Robin Moore is, as they say, "an interesting fellow." A brief, incomplete Wiki-biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Moore
More about that later. For now, I simply want to bring up for discussion some fair-use excerpt from one of his books- I promise not to exceed 500 words:
"...Ok. Dr. Wormsinger is here in Miami. You kept asking about him and his nutcakes. How'd you like to see him in action?"
"You mean finding crackpots to shoot people?"
"First he finds them, then he conditions them. Want to go?"
"...Now," Wormsinger said happily, "we will see the entire spectrum of disaffected young people arrayed before us. Follow me and you will see the blacks who hate everybody sitting in their decrepit Freedom City the second. They don't even know what they want to be free from. By and large, they are completely undependable and either fail to respond to conditioning or fail to stay conditioned."
"You had quite a success with one of your blacks, Ulric", D'Estang commented.
"Yes, of course. But unfortunately, I never had an opportunity to observe how he would react to the post-assassination pressures put on him. They killed him within seconds of the time he hit his target."
...Beyond the camper and the ring of girls surrounding it was another tent complex. "Vietnam Veterans Against The War" read the sign. "How about using one of these types for your purposes, Ulric?" D'Estang asked. "They must have the experience to be effective."
Wormsinger shrugged. "Experience? What experience does it take to spray six shots out of an automatic pistol into a target at point-blank range. It's the mind that's everything. These veterans as a group are not good prospects...--------------They think too much...let's go on."
"What are you looking for?" Brad asked in curiousity.
"Come on, I'll show you."...A neatly printed sign said they were "Students For Greater Understanding." Most of the young men were wearing pressed slacks and sport shirts and their hair was not obtrusively long. The two or three girls with them were cleaner and better dressed than the others in the park...
"Despite their appearance, these youngsters are the real misfits, misfits among misfits, you might say. Almost every one of them has been expelled from school and college. There isn't one who doesn't frequently consider suicide. I picked them out the first time I came through the park..."
..."Most of all, they are a group of loners....any one of them is capable and quite ready to quietly walk in and shoot the president of the college which has expelled them.Since it is impossible for them to recognize their own inadequacies they conveniently blame their problems on someone or something outside them. With a little conditioning any one of those boys and girls can be made to believe their whole problem lies with their selected target. If the target is a famous person, a political leader in particular, this loner, this inferior being in his own mind, not only strikes a noble blow for the people of the world who like him are oppressed, but at last the attention of thw world will be focused on him...he will have...made an immortal mark in world history."...
The previous quoted excerpt was from pages 351-356 of Robin Moore's book The Fifth Estate. Like I say, I'm limiting myself to 500 words, standard fair use practice for quoting published works with attribution. The book sold a lot of copies, it's easy to find. I urge readers to seek it out and read it- for that passage, which is considerably expanded in the original, and for other uncanny allusions in the rest of the novel.
I find it particularly noteworthy that the publication date of The Fifth Estate
is 1973- pre-dating all of the Congressional hearings that exposed MK-ULTRA and similar nefarious CIA-US intelligence community programs to the general public. In fact, the general historical consensus is that that then-newly appointed CIA chief Arthur Schlesinger first ordered a comprehensive review of CIA covert operations on May 9, 1973, in response to the unraveling Watergate scandal- and it was not until this review that the exposure of programs like MK-ULTRA, MK-DELTA, and MK-NAOMI eventually came to light and public exposure.
Having read the book, I find it unlikely that Robin Moore merely found a way to work in a few early headline disclosures about CIA mind control projects into the plot threads of his already extant book project.
In fact, I find it unlikely that that Moore wrote the majority of The Fifth Estate
in the year 1973. Books usually take quite a while to write- and then to get from their final finished draft to the printing press. Moore's prolific- but he isn't that prolific.
Also, there's nothing at all about any allusion to or mention of any scandal similar to Watergate in the book. Although the scene that I excerpted appears to obviously allude to the protest scene outside the 1972 Republican Convention, in Miami...
Anyway, the mind control material is just a minor sub-plot within the context of the book. The chief thematic subject of The Fifth Estate
is the economic and political takeover and subversion of America by organized crime.
Robin Moore's version adheres to the near-unanimous conventional wisdom that all big-league "organized crime" equates to The Mafia, La Cosa Nostra, the construction of a certain ethnicity with vowels at the end of their names, a fondness for pasta, sharply cut suits, extended family ties, criminal tendencies and violent proclivities- thus helping to feed a misconception that's still persistently common in American popular culture, although the times are no longer so naive that the Grand Unified Italian Criminal Conspiracy theory still maintains any credence for anyone who's been paying a modicum of attention. That's probably the falsest note in the book- the idea that the the Italians and Sicilians, are behind it all. Much of the rest of the book simply concerns the strategy and tactics of the increasing corruption of the USA by organized crime, and what undoubtedly read like sensationalistic, over-the-top fictional hyperbole by readers of the book at the time of its publication simply reads like a naturalistic historical fiction, 30-odd years on.
It's downright uncanny at times, in fact...Robin Moore, the writer with the gift of prophecy...how does he do it?
So come on, RI Book Clubbies...get the book out of the library ( or for a buck at a local thrift store, that's how common copies are) so we can discuss it, rather than me having to re-write it in the course of running it all down to you...