Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I thought I was writing THE HAT PEOPLE...But thirty years later, someone beats me with THE COIL

Many, many years ago, I undertook to write a thriller, a novel of international intrigue along the lines of Man from U.N.C.L.E, my wife having fallen in love with David McCallum, who played Russian agent Ilya Kuriakin.

Seems that I failed because I couldn't plot very well.
So I changed it into a stereoscopic family saga of two houses, one conservative and the other Communist. The anti-hero of the conservative family was, uh, me.
I had married into a family of commies and had learned their ways. Especially about Russian gold.

But somebody was "after" this family of commies and that's where the thriller part came in.
I wrote the book on the fly, getting brickbats from Montreal writers on my crummy plotting, but finishing the book anyway. It turned out to be the story of a culturally displaced person trying to hold it all together in what was then commie Toronto. (Seems everybody was left-wing in l970).

The international assassins who were after my commie family I identified as The Hat People, 1940s style T-Men in hats and trenchcoats. They drove slightly- out- of -date Chrysler Imperials and wore slightly ou-of-date Forties suits.

Ah, how is it that things happen to us and only years later are they explained.

Very recently a Gayle Lynds has produced a novel she titled The Coil, the Coil being a shadowy group of
gnomes who control all politicians, all economies and all the imortant things going on in the world stage.

Paranoia, no?
But this shadowy group, whom I called The Hat People in my novel, turned out to be real people--The Bilderbergers,who, because of recent web and author research, are a real group, with real designs on the economic and polical workings of the planet.

Here is what author Gayle Lynds found out (info provided by

The Bilderberg Group: Don’t Bother To Apply.
"Coil" (my novel) Based on Real-Life Shadow Group

About eight years ago during research, I stumbled upon one of those paragraphs that are the lifeblood of a novelist. It mentioned a yearly meeting of powerful world leaders that called itself the Bilderberg Group. I was intrigued. Unlike the VIP-bristling World Economic Forum, which usually gathers in Davos, Switzerland, and Allen & Co., which is legendary for its low-key, high-level summits in Sun Valley, Idaho, the Bilderbergers were a complete unknown to me.
For good reason. As it turned out, the elite organization not only shuns publicity, it forbids it. Or as the Toronto National Post explained later, on May 24, 2001, "The conferences are held under absolute secrecy and tight security, with no media coverage allowed."

But back in 1995, I had no idea what I faced. I dove in, setting up shop in the library, hunting through thousands of U.S. newspapers, magazines, and books. I’m a researcher. I know how to find the most arcane data, but I was stymied, until I discovered Spotlight, a right-wing populist newsweekly based in Washington, D.C., which claimed to have reported Bilderberger’s annual assemblies for more than two decades. Taking away Spotlight’s extreme political and emotional spin, but figuring in its on-the-scene photos, lists of attendees, and lists of yearly venues dating back to 1954, I began to believe Bilderberg might not only be real but an idea for a book.

The test came a year later, when Spotlight predicted the group would hold its next covert confab at a luxury resort outside Toronto. I ordered the Toronto Star and held my breath. On June 6, 1996, I had confirmation at last from a mainstream news source: "The Bilderberg Conference of 120 world business and political leaders is unfolding in secrecy," the Star reported, "just as they planned" at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s leadership center at the former King City Ranch.

That night, I celebrated with a large glass of excellent pinot noir.

Over the years as I wrote other novels, I continued to research the Bilderbergers, a hobby, perhaps an obsession. As a result, my new thriller, The Coil, delves deeply into the Nautilus Group, which is based loosely on the Bilderberg Group. Both have headquarters in the Hague, both were named for the hotels in which they first officially met, and both employ extreme security, color-coded badges, and sniffer dogs. But after that, the facts diverge. For instance, I have no information or knowledge that a diabolical inner circle such as the Coil exists within Bilderberg.

I’m pleased to report that because of the doggedness of some journalists and protesters and the vast resources of the Internet, news coverage of Bilderberg is widening at last. In fact, London’s Sunday Times jokes that Bilderberg meetings are "the world’s greatest networking opportunity," while Portugal’s The News refers gravely to the group’s members and guests as "the world’s unelected leaders."

