“I cannot tell you how to escape, but I can tell you that it’s a terribly interesting place.”
—Whitley Strieber, The Super Natural
The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained was promised by its publishers (Tarcher-Penguin) to be “the most important book on the paranormal since Charles Fort published The Book of the Damned in 1919.” The book is a collaboration between Whitley Strieber, best-selling horror author “who popularized the concept of alien abduction,” and Jeffrey Kripal, renowned scholar and “renegade advocate for including the paranormal in religious studies.” On its own terms, it is an attempt to integrate “rejected knowledge” with “the great paradigm change of our time: the end of materialism.” The book is arranged in alternating chapters from both authors, cozily marked with their first names, “Whitley” and “Jeff.” This is the first clue that, despite Kripal’s credentials, we will not be reading a scholarly work. The first chapter, by Kripal, begins with these words: “I am afraid of this book. There is something about it, something explosive and new. It is not a neutral book. It is an apocalypse of thought waiting for you, the reader, to actualize.” Three pages later, Kripal assures us, the reader: “We have no easy or settled answers. Our intentions for this book are more humble.” This is the first clue that The Super Natural is not going to play it straight with us, the reader, but that it will dissemble with every dissemination, in one breath presenting itself as “an apocalypse of thought,” in the next assuring us of its humble intentions. This weird juxtaposition of self-inflation with self-effacement runs through the book, and it gave me the strong sense that I, the reader, was being played.
Kripal has been advocating Strieber since 2011, when he wrote a section on him in Mutants and Mystics and penned the foreword to Strieber’s same-year release, Solving the Communion Enigma. On the surface, Kripal takes Strieber’s outlandish testimonies at face value; he appears to see them, to see Strieber’s mere existence, as a means to banish forever the old, moth-eaten paradigm of materialism. In The Super Natural he compares Strieber to St. Paul and Moses, clearly signaling that what Strieber is presenting is akin to the inception of a new religion. On page 222, Kripal describes Communion as “a trance-text, a ‘remembrance’ of a literally hypnotic story that helped ‘reveal’ and then establish one of the most powerful cultural narratives working in American culture today.”
Both Kripal and Strieber (I am tempted to call them Stripal for short) repeatedly assure us, the reader, that they are not interested in fomenting belief (which they consider “a dangerous response”) but in forging a new path between belief and dismissal, one which entails a more direct, experiential, gnosis-like encounter with the “super natural.” Yet the book I read was saturated in belief; it was a tract that aspires to being an apocalypse of thought, a manual for accessing the higher mind of super nature. (It even comes with its own seven-pronged methodology and a glossary to help us, the reader, stay on track as we plunge into the challenging new terrain.) But for all its claims to be a shockingly new vision of the unexplained (claims backed up by Joscelyn Godwin, Jacques Vallee, and Dean Radin quotes on the back of the book), I found very little new about The Super Natural. What about Pauwels and Bergiers’ Morning of the Magicians in 1963, Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics in 1975, Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy in 1980, Michael Talbot’s The Holographic Universe (one of Strieber’s favorites) in 1991, and Graham Hancock’s Supernatural, in 2006? It seems as if, at regular intervals, a book comes along that tries to do more or less what The Super Natural is claiming to do, and turn the materialist paradigm upside down. The main difference here is that the focus is on the experiences of a single individual, Strieber, and by extension, those of thousands, or millions, who also believe they have been contacted by . . . something that can’t be explained by orthodox science.
Kripal’s primary role is to provide the Strieber-material with the academic seal of approval. Yet the book, including Kripal’s contribution, is written in the sensationalist, whiz-bang, hyperbole-filled, how-can-we-top-ourselves-this-time style of all Strieber’s previous works. Although Kripal doesn’t openly express envy for Strieber’s “super natural” experiences, he practically oozes admiration for him, though whether he is sincere or not is hard to say. Much of the time he seems to be selling a product rather than exploring a mystery, and the book’s earnestness smacks, to me at least, of insincerity. In case this seems overly harsh, here are some examples. On page 195, Kripal writes:
“The fact that Whitley has in turn been rejected by the official cultures of the public media, the scientific establishment, and conservative religion for his prophetic voice does nothing to challenge such vocational reading of the ‘magical stone’ in his ear [i.e., an electrical implant Strieber received from unknown agencies]. Indeed, it only strengthens it, since this is what often happens to the prophet in western culture: he or she is rejected by the cultural elites.”
Cultural elites not including Kripal, that is, whose standing at Rice University, his selection as the official Esalen-biographer, and his participation at the Noetic Institute of Sciences (where Radin also works as “chief scientist”) apparently does not count for much in his own eyes. Having delivered his lofty statement on Strieber’s prophetic status, on page 197 he adds “I am not saying: ‘Whitley Strieber is a shaman.’ Nor am I saying: ‘Whitley Strieber is a prophet.’” Are we, the reader, assumed to have such short memory spans that we won’t notice this blatant contradiction? Or are we to believe Kripal when he tells us he didn’t say what he just said? If Kripal didn’t mean to say that Strieber was a prophet, why didn’t he just edit it out?
There are countless other edits that could have been made, yet they are so glaring that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to believe they are simply oversights. Not only does the book have two authors, reading over each other’s chapters as they write their own responses, it was edited by another author, Mitch Horowitz, who has made something of a name for himself as an investigator of occult symbolism and secret US history; isn’t it reasonable to suppose all three of them were paying close attention to the content of this book? Yet Strieber’s sections are filled with errors, exaggerations, and, frankly, lies (I will get to this latter in a moment): did neither Kripal nor Horowitz notice; did they not care; or are they involved in a deliberate distortion of the truth for unknown reasons? We, the reader, have not just a right to ask these questions, we have an obligation; unless, that is, we want the first casualty of Strieber and Kripal’s apocalypse to be thought itself.
Regarding Strieber’s inconsistencies, dissembling, and deception, to be fair it runs through all of his work and has provided the basis for my own book-length exploration of it, Prisoner of Infinity, which I am currently serializing at this blog. Kripal has seen the first part of Prisoner of Infinity (I know because he asked for a PDF in 2014, while he was working on The Super Natural). I would guess it has been seen by Strieber too, because who can resist reading about themselves? But neither have addressed the arguments I have made there. In this their latest opus, either the inconsistencies are more glaringly obvious than before, or I have trained my eye to see them more starkly. To start with the small ones: on page 97, Strieber refers to “the great-eyed being I painted for the cover of Communion”; the image was actually painted by Ted Jacobs, as described in Communion. On page 184-5, Strieber mentions “one incident, however, that I haven’t described,” and then goes on to recount a series of encounters with a feral man-child, events already described, point for point, in a chapter in Solving the Communion Enigma. This sort of error goes beyond mere editorial oversight.
