Book Review by Emmett R Smith
L. A. Secret Police: Inside the LAPD Elite Spy Network, by Mike Rothmiller and Ivan G, Goldman
(‘Pocket Books’, New York, 1992)
PROPERLY Speaking, this book could be dismissed as yet another sensationalised popular account, of crooked and racialist, bad, policemen; and, the poisonous sewer which any big-city police-department categorically is. And, ‘twould be ‘objective’ enough so to do.
But–again objectively!–read on yet another level, this book is a true gem.
This is because from cover-to-cover it verifies the Sufi hypothesis; and, it does so at every point of the compass.
The Sufi hypothesis is this, namely:
THAT In any human set-up, however officially ‘high-minded’ and accountable (sic), if therein the unregenerate personalities out-number decisively those of the actually-mature, the presence of the morally-impoverished (and accordingly, in classical or islamic ‘Sufism’,’ the God-damned) then will, again at every point of the compass, reduce the enterprise to a behavioural anus.
THIS The LAPD most certainly was, and for all one cares to know, no doubt still is.
Indeed, virtually everyone in L.A. Secret Police, and including the author himself at not-a-few intervals, is revealed as nothing more than a load of sometimes-sadistic, always-ranting and self-seeking, sociopathic, moral and spiritual lepers.
The biggest hysteric and self-adoring, professional, nincompoop of the whole boiling in those days of the 1980s was the morally-insane LAPD Chief Gates. His is the looming and egocentric, evil, genius behind every word of a revealing text, which lays forth the facts of the actual human condition, under the pressures of neo-postmodern ‘stress’ and state-liberalist ‘relativism’.
THIS Anecdote culled from the pages of L.A. Secret Police is as sidesplittingly funny as it is depressing:
‘ROTHMILLER And his partner knew exactly to whom [their Italian-American informant] was referring — Jimmy Regace. They’d already wasted time checking him out. Regace lived in a miserable little Anaheim apartment in one of those smog-and-belch zones within coughing range of the Santa Ana freeway. They’d already concluded that if this guy was pulling capers, he wasn’t very good at it. But the detectives’ supervisors [referred to in police-slang as pogues, chair-bound careerists who positively could not — didn’t dare! — go on actual patrols and so, instead, stayed indoors in nice safe police-stations and climbed the administrative-ladder — ERS] still insisted this hand-to-mouth prole was a Mafia don craftily posing as a car runner. Because that was the theory…any action undertaken by someone suspected of mob activity had to be a cover for something much bigger.
‘It was in keeping with this theory that a …nameless detective once turned in a report about an Italian named Albino Luciani. He had worldwide connections and had just assumed a position of even greater power in an organization that conducted money transfers, maintained a chain of wineries and other investments, and apparently paid little or no taxes on its immense holdings.
‘”The captain briefed the chief on it,” a lieutenant told the detective. “Stay on this. They want to see more.”
‘The detective smiled weakly as the lieutenant walked off. “Oh shit,” he said to another detective who’d already read the report and laughed. It was a completely factual intelligence report, all right, but the subject’s new name had been left off — Pope John Paul I. The pogues hadn’t gotten the joke. Now what? Fortunately, they forgot about it.’ (Ibid, pp 169-70)
NOT Least, L.A. Secret Police, as well as a good read on the topic of the policing-crisis in a non-moral age, is likewise a beneficial counterpoise, to the more syrupy emotions of unrestrained optimism which wrongly may burn in the hearts of Sufi-students in the early stages of the work. So much at least for one aspect of the thorny problem of ‘hidden meanings’ in apparently-superficial texts. The manifest moral? Of course…do not go to Los Angeles.
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 25 March 2007]