Theater of Cruelty

When Professor Arne Næs and I

The story of a Norwegian non-violent action


Orientering No. 29, 1965

It has been a few years since Professor Næs and I took NATO. When I have not published the company before, it is because a publication at that time could have had unpleasant consequences for the subordinates involved in the case. Today, however, several years later, one must expect that no one will be harmed by it.

It began as harmlessly as imaginable: Arne Næs and I had planned a weekend at his cabin at Kolsås. We provisioned independently of each other, and met on the Kolsås railway, where it turned out that one of us had purchased a box of Russian crab as well as a box of caviar from the same excellent country.

"Now we only eat between meals!"

After a while he thought, "Do you have white wine?" He said.

It turned out that I had not thought about it; I might have assumed he had included it. Both had thought that the other had thought of it. I mention this because it shows how innocent we both are, but also because the lack of a glass of wine for the caviar was the reason for what happened next:

"They probably have wine in Nato," Næs claimed: "We go in there and borrow a bottle. Where there are Americans, there are also strong drinks. "

We got off the track at Kolsås and walked up the wide road leading to Nato. The driveway was impressive: it glistened in steel, in helmets and bayonets. Machine Guns. Barbed wire. Huge headlights.

Behind the closed grating gate stood the caretaker.

"I don't think they like us," I said, "we never let in."

"You can do whatever you want," Næs replied, "you get to talk to them first."

I swallowed and went all the way to the cage. I wore my strictest officer face – manly, but friendly and jovial. I chose the first English-sounding name that came to mind. The banana company Fytte (pronounced «faifs»).

"Evening boys!" I said. "I was going to have a conference with Mr. Fyffes."

At the same time, I made a slight discreet gesture toward the closed door. The door opened, and Arne Næs and I walked in while the guards saluted. We nodded kindly (but with disgust!) And saluted with our index fingers.

"The phone is in the waiting room," said one of the caretakers, and we went there.

Most of the armed crew sat inside the guard room. Næs patted a couple of them fatherly and with military tenderness on the shoulder. He commented kindly.

"Now guys! How is the catering then? Do you enjoy it here? ”

With the fundamentalist's reasonableness, he initiated a conversation about the technical side of bayonet attacks. They had an awful lot of guns on them.

I even went to the phone and dialed the switchboard, which I asked to contact me directly with Mr. Fyffes. At the switchboard no one knew where the old boy Fyffes was at the moment. There was even doubt as to whether anyone had seen him for a while. I asked them not to give it up, but looked for him, as it was an important conversation. They couldn't find him. I said with a loud voice that I would probably have to look for myself, and then I put the microphone on.

We said goodbye to the armed forces and moved on – towards the next bastion. Næss spoke. It was a new, armed barrier with new and fearsome sentries. Næss took off his backpack and held it out:

"What are you taking in wardrobe fees here, boys?" He handed them the bag, smiling, but with dignity. It struck me to what extent he actually looked like a senior civilian officer.

The guards smiled happily at the fact that we spoke so bramelessly and democratically to them. I stressed the fraternity by taking off my bag too. The steel gate was opened under a bayonet look. Under tight and trusting

we strolled strangely between them. We put the bags away from the inside.

"Take good care of them!" Continued Næs: "Nobody knows who's here!"

The guards smiled and straightened their backs even tighter. It was dark all around us, except for the places lit by bright spotlights. We moved on. It was just following the road, then we came to the third and last block. It was less impressive than the previous ones. It was my turn now.

I randomly chose something that I thought fit the situation.

"I'm sorry, guys, but I forgot the passports. You can get them since. "

I smiled broadly, but reluctantly, for the sake of it, there were no such things as passports. In that case, the notes could go for some kind of collegiate soldier joke. There were no problems. The janitors were kind and opened politely to us. They greeted nicely. And it may be appropriate in this context to add that one cannot complain about the lack of courtesy of the young NATO employees in Norway. It was only in the hotel staff that we encountered distrust and resistance.

