In Search of Anti-Semitism
William F. Buckley
A conservative who doesn’t care to fight against the Left is useless. He might as well be a leftist himself, because, over time he becomes more a symbol of capitulation than a leading light of the Right. As a twentieth-century conservative icon, pundit, and National Review publisher, William F. Buckley certainly wasn’t this bad when it came to the Jewish Question—but it was close.
In 1992, shortly after his retirement as National Review’s editor, Buckley published In Search of Anti-Semitism. This is a collection of essays, letters, speeches, and column excerpts which first appeared in National Review and dealt with four contemporaneous incidents which may or may not have been anti-Semitic in nature. These include Joseph Sobran’s criticisms of Israel and the disproportionate Jewish/Neocon control of American foreign policy; Patrick Buchanan’s similar complaints—especially as they relate to the neocons; the mysterious interpolation of a sentence from Mein Kampf into the credo of an issue of The Dartmouth Review (on the day before Yom Kippur, no less!); and Gore Vidal’s snide attacks on Israel and on neocons Norman Podhoretz and his wife Midge Decter from the pages of The Nation.
As its title suggests, In Search of Anti-Semitism chronicles Buckley’s quest to determine which of these are anti-Semitic and which are not. Buckley flexes his vocabulary and vast mental repository of American politics as he mulls over these events, all the while hampering himself with the following restriction: Because of the Jewish Holocaust, Jews as a group possess a unique and inherent innocence as well as retain a unique and inviolable right to an ethnocentric homeland. White people seem to lack these attributes in Buckley’s eyes, given how he insists that they “understand the nature of sensibilities in an age that coexisted with Auschwitz”1 while not insisting that Jews embrace similar sensibilities in an age that coexisted with the Holodomor and Gulag Archipelago.2 He describes the taboos regarding The Jews and Israel as “welcome,” and explains that this sensitivity exists “for the best of reasons.” Buckley also dismisses the proto-dissident journal Instauration as a “wild racist-nativist publication” and its editor Wilmot Robertson as “deranged.” Buckley condemns the 1950s pro-American publication, The American Mercury, for its “advanced nativism” and its editor Russell Maguire for being anti-Semitic.3 So, clearly, he ascribes to his fellow Whites neither the ethnocentrism nor the homeland rights that he so freely ascribes to Jews.
Buckley then sallies forth as a dignified umpire upon this uneven playing field. Given his pro-Jewish, anti-White parameters, he doesn’t do a half bad job. In fact, In Search of Anti-Semitism offers an (dare I say it) enjoyable glimpse into the man’s prodigious mind. His erudition, his facile control of language, his gift for analogy, his adroit application of paradigmatic argument, as well as the artfully cruel digs he takes at his opponents (especially Gore Vidal) all remind us of why he was a conservative icon for so long. People know right away that they are dealing with a first-rate intellect. A bit pompous and stuffy perhaps, but his sparkling prose makes it easy to overlook all that.
Problems arise like the eyes of a submerged alligator, however, when it becomes clear that anti-Semitism and the Jewish Question are just too thorny to fit neatly anywhere in Buckley’s wheelhouse. He cedes too much moral ground to the Jews (as well as a distinct ethnocentric edge), such that evaluating anti-Semitism objectively becomes almost impossible unless one side of the argument is cartoonishly wrong. For example, if a Jewish leftist shrieks anti-Semitism with little cause or in bad faith, as James Freedman, the Jewish president of Dartmouth college, did against The Dartmouth Review, then Buckley is reliable. And when dealing with someone the neocons also dislike, such as Vidal, Buckley can be fearless (and fun to read). However, when things are less clear cut—as in the cases of Sobran and Buchanan—then his fighting spirit begins to crumble, knowing that he will have to face the poison pens of his neocon colleagues (his “natural allies”) who know how to use the anti-Semitism charge like a weapon when gentiles like Buckley get out of line.
All Buckley can do is punch back weakly, which in the end convinces no one.
