("Quid coniuratio est?")
REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN -- A FRAUD?
The June 12, 1995 issue of The Nation magazine carries an editorial ("Anatomy of a Hoax") which claims the controversial Report From Iron Mountain is, in fact, nothing more than a hoax carried out by freelance writer Leonard Lewin. "In fact it was more than a hoax; it was a satire, a parody, a provocation." The author of the Nation editorial, Victor Navasky, claims to have been present when Lewin is supposed to have written Iron Mountain.
Navasky also implicates E.L. Doctorow, then with Dial Press, as being part of the plot. Doctorow, allegedly, agreed to list Iron Mountain in their catalog as non-fiction, although he knew otherwise.
When a reporter from The New York Times called the LBJ White House in order to authenticate Iron Mountain, he received a standard "no comment" response. When the reporter then called Dial Press for authentication, he was told to wade through the mass of esoteric footnotes that accompanied Iron Mountain. According to The Nation, in the end, the New York Times ran a story saying "that the possible hoax was a possibly suppressed report."
Next, John Kenneth Galbraith, using the pen name "Professor Herschel McLandress", wrote a review of Iron Mountain in Book World. Galbraith (writing as McLandress) wrote that he would "put my personal repute behind the authenticity of this document."
The Nation subtly hints that (reading between the lines), "Ah- hah. You see don't you -- these conspiratologists. So credulous about this and therefore credulous about all conspiracy theories and therefore don't bother with conspiracy theories. Oh no, just put the conspiracy theories to one side, won't you? Then we can just do 'institutional analyses' like always."
"Come on, guys," (hints The Nation, between the lines). "Let's just cut out this conspiracy stuff, okay? Okay??"
The Nation points out that, every time someone in on the hoax confesses, "the conspiracy theorists regard it as further proof of a cover-up." Comme ce, comme ca. Every time The Nation covers up a conspiracy, the conspiracy theorists regard it as further proof that The Nation, itself, is a hoax.
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"