Far more significantly, Strieber resorts to seemingly deliberate concealment of his sexual history, on pages 96 and 103-4, when he writes: “Prior to meeting my wife, I was sexually intimate with a woman only once . . . when I was about sixteen, I was briefly touched by a girl, and touched her in return. Although I was as eager for sex as any boy, the manners of the time and place meant that I never went as far as to make love. Until I met Anne, that is.” Yet elsewhere, Strieber has described, in lurid detail, an encounter with a mysterious Irish woman named Róisín, in Italy of 1968, with whom he had highly unorthodox sexual congress that included penetration, ejaculation, and manipulation by a group of unknown persons throughout the act! (I have written about this in depth—in chapter 10 of Prisoner of Infinity—and its apparent relation to Strieber’s involvement with The Process Church.) Strieber’s only reference to this meeting in his latest book, however, is summed up (on page 212) as “a couple of weeks in Florence, we had a lovely time, living together in chaste intimacy” (italics added).
Towards the end of the book (on page 366), Strieber describes himself as “almost pathologically honest,” then adds: “I am not a liar.” Yet what else are we to call it when someone deliberately misrepresents their past? Like everything Strieber touches, this book is not what it appears to be. It seems aimed at the critical establishment as an argument against materialism but it’s written in an overly simplistic style that falls far short of anything resembling rigorous analysis. It’s populist nonfiction, and its target audience is certainly not the “cultural elite” which both Kripal and Strieber grumble about throughout the book. The target audience, I suspect, is New Age readers who already reject the materialist paradigm, but who want to feel like they are being treated as intelligent, critical-minded thinkers. Rather than challenging religious or scientific orthodoxy, it seems designed to validate and reinforce a growing belief system that, despite all of the two authors’ claims, is anything but marginal.
One element in this book that might be considered new is Kripal’s “traumatic secret.” This is what first kicked off my Prisoner investigation, and it can be summed up as the belief that severe abuse (especially childhood sexual abuse) can “open the door to transcendence.” When I first read Kripal’s exposition on this idea, in an essay he sent me on George Bataille, I tried to point out the flaws in his argument but Kripal seemed either unable or unwilling to understand my points, and the dialogue went nowhere. In The Super Natural, he addresses it again in a significantly toned down, more user-friendly manner, which I will get to in a bit. For his part, Strieber, who advocated the use of trauma to accelerate evolution in Solving the Communion Enigma, seems to be practicing some post-Prisoner of Infinity damage control, such as on pages 208-9, when he more or less sums up, in very simplistic terms, my own thesis:
“[T]here is some sort of process of sublimation involved in transferring unacceptable and incomprehensible memories to more bearable fantasies. A brutal rape by a beloved parent might become a brutal alien abduction, as the mind seizes on the most believable and acceptable alternative in order to avoid facing what it cannot bear to see. This might explain, at least in part, the proliferation of close encounter memories, including some of my own. I doubt that it explains them all, but that possibility should not be discounted, either. If such a process exits, it is likely that it has always existed and might well be one of the primary generators of folklore. A rape by a father becomes a visit from a god. Leda didn’t get ravished by daddy—too unbearable to contemplate. No, it was a swan, and that swan was a god. This might explain many of these experiences, but it should not be used to explain them away. The shattering of expectation that accompanies trauma doesn’t just cause transference, it opens a door.”
In Prisoner, I argue that the sort of “transcendence” brought about through trauma is largely or entirely inauthentic because it is the consequence of a dissociative defense strategy on the part of the traumatized psyche. This implies that, even if the “super natural” realms being accessed are “real” (and I freely allow they may be), the way in which they are being accessed, interpreted, and applied, is in defense of an ego identity that has been formed by and through the trauma. All such experiences become “stories”—tales of the ego fragment’s aggrandizement and/or debasement: the kind of stories Strieber is so gifted at telling, but that Kripal seems rather less comfortable spinning into quasi-academic arguments for transcendental trauma. In my own view, this sort of transcendence is equivalent to going into the jungle to capture exotic wildlife, then bringing it back to civilization in a cage (as in the movie King Kong) as proof of one’s prowess and adventurous spirit. It may be proof of having been to the jungle; but the wildlife being presented is no longer wild (though it may still be exotic). It is not part of the jungle anymore but part of the civilization that has captured it. It has become a prisoner of the traumatized psyche’s self-protective strategies.
“As we approach wild creatures, they struggle, they react with terror, they have to be subdued . . . exactly as I did, initially. But over my years of contact, I was tamed.”
—Whitley Strieber, The Super Natural
MKULTRA is not mentioned in The Super Natural, not once. This is despite Strieber’s acknowledgment of participating in a secret, Nazi-run US program for gifted children in the early 1950s: exactly the time, place, and players involved at the inception of MKULTRA. Strieber’s experiences are mentioned primarily to show that his psychic prowess and otherworldly encounters are rooted in massive childhood trauma, and that he is the exception who proves, not the rule, but that MKULTRA’s methods—using extreme trauma to endow children with psychic abilities—occasionally worked.
Strieber makes no bones about this when he writes: “Were the Nazi scientists trying to re-create those conditions in their lab in Texas? If so, perhaps it sometimes works. My life would certainly suggest so.” Is this the message embedded in The Super Natural—the bitter pill inside all the New Age sugar? Since it’s about the only thing shockingly new about it, the book begins to look like a delivery device for this one idea. Yet MKULTRA was not about creating enlightened beings, shamans or prophets. It was designed to create programmed killers, sex slaves, psychic spies, and possible “lifetime actors,” operatives who worked for a shadow government implementing political, social, cultural, and quasi-religious agendas. People like Whitley Strieber, who shows all the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder, was by his own admission part of the MKULTRA program, and who has publicly acknowledged, in more ways than one over the years, his close ties to the CIA.
Following this track a little further into the abyss, one of the things Kripal commends Strieber for is how he allows for every possible interpretation of his contact experiences, even down to brain-tumor-generated hallucinations. And yet. . . There is one viable interpretation of all the unexplained events of his life which Strieber never posits, namely, that his experiences were induced in him (and thousands, maybe millions, of others) as part of a large-scale, MKULTRA-linked, military-intelligence operation that spanned decades and several continents and involved drugs, hypnosis, special effects, and officially undisclosed forms of technology. Unlike most or all of Strieber’s explanations, this interpretation could conceivably account for all of the variables and inconsistencies in his accounts. I am not saying it would—there does appear to be a truly “magical” element to Strieber’s experiences—only that it works considerably better than most of the other explanations, even while remaining conspicuously absent from both Strieber and Kripal’s roster: just as if it is not worth mentioning. Kripal does refer to military operations in the last chapter, as an apparent afterthought, but only in regard to UFO disinformation. In the same chapter, in his closing paragraphs, he assures us he does not “do conspiracy,” that he doesn’t trust “the wild conspiracies that are constantly spun out of this material.” It’s too bad, because if he did, The Super Natural would have been a very different animal entirely: an uncaged gorilla. In his enthusiastic chasing after miracles, Kripal has trampled over the real mystery.
