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In 1944 the filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock embarked on a movie project: Notorious, a spy thriller that featured a plot device — a cache of uranium being held in a wine cellar by the Nazis. At the time, it was not common knowledge that uranium was being used in the development of the atomic bomb, and David Selznick, with whom Hitchcock discussed the project, had trouble understanding its use as a plot device. Indeed, Hitchcock later claimed he was followed by the FBI for several months after he discussed uranium with Robert Millikan at Caltech in mid-1945.

If the FBI sought out Hitchcock and asked, “Mr. Hitchcock, do you know why we want to speak with you?” Hitchcock would have been clueless. How could he have known that a fictional plot device involving a metallic element touched on a matter of national security concern?

About ten years ago I told my therapist, Israella Bash that I believed that my former employer had placed me under surveillance.  She asked:  “Why would they do that?”  I said: “I don’t know.  I have no idea.”  She said, “That tells me you’re making it up.  Every paranoid person I have ever spoken to has always known the reason he was placed under surveillance.”  So much for Dr. Bash.

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