how Chris Marx by his unrevealed operations and with insouciant sociopathy blew the cover of his friends as innocent ignorers of the political world, whose roots in primeval history they have been exploring, and whose several protests and protective measures are here duly and accurately registered, but not without criticism for their pell-mell abandonment of ship.
MARX cannot help but arouse anxieties and suspicion. Take the arrest-day of April 1. We awaited him in Saint-Martian. But his German associates expected him on the fourth of April in Muenster; a room was reserved for him. And Prof. Hjalmar von Brentano was telephoning the traffic police to inquire about a possible road accident.
Marx showed up neither in France nor in Germany. He had promised to pick up on the way Frau Hilda Feldmeister; she was called the day before by a Wilhelm Herter, a Swiss associate of Chris, and told that he would not be coming, but not why. She was in tears when she learned the reason later on -- what can we do for him, she asked a club-member; bake him a cake with a metal file inside, suggested this more typical respondent.
Upon his previous visits, Chris would usually call on the eve of arrival and postpone his trip, and do so several times in succession, which would annoy Filly, who needs to know at least three days in advance how many people there will be at dinner: two, or three? Since he failed to call this time, we assumed he must be coming. But, of course, he was incommunicado.
So, nobody is lying. Marx is behaving true to character. Everyone is bewildered.
This is not the first time that Chris Marx has come under scrutiny by this Writer. He was one of a string of characters in the book called Cosmic Heretics, where he played a minor role as an anti-hero; so perhaps his time has come to play the hero.
He would not be a hero if his friends, his former friends, not to mention his enemies, had anything to say about it. They are worried and they would rather that I give more evident signs of worry. What can I do? Is not this book enough?
I realize full well that we are all to be tinged with the color -- red is it? -- of espionage. But do not worry, friends: this premature confession should go far towards saving your stainless reputations. I appreciate how important it is for you, because, although the witch-hunters and red-chasers are not in vogue this year, their time will come again.
As has happened in times past, which I remember better than you, revelations that are seeded now and remain dormant for the time being can spring up like Cadmian Dragon Teeth into armed warriors, ready to cut you up with their furious swords.
For whatever my word is worth, and it does seems to be worth less as time goes by (a problem that worries me and I must address it later), I am ready to pronounce you all true-blue Brits, Yanks, Russki, Eyeties, Antinuclearphobic Deutsche, French Resistance Fighters, whatever you wish, for I do believe in your innocence. I will and hereby do swear that no one who appears now or later in this work and whose connection has grown out of being a kindred Cosmic Heretic, has given any sign -- then,
now, and in retrospective perspective (hindsight, that is) --
of political leanings to the left of pale pink, and, if colored at all, inclines to a dirty brown. In most cases, they are above party attachments. (Except one, goshalmighty, I just thought of him/her! But it won't affect the plot.)
Whether you should be entrusted with secrets is another matter; you do gossip. All I am saying is that you are quite unlikely to enter the service of the KGB or one of its Eastern European counterparts. But that is enough for the moment: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
The Cosmic Heretics have all the conventional honesties, too. They would never take money to do a dirty job -- but then Marx has not done so either. But they would slit the throat of a man's reputation, some of them would. So they are not angels, these Cosmic Heretic buddies of mine. And you can be sure that they will dredge up more about my nefarious past than any paddies of the F.B.I. or KGB, or even the Consumers Credit Association Information Center, to which by the way, these Secret Services subscribe, finding it cheap and useful, cold and inhuman.
Luckily, apropos my comrades, no one is likely to believe these squeaky, hopping, yellow-bellied sap-suckers.
I shall not, however, run down the full list of the Venus Spy-trapped Cosmic Heretics; I shall throw my protective cloak over only four of them, enough to let you sense how it feels when a cuckoo is discovered in your nest.
