At sixteen she entered and won the 1941 Miss Atlantic City contest, which led
to a job as official
hostess at the Miss America pageant, and lots of publicity. She subsequently became
Candy Jones, America's most famous model during the forties, and in 1944/45 toured with the
United Service Organizations (USO) in the South Pacific, with a show specifically
designed for her.
In April 1945, in Morotai, she became ill with undulant fever and malaria, and was put in a special hospital in the
Philippines, where she subsequently developed a contagious fungus.
Here she became friends
with a number of medics including an officer whose name Donald Bain doesn't reveal in his book
based on Long John Nebel's hypnosis tapes The Control of Candy Jones (see
Sources below) but gives the pseudonym 'Gilbert
Jenson'. Within six weeks she was feeling well enough to travel.
Marriage and the FBI
In 1946 Candy married Harry
Conover, creator of the 'cover girl' concept. But the marriage was not a happy
and they divorced in 1959. After the divorce, which left Candy in heavy debt,
she had her own modeling school. It was at this time that she met a retired army general she
knew from South Pacific, and within a few days of this was approached by an FBI man
who borrowed a sophisticated microphone from her.
A month later the same man returned
with two others and asked to use her office as a mail drop for the government. Thinking it
the patriotic thing to do she agreed,
but little did she know that this was the beginning of something much bigger, and much
more sinister, than she could ever imagine.
In the sixties Candy worked for NBC radio, and maintained her close association with
influential people in show business, politics and the military establishment,
many of whom she'd met
while touring with the USO in the mid forties.
Nebel & Hypnosis
In December 1972, at the age of 47, Candy married Long John Nebel, New York's most successful and controversial radio talk-show
host. They had dated for only 28 days, though they had known each since
Almost immediately Nebel noticed something strange about his new
wife. She sometimes spoke in an odd, aggressive voice and showed sharp mood
swings.She was also suffering from insomnia, so in June
1973, Nebel offered to try and hypnotise her to cure it. Candy maintained that
she couldn't be hypnotised, and although Nebel had never done it before, he was convinced
extensive reading on the subject would see him through. It seems that she made
a highly suggestible subject, almost uniquely so, though perhaps this was helped by her great faith in her husband.
Whatever the reason she had her first proper night's sleep for months as a
result of Nebel's hypnosis. At subsequent sessions she began to spontaneously age regress and
talked in a child's voice. But it was the other, non-childhood, regressions that worried Nebel
and prompted him to buy a tape recorder
to keep a record of these disturbing conversations under hypnosis. Later in June the personality of Candy's
childhood playmate, Arlene Grant, with her deep severe tones appeared, and
through hypnotic regression, a sinister tale of hypnosis and mind control in Candy's past emerged.
Hypnosis and Mind Control
What she detailed in these hypnotic sessions began during the time that
her office was being used as a mail drop for a government agency. Apparently she was asked to carry a letter for the CIA to a man in San Francisco. This man was Gilbert Jensen, whom she remembered as the medic from the
Philippines. Jensen then asked her to go to
his office in Oakland to discuss the letter and other interesting and lucrative work she could do for the
CIA. He told her that she would carry messages now and then for them, and
said she needed a passport under an assumed name, as she would sometimes have to travel
abroad. The name she chose was Arlene Grant.
So far, none of what Candy was doing was particularly
unusual during the Cold War, in fact she
joined thousands of Americans who worked for innumerable units like the one headed by
Jensen, established and ran by the
CIA. Like other citizens working part-time for the 'The Company', as the CIA was
known, her part would be
kept secret, so secret that even the records branch at CIA headquarters in Langley,
Virginia, knew nothing of her. Jensen, her 'control agent', would be her only contact.
Jensen told her that she would need to be in good health
for her undercover work and suggested she needed
vitamins, which he injected into her intravenously from
then on. These 'vitamins' were actually highly experimental drugs. He also told her about hypnosis and its
uses, demonstrating it by hypnotising her, although she insisted she couldn't be
hypnotised. It was then that he found Arlene, and
developed her into someone he could use. Arlene was brought out and took Candy over, and
in reality it was her who was sent on various experimental missions at home and abroad.
Candy would become
Arlene in appearance too, wearing a wig and different make-up. Of course she
was programmed not to remember all this, but when Donald Bain talked to her for
his book she
still had one of the passport photos of her as Arlene (
which Bain published), wearing a black wig and dark make-up.
CIA training camps
As Arlene she attended training camps, military bases and secret medical facilities throughout
America. She was trained to use
explosives, to fight in close combat with improvised weaponry such as a hatpin,
and taught about disguise and communications.
She learned how to kill with her bare hands, resist pain, and deal with interrogation techniques.
She carried and was taught to use a .22-caliber pistol, and was introduced to such
devices as a lipstick
containing poison, which could be used to commit suicide, if captured,
by biting into the stick. She also learned how code numbers could be painted on
her nails and covered with nail polish. All Candy Jones knew about all this was that she had occasionally
delivered mail for her government. She was not aware of her alter ego
Arlene at all, though Arlene knew all about her, and thought her weak.
There is a distinct possibility that Jensen's
mind control experiments were designed to discover what could be
done with this 'perfect spy', and that the
messages that Candy delivered were only of minor importance. It was the method that was the
There is also no way of knowing where the CIA's
involvement with her ended, and Jensen and his own ideas for the project (or
himself), took over. There is some evidence outside
that from hypnotic regression for this strange tale. Candy told her editor at Harper and Row, Joe Vergara
(whom Bain interviewed), that she sometimes worked for a government
agency as a courier and might disappear occasionally. She also
mentioned that she
would travelling to Asia. There was also a letter she wrote to her attorney, William
Williams, to cover herself in case she died or disappeared suddenly or under unusual
circumstances; she told him she was not at liberty to reveal exactly what she was
involved in. Bain wrote to Williams who corroborated this fact. So, clearly,
Candy was involved in something she was not at liberty to discuss, even with the
close to her.
© Copyright 2003
by Brian Haughton. All Rights Reserved.
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