THE ILLUMINATUS! TRILOGY
BOOK TWO: ZWEITRACHT
THE FOURTH TRIP, OR CHESED
Jesus Christ On A Bicycle
Among those who knew that the true faith of Mohammed was contained in the Ishmaelian teachings, most were sent out into the world to seek positions in the governments of, the Near East and Europe. Since it pleased Allah to decree this task for them, they obeyed willingly; many served thus for their whole lives. Some, however, after five or ten or even twenty years of such fealty to a given shah or caliph or king, would receive, through surreptitious channels, a parchment bearing the symbol: That night, the servant would strike, and disappear like smoke; and the master would be found in the morning, throat cut, with the emblematic Flame Dagger of the Ishmaelians lying beside him. Others were chosen to serve in a different manner, maintaining the palace of Hassan i Sabbah himself at Alamout. These were especially fortunate, for it was their privilege to visit more often than others the Garden of Delights, in which the Lord Hassan himself would, through his command of magic chemicals, transfer them into heaven while they still lived in the body. One day in the year 470 (known to the uncircumcised Christian dogs as 1092 A.D.) another proof of the Lord Hassan's powers was given to them, for they were all summoned to the throne room and there sat the Lord Hassan in all his glory, while before him on the floor lay a plate bearing the head of the disciple Ibn Azif.
"This deluded one," the Lord Hassan declared, "has disobeyed a command— the one crime that cannot be forgiven in our Sacred Order. I show you his head to remind you of the fate of traitors in this world. More; I will instruct you on the fate of such dogs in the next world." So saying, the good and wise Lord Hassan rose from his throne, walking with his characteristic lurching gait, and approached the head. "I command thee," he said. "Speak."
The mouth opened and the head emitted a scream such that all the faithful covered their ears and turned their eyes away, many of them muttering prayers.
"Speak, dog!" the wise Lord Hassan repeated. "Your whine is of no interest to us. Speak!"
"The flames," the head cried. "The terrible flames. Allah, the flames . . ." it babbled on as a soul will in extreme agony. "Forgiveness," it begged. "Forgiveness, O mighty Lord."
"There is no forgiveness for traitors," said the all-wise Hassan. "Return to hell!" And the head immediately silenced. All bowed down and prayed to Hassan and Allah alike; of the many miracles they had seen this was certainly the greatest and most terrible.
The Lord Hassan then dismissed everyone, saying, "Forget not this lesson. Let it stay in your hearts longer than the names of your fathers."
("We want to recruit you," Hagbard said, 900-odd years later, "because you are so gullible. That is, gullible in the right way.")
Jesus Christ went by on a bicycle. That was my first warning that I shouldn't have taken acid before coming down to Balbo and Michigan to see the action. But it really seemed right, on another level: acid was the only way to relate to that whole Kafka-on-a-bummer example of quote democratic process in action unquote. I found Hagbard in Grant Park, cool as usual, with a bucket of water and a pile of handkerchiefs for the teargas victims. He was near the General Logan statue, watching the more violent confrontations across the street at the Hilton, sucking one of his Italian cigars and looking like Ahab finally finding the whale . . . Hagbard, in fact, was remembering Professor Tochus at Harvard: "Damn it, Celine, you can't major in naval engineering and law both. You're not Leonardo da Vinci, after all." "But I am," he had replied, poker-faced. "I recall all my past incarnations in detail and Leonardo was one of them." Tochus almost exploded: "Be a wise-ass, then! When you start flunking half your subjects, perhaps you'll come back to reality." The old man had been terribly disappointed to see the long row of As. Across the street, the demonstrators advanced toward the Hilton and the police charged again, clubbing them back; Hagbard wondered if Tochus had ever realized that a professor is a policeman of the intellect. Then he saw the Padre's new disciple, Moon, approaching. . . . "You haven't been clubbed yet," I said, thinking that in a sense Jarry's old presurrealist classic, "The Crucifixion of Christ Considered as an Uphill Bike Race," was really the best metaphor for the circus Daley was running. "Neither have you, I'm glad to see," Hagbard replied: "Judging from your eyes, though; you got teargassed in Lincoln Park last night." I nodded, remembering that I had been thinking of him and his weird Discordian yoga when it happened. Malik, the dumb social-democratic-liberal that John wanted to recruit soon, was only a few feet away, and Burroughs and Ginsberg were near me on the other side. I could see, suddenly, that we were all chessmen, but who was the chessmaster moving us? And how big was the board? Across the street, a rhinoceros moved ponderously, turning into a jeep with a barbed-wire crowd-sticker on the front of it. "My head's leaking," I said.
