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“I wonder if maybe he commun Ica led this to his employer [in his attitude at work]. He apparently counted the goods and value that his employer hadhe mentioned the cars or something that his employer had. That was the only time that he seemed to have any personal animosity toward an individual.” Oswald believed that malevolent forces are conspiring against workers. “. . . I didn’t feel so discouraged about the evil of the world and therefore wasn’t blaming the evil on intent as much as ignorance. He felt it was malice,” Paine said. “The only place we found agreement was in -our condemnation of the far right,” Paine said. Oswald attended the meeting addressed by Gen. Walker, Paine thought, to “sort of try to get the pulse of American society.” “I think he was interested in the right wing for its corroboration of what he was reading.” Oswald was not bashful and thought himself able to cope with things well, Paine said. He was “not overly oppressed by the ruling bodies, shall we saythe ruling bodies couldn’t really get him down.” Paine could not recall why, but he did feel called upon, responding to Oswald, to argue with him against violence. “I emphasized that so many of the values which I considered most civilized and most precious were all diminished by a situation of violence. He always fell silent. That was typical of him, if he disagreed.” As to Russia, Mrs. Paine said, “I gathered he’d been lonely there. He mentioned going hunting with some friends. But I suppose it was the paucity of his description of it.” Although it was in their first conversation, a possibly relevant circumstance, Paine said, Oswald had cited restrictions of his freedom in Russia, and had resented being assigned a job and assigned a place to live. Paine .believed that Oswald wanted to be active in the U.S. communist movement, but was “out of it.” He received the Daily Worker, the communist paper from New York ; the Militant, a Trotskyite paper; “Agitator” and “Agonok,” Russian magazines, and the Minsk daily paper, Mrs. Paine said. Of the Daily Worker, Paine said, “He told me that you could tell what they wanted you to do by reading between the lines. That was an indication he wanted to be active in the movement,” but had to rely on guesswork as to what to do, Paine thought. On Oct. 25, Paine said, he took Oswald to the A.C.L.U. meeting “to introduce him to some of the values that were precious to me.” On their leaving, Paine said, Oswald told him “that he could never join that organization, that it wasn’t a political organization.” From conversation afterward in the car, Paine concluded that “it took him by surprise to find that I could care about freedom of speech for its own sake and not for some ulterior purpose.” “He was quite aware of. freedom of speechhe was quite aware of all his freedoms and wanted to use them,” but they 4 The Texas Observer were not values to him, themselves, Paine said. On Nov. 4, national A.C.L.U. received Oswald’s membership application and $2 membership fee. It has been presumed here that -he picked up the form. at the Dallas A.C.L.U. meeting. Another remark Paine took as an indication Oswald was “out of it” occurred after the A.C.L.U. meeting. Oswald told Paine he thought, on the basis of what a man had said to him in conversation at the meeting, that the man was a communist. “I dismissed this in my mind as a pretty inadequate description of a communist. and if this is the way he finds his communists, he’s still pretty lonely,” Paine said. Paine, too, remembers Oswald speaking well of Kennedy on civil rights”something to the effect, ‘I think he’s doing a fairly good job on civil rights.’ I had the impression,” Paine said, “that of the people on the political scene, he disliked Kennedy the least.” WHY WOULD HE KILL him then ? He had told Paine there were only 30 or 35 people in the book depository building. Paine speculated that he didn’t like his work, shuffling books around, and he started looking out the window. “Here I really think it was, opportunity presented itself for him to . .” He might not have had a strong motive, Paine said. “He didn’t perceive the feelings all the values that people express in the realm of religion he didn’t contemplate, or didn’t recognize, and the complexities of life. . . . He didn’t recognize shades and degrees and complexities, and if you don’t perceive that, I don’t see how you can . . .” Paine did not want to say, not being sure, that Oswald did not have much feeling. But, he said, “The only feeling that was commonhe was polite in not showing it to me too muchwas contempt for other people. It’s a kind of corollary of diSrespect. . . . One goes with the other, I guess: . . . “He didn’t express feelings for music he liked to bill and coo with Junie,” his baby. “When I read a supposed eye witness report about this guy taking his time putting his reportedly well-aimed shots into the President. . . .” Well, said Paine, “There aren’t many strong feelings [in him]. One with stronger feelings would require a stronger impulse. Physically it’s a very simple thing to pull a trigger. When you think of a presidential assassin, you think this must have been a very strange person. I’ve seen many people who looked more inwardly tense than he.” After early October, Paine said, he had not given Oswald much of his attention. “I had stopped talking to him, because I felt there was no growth. “Also, he regarded all religions as alike. . . . ‘Religions are an apparatus of the state and the opiate of the masses.’ . . . On the question of religions, that was offensive to me, because . . . within religions, religious philosophy, there are all kinds of values expressed.” Oswald did not respond when Paine told him he gave several hundred dollars a year to his church, the Unitarian, not because he was forced to by the state, but because he wanted to. “He was always trying to put me in a category,” Paine said. Oswald would say to him that “I wasn’t a Marxist, I wasn’t a socialist, I wasn’t a liberal, I wasn’t a conservative, I wasn’t a Bircher, or a churchgoer, or a non-churchgoer. He finally said, ‘Well, you just don’t belong to any category.’ “. . . it just meant [to him] that he didn’t have to bother with me. . . . I thought perhaps he didn’t like to be harnessed with questions. After Oct. 1 I was polite to him only for the sake of Marina,” Oswald’s wife. I LATER had a pang of sorrow,” said Paine. When he heard that Oswald had joined A.C.L.U. and had indicated he wanted A.C.L.U. to defend him if the defense lawyer for communists, John Abt, would not, Paine wondered. “He just really hadn’t had much experience, and if I’d had longer and had persisted, he might have found an avenue for constructive activity where he would join with others,” Paine said. “If he had had more of that in his youth, some place where he’d had_ a chance for people to listen to him, some place where he wouldn’t have been rejected out of hand. Of course, I didn’t think of that I didn’t think of saving someone. . . . “That takes a big personthere, I wasn’t big enough, I rejected him on my own.” Then Michael Paine concluded: “I don’t know him well. Few people do, so it’s only relative to zero that it amounts to anything.”