I give you first Frieda Melchior, who is coming into her own as the Mother Courage of the Quantavolution movement, a hotel manager by profession. She has worked alongside of me at the nuttiest conference I've ever attended -- in a dizzying tower made entirely out of true flint -- amidst prehistoric caves and digs whose explorer, and builder of the tower, claims can be traced back millions of years to a supposed primeval high culture. (The work appeared of medieval age to some of us.) It was at Eben-Emael, an out-of-the-way niche in northernmost Belgium.
I invited Frieda as an afterthought, passing through Luxembourg; she came as a volunteer, and she saved the conference from chaos. The participants came to the meeting encumbered by sacks of rocks that they had unearthed from all over Germany, Denmark, France and Corsica, Italy, Holland, Belgium, and Britain, all of which stones were sponsored as authentic sculptures of early mankind -- early being a relative term to extend from 2000 to 200,000 years, given one's view of chronology.
Almost to a man (woman), they were convinced of the validity of their finds and of the probable falsity of those of their neighbors.
It was Frieda, then, with her bland, sympathetic, considerate, calm, and swift accommodation of the several languages being spoken, who was responsible for smoothening the more jagged edges of the proceedings, although the participants, I must say, were unexpectedly gentle considering the temptation to use one's flint nodules to bash in the skulls of misguided neighbors. I departed before the conference finished, leaving her in charge.
Her words are worth hearing, now then. She is writing from Luxembourg to Culver Stapleton in New York (you will recall him?) telling him how she translated two articles, one unfavorable, one more favorable to Marx, "for use by friends and foes." She showed them to her friend, who favored the negative view (as expressed in the story above, Chapter Two) and to her friend's husband, who trusted more the article that tended in Marx's favor. Frieda also inclines towards Marx's version, but finds him "unbelievably naive."
Her letter to Culver Stapleton continues:
Whatever the truth, and it may lie between the two versions or elsewhere, it took really your politically sensitive assessment to make me aware of the danger to all of us in having our names dragged into this. Who knows in what Secret Service files our names and publications will be now and what they will make of it all. There's material for a novel there, I'm sure. In fact, Chris' personality would make the perfect anti-hero.
She is worried about Professor Hjalmar von Brentano and so is Hjalmar. He is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Goettingen and has written profoundly on three subjects: the origins of the role of interest and money; the persecution and subjection of woman for their birth control and other mutually protective practices in Early Modern Times and extending to the present; and the chronological shortening of Mesopotamian history by about fifteen hundred years, with titillating conclusions such as identifying Hammurabi the Great to be Darius the Great. This last breath-taking theory came to him while visiting the home of Marx in Basle, and poring over Marx's "Reallexikon der Assyriology" and the maverick English scholar John Dayton's work on comparative ancient technologies.
A lanky, intense, fluent, energetic scholar, always considerate of others, and ready to go around the world at his own expense if he thought it would serve science. He had been enabled to develop the Sumerian part of the Mesopotamia theory with Marx, because Chris had over the years attended courses at the University of Basle in Assyrioloy and Egyptology, and had produced a plenitude of contradictory materials when the time came to consider a systematic revision of chronology. Marx had also formatted and published the successive revisions of their work, all of which had been sent me and a number of others. Marx had already written me in early 1981 about the radical changes in chronology that needed to be made; there he acknowledged also the formidable recent work of John Dayton on European and Near East minerals and pottery as the source of evidence that inspired him. Dayton, a University of London scholar, has found awful discrepancies in dates assigned to artifacts provably of the same periods, and has, without success, urged archaeologists to bring ancient archaeology generally forward in time.
The two men (and Lenny Siegel, too) also supported the theory that the Exodus had taken place at the end of the Early Bronze Age, an idea that I had be mildly resisting.
Both theories would require repair work on parts of my own reconstruction, although not affecting significantly the theory of quantavolution. I have been holding off purchasing them until the two men and several others in the circle have said their last word, which should happen any time now, and until I have had time thereafter to consider the total configuration of ideas. But it looks good. And it enlarges the practically incredible schism of quantavolution with conventional history, whether social or natural.