Strieber and Kripal want us to believe they are battling on the front line of super natural gnosis to overthrow the twin enemies of materialism and religion and defy the authority of the gatekeepers who want to define our reality and prevent us from recognizing our ultimate natures. Yet my own investigations would seem indicate that the reverse is closer to the truth. On page 150, Kripal writes:
“What was Whitley Strieber’s crime? What did he do that was so wrong, that merited so much shaming and condemnation on the part of the literary elite and the religious powers that be? And yet, why did his story resonate so powerfully with millions of readers and come to indelibly mark, perhaps even shape, a new emergent mythology well outside the reach of the cultural and religious gatekeepers?”
My own investigations indicate that this “new emergent mythology” is being marked, and even shaped, by the same cultural and religious gatekeepers Kripal indicates, but does not identify, being that they are the ones he claims not to believe in: those behind Esalen, for example, or the Institute for Noetic Sciences, which for a time served as a front for the CIA’s experiments in remote viewing. Perhaps he has good reasons not to identify them, if he is working on the same team? As for Strieber, with several best-selling books and three major Hollywood productions under his belt, and a new TV show coming in 2016 from the producer of The Walking Dead (Alien Hunter), for Kripal to try and paint him as cultural reject is more than a little rich.
Regarding the possibility of military intelligence’s involvement in alien abductions, Strieber does mention the implant in his ear, which would seem to come as close to proof of an earthly technological source for his experiences as anything Kripal could reasonably ask for. Yet, through an act of illogic that borders on the super natural, Kripal uses the implant as an example of how we exist in a non-materialistic universe in which non-physical/imaginal/super natural phenomena can, through the medium of our minds, enter into concrete existence! What was it Hitler said about lies? And what would Sherlock Holmes make of Kripal’s ratiocinative methods—or the world of academia that presumably pays his bills? But as I say, the book is not aimed at academics; it’s not really aimed at critically-minded people either. It’s aimed at believers who think of themselves as gnostics—those in the know—people who’ve been primed by decades of carefully shaped and directed pseudo-information about the “non-material” nature of reality, from Blavatsky, Crowley, and Huxley to Leary, Kesey, and Hubbard, to Castaneda, McKenna and Strieber, and what the bleep do we know, on down. Aren’t these the gatekeepers Kripal claims he and Strieber are sneaking past with this apocalyptic book (which he also calls an intervention!)? What I see is just another brick in the pyramid of the Second Matrix.
On the other hand, maybe it’s my own bias speaking. Perhaps Kripal’s traumatic secret really is the head cornerstone the builders rejected. On page 228, commenting on Strieber’s description of childhood trauma and his comparison to the Nazi concentration camps, he writes:
“extraordinary human experiences often occur in the most destructive and dangerous of contexts. None of this is meant to romanticize the evils of Nazism, of war, or of the horrible sufferings of trauma and sexual trauma in their countless destructive and debilitating forms. It is simply to observe that human beings sometimes have profound spiritual experiences amid or after suffering and death, and that trauma sometimes opens up into transcendence. Is this really so difficult to understand?”
That question tacked on at the end—or perhaps it’s an appeal?—struck me when I read it as strangely out of place. Kripal hasn’t recounted any resistance to his formulation, so he appears to be engaged with an obtuse imaginary reader—myself perhaps, or people like me who simply don’t “get” his treasured notion of the dangerous sacred? Difficult to understand? On the contrary, as Kripal frames it here, it is almost childishly simple. But I think it is also untrue precisely because of that over-simplification. Speaking from my own experience now, the truth of trauma is extremely difficult to grasp, because we are all shaped by it to one degree or another, and because perceiving the forces that have determined our manner of perceiving—understanding the ways in which our understanding has been shaped, or impaired—is like trying to pin down the UFO: all but impossible.
What Kripal seems to leave out in his over-tidy little formula of the traumatic secret are the fundamental discoveries of trauma psychologists such as Donald Kalsched laid down in The Inner World of Trauma. What these discoveries indicate is that, as well as, and congruent with, allowing a person to access “transcendental” realms of being, trauma causes fragmentation of the psyche as a defense against further trauma. As a result of this fragmentation, a false self—a constructed identity or social alter—is created. It is this false self—in a case such as Strieber’s—that has access to so-called transcendental experiences and will use them to maintain its own existence indefinitely, at whatever cost to the total being. So if Strieber can’t show us how to escape this dissociated limbo realm in which the floating psychic fragment eternally exists, perhaps it is for the simple, if chilling, reason that he doesn’t want to escape it? Instead, he (with Kripal’s help) can show us how very interesting it is ~ and maybe we will come join him there . . .
I think we are supposed to read of Strieber’s “experiences that crackled with sensuality, that ripped away my ego as a hurricane rips away a city, leaving me in ruins,” and desire them, covet them, for ourselves as the means, the proof, of getting closer to the true nature of reality and ourselves. Yet in the Eastern tradition—which Kripal has studied and written books about—the siddhi-holder is not closer to enlightenment but further from it. The nature of siddhis is to deceive the very elect. They are powerful to persuade both the dissociated self that gets to experience these cosmic states of consciousness and any onlookers unversed and naïve enough to be impressed by them that they are in the presence of “the dangerous sacred.” I think it’s beyond all reasonable doubt that Strieber belongs to the first class of individuals who mistake big, soul-shattering experiences for ultimate reality. I used to believe Kripal was in the second group; yet more and more, it seems as though he is simply too well-versed in the relevant lore to be so easily fooled. So what does that leave?
How is it that there is no room for psychology in Kripal’s basis for a “new vision of the unexplained”? He cites modern cosmology, quantum physics, and evolutionary biology as the primary means for reaching a new understanding of these experiences. His seven-fold system of comparison, phenomenology, history, hermeneutics, erotics, saying away, and the traumatic secret likewise leaves psychology in the dust. It might seem strange, considering that psychology is the study of the soul; but then Strieber and Kripal’s idea of the soul is surprisingly materialistic. Kripal calls it (p. 262) “a plasmalike energy that can superpower our imaginal capacities and so generate the movies of visionary experience.” Ironically, this description (no doubt unintentionally) evokes Freud’s model of how early trauma causes the psyche to constantly play out scenes from our past at a subliminal level, in an unconscious effort to resolve the trauma. Morpheus called it “living in a dream world.”
In his wind-up chapter, Kripal cites, and reverses, Arthur C. Clarke’s famous axiom “Any technology sufficiently advanced would be indistinguishable to us from magic.” Might it not be more pertinent at this juncture to say that any sufficiently advanced psychological strategy would be indistinguishable to us from magic—in fact, because it is magic? Psychism certainly seems to exist and to be a protective response to trauma; the problem with Strieber and Kripal’s model is that they do not ask whether psychism is the means to heal the fragmentation that trauma causes. They don’t consider that, like those damned siddhis, it may be merely a side effect, one that when pursued only perpetuates the fragmentation with multiplying, equally fractured myths of wholeness. From what little I have experienced in my own journey through the dissociative realms of psychism to something approaching ordinary (and extremely unglamorous) wholeness, The Super Natural is just the latest variation of broken mythmaking. It’s a carefully designed folie a deux which serves—either naïvely or deliberately—to misrepresent Strieber as a prophet and shaman of a new paradigm, as someone to envy, admire and emulate, someone who has had their ego ripped away and who has gained knowledge and experience of a higher, deeper, truer reality. But what if Strieber is no one to envy, admire or emulate? What if he is rather the tragic victim of violent abuse, trauma, and fragmentation, complete with all the “marvels” that a fully functioning MKULTRA subject gets to experience, and then peddle to the world as a glimpse into higher reality?