"Do you have any idea who's picking it up?" Hagbard asked. He was remembering a house lease in Professor Orlock's class. "What it amounts to, in English," Hagbard had said, "is that the tenant has no rights that can be successfully defended in court, and the landlord has no duties on which he cannot, quite safely, default." Orlock looked pained, and several students were shocked, as if Hagbard had suddenly jumped up and exposed his penis in front of the class. "That's putting it too baldly," Orlock said finally. . . . "It might be somebody years in the future," I said, "or the past." I wondered if Jarry was picking it up, in Paris, half a century before; that would account for the resemblance. Abbie Hoffman went by just then, talking to Apollonius of Tyana. Were we all in Jarry's mind, or Joyce's? We even have a Sheriff Wood riding herd on us and Rubin's horde of Jerry men. . . . "Fuller's car is a stunt, a showpiece," Professor Caligari fumed, "and, anyway, it has nothing to do with naval architecture." Hagbard looked at him levelly and said, "It has everything to do with naval architecture." As in law school, the other students were disturbed. Hagbard began to understand: they are not here to learn, they are here to acquire a piece of paper that would make them eligible for certain jobs....
"There are only a few more memos." Saul said to Mul-doon. "Let's skim them and then call headquarters to see if Danny found this 'Paf who wrote them,"
"What was that word?" Private Celine asked eagerly.
"SNAFU," Private Pearson told him. "You mean to say you never heard it before?" He sat up in his bunk and stared.
"I'm a naturalized citizen," Hagbard said. "I was born in Norway." He pulled his shirt away from his back again; the Fort Benning summer was much too hot for the Nordic half of his genes. "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up," he repeated. "That really sums it up. That really says it."
"Wait'll you've been in This Man's Army a little longer," the black man told him vehemently. "Then you'll really appreciate the application of that word, dads. Oh, man, will you appreciate it."
"It's not just the army," Hagbard said thoughtfully. "It's the whole world."
Actually, after they immanentized the Eschaton, I found out where my head was leaking that night (and a few other nights, too.) Into poor George Dorn. The leak almost gave him water on the brain. He kept wondering where all that Joyce and surrealism was coming from. I'm seven years older than he is, that we're on the same valence because of similar grammar school experiences and revolutionary fathers. That's why Hagbard never really understood either of us, fully: he had private tutors until he hit college, and by that stage Official Education is beginning to make some partial concessions to reality so the victims have at least a chance of surviving on the outside. But I didn't know any of that in Grant Park that night or how the Army helped Hagbard understand college, because I was working out this new notion of the total valence of the set remaining constant. It would mean that I would have to leave when George came on, or say, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield had to do the pill or auto-wreck shticks before there was room for Racquel Welch's vibes.
They were using Mace now, and I saw one photographer snapping a picture of a cop while the cop was still Macing him (Heisenberg rides again! From out of the west come the thundering hooves of the great hearse, Joint Phenomenon! Except that I was on acid; if I'd been on weed, then it would really, royally, be a Joint Phenomenon). And I heard later that the photographer got an award for that shot. Right then, he didn't look like he was getting an award. He looked like they had just taken off his skin and touched each raw nerve with a dentist's drill. "Christ," I said to Hagbard, "look at that poor bastard. I hope I come out of this with just another teargassing or two. I don't want any of that Mace." But acid is placid, you know, and a minute later I was on Joyce's juices again and thinking of a drama called 'Their Mace and My Gripes." I made the first line fruity, in honor of Padre Pederastia: "What a botch of a pair to plumb this hour's gripes."
"Bism'allah," Hagbard said. "Our karma is made by our deeds, not by our prayers. You're on the set, so you take the action as it comes."
"Oh, cut out that Holy Man craperoo and stop reading my mind," I protested. "You don't have to go on impressing me." But I was off on another tangent, which went something like this: If this set is Mayor Daley's circus, then Mayor Daley is the ringmaster. If the things below are the things above, as Hermes hermetically hinted, then this set is the bigger set. Mr. Microcosm, meet Mr. Macrocosm. "Hi, Mike!" "Hi, Mac." Conclusion: Mayor Daley, in a small way, is what Krishna is, in a large way. QED.
