“This scheme to thrust forward and establish a human control over the destinies of life, and liberate it from its present dangers, uncertainties, and miseries, is offered here as an altogether practicable one, subject only to one qualification—that sufficient men and women will be willing to serve it. That there is no foretelling. It is clear that the whole growth is dependent upon the appearance of those primary groups, sustaining and spreading its fundamental ideas. Those ideas have to become the mental substratum of constructive effort. If those ideas can find sufficient vigorous, able, and devoted people for their establishment, the rest will follow.”
—H.G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy/What Are We to Do with Our Lives?
In the 1970s the little-known researcher Alvin Lawson clearly mapped the parallels between a typical alien abduction experience and a modern hospital birth: a naked, paralyzed human lying on a table, surrounded by strange “masked” entities and poked with strange instruments. It was also Lawson’s research that demonstrated how individuals taken at random, with no memory of being abducted, were able to recreate an abduction experience under hypnosis, one that closely matched the accounts of people who believed they were abductees. The suggestion of this body of evidence was that the alien abduction “experience” was somehow universal—like birth—and/or archetypal.
A few days after I returned to this material in the hope of finally completing the work, and doubtless related, I had a dreaming experience in which I was lying in a bed and unable to move. All around me, I could sense figures moving. I could only see their legs out of the corners of my eyes. I felt intense fear, but I was aware that what I was experiencing was only a tiny fraction of the terror that would assail me, if I let myself become fully conscious of what was happening. The thought occurred to me that if, as had happened for Strieber, I was to realize the beings around me were not even human, it would be more terrifying than I could bear. It was as if I was allowing myself only as much “body terror” as I could comfortably endure without losing my mind. At the time, in the dream state, I guessed that what I was experiencing was maybe 5% of the full body memory.
Later, upon waking, it occurred to me that one likely interpretation of the dream was that I was, through an unconscious reenactment process, reliving my birth, or immediately post-birth, experience and finding out just how much terror was trapped in my body as a memory-affect of that primal event. Alien abductions, then, as a psychic experience at least, may be a way for an individual psyche to re-experience and release (and integrate) that terror and so clear up a space within the body for the psyche to land in. Conversely, perhaps the experience of the psyche landing in the body—which happens incrementally, not all at once—inevitably causes a reactivation of the same terror which first drove it away, into the heavenly realms of dissociation?
A few days later, I picked up Louis Proud’s Dark Intrusions and re-read the descriptions of my own sleep paralysis experience which I had given him for his book. I reproduce them in part below, with emphasis added.
My experiences of sleep paralysis have almost always entailed the irrefutable certainty of a non-human presence in the room.
Since I was never under the impression of there being a fully physical or even visible presence, however, the presence might best be described as a conscious energy field. Not that I ever opened my eyes to look; that was never an option. My bodily reaction to the presence was invariably one of terror and, as such, the last thing I intended to do was try and see the being. It was quite overwhelming enough merely to experience its energy field as a form of “psychic sensation.” I don’t know how else to describe it. I was aware of a consciousness outside of my own, immeasurably more powerful, and focused on me in such a way that it was akin to a kind of psychic assault or “ambush.” The being or presence was not hostile; far from it. It seemed to be interested in me not in any predatory manner but rather almost in a [proprietorial] way, almost as with the attention of a lover, or perhaps a loving but ruthless parent? [Emphasis added]
As I recall I had a series of very similar experiences—I might say “visitations”—during a period of a couple of years when I was in my late 20s. Since I was quite deeply influenced by Strieber’s Communion at that time, I tended to see my experiences in the light of Strieber’s own accounts, and this may have influenced or even distorted my impressions somewhat. I definitely had a sense that the being—if such it was—was “ancient,” wise, and extremely powerful, and essentially benevolent. On at least a couple of occasions, I experienced it as female (I knew nothing of the Old Hag syndrome back then). And although it sounds rather fanciful now, I had a sense more than once that it, she, was “my own soul,” or as close as made no difference. Anima visitation?
