CONTINUING OUR STORYLINE FROM THE LAST PRECURSORY CHAPTER DATED MARCH 3, 2020.
The office meeting between Mervyn Hagger and Genie Baskir was probably the moment when the two of them began to form the basis of a platonic and lasting friendship which would be centered upon offshore broadcasting. It was also at this moment in time when Eric Gilder was paralleling their lives due to his own related interest in the same subject matter. From this beginning came the birth of The Trio'.
The origins of this event probably took place sometime during the month of August 1981, because the record seems to point to that month being the time period in which Eric Gilder visited Don Pierson at his home in Eastland, Texas. The reason for Eric Gilder's visit was to interview Don Pierson for his Master's thesis.
Gilder wanted to know why Don Pierson got involved with British offshore broadcasting, and how Don Pierson began a Texas-based business that resulted in the birth of Radio London'. It is a complicated and extremely strange story that has become surrounded by mythology and wrapped in misinformation. The Atlantic Ocean still seems to form a barrier between factual events on the ground in Texas, and mythology in the air emanating over England.
The story behind the creation of 'Radio London' is anything but conventional. It begins by knowing that the most important person in both Don Pierson's personal and business life was Henry H. Grubbs.
Henry H. Grubbs was Don Pierson's father-in-law. Mrs Pierson (nee Grubbs) also had a brother (Henry A. Grubbs) who was the minister of the Oak Hurst Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth, and her father was a charter member of the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene. The name of Henry H. Grubbs seems to have followed Don Pierson around as a most influential man whether it was as a director of a businesses in Eastland where Don Pierson became a controversial mayor, or as a director on the board of Abilene National Bank at a time when Don Pierson was its chairman.
Don Pierson was also a car dealer representing well-known U.S. brands. as well as the British 'Hillman' brand. He was not a stranger to the British Isles as a car dealer. In 1957 he attended a 'Roots' car company convention in England to attract American car dealers. It was part of a British government attempt to promote the export of products made by various British manufacturers, in the vast USA marketplace.
It was while he was on a train in England during that 1957 convention, when Don Pierson claims that he heard the voice of another Texan. After introductions were made, Don Pierson learned that his new friend was Tom Danaher of Wichita Falls. He was also a car dealer, but he mainly represented the 'Volkswagen' brand.
Yet another Texas car dealer entered Don's life.
Mal McIlwain of Abilene sold 'Ford' cars, and the three Texas dealers formed a network of connecting business interests. McIlwain also had connections with the 'J. Walter Thompson' (JWT) advertising agency in New York, and that is how he became familiar with Philip Birch, a JWT agent who was part of a team managing its 'Ford' advertising account.
But there was also a connection that was not directly related to selling cars, but to the means of propelling them that was both a blessing and a curse for Don Pierson, because he was not in a position to control either the positive or the negative sides of this influence. The problem did not arise from its exploration, drilling, extracting, refining or delivery to the consumer, but from the financial gains that were returned to the owners of that kind of business venture, and their methodology which they used to hide profits from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Pierson's pipeline to oil money began with Jack V. McGlothlin of Abilene, and it terminated in the offices of Burton Kanter in Chicago, Illinois.
Kanter became the doyen of hiding wealth from the tax authorities, and he had his own network of CIA agents and offshore banking friends in the Bahama Islands who could hide it from U.S. authorities. His expertise came in knowing how to move those funds in such a way that he could operate within the boundaries of existing laws. What many suspected they were unable to prove.
Unfortunately for Eric Gilder, he did not gather any of this information from Don Pierson during his visit. Nor did he know that between the close down of 'Radio London', 'Radio England' and 'Britain Radio', and his visit, that Don Pierson with his son Grey Pierson had both become entangled in two offshore projects connected to both the assassination of President Kennedy, and a long-running, but low-key "secret war" against Cuba's Fidel Castro.
When Eric Gilder met Don Pierson, and Gilder explained that he was a Master student at the University of North Texas at Denton who was writing a thesis about British offshore broadcasting, Don Pierson picked up the phone and introduced Eric Gilder to Mervyn Hagger. But, as will be shown in this storyline, Mervyn Hagger had existing plans for a manuscript about the same subject, and so Eric Gilder was left to his own devices. In hindsight, that was a mistake, since at that moment in time very few firsthand sources were available to any author. Consequently Eric Gilder had to rely upon the paucity of publications that did exist, and most of them were swirling around in factual errors that were based upon hearsay and inaccurate reporting.
Tomorrow: Who was pulling the strings?