The allegation directed at Salinger is that he (and/or his publisher) craftily implanted into the book neurolinguistic passages, or coded messages, that act as post-hypnotic suggestions or mind control "triggers". In turn, these triggers enabled CIA handlers to activate Manchurian Candidates for assassinations. Some conspiracy theorists also believe the novel was part of the CIA's now mostly-declassified mind control program MK-Ultra, and that while assassins were being brainwashed they were forced to read the book over and over until it was embedded in their minds.
But given that Salinger's critically acclaimed masterpiece was one of the biggest selling books of the 20th Century, are the crimes it was associated with merely happenstance? Today, if a handful of different murderers had a copy of The Da Vinci Code or a Harry Potter book, or were all fixated on a similarly popular book, would it even make the news headlines?
Novelists, filmmakers and independent researchers James Morcan & Lance Morcan investigate these theories and counter arguments in THE CATCHER IN THE RYE ENIGMA - the fourth book of The Underground Knowledge Series. This balanced exposé ultimately leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide whether J.D. Salinger's novel is a "Mind Control Triggering Device" or simply a "Coincidental Literary Obsession of Criminals" just as this book's subtitle suggests.
Besides the criminals who targeted Lennon and Reagan, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE ENIGMA also details other deranged individuals who were obsessed with Salinger's book including stalkers and murderers of leading political figures, film stars and other celebrities.
The idea that assassination codes are buried deep in Salinger's book is one of the oldest conspiracy theories around and has been explored repeatedly over the decades with no smoking gun ever found. In fact, many familiar with Catcher conspiracies may think all the theories have already been proven to be false and there's no need to drag them up yet again.
However, given what the authors have uncovered in their research for THE CATCHER IN THE RYE ENIGMA - especially the unique revelations on the history of mind control, the effectiveness of subliminal messages, the latest scientific studies on the brain, Salinger's underreported dealings with the Americanized Nazis of Project Paperclip and the recently declassified documents on real-life Manchurian Candidates - they believe some of the theories swirling about the classic novel deserve another look.
Note that this title is an extended version of several chapters in The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy (Sterling Gate Books, 2014) also by James & Lance Morcan. The Catcher in the Rye Enigma therefore contains a combination of new material as well as some recycled material from The Orphan Conspiracies.