There was nothing subjective or vague about the experience; at the time there was no more doubt in my mind that something very real was present than there would be if a burglar had come through the window, wielding a crowbar. Yet as I say, there was nothing visual about the experience, nor was there any sound, smell, or even an ordinary sensation to speak of (i.e., of being touched). Whatever senses were alerted related to consciousness itself, not to the ordinary five bodily senses. And yet, it was above all a bodily sensation that alerted me—what Strieber called “body terror.” Rather than an awareness of the presence causing the terror, however, it was as if my own terror informed me as to the being’s presence. Somehow, my body knew instantly that some unknown form of energy was present, and it reacted with a kind of animal terror. My mind, on the other hand, observed this physiological response with a measure of detachment and, of course, of fascination. I felt something like love emanating from the being, and even felt something similar in myself responding to that love. But there was a seemingly unbridgeable abyss between us—that of our individual physical or energetic configurations. We were quite literally worlds apart.
Another, less positive form of sleep paralysis visitation is as follows:
I suffered a recurring dream over the years.
There was something on my back, clinging to me. I could feel it like an electrical charge, like something actually drilling into the back of my neck. I could hear a strange voice or voices, and knew that some “being” was working on me. In order to stop it, I shrugged my shoulders physically, once, twice, a third time, until my consciousness returned to my body and I woke. I had the feeling the being was still there, however, waiting for a second chance to “leech” me.
It was like a child suckling, a small but ferocious creature. Whatever it was, it was clinging to me with desperate persistence, chewing at my neck, drinking my energy like a vampire. At the time, it felt like a physical thing. If I was in “the astral” at the time, then I suppose it was as solid as I was. Even at the time, however, I could hardly believe what I was feeling. A horrible, nightmarish parasite entity feeding off me, relentlessly and without mercy, maybe even without choice? It was like a part of me. It had been attracted by my energy, we were like two magnets. The effect was of repulsion more than terror. This demon was something utterly and undeniably real. The source of all my sickness was here.
What didn’t occur to me until re-reading this material in 2015 is that the two different experiences are in fact diametrical opposites, and that potentially they make up a whole. The anima-visitation experience represents the “overman,” Superego, or, in Ferenczi’s model, the higher aspect of “Orpha” (organizing life principle); the parasite-entity corresponds with the traumatized child self or lower aspect. Put differently, the ancient anima-being would correspond with the greater portion of the psyche which was unable to integrate with (“land in”) the body and which remained disembodied, floating above it like some sort of guardian angel. The parasite would be that fragment which split off due to the trauma and became equally “autonomous” but which, being only a fragment, was dependent on the life force of the body to exist, hence became a kind of “succubae,” or suckling infant. The body’s experience would correspond with that of the conscious ego self, an experience both of being leeched off and oppressed by the trauma it suffered, and nurtured and rescued from that experience by the dissociated psyche that never had to experience the trauma.
At the same time, the manner in which that “higher” aspect of the psyche came visiting—despite my own self-assurances—was very much as a predator in the night—“with the attention of a lover”—suggesting that it/I may have been reenacting some sort of sexual interference (i.e., the original cause of the splitting trauma), one which I had no choice at the time but to reinterpret as the presence of “a loving but ruthless parent”?
“But the postindustrial society will differ from that of Athens in important respects. Its slaves will be cybernetic, and the Faustian powers of its technology will introduce a new level of responsibility. It will have to be a learning-and-planning society. Helping to choose the future will be a primary responsibility of its citizens. . . Science, under the new transcendentalism, will be clearly understood to be a moral inquiry . . . it cannot be, as past science has tended to be, value-empty. . . . In this respect it will resemble the humanities and religion. . . Finally, the new science will become also a sort of ‘civil religion’”
—Willis Harman, Psychic Research: Challenge to Science
In Part Two, I have been looking at two fields of inquiry: psychic research and space colonization, inner and outer space. The intersection between the two fields is the alien visitor, when “space” comes to us—like a thief (or rapist) in the night—and invades our interiority. Abductees experience an increased interest in/affinity for the stars—they receive their “passport to the cosmos,” as John Mack put it. There is also a corresponding awareness of their own interior, “spiritual nature,” and/or psychic potential (since in the West these two ideas are fatally conflated).
According to Edgar Mitchell (Psychic Research: Challenge to Science, p. 35), the aim of psychic research is less to tap into our “psi” potential than to prove to ourselves, beyond reasonable doubt, that our mechanistic, Newtonian models of reality are fundamentally flawed and outdated, to overturn the old paradigm and usher in “higher consciousness in the race.” Space exploration, on the other hand—which astronaut Mitchell promoted, via his participation in the Overview Institute and the selling of the Overview Effect—has a similarly twinned potential. Firstly, obviously, it is the theoretical means for the human race to continue expanding indefinitely despite having exhausted the planet’s resources (including living space or liebestraum, and leaving aside the question of whether space travel is actually feasible). It offers hope for the future—i.e., for the continuation of our current way of life in the West—a new undiscovered country to explore where somehow, miraculously, life promises to be better. (In Alcoholics Anonymous, this is called “the geographical cure.”)
Secondly, according to Mitchell, Herman Kahn, Joseph Campbell, and others, the mere fact of leaving the earth and entering space will bring about cosmic consciousness: “a state in which there is constant awareness of unity with the universe pervading all aspects of one’s life. Every activity, every relationship, every thought is guided by the knowledge of oneness.” Mitchell doesn’t beat around the bush here; he claims this amounts to direct knowledge of God. Space, in Mitchell’s view, is a Kubrickian-Clarkian Star Gate to the next evolutionary state of humankind.
While I have yet to encounter any overt mention of it, there may even be the belief among these illumineering futurologists that life in space will facilitate an activation of our psi potential. Brown and Kahn’s NASA report “Long-Term Prospects For Developments in Space” imaginatively speculates that
human beings born in the space environment were to be physically and emotionally more healthy, that their natural longevity is now expected to increase by about 30 years, and that their mental capability, on average, appears to be substantially greater as well. An improved human being, substantially improved, emerged as a result of the efforts of space scientists and from the natural benefits obtainable in the benign space environment (p. 130-31).
The promise is as plain as it is predictable: We can become space-faring techno gods. Skywalkers and Starkillers.
“[A]n accepted image of the future can give rise to expectations that could materialize into real space projects.”
—William Brown and Herman Kahn, “Long-Term Prospects For Developments in Space”
At this point, the line between the covert, classified plans of world governments, military, intelligence, and scientific think-tanks and what we think of—naively—as popular forms of entertainment effectively vanishes. Scenario planning is not only a passive thought experiment for exploring ideas; it is an effective way to bring those ideas—in the form of fantasy narratives—to the general population, thereby creating the desired level of familiarity, expectancy, and sympathy for these scenarios to metastasize into future history. As Emily S. Rosenberg writes, “A clear synergy developed between the space program and the highly competitive world of image-based media. NASA projected itself to be an agency involved in science and technology, but it proved also to be skilled at image-making and public relations.”
In 1977 (the year of Brown and Kahn’s NASA report), Star Wars came out and was an “unexpected” hit. (Close Encounters was also released, though its success probably wasn’t a surprise to anyone.) Star Wars neatly combined the subject of psychic potential (“the force”) with that of space colonization (and extraterrestrials). It even sets its narrative in the past, following the format of Scenario Planning.
From the opening scrawl to the Nazi-rally-style finale, Star Wars was a consciously designed modern myth. It was made by a young filmmaker whose previous films were a dark, dystopian sci-fi vision (THX-1138) and a nostalgic paean to 1950s America (American Graffiti). The unprecedented success of Star Wars is widely recognized among film historians today as having changed the course of the American film industry. By appealing to the regressive fantasies of adult audiences (who grew up, like Lucas, with Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers sci-fi fantasy of the 1950s) and helping to shape the then-current fantasies of youth, it ushered in the age of the blockbuster. What is so far unacknowledged is how—as part of a much larger cultural agenda—it may have changed the course of world history by ingeniously exploiting the deeper yearnings of an entire generation of future filmmakers, scientists, computer programmers, et. al, to go beyond the limits of their mundane lives and find transcendental purpose in the sky (and the force).
To give a well-known example, Ronald Reagan’s satellite missile defense program, the Strategic Defense Initiative, proposed in 1983, quickly came to be known as “Star Wars.” As Peter Kramer writes in “Ronald Reagan and Star Wars”:
Following its release in May 1977, the original Star Wars movie had quickly become the highest grossing film of all time at the American box office. The film was accompanied by an unprecedented merchandising craze which would eventually earn billions of dollars, while its sequel The Empire Strikes Back, released in May 1980, became the second highest grossing film of all time. This was followed by the successful launch of the Star Wars video in May 1982 and the film’s first appearance on pay-TV in February 1983, which whetted public appetite for the forthcoming release of the second sequel, Return of the Jedi in May 1983. When Reagan addressed the nation on March 23rd, 1983, therefore, “Star Wars” was on everybody’s mind.
Kramer points out that the film seemed to have been on Reagan’s mind also, referring to “one of his most notorious speeches” (to the Annual Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8th, 1983), in which Reagan characterized Communism as a totalitarian ideology in which “‘morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war,’ leaving no place for God or religion.” Reagan called the Soviet Union “the focus of evil in the modern world” and urged his audience not to ignore “the aggressive impulses of an evil empire” or forget that this was “a struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.” “[W]hile military strength is important” Reagan railed, “the real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.” (It’s worth remembering here that Lucas’ original name for his hero was Luke Starkiller.)
Kramer argues persuasively that, since the concept of an “evil empire” had already been popularized by the Star Wars films, this link encouraged both press and the public “to see Reagan’s future speeches through the prism of Star Wars.” He points out how, two weeks after this speech, people tried to make sense of the announcement of a missile defense program by referring to the movie. “Reagan even slipped an oblique reference to the film into his address [when] he referred to ‘a new hope for our children in the twenty-first century,’” thereby naming the subtitle of the first film (added in 1981): A New Hope.
To add still further layers of quantum irony and confusion to the mix, Kramer (via Michael Rogin’s psycho-biography Ronald Reagan, the Movie) traces Reagan’s vision of a space-based missile defense program back to a 1940 Warner Brothers movie! In Murder in the Air (Killers in the Sky?), Reagan plays a Secret Service agent who prevents a foreign spy from stealing the plans for a powerful new defense weapon. As one of the film’s characters has it, this weapon will “make America invincible in war and therefore be the greatest force for peace ever invented.” Rogin’s thesis, apparently, is that the future president was engineered in and by 1940s Hollywood, until—according to Kramer—Reagan’s “identity and his conception of reality had been shaped by Hollywood films to such an extent that he was unable to step outside the fictions he had once inhabited.” Kramer adds that, “In sharp contrast to this psychological critique, military historian Donald Baucom’s exhaustive study The Origins of SDI shows that, far from being a Hollywood fantasy, Reagan’s vision of missile defense was in line with an important strand in US strategic thinking.”
But is the contrast as sharp or final as Kramer imagines? To add one more bizarre overlap between movie fantasy and realpolitik, in How Star Wars Conquered the Universe Taylor (2014, Basic Books, p. 168), Chris Taylor notes how Star Wars composer John Williams “has often said he owes a debt to the movie composers of the 1930s and 1940s; specifically, the Star Wars main theme shares its opening notes with the theme from King’s Row, the 1942 drama that launched Ronald Reagan’s acting career.” While it may seem farfetched to imagine that such a correlation was conscious and strategic, isn’t it also a bit of a stretch at this point to dismiss it as entirely coincidental? At the very least, is it unreasonable to suppose that two lines of research and implantation occurring in the 1940s—pertaining to the creation of a future president and the development of US strategic thinking—were being conducted in tandem by the same parties? Kramer concludes:
While opponents of missile defense programs had originally introduced the ‘Star Wars’ label in the early 1980s for the purpose of ridicule, by the mid-1980s it was generally acknowledged that the association of SDI with Star Wars worked in its favor. Reagan himself disliked the emphasis on large-scale war that the film reference brought to his initiative, yet he also acknowledged the compatibility of the film’s spirituality and moral vision with his own worldview. In comments made in March 1985, he first rejected the ‘Star Wars’ label by saying that SDI ‘isn’t about war. It is about peace.’ But then he added: ‘If you will pardon my stealing a film line—the force is with us.’
Star Wars creator George Lucas is generally painted as a radical visionary who intended his film to send a subversive warning about the encroaching totalitarianism of US politics. (In the 2000s, as the billionaire emperor of a massive Star Wars industrial complex, Lucas even professed to be on the side of the Occupy Movement!) Yet his professed primary goal of the film was entirely in line with US’s “foreign policy.” In 1977 he told Rolling Stone:
I’m hoping that if the film accomplishes anything, it takes some ten-year-old kid and turns him on so much to outer space and the possibilities of romance and adventure . . . infusing them into serious exploration of outer space and convincing them that it’s important. Not for any rational reasons, but a totally irrational and romantic reason. I would feel very good if someday they colonize Mars when I am 93 years old, and the leader of the first colony says, “I really did it because I was hoping there would be a Wookie up here.”
