Posts Tagged ‘jonestown’

Do you believe the deaths at Jonestown were the result of suicides as per the official story or mass murder? That’s the question we put to members of the Underground Knowledge discussion group in our latest (continuing) poll on


Bodies at Jonestown…mass murder or suicide?


Jonestown, of course, is the name synonymous with the mass deaths of the infamous (mainly American) Peoples Temple cult members in the jungles of Guyana. Since that dreadful event, in November, 1978, there has been considerable speculation on whether the deaths were suicide, as per the official story, or mass murder.

If ‘Undergrounders’ (group members) are correct, most believe it was mass murder. One compelling argument proffered to support this view is that many of the dead were children – and, of course, children don’t normally commit suicide, do they?

Interim poll results are:

63% believe the deaths were mass murder.

22% believe they were suicides.

15% are unsure.


A random selection of poll respondents’ comments follows:

Mass murder, because children don’t “choose” suicide. Men with guns stood around until everyone had drunk the poisoned cool aide. Then they either drank it, or ran away. But those few men, who held the rifles were both murderers and the only few who actually committed suicide.   

No way this is a conspiracy. Jones and his followers killed a US Congressman, panicked and drank Kool-Aid. End of story.

I would say…Mass Murder – MK Ultra Mind Control

How do we know that they were shot except for verbal statements? 

The Guyanese army, whose soldiers were among the first on the scene, reported only 408 Temple members had died by their own hand. Then the New York Times reported the actual number was around 500. US Military personnel arrived several days later and the body count quickly rose – from 700 to a final tally of 909. No official explanation was ever given for these differing body counts although one US official was quoted as saying, “Guyanese cannot count.”

 …it’s madness! So much death and many things that don’t make sense. It’s either religious fanatics/cult or a corrupt government to blame and we know which explanation we’d rather go with. I vote unsure on this.  

This is a hard one to decide on there are so many sides to what the truth is and everyone has a different story to tell.   

Neil Sanders does a pretty good job at listing all the anomalies in the official story, as well as all the CIA involvement in the cult before the deaths, in this video here:…


To see all the comments, or better still to have YOUR say, go to:—a-discussion-group?type=group

Also, check out our Jonestown discussion thread here:…     

Poll ends January 10.



The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) is an epic, atmospheric story that begins with 23 genetically superior orphans being groomed to become elite spies in Chicago’s Pedemont Orphanage and concludes with a political assassination deep in the Amazon jungle. It’s the prequel to The Ninth Orphan.

TheOrphanFactory ebook cover

In the late 1970’s, in Chicago, Illinois, the secretive Omega Agency initiates the Pedemont Project – a radical experiment utilizing genetic engineering technologies – to create twenty three orphan babies with the plan to turn them into the world’s most effective assassins.

One of the prodigies will rebel: meet Number Nine, an orphan with a mind of his own.

In 1998, when Nine reaches adulthood and graduates with honors from the Pedemont Orphanage, he is already an adept of the deadly espionage arts. Ordered by his Omega masters to assassinate a survivor of the Jonestown tragedy in Guyana’s Amazon rainforest, Nine is forced to draw upon all of his advanced training just to stay alive.


Here’s what Amazon reviewers are saying about The Orphan Factory:

★★★★★ “Black ice and black ops perhaps have a lot in common. You don’t see’em coming until you spin out.” -WelcomeHomeSoldier Reviews

★★★★★ “The escapades of Nine as a new teenager, away from the structure of the orphanage, are interesting and completely believable.” -C9C Reviews

★★★★★ “Buckle up for another wild ride in the Orphan Trilogy” -My Scribe World

★★★★★ “In Book 2 many questions are answered” -Lynelle Clark (author of ‘A Pirate’s Wife’)

★★★★★ “Never a dull moment in this conspiracy suspense” -Review of Books For You

★★★★★ “Riveting right to the book’s last page” -J.B. DiNizo (author of ‘Comings and Goings’)

★★★★ “Answers a lot of questions while also opening other doors for the final book in the trilogy” -The Kindle Book Review

★★★★★ “I especially enjoyed the quantum physics I encountered” -Greg Kuhn (author & quantum physicist)

★★★★★ “An extremely thought provoking premise” -Phoenix Book Review

★★★★★ “A wonderful story!” -A Bit Of Everything Reviews

★★★★★ “An eerily relevant lesson in our media-saturated world.” -Gapers Block Book Club, Chicago, Illinois

★★★★ “Exciting story” -Zoltan Istvan (author of ‘The Transhumanist Wager’)

The Orphan Factory is available via Amazon at:


Happy reading! -Lance & James



Reader response to the Afterword in our book THE ORPHAN CONSPIRACIES: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy has prompted us to run it here, in full, in the hope it will prompt further enlightened thought and debate. 

