Sunday, May 16, 2010



It is highly curious that sisters companies Permindex and Centro Mondiale Commerciale, with such ambitious names, didn’t make their marks in the business world. In reality, if it wasn’t for the fact that they became famous for their alleged association to the JFK assassination, those two companies wouldn’t have left any trace in history. When we consider that Permindex stands for Permanent Industrial Exhibition, we can only find suspect that, far from achieving permanency, this company was of the “Fly by Night” type, and that, instead of exhibiting anything, it was shrouded in a veil of secrecy.

Before the partial opening of the Louis Bloomfield Archives at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the information about Permindex and CMC were very few. In his article, PERMINDEX: The International Trade in Disinformation, published in 1983 in Lobster magazine  author Stephen Dorril synthesized the rare information then available about Permindex (see for the complete text) :
“The origins of Permindex appear to lie in New Orleans in 1948 - probably with Clay Shaw's International Trade Mart. In 1956 Permindex - apparently representing a "group of American business interests" - decided to move into Europe and set up in Basle, Switzerland. Two companies were set up under the auspices of the Permindex mother company: Building Finance (AG) and Parkhof (AG). (AG just indicates that this is a private company.) These two companies were supposed to buy land and develop it with skyscrapers, parks etc - the press accounts at the time were full of grandiose plans. The President of Permindex was Ferenc Nagy. But it appears that he was not the controller of the companies - more a nominal head, a front man who would appear attractive to Government officials and politicians. The only director who appears to have been identified was George Mantello, a Rumanian in Swiss business and media circles.”
“Permindex's plans in Basle appear to have generated considerable commercial suspicion. None of its plans came to fruition and the Basle press, which had earlier devoted columns and columns to its plans, became critical. In 1961 the Basle Workers' Paper (…) accused Nagy and Permindex of being "a bunch of swindlers". (…) Nagy sued for libel, won the case, but was awarded very small damages (...) Shortly after the trial Parkhof (AG) went bankrupt and, as one of the papers put it, it became clear that what Nagy and Permindex had been up to was a basic con.”

The new information available from the Louis Bloomfield Archives at LAC confirms this impression. As we have seen earlier, in 1960 Permindex was primarily engaged in a real estate speculative deal consisting of reselling Roman lands acquired at a “dirt cheap price” by 33rd degree Freemason George Mantello through his contact with the Royal Savoy family. Many of the documents in the Bloomfield Archives also corroborate that Mantello was the directing force behind Permindex, since Louis Bloomfield, in his letters and cables, seems to negotiate with him and to seek instructions from him relatively to Permindex’s business.
But, more then just confirming what was previously known, the Permindex documents in the Bloomfield Archives expose the full magnitude of this discreet company.
For instance, the few documents reproduced below show that :
1- Permindex and Mantello’s businesses extended to South America where a Venezuelan corporation with impressive capitalization was mounted by Bloomfield according to Mantello’s directives;
2- One of Bloomfield’s associates in the prestigious law firm Phillips, Bloomfield, Vineberg & Goodman, was implicated in the Permindex dealing and had enough importance as to authorize who will take part in the deal ;
3- Edmund de Rothschild through his Parisian Compagnie Financière was a participant in one of the earliest Permindex real estate deal.

The following 1959 letters and cables, presented in chronological order, illustrated the unknown extent of the Permindex activities.

In a very short cable addressed to Georges Mantello and dated February 20, 1959, Louis Bloomfield give a first hint that Permindex business extend to Venezuela, something that we will see in more detail with other documents.
In April 1rst 1959, Louis Bloomfield sent three communications that reveal both Stanley Vineberg and Edmund Rothschild’s links to Permindex. In a first cable, he urged Georges Mantello to have his son Enrico provide legal and fiscal documentation to someone called “Pereire”, in order for him to be able to inspect a property. Other documents in the Bloomfield Archives give the full identity of this “Pereire” as being François Pereire from the Compagnie Financière, a private Paris bank in which Edmund de Rothschild is the principal shareholder. In the same message, Bloomfield informed Mantello that Vineberg is expecting him in Montreal with “satisfactory documentation”. This statement clearly indicates that attorney Stanley Vineberg, of the Phillips, Bloomfield, Vineberg & Goodman law firm was exercising an authority greater then Bloomfield’s.
A second cable, sent the same day, confirms the above information. First, it is sent to a Pereire at COMPAFINAN, the cable code name for the Compagnie Financière. And it is informing Pereire that “Vineberg agreeable your tenpercent participation”, a phrase that both confirm that Rothschild’s Compagnie Financière had a 10 % interest in this Permindex real estate deal, but also that Stanley Vineberg had enough power in Permindex to have his word on the Rothschild’s participation in this deal.
Another document, dated April 1rst 1959, give us an indication that Louis Bloomfield was in personal contact with Edmund Rothschild and was discussing directly with him about the Permindex real estate affairs. In this letter sent to Abraham Friedman of the Israel Continental Oil Company in Israel, Bloomfield is referring to a previous cable in which he informed Pereire of his project to go to Paris and asked if he could meet Edmund (Rothschild) and discuss Capacotta. The name of a sea front region near Rome, Capacotta was the location of one of the Permindex real estate speculative deal.

