The gods must be crazy
Like a crystal swan in a sky of suns
His ship comes shining. - Bruce Cockburn
It certainly was a rare and splendid thing to hear so much truth spoken to power at Tuesday's funeral of Coretta Scott King. (How often in his five long years has Bush addressed an unvetted crowd? How many times have the props been Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines?) And the predictable spin of studied apoplexy the power-shills displayed at the "Wellstone-ing" of the occasion was hysterically absurd. (Much talk of "disgracing the memory," which amounts to the same as the only good civil rights leader is a dead civil rights leader.) Someone should tell them that to be truly Wellstoned is less about pomp than circumstance.
So sure, it felt good, watching two generations of Bush squirm while Joseph Lowery poured brimstones on their heads, and Jimmy Carter evoked wiretaps and the Helter Skelter time of Katrina. But in the end - and that's what this seems like, doesn't it? - truth to power is an unsatisfying equation. because what is it that power gives in return? At the King funeral, it responded as it often does, by rising to its feet and joining the ovation, and then sitting back down with a huge smirk on its face. Power is liberal with words, even "amen." And yet, some words power must keep to itself.
The Carter presidency inherited George Herbert Walker Bush as Director of Central Intelligence. In one of Bush's early briefings with the President-Elect, Carter reportedly told his DCIA, "I want to have the information that we have on UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence. I want to know about this as President." Bush turned him down. The information existed on "need to know," and "simple curiosity on the part of the President wasn’t adequate." This according to Marcia Smith, then Science and Technology analyst at the Congressional Research Service, which was then tasked by Carter to deliver what the CIA refused.
Carter, rightly judging he could not trust Bush, shortly replaced him with his Annapolis classmate Stansfield Turner. (Bush later wrote about Carter, "beneath his surface cool, he harbored a deep antipathy to the CIA.") Turner triggered the so-called "Halloween Massacre" which eliminated 800 field positions. This was a milestone in the privatization, and deep criminalization, of the covert assets of US intelligence, which then clustered out of government around their champion, George HW Bush.
Smith drew into her project Daniel Sheehan, then General Counsel to the United States Jesuit National Headquarters who went on to found the Christic Institute.
According to Sheehan,
[Smith] asked me if as Legal Counsel for the Jesuit Headquarters whether I could get access for the Library of Congress from the Vatican library. The Vatican library has a fairly large section concerning the issue of extraterrestrial intelligence, and UFOs. I undertook to contact the Jesuit who actually runs the Vatican library, and much to my shock, they said we couldn’t have access to it.
A second request to the Vatican library failed, even though Sheehan stressed he was acting on behalf of a department the Library of Congress and it was the President himself who requested the information. (Interestingly, Smith later asked Sheehan to address the scientists of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the topic of the potential religious implications of alien contact.)
I think most of us realize that the jihads and crusades of this century are merely the Straussian religious text to the subtext of control via manufactured crises. On September 18, 2001, Tehran saw the largest vigil in the Muslim world to honour the memory of the victims of 9/11. Of course, this was not the religious impulse the architects of this crisis meant to encourage. So the forces of moderation in Iran were frustrated, and the fundamentalist engines were fed the fires of provocation and aggression to carry us to this point, at which words and truths fail us and we again are presented with the despairing inevitability of war.
On the evening of December 29, 1980, while driving in the Huffman area of east Texas, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Vickie's seven-year old grandson Colby encountered a large "diamond of fire" hovering at treetop levels over Highway FM1485, emitting odd bleeps and occasionally releasing a "large cone of fire" from its lowest point which made the road impassable. They stopped the car, and Vickie, "a committed Christian who does not believe in UFOs or extraterrestrial life...thought it was the coming of the end of the world." The three exited to get a better look, though they could feel the heat of the object burning their skin. Colby became terrified and cried to his grandmother.
From the account Vickie later told Air Force personnel at Bergstom Air Force Base when she and Betty were interviewed about the incident:
Colby was screaming and crying and everything so, and I thought the world was coming to an end, and I believed that sooner or later we'd gonna have to meet somebody. And I was telling him that ah.. look right in it, you know, I was showing him, I didn't find where the object was, you know when I... it was kinda like a flat... aluminum, I guess, you know, the inside of it looked dark, you know, the object did, and I was telling him to look right inside if he saw a big man it'd be Jesus.
As they watched the object begin to depart, a swarm of helicopters surrounded it. Betty said later, "they seemed to rush in from all directions...it seemed like they were trying to encircle the thing." Betty and Vickie counted more than 20, many which they later recognized as double rotor CH-47 Chinooks, spread over an area of eight kilometers. Hours after the incident, Cash and the Landrums began suffering radiation sickness:
Over the next few hours Betty's skin turned red as if badly sun burned. Her neck swelled and blisters erupted and broke on her face, scalp and eyelids. She started to vomit and continued to do so through out the night. My morning she was almost in a coma. Some time between midnight and 2am Vickie and Colby began to suffer similar symptoms, although less severe. At first they suffered the sunburn like condition and then diarrhea and vomiting. It was a miserable night for all three victims. The following morning Betty was moved to Vickie's house and all three were cared for there. Betty's condition continued to deteriorate and three days later she was taken to hospital. The burns and swelling altered Betty's appearance so radically that friend who came to visit her in hospital did not recognize her. Her hair began to fall out and her eyes became so swollen that she was unable to see for a week.
More on the Cash/Landrum incident can be read here, which adds:
An off duty Dayton policeman and his wife were driving home from Cleveland through the Huffman area the same night and also observed a large number of CH-47s. A man living in Crosby, directly under the flight path, reported seeing a large number of heavy military helicopters flying overhead. Oilfield laborer Jerry McDonald was in his back garden in Dayton when he saw a huge UFO flying directly over head. At first he thought it was the Goodyear airship, but quickly realized it was something else. "It was kind of diamond shaped and had two twin torches that were shooting brilliant blue flames out the back", he said. As it passed about 45 meters above him he saw that it had two bright lights on it and a red light in the center.
This is, despite its being an offense to the sensibilities of secularists, a new age of religon. Or perhaps more accurately, a caricature of a religious age. (And quite literally so, given the psy-op incitement of offensive cartoons.) And UFOs are, for close contactees, often religious and metaphysical events ("if he saw a big man it'd be Jesus"). And more, they are also of military consequence (from the interview, Betty Cash: there was helicopters completely around the object...the type of helicopters that I've never been used to seeing.... They were the ones that had two deals, two rotors on them, and they were quite a few." USAF Captain John Camp: "Did these helicopters have any type of markings?" Cash: "Yes, they sure did: 'United States Air Force'"), and of such intelligence classification that neither George HW Bush nor the Vatican Library would share their knowledge with President Jimmy Carter.
Great blood sacrifice is coming to much of the world as it takes a controlled descent into chaos, but that also brings opportunity for the few who hold the words of power. And when peace comes, it will come with strange gods.