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For The Record  

FTR #385 Formula for Disaster

Recorded October 27, 2002
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This program is interrogatory in nature—the material is emphatically designated as speculative. This is, if you will, a conspiracy theory! It is what Mr. Emory calls “Food for Thought, Grounds for Further Research.” Nonetheless, this is a line of inquiry that he has been considering for more than twenty years–recent events have motivated him to put this particular ball in play, so to speak. Utilizing an historical novel strongly grounded in fact, this program accesses The Formula by Steve Shagan. Although it is a novel—and Mr. Emory emphasizes again and again during the broadcast that his presentation is not meant to be considered as a literal presentation of fact—the material in The Formula can be corroborated to a great extent by credible, well-documented information on the public record.

The Formula trailer.

1. Made into a major motion picture starring (among others) George C. Scott as Barney Caine (a Los Angeles Police Detective and ex-CIA agent) and Marlon Brando (as Adam Steiffel, CEO of the fictional “Tidal Oil”), the book is predicated upon the I.G. Farben company’s synthetic fuel program. I.G. Farben (the Nazi chemical cartel that was central to the Third Reich’s war economy) utilized the hydrogenation process in order to turn coal into oil. This process, in turn, was at the epicenter of (arguably) the most important cartel deal of the 20th century, netotiated between what were (again, arguably) the two most important industrial concerns of that century—the Standard Oil companies and the I.G. Farben firm. This agreement, the Standard-I.G. Agreement of 1929, is covered at considerable length in Miscellaneous Archive Show M11.

2. The Standard-I.G. Agreement of 1929 was similar, in certain respects, to what has become known as a “debt-equity swap.” I.G. had invested a great deal of capital into “R&D” (research and development) of the hydrogenation process in order to utilize Germany’s large coal reserves to synthesize oil—Germany has no domestic petroleum reserves. As a result of its enormous expenditures in this regard, I.G. Farben’s financial situation was precarious. Standard Oil of New Jersey–the most important of the Standard firms (later Exxon, now Exxon-Mobil)–recognized that the successful development of the hydrogenation process had the potential to threaten its profit position by freeing industrial economies from dependence on naturally-produced oil. The two companies negotiated the Standard-I.G. Agreement of 1929—satisfying the needs of both companies. Through this agreement, I.G. Farben received: a significant block of Standard of New Jersey’s stock (making it the second largest stock holder in the firm behind the Rockefeller family), as well as the right to produce and market synthetic fuel developed by hydrogenation in Germany only. This gave I.G. Farben badly needed capital and guaranteed Germany’s access to hydrogenation-produced synthetic oil. Through this agreement, Standard Oil of New Jersey received: the exclusive right to produce and market synthetic oil developed through the hydrogenation process everywhere but in Germany. This assured Standard’s profit position by protecting against the potential threat posed by synthetic oil.

3. During World War II, I.G. Farben’s hydrogenation plants provided Germany with the bulk of its fuel, thus realizing the potential of the Standard-I.G. Agreement. The 1944 aerial campaign against the largest of those plants, the giant I.G. facility at Leuna, was one of the pivotal engagements of the air war in Western Europe. “The Battle of Leuna” was instrumental in crippling Germany’s war machine. Although Germany managed to keep the plant operating by cannibalizing equipment from other hydrogenation facilities, the resulting damage to the overall synthetic oil program was a decisive element in the destruction of the fuel for Germany’s war machine.
(“The Battle of Leuna” is discussed in FTR#278. See also: The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben; by Joseph Borkin; The Free Press [Macmillan]; Copyright 1978 [HC]; ISBN 0-02-904630-0; pp. 128-30.)

4. In the early 1990’s, the Leuna refinery (which had been rebuilt by the Soviets after the war) became the focal point of a complex deal involving the French oil firm ELF-Aquitaine, the Thyssen heavy industrial firm and the Saudi Arabian armaments industry. This deal, in turn, is at the center of an ongoing scandal in Germany involving political payouts to the CDU party of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, bribes allegedly made by French politicians, kickbacks involving powerful Canadian political and economic interests, and the intelligence services of numerous countries. In turn, the CDU funding scandal is inextricably linked with the Underground Reich. (For more about the CDU funding scandal, see FTR#’s 193, 276, 278.) The intense interest on the part of major political and industrial interests in this renovated Second World War facility is of particular significance in this context. Most of the industrial infrastructure of the former East Germany was bought out and liquidated (with enormous resultant hardship for the citizens of that part of Germany) shortly after reunification. In contrast, the former I.G. facility at Leuna was considered a valuable prize. The maneuvering around the Leuna facility and the CDU funding scandal was instrumental in convincing Mr. Emory that The Formula was of more than mere literary significance. It convinced him that that fact-based novel would have to be discussed at some future point.

