Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #507 Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Gate

Record­ed April 17, 2005
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

High­light­ing more inves­tiga­tive report­ing from the remark­able Daniel Hop­sick­er, this broad­cast presents infor­ma­tion about a net­work of bogus uni­ver­si­ties run by mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence-con­nect­ed ele­ments. These uni­ver­si­ties served as vehi­cles for the ille­gal impor­ta­tion of Mid­dle East­ern aliens under fraud­u­lent aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials, and appar­ent­ly served as vehi­cles for the 9/11 hijack­ers to infil­trate into the Unit­ed States. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis is on Abdusat­tar Shaikh and Sam Koutch­es­fa­hani, both FBI infor­mants and both involved with shady deal­ings in the San Diego area. Shaikh housed sev­er­al of the 9/11 hijack­ers and Koutch­es­fa­hani was import­ing Mid­dle East­ern immi­grants ille­gal­ly, while boast­ing aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials from a uni­ver­si­ty that did­n’t exist. The one sub­poe­na issued by the Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee inves­ti­gat­ing 9/11 was for Mr. Shaikh. The White House quashed it. A major point of dis­cus­sion con­cerns over­lap­ping rela­tion­ships between ele­ments of the mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and the New Age, the events of 9/11, and the so-called “9/11 Truth Move­ment.”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The back­ground of Brigadier Gen­er­al William Lyon (a patri­arch of the pho­ny aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions dis­cussed here); the back­ground of Dr. Richard Crews (also a major play­er in the nexus of pho­ny uni­ver­si­ties); Crews’ pos­si­ble con­nec­tion to mind-con­trol relat­ed activ­i­ties; Kouthch­es­fa­hani’s con­nec­tions to the Heav­en’s Gate sui­cide cult; the links between New Age guru John Gray and Adnan Khashog­gi (Iran-Con­tra weapons deal­er and alleged Al Qae­da financier); Gray’s role in financ­ing the 9/11 “Truth” move­ment; Gray’s links to the Heav­en’s Gate milieu; Gray’s links to the pho­ny uni­ver­si­ties; Shaikh’s pho­ny aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials and his links to many of the ele­ments cit­ed above; Koutch­es­fa­hani’s role as a weapons deal­er for the Shah; a com­par­i­son of the net­work of pho­ny uni­ver­si­ties to the net­work of bogus air­lines dis­cussed in FTR#‘s 482, 483, 484; the links between for­mer Cal­i­for­nia Pete Wilson’s admin­is­tra­tion and the bogus universities/intelligence fronts; Abdusat­tar Shaikh’s real identity—he was Indi­an, not Mid­dle East­ern. Be sure to vis­it Daniel Hop­sick­er’s web­site.

1. Begin­ning with the first of the two FBI infor­mants linked to 9/11 hijack­ers in the San Diego area, the pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of Abdusat­tar Shaikh. Oper­at­ing under a false name and using pho­ny aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials from bogus insti­tu­tions of high­er learn­ing, Shaikh was fre­quent­ly seen in the com­pa­ny of Mohamed Atta. He also housed oth­er 9/11 hijack­ers. The one sub­poe­na issued by the Con­gres­sion­al 9/11 Com­mit­tee was for Mr. Shaikh. The White House quashed the sub­poe­na. “Cru­cial details in the biog­ra­phy of ‘Pro­fes­sor’ Abdus­sat­tar Shaikh, the San Diego man called the ‘best chance to uncov­er the Sept. 11 plot before it hap­pened’ by the Joint Con­gres­sion­al 9/11 Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, are untrue, mis­lead­ing, or false, a Mad­cow­Morn­ingNews inves­ti­ga­tion has dis­cov­ered. . . .”
(“The Secret World of 9/11: Ter­ror­ists, Arms Deal­ers & Ghosts in Malawi” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; Mad­Cow­Morn­ingNews; 4/11/2005; p. 1.)