In a tongue-in-cheek article, The Guardian of England and Wales points out, "It is, according to some, a sinister shadow world government dedicated to seizing control of the levers of the global economy. So why . . . put Lord Carrington’s picture at the top of this column? He runs [Bilderberg] along with Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller, billionaire owner of New York’s Chase Manhattan Bank. . . . What will they discuss? Don’t know. There are no statements, no sound bites, no photo calls. . . ."

The Atlanta Constitution seems to have a better handle on the situation: ". . . the Bilderbergers say the required pledge of delegates not to discuss what goes on at their meetings is simply to provide a private, informal environment in which those who influence national policies and international affairs can get to know each other and discuss, without commitment, their common problems."

Still, with media giants like Donald Graham of The Washington Post and billionaire bankers like Edmond de Rothschild and auto tycoons like Jurgen Schrempp of DaimlerChrysler and politicians with global clout like James D. Wolfensohn of the World Bank and Donald Rumsfeld of the U.S. Department of Defense in attendance . . . the Bilderbergers continue to hold my interest.

They may just be talking shop, but the clandestine nature of their gatherings continues to provoke. As The Financial Times once pointed out, "If the Bilderberg group is not a conspiracy of some sort, it is conducted in such a way as to give a remarkably good imitation of one."

Its current secretary-general, Martin Taylor of WH Smith, says he’s done his best to increase its openness, according to The Sunday Times. But then, the minutes of its meetings have been secret for the past half century, which likely hinders that goal. When Time magazine analyzed the top six "Business Power Camps" in its July 20, 1998, issue, it awarded exclusivity ratings. Ten meant the most exclusive. Only one group rated it — the Bilderbergers.
You’ll learn all about the fictional Nautilus Group, the high chamber of the high priests of capitalism, in The Coil.

contact the webmaster
© 2005-2006 Gayle Lynds

The Story
Liz Sansborough thought she had left her past behind forever. A former CIA field operative as well as the daughter of perhaps the most notorious Cold War assassin — the man known to the world only as the Carnivore — Liz is now a university professor in Southern California, specializing in the psychology of violence. Then her dead father's legacy sweeps back to overtake her.
Someone, somewhere, is claiming to possess the Carnivore's secret files and is using information from them to blackmail prominent world figures to promote some clandestine agenda. Files that Liz swore her father never kept. When Liz's cousin is kidnapped, the only ransom they'll accept is the assassin's records, and if Liz is to save her cousin, she must somehow resurrect her old tradecraft skills and, in a desperate hunt across two continents, locate the files and uncover a dark and dangerous conspiracy linked to a shadowy group known only as the Coil.
Ah those Bildebergers. Name the incubus and you shall have power over it, says a l9th century writer.
Many years ago, I undertook two write a novel about a secret society that "ran everything."
I termed that group "The Hat People", since I envisioned them as wearing T-man style fedoras, raincoats and all the while driving luxury car of almost another era.
I didn't know much about writing in those days.
Maybe if I read Gayle Lynds' book, I migh pick up a few pointers.
But then, mayby I might not.
The Coil is a highly touted book in New York. I think I'll give it a try.


Anonymous said...

Hi. School mate has sent you a postcard.
See your card as often as you wish during the next 15 days.


If your email software creates links to Web pages, click on your
card's direct www address below while you are connected to the Internet:

Or copy and paste it into your browser's "Location" box (where Internet
addresses go).

We hope you enjoy your awesome card.

Wishing you the best,

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition. said...

Oh what the hell.

I'll take the card.

Kinda slow around here anyway.

That'll teach me to monkey around with Art Bell monkey business. :)


Anonymous said...