Just then some SDS kids who'd been teargassed across the street came running our way, and Hagbard got busy handing out wet handkerchiefs. They needed them: they were half-blind, like Joyce splitting his Adam into wise hopes. And I wasn't much help, because I was tod busy crying myself.
"Hagbard," I gasped in ecstasy. "Mayor Daley is Krishna."
"Worse luck for him," he said curtly, distributing the handkerchiefs. "He doesn't suspect it."
I thought, suddenly:
Hubert the Hump has coughed and hawked And spat on the streets that Lincoln walked
The water turned to blood (Hagbard was a joking jolting Jesus: you expected wine maybe?) and I remembered my mother's story about Dillinger at the Biograph. We all sit there, like him, in the Biograph Theatre, dreaming the drama of our lives, then walk outside to the grandmotherly kindness of the lead kisses that wake us back to our slipping beatitude. Except that he found a way to come back. What was it Charley Mordecai said: "First as tragedy, then as farce?" Marxism-Lennonism: Ed Sanders of the Fugs, the night before, talking about fucking in the streets as if he had read my mind (or had I read his?) and Lennon's "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" was recorded a year in the future. The Marx and our groupies. The bloody handkerchiefs dipped into water, or wine, and the mass rite went on, the mass went Right On, the Mace they rowed. Capone set it up for the Feds, but John was fed up and left the set, so an extra named Frank Sullivan got the bullets. The Autobiograph Theatre, a drama house and a trauma, yes. I maybe should have taken only half a tab instead of the full 500 mikes, because at that point the SDS kids, all of them siding with RYM-I at the split next year, looked like they had altarboy robes on and I thought Hagbard was distributing communion wafers, not handkerchiefs. He looked at me, suddenly, with that hawk-faced Egyptian glare, and I observed that he had observed, Hopalong Horus Heisenberg, just where I was at You don't have to be a waterman, I thought, to know which way my mind is blowing.
There was a sound from the crowd, like a subway opening all its doors with a suck of air, and I saw the police coming, crossing the street to clear the park.
"Here we go again," I said. "All hail Discordia,"
"Snafu ueber alles," Hagbard grinned, starting to trot beside me.
We headed North, figuring that the ones who retreated eastward would get trapped against the wall and creamed. "Democracy in action," I said, panting along.
'There thou might'st behold the very image of Authority," he quoted, shifting his water bucket to keep it in balance. I caught the Shakespearean reference and looked back: my mind had already: each policeman indeed looked like Shakespeare's dog. I remembered the frantic semantics at the LBJ anti-birthday party, when Burroughs insisted Chicago Cops were more like dogs than pigs, in contradiction to the SDS rhetoric. Terry Southern, taking his usual maniacal middle course, claimed they were more akin to the purple-assed mandrill, most surly of the baboon family. But most of them hadn't discovered writing yet.
"Authority?" I asked, realizing I'd lost something along the way. We were slowing to a walk, the action was behind us.
"A is not A," Hagbard explained with that tiresome patience of his. "Once you accept A is A, you're hooked. Literally hooked, addicted to the System."
I caught the references to Aristotle, the old man of the tribe with his unfortunate epistemological paresis, and also to that feisty little lady I always imagine is really the lost Anastasia, but I still didn't grok. "What do you mean?" I asked, grabbing a wet handkerchief as some of the teargas started to drift to our end of the park.
"Chairman Mao didn't say half of it," Hagbard replied holding a handkerchief to his own face. His words came through muffled: "It isn't only political power that grows out of the barrel of a gun. So does a whole definition of reality. A set. And the action that has to happen on that particular set and on none other."
"Don't be so bloody patronizing," I objected, looking around a corner in time and realizing this was the night I would be Maced. "That's just Marx: the ideology of the ruling class becomes the ideology of the whole society."
"Not the ideology. The Reality." He lowered his handkerchief. "This was a public park until they changed the definition. Now, the guns have changed the Reality. It isn't a public park. There's more than one kind of magic."
"Just like the Enclosure Acts," I said hollowly. "One day the land belonged to the people. The next day it belonged to the landlords."
"And like the Narcotics Acts," he added. "A hundred thousand harmless junkies became criminals overnight, by Act of Congress, in nineteen twenty-seven. Ten years later, in thirty-seven, all the pot-heads in the country became criminals overnight, by Act of Congress. And they really were criminals, when the papers were signed. The guns prove it. Walk away from those guns, waving a joint, and refuse to halt when they tell you. Their Imagination will become your Reality in a second."