2. The show begins analy­sis of the bogus uni­ver­si­ties that appear to have been used as a cov­er for intel­li­gence-relat­ed activ­i­ties. ” . . . The prac­tice of using Uni­ver­si­ties to pro­vide cov­er for for­eign nation­als in the U.S.—either as ter­ror­ists or as U.S. intel assets, or both—appears to have been wide­spread; so wide­spread in San Diego, at least, that the San Diego FBI’s own con­fi­den­tial infor­mants were engaged in it.” (Idem.)

3. “The man who had two hijack­ers liv­ing in his house in San Diego while oper­at­ing at the same time as a con­fi­den­tial infor­mant for the FBI was iden­ti­fied in wire reports as ‘a retired pro­fes­sor of Eng­lish at San Diego State,’ and ‘Vice Pres­i­dent for Inter­na­tion­al Projects at Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty.’ Yet a vis­it to the var­i­ous loca­tions around San Diego where he was said to have worked reveals that Abdus­sat­tar Shaikh nev­er taught at San Diego State, has nev­er been a Pro­fes­sor of Eng­lish, and pos­sess­es a pho­ny PhD from a bogus diplo­ma mill run by peo­ple with U.S. mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence con­nec­tions. The ‘Uni­ver­si­ty’ for which he was said to be Vice Pres­i­dent for Inter­na­tion­al Projects does not, in fact, exist. Also: ‘Abdusat­tar Shaikh’ is not his real name.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

4. “In the gap between what hap­pens and what gets report­ed lies the secret his­to­ry. In sun­ny San Diego, we dis­cov­ered it was vis­i­ble almost every­where you looked. Just as a hand­ful of high­ly-sus­pect flight schools in Flori­da pro­vid­ed ‘cov­er’ for Mohamed Atta and his ter­ror­ist cadre, a hand­ful of bogus ‘Uni­ver­si­ties’ in San Diego pro­vid­ed a cloak of legit­i­ma­cy to a num­ber of sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

5. Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth University—Shaikh’s aca­d­e­m­ic cover—was part of a nexus of pho­ny aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions. “The ‘Uni­ver­si­ty’ for which Shaikh was sup­posed to have han­dled ‘inter­na­tion­al projects,’ Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty, no longer exist­ed at the time in ques­tion. It had been forced out of busi­ness by state reg­u­la­tors. But even dur­ing its brief life it exist­ed only as a mail drop, one of a num­ber of inter­lock­ing diplo­ma mills. Its old address in a non-descript office build­ing along­side the 805 free­way in San Diego also ‘housed’ a clutch of oth­er faux citadels of learn­ing: Gold­en Gate Uni­ver­si­ty, Huron Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty, and the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Hyp­nother­a­py, all pre­sum­ably car­ry­ing on the murky lega­cy of Amer-Comm U.” (Idem.)

6. Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty began as a school named after a promi­nent Orange Coun­ty Repub­li­can and for­mer Air Force Brigadier Gen­er­al. “The scam schools are run by a cast of char­ac­ters, many of who play reoc­cur­ring roles as what might be called ‘ser­i­al scam­mers.’ Yet they can’t be total­ly dis­missed as scam artists: some of them have U.S. mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence con­nec­tions. Shaikh’s sup­posed ’employ­er,’ Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty, for exam­ple, began life as William Lyon Uni­ver­si­ty, named for and found­ed by retired Air Force Gen­er­al William Lyon, a big wheel in Cal­i­for­nia Repub­li­can cir­cles as Chair­man of the GOP’s ‘Team Cal­i­for­nia Vic­to­ry 2004’ and a mem­ber of a group of wealthy, high-pow­ered Orange Coun­ty’s Repub­li­cans called ‘The New Major­i­ty.’ ” (Idem.)

