A Wound in the Soul: The Master of the Key & the Oedipal Project (Prisoner of Infinity VIII)


“When we can’t follow in the father’s footsteps, when a trauma has erected a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign above reality’s door, we must regress to the mother’s bed, dip our pens into the psychic gene pool of the collective unconscious, and return to the surface to write our personal mythology. As the fatality of the traumatized soul, the Oedipus complex is less a complex to be resolved than a psychology to be affirmed.”
—Greg Mogenson, A Most Accursed Religion

The darkness at the end of Whitley’s tunnel would seem to have come knocking on his hotel room door, in the wee hours of June 6th, in Toronto, Canada, while he was on a book tour for Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Amongst Us, the fifth in his “visitor series” (not counting Majestic, a novel about the Roswell crash). As Strieber presents his 1998 meeting with the Master of the Key (“a true encounter” is the subtitle of the book), it is very much the capstone of his otherworldly, transcendental or daimonic experiences up until that point. When I first read the book, in early 2001, I was so impressed that I made photocopies of it and handed it out to people. I have read it at least a dozen times over the years and it has had a profound impact on my thinking. Initially, I took the book for what it purported to be, the faithfully transcribed words of a perfectly realized being: God in human form (the Master even speaks in the first person of/as God).

Strieber certainly appears to believe his encounter was a literal, factual event in his life, which is how he has chosen to present it to the world. He becomes defensive at the mere suggestion he made it up, and grew quite histrionic over what he perceived as “sinister” interference with the text of the book when it was re-released in 2011.[1] At the same time, his inability to be coherent about the event, and incidents surrounding it, begs the question of why an actual, flesh and blood encounter would be so shrouded in mystery, confusion, and obvious contradiction.(An obvious example: his memory of the Master of the Key’s height varies from 4 feet to 5 feet 8 inches.) Strieber is the proverbial unreliable narrator, whose constantly shifting story and voice throws the narrative into question. Whether this is deliberate or not, and whether the Master of the Key is a real being “out there,” a concatenation of Strieber’s mind, a literary device, or a strange psychoplasmic blend of all three, is something I suspect even Strieber may not know for sure.

Whatever degree of realness the Master of the Key possesses, he represents something quite specific to Strieber, namely, a wise, powerful, and benevolent father figure. The Master of the Key is precisely what every boy needs to safely emerge from the protective cocoon of the mother’s psyche and navigate the troubled waters of childhood and adolescence: a figure of supreme authority and impeccable goodness. A representative of God.

Norman O. Brown wrote, after Freud, that “Psychoanalysis must always take the position that the Child is Father to the Man.”[2] The Master of the Key is Strieber’s idealized image of himself as the father—he even speculates it may be his future self. In light of Strieber’s fragmented personality—his strange blend of guru-like wisdom and childlike histrionics—the Master of the Key, and the artifact Strieber created to represent him (The Key), might be seen as an embodiment (in book-form) of the split in Strieber’s psyche, transformed into a literary device. The Key purports to be a transcript of a real-life conversation, and maybe it is. But it reads like a dialogue between Strieber’s regressed, child self and his progressed, father self: the guardian in its benevolent and angelic form. The Master even refers to Whitley as “child.”[3]

After the encounter of June 6th, Strieber claims he woke to find his hotel room floor covered with notes. He found them illegible, but not useless. When he looked at the notes, he says, whole chunks of the conversation came into his mind as if the notes were “a mnemonic device.” He called his wife, described the encounter, and told her that a day would come when he would try and dismiss the encounter as a dream, and that she must never let him do so. She followed his instructions, and The Key is dedicated to Anne Strieber, without whose “insistence, it would have been neither written nor published.”

