When, in early 1974, top science fiction writer Philip K Dick, author of Minority Report and Blade Runner, ran naked from his California apartment, screaming that he had been attacked by a group of phantom Nazi sadomasochists from another dimension who had tweaked his nipples with pliers, most believed it to be a psychotic episode, the result of Dick’s drug excesses during the previous decade. However, Dick’s friend and fellow SF writer, Jack C Rabbett has sensationally claimed that far from being a bad trip or LSD flashbacks, Dick’s outlandish behaviour was the result of a plot by famed conservative SF writer Robert A Heinlein, to brainwash and discredit liberal and left-leaning colleagues. “Heinlein was part of a group (including Werner von Braun and Walt Disney), in cahoots with the military-industrial complex to promote a vision of a socially conservative, white Anglo Saxon dominated quasi-imperialist future, ruled by a heirachy of militaristic technocrats, where all problems could be solved via the application of technology and military might,” claims Rabbett. “Phil Dick was a major threat – during the sixties and early seventies he was turning out weird shit questioning the nature of reality, claiming that we were all being manipulated by media and government, and that the true path to enlightenment lay through hallucinogenic drugs – the authorities were terrified of his influence over the kids.”

Two days after the phantom Nazi episode, Rabbett was woken in the early hours of the morning by a distraught Dick hammering on his front door. “He was in a terrible state, gibbering almost incoherently,” he recalls. “Eventually Phil calmed down enough to tell me that, even though it was unplugged, his television had suddenly switched itself on and broadcast what appeared to be gay porn films featuring Adolf Hitler laughing maniacally as he buggered Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Naturally, I thought he was back on drugs and immediately had him committed to a local psychiatric unit for observation.” After a week under observation and a course of powerful tranquillisers, Dick was convinced that the whole incident had been an hallucination and his wounds self-inflicted, and returned home. Nonetheless, within a few weeks he was complaining to friends that he was being harassed by a pair of sinister men in black. “At first he thought they were from the FBI, possibly investigating him for his drugs and communist links, but then he began to suspect that they were not of this world,” says Rabbett. “Apparently one day when they were tailing him, he suddenly turned round and challenged them in a supermarket parking lot, their response was to turn their backs on him, drop their pants and moon at him. As if that weren’t bizarre enough, he then claimed that their arses turned into strange vertical mouths lined with rows of sharp teeth and long, lolling, saliva dripping red tongues, which growled menacingly at him! It was at this point I realised his delusions were running out of control!”

Whilst Dick speculated that the visions were an attempt by an alien, or even divine, intelligence to alert him of the impending danger posed by a competing alternate reality – brought into existence by an attempt to travel back in time and alter history – in which the Nazis had been victorious in World War Two (an eventuality depicted in Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle), Rabbett began to suspect that they might have terrestrial origins. “He claimed that they were always preceded by him being struck by a strange pink beam,” Rabbett recalls. “I remembered that Robert Heinlein had once told me that during his war service in a secret US Navy research lab, he’d worked on a revolutionary communication device designed to project thought waves along a carrier beam of concentrated light – he’d objected to the fact the beam had been pink – ‘a goddamned cissy colour’, he called it!” He also remembered Heinlein’s unhealthy interest in the Third Reich. “I’d always known that he was right of centre politically, but I was shocked when he strode onto the stage at the 1966 World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland dressed in an SS uniform (although strangely, from the waist down he was wearing a frilly tutu, black fishnet stockings and suspenders and stiletto heels),” says Rabbett. “He had been pretty keen on Phil’s novel The Man in the High Castle, where the Nazis have won the war, until he found out that the author wasn’t a clean-living young gun-owning Aryan, but some drug addled hippie bum!”

Indeed, Heinlein had long been active in promoting a right-wing agenda through his fiction, according to Rabbett. “Starship Troopers in 1959 blatantly promotes miltarisation and the curtailment of certain democratic rights as necessary for the successful defeat of communism (as embodied by collectivist alien insects), whilst 1964’s Farnham’s Freehold – where a present day white man is projected into a future Negro-dominated US – was a clear warning of the dangers of enfranchising American blacks,” he asserts. “Heinlein’s 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land has misled many into believing that he embraced the 1960s counterculture and ‘free love’. Significantly, the young people in this book are actually dominated and guided by a conservative older father-figure – Heinlein’s concept of ‘free love’ involved a dominant male having primary ‘breeding rights’ with the females in a group, and deciding which of the other males are racially and physically ‘pure’ enough to reproduce. His ‘counterculture’ – which was to have been set up in a series of secret moon bases established by von Braun and Disney – would have been designed to produce a race of morally and racially pure messiahs for a new world order.”

Rabbett believes that, possibly with the aid of the FBI, Heinlein had perfected his thought wave device, and had used it to project his own degenerate fantasies into the mind of Philip K Dick, in an attempt to turn Dick to the right-wing cause or, at the very least, mentally destabilise him sufficiently to prevent him from writing. “To an extent, they were successful,” concedes Rabbett. “Phil’s behaviour became increasingly erratic – he defecated on stage at a 1974 French SF convention before denouncing the audience as ‘child eating capitalist puppets’ – and he became so obsessed with interpreting his visions he neglected his writing and effectively became a spent force!”

Dick may not have been the only victim of this right wing SF conspiracy. “I’m pretty sure they were instrumental in getting Star Trek cancelled because it promoted the concept of racial harmony and ‘one world’ politics,” he says. “By the 1980s Heinlein and others were actively promoting the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence system through the SF press, and got mighty pissed off with Arthur C Clarke when he refused to endorse the scheme. I strongly suspect that they were behind press allegations (later disproven) that he was some kind of child molester.”