Victoria, normally so loving and tactile, even hungry for sex, had slept in the spare bedroom on the ground floor the night after her consultation with Professor Sir Roy Paterson. She had appeared the next morning appearing nonchalantly cheerful and smiling, a smile slightly artificial in outline, Martha detected, as she made herself a bowl of muesli and chopped fruit. How are you feeling? Martha enquired gently, feeling that she was treading on eggshells after the previous night’s performance. Very good thank you very much for asking. Victoria replied, too flippantly for Martha’s taste. It was clear there is now a barrier between them. Martha took a deep breath determined to have this difficult conversation. What about last night, the things you said. To be honest I can’t remember much about last night. Well, you said that the doctor had told you you needed an operation, you remember that? Oh yes, of course. Victoria looked at Martha scornfully. Then, evasively, Let’s not talk about this now, later, I have to dash.

After Victoria leaves for work, Martha sits at her desk, trying but finding it hard to concentrate. All those things that have been providing her with some sense of being needed, of love and security, were rapidly evaporating. And it wasn’t only Victoria’s recent detachment and her refusal to communicate on anything meaningful. Martha’s PhD research into the links between USA and UK politicians, the ideologies of religious premillennialism and the fascist Far Right had convinced her that increasingly powerful members of the UK government were, perhaps unintentionally, rapidly destroying the fabric of society with their obsessions of Flag, Faith, Family and Free Enterprise. She was beginning to appreciate just how complex and inherently contradictory the motives and forces are driving these individuals who claim to seek to uphold ancient traditions but are also, like the rest of us, caught up in the violence of modern capitalism.

“For what is the broadest definition of fascism? We might say that fascism is a dogged antimodernist vision of the world, nostalgic for the era of nations, religions, and conservatism, but that it remains violently articulated with capitalism itself.”


Martha was using research based on Nesta Webster’s work, the Grand Dame of conspiracy theories of the 1920s. Webster used religious ideology as the basis for her secular sounding thoughts on how racism can identify and fight the Illuminati. For her Webster the Anti-Christ takes the form of the Illuminati, a global conspiracy of Communism and Socialists, avowedly using the ignorant weak masses, the Social Gospel and Zionists to destroy Christian Civilisation.

Martha wonders how these High Tory Conservatives square their Faith with what looks so obviously a clear fit for their Anti-Christ: the filthy lucre of unrestrained free enterprise. For them and their ilk surely. Martha thjnks, Capitalism must be the Anti-Christ hastening Armageddon, The Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ and the promised 1000 year reign of Peace and Prosperity for the True Believers. It is confusing but Martha is beginning also to understand how devout righteous obedience to an ideology can blind even the best of us to even obvious disastrous consequences for the masses. As she reads more she begins to identify a further split emerging within the already divided premillennialist churches, between those wedded to Surplus Profit as if the divine right of the Faithful, a prosperity gospel, God’s pre-destined reward for Faith, and those, such as the Plymouth Brethren, who see in Surplus Profit only the deception of the Anti-Christ who appears as disingenuous Peacemaker. What they have in common however is their adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible and a belief that following The Tribulation a war of global and catastrophic consequences, brought about by the Anti-Christ and human rebellion against the will of God, would be the Second Coming of Christ and peace and prosperity for the Faithful. Martha suspects that the Grand Dame Nesta would have scolded the corporate nationalist fascists, who have mis recognized the Anti-Christ they now worship. Surely she would think the Fascisti, the grand conspirators, have themselves been duped by the lure of easy money promised, for those with the ability to take advantage, by the free market. A lure which in the end will surely destroy not just Christian Civilisation but All Civilisation.

“Webster claimed that the destruction of Christian civilization was ‘the avowed intention’ of Russian Bolsheviks and British socialists, the hidden goal of the Zionists, the unintended result of the Social Gospel, and the inevitable outcome of any German conquest of Europe.”

(Nesta Webster, ‘Illuminism and the world revolution’, Nineteenth Century and After, vol. 88, July 1920, 113; Webster, ‘“Internationale” and commune’, 6; Nesta Webster, ‘What is socialism’, in A Handbook for Anti-Socialists (London: Boswell Publishing Company 1924), 14; Webster, ‘The red star’, 49–). cited in Patterns of Prejudice, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2004
Mrs Webster’s religion: conspiracist extremism on the Christian far right

Martha’s thesis suggests that today Webster’s argument and those of politicians like Blair or Rees-Mogg and the Cornerstone Group, would be that the destruction of Christian Civilisation is the avowed intention of Islamic Fundamentalists and Socialist Internationalists, the hidden goal of Jewish Zionists, the unintended goal of the Social Gospel, and the inevitable outcome of Islamic conquest of Europe and Chinese conquest of Eurasia.