Alone, those four documents from the Bloomfield Archives held by Library and Archives Canada, give us unprecedented historical information about Permindex, the very discreet company that, rightly or not, was seen as being related to the JFK assassination. If four one-page documents can bring us so much new information, we have to wonder how much more is contained in the hundreds of other Permindex papers that LAC is still keeping secret against its donator's will? Perhaps, we should also wonder why Library and Archives Canada is behaving in such way?

(To be continued) 

Monday, May 03, 2010



As explained in the previous posts, the Louis Mortimer Bloomfield Archives kept at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a unique and rich collection of documents offering a unique perspective on many historical events of the twentieth century.

One of the most original aspects of the Bloomfield Archives is that they contain numerous exclusive documents about two Italian sisters corporations named Permindex and Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC) that were suspected to be used as front by intelligence agencies. Since one of CMC’s directors was Clay Shaw, the New Orleans businessman accused of conspiracy against President John F. Kennedy, rumours about the possible implication of Permindex in the JFK assassination have multiplied in newspapers, books and, now, on the internet.

Louis Mortimer Bloomfield, who donated its papers in 1978 to the Canadian Public Archives, under the condition that they were to be released 20 years after his death (i.e.: in 2004, since he died in 1984), was a Montreal lawyer involved in Permindex’s finance and development. By consequence, his archives contain hundreds of pieces such as cables and letters documenting the activities of this organization. The six cables below, dating from April 1959, are a sample of what can be found in the Boomfield Archives.

All the documents related to CMC and Permindex constitute a unique collection that should be designated as the “Permindex Papers”. Since Library and Archives Canada took the deliberate decision to negate its donator’s stipulation and is still holding secret about 30% of Mr Bloomfield Archives, only a minorities of the Permindex Papers are now available to the public, namely those dating from 1960 and before and having more than 50 years of age. Thus, the documents from years 1961 and higher are still held secret by LAC, and, particularly those of years 1962 and 1963, respectively the years when Clay Shaw joined CMC and the year of JFK assassination.

To fully appreciate the value of LAC’s Bloomfield Archives, we have to consider not only the number of documents that it contains pertaining to Permindex and CMC, but also that information on those two Italians companies has always been an extremely rare commodity.
To this day, the most objective and impartial study of Permindex to have been published was written in 1983 by author Stephen Dorril in Lobster, a British underground magazine of politics, parapolitics and history, (see the links below for more details). Under the title PERMINDEX: The International Trade in Disinformation author Dorril, after researching the origin of the Permindex story, came to the fundamental question:

“But what do we really know about the history of Permindex? Very little it seems. What I have pieced together comes primarily from a selection of newspaper clippings from Switzerland in the late 1950s and early 1960s. How accurate these are I can't say: the press cuttings are vague, internally inconsistent - Permindex was as much a mystery in the 1950s as it is today”.

This statement was made in 1983 and was still valid up to July 2009, the date when LAC finally opened part of the Bloomfield Archives and made available a few dozens document related to Permindex. Then in January 2010, files dating from 1960 and having reached fifty years of age were unlocked by LAC and more than an hundred additional letters and cables about Permindex were made available to the public.
LAC’s opening of the Bloomfield Archives means that, for the first time since the 1960’s, the Permindex mystery may be resolved through the availability of accurate documentation. Normally, any historical institution such as Library and Archives Canada should be proud to give access to information that is unavailable anywhere else, even more when this information related to one of the most important historical event of the twentieth century; the JFK assassination. After all, what is the purpose of an institution as LAC?

It is a pity and a shame to see LAC denying both its donator’s will and its mission. Such a behaviour make one wonders if LAC is acting this way just because some of the peoples in charge are not competent enough to evaluate the extraordinary value of the Bloomfield Archives, or, to the contrary, because someone at Library and Archives Canada found the information in those papers too important to be made public.

Only LAC, by its action or inaction, can give an answer to this interrogation.

(You can read more about Permindex at : and )