If the secret trauma omelet made from all those broken eggs is filled with eggshells, then, like Strieber’s entire oeuvre, it is essentially inedible. You can swallow it—as I did for years, and as Kripal is working hard to get us, the reader, to—but it will never stay down. The mind may mistake it for candy; but the body knows poison when it tastes it.
 “So now we have seven basic tools or techniques to make sense of the unexplainable: comparison, phenomenology, history, hermeneutics, erotics, saying away, and the traumatic secret” (p. 218-19).
 On the other hand, Christians won’t have much time for this book, since it is too scientific and will certainly seem heretical to them. (There is little mention of angels, and Kripal seems to have no time for Jesus; his main citation of him is critical, in reference to the supposed recommendation of castration in Matthew 19:12: “there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.”) At the same time, the book is far too religious-minded for scientific or academic researchers, and lacks the rigor even of the afore-mentioned books, most of which could more fairly be considered “groundbreaking,” yet none of which (as far as I recall) felt the need to telegraph their historical importance to the reader in the first lines.
 A few chapters later, Kripal gently sets the record straight by stating how Strieber designed the image which Jacobs painted. So why not correct the error?
 Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, The Stargate Conspiracy, Little, Brown and Company, 1999, p. 235, citing Harman’s introduction to The Mind Race.
 It’s curious to consider how many of these luminaries were also intelligence operatives. Jan Irvin would say “all of them,” and at least three (Crowley, Leary, and Hubbard) are more or less confirmed. The rest are, at the very least, currently under investigation.
 The Super Natural, p. 110.
The dueling banjos of the book you review bring to mind another curious blending of elite academia and snake oil sales i stumbled on. I love that its about integrity.
Your post is brilliant and you are filling in puzzle pieces for my study and adding details for me i would have not ever have found. Thank you.
In exploration of deception and trickery in the nexxus of soul study, esoterica, education etc… I am reminded of this book about Piaget,
Very glad to hear it. What’s your study?
Re: Erhard, for those who didn’t see it: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/fashion/the-return-of-werner-erhard-father-of-self-help.html?referer=&_r=1
I did a search for siddhis yesterday & was surprised to read this: “it is understood that it is through Enlightenment that supernatural powers are manifested, rather than that supernatural powers enhance Enlightenment. Furthermore, it is acknowledged as well that supernatural powers are not attainable exclusively JUST by Buddhists and Buddhists only. It is possible for anyone who has deep religious and spiritual cultivation to develop some kind of ‘super-normal powers.”
Or “siddhis are spiritual, paranormal, supernatural, or otherwise magical powers, abilities, and attainments that are the products of spiritual advancement through sādhanās such as meditation and yoga.”
Maybe I am just bummed out I don’t have any, but I don’t think there is ANY correlation between wholeness/embodiment and psychic potential. I think they are two different roads. (The closest to a fully “enlightened” person I know has astonishing insights, but siddhi-wise, he’s a washout.)
My study is pre K- 21 education, cultural decline, pop culture charlatanism and totalitarian fronting for pro pedo international bizarroworld phenomenon and geopolitical politics.
Since my kids began school it has been smacking me in the face forcing my poking around.
My kids used to play a game in the car whats your favorite superpower and why. Even cartoons are surreal and dissassociative and decidedly revolting but what the kids get is the superpower thing, they can articulate that. No flintstones family or Jetsons or johnny Quest.
I realized the focus of education taking the new age fantasy magical thinking route and discovered like a brick wall how it conflicted with my traditional academic and reality based education. 1st grade math ( everyday math) asking questions that either had no answers, none of the answers were right, or the question made no sense. Private Catholic school introducing occultist themes and neglecting proper chatechism. Weird new age nuns that were foreign to me.
My best friend through High school’s mother was an est trainer and her father was an abusive mean child psychologist. Divorced she bounced from crazy house to crazy house. I tagged along and we mocked them all senseless. I recognized this and other things coming from elementary school. My uncle was a Princeton Harvard Jungian psychiatrist and my aunt was made crazy be psychiatric drugs i think experimental, i watched her decline as i grew up.
2 of my very dear friends from my youth were molested, one by her grandfather…. I know what this does. I am familiar with childhood trauma and believe it is carefully implemented through education today and pop culture embedded and hidden and covered up with word tricks to fulfill the “ultimate revolution”…
Well theres more but i have come to this through protecting my children.
Oh forgive me i got carried away explaining myself, but wanted to say that the Siddhis reminded me of Piaget’s Monads… The book i linked to while not nearly as well written as your posts, shows clearly the nonsense game and how it is used. Once you learn this you see how it is the foundation for so much manipulation/deception and the Monads are his spiritual goofballs.
I too am bummed i can not stop time or shape shift, honestly, don’t feel bad.
Check out Invisible Serfs Collar, Where we often find nuggets up your alley intersecting with Education. Discussions and links in comments are always interesting!
And thanks again, While you don’t have superpowers you can still be a hero!
🙂 The latest podcast seems relevant somehow: http://auticulture.com/the-liminalist-55/ Especially the outro about how the people reading and listening to me are surpassing my deepest hopes for an “audience” (sounding board?). It is only by the echo that the signal becomes fully grounded, or something. Your and other people’s observations are becoming truly confirming. If you are interested in doing a podcast about this some time, let me know.
Jasun you are doing humanity a great service in calling out “Stripal” for what they are doing. Which I think is horribly destructive. Concepts like the ‘dangerous sacred” and the “traumatic secret” are simply new packaging of age old pedo related sadism. You are spot on in connecting Strieber to The Process Church, whether or not he actually experienced any of that or it’s just another layer of his storytelling. Since the advent of the music video, ever increasing Monarch Programming victim/star image and masonic symbolism have dominated youth entertainment to the point of parody and I find that this culture phenomena carries the same “traumatic secret” connotations as Strieber and Kripal. Waking people up may save lives. Thank you, I believe you are making a difference!
Jasun, I have doubts about everything Whitley says or writes. The man worked in advertising in NYC, made it to the executive level. Advertising is about storytelling, make-believe and of course, lying. Whitley has *far-reaching connections* – best-selling books – his books made into Hollywood movies…… all truly amazing accomplishments for a man from humble beginnings.
So…. I know a man who was raped by his mother from probably around the age of 7 until her death when he was 26. He’s quite capable of living with this huge secret that no one outside of his immediate family knows about (except me.) He lies about everything and has become quite skilled at it. He adored his mother (yet she was as wicked as they come.) This man would never tell anyone the truth and certainly would not write a (best-selling) book about it (using a fictional term – alien instead of mother.)
