John D. Marks

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John D. Marks is the founder and President of Search for Common Ground, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that focuses on international conflict management programming.[1] He is also a former Foreign Service Officer of the United States Department of State who co-authored the 1974 controversial non-fiction book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence with Victor Marchetti.

Career[edit]

Marks worked for five years with the State Department, first in Vietnam and then as an analyst and staff assistant to the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. After leaving the State Department, he became Executive Assistant for foreign policy to US Senator Clifford Case (R-NJ), responsible within the Senator's office for passage of the Case-Church amendment, which eventually cut off funding for the Vietnam War.[2] He also worked with Marchetti on a book about the need to reform the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence was completed in 1973. CIA officials read the manuscript and told Marchetti and Marks that they had to remove 339 passages, nearly a fifth of the book. After long negotiations the CIA yielded on 171 items. That left 168 censored passages. The publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, decided to go ahead and publish the book with blanks for those passages, and with the sections that the CIA had originally cut then restored printed in boldface.

The publication of Marchetti's and Marks' censored book, which became a bestseller, raised concerns about the way the CIA was censoring information. It contributed to investigative reports by Seymour Hersh in The New York Times and the decision by Frank Church to establish the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities in 1975. The report, Foreign and Military Intelligence, was published in 1976.

A graduate of Cornell University, Marks later became a fellow of Harvard's Institute of Politics and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. In 1982, Mr. Marks founded the Nuclear Network in Washington, DC, which soon was renamed Search for Common Ground.[3]

Since 1982, Marks has been President of Search for Common Ground, a non-profit conflict resolution organization, now with offices in 25 countries.[4] He also founded and heads Common Ground Productions.[5] He wrote and produced The Shape of the Future,[6] a four-part, TV documentary series that was simulcast on Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab satellite TV, and he is executive producer of The Team [7] TV and radio series in 17 countries and numerous other TV and radio programs.[8]

The Search for the Manchurian Candidate[edit]

Marks' award-winning 1979 book, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate describes a wide range of CIA activities during the Cold War, including unethical drug experiments in the context of a mind-control and chemical interrogation research program.[9] The book is based on 15,000 pages of CIA documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and many interviews, including those with retired members of the psychological division of the CIA, and the book describes some of the work of psychologists in this effort with a whole chapter on the Personality Assessment System.

Honors and accolades[edit]

John Marks is the recipient of numerous awards. These include:

  • Honorary Doctorate from the UN University of Peace (2010- with his wife, Susan Collin Marks)
  • The Marvin E. Johnson Diversity and Equity Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (2010-with Susan Collin Marks) [10][11]
  • Senior Ashoka Fellow (2009)
  • Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Skoll Foundation (2006-with Susan Collin Marks)
  • The Temple Awards for Creative Altruism from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (2005-with Susan Collin Marks) [12]
  • Cultures of Peace Award from Psychologists for Social Responsibility (2002)[13]
  • Wild School Award from Upland Hills School (2001-with Susan Collin Marks)[14]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence with Victor Marchetti ( Knopf:1974;Dell Paperback Edition: 1975)
  • The CIA File, edited with Robert Borosage (Grossman Viking:1976)
  • The Search for the Manchurian Candidate (Times Books:1979, Norton Paperback:1991)
  • Common Ground on Terrorism, edited with Igor Beliaev (Norton:1991)

References[edit]