John Rixey Moore is an actor and writer. He has written two books about some of his experiences. The first, Hostage of Paradox, is his memoir of serving as a recon team leader in Vietnam. The second, Company of Stone, is his account of living among the brotherhood of an obscure monastery in Scotland while recovering from a bullet wound and then moving on to work as a rock drill operator in a large industrial gold mine in Canada.
Hostage of Paradox
Few people then or now know about the clandestine war that the CIA ran in Vietnam, using the Green Berets for secret operations throughout Southeast Asia. This was not the Vietnam War of the newsreels, the body counts, rice paddy footage, and men smoking cigarettes on the sandbag bunkers. This was a shadow directive of deep-penetration interdiction, reconnaissance, and assassination missions conducted by a selected few Special Forces teams, usually consisting of only two Americans and a handful of Chinese mercenaries, called Nungs. These specialized units deployed quietly from forward operations bases to prowl through agendas that, for security reasons, were seldom completely understood by the men themselves.
Hostage of Paradox is the consistently visual first-hand account by one of these elite team leaders. Moore is a highly decorated former Green Beret sergeant whose operations led him and a few Chinese, with whom he could barely communicate by hand signals alone, through a labyrinth of excruciating close calls and multiple woundings, miles deep in the jungles of enemy-controlled wilderness. His descriptions of these little-known missions crackle with fearful immediacy and the vivid imagery that only someone who has lived the experience can summon. To read his words is to be transported to the shadows of a small, murky corner in America’s military history. It will not soon let you go.
Company of Stone
While on a lone tour in the rugged Scottish highlands, John Moore fled a freezing rainstorm by seeking shelter in a remote monastery. He fit into the brotherhood’s hospitality with an ease that surprised him—hardly believing what he began to learn about blind chance and the personal quirks that reveal, even to a stranger, the best of human nature. Afterward, a chance conversation overheard in a village pub steered him to become a rock drill operator in a large industrial gold mine in Canada. The dangers he encountered among the provocative, frightening, lost men of the mine, who seek anonymity in a world deep underground, challenged both his endurance and his sense of self.
With sensitivity and humor, Moore explores the unexpected lessons learned in the strange but rich monasticism of forgotten men—a brotherhood housed in crumbling medieval masonry, and one shared in the dangerous rocky depths of the gold mine.
This engaging adventure of discovery is full of unexpected surprises, leaving the reader torn between the call to adventure which lives at the heart of human nature and gratitude for the safe embrace of the easy chair and the luxury of living vicariously.