Note: This post follows, coincidentally, an article I wrote for Disinfo.com (unpaid): “What You Should Know about Organized Ritual Abuse.”
“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
A psychic healer I met once in Navarra, Spain, in response to a question about my chronic health issues, told me, without explanation, that they were the result of my having “seen the devil” (“viste el diablo”) when I was one years of age. I was one in 1968—the year Strieber saw a devil’s head in the basement of the Vatican. There be great mysteries here?
In Transformation, Strieber mentions a couple of names from his 1968 London period, one of them in relation to his sugar-addiction. Briefly, he describes how the visitors get a “message” to him by appearing in the bedroom of an old lady diagnosed with diabetes. The story gets back to Strieber because of the similarity between the old lady’s experience and his own; when he looks further into it, he discovers she was the grandmother of an old friend, Martin Sharp. Strieber mentions that Sharp lived in The Pheasantry on King’s Road, a place he frequented in 1968. I hung out a lot on King’s Road in my late teens (it was where the gorgeous “Chelsea girls” were), and I visited The Pheasantry night club more than once. Not only that, but during the same period the house I lived in in Yorkshire during my adolescence was also called The Pheasantry.
Martin Sharp was an early innovator of the hippie-style poster/album art, and a highly influential artist. He was one of the co-founders of Oz, “a scandalous magazine and a major part of the ’60s underground scene” (the same scene Strieber’s films were supposedly part of). Oz was first published in 1963 in Sydney, Australia (Sharp was Australian), and in London from 1967 to 1973. Richard Neville, a “futurist,” was the editor, and Strieber’s other friend, Philippe Mora (who directed the film version of Communion), was a major contributor along with Germaine Greer. As well as contributing cartoons (as “Von Mora”) to the magazine, Mora made a short film called Passion Play, shot in The Pheasantry around 1967 or 1968, with Jenny Kee as Mary Magdalene, Michael Ramsden as Jesus, and Mora himself as the Devil.
This seemingly trivial detail brings up another curious connection: Roman Polanski (who was living in London during this period, and married Sharon Tate there) shot Rosemary’s Baby (in New York) in 1967-8. In the film, Anton LaVey, the head of the Church of Satan, was a “technical advisor” and allegedly played the Devil who impregnates Rosemary (this may be apocryphal, IMDB credits the role to an unknown actor, “Clay Tanner”). LaVey was tenuously connected to the Manson family via Susan Atkins (who was present at the murder of the pregnant Sharon Tate in August 1969), and Charles Manson lived two blocks from a branch of The Process Church on Haight-Ashbury in 1967. Manson, who studied Scientology in jail prior to creating his Family, allegedly stated that he and Robert Grimston (the co-founder of The Process) were “one and the same.” This brings us back again to Strieber, who in 1968 was getting intimate with the inner works of The Process. It’s also curious to note how closely Strieber’s path came to crossing that of William Sims Bainbridge: Bainbridge spent four years with The Process Church, from 1969-1973. Inspired by the experience, Bainbridge developed the notion of religious engineering and proposed the creation of a Galactic Religion via UFO cults. But that will have to wait until Part Two. . .
The Pheasantry was a melting pot for many influential artists of the period: as well as Martin Sharp, Eric Clapton (who later did the music for Communion) lived there briefly, on the top floor with the Oz-ies, as did the famous rock n’ roll photographer Robert Whitaker. Sharp and Whitaker created an album cover for Cream and a three-minute film with Germaine Greer called Darling Do You Love Me, directed by Sharp. Here’s a synopsis of the film, which I include because of its similarity to Strieber’s “Pain”:
A vampire-like woman, with deathly pale skin and jet-black eyeshadow, harasses a deadpan young man wearing a straw hat and horn-rimmed eyeglasses, continually asking him, “Do you love me?” She sings the question out of tune over and over, as she follows the man about. He never changes expression, although he does hold up a little stick with the picture of a smiling, toothy mouth, which he puts over his own mouth as hysterical laughing plays in the background. Her question grows more frantic and desperate and pleading as she dances about him, tackles him and presses her face to his through the bars of a gate. She manipulates his face, which remains expressionless. Finally, she grabs him by the throat and shakes him repeatedly as he succumbs.
