The Conscious Resistance Network presents: Who Will Find What The Finders Hide? pt 2
Researched, Written, and Narrated by Derrick Broze
Produced and Edited by Jeremy Martin
The Conscious Resistance Network is an independent media organization focused on empowering individuals through education, philosophy, health, and community organizing. We work to create a world where corporate and state power does not rule over the lives of free human beings.
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Who Will Find What The Finders Hide? pt 2
To understand The Finders we need to examine the people involved in the day to day activities of the cult. More specifically, to find what the finders hide it’s imperative to study the founder of the group, Marion Pettie. The following details are taken from the public record on Pettie, as well as interviews with members of The Finders.
Who was Marion Pettie?
Little is known about the life of Marion D. Pettie, the mysterious founder of the Finders. Before his death in 2004, it had been widely reported that Pettie was a retired Air Force master sergeant who spent years rubbing elbows with the top brass in the United States intelligence community. The true nature of Pettie’s connections to these intelligence agencies remains a central mystery to the case of The Finders cult.
After the Tallahasee arrests in 1987, the NY Times referred to Pettie as “a charismatic leader who urged his followers to study a doctrine that stressed self-exploration and futurism.” During the investigation, Priscilla Coates, president of the Bay Area chapter of the Cult Awareness Network told the Associated Press that the Finders were not a satanic cult, but rather, “just a weird situation where Pettie controlled others and made everything a game.″
Media reports from the 1980’s state that The Finders first evolved out of the human potential movement of the 1970’s – a movement based on the idea that an extraordinary potential lie within each person, waiting to be unleashed. Pettie – who was also known as The Student, The Stroller, The Pathfinder, or The Game Caller – claims that he had been hosting parties and gatherings of like-minded people since the 1930’s. In a 1996 interview with the Washington City Paper, and a 1998 interview with Steamshovel Press, Marion Pettie discussed his early years.
“I’ve been keeping open house to fools since the ’30s. I rented two apartments in Washington and had open house. Anyone that wanted to could come and stay with me—I’m still doing it.” – Marion Pettie
In fact, Pettie told both the Steamshovel Press and the Washington City Paper that since World War 1 he kept open house “mainly to intelligence and counterintelligence people in Washington”. Pettie claimed that his goal was to know everything and say nothing.
“I run a private intelligence game, and I send people out undercover to find out various things. I’ve been investigating the CIA before it was the CIA, when it was the OSS,” Pettie stated in reference to the predecessor of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services.
In 1998, Pettie told the Steamshovel Press that in the 1960’s investigators were monitoring him for four years. He claimed that the investigators accused him of being a drug dealer and then a front for the CIA. However, Pettie claimed that eventually the investigators left him alone. Pettie also stated that he tried all of his life to get behind the scenes in the CIA.
“I sent my wife in as a spy, to spy on the CIA for me. She was very happy about it, happy to tell me everything she found out. She was in a key place, you know with the records, and she could find out things for me. And my son worked for Air America which was a proprietary of the CIA. There are some connections, but not to me personally.”
It is true that Pettie’s wife worked for the CIA and that one of his sons worked for Air America, a CIA front accused of trafficking opium. Despite his long time interest in intelligence agencies and his family members’ involvement with intelligence agencies, Pettie swears he himself is not a member of the intelligence community.
However, further details of Pettie’s involvement with U.S. intelligence services were revealed in the late 1980’s.
Investigative Leads Memo
In 1994, journalist Daniel Brandt wrote an article titled “Marion Pettie and his Washington DC “Finders”: Kooks or Spooks?”, detailing a meeting with two members of the finders back in 1984. Brandt says at that time they were going by the name “the information bank”. Three years later Brandt was sent a three-page memo titled “Investigative Leads” of unknown origin, which outline Marion Pettie’s alleged intelligence links. Although the source of the memo remains anonymous, some of the data has been independently verified.
