The agent of magic, part one
by Jon Rappoport
July 31, 2017
I continue to publish excerpts from my book, The Magic Agent. They can be read as stand-alone pieces or in concert.
The book is a production of multiple realities…presented in part as a detective/spy story with Frank Palmer as the private eye who walks into a case that sprouts branches and layers…
NOTE: IF YOU ARE READING THIS AS AN EMAIL, BECAUSE YOU’RE ON THE EMAIL LIST FOR “OUTSIDE THE REALITY MACHINE,” I’LL BE PUBLISHING THESE LONG EXCERPTS ON MY BLOG OF THE SAME NAME, INSTEAD OF SENDING OUT FREQUENT MASS EMAILS. DEPENDING ON THE LENGTH OF THE EXCERPTS, MASS EMAILS MAY NOT SUPPORT AND DELIVER ALL OF THE CONTENT. SO GO TO THE BLOG TO PICK UP THE LATEST EXCERPTS. THANK YOU.
All excerpts of The Magic Agent are archived on the OUTSIDE THE REALITY MACHINE blog here.
“We brought that up in the hearing, Your Honor.”
“So you did. But it seems to me this is going around the block to prove your point. You’re approaching the question of whether the space-time continuum has been breached, and in order to do so, you’re offering films. It’s tenuous.”
“It’s the best way to discover people’s raw experience of time.”
“I wonder about that.”
I walked out of my apartment. Five in the afternoon. I was on the way to my office. A tall stunning woman was looking in the window of Haslett’s Bookstore two buildings down. She shot me a sideways glance.
I revised my estimate. She was maybe nineteen. A kid.
She was wearing a thin pale-blue cotton dress and a black satin jacket. Her brown hair was in a pageboy. She walked away from me and stopped at the edge of the window and looked inside again, as if she was searching for a book.
I didn’t think she was looking for a book.
I turned and walked in the opposite direction to my office on La Brea.
I sat in the office and read the Times. The Reds had shut out the Dodgers. A local businessman was trying to sue the city because workers had been digging up the street outside his store for a month. Pundits and Congressmen were questioning the troop surge in Iraq. A wealthy old cocker was trying to buy the Times.
I picked up the remote on my desk and clicked on the TV.
My phone rang. I picked it up.
A man’s voice said:
“Mr. Palmer, I need you.”
I knew he was lying. It was careless, unconcealed, and yet he broadcast a desperation that was coming from an entirely different place. It reminded me of a car crash that had been planned to look like an accident.
“What it’s about?” I said.
“I’m jammed up.”
“A terrible thing.”
“My sister. She’s under threat.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Someone wants to hurt her.”
“Right now? This second?”
“He isn’t here, but he could come over.”
“Where are you?”
“So get out. Is your sister with you?”
“No. She’s at her apartment.”
“Go over and take her out.”
“I want to.”
“You want to? Tell her to get out.”
“I did. But she won’t leave.”
“She’s scared to move.”
“Does she have a car?”
“Yes. She won’t go.”
“Just go over there and get her.”
“She has the door locked.”
“I don’t know if he’ll break in.”
“Why are you talking to me? Get her.”
“I’m scared. Will you get her?”
“No. You do it. I’m busy.”
“What do you mean, busy!”
“I’m watching the College World Series.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Whoever you are, you sound like a phony. You’ll have to do a much better job of acting.”
“I’m not acting!”
“Sure you are. Is this a crank call?”
“Of course not! We’re in danger!”
“Then get up off your ass and take your sister out of her house.”
“You have a problem.”
“You already said that.”
“I’ll try to get myself together.”
“That would be a good idea.”
“That’s all you can offer me?”
“At the moment, yes.”
“You son of a bitch.”
“I don’t see how that’s relevant.”
“He could kill Marci.”
“I’ve offered you all the advice I have. What’s your name?”
He hung up.
I sat there and watched Oregon State play LSU. I had the impression he had been trying to convince me he was crazy.
A half hour later, the phone rang again. I picked it up.
“I’m sorry. Perhaps the danger has passed for now.”
“I’m delighted to hear that.”
“I jumped the gun.”
“We all do that sometimes.”
“It was an anxiety attack. That’s what I was experiencing.”
“Well, now you’re better.”
“But the threat is still real.”
“That’s always important to know.”
“Do you find this amusing, Mr. Palmer?”
“To be honest, yes.”
“You’re a nasty bastard. This is a very serious situation.”
“If you say so.”
“I may need you.”
“I don’t work gratis.”
“How much do you charge for your services?”