5. The novel The Formula revolves around the formula for a catalyst (“the Mangan Catalyst”) developed by I.G. Farben as part of its “Genesis Project.” The significance of the project lies in the fact that it greatly improved the efficiency of the hydrogenation process, streamlining Germany’s synthetic fuel production capacity and (potentially) making the hydrogenation process economically competitive with naturally-produced petroleum. In the novel, the post-1973 increase in the price of oil makes the “Formula” a pivot-point of clandestine intrigue. Consider the significance of the hypothetical existence of such a formula. It would: potentially control petroleum-producing countries (including the former USSR and the Middle-East oil kingdoms) by threatening their economic foundation; offer the key to manipulating the econ

omies of non-oil producing industrial economies by potentially freeing them from the need to import oil; control the “profit position” of the major oil companies; and legally freeing Germany from the need to import oil—I.G.’s successor companies would have retained the right to produce hydrogenation-derived oil. Given the improvements in organic chemistry and other technologies in years since World War II, it seems unlikely that something like the “Mangan Catalyst” (or an analogous technological development) would not have been developed.

6. In the context of the emphatically hypothetical, interrogatory nature of this program, one should not lose sight of the fact that the world’s natural petroleum reserves are limited, and will be exhausted within a few decades. The motivation of the petroleum-producing countries and the oil companies themselves to extract the remaining oil from the ground at “top dollar” before bowing to the inevitable would, therefore, be considerable under the circumstances. This should be evaluated as one delves into the text and substance of this fact-based work of fiction.

7. The discussion begins with the detective Barney Caine (played by George C. Scott in the film version of the novel) discussing with “Tidal Oil” CEO Adam Steiffel (played by Marlon Brando) the manner in which he had been set up to track down the remaining I.G. Farben scientists aware of the Genesis project, and its successful realization. After Caine located them, they were assassinated. One of the threatening elements that precipitates the events in the novel is the potential of a Swiss-based consortium to put the “formula” into production. In that context, one should not lose sight of the fact that I.G. Farben had the most profound connections in Switzerland. (For more about the Swiss-I.G. connection, see FTR#’s 292, 335, among other broadcasts.) ” ‘The Swiss consortium had the means to make the formula viable, to go into mass production of synthetic fuel. We couldn’t tolerate that. But we couldn’t be overt. We needed a cover.'”

“Barney nodded. ‘And what could be a better cover for killing German citizens than their involvement with an American cop pursuing an American crime?'”

“The old man smiled. ‘Yes. We used you right from the start.'”

“The impact of Steiffel’s words struck Barney with a deadening force. He fell silent for a moment, his mind racing back over past events. The old man sucked and chewed on the wet end of the cigar. He seemed to be enjoying Barney’s dissolution.”

” ‘Ah, don’t take it personally, boy,’ Steiffel said. ‘After all, you were out of your milieu. You were a pawn. A soldier being moved by a master.'”

“Barney felt a ball of heat collecting in his throat. ‘I halfway suspected it after I met with Diestel. He was too open. He cloaked it behind his Nazi philosophy, but he overplayed his hand. I was sure after Siebold led me to Reimeck. I just didn’t want to believe someone was maneuvering all those people.’ Barney sighed. ‘I should have known you were calling the shots once Clements was hit.'”
(The Formula; by Steve Shagan; Copyright 1979 Cirandinha Productions, Inc.; Soft Cover edition published in 1980 by Bantam Books; 0-553-13801-4; p. 328.)

8. The broadcast further develops the relationship between a German woman who works with the post-war SS underground (headed by “Diestel”), the oil cartel and PLO-connected terrorists. “Lehmans” is a German police detective who assisted “Caine” in his investigation. ” ‘Your blond German girl friend and the mysterious Los Angeles brunette are one in the same. But she’s a terrorist, recruited by someone who wants to keep the Genesis Formula off the market. The Arabs would obviously have similar interests.'”