Strieber’s recollection of the incident, outside of the transcript itself, certainly resembles a dream. He has stated that the whole conversation took roughly half an hour, yet reading the book out loud would take at least three times that. He claims that the words of the Master communicated far more information than mere words could communicate, that each phrase was like a soft bullet that exploded in his mind and filled it with imagery and associations. When the 2011 edition came out, his attention was drawn to changes from the original 2001 text. He claimed that the first version had been interfered with without his knowledge, “censored” by “sinister hands.” And yet he had been reading from the supposedly censored edition for years, and even stated plainly that he remembered the Master using phrases in it, phrases he later claimed had been falsely added or altered by those sinister hands.

All the evidence suggests that Strieber himself is unsure what happened that night, and that the only solid evidence he has is whatever he managed to write down. In other words, and whatever real-life basis there may be to the encounter, he wrote it into being, and has since adopted that literary version as reality. This is not meant as a criticism: it’s what we all do, all of the time. As Greg Mogenson writes in A Most Accursed Religion, memory is a form of imagination:

The psychological motto “we act out what we can’t remember” becomes for us “we are determined by the literalness of events (physical, emotional, intellectual, social, etc.), which we cannot imagine.” Memory, or memoria as it was once called, is a form of imagination. What it recalls into the present is always, in part, a function of the perspective currently dominating the present. Though we tend to reify history, thinking of it as what “really happened” in the past, history is not static. Inasmuch as it touches us experientially, it must enter into the imaginative modes of recollection, thereby becoming psycho-history, a history of soul (p. 19).

Strieber admitted this in a 1988 interview when he said about the visitor experience: “Not only does it trigger memories, it also triggers the imagination and you can’t tell which is which. Which is horrible; like fortunately there are a few things that have happened that are very concrete and that’s really fortunate.”

Whatever happened that night of June 6th 1998, whatever strange child was born from Whitley’s psyche—Archangel or Legion—it may be that Strieber had to grant it concrete reality by writing The Key (and later labeling it “A True Encounter,” the final nail in the coffin of the subjective). He had to because the forces were already set in motion: at the secret school in 1954; in the catacombs of the Vatican in 1968; after he wrote Wolfen and The Hunger in 1981-3 and Hollywood turned his dark dreams to reality; as he stared at the face on Mars in 1984/5, and then gazed into the black eyes of the visitor that Christmas night in 1985—all the forces of the unconscious that carried him to the top of his profession and down into the depths of his soul demanded that God-the-father show up and make sense of it all. The child cannot face the chaos of the world and the mother’s psyche combined. Its life depends on receiving the key to unlock the mysteries, from a good father who shows the way through, into the light.



To read full essay, order Prisoner of Infinity: UFOs, Social Engineering, and the Psychology of Fragmentation

33 thoughts on “A Wound in the Soul: The Master of the Key & the Oedipal Project (Prisoner of Infinity VIII)

  1. Everything can and does fit into a psychological narrative- especially if every imago has an ambiguous dual (at least) aspect as every single thing does…what’s more interesting to me is the elaborate deception Whitley is manipulated to participate in (the short version of the Whitley story anyway)… Where’s the myth for that? I always wanted to ask Harpur. Is the deception from Zeus escaping from Chronus with the help of his mother and Gaia the earth? Is it Chronus arisen from the pit tricking his children so they can’t trick him again? Where are the myths of deception in order to maintain power over others? It seems to me that is what we are trapped in. Like Jung helping Dulles profile Nazi’s for the ratlines.

    Who are the artists of those great images in this post? As always- great stuff. Salud!

  2. The first is my own cobble; the last links to the artist; the ones in-between were found online by Lucinda Horan during the Crucial Fictions phase of this op.

    Interesting observation about the myths of deception; I would agree this is where the meat is. Yet can we separate the exploitation of psychological needs from the creation of psychological narratives, i.e., myths, to deceive? I think it is all of a piece.