We were now close to the main building and it was dark and cozy. We could lay a dozen bombs along the walls, lighted carefully on the halves of them, and then made our way again. But we didn't think of that. Instead, we went to the main entrance, opened the door and entered the vestibule. There was a porter to receive uniform coats and other things. He was a civilian. He looked at us and something was going on in him. He thought.

"Excuse me," he said, "What on earth are you doing here?"

"We're just here," I said. We smiled. But he did not smile again. He looked cool on us. There was no doubt about what had happened: we were discovered and revealed. We had forced large numbers of armed forces and guard posts, we had outnumbered an insane alarm and guard system, but now we stood here in front of a uniformed porter. What machine guns and barbed wires failed to do, it was this miserable civilian from the hotel industry. He had been thinking on his own.

"We should only have a bottle of wine," Professor Næs said, "please pick up the commander in the place! The commander. Il commander!

The man was picked up and things went really fast. Like a bayonet

attacks came in commandant storming down the stairs.

"How did you get in here?" He shouted. "Per pedes," Næs replied, "On foot."

I do not know who or what il commandante was, but something over sergeant certainly was. The uniform was rough, and on his sleeve or chest he wore a beautiful badge that represented a Viking ship. Maybe he was a general or something like that.

"How did you get in ?!" he repeated, rather loudly.

"We just walked in," I replied. But Næs interrupted me:

"Excuse me," he said, pointing his finger at the Viking ship: "It's possible we've been wrong. We were going to NATO, but this is maybe the navy. I mean, of course, the navy, not the merchant navy. ”

For a while, the two gentlemen stood and looked at each other. It was a vision of great dignity: the military power over the professorial authority.

"Do you mean that you simply walked in through the gates?" Said the General doubtfully.

"Of course!" Replied Ness. "How else would we have come here? Have you seen all the barbed wire out there? Not to mention machine guns and bayonets. ”

"What's your name?" Said the Major General.

"Arne Næs, professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo."

Generalissimus now turned to me:

"And yours?"

'Jens Bjørneboe. I write a little in the newspapers every once in a while. "

There was a kind of transformation with il generalissimo. He smiled, but the smile was crooked and pale.

"And why did you come here? What's the point of this? "

"We're carrying an atomic bomb," I said; "But it's nothing to be anxious about. It's not the big type, it's just the tactical kind. It doesn't hurt much. "

Næs interrupted me again:

"Don't listen to him!" He said. "He's just joking. We have come to get a bottle of wine. That's it. "

"Wine?" Said the general. "Wine?"

"Yes," continued Næs, "we have bought caviar, and we have no wine. And it would be a pity for the delicious caviar if it were eaten without wine. Don't you think so too, General? "

"How do you think you can get wine here? At NATO headquarters? Wine?"

"Of course, we can also take liquor," Næs said, "but we thought we would be too clean. And don't you have vodka here? We could of course take whiskey, but in that case not rye, just Scottish. ”

No longer did we come. Presumably an alarm was sounded, and the reception was filled with armed forces. Then we were put on the door led by a dozen people with rifles and the Lord knows what in the belt.

A few minutes later, we stood outside the barbed wire, and that night we took our caviar to a strong and tasty cup of tea. By the way, we drank it by the glass to make it a little more Russian.

Afterwards, Næs caught a living mouse with his hands, a sight I had never witnessed before. And he did it with a dexterity that could only be due to years of training in logical empiricism and climbing in the Himalayas. But that's another story.

The above is the full and complete truth about how Professor Arne Næs and I jointly conquered NATO. The distance in time may have resulted in some details being forgotten or omitted, but in broad terms it was exactly the way our campaign was going. With horror, I have sometimes thought about what it could have done if the conquerors had not been as peaceful and harmless as we both are. A solitary and biting anarcho-syndicalist could have planted a whole bouquet of bombs in the middle of the flower beds, or for that matter anywhere. And the first officer who went to pick his morning tulip would have touched the trigger.

It should have been a nice story for the press.

You may also like