But of course not only this worsening descent into social catastrophe, reminiscent of 1930s Nazi Germany, causes her a deep and painful anxiety.

As we have witnessed her beloved Victoria is her lover no longer and this is occupying Martha’s mind incessantly making academic thinking impossible.

Martha had been working as a psychiatrist when she first met Victoria in a clinic, ironically in University College Hospital where Paterson now exercises his unique brand of oncological surgery. Victoria had been suicidally depressed and hadn’t responded to medication or ECT, Electro-Convulsive Therapy, and had been referred to Martha’s clinic. Martha practiced a rather fringe branch of Psychiatry, a form of Freudian Psychoanalysis, in which the symbolic social construction of selfhood, language and the mis-recognition of meaning play a major role. Normality is not a concept recognized here and the aim is simply to use language to obliquely challenge to open a way for the individual to reconfigure psychic values and an always at least anxious and neurotic relationship with the social symbolic world. The work had gone slowly. Victoria saying very little but slowly developing a degree of trust and eye contact. The breakthrough came in a short session when Victoria was describing her Father’s abuse of her and her mother. My Father made me watch him tie up my mother and made her watch him touch me. Victoria said quietly without visible emotion. She had been in a premillenialist community much like The Plymouth Brethren but had run away aged 18. She was now 25. Your father? Martha asked questioningly, quietly in what proved to be an unexpectedly incisive piece of interpretation. Victoria looked up sharply into Martha’s steady kind and open gaze. Yes … hesitatingly … then, Yes, Christ, My Father … exactly, exactly that, then as if being overcome by a dawning realization. My fucking bastard Father. Of course this was only the beginning of a long journey to learn to unlove the oppressor who simply did not behave like a Father should and to learn to love and trust the love of those who genuinely do try to care, as if unconditionally, without expecting reward. Martha is always sure to emphasize this is not a recipe for happiness, even lives with love in them are still full of unhappiness and contradictions. After all Martha is found of saying, love is something you haven’t got that you give to someone who doesn’t want it. But for Victoria this new perspective helped her to escape the clutches of an abusive Father and to create a less oppressive relation with the socially constructed symbolic world and with others, like Martha.

After her discharge from the clinic Victoria wrote to Martha and they met again at a coffee shop in Frith Street Soho, romantic, stylish, trendy and busy but all the noise couldn’t drown out the attraction between them. Martha knew that NHS psychiatry or analysis was no longer her forte, she was witnessing the break up of society but emboldened right wing governments and wanted to understand how and why society’s let such things happen. Why do good people do bad things? Was her central question. She scrabbled around for ideas, avenues to explore, and did a course on Communications Theory and a module on Zizek’s Ideology of The Sublime at Birkbeck College, London, which used a Lacanian framework alongside Marx. She began her PhD at Birkbeck under the supervision of Frosh. The Relationship between Premillennialism and Political Policy in the 21st Century – a Critical Psychoanalytic Study. By now she is four years into the six year part time program.

During the next three weeks in the run up to Victoria’s operation, they didn’t talk about Victoria’s encounter with Paterson , despite Martha’s best efforts. Martha felt the love and care evaporate, it was as if Victoria had drawn down the shutters, withdrawn emotionally and physically and it was tearing Martha apart. Of all the things in her life that she’d trusted, that she’d had faith in, perhaps too much naive faith, there was above all their love for each other. A magical love born out of their chance encounter all those years ago. Now that love has dissipated, gone, vanished overnight. They still lived, for now, in the same house but as strangers. Victoria was staying out late, meetings she said, and taking phone calls in private out of Martha’s hearing. Martha confronted Victoria with the obvious, another lover, but this was denied flatly, calmly. All Victoria would eventually say a few weeks later is that she was starting a new job, after her mastectomies. working for Professor Sir Roy Paterson in his Walpole Street clinic and has started a new fund raising charity for the British Zero Cancer Program simply called Cancer Free UK (CFUK).