According to the memo, in 1939 Pettie met a chinese agent operating under journalistic cover and remained in close contact with him throughout World War 2. Pettie began his intelligence career by working with various OSS contacts. After the war Pettie’s chinese contact introduced him to Charles Marsh at the National Press Club. Marsh is a journalist connected to LBJ and FDR, and often suspected of ties to the CIA.
The memo alleges that in 1946, while Pettie was working as a chauffeur to General Ira Eaker, Marsh arranged for him to be trained in counterintelligence. Pettie received intelligence training at Georgetown University in 1956 and was sent to USAF intelligence training school in Frankfurt, Germany. Through Marsh, Pettie got his wife a job with the CIA from 1957 to early 1961.
The memo states that Pettie’s handler was Col. Leonard N. Weigner. Weigner advised Pettie to resign from the military and surround himself with “kooks” so that he could infiltrate the “beat,” human potential, and New Age movements.” Weigner encouraged Pettie to recruit people from youth hostels and universities. Pettie was also instructed to recruit a network of agents in Europe.
In the 1960’s Pettie apparently fulfilled this mandate by making connections with the “beat” movement. The memo also alleges that Pettie penetrated the ‘human potential’ movement by setting up Ken Kesey, the famous novelist and counter-cultural figure, as a prominent guru.
Finally, the memo claims that in 1979 Pettie recruited John J. Cox, a computer specialist and founder of General Scientific, a computer firm specializing in classified defense contracts. Cox trained several of Pettie’s Finders in computer programming and communications technologies. From the 1980’s on, The Finders claim they used Pettie’s international network and cutting edge computer technology to perform acts of freelance journalism for finder’s fees. They deny any allegations of child trafficking, satanism, or intelligence operations.
So what exactly were The Finders and what were they finding?
Researcher Wendell Minnick, author of Spies and Provocateurs: An Encyclopedia of Espionage and Covert Action, said he spent two years researching the Finders, but after running up $1,000 in phone bills and running into too many dead ends, he concluded his investigation without much new information.
“The Finders would love you to think they’re a CIA front, but I would say they’re really nothing. You’re going to hear a lot of bullshit on the Finders, because they lie. These are dysfunctional adults, but they’re all working their asses off. They’re constantly working on some project. If you have a cult, the best way to control people is to keep them busy, to keep their minds occupied—if you have people standing around doing nothing, then they start thinking.”
– Wendell Minnick
To learn more about Marion Pettie, The Finders, and their relationship with the intelligence community I sat down with long time spokesman for The Finders, Robert “Tobe” Terrell. Terrell wrote a book about his experiences with the Finders called “The Game Caller” featuring one of the few known pictures of Marion Pettie.
Robert Terrell: Tobe Terrell, T-O-B-E, T-E-R-R-E-L-L, That’s my real name, my legal name I was born with is Robert Gardner Terrell Jr.
I worked for the IRS for 9 years and then left and went on my own and made enough money that I was able to retire at age 35. And I found by that time that I had done everything my culture had programmed me to do. I was basically programmed to participate in the existing culture and make money. And get a wife and two kids and move to the suburbs and move into a big house and all of those kinds of things. But that didnt seem to satisfy some deeper urge.
Terrell talks of meeting Marion Pettie through a mutual friend and being invited to come visit the community that Pettie called “The New Ark”.
RT: One thing led to another and I went back to visit again. And realized that he was a spiritual teacher… based on the questions he asked me. So I asked him some questions as well. And then I was in transition. I had been married for twelve years, had a couple kids, was living in Chevy Chase, in a very nice house in a very nice suburb. It was a phase in my life where it was time to develop my spiritual nature. I’d been a house holder and that was a good phase. To make that a shorter story, I moved into the New Ark and never moved out.
Terrell embraced The Finders life and, after a divorce from his wife, he put his life savings into the “Invisible Bank”, a communal fund where everyone was allowed to contribute and take as they needed. Using these funds Terrell helped Pettie purchase the Finders properties in D.C. for the group’s daily activities.
