A Neglected Classic of Sorts – Leonard Lewin’s Report from Iron Mountain by Daniel N. White

by Daniel N. White
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Aug. 4, 2009

Tracked down and read a book that I’d heard of all my life, mostly, and had never gotten around to reading.  Book is Report from Iron Mountain, by Leonard Lewin.  I as a kid remember my dad talking about the book when it came out–he bought into its authenticity at the time like everyone else did, and was particularly concerned with its arguments and conclusions, being a career USAF jet jock at the time.  Am not sure when he got wise to its being a parody–he may not have ever, as the amount of egg left on the faces of official and literary America from their believing in this book’s authenticity when it came out no doubt greatly interfered with word of its being a prank getting out too much too fast.  If the old man were still around, and still believed in the book’s authentic provenance, well he probably wouldn’t lack for company.  Rightwingers reprinted the book in the late ’80’s, and used it as evidence of the Giant Conspiracy that they and they alone were hep to.  They did this without the author’s permission, and argued in court that seeing as the book was a USG publication, it was not subject to copyright restrictions and could be reprinted freely without permission, like any other government publication.  They lost, and wound up having to give all the copies that they had back to L. Lewin.   How droll.  And hell if people still aren’t buying into it today–Wikipedia’s entry on the book allows the possibility still of it being an authentic USG study, and Oliver Stone used it as evidence in his movie JFK as evidence for The Giant Conspiracy that only he and  that useless drunk Jim Garrison were hep to.  Gadzooks.

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