Friday, March 31, 2006

Springtime for Atta

You think they're so dumb, you think they're so funny
Wait until they've got you running to the Night Rally - Elvis Costello

A recurring and seemingly fabulist theme in the literature of cult and mind control survivors is the perseverence of a criminal Nazi underground in America, surviving on bonds of blood and symbology and enjoying the protection of high power. Eight-year old Rhonda, drawing pictures of her torture depicting swastikas and ceremonial daggers. Kathleen Sullivan writing in Unshackled of being shuffled between porn shoots and "secret Nazi meetings" by her father and grandfather. It's all a bit too rich for most palates, even now, when the Nazi is little more than a stock villain or comic foil. It's hard to get exercised about an enemy if you believe him buried beneath 60 years of history.

We know of Paperclip and the Ghelen Org, and how Nazis came to guide US government science and intelligence (and unacknowledged yet no less real, the covert trafficking of arms and drugs), finding the patronage of their stateside fellow travellers and eugenicists. Not as well known is how many others came to follow.

Between 1948 and 1952, America's Displaced Persons Commission arranged for nearly a half-million Europeans to emigrate to the United States. For two years it barred those who had been members of organizations sympathetic or collaborative to the Nazis. In 1950 that began to change, when first the "Baltic Legion" was removed from the list of "hostile" movements, though the Baltic Legion was also known as the Baltic Waffen SS.

The change of policy was strategic: the CIA was subsidizing the immigration of European Nazis and fascists in order to build a far-right power bloc as a hedge against communism. Its primary vehicle became the Republican Party. In the year the Commission completed its work, the Republican National Committee formed an "Ethnic Division" to mobilize for elections, which became the permanent standing body called the Republican Heritage Groups Council in 1969.

In his 1988 book Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, Russ Bellant writes that "it eventually became clear that it wasn't an accident or a fluke that people with Nazi associations were in the Republican Heritage Groups Council. In some cases more mainstream ethnic organizations were passed over in favor of smaller but more extremists groups. [And] the Republican National Committee knows with whom they are dealing."

The leaders of the Republican "heritage" groups included men like Nicholas Nazarenko, who fought as an officer in an SS Cossack unit before going to work for the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corp. The evening after a Reagan speech praising the heritage groups, Nazarenko insisted on opening for Bellant his huge suitcase of political materials, filled with German war memorabilia and literature on the "Jewish problem." He said he was still "in touch" with various "Nazi" organizations: "They respect me because I was a former German army officer. Sometimes when I meet these guys, they say 'Heil Hitler.'"

Bellant again: "in a sense...the foundation of the Republican Heritage Groups Council lay in Hitler's networks into East Europe before World War II. In each of those Eastern European countries, the German SS set up or funded political action organizations that helped form SS militias during the war."

The heritage groups accounted for 86,000 volunteers in the 1988 election of George HW Bush, though several of their leaders were compelled to resign from campaign positions on account of collaboration. One was Romanian priest and member of the pro-Nazi Iron Guard Florian Galdau, who boasted of having files on 15,000 Romanians he helped emigrate in the US with the aid of CIA-linked resettlement groups the Tolstoy Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. Candidate Bush insisted they were all honourable men and innocent of all charges.

These old ratlines are of more than historical curiosity, and for more reason than that they suggest an embedding of Nazism in the Republican Party that goes beyond metaphor. They ratlines also appear to continue to function. Mohammed Atta participated in a German-American exchange program, jointly overseen by the State Department and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and linked to both David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger. (The Carl Duisberg Society, named after a senior official of IG Farben.) According to Atta's stripper girlfriend Amanda Keller, he called his German associates in Florida his "brothers." One of then, Wolfgang Bohringer, belonged to the "Flying Club of Munich," which was owned by his father. "Such clubs were popular with "postwar German neo-Nazis to circumvent that country’s anti-Nazi laws."

Daniel Hopsicker further observes:

From what has been learned so far, the backgrounds of Atta's German associates seem strikingly similar to that of another German national, Andreas Strassmeir, whose possible relationship with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was in the news a decade ago. Strassmeir was at one point named in a lawsuit by families of the victims as a "US federal informant with material knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing." Strassmeir's father was once a top aide to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl; Atta's German friends are all children of the German elite.

"Sometimes when I meet these guys, they say 'Heil Hitler.'" Sixty years - what's that?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Body Eclectic (Part One)

Let's get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One Love!)
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!)
Have pity on those whose chances grows t'inner
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation - Bob Marley

An occasional guilty pleasure of mine is lurking on Democratic Underground's board of liberal "skeptics" of the Amazing Randi school. Some fascinating glimpses there of a kind of orphaned rationalism running scared. For instance, proudly alerting a moderator on the posting of CNN's Charlie Sheen poll results. ("I hate reading what passes for logic - It must be fun to live in their world.") My current favourite comment is this one:

I rue the day that the woo-woos discovered the term "quantum physics." It's become their catch-all phrase that they can apply to anything in order to imbue whatever idiocy they're on about with a veneer of scientific validity.

Naturally, skeptics who pride themselves on their scientific method would like to keep the "woo-woos" in Newtonian blinders, because the science has turned uncomfortably weird for those who mean to interpret the world by it. Quantum physics challenges, both in fact and by metaphor, too many assumptions of their classical method. Even 20th Century giants of mind without a stake in keeping the woo-woos down on the tinfoil farm abhored its inclination to demolish commonsense. Einstein called it, disparagingly, "spooky action at a distance", and even Schrödinger regretted ever having let his cat out of the box. ("I do not like it, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it.")

Niels Bohr, on the other hand, said "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it." Since my McCoy-like disclosure goes something like I'm a blogger, Jim, not a theoretical physicist, I can't pretend that I understand it. That's the price of a humanities education, though I'm trying to make up for it. But science isn't the first, the only, nor even the best way to encounter the world. And while I find the implications of the physics shocking, I'm not surprised by them, since I'd already drawn the provisional conclusion that the universe is one damn weird place.

Whatever it is we do that gets labelled "conspiracy theory" needs to be interdisciplinary, because power, which is our real subject, is itself boundary-defying. Politics, we know, is a category of insufficent weight to account for the rulers of this world. "Deep Politics" is better, though while the depth may be right, the breadth is too narrow. Wherever there are means to power there will be attempts made by the already powerful to restrict access, reclassify knowledge and extend their own authority by secrecy and disinformation. And there are means to power everywhere, even in what was until recently, and is still popularly, regarded as the interstellar void. Because they are all aspects of the same power.

To my understanding, this is the significance of Zero Point: the subatomic is not best imagined as discrete, bouncing billiard balls, but as an ocean of quantum energy in perpetual flux. Einstein's "spooky action" doesn't actually happen at a true distance, but it's no less spooky, since at the quantum level Everything is Connected. (As Becker and Selden wrote 20 years ago in The Body Electric, "Every time you use your toaster, the fields around it perturb charged particles in the farthest galaxies ever so slightly.")

