"John Doe," as I will call him in this book for reasons that will be made clear, isa professor at a large university in the Middle West. His field is one of thesocial sciences, but I will not identify him beyond this. He telephoned me oneevening last winter, quite unexpectedly; we had not been in touch for severalyears. He was in New York for a few days, he said, and there was somethingimportant he wanted to discuss with me. He wouldn't say what it was. We metfor lunch the next day at a midtown restaurant.He was obviously disturbed. He made small talk for half an hour, which wasquite out of character, and I didn't press him. Then, apropos of nothing, hementioned a dispute between a writer and a prominent political family that hadbeen in the headlines. What, he wanted to know, were my views on "freedom of information"? How would I qualify them? And so on. My answers were notmemorable, but they seemed to satisfy him. Then, quite abruptly, he began totell me the following story:Early in August of 1963, he said, he found a message on his desk that a "Mrs.Potts" had called him from Washington. When he returned the call, a MANanswered immediately, and told Doe, among other things, that he had beenselected to serve on a commission "of the highest importance." Its objective wasto determine, accurately and realistically, the nature of the problems that wouldconfront the United States if and when a condition of "permanent peace" shouldarrive, and to draft a program for dealing with this contingency. The mandescribed the unique procedures that were to govern the commission's work andthat were expected to extend its scope far beyond that of any previousexamination of these problems.Considering that the caller did not precisely identify either himself or hisagency, his persuasiveness must have been a truly remarkable order. Doeentertained no serious doubts of the bona fides of the project, however, chieflybecause of his previous experience with the excessive secrecy that oftensurrounds quasi-governmental activities. In addition, the man at the other end of the line demonstrated an impressively complete and surprisingly detailedknowledge of Doe's work and personal life. He also mentioned the names of others who were to serve with the group; most of them were known to Doe byreputation. Doe agreed to take the assignment --- he felt he had no real choice inthe matter --- and to appear the second Saturday following at Iron Mountain,New York. An airline ticket arrived in his mail the next morning.