Richard Neville wrote a memoir of his time with Oz called Hippie, Hippie, Shake, which was made into a movie of the same name in 2007. Although it has never been released, I knew about the movie because they’d shot part of it on the street in London where I lived, during the same period I wrote my first piece about Strieber! I had hung out for an hour or so, making eyes at the star, Sienna Miller, before being moved along by one of the security staff. Before I left the set, I found out that the director was someone I used to play with as a child in Yorkshire named Beeban Kidron! What are the odds? It was Chapel Perilous: Whitley’s and my paths were slowly but surely converging. But what did it all mean—besides that “the coincidence goblin” was getting involved?
I looked into Oz magazine and discovered that, surprise, surprise, they ran a piece on The Process Church in the May 1967 issue—one month after I was born. The cover of the issue was done by Sharp; at the end of the article there was some artwork that included a flying saucer. On the page before, there was a short fragmentary piece which began with these lines: “In common with Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, Dean Martin ‘and a lot of other cats,’ Norman goes on UFO hunts. Recently in a field near London, Norman says he was sure they were there, but for some reason would not show themselves. ‘Maybe they didn’t want to frighten us.’” Norman gives an anecdote about the aliens’ sense of humor and says, “‘they’re so human.’” The piece ends with the words “’What we need is religion rather than religions—the gods are only shorthand for the gods inside your head—and more contact with ourselves.’”
When I read the piece on The Process, I found an even more striking passage:
The faction is divided—more than once it seems—first of all there’s the desire to tell humanity about this divine revelation, then there’s this anti-grey masses scene which means no one is actually very keen on mingling with the ‘greys’ in order to put across the message. Thus a Process magazine is born. A lovely, remote way of making the word Process known—just pay your thousands and have it printed on glossy paper, without actually having to touch the outsiders yourself. Then you sit and wait for the right ones to come pouring in: all those Gurdjieff initiated meditating hippies . . .” (etc.; emphasis added).
As it happens, Strieber allegedly spent thirteen years studying with the Gurdjieff Foundation immediately after this period, from roughly 1970-83. Meanwhile, another significant figure who lived at The Pheasantry during this period was David Litvinoff, an adviser on the production of the cult movie Performance, shot in London in autumn of 1968 around the time Strieber was scattering his marbles across Europe. The film was made by Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell; Cammell was in Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising as Osiris, along with Manson family member Bobby Beausoleil, who played Lucifer. Cammell was the son of Charles Richard Cammell, a close friend and biographer of Aleister Crowley, and in fact Cammell was Crowley’s godson. For his role in Performance as “Chas,” a violent organized-crime figure, actor James Fox was trained by Litvinoff, an associate of the notorious Kray brothers, and Fox spent time with the Krays.
Mapping these same shadowy and labyrinthine connections, comic book writer Alan Moore included Litvinoff as one of the characters in his League of Extraordinary Gentleman series:
Litvinoff is one of the few concrete real life examples of the process Moore is trying to describe in 1969. The archetypal London face, he was a living link between the various contemporary, queasily cohabiting underworlds of criminality (boyfriend, or at least sometime arm candy of Ronnie Kray), showbiz (the Performance film-making/art scene connections) and psychedelic occultism (probable sideline in good acid). He somehow survived getting heavily in debt to the Krays, but speculation remains that the eventual reason for his demise was the embarrassing secrets supposedly revealed in an exposé he was writing based on his experiences and insider knowledge of these various nefarious milieus.
To top it all, the Krays, like the Finders, were reputed to have been involved with supplying children to pederasts via the notorious Jersey care home. A letter sent by a prominent conservative politician, Lord Robert John Graham Boothby, to Ronnie Kray on June 6, 1963 (the date, though not year, of Whitley’s visit from the Master of the Key) was discovered in 2009 in which Boothby—whose sexual perversion was already common knowledge—thanked Kray for an invitation to “Jersey.” The Krays were reputed to have “paid informers on every level in the force,” and to meet with police detectives at the Jersey home to do business. I mention this mainly because of another high-profile entertainment industry player who has since been implicated in the Jersey home scandal and who has been discussed in the present work: Jimmy Savile. This places Savile in the same circle as the Krays, the Cammells, and the Claptons—the foxes in with the pheasants—during roughly the same period. And Whitley Strieber?
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 1967-9. 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?