I have huge doubts that Whitley was sexually abused as a child. Seems to me everything with Whitley is concocted for public consumption. The truth about Whitley is what he doesn’t write/talk about.
Thanks for the great read!
I agree with you about Strieber. He is too slick , too smooth, right down to that resonant, velvety butter radio voice. He is mainstream alternative. A fixture in the Aliens Are Among us World. There is nothing outsider about him at all. His platform has been too successful for too long to be remotely accidental. He is useful and that is why he remains. I am much more inclined at this point to think he was one of the people who acted for the state via mk ultra methods to traumatized others. The tales he tells about himself might just as easily be recountings of the brainwashing he practiced upon others. We will probably never know. It’s a dead end alley. But as you said he is a storyteller. A veritable snake oil mesmerizer preaching from virtual tent revival meetings.
For what it’s worth: I knew some of the gifted children who were in early MKULTRA experiments — Whitley’s contemporaries — and two of them actually demonstrated their psychic abilities to me, with others present. Abilities like: mind reading, telekinesis, dowsing, clairaudience, remote viewing, photographic memory, hypnotism etc. — in the style of parlour tricks which is how the CIA et al approach the spiritual realm, i.e. they turn it into something useful in the material world. or at least entertaining. These former gifted kids – who were survivors of the MKULTRA program in which some children died or committed suicide or went bonkers – also had been diagnosed as ‘schizophrenic.’ That’s what trauma does. But my guess is they were selected for these same special abilities in early childhood, and then put through the training to enhance those natural abilities which would ordinarily develop over a lifetime, in order to turn them into useful little soldiers. And in most cases, all this really led to was shattered lives, addiction, pain and suffering, petty crime, broken relationships.
So when the CIA claimed their remote viewing program was a “failure” – in a way they weren’t just lying and covering up. What the scientists saw in these experiments was probably 90% total disaster, in that the vast majority of the subjects never lived up to expectations and instead were crippled by their programming. A small percentage went onto become the programmed psychopaths we see everywhere running society from culture to media to politics.
So if the new age movement seems to have been a giant sham , what about the traditions of western esotericism that have been well documented back through the ages , such as Levi and back to the renaissance “magicians “, Bruno Ficino et al ?
Is the new age movement a debased offshoot of western esotericism , twisted by the intelligence agency smiths to serve their own ends . “Black Magicians” , as it were ? . Do you toss all the traditions of western esotericism as documented by Wouter Hanegraaf and others into this compost heap of trickery ? . Or am i mistaking your critique of these two clowns for a sweeping condemnation of the entire milieu .
Loyd Keane of the university of Essex wrote a good thesis called ” jungian and post jungian interpretations on the western esoteric tree of life ” , which i personally found quite rewarding . Its freely available on line i think . It would be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater , but i am also entertaining the idea that its all a cleverly disguised labyrinth .
Reading this at 5AM while on my first cup of coffee has wakened me with a jolt this AM. Would that it wakes up the people who most need to be jarred into consciousness–not just the True Believer Strieber fans and followers, but the people like his co-author, who should know better, damn it. This is a great piece of writing, Jasun. And now I need to hold my nose and read The Supernatural, I guess.
Each time I think my personal journey through exploitation and abuse is complete, I find myself forced to return to what I think of as my “Strieber Era” when I thought I’d found a cool way to process the things that had been done to me when I was younger. I fell into his website’s forum like a warm bath. Thought I’d found My People. Which I had, actually–it may be a honeypot of sorts, because, as soon as I began posting regularly, The West Coast contingent of the people who monitor programmed survivors began to intrude on my life again after years of absence. As long as I could swallow the candy-coated pill that he promotes, the intrusions began to seem exiting in a way, the missing time mysterious and tantalizing, instead of gut level terrifying and sordid.
Thrown out of the faux paradise of “trauma made me special” I wonder sometimes how much of his own BS The Guru himself actually believes? Or, perhaps, which alter configurations and their handlers are driving him now? That’s the thing with us multiples–it’s not either/or. More like which/when. I believe he’s both the sly exploiter of the unconscionable misery he survived and the horribly damaged victim/handler of thousands of survivors. As I slowly awoke to the truth of many of my abductions–human perps behind the “aliens”–I bounced crazily between outrage and pity for him. But for Kripal right now I just feel the familiar disgust rising at the business-as-usual enabling of intel sector sociopathy by fawning, greedy academia. And when I read the book I have a feeling my disgust will turn to fury. At least I’ll try to buy it used, so that not a penny of my money goes to support exploiters of people like me.
Jasun, you have nailed it! This is another excellent post among many excellent posts. I believe Kripal and others like him are hustlers of the highest ( higher level thinking in eduspeak ) order. They are spreading quasi religious/ ideological poison. Plain and simple. Thank you so much.
Ann Diamond wrote: What the scientists saw in these experiments was probably 90% total disaster, in that the vast majority of the subjects never lived up to expectations and instead were crippled by their programming.
Absolutely. I can’t help but envision a wide spectrum from tightly controlled, laboratory experiments such as you have described memories of (the archetypal MKULTRA set & setting) to something like reservation schools in Canada, Catholic schools with systemic abuse, or childcare homes in the UK (and daycare centers in the US), where the abuse occurring seems far more random and not at all “experimental” (or results-driven) yet seems to emerge from the same principles and methods and to all combine toward more or less the same end. This is also to do, I think, with the overlap betwen an organized program (aka worldwide conspiracy) and a consistent psychologcial reaction to trauma that creates more or less the exact same behaviors, rituals, and abuses, see Lloyd de Mause:
Kutuman wrote: Do you toss all the traditions of western esotericism as documented by Wouter Hanegraaf and others into this compost heap of trickery ? . Or am i mistaking your critique of these two clowns for a sweeping condemnation of the entire milieu .
After reading the description on siddhis I did start to wonder, not for the first time, if such is the case. I had thought that the correlation between psychic wholeness and psychic super powers was a western occultism fallacy, but it seems it extends even to the east. So I would say that the traditions of esotericism, western & eastern, may all be tainted by this fundamental poison, that they have been assembled and implemented as part of a trauma-dissociation response, all practices being dubious to some degree or another. But this is a broad brush-stroke (“a sweeping condemnation”) and I’m not sure how necessary it is; maybe Stripal is a microcosm of the whole thing, maybe there are exceptions (I tend to think of Steiner quite charitably). Maybe it is about not mistaking dead knowledge for in the moment live knowing, and also how the knowledge is being applied, whether it allows for knowings to happen or only takes us deeper into the labyrinth of knowledge.
@Lilypat wrote: As long as I could swallow the candy-coated pill that he promotes, the intrusions began to seem exiting in a way, the missing time mysterious and tantalizing, instead of gut level terrifying and sordid.
