Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Report on John Winston Ono LENNON

1. I attach a copy of a note prepared by our Head Office on the above-named, together with a copy of his vetting form. We previously corresponded with you about LENNON and ca 17 February 1972 sent you a five paragraph report, a copy of which is attached also for ease of reference. At the time you were told that the 1972 report could be disseminated to the INS.

2. The information in these notes may be made available to the INS only on the understanding that under no circumstances will it, or the identity of the originating agency, be disclosed to the public or to the subject of the report, or to his representative or employer, in any administrative or judicial proceedings without the written consent of the originating agency.


Since 1972, LENNON has continued from time to time to lend his support to various extremist causes, but does not appear to owe allegiance to any one faction.

John Winston / John Ono LENNON
Born: 9.10.40 at Liverpool
Add: Tittenhurst Park,
London Road,
Ascot, Berks.

1. In February 1971 John LENNON, who was already well known as a musician, gave an interview to Tariq ALI and Robin BLACKBURN who were members of the Editorial Board of the International Marxist Group paper "Red Mole". In this he implied that he was sympathetic towards I.M.G., which is a small Trotskyist group which owes allegiance to the United Secretariat of the Fourth International. LENNON emphasised his proletarian background and his sympathy with the oppressed and underprivileged people of Britain and the world. Immediately after it was published in "Red Mole", ALI and BLACKBURN set about selling the interview to papers in Western Europe, and about £700 was realised from the sale of the rights of reproduction and these were retained by the International Marxist Group, presumably with LENNON's agreement. It is believed that LENNON promised to advance sums of money to I.M.G. in order to finance the establishment of a left wing bookshop and reading room in London. Despite a long courtship by BLACKBURN and ALI, as far as we know, no sum has been paid by LENNON for this purpose to them. LENNON has put it about that his tangible assets are committed to his efforts to recover the custody of his wife's child, who is in the care of her former husband in the United States.

2. Under the influence of BLACKBURN and ALI, LENNON has taken an interest in extreme left wing activities in Britain, and we know [...] that in June 1971 he was introduced to Regis DEBRAY, the French revolutionary journalist, after his release from prison in Bolivia. In April 1971 John LENNON and Yoko ONO were signatories to an appeal to "all progressive governments to support the government of Prince Sihanouk in the face of the extension of the Vietnam War into Cambodia."

3. LENNON has encouraged the belief that he holds revolutionary views, not only by means of his formal interviews with Marxists, but by the content of some of his songs and other publications.

4. He has, however, apparently resisted the attempts of any particular group to secure any hold over him. His contacts with a number of radical groups engaged in publishing "underground" newspapers have led them to believe that he might be willing to finance their efforts. We have no certain proof that these expectations have been fulfilled. The latest in this series of allegations that he is willing to finance such activity is the suggestion in November 1971 that he was advancing £5,000 to make a film about the political situation in Northern Ireland, and that he also sponsored a film made about the same time which dealt with a notorious murder which has been, according to the radical press, to an innocent person who was wrongly convicted and executed some years ago.

5. LENNON is director of a number of public companies in Britain, and any money which is advanced for subversive purposes might well be made from their funds rather than as a direct payment from LENNON. The largest company in which he is interested is the Apple Corporation Limited; another company is Maclen Music Limited, but these do not probably exhaust the number of firms over which he has dominant influence.

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