For all his outré encounters and unconventional perspectives, Strieber comes across as a very proper, Texas-born-and-raised, red-blooded Catholic American—a square. What happened to that secret life? Did he forget it along with so much of the other high strangeness of his past? Or did he deliberately sweep it under the rug, for reasons as yet undivulged? Or, as seems more and more evident with Strieber, was it a little of both, and a little of neither? The only mention he makes of this period of his life in Communion is suitably bizarre:
Then, in July (of 1968), there was another incident. I cannot recall what happened with any clarity. It was simply too confusing, too jumbled. I was at a friend’s flat in the King’s Road, Chelsea. For years I have described it as a “raid” from which I escaped by “crossing the roofs.” What I actually remember is a period of complete perceptual chaos, followed by the confusing sensation of looking down into the chimney pots of the buildings. Then there was blackness (p. 137).
A little digging uncovers the fact that there was a massive series of police raids in early May of 1968 (directed by one John du Rose) targeting the Krays’ London operations. The Krays were the first to be arrested but many other homes were targeted. Litvinoff, who lived at the Pheasantry, was allegedly running a gambling joint for the Krays at that time on the King’s Road.
Strieber recounts waking up the next morning in his apartment with no idea how he got there. Whatever happened in the flat (whether it was The Pheasantry, The Process’ Mayfair apartment, or somewhere else) was never referred to by anybody there (“with one exception,” Strieber adds, cryptically). The next day, he says, he decided to leave London for the Continent.
I couldn’t stand England for another week, not another hour. One of the people who had been present in the flat warned me against going, saying that I would “never come back.” I scoffed. It was to be a two-week vacation. He said that he would get a witch to cast a spell to bring me back. I thought, What superstitious nonsense. Recently I looked him up and asked him about this incident. He couldn’t think why he had acted as he did, although he remembered a feeling of dread being associated with my journey (Communion p. 137).
It was about then that another piece of the puzzle fell into my lap. In a 2006 interview with Peter Levenda, the author of Sinister Forces, Strieber mentioned having had “a certain involvement” with The Process Church. He described being a film student in London in 1968 when he and his partner, “Mike Smith,” “happened upon the existence of this mysterious organization.” Strieber doesn’t seem sure how he heard about it but suggests it was via “a strange ad . . . while reading the back pages of some local equivalent of Time Out.” Considering that he was hanging out with Martin Sharp at The Pheasantry, it seems likely he heard about The Process via that connection or read the article in Oz magazine. Strieber recalls going to a meeting “in a fancy house in Mayfair . . . run by a beautiful woman.”
A few young men were around all looking longingly at her, as we were. She tried to induce us to join and then, we decided . . . because we were in film school and we had a documentary to make, that this would be our subject. And we began making our documentary. Soon we were called, or more accurately I was called, by a gentleman in the British Foreign Office, to come and meet with him. It was rather surprising because how they found me and, etc., etc., I never found out. In any case, we met with him and he told us this: he said that in their opinion The Process Church of the Final Judgment was seducing young people and taking them to Mexico, wealthy young people on a yacht that they had access to, and in Mexico, they were sacrificing these young people in pyramids in the Mayan country. And a number of young people had disappeared as a result of this. We finished our documentary and I ended up—Mike got away Scott free but I ended up being chased. They unleashed dogs on me in their building in Mayfair and I ended up having to escape across roofs. It was really pretty dramatic.
As far as I know, this is the only time Strieber has gone on record about his “involvement” with The Process Church, and typically, he throws it out as one more bizarre incident in a life overflowing with anomalies. Was this the event he described, as a fragmented memory, in Communion? If so, why did he describe it as “a raid” in 1986 if he remembered the incident with the Process dogs which he described to Levenda in 2006? If he only later had a full recall of the event, why didn’t he mention having misreported it and set the record straight at his website? Were the events connected—for example, did The Process come looking for him with their dogs at his friend’s flat in King’s road? If not, and the incidents are unrelated, exactly how many rooftops did he end up running across during his year in London? Was there any connection between rumors of Strieber’s “intelligence work” and his being “contacted” by someone in the British Foreign Office? Or between his eulogizing of sacrifice in “Pain” and what he supposedly discovered about The Process Church, back in 1968?
Only in a life as fantastic and incoherent as Strieber’s could these be considered minor questions.
While I was writing about The Key for this present chapter, I noticed the date Strieber gave for the Master’s appearance, June 6th, and initially believed that same date (in 1966) was the birthdate of Rosemary’s baby, i.e., the antichrist, in the 1968 Roman Polanski film. I somewhat jokingly speculated that, since the Master of the Key was presented as an omniscient god-being, he should have been aware of the fact and that, someday, some occult-versed movie buff would find an unholy significance in it. However, while there is some online attribution of the antichrist’s birthday to that date, the correct date is actually June 25th. By that time it was too late, however; this whimsical association (though it was more than whimsical, as I will explain) had led me into a spaghetti junction of interlacing threads, complete with witches, warlocks, and sacrificial victims.