Yeah, this is the snake oil Stripal are selling, and it does seem to be as old as religion itself. The Serpent said, we can be as gods; only he really meant goods?! That’s a strong reaction to Kripal, but I admit I began to feel something similar recently, a deep distrust for his motivations. But maybe he is sincere in his belief, who knows? As for buying the snake oil, I got my version from the library; shouldn’t be hard: it’s a best seller!
mc wrote: I agree with [Samantha] about Strieber. He is too slick , too smooth, right down to that resonant, velvety butter radio voice. He is mainstream alternative. A fixture in the Aliens Are Among us World. There is nothing outsider about him at all. His platform has been too successful for too long to be remotely accidental. He is useful and that is why he remains. I am much more inclined at this point to think he was one of the people who acted for the state via mk ultra methods to traumatized others. The tales he tells about himself might just as easily be recountings of the brainwashing he practiced upon others
If it were true that Strieber had never been traumatized and was rather a perpetrator (not that it is either/or), then Prisoner of Infinity would be a travesty of misinterpretation. So I’m puzzled by this expressed viewpoint combined with your positive feedback for this blog, as they seem to contradict each other.
Anyone who thinks nothing profoundly traumatic happened to Strieber should listen to his first hypnosis session, which he has online. Since it is only available to subscribers, I will make a download available for a short time: http://auticulture.com/podcasts/strieber_1sthypnosis.mp3
Also, Strieber’s grating, snake-oil salesman radio personality is something he developed over time. Listen to an interview from 1987 to hear how much more thoughtful and genuine he sounded back then, at the start of it all: http://www.wiredforbooks.org/mp3/WhitleyStrieber1987.mp3
Whitley Strieber: MKULTRA apologist extraordinaire
As a different ‘saucer cult’ put it: “You don’t need answers! What you need are EXCUSES!”
“Yet MKULTRA was not about creating enlightened beings, shamans or prophets. It was designed to create programmed killers, sex slaves, psychic spies, and possible “lifetime actors,” operatives who worked for a shadow government implementing political, social, cultural, and quasi-religious agendas.”
…seems like part of it was about DISPLACING enlightened beings shamans and prophets by manufacturing false enlightenment false shamans and false prophets… so why stop short of a False Messiah?
“DS: Perhaps Paul was being used as a guinea pig for Dan. Perhaps Dan is being used as a guinea pig for the next guy. Maybe the next guy will be the Second Coming. I am volunteering with that in mind. Maybe Paul did not have the opportunity to consider all the options. No one ever does. The actual messiah will have to explain the holocaust.”
Yes , i suppose Esotericism is an alernative to religion , a potential opiate for the masses . Like electricity , you can use it to make a nice cup of tea , power a vibrator or blast yourself to oblivion . Like wine it comes from many countries and vineyards , is fashioned according to the tastes styles predilections and temperament of the vigneron . You can drink a small quantity with a nice meal , enjoy it with friends or drown yourself in it in very solitary and destructive fashion . Wounded peoole both peepetrator and victim are no doubt drawn to it as a way of accessing the unconscious or controlling their immediate environment , or perhaps to prosecute someone elses agenda . It is no more than a mental model or symbol system one uses to represent the world to onesel or interpret raw sensory data . Very much a tool or instrument . Seems to have always been there , filling some yearning or need in certain Chimps
Jasun, I will listen. Absolutely. My exposure to Strieber is more recent than yours I think. Only in the last 5 years. And my impressions of him are colored by the individual who steered me to him. Since I believe now she is a shill for some state agency, he became highly suspect for me because she was the Nudger.
Strieber reinforced what she was trying to “teach” in her online forum. She also changed her tone and delivery over time of key esoteric/Alien/Off world/other world/magical construct ideas. She too was an “abductee”, “contactee”, mensa smart, empathetic and empathic and psychic. Now, perhaps she was/is a victim of abuse and programming too and not an agent. I will never know. She was persuasive as hell for a very long time. Or maybe it was just me who was open to being had/lead. Probably both.
I don’t think I have or at least I hope I haven’t misinterpreted Prisoner of Infinity and I don’t know that you have either. I am grateful to even have a place to have this conversation because I think what you are bringing to the light of day is hugely important. I suppose what I am allowing for and want to explore regarding Strieber’s persona is the possibility that he is performing a role or acting to mirror the experiences/beliefs of actual trauma victims, as well as, individuals in our society who seem increasingly to exist with impaired analytical, logical brain functioning .
I believe there are real victims of abuse, programming, sexual interference in our society. I am not doubting any of it for one minute. I am evaluating Strieber’s authenticity though because of his consistent media reach over time. Most people I know subjected to big T or small t trauma/abuse do not generally perform/function over time as reliably as Streiber appears to.
He could just as easily be a traumatized and unwitting accomplice to manufacture the New Minded Global Soul as he could be a deliberate deceiver to achieve those ends and prime the zeitgeist. Perhaps what he is or is not is irrelevant. Just the fact that he has a platform and a following and the gravitas of ‘academic’ support behind him molding perceptions this way and that is the bottom line.
I suppose what has me questioning Strieber is that like the commenter MM, what I am seeing is an alignment between snake oil salesmen and academic types which suggests to me a much more deliberate and conscious campaign over time to deceive and manipulate people than has previously been considered. Surely, abuse victims at varying levels of influence become the purveyors and pimps of the destructive poison as I think you are saying but I am not sure Strieber is the real deal. Just a very smart, charismatic pied piper with 9 lives a la Werner Erhard.
It certainly seems to be a conscious and deliberate campaign;
the absence of any mention of MKULTRA seems like pretty clear proof of propaganda.
Not noticing or failing to mention the most obviously relevant thing is not something that people do without realizing…
… oh, wait… that’s exactly what people do!
Don’t underestimate the downright sorcerous ability of your unsubconscious to keep you from noticing what’s right in front of your face, while letting you think you are consciously focused on it…
The discipline of deliberate disinformation mimes (and reenforces) post-traumatic cognitive dissonance, resolutely ignoring the taboo even while dancing around its edges. In both cases, performing the avoidance/erasure requires some kind of mental work, whether as a conscious task or an unconscious firewall program, and both cases are susceptible to telling slips.
I’m inclined to think the very puzzling editorial decision to ‘debunk’ Whitley’s claim about painting the cover instead of just correcting Whitley himself may be a way of indicating that, in Whitley’s case, such errors and omissions are not consciously deceptive… It’s almost as if explicitly bringing the error to Whitley’s attention in order to correct it was more trouble than it was worth?? I don’t know… but it certainly is suggestive that the content of his misremembrance is ‘I CREATED IT, I WAS THE ARTIST’… ???
((More so than the screams, the way he repeated certain lines with increasingly unweildy inflective pitchshift really gave me a whiff of that old High Weirdness))
Lots to explore here Linus. Did you get my email?
I thought the whole end-of-materialism eschatology was over, but apparently not. By knocking the Strieber domino, you’re bringing many others down with him, revealing the whole labyrinthine pattern of movement. It’s clear you’ve called their bluff; they have no defense (though it was humorous to read their attempt to respond). I was shocked and disappointed to find out Godwin’s in on it; I’ve always admired his work. It makes me wonder how conscious an agenda this really is, and how many of those championing it are even aware…and if their ignorance is pardonable? Even Reality Sandwich is suspect now and I think you’re right in feeling validation that you were stonewalled.