“Barney’s response was calm and shaded by utter desolation. ‘I guess that’s the ball game.'”

” ‘Not quite. We found Diestel’s private phone number in Lisa Spangler’s apartment. Which means she was planted by Diestel.'”

” What the hell for?’ Barney asked.”

” ‘To have minute-by minute knowledge of your progress. Remember Diestel still controls the surviving members of the Genesis team. It’s the strong arm of the Kameradschaft.'”

” ‘The what?’ Barney asked.”

” ‘The Fraternal Order of SS.’ Lehmans replied.”

” ‘Which means Diestel ordered Obermann and Siebold to see me’ Barney offered.”

” ‘And to direct you to Esau,’ Lehmans added. ‘It also proves that Diestel knew you were coming to Berlin and that you had Obermann’s name in your possession.'” (Ibid.; p. 267.)

9. The relationship between “Diestel,” the fictional “Tidal Oil” and the Underground Reich reflects the real-life relationships between the Bormann organization, the successor companies to the I.G., and the oil industry. (See, among other programs, FTR#305.) ” ‘What about Diestel?’ Barney asked.”

” ‘He was our man in Berlin. He was a high corporate officer of a West German firm we do business with. He held the Fraternal Order in his hand. He was most useful.'” (Ibid.; p. 329.)

10. One of the major points in the book is a confrontation between “Caine” and “Esau,” the top I.G. Farben scientist, in charge of the Genesis project and based at Leuna. “Esau” is discussing the circumstances following his capture by the Soviets. “Reimeck” was one of the veterans of the I.G. “Genesis project.” ” ‘You never revealed the final formula?'”

” ‘Never. They knew we made oil from coal through hydrogenation. They knew it was costly and required slave labor. But they did not know we had perfected the ultimate catalyst.'”

“Esau’s lips drew back in a self-satisfied grin, and Barney permitted the old man a moment of victorious reminiscence before he asked, ‘What happened to the formula?'”

” ‘Reimeck probably informed you of the clandestine meeting in the old Adlon Hotel. Did he not?'”

” ‘Yes.’ Barney nodded.”

” ‘The convoy containing the formula was captured by the Americans. They in turn sent it to the British in Hamburg.'”

“Barney craved a cigarette but did not dare smoke in the presence of Esau, who seemed to have trouble drawing enough oxygen to speak. ‘I know about that convoy,’ Barney said. ‘What I’m asking you, Doctor, is what happened to the formula after the war.'” (Ibid.; pp. 278-279.)

11. “Esau” then discloses to “Caine” the nature of the maneuvering around the Genesis formula. ” ‘The answer to your question is obvious, it is not?’ He sucked the stale air. ‘After the oil embargo of ’73 all the oil reserves of the seven major American companies increased in value by four hundred percent. OPEC is their creation. They have joined with large banking interests and armament manufacturers to prevent the manufacture of synthetic fuel. Of course, there is a conspiracy.’ His voice trembled and rose. ‘They will continue to withhold synthetic fuel until their profit position is assured.'” (Ibid.; p. 279.)

12. “Barney asked, ‘You keep referring to ‘they.’ Who are ‘they’?”

” ‘The cartel,’ Esau rasped. ‘They have maintained my life because I possess the formula.’ He leaned back. ‘They permitted me to stay alive because I agreed to withhold its publication. And should I die under abnormal circumstances, that formula would be delivered to certain Swiss industrial interests.'” (Ibid.; pp. 279-280.)

13. Next, “Esau” discloses to “Caine” the catalyst’s utility in produci

ng methanol. (In consideration of same, it is interesting to note the Bush administration’s involvement in promoting timber-cutting corporations’ access to forests on federal lands.) Mr. Emory cannot endorse this hypothetical application. ” ‘And that catalyst not only produced motor fuel from coal at an economic price but also produced methanol. Yes. Methanol, the magic substance that will fuel the energy requirements of future mankind.'”

” ‘Why do you call methanol magic?’ Barney asked.”