By the mid-1980s, Joe Sobran, who was a senior editor of National Review, had written a series of articles in his syndicated column that hit the Jewish Question just right. As a result, he was smeared as an anti-Semite. Buckley summarizes:
In the columns, Mr. Sobran, among other things, has declared that Israel is not an ally to be trusted; surmised that the New York Times endorsed the military strike against Libya only because it served its Zionist editorial line; and ruminated that the visit of the Pope to a synagogue had the effect of muting historical persecutions of Christians by Jews. In that last column, Mr. Sobran, exasperated, wrote, “But it has become customary recently to ascribe all Jewish-Christian friction to Christians. If a Jew complains about Christians, Christians must be persecuting him. If a Christian complains about Jews, he is doing the persecuting—in the very act of complaining. It simply isn’t fair.”
But faced with Sobran’s tendentious criticisms of Israel and Jews in general—criticisms that eschewed superficialities and hinted at something nefarious within the Jewish psyche—Buckley embarked upon a long march along the squishy middle ground. After invoking his split with The Mercury thirty years prior, he disassociated himself and National Review from Sobran’s offending articles—but not with Sobran personally. He then declared that his dear friend and colleague was not an anti-Semite, yet granted that claims that he was an anti-Semite might not be unreasonable.
Saying nothing would have been preferable to such cowardly equivocations.
Smelling weakness, the censorious Norman Podhoretz responded by scolding Buckley for giving Sobran space in National Review to respond to this bruhaha. He would have been happy with never seeing Sobran in National Review again. He also subtly threatened to lend more credence to Marty Peretz of The New Republic, who hated Sobran as an “unabashed bigot” and Buckley nearly as much for being so chummy with him.
After a snippy back and forth between the two pundits (in which Buckley, to be fair, holds his own), Buckley dives into the Sobran Question and unearths all the reasons Joe Sobran might be considered an anti-Semite. Buckley does deserve credit for at least airing out Sobran’s ideas—something the philo-Semitic neocons would be loath to do. To the Dissident Right today, the following four quotes from In Search of Anti-Semitism is vintage stuff—Sobran’s reputation only grows, while Buckley’s only grows stale in comparison.
- Buckley says that the people Sobran criticizes “[feel] victimized even when they have considerable power and aren’t using it very creditably.”
- Philo-Semitism can overgeneralize as preposterously as anti-Semitism. The fact that one has replaced the other only means that the Jews’ corporate fortunes have improved, not that people really appreciate them as they deserve to be appreciated. Real appreciation includes a certain amount of criticism, but even that has to rest on the assumption they have the same rights as other people.
- The ancient pagan charge against the Jews was that they were “misanthropes.” At any rate, however the Jews now may differ from the Jews then, they’ve always been aloof debunkers of what they took to be the idolatries of people around them, including Christianity. This naturally irritates the natives—or maybe I should say the nativists. At times it irritates me.
- “Anti-Semitism” only seems to show up nowadays in the context of discussion of Israel. Jews aren’t beaten in the streets, snubbed, denied entry to Harvard, etc. By every other index, anti-Semitism is defunct. Yet the Zionist Apparat wants to convince us it’s raging, “just beneath the surface.” It talks about “polite” and “sophisticated” and “thinly veiled” anti-Semitism. For some reason the stuff never gets overt.
Of course, Buckley does his level best to debunk Sobran, and nitpicks here and there. Most often, he is less than convincing (for example, pointing to how Sobran “never spent a lot of time blasting apartheid” as evidence for how his anti-Israel stance might be anti-Semitic).4 He ends his Sobran chapter by wearily admitting that he cannot defend his friend from the hysterical anti-Sobran chorus. The best he can muster is to call some of these people hysterical and complain about the double standard in which no one on the Left is pressured to disavow their zealots in the way that Buckley had been pressured to disavow Sobran.
Like I said: punching back weakly. What Buckley doesn’t understand is that the Jews are aware of this double standard, and they do their best to maintain it.
In the early 1990s, during the first Iraq war and around the time Patrick Buchanan was starting his run for the presidency, the former Nixon aide made the following unkind comments in the media about Jews and Israel.
There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East—the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.
The Israelis want this war desperately because they want the United States to destroy the Iraqi war machine. They want us to finish them off. They don’t care about our relations with the Arab world.
Buckley doesn’t find these statements anti-Semitic, but admits that they arouse suspicions. As is his wont, he nitpicks by mentioning the strong non-Jewish support for the war, but for the most part withholds judgment. Then, like the author of a first-rate pot-boiler, Buckley reveals Buchanan’s crack that the US Congress was “Israeli-occupied” territory.
