Washington’s Watergate Weirdness

As I mentioned in my blog about my experiences at the Smithsonian Institute, I spent a couple of summers hanging around DC as a teenager in the late 60’s while my folks negotiated contracts to make documentaries for the Feds.

Since we were from Texas, we had to enlist the aid of our state representative Barbara Jordan. Turns out she had an auxiliary office in a place that would make her famous in just a few years-

The Watergate.

So, one day I was kicking my heels in the lobby of the Watergate waiting for a meeting to wrap up when I noticed a crew with a bunch of film equipment going down the hall.

Since we were in the biz too, I couldn’t help but be curious — so I followed along to see what was up.

Watergate Hotel Entrance Stock Photos & Watergate Hotel Entrance Stock Images - Alamy

I was told they were shooting some second unit stuff for the TV show “It Takes a Thief” starring Robert Wagner and Fred Astaire. The series, which only ran from 1968-1970, was about a cat burglar who gets busted and agrees to steal for the government.

So in the story, the Feds provide him with a swanky bachelor pad at the Watergate and send him on secret missions to places like Davos where he gets drugged with hallucinogens.

Really.

Robert Wagner It Takes A Thief 1970s tv by AnemoneReadsVintage

Needless to say, the irony didn’t escape me a few years later as I watched the Watergate scandal unfold.

You mean to tell me they had filmed a TV show about a busted thief working for the government in the same place thieves got busted working for the government?

DNC arrest report

Hmmmm…

Well, after being exposed to the evidence the Dark Journalist has uncovered about Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon’s role in the decades-old highly classified X-technology, I decided to investigate the iconic Watergate office/hotel/apartment/shopping complex and see if I could find any high weirdness.

I don’t even know where to start.

watergate pan freeze

Okay, why not with the creepy architect Luigi Moretti, a prestigious Italian son-of-an-architect who worked for the Società Generale Immobiliare (SGI).

His firm purchased 10 acres along the Potomac river in the Foggy Bottom district for $3.75 million from the Washington Gas Light Company.

Yep, a utility with the same name as the techniques used in the movie Gaslight — the subtle psychological manipulation designed to make the subject think they are insane.

The bond even shows the “original” design for the Washington Monument which was apparently scrapped (or reconfigured) to its present obelisk form.

I kid you not.

But no worries, the WGLC landed an exclusive contract to supply all the power for the proposed Watergate complex! What a deal!

Anyway, guess who owned the controlling shares of Società Generale Immobiliare?

The Vatican.

Now certain factions of the country were already freaking out about having a young Catholic president, now the Pope’s crew were going to control a huge chunk of prime Washington real estate?

On top of that, Luigi — who was once known as the Frank Lloyd Wright of Italy — had begun leaning towards the Brutalist school of architecture that was in stark contrast to the “classical” buildings that epitomized the nation’s capital.

Luigi’s proposed design also ignored the building code limit of 90 feet that has kept Washington as the only city without skyscrapers. Known for his fiery temperament, he hassled city officials to give him an exemption (which they had done for a few buildings) and even got his buddies at the Vatican to use their influence.

That prompted a letter writing campaign from the Protestants and Other Americans for Separation of Church and State. By the winter of 1962, Congress had received more than 2,000 letters of protest about the Watergate proposal with the White House receiving 1,500 as well.

Their concerns, though ignored on an official level, were noted and Kennedy’s office looked into the matter.

There is currently a surge in anti

Although they had no official leverage in the situation, the Kennedy Administration strongly implied that they, too, were concerned about the proposed height of the building.

Well, that pissed off all the right people, but in the end the building height was reduced from 16 to 13 stories (still not kidding) and after re-configuring the design with an extra building to complete their “city within a city” concept, the approval process continued.

It was not, however, the end of the controversy.

Washington Post critic Wolf Von Eckardt stated that the Watergate was as tasteless as “a strip dancer performing at your grandmother’s funeral” and they dubbed it “the glittering Potomac Titanic.”

The zoning commission was also insisting that his design had to be compatible with the proposed National Cultural Center that was to be built next door. To be fair, the Center initially had curvy space-ship-ish motif, which Luigi obviously mimicked.

But when they opened the National Airport across the river in 1963, the designers realized they would have acoustic issues so they had to come up with a “box within a box” design instead. Then they changed the name to the Kennedy Center.

Go figure.

Luigi was unruffled by the design change and declared that the rectangular shape of  Edward Durell Stone’s Kennedy Center provided a “welcome contrast” to the “delicately flowing” design of the Watergate.

Whatever.

So, construction finally began in August of 1963 and the first rentals were available by October 25, 1965.

Each building premiered with swanky Gala Events for DC’s elite.

The tenants came in stages too and it wasn’t completely finished until 1971. Despite the criticisms, it was an immediate success and the Washington Post concluded that the Watergate “was ahead of its time, filled with boldface names—and ultimately doomed.”

It quickly became THE place to be for the Nixon GOP crowd.

Which makes it beyond ironic that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) decided to set up shop in a Watergate Penthouse Suite!