Penned by American author and Professor of History at the University of Idaho, Dr. Richard (Rick) Spence, the Afterword provides a thought-provoking conclusion to our book. 

Richard B Spence

Historian Dr. Richard Spence 

Dr. Spence is well qualified to comment on conspiracy theories. At the University of Idaho, where he has taught since 1986, he specializes in Russian, intelligence and military history, and his course offerings include Modern Espionage, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, History of Secret Societies and the Occult in History.

Here’s Dr. Spence’s Afterword (unabridged): 

Someone, I honestly can’t recall who, once told me an apocryphal anecdote which is a kind of epilogue to the biblical tale of the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man. According to this, upon seeing Adam and Eve driven from paradise, the agent of their ruin, the Serpent, aka the Devil, was moved to pity. Or so he claimed. He asked God if he might bestow upon these pitiful creatures a gift which would make their mortal suffering and that of their descendants a little easier to bear. The Lord consented, and so the Serpent granted humankind the “blessing” of self-delusion: the inability to see themselves, the world or their state as they really were. The trick, of course, is that neither would they be able to see God or the Devil for what they really were either. 

The Eden saga is also relevant because, if taken literally, it can be interpreted as the Ur-Conspiracy against the human race. Basically, Adam and Eve got the boot because they dared to acquire forbidden knowledge and, if not stopped, might have achieved the ultimate prize of eternal life. It was that which prompted God—or Gods since the divine conversation is always in terms of “we”—to nip things in the bud lest the upstart creations become “like us.” It’s enough to make one wonder just whose side the Serpent was on. Or could it be that the Serpent was just God in disguise? Maybe we’ve been in the dark from the beginning. 

Mythology, heresy or whatever, I’ve often thought the “Devil’s Gift” story explained the human condition pretty well. Whether the Serpent is to be blamed or thanked, the simple fact is that we do possess a tremendous capacity for deluding ourselves—and others. A prime example is the multitude of “conspiracy theories” James and Lance Morcan have presented in this book, theories that range, arguably, from the patently absurd to the disturbingly plausible. Notice that I’m not making a distinction as to which are which or who is deluding who. That’s up to you. 

For some years now I’ve offered a course at my university titled “Conspiracies and Secret Societies in History.” Its basic goal, much like this book, is neither to advocate nor debunk, but to make people aware of what ideas and groups exist (or have existed) and what facts there may be to support or refute them. I’ve sometimes described it as a course in modern heresy or even in the nature of reality. A key theme is that human history, behavior and reality are governed not by what we know but by what we believe. Here’s a simple example: we all have fathers and most of us know who our fathers are. Or we believe we do. Ultimately both we and our fathers are taking our mother’s word for it, which doesn’t exclude the possibility that even she is mistaken. Ah, you say, but what about DNA tests? That supposes such tests actually prove what they claim which is yet another thing you must take on faith. I’m going to guess that you’ve not had a DNA test, nor do you see any reason why you should. That’s doubtless a sound belief, but nevertheless a belief that in a small number of cases is dead wrong. Paternity is almost always an assumption, not a fact. That’s an unsettling thing to consider, so maybe it is best ignored. Just like so many bigger, unsettling possibilities mentioned in The Orphan Conspiracies. 

The authors make frequent reference to the “Tinfoil Hat Network,” which is a convenient name for those folks who believe in things that presumably more rational minds find, well, nutty. However intrinsically loony an idea may be, when people believe it, and act on that belief, it attains a power that can shape reality around it. A simple case in point is Nazi anti-Semitism. The fringe and utterly bogus notion that Jews represented a kind of biological contamination that had to be eradicated root and branch became the operative philosophy of a political regime and as a result millions of people died. Maybe the most dangerous thing about the “Illuminati” isn’t that such a master cabal has ever existed, but that some people believe it should and wreak havoc under the delusion they run the world. Likewise, something discussed extensively in this book, Jim Jones and Jonestown, was, at the very least, a case of people believing so much in a crackpot messiah that they were willing to kill themselves, and often their children, on his command. And, remember, that’s the least of the horror stories that can be built around the Jonestown massacre. The alternatives are even more disturbing. 