Oof. Harder to defend, but Buckley takes a swing by bringing up how 1950s Senator William Knowland was once dubbed “the Senator from Formosa” for his staunch support of the Chiang Kai-shek government in Taiwan. Only Buckley can come up with analogies which, while superficially apt, are staggeringly inapt once we compare the miniscule influence over America’s Taiwan policy in 1953 versus 1992 Israel. (Again, punching back weakly.) Still, Buckley admits that Buchanan’s words could be construed as “encouraging resentment against the Israeli lobby.”
Then Buchanan offered the names of the worst warmongers, all of them Jewish: A. M. Rosenthal of the New York Times, Richard Perle, Charles Krauthammer, and Henry Kissinger. Now suspicious himself of Buchanan’s anti-Semitism, Buckley reminds his readers of four Christian pundits (James Jackson Kilpatrick, Frank Gaffney, George Will, and Alexander Haig) who were equally hawkish regarding the war, and doesn’t remind his readers of the mere two percent of the American population made up by Jews. And for the coup de grace Buckley reports Buchanan’s claim that in the war against Iraq, the fighting would be done by “kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales, and Leroy Brown.”
This Buckley surmises to be a dig at Jews, as it most likely was. As such, he is willing to recount the resulting fallout of the Buchanan affair and let Buchanan and his allies fend for themselves. Curiously, he spends more mental effort adjudicating the anti-Semitism of Buchanan’s language (which he calls “clumsy forensic manners”—whatever that means) than whether there’s any truth behind it. Not surprisingly, Buchanan’s enemies—who are, to a man in In Search of Anti-Semitism, Jewish—do the exact same thing in the ensuing pages.
This leads Buckley to ramble at length about the nature of anti-Semitism and how not anti-Semitic a person can be and still be critical of Israel. Meanwhile, he does not object as Rosenthal, David Frum, Joshua Murvachik, Alan Dershowitz, Jack Newfield, and others called for Buchanan’s expulsion from polite society rather than prove that kids with names like Cohen, Goldstein, and Mandelbaum would serve proportionately in battle. It seems that for these people (and for Buckley himself to some extent) it matters more to not be deemed anti-Semitic than to tell the truth.
Buckley does give some space to Buchanan’s defenders, many of whom, such as Murray Rothbard and Paul Gottfried, were also Jewish. These people essentially attest to Buchanan’s sterling character because they knew him personally. A tepid argument, on par with Buckley’s claim at the end of this murky and disjointed chapter that Pat Buchanan may be an anti-Semite, but at least he’s not as bad as David Duke. Here we go again, punching back weakly.
The Dartmouth Review
In probably the most entertaining chapter in the book, Buckley sticks to his goyish guns and comes out on top. But this is hardly cause for victory laps since The Dartmouth Review affair reveals exactly how hysterical, stupid, and wrong the philo-Semitic Left can be, which is a ridiculously easy point to make. Basically, an unnamed writer for The Dartmouth Review thought it would be a clever prank (or insidious act of sabotage) to insert a little of Mein Kampf into the journal’s credo on page one. The rest of this sordid story involves Dartmouth’s Jewish president James Freedman and the college administration going scorched earth against the Review despite profuse apologies, the destruction of all offending issues, and the Review’s Black editor volunteering to take a polygraph test (which he passed) attesting that he was unaware of the text insertion.
Freedman organized an anti-hate rally. He publicized the affair in the national media. He charged that the Review “attacked blacks because they are black, women because they are women, homosexuals because they are homosexuals, and Jews because they are Jews.” He also, without any reason at all, ruled out the possibility of sabotage. The New Hampshire District Attorney was asked to do an investigation. Naturally, the Anti-Defamation League performed their own as well (in which they ultimately exonerated the Review).
Really, this chapter is mostly about strident philo-Semitism, and makes one question whether it belongs at all in book purportedly about anti-Semitism. It features screeching leftists desperately searching for anti-Semitism and not finding it. Nothing was ever proven beyond the complete idiocy behind this anti-Review witch hunt. Some college kid either played a wicked prank or had a warped sense of humor. That was it. Yet Freedman, the Dartmouth administration, the student body, national Jewish groups, and many in the national media could not stop baying like lunatic wolves around the stricken Review, likely as an example to show that any hint of anti-Jewish attitudes would be met with ruthless suppression.