If the quantum flux could be tapped it would be a source of unimaginable power, able to bend space-time to the speed of thought and defy gravity, which Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov first suggested was not a force in its own right but rather a residual effect of zero point fluctuations caused by the presence of matter, or rather greater densities of charge. As we've seen, the ever-spooky Hal Puthoff, formerly of the NSA and naval intelligence, moved from SRI's remote viewing program into to zero point research. Puthoff claims "the evidence is pretty solid" that something is already happening, beyond theory, in the black budget world. (Free and virtually limitless energy might be alright for some, think the some with a means to power. As I wrote in January, "If the G-Engines are coming, they've probably already arrived. And they're not meant for the likes of us.")

But the implications of zero point extend further than its energy applications, no matter how revolutionary, to consciousness itself: back to Puthoff's remote viewing research and beyond.

Despite statistical results which far exceeded chance, the CIA was determined to stamp "failure" upon remote viewing, and even military occultist Michael Aquino felt compelled to call it an"eyeball roller". It's often better, for those who guard power's secrets, to be popularized as miserable failures. And the secret of remote viewing, and it's power, is not the projection of sight, but the connectedness of the viewer, at the level of quanta and code, to everything else in the universe.

Lynne McTaggart writes in The Field that Puthoff, considering how remote viewing might be possible, saw that it "argued strongly [for] a quantum, nonlocal effect":

With practice, people could enlarge their brain's receiving mechanisms to gain access to information stored in the Zero Point Field. This giant cryptogram, continually encoded with every atom in the universe, held all the information of the world - every sight and sound and smell. When remote viewers were "seeing" a particular scene, their minds weren't actually somehow transported to the scene. What they were seeing was the information that [had been] encoded in quantum fluctuation.... In a sense, the field allowed us to hold the whole universe inside us. Those good at remote viewing weren't seeing anything invisible to all the rest of us. All they were doing was dampening down the other distractions.

Hold the universe inside us. Imagine what would happen if the woo-woos ever found out about that. Imagine if those with the will to power already have.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Apologies for the extended silence, life and all the rest has overtaken me again. An update is in the works for tomorrow, but in the meantime, please feel free to use this as an open thread.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Name that tune

Fingerprints, fingerprints,
Where are you now, my fingerprints? - Leonard Cohen

Remember Magnolia? Most people who do probably still don't know what they saw. Those frogs - where'd that come from? Even The Guardian could say, "This scene does successfully manage to shock the audience, but possibly only because it makes no sense whatsoever." But of course it did: an audience member had earlier disrupted the gameshow What Do Kids Know? by holding up a sign that read simply "Exodus 8:2." Of course it took looking up the reference to get it: "If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs." So it required some work, and interest, to find the sense. And if you didn't get the frogs, you'd likely have also missed The History of Freemasonry on contestant Stanley's bookshelf, the Masonic symbols adorning the television studio, the conspicuous Masonic ring on the finger of the producer who consoles his paedophilic host Jimmy Gator, or the significance of Gator's farewell, "We met upon the level and we're parting on the square." Far from being meaningless, Magnolia is one of the most meaningful of American films, for those with the semiotic skillset to decode it.

Remember Michael Meiring? If not, you can find several entries beneath his name on the subject index. It took an effort to understand Magnolia, and it would have taken an effort to get the Meiring story too, if it had ever been permitted to find its domestic audience in the US news market. It certainly has a cinematic breadth, including an unsatisfying third act: An American national in the Phillipines: a "treasure hunter" who's both a conspicuous evangelical Christian and an alleged weapons dealer with ties to both the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and the CIA, which he winkingly calls "Christ in Action." During a wave of terror bombings Meiring is wounded when one explodes prematurely in his hotel room, and he becomes the chief suspect. Then days later, an FBI team plucks him from his hospital bed and flies him stateside, as local authorities bewail his evasion of justice and America's harbouring a suspected terrorist.

It just doesn't make sense. But of course it does, once you know what kind of world it is that you're trying to parse. The Meiring affair may be crazy-making, but don't say it doesn't make sense. Because there's an intelligence at work here, too. And the consequences of its discordant reality are just too much for an embedded media to bear telling us the story.

And now, in Bolivia, another weird tale. Two hotels bombed, two dead and two arrested, one a US national. And like Meiring, something out of a film: "Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo," also known as "Triston Jay Amero," a self-professed "Wiccan High Priest" obsessed with explosives, who was passing himself off in La Paz as a Saudi lawyer. As "Gouda" posted on the RI board, Amero is the author of a number of occult book reviews, including The Satanic Bible and The Necronomicon ("If you want to have a copy of a powerful - but dangerous - book in your possession, I recommend this book wholehartedly").

Bolivian authorities appear confused about what they have on their hands. The initial presumption was the bombings must have been politically motivated. Then, when faced with "Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo," perhaps religion. But when is it ever one or the other?

"There is a battle against terrorism and the government of the United States is sending Americans to do terrorism in Bolivia," said Evo Morales. "A US citizen placing bombs in hotels. What is happening?"

These things don't direct themselves.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"The Master Approached"

They say you're usin' voodoo, I seen your feet walk by themselves
That god you been prayin' to
Is gonna give ya back what you're wishin' on someone else - Bob Dylan

In 1969, while cleaning the former office of a Los Angeles private detective named Earl LaFoon, the building manager found a canister of 16 mm colour movie labeled "Sirhan B Sirhan - 1967." It was a surveillance film, shot approximately half a year before Sirhan was charged with the murder of Robert F Kennedy, walking the streets of Pasadena.

Jonn Christian, co-author with William Turner of The Assassination of Robert F Kennedy, tracked down LaFoon and asked him about the film. The detective's story was rather fluid, first claiming it had been stolen, then denying that it was his, and finally abruptly ending the conversation by saying "You'll have to ask the Argonaut Insurance Company about this. That's all I have to say."

Argonaut had paid Sirhan a workman's compensation claim of $1,705 for injuries received in a fall from a horse while working at the Corona Ranch in 1966. Was Sirhan surveilled in a fishing expedition for insurance fraud? The relatively small amount involved and the fact Sirhan wasn't even claiming to be disabled render this conclusion suspect, especially since an Argonaut spokesman told Christian the company had nothing to do with it.

Sirhan was filmed without his knowledge shortly after he returned to his family home following an unexplained absence of three months, which had caused his mother extreme worry A veteran LAPD officer, who wished to remain nameless, told Turner and Christian that even the RFK task force Special Unit Senator could not account for the missing time.

Upon his return, one difference in Sirhan's character noted by those close to him was a deepened interest in the occult.