So there loomed up before Hjalmar suddenly direful specters of a collapse of collaborative work and a breach of associations with Marx and the circle of Germans and Swiss centered upon the two men.
Hjalmar finally is in touch with Marx and reproaches him.
He takes prompt steps to remove Marx from control of the work of the GRMNG. He writes to their associates, whose criticism of Marx he had until now always tempered:
"I have asked Christoph Marx provisorily to suspend his membership in the GRMNG until he has been cleared of the charges brought against him."
Hjalmar is strapping on his codpiece, one's first impulse, of course. But query: is not-being-a-spy a qualification for membership in a scientific association? In this association? Should it be? Hjalmar faces the issue squarely and bravely.
...It goes without saying that our society does not take part in espionage accusations against Christoph Marx. It goes also without saying that the society has no right whatsoever to interfere in the ways their members earn a living - even in case they should make a living by espionage. (Even if a member were correctly sentenced for espionage or the equivalent, any discrimination on this account against him would be totally inadmissible.) But it goes also without saying that the GMRNG cannot accept unmoved accusations of espionage made against PAF, whose most visible activity consists in the publication of GMRNG reports.
The avantgarde feeling is that a Spy can be as good a scholar as the next man. It is totalitarian to move the State quarrels into the realms of science. Imagine, in filling out your application for membership in the Midwest Society for Electrical Engineers, that you should encounter the following question:
Are you now, or have you ever been, a spy for any country or employer, other than your own? Yes __ No __ .
Have you ever taken part in any activities that could be construed to be espionage? Yes __ No __.
(If your answer to either question is "Yes", please give details on the back of this form.)
Still, what spy-catcher will take seriously the action of trying to kick out the alleged spy, a founder of the association, a moving spirit? Will it not appear to be a natural move toward a protective cover-up? You cannot clear the boards so easily, my friend, Herr Prof. Dr. Dr. von Brentano. Moreover, the smaller the group, the more suspect. (A true red-hunter imagines a communist cell to be more powerful than the American Legion.)
"The taint of espionage is ineradicable": Falconian Maxim #14.
Here's the smell of the blood still:
all the perfumes of Arabia
will not sweeten this little hand."
Insouciant Marx replies to von Brentano, saying, "Are you being more Papist than the Pope?" And he continues:
I cannot really make out in your circular letter how it could come to such affirmations which come out of the thin air. Does it go back to Carriere whose vision of things is completely absurd and confused? Or are they the wishful fantasies of Stefan Willig? What has GRMNG to do with accusations of espionage? Why should it actually have been dissolved in the wake of the accusations against me? And why should you have had to decide about the relocation of the production of the Bulletin? And all this without even asking me? Where are the "copies of the corresponding documents" that are to be produced if they do not even exist? As much as I could I have informed you and we have telephoned and I have never given you the cause for such allegations as you have made.
I receive copies of letters from both men.
Some unexpected reactions came from the '68 generation, who always behaved so critical against the media and the establishment, and seemingly unafraid of the state: but when confronted in a personal way, friends from Germany (and the US) indeed seemed to be frightened seriously when compared with their younger and older colleagues, or of other nationalities, who were inclined rather to laugh at and argue with the grave, stately authorities.
Hjalmar caught the gist of this, and commented for my benefit "that's against me who was and still is surprised that for the first time I did not receive copies of files about cases he became involved in."
Only some months later did I come to understand fully what he meant.
Chris Marx was a leading factor in the organization of a company called Bio-Care, which was to be an on-line computer service to dieticians and stores everywhere, dispensing the latest news about new foods, new tests, new markets, new producers.
Hjalmar, in good faith, had spent 12,000 SF to help finance a text-processing system to be used for composing his work as well as that of others. The enterprise had failed. He was then given an equivalent batch of shares in Bio-Care. Later, another commercial company that Marx was running received from Hjalmar the right to take back these shares, that would then be voted by Marx.