“I work on a case by case basis. The higher the fee, the more you would have my attention.”
“You’re not sympathetic to people’s needs.”
“Not unless they pay me to be.”
“You don’t care.”
“About anything? That’s a very broad assessment.”
I thought I heard him sniffling.
“Mr. Palmer, I’ve known people like you in my life.”
“I don’t care about your life.”
“I have no reason to. You’re just somebody who found my phone number. Which is, by the way, unlisted.”
“I know about you.”
“Another vague statement.”
“My anxiety attack is over.”
“You keep score?”
“You’re a fucking prick. I can be a prick, too. I understand the impulse.”
“I ran out of medication.”
“I understand they have drug stores that stay open around the clock.”
“I’m a professional.”
“I’d hate to have rely on your work. By the way, what’s your name?”
He hung up.
I went back to watching the game.
June 5, 2007
“He was supposed to be at his office at Langley the whole time. It was in two or three reports. The investigators interviewed everybody. I mean, that’s where he worked every day. But years later, they found out he had been in Moscow that week. Not Langley, Washington, Chicago, or New York. Moscow. Thousands of miles away. He had friends there. He was vacuuming up information. He was staying in a Dacha. Does this guy Schuster have a shadow? A double?”
Joseph Walsh, to Arthur Meriden, author of Forgotten Legends of the CIA
I was sitting behind my desk. The door to my office opened and a short wide man walked in and set down a gym bag by my file cabinet.
He pointed to a chair at the side of my desk and I nodded. He sat.
His brown eyes were glistening. He was on something. Probably crank.
“Frank Palmer?” he said.
“Bill Polowski at the Globe once told me about you.”
“Eight years ago,” I said. “I’m not a reporter anymore.”
“You take cases.”
His voice was rather cultured. Not British. Artsy, especially for a guy who was wearing a red T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, and had upper arms developed from lifting major weight. He had a large tattoo, HANK, in brown block letters, on his left forearm.
“Some cases,” I said.
He nodded. “I hear you have no license to practice.”
“None to practice anything.”
He was wearing dirty white flip-flops and no socks.
“That’s all right,” he said. “My name is Ralph Renari. I teach psychology at Santa Monica College.”
“You want me to ghost-write a journal paper?”
He smiled. His teeth were a waxy yellow. “No. I’m fine there. I have something else. It might be a story. I mean story in a loose way.”
“If you want something from me,” I said, “then you’re the client. I give you the information. What you do with it is your business.”
“I’m a niche guy,” I said. “I fall between categories.”
Again he smiled. “And you can make a living at this? Whatever it is?”
“My overhead is low.”
He looked around the office. The walls were bare.
I reached down to my little half-fridge, removed two bottles of Dane’s beer, a local brand, screwed off the caps and pushed one across to him. He picked it up and took a swig and set it down. “Cold,” he said.
He leaned back in his chair. “Do you know anything about clinical trials of drugs?”
“What I read in the papers,” I said.
“Well, my sister Marci was a volunteer in one. A new medication for bipolar disease. About a month after the study was completed, there was a beating. One of the volunteers beat his wife. And now Marci thinks that guy might be coming after her.”
“Oh, so you’re the nut job who called me yesterday.”
“I’m sorry about that, Mr. Palmer. I was overwrought. I’m much better now.”
“I can see that. You’ve gotten well. You’re high. Meth?”
He ignored that.
“Really,” he said. “I’m sorry. I went off the deep end for a few hours.”
“You were bullshitting me on the phone.”
“Not on purpose, I assure you.”
“So why does your sister Marci think this unnamed guy might be coming after her?”
“Because he’s crazy. Who knows?”
“On the phone, I had the impression you were crazy.”
“I can be overly dramatic.”
“It wasn’t that. You were consciously trying to bullshit me.”
“I might have come across that way. I was upset. I wasn’t in control of myself.”
“Okay. We’ll let it slide for the moment.”
“Marci’s been receiving phone calls. He says he wants to have sex with her. He won’t take no for answer. He says he’s going to visit her.”
“She knows the calls are coming from him?”
“She recognizes his voice.”
“He leaves messages?”
“No,” Ralph said. “He only makes these threatening statements when she picks up.”
“This crazo,” I said. “Do the cops believe he beat his wife?”
“His wife won’t report him.”
“But your sister Marci knows the man beats his wife.”
“He admitted it to her.”
“And has Marci gone to the cops?”
He shook his head. “They can’t do very much.”
“Where was the drug study done?”