He describes life in the Finders as a constant game where Pettie encouraged members to live one day at a time. The group was ran by Pettie and everyone submitted to his rules. Terrell said every day The Finders would ask Pettie to be the Game Caller and then the group would follow his instructions.
RT: He would say something like, “okay, take off with no money and don’t come back until you have $100”, no instruction other than that, and then you just leave and do whatever it took to get the $100. Not that we were trying to get the $100, it was trying to get the experience.
Terrell confirmed that Marion Pettie spent his military career working closely with generals and intelligence officials, and that Pettie worked as a chauffeur.
RT: He already knew the first chauffeur and that’s where he’d gotten the information about the new chauffeur’s job. And he said he just stood there and gazed into the eyes of Henry Arnold until Henry Arnold consented. And that’s how he spent WW2 as the chauffeur for all the leading generals of WW2. Which was a wonderful job because he knew what was going on behind the scenes. He was carrying the vice president or these various generals around town in the back seat of his Cadillac.
And during this time – he was a thrifty guy – he saved up his money and began buying up land in the Virginia Mountains, which was very cheap at the time. So he had accumulated 600 acres of land on a chauffeur’s salary, which is no easy feat. So when The Finders came together he contributed that 600 acres of land and I contributed the cash. They had some cash already, but that was my contribution.
While Terrell claims that Pettie bought the land by being thrifty and saving his chauffeur salary, the anonymous investigative leads memo claims that it was, in fact, Charles Marsh who supplied the funds so Pettie could purchase hundreds of acres of farmland in Madison and Rappahannock Counties in Virginia. This is where Pettie would start building his cult.
During the research for this film, I was sent an interview with Finders’ member Michael Houlihan aka Michael Howell, one of the men arrested in Tallahasee in 1987. In the interview, Howell emphatically states that the children were not abused, there were no blood rituals or satanic activity, and they were not intelligence agents.
Both Howell and Robert Terrell state that the Tallahassee incident was the result of the moral panic of the 1980’s and bad reporting by the media. Terrell says the trouble began when a disgruntled ex-girlfriend of one of the Finders went to the police and spread false rumors about the groups alleged involvement in satanic activity.
RT: She went to the DC police and told them that we were a satanic cult. So they opened an investigation. I don’t know what a satanic cult is, or if it’s against the law, but as evidence that we were a satanic cult, she took a police officer into the park – our apartments were right next to Glover Archbold Park, which is a 400 acre park in downtown D.C. – and if you walk out the backdoor of our apartment buildings you walk onto a trail in Glover Archbold Park and she took the police officer there and showed him that there was a circle of stones, where someone had had a camp fire. And this was the evidence that we were a satanic cult – that we, we had campfires – it was not us, I don’t know where that came from – but that was enough evidence for them to open an investigation.
This original investigation mentioned by Terrell preceded the 1987 arrests in Tallahassee. It was the arrest of the two Finders men which spurred on a further investigation by the DC Metro Police, the U.S. Customs Agency, the Virginia State Police, and the FBI.
RT: You have to have a little more background of what was happening in the culture at the time. There was a panic going on. Now, what’s going on now is that people are seeing a terrorist behind every bush. At that time, people were seeing child molesters behind every bush. There were many cases that got great publicity around the country. There was a whole industry that was built up around identifying child molesters – most of which amounted to nothing. There was a famous case out in Manhattan Beach in California that made national headlines for months and finally it all came down that it was all made up stuff that was put into the heads of these very young children.
We were pioneers in trying to raise free children. In order to do that you have to be kind of clandestine because if it looks like the children are not being raised in an orthodox fashion you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. And we certainly were not raising our children in an orthodox fashion. We never gave them an order. We gave them a level of freedom that children in this culture don’t have. We raised them in a non-threatening environment in the country where they would be close to nature. And on occasion they would come to the city, but most of the time was spent in the country.