So how can we determine what’s real and what’s not? We can’t. We can just pick and choose what we want to believe and rationalize it as best we can. Reality, after all, is basically a movie projected inside our heads. It’s based on the colors our senses permit us to see, the sounds they permit us to hear and whatever else our brains let slip through the gates. But outside our limited senses, surrounding us, there is, unquestionably, a much greater reality, a universe we live in but cannot see. Well, most of us, anyway. Out there, in the dark, All Things Are Possible.

An author in his own right, Dr. Spence’s published works include Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left (East European Monographs/Columbia Univ. Press, 1991), Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (Feral House, 2002) and Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (Feral House, 2008).

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Some of the books by Dr. Richard Spence.

Dr. Spence is also the author of numerous articles in Revolutionary Russia, Intelligence and National Security, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, The Historian, New Dawn and other publications. He has served as a commentator/consultant for the History Channel and the International Spy Museum and was a key consultant-interviewee for the Russian Cultural Foundation’s 2007 documentary film, “Leon Trotsky: The Secret of World Revolution,” and its subsequent “Trap for the Tsar.”

Read more in The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy – available now via Amazon at:


 Out there in the dark, all things are possible!




The Trojan Horse Sterling had referred to reflected his belief that the truth about Jonestown had never been revealed to the American people. A belief shared by his fellow co-founders. They were certain that while there were undoubtedly suicides at Jonestown, the event could more accurately be described as a mass murder that resulted from an experiment of sorts carried out by various US agencies. The Orphan Factory


Aerial view of Jonestown, Guyana.

The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project was a predominantly American residential community in Guyana, South America. Branded a cult by the media, it was more commonly known as Jonestown in deference to its leader, Jim Jones, a former communist and drug addict, and son of a Ku Klux Klansman.

Cult leader Jim Jones

Peoples Temple cult leader Jim Jones.

The community made world headlines on November 18, 1978, when it was announced 918 people at Jonestown, including 200 children, had died. All but two Peoples Temple members died from cyanide poisoning in what was labeled “revolutionary suicide” by Jim Jones himself.

Jonestown after the ‘event’…ghastly and surreal.

Besides the suicides at Jonestown, several surviving Temple members murdered five others, includingCalifornia Congressman Leo Ryanat the nearby Port Kaituma airstrip.

Jonestown remained the largest loss of American civilian life in a single non-natural disaster until the deaths that occurred in the US on 9/11 in 2001.

Everything covered so far in this chapter is the official version of what occurred at Jonestown. However, there have long been rumors of MK-Ultra experimentation with the commune before the tragic incident occurred, and CIA involvement before and after the incident. Crucial sources, including Jonestown survivors as well as local officials first on the scene, appear to radically contradict the mass suicide story.

Cult members remonstrate with Jones (center) immediately before the ‘suicides’. The photographer was Greg Robinson, of the Examiner, who was one of the media reps killed at Georgetown Airport.

If something other than the mass suicide the history books inform us happened in 1978 at Jonestown, then what did occur? A dark social experiment, wholesale murder, CIA assassinations, mind control implementation gone wrong, or what? These, and more, have been touted as fact by independent researchers over the years.

In The Orphan Factory, we explore these theories when Nine and another orphan-operative attempt an assassination, deep in Guyana’s Amazon rainforest, of a survivor of the Jonestown tragedy.


What struck him most were the discrepancies in the body count, and Omega’s research people had come up with some interesting theories on that. –The Orphan Factory


Jonestown discrepancies

Unusual anomalies within the US Government’s official version of Jonestown raise alarm bells as they do seem to point to a conspiracy. In fact, there were so many conflicting reports that it was, and is, difficult to make head or tail of the event.

Jonestown bodies

Senseless deaths surrounded by mystery…then and now.

The Guyanese army, whose soldiers were among the first on the scene, reported only 408 Temple members had died by their own hand. Then the New York Times reported the actual number was around 500.

US Military personnel arrived several days later and the body count quickly rose – from 700 to a final tally of 909. No official explanation was ever given for these differing body counts although one US official was quoted as saying, “Guyanese cannot count.”

