P.K. Dick: Neo-Nazis, Syphilis, and World War III

Letters of Note has letters from Phillip K. Dick to the FBI and the county sheriff’s office about plots by Neo-Nazis to insert coded phrases into Science Fiction. He even claimed that Thomas Disch’s book Camp Concentration had some of these phrases.

Phillip, of course, was not well and was probably schizophrenic. (He was never actually diagnosed, but these letters exhibit behavior that is not normal.)

The coded information which Kinchen wished placed in my novels (I of course refused, and fled to Canada) had to do with an alleged new strain of syphilis sweeping the U.S., kept topsecret by the U.S. authorities; it can’t be cured, destroys the brain, and is swift-acting. The disease, Kinchen claimed, is being brought in deliberately from Asia by agents of the enemy (unspecified), and is in fact a weapon of World War Three, which has begun, being used against us.

Letters of Note: Neo-Nazis, Syphilis, and World War III.


  1. Michelle (Mush) wrote:

    Wow, he's so entertainingly crazy! I honestly found myself wishing that he was a character in a novel (one that's written from a first person perspective, with the tragic hero forever trying to uncover/ foil a scheme that does not exist outside his own fractured mind.)

    Keith, would it bother you much if I kind of turned this guy into a fictionalized character, borrowing heavily from the real Philip Dick's unfounded fears and general personality? (I mean, is this guy a childhood hero of yours or a favorite author of yours? As much as I think this character must be written, I'm not going to piss on someone else's fond memories.)

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  2. Keith wrote:

    Read “Man in the High Castle”. Dick wrote it by flipping coins and using the I Ching book to tell him what to write. It is as crazy as Dick gets, but it is a great great book.

    Dick would make a great character. I wanted to write a story where I joined the SFWA and Dick was still alive with a transplanted brain and showed me around the top secret clubhouse where people like Heinlein and Asimov were still alive because of alien technologies that only Science Fiction writers had access to.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink