Authors wishing to quote Eustace’s books in their own writing make themselves an easy target for reasonable critics or hate organizations like the ADL. In this way, Mr. Mullins has done more harm to the movement than good.
I learned this the long way. Having read Secrets [of the Federal Reserve], I drove down to Staunton, VA in the summer of 2006 and spent an afternoon talking with Mr. Mullins. My goal was to find the origin of several stories and statements which I could not reference from the text. Mr. Mullins was an elderly gentleman and he couldn’t remember where he had found any of the material I was interested in. He simply replied: “It’s all in the Library of Congress. Back then they would let me wander the stacks.”
So I moved to D.C., a few blocks from the library and spent the better part of two years trying to retrace Mr. Mullins’ footsteps. Prior to this I had had several years’ experience as a researcher and was used to trying to find the proverbial “needle in a haystack.” They wouldn’t let me wander around the book storage facility (the stacks), but I scoured the catalog for anything that might contain the source for Mr. Mullins’ statements. I couldn’t verify any of the information in question.
Sadly, I realized that it would never be good practice to quote Mr. Mullins. But I hadn’t wasted the time. I know more about the Federal Reserve now than most people who work there and I learned about the fantastic Mr. Pound.
Ezra Pound is among the most remarkable men of the last 120 years. He made his name as a poet and guided W. B. Yeats, T.S. Elliot and E. Hemingway on their way to the Nobel Prize (back when it meant something.) He is the most brilliant founder of Modernism — a movement which sought to create art in a more precise and succinct form. Modernism can be seen as a natural reaction to the florid, heavy Victorian sensibility — it is not the meaningless abstractions we are assaulted with today.
Born in Idaho, Pound left the United States for Europe in 1908. In London he found an audience of educated people who appreciated his poetry. He married Dorothy Shakespeare, a descendant of the playwright. Pound also befriended some of the most brilliant artists of the time and watched them butchered in the First World War.
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, a sculptor and one of Ezra’s best friends, was one of these sacrifices. The Great War changed Pound’s outlook on life — no longer content with his artistic endeavors alone, he wanted to find out why that war happened.
The answer he got bought him 12 years as a political prisoner in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Anacostia, just across the river from the Capitol in Washington D.C. Pound was never put on trial but was branded a traitor by the post-war American media.
What answer did Pound find? Our wars begin and end at the instigation of the international financial houses. The bankers make money on fighting and rebuilding by controlling credit. They colonize nations and have no loyalty to their host countries’ youth or culture. No sacrifice is too great for their profit.
Much of Pound’s work chronicles the effect of this parasitic financial class on societies: from ancient China to modern-day Europe. Pound was a polyglot and scoured numerous (well-documented) sources for historical background. The education that Mullins’ work promises is delivered by the truckload in Pound’s writing. Pound often lists his sources at the end of his work — and they always check out.
Eustace Mullins got to know Pound during the poet’s time as a political prisoner. He was introduced to Pound by an art professor from Washington’s Institute of Contemporary Arts which, in Mullins’ words, “housed the sad remnants of the ‘avant-garde’ in America.”
According to Mr. Mullins, Pound took to him and commissioned Eustace to carry on his work investigating the international financial system. Pound gave Eustace an American dollar bill and asked him to find out what “Federal Reserve” printed across its top meant. Secrets, many derivative books, and thousands of conspiracy websites have sprung from that federal reserve note.
And here is where the story goes sour. Pound was a feared political prisoner incarcerated because of what he said in Italy about America’s involvement with the international bankers and warmongering. Pound was watched twenty four hours a day and was under the supervision of Dr. Winfred Overholser, the superintendent of the hospital.
Overholser was employed by the Office of Strategic Services (the CIA’s forerunner) to test drugs for the personality-profiling program, what would be called MK-ULTRA. (See John Marks’ The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate”: The CIA and Mind Control.) Personality profiling was St. Elizabeth’s bread and butter: The asylum was a natural ally to the agency.
Overholser was also a distinguished professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department of George Washington University. This department provided students as test patients for the Frankfurt Schools’ personality profiling work, which the CIA was very interested in. Prophets of Deceit, first written by Leo Löwenthal and Norbert Guterman in 1948, reads like a clumsy smear against Pound.
It does seem odd that Eustace Mullins, a nationalist student, would be allowed to continue the work of the dangerously brilliant Pound right under Winny’s nose. The story gets even stranger, as Mr. Mullins describes his stay in Washington during this time. He was housed at the Library of Congress — apparently he lived in one of the disused rooms in the Jefferson building and became good friends with Elizabeth Bishop.
Bishop was the Library of Congress’ “Consultant in Poetry” — quite a plum position. She was also identified by Frances Stonor Saunders as working with Nicolas Nabokov in Rio de Janeiro. Nabokov was paid by the CIA to handle South American-focused anti-Stalinist writers. (See Saunders’ The Cultural Cold War.) If what Saunders says is true, then it puts Eustace in strange company at that time of his life.
According to the CIA’s in-house historians, the Library was also a central focus for intelligence gathering after the war, so it is doubly unlikely that just anybody would be allowed to poke around there after hours, as Mullins claimed.
Whatever the motivation for letting Mullins in to see Pound was, the result has been that confusion, misinformation and unverifiable literature have clouded Pound’s message about the financial industry’s role in war. Fortunately Pound did plenty of his own writing.
According to Eustace, his relations with Pound’s relatives were strained after Pound’s release from prison. Pound moved back to Italy where he died in 1972. He was never the same after his stay with Overholser in St. E’s. The St. Elizabeth’s building is slated to become the new headquarters of the Department for Homeland Security.
Eustace went on to write many, many books about the abuses of government, big business and organized religion. They are very entertaining and are often insightful, but are arsenic from a researcher’s point of view. A book that contains interesting information without saying where the information came from is worse than no book at all.
While lackadaisical about references in his own writing, Mr. Mullins could be extremely perceptive and critical of the writing of others. I once told him how much respect I had for George Orwell’s daring to write 1984 — to which he sharply replied: “It’s a great piece of pro-government propaganda — they win in the end.” Mr. Mullins is of course right: Orwell’s Big Brother is always one step ahead, almost omniscient — and therefore invincible.
Eustace Mullins was much more than a writer. He became a political activist and befriended many prominent people in the American nationalist movement. But Mr. Mullins didn’t have much faith in American nationalism: It is a movement, he told me, that the government would never let go anywhere.
Beatrice (email her at email@example.com) is a writer and historian living in Burlington, VT.