U.S. military officers place Jones's victims in coffins

American Soldiers prepare bodies for shipment in coffins from Georgetown Airport, Guyana (above) while more bodies are unloaded in bodybags (below).

There were also conflicting reports on the causes of death. The New York Times had reported the first medical official to arrive on the scene said he’d witnessed numerous gunshot wounds on victims. That didn’t tally with the official story that the majority had committed suicide by drinking cyanide. And no-one seemed to know exactly how many people were in Jonestown at the time. Therefore, reports listing 33 survivors couldn’t be verified.

Local newspaper the Guyanese Daily Mirror reported that around 60 to 80 American Green Berets and several hundred members of the UK’s SAS Black Watch were performing military exercise drills in the jungles surrounding Jonestown at the exact same time the mass suicides or the massacre – depending on your take – occurred.

Was that a coincidence or does it as some suggest point to a sinister outside party, or parties, being responsible for the deaths?

Another anomaly in the official version as told by the US Government was that the bodies lay neatly arranged in rows and showed no signs of the heavily twisted rigidity known to be induced in cyanide suicides.

In the coroner’s court, Guyanese pathologist Dr. Leslie Mootoo stated the bodies looked like they’d been murdered and, in his opinion, were not suicides at all. Dr. Mootoo also said that while he did find gunshot wounds on a small percentage of the victims, he found needle marks on the vast majority.

Needle usage would directly contradict the cyanide story as the official story says the cyanide was taken orally.

The US Army, however, said the cause of death was irrefutably cyanide suicides. Interestingly, it was only after mounting pressure from family members of the deceased back in America that the Army finally agreed to perform some autopsies – seven out of 900 deaths to be precise. Those token autopsies were clearly too few to gain true insight into what caused the deaths.


Assassination of a congressman

Californian Congressman Leo Ryan had flown down to Guyana to investigate strange irregularities at Jonestown shortly before the incident.

Congressman Leo J. Ryan

Congressman Ryan.

In the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Vault the following description is listed under the code name RYMUR (The Leo Ryan Murder/Jonestown Investigation): “On November 18, 1978, while investigating human rights abuses by a large cult led by James Warren “Jim” Jones (1931-1978), Congressman Leo Ryan (1925-1978) and several companions were murdered by Jones’ followers. Ryan had traveled to “Jonestown,” the cult’s compound in the South American country of Guyana, at the behest of his constituents, some of whom had family members in the cult. Following Ryan’s murder, Jones ordered his followers to commit mass suicide; more than 900 bodies were later found, most having died by taking poison. The FBI, charged with investigating violence against public officials, opened a probe into the murder of Ryan (hence the case name RYMUR) and provided other support and investigative assistance in relation to the mass casualties.”

Congressman Leo Ryan and three journalists killed on Jim Jones's orders

The bodies of Congressman Ryan and companions after the murders.

It has been claimed by some Jonestown researchers that Leo Ryan, who had been a vocal critic of the CIA for years, had discovered the community was not being run by Jim Jones, but by the CIA; instead of allowing Ryan to return to the US to inform congress, the CIA killed Ryan then shut down the entire Jonestown program by instigating a massacre.


CIA fingerprints on the crime scene

Jonestown member George Blakey, who was a chief aid to Jim Jones, was later identified as a CIA agent. Blakey purchased the land on which Jonestown was built. That, together with his CIA involvement and the community’s tragic end, could reasonably point to it being some kind of bizarre agency experiment.

What Blakey did immediately after the apparent Jonestown massacre lends weight to this theory. Within days, he reportedly moved to the nearby tax haven of Trinidad where he withdrew US$5 million from a Credit Suisse bank account.

In another CIA connection, US Embassy official Richard Dwyer was with Leo Ryan at the time of the airfield shootings and was later confirmed to have been a CIA agent. The first report of the “mass suicide” was made via radio a couple hours after the deaths occurred. Nobody has ever confirmed who made the radio reports, but perhaps tellingly, Richard Dwyer was the only person at Jonestown known to have a working radio.

Intriguingly, on the suicide tape recording of the last few minutes before the deaths occurred within the commune, Jim Jones can clearly be heard saying, “Get Dwyer out of here. Take him out of here now before something bad happens to him.” This implies Jones and the CIA were in cahoots as the cult leader would not allow anyone else to leave the commune.

