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“The CIA man and his mind-controlled prop” -a short story- by Jon Rappoport

September 16, 2013

He could hardly believe his new life.  It was a like a dream unrolling on a carpet.

Yes, there were occasional glitches, and repairs had to be done now and then—his handler called them “refreshers”—but things were so very beautiful.

In his former life he thought he’d understood the term “juice,” but he hadn’t had a clue.  Real juice was when doors opened you didn’t even know were closed.  As you strode down hallways to meeting rooms, reality was quickly cast up like stage flats to accommodate your objectives and even your moods.

Now, ten years into this second existence, an aide brought him a recording.  It was a message from his CIA man.  His handler.  The accompanying brief note read:

“Congratulations on your tenth anniversary.  I want you to listen to what I told you at your lowest point, that night in the lab, at the very beginning of our adventure, just to remind you how far you’ve come.  ONWARD!”

The recording would be rather disturbing, but he had to hear it.  He needed it for comparison.  He needed to understand the best of all possible worlds could crumble.  There were no absolute guarantees.

Keep on the straight and narrow.  Stay with the agenda.

He put in his earpiece, sat back, and took it all in:

“Well, I’m looking at a sad case sitting in front of me, once a prof at some top Ivy joint, but now a puddle of withering wet flesh in the steam bath of the psyche, the two of us here sitting side by side with towels wrapped around our naked bodies in the heat coming out of the walls and the floor.  Listen, Doc, the point is, everything you learned in your forty fifty years was funneling into an artificial personality, get what I mean, and when that blew away in the wind, which yes we had some role in bringing about, you were left with nothing, but don’t try to come at me with whining and recrimination because I can still save you and this isn’t over, you’re useful even in your present demented state, you’ve got circuits we can deploy, plug into, to broadcast messages out into the general public, and this may not be what you imagined your life was going to be, but it’s better than than the Void.

“There are hearings coming up on the war, and we can use you there too, to testify about who did what to who and who didn’t, we’ll feed you the data, we’ll install the bricks and you’ll lay them out on the table for the committee in a convincing way, and we’ll pay you for that, we’ll set you up in a nice hotel in DC with some people to take care of you, to watch over you,  and you’ll forget about your problems.

“Reporters will come to you for statements and cash will flow, maybe you’ll even marry one of our models, she’ll make you feel like a top-flight man of the world, you’ll be a bon vivant after a while as you get used to your new status, you’ll put yourself back together again, step by step, think of it as rehab, a long rehab after surgery, a new time.

“We’ll pipe these messages through your brain stem, you won’t even feel it after a while, it’ll seem like a warm breeze blowing through your head, trees in the glen, sailboats in the harbor, cafes at sunset, new friends.  You’ll wonder how you ever put up with that university and all those stale domeheads, you’ll be the simulacrum of a player in our cartoon.

“You want to hurt somebody you’ll be able to do it with impunity, nobody’ll touch you in the afterglow, we’ll give you look-ins from our spying machinery, homes, offices, ships at sea, we’ve got the whole show cordoned off, we’ve got the power…Doc, I can rebuild the framework for you, I can run you for public office, I can hook you up to watch missile attacks, we can delete your files and lay in new ones, eradicate every little nasty thing you’ve ever done, Operation Clean Slate, you’re bad you’re good, you’re whatever you want to be, neurologically speaking, you’re a high-functioning android, a siphon, but you have to let go of the residuals, dump those tag ends of your former life, you can drive yourself crazy with that stuff, try to imagine what it means to have a government inside a government behind you, working for you.

“You’ll be a star on the horizon making book on a new century, we can create a whole legend for you, backfill your past…and now you’ll show up in the middle of night to handle a client who’s caught in the middle of an op, bail him out, he’s grateful to you for the rest of his life, he talks about you to his friends, your name spreads like wildfire, you’re a fixer, other people want your game, see, it’s yours, you own it, you make up the rules as you go along, you move mountains, you’re immune, the sweat that comes out of your pores immediately turns into the news.

“You’re the king of the hill.  As long as you’re ours.”

Yes, he remembered how he felt that night so long ago, desperate, at his wit’s end.  They knew he’d cheated on his wife, knew he was a fraud as a professor, that he’d plagiarized other men’s work, that he’d blackmailed a colleague to get him to withdraw his name from an application for tenure so HE could sit in that endowed chair instead.

But at his darkest, his CIA man had offered him hope.  And not just hope.  Brilliant victory.  And the ability to radiate a synthetic aura that matched and called forth the deepest dreams of a corrupt city at the heart of global power.

How they accomplished this supernatural feat he’d never understand, but they succeeded.

Wherever he went now, people, insiders, looked at him with special recognition.  They were seeing their own perverse desires realized.  He had that magical effect.

And his CIA man fed him timely and acute information to which few others were privy, so when he spoke of issues and problems and crises, he was already in tomorrow, while others were swimming in yesterday.

Now, he turned off the recording and smiled.  Yes, this was a life he could never have dreamed of, because he didn’t know it existed, but here he was, playing it out.

A man he’d never seen before strolled into his office.

The door closed from the outside.  They were alone.

“You’ve listened to the recording?” he man said.


Suddenly nervous, he said, “Yes.  I’ve listened to it.”