“At Stevens Hospital. The drug company is Allison-Bowles. Their headquarters are in Palm Springs.”
I took a sip of beer.
“I’m a little confused,” I said. “Are you implying that the experimental drug made this guy crazy? Or was he already nuts?”
“Well,” Ralph said, leaning back in his chair. “We don’t know the answer to that. Maybe he was off his rocker before, and the drug made him worse. I assume he was beating his wife before he volunteered for the study.”
He stared at me. “I can pay you three hundred dollars a day. You work on this for us. You fix it.”
“Bill must have given me a good recommendation,” I said.
“He told me you found out who killed one of the route carriers for the Globe. And when you did, the man tried to shoot you. You disarmed him and put him in the hospital.”
“Yeah. And Bill probably told you that’s when I quit the paper.”
“To do this work,” he said. “Bill told me you were can-do. Like Ollie North, but without the diary.”
“My field is nothing like Ollie North’s.”
“Whatever this field is.”
“I exist on referrals.”
He frowned. “Will you do whatever is necessary?”
I assumed he wanted a little dog and pony.
I stood up and walked to the closet, opened it and picked up an old baseball bat that was leaning against a box of books I had never unpacked.
I took the bat over to short fat Ralph, the professor who had powerful upper arms. “In that instance,” I said, “I used this 32 Adirondack to beat the shooter until he fell down and didn’t move anymore.”
He looked at the bat.
“Those are not the instincts of a reporter,” he said.
“Maybe that’s why I quit the job. I prefer more straight-line solutions to problems.”
He nodded and grinned. “You’re an outlaw.”
“Let’s go downstairs and have some lunch,” I said.
He finished the rest of his beer in one long swallow, put it down on the desk, and stood straight up, like a military man reacting to an assignment.
We settled in at Streeder’s, a bar and café. The burgers came quickly, and we drank more beer. Our table was at the back.
“The experimental drug,” Ralph said, “was called Y-103. At first they just assign numbers and letters. When they get close to FDA approval, they cook up an official name.”
He finished his beer, and began wiping the moisture off the glass with a napkin. “I’ve never hired anyone to do this kind of work before. But I’m sure most of your clients are first-timers.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well, the usual route for people is through a detective agency.”
“Who was the drug company again?” I said.
“Tell me a little about yourself, Professor.”
“Forty-eight, divorced. My ex lives in Beverly Hills. She owns an art gallery. Her parents have money.”
It was interesting he would start there.
He took a napkin from the metal dispenser and wiped his forehead. “I see hookers, mostly, now. Does that bother you?”
“No,” I said.
“No moral stance on sex?”
“Age of consent. That’s all.”
“There are so many prudes these days. But sexually, they’ll take anything they can get for themselves. They spin it however they have to.”
“Whereas, you’re honest and forthright.”
“I try to be.”
“Keep in mind I’m not a therapist.”
He looked down at his plate.
“Is your sister married?” I said. “Does she have a boyfriend?”
“She’s lived alone for ten years.”
“Why didn’t she come and see me?”
He paid the check. We walked outside to the parking lot. He stopped at a blue Infiniti.
“I should talk to Marci before I decide whether to take this on,” I said. You want me to find this guy and make him go away, right?”
“Yes,” he said. “I don’t care how.”
“Mind giving me his name?”
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Carroll Montgomery. He’s a psychologist.”
“A psychologist. He volunteered to be in a drug study.”
Renari handed me his card. I didn’t know professors had cards. He unlocked the door and climbed in. He turned back to me. “I’ll be in touch,” he said. “Go see a Dr. Kelly at Beth Israel. I’ll call him as soon as I get home. He can fill you in on the clinical trial.”
He drove away.
I wondered how many levels of bullshit he was operating on, or if there was any way of actually finding out. On a scale of one to ten, my intrigue level was at about a three. That’s average for me. Of course, he hadn’t paid me any money yet.
“There are the infamous photo files. It’s said there is enough blackmail evidence in that secret cache to indict half the membership of the US Congress. While this is, of course, a wild exaggeration…
We could dismiss such speculation as complete nonsense, if it were not for the protracted closed session of the House Intelligence Committee in the spring of 1993. The meeting erupted into a frantic battle. Representative Larry Bernstein accused the CIA counter-intelligence director of waging a private war against the legislative branch. Bernstein waved around a photograph of a sexual act taken at the moment of orgasm, featuring a former Congressman and a prostitute in a Portland, Oregon, hotel room.”
Forgotten Legends of the CIA, Arthur Meriden
(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. 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 NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.