So, when asked about whether he brought the Soviets into a business relationship with Hjalmar without letting him know, Marx claims, possibly on a technicality, we would say, that at the time he offered shares of Bio-Care to the Soviets, Hjalmar no longer had an investment in the company. This would be false, or improbable, in Hjalmar's view, if, as he says, he only received the refund of shares after Marx was released from jail.
Marx writes in one of his explanatory notes to his diary, which the Federal Police had asked him to account for, page by page, that "I also invited the Trade Commission to sign up for shares, but they refused." This would be the USSR Trade Office that Marx insisted was, to his knowledge, the only Soviet entity with which he dealt. (The Police called the two Piotr "KGB spies," you recall, but Marx said he never knew this to be so until the Police told him so.)
Still, Hjalmar feels misused. Friends like me, writes Hjalmar to Marx, would never have gone into the deal (which, incidentally,
collapsed because of restrictions and proprietary rights on much of the best information -- Marx' old bugaboo) if we had known you would be soliciting Soviet spies for shareholders, writes Hjalmar to Marx.
He is of the opinion that Marx intended to sell, if he did not actually sell, the shares, and that the Soviets were known by Marx to be spies, and that Marx should have told him, as a friend, of what he was up to. The first two points are probably untrue, the third is not necessarily so, or so I concluded earlier.
While we are exchanging morals, I might as well add a couple of points: a. Don't invest what will give you substantial pain to lose. b. Don't treat an investment to help a friend in business as requiring the same full assurances you ask of other investments. Hjalmar scores 100% O.K. on these.
Should he have asked Marx to leave office until cleared? This is dubious, and what has transpired in this regard will be told later on. And should he have blotted Marx from his books? Well, he has cited papers by Marx and himself in two articles published in 1988; so far, so good. One scholar can hardly sue another scholar for failing to cite his contributions; in my work on the Velikovsky affair I called this "the silent footnote technique." Not wanting to be associated with a man invites the use of the technique. Thus it happened that numerous scholars sneaked facts and ideas out of Velikovsky, even while vilifying him. Marx is right in rejecting the whole system of accreditation of ideas and findings, but meanwhile cannot help but feel hurt, nor can anyone, if deprived of recognition of his work.
Hjalmar tells Marx and me his theory: that Marx wanted less to persuade his Russian associates of the Venusian threat to humanity, than to make money from them; that Marx knew they were spies and was telling them that he would provide them with a stream of useful economic information under the guise of their holding shares in Bio-Care, intelligence that they believed it was forbidden to gather and sell to them, further that the Soviet spies were duped into believing that he was acting illegally, and finally that the Swiss police were duped by the Soviets being duped, to the extent that they felt it was now proven that Marx was a Soviet agent, dealing in forbidden intelligence, which was further confirmed when Leonidov, really believing that Marx was his spy, tried to conceal any association with Marx in order to protect him.
But, of course, the protection that Marx needed was to be termed a tradesman and supplier by the Soviets. It seems to me that here Hjalmar is getting rather close to some of my thinking, which sees everybody fooling everyone else with no visible result except a loss of a lot of state and private time and money.
The friends you have deceived, declares Hjalmar, furthermore, are now objects of observation by the secret services. I think back, as I read his comment a year after the event, of how we might have been arrested for our so innocent association when he and I and M.M. and Marx came from three points of the compass to the Frankfurt Airport one day and drove off to an Inn deep in the pine forests not far away. This was three years ago, but already Marx was under surveillance, and the German police are more on edge than the Swiss in matters of espionage.
The ecologist-pacifist Green Party could claim one out of ten Germans, not bad for the Red-Greens, as their opponents call them. (They demand not only disarmament, the exit of NATO, but also the dismantling of the extensive counter-espionage system.)