And I had my answer to Dad, finally, just as a cop jumped out of the darkness screaming something about freaking motherfucking fag commies and Maced me, as was certain to happen (I knew it as I crumbled in pain) on that set.
"Property is theft," Hagbard said, passing the peace pipe.
"If the BIA helps those real estate developers take our land," Uncle John Feather said, "that will be theft. But if we keep the land, that is certainly not theft."
Night was falling in the Mohawk reservation, but Hagbard saw Sam Three Arrows nod vigorously in the gloom of the small cabin. He felt, again, that American Indians were the hardest people in the world to understand. His tutors had given him a cosmopolitan education, in every sense of the word, and he usually found no blocks in relating to people of any culture, but the Indians did puzzle him at times. After five years of specializing in handling the legal battles of various tribes against the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the land pirates it served, he was still conscious that these people's heads were someplace he couldn't yet reach. Either they were the simplest, or the most sophisticated, society on the planet; maybe, he thought, they were both, and the ultimate simplicity and the ultimate sophistication are identical.
"Property is liberty," Hagbard said. "I am quoting the same man who said property is theft. He also said property is impossible. I speak from the heart. I wish you to understand why I take this case. I wish you to understand in fullness."
Sam Three Arrows drew on the pipe, then raised his dark eyes to Hagbard's. "You mean that justice is not known like a dog who barks in the night? That it is more like the unexpected sound in the woods that must be identified cautiously after hard thinking?"
There it was again: Hagbard had heard the same concreteness of imagery in the speech of the Shoshone at the opposite end of the continent. He wondered, idly, if Ezra Pound's poetry might have been influenced by habits of speech his father acquired from the Indians—Homer Pound had been the first white man born in Idaho. It certainly went beyond the Chinese. And it came, not from books on rhetoric, but from listening to the heart— the Indian metaphor he had himself used a minute ago.
He took his time about answering: he was beginning to acquire the Indian habit of thinking a long while before speaking.
"Property and justice are water," he said finally. "No man can hold them long. I have spent many years in courtrooms, and I have seen property and justice change when a man speaks, change as the caterpillar changes to the butterfly. Do you understand me? I thought I had victory in my hands, and then the judge spoke and it went away. Like water running through the fingers."
Uncle John Feather nodded. "I understand. You mean we will lose again. We are accustomed to losing. Since George Washington promised us these lands 'as long as the mountain stands and the grass is green,' and then broke his promise and stole part of them back in ten years— in ten years, my friend!— we have lost, always lost. We have one acre left of each hundred promised to us then."
"We may not lose," Hagbard said. "I promise you, the BIA will at least know they have been in a fight this time. I learn more tricks, and get nastier, each time I go into a courtroom. I am very tricky and very nasty by now. But I am less sure of myself than I was when I took my first case. I no longer understand what I am fighting. I have a word for it— the Snafu Principle, I call it— but I do not understand what it is."
There was another pause. Hagbard heard the lid on the garbage can in back of the cabin rattling: that was the raccoon that Uncle John Feather called Old Grandfather come to steal his evening dinner. Property was theft, certainly, in Old Grandfather's world, Hagbard thought.
"I am also puzzled," Sam Three Arrows said finally. "I worked, long ago, in New York City, in construction, like many young men of the Mohawk Nation. I found that whites were often like us, and I could not hate them one at a time. But they do not know the earth or love it. They do not speak from the heart, usually. They do not act from the heart. They are more like the actors on the movie screen. They play roles. And their leaders are not like our leaders. They are not chosen for virtue, but for their skill at playing roles. Whites have told me this, in plain words. They do not trust their leaders, and yet they follow them. When we do not trust a leader, he is finished. Then, also, the leaders of the whites have too much power. It is bad for a man to be obeyed too often. But the worst thing is what I have said about the heart. Their leaders have lost it and they have lost mercy. They speak from somewhere else. They act from somewhere else. But from where? Like you, I do not know. It is, I think, a kind of insanity." He looked at Hagbard and added politely. "Some are different."
