Friday, April 28, 2006

What Dreams May Come

Take what you have gathered from coincidence - Bob Dylan

In Dante, Tennessee at about 6:30 on the morning of November 6, 1957, a 12-year old boy named Everett Clark opened the door to let out his dog, Frisky. Everett glimpsed a brilliant object sitting in a field about 100 yards away, but was too tired to think much of it and went back inside. Twenty minutes later he returned to call Frisky, and saw his dog standing near the object, along with several other dogs from the neighbourhood. "Also near the object," writes Jacques Vallee in Dimensions, "were two men and two women in ordinary clothing":

One of the men made several attempts to catch Frisky, and later another dog, but had to give up for fear of being bitten. Everett saw the strange people, who talked between them 'like German soldiers he had seen in movies,' walk right into the wall of the object, which then took off straight up without sound. It was oblong and of 'no particular colour.'

Early on the evening of the same day, in Everittstown New Jersey, John Tasco went out to feed his dog and saw a "brilliant egg-shaped object hovering in front of his barn," and encountered a dwarfish entity with a pasty face and frog-like eyes dressed in a green suit with shiny buttons and a tam-o'-shanter like cap who said, in broken English, "We are peaceful people, we only want your dog." When Tasco replied that the dog stayed with him, the entity retreated and his pet was found unharmed.

If we have the courage to appear foolish by looking closer, what do we find: two discrete and bizarre accounts from the same day of seemingly thwarted UFO-linked dog-nappings, one early dawn and the other early dusk, one told by a boy named Everett and the other from a town sharing the boy's name. In one the frustrated abductors resembled "German soldiers" but were able to pass through the wall of their craft, and in the other the entity had a leprechaun-like appearence. (Additionally, John Keel writes in The Eighth Tower that on the evening of November 6 in 1957 outside Kearney, Nebraska, a fertilizer salesmen named Reinhold Schmidt was given a tour of an oblong craft by German-speaking pilots and a truck driver near House, Mississippi encountered pasty-faced dwarfs who "babbled in a language he couldn't understand.")

Vallee adds, "the stories quoted in this connection verge on the ludicrous. But to pursue the investigation further leads to horror. This is a facet of the phenomenon we can no longer ignore."

Maybe the synchronicities are the point. Perhaps they're little tells by the universe that say, Pay attention to the fabric here, because you're a part of it.

John Keel documents many similar winks in The Eighth Tower. In the mid-1960s, unrelated people who shared only the surname "Reeve" became subjected to frequent, and statistically aberrant, visitations of the phenomenon. A man named Alvis Maddox was one of the victims of the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a tragedy that signalled the climax of the Mothman flap. Three months later, a deputy sheriff in Texas named Alvis Maddox was involved in an otherwise unrelated and widely published UFO sighting. The weirdness of Point Pleasant, West Virginia was followed by sightings in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

Keel writes:

The law of synchronicity has created a fascinating statistical anomaly that suggest that witnesses are not accidental but are actually selected. In fact, the deeper you penetrate into this business, the more obvious it becomes that very little chance is involved. The sightings follow preset geographical and time patterns. In the seemingly chance contacts they often carry out repetitive actions that almost seem rehearsed.

Did the entities allegedly encountered by Clark and Tasco really want their dogs? There is an almost comic futility about their attempts, reminiscent of the seemingly intentional failures of the phantom clowns and phantom social workers to abduct children in the 1980s. They were demonstrations. Naturally we'll want to ask Of what, but perhaps that's not a meaningful question here. Perhaps it's the fact of demonstration and its attendent synchronicities and not its content that is most significant, because it's a manifestation in the mundane world of a normally hidden order of reality and congruity. At least it can be said that the demonstrations are for us, and that the patterns exist in order to draw our attention. Patterns like those in the fields emulating the standing waves of a voidless, holographic universe percolating with energy.

We likely know by our experience of them that synchronicities don't pertain only to borderland experiences. However, they do all lead us to borderland issues of human consciousness.

In 1906 Carl Jung found a young patient diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic staring out of his ward window at the sun, moving his head from side to side. Jung asked him what he was doing, and the man explained he was watching the sun's penis, and moving his head it moved as well, and caused the wind to blow. Several years later, as Michael Talbot recounts in The Holographic Universe, Jung read a translation of an ancient Persian religious text that consisted of a "series of rituals and invocations designed to bring on visions":

It described one of the visions and said that if the participant looked at the sun he would see a tube hanging down from it, and when the tube moved from side to side it would cause the wind to blow. Since circumstances made it extremely unlikely that the man had contact with the text containing the ritual, Jung concluded that the man's vision was not simply a product of his unconscious mind, but had bubbled up from a deeper level, from the collective unconscious of the human race itself.

