Strieber’s London Odyssey (1968)


“Unable, as Freud said, to ‘distinguish between truth and fiction that has been cathected with affect,’ we feel as buggered by the father we never knew as by the pedophile we did know. For, inasmuch as the angel that we also are demands a union that we can never fully realize, the pain of its yearning will register itself in our dreams, fantasies, and the constructions of analysis as a sexual trauma. No wonder the religious instinct so readily expresses itself as pedophilia. No wonder that on the way to rebirth we are always complaining that it is Rosemary’s baby.”
—Greg Mogenson,  A Most Accursed Religion

The urge to revisit a particular period in Strieber’s past was starting to seem more than simply the result of a researcher’s curiosity. It was as if I needed to go back into Strieber’s past as a way to journey also into my own. In the popular accounts of remote viewing, the subject is told to focus on a particular time and place, and somehow finds himself there in a non-physical form. If I was putting my attention on England in 1968, I was directing my attention to the time and place in which I experienced my first year of existence.

Strieber’s forgotten London odyssey now showcases not only strange occultists, UFO-heads, and leading entertainment industry players, but organized London criminals and pederasts. It places him, as a twenty-something “underground filmmaker” making a documentary on the Process Church, at the very heart of the scene in the years 1967-8. How did he get there? What did his involvement consist of? Was he out in the field with Norman and the other Gurdjieff-initiated hippies, dropping LSD and looking for UFOs; was he getting glimpses into the world of hard-core criminality via Cammell and Litvinoff? If not, why not? If he was too square for all that, how did he wind up hanging out with Sharp and Mora and Eric Clapton at the center of the London ‘60s scene? Most puzzling of all, why has this period of his life been all-but stricken from the record?

I was beginning to think there was a simple, if unorthodox, reason why the usual suspects—Aleister Crowley, Polanski, Manson, the Kennedys, the Process, Charles Whitman, David Bowie, Nic Roeg, Jimmy Savile, Stanley Kubrick, William Sims Bainbridge, L. Ron Hubbard, Aldous Huxley, Gurdjieff, and now Whitley Strieber!—kept cropping up wherever I seemed to look. For all the billions of people on the planet (allegedly at least), were there only a few hundred, at best, who had any sort of visible role in the grand theater unfolding before the public eye? And of course they would all hang out together, formally or otherwise, literally or not, because they were in the same business—that of socio-spiritual engineering or “culture-making.” It might seem like world history was far too vast and complex a meta-organism to be reduced to a handful of players, but was that just part of the illusion? Actors on stage exist in a world of their own, complete unto itself, while the audience exists in a kind of limbo realm, having no say about how the story unfolds. Even so, their attention was essential to the maintenance of the illusion. The audience is complicit in its own irrelevance—it has to “disappear” from the scene in order for the surrogate reality to take full hold.

Insofar as my own psychic development had been informed (let’s not say hijacked) by all of these cultural influences or “players,” was it perhaps inevitable that, someday (in the process of trying to become a “player” myself, i.e., have some cultural influence, a goal I had pursued ever since I first discovered Polanski, roughly), I would wind up struggling to identify those agents, and the shadowy agendas behind them, in an attempt to make sense of my own past?

Full PDF.

Audios, “Where’s the Toilet? (The Ultimate UFO Question),” with Doug Lain; “Magical Solutions,” on UFOs, birth trauma, and in utero race memories,


9 thoughts on “Strieber’s London Odyssey (1968)

  1. It’s fine. I thought the audios were suppose to appear next to the title “Strieber’s London Odyssey”.

  2. You’re missing the effect of an important element that is threaded throughout your inquiry: time. Who would be more interested in our development than our future ancestors? Whitley said to them, “You have no right!” They looked at him lovingly like a parent to a child and replied, “We have the right.” In what context does this make sense, except that they actually did have the right to intervene as our future progeny?

    • Yes I am reading POI. It’s very good! I have corresponded with Whitley about his experiences. They do not seem so strange if put in the context of memories of the future. The mind has no time zone. It picks up information from all modes of time and organizes it into comprehensive narratives. So, when Whitley has a memory of his father lying in a coffin, and then shows a picture of this to his father, it is clear that these memories contradict each other in terms of linear time. However, if one is a past memory and the other is a memory of the future, bound together as a narrative for the sake of preserving both memories, it is not a contradiction. They are real memories of real events except some have not “happened” yet, or the memories are not in linear order.

      • It’s refreshing to know that WS followers are reading and appreciating (or at least one). I’m a bit surprised tho because, if you’ve read all of POI, then you must know that I have tried to steer clear of metaphysical speculations such as time travel, at least outside of the psychological context which I hope the material provides.

        While I would agree with the IDEA that time is nonlinear and even non-existent, as we understand it (nonlinear time = no time, right?), it’s way beyond my powers of intellect to try and use that as a way to “explain” linear events or inconsistencies.

        Also I would disagree that the mind has no time zone – the psyche may be outside of time, but the mind – if by this you mean the capacity of linear thought-processes and self-awareness – is entirely mind-bound and even, I might venture, the architect of the grand illusion of linear time.

        Ironically, the idea of WS’s experiences being memories of the future is the exact inverse of the POI “thesis” (erk, hate to use that term but whatever) that they are reenactments of the past. (Tho in the last MP3, “magical solutions,” I touch on the possibility that past events compulsively reenacted may be echoed by events in the future which we are striving towards.)

        Part of the misunderstanding in your reading of the POI (if such it is) seems to be due to a preference for more metaphysical explanations for what I think can more easily be accounted for by mundane ones. Such as:

        So, when Whitley has a memory of his father lying in a coffin, and then shows a picture of this to his father, it is clear that these memories contradict each other in terms of linear time.

        Strieber himself – never shy of finding more romantic readings – speculated, albeit in fictional guise in “Pain” (in which father was replaced by uncle) – that the photo was part of an initiation ritual in the past, so there’s no reason to think of it as future related.

  3. Before encountering Crucial Fictions I had thought that Strieber most likely had a religious awakening experience that he chose, for artistic reasons, to write about as an alien abduction. I thought he was a con man but not an entirely disingenuous one, since the experiences he writes about resonate so deeply as an actual true lived experience. After listening to most of your dialogues I’m not sure what to believe anymore, except that I no longer suspect Strieber of being consciously disingenuous. Perhaps the nature of the experience is ultimately incommunicable on some level, because it seems as though the fabric of language and consciousness are either altered or break down in some way through the experience, and that’s part of why Communion, Transformation and Breakthrough are so fascinating and frustrating. I’m really enjoying this series.

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