Hello, Ivan:

Actually, I check the site with great regularity, damn nearly daily ... this morning's hit and run was brief respite from the tedium of searching out sections of the Charter of Rights relevant to an upcoming drug case. I seem to be otherwise mired in summer doldrums, the bane of the news biz ... our front pages and website are cluttered with stories that'd be debatable Page 10 filler most other times -- and so it goes. I have experienced this phenomenon for the past quarter century and anticipate the same for as long as I persist in this queer pursuit. Come fall, we'll feast on news; in the interim we lurk in the relative cool of the weeds, beady eyes darting, snacking listlessly on traffic fatalities and sex offenders while avoiding editors, lawyers and other predatory creatures. With the hint of autumn chill will come the vigour that is now so sadly lacking.
I plan to spend next week and another week in August just a-settin' on the porch, with my acoustic -- I have developed a bit of an obsession with slide guitar and my old Yamaki Deluxe has the guts to sing it (and somewhere my Telecaster, neglected, gently weeps). The LCBO outlet's just steps away at the Bethany General Store and my credit's good for the time being.
... When the reprint is done I'd love to get my hands on one of those books.
Take care and keep posting.


H.E.Eigler said...

Hey Ivan - I still check in too! Don't have much time for posting though. I miss all my bloggy friends!!

Josie said...

Ivan, sometimes I don't have anything very intelligent to say on some of your more 'esoteric' posts, but I still check in to see how you're doing.


islandgrovepress said...


Baby six weeks old and cute as a button.
I thought some men wrote because they couldn't have babies.

Well, you've got your baby and the writing urge is still there.

Writing on love next?

I did read something in an obscure women's magazine one, a mother's tribute to her daughter:

"If you only knew how crazy I was about you..."

It touched me.

Ivan said...

Hi Josie,

I thought I would out-ring Art Bell
and out-Noor George Noorey on some of my earlier novels, but they seem to do the job much better.

Something I read by (I think) James Branch Cabell):

Envy is ignorance
and imitation is suicide.

But then, dammit all , Saul, I was writing that stuff before those two cats got out of diapers.

I was just too young and inexperienced to refine the stuff.
Don't know why.
I did live in the High Desert. :)

I think I'm getting too good at cut an drag. Poundin' the pooch, I guess to keep away from any real writing.

I am more or less all right over here.
Payday, finally, is tomorrow; I can be a Wine-Stoned Cowboy again.
(And in Ontario, you get twenty cents for the big wine bottles.
This is a dumpster diver's delight: finally an intelligent decision by Premier Dalton McGuinty--who has just fired his chief grant-giver to ethnics for giving too much...Damn. And I didn't even apply. I are ethnik.
Too late now. Thirty million down the drain and I didn't get a cent.

I was eligible for my second witer's grant in Ontario some years ago, but blew it by asking the head of a large publishing company for a loan for as to get cigarettes. He was not amused).

Forrest Gump:
Sh*t happens.

Best laid plans of mice and men.


benjibopper said...

yeah, sounds like fun. whatever happened to yours? said...

Hi Benji,

THE HAT PEOPLE was not only the hardest book for me to write--it was the hardes to sell.

One chapter appeared in something out Newmarket way called TOPIC.
The book was later bandied about by House of Anansi Press; I did two rewrites, but they finally said "do no more work on this."
I then tried (former) General Publising, York Mills and they said that though one reader found some attractive qualities, it was no go.
Then M&S. They were just about to print it when Patrick Crean called me up saying the book "could not be trusted as a publishing project."
Then Peter Martin Associates, who told me the book "had three holes, and one big one."
Peter Martin said the book was unpublishable.
Fast-forward to l996 when I finally went to a printer to put out The Hat People. No sooner did this happen that I started to have paparazzi following me around (No kidding!) I was on Rogers Cablecast to talk about the book, the Newmarket Era gave it a citation--and I sold my total press run of 50. Heh.
I went into another press run and made quite a bit of money hawking the book at some of my watering holes.
Once my son dragged me into the 21st century, I put the entire book up on my web....It's right up top on my web page just behind. Top right. The Hat People. See it?
I must say that I have to agree with the House of Anansi that the book "took forever to get moving."

So, if you're inerested, start with Chapter one then skip about four chapters till you get to the meat of it.