    • I was curious about the third one and the first one makes me think of Shane. Very cool. Of course it’s all of a piece and Sure ya can separate it! To create a group narrative the nature of individual needs/desires must be very much understood. That’s not too hard and seems to be at the heart of occult knowledge- astrology, freemasonry, tarot, etc. Finely tuned by the ‘profile’ which apparently had to be written up for everyone in the Illuminati, (though Illuminati is a dodge of some sort) and also which the CIA has mastered. The profile is everything. Then if you really seek total control, or power (why? satanic hatred? fear of death? or is it just another human ‘type’ or personality?) then you need to deceive the multitudes of profiles because basic fairness seems to be intrinsic to human consciousness. How to deceive the multitudes? SO here the individual myth collides with the social myths. What are the social myths? That’s my question. If the gang of humans can be divided into 12 rough ‘types’ then the deceivers need a device to entrance each type- the highbrow, the warrior, the earth mother, do gooder, the hedonist, the melancholic, the hirsute, the bald, appolinian, artemisian, whatever. So this alien shit is being thrown in our face on all those levels. Chris Knowles is for the middlebrow educated type, Streiber the middlebrow adventurous type now aiming for highbrow club. Movies for the more or less innocent ones or emotional types. But the mechanism of the group mind that does the deceiving and the actual nuts and bolts of the machinery that carries it out actually becomes the real mystery however mundane. It must have something to do with mind control from the get go- or should we just say culture? And it certainly involves the melding of the one and the many. It’s really the one untold story and it’s endlessly fascinating, much more so for me than Individuation or Freudian complexes because it is 9 billion times more complicated!

  3. So yeah these are all good questions and I like where you are going with it. I still say you cant separate the internal individual psychological mechanisms from the external group control ones, that there is a mirroring going on, as I mention on today;s podcast, and it is the internal principals that we can fully grok and which are incredibly simple once identified, even tho they seem “9 billion times more complicated” when looked at as a social dynamic. Complexity may be endlessly fascinating, but it isn’t where the ground is. The ground is simplicity itself (being one thing, let’s say a sensation and not a multitude of thoughts…?).

  4. Yeah i guess past a certain age , and having bought completely into the alien mythos , Whitty could well be walled up inside the pyramid for good . Sometimes i wonder wether psychoanalysis leads to a magical ” transference ” , rather , my own work is ongoing , repetitious , gentle but consistent and persistent , and seems to have increased my intellect , powers of observation , helps me make wiser choices to avoid the clammy grip of the complex . I imagine Auticultures resdership would consist of a veritable rogues gallery of Oedipus and Electras . The work goes on for life , it is hard fought , like being a soldier of Mars !
    The best Oedipus movie i have seen is Fernando Arabelles “Viva la Muerte ” ( long live death ) , though Tom Kalins ” savage grace ” with Julieanne Moore and Eddie Redmayne is right up there .

  5. I don’t think Streiber is meeting aliens from some other planet. Most of what they say is a lot of nonsense. Jacques Valee has this covered pretty thoroughly. Which Whitley talks about in his more lucid moments. “The Visitors” spew gibberish to certain people who for various reasons feel compelled to share with the world. A lot of the time this stuff gets turned into religions like Mormonism. Or reductionist materialism/Atomism or whatever you want to call the Dawkins thing- after all, DeCarte was specifically inspired by an angelic visitation. Whitley was probably chosen by these weird intelligences because he was mentally traumatized by some weird pre-MK Ultra nastiness. I hate to come across like a wet blanket. I am open to a lot of weird and wild stuff, but I’ve always suspected Whitley Streiber was being played by the Magonians. And maybe they’ve actually helped him out.

    There’s actual scientific evidence that Mars had a civilization on it that wiped itself out with nuclear superbombs. It’s a theory that’s out there. Courtesy of an actual scientist.

  6. Yeah. I think it can. Or rather, as working by applying/exploiting a psycho-sexual mechanism (or roster of them). Girard’s work provides a bunch of clues as to how social engineering functions, maybe.

    • But I mean the bigger story- the group dynamics of the deceiver(s)- that ain’t sexual- it’s the opposite. It’s not psyche either…It’s becoming much clearer how they engineer us but how do they engineer themselves?

