Report From Iron Mountain: The break-down

Report From Iron Mountain: The break-down


The origins of this oft-quoted report, including its chilling and irritatingly compelling stratagems (for the weakening of the United States so it may more easily be merged into a global government based on communism), are traced back to a think-tank study ordered in 1961 but released in 1966 called the Report from Iron Mountain.

The report’s authenticity has been questioned, a common theme regarding leaks suggestive of government treason against its own citizens, the report is said to have been commissioned by the DOD, the Department of Defense under Defense Secretary, Robert McNamara, and compiled by the Hudson Institute located near the base of Iron Mountain in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  Hudson Institute founder, Herman Kahn, formerly of the Rand Corporation, was a member of the CFR, Council of Foreign Relations, as was Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

The purpose of the study was to summarize and explore options to stabilize society during America’s transition from a “war-system” to a “peace-system” based nation and economy. As altruistic as that may sound, reading the recommendations and conclusions found by the Hudson Institute quickly dispells the illusion this was merely lofty ideals presented by a congress of intellectually driven humanitarians. Far from, as it is clear the intent was to analyze numerous ways a government could further perpetuate its power while maintaining control over its citizens, preventing them from rebelling in times of upcoming social, political, and economic change.

From the start of the report, it was made evident morality was a non-issue. There would be no debate over right or wrong, nor any thoughts regarding concepts such as human rights or freedom. The fundamental concern was how to increase the strength of an ever-hardening authoritarian government, as evidenced by the report itself:

Previous studies have taken the desirability of peace, the importance of human life, the superiority of democratic institutions, the greatest “good” for the greatest number, the “dignity” of the individual, the desirability of maximum health and longevity, and other such wishful premises as axiomatic values necessary for the justification of a study of peace issues. We have not found them so. We have attempted to apply the standards of physical science to our thinking, the principal characteristic of which is not quantification, as is popularly believed, but that, in Whitehead’s words, “…it ignores all judgments of value; for instance, all esthetic and moral judgments.”

The primary conclusion of the report was, in the past, war has been the only reliable way to achieve that goal. The report contends that only during times of conflict or threat of war will citizens become compliant enough to submit to government overreach without complaint, or at least very little. The fear of conquest by an enemy can render nearly any burden acceptable compared to the alternative. War rouses human passions and can be used to manipulate patriotic feelings of loyalty towards a nation’s leaders.

Even painful sacrifices in the name of victory will be not be rejected. Resistance to aiding the war-effort will be viewed as treason. However, in times of peace, citizens become resentful of high taxes, intrusions on their rights, and needless bureaucratic intervention. When people question their leaders, they become dangerous. No government can survive without having enemies or engaging in armed conflict. War, therefore, is a necessary condition for stabilizing society. Here are the report’s exact words:

The war system not only has been essential to the existence of nations as independent political entities but has been equally indispensable to their stable political structure. Without it, no government has ever been able to obtain acquiescence in its “legitimacy,” or right to rule its society. The possibility of war provides a sense of external necessity without which no government can long remain in power. The historical record reveals one instance after another where the failure of a regime to maintain the credibility of a war threat led to its dissolution, by the forces of private interest, of reactions to social injustice, or of other disintegrative elements. The organization of society for the possibility of war is its principal political stabilizer…. It has enabled societies to maintain necessary class distinctions, and it has insured the subordination of the citizens to the state by virtue of the residual war powers inherent in the concept of nationhood.


The Iron Mountain report explains we are fast approaching a point where the old modalities no longer work, as it is now possible to forge a global government in which all nations will be disarmed and kept in line by a one-world army, a condition called “peace.” The report says:

“The word peace, as we have used it in the following pages, … implies total and general disarmament.”

According to that scenario, independent nations will cease to exist, and governments will no longer have the capability to wage wars. The only sanctioned military action will be carried out by a one-world army, likely against political resistance and renegade subdivisions under the guise of so-called peace-keeping operations. As long as it is a sanctioned peace-keeping operation, it matters not how much property is demolished, how much blood is shed, all violence will be deemed as peaceful.

The report raises an uncomfortable question, what could substitute war? What could take the place of such vulgar and widespread violence? What would a government use to legitimize itself?