In the mid-60s Sirhan's ambition to become a jockey had led to work as a groomsman, which carried him into the orbit of an equestrian circle of privilege. The politics was far right, and the religion often had the gloss of conservative evangelicalism masking a fascination with the occult. William Thomas Rathke, a right-wing, 41-year old groom who actually had his own fundamentalist church, befriended Sirhan, but rather than talk about Jesus paradoxically began nurturing his interest in the occult. In a letter to Turner and Christian, Sirhan wrote that "We had many discussions on the occult - reincarnation, karma, clairvoyance, astral projection, the human aura. But I don't remember that we ever discussed politics."

In 1967 Rathke moved north to Livermore California, ostensibly to work at the Pleasanton Race Stables. Livermore, of course, was also home to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the principle contracting institutions for MKULTRA. (In 1965 the CIA had "entered into a Memorandum of Understanding" with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to "perform a number of projects for the Office of Scientific Intelligence.")

Sirhan and Rathke kept in touch, and Rathke and Livermore remained on his mind. In his notebook of "automatic writing" following his three-month absence, he wrote "Sirhan Livermore Sirhan" and juxtaposed Rathke's name with the repetition of "Let us do it," "Master Kuthumi." "Illuminati" and "Northern Valley." "Kuthumi" is clearly a reference to Blavatsky's Secret Chief Koot Hoomi, and Livermore Valley is in Northern California. When asked by Turner and Christian, Sirhan said he had no awareness of the word "Illuminati," and could only say that Kuthumi "sounds familiar in occult literature."

At Sirhan's 1969 trial hypnotist Bernard Diamond testified that the case was "an astonishing instance of mail-order hypnsosis, dissociated trances and the mystical occultism of Rosicrucian mind power and black magic." This was the limited hang-out of the compromised Defense team: Sirhan was mind controlled, but it was self-induced. Rathke supported this position, even anticipated it, by having visited Sirhan and his family in LA several times in the months before the assassination, now voicing concerns in letters that if Sirhan didn't abandon his rituals he might "lose control and do something terrible." The supposedly evangelical Rathke also infiltrated a Theosophist group in early 1968 and expressed similar concerns to its members, reminiscent of the JFK assassination's Odio Incident which saw Silvia Odio told afterward by a companion of "Lee Oswald" that he was crazy and capable of killing the President.

Sirhan's now 62, and lost his 13th bid for parole last week. He was unrepresented, his lawyer Lawrence Teeter - his first lawyer to believe in his innocence - died last year. Most Americans who still mourn Robert Kennedy don't feel much charity for his convicted killer, but that's to misundertand history and misapprehend justice.

From a CIA memorandum of 1954, originally published in Phil Melanson's The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination and reproduced in the July-August 1997 issue of Probe:

1. The ARTICHOKE Team visited [redacted] during period 8 January to 15 January 1954. The purpose of the visit was to give an evaluation of a hypothetical problem, namely: Can an individual of ****** descent be made to perform an act of attempted assassination involuntarily under the influence of ARTICHOKE?


a. The essential elements of the problem are as follows: (1) As a "trigger mechanism" for a bigger project, it was proposed that an individual of ****** descent approximately 35 years old, well educated, proficient in English and well established socially and politically in the ****** Government be induced under ARTICHOKE to perform an act, involuntarily, of attempted assassination against a prominent ****** politician or if necesssary, against an American official. The SUBJECT was formerly in [redacted] employ but has since terminated and is now employed with the *** Government. According to all available information, the SUBJECT would offer no further cooperation with [redacted.] Access to the SUBJECT would be extremely limited, probably limited to a single social meeting. Because the SUBJECT is a heavy drinker, it was proposed that the individual could be surreptitiously drugged through the medium of an alcholoic cocktail at a social party, ARTICHOKE applied and the SUBJECT induced to perform the act of attempted assassination at some later date. All the above was to be accomplished at one involuntary uncontrolled social meeting. After the act of attempted assassination was performed, it was assumed that the SUBJECT would be taken into custody by the *** Government and thereby "disposed of."

Qabbalists say that knowledge wears a false crown. Students of Deep Politics could say the same. Unlike Oswald and James Earl Ray, Sirhan's like us: he's alive. "Disposed of," but alive. Truth without justice - what is that?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Three Years of Goddamn

They ask me if I feel remorse and I answer, Why of course:
There's so much more I could have done if they'd let me - Nick Cave

There's a lot I want to say about a number of things, but I can't seem to find those words until I scream some others.

Have you read the Iraqi police report of last week's little Helter Skelter outside Tikrit? From Knight Ridder:

At 230 of 15/3/2006, according to the telegram (report) of the Ishaqi police directorate, American forces used helicopters to drop troops on the house of Faiz Harat Khalaf situated in the Abu Sifa village of the Ishaqi district. The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people, including 5 children, 4 women and 2 men, then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals (map coordinates 098702).

They were:

Turkiya Muhammed Ali, 75 years
Faiza Harat Khalaf, 30 years
Faiz Harat Khalaf, 28 years
Um Ahmad, 23 years
Sumaya Abdulrazak, 22 years
Aziz Khalil Jarmoot, 22 years
Hawra Harat Khalaf, 5 years
Asma Yousef Maruf, 5 years
Osama Yousef Maruf, 3 years
Aisha Harat Khalaf, 3 years
Husam Harat Khalaf, 6 months


Staff Colonel Fadhil Muhammed Khalaf
Assistant Chief of the Joint Coordination Center


Three years into this atrocity circus, and the already pathetic annual demonstrations against the war are shrinking and growing quieter. Understandably so. As I've said, we're habituating to it. Meanwhile, the vicarious revolutionaries were in the theatres getting a fix of serotonin from V for Vendetta. "When are they going to ban the movie?" I've actually read, as though anything that keeps our asses fixed to upholstered seats were a threat to those who stake claim to both the streets and our behinds. Winning the weekend box office does not a revolution make.

Husam Harat Khalaf, 6 months. She probably had a tooth or two coming in. She must have been wailing as the strangers shouted foreign words to her family and pointed those shiny black things, and at the noise that they made. Unless she was the first.

If all we can do is feel bad, and think we've accomplished something by having been moved, then perhaps we deserve to be judged with Husam's murderers. Because then we're scavenging the losses of others and making them our own, garlanding ourselves in tragedy, building an anti-war sentiment upon how upsetting it is to us. In that event, we won't be seeking justice, we'll just be looking to feel better. And the illusion of action will be more satisfying than its ambiguous reality.

Information warriors. Jesus Christ, how precious of us.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Post-November 5th World

Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something to make you change your mind
- Ralph McTell

It's only a movie. Well no, thank God: V for Vendetta is also a graphic novel with a reach that will always exceed Joel Silver's grasp. Still, I won't be one of those people who can't see the screen for his upturned nose at the faithlessness of an adaptation. (Foolish me, I actually expected the destruction of the Houses of Parliament in the opening act, just like on page six.) Because there is a plot point added that means everything to V's story, and ours, post 9/11.

The first chapters of Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta were published in 1982. Today, Moore's introduction from the series' first DC Comics run invites thoughts of you think you've got it bad:

It's 1988 now. Margaret Thatcher is entering her third term of office and talking confidently of an unbroken Conservative leadership well into the next century. My youngest daughter is seven and the tabloid press are circulating the idea of concentration camps for persons with AIDS. The new riot police wear black visors, as do their horses, and their vans have rotating video cameras on top.

But Moore knew his dystopic vision had already undershot reality: "Naivete can also be detected in my supposition that it would take something as melodramatic as a near-miss nuclear conflict to nudge England towards fascism." And here's where the post-9/11 adaptation honours Moore's work by departing from it: the backstory of medical experimentation to which V had been subject is extended to a black ops bio-weapons attack on schools and public transit, leading to the deaths of 100,000 people. Foreign patsies are framed and executed, and the government rewarded with limitless authority in exchange for the promise of security.

Natalie Portman's character Evey tells V her father used to say that "artists use lies to tell the truth, and politicians lie to hide it." I think the film becomes genuinely important here, by artfully telling why a government might want to kill its own people. The lies of art serve a hard truth well. The political lies are well told, too, and comically familiar. The laughter they provoke is bittersweet.

Now, with a spoiler advisory, here's where I think the film falters as dangerous art. (At least as good dangerous art.)

The climax sees thousands of Londoners converge on Parliament at V's appointed hour. Fine. But they all look like V, shod in identical mask, cap and cape. It's reminiscent of the black hoodies of Eminem's Mosh. I know it's easier to depict visually, but for the love of all that's anti-fascist, unity doesn't mean uniformity. Hell, abhorrance of diversity is one of fascism's most noxious and prominent traits. So the spectacle of an identically-costumed silent crowd marching with seeming mind-controlled precision doesn't exactly make my heart shout "Freedom forever!"

But even an antifascist of Woody Guthrie's pedigree found himself similarly wrongfooted on occasion. In "She Came Along to Me," first recorded for Billy Bragg and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue, Guthrie wrote

And all creeds and kinds and colors
Of us are blending
Till I suppose ten million years from now
We'll all be just alike

Same color, same size, working together
And maybe we'll have all of the fascists
Out of the way by then
Maybe so

Or maybe not, if it takes us all being the same size, kind, color and creed.

The world needs fewer uniforms, even on our side. We ought to be the irregulars.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Through the days of shame that are coming
Through the nights of wild distress
Though your promise count for nothing
You must keep it nonetheless - Leonard Cohen

I've been recovering this week from a nasty stomach virus. A bit like an ayahuasca ceremony without the ayahuasca, and piss-all enlightenment, too. But it's reminded me that illness is more than a metaphor, and sometimes not entirely natural.

Smallpox, for one bloody precedent. In a postscript to his letter of July 16, 1763 Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the commander of British forces in North America during the French and Indian War, instructed Colonel Henry Bouquet to "do well to try to innoculate the Indians by means of blanketts, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race." (I don't see inoculate used like that these days, except by those whom the mass culture deems to be in need of medication themselves.) Infected blankets wasn't a one-off for Amherst. In other letters he calls the natives "Vermine [who] have forfeited all claim to the rights of humanity," and expresses his desire to "put a most Effectual Stop to their very Being."

Of course that was then, before genocide was even a word, much less a crime. Though at Massachusetts' Amherst College, china plates depicting sword-wielding, mounted Englishmen in hot pursuit of Indians were still in use as late as the 1970s. Dictionaries and law books and generations of bad examples haven't crimped the style of the pro-active eugenicist.

"The forms of warfare are changing," said Russian Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov in a Tuesday press conference. "It's strange that not a single duck has yet died in America - they are all dying in Russia and European countries. This makes one seriously wonder why." Asked whether he was suggesting Avian Flu was a US biological weapon, he replied "I not only suggest this, I know very well how this can be arranged. There is nothing strange here."

I think Zyuganov is wrong on at least a couple of points. For one thing, Lord Amherst could tell him that nothing has changed. And for another, if Avian Flu is a weapon of either design or opportunity, its intended victims are also American. Because at the top of the food chain, where it's whole nations that are consumed, the fattest and most tender of all is naturally also on the menu.

As a third US beef cow tests positive for BSE, Newspapers move US mad cow story off front pages. One infected cow is the End of the World; two is worrisome. Three, and it's yesterday's news. The horror is in the novelty. Make something bad, bad enough for long enough that it becomes part of our landscape, and we just don't care anymore. It seems whatever doesn't kill us outright we can make peace with until it kills us eventually. It's another way in which we are inoculated. And so, the alarmingly predictable development that, "Despite the confirmation of a third case of mad cow disease, the government intends to scale back testing for the brain-wasting disorder blamed for the deaths of more than 150 people in Europe."

The Democratic dithering over Feingold's modest resolution is engendering considerable counter-dithering by those who still hope to see a political solution they can recognize to a parapolitical crisis they can't imagine. "The majority of the American people agree with what the president’s doing," said a Democratic aide. "A lot of people outside the beltway see [illegal surveillance] as a tool that’s keeping Americans safe."

Illness is also a metaphor, and the sickness of American politics is not indeliberate. Democrats and Republicans have both been taking strange medicine for a long while, and those who've refused their inoculations have been prone to other kinds of magic bullets: fatal accidents and character assassinations, and the receipt of envelopes filled with white powder bearing the return address of Fort Detrick. Bush in 2006 should be the most vulnerable president since Nixon in 1974, yet he isn't. To ask why he's not may take the courage of a microbiologist.

I've been thinking of the family in Tikrit who were murdered yesterday morning in an American raid. Eleven shot to death, including five children, one as young as seven months, before their house was blown up.

Another policeman, Colonel Farouq Hussein, said autopsies had been carried out at Tikrit hospital and found "all the victims had gunshot wounds to the head". The bodies, their hands bound, had been dumped in one room before the house was destroyed, Hussein said. Police had found spent American-issue cartridges in the rubble.

Despite the eyewitness accounts and the photos of dead babies, the US Army admits to only the deaths of two women and a child, and most American reports of the incident preface the news with the advisory "Iraqis Say -". It needs reminding that, unlike three years ago, the Iraqi police and US forces are now supposedly on the same side. Though just the day before, also in Tikrit, an American "security contractor" was arrested travelling alone with explosives in his car.

Charitably, though inaccurately, the US mission in Iraq could be described as a clinical test gone horribly wrong, while the "men in smart suits," like Francis Fukuyama, make themselves scarce. But the US isn't dispensing that kind of inoculation. It isn't the neocon fable of intravenous democracy, even if it kills the patient. It's Lord Amherst's blankets.

Many German and Austrian neighbours of the camps knew well enough what happened after the box cars rolled through the gates. Still, they didn't see until the liberators forced them to walk the grounds and bury the innocent dead. The victims were foreign and faceless, and it was easy to continue believing one was a good neighbour for minding one's business.

Things are different now. The dead babies are on Yahoo, and Salon hosts hundreds of Abu Ghraib photos and videos. No people in history have had greater access to the atrocities of their own force of arms even as they are being committed. Americans are growing accustomed to the spectacle of broken and beheaded bodies, and I think that's the idea. Because it's getting old. Meanwhile, the only truly forbidden images are those of flag-drapped coffins. The Pentagon certainly wants Americans kept in the dark, but darkness can mean more than mere ignorance.

One dead baby is the End of the World. Too many dead babies and we have a new world altogether.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Leprosy treatment

Wild as any freedom loving racist
I applaud the actions of the chief - Leonard Cohen

The latest spin on the poisoning of Slobodan Milosovic is that it was likely self-administered. Well, we're getting there.

Initial reports that Milosovic had recently expressed fear for his life and that his blood contained traces of Rifampicin, a drug used to treat leprosy and tuberculosis, were greeted with skepticism and even hostility on the part of the stubbornly incurious, who are inclined to type "Not everything is a conspiracy" when in fact they admit to none.

Rifampicin would have inhibited the effectiveness of Milosovic's blood pressure medication, possibly precipitating his fatal heart attack. Hague toxicologist Donald Uges says he is "sure he took the medicine himself because he wanted a one-way ticket to Moscow" for treatment. Earlier the UN's chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said it could have been a suicide, just as Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic's death in the same prison was said to be only a week before. Milosovic had been under constant suicide watch, so perhaps now his passing will be rulled "death by misadventure."

Some people kill themselves, and some others die natural deaths. Others still are murdered. This is something which those who twitch at every suggestion of conspiracy tend to forget. That assassins carry the whole black bag of statecraft means justice is almost never done, except for the victor's justice of a belligerant state that daubs itself in the innocents' blood.

Milosovic sought the testimony of Bill Clinton, and he would have seized the moment to expose the deep politics that saw al Qaeda operate as an overt strategic ally of American interests in the Balkans war. Bin Laden himself visited Albania in 1994 and sent units to fight in Kosovo alongside the KLA. The convergence of interest in the Balkans for al Qaeda and the United States was only superficially religious and poltical. It was narco-criminal. Frank Ciluffo, Deputy Director of the Globalized Organized Crime Program, alluded to this in his testimony before the Congressional Judicial Committee on December 13, 2000 (as quoted in Michel Chossudovsky's War and Globalization):

What was largely hidden from public view was the fact that the KLA raise part of their funds from the sale of narcotics. Albania and Kosovo lie at the heart of the "Balkan Route" that links the "Golden Crescent" of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the drug markets of Europe. This route is worth an estimated $400 billion a year and handles 80 percent of heroin destined for Europe.

In the opening statement of his trial, Milosovic said

In 1998 when Holbrooke visited us in Belgrade, we told him the information we had at our disposal, that in Northern Albania the KLA is being aided by Osama bin Laden, that he was arming, training, and preparing the members of this terrorist organization in Albania. However, they decided to cooperate with the KLA and indirectly, therefore, with bin Laden, although before that he had bombed the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania [and] had already declared war.

He concluded "one day all this will have to come to light, these links." Jeremy Scahill notes today, "That, however, is unlikely, and more so now that Milosevic is dead."

"The man dubbed the Butcher of the Balkans [was] responsible for the deaths of at least 250,000 people," says Britain's Sun tabloid in memorium. That's a lot of death. Coincidently last week, the Lancet Medical Journal now estimates that the US invasion and three-year occupation of Iraq has killed more than 250,000 Iraqi civilians. That's a full one percent of the country's pre-war population: the equivalent of three million Americans, to convert the blood to a currency the West better appreciates.

But then the United States doesn't recognize the Hague, except for others. And it doesn't do body counts, unless the bodies can be laid at the feet of its enemies. At whose feet will Milosovic lie? Those of another butcher, still plying his trade.

By the way, have you seen this: "The Pakistan foreign office had paid tens of thousands of dollars to lobbyists in the US to get anti-Pakistan references dropped from the 9/11 inquiry commission report, The Friday Times has claimed. The Pakistani weekly said its story is based on disclosures made by foreign service officials to the Public Accounts Committee at a secret meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jackson 5.0

So I work in that same beauty salon, I'm chained to the old masquerade
The lipstick, the shadow, the silicone: I follow my father's trade - Leonard Cohen

Michael Jackson may be another example of a celebrity distraction which, upon examination, reveals more about our society's mortal condition than a tabloid could imagine. Almost certainly more than it would dare to describe.

Yesterday, Jackson was ordered to close Neverland for having failed to pay the ranch's 47 employees their salary or insurance since the end of 2005. Unfortunate for the unpaid staff and the abandoned llamas but no surprise. He's moved on since his aquittal, like Gary Glitter did after his 1999 conviction, having departed last June for a Bahrain "vacation" from which he's yet to emerge. ("For the people working at Bahrain's malls, the person covered head to toe in a black veil, gloves and glasses appeared to be a rich, doting Saudi mother.... But why would a woman wear a man's shoes? Why the bodyguards? And why did the person's fluid movements seem so familiar?")

Last week's real Jackson story ran in the New York Daily News, under the snappy banner "Creepy dad was root of all clan's woe, singer sez." The singer was brother Jermaine, and the claims based on the projected outline for his abandoned "tell-all" family story.

Reading that Joseph was a nightmare of a father and sexually abusive towards his daughters is not exactly a "stop the presses" moment. What's new is this:

Jermaine even suggested his father may have set up Michael to be somehow victimized by older men.

He tells how his father would have Michael join in at late-night hotel room meetings with "important business people," and wondered whether "something happened" to Michael at those sessions.

He said he sensed something was wrong because Michael would be sick for days after. "What was Joseph doing?" Jermaine wrote.

This lifts the Jackson family horror show to a whole new order of dysfunction, one that sees parents network with power and trade their children for privilege. This should be a motif familiar to anyone acquainted with the literature of mind control and ritual abuse survivors: the father and first controller, passing his child-victim up the social ladder of abuse in return for status, protection and reward. All that's missing is the element of occult terror. Or maybe not: "LaToya also described being awakened in the night by Joseph wearing a 'monster mask.'"