      • Their teeth matches our wound. They engineer themselves in the same way they engineer us. On this us and them spectrum, which side am I on? Clearly it is both, hence neither. Why do you think the group dynamics of the deceivers is not sexual?

        • Because it’s about power and control and fear of death and hatred. Kind of the opposite of sex as far as I’m concerned. I think this statement is kind of a cop-out- “On this us and them spectrum, which side am I on? Clearly it is both, hence neither.” The audience is not the playwright, except in the most ultimate of mystical awareness, which just ends all distinctions and finishes every story. Why bother doing anything then? We are their ‘audience’. They write the play.

          As far as dividing us and them into absolute separate camps that of course isn’t possible. You can’t divide day and night clearly either, or humans and animals or hot and cold. No clear lines anywhere. But midnight ain’t noon and 100 degrees ain’t zero and a fish is not human.

  7. That’s the second time you’ve accused me of copping out in my answers. Are you not getting the attention you want from me? It tends to discourage me from wanting to engage, FYI.

    • I am just trying to push you beyond the psycho-sexual interpretation with the mystical fall back because that is where my own interests are. No offense meant- my apologies. My friends and I use ‘cop-out’ as a friendly riposte, a gentle jibe. I wasn’t trying to psychoanalyze you! Salud!

  8. Yeah I don’t respond well to pushing. It’s an argumentative style that I’ve tried to reign in for myself, after years of seeing how it backfires.

    Again, trying to separate “power and control and fear of death and hatred” from sexual drives is like trying to separate a plant from its roots (but a whole lot harder): why would you want to?

    The line you’re pursuing, if i read it rightly, seems based on an idea that the ‘deceivers’ are wired differently than the rest of us. Well, there is such a thing as neurodivergence, so there could be something in it, but how to separate neurological or biological differences from cultural (epigenetic) and psychological factors?

    & the point I made which you considered a cop-out is really the opposite of a cop-out, it’s a copping to. Under different conditions, I could have, was supposed to be, one of the gatekeepers. So why aren’t I?

  9. Fear of death the opposite of sex ?
    I would also agree sex and death are virtually indistinguishable as two sides of the same coin …
    The deceivers are perhaps just better at deceiving themselves that ” the head quarters ” are in charge .
    It would be interesting to follow the trajectory of a typical gate keeper and see what trail of destruction ensues in their lives , illness , addiction , sexual compulsions , misfortune etc .
    The psyche/ body would catch up with them for sure . Be interesting to see how they delude themselves , lets see – patriotism , the last refuge of any scoundrel ??

  10. Could it be that we, the ritually and systematically wounded inquirers into the unseen, seekers after self improvement , integration and ” enlightenment” are also the unknowing gatekeepers , purveyors of deliberately seeded weaponised troppo memes , designed to lead the curious and unwary into a labyrinth of predetermined psycho spiritual dead ends and traps ?? ..
    Or just some of us

  11. “There’s actual scientific evidence that Mars had a civilization on it that wiped itself out with nuclear superbombs. It’s a theory that’s out there. Courtesy of an actual scientist.” — Lazycat

    I don’t think so.


    Trust me, if they could find ANY evidence, ANY; not even of actual life, but just 2 or 3 fossilized microscopic “organic structures” (collections of microscopic rods, cones, bacterium “shapes”…) they would be screaming to high heaven about it;

    and they haven’t done it and ain’t doing that.

    Why not?

    Cause they ain’t found nothin.

    (The irony is killing me because what the “scientists” are actually searching for on Mars but won’t admit is; anything that looks like it was DESIGNED)

    Evidence of extra terrestrial life is the penultimate 800 pound white elephant/gorilla nail the Darwinian Evolutionists have milled and are ready and waiting to pound into the “coffin” of Creationism/Intelligent Design…

    Dawkins gets an erection just thinking about that announcement.

  12. Fascinating quote from Sandor Ferenczi regarding Orpha. I cannot take credit for intuiting the following. It was brought to my attention by a friend but relating to trauma and all that you are discussing here Orpha conjures up Oprah. Oprah who according to her legend was named Orpah but whose name was misspelled on her birth certificate.

