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 )


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