It was a long speech for him, and it stirred something in Uncle John Feather. "I was in the army," he said. "We went to fight a bad white man, or so the whites told us. We had meetings that were called orientation and education. There were films. It was to show us how this bad white man was doing terrible things in his country. Everybody was angry after the films, and eager to fight. Except me. I was only there because the army paid more than an Indian can earn anywhere else. So I was not angry, but puzzled. There was nothing that this white leader did that the white leaders in this country do not also do. They told us about a place named Lidice. It was much like Wounded Knee. They told us of families moved thousands of miles to be destroyed. It was much like the Trail of Tears. They told us of how this man ruled his nation, so that none dared disobey him. It was much like the way white men work in corporations in New York City, as Sam has described it to me. I asked another soldier about this, a black white man. He was easier to talk to than the regular white man. I asked him what he thought of the orientation and education. He said it was shit, and he spoke from the heart! I thought about it a long time, and I knew he was right. The orientation and education was shit. When the men from the BIA come here to talk, it is the same. Shit. But let me tell you this: the Mohawk Nation is losing its soul. Soul is not like breath or blood or bone and it can be taken in ways no man understands. My grandfather had more soul than I have, and the young men have less than me. But I have enough soul to talk to Old Grandfather, who is a raccoon now. He thinks as a raccoon and he is worried about the raccoon nation, more than I am worried about the Mohawk Nation. He thinks the raccoon nation will die soon, and all the nations of the free and wild animals. That is a terrible thing and it frightens me. When the nations of the animals die, the earth will also die. That is an old teaching and I cannot doubt it. I see it happening, already. If they steal more of our land to build that dam, more of our soul will die, and more of the souls of the animals will die! The earth will die, and the stars will no longer shine! The Great Mother herself may die!" The old man was crying unashamedly. "And it will be because men do not speak words but speak shit!"
Hagbard had turned pale beneath his olive skin. "You're coming into court," he said slowly, "and you're going to tell the judge that, in exactly those words."
Federal Court for the 17th District of New York State. Plaintiffs: John Feather, Samuel Arrows, et al. Defendants: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, and President of the United States. For plaintiffs: Hagbard Celine. For the defendants: George Kharis, John Alucard, Thomas Moriarity, James Moran. Presiding: Justice Quasimodo Immhotep.
MR. FEATHER (concluding): And it will be because men do not speak words but speak shit!
MR. KHARIS: Your honor, I move that the last speech be stricken from the record as irrelevant and immaterial. We are dealing here with a practical question, the need of the people of New York for this dam, and Mr. Feather's superstitions are totally beside the point.
MR. CELINE: Your honor, the people of New York have survived a long time without a dam in that particular place. They can survive longer without it. Can anything survive, anything worth having, if our words become, as Mr. Feather says, excrement? Can anything we can reasonably call American Justice survive, if the words of our first President, if the sacred honor of George Washington is destroyed, if his promise that the Mohawk could keep these lands "as long as the mountain stands and the grass is green," if all that becomes nothing but excrement?
MR. KHARIS: Counsel is not arguing. Counsel is making speeches.
MR. CELINE: I am speaking from the heart. Are you— or are you speaking excrement that you are ordered to speak by your superiors?
MR. ALUCARD: More speeches.
MR. CELINE: More excrement
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: Control yourself, Mr. Celine.
MR. CELINE: I am controlling myself. Otherwise, I would speak as frankly as my client and say that most of the speeches here are plain old shit. Why do I say "excrement" at all, if it isn't, tike you people, to disguise a little what we are all doing? It's shit. Plain shit.
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: Mr. Celine, you are coming very close to contempt of court. I warn you.
MR. CELINE: Your honor, we speak the tongue of Shakespeare, of Milton, of Melville. Must we go on murdering it? Must we tear it away from its last umbilical connection with reality? What is going on in this room, actually? Defendants, the U.S. government and its agents, want to steal some land from my clients. How long do we have to argue that they have no justice, no right, no honor, in their cause? Why can't we say highway robbery is highway robbery, instead of calling it eminent domain? Why can't we say shit is shit, instead of calling it excrement? Why do we never use language to convey meaning? Why must we always use it conceal meaning? Why do we never speak from the heart? Why do we always speak words programmed into us, like robots?
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: Mr. Celine, I warn you again.
MR. FEATHER: And I warn you. The world will die. The stars will go out. If men and women cannot trust the words spoken, the earth will crack, like a rotten pumpkin.
MR. KHARIS: I call for a recess. Plaintiff and their counsel are both in no emotional state to continue at this time.
