I can't believe I missed this great thread for so long - sorry.
I have been following Technology Suppression for almost five years now and am a big fan/supporter of Project Orion and collected a petition with 300,000 signatures last year that we sent to the National Science Foundation and President Obama (all that work for a "Thank You letter and no follow-up).
I attached some info here that may be of interest to you. My direct interest was in three big cases of Stan Meyers (watercar) Rory Johnson (Magnetic motor) and Dimitri Petronov (Thorium plasma battery)
Aside from the games played at the U.S. Patent office, another way big brother prevents technology disclosure is through ITAR - a suppression tool in the hands of the Department of Commerce and Department of State, used on average 600 times per year. Any invention that can possibly have a military application is subject to review and export ban or outright censorship. You already know about what happened to Tom Valone at the USPTO, but check out what happened to "Danny". Because of 911 Americans were fed so much fear they have all become obedient sheep and swallowed the Patriot Act dry without questions. See the attachments. Anyway here are some cool links I found that you might be interested in-
Censorship - The Only Reason We Are Still Addicted To Oil! - Green Energy Reports - Open Salon
Plasma Battery Inventors Disappearing Regularly *|* Peak Oil News and Message Boards
Now if I was to play the devli's advocate, I would throw this link into the mix about the bird flu... Should the new flu stay secret? Or does secrecy kill? | The Loom | Discover Magazine
As to how they keep University researchers quiet is with grant money. They bait them with promises of huge grants for pet projects and the make them sign off on non-disclosure agreements with huge fine and forfeiture penalties. What professor wants to be responsible for getting their employer fined?!?
I am a big fan of Thorium nuclear power and even though MIT, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford have all been pushing "the establishment" hard to switch from Thorium to Uranium, they are getting the same "Pons & Fleischman" treatment. MIT Professor Gene Mallove fought back and looked what happened to him and another plasma battery inventor Aries DeGeus - murdered.
Thorium Plasma Battery Technology - Wrongly Top Secret? - Green Energy Reports - Open Salon
Anyway, now that we all know the problem, how do we spread the word to every American with a brain and a spine?
Nothing is likely to change unless it becomes a public issue - and this IS an election year yes?
P.S. Peter you had me going with the Tesla book - so much so that I sent an email to Amazon.com with an inquiry for an "out of print copy"!