Statement Regarding the Immediate Future of COPA

April 30, 2014
By

All of us are still dealing with the impact of John Judge’s passing. He affected so many lives for the better, not just in the research community, but for everyone – working to facilitate a world better off than he found it.

It is far too early to think about the organization as a whole in my view. However, it has become clear that we do need to address some immediate concerns about COPA.

I would like to start by saying that in all probability, last year’s COPA conference was going to be the last large-scale event run by John under this banner. We spoke after the conference about the difficulties or coordinating this thing every year. His suggestion at that time was that there should be a separate entity created to continue the conferences, if I wanted to do so, but that COPA would be retained as his project. We were still in the process of talking about what that would mean when he unfortunately had his stroke.

My main concern, as is the concern of everyone involved in the decision, is that in the past COPA has been used by some to assist or endorse projects that John did not believe in. We want to make sure that COPA doesn’t morph into something alien to the ideals he maintained.

When John died, there were only three names on the registered charter: John, T Carter, and myself. Neither T nor I wanted to proceed with COPA without John at the front. His partner, Marilyn, also felt that dissolving COPA would be what John would have wanted. Owing to this, T and I both agreed to effectively dissolve the organization as a continuing entity. It exists right now in a legal sense and may continue to do so until some paperwork and other business matters are resolved.

I appreciate everyone who has sent emails and made phone calls in support of keeping the flame going. T Carter and several others have already voiced their support in going on.

We are starting to think about what a new organization would look like. My feeling is that we will be getting together in November to work out the details, and will use the intervening time to do the preliminary work in maintaining a research organization with an emphasis on social justice as well as continuing COPA’s trailblazing efforts to secure the release of documents.

At least for now, it makes sense to retain the COPA website as a vehicle for putting up articles about John and for news about, for example, the upcoming planned celebration. In my conversation with Marilyn recently, she suggested that we maintain the website until it was time to change over, and then redirect it to that new site. In the meantime, a celebration is being planned in D.C. for John on May 31st, with details to come.

Please continue to send donations to Marilyn either to COPA at the COPA address or to the gofundme site. This will help her handle some of the associated costs. The generosity shown has truly been amazing.

Thanks,

Joe Green

12 Responses to Statement Regarding the Immediate Future of COPA

  1. April 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Joe – Your resignation as a COPA administrator has been accepted.

    The original COPA governing board will soon determine the future of COPA in the post John Judge era.

    Those who want to continue John Judge’s work can join us

    Bill Kelly

  2. April 30, 2014 at 11:07 am

    And Frank

    What you say is true, and the library and archives will continue under the banner of the Hidden Histoey Museum.

    COPA will continue, maybe under a different name – Committee On Political Assassinations?

    And a new – old board.

    BK

  3. May 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I commented elsewhere but would like to make some additional comments.

    It is very difficult establishing a new organization. Decisions about organizational structure, how decisions are made, etc. Conflicts among people involved in JFK research and activism are unfortunately common. As people express their ideas, I get the sickening feeling some conflicts are already beginning to germinate.

    I am not going to bore anyone with my own associations with COPA because I am not sure it relevant.

    > The original people involved in COPA do certainly deserve consideration, however I believe that the people that have been most active deserve equal or greater consideration.

    > We must be able to trust each other. Members who have been involved in some of the most significant conflicts with John and others over the years ought not to have excessive influence.

    Hopefully, ALL OF US will keep the memory of John, and what he spent his life trying to accomplish, in our thoughts as we proceed forward. It would be a terrible shame if the conflicts so inherent over the years explode now, resulting in a further splintering of COPA’s goals, objectives, and mission statement.

  4. Al
    May 20, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Judge. Thanks for caring to shed light where evil forces of darkness lay hidden in the shadows.

  5. Christopher V Pike
    May 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Since the 1960s John flew out to Dealey Plaza and joined the late Penn Jones and others for the “Moment of Silence” on the knoll. He promised Penn that he would carry on with that tribute and give his reasons for President Kennedy’s demise, always speaking the truth to power. It is my fervent hope that this tribute and communication to the media while assembled in Dallas continues either under the banner of COPA or some newly named entity on Nov. 22. I plan to be there, and I ask any of the colleagues of John to factor that into the future of the organization and the stated goals which have yet to be fulfilled.

  6. Andrea Skolnik
    June 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Since Penn Jones was an inspiration to JOhn and he promised to continue his work and we now find ourselves struggling to find a way to continue John’s vital work why not combine the names .
    Penn’s Continuing Inquiry and Johns Coalition on Political Assassinations
    You only need add a letter .
    Continuing Inquiry On Political Assassinations CIOPA
    Both men can be honoured for their legacy to this research and attention can be placed on the important issue of maintaioning the collection of material and preserving it for future generations.
    This collections is unmatched and it would be to the detriment of the entire world if it was lost to petty squabbling as the collection of Johns friend Mae Brussell was.

  7. Frank DeBenedictis
    June 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Bill:

    I would like to express my condolences regarding John’s death to you as a close friend and research partner of John’s. Rest in peace John.

    Frank DeBenedictis

  8. June 17, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Bill, I have been asked by some to pick up John’s torch. I think there are others more qualified in knowledge, however…I am strongly dedicated to facts and truth and the continued effort to uncover both. I was also asked to help ensure the continued existence of John’s records, that’s not my decision to make. However, if I may in some way be of assistance…please let me know.
    Copa, John and all of you have done great public service. Best regards, and thank you.

