“Why industrialize space? The answer must be essentially economic. There must be important commercial operations which can be done only in space or which can be done better in space.”
—William M. Brown & Herman Kahn, “Long-Term Prospects For Developments in Space (A Scenario Approach)
Most of the preceding material (besides the material about Edgar Mitchell in chapter XV, and barring some minor tweaking) was written back in the spring of 2013. Now it’s May 1st 2015 and I’ve spent the previous few weeks going over the old material and getting it into shape for submission to publishers. In those two years, the main thing that’s happened (externally speaking) is that I bought a broken down old crack house in a small Canadian town, using money inherited from the sale of my mother’s Hampstead apartment after she died in late 2010. It’s been exactly a year since I took ownership of the house and the time since has been spent less on writing than on renovating, tearing out old walls and floors, building new ones, dry-walling, and plumbing. It’s a large project not just because of the amount of work required but also because, barring some help at the start, my wife and I have been working on it alone, and neither of us had prior experience of this sort of work.
The building is a commercially-zoned residential and was split into two parts when we bought it. We spent the first eight months or so getting the larger, back portion in order, where we planned to live, and moved in about halfway through the renovations process. The front part, the future commercial space, we left for later. Spring came early in 2015, and I went back to work in March. Our plan was to turn the front part of the building into a local community radio station. Becoming part of the community in which I live (as opposed to the virtual realm of the alternate perceptions community) is something I have never attempted. The closer I got to completing the renovations, the more acutely aware I became of how daunting the idea of integration with a community is to me.
One thing that was clear to me even before I bought the property was how the process of renovating an old, dilapidated, literally poison-filled house (in the early days we had to remove countless used drug needles) was a kind of psychic enactment. The crack house stood in for my body: old, worn-out, polluted after decades as a poison container, both passively as a child and more actively as a decadent teen and young adult, then proactively, in my twenties and thirties, as a heaven-storming psychonaut hell-bent on heightened awareness at any cost. Transforming a demolition-condition drug den into a home and a business—i.e., to function on both inner and outer, private and public levels—was a means of embodying the dissociated/fractured psyche. It was the work which my whole life had been leading towards—and until it was accomplished, I couldn’t even start to live.
The irony, if irony is the word, is that this was not a work for the intellect but for the instinct, not a task of mind but of body. Here the pen is not mightier than the hammer and my mind is no weapon at all (mostly an encumbrance). Of course, this is precisely what makes it a necessary challenge and opportunity, and the means of my embodiment. It’s difficult to say with any certainty how profound a shift in my psyche this renovation process has allowed for, difficult because so many changes have occurred in the years leading up to it (such as marriage and two deaths in my close family). I suspect that the internal changes closely match the external ones, which is the point of an enactment. How do we bring the contents of our unconscious into consciousness to integrate them, when by definition they are beyond our awareness? The answer seems to have to do with placing our attention, paradoxically, on the outside, on our immediate circumstances, and fully engaging with whatever process is occurring there—as in a marriage. This allows the unconscious material to emerge into the inner space created, once our attention moves—however subtly—away from our thoughts and onto our senses. Unconscious material enters into consciousness and is integrated, not when we are watching for it or trying to make it happen, but while we are looking the other way. Like Christ, the soul comes like a thief in the night. Provided, at least, that we have created the space for It through close self-examination (which signals the unconscious that we are willing?), that we are fully engaged in what we are doing, and that, rather than using it as distraction from inner turmoil, we are allowing it to be an enactment and reflection of that turmoil.
To give a current example (rewriting this chapter a month later), yesterday I found myself inside a small closet area in the front of the house, tearing down drywall. Judging by the hole in the floor and the dark brown marks on the walls, it was once a toilet. I had originally thought I would simply paint or drywall over the surfaces until my wife pointed out the unpalatable truth of the matter, and I realized that, to complete this work in the spirit which it was started, I would need to be as thorough as possible. Certainly I could just drywall over those shit-stained walls and no one would be the wiser. But I would know.