For one thing, I re-watched Rosemary’s Baby in the interests of research and noticed some clear parallels between Rosemary’s and Strieber’s experiences. Rosemary is drugged with a bitter tasting liquid (a chocolate “mouse”) and then abducted from her bed. She is carried naked from her room and then led into an underground chamber where she is surrounded by shadowy figures, all the while dreaming (screen memory) of being on a yacht (ship) floating in the ocean. She is raped by a non-human, predatory entity (the devil) and inseminated with a child, a half human, half “alien” hybrid being. She remembers the experience only as a particularly vivid nightmare, yet she has marks on her body when she wakes. There is even a curious correspondence with the name: Strieber’s female companion (abductor?) in Italy of 1968, whom he believed he was supposed to inseminate, was called “Róisín,” or Rose.
Returning to that date: Robert Kennedy was assassinated sometime after midnight on June 6th, 1968 (thirty years before the Master of the Key came knocking on Whitley’s door); the previous evening, Kennedy (as reported in Peter Levenda’s Sinister Forces) had dinner with Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate at the home of John Frankenheimer, the director of The Manchurian Candidate. Kennedy’s alleged killer (evidence suggests another shooter was involved) was Sirhan Sirhan. Sirhan has been connected, somewhat tenuously, to The Process Church: a chapter of the 1971 edition of Ed Sander’s The Family, omitted after The Process Church took legal action, stated that Sirhan was known, “in the spring of ‘68, to have frequented clubs in Hollywood in the same turf as The Process was proselytizing. Sirhan was very involved in occult pursuits,” Sanders wrote, and had “talked several times subsequent to Robert Kennedy’s death about an occult group from London which he knew about and which he really wanted to go to London to see.”
In the 2002 edition of The Family (following a cue from author Adam Gorightly), I found still more clues linking the Manson murders to Sirhan and (maybe) The Process Church, as well as to the group Strieber discussed in Solving the Communion Enigma, the Finders. In 1974, Sanders learned about an investigation being conducted by one Richard Smith, of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into a “satanic group of English origin that had oozed to America in 1967, 1968, and 1969.” According to Sanders, Smith wanted to launch a “full-scale investigation” from Germany to London, with an office in Mexico City to investigate the Mexican operations of the group. When one of Smith’s superiors saw the name of a US congressman included in the investigation, however, Smith was told to cease and desist. Fortunately, Sanders’ inside source had gotten a look at Smith’s report before the investigation was shut down.
The report stated that English satanist cult members invited Sirhan Sirhan to a number of parties that were sponsored by television people in LA area, and that one of these parties took place at Sharon Tate’s residence. At these parties, it was averred, sexual and ritualistic activities were reported to have occurred. These assertions were apparently based on an FBI report done during the initial investigation of the RFK assassination . . . . Smith’s report stated that a Los Angeles law-enforcement agency had an informant who averred that the English Satanist group had commissioned Manson to kill Sharon Tate . . . The reason for the contract . . . . was “something that she unfortunately overheard that she was not supposed to overhear in regards to Sirhan Sirhan” (p. 483-4, Avalon 2002).
Smith could not provide any more details, Sander’s source said, citing it as “a matter of national security.”
In 2012, Sirhan Sirhan was diagnosed by Dr. Daniel Brown  as acting under hypnotic suggestion the night he shot (at) Kennedy. Dr. Brown described Sirhan as “uniquely suited to mind control, one of the very small minority of the public deeply susceptible to programming.”
[H]is firing of the gun was neither under his voluntary control, nor done with conscious knowledge, but is likely a product of automatic hypnotic behavior and coercive control. I am convinced that Mr. Sirhan legitimately recalled a flashback to shoot at target circles at a firing range in response to the post-hypnotic touch cue and did not have the knowledge, or intention, to shoot a human being, let alone Senator Kennedy. Even after 40 years Mr. Sirhan still is confused when told by others that he shot Senator Kennedy.
In the process of taking a more nuanced and depth-psychological look at Strieber’s alien contact experiences, I have somehow wound up mapping the underground nexus of mind-controlled assassins, child-sex rings, satanic cults, and celebrity murder. How has this happened? It’s a neighborhood I have frequented in the past, but not one I’d originally planned to return to again. The funny thing is that, in a sense, I have been frequenting this neighborhood my whole life. My troubled adolescence, fraught with fever nightmares, was leavened by a penchant for Hammer horror films and James Herbert novels, an infatuation with David Bowie (especially his “occult” period from 1968-75, roughly), and a full-blown obsession with Clint Eastwood. At first, I was only interested in movie stars, but I soon developed a more serious interest in the filmmaking process; the first movie director I was seriously drawn to was Roman Polanski. Now here I am, in my late-forties, going over exactly the same ground, having arrived at it from a completely different departure point. Like attracts like, and birds of a feather hunt (or huddle) together.
I am beginning to think there is 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!—keep cropping up wherever I seem to look. For all the billions of people on the planet (allegedly at least), are there only a few hundred, at best, who play 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 are in the same business—that of socio-spiritual engineering, or “culture-making.” It might seem like world history is far too vast and complex a meta-organism to be reduced to a handful of players, but is 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, the audience’s attention is 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 hold.
Insofar as my own psychic development has been informed (let’s not say hijacked) by all of these cultural influences or “players,” it is perhaps inevitable that, someday (in the process of trying to become a “player” myself, i.e., have some cultural influence, a goal I have 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 not to secure my future, but to make sense of my own past.
“Because the psychogenic theory makes the individual psyche both the source of variation and the unit of selection, it posits that childhood is the central focal point of social evolution.”
—Lloyd de Mause, The Emotional Life of Nations
So where in the performance have we left Strieber? Fleeing London, after which he fled Rome and wound up in a hotel in Barcelona, “holed up in a back room.”
I can remember nights of terror, being afraid to put out the light, wanting to keep the window and the door locked, living like a fugitive, never wanting to be alone, haunting the Ramblers, grateful for the unceasing crowds. The rest of the memory is a jumbled mess. I am just not certain what happened, except that I lost weeks of time. I remember something about being on a noisy, smelly airplane with someone who called himself a coach, and something about taking a course at an ancient university. I also recall seeing little adobe huts, and expressing surprise to somebody that their houses were so simple (Communion, p. 138).
Strieber remembers returning to London “in an odd way,” weeks later than planned, with no way to explain the missing time and no memory of how he got back. He found himself outside a hotel at about six in the morning, got himself a room, and slept until noon. (Very precise recall for someone whose memory was a jumbled mess!) The next day he went to his former lodgings and found that his room had been let and his belongings “stored in a trunk in the basement.” (Ibid)
On June 5th (note the date) 2004, Whitley Strieber’s website aired an interview with author Donald Bain about “CIA mind control” and the case of Candy Jones. Strieber told Bain that, like Sirhan (whom they discussed on the show), he was among the “5%” of human beings who are highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. He described having been subjected to the same sort of procedures as a child at the Randolph Air Force base, under the direction of “Dr. Antonio Krause,” and then told about having a total memory blackout while driving with his wife and winding up at Randolph, with no idea of how he got there. Strieber then goes on to describe a friend he had at the University of Texas “who recruited for the CIA—we both did this together.” (Apparently this was a slip of the tongue and Strieber meant to say “applied for” the CIA!) He described receiving a dire warning from a “rather famous man” who told him flat out, “You will be killed, you will not live, if you join the CIA.” Regarding the question of his having been mind-controlled, Strieber told Bain: “I don’t know what I did in connection with this, in terms of intelligence. Apparently nothing. I can’t remember anything at all, not even a snatch of anything.” Like the lost summer of ’68, or his on-again, off-again memory of witnessing the Whitman shootings in 1966, the question of what, exactly, Strieber was being trained and/or programmed for at Randolph Air Force base during his childhood remains obscure and elusive, in equal measures tantalizing and forbidding. At his public forum in 2007, he touched upon the subject only briefly:
What happened was, essentially, a Bluebird-style effort to fracture me and the other kids into multiple personalities. This “Krause,” I believe, had done this for the Gestapo, in order to create children who could be made to be unwitting spies on their parents. The children were tormented in this way, then let go. They absorbed information that could later be “downloaded” from the hidden personality, with the child’s normal personality never knowing what had been done. [I]t is no “experiment.” It is something much larger. And it DOES lead to contact, and whoever is behind this assault on children knows this, and is, I believe, intentionally putting people in harm’s way by methodically shattering their grip on reality when they are children, then monitoring them and learning from the contact experiences they then have.
On an audio recording he made for his website in 2010, Strieber stated that “bad things” had happened to people from his past when he tried to get in touch with them. He recounted an odd story about a close friend from his time in London who he had regained contact with. He received an email from the friend with some photographs of their activities, including a photograph of Strieber with his son and grandson. There was also a copy of a letter, supposedly written by Strieber some time in the past; it referred to his “CIA activities . . . back in London in 1968.” Strieber dismissed the idea—just as he dismissed the same inference on his author’s bio in 1981—saying that he was just a boy at the time (he was twenty-three). He suggested that the letter was meant as a warning to both him and his friend (who claimed to know nothing about it) to stay away from each other: “There might be something you’ll [sic] remember that somebody doesn’t want me to remember.”
Note here how Strieber shifts the focus mid-sentence, from second to first person, suggesting a lack of certainty about the subject of his recall—was it him or someone else? As to what the something he was not supposed to remember might have been, Strieber offered no opinion. The idea that it might relate to his having worked for the CIA didn’t seem to even enter his mind. By this point, it probably makes him the only person whose mind it hasn’t entered.
In Amy Wallace’s account of being married to Carlos Castaneda, A Sorcerer’s Apprentice, she recounts how Castaneda confessed to having worked as an assassin for an unnamed government agency (on other occasions he mentioned the CIA and US military intelligence). A friend who roomed with Castaneda in 1957 said he had heard similar stories from Carlos. Castaneda’s first wife, Margaret Runyan, recounted a story he told of being seriously wounded while serving in “an intelligence division” in Spain or Korea. According to Wallace, Castaneda even confessed his secret to his “nagual” (sorcerer master) don Juan. Wallace quotes Carlos as saying:
Later, when I had met don Juan, I told him I had a terrible secret. Terrible, the worst, and I had never confessed it. I had been don Juan’s apprentice for years before I found the courage to speak of this horror. “Tell me, estupido,” said don Juan, “what can be so bad, eh? Is this why you’re always so heavy, so pesado? Why do I have to stand on my head to move you an inch? What is it, this terrible thing you did?” “I killed people, don Juan. Lots of people.” “That’s it?? You killed people? Carajo, Carlos, you killed apes. That’s what you’re so ashamed of? Killing a few apes? Believe me, there are always plenty more to take their place. And you’re making yourself sick with this Great Big Secret?”
According to Wallace, Castaneda was trying to turn his experiences with the CIA (or whoever) into a novel in his final months of life. He called it Assassin. I mention this in passing as a parallel example to Strieber that once again involves a foremost literary influence. How, or why, have I chosen these role models? On the other hand, if we are drawing our models out of the mold of popular culture, are there any other kind? Is this perhaps the unavoidable dark side of both the mystical path and the individuation journey? My early heroes, whether Elvis or Bowie, Eastwood, Polanski, or Peckinpah, were all associated with one form of self-destructive excess or another. I have always been drawn to the dark side to see what is in my unconscious, what is controlling me and leading me into aberrational or self-destructive behaviors. So perhaps not to follow such dubious “leads” might be as fatal as to follow them blindly?
Our minds always tend to want to focus on simple moral questions, such as whether the aliens, or government agents, or sorcerers, or teachers (or parents), are acting for good or evil. But if the psyche is beyond good and evil, the real question is a question of fragmentation or wholeness. A fragmented psyche can do no right, a whole psyche can do no wrong, and the greatest “evil” of all stems from a fragment that takes itself for the whole. When a shattered psyche looks for symbols of wholeness outside of itself, it finds, inevitably perhaps, only the fragments of a shattered mirror.
The guardian protects the wounded child-self. To do so it adopts a dual guise as both angelic, wise, and caring, and demonic, deranged, and destructive (though still protective). An “alter” (as in the case of programmed shooters such as Sirhan, but also many of us who grow up with unbearable trauma) is created to do the “dirty work” which the conscious personality won’t, and can’t, do. Like Norman Bates, the alter “cleans up” all the blood stains, the loose ends, inconsistencies, and awkward or compromising elements (the “leaks”) that threaten the illusion of the benevolence of the guardian. Anything, in short, that interferes with its rule over the divided and conquered kingdom of the psyche. The “progressive” or “benevolent” guardian (the spiritualized ego) is like a politician or a movie star whose spotless public persona is dependent on a covert agenda of bribes, blackmails, illegal wiretaps, harassment, and assassination. The “light” side depends on the dark.
This leads me to what seems like an unavoidable question: is programmed murder the necessary flip side of self-engineered spirituality (killing the ape of the ego), if both are fuelled by the guardian in its unbending “will to power”? When I first decided to include my 1993 dream of the intelligent limbs in this series of essays, I left out the part about programmed killer robots. It seemed unnecessarily dark and I thought it would distract the reader from the main narrative—that of childhood trauma informing quasi-memories of nonhuman beings. I’d posted the whole thing at my blog a few days before, however, and a reader who had been helping with the investigation messaged me: “one thing from your blog that keeps repeating in my mind is the phrase ‘I’m not a girl. I’m a boy!’” He described the detail as “haunting.” I asked if he thought I should reinstate the fragment into the current work. “It’s a dream,” he replied. “Err on the side of accuracy.”
His point was that the unconscious knows things which the mind has difficulty letting into awareness, and that the smart move is to let the dream speak for itself. It is unthinkable, but so is everything else we have suppressed from our awareness. If “alien-programmed killers” are becoming an integral part of the dream-narrative, Magonia is starting to look more and more like Manchuria.
 “In 1967, Robert DeGrimston and other Process members descended upon San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district during the Summer of Love, taking lease of a property located at 407 Cole Street. Meanwhile, Charlie Manson and his girls lived at 636 Cole Street, a mere two blocks away. One of the more controversial assertions I’ve heard suggesting contact between Manson and The Process comes courtesy of John Parker’s Polanski, which claims that Manson was a regular visitor at The Process headquarters on Cole Street, “reaching the fourth of the six levels of initiation, that of ‘prophet.’” At the end of 1968, he was established as a leader of a group which he called “Satan’s Slaves.” During their Haight Ashbury period, Parker contends, The Process also attempted to form a union with Anton LaVey, high priest and founder of the San Francisco-based Church of Satan. However, these efforts were unsuccessful. Through his own calculated Satanic-related media events, LaVey attracted the attention of such Hollywood bigshots as Sammy Davis, Jr. and sexpot Jayne Mansfield. Through these Hollywood connections, LaVey made inroads into the movie industry and was on the payroll of both The Mephisto Waltz and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.”
 “In Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi recounted how Manson had been bragging about a relationship with The Process, until one day he was paid a visit in jail by two brethren of the church, “Father John” and “Brother Matthew.” After their departure, Manson seems to have clammed up for good about The Process, and since then has made no further comments. Prior to the visit by these two mysterious Processean MIB’s, Manson was asked by Bugliosi if he knew Robert DeGrimston, and his reply was to the effect, “He and I are one and the same.” After their visit with Manson, the two Process members met with Bugliosi and assured him that Manson and DeGrimston had never met.” “The Process Church of the Final Judgment and the Manson Family (The Robert F. Kennedy Connection),” by Adam Gorightly. http://www.paranoiamagazine.com/2012/11/the-process-church-of-the-final-judgment-and-the-manson-family/
 “And in the process a strange thing happened to Levenda: He encountered what some writers refer to as the ‘Coincidence Goblin,’ a peculiar and recurring phenomena by which one experiences odd and disconcerting coincidences, which quickly lead into still odder coincidences until one gets the overwhelming and unshakeable sense that one has been ordained by some invisible higher power to write his or her book because he or she is part and parcel with it. Other writers brush off this bizarre occurrence as an unavoidable consequence of any serious research into subjects that concern the occult, or those sinister forces that always seem to be at play in worldly affairs.” From a review of Peter Levenda’s Sinister Forces, by H.P Albarelli Jr. Levenda was one of two writers (the other being Kripal) whom I contacted before beginning this present work.