In fact, the story gets downright dogdy when you hear the lengths the realtors went through to make the DNC an offer they couldn’t refuse . . .

Cecchi sent over a proposal. He offered the DNC the entire sixth floor of the Watergate Office Building, with the potential to expand into another floor during presidential campaigns, plus another suite on the ground floor for the new DNC computers. Next door, in the Watergate Hotel, Cecchi included a three-bedroom hospitality suite upstairs, overlooking the Potomac, for only $300 a month. (Separately, he leased a dining room, kitchen and office on the B-2 level for the National Democratic Club.)

“We’ll never raise the rent,” Cecchi promised.

Bailey took the deal.

As the DNC made themselves at home in their new penthouse, the Watergate apartments were stormed by a 1,000 angry demonstrators because Attorney General John Mitchell — who was also the director of the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) — was a resident.

The uprising ensued from Mitchell’s part in the sentencing of The Chicago 7 (or 8?) for crossing state lines to instigate a riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Arrests at Watergate march: 1970 | Washington, D.C. Civil Di… | Flickr

The story goes that the residents of the Watergate were quick to bolster the police force guarding their citadel with drinks and sandwiches while they toasted them with champagne as they watched the protesters being arrested from their balconies.

Of course, within 7 years Mitchell was in jail as a result of his collusion in the whole Watergate affair…wonder if the folks arrested in the protest were toasting his incarceration?

Anyway, by 1972 the place was jumping but it’s future was not bright.

Despite the great deal the DNC were getting, they were way behind on the rent and under normal circumstances they would have been evicted. But instead the strangely compassionate landlords agreed they could pay up their arrears after the election debts were settled.

Then the break-in happened and it was a whole new ballgame.

Meanwhile, back at the Vatican, the Italian Parliament had come up with a loophole that would allow them to collect taxes from Church properties. This sent shock waves through the Vatican who strongly feared it might encourage other countries to do the same.

The guy they called to the rescue was Michele Sindona, a lawyer specializing in tax issues. He suggested that it was time to play hardball and dump — I mean sell — their shares of the companies that were the most at risk, especially SGI.

The Vatican agreed and Sindona found a buyer — himself.  So that made him the proud owner of the Watergate just as the shit hit the fan.

As if caught up in the same curse as Nixon and Elvis, in 1972 Sindona’s luck changed when he invested unwisely in the Franklin Bank and was bankrupt by 1974. It did not end well for Michele.

Naturally, he had to liquidate his shares of SGI, which wound up under the control of the Opus Dei by 1990. It just gets weirder from there, trust me.

Needless to say, the complex has changed hands many times through the years, with individual buildings being sold off to maintain their operations. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but many want to bulldoze it to the ground.

The current owners of the Watergate Hotel are not afraid to play up to association to the scandal. For instance, the hotel’s key cards all say “no need to break in” and the stationary in the room has the heading “stolen from the Watergate.”

Watergate Hotel, Washington DC - Ron Arad (photo courtesy Ron Arad associates)

Must admit one of my favorite silly movies of all time is “Dick” where one of the main characters (a teenage girl) lives in the Watergate apartments.

Dick - Rotten Tomatoes

These giggling girl pals inadvertently expose the break-in, stop the Vietnam war and bring down the Nixon administration — with the help of cannabis cookies!

Last but not least, there is the actual name WATER + GATE.

For one thing, the name has taken a firm root in our vernacular with the suffix GATE getting automatically tacked onto scandals, often in an effort to make them seem like frivolous accusations.

eViL pOp TaRt: Close the -Gate, Already!

Then there is my developing theory about the ancient portal network utilizing natural features like caves and appropriately shaped structures (like fountains and the old octagonal bandstands) to travel between continents. These locations typically maintain their historical names which reference an established portal point.

So as I suspected, this area has always been home to a building using the name Water Gate. Worth noting that other investigations have turned up evidence of Mayan Water Doors.

I mean it’s not a big stretch, just look at the easily accessible fountain system they put in front of the complex~

Further speculations on portal travel suspects:

Stargates and Portals in Train Stations

Grand Central Portal

Seeing the Occult in Public Art

~ by weewarrior on May 2, 2019.

3 Responses to “Washington’s Watergate Weirdness”

  1. I just found your site and research. This is a wonderful piece on the Watergate. Of course Peter Dale Scott, a guest on Dark Journalist, and others have exposed the Vatican as a long time collaborator in the narcotics trade laundering racket and the roots of evil at the Vatican run literally and metaphorically much, much deeper and longer in depth and time. I’ve always wondered if Chicago architect and civic leader Daniel Burnham was a Mason given his role in planning Washington, DC.

    • Thanks for your comment, glad you liked the Watergate piece, it was an eye opener for me. I was surprised to find the Vatican link, but then again not really surprised they had their dirty little hands in this nefarious building. Going to have the check out the Peter Dale Scott interviews, sounds interesting. I’ve encountered Daniel Burnham as part of the gang who erected the “White City” exposition which is riddled with suspicious power players but I’m going to have to research his connection to DC, thanks for the lead!

  2. Italian Freemasonry

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