The memory hole, as in the phrase “Going down the memory hole,” refers to a mechanism for censorship in George Orwell’s novel, 1984.
In the novel, the memory hole is a slot into which government officials deposit politically inconvenient documents and records to be destroyed. 1984’s protagonist Winston Smith, who works in the Ministry of Truth, is routinely assigned the task of revising old newspaper articles in order to serve the propaganda interests of the government.
For example, if the government had pledged that the chocolate ration would not fall below the current 30 grams per week, but in fact the ration is reduced to 20 grams per week, the historical record (e.g. an article from a back issue of the Times newspaper) is revised to contain an announcement that a reduction to 20 grams might soon prove necessary, or that the ration has in fact gone up to 20 grams from some lower number, in a deliberate example of doublethink. The original copies of the historical record are deposited into the memory hole.
A document placed in the memory hole is supposedly transported to an incinerator from which “not even the ash remains”.
The term now generally refers to the alteration or outright disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts, or other records, such as from a web site or other archive. The term is the name of one website (The Memory Hole) which is notable for preserving web-publishable materials, which would be typically destroyed, altered, or simply forgotten if left to the discretion of official publishing.
Topics include government files, corporate memos, court documents, police reports and eyewitness statements, Congressional testimony, reports from various sources, maps, patents, web pages, photographs, video, sound recordings, news articles, and books.
Here is a submission from a series of select articles I like to call “Tales From The Memory Hole”
5 States Sue Vatican Over Money-Laundering and Insurance Fraud
California Law Offices of Tom Easton & Jonathan Levy
for immediate release
Vatican Lawsuit Liability exceeds $1 billion in USA Courts
The Vatican, which has long claimed immunity to lawsuits, is now facing claimants seeking more than $1 billion.
Insurance commissioners from Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Okalahoma, and Arkansas have joined Holocaust victims and victims of pedophile priests in filing lawsuits against the Vatican and Vatican Bank. The Insurance commissioners are seeking over $600 million in a RICO (Anti Racketeering) lawsuit that has named several top Cardinals including two former Papal Nuncios to the United States and the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Sodano, as co-conspirators with convicted financier Martin Frankel in an unsuccessful attempt to launder an incredible $150 billion in insurance assets.
Frankel who has plead guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud and one count each of securities fraud, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and a forfeiture charge has been cooperating with the government in retrieving $200 million in missing insurance assets. Frankel faces 150 years in prison and will be sentenced next year.
Vatican officials allegedly received pay offs from Frankel and his associates in exchange for use of a Vatican operated charity as money laundering conduit. A Vatican monsignor, Colagiavanni, who also is facing racketeering charges, assisted Frankel in taking over unsuspecting insurance companies. Cardinal Laghi, former Vatican Nuncio to the USA, received $100,000 from Frankel. The Vatican Bank, which is controlled by Cardinal Sodano, issued a key letter of credit that Frankel used in his insurance schemes.
The Vatican’s legal problems in the US first arose in November 1999 when California attorneys Tom Easton and Jonathan Levy filed a class action lawsuit seeking return of gold and funds looted from Yugoslavia during WWII and laundered by the Vatican bank post war. The wartime treasure is valued at several hundreds of millions. Earlier this year sexual abuse victims in the US sued the Vatican and now the insurance commissioners are seeking restitution and penalties of over $600 million. All the lawsuits are pending.
According to co-counsel in the WWII case, Jonathan Levy, all the cases have an excellent chance of beating Vatican immunity defenses: “The Vatican used up its goodwill long ago, it has violated too many international laws and laundered too much money for anyone to believe its wholesale denials anymore. They stand to lose more than a billion dollars due to a lifestyle of crime and corruption by their top officials.”