MR. CELINE: You even have guns. You have men with guns and clubs, who are called marshals, and they will beat me if I don't shut up. How do you differ from any other gang of bandits, then, except in using language that conceals what you are doing? The only difference is that the bandits are more honest. That's the only difference. The only difference.
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP : Mr. Marshal, restrain the counsel.
MR. CELINE: You're stealing what isn't yours. Why can't you talk turkey for just one moment? Why—
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: Just hold him, Marshal. Don't use unnecessary force. Mr. Celine, I am tempted to forgive you, considering that you are obviously much involved with your clients, emotionally. However, such mercy on my part would encourage other lawyers to believe they could follow your example. I have no choice. I find you guilty of contempt of court. Sentencing will take place when court reconvenes after a fifteen-minute recess. You may speak at that time, but only on any mitigating grounds that should lighten the degree of your sentence. I will not hear the United States government called bandits again. That is all.
MR. CELINE: You steal land, and you will not hear yourselves called bandits. You order men with guns and clubs to hold us down, and you will not hear yourselves called thugs. You don't act from the heart; where the hell do you act from? What in God's name does motivate you?
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: Restrain him, Marshal.
MR. CELINE: (Indistinguishable.)
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: Fifteen-minute recess.
BAILIFF: All rise.
There were two further memos in the box, on different stationeries and by different typewriters. The first was brief:
The last memo was the oldest in the lot and already yellowing at the edges. It said:
"So this thing was already linked to Mad Dog several years ago," Saul said thoughtfully. "And Malik was already assuming an alternative identity, since the letter is obviously addressed to him. And, also as I've begun to suspect as we read this stuff, the Illuminati have their own brand of humor."
"Deduce me one more deduction," Barney said. "Who the hell is this W.H.?"
"People have been asking that for three hundred years," Saul said absently.
"I'm being whimsical. Shakespeare's sonnets are dedicated to a Mr. W.H., but I don't think we have to worry that this is the same one. This case is as nutty as a-squirrel's dinner, but I don't really think it's that nutty." He added, "We can be grateful for one thing at least: the Illuminati doesn't really run the world. They're just trying."
Barney frowned, perplexed. "How did you make that one?"
"Simple. Same way I know they're a right-wing organization, not left-wing."
"We're not all geniuses," Barney said. "Take it a step at a time, will you?"
"How many contradictions did you spot in these memos? I counted thirteen. This researcher, Pat, saw it, too: the evidence is deliberately warped and twisted. All of it— not just that East Village Other chart— is a mixture of fact and fiction." Saul lit his pipe and settled back in his chair (in 1921, reading Arthur Conan Doyle, he first began playing these scenes, in imagination).
"In the first place, either the Illuminati want publicity or they don't. If they control everything, and want publicity, they'd be on billboards more often than Coca-Cola and on TV more often than Lucille Ball. On the other hand, if they control everything, and don't want publicity, none of these magazines and books would have survived— they would have disappeared from libraries, book stores and publisher's warehouses. This researcher, Pat, never would have found them.
"In the second place, if you want to recruit people into a conspiracy, besides idealism and whatever other noble motives you might exploit in them, you would always exploit hope. You would exaggerate the size and power of the conspiracy, because most people want to join the winning side. Therefore, all assertions about the actual strength of the Illuminati should be regarded, a fortiori, as suspect, like the voters' polls released by candidates before elections.
"Finally, it always pays to frighten the opposition. Therefore a conspiracy will exhibit the same behavior that ethnologists have observed in animals under attack: it will puff itself up and try to look bigger. In short, potential or actual recruits and potential and actual enemies will both be given the same false impression: that the Illuminati is twice, or ten times, or a hundred times, its actual size. This is logical, but my first point was empirical— the memos do exist— and therefore logic and empiricism confirm each other: the Illuminati are not able to control everything. What then? They've been around a long time and they are as tireless as the Russian mathematician who worked out pi to the one-thousandth place. The probability, then, is that they control some things and influence a hell of a lot more. This probability increases as you think back over the memos. The two chief Arabic branches— the Hashishim and the Roshinaya— were both wiped out; the Italian Illuminati were 'crushed' in 1507; Weishaupt's order was suppressed by the Bavarian government in 1785; and so forth. If they were behind the French Revolution, they influenced rather than controlled, because Napoleon undid everything the Jacobins started. That they had a hand in both Soviet Communism and German Fascism is plausible, considering the many similarities between the two; but if they controlled both, why did the two take opposite sides in the Second World War? And, if they ran both the Federalist party, through Washington, and the Democratic Republicans, through Jefferson, what was the purpose of the Aaron Burr counterrevolution, which they are also supposed to be behind? The picture I get is not a grand Puppet Master moving everybody on invisible strings, but some sort of million-armed octopus —a millepus, let's call it— constantly reaching out tentacles, and often drawing back nothing but a bloody stump, crying, 'Foiled again!'