Just recently, on Monday, 28 March 1988, 167 West German policemen swept in upon thirty-three locations in a roundup of spy suspects. They netted ten characters, of whom four were promptly released.
Bonn holds 10 as Spies for Moscow, headlines the European Herald Tribune "Officials described it as a major blow against the KGB." "An important penetration of the KGB spy network," trumpeted the Minister of the Interior.
One, aged 44, obviously the worst of the lot, is claimed to have been passing classified documents about two military planes that the Western Allies are building. He had been doing this since he was 27 years old, or something like it.
Also held were a Columbian engineer called "Amaya," (or maybe he was "a Mayan", since these Indians have been hiding out since Columbian times); he handed over "Technical documents." Another man spied on West German political parties -- now there's a profitable espionage operation! A fourth told the Russians about his electronics company. A fifth was a "teacher," the sixth also a teacher who spied on the students in his Russian language class at the Foreign Ministry.
"The suspects apparently did not know one another and were operating individually, the prosecutor said." Nor were "the arrests connected with the unmasking earlier this month of Elke Falk, a secretary in the Economic Development Ministry, who is being held on suspicion of spying for East Berlin."
This does not seem to be much of a Spy Ring. Thirty-three different locations and working individually. Ten seized -- what happened at the other 23 locations with all those policemen surrounding them?
Small fry, all, and several released right away. The last raids in 1985 brought 15 arrests or flights. The figure could have been 19. We are just lucky we weren't clobbered at midnight in our fairy tale hideout amidst the pines.
I can hear my Mother's voice over the long years, "It serves you right for associating with such bad boys!"
"Aw, nuts, Ma!"
It is naughty of Marx, if we are trying him here, to have been close-mouthed about his contacts with the Russians. Did he not owe some news of this to his friends to whom he spoke of some of his work, for instance, as he told of his work with the English group on Expert Systems to me? Should he not have spoken to us of how he was trying to persuade Russian acquaintances of the rich historical material on Venus and getting them interested in Artificial Intelligence and asking them about their own documentation on Venus and even of trying to get their support in an international movement to get to the roots of holocausts and nuclear warfare? Certainly we would have been interested in hearing all about the Soviet connection. Hjalmar recounts knowing merely that Marx had a Russian friend who collaborated in exchanging information about the early life of Velikovsky in Russia (actually, no information was obtained on this subject.)
But then again, if I have not said so before, Chris Marx is characteristically unable to be clear, full, and logical when retailing events to his acquaintances; his conversation typically is like a patchy sky whose clouds move about and now one part of the sky is clear and now another, but the obscurities and the blue areas follow no logical pattern. Sometimes Marx tells you more than you want to know and at other times less than you need to know, and his "patchy sky" can be perplexing.
Perhaps we could have made a project out of the Venus Catastrophe and its implications, and found collaborators in the Soviet Union, all of this aboveboard (except for the spies among us who would show up as instant quantavolutionists from the C.I.A. and KGB or their third country relatives).
An example of this occurred when a group of archaeological anthropologists met with me at Saint-Martian and decided to form an Association Internationale des Etudes d'Art Primeval, and Maurice Morand, a Swiss from Geneva, broached clearly and simply the subject of inviting Soviet participation through a friend of his and the possibility of arranging a convention in Leningrad at some time in the future. I commented that it was a good idea.
This would be done publicly, of course. Still, who knows what suspicions would fall upon me, for the ways I would spend my spare time in between meetings in Leningrad.
I have to ask myself, however, whether, if Christoph is a spy, I may have implicated my correspondent in Omsk, with whom I have exchanged thoughts and materials over the years (posted from strange mailboxes in half a dozen countries) on the subject of quantavolution and world order. Is there the crime of Premature Glasnost?
You can rightly ask me, and so can Hjalmar, how can you be sure that Marx has not revealed the name of your Soviet correspondent, since you have mentioned him in conversations? Why should he have done so?