The book began with a recurring dream of mine, but as St. Paul said somewhere, "dreams have deceived many."
The Hat People was damn hard to write (I didn't really teach myself fiction very well)-- and damn hard to sell.
But we somehow cobbled it together and managed to sell it, pretty well on the streets.

Still want to be a Canadian novelist?

Oh, BTW,

Here are Josie's instuructions on how to put up your award:

Okay, this is what you do:

1. Save the schmoozer award as a picture.

2. Sign In to Blogger.

3. Click on "Layout".

4. Scroll down a wee bit and click on "Add a Page Element"

5. On the "Picture" section, where it says "Add a picture frm your computer or somewhere else on the web" click on the blue box that says ADD TO BLOG.

6. From there you can upload your picture.

7. Click on "SAVE CHANGES".

8. You're done.

Give it a try.





Sienna said...


An IUD is a small device made from plastic and copper. It was previously known as 'the coil'. It can be placed quite easily into ...oops

I would recommend the coil (IUD) to anyone. I personally never had any major problems with it, the only things that did happen which I can attribute to the ...

Okay, it's taken me days to get into your comments box and I find coils everywhere!! oh man...and school mate dropped by?

I had so much to tell you but I am laughing my head off here...(please don't say you are being serious)

Ivan, you need a good layout!!!

Pam said...



I definitely need a good layout.
An old flame dropped by he other day, and for one brief moment...
Oh damn.
I lost the moment.
Even lost my old physics book where the principle of moments was explained.

I brush by the legs of unsuspecting liquor store cashiers reaching for bottles off four-foot ladders.
'Scuse me.
She doesn't know whether to slap me or kiss me.
I am turning into a masher.


p.s.: I did manage to peruse some of "Coil"'s prose through scouring the internet.
I must agree that maybe she should joing the Inter-University-Democrats, that is to say IUD.
Now she has good layout. The publisher did a good job.
But I worry a bit about the prose.
Seems to lean toward the purple.
And I like maple surple.

Ivan said...


Getting a note from JM is like finding money in the streets.
I was telling E.A. Monroe (Liz) that I stand in awe of the way your write.
No wonder you lasted so long.


Josie said...

Ivan, you need a good layout??? LOL.

Trust Pam.


Josie said...


Pam is the best British sense. :)


Josie said...

You all stocked up on cigarettes and booze for the weekend? said...


The eagle finally flew.

I guess the girls at the liquor store knew it.
I think they were chasing me!
Lord, is it that crass?
Money talks and BS walks?

Well, I got the BS all right. I have a degree in it. Ontario colege of Applied Arse, as I like to call it.
Ah, but without money it's College Applied Arse and Ireelevancy. :)


Josie said...

Well, I'm sure the girls still do chase you. You're way cute. It's Friday, and I'm off work until August 7th.

Yay! said...


Grab a Greyound, vet a Via, whatever works to get you to Toronto.

Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free

Ooo slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free

But then it'll take three days to get here and three days to get back and we'll hardly have any time together.
There was a time I could have picked you up at Union Station, but I sold the car.
Ah well. I could meet you at Union Station. We take the subway back.
Kinda romantic, really. :)


EA Monroe said...

Hi, Ivan! I've been reading about those Bilderbergers for a couple of years. They are scary!! Global domination and not just financial stuff -- but their plans for Humanity!!

Don't go get that greeting card, because it's probably a virus! That's one of the latest scams for getting into your computer, Ivan, and planting more of that stuff that will get you in trouble with your techie guru!

I'm sure it's a Bilderburger plot. Btw, the "conspiracy theory" sites like Prison Planet and Red Ice Creations and Jeff Wells are great places to find all kinds of material for stories. ~Liz

PS -- did you know that Kissinger and some "others" went to Russia to visit Putin recently and Putin told them to f*udge off? said...


I once got drunk and got into Jeff Wells' site, wanting to argue.

I said "all this H.P. Lovecraft bullshit can be cut through if you take a really good philosophy course and not be self-taught, in which event you will have had a fool for a teacher.


"Anonymous" answered "Ivan, why are you trying to pick a fight?"
I answered straight from the school of repartee, to the effect of why don't you copulate with a duck.