I feel in this communitas the rare tenacity to read and seek not as a means to construct an identity so much as to deconstruct a false identity (that was created by reading and seeking said material!).
Nearly finished with The Scapegoat and all this seems to ring true with it. The victim or scapegoat, in this case Strieber, becomes sacred, becomes the very resolution of the collective crisis.
From MK-ULTRA victim to prophet. This is classic doublespeak and this sacralization of trauma brings to mind what I recently read about chemtrails (I know it’s an unpopular subject). First, demonized and pushed to the furthest possible realm of quackery, a new magic word was invented—”geoengineering”—and all of the sudden, people like Bill Gates are speaking openly about spraying the atmosphere to save us all from environmental catastrophe. This is exactly what Girard mentions: that which we blame for the crisis becomes the solution.
Great observations. Do you really think they noticed? It would be ironic, what with my feeling of being so ineffective, voiceless. Maybe the body is behind the arrow at last?
An interesting series on Strieber beginning from his mysterious childhood, a child and young adulthood shrouded in foggy memories. The documentary ‘The Penultimate Truth About Philip K. Dick,’ available here http://www.openculture.com/2013/10/the-penultimate-truth-about-philip-k-dick.html, contains a very interesting, doubly confirmed anecdote around the 1:02 mark. PKD received an anonymously mailed photostat of a book review with suspicious underlinings which were suggestive of a code. After one glance, Dick anxiously gave the copied review to his then wife, and stated that he wished not to see it again, fearing that the underlined words constituted a ‘disinhibiting’ code that would trigger his carrying out unconscious and hypnotically induced ‘instructions.’ Dick blamed the latent suggestions on a ‘weird socialist preschool’ which he had attended. His 2-3-74 visions and general mysticism are well-known, and another friend confirms an episode of Latin glossolalia. (The friend had studied Latin for years, Dick had not.)
Did not know this about Dick and a “weird socialist preschool.” I knew about the letter he wrote to the FBI about being approached by someone to place coded messages into his own fiction. Comes up in part 2 of POI.
I watched the relevant portion again and Dick in fact states it was a ‘weird socialist kindergarten.’ Browsing again through your older posts I came across the post on Quaker and alternative schooling, then out of curiosity went back to the Wikipedia article on Phli Dick, and saw that it specifically states “He was educated in Quaker schools.” Both of Dick’s parents also worked for the US federal government at the time of his birth; after they separated he spent his formative years in Washington, DC before returning to California. (Dick’s trajectory as a writer is somewhat similar to Strieber’s, in that they were sort of genre writers with mainstream ambitions before they became best known for relating visionary experiences in fiction and nonfiction. Dick’s VALIS manages to be both.) I realize you have your own memories of a ‘secret school,’ but what other accounts exist in print apart from Strieber’s? It seems to this commenter to be a vanishingly rare motif in the ‘abduction’ literature, if it can be called a motif at all, and I suppose I’m casting about for other places where this psychism-secret/alternative schooling-government link might be traced.
Jasun wrote: “But what if Strieber is no one to envy, admire or emulate? What if he is rather the tragic victim of violent abuse, trauma, and fragmentation, complete with all the “marvels” that a fully functioning MKULTRA subject gets to experience, and then peddle to the world as a glimpse into higher reality?”
You keep focusing and highlighting your belief to your readership that MKU experiments were conducted on Strieber during childhood, and I’ve done some serious analysis of your chapter 3 which seems to focus on Strieber’s childhood trauma issues. Is this the main evidence you’re offering that Strieber was an MKU target? I have not commented there yet, on your chapter 3 comment section, but I will soon.
Have you got more specific evidence where you’ve written or voiced more [on audio] about Strieber’s MKU targeting as a child beyond your chapter 3? What other specifics can you point me to, so I can understand fully your beliefs about this. Thanks.
Proof of MKULTRA child experiments is extremely scarce because all records were destroyed — and this is true not only of records at CIA headquarters, but (in my experience) at participating institutions. Individual records were destroyed, or hidden and I have never heard of anyone who succeeded in obtaining records confirming that they were in MKULTRA experiments as a child. There are probably exceptions, somewhere — i have heard of a woman in Vermont who managed to collect hospital records over years showing that she was subjected to mind control experiments in childhood and adolescence. Survivor accounts based on actual memories are the main source of our information on MKULTRA kids — as I understand it, during the 1990s a number of survivors came up with remembered data including codes and project numbers which they had memorized as children, and their therapists compared notes at conferences etc. and were able to confirm that these patients’ memories were accurate and consistent.
I hope you’re aware that witnesses who attempted to report on child experiments during the MKULTRA years often died, lost their jobs, or were forced to leave the country. Therefore asking Jasun to produce “specific evidence’ about WS’ involvement is unfair and unrealistic. Even if WS had such evidence, i.e. if his files still existed and he could access them — which i doubt — it would be career suicide for him to reveal or share these details with the public. This is a life and death matter. I doubt that has changed just because, in certain corners of the internet, people speak confidently about MKULTRA and the children. The reality is: these experiments remain classified and in my experience if you tried to bring evidence out in the mainstream even now, after first being ignored, you would find yourself targeted by the gatekeepers of media and publishing. This is not, in my opinion, something to underestimate.
I fully understand that no MKU records would be found, though I know Strieber has records of the schools he attended.
Jasun is very familiar with all of Strieber’s books, other writings, and audio at Unknown Country and elsewhere online. So, by “evidence” that Jasun has found I only mean what Strieber, his family, or friends may have revealed beyond what Jasun wrote about in chapter 3. I’m just wanting to understand what additional writings or podcasts Jasun has done additionally beyond chapter 3 that reveal more info about Strieber’s childhood abuse that could likely point to MKU experiments.
Prisoner of Infinity is as comprehensive as I could make it. I am not withholding evidence.
Whether or not the evidence exists, there’s still an ongoing issue of secrecy and “national security” that won’t go away. By (almost) proving Whitley was in MKULTRA you’re not just exposing him as a liar/lunatic/shill, which is bad enough, but you’re exposing him to something worse, i.e. retribution from the higher ups who protect the multi-leveled lie by constantly warping and expanding it. There are some secrets,and this is one of them, that can’t be unraveled without bringing down a whole multiverse of lies, with unforeseen consequences not just to the would-be whistleblower and his target, but friends and family and future unborn children. I mean, I’m arguing from the cautious perspective, but only scratching the surface Control your hubris. And never surrender.
