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) 


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