The Iron Mountain report finds that there can be no substitution for war unless it is comprised of three properties.

1. It must be economically wasteful.

2. It must represent a credible threat of great magnitude.

3. It must provide a valid excuse for compulsory service to the government.


Regarding the subject of compulsory service, the Iron Moutain Report outlines some benefits of maintaining a standing army as they provide a place to put dissident and antisocial elements of society, in addition to creating a use for them as a militarized work-force. With the absence of a tangible enemy, forced-labor battalions receive orders to fight poverty, clean up parks or serve the greater social good in some other way. All young adults will be required to serve, this not only takes them away from home to isolate them in peer-run mental conditioning camps but productively directs their energy when they are in their most rebellious stage.

Adults could be drafted as well, for paying off fines and taxes. Political dissidents would be levied with exceptionally hefty fines for socially unacceptable attitudes or so-called hate-crimes, and be sentenced to forced-labor brigades for prolonged periods. The Iron Mountain Report says:

We will examine … the time-honored use of military institutions to provide anti-social elements with an acceptable role in the social structure. … The current euphemistic clichés – “juvenile delinquency” and “alienation” – have had their counterparts in every age. In earlier days these conditions were dealt with directly by the military without the complications of due process, usually through press gangs or outright enslavement. …

Most proposals that address themselves, explicitly or otherwise, to the postwar problem of controlling the socially alienated turn to some variant of the Peace Corps or the so-called Job Corps for a solution. The socially disaffected, the economically unprepared, the psychologically uncomfortable, the hard-core “delinquents,” the incorrigible “subversives,” and the rest of the unemployable are seen as somehow transformed by the disciplines of a service modeled on military precedent into more or less dedicated social service workers. …

Another possible surrogate for the control of potential enemies of society is the reintroduction, in some form consistent with modern technology and political processes, of slavery. … It is entirely possible that the development of a sophisticated form of slavery may be an absolute prerequisite for social control in a world at peace. As a practical matter, conversion of the code of military discipline to a euphemized form of enslavement would entail surprisingly little revision; the logical first step would be the adoption of some kind of “universal” military service.


The Iron Mountain Report considers how the public can be distracted with non-important activities leaving them no interest or time to engage in political debate or resistance. Trivial recreations, game shows, pornography, and situational comedies might play a role, but blood games are thought to be the most promising. Blood games are competitions between either individuals or teams which are sufficiently violent enough to allow spectators to vicariously release their frustrations through the medium of the blood games.

At a minimum, these events must evoke strong team loyalty on the part of the fans and needs to include expectational pain and possibility of injury on the part of the players. Even better, is the spilling of blood and the possibility of death. The common man has a fascination with violence and gore. The public longs for what Rome termed Bread and Circus. Gladiatorial games complete with feasting. Spectators they could safely relish in the brutality and go away with their bellies full, fulfilling two base but essential needs; conquest and eating.

However, while useful for distractionary purposes, the Iron Mountain Report concludes blood games are not impactful enough on the human psyche when compared to the intensity of war hysteria. Blood games do not issue a direct enough threat of injury or death to the spectator. The spectator is not sufficiently inundated with fear for him or herself to be adequately motivated or manipulated. Until better alternatives are found, a global government will need to be postponed so nations can continue to wage war.

Sporting organizations like the UFC and its promotion of MMA, mixed martial arts, is the very definition of a blood game. A useful distraction, but perhaps more important and something the Iron Mountain Report failed to consider, The UFC has been a successful recruitment tool for the United States Armed Forces.


In times of war, the majority of citizens will accept a low quality of life while remaining fiercely dedicated to their leaders. If an appropriate substitute for war is to be found,  it must elicit that same reaction. A new enemy must be discovered who threatens the entire world. Also, the prospect of being defeated by that enemy must be as frightening as war itself. The Iron Mountain Report is resolute on that point:

Allegiance requires a cause; a cause requires an enemy. This much is obvious; the critical point is that the enemy that defines the cause must seem genuinely formidable. Roughly speaking, the presumed power of the “enemy” sufficient to warrant an individual sense of allegiance to a society must be proportionate to the size and complexity of the society. Today, of course, that power must be one of unprecedented magnitude and frightfulness.