The police were aware of us, they couldn’t figure out what we were doing. We’d bought this 10,000 square foot warehouse and we sometimes appear there in the middle night. It just didn’t fit any pattern.
They concluded that we were filming pornographic stuff, which couldn’t have been further from the truth, but that was what they concluded. One reason they concluded this was because we had some cameras and high tech equipment. The high tech equipment, this was way back before the internet, we were pioneers on the internet. It was called MCI mail, it was one of the first email systems.
Terrell dismisses the 1993 reports from U.S. News and World Report and the reports filed by U.S, Customs Agent Ramon Martinez.
RT: Well I’m aware that that’s what was published in U.S. News and World Report. Very poor investigators. They took the word of a guy who had been discredited and had been fired for other reasons, in the Customs. And that was absolutely crazy, and he had no evidence for it. It was just something he said. Ya know, if you are an investigator sent out to get information, you don’t just say it, you get evidence. Well, his evidence was that he had seen some communication, from Hong Kong, saying something about buying children or some absurd thing like that. And that was his interpretation of a kind of communication that he knew nothing about.
We had a couple guys – by that time we had evolved an organization that traveled around the world doing journalism – and we had two different people who worked for Hong Kong News doing freelance articles, usually high-tech articles. They happened to be in Hong Kong when the whole thing came down. We communicated back and forth, we developed a number of shortcut ways of communicating so I have no idea what he read that led him to conclude that there was some kind of kidnapping going on. But he did say that, so it was picked up by U.S. News and World Report, it just so happens that I was working for U.S. News and World Report at the time! Very poor investigating!
As we have shown, former Customs Agent Ramon Martinez has stated that he stands by his reports. Terrell not only dismisses the child trafficking claims but also initially dismisses the idea that Pettie maintained any contact to the U.S. intelligence agencies after he left the military.
RT: They offered him a chance to become an intelligence officer, he took it, and they trained him in Europe for some period of time. Then his time was up, his 20 years in the military was up. He resigned from the military and started his spiritual practice.
DB: As far as you know, did he maintain any of those intelligence contacts?
RT: He severed all ties with the intelligence community. He had been trained but he never was assigned. When his training was over he flew back to Washington and approached General Ira Eaker, who was then the secretary of the Air Force, and he told General Eaker that he had instructions to please give him his honorable discharge. He was highly regarded by Eaker, so Eaker asked him why? and Pettie told him, “I’m sorry, it’s so secret that I can’t even tell you”. And Eaker gave him the discharge and he severed all connections with the military. None of this… It’s absurd to think that we had any connection to anything governmental, we did not.
DB: But is it possible that the games and the information he was feeding the group were coming from somewhere else?
RT: No, it’s not possible. I shared the same toothbrush with this guy for 20 years. It’s not possible. Think about it… we were as opposite to the goals of the government and the intelligence community as you can be.
Interestingly, members of the Finders are still connected to the intelligence field. This includes Kristin k. Nauth, one of the mothers of the children involved in the 1987 Tallahassee incident. Nauth has used several variations of her names over the years, including Kristen Knauth and K. Nauth. She has also written for various publications which discuss issues important to the intelligence community, including Knowledge Magazine and Foresight Alliance. Her LinkedIn page describes her as ” a futurist and qualitative analyst who has been deeply engaged with foresight practice and theory for more than 15 years.”
Eventually, Robert Terrell concedes that Pettie was deeply connected to the intelligence community.
DB: Did you ever see any evidence of Pettie being tied to intelligence agencies? Perhaps you are right, perhaps this was part of the satanic/moral panic, but there does seem to be some indication that Pettie was involved with intelligence services. Do you know anything about those claims or did he ever share anything with you?