The best of reasons -- for a spy: If he has been so secretive with you, would he not be dedicated to his work, and if so, would he not have reported this private contact between unfriendly nations, and to make his case stronger, highlight such suspicious elements in the relationship as he pleases, to wit, that you (me) have been reversing the Holocaust Pitch to put the onus on the Russians at least so far as the Cold War is concerned, that you are sending into the depths of the Soviet Union revolutionary anti-communist works of the Kalos Movement, that you are probing for details on the political situation locally -- all lies, of course, but who is to say so, he who is the faithful Soviet friend of two decades or you (who would not be asked anyhow) or your poor innocent Soviet friend.
The issue is clear: do I believe that Marx will, or will not do such a thing to me? Ha, wait!
It occurs to me on the other hand that if Marx were doing consulting work for the Union Carbide Corporation, an immense multinational, he would probably not tell me about it because he knows that I am exasperated with the Company, stemming from my attempts to bring it to account for the Bhopal mass poison gassing disaster in 1985. I would accept that position, although I would rather that Christoph reject such a lucrative job out of sensitivity to my convictions. (I own no stock at all except in my annuities, and sure enough, the College Retirement Equities Fund owns shares in UC; I called my friend, David Truman, who was on the Board of Directors, urging the shares be sold. To no avail.)
Since Christoph was working with the Soviets, publicizing his collaboration would probably have muddied the waters of his arrangements with them. In fact, given the care they must exercise, for the man at their back as well as the man in front, they would have ceased dealing. Normally, they would have asked Marx to keep their whole business -- and after all they were doing business and paying him for it -- confidential.
This would be ordinary in the most innocent of business affairs. If the client requests confidentiality, it is willingly granted by the vendor of services. It is also ordinary to talk about everything under the sun in the course of talking and moving around together, including the best remedy for the croup and the best Scotch whisky (or are they the same?).
Marx irritated and lost other acquaintances. Dr. Stefan Willig of Puchheim writes to tell him that he has been so devious in running the affairs of his society, PAF, that he can understand how he would be a dark spy. Further, "You are so devious and uncommunicative that no one is deeply touched when you get yourself in trouble. Moreover, I am withdrawing my article from consideration by you or PAF in respect to its publication".
And H.-M. Stein writes to tell him that he is not interested in his memoirs of "In the clutches of the Swiss law", and to add injury to insult tells him that he finds the newly published and beautiful "Marx Perpetual Calendar based upon a reconstructed chronology" to resemble the theory of the Earth having a Hollow Core.
Like Klaus Fuchs, but probably in this sole regard, Chris Marx has spied, if he has, principally for idealistic motives, but without concern for his cherished colleagues and friends, and then has discovered after his arrest how much they were bound up with him. But unlike Fuchs, and perhaps truly as a result of the fact that he was not behaving criminally, Marx has been much less saddened, and inclined to be critical of his friends, and even defiant.
What would you have asked of Marx then? That he not deal with the Russians at all? I question anyone's ability to put on this hoity-toity attitude when it comes to his own interest.
Would you not have asked as much as this, but only that he not become a spy for the USSR? But this is begging the question: is he indeed a spy? And here, I suppose, is where one must rest the case: if you believe he is a spy and that you are not, then, if he is spying in the wrong cause and for the bad guys, you are in your view entitled to reject relations with him and even to damage him if you can. Call for his scalp!
On the other hand, for one's own protection, in working with a presumed enemy of one's State (on the supposition that all other relations between the two countries mean nothing in the face of the epochal struggle between capitalism and communism) you might go surreptitiously to your friendly local secret service, and inform them that you are working legally with the Soviets, and you want them to know that your heart still belongs to Patria.
So far so good, maybe; though it feels a bit silly and milquetoast to be going to the police to say, "Look, I am not committing a crime." It would be like the guy who was institutionalized for going about declaring loudly that the Earth was flat, who discovered this to have caused his confinement, and who, therefore, upon escaping, went about declaring loudly that the Earth is round.