” ‘Because it can be made from wood, trees, pulp, grain. It only requires that a car have no carburetor, rather a fuel injector. It produces no pollutants. It burns cleanly, producing no carbon buildup on the engine. It requires only the planting and replanting of trees and wheat.’ He paused. ‘And along with regular fuel, my formula permits’—he gasped and wheezed for breath—’permits synthesized petrochemical products completely uncontaminated by sulfur. Of course, immediate production would be made from coal. But then wood and grain will take over.'” (Ibid.; pp. 280-281.)

14. In another of the novel’s climactic moments, “Steiffel” reveals to “Caine” the future of the “Mangan catalyst,” and the hydrogenation process. In this context, as well, it is interesting to contemplate the Bush administration’s renewed emphasis on coal production. (See, among other programs, FTR#289.) “Steiffel walked up to the big glass window, and Barney sat down in a chair facing the circular desk. ‘Don’t feel too disheartened, son,’ Steiffel said, turning to Barney. ‘We will manufacture synthetic fuel. And in great quantity. We already own most of the coal in the country. We know what’s coming. We have the formula. We have the Mangan catalyst, and we have the technology. But we must be certain of profit. By 1990, the country will be on its knees to OPEC. The government will then turn to us. And in their desperation they will insure our profit position in the manufacture of synthetic fuel.'”

” ‘Nice,’ Barney said.”

” ‘Business,’ Steiffel replied, ‘just business.’ He crossed from the window and walked toward Barney. ‘We are a team of giants nursing the lullaby of the masses.'”

“Steiffel sat down on the sofa opposite Barney and peered across at him in the dim light. ‘You mustn’t think of us as evil, rapacious men, clinging to the keys of our numbered Swiss accounts. On the contrary, we are a small family of simple businessmen seeking only the tranquil pursuit of profit. And we take great care to bestow sufficient largess on the citizens.'”

” ‘Is this where you play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’?’ Barney asked?”

“Steiffel smiled. ‘I understand your anger and therefore excuse it. You’re an old-fashioned man. In a way the epitome of the American myth of the rugged individual. And I respect that. I come from a long line of strong-willed men. But like it or not, the world has changed. You’re a policeman. You cannot possibly understand the complexities of global economics.'” (Ibid.; pp. 330-331.)

15. Beginning the second half of the broadcast, the focus turns to a fictional discussion between the VERY real-life SS General Walter Schellenberg (in charge of the foreign intelligence branch of the SD—the SS intelligence service), a German general “Kladen” and “Esau.” It is important to note that Schellenberg, Allen Dulles and SS General Wolff were indeed involved in real-life negotiations during the closing phase of the war. These negotiations areaccurately reflected in the fictional presentation in the book. (For more about these negotiations, see, among other broadcasts, FTR#’s 121, 233, RFA#37.) ” ‘The Reich is defeated. We must therefore save as much of the German nation as possible.'”

” ‘I am prepared to carry out the mission,’ Kladen replied.”

“Schellenberg paced for a moment, then placed himself in the center of the suite. ‘SS General Wolff is at the moment in Zurich conducting secret negotiations with the chief of American Intelligence [sic], Allen Dulles. Wolff has made the proposition to turn over to the Americans our most critical military documents concerning research and development of secret weapons. We offer the information in return for amnesty for those of us who have served the Reich in certain areas that may be construed as war crimes. In addition, we are seeking American guarantees that they will enter Berlin before the city falls to the Soviets.’ Schellenberg sipped some more champagne and turned to Dr. Esau. ‘Please describe to the general the materials we will be surrendering.'”

In discussing the technologies to be turned over the Americans (something similar to this actually took place under Project Paperclip), “Esau” lists the German “synthetics” patents as among the most important. That this may have been the case should not be too readily dismissed. “Dr. Esau spoke in a cold, clipped monotone. ‘The principal documents pertain to: the ME-262 jet fighter; the new Zeiss sights; the V-one and V-two rockets; the design engineering of the jet wind tunnel; the remote control ground-to-air heat-seeking missile; the long-range rockets known as A-four and A-nine; the designs for the uranium-powered submarine; and finally all our files on synthetics.'” (Ibid.; p. 11.)

16. The confrontation between “Caine” and “Steiffel” contains more discussion of the hypothetical cartel maneuvering around the Genesis formula. “He rose, paced for a moment and reflectively said, ‘Over the years, we have been concerned with the continued existence of the surviving German scientists who worked on the Genesis program. But our concern was benign. After all, we controlled the oil from the sands to the pumps. And the manufacture of synthetic fuel was an economic impossibility. Therefore, we were content to let sleeping dogs lie. But when the Swiss industrialist contacted Obermann, everything changed.'”