Many independent researchers also believe the suicide tape was heavily edited to disguise the unmistakable sound of gunshots. If true, this also points to murders, not suicides.


“Most of the deaths were undoubtedly the work of MK-Ultra brainwashed moles operating inside the Peoples Temple community.”The Orphan Factory


The MK-Ultra theory

There are numerous theories suggesting Jonestown was a CIA test site for brainwashing and mind control. It has been claimed that Leo Ryan visited Jonestown because he’d uncovered evidence that Jonestown was a large-scale MK-Ultra experiment.

In a potential red flag supporting this theory, the psychoactive drugs found in Jonestown included most of those used in the MK-Ultra program.

Early settlers of Jonestown

Peoples Temple members in happier times.

Many investigators have theorized that Larry Layton, a senior member of Jonestown, was also an undercover CIA agent. In what could be a telling connection, Layton’s father was in charge of the US Army’s Biological Weapons Research unit. Mere coincidence? Or was Jonestown a “research experiment” conducted by the military?

Larry Layton immediately after the killings at Georgetown Airport.

Another thread that could link Jonestown with an MK-Ultra experiment is that US citizens were taken from mental hospitals and children were taken from orphanages in America and placed in the commune. (You’ll recall from the declassified CIA documents mentioned in chapter 2 that it’s on the record mental patients and orphans were experimented on against their will under the MK-Ultra program).


Why such a massacre had occurred, the Omegans could only speculate. Some thought it may have been to stop a large-scale emigration out of America to a fabled Utopian society; others wondered if it was intended to create fear in the populace – fear of cults, fear of Communism, fear of anything foreign; and still others believed it was to create a precedence whereby any groups labelled a cult would be vilified without due diligence by the public.The Orphan Factory


“A Waco beta test”

The 1993 Waco massacre of members of the Christian sect, the so-called Branch Davidians, in Texas, shares much in common with Jonestown: there were conflicting reports regarding cause of death, psychoactive drugs were found on the property and there was confusion surrounding cult leader David Koresh’s intentions. In fact, Waco had a whole host of eerily similardiscrepancies, not to mention traces of CIA involvement and possibly mind control operations as well.

Waco Massacre…similarities with Jonestown.

As we wrote in The Orphan Factory; “MK-Ultra victims included the Branch Davidians at the Waco compound in Texas,” and “Jonestown was a Waco beta test.”

The US Government’s own reports emphasize that Koresh had repeatedly insisted suicide was not an option for him or his fellow community members. As with Jonestown, the commonly held belief that the entire religious community at Waco wanted to die doesn’t seem to hold true upon closer inspection.


“It suited the authorities that mainstream media reported the Jonestown tragedy as a mass suicide,” Naylor continued. “The American public readily accepted that, shocking though it was. But make no mistake. It was primarily mass murder and the Peoples Temple was effectively turned into a slaughter house.”The Orphan Factory


In addition to what’s been covered in this chapter, there have been several other prominent conspiracy theories concerning Jonestown, including one which plays on the communist connections with the cult and claims the Soviets were responsible.

Some have even theorized the Jonestown massacre was some kind of sick “racial cleansing” experiment. As most Jonestown victims were black, some have argued it was a eugenics purification test conducted by white racists to prepare for even greater ethnic casualties in years to come. (See chapter 15 for more on eugenics).

Another strange thing about Jonestown was Jim Jones’ corpse. The Peoples Temple leader was known to have tattoos all over his chest. Yet the photos of his corpse found after his supposed suicide shows a chest free of tattoos. (See photo at right).

Jim Jones crime sceneAmerica’s House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) concluded the massacre was entirely due to Jones’ “extreme paranoia” and there was no outside interference from the CIA or otherwise. Strangely though, 5000 HFAC documents on Jonestown remain classified to this day.

If the old adage Where there’s smoke there’s fire is true then Jonestown must have been a cover-up of some kind. And it does seem unlikely anyone could convince more than 900 people to willfully commit suicide, especially when so many were young children.

Then again, our assumptions could all be wrong as brainwashing doesn’t only belong in the domain of intelligence agencies. Fanatical, brainwashed cult members all over the world have committed mass suicides. (Remember the Heaven’s Gate suicides?). And by all accounts Jim Jones was a megalomaniac. So it’s possible he killed himself and his devotees followed suit as per the official story. And who’s to say Jonestown members didn’t believe their leader was guiding them all into heaven?