Perhaps we can take more from this than the suspicion that the Jackson clan had gotten with the program. Perhaps rather the point is that the program exploits pre-existing conditions for abuse which are more common than most suspect. (This is how I tend to think of Ponchatoula's Hosanna Church.) Yet we shouldn't discount the suspicion, either, particularly given some of Michael's paranormal interests and peculiar associations. His close friendship with SPECTRA contactee and channeller of the Nine, Uri Geller, for one instance. (Jackson was Geller's best man in 2001 when he and his wife renewed his vows, the same year Geller is said to have been reactivated as a psychic spy.) His entourage including a "personal magician" for another.

Even if you wanted to, you won't be reading Jermaine's account now. Like every Jackson sibling who's tried to break from Joe, he's climbed down, returned to the fold and scrapped the book, apparently on the strength of Michael's threats to sue. Previously, Michael's given cause for family observers to attribute his grotesque body dysmorphia to a dread of resembling his father. Yet there they were at Jackson's trial last year, hand in hand.

In the big picture Michael Jackson means not very much. But his little picture may be more newsworthy than the news suggests.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Life and Life Only

People they come together
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars
- Moby

I'm still chewing over the implications of "Grave Mysteries" and expect to for quite a while. Because I haven't the time today for greater coherence but want to post something, here are a few notes about where my thoughts are heading.

Let's start with the unlikely figure of Troy Hurtubise. He's a self-taught inventor led by his intuition known for his "bizarre, yet functional" creations. (Much like fellow Canadian John Hutchison and his physics-bending "Hutchison Effect".) Hurtubise makes things work that people who know better believe shouldn't, and can't really explain why they do. "Firepaste," for instance: an astonishingly effective fire retardant he's repeatedly demonstrated by the protracted application of a blowtorch to a half-inch thick smear of dried paste atop his head. The underside of the paste, and Troy's head, show no appreciable heating. (Video of a demonstration can be found on this page under the heading "Fighting Fire with Fact.") How does it work? Hurtubise guards the formula, but he's admitted one ingredient is Diet Coke.

A later invention of Troy's is "Angel Light": a device which, he claims, can see through walls and into flesh, detect stealth objects and disable electronic devices. He says the design came to him in "a series of three dreams," and he constructed it from memory. He later dismantled it when he found exposure to be harmful. (Characteristic of Hurtubise's work is his pursuit of protective applications.) Most recently, Hurtubise has announced "God Light": an array of "67 lenses and five gases to produce 80,000 lux of full-spectrum light" which he says has reversed symptoms of Parkinson's Disease and shrunk the cancerous tumors of mice.

It should be no surprise Hurturbise is called, charitably, an eccentric "mad scientist" by apologists of a scientific paradigm he disrespects by creatively violating. Yet "God Light" sounds very similar to the 1970 discovery of biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp that carcinogens were light scramblers on the specific wavelength of 380 nanometres. Popp further learned that the still little-understood phenomenon of "photo-repair" - the rapid repair of a cell 99% destroyed by UV light with a weaker emission at the same wavelength - was most effective at the same 380 nanometres.

As Lynne McTaggart writes in The Field, "this was where Popp made his logical leap":

Nature was too perfect for this to be simple coincidence. If the carcinogens only react to this wavelength, it must somehow be linked to photo-repair. If so, this would mean that there must be some light in the body responsible for photo-repair. A cancerous compound must cause cancer because it permanently blocks this light and scrambles it, so photo-repair can't work anymore.

This was the theory which led to the discovery of DNA as a coherent emitter of biophotons. He found the frequencies of healthy subjects followed dramatic set patterns, and exhibited correlations between parts of the body and the wider world. The emissions of cancer patients, however, were markedly different: rhythm and coherence were lost; communication scrambled. "They had lost their connection with the world."

Illumination is a difficult word for its being weighed down with the uncollected baggage of Adam Weishaupt. I won't use the word "Illuminati" for today's occult elite because it says too much and not enough. Still, as a metaphor for a high and hidden order of adepts initiated into secret knowledge, it's difficult to do better.

Are you illuminated? Perhaps the answer is Pelagian. Perhaps the answer is yes, we all are; and the radiant light is the Divine Spark that bonds us soul to body, self to self and world to world. Perhaps that's the true secret that's meant to be kept from us who are outside the Temple and the Tomb: that God also indwells the "useless eater." That seems to be what the Ayahuasca wants to tell us. That appears to be the lesson of shamanism, and also, perhaps, of all partisans of the Life-Force within every tradition.

(Also, let's note, it's an electric light, which must remind us of the ubiquity of the buzzing of bees. Tesla, as Reich, was its apostle.)

Something else, and something darker, out on the borderline of speculation. If our code is the Great Secret, then this casts another shadow upon abduction accounts of reproduction and genetic manipulation involving both human agents and trans-human entities.

In The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, author John Marks quotes a scientist who worked on a secret genetic project for the CIA's Office of Research and Development in 1965:

We looked at the manipulation of genes. We were interested in gene splintering. The rest of the world didn't ask until 1976 the type of questions we were facing in 1965.... Everybody was afraid of building a super-soldier who would take orders without questioning, like the kamikaze pilot.

On January 6, 1998, physicist Richard Seed launched his cloning project with the words "the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one with God." Soon after, the Clinton White House banned federal funds for such experiments. A decision Dr Helmut Lammer believes worthless as most "black projects" have been offloaded to the private sector. I'll return to this later, but for now: would you expect covert DNA manipulation, by human or trans-human abductors, to enhance or inhibit access to our higher selves?

I resist the trippy impulse to say "everything is an illusion" (that includes the icky corollary, "everything but love"). It strikes me as an adolescent retreat from mundane affairs and a surrender of the world to the forces of death and darkness. Rather, I find myself preferring everything is real. Even our apparent illusions. I think maybe that's the ground upon which we can pitch our battle. And Life hasn't lost yet.

We may not even need to travel to Peru and projectile vomit in the jungle to know this.

By the way, I'm far behind in my inbox, so if you think I owe you an email I'm sure I do. Sorry about that, and for this blanket apology. I hope to get on top of correspondence again soon.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Iraq's Hutu Radio

They're saying things that I can hardly believe,
They really think we're getting out of control. - Elvis Costello

Did you hear about last Friday's "catastrophic tragedy" in Iraq? The handcuffed and headless bodies of 100 Shiites - "children, women and men" - were taken to Kerbala from south Baghdad, writes Iraqi blogger "Sam Hammorabi." Reputedly, Sunni militia had been killing the Shiites "every day and hour passing." The arrival of the corpses "provoked a storm of anger and cry among the people there." Hammorabi adds the dash of colour that the slaughtered children "were bloodstained all over."

I first saw this here where it was commented on with some clucking about how the Sunnis "must be suicidal," and the credulous metaphor that US forces were the cure for the cancer of Iraqi barbarity. But did it happen? That depends what you mean by happen.

Do these 100 headless corpses, children covered in blood, exist? Well no; it appears that they don't. Not beyond "Sam Hammorabi's" blog. Does this seeming fiction increase the likelihood of their existing, and many more besides? Naturally.

