Iron Mountain, 1967

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Following is the U.S. News & World Report on The Report from Iron Mountain from November 20, 1967. The Iron Mountain Report continues to have some currency among conspiracy researchers. Hoaxed or not, the unintentially humorous situation its publication set off should not be lost on readers. Pentagon bureaucrats found it so plausible that, according to the caption underneath a DC skyline photo that accompanied this article, "In Washington, a "manhunt" began for the unidentified author." "Hoaxed" political analysis reached a new peak recently with the publication of The Real Report on the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy. Those with an interest in Iron Mountain would do well to check out the Real Report, reviewed near the bottom of the main Steamshovel page with a link to its publisher, Flatland Books.

Hoax or Horror? A Book That Shook White House

There can be no peace, but endless war may be good for the U. S. anyway-that is the conclusion reported in a volume causing a severe case of jit- ters in official Washington. Reason: The book pur- ports to be based on a secret, Government-financed study by top experts. Some say it is grimly serious. Others call it leg-pulling satire. Whatever the truth, it is something of a sensation in high places. [inset]-------------------------------------- "Report From Iron Mountain" was published October 16 by the Dial Press of New York City. It has an introduction by Leonard C. Lew- in, a New York free-lance writer. Mr. Lewin wrote that the manu- script was made available to him in 1966 by a member of the 15- man "Special Study Group" which produced the work. That person is referred to as "John Doe" and is described as a professor of social science from "a large Middle Western University." The manuscript identifies "Iron Mountain" as the assembly point for the study group, near Hudson, N. Y. The Library of Congress, on No- vember 10, told "U.S. News & World Report" that "Iron Moun- tain" has not been registered. To do so would require divulging at least the nationality of the author. -------------------------------------[end inset] Did a select group of prominent Americans meet in secret sessions be- tween 1963 and 1966 and produce a re- port that advised the U. S. Government it could never afford an era of peace? Yes-according to the mysterious new book, "Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace." No-came a resounding chorus from worried Government officials, who, none- theless, were double-checking with one another-just to make sure. The response of experts and political observers ranged from "nutty" to "clever satire" to "sinister." IS WAR NECESSARY? Central theme of the book, which purports to reflect the unanimous view of 15 of the nation's top scholars and economists, is this: War and preparations for it are indispensable to world stability. Lasting peace is prob- ably unattainable. And peace, even if it could be achieved, might not be in the best interests of society. All this set off a blazing debate in early November, cries of "hoax"-and a "manhunt" for the author, or authors. Sources close to the White House re- vealed that the Administration is alarmed. These sources say cables have gone to U. S. embassies, with stern in- structions: Play down public discussion of "Iron Mountain"; emphasize that the book has no relation whatsoever to Gov- ernment policy. LBJ's REACTION. But nagging doubts lingered. One informed source confirmed that the "Special Study Group," as the book called it, was set up by a top offi- cial in the Kennedy Administration. The source added that the report was drafted and eventually submitted to President Johnson, who was said to have "hit the roof"-and then ordered that the report be bottled up for all time. As the turmoil mounted, so did the speculation about those who participat- ed in writing "Iron Mountain." John Kenneth Galbraith, former Am- bassador to India, was quoted by "The Harvard Crimson" as having parried the question of authorship. Mr. Galbraith, who reviewed "Iron Mountain" under a pseudonym, was re- ported to have said: "I seem to be, on all matters, a natural object of suspi- cion." And he added: "Dean Rusk, Walt Bestow, even Robert Bowie could as easily have written the book as 1. Yes, Rusk could." Several sources turned toward Har- vard in general as the site of authorship. One even went so far as to suggest that the book is an effort by Kennedy forces to discredit Lyndon Johnson. A BIG SPOOF? Whatever else it was, "Iron Mountain" raised fears at high levels that it would be a mother lode for Com- munist propagandists. There was also a feeling that if the book is just an elabo- rate spoof, it is not likely to find under- standing or sympathy in world capitals. In the academic community, many held the view that "Iron Mountain" was a hilarious hoax-a kind of dead-pan parody of the studies emanating from the nation's "think tanks." One history professor at a large Mid- western university, telephoned by "U.S. News & World Report," came on the line with these words: "I didn't do it." But he added: "Whoever did is laugh- ing his sides off. He's saying, in effect, 'Look, if you read and take seriously some of the bilge in these exalted studies, you might as well read and take serious- ly my little exercise.' " In all the furor, a literary analogy cropped up. Not since George Orwell's "1984" appeared some 18 years ago has there been such a controversial satire. "WAR IS PEACE." Mr. Orwell's cbar- acters spoke a language called "new- speak." They lived by the all-powerful state's slogan: "War is Peace." In "Report From Iron Mountain," the language is the flat, metallic jargon dear to the U. S. bureaucrat. The message: War is, "in itself, the principal basis of organization on which all modern soci- eties are constructed." --------------------------------------------------------