"But the millepus is very busy and quite resourceful. If it controlled the planet, it could choose either operating in the open or retaining secrecy, but since it doesn't have that omnipotence yet, it must choose to be as anonymous as possible. Therefore, many of its tentacles will be probing around in the areas of publication and communications. It wants to know when somebody is investigating it or getting ready to publicize an investigation he has already completed. Finding such a person, it then has two choices: kill him or neutralize him. Killing may be resorted to in certain emergencies, but will be avoided when possible: you never know when a person of that sort has stashed extra copies of his documents in various unexpected places to be released in the event of his death. Neutralization is best, almost always."
Saul paused to relight his pipe, and Muldoon thought, The most unrealistic aspect of Doyle's stories is Watson's admiration at these moments. I'm just irritated, because he makes me feel like a chump for not seeing it myself. "Go ahead," he said gruffly, saving his own deductions until Saul was finished.
"The best form of neutralization is recruitment, of course. But any crude and hurried effort at recruitment is known as 'taking your pants down" in the espionage business because it makes you more vulnerable. The safest approach is gradual recruitment, disguised as something else. The best disguise, of course, is the pretense of helping the subject in his investigation. This also opens the second, and preferable, option, which is leading him on a wild goose chase. Sending him looking for Illuminati in organizations which they have never really infiltrated. Feeding him balderdash like that stuff about the Illuminati coming from the planet Vulcan or being descended from Eve and the Serpent. Best of all, though, is telling him the purpose of the conspiracy is something other than it actually is, especially if the story you sell him is in keeping with his own ideals, since this can then shade over into recruitment.
"Now, the sources this Pat unearthed mostly seem to come to one of two conclusions: the Illuminati doesn't exist anymore, or the Illuminati is virtually identical with Russian Communism. The first I reject because Malik and Pat have both disappeared and two buildings, one here in New York and one way down in Mad Dog, have been bombed in a series palpably linked with an investigation of the Illuminati. You've already accepted that, but the next step is just as obvious. If the Illuminati tries to distort whatever publicity cannot be avoided, then we should look at the idea that the Illuminati is communist-oriented as skeptically as we look at the idea that they don't even exist.
"So, let's look at the opposite hypothesis. Could the Illuminati be a far-right or fascist group? Well, if Malik's information was in any way accurate, they seem to have some kind of special headquarters or central office in Mad Dog— and that's Ku Klux and God's Lightning territory. Also, whatever their history before Adam Weishaupt, they seem to have gone through some reformation and revitalization under his leadership. He was a German and an ex-Catholic, just like Hitler. One of his Illuminated Lodges survived long enough to recruit Hitler in 1923, according to a memo that might be the most accurate one in the lot for all we know. Considering the proclivities of the German character, Weishaupt could likely be an anti-Semite. Most historians I've read on Nazi Germany agree to at least the possibility that there was a 'secret doctrine' which only the top Nazis shared among themselves and didn't tell the rest of the party. That doctrine might be pure Illuminism. Take up the many links between Illuminism and Freemasonry, and the known anti-Catholicism of the Masonic movement— add in the fact that ex-Catholics are frequently bitter against the church, and both Weishaupt and Hitler were ex-Catholics—and we get a hypothetical anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, semi-mystical doctrine that
would sell equally well in Germany and in parts of America. Finally, while some left-extremists might want to kill the Kennedys and Reverend King, all three were more likely targets for right-wingers; and the Kennedys would be especially abhorrent to anti-Catholic rightists.
"A last point," Saul said. "Consider the left-wing orientation of Confrontation, The editor, Malik, would probably not give much credence to most of the sources quoted in the memos, since the majority are from rightist publications, and most of them allege that the Illuminati is a leftist plot. His most probable reaction would be to dismiss this as another right-wing paranoia, unless he had other sources besides his own Research Department. Notice how cagey he is. He doesn't tell his associate editor, Peter Jackson, anything about the Illuminati itself— just that he wants a new investigation of the last decade's assassinations. The bottom memo is so old and yellow it suggests he got his first clue several years ago, but didn't act. Pat asks him why he's hiding all this from the reporter, George Dorn. Finally, he disappears. He was getting information from some place else, and it revealed a plot he could believe in and really fear. That would probably be a Fascist plot, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish and anti-Negro."