7. “So Shaikh, was an FBI infor­mant, hous­ing at least three sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists. When the post‑9/11 media spot­light swung his way he was said to work for a non-exis­tent Uni­ver­si­ty with Repub­li­can and mil-intel con­nec­tions. Until now, this sham cov­er sto­ry has gone unques­tioned in Amer­i­ca’s no-longer-very-damn free press. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

8. ” . . . Con­sid­er how Shaikh was pre­sent­ed to the Amer­i­can peo­ple in the media: The Asso­ci­at­ed Press labeled Shaikh ‘a retired San Diego State Uni­ver­si­ty Eng­lish teacher.’ The Los Ange­les Times said he was ‘a retired pro­fes­sor in sub­ur­ban San Diego.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

9. Shaikh was­n’t even his real name and he was­n’t Mid­dle-East­ern, he was Indi­an. ” . . . What no U.S. media out­let has report­ed (until now) is that Abdusat­tar Shaikh is noth­ing of the kind. The Amer­i­can peo­ple weren’t even told his real name, we dis­cov­ered. A pro­file on Indi­an-born Shaikh in his home­town Indi­an news­pa­per India-West report­ed Shaikh’s real name is ‘Abdusat­tar Chhipa.’ When peo­ple change their names, its near­ly always for a rea­son.” (Idem.)

10. Both of the pho­ny uni­ver­si­ties on Shaikh’s resume were run (at one time) by Dr. Richard Crews, a Har­vard-edu­cat­ed psy­chi­a­trist with a nation­al secu­ri­ty-con­nect­ed resume. A care­ful study of Crews’ resume sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty that he may have been involved in mind con­trol activ­i­ties. “We con­tact­ed the Cal­i­for­nia Bureau of Pri­vate Post­sec­ondary and Voca­tion­al Edu­ca­tion inquir­ing about Abdusat­tar Shaikh’s PhD. Deb­o­rah God­frey asked us to hold while she checked, then came back and said there was nobody by that name in her records. ‘There is no defin­i­tive source for records from that ‘school,’ she stat­ed. ‘The tran­scripts I have came from some­one’s garage.’ At one time, both ‘schools’ cit­ed in Shaikh’s resume—American Com­mon­wealth and Unit­ed States Inter­na­tion­al University—had been run by Dr. Richard Crews, an M.D. from Har­vard, whose pedi­gree includes stints as Chief of Psy­chi­a­try at Wom­ack mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal and ‘Chief of Men­tal Hygiene Con­sulata­tion Ser­vices’ at Fort Bragg, North Car­oli­na, home of Amer­i­ca’s Spe­cial Forces.” (Idem.)

11. Crews also helmed Colum­bia Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty, the alma mater of anoth­er shady character—John Gray. Gray is one of the finan­cial gurus of the so-called 9/11 “Truth” move­ment. This is the dis­in­for­ma­tion effort that alleges that the WTC was destroyed by a con­trolled demo­li­tion and the Pen­ta­gon was hit by a cruise mis­sile. Gray is a busi­ness part­ner of Iran-Con­tra weapons deal­er and alleged Al Qae­da financier Adnan Khashog­gi. Gray is also a “New Age” guru, author and for­mer per­son­al sec­re­tary to Mahar­ishi Mahesh Yogi. (The lat­ter is the king­pin of the Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion move­ment.) “Being ‘Pres­i­dent’ of bogus Uni­ver­si­ties must have suit­ed him: in addi­tion to the two already men­tioned, he helmed Colum­bia Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty, which award­ed Mars & Venus’s John Gray his doc­tor­ate in snake-oil, which the Cal­i­for­nia Attor­ney Gen­er­al denounced as a fraud­u­lent ‘diplo­ma mill’ when he shut it down in the late ‘90’s.” (Idem.)

