(Editor's Note: While the government claimed this report was a hoax, history has been unfolding before our eyes almost totally in line with the Report from Iron Mountain. A hoax? Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.)
Report from Iron Mountain – They were called the “Special Study Group”. Fifteen anonymous men, experts of diverse disciplines; social and natural sciences, humanities, law, business, communications theory, systems analysis, international relations, war planning.…
The Group was commissioned to study what might happen if we find ourselves in a state of peace…and to suggest how we we might cope with a shortage of war. After producing The Report thirty months after launch date in August, 1963, they insisted that it not be released for publication. Public discussion of The Report’s conclusions and recommendations threatened to provoke, as they said,
“…clear and predictable danger of a crisis in public confidence.
The U.S. News and World Report claimed in their November 20, 1967 issue, that an unnamed government official told them President Johnson “hit the roof” after reading The Report, and ordered its suppression for all time. The same government official also confirmed the Report’s authenticity. Apparently, a member of The Group leaked The Report…leading to Dial Press publishing The Report From Iron Mountain (4), also in 1967. (all references below video at bottom of story.)
The book made the New York Times bestseller list, has been widely translated and we've embedded it in full at the bottom of this story.
Our government declared it a hoax, did all they could to suppress The Report. Then in 1972, Leonard Lewin (5) claimed that he was the author, and that The Report from Iron Mountain was a spoof. The Guinness Book of World Records lists The Report from Iron Mountain as the “Most Successful Literary Hoax”. TopTenz.net (6) lists it as number five on its list of most controversial books. So what made LBJ hit the roof, and order The Report suppressed for all time? The Report’s first paragraph of SECTION 7 – SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS, under the subheading THE NATURE OF WAR, reads:
War is not, as is widely assumed, primarily an instrument of policy utilized by nations to extend or defend their expressed political values or their economic interests. On the contrary, it is itself the principal basis of organization on which all modern societies are constructed. The common proximate cause of war is the apparent interference of one nation with the aspirations of another. But at the root of all ostensible differences of national interest lie the dynamic requirements of the war system itself for periodic armed conflict. Readiness for war characterizes contemporary social systems more broadly than their economic and political structures, which it subsumes.
They are leading up to saying that before consideration of a peace scenario, it must be recognized that war is the foundation of our social systems.
The nature of the war system, and the functions it performs for society must be explicitly understood, and replacements for those crucial functions must be ready before any abandonment of the war system is contemplated; before peace could ever work.
The Report breaks the functions of war down into five categories; economic, political, sociological, ecological, cultural and scientific.
Economically, war has throughout history stabilized and provided a system for controlling national economies.
Politically, war, and the permanent possibility of war have been basic to stable government while propagating acceptance of political authority, maintaining “necessary” class distinctions, and subordinating citizens to the state. The Report claims that without sustaining credible threats of war, no modern rulers have been able to maintain proper control.
Sociologically, war, and presence of military institutions have throughout history helped control social dissidence and antisocial behaviors while promoting binding social allegiance and social cohesion.
Ecologically, war has been indispensable for balancing population with available supply of food and other essentials.
Culturally and Scientifically, war culture has shaped values in the creative arts, as well as motivating advances in science and technology.
Essentially, The Report insists that without war, modern civilization would fall apart – unless substitutes can be devised to replace the functions of war summarized above.
Topping the list of general criteria these substitutes must meet are: political acceptability; technical feasibility; public credibility. The Report breaks down into the same five categories certain characteristics of any acceptable surrogate for the war system.
Economic – Expenditures of resources for “completely nonproductive purposes” must be at a level similar to that achieved by war, must remain independent of the existing supply-and-demand economy, and must be under arbitrary political control.
Political – A “generalized external menace” must be maintained to promote acceptance of political authority.
Sociological – Institutions must be developed to maintain public fear of “personal destruction” the war system provides; fear that promotes adherence to societal values, and acceptance of the transcendence of such values over individual lives.
Ecological – Population control must be maintained to keep humans from threatening the species by reproducing beyond the carrying capacity of Earth’s biosphere.
Cultural and Scientific – Establishment of “a basis for sociomoral conflict” as powerful as war provides is important for determination of cultural values. Also, there must be a “sense of internal necessity” to motivate the quest for scientific knowledge.
Under SUBSTITUTES FOR THE FUNCTIONS OF WAR, The Report effectively, if obliquely, fleshes out fundamentals of WHY we have perpetual war.
Shining in these proposed substitute institutions for replacing the nonmilitary functions of war are reflections of the kinds of minds behind the war system being the very foundation of civilization. In terms of economics, the three suggested war surrogates are:
“A comprehensive social-welfare program, directed toward maximum improvement of human life.”
“A giant open-end space research program, aimed at unreachable targets.”
“A permanent, ritualized, ultra-elaborate disarmament inspection system, and variants of such a system.”
Four suggestions in the political arena:
“An omnipresent, virtually omnipotent international police force.”
“An established and recognized extraterrestrial menace.”
“Massive global environmental pollution.”
“Fictitious alternate enemies.”
The section of sociological surrogates has six entries, two under CONTROL FUNCTION:
“Programs generally derived from the Peace Corps model.”
“A modern, sophisticated form of slavery.”
And under MOTIVATIONAL FUNCTION:
“Intensified environmental pollution.”
“New religions or other mythologies.”
“Socially oriented blood games.”
The only ecological listing:
“A comprehensive program of applied eugenics.”
No replacements are suggested in the cultural arena.
The listing related to science:
“The secondary requirements of the space research, social welfare, and/or eugenics programs.”
The Group rounds out the SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS section of The Report with the caveat:
“The models listed above reflect only the beginning of the quest for substitute institutions for the functions of war…”
The entire text of The Report from Iron Mountain is available online and via scribd below. (7)
If it didn’t ring so true, The Report might be easier to suppress. Another factor is the government’s relationship to the truth. Not only is there overwhelming evidence that the relationship is, at best, adversarial, evidence of the government telling the truth seems hyper-rare.
Realistically, shouldn’t the government calling The Report a hoax be considered solid evidence of The Report’s authenticity?
(3) Obama on the “killing of Osama bin Laden”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8j8LpwDo7Q
4) The book, The Report from Iron Mountain
5) Leonard Lewin
6) TopTenz.net list of most controversial books: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-controversial-books.php
(7) Complete text of the Report from Iron Mountain
Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and an amazing cross between a Doberman and Manchester Terrier. Her name is Polka. Rand's novels, CASTLING, TIMING, and, Priest Lake Cathedral, are published by StarChief Press. Over a hundred articles like this one are at your fingertips with a simple simple search for: by Rand Clifford.
NOTE TO READERS: With digital media revenue spiraling downward, especially hitting those in Independent Media, where attacks from every direction continue to come unabated, it has become apparent that traditional advertising simply isn't going to fully cover the costs and expenses for many smaller independent websites.
Any extra readers may be able to spare for donations is greatly appreciated.