Buckley, of course, sees through all of this. He did his own investigation, and after demonstrating that The Dartmouth Review had no record of anti-Semitism, was indeed pro-Israel, and had a history of Jewish writers and editors, he refused to disavow his protégés at Dartmouth. Buckley, who always liked to shift the charge of anti-Semitism leftward, also showed how the Dartmouth student journal Stet, which was openly Marxist and university-supported (unlike the Review), was far more anti-Israel than anyone was claiming The Dartmouth Review to be.
So, in this case, William F. Buckley stood up against the mob—but only when victims were as philo-Semitic as he was. In hindsight, hardly a triumph.
Gore Vidal and The Nation
In 1986, leftist and longtime Buckley nemesis Gore Vidal penned a piece in The Nation entitled “The Empire Lovers Strike Back,” which Buckley describes as “genuinely and intentionally and derisively anti-Semitic.” So, here it is at last. Anti-Semitism. No need to search for it anymore, apparently. And it is coming from the Left, Buckley is careful to note.
In his essay, Vidal characteristically hurls ad hominems like hand grenades and accuses Norman Podhoretz and his wife Midge Decter of shilling for Israel. They support American wars for Israel’s sake, they promote anti-Soviet paranoia for Israel’s sake, and they do everything they can to siphon billions out of the US Treasury for Israel’s sake. Of Podhoretz, he writes:
[H]is first loyalty would always be to Israel. Yet he and Midge stay on among us, in order to make propaganda and raise money for Israel—a country they don’t seem eager to live in. Jewish joke, circa 1900: A Zionist is someone who wants to ship other people off to Palestine.
Since spades may not be called spades in freedom’s land, let me spell it all out. In order to get military and economic support for Israel, a small number of American Jews, who should know better, have made common cause with every sort of reactionary and anti-Semitic group in the United States, from the corridors of the Pentagon to the TV studios of the evangelical Jesus-Christers. To show that their hearts are in the far-right place, they call themselves neoconservatives, and attack the likes of . . . me, all in the interest of supporting the likes of Sharon and Israel as opposed to the Peace Now Israelis whom they disdain. There is real madness here; mischief too.
Well, this take might be a tad schismatic and over the top, but is it wrong?5 Buckley, it seems, is too distracted by the schadenfreude of describing his longtime enemy being torn apart by neocons to even bother with such a tiresome question. Instead, he cheerfully reports how Norman Podhoretz blasted Vidal’s “foul anti-Semitic outburst” on the pages of Commentary, and then tried to elicit support from the Left against him. The Commentary editors sent out 29 letters to writers, journalists, and pundits in order to drum up outrage. The result was nearly comical. They received only eight responses, with only five criticizing The Nation or Vidal and the others either defending Vidal or attacking Commentary.
As if to cleanse himself of the distaste of having to discuss Gore Vidal, Buckley concludes this chapter with another winding treatise on to what extent anti-Zionism is indeed anti-Semitic (and to what extent should Zionism be considered racism). He includes a heated debate between Podhoretz and writers William Pfaff and Edwin Yoder, as well as a response to Podhoretz from the Jewish editor of The Nation. Buckley largely stays out of this dispute (unlike in the Sobran chapter in which he himself was a central figure). But he is aware of its central thesis, which is as applicable today as it was then:
The conviction among some Americans, such as Yoder and Pfaff, is that US policy is manipulated by Jewish Americans who are hell-bent on serving Israeli interests and are prepared to use the weapon of alleged anti-Semitism to immobilize their opponents. The other position is that there resides, in some people’s criticisms of Israel, an animus; that that animus is traceable to anti-Semitic dispositions; and that these dispositions need hosing down by moral exposure, for fear that that great fever might be rekindled which once gave us the Holocaust.
Unfortunately, Buckley does not clearly resolve this conflict, and his long march through the squish ends nowhere. It’s as if he is reluctant to decide for which side to support, and instead tries to clear out some swampy middle ground upon which he can defend regarding anti-Semitism. He does retain a person’s rights to make generalizations about groups as long as the motivation behind the generalizations is not to disparage. He also retains a person’s rights to speak out against perceived injustice. So, as long as someone is painstakingly polite and sensitive when criticizing certain Jews—who, of course, are acting as individuals and not as part of group—then that should be fine. Buckley includes several passages in which he had done exactly that in National Review.