Three weeks after her singular and profound consultation with her apogee of perfection Paterson Victoria is admitted under his care to the private hospital for a ‘special’ bilateral mastectomy. ‘Special’ being a euphemism for the still illicit cleavage sparing procedure. As always Victoria has a persistent calm if unreal smiling facies baring her petite evenly spaced teeth widely, and in an unusual confidence tells Martha she really is looking forward to being breastless. But why? Well it’s quite simple. As if talking to a child. Because breasts are the seat of cancer and I’d rather be breastless than die of breast cancer. The Professor is doing important research on The Cure for cancer but it’s secret so I can’t talk about it. All I know is that soon The Cure is coming and even you can be cured even in advance. The Professor says the government is backing this all the way and says it will transform the world. Martha was beyond arguing, this was beyond discussion, and Martha was too horrified to even think clearly. She feels sick to her stomach anticipating the disaster looming and nothing she can do about it.

Two days later Martha visits Victoria in hospital. Paterson has treated her privately not that she could afford it. She is sitting up, bandages visible under her gown, looking pale and thinner, but still smiling brightly, too brightly. Well that’s it all over with. He says I’m cured everything went well no complications. And he’s been able to keep my shape. Still that bared teeth grimace pretending to be a smile. My champagne cleavage he calls it. Smiling still. Martha doesn’t know what to say, looks at Victoria, the bandages. When are you coming home? Victoria doesn’t reply but drops the smile. She has changed dramatically over the recent weeks, distant, colder and certainly non-tactile, non-sensual. Sure the stress of a cancer diagnosis, of an operation doesn’t help the sex drive, but then when Martha thinks about it, Victoria hadn’t seemed at all stressed since her cancer diagnosis either, quite the opposite, which was odd in itself. The only things Victoria seemed to care about, or rather was obsessed about were Paterson, The Zero Cancer Program, and CFUK. What do you mean? What do you mean what do I mean it’s obvious I’ll still have my cleavage au-naturel once I’m fixed up. How’s that? He’s cut out all the cancer but has preserved my cleavage which is completely cancer-free, and says I am now the perfect specimen. So he’s left some breast tissue? Yeah but there’s no cancer in it. Are you sure? Of course, it’s Mr Paterson, Professor Sir actually, I trust him, he’s incredible. When are you coming home? Martha asks again. I don’t think I am. Martha’s stomach sank. She looks Victoria in the eye but only receives coldness and a robotic fanaticism. I’m sorry, really. Victoria says without emotion. I know what you think but there’s no-one else, I now have my mission in life but need to do this on my own so I won’t be coming home, in case you want to know the Professor has found me a flat above the clinic. Martha is too stunned to ask more questions, to argue, to plead. She just stands up and walks away unable to look Victoria in the eye, not wanting to absorb what she has just heard.

Paterson, Professor Roy, opened the email from the General Medical Council, summoning him to attend a formal disciplinary meeting concerning his use of cleavage sparing surgery and other aspects of his treatments. How dare they? What the fuck do those fucking bastards know anyway?

As you know the he latest Zero Cancer legislation forbid any surgical techniques that fall short of total and radical excision; and specifically proscribe cleavage sparing for breast cancer. We acknowledge your ongoing excellent work on the new research project but must insist your surgery excludes cleavage sparing.

GMC disciplinary committee, London

Martha leaves the hospital shaken and emotionally destitute, crying. She’d been skeptical about Paterson from the start, this just didn’t sit well at all. The Cure she thinks. This is just madness. She resolves to talk to her good friend, since childhood. They haven’t spoken for a year or two but Tomás would listen, and care.

Paterson is feeling self satisfied. A good day today, the research is going well and he’s been to a meeting about The Cure, more advanced technology is on its way to him. He flicks open his laptop and replays the footage of him being handled by Victoria as she slowly slips off her blouse displaying her bra and cleavage, then a short video clip of the last few sutures preserving her cleavage after surgery. He leaves the image on the screen and invites Victoria to come through. Fully healed with implants pushing up her décolletage, he watches her undo her blouse and slide off her bra, kneeling in front of him her deep cleavage oiled waiting for his organ, then she unbuttons the fly of his expensive trousers and he licks his lips. Let Paterson’s Will be done. Fuck yes Fuck.

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