In 1981, Lucas stated it in even more bald terms when he described Star Wars as: “a fairy tale in space guise. The reason it’s in a space guise is that I like the space program, and I’m very keen on having people accept the space program.”
Chris Taylor (p. 399-400) adds an ironic coda to this about how “NASA’s administrator suggested the agency plans to send humans to Mars in 2037—which, coincidentally, is the year Lucas will turn ninety-three.” He then quotes Bobak Ferdowski, flight director at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, saying how his love of space was inspired by Star Trek. Without leaping down a synchromystic rabbit hole, it’s impossible not to think of Jack Parsons at this point, whose work at the Jet Propulsion Lab was so important to the space program that a crater on the Moon was named after him. Parsons was a close associate of L. Ron Hubbard, and both were briefly discipled to Aleister Crowley, whose Thelemic transmission is known as the “93 current.” Say what? Someone (besides myself) seems to have been invoking some shadowy entities here, though at what level of awareness, or to what end, is anyone’s guess.
Returning to the more solid ground of Industrial Light & Magic Reaganomics: if, as the evidence suggests, none of this is coincidental but is by careful design, then the entire Star Wars phenomenon—which continues to fire people’s most irrational, romantic responses to this day—is very different from what millions of impassioned devotees have hitherto dreamed, even in their wildest fantasies, it to be. Such innocence may not only be a luxury: it may also be also a commodity. The soul-deep mythic yearning of entire generations, tapped into by the use of images and carefully designed narratives, transmuted into a power source to be harnessed and directed into specific goals of progress, all in service of The Empire.
“May the force be with you”? De-scramble the Hollywood-speak (remove the velvety glove), and what does that leave but the steely battle cry of Empire, Might is Right?
 There are many different version of Wells’ tract, only some of which refer to a world religion. This quote is culled from two different versions, The Open Conspiracy: Blue Print for a World Revolution (1928) https://archive.org/stream/leviathanincrisi00brow#page/406/mode/2up and “What Are We to Do with Our Lives?” (1930): http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0201081.txt. The final version appeared in 1933 under the original title.
 “Sensational stories generated by human-piloted flights meant publicity for NASA, larger audiences for the media networks, and positive projections of America’s power in the Cold War world. Many of the themes that had structured both popular science fiction and popular western tales echoed in the Media age’s presentation of the space race: danger, heroism, competition, suspense, and problems overcome through ingenuity. Yet the dramas that played out at Cape Canaveral and Houston, as exciting as fiction, had the added attraction of being “real.” The spectacularity of the space race helped sustain the older print-pictorial media, pioneered a compelling early version of “reality TV,” and proved attractive to filmmakers and space center visitors. And this fast-changing and competitive media environment, in turn, boosted the visual spectacularity of the Space Age.” “Far Out: the Space Age in American Culture,” Remembering the Space Age, Steven J. Dick, NASA, Office of External Relations, History Division, 2008. http://www.nss.org/resources/library/spacepolicy/Remembering_the_Space_Age.pdf
 “The enormous prestige that the Americans gained around the world from the successful program soon after frittered away as the gloomy national malaise of the ’70s set in. The flood of socio-political problems during and after the Vietnam involvement turned the public away from ‘large’ space budgets. The conventional wisdom of the ’70s claimed that, instead of billions of dollars for ‘a few moon rocks,’ the money should be allocated for social purposes. The one-sided space race had indeed ended.” William Brown and Herman Kahn, “Long-Term Prospects For Developments in Space, ”p. 126.
 “[W]hen Senator Edward Kennedy first attached the ‘Star Wars’ label to Reagan’s vision in comments made on the floor of the Senate the day after the speech, it was to accuse the President of ‘misleading Red Scare tactics and reckless Star Wars schemes.’ Kennedy’s comments were meant to point out the fantastic nature of Reagan’s missile defense program and the real dangers of his escalation of the arms race into space. Yet, despite these critical intentions, the ‘Star Wars’ label was so evocative and ambivalent that it was immediately embraced by some of Reagan’s supporters, and henceforth the program, which did not acquire its official and rather uninspiring title Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) until the spring of 1984, was universally known as ‘Star Wars.’” Peter Kramer “Ronald Reagan and Star Wars,” History Today Volume 49 Issue 3, March 1999.