Perhaps madness may be said to be close to genius, or the psychotic to the mystic, because certain mental illnesses disable our holographic readers, leaving a paranoid schizophrenic with a inate sense of the interconnectedness of things but without a way of interpretation, and so a crippling ego confusion settles in.

But collectivity is not a trait of merely the unconcious mind, since one of its common aspects is also our everyday synchronicities: the little moments that tell us we're not observers of the universe set apart from it but its engaged components; and that our thoughts and even our dreams are not thought and dreamt in isolation. (In the 1960s and '70s Dr Montague Ullman's Dream Laboratory at Brooklyn's Maimonides Medical Center generating extraordinary data suggesting a test subject's dreams could be influenced by the psychic effort of someone unknown to them concentrating on an image in another room.

For instance, in one series of tests the target picture was Chagall's Paris Through the Window: a "colorful painting depicting a man observing the Paris skyline from a window. Certain unusual elements stand out very clearly: a cat with a human face, several small figures of men flying in the air, and flowers sprouting from a chair."

Results from the test subject's Third Dream Period:

I was walking. For some reason, I say French Quar­ter .... And I was walking through different departments in a department store ... talking with a group of Shriners that were having a convention. They had on a hat that looked more like a French policeman's hat, you know the French .... I said French Quarter earlier, but I was using that to get a feel. . . of an early village of some sort .... It would be some sort of this romantic type of archi­tecture-buildings, village, quaint.

Fifth Dream Period:

The memory I remember is a man, once again walking through one of these villages, these towns. It would definitely be in the nineteenth century. Attire. French attire. And he would be walking through one of these towns as though he were walking up the side of a hill above other layers of the town.

An excerpt from the subject's notes of associative material:

The thing that stands out is the dream where I described the village .... It's a festive thing ... the Mardi Gra­ish type .... Well, the area must be - I mean, just basing it on the costumes and all - the nineteenth century. Early nineteenth century ... either the Italian or French or Spanish area .... A town of this area .... It would be of the...of this village type .... Houses very close covering the hills.

Not much has come of this research because psi is still a foreign language, sounding like gibberish, to much of the scientific establishment. Perhaps more profoundly, the empowering implications of human paraconnectivity is something not to be encouraged by forces which mean to keep us divided, dejected and impotent.

Frederick Taylor Gates was a businessman and philanthropist who helped the Rockefellers spend their money and steered John D. Jr. towards a life-long interest in education. In his 1906 Occasional Letter No. 1, a publication of the General Education Board, a philanthropy he co-created with the Rockefellers to allegedly "support higher education and medical schools in the United States, and to help Black schools in the South," Gates and Rockefeller had their own dreams:

In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply.

The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

Dr Walter Freeman, President of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1948 whose assembly-line ice-pick procedure lobotomized Frances Farmer, didn't like his dreams. Having scared himself with a nervous breakdown brought on by overwork, he took up the habit of at least three capsules of Nembutal every night to induce dreamless sleep. In the 1950s he wrote that lobotomies "made good American citizens" out of "schizophrenics, homosexuals, and radicals."

Public philosopher Jane Jacobs died Tuesday morning at 89. She's best remembered today for her Silent Spring of urban planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, but someday it may be for her last book, Dark Age Coming, published in 2004. About its subject Jacobs wrote:

We in North America and Western Europe, enjoying the many benefits of the culture conventionally known as the West, customarily think of a Dark Age as happening once, long ago, following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. But in North America we live in a graveyard of lost aboriginal cultures, many of which were decisively finished off by mass amnesia in which even the memory of what was lost was also lost.

Mass amnesia, striking as it is and seemingly weird, is the least mysterious of Dark Age phenomena. We all understand the harsh principle Use it or lose it. A failing or conquered culture can spiral down into a long decline, as has happened in most empires after their relatively short heydays of astonishing success. But in extreme cases, failing or conquered cultures can be genuinely lost, never to emerge again as living ways of being. The salient mystery of Dark Ages sets the stage for mass amnesia. People living in vigorous cultures typically treasure those cultures and resist any threat to them. How and why can a people so totally discard a formerly vital culture that it becomes literally lost?

