Breaking the John Grisham Code

How the Pro-Democracy Forces can turn theTide of the Domestic Netwar in America


             The basic code used in The Chamber by John Grisham is similar to the one used in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.  It's a novel combination of a method used in covert intelligence called: substitution/combination.

         Every discipline has its own terminology.  Cryptology is no different.  Its terms are very simple.  Plaintext is the message that needs to be secret.  It can be hidden only in two ways:  The first is steganography which conceals the very existence of the message like invisible inks. The second is cryptography which doesn't conceal the secret message but renders it unintelligible by various changes in the plaintext.  In cryptography, there are two basic transformations: transposition and substitution.  In transposition, there is a "jumbling" of letters of the plaintext.  Their normal order is rearranged.  Whereas in substitution the letters of the plaintext are replaced by a word, number  or symbol.  "The final secret message, wrapped up and sent, is the cryptogram.  To decipher or decode is for the persons legitimately possessing the key and system to reverse the transformations and bare the original message.  It contrasts with cryptanalyze in which persons who do not possess the key or system-a third party, the "enemy"-break down or solve the cryptogram."  David Kahn, The Code-Breakers, (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967), xiii.

            I had been receiving information over the years from investigative reporters at The Dallas Times Herald.   The most important information that I had ever received was  in a cartoon using Agatha Christie's code.  Grisham's associates had obtained access to  my confidential files.  They knew from them that I would understand the code since I knew the key from Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.  Grisham and I have never met.  The idea and much of the structure of The Chamber could not have come from the mind of John Grisham.

             Most of the important characters in The Chamber  are coded in a way that I would  know      the message and that the accompanyingthreat was meant for me, especially the idea that I could lose both of my legs by an explosion.

              In 1968, Allen Clark, my intern at Schneider, Bernet & Hickman, a regional investment firm located in Dallas, had come back from Viet Nam crippled by the loss of both of his legs from an exploding land mine.  Allen has always been my model for courage, especially when I needed to reinforce my need for "civic courage," a term coined by Deitrich Bonhoeffer, the martyred German pastor executed by the Nazis as a traitor just prior to the end of W.W. II.  It was well known in Dallas who and where I looked for inspiration in my political activities.

                  I was introduced to John Grisham and The Chamber by a family member who knew enough about my past political activities in Dallas to recognize that I was the "target" in the book.  That was very fortunate since I had never read anything by John Grisham and very few people in  Jacksonville, where I had returned in the Fall of 1991,  were aware of my political activities in Dallas.

             The following comparisons between the real characters and the fictional/coded characters in the book (plus page number) should be a first step in understanding  the events that precipitated the publishing of The  Chamber which was the 7th best seller in the world for the decade of  the 90's.

Real Life Characters:                                                      Fictional/Coded Characters:

Marvin G. Kramer, attorney                                                   Marvin B. Kramer, attorney (page 1)

Adam M-------, L.E.'s son                                                        Adam Hall, Lee's nephew (page 24)

L. E. M-------, Marvin's girlfriend                                         Lee Booth (page 53)

Ambassador Robert Strauss, was accused in                     Rollie Wedge (page 9) & of driving a wedge              Roland Forchin (page 184)

between Jews and African-Americans in order

to protect his son from being investigated

by federal authorities into the fortune he made

during the time of the Savings and Loan scandals.

Dr. James Grigson, know nationally as Dr. Death,           Dr. Death (page 203)

was the psychiatrist  who testified for the state in

the landmark case of Pesch vs. The State of Texas

which was the first case tried under the new Texas

law on the insanity defense.  Marvin Kramer was

the lead defense counsel in that case.

Lester B. was Marvin Kramer's fraternity                           Lester Crosby  (page 379)

brother who was an attorney.  J. Crosby was Marvin

Kramer's business  partner.  Both lived in Dallas.


Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman murdered                    E. Garner  Goodman, pro bono attorney

civil rights workers.                                                                     (page 24)   

Marvin Kramer  defended  William Paul Pesch                  Benjamin Keyes (page 139)                  

who killed both his mother and father by

jamming a knife into their eyes.

Allen Clark, Marvin Kramer's intern at the                        Appendix #1

investment firm of Schneider, Bernet and Hickman,

lost both his legs to a land mine in Viet Nam.  See

Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior  by Allen Clark

and Ross Perot.

