UNITED STATES—Freud’s rival, Karl Gustav Jung, enjoyed discussing men of power and action like Dulles. Analyzing the dictators of his era who held the fate of Europe in their hands, he had developed various power “archetypes.” Jung deemed Hitler a “medicine man” who ruled more through magic than political power. Whereas Mussolini projected the brute strength of a tribal chief, Hitler seemed to lack not just physical potency but basic human qualities. His power came from his uncanny “mystical” ability to tap into the German people’s deeply troubled unconscious. Is there a dictator gene?

Before the war, standing near the two leaders at a Berlin military parade, Jung once had the occasion to observe Hitler and Mussolini together. Jung recalled the revealing experience for an interviewer in October 1938. While Mussolini greeted the goose-stepping troops and trotting cavalry horses “with the zest of a small boy at the circus,” Hitler showed no emotion. He appeared to Jung like “a mask, like a robot, or a mask of a robot…He seemed as if he might be the double of a real person, and that Hitler the man might perhaps be hiding inside like an appendix, and deliberately so hiding in order not to disturb the mechanism.

“What an amazing difference there is between Hitler and Mussolini!” Jung exclaimed. “I couldn’t help liking Mussolini…You have the homely feeling with Mussolini of being with a human being. With Hitler, you are scared.”

Jung’s portrait of Hitler is as chilling a picture of psychopathology as you will find. Dulles was fascinated by his insights into the German leader, and he urged Mary to keep seeking more such wisdom from Jung.

The esteemed psychoanalyst was happy to oblige. The two most powerful men in Mary Bancroft’s life were intrigued with each other, though they had little direct communication. Jung had a hard time figuring out Dulles. He did not fit neatly into the Jungian system of power archetypes. One could see in Dulles the same disturbing mix of magnetism and ruthlessness that Jung observed in the dictators of his day. But there was also an impenetrable blankness that made him hard to read. Jung warned Mary that her lover was “quite a tough nut.” 

Dulles, for his part, approved of his wife and mistress’s submitting to Jung’s treatment. He told Mary that he realized analysis could be “useful” for others, but he was convinced that he himself had no need for it.

Throughout his life, Dulles was drawn to creative, intelligent, neurotic women like Clover and Mary—women who were under constant siege from their unconscious, as Joan Dulles described her mother’s emotional plight. For a man as emotionally numb as Dulles, women like this were his essential link to the rest of humanity. They translated human feeling for him. They were, in short, “useful”—that favorite word of his. It was a word, recalled Mary, which “was constantly on his lips.” If Dulles could use a person, that person was somehow real for him. If not, that person didn’t exist.

Things were not shaping up to be useful in Guatemala.

Anger was building up, resentment, frustration and rage. The pressure built and built until the lid was rattling on the pot, and then it clattered off and the soup boiled over in 1944. It started with a massive demonstration. Workers filled the main plaza in Guatemala City, demanding that Uribe step down. They wanted a new system to supplant to old, with decent wages and the social security net that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had forged in the United States of Hysteria. Somebody born in Guatemala could expect to live 47 years, and most of us made less than $250 a year.

“Clear the plaza,” General Uribe ordered his soldiers.

Some of us opened fire on the demonstrators, some of us stripped off our uniforms and joined the crowd which swelled until it was the only thing that mattered. The General could never have known how his simple order to clear the plaza would be interpreted, and those who fired their carbines or joined the mob: this is how you start and internecine killing machine.

The masses stormed through the city. Looting and burning. They marched to an army base on the outskirts of the capital. There was a brief firefight, a civil war, black smoke rising from the slums, guttering upward. Hundreds of our countrymen were killed. General Uribe mumbled through a resignation speech, turned control over to his lieutenant, General Federico de Leon, then went into exile in New Orleans, cigarette holder in hand and there he died of lung cancer less than two years later.

Deprived of the elixir of power, Uribe didn’t last long. He was central America’s last liberal autocrat until Hector Sánchez. As the first demonstration had been organized by teachers, the upheaval came to be known as “The Schoolteachers’ Revolt. General de León called for elections. Some of the people who led the revolt invited Juan José Arreola, a college profession who had spent the fourteen years of the Uribato in exile returned to lead the movement. He was born September 10, a clear Virgo with the verbal gifts that allowed him to pen essays that inspired the revolution, as well as textbooks used in the country’s schools. He was a public figure, everybody knew his name. He was just over 40 when he returned, slender to the point of being sickly, with an intellectual’s myopic stare.

To be continued…

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Hollywood humorist Grady grew up in the heart of Steinbeck Country on the Central California coast. More Bombeck than Steinbeck, Grady Miller has been compared to T.C. Boyle, Joel Stein, and Voltaire. He briefly attended Columbia University in New York and came to Los Angeles to study filmmaking, but discovered literature instead, in T.C. Boyle’s fiction writing workshop at USC. In addition to A Very Grady Christmas, he has written the humorous diet book, Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet and the popular humor collection, Late Bloomer (both on Amazon) and its follow-up, Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood. (https://amzn.to/3bGBLB8) His humor column, Miller Time, appears weekly in The Canyon News (www.canyon-news.com)