RT: Of course. He was in the Army Air Corp which became the U.S. Air Force. He was highly regarded by the brass and they asked him if he would like to become an intelligence officer. So why would he want to be an intelligence officer? There is a lot like intelligence service in being a meditator and practitioner of yoga. What is the goal of yoga and meditation? The goal is to discover in yourself a connection that is closer to the divinity than the human body. Getting in touch with that part of yourself, that deep part of yourself, is not unlike being an intelligence officer. An intelligence officer is living in a foreign culture. When you get deeply into meditation and yoga, what you are seeing around you is not what the average person sees. You know that you are not this human body, and that most people around you are confused, thinking that that’s what they are, this temporary body that we have been given.
And to pass that down to his followers, to think like an intelligence officer. And we did that. We thought of ourselves not as the CIA, but the DCIA, the Divine Central Intelligence Agency, and we were simply here on this planet, gathering information, that would be of use to mankind.
In the end, Terrell stands by his statements that the myths surrounding the Finders cult are simply rumors and conspiracy theories.
RT: There’s something called Occam’s Razor, are you familiar with that philosophical concept? Occam’s Razor says that the simple solution is usually the best solution. These elaborate myths that have come up online from conspiracy theorists are not simple solutions and they make no sense to a rational person. Particularly, when there is no evidence of this stuff. There’s no evidence of this conspiracy theory, and there is no motive for why we would be trying to help the very organization we are trying to supplant.
It doesn’t matter to me whether people believe that foolish or not. I am not trying to convince people to believe it or not believe it. If anything, I would simply say, smoke out these unconscious urges that were put there by getting you to play a role in the world rather than being yourself in the world. The training for The Finders was to smoke out the unconscious neuroses, or whatever word you want to give them, to stop playing a part that was assigned to you by your culture and just be yourself. That’s dangerous. It was dangerous then and it’s even more dangerous now.
Although Terrell denies any truth to the child trafficking and intelligence agency allegations, his statements in our interview confirm what was reported in the anonymous Investigative Leads memo.
As of 2019, no member of The Finders, or their children, have come forward to voice complaints or admit involvement in child trafficking or sexual abuse, satanic worship, or intelligence activities. Robert Terrell and Michael Howell have officially gone on record to deny any involvement.
However, neither Terrell or Howell can explain why doctors with the Tallahassee Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services initially described signs of sexual abuse on two of the children. Nor can they explain how Ramon Martinez could imagine such detailed evidence of an international trafficking ring, including the instructions on purchasing children and nude photos of the children.
Once again, in order to believe the accounts of The Finders you must believe that Ramon Martinez imagined or faked his whole report and that the doctors mistakenly identified signs of sexual abuse. Not to mention the various reports of a cover up by the Central Intelligence Agency.
So then, we must ask, who are The Finders? and what exactly were they doing?
Were they truly just an eccentric group of utopian futurists being led by a charismatic former military chauffeur? Was The Finders a CIA front involved in international trafficking of children and potential blood rituals? If they were a CIA group “gone rogue”, at what point did they go rogue and what did they do without the approval of the intelligence community? Or, as some have suggested, was this all one big game, one last prank from beyond the grave courtesy of Marion D. Pettie?
These questions still remain unanswered.
Marion Pettie himself was probably operating under a NOC, a non-official cover where agents operate covertly without official ties to the intelligence community or government. If a NOC is caught violating the law they are on their own and will not be rescued by their employer. Due to the constant moving around and the group constantly participating in games, it’s possible that some members of The Finders were ignorant to the intelligence activities of the group. However, it is clear that some members of The Finders formed Marion Pettie’s inner circle and spent their time traveling internationally, likely using journalism as a cover for intelligence activities. If these activities did involve child trafficking the evidence is long gone, having been hidden from the public since 1987.
Our goal in making this film was to expose more people to the reality of corruption and cover ups involving law enforcement and government agencies. We hope sharing this information can help shake loose the remaining truths about the actions of Marion Pettie and The Finders.