However, your chaps will promptly try as hard as they can to discourage you or to arrange for you to give them copies of any and all information that you provide to the Soviets (but free of charge); "and please check in with us weekly; and while you are at it, here are some items of information that you may be able to worm out of your Russian friends."
In short, precisely if they are efficient, they will try to make you into a double spy. Fine, you might think, one's ass is covered; alas, not so, because now that you are doing double espionage, you have to be watched closely by your own people to see that you do what you are told and are giving them everything and are not using your new relationship with them to give the Russians more for their money, or more for more money.
But Marx is imperturbable. Unlike Fuchs, his crime is doubtful, the harm done is less, and he has worked alone. In an important regard, we are better off. The rest of us do not have to explain to anyone that we knew about it but regarded it as innocent -- not that we should necessarily be believed or that it would be true. So we should be grateful to him.
When the Korean War was on, in 1951, I spoke to Henry Wriston, President of my school, Brown University, mentioning work that I was about to undertake for the Army in psychological warfare. He said, I am glad if it is scholarly, but if it is secret, I don't want to hear about it; that's the way I handled it in World War II when half the University was doing war work; I told them I didn't want to hear about it.
Well, I was content with Wriston's attitude -- no one likes supervision; but I would not have done the same; a University can get out of hand quickly when an outside body, even professing the highest aims, gets a free hand inside the shop; besides there is always a variety of misconduct and poor decisions and incompetency going on; finally, the supervisors at the other end, in Washington, say, count on their counterparts heading the Universities to help keep the secret projects under control.
What if Marx knew that the two Piotrs were spies (if in fact they were), who were also trying to make a spy out of him by getting him to perform certain actions, carrying a spy radio, meeting clandestinely, giving them spylike types of information, etc.? Would this not give him additional reason to go to the authorities? If he were not so derisory of the authorities, yes.
But then, too, he would lose his Big Chance, his Triple Whammy! To get inside dope on Venus, to persuade the Soviets of Holocaust Amnesia, and to achieve the World's Biggest Archaeological Dig!
In fact, Marx came close, the police record shows, to being drawn into nasty bits of spytype actions, this on his own admission. In his cell he was put to work explaining his diary, as I have said, and he typed out these explanations, which I have in hand.
He was pestered by his Soviet agents to give them background information on a couple of friends. He supposed it was for work, or for approaching them to do jobs, or who knows whether he was not actually aware that they would be approached to do illegal work, even though he did not know what they wanted done (and, I suspect, they did not either, but had to have names to fill out their monthly reports).
He gave them a biography of one man, which the man himself had given to him, adding certain comments. This was Frank Huserer, a computer technician. He also prepared the same kind of ordinary information that you get in curriculum vitae, even less than a good one provides, about a second friend, Hermann Weintraub, but this one he did not give over, because, he says, it made me uneasy. And he adds, "I must admit to being ashamed.." In evaluating this conduct, I must go back to the scores of unauthorized letters a million persons like myself have been asked to write describing as intimately as possible another person and how we did our best to fulfill the requests. It was usually, but not always, ostensibly for the good of the other person and often at his or her request. But occasionally (in hundreds of cases when you are a supervisor as in the military or in industry) you are asked or required to give any detrimental information that you may possess.
Let us not forget that often people's reputations and careers are smashed with a smugly moral feeling by the writers of these and other more voluntary letters of "recommendation."
The only difference is that here the information is being given to an unfriendly foreign power (unfriendly? to whom? so what?), for evil purposes (what? says who? how do you know?).
The rottenness of Bodin's absolute theory of national sovereignty oozes out in countless ways, don't you agree?
Who? Me? Well..maybe..but don't you think??
O.K. Anyhow he was ashamed. Doesn't that make you feel good? We'll go into the rest of his confession later on.