Read more in The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy – available now via Amazon at:

A book that’s for the common people.


Not all is what it seems! –James & Lance




Our coming-of-age spy thriller, The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2), is available to Kindle users at the reduced price of 99c via and Amazon.UK until Feb. 17th PST.

4.6 Star average review rating

This top rated thriller is the prequel to The Ninth Orphan, book one in The Orphan Trilogy. It’s an epic, atmospheric story that begins with twenty-three genetically superior orphans being groomed to become elite spies in Chicago’s Pedemont Orphanage and concludes with a political assassination deep in the Amazon jungle. Embark on another frenetic journey with Nine, the ninth-born orphan, as he goes on the run across America.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

In the late 1970’s, in Chicago, Illinois, the secretive Omega Agency initiates the Pedemont Project – a radical experiment utilizing genetic engineering technologies – to create twenty-three orphan babies with the plan to turn them into the world’s most effective assassins.

One of the prodigies will rebel: meet Number Nine, an orphan with a mind of his own.

In 1998, when Nine reaches adulthood and graduates with honors from the Pedemont Orphanage, he is already an adept of the deadly espionage arts. Ordered by his Omega masters to assassinate a survivor of the Jonestown tragedy in Guyana’s Amazon rainforest, Nine is forced to draw upon all of his advanced training just to stay alive.

After 38 reviews, The Orphan Factory maintains its 4.6 Star average review rating on Amazon.

Here’s a sample of Amazon reviewers’ comments:

I loved getting to know more about Nine and his early years, his rivalry with 17 and interaction with other orphans, his self discovery and his ability to survive in a dangerous and deadly world. I am now looking forward to reading the third and final novel in this thrilling trilogy. –Pat O’Meara

Fast paced and never boring. I was drawn into the plot almost right from the beginning. –S.C.M. Hartstra-van Kan

Action and drama prevail in this exciting story. –Sheri A. Wilkinson

This novel explains how the orphans were produced and why and how they were trained…An awesome read. –“Westerntarheel”

A very well written, multifaceted book that is a joy to read. The authors have taken a genre which has been attacked from many angles and woven a modern, distinctive adventure. I am now going to re-read The Ninth Orphan.  –S.J. Hailey

An exceptional read, well written with just the right amount of explosive excitement that makes you sit up and take notice. Looking forward to the first and last in the trilogy which gives me the excuse to read the second one once again. –D. Catterall

The authors remind you The Orphan Factory is available now through to February 17th PST at the sharply discounted price of 99c. It’s available via Kindle at:


Happy reading! –Lance & James






As America – or President Obama at least – seems intent on attacking Syria, I’m reminded of a quote from The Orphan Factory, book two in our conspiracy thriller series, The Orphan Trilogy. In it, Omega Agency Special Agent Tommy Kentbridge asks a young Nine, the ninth-born orphan, “Why else do you think we are permanently at war in various regions all over the world?”

Perhaps the question would be better directed at Obama?

President Barack Obama

Obama soon to announce a new offensive?

Kentbridge, who is Nine’s mentor and the closest thing to a father figure the lad will ever know, also asks, “And why is it the citizens of this country, one of the richest on earth, get poorer each year?”

Good questions – even if we, the writers, say so ourselves!

Here’s some more from The Orphan Factory:

Special Agent Kentbridge had long-since realized America was not the unified country most people thought it was. Due to his position, he was aware of the extremely fragmented, corrupt and sick state of the nation. He also knew that sickness was entirely due to the conflicting agendas of the various shadow organizations that had infiltrated most Government departments and agencies. Within each power group – be it Congress or the Military-Industrial Complex – there were huge divisions as each of the secret factions strived to be top dog.

The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2), is available via Amazon as a Kindle ebook via:


Happy reading!Lance & James



This week’s review of our coming-of-age spy thriller The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) in Chicago web publication Gapers Block has thrown the spotlight on Chicago.

Chicago, the ‘City of the big shoulders’ as hometown poet-made-good Carl Sandburg once called it, is home to the twenty-three orphans who are raised in Chicago’s Pedemont Orphanage. It’s not just any orphanage. It’s home to genetically-engineered orphans who are raised to become the deadliest intelligence operatives the world has ever seen. Their purpose? To help the clandestine Omega Agency achieve its dream of establishing a New World Order.