 An article in the British magazine Fortean Times, “A Saucerful of Secrets” wrote this about OZ magazine: “Oz was less keen on UFOs, editor Richard Neville being more interested in provoking the establishment through explorations of radical politics or sex than through modern myths. But when Neville took his eye off the ball for issue nine, leaving the work to poster artist Martin Sharp and designer John Goodchild, he was shocked at the result: ‘To my embarrassment, it was devoted to flying saucers.’ Enraged, he asked Sharp, ‘How can you indulge your intergalactic delusions, when Asia is a bloodbath?’ Sharp’s reply typified the zeitgeist: ‘There are far more things in heaven and earth, Richard, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ But were it not for the hippies’ interest in flying saucers, nurtured by John Michell, it’s doubtful that the continuing interest in such subjects would be part of our cultural landscape in the 21st century. This brief burst of drug-fuelled exploration cross-pollinated many fortean subjects, the results of which we see today. Where mainstream ufology was mired in the yes/no argument about the physical reality of UFOs, the hippies treated the subject as just one in a long line of possibly useful ideas.” http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/814/a_saucerful_of_secrets.html
 Litvinoff eventually fell afoul of the Kray brothers and was the recipient of “the Chelsea grin”: “the shocking sword punishment meted out to [him] whereby Ronnie pushed a sword into his mouth virtually splitting his face in two from ear to ear.” http://film.thedigitalfix.com/content/id/4856/the-krays-the-final-word.html The Chelsea grin (worn by Heath Ledger’s joker in The Dark Knight) is said to have originated in the Glasgow underworld, yet it was named after the district of London where Litvinoff lived, and where The Pheasantry is located. In another strange personal overlap, Jimmy Boyle, who was among the most notorious Glaswegian criminals of the 1960s, was my late brother’s business associate and lover in the 1980s. My brother lived in Chelsea at the time he met Boyle (he later moved to Edinburgh and opened a charity workshop with him). Boyle reputedly worked with the Krays and was under their protection when he fled the law to London in 1966. He was arrested in 1967.
 “The Jersey child abuse investigation 2008 is an investigation into historic child abuse in Jersey. It started in the spring of 2007. Formerly, a social worker, Simon Bellwood had made a complaint about a ‘Dickensian’ system where children as young as 11 were routinely locked up for 24 hours or more in solitary confinement in a secure unit where he worked. The wider investigation into child abuse over several decades became public in November that year.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_child_abuse_investigation_2008
 “Thank you for your postcard. I very nearly went to Jersey myself, as I have never been there, and hear from so many people that it is quite delightful.”
 “According to Teale, the Krays had paid informers at every level inside the force. They’d meet detectives in a hotel in Jersey, where carrier bags of banknotes would change hands. Furthermore, ‘if the Krays did a job with someone who then didn’t give them the lion’s share of the readies, a couple of weeks afterwards the former partner would find himself arrested’. There was even an Establishment connection and cover-up. Though the bisexual Conservative peer Robert Boothby had a relationship with Ronnie, attending gay orgies with him, the authorities didn’t want Boothby investigated in case his affair with Harold Macmillan’s wife came to light.”
 Jimmy Savile was interviewed for a 1969 issue of The Process magazine, in the “Sex” issue. The piece was called “The Natural Life of Jimmy Savile.”
 “Sinister Forces 3,” September 30, 2006, around the 6 minute mark. http://www.unknowncountry.com/dreamland/sinister-forces-3
 Associate Clinical Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, senior author of Memory, Trauma Treatment and the Law.
 “Spending ‘over 60 hours interviewing and testing Mr. Sirhan,’ reading everything on the case, including FBI files, interviewing witnesses, administering myriad psychological tests, questionnaires, scales etc., Dr. Brown, ‘under penalty of perjury,’ arrived at a startling conclusion; that ‘Mr. Sirhan did not act under his own volition and knowledge or intention at the time of the assassination and is not responsible for actions coerced and/or carried out by others, and further that the system of mind control which was imposed upon him has also made it impossible for him to recall under hypnosis or consciously, many critical details of actions and events leading up to and at the time of the shooting in the pantry of the Ambassador hotel.’” http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-assassination-of-rfk-a-time-for-justice/31450
 Ty Brown in his “Whitley Strieber and the Paradigm of Doom” series from 2007, noted that “in July of 1968, the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked an Israeli passenger plane in Rome, Italy and diverted it to Algiers. Many of the Israelis on board were held hostage for five weeks as a bargaining chip for the release of some Palestinian prisoners.” Brown admits it’s a stretch but still worth putting on the table. As is the fact that Sirhan Sirhan is Palestinian.
 His friend joins and is killed ten years later. Strieber doesn’t specify but it’s likely this is the same “CIA friend” whom Strieber saw in the presence of the visitors, on one of his first adult encounters, and who he later found out had died (i.e., had been dead when he saw him).
 “He has traveled through many parts of the world, working in fields as diverse as intelligence and filmmaking.” (From the author’s bio notes for The Hunger, first edition.)
 Wallace, A Sorcerer’s Apprentice, p. 96. Other references from The Life & Teachings of Carlos Castaneda, by William Patrick Patterson, Arete 2008, p. 115-7. In the first book in the Castaneda series, The Teachings of don Juan, Castaneda’s nagual tells him, “I killed a man with a single blow of my arm.”