In the present case, apart from everything else, it should be borne in mind that Marx has certain inclinations of the sociopath; he has little conscience showing; he feels little sense of guilt for his actions. I wonder: do we want a culture that is guilt-ridden or one that is not?
The Marx psychology is certainly more modern and scientific than the indignant psychology that arouses everyone to the same feelings of guilt as oneself and goes after the culprit or guilty group, often ill-advisedly or wrongly.
I am reminded of an advertisement that impressed me as a child. I think that it was Lifebuoy soap. It went "B.O.! Even your best friends won't tell you!" and it was terribly effective in making people sensitive to their own stink, because, by eliminating the external judge, every individual was thrown upon his own resources to determine whether or not he was guilty of Body Odor.
I recall sniffing myself as if I were my own bloodhound! And never being relaxed about my body unless it had been scoured. What a miserable pastiche of hokum, cult, hostility, sanitation, suspicion, isolation, malaise, self-flagellation, and unnaturalness!
Apparently, following upon the Marx experience, our Canadian friends have also been sniffing their armpits. Hjalmar, back from a trip to America, tells Christoph that Damien Korda, a stalwart investigator of Saturnian phenomena, has been interrogated by the Canadian police in Vancouver about various matters including Marx.
He also tells Marx that various related anxieties have so over-burdened the Secretary of the Canadian Society for Interdisciplinary Studies that the Secretary resigned in fear and despair.
Contributing to the general anxiety of the Members of the CSIS was a bizarre coincidence that may have been the occasion for the interrogations, the rifling of mails, and other unsettling happenings. The Canadian secret service has recently been given the new name of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service: you guessed it! CSIS.
So they are getting secret service mail and vice versa. They are opening some juicy envelopes, hoping to find a new member or some delinquent dues, and instead.... but I dare not say. The secret service is opening strange letters about planets and catastrophes that might be part of a plot to blow up the Parliament. Naturally the government CSIS is grumpy over the clash of acronyms, and the Society is frightened, not only because their pathetic little order has so few members that you might call it a secret conspiracy, but also because they record as one of their associates that noteworthy international figure, Christoph Marx.
Practically all of this was confirmed by a central figure of the Canadian society, Sidney Hartford, whose poor eyesight is compensated by insights denied to others. It is not surprising that Marx has been losing friends. But just a moment, the story is not ended! Let us say that he has lost more than gained in favor among his prior friends. "Nothing withers away one's friends so fast as being accused of treason". (Maxim #15)
You might want to ask, after all of this, "Have you, who write these lines, have you ever compromised a friend in this way or any other way?"
My answer is "No!"
And I give it with a feeling of having somehow achieved a miraculous escape in my long life.
I understand that you may not believe me.
You are right to doubt. But do not think that I answered "No" glibly and confidently. Hell, no! It took me many hours of self-analysis to figure out an honest answer. Just as espionage is often in the eye of authority of the beholder, whether your conduct will hurt others is often at the discretion of authority or your enemies.
Long ago, when I began to teach at Stanford University, a brilliant young applied mathematician who was the son of Earl Browder was proposed by the Department of Statistics of Stanford University for appointment. Because the father had been head of the American Communist Party for many years, and despite the fact that the son was quite non-political, Wallace Sterling, the President of the University, fearing the reaction of red-phobes of the press and wealthy supporters, refused the appointment.
Albert Bowker, Chairman of the Department, instead of resigning in protest or fighting with all his power, gave in. Later on he became Chancellor of the City University of New York, and afterwards Chancellor of the University of California. Knowing him, I suspect that he felt afterwards as did Chris Marx in the present case and for many years.
I do not think that young Browder, if he knew, would or should have reproached his father.
He might indeed have thought that there was something in what the old man had been preaching about the Capitalist domination of Higher Education. Or he might have thought, like a typical rugged individualist, that some men are made of better stuff than others.
But let us delve more into nooks of my past. Perhaps the key to the Venus Spy-Trap is hidden there.