If reader response is anything to go by, Chicago-ites seem to resonate with The Orphan Factory. Not surprising given their hometown figures so prominently in this novel.

The novel’s prologue sets the scene. Have a read and enjoy…



An old vagrant hummed tunelessly to himself as he warmed his bony hands over a fire he’d lit minutes earlier in a drum long since blackened by perhaps a hundred such fires. Certainly more fires than he, or any of his street cronies, could remember. He stopped humming when, across a busy thoroughfare, a gravel-voiced busker began reciting poetry.

“Stormy, husky, brawling,” the busker rumbled. “City of the big shoulders.” He was reciting verse from the works of hometown poet-made-good, Carl Sandburg. The poem was appropriately titled Chicago. “Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.” The busker, a long-haired Vietnam veteran whose only concession to his military past was his VSM service medal which he still wore with pride, looked directly at the old vagrant opposite.

The vagrant imagined the busker smiled at him, though he couldn’t be sure in the fading early evening light. Even so, he flashed a toothless grin in the other’s direction.

Soon, the old man was joined by half a dozen street pals. All homeless like him, they appeared like disheveled ghosts out of the shadows, attracted partly by the warmth of the fire and partly by the busker. They listened intently to the poet’s words that flowed effortlessly from the busker’s mouth. Words that painted images so vivid in their minds it was as if the men were watching a kaleidoscope of their own youth.  

“Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,” the busker continued. “Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs.”

Several passersby paused to listen, but none bothered to drop a donation into the hat that lay at the busker’s feet. Finally, as the busker finished his recital, a business executive threw a quarter into the hat without breaking stride. Encouraged, the busker launched into another Sandberg poem.

Listening to the busker delivering further verses about his beloved Windy City, the old vagrant couldn’t help but note the irony: there wasn’t a breath of wind on this still Chicago evening.

The vagrant’s parents had always assured him the city’s misleading nickname had nothing to do with the weather. His mother had insisted the Windy City label came from the longwinded speeches given by the city’s Nineteenth Century politicians, while his father claimed the moniker had been mischievously bestowed by competitive New Yorkers in their attempt to win the World Trade Fair of 1893.

To add to the contradictions, even though it was February, it was an unusually mild winter’s evening. The vagrants gathered around the fire warming their hands did so more out of habit than necessity on this occasion.

Chicago’s streets were busy and the mood downtown was fairly upbeat. President Jimmy Carter was due to visit the city and greater Illinois the following day. Word had spread: the President would be here soon, and come hell or high water he was going to receive a right, royal Illinois welcome.

As Chicagoans went about their business, hurrying home after a long day at the office or heading out to sample the city’s nightlife, none were remotely aware of the sinister, Nazi-like experiment taking place virtually under their noses.

Despite the experiment’s seventy five million dollar price tag, only a select few knew about it. Those in the know did not include the city’s Mayor or any state politicians; at Federal level, not even the President knew about it.

The experiment was taking place in a laboratory in the concealed basement of a renovated warehouse just off North Michigan Avenue. Seven pregnant women were in various stages of labor in the lab that served as a makeshift maternity hospital.

Like some Orwellian nightmare, the women were giving birth in clockwork-like fashion, almost in unison.

Small teams comprised of doctors and white-coated geneticists assisted the women. A specialist induced latecomers. In the lab’s far corner, two suited men looked on expectantly.

The numerous personnel in attendance were all in the employ of the Omega Agency, a recently formed and highly secretive outfit which would one day become the world’s most powerful shadow organization.

Supervising the eerie experiment was Omega’s own Doctor Frankenstein – better known as Doctor Pedemont, the brilliant biomedical scientist responsible for the radical science behind it. Over the past few years, with the help of his team of geneticists, Doctor Pedemont had painstakingly selected the fetus’ genes from thousands of sperm donations combined with the genes of his female subjects. The donations had come from another medical experiment referred to as the Genius Sperm Bank.

The motivation behind the Genius Sperm Bank, which had been initiated over a decade earlier, was to advance the breeding of super-intelligent people. The bank was stocked full of semen donations solicited from many of the world’s most intelligent men.