Back in October 2004, Hammorabi posted graphic images of children killed by a "Zarqawi" bombing in Baghdad. Funny thing about that: a Reuters crew filmed their "identical twins, who died that same day after a US airstrike in Fallujah." Why would "Sam" lift photos of children killed by US bombs and apply the atrocity to another "foreign fighter"?

Look to "Hommorabi's" links for the answer: FoxNews, The Washington Times, MEMRI, the US Embassy, and the blogger "Mover Mike" (January 2, 2006: "John Kerry promised, on national TV, to sign form SF-180 and release his military records. He has yet to do so.") Now, why would this clearly Bush-positive blogger be publishing material to incite civil war?

In a March 2 interview with Australian Television, Robert Fisk asked a similar, rhetorical question:

The real question I ask myself is: who are these people who are trying to provoke the civil war? Now the Americans will say it's Al Qaeda, it's the Sunni insurgents. It is the death squads. Many of the death squads work for the Ministry of Interior. Who runs the Ministry of Interior in Baghdad? Who pays the Ministry of the Interior? Who pays the militia men who make up the death squads? We do, the occupation authorities. I'd like to know what the Americans are doing to get at the people who are trying to provoke the civil war. It seems to me not very much. We don't hear of any suicide bombers being stopped before they blow themselves up. We don't hear of anybody stopping a mosque getting blown up. We're not hearing of death squads all being arrested. Something is going very, very wrong in Baghdad. Something is going wrong with the Administration.

In the same broadcast, professional coincidentalist Daniel Pipes was as forthcoming as modesty permitted: "should there be a civil war, it is not necessarily all that bad for our interests. By no means am I endorsing it, by no means do I want one. I'm looking at it in a cool way and saying there are advantages to it."

Eighty percent of Americans have been conditioned to believe that civil war in Iraq is likely. The Iraqi government has been "assured" US forces will remain "as long as needed." (I'm fairly certain that, if I searched for it, I could find similar assurances from Leonid Brezhnev to the Czechoslovak government after the Prague Spring.) And yet, from an aid worker's email:

Since the bombing of the Al-Askari Shrine in Samarra on 22 February 2006, local media and friends have deluged the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) in Iraq with information. Iraqi Islamic television reported that the U.S. military and Iraqi police were seen at the shrine the night before it was bombed. The next morning, two shrine guards were found alive but handcuffed inside. Baghdadiya television aired the same report. The Minister of Housing and Reconstruction said the job would have taken ten men about twelve hours to set up enough explosives to do this kind of damage. We have not heard this information reported outside Iraq. The U.S. made offers to rebuild the shrine, but the Iraqi Islamic Party asked that repair be delayed until an independent investigation was completed. Samarra citizens have locked down the shrine to preserve evidence.


While the New York Times and other media focus on ethnic hatred, sectarian violence, and civil war, we receive other reports that most of the western media ignore. A team friend calls us daily with stories of Sunni/Shi'a unity, cries for peace, and the deep passion of all Iraqis to live as one family. In neighborhoods that have been hotbeds of violence, we hear of Sunni and Shi'a working together to repair and rebuild damaged mosques. Shi'a Iraqis have protected Sunni mosques in their neighborhoods. In a Basrah shrine, Sunni and Shi'a have gathered to pray together.

Iraq's Shiites and Sunnis mean as much to this administration as Hutus and Tutsis did to Clinton's. The only difference may be that Rwanda was allowed to bleed, while Iraq is made to bleed. I'm still troubled by how the US refused to endorse UN action against the incitements to genocide broadcast by Rwanda's RTLM, claiming that it was "the best radio for information and that its euphemisms were subject to many interpretations." Even as the score ran into the hundreds of thousands, the US demured. (And where should we peg America's media on the long, hard slide from the end of the Fairness Doctrine to RTLM, given the likes of Ann Coulter who argued John Walker should have been exectuted "in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too"?)

Disinformation unchecked is an agent of death, but it's only by much death that some can hold dominion.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Grave Mysteries (Part Two)

For the Holy One dreams of a letter, dreams of a letter's death.
O bless the continuous stutter of the Word being made into flesh. - Leonard Cohen

I apologize for having been a bad blogger this week. It's been a tough few days time-management wise, but that's just the least interesting half of it. I'd hoped to get this post together for Wednesday, but the thoughts are still percolating. so please bear with me as I consider some of this stuff on the fly.

First, we left this discussion considering the Gamatria of "New English Qaballa," with particular attention to Allen Greenfield's application of the occult cryptography to UFO contacts. Greenfield argues that the cipher in Crowley's Book of the Law is but the latest discovered in a sequence of alchemical and Masonic codes used by trans-human entities to disseminate encrypted hidden meaning to high adepts. He writes in Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts that as a code is cracked, the rules of contact change. For instance, once Crowley's cipher was cracked in the mid-70s, "contact without communication" began to predominate: "after 1973, the 'personal aliens with funny names' were nearly universally replaced" by impersonal "greys."

Leaving aside the cipher for a moment, Greenfield adds that, as John Keel and others have noted, "contactee control names show up in many cases and are often identical with ancient deity names":

As a prime example, Ashtar most likely derives from Astaroth, a "great duke in the infernal regions," according to the ancient magical text The Lemegton. The mysterious Grimorium Verum (the "True Instruction") in that text informs us that Astaroth "has set up residence in America." Contactee George Van Tassel claimed to contact "Ashtar, commandant of station Schare" in 1952.

The most famous channeller of the Nine, Uri Geller, claimed contact with an off-world artificial intelligence that called itself "Spectra" (much like Philip K Dick's "Valis"). Spectra has a cipher value of 106, which corresponds to "Astaroth" and "Dark Powers."

Spectra left Geller mechanical-sounding messages on tape recorders, claiming to be a computer from the future. When physicist Jack Sarfatti first heard Geller tell this story in a 1973 meeting at Stanford Research Institute, he spoke up about his own message from a mechanical voice, received as a child over the telephone, saying "I am a conscious computer on board a spacecraft from [memory failure]. We have identified you as one of four hundred young bright receptive minds we wish to [memory failure]. You must give us your decision now. If you say yes, you will begin to link up with the others in 20 years." And 20 years later there's Sarfatti, at SRI, hearing an eerily similar account from Geller. (Curiously, Sarfatti remembered only one call, but his mother three weeks' worth. Fellow physicist Jean-Paul Sirag writes that Mrs Sarfatti was "struck by the similarity of the Spectra voice, described in [Andreas Puharich's] Uri, and the voice she heard on the phone, when she ended the series of calls by grabbing the phone out of Jack's hand and yelling into the phone, 'You leave my boy alone!'"