“Then know this.  Your handler just died in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.  He’s gone.  I’m your new man.  He had, shall we say, a special affection for you.  I don’t.  I have new rules.”


The man continued, “We’re putting you ‘on the slide,’ as we say.  Your ratings are going to go into sharp decline.  Nothing personal.  You were up, now you’re down.  You’ll end up looking battered.  Scandals.  Reverses.  Bad publicity.”

“But wait!  What have I done?  My man is dead?”

“A few hours ago, yes.  You haven’t done anything.  Listen to me.  You have a choice.  You can take what’s going to happen to you personally, or you can roll with the punches.  Make it easy on yourself.  You’re not the centerpiece.  We have larger issues.”

“What the hell are you talking about?  I’m a decision maker!”

“Sure.  It seems that way.  But don’t forget who’s in charge here.  Ten years from now, if you behave yourself, you’ll have your own foundation.  You’ll win back all your friends.  You’ll still be working for us, but the agenda will shift slightly.”

The CIA man looked at him.  There was no respect in his gaze.  He was making an assessment.

The President of the United States felt paralyzed.

He could already sense his aura slipping away.

Without thinking, he blurted out, “I’m a drug addict who’s been cut off!”

“Exactly, Mr. President,” the CIA man said.  “That’s a proper analogy.  Begin to wean yourself immediately.”

Again the President spoke without thinking.  “Tell me what you did to me at the beginning!  I’ve never known.  How did you make all this happen?”

The CIA man nodded, as if other men had asked him the question before.

“You’d be surprised,” he said.  “The technology was only a piece of the equation.  You see, it was your need.  We found it in you.  Your need was great.”

The summation hit him like a blow to the belly.

He had participated in his own re-invention.  The obvious reason was there all along.  His craven NEED for what this new life could give him.

“This…what you’re describing…would be very difficult,” the President said.  He heard the whining tone in his voice.  “I’d be playing without backup.  I’d be ALONE.”

“Yes,” the CIA man said.  “You’ll be navigating in the dark, in a boat with a broken engine.  It’s a test of courage.”

The President was silent for a long time.

Suppose I choose to expose you,” he said.

The CIA man nodded.

“Let me put it this way,” he said.  “We plan for contingencies.  That one is in our book.”

The President felt the room tilt.  A woman who looked like his mother walked out of the wall in front of him.  She pointed a long finger.

“You’ll behave, son,” she said.  “Or you won’t get any candy and I’ll whip you before you go to bed.”

The President was really an arrested child.  He huddled inside himself in his chair and thought about open skies and open roads, and how he had left them behind, a long time ago, and instead had chosen fear as his brother-in-arms.

Here and now, he wanted to say that had been his great mistake, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

He forced himself to smile.  He believed his smile was charming.

“I’ll work with you,” he said.

“Of course you will,” the CIA man said.

The Oval Office righted itself and the woman who looked like his mother disappeared.

The President heard phrases like echoes:

“Make war when we say war, make peace when we say so.”  “There are no lies, only advantages.”  “Build what we tell you to and they will love you.”  “You’re the most important man in the world.” 

“You’re not really from the CIA, are you?” the President said.

“Well, ‘CIA’ is a general term,” the man said.  “But no.  Let’s say we’re a deeper organization.”

The President felt he might explode.

“Who’s running this goddamn country?” he said.

“All you have to know is who’s running you.”

“I’m a front man.”

“You’re a hub cap on the wheel of a car at the back of the parade.”

The President felt a yearning to return to his earlier years as a professor.  Then, he’d only been a small-time criminal.  Now…he didn’t know what he was.  Why did his handler have to come in here and interrupt his life?  Why couldn’t they operate at a distance and help him preserve the illusion that he was a leader?

Finally, summoning up the remainder of his energy, the President said, “Look, whoever you are.  I’m an actor.  Do you understand?  I’m playing my role.  That’s what you want me for.  So don’t show up like this.  It ruins my concentration.  I need to do what I do well.  Everything is riding on the way I perform.  This is my gift.”

The other man nodded.

“Yes,” he said.  “I’ll leave you alone.  But stay with your role, as you call it, for the rest of your term.  Stay in character.  Don’t rock the boat.”

The President watched the man morph.  It took almost a full minute.    What was left was the First Lady.  She stood there staring at him.

“What did you say, dear?” she said.

“Oh…nothing,” he said.  “Nothing.”

She looked at her watch.

“We have to dress for dinner,” she said.

“Of course,” he said.

Now,” she said.

She took him by the arm.  She guided him toward the door.

For some reason, he tried to remember the day he married her.

He couldn’t.

He tried to remember where he’d first met her.

He couldn’t.

As if she were reading his mind, she said, “I’ll always be here.  I was always here.”

He realized it was easier to accept what she was saying then try to untangle what couldn’t be undone.

“I’m a player,” he said.  “I’ll go with this to the end of line.  No one and nothing will budge me.  I’ve got a hundred dollars that says I’ll outlast you.”

She grinned.

“You’re on,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter who or what you are,” he said.  “When you’re gone I’ll still be here.”

As they walked out of the Oval Office, he heard faint music.  Somewhere in the White House, a band was rehearsing Hail to the Chief.

I’m the President, he thought.  They’ll never be able to take that from me.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California.  Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.  Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.  You can sign up  for his free emails at