Through the course of the work, I was aware that clearing out the toxic remnants of the house’s history was not merely a question of hygiene and aesthetics. It was energetic. A few weeks earlier, on May 13th, I had a dream that I was in a house and it was full of ghosts. Every door I opened, there was a new apparition. I finally became exasperated and demanded of one of them (a teenage girl) what they were doing there, what they wanted. I was told that they simply wanted to be heard. I then realized (in the dream) that these ghosts had formerly occupied the building, but that the toxicity of the lifestyle there, over the decades, had driven them underground. Now they were returning to reoccupy the space: I had cleared it out sufficiently to make it safe for them to haunt again! This was progress: the returning of those splintered fragments of the psyche, now the body had been sufficiently cleared of toxins to accommodate and integrate them.
Tearing down the drywall in that small space (while listening to Michael Parenti talking about conspiracy and class power) was an unpleasant experience (especially since one of the walls had solid wood behind it). It was an extremely hot day and within less than an hour I was feeling overwhelmed and had to stop. It wasn’t so much the physical exertion of it as the mental discomfort. Physically, I could have continued for another hour without exhausting myself; mentally I felt like I needed to stop before I got locked into an overly negative frame of mind. While I often compare working on the renovations to a form of meditation, it’s certainly not the usual kind of meditation that’s designed to bring about internal peace and harmony. It is more like a cathartic ritual in which my inner “Basil Fawlty” (the raging hotel manager played by John Cleese in “Fawlty Towers”) gets to come out and have its day. I curse and rage throughout every job because every job entails a degree of unfathomable, non-negotiable resistance (even painting the front of the house meant dealing with gale force winds that threatened to blow me off my ladder). It is this lack of control over my environment—or rather being in a set of circumstances that forces me to experience it fully—that makes the work therapeutic. It is a form of reality induction. Carry water, chop wood, hammer nail, tear down shit-stained wall; finish the cycle, and then start all over again.
Writing is a way for me to live inside my mind. Renovation and construction work is a way for me to get a little more inside my body. The mind can’t contain the psyche or the unconscious, only the body can; it’s precisely this that the body was designed for—like a house.
Was it a coincidence that I returned to Prisoner of Infinity and set about completing it at the same time I began work on the commercial/public part of my house? A psyche not only needs a body to live, it also needs a persona (mask) to express through if it is to have an open interface with the outside world. Just as a baby begins to experience itself by seeing its own expression reflected in that of its mother, father, and siblings, so the soul comes to know itself, not only by dwelling inside the body, but by acting and expressing through it in relation to its community or tribe. In many ways, this work is my attempt to set the record straight with the virtual community where I have found temporary residence: that of alternate perceptions and research, whether occult, spiritual, conspiratorial, ufological, or psychological. I have felt compelled—by my own individual journey of transference and conscious reenactments—to challenge that community and find out if it’s willing, or able, to sit up and see itself, to examine some deeply disturbing possibilities about itself, possibilities which potentially undermine—even invalidate—a large portion of what has been assumed within it.
As mentioned earlier in a footnote, this itself is a form of enactment, pertaining to the circumstances of my childhood in which I grew up inside a Fabian/socialist web of hypocrisy, licentiousness, false appearances, and hidden agendas. This is the other major development that occurred during the interim between 2013 and now. While writing Seen and Not Seen, I found out that my own family background overlapped, undeniably and dramatically, with the machinations of the social engineers. My grandfather was a founding Fabian (locally, in Yorkshire). The Fabian Society grew out of Fellowship of the New Life and back in those days (they are still active) they were open eugenicists. Edward Carpenter—often associated with early Pagan movements—was a founding member and was also linked to the “Uranian” movement promoting homosexuality. He is quoted repeatedly by Willis Harman in Psychic Research, and by Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy, and besides his participation with the Fabians, he co-founded the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology.
Socialism, spirituality, and sexuality (especially pertaining to children) were the three “S’s” of Fabianism. Besides being instrumental in the creation of the Labor Party, they were linked to progressive schools with “Wiccan” affiliations, whose partial aim was to help children to develop “natural” sexuality (in the early days nudity was encouraged). As I looked into all this, I was startled to discover that two of these schools were schools which both myself and my siblings had been sent to. On top of this, my older brother’s ties (via the same grandfather) to the notorious Glaswegian gangster Jimmy Boyle put him in the same circles with the Kray brothers, and hence with the afore-mentioned (in part one) Jimmy Savile and the child abuse “parties” of the 1960s and onward. (And, of course, via The Process Church, to Whitley Strieber!) Closer to the mainstream of things, the now-infamous Pedophile Information Exchange (P.I.E.), founded in the 1970s, was linked to the Labor Party and the National Council for Civil Liberties, both of which my paternal grandparents, my father, and all my uncles and aunts on that side, would have participated in to one degree or another (even if only by giving donations).
The author J. B. Priestley was a friend of my grandfather and his apartment hosted the Albany Trust in its early years; the Albany Trust also gave birth to P.I.E. Jacob Bronowski (most famous for his “Ascent of Man” TV series) was also one of my grandfather’s pals, and Bronowski attended parties at the house where Aleister Crowley spent his final years (Netherwood). Another attendee was Julian Bream, the virtuoso guitarist; Bream was an adolescent boy at the time and played guitar for the adults. Bream’s son, Benjamin, went to the afore-mentioned alternate school which I attended, and was my sister’s first lover. And so on.
On the larger stage of world politics, the Jimmy Savile scandal has led, in the years since it first broke in 2012, to a steady and so far unchecked wave of revelations around systematized abuse in Britain implicating high-level politicians, royalty, and celebrities, as well as intelligence groups and police, involved in the massive cover-up that allowed it to continue. Systematized (and, at least some of the time, ritualized) sexual interference with children is now seen to be part of the fabric of British society. It is also inseparably intertwined with the world I grew up in, not just generally but locally and specifically, because my own family on my father’s side can be directly linked to many of the identified perpetrators or enablers. My aunt’s husband, Baron Haskins, was Tony Blair’s right-hand man and was also in charge of the Task Force created for screening employees in child care homes. Northern Dairies, my grandfather’s and father’s company, helped fund Savile’s charity walk in 1971 (my sister even had his autograph). My grandfather’s associates included two directors of the Bank of England, and a future chairman of the Bilderberg meetings; and so on. The net result of these discoveries was that whatever I once believed about my past and the environment I grew up in was violently turned upside down and inside out, just as rapidly and irrevocably (though considerably more shockingly) as my ideas about Whitley Strieber and the UFO subculture had been.
This book began as one thing; it is ending as something else. In the act of authoring, the author has been transformed. Where once I was blind, now I have begun to see the thing that caused me—that made it necessary—to become blind.
Like the house, the present work is now complete (in its major structural work at least, and not counting the garden). But I have saved perhaps the most challenging and potentially triggering work until last. And like the house (which I’ve lived comfortably inside, with my wife and cat, for more than a year) the book was kind of complete, in a way, with the preceding chapter about my dream, my wife, and my cat. I could have ended it there, and for a while I fully intended to. Only, it didn’t feel complete. The material had been polished and improved since 2013, but very little new had been added. For it to be complete meant bringing it into the present, “topping it up” with psychic energy, with whatever elements from my unconscious were, are, currently emerging into awareness—or better yet, those elements that can only come into awareness if I complete the book right. Like my house, this book needs to be a proper match for my level of embodiment; and even, to whatever extent, the means of it (this phase at least).
It is time for one more pan for gold, one more look at the bedrock, and for another (last?) taking stock of the shape of the ground, and of my current position on it.
“Many scholars have argued that the ideas and literary productions of the astrofuturists ‘prepared the American public for the conquest of space with elaborate visions of promise and fear’ and helped shape the nation’s cultural and political responses.” — Emily S. Rosenberg, “Far Out: The Space Age in American Culture”
As if to ensure that this work mirror the illumineers’ goal of infinite expansion, my wife (whose research for part one was the primary cause for its growth) recently came across a book in the second-hand bookstore where she works, called The Next Two Hundred Years, by Herman Kahn, published in 1976. The book is a NASA-commissioned report on the future and based around a methodology known as “scenario planning.” A little known method of government think tanks for implementing desired futures, scenario planning is really just fiction writing, specifically sci-fi writing. It describes future scenarios as if they were already established, or even as if part of the past (i.e., from a more distant future, looking back . . . in a galaxy far, far away). The book is mostly about the socio-economic future of human society, with only a few references to space colonization.
Soon after coming across this book, however, my wife discovered an unclassified document at NASA’s website called “Long-Term Prospects For Developments in Space (A Scenario Approach),” by William M. Brown & Herman Kahn. The document describes a complex, multi-level program of social engineering that includes the use of mass media outlets to sell the public to the idea of Space Industrialization. From the introduction:
The basic purpose of this report is to formulate some useful and interesting images of the long-term future of space, and to encourage and facilitate the use of such images and scenarios by NASA in its studies, planning, and public information programs. We realize that NASA already makes use of scenarios in its planning functions, but the deliberate formulation “of long-term scenarios and ‘images of the future’ has usually been left to outside freelance writers. [Emphasis added] We believe it is quite useful, perhaps important, for NASA to intervene in this process and also to facilitate it. Some of the current relatively low interest in NASA programs undoubtedly is due to the public’s failure to understand how exciting space development can be in the medium term (1985-2000) as well as in the centuries beyond this one. Of course, the extraordinarily extensive science fiction and other popular literature have already introduced a fairly broad public in this country and abroad to some concepts about space. This literature and its media interpretation however tend to be relatively undisciplined, imaginative (in both a good and bad sense) and, with a few important and spectacular exceptions, relatively unrelated to serious socio-political issues. . . . Long-term scenarios about space development, and, even more important, shared images of the future of space, can contribute to a sense of community, of institutional meaning and purpose, of high morale, and even—to use somewhat extravagant terms—of manifest destiny or of “religious” mission. . . . Such images can have a great impact on political issues—both internal and external (William M. Brown & Herman Kahn, “Long-Term Prospects For Developments in Space (A Scenario Approach),” p. 1, 2).
The report anticipates “many valuable spinoffs from the technological developments, as well as new services to society.” National pride in such accomplishments, it suggests,
probably accounts for much of the current wave of interest in science fiction that in the U.S. is being expressed through books, movies, and television. A growing national interest and pride in space accomplishments will be required if the public funding of these activities is to increase over time in real terms. Prolonged national enthusiasm appears to be a prerequisite for an optimistic outcome. . . .Through television [public citizens] were able to become “sidewalk superintendents” of these milestone events and were thereby easily able to bridge a gap which otherwise would have required a quantum jump in imagination. . . . Thus, the psychological stage was set for a flurry of new interest in the development of Space Industrialization (SI) (Ibid, p. 97, 121. Emphasis added).
The report discusses an imaginary documentary about a 1989 commercial space tour, a “three-day voyage to near-earth orbit which included a rendezvous with the recently completed international Space Station,” where the tourists were accommodated. The imaginary passengers included the NASA director, the governor of Texas, Senators, Congressmen, a French ambassador and other VIPs, and two movie stars apparently modeled on Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor, “the best-known movie actor and actress in the U.S.” (hardly the case in 1989, but anyway), whose “enthusiasm . . . was vividly conveyed by their spontaneous behavior during the voyage.” Subsequent “‘orchestrated’ television appearances” by the stars “further stimulated public interest in space projects, especially space tours.” This single event, the report imagines, transformed the potential of space exploration away from its prior “fictional aspects” for the average citizen and allowed it to be perceived as “a growing set of real activities with great commercial promise.” “Future Space Developments” then became “a subject taught in schools around the world.” The goal of all this media-directed perception management was for outer space to become “a real world which anyone might experience . . . for those who had a sufficiently strong desire, the possibility now existed to actually go up there” (Ibid, 124-25).
While movie stars—as the recognized new royalty—were indispensable for propagating the mass appeal and practicality of the new “civil religion,” astronauts were fast becoming the “high priests”:
In each nation the natural heroes of those interested in the movement into space were the astronauts. . . . A self-selection process evolved that effectively weeded out any aspiring astronaut who was less than completely dedicated to space projects. Of course, the competition became fierce and remained so for over 50 years as the astronaut profession became the one most desired in technologically advanced societies. The successful competitors became a new elite group with a commitment to their profession that evolved into a new kind of “religion”; one in which they were viewed as the “high priests”—yet no formal rituals or dogmas were practiced or needed (Ibid, p. 128).
The dawning of the Age of Aquarius, also known as “space culture.” Like popular science-fiction, the report somewhat naïvely assures us that the space culture was not planned—“it just happened”!
[A]s it grew it gradually transcended the former boundaries or “bonds” of chauvinistic nationalism. This attitude was not always understood by those outside the “space community” even though it became a prominent theme in the communications media. The direct physical experiences of transcending the surface of the earth had created a psychological counterpoint which led to a transcendence of the earth-centered national traditions and cultures. The sociological development became one of the major factors which led to phenomenal changes in the 21st century and beyond (Ibid, p. 128-29).
“Either there is a massive conspiracy to deceive by a near-army of diverse, unrelated individuals, including sophisticated scientists, or the events I have observed are true phenomena of nature.”
—Edgar Mitchell, Psychic Research: Challenge to Science
There is something incomprehensible about the possibility which this present work is exploring. This is especially the case for those of us involved in the field of alternate research. What makes it partially incomprehensible, I think, is that my interpretation of the data belongs to—or rather, is suggestive of—a radically different worldview than the “paradigm” we are used to, a paradigm which (this present work argues) has been engineered for us to perceive within and through. I don’t think that any given writer or spokesperson within this community is necessarily practicing conscious deception in some Machiavellian way. In some cases this may be the case (though even then, probably with the best of intentions!). But generally, I think what is being mapped here is both subtler and far deeper.
For the record, I placed the word “paradigm” in quotes because, ironically, the word even belongs to the “paradigm” I am talking about and is part of its internal cohesion. So what is a paradigm (according to this paradigm)? Willis Harman writes in Psychic Research:
As a part of the culture, the paradigm is communicated nonverbally and absorbed unconsciously and largely by example. Its role is primarily an invisible one; the vision of reality on which it is based is seldom reexamined, and the implicit premises it contains are generally unchallenged. By its very nature it is not easily identified, nor can it be concisely delineated. It is like “common sense”—no one can define it but everyone responds to it (p. 642).
Our current “paradigm” is that of the independent mind-ego-self that possesses agency; within that context, what I’m arguing with the present work—or hinting at, at least—can only be interpreted in a couple of ways. Either any given public spokesperson (Strieber, Jeffrey Kripal, or Edgar Mitchell) is an independent agent sharing their discoveries, theories, and beliefs about existence; or they are part of a conspiracy to spread false models of reality in order to bring about specific, pre-formulated social goals. This binary model does allow for some gradations between the extremes, some nuance—such as the idea of the unwitting “shill”—but it is still too black and white to really match the evidence, which is as varied and as nuanced as the many individuals involved.
This isn’t to say there is no shadowy agenda at work, or that individuals aren’t being actively recruited by it. I have no doubt this is the case and always has been. The nature of humans is to group together and conspire for their own shared advantage—often if not always under the pretense of “the collective good”—and there is plenty of evidence that such recruitment goes on all the time. The sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, for example, wrote a letter to the FBI in 1972 about being contacted by an unidentified official and asked to encode information in his novels.
Several months ago I was approached by an individual who I have reason to believe belonged to a covert organization involved in politics, illegal weapons, etc., who put great pressure on me to place coded information in future novels “to be read by the right people here and there,” as he phrased it. I refused to do this. The reason why I am contacting you about this now is that it now appears that other science fiction writers may have been so approached by other members of this obviously Anti-American organization and may have yielded to the threats and deceitful statements such as were used on me. Therefore I would like to give you any and all information and help I can regarding this, and I ask that your nearest office contact me as soon as possible. I stress the urgency of this because within the last three days I have come across a well-distributed science fiction novel which contains in essence the vital material which this individual confronted me with as the basis for encoding. That novel is CAMP CONCENTRATION by Thomas Disch, which was published by Doubleday & Co.
Anthony Burgess claimed something similar, at least according to Roger Lewis’s biography, Anthony Burgess (Faber & Faber, 2002). Lewis writes that Burgess “had been a low-grade collector of intelligence data (or ground observer) in the Far East” for the British government and that, on return to England, he found himself embroiled in a world of spy scandals (including the other famous Burgess, Guy) and double agents (p. 283). Lewis’ source (a British secret service man) informs him that Burgess “was not wholly responsible for A Clockwork Orange [and that] it was a work of collaboration with the British secret services.” According to the same source (, p. 283, 285), Burgess’ collaborator on the book was former CIA officer and languages expert, Howard Roman.
“The idea was that he’d lift the corner of the carpet and put into his novel classified material about the (then) new-fangled conditioning experiments and aversion therapies being devised to reform criminals—experiments which had wider implications for the concept of social engineering. [The book is about] the mind-control experimentation conducted by Dr. Ewen Cameron at the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal, between 1957 and 1963, and the Remote Neural Monitoring facility that operated out of Fort George Meade. The CIA were funding controversial research programs into electronic brain stimulation. They induced exhaustion and nightmares in patients; they put hoods or cones over people’s heads to broadcast voices directly into their brains; they irradiated the auditory cortex or inner ear. When patients had their own speech played back to them, incessantly, they went insane. There was a misuse of civilians in these covert operations, and intelligence on these devices remains classified.”
I refer the reader back to the statement from the NASA document about how “the deliberate formulation of long-term scenarios and “‘images of the future’ has usually been left to outside freelance writers.” Of how many well-known authors besides Burgess might this be true? Presumably, we are only likely to hear from the ones who refused the offer (which isn’t to imply that those who do talk about it necessarily refused, since they could also be lying). And then there is the possibility of countless other writers being recruited without their being aware of it.
“I trust it is apparent that those of us involved with noetic, particularly psychic research, do not view our work as another fad to be recorded in the history of ‘pop’ culture.”
—Edgar Mitchell, Psychic Research
If an agency were attempting to enlist authors to propagate certain ideas and/or disseminate coded information (either to specific individuals or the general public, or both), the inconvenience of being turned down, and worse, the possibility of an author speaking out about what happened, is obvious. Besides the possibilities opened up by the various methods of mind control, psychic fragmentation, alter-creation and amnesia-induction (covered in Part One), there is another longer-term approach that would be even more fail-safe.
Admittedly, this process would also require enough conscious recruits to set the psychic machinery (Harman’s “subtle technology”?) in motion, seeding memes so that entire generations of human beings could be conditioned, from infancy on, with certain ideas, images, beliefs, and narratives. Those who went on to become writers (especially sci-fi writers, who seem to be the richest resource for social engineering) would unconsciously reproduce, while developing, those conditioned beliefs, thereby creating new narratives. The public disseminators who best “took” the conditioning—who most faithfully reproduced the desired meanings—would be recognized by the same intelligence bodies (working in and through the mass media industry), to be promoted, supported, and endorsed—in a word, recruited. In most cases, these writers (and other artists, especially filmmakers and musicians) need never know how they and their work had been coopted. The biggest clue would be the one they would be least likely to question: their worldly success. And since success casts a spell of its own (once attained, the need for more—or simply to hold onto what one has—generally increases), at a certain point the artist in question might attain a sufficient degree of “congruence” (sympathy) with the hidden program to be inducted into the inner ranks.
In 1974, Dick had his famous VALIS pink-beam vision, after which he believed he had been contacted by some unknown form of extraterrestrial intelligence. Dick admitted he didn’t know whether the intervention was divine or technological, or both. In fact, he never made up his mind about it (not even after a million pages of his Exegesis, which was edited by my Seen and Not Seen “sponsor” Jonathan Lethem, with commentary from Jeffrey Kripal and Erik Davis; the latter I attended a Mexican conference with in 2012). Perhaps Dick was targeted by the illumineers as a potential new L. Ron Hubbard-style sci-fi prophet and given his conversion experience to see how he reacted? If so, he failed the test, as Dick’s brief attempt to become the prophet of a new paradigm (a speech he gave in France) was garbled and incomprehensible to most (to his infinite credit). It was too wild, shapeless and above all personal, and was received with bemusement and ridicule. Dick was a writer in the deepest sense, interested less in exploring possible futures, or even human potential, than he was in fathoming the mystery of his own psyche, and/or disappearing into it. The individuatory process of self-exploration and examination invariably goes against the grain of social conditioning, making a potential recruit largely useless, unmanageable, suspicious, shifty, inconstant, and unreliable.
A more effective case of a writer being “inspired” through technological intervention might be Jack Sarfatti, who received a call from a future computer intelligence dictating his life mission to him—and who has been following it ever since. Also David Icke’s life-altering ayahuasca experience might qualify here…
Yet for all the meme-seeding and the relentless spreading of intergalactic psi narratives, it’s curious to note that, forty years later, psi-phenomena isn’t actually any more accepted within the orthodox mainstream of the intelligentsia/academia than it was in 1974. (As evidenced by the latest attempt to validate the paradigm, Strieber and Kripal’s The Super Natural.) Despite all of the incontrovertible evidence, and all the attention it has received from high-profile figures from authors to astronauts, the paranormal is still roundly scorned by a certain class of “intelligent” people. On the other hand, with the New Age industry, psychic phenomena are certainly more popular with the general public as a form of nonfictional entertainment. In other words, the fruit of all these efforts by Mitchell, Harman, Puthoff, Geller, Strieber, Mack, Kripal, et al, would appear to be, not the creation of a new paradigm, but the incorporation of these “radical” ideas into the prevailing paradigm, and their resultant commodification. Nor, in my opinion, has this led to any sort of genuine transformation of the old paradigm, but rather to injecting novelty—and more forms of “diffuse hope”—into it. New wine into old bottles.
The same can—must—be said of UFOs, and even, in 2016, of “conspiracy theory.” Give it a few more years, and social engineering will doubtless be found on the infotainment menu of pop culture. Realities that become undeniable have to be incorporated into the same worldview whose dominion is being undermined by them, because this may be the only way to render them ineffective. Besides this, they are invaluable means to spice up the tired old narratives and make them appear to be genuinely transforming, when all that is changing, finally, is an image.
If this is the aim of allowing “pioneering” research of “undiscovered country,” it makes little to no difference how well-intentioned the researchers may be. As with the early Christian missionaries, the outcome is the same, because it is the outcome that was planned from the start. The agenda was never meant to be spiritual.
 “Netherwood even featured significantly in the musical development of one young prodigy. ‘A couple called Caplan,’ explained Mrs. Symonds, ‘frequently brought down a boy named Julian Bream who would play the guitar for the guests. After his recital we would pass the hat around and the money collected would pay for his next lesson. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.’ It was in this unusual and somewhat snobbish milieu that Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast 666, found his final haven.”
 Source: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2010/07/neo-nazis-syphilis-and-world-war-iii.html Thomas Disch attributed this to Dick’s drug-abuse and increasingly paranoid delusions in the early 1970s. Considering that Dick had his life-changing VALIS experience two years later, in 1974, this may be an over-simplification. Disch, the observant reader may recall, has already appeared in this narrative for his partway insightful, partway malicious critique of Whitley Strieber.
 1974 was also the year of the publication of Changing Images of Man and Edgar Mitchell’s Psychic Exploration (with a final chapter from Willis Harman).