12. Odd­ly enough, these inter­lock­ing, intel­li­gence-con­nect­ed diplo­ma mills were close­ly linked to for­mer Gov­er­nor Pete Wil­son of Cal­i­for­nia, whose admin­is­tra­tion fought bit­ter­ly against the clos­ing of these fraud­u­lent insti­tu­tions. The com­mit­tee formed to inves­ti­gate these aca­d­e­m­ic Potemkin vil­lages was chaired by—Dr. Richard Crews!! “But not with­out a fight. ‘At one time there was no law in this field at all,’ he explained Cal­i­for­ni­a’s Deb­o­rah God­frey. ‘When we first tried to take action against Colum­bia Pacif­ic, all the way back in 1989, we imme­di­ate­ly encoun­tered the wrath of then-Gov­er­nor Pete Wil­son. There was an atmos­phere full of reprisals. We were attacked just for doing our jobs, accused of being vin­dic­tive.’ When Gov­er­nor Wil­son appoint­ed a task force to inves­ti­gate the indus­try, we learned, it was packed with own­ers of the bogus schools. Dr. Richard Crews was the chair­man of the com­mit­tee.” (Ibid.; pp. 3–4.)

13. For­mer Gov­er­nor Wil­son flew around on pri­vate jets pro­vid­ed by Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth University—nee William Lyon Uni­ver­si­ty. “Help­ing to explain this lais­sez-faire Repub­li­can atti­tude toward crime might have been a sto­ry we found detail­ing Gov. Wilson’s fly­ing around on pri­vate jet which had been paid for by spe­cial inter­est groups. All but one of the biggest con­trib­u­tors seemed pre­dictable: the Cal­i­for­nia Wine­grape Grow­ers, the Cal­i­for­nia Inde­pen­dent Oil Pro­duc­ers, Mer­chants and Man­u­fac­tur­ers Assn. Of Cal­i­for­nia. Named right along with these tra­di­tion­al­ly big-spend­ing lob­by­ists, how­ev­er, was tiny (read: non-exis­tent) William Lyon Uni­ver­si­ty, which soon there­after changed its name to Amer­i­can Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty, the moniker trot­ted out by Shaikh’s FBI han­dlers to pro­vide their boy Abdu with a plau­si­ble leg­end, or ‘cov­er.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

14. Daniel Hop­sick­er com­pared this bogus net­work of pho­ny col­leges with the maze of bogus air­lines through which the 9/11 hijack­ers infil­trat­ed. “Why did clean-cut Pete Wil­son go to bat for a bunch of scam schools ten years ago? Was it just for the cash? A free ride on one of Gen­er­al Lyon’s jets? (Lyon owns Mar­tin Avi­a­tion, the FBO and biggest char­ter oper­a­tor at John Wayne Air­port.) Might Wil­son and Orange Coun­ty GOP big-wig Gen. William Lyon be play­ing parts in some larg­er oper­a­tion, one which neces­si­tat­ed hav­ing a few ‘diplo­ma mills’ on hand? Despite bad pub­lic­i­ty, the clus­ter of pho­ny uni­ver­si­ties in San Diego sol­diered on, stay­ing one step ahead of flat-foot­ed state bureau­crats by scat­ter­ing to places like Mon­tana and Wyoming, and chang­ing their names faster than you can say ‘CIA front.’ They seem rather like the hun­dreds of tiny ‘air­lines’ through which the CIA once con­cealed the biggest air­line in the world. For exam­ple, Colum­bia Pacif­ic, John Gray’s alma mater, has also been ‘Colum­bia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ty,’ and ‘Com­mon­wealth Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty,’ and is still in oper­a­tion, as best we can tell, under a char­ter from Malawi, a coun­try in Africa tucked in between Mozam­bique, Zam­bia, and Tan­za­nia. . . .” (Idem.)