    Oprah/Orpha whose biography has holes in it as big as the state of Mississippi where she was born to a Vernon and Vernita.
    Oprah/Orpha who was raped as a girl.
    Oprah/Orpha who has transcended her humble beginnings
    Oprah/Orpha who trajectory has seemed aided by powers waiting to guide her just outside of our view

    “Orpha,(Oprah) says Ferenczi, has only one concern and that is the preservation of life. She plays the role of the guardian angel. She produces wish-fulfilling fantasies for the suffering of a murdered child, she scours the whole universe seeking help” (p. 121).
    Orpha ( Oprah ) can’t be dismissed merely as a delusional state, but is better seen as “part of a regenerative universal ‘intelligence’ [that] makes use of a deeper wisdom in the psyche at moments of traumatic distress . . . It represents a factor truly ‘superior’ to the ego” (p. 122).

  13. Dear Jasun,

    I am compelled to say that while your work as armchair investigator is of high value, you’re running the risk of turning into some sort of authority figure that does not respond gracefully to challenge. I wouldn’t dare oppose your will to speak the truth to the best of your knowledge and infiltrate the rank minds of psychopaths, oops, I mean, psychiatrists, in your highfalutin way.

    But I’d say you should bear in mind that “the flip side” is that if you’re not careful enough not to take yourself too siriusly, some provocative personalities might disengage interaction with YOU.

    All in all I wish you all the Prana and Qi you can get away with.

    • Compelled by who or what, I wonder?

      This is a very vague and general, ad hominem critique. I guess you’re referring to the exchange with Ginko?

  14. Jasun wrote: “As Strieber presents his 1998 meeting with the Master of the Key (“a true encounter” is the subtitle of the book), it is very much the capstone of his otherworldly, transcendental or daimonic experiences up until that point. When I first read the book, in early 2001, I was so impressed that I made photocopies of it and handed it out to people. I have read it at least a dozen times over the years and it has had a profound impact on my thinking. Initially, I took the book for what it purported to be, the faithfully transcribed words of a perfectly realized being: God in human form (the Master even speaks in the first person of/as God).”

    1) Did you ever get involved with any other writers or writings with such intensity of belief to share their ideas? Are there any other favorite books you’ve read more than 5 times? These are?

    2 What happened with your involvement with Castaneda’s ideas? You really need to do a complete podcast [or several] that focus just on your studies and travels about Castaneda. After all, you went to Mexico to follow in his footsteps to become like a Shaman. Or, am I mistaken? What happened?

    3) Did you ever get involved with Scientology or other UFO “belief groups” or people beyond Strieber or Castaneda? Please share what else you studied or learned about such subjects.

    • Honey, do you think:

      1) That scout boy pseudo-subservice truth-twister David Icke outlook on humanity is mediated by his premature bodily ageing due to rheumatoid arthritis? Poor man.

      Hey Jasun, just fucking with you 🙂


  16. Open and friendly inquiry and sharing information, unlike what Strieber does, should be available from Jasun about his life’s story. That is a well established stated purpose of Jasun for doing his writing and podcasts online. He is open about how he has patterned his beliefs about what Strieber and Castaneda has written, but he has changed his beliefs from what he once held. It is extremely important for Jasun to share how he was changing throughout these years to understand his new viewpoints. The main part and central theme of Jasun’s story is how and why he sincerely believed these people for many years, so I don’t want half the tale he has to tell. The full story about Jasun is critical to understand his writings and beliefs about Strieber and Castaneda too. Without it, then this will be very boring and a worthless endeavor indeed.

    Btw, Jasun reached out to me at another forum privately, and I certainly was not that interested in Strieber before learning about what Jasun thinks. I think you’re [The Devil] being a bit devilish to drive the paranoia that I’m using private detective techniques. No need to write in caps or send these woo woo telegrams.

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