  9. June 21, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I just wept to hear John had passed away. I’d sent as contribution, as did many, toward his hospital bills (wish it could have been more). In Dallas last November, when we finally met face to face, he told me he’d finally had a chance to read ME & LEE, and this is why at the end of the conference last year, he mentioned the project to kill Castro and our work in New Orleans. I’d be able to speak at the next conference, in person. Now he’s gone. I had no opportunity to meet Bill Kelly, for example, and it is now my fear that I’ll be marginalized again. The work my large group is doing, along with Jim Marrs, Ed Haslam, St. John Hunt, Vincent Palamara, Abraham Bolden, Bob Groden, Jesse Ventura, David Denton and his coalition, and Kris Millegan of Trine Day (who also has published Joan Mellen’s work) has been absolutely snowballing.
    Whatever differences we have (such as Groden doesn’t think the Z film was altered), we bury such differences for the common cause. Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has offered her help to us, and many others are giving us financial support. This includes financing me on a fourth book tour across the country (amazing!). Many more I haven’t mentioned are working with us. It is my hope that you will join us in the fight to clear Lee Oswald’s name and to bring justice to bear in the murder of John F. Kennedy.
    In September, we will raise hell concerning the framing of Lee Oswald by the Warren Commission.
    In October, we will again fill the halls in New Orleans, and there celebrate Oswald’s birthday, which each year is getting more attention not only in New Orleans, but nationwide.
    In November, we will be focusing on the noxious plaque erected by the Texas Historical Association, blaming Lee Oswald for the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit: the haughty Association acted as Judge and Jury in the matter, and we have been sending individual complaints, which have generated responses that we will use to our advantage in a major campaign to tear down the bronze plaque. We will use this matter to focus attention on the railroading of Lee Harvey Oswald, using the issue of the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission to generate public interest. BTW, we’re asking all of you to help back our efforts to bring the plaque down.
    While I understand how John’s untimely death has affected all of us, and how it has devastated his closest friends (Cynthia McKinney burst into tears as she told me about his funeral), John wouldn’t have wanted you to disband in 2014 with so many opportunities to act in his name and for his sake. Disbanding is NOT the way you should pay tribute to this fine man — by scattering all he has done to the four winds.
    I pray that you will recognize that McAdams and his people enjoy creating in-fighting among us with their frequently faked and altered material and ad hominem attacks. Further, we have factions who seem to glory in attacking those who interfere with their pet theories or who ruin their books or disturb their egos with new evidence that irritates them.
    In my case, I have persisted in supporting even those who attack me personally, if their major efforts are focused on clearing Lee Oswald’s name. For example, I support Bill Kelly, hoping one day we will meet and he will alter his opinion of me after that. Bill’s work is magnificent, absolutely magnificent. As I have refrained from attacking you who attack me, even supporting your efforts anyway, seeking the high ground where we fight for the same cause, so I ask you to support us, as well, and that we can be united for this noble, common cause, laying aside differences.
    What’s important is to focus on the true enemy. Therefore, it is our hope that you will continue COPA. The name and objectives are well known. COPA is respected and respectable. It provides a forum that, unlike Lancer’s, is not a profit-based organization, so last year people could actually afford to attend your conference (many could not afford to attend Lancer). Our own growing coalition is nameless but vibrant. If you would accept our support,here it is. God bless you to make the right decisions, keeping in mind that the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission is not the right time to call quits. We will join you in whatever money-raising you might need to continue. or you can go ahead and dissolve away, and then ask yourself–“Have I done what is right, in memory of a truly great man? With great hopes that you will continue, and that you will allow us to support you– Judyth Vary Baker (speaking for many).

  10. August 27, 2014 at 6:01 am

    If Joe Green resigned as administrator in April, who is now making decisions as administrator for this website and for COPA’s Facebook page? It is requested that all statements be signed by the individual(s) writing on behalf of the organization that appears to be in the process of dissolution. Thanks.

  11. Frank
    November 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    The people taking this forward should have a consensus of support from those who started and backed COPA from its beginning. That means Dr. Wecht, Walt Brown, Mike Nurko, Tom Lyons, Robert Groden, Brad Kizzia, Bill Kelly, Ralph Cole, and others who have been with COPA since its inception in 1995.
    After attending the ASK ’93 symposium, I have been with John and COPA since its first Dallas conference in 1995. He told me a few months ago that he would like to continue COPA conferences in Dallas, but it would depend on the interest at that time.
    John’s materials should be available for use by those who want the work to continue. If for some reason there’s not a place for them in DC, they should be a part of the Penn Jones collection at Baylor.

  12. Frank
    November 7, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    The people taking this forward should have a consensus of support from those who started and backed COPA from its beginning. That means Dr. Wecht, Walt Brown, Mike Nurko, Tom Lyons, Robert Groden, Brad Kizzia, Bill Kelly, Ralph Cole, and others who have been with COPA since its inception in 1995.
    After attending the ASK ’93 symposium, I have been with John and COPA since its first Dallas conference in 1995. He told me a few months ago that he would like to continue COPA conferences in Dallas, but it would depend on the interest at that time.
    John’s materials should be available for use by those who want the work to continue. If for some reason there’s not a place for them in DC, they should be a part of the Penn Jones collection at Baylor.

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