15. Anoth­er inter­est­ing fig­ure in the San Diego area is Sam Koutch­es­fa­hani, an Iran­ian exile involved in an oper­a­tion that Mid­dle East­ern “stu­dents” into the Unit­ed States under pho­ny aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials. ” . . . If Abdusat­tar Shaikh isn’t who author­i­ties claimed he is . . . who is he? The answer to that ques­tion remains unknown., And we’re only just learn­ing of Shaikh’s curi­ous asso­ci­a­tion with anoth­er shad­owy Mid­dle-east­ern man liv­ing in San Diego . . . Sam Koutch­es­fa­hani, an Iran­ian exile and arms deal­er for the Shah. When the Pea­cock Throne went pfft Koutch­es­fa­hani moved to San Diego, where as one of a large num­ber of Ira­ni­ans-in-exile, many with for­mer CIA ties, he turned his atten­tions to a vari­ety of enter­pris­es. Sam’s includ­ed infil­trat­ing Mid­dle East­ern men into the U.S. ille­gal­ly . . . for the bet­ter part of a decade.” (Idem.)

16. Koutch­es­fa­hani’s net­work may have been used to smug­gle ter­ror­ists into the Unit­ed States. Koutch­es­fa­hani rent­ed a house to the Heav­en’s Gate Cult, whose mem­bers engaged in a mass sui­cide. The Heav­en’s Gate cult’s guru, Mar­shall Apple­white, taught at the same Texas col­lege at which the afore­men­tioned John Gray was enrolled. Gray’s moth­er also knew Apple­white.
(For more about this, see: “Coin­tel­pro 9.11: John Gray and Sau­di Gen­e­sis” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; 10/6/2004. See also: “Coin­tel­pro 9.11 pt. III: Khashog­gi, Cults, Cov­er-ups & Mars & Venus Doing Lunch” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; 10/13/2004.
Addi­tion­al back­ground infor­ma­tion about this in: “Coin­tel­pro 9.11: Peak Oil & The Lev­el Above Sau­di” by Daniel Hop­sick­er; 10/28/2004.)

” ‘For more than six years in the 1990’s, peo­ple from the Mid­dle East came to San Diego Coun­ty on bogus stu­dent visas,’ report­ed a Sep­tem­ber 21, 2001 San Diego Union-Tri­bune sto­ry head­lined ‘Ter­ror­ists May Have Exploit­ed Stu­dent Visas.’ ‘Through an under­ground net­work led by a Ran­cho San­ta Fe man, near­ly 100 Mid­dle East­ern­ers paid local com­mu­ni­ty col­lege teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors for coun­ter­feit admis­sion papers and grades, which allowed them to get stu­dent visas.’ (The final fig­ure was ‘more than 200,’ accord­ing to Sam’s plea bar­gain.) ‘At the cen­ter of the scam was a Ran­cho San­ta Fe man, Sam Koutch­es­fa­hani, whose fam­i­ly roots and wealth were deep in Iran. He plead­ed guilty to tax eva­sion and fraud and was sen­tenced to a year in prison. Koutch­es­fa­hani was the own­er of a rent­ed house in Ran­cho San­ta Fe where 39 mem­bers of the Heav­en’s Gate cult took their lives in 1997.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

17. “Koutch­es­fa­hani, accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, bribed col­lege and uni­ver­si­ty instruc­tors in the San Diego area to pro­cure pho­ny stu­dent visas for Mid­dle East­ern men he was help­ing insert into the U.S. Could that have been part of Abdusat­tar Shaikh’s job descrip­tion too? If not, we are forced to believe the gov­ern­men­t’s sto­ry, which por­trays him as just the unluck­i­est sumbitch in recent Amer­i­can his­to­ry. ‘Unwit­ting­ly’ hous­ing two of the 19 ter­ror­ist hijack­ers . . . how unlucky is that?” (Idem.)

18. There may be a link between Shaikh and Koutch­es­fa­hani: “We learned of a link between Shaikh and Koutch­es­fa­hani from a man who worked at a motel in Encini­tas dur­ing the mid-90’s. While he worked there it had been sold to a group which includ­ed Koutch­es­fa­hani, led by a Lebanese man who appar­ent­ly has so far com­plete­ly escaped scruti­ny, Tamer Tamer Salom­ah.” (Idem.)