This is what I call punching back weakly. A person can do this, but it will have likely little impact on the problem he is trying to solve. On the other hand, punching back hard, which is what Sobran, Buchanan, and Vidal did, will more likely produce results. They essentially treated Jews not as fellow Americans but as outgroup members, which makes it much easier to recognize patterns when such people act against American interests. Sobran, Buchanan, and Vidal put America’s interests first—even above their own reputations as writers. This is why they said something when a certain group of people with big noses and little hats kept picking American pockets and browbeating them whenever they had the temerity to notice. The inescapable conclusion, which is not lost on the neocons: the best way to serve American interests, therefore, is to have a sterner policy regarding people with big noses and little hats. But since Buckley is adamantly against this behavior (because Holocaust), he is de facto taking the latter, pro-Jewish position above without actually saying so. You have to slog through a lot of prose to get a concrete idea of where the man stands on all this. This is why In Search of Anti-Semitism is ultimately so disappointing despite its many elucidating virtues.
What does Buckley actually say regarding his true feelings on anti-Semitism? Four passages are most relevant, and lead one to conclude that he did possess a mild anti-White mindset and a much less mild pro-Jewish one. In one, eschewing anti-Semitism on the Right is a way to make the Left look bad (at least in the eyes of Jews).
The movement of anti-Semitism from unexamined prejudice of the political Right to inchoate agenda of the political Left is of epochal significance. The call, on the Right, fully to excrete its old prejudices is, accordingly, of first strategic and tactical importance.
Of course, Buckley doesn’t flip the scenario and wonder why Jews like Norman Podhoretz rarely try to prove their pro-gentile bona fides to people like Buckley.
In the second, he raises an argument often used to justify Israel’s special claims on America’s support and doesn’t refute it: that of the “religio-moral obligation of Christians to ensure the survival of the Jews.” We can assume that Buckley supported such an argument to some extent, and paid no attention to the lack of reciprocal concern of Jews for Christians.
In the third, he advises Joe Sobran to simply accept the double standard of Jewish racism in Israel and Jewish anti-racism everywhere else [emphasis mine]:
But any useful commentary on the Israeli phenomenon has got to begin by understanding that an explicitly Jewish state isn’t going to be a multicultural state. Much that goes on routinely in Israel, and certainly in the West Bank, would be forbidden under the US Constitution. Accept this, and much else is merely derivative.
This is coming from the man who condemned The American Mercury and Instauration for nativism and who sniffed that the “scientific racism” of Arthur de Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain was “an atheistic bastard child of late-nineteenth-century rationalism.” It appears that for William F. Buckley, some racism is better than others.
Finally, he truly believes that any kind of anti-Jewish feeling in a person’s heart could potentially lead to genocide without any external factors (such as the aggressive and malicious anti-White attitudes of many Jews) playing a role.
We have heard people distinguish between “country club” anti-Semitism and naked anti-Israelism and genocidal indifference. The pain comes from the historical knowledge that prejudice of the first kind can metastasize—and has done so, to be sure by mutation—into Auschwitz.
Like original sin, Buckley’s anti-Semitism is sui generis. It exists alone in the hearts of Whites and must be suppressed, or else the horrors of Hell will be unleashed.
This is his greatest mistake. He refuses to consider the sound historical reasons why the Nazis in the 1930s had anti-Jewish and anti-Leftist attitudes. He refuses to consider the disproportionately Jewish-controlled gulags and terror famines of the early Soviet period. He refuses to look at the prominent Jewish leadership of the 1920s–30s USSR and of leftist causes worldwide at that time. He refuses to look at the influential Jewish warmongering which helped cause the Second World War. He also refuses to connect the dots between Jewish culture movers such as Sigmund Freud, Franz Boas, and the Frankfurt School and the disastrous effects they had had on White gentile civilizations. Couldn’t it be that at least some of this was a deliberate attempt to harm gentile populations which were weakened by the philo-Semitism promoted so cogently by Buckley?
Most importantly, Buckley refuses to attribute the causes of Nazi atrocities to the obvious fact that the Germans were waging war on three fronts against three superpowers—as if such atrocities could have just as easily manifested during peacetime. Anyway, what war was the Jewish-dominated Soviet Union waging when it perpetrated terror famines in the 1920s and 1930s and murdered tens of millions?
