By Will Banyan
Copyright © 26 April & 3 May 2008

Author’s note: Two open letters to Dr John Coleman, the allegedly former MI6 agent and originator of the “Committee of 300” conspiracy theory, that were published on the now defunct Martin Frost website in 2008. At issue were two claims made by Dr Coleman to have been the first to have revealed to the public, the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office and the Club of Rome, but in each case the mainstream media had clearly reported on the existence of these bodies first. Nevertheless, Dr Coleman never responded to my queries, nor has he tried to correct his demonstrably false claims.

[26 April 2008]

Dear Dr Coleman

Dr Coleman (incidentally, where did you get your PhD and what was it for?), I write to you as a humble novice in the areas of intelligence, but as you may have noticed I like to get to the bottom of things and don’t believe everything I’m told.

So it is in that spirit that I note that in your speech from 1994, helpfully put on YouTube that you are quick to establish your credentials versus those of others (presumably journalists) who dare to write on matters involving intelligence organizations.  Such people, you state [starting at 7:20], “really have no experience whatsoever” on intelligence matters. As an example of your own experience and reliability on these sensitive issues, you describe your apparent scoop in your book on Mind Control, Metaphysic, Extremely Low Frequency and Weather Modification apparently on July the 8th, 1986:

I said the top-level intelligence organisation in the US was the National Reconnaissance Office. Far bigger than the CIA and any of the other intelligence agencies. And I even had the audacity to give the address of this organisation.

You then added, somewhat triumphantly, that some eight years later, ABC was finally carrying a story on the NRO. Thus this was proof that on matters involving the intelligence agencies: “I know that of which I speak….

But, on your website, you include an endorsement from a very obscure but obviously very learned Professor Carlos St. John Reuterman (where does he teach and what has he written?). In singing your praises, Reuterman makes a similar claim:

[Coleman] has produced World in Review, (WIR) a bimonthly news magazine since 1970. The magazine has hundreds of ‘First’ reports to its credit like the very first report ever to appear in print about the super-secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) published in WIR in 1983, five years before CBS broke the story as a ‘scoop’ in the ‘CBS Evening News.’

If I had any idea who Professor Reuterman was I am sure that I would feel privileged to receive such praise. But reviewing newspaper records from the 1980s seems to pour some very cold water on your (conflicting) claims to have scooped the mainstream media on the existence of the NRO in 1983 (or was it 1986?).

Now in your 1994 speech you claim to have beaten the mainstream media to the punch with your 1986 revelation about the very existence of the NRO. If you are inclined to stand by that statement you made 14 years ago [now obviously 20 years ago] as an example of your credibility and inside knowledge, I presume you were aware of an article in the New York Times on January 13, 1985, by James Bamford, titled “America’s Supersecret Eyes in Space.” Bamford’s article included the following revelation:

For nearly a quarter of a century, the N.R.O. has been responsible for managing the nation’s growing fleet of spy satellites – at least one of which will be firmly secured to a pallet in Discovery’s cavernous cargo hold. For the same period, America’s reconnaissance-satellite program has been hidden under a heavy layer of security classifications and code names, such as Byeman and Top Secret Ruff. Since its establishment on Aug. 25, 1960, the N.R.O. has been an entirely ‘’black’’ organization: The Federal Government has never admitted that it exists, and its name is officially secret.

If Reuterman is correct that you first reported on the NRO in 1983, his assessment that it was “the very first report ever to appear in print” on the NRO is also inaccurate. I draw your attention to a 1500 word report in the New York Times of March 1, 1981, which opened with the following paragraphs:

By PHILIP TAUBMAN, Special to the New York Times

The exceptionally secret status of the National Reconnaissance Office, one of the nation’s most expensive and sensitive intelligence organizations, is likely to be reviewed by the Reagan Administration, according to senior Government officials.

At present, even the existence of the office is officially classified. In the intelligence community, it is known as a ‘’black’’ operation, meaning that nothing about its work or the identity of its officials is subject to public scrutiny.

The mission of the office, according to scarce reports that have arisen over the years, is to oversee the development and operation of spy satellites used to photograph foreign territory and to monitor international communications.

Its budget, which is hidden in Air Force operations, exceeds $2 billion a year, according to Government officials. By comparison, the budget of the Central Intelligence Agency is about $1 billion…

It would appear that the good professor, wherever he is situated, was mistaken in claiming that your publication was the first to reveal the existence of the NRO. What appeared in the WIR was most certainly not, “the very first report ever to appear in print about the super-secret National Reconnaissance Office.”

My query Dr Coleman, is how do you explain this apparent discrepancy between what your website claims and what the public record suggests? And if you knew Professor Reuterman was wrong, why did you continue to carry his endorsement on your website? As for your lecture in 1994, why did you suggest the ABC report on the NRO that was evidence of the mainstream media’s tardiness, even though the New York Times had made substantial reports on the NRO in 1981 and 1985?

Dr Coleman, I am sure that you realise that this is not a trivial matter, but one that goes to the heart of claims by yourself and others about your credibility, and I am confident that will you give this the attention it deserves.

Yours, etc,
Will Banyan

[03 May 2008]

Dear Dr Coleman,

As I wait patiently for an answer to my first query, Dr Coleman, I find whilst perusing the 1992 edition of your signature work, Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300, a number of curious claims that seem to warrant further questions and queries.

For example, in the “Forward” you describe yourself as a “professional intelligence officer”, presumably with MI6, and that you served as a “political science officer” whilst in the field in Angola. Do you have any documentary proof you served with the MI6? Were you declared or undeclared? I ask this because such details seem to be missing from your books and website. Even the late William Cooper was able to furnish details proving, at the very least, that he served in the US Navy. From you, thus far, there has been nothing. Not even a piece of paper proving you served Her Majesty’s Government in any capacity. It would do wonders if you could rectify this.

On page 1 you state that on “30th April, 1981” that you “wrote a monograph disclosing the existence of the Club of Rome identifying it as a Committee of 300 member.” Far be it for me to quibble, Dr Coleman, but given that the Club of Rome was formed in 1968 by Aurelio Peccei and Alexander King, and that it published its first book, The Limits to Growth in 1972, it would seem that its existence had been “disclosed” to the public well before your, no doubt excellent, monograph appeared. I trust you’ve revised that sentence accordingly in the most recent edition of this book.

As for your statement on the following page: “This was the first mention of both these organisations in the United States.” I beg to differ. While your monograph may well have been the first to mention the existence of the “Committee of 300” in the US, I’m afraid that you will find throughout the 1970s, plenty of newspaper articles about the Club of Rome, including numerous reviews of The Limits of Growth. For example, on the Google News Archive Search one can find 70 reports on the Club of Rome in 1972, most of them in US newspapers. This includes one report in the New York Times on February 27, 1972 titled: “Club of Rome a Worldwide Organization.”

Evidently you were not the first. In fact your disclosure about the Club of Rome came nine years too late. I’m puzzled by this, Dr Coleman, that a man with your qualifications and obvious library skills would make this error. Did the British Museum not have the New York Times on microfilm?

I look forward to your response, in the meantime I will peruse your book some more to see what documentary evidence you are able to furnish for the existence of the “Committee of 300.”

Yours, etc,

Will Banyan