.  "But it always bothered me.  I never felt the same again.  I was haunted by the imbalance.  I wanted to help people, but I didn't know what form it would take."   A few years after that trip, she went to Stanford University, majoring in philosophy.  "I think the discipline of it helped me in my research later."

One bit of research led to another -- and another and another and another.  The ultimate mystery would remain forever inconceivable--but to Mae, assassination research became a spiritual quest for the truth.  Conspiracy was the Zen grid of her perception, drawing her into a separate reality that most never even dreamed of.

Mae stated, "When Hitler failed, his officers were brought to the U.S.  It is in this context that the Kennedy's, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, labor leaders, judges, entertainers, reporters, authors, students, Black Panthers, Indians, Chicanos and hippies are being slain, and why the masses are being drugged, doped for control.  So my interest in the Kennedy assassination became more involved with the Nazi links than in the anti-Castro Cuban links.  My difference with the researchers at large is that they want to stop with the Bay of Pigs operation and I think it's bigger."

Indeed, in 1972, when the details began to come out about a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, Mae immediately recognized personnel and modus operandi from nine years of assassination research, while the mainstream press continued to refer to Watergate as a "caper" and "a third-rate burglary."  And so it came to pass that while Rabbi Magnin was entertaining Richard Nixon at his home in Los Angeles, his daughter Mae was revealing the President's role in an incredible conspiracy.

Paul Krassner also published Mae Brussell's Conspiracy Newsletter  and he calls Mae "some kind of saint and truthseeking is her discipline."  Krassner said, "knowing her, I've undergone a religious conversion: from believing in Coincidence to believing in Conspiracy."

Perhaps the ultimate appraisal of a woman is how her children view her and Mae's son, John Goodwin has allowed me to quote from his poem to his mother entitled Mother Mae.

Mother Mae
That's what we called you
In the good old days
Before they blew JFK away
and I do mean THEY.

Mother Mae
Mother of four
Once there were more
But now we're just sure
of each other and you.

Germany gave us
Beethoven, Bach
But the meaning died
When the SS knocked
Genius Transcended

The oven door
When they reach for our pearl
We were at war.

Mother Mae
You gave me life
Then you saved my life
From the lawyers' rage
The surgeons' strife
The agent's knife.

Mother Mae
Steadfast by the hour
Working by the day
We say, "Stop and play"
But you know today - the suns settled away.

We the people always knew
That real answers could be found
Most people say, "What can one person do?"
If they knew of you they'd come around.

Krassner says that when Mae Brussell died of cancer in 1988, it seemed somehow appropriate that mourners at her funeral were discussing the possibility of a conspiracy behind her death.  After all, hadn't she been in the middle of investigating satanic cults in the military?  If Mae were alive she'd be glad to show you her file on CIA experimentation with cancer.  If you wanted names of such victims, she'd be glad to show you the list...Jack Ruby... Martha Mitchell...William Casey..."  She would hand you a copy of a study by Texas researcher Penn Jones showing that, of more than 100 unusual deaths of witnesses in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 27 key witnesses died of cancer within six weeks of the death of the President.

Today I'm wearing a button in honor of Mae and her Brussell Sprouts which simply states, "The complete lack of evidence is the Surest Sign that the Conspiracy is working."   Mae Brussell knew that there was no such thing and she dedicated her life to prove it.

If you have the time to listen to her tapes--just a few of them-- or read her articles -- or talk to those who knew her -- you will never accept the pabulum fed to us today over radio, television and through the printed media.  Take a walk with Mae Brussell and you will know she was a mind like no other.  Her legacy is not prophecy because prophecy is predicting something will happen.  She is pure intelligence because intelligence is knowing when something happens, why it happened.

Copyright 6/18/03
by Virginia McCullough