Yes, In Search of Anti-Semitism was written pre-Culture of Critique and pre-200 Years Together. But it was not pre-Russophobia; it was not pre-Icebreaker or pre-Gulag Archipelago. The information was out there in 1992. Ignorance is no excuse for a man as erudite William F. Buckley. Anyway, I’m sure much of this was covered on the pages of The American Mercury and Instauration. So Buckley could have gone there if he had wanted to.
But he didn’t want to. He was too afraid to be called an anti-Semite.
- Buckley was referring specifically to Pat Buchanan in this quote, but I generalized to Whites as a group since only White people could possibly be blamed for whatever happened as Auschwitz. Furthermore, all of the individuals Buckley adjudges in In Search of Anti-Semitism are White. We should remember that this book was published at a time when Black anti-Semitism in America was enjoying a renaissance, yet Buckley largely ignores this. The deadly Crown Heights riots of 1991 get only a passing reference in In Search of Anti-Semitism, while the widely reported anti-Jewish remarks of Professor Griff of the popular rap group Public Enemy—and his subsequent dismissal from the group—remained beneath Buckley’s notice (or contempt).
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn appears once in the pages of In Search of Anti-Semitism, and not by anything written by Buckley. In Part Two of the book, Buckley features responses by friends and critics on the topic of anti-Semitism, and includes an open letter to him penned by Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz in equal parts congratulates and chides Buckley for the perceived strengths and limitations of his essay and brings up Solzhenitsyn as an example of a supposed anti-Semite who is indeed pro-Israel. How anti-Zionism converges or does not converge with anti-Semitism is a question Buckley agonizes over at length in In Search of Anti-Semitism.
- Buckley describes his break with The American Mercury, which was the first of many purges of the Right that he initiated:
After reading a particularly blatant issue of the Mercury (this was about 1958), I thought the time had come to act decisively, and accordingly addressed a note to the writers on the masthead of National Review and told them that those of them who were also on the masthead of the Mercury would need to choose from which masthead to retire. In almost all cases (there was only one exception), they stayed with us.
Buckley made this pronouncement regardless of the guilt or innocence of his writers—and boasted about it in In Search of Anti-Semitism. For more on Buckley’s purges of the Right, see my review of The Great Purge, published by the Radix Journal in 2015.
- Sobran answered this charge in his sparkling response to Buckley’s original “In Search of Anti-Semitism” essay, which Buckley (to the eternal discomfiture of his Jewish neocon colleagues) included in this volume. Sobran’s contribution is easily the clearest, most direct, and most convincing section of the book. In it, he writes:
The South African analogy fails on several key points.
We aren’t taxed to support South Africa. We are taxed to support Israel. We’re usually free to find fault with that which we are forced to pay for.
There is no shortage of critics of apartheid; whereas Israel has not only a powerful lobby in America, but a big claque in the press constantly repeating its propaganda claims.
Most pertinent here, no journalist takes a risk to his career by criticizing apartheid. The power of the pro-Israel forces not only siphons off American tax money, but seriously impedes free discussion of Israel in this country.
As usual, Joe Sobran is spot on when it comes to the Jews.
- Of all the curious takes in this curious volume, one stands out as prescient, perhaps almost as much literally as in spirit—and it was made by Gore Vidal. It must have seemed utterly ridiculous at the time, but not so much today. Buckley summarizes:
The two-page piece by Vidal was entitled “The Empire Lovers Strike Back.” Ostensibly the essay was animated by Vidal’s concern to strengthen a point previously made by him, namely that the white races of the world needed to band together to meet the economic challenge of the yellow races by calling off the silly cold war that divided us and the Soviet Union, with which we should be allied (this was three years before the liberation of Eastern Europe).
So in 1986 Gore Vidal, homosexual left-wing gadfly and decades-long bête noir of the Right, proposed imperium for the White race to fend off the Yellow peril—and in the same breath called out treachery from the Jews. I never thought I would use the words “Gore Vidal” and “Dissident Right prophet” in the same sentence, but there you are. It makes me wonder what kind of dimension-bending, irony-resistant crystal ball this man was gazing into at the time, and if he had ever read Francis Parker Yockey.