John F. Kennedy’s speech on secret societies and freedom of the press transcribed into text

The following is John F. Kennedy’s address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961, given exactly 939 days before he was killed on Nov. 22, 1963.

I first heard it years ago and posted the audio / sideshow of it on my other website for some time
now, but it was just the other day I felt inspired to transcribe it into text. I found only a part of this speech transcribed on http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy#Address_to_ANPA_.281961.29. However, it also contains other parts of the speech not included in the audio-slideshow below from where I took it from.

I took the liberty to highlight any text in bold that I thought was significant to put emphasis on.

Ladies and gentlemen. The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are are cited to justify it.

Even today, there is little value in opposing the thread of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in assuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it’s in my control. And no official of my administration whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press or the public the facts they deserve to know.

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. It’s mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding, and from that understanding comes support or opposition, and both are necessary. I’m not asking your newspapers to support an administration. But I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed. I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers, I welcome it. This administration intends to be candid about its errors. For as a wise man once said, an error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors. And we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker, Solon, decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. That is why our press was protected by the First Amendment, the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution, not primarily to amuse and to entertain, not to emphasis the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crisis and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion. This means greater coverage and analysis of international news, for it is no longer far away and foreign, but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improve the understanding of the news as well as improve transmission. And it means finally that government at all levels must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security.

And so it is to the printing press, to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news, that we look for strength and assistance. Confident that with your help, man will be what he was born to be, free and independent.

  

Comments

John F. Kennedy’s speech on secret societies and freedom of the press transcribed into text — 16 Comments

  1. Mr. James – you are not no one. Ive read 2 of your articles so far . Jfk was my favorite president. He was amazing. Many landmarks and pyramids were built to honor the good and not evil like the chicolate hills of Bohol i have seen picture evidence when they dug and recovered one of the pyramids underneath, they are pyramids. Stonehenge was created as a marimba type musical instrument for spiritual healing, it balanced the pattern of vibrations in the brain. There are many other artifacts and beings covered by water and land but the flower of life is on most, and it is NOT illuminati. God the Creator sent it to us so we can reach the highest vibrations in our physical form by unveiling different images from it and connect with him/her, whatever you believe, if youre interested. Thank you. Your info helped

    • As a Christian I hold the Bible to be the Word of God and the Truth for my life. Pyramids and Stonehedge may have some power as you say, but according to the Bible and compared to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, that power is very weak.

      Galatians 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements (earth, water, fire, air), whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

      Colossians 2:6  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
      7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
      8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
      9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
      10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

  2. These are our Jerry Springer moments, where everything really relevant lies beyond the sight of our eyes and we revel in the excitement and frenzy of conspiracies everywhere. Do we need to spend so much of our precious and limited time on what are (at best) speculative subjects and commentary?
    If you are really interested in doing something genuine to change the world for the better, and to prepare for the very best millennium the world has ever know, which we born in this or prior generations will never experience, think about autonomous, self-governing organic home fellowships. Just think about even the term, “autonomous, self-governing” and how that will be received by the world.
    Come on! Let’s get away from the negative and embrace the positive, because that’s where God is leading His children!

    • I do not consider the words of a speech of a U.S. President while still in office, “speculative subjects and commentary”. No matter if true or false, they have weight of influence because of the man’s position. If what JFK said in his speech is true and secret societies are indeed the true policy makers of the U.S. Government, I would think that it’s those who are supporting a certain political party the ones who are wasting their precious and limited time. I know many of such people, even some close friends who should know better! This article was geared to them, not to those who know the conspiracy.

  3. I agree that the 1% own all the wealth and people with power will do anything to keep that power but – if you listen to or read the entire speech, it has nothing to do with conspiracy theories. The speech is about publication of material that could be detrimental to national security because of the ongoing COLD WAR. There is no conspiracy, just very very greedy assholes (not referred to in this speech)

    • There is a conspiracy and JFK knew about it as well as Ron Paul knows about it.. Look up New World Order, understand the vast and increminating history and understand that the world is so much worse put together than you think..

    • You gather verifiable facts that expose the evildoers and present them to the person you are trying to enlighten. And you encourage the person to do their own research. Anybody who sincerely researches the subject is bound to find the truth.

  4. “covet” to “covert”
    Add “For” to begin the sentence “From that scrutiny ”
    And its Athenian Lawmaker Solon

    I only recently heard this speech and looked around everywhere to find a full transcript of it. Crazy how this is the only place I could find it on the whole web. Almost makes me think that there is a conspiracy to censor, conseal, stifle and subvert this speach…

    • Thank you for your corrections, and especially the one about the Athenian lawmaker, Solon! I didn’t know about him.

      Maybe the reason there is only one transcript of this speech on the Web is because I’m the only one who took the time to transcribe the entire speech it and post it. I’m nobody but I do like to share information that I think would be helpful to others. Hope this encourages others to share any beneficial information they have.

  5. or to without from the press
    or to withold from the press

    to lead, mold, education and sometimes
    to lead, mold, educate and sometimes

    some ‘or’ became ‘and’ and vice versa.

    great speech! thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *