Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Men Who Stare At Goats, by Jon Ronson

English writer Jon Ronson is a mixture of humorist and journalist. In The Men Who Stare At Goats, he’s come up with the novel idea of writing a funny book about the so-called war on terror. Funny and very, very scary.

Ronson tracks the weird shenanigans of a group of psychic spies who believed, amongst other things, that they could stare at goats and kill them, using their psychic powers. Some of them, such as Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon, wrote interesting books titled First Earth Battalion Operations Manual. Here is some advice the book gives on entering hostile territory (as described by Ron Johnson):

‘Soldiers would carry with them into hostile countries ‘symbolic animals’ such as baby lambs. These would be cradled in the soldiers’ arms. The soldiers would learn to greet people with ‘sparkly eyes’. Then they would gently place the lambs on the ground and give the enemy ‘an automatic hug’.

Ahhhh, how adorable. You should check out the cute drawings from the manual – a reproduction is provided in the book.

When the dictator of Panama went missing after the US invaded the country, psychic spy Sergeant Lyn Buchanan was consulted. He went into a deep trance and kept writing on a piece of paper, Ask Kristy McNichol. The book goes into McNichol’s CV:

‘Sergeant Buchanan was certain that the TV actress Kristy McNichol, who appeared in Starsky and Hutch, the ABC mini-series Family, The Bionic Woman and The Love Boat II, held the key to the whereabouts of General Noriega. At that time, in December 1989, Kristy McNichol had just recorded the CBS special, Candid Camera! The First Forty Years, had a guest role in Murder, She Wrote and had starred in the erotic thriller, Two Moon Junction.’

Jon Ronson tried to follow this lead up. He contacted the actress by email to find out if the CIA had tried to contact her. No response.

One psychic spy, Ed Dames, even started negotiations with Hanna-Barbera to create his own cartoon, based on himself. It just all beggars belief. How much seemingly innocuous kiddies programming is covert military propaganda. Heaps, I bet. There are certainly some suspicious recent releases.

How does this group of wackos from the early eighties relate to the current war on terror? Jon Ronson draws various conclusions. One is the use of music and frequencies to control the minds of the enemy. He interviews one British prisoner of Guantanamo who describes having CD’s of Fleetwood Mac cover versions played for him at normal volume. Then another CD of different cover versions would be played for him, at normal volume. None of this the prisoner could make sense of. Johnson speculates that the music had some type of ‘frequencies’ embedded in it.

More overtly, the army did use music like Barney the Dinosaur’s theme song full blast in empty containers to torture inmates. Same technique, remember, was also used at the Waco compound. In that action they used These Boots Are Made For Walking.

The most unsettling part of the book is the chapter on Frank Olson, an army scientist who apparently ‘fell’ out of a window in 1953 and died. His son, Eric, has been campaigning for years for the truth to come out. The US government later reluctantly admitted that he had been drugged with LSD without knowing it, and that had most likely upset him and driven him nuts.

This was part of a campaign called MK-ULTRA. Again, the reason for it was to try to control the minds of the enemy, or perceived enemies. This practice of drugging people without their knowledge went on for some 12 years.

Yet Frank Olson’s son, Eric, was not satisfied with this, and felt there was some sort of foul play going on. Bottom line, he became convinced his father had been murdered. Further investigations revealed that Olson was involved in the CIA’s very nasty program called ‘Artichoke’. To cut a long story short, Artichoke was involved in torture – to the point of killing people (‘terminal interrogations’). This was done to ex-Nazis and captured Russian agents. Olson’s conscience was not exactly at ease with all he had done, and apparently he intended to spill his guts. So they rubbed him out. Eric Olson had his father’s body exhumed, and they found his skull had been broken with a rife butt.

These parts of the book kept me up til, like, two in the morning! And what about that creep Allen Dulles, who was running the CIA at the time. He was a close family friend of the Bush’s, and also their lawyer. He overlooked all of this. Here’s a good description of some of his activities:

‘It was Dulles who sent undercover CIA agents out into the American suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s to infiltrate seances in the hope of unearthing and recruiting America’s most talented clairvoyants to his mind-warfare battlefield, which is how the relationship between intelligence and the psychic world was born.’

Oh brother! And to think all these people are on government payrolls.

For lovers of George W. Bush you can go to his prayer group at Another psychic spy, General Wickham, received an American Inspirations Award from the President for his work on this.

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