Muldoon grinned. For once I don't have to play Watson, he thought. "Brilliant," he said. "You never cease to amaze me, Saul. Would you glance at this, though, and tell me how it fits in?" He handed over a piece of paper. "I found it in a book on Malik's bedside table."
The paper was a brief scrawl in the same handwriting as the occasional jottings on the bottoms of Pat's memos:
When Saul looked up, Barney said pleasantly, "I found it in a book, like I said. The book was Rome's Responsibility for the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by General Thomas M. Harris. Harris points out that John Wilkes Booth, the Suratt family, and all the other conspirators were Catholics, and argues they are acting under orders from the Jesuits." Barney paused to enjoy Saul's expression and went on, "It occurs to me that, using your principle that most of the memos are full of false leads, we might question the idea that the Illuminati uses the Masons as a front to gather recruits. They would probably need some similar organization, though— one that exists all over the world, has mysterious rites and secrets, inner orders to which a select few are recruited, and a pyramidal authoritarian structure compelling everybody to take commands from above whether they understand them or not. One such organization is the Roman Catholic church."
Saul picked up his pipe from the floor. He didn't seem to remember having dropped it. "My turn to say, 'brilliant,' " he murmured finally. "Are you going to stop going to Mass on Sunday? Do you really believe it?"
Muldoon laughed. "After twenty years," he said, "I finally did it. I got one jump ahead of you. Saul, you were standing face-to-face with the truth, eyeball-to-eyeball, nose-to-nose, mouth-to-mouth— but you were so close that your eyes crossed and you saw it backward. No, it's not the Catholic church. You made a good guess in saying it was anti-Catholic as well as anti-Jewish and anti-Negro. But it's inside the Catholic church and always has been. In fact, the church's efforts to root it out have given Holy Mother Rome a very unfortunate reputation for paranoia and hysteria. Its agents make a special effort to enter the priesthood, in order to obtain holy objects for use in their own bizarre rites. They also try to rise as high in the church as they can, to destroy it from within. Many times they have recruited and corrupted whole parishes, whole orders of clergy, even whole provinces. They probably got to Weishaupt when he was still a Jesuit— they've infiltrated that order several times in history and the Dominicans even more. If caught in criminal acts, they make sure that their cover Catholicism, and not their true faith, is publicized, just like this list of assassins. Their God is called the Light-Bearer and that's probably where the word 'illumination' comes from. And Malik asked about them a long time ago and was told by this W.H., quite correctly, that they still exist. I'm talking about the Satanists, of course."
"Of course," Saul repeated softly, "of course. That pentagon that keeps popping up— it's the middle of the pentacle for summoning the Devil. Fascism is only their political facet. Basically, they're a theology— or an anti-theology, I guess. But what in hell— literally in hell— is their ultimate objective, then?"
"Don't ask me," Barney shrugged. "I can follow my brother when he talks about the history of Satanism, but not when he tries to explain its motivations. He uses technical theological terms about 'immanentizing the Eschaton,' but all I can understand is that it has something to do with bringing on the end of the world."
Saul turned ashen. "Barney," he cried, "my God. Fernando Poo!"
"But that was settled—"
"That's just it. Their usual technique of the false front. The real threat is coming from somewhere else, and they mean to do it this time."
Muldoon shook his head. "But they must be crazy!"
"Everybody is crazy," Saul said patiently, "if you don't understand his motives." He held up his tie. "Imagine you arrive in a flying saucer from Mars— or from Vulcan, like the Illuminati did according to one of our allegedly reliable sources. You see me get up this morning and for no clear reason wrap this cloth around my neck, in spite of the heat. What explanation can you think of? I'm a fetishist— a nut, in other words. Most human behavior is that sort, not oriented to survival but some symbol-system that people believe in. Long hair, short hair, fish on Friday, no pork, rising when the judge enters the room— all symbols, symbols, symbols. Sure the Illuminati are crazy, from our point of view. From their point of view, we're crazy. If we can find out what they believe, what their symbols mean to them, we'll understand why they want to kill most of the rest of us, or all of the rest of us. Barney, call your brother. Get him out of bed. I want to find out more about Satanism."