19. “Here we recalled the con­ve­nience store in Venice where Mohamed Atta and Mar­wan hung out, aban­doned the day after the 9/11 attack by its own­er, who was also Lebanese. . . .” (Idem.)

20. ” . . . If nei­ther Tamer nor Sam knew any­thing about motels, why did they buy it? ‘I heard them talk­ing about using it to house some stu­dents,’ [Joe] Cic­ch­ese explained. ‘Tamer taught at some inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty in San Diego with a lot of for­eign stu­dents, and they were going to use the motel to house them.’ We asked, ‘Unit­ed States Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty?’ Cic­ch­ese said, ‘Yeah. That’s the one.’ So one link between Sam Koutch­es­fa­hani and Abdus­sat­tar Shaikh is par­tic­i­pa­tion in some kind of covert oper­a­tion involv­ing bogus uni­ver­si­ties in San Diego.” (Ibid.; p. 6.)

21. Both Shaikh and Kouthces­fa­hani were con­fi­den­tial infor­mants for the FBI. ” . . . But there is yet anoth­er, even more incred­i­ble link between the two men: Both worked for the San Diego FBI as con­fi­den­tial infor­mants. In court doc­u­ments in his bribery case we learned to our aston­ish­ment that at exact­ly the same time he was rent­ing a man­sion in ran­cho San­ta Fe to the Heav­en’s Gate cultists. Sam Koutch­es­fa­hani worked as a con­fi­den­tial infor­mant for the San Diego FBI.” (Idem.)

22. Shaikh’s sta­tus as an FBI infor­mant is par­tic­u­lar­ly embar­rass­ing in light of Shaikh’s prox­im­i­ty to the 9/11 hijack­ers. ” . . . The San Diego FBI office has endured much embar­rass­ment since the 9/11 attack. They admit­ted they had been search­ing for Al-Mid­har and Alhaz­mi since August because of sus­pect­ed con­nec­tions to Osama bin Laden. Three oth­er sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists who rent­ed rooms in his home—Omar Bakar­bashat, Ramez T. Noa­man and Yazed Al-Salmi—were arrest­ed as mate­r­i­al wit­ness­es in the ongo­ing ter­ror inves­ti­ga­tion. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

23. ” ‘Lit­tle is known about the 65-year-old, Indi­an-born Shaikh, who has declined sev­er­al inter­view requests by The Asso­ci­at­ed Press, oth­er than to deny his neigh­bors’ reports that sus­pect­ed hijack­er Mohamed Atta vis­it­ed his home.’ But at least three of his neigh­bors stepped for­ward to say they’d seen Mohamed Atta at his home on sev­er­al occa­sions. So it was soon clear that the Indi­an-born Shaikh was lying about his meet­ings with Atta, just as he’d lied (and vocif­er­ous­ly) about work­ing for the FBI as a con­fi­den­tial infor­mant.” (Idem.)

24. “Neigh­bor Mar­na Adair told the FBI that the polite, clean-shaven Atta was fre­quent­ly at the home of Abdusat­tar Shaikh between August and ear­ly Decem­ber of 2000. Adair said she iden­ti­fied a pho­to­graph of Atta on Sept. 17 to FBI agents who vis­it­ed her home and showed her three pages of pho­tos. Adair, a home­mak­er whose door is about 50 feet from Shaikh’s house and gives a clear view of the dri­ve­way, said she is ‘pos­i­tive’ she saw Atta. Anoth­er neigh­bor, Deb­o­rah Fort­ner, remem­bered see­ing Atta as well. ‘He was the one that was scary. He’s got these pierc­ing eyes. That’s some­thing you nev­er for­get about him.’ ” (Idem.)

25. NOTE: The rela­tion­ship between Gray, Adnan Khah­sog­gi, ele­ments of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, ele­ments of the New Age move­ment, the so-called “9/11 Truth Move­ment,” and ele­ments of the 9/11 con­spir­a­cy will be explored in future broad­casts. Be sure to vis­it Daniel Hop­sick­er’s web­site.


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