From the Limpkin Material

From the Limpkin material we know that there are two possible candidates, that is, two whose names incorporate the element “Fred”: Frederick R. Waterford and B. Frederick Judd. No photographs survive of either, although Limpkin describes the latter as a stuffed shirt, and, I quote, “somebody for whom foreplay is what you do on a golf course.” (Laughter.) Limpkin himself did not long survive the inception of Gilead, and we have his diary only because he foresaw his own end and placed it with his sister-in-law in Calgary.

Waterford and Judd both have characteristics that recommend them to us. Waterford possessed a background in market research, and was, according to Limpkin, responsible for the design of the female costumes and for the suggestion that the Handmaids wear red, which he seems to have borrowed from the uniforms of German prisoners of war in Canadian “P.O.W.” camps of the Second World War era. He seems to have been the originator of the term “Particicution,” which he lifted from an exercise program popular sometime in the last third of the century; the collective rope ceremony, however, was suggested by an English village custom of the seventeenth century. “Salvaging” may have been his too, although by the time of Gilead’s inception it had spread from its origin in the Philippines to become a general term for the elimination of one’s political enemies. As I have said elsewhere, there was little that was truly original with or indigenous to Gilead: its genius was synthesis.

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Judd, on the other hand, seems to have been less interested in packaging and more concerned with tactics. It was he who suggested the use of an obscure “C.I.A.” pamphlet on the destabilization of foreign governments as a strategic handbook for the Sons of Jacob, and he, too, who drew up the early hit-lists of prominent “Americans” of the time. He also is suspected of having orchestrated the President’s Day Massacre, which must have required maximum infiltration of the security system surrounding Congress, and

without which the Constitution could never have been suspended. The National Homelands and the Jewish boat-person plan were both his, as was the idea of privatizing the Jewish repatriation scheme, with the result that more than one boatload of Jews was simply dumped into the Atlantic, to maximize profits. From what we know of Judd, this would not have bothered him much. He was a hard-liner, and is credited by Limpkin with the remark, “Our big mistake was teaching them to read. We won’t do that again.”

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