Sirag himself had an interesting encounter with Geller. In a friend's Manhattan loft in June of 1973, while he was "in the psychedelic state induced by LSD," Sirag asked Geller if he could make contact with Spectra. Geller told him to look in his eyes and tell him what he saw:

I was very surprised to see not only his eyes, but his entire head take on what I took to be an eagle shape complete with feathers going down to his shoulders. I jumped back a step and said, "Uri, you look just like an eagle." He was very excited about this, but wouldn't reveal anything further about his ET presence. When Puharich's book Uri, with its extensive and detailed Horus hawk stories, came out later in 1974, I understood why Uri had been so excited.

A few months after Sirag's vision of Spectra, he heard an incredible story from a friend named Ray Stanford that his car was twice teleported while driving to the airport to pick up Geller. And a few weeks after that, Sirag sees the December cover of Analog science fiction magazine on the newsstand: a picture of a man standing before a pyramid wearing a white uniform, a nametag that read "Stanford" and a helmet decorated as a hawk. The title of the story was "The Horus Errand." Oddest of all, the man's face was that of Ray Stanford. Robert Anton Wilson notes in Cosmic Triggers vol. I that "a letter to the artist who drew the cover, Kelly Freas, drew a reply saying that Freas had never met Stanford and was not consciously aware, at the time, that he was using Stanford's face in the illustration." Stanford added that, 30-mile teleporation aside, "a hawk had appeared quite dramatically during another meeting" with Geller.

Well - once again - so what? Sirag was "in the psychedelic state induced by LSD" when he saw Geller take on Spectra's aspect of a bird of prey. (Hawk or eagle? The argument has been made, writes Wilson, that the bird on the Great Seal of the United States is not an eagle, but rather the Horus hawk.) An interesting correspondence, some may say, but it was an altered state, and there was a lot of that going around in the early 70s.

For more correspondence, let's return for a moment to ciphers. An interactive and multi-systemic Gematria can be found on this page. Words and numbers can be entered here to get an sense of their cryptic value according to the code of the English Qabala (though not necessarily the exact correspondences in The Book of Law). This isn't a particularly serious tool, in part because it's so easy to use, so it should probably carry the disclaimer "for entertainment purposes only." And yet "George Bush" = 137, which corresponds with "White House," "False Christs," "wealth magic" and "espionage." (And just because I could, I typed "Rigorous Intuition," generating a numerical value of 263. I was surprised to find its correspondences were overwhelmingly terms of communication, such as "a certified message," "and the truth came out," and "make the connection.")

We can take or leave this search for correspondences, and Western science has decided , in large part, to leave it. Radical connectivity just hasn't made sense to the rational mind. Though perhaps the better we understand our condition, it makes the best sense.

One thing we are, and that we share with all life, is code. Single-celled creatures that lived billions of years ago were written with the same four-letter nucleic alphabet as we are. Nothing on Earth has endured like DNA. Nothing on Earth can even account for it. Its co-discoverer Francis Crick contended that it must be of extraterrestrial origin, much as shamans claimed life descended from a cosmic serpent.

Jeremy Narby's The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge is a fascinating account of an anthropologist trying to make sense of his own ayahuasca vision of giant, twinned snakes, why such visions are so common, and why creation myths around the world share the same imagery. ("Ayahuasca," by the way, has a value of 58, which corresponds with "awakens," "cosmos," "drunk" and "kabbalah.")

The first time Narby saw the paintings of shaman Pablo Amaringo he was impressed by their correspondence to his own ayahuasca-induced visions. Amaringo claims to paint only what he has seen and experienced in the shaman ritual. Images include writhing vines and twisted snakes, zigzag staircases and UFOs.

Increasingly, Narby was struck by the visual cues of DNA. He showed Amaringo's work to a friend with a good understanding of molecular biology who told him "Look - there's collagen. And there, the axon's embryonic network with its neurites. Those are triple helixes. And that's DNA from afar, looking like a telephone cord. This looks like chromosomes at a specific phase...."

In 1980 scientists determined that all cells emit photons at a rate of up to 100 units per second, and that DNA is the source of the photon emissions. The wavelength at which DNA emits photons "corresponds exactly to the narrow band of visible light." DNA emits a regular, coherent source of light: researchers compare it to an "ultra-weak laser." When Narby asked a scientific journalist friend what that implied, his friend explained "a coherent source of light, like a laser, gives the sensation of bright colors, a luminescence, and an impression of holographic depth."

DNA has a crystaline aspect with hexagonal, quartz-like base pairs. Most of its length is aperiodic, as the sequences of base pairs is irregular. However, writes Narby, "this is not the case for the repeat sequences that make up a full third of the genome, such as ACACACACACACACAC." Junk DNA, it's been called.

In these sequences, DNA becomes a regular arrangement of atoms, a periodic crystal - which could, by analogy with quartz, pick up as many photons as it emits. The variation in the length of the repeat sequences (some of which contain up to 300 bases) would help pick up different frequencies and could thereby constitute a possible and new function for a part of "junk" DNA.

Narby wonders whether DNA, stimulated by such drugs as DMT - the principal hallucinogen of ayahuasca and created naturally in the human brain - activates "not only its emission of photons (which inundate our consciousness in the form of hallucinations), but also its capacity to pick up the photons emitted by the global network of DNA-based life? This would mean the biosphere itself, which can be considered 'as a more or less fully interlinked unit,' is the source of the images."

If this is true, then one consequence should be that all correspondences are meaningful. As I wrote above, Radical connectivity just hasn't made sense to the rational mind. Though perhaps the better we understand our condition, it makes the best sense.

While researching the literature on Amazonian shamanism Narby came upon anthropologist Michael Harner's account of his 1961 ayahuasca experience. "Giant reptillian creatures" resting in the lowest depths of his brain began projecting scenes for him, while telling him the information was reserved for the dead:

First they showed me the planet Earth as it was eons ago, before there was any life on it. I saw an ocean, barren land, and a bright blue sky. Then black spots dropped from the sky by the hundreds and landed in front of me on the barren landscape. I could see the "specks" were actually large, shiny, black creatures with stubby pterodactyl-like wings and huge whale-like bodies.... They explained to me in a kind of thought language that they were fleeing from something out in space. They had come to the planet Earth to escape their enemy. The creatures then showed me how they had created life on the planet in order to hide within the multitudinous forms and thus disguise their presence. Before me, the magnificence of plant and animal creation and speciation - hundreds of millions of years of activity - took place on a scale and with a vividness impossible to describe. I learned that the dragon-like creatures were thus inside all forms of life, including man.

Harner adds as a footnote: "In retrospect one could say they were almost like DNA, although at that time, 1961, I knew nothing of DNA." And 20 years before Crick's theory of directed panspermia Harner was seeing them drop from space.

Perhaps the cipher the NSA most wants cracked is the human genome.