Benefiting from the efforts of some of Omega’s elite operatives, Doctor Pedemont had unlawfully obtained hundreds of samples from the Genius Sperm Bank. Then, taking the best of the sperm donations, he’d artificially inseminated the very women who were now in the process of giving birth. This meant each child that was about to be born effectively had one mother and numerous fathers.

The legalities of the entire operation were of no concern to Omega. Although still in its formative stages, the agency was already above the law.

A tense Doctor Pedemont and three geneticists fussed over the first mother-to-be, a young redheaded woman, as she entered the final stages of labor. The two suits observing from afar waited anxiously as the geneticists used advanced scientific equipment to monitor the birth.

The redhead gave birth to female twins. They arrived six minutes apart. Doctor Pedemont picked up the first twin. After removing the umbilical cord, he placed the newborn baby on a set of scales. “Number Five,” he announced. “Born 7.43 pm. Weight seven pounds, thirteen ounces.”

One of the geneticists recorded the doctor’s findings in a file labeled Number Five. Sadly, this would be the closest the girl would ever have to a real name.

Doctor Pedemont gave the baby to another geneticist then grabbed her newborn sister and weighed her. “Number Six. Born 7.49 pm. Weight seven pounds, one ounce.”

The advent of twins was no accident, of course. Their arrival had been planned for, like everything else that occurred within the Omega Agency.

The next baby was born minutes later to an African-American woman. It was a boy who was clearly of African descent. However, he had a much lighter skin tone than his mother, indicating most or all of the sperm donations inseminated into the woman were taken from Caucasian men.

“Number Seven,” Doctor Pedemont announced. “Born 7.56 pm. Weighs exactly five pounds. A few weeks prem, but is perfectly healthy.”

Because Number Seven was a premature birth, one of the geneticists immediately placed him in an incubator. Number Eight, who was born quarter of an hour later, was a healthy girl of Oriental descent.

When Number Nine was born, the mother, a beautiful dark-haired woman with striking green eyes, reached out to Doctor Pedemont to indicate she wished to hold the boy she had just birthed. The doctor looked around enquiringly at the two mysterious suits who remained in the corner. After discussing it between themselves, the older of the two nodded.

Doctor Pedemont looked back at the newborn’s mother cautiously. “You know you’ll never see him again, Annette?”

Annette nodded forlornly. She fully understood the ramifications of her agreement with the Omega Agency. Doctor Pedemont reluctantly placed Number Nine in Annette’s arms. The baby boy reached out and placed his tiny hand on the ruby that hung from a silver necklace she wore.

“Sebastian,” Annette whispered tearfully as she looked into her son’s eyes. “I name you Sebastian, after my father.”

Anxious to avoid further bonding between mother and son, Doctor Pedemont took Number Nine from Annette and handed him to one of the geneticists who, without ceremony, jabbed a needle into the boy. Predictably, Nine started screaming. His mother looked on resignedly.

Later that night, two more boys and another girl were born. Like Number Nine, all three were Caucasian.

As Number Twelve, the last of the newborns, was weighed, the two suits approached a relieved Doctor Pedemont. They looked more relaxed now. The older of the two, a short, stocky, dapper individual with heavily pock-marked skin, reached for the doctor’s hand and shook it firmly. This was Andrew Naylor, the Omega Agency’s hard-nosed director who was known for his foul temper as well as for his lazy eye, which never quite managed to focus on whomever he was addressing at the time.

“Congratulations, doctor,” Naylor mumbled without even a hint of a smile.

“Thank you,” a beaming Doctor Pedemont responded, taking care to avoid eye contact with Naylor as he found the other’s lazy eye highly disconcerting.

Naylor’s companion, Special Agent Tommy Kentbridge, patted the doctor on the back in congratulatory fashion. “Well done,” Kentbridge said. Tall and ruggedly handsome – physically the polar opposite of Naylor – the special agent was one of Omega’s young stars. As a field operative, he had the sort of record most agents twice his age would be proud of. Although only in his early twenties, Kentbridge had been assigned to manage the products of this agency experiment. Like it or not, he would be the nearest to a father any of them would have.

It was a long-term experiment and no-one knew exactly what the outcome would be. The experiment was known in Omega circles as The Pedemont Project


The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2) is available via Amazon as a Kindle ebook:

For more info about The Orphan Trilogy (The Ninth Orphan / The Orphan Factory / The Orphan Uprising), go to:


Happy reading! –Lance