“Barney interrupted. ‘How did you know about the Swiss contact?'”

” ‘Obermann dutifully reported that contact to Diestel. And we became actively concerned.'”

” ‘Why?’ Barney asked. ‘What’s wrong with making America self-sufficient in synthetic fuel?'”

“The old man stared at Barney with a look of total wonder. ‘Do you honestly expect a three-hundred-billion-dollar industry to undermine its own stake in the lucrative scarcity of oil by mass-producing synthetic fuel?'”

“Steiffel walked back to his desk and sat down. ‘We’ve had that formula in our possession since the conclusion of the war. British Intelligence turned it over to our chemists in early ’46. We even imported a few German scientists to build pilot hydrogenation plants, to be certain the process was economically unsound. We terminated those plants in ’56. But’—he paused—’that was twenty-two years ago. Things change. The price of crude oil has risen dramatically since ’73, making the production of synthetic fuel an economic possibility. The Genesis Formula makes it an economic reality. Therefore, we could not risk the formula falling into the wrong hands.'” (Ibid.; pp. 326-327.)

17. After he has successfully obtained the “formula” from “Esau, “Caine” discusses its significance with “Lisa Spangler”—the SS protégé and PLO fellow-traveler who is manipulated by the cartel. In FTR#370, the connections of the Bush family to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, the coal deposits near Auschwitz, and the Third Reich’s synthetic fuel program are set forth at some length. It is interesting to consider the Bush family’s position in light of this connection, as well as the hypothetical “blackmail” stratagem central to this novel and, possibly, real-life as well. ” ‘It’s ironic to think so many died for eight pages of scientific equations,’ she said tho

ughtfully.”

“Barney did not respond, but he thought about the truth of her words. He thought about those who had perished. The slaves. The inmate workers at I.G. Farben—Auschwitz. And all the others, at the fifteen hydrogenation plants. Those huge factories and refineries that had mysteriously escaped Allied bombing.” (Ibid.; p. 283.)

18. One of the altogether hypothetical elements in the novel concerns “Caine’s” revenge against “Steiffel”—the communication of the formula to the Israelis. Whether this, too, is reflective of actual clandestine political reality is anyone’s guess. “Steiffel’s eyes widened, his lips quivered, and his voice trembled. He breathed the word as if he’d heard it for the first time, ‘Israel—why Israel?'”

“Barney said, ‘The formula went to Israel because they have no connections with big oil. It was circumstance, pure chance. It was Heisenberg. Those random particles—they’ll kill you every time.'”

“The old man turned, and moved to his desk. ‘You’re out of my hands. You have created a situation that has removed you from my care. You are a damn fool, Mr. Caine. A suicidal maniac. You disappoint me. I gave you credit for more intelligence!'”

” ‘You made a mistake,’ Barney said. ‘You may be in a little bit of trouble, Mr. Steiffel.’ He turned and started for the door.”

” ‘Caine!’ the old man shouted.”

“Barney looked back at the old man. The color had gone out of his cheeks, and his lips were blue. His voice was tense but composed. ‘Sending the formula to Israel is specious and futile. They have no coal. No minerals. No funds. All they have are oranges.'”

” ‘But they have science,’ Barney said. ‘And they have connections. And you know how it is.’ Barney paused. ‘When money talks, people listen.'” (Ibid.; pp. 332-333.)

19. Still later, “Lehmans” urges “Caine” to make the formula public. The hypothetical realities that impel “Lehmans” are worth thinking about. “Lehmans touched Barney’s arm. ‘For God’s sake, man make that formula public. Get it out in the open. The goddamn Arabs, the banks, the interlocking cartel of oil companies are choking the life out of the Western democracies. And if they fall, you have another Germany of the thirties. [Emphasis added.] Make it public, Barney.'” (Ibid.; p. 315.)

