Did The Kennedy Speech on No Secret Societies Seal His Fate?


The assassination of John F. Kennedy remains more than just a pastime for conspiracy theorists. Kennedy himself, in fact, was one that looked to stamp out what he perceived as powerful secret societies within the U.S. government.

Two years before his assassination, JFK delivered a powerful speech at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Speaking with the National News Publishers Association on April 27, 1961, Kennedy called for an end to secret societies in government.

Many conspiracy theorists believe that this speech sealed the fate of a conspiracy theorist president.

So, did Kennedy’s denouncement of secret societies indeed seal his fate?

According to a transcript of the speech, entitled “The President and the Press,” Kennedy spoke out against secrecy in government and warned those at all levels of government to avoid the stifling of dissent and covering up of mistakes.

Yet, in the same speech Kennedy scolded the press for revealing sensitive issues of national security.

The idea that Kennedy’s assassination was a government cover-up is by no means an uncommon theory. Even filmmaker Oliver Stone took plenty of heat for his Academy Award-winning film JFK, which implied that Lyndon Johnson played a role in the President’s assassination.

The question of course remains: did those looking to harbor secrecy within the government have enough at stake to warrant murdering Kennedy? Theorists have taken aim at the CIA, KGB, the Mafia, the FBI, and even Fidel Castro.

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the assassination. The former Marine defected to Russia and returned to the United States in 1962, a fact that bolsters the communist connection to JFK’s death.

Reading through the transcript of the New York speech, it’s hard to see how Kennedy’s words would have set in motion a deep-reaching government conspiracy to end his life. After all, we’ve heard the same calls for transparency and accountability from every American President in recent history – so what would make Kennedy’s speech any different?

Reprinted from Top Secret Writers.

Ben Norris is a freelance writer and independent journalist from Phoenix, Arizona. He is an Arizona Press Club scholar, human rights advocate.