The enemy required to serve as a global threat does not need to be real. It would be better if it was or course, but an invented and fabricated enemy could be just as effective, provided the public could be fooled into thinking it was authentic. The public will more readily believe some fictions over others. Credibility will become more important than truth.

Poverty was held up as a possibility, but since most of the world is already in debt, poverty has lost its punch on the global stage. While some, those who have never experienced an impoverished life, would be terrified of the prospect, for the majority of others it is a matter of daily life.

An off-world invasion scenario was a strong consideration. According to the Iron Mountain Report, a similar experiment had already been tried (War of the Worlds broadcast?) but did not yield the hoped-for results and the public’s reaction was not suitably predictable, as the threat was not “credible” enough…yet.

Credibility, in fact, lies at the heart of the problem of developing a political substitute for war. This is where the space-race proposals, in many ways so well suited as economic substitutes for war, fall short. The most ambitious and unrealistic space project cannot of itself generate a believable external menace. It has been hotly argued that such a threat would offer the “last best hope of peace,” etc., by uniting mankind against the danger of destruction by “creatures” from other planets or from outer space. Experiments have been proposed to test the credibility of an out-of-our-world invasion threat; it is possible that a few of the more difficult-to-explain “flying saucer” incidents of recent years were, in fact, early experiments of this kind. If so, they could hardly have been judged encouraging.

The Iron Mountain Report was released in 1966. The notion of an alien presence was beyond the average person. However, public perception regarding aliens has been successfully swayed, be it for ill or for will. If aliens exist or not, is not the issue here. The question is if the people could be tricked into believing a false invasion was in fact real. A global-government could be formed in response to defeat the off-world threat and once created, the one-word governance would never be dissolved. Another alternative exists, albeit more problematic, the aliens could be made to appear peaceful and ask that we form a world-government representing a unified human race for admittance into a galactic federation. No matter which, the public is now more likely to find an alien presence more credible than in 1966.


The final and likely most successful candidate for a global threat was environmental pollution. It could be linked to observable conditions, thereby vulnerable to data manipulation, and seen as a credible threat, as truth is no longer a concern. End-of-the-world predictions could be made and scenarios fabricated to be just as horrible as nuclear war. The accuracy of these predictions is not essential. Their purpose is to frighten, not to inform. Climate-Change, formerly Global Warming, is the environmental pollution scenario described in the Iron Mountain Report.

It would be helpful to deliberately poison the environment to give the predictions more credibility (Exxon Valdese, BP Oil spill in the Gulf Coast, etc.) and convince the public that this enemy was more dangerous than any foreign invader, be they from another country or even off-world. The people would be more willing to accept lower standards of living (austerity culture) and increased taxes (carbon-tax) as well as bureaucratic interventionism (green-laws). The ready formulation of a Mother Earth Cult for saving the planet from ourselves by willing eliminating ourselves. What authoritarian government would not love that?

Here is more from the Iron Mountain Report:

When it comes to postulating a credible substitute for war … the “alternate enemy” must imply a more immediate, tangible, and directly felt threat of destruction. It must justify the need for taking and paying a “blood price” in wide areas of human concern. In this respect, the possible substitute enemies noted earlier would be insufficient. One exception might be the environmental-pollution model if the danger to society it posed was genuinely imminent. The fictive models would have to carry the weight of extraordinary conviction, underscored with a not inconsiderable actual sacrifice of life. … It may be, for instance, that gross pollution of the environment can eventually replace the possibility of mass destruction by nuclear weapons as the principal apparent threat to the survival of the species. Poisoning of the air, and of the principal sources of food and water supply, is already well advanced, and at first, glance would seem promising in this respect; it constitutes a threat that can be dealt with only through social organization and political power. …

It is true that the rate of pollution could be increased selectively for this purpose. … But the pollution problem has been so widely publicized in recent years that it seems highly improbable that a program of deliberate environmental poisoning could be implemented in a politically acceptable manner.

However unlikely some of the possible alternative enemies we have mentioned may seem, we must emphasize that one must be found of credible quality and magnitude, if a transition to peace is ever to come about without social disintegration. It is more probable, in our judgment, that such a threat will have to be invented.

-Kevin Wikse

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