"Anoymous" (Jeff himself?) and I had this real bitch fightt and I pretty well said, rather inelegantly,"how come the queer get such queer notions?"

He came back with a pretty good treatise on metaphysics what even "Bullsh*it Ivan" couldn't cut through.
"I have been Eschered!" I protested,
"No, you have been outed," yelled "anonymous".
"F*ck you," I explained.

The fight went on for two days and ended (I think) in a draw.

I must say that Jeff Wells is one brilliant son-of-a-gun, homoerotic figleaf avatar or not.
Seems the gay guys are really good at high art.
They are also good at sensing conspiracies, and this makes them very valuable.
Jeff Wells is a great writer.

Yeah, Henry Kissinger.
Card-carrying Bildeberger.

I guess we can can Escher any critics by saying Bob Dylan sensed it first:

"When you gonna wake up
"When you gonna wake up

"Don't let Henry Kissinger tie you in a knot.

"When you gonna wake up?"

...Tough call to choose between Putin and Kissinger!

Ivan said...

P.S. to Liz,

It's amazine how talented artists like Scott Adams can accurately lampoon the Kissingers, Bushes and Wolfowitzes with the creation of Dogbert and Pinky and the Brain.

Ivan said...

Migod, it's Friday midnight and I just got paid.



Josie said...

International Drinking Time? Ivan, you're too funny. I have visitors coming to stay with me, or I might even take you up on your invitation. We'd paint the town red. TO would never be the same.

Life's short and you're dead a long time.

Maybe in the autumn?

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


I am hooked. Whatever you write I find intriguing. I keep thinking only if I was older....wink::

Josie said...

See,Ivan? I toldya you're way cute and the girls still chase you. Heh,heh.

I can just imagine when you were the young guitar player... said...


We could have such a beauiful Freudian relationship.
Electra meets lothario.

Lothario is FN 99.

Friggin Near l00.

Ivan said...


Old Toroto, with half-acre lawns and spreading chesnut trees, backing into wooded ravines,is a beautiful city in the fall.

I culd take you to Casa Loma and lie to you that it is my house.

Ivan said...

P.S. to Josie:

Johnny Cash:

"He was a long-legged guitar picker
With a wicked wanderin' eye"

Josie said...

Don't all guitar players have wandering eyes? Men...! :-) said...

All men are beasts.

Actually, they would go right after beasts if it weren't for the game warden! said...


There was a Canada Day parade recently.

In the parade was a walking Tim Horton's Timbit.

It had the cutest little legs and I wanted to go right after it.

I think I am confusing my gastronomy with my twisted libido.

Must have been all that time I spent in Quebec. They seem to have the same problem.


Josie said...

Ivan, you do make me *chuckle*. said...

Heh heh.

Recently a FOOF (Fine Old Ontario
Family) said, "Ivan, you got a lot of class,
"but it's all lower."

Must have been my time in the Service.

I was shaving one morning only to hear this little arrow embedding itself in the wood frame.
My room mate was just back from a Section Eight.
I looked at the arrow, saw his little rubber bow and demanded,
"What in F are you doing?"
"I am chasing sparrows, Sir," he said.

"Uh. Carry on."


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


Age is but a number. Your mind is sharp and to the perfect edge, use me at will... ::smiles:: said...


Exes and O's.


benjibopper said...

It's funny how sometimes the things that come easy turn out to be the most profitable, and vice versa. Checkov used to say that he 'The Bear' could have been called 'The Cash Cow', it financed all his later works and was the easiest thing he ever wrote. If this trend holds it doesn't bode well for my current project, four years in the making.

Anyway, I would like to read at least one of your novels - which one do you think is the best starting point? It might take me a while to get to, but I will. said...


Click onto Light Over Newmarket (above).

This, my third book is one in which I finally knew what I was doing; found my voice.

But then my voice isn't everybody's voice.

Have a boo anyway.

Ivan said...

p.s. to Benjibopper,

I once rewrote Chekhove's Lady With the Dog and sent it off to a publisher.
It was rejected. Heh.