20. Bearing in mind the fact that this book was written during the late 1970’s, it is unsettling to read some of the discussion between “Esau” (dying of cancer) and “Caine” against the background of political realities that became evident in the years following the novel’s publication. The Osirak reactor bombed by the Israelis in 1981 was, indeed, being built by the French. FTR#’s 278, 300, and 372, among other programs, highlight the French corporate collaboration with the Third Reich, before, during and after the Second World War—a major element of “Esau’s” conversation. “Accommodation” and the equipping of Iraq with technology that can be used for weapons of mass destruction is not exclusive to the French. “The slack mouth gathered itself, and his lips moved slowly.”

“‘The French are building an atomic reactor in northern Iraq.'”

“Barney was speechless. It was one of those non sequitur that defied answer.”

” ‘Did you know that?’ Esau rasped.

“Barney shook his head. ‘No. I didn’t.'”

” ‘The French will do anything for a profit. During the occupation, their scientists worked hand and glove with me. The resistance was a myth. All through the war the Parisian nightclubs were open. The racetracks ran; the restaurants were full. The French are a people whose principal character trait is ‘accommodation.’ And now they sell the Iraqis an atomic reactor.’ He coughed twice and wiped some spittle from his lips. ‘The world will end within two centuries; of that there can be no question.'” (Ibid.; pp. 277-278.)

21. It has been said that “art imitates life.” Indeed. Perhaps the reverse is true as well. As we peer into the darkness of the future, consider “Caine’s” confrontation with “the old man”—”Barney Steiffel.” ” ‘What happens when there’s no more profit left to squeeze from the citizens? When the whole goddamn world is on its knees?’ Barney asked angrily.”

“The old man looked up at the ceiling for a moment, then stared at Barney. ‘In that case, the cartel performs its historic duty. We unleash the dogs of war. There are those times when war is both economically and ecologically necessary for the ultimate survival of the species.'” [Emphasis added.] (Ibid.; p. 331.)

22. Again, one can not stress too heavily that this book is a novel. Nonetheless, the extent to which it reflects reality is eerie, and makes it well ahead of its time when weighed against the general level of political knowledge and information available in that period (the 1970’s). Consider the heritage of the “Lisa Spangler” character. She discusses her background and her father. “He was the commander of the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Three hundred thousand women were gassed and burned at that place. I was born there in my father’s villa, at that killing center. Toward the end my mother hid me in a room full of teeth. Jars of gold teeth.’ She leaned against the bureau. ‘My mother escaped with me two days before the Soviet troops came. My father was hanged but we survived. My mother was quite beautiful. We were taken care of by the Fraternal Order [of the SS] . . .'” (Ibid.; p. 301.)

23. Noting the Underground Reich’s links to terrorist groups such as Baader-Meinhof, “Lisa Spangler’s” character portrayal is insightful. (See, among other broadcasts, FTR#’s 333, 354, 371, 383.) Note that Francois Genoud was an associate of elements of Baader-Meinhof, as well as the PFLP of George Habbash. (See FTR#’s 350, as well as the programs noted above.) ” ‘I felt I had to do something. Something that would save humanity. I had to take a stand. I had to atone for what my father was. I met the people in Baader-Meinhof. And I found a way to act. And a goal to achieve.'”

” ‘What goal?’ Barney asked gently.”

” ‘The universal brotherhood of mankind.’ She walked over to him, and her lips trembled. ‘I was sent to Damascus. I was trained by Habash [sic] . . .'” (Ibid.; p. 302.)

24. “Lisa Spangler” also reflects the realities of the Saudi/Middle Eastern terrorist connection. Carlos the Jackal (associated with Genoud and Habbash, as well as the milieu of Baader-Meinhof) was among her inspirational sources. (For more about Carlos and the Underground Reich, see, among other programs, FTR#’s 341, 344.) “She crushed her cigarette and said, ‘My mind was free of all past conceptions, of all conscience. I was transformed. And for the first time in my life, I had something to believe in. I knew that terror and violence were the only means.'”

” ‘The means to what?’ he asked.”

“She stared into his eyes. ‘Chaos.'”

” ‘Then what?'”

” ‘With chaos comes a void. That void will be filled by our movement.’ She paused. ‘We are funded by the Saudis. The synthetic fuel formula is a dire threat to them. And to other interests that I have no feeling for but are nevertheless allied . . .'”

“Carlos said that. It’s his favorite quotation. ‘Shit is thicker than blood.’ Make shit out of them.'” (Ibid.; pp. 302-303.)

It remains to be seen if life will imitate art in this case.

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