I feel like adding: MKULTRA was so huge, secretive and successful, and the CIA’s power is so vast and deeply embedded into the fabric of North American culture, and the secret societies are so indispensable to how the hierarchy functions, that you could blindfold yourself and throw a rock in any direction and chances are it would hit a programmed MK operative. I’m speaking partly from my own limited experience and partly from research. The mere fact that Strieber succeeded publicly to the extent that he had, is overwhelming proof that he was in it. I personally don’t believe there is room in public for anyone that wasn’t. Think about that for a moment. I’m not being patronizing — it takes a while to absorb what that means, including the fact that there are places where these secrets can be aired but they are by no means safe or stable.
I don’t think you’re withholding evidence. I just want to know what is beyond chapter 3 with regard to MKU and Strieber’s childhood abuse elsewhere in your posts/writings or on audio. Only you know what is covered in your entire book and elsewhere.
Are you going to post your remaining chapters for the entire book too? Will any other chapters cover MKU and Strieber’s childhood targeting?
In other words, where else do you reveal more info about Strieber’s childhood abuse that could likely point to MKU experiments?
POI is halfway through; barring a foreword, and any updates, it will all be online before being a book, if that happens. By “not withholding evidence” I mean that everything is in the work. Those who want more evidence can follow the leads & do their own digging. I strongly encourage it, notwithstanding anndiamond’s caution, which I don’t think is unduly severe.
Are you finished writing the book? If not, then when do you estimate its completion? About how many chapters will it be?
Everything comes to those who wait.
anndiamond wrote: MKULTRA was so huge, secretive and successful, and the CIA’s power is so vast and deeply embedded into the fabric of North American culture, and the secret societies are so indispensable to how the hierarchy functions . . . I personally don’t believe there is room in public for anyone that wasn’t [part of it].
Reading The Friedkin Connection the autobiography of William Friedkin (French Connection, The Exorcist). Because of all my recent discoveries around Leonard Cohen & Strieber, and my comment to Ann Diamond about enjoying reading Hollywood bios & wondering what if anything was true in them, as I began the book I thought to myself, “I wonder if there will be any clues that Friedkin was an MKULTRA subject?” There’s a short prologue and then Friedkin begins his story, on page 9, with birth. On page 11, he describes his first experience of seeing a film: “An enormous black rectangle came alive with a blinding white light and a loud blast of music. The comforting darkness was shattered by words I couldn’t read. My instinctive reaction was to scream at the top of my lungs. I clutched my mother’s arms; I couldn’t breathe.”
(Interesting side note, I just re-watched Wim Wenders The End of Violence, in which the movie producer played by Bill Pullman explains that he became a filmmaker because of how movies terrified him as a child: ie, he wanted to do the same to others.)
On page 14, Friedkin writes: “I discovered that people, especially young people, liked to be scared. Many years later, Dr. Louis Jolyon West, then head of Neuropsychiatric Clinic at UCLA [& with only a small exaggeration, of MKULTRA], explained to me why he thought people enjoy suspense and horror films. You’re in a dark room with dangerous, life-threatening events happening before your eyes, but as a viewer you’re in a safe place, removed from what’s happening on screen.” [ie., dissociation]. ‘A safe darkness,’ he called it.”
I had a hunch and checked the contents page: sure enough, Friedkin uses the phrase “A Safe Darkness” for the title of chapter 13 of the book. A clear homage to his “teacher.”
(A possibly trivial detail, West, who if we discount the foreword is the first public figure Friedkin names in his narrative, is listed wrongly in the index on page 13.)
Immediately after name-dropping West, Friedkin describes a bully he knew at school called Joel Fenster. In his account, he finally turns on Fenster and overpowers him. “I had the distinct impulse to end his life, and I felt it would make me happy if I did.”
I just want to say ‘of course he was’ before i try to find your tweet and read all 11 reasons. It almost goes without saying that America post-1950 was being taken over by the ‘National Security State” and brainwashing was in effect, as well as the gradual elimination of all non-compliant political figures, writers, celebrities etc. First, McCarthyism. Then MKULTRA. Then, massive rewards for those who collaborated, and a chance to become major cultural figures — e.g. think J,D, Salinger, a product of US military intelligence who was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany where early chemical warfare drugs were being tested on German and Russian POWs — and Salinger was part of that, and he writes ONE novel, not even a great novel, and appears on the cover of LIFE and TIME,
In the real world, as anyone who’s done it knows, you have to work VERY hard to establish any kind of reputation, let alone an international one, but if you’re MKULTRA your career takes off on magical wings…
Take any of them. Take Sylvia Plath, who married Ted Hughes: her bio is she attended a 1953 conference for young magazing writers courtesy of MADEMOISELLE and ended up ‘poisoned’ and hallucinating from something that they put in the crabmeat salad, and from there she became ‘schizophrenic’ and suicidal and was placed in mental hospitals around Massachusetts (the same notorious hospitals that carried out MKULTRA experiments at that time) massively drugged, electroshocked. Her novel THE BELL JAR describes all this and was her attempt to write a “female Holden Caulfield” —
Ted Hughes, Yorkshire Freemason. Huge reputation established very young. Marries her — why? Because both were in the program.
MK Friedkin, yeah figures…Something worth looking into is how there seems to be a line (lineage) in American Cinema from Robert Aldrich to John Frankenheimer to William Friedkin to Oliver Stone….Maybe Michael Mann also. Their films span a mix of politics with the supernatural and lurid crime tales…. Someone may say ”How about Sam Fuller?” but Fuller never made any horror/supernatural/sci fi films…. Those included in that lineage did. Ever heard about oliver Stone’s first film, Seizure?
”A horror story writer, Edmund Blackstone, suffers from a recurring nightmare in which three bizarre figures terrorize him and his family. When Blackstone begins to write, the three figures appear at his home and the dream becomes reality.”
Oh boy. And let’s not bring up Frankenheimer! At least not yet.
Is there a common theme there of directors who show a remarkable lack of consistency in quality, going from French Connection to … or The Insider to Miami Vice? Would make sense of different alters were taking over at different times? How about Tony Scott on that list?
I heartily concur with your assessment of Stipal’s literary effort! The entire ‘Super Nature’ extravaganza ‘feels’ overly contrived and somehow skewed towards the gatekeeping establishment crowd of psychopath-etic would be planetary con-trollers…. In fact, to my own chagrin, I have never been able to warm up to Streiber’s smarmy output–spoken or written–given that with each revelation about his past, red flags have kept popping up. I’m led to wonder whether his ‘communion’ wasn’t a predictable by product of the military-industrial-financial-corporate complex of effete elite narcissist cabalists’ forays into negative transcendence, as it were. It is my understanding that said vile power obsessed megalomaniacs are actively seeking to Agenda 21 off the preponderance of humanity insofar as We The People have become increasingly more difficult to control!
As for developing inherent hitheryo rarely tapped human abilities, one can easily broach the possibilty by taking up any number of mind expanding pursuits: TM, Reiki, Monroe Hemisync, Reiki, mind machines, Yoga, tripping à la McKenna , etc. Each and every technique works for someone or other, in its own way. It goes without saying that trauma need NOT and should most definitely NOT be be an integral part of of any consciousness techniique! For, trauma disempiwers and enslaves….☝😜