Real Life Law Office Location:                                             Coded Law Office Location:                                                                                                   

Marvin G. Kramer & Associates                                           Marvin B. Kramer & Associates

(Outdoor signage)                                                                      (Outdoor signage page 2)

Marvin Kramer's Law Practice in Quinlan, three              Location in the book: Greenville,           

miles from the County Courthouse in Greenville,            Mississippi (page 1)


Real Miscellaneous:                                                                 Coded Miscellaneous                                      

Accommodation by Jim Schutze                                            Southern Negroes and the Great  

published by a little know publisher in                                 Depression  published by a little

Pennsylvania.  Marvin was a hidden sourcefor                  known publisher in Pennsylvania found

for the book.  L. E. found it in a drawer.                             in a drawer. (page 554)

Code within a Code

         The coded words reflect more than an identification of me as the target.  Many of the coded words are hiding significant events that relate to the legal battle for one man, one vote  which lasted until 1991 in Dallas.  Although those events had ended before the publication of The Chamber  they are still important now for the reason that they help to fully understand the relevance of the information contained in two of my essays:  the first entitled A.L.A.R.M. Report self-published (1991) in Dallas and the second Democracide: The Far Rights Path to Power  self-published (1993) in Jacksonville, Florida U.S.A

          Theessay entitled A.L.A.R.M. Report  contains matters referred  to in The Chamber.  Its 37  pages including 13 exhibits wherein I accuse Robert Strauss, one of the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party, of using his sister-in-law Annette Strauss, the Mayor of Dallas, to undermine Federal District Judge Jerry Buckmeyer's decision in upholding the principle of one man, one vote in the Dallas City Council election.  This case had national implications especially for minorities.  Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) stated nationally that that the future voting rights of African-Americans would stand or fall with the Dallas decision. 

          The following are important segments contained in the A.L.A.R.M. Report:

          "The political treachery presently being carried out in Dallas today, is almost a carbon copy of Lyndon Johnson's shenanigans during the Democratic Party Convention in 1964.  The following is an excerpt from We Are Not Afraid, the story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi which has just been released:

          'But Johnson's most cunning maneuver was to co-opt Hubert Humphrey-- one of the nation's most respected mainstream liberal politicians--by holding his nomination for Vice President hostage to the satisfactory resolution of the Mississippi controversy.  With this one move the President effectively robbed the Freedom Democrats of their major support within the Democratic Party--the liberals who backed Humphrey and trusted him to pursue a morally and politically correct course on any civil rights issue.'"

         "During that convention and for years afterward, Robert Strauss was a Johnson confidant.  When the President wanted something taken care of in Dallas, Bob Strauss was the man he called.  I submit for the past four years, the voting controversy over 10-4-1 has been influenced by an almost exact replica of twenty-five years ago.  My investigation reveals the following:  Someone high up in the (Bush) Justice Department has maneuvered to co-opt Robert Strauss, whose sister-in-law is the Mayor of Dallas and was elected by support of the minority community, by holding his son's possible prosecution by the Justice Department (for his involvement in the Savings and Loan Scandal) hostage to the satisfactory resolution of the Dallas controversy (legal battle over one-man, one-vote).  The only additional factor in this scenario was the need for the creation of the Jewish Community as a scapegoat to shield the Anglo community from the Minority backlash."

          "The useof the Jewish Community as a shield against the Minority Community backlash is well in place.  Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman spent a whole sermon  three months ago discussing (the rise of) anti-Semitism in the Minority Community and especially in City HallHe's the Mayor's own rabbi."

          The "backlash" was intensified by Mayor Annette Strauss, Robert Strauss's sister-in-law, attempting to appeal the federal judge's decision to uphold a 14-1 configuration in the Dallas City Council:  one mayor elected at-large with 14 city council members  from separate districts.  There would be no at-large districts for council members.  This was a landmark case as it affirmed the  concept of one man, one vote.

          I had been tipped off concerning future action by the Mayor from investigative journalists with the Dallas Times-Herald through a coded message contained in a cartoon in their paper.  This information led me to publish the A.L.A.R.M. Report.  The cartoon contained a code similar to the one in Agatha Christie's Then There Were None,  which was also the same type of code used in The Chamber  to threaten me with possible assassination.  The code words identified two of the characters in the cartoon.  By decoding , I knew that Harriet Meyers and Glenn Box, two members of the Dallas City Council,  were now going to go along with the Mayor and give her the votes needed in the Dallas City Council to appeal the one man, one vote decision.

          Also in the A.L.A.R.M. Report,  I threatened to use the information in it as ammunition for Congressman Henry Gonzalez, Chairman of the House Banking Commission to reopen his investigation into the dealings of Richard Strauss, the son of Robert Strauss.  The Report specifically set out that "Last week, I discussed the possibility of Rep. Gonzalez renewing his investigation with a local Hispanic leader."  I told him that, "this additional information is  needed to find out the current status of Richard Strauss with the Justice Department."

          Within a few days after the A.L.A.R.M. Report was distributed to various community and political leaders, the Mayor called off the appeal and the Bush Justice Department called off its investigation.

The Reasons for the Threats in The Chamber

  [To be continued]