Mass amnesia, like a Dark Age, can be intentionally induced. Ice-picks are effective as a tool of forgetting, but even Dr Freeman when up to speed could only lobotomize one at a time. There are more efficient methods for a mass culture that by its nature may be catastrophically amnesiac. Though there's so much we don't need to forget, because we've never learned the plenum we contain.

"The Empire never ended," wrote Philip K Dick. But he also added, "Against the Empire is posed the living information." The patterns, synchronicities, cryptograms and codes that are forever creating the universe, and us with it, because that's the stuff of which we're made.

The Empire never ended. But we're not finished, either.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Apologies for the posting lag, it's taking me longer than expected to wrap my head around the next entry. Please use this space as an open thread, and I'll be updating tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Confusion of Tongues

Do I understand your question, man,
Is it hopeless and forlorn? - Bob Dylan

Yesterday morning I was watching a streaming English-language news broadcast from Russia. (And I expect that's enough cause right there for the telecommunication giants to seek the end of the Internet as we know it.) The lead story was the press conference of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the main points hit by the Russia Today correspondent were Ahmadinejad's renouncing nuclear weapons as contrary to Islam and his reiteration of Iran's 30-year commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, though Iran reserved the right to revisit its commitment if adherence to the treaty imperiled its sovereignty.

It was an unexpectedly optimistic piece. Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at length and appeared relaxed and informed while fielding questions. If the excerpts were representative and the translation accurate, he appeared to be credibly attempting to defuse the crisis.

Naturally we need to compensate for spin whatever the source, and Russian news tailored for a foreign audience has a spin no less than Wolf Blitzer's Panic Room. Knowing that, I was still taken aback by the absolute unfamiliarity of the same press conference when soon after I started reading accounts of it in the Western media. The accent was almost entirely upon provocation, not concilation: the UN "lacks guts" to impose sanctions; "Defiant Iran in threat to quit nuclear treaty"; and "Iranian President insists 'Israel can not continue to live.'"

There's a Central Casting-like quality to Ahmadinejad's villainy. If he didn't exist the Pentagon would have had to create him to justify moving the goalpost to Tehren. And perhaps they did. (The election fraud, rule by crisis and religious fascism are certainly familiar enough. A reformist Iranian government was the war party's nightmare.) But did he really say that? Did he insist that Israel must die? The headline is drawn from this quote, provided without context: "We say that this fake regime cannot logically continue to live." To arrive at the headline, the government has to be conflated with the nation. Likewise we could say about the Bush administration, and with considerable accuracy, that "this fake regime cannot logically continue to survive." (Without knowing Farsi I'll presume that the original could be translated as either "to live" or "to survive.") And is that the same as saying America must die?

Ahmadinejad says the darnedest things, but perhaps, when translated, his rhetoric is subject to overinflation by parties interested in conflict.

But perhaps it doesn't matter. Does it matter that we've barely learned how to pronounce his name before he's become This Year's Hitler? It doesn't matter what anyone says at this suddenly late stage, past the fail safe point of arrested anticipation. Iran and the United States do not see the need to talk to each other, and the go-between media appears only to egg them on like a pack of jumpy kids itching for the stimulus of a good after-school fight. (How's June sound?)

All things being equal, a chorus of just one wise word, something like "Enough," should be sufficient now to deter the Bush regime which, judging by the politics alone, ought to be the most vulnerable since Nixon's circa 1974. But nothing's equal anymore, and American politics is putting on an ever-more piss-poor pantomime of representative government. The old vocabularies have expired. Throw their lexicons on the Lexus, and burn the Lexus. We need to learn a new language before we can speak this truth to that power.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Won't you come home, Reno Harnish

There's a black Mercedes rollin' through the combat zone - Bob Dylan

There aren't many small countries with greater geostrategic heft than Azerbaijan. Wedged between Russia and Iran, it's a major port of entry to the West for the region's oil and heroin, much of the latter being routed through the distribution hub of Kosovo, secured in the Balkans wars of the last decade.

Another commodity in Azerbaijan's pipeline subject to fantastic mark-up is the flesh of young women. Anar Orujov, in his report "Azerbaijani slaves of the 21st century" for the Caucasus Media Investigations Center, writes that "in our country a prostitute can make a profit from $7,000 up to $100,000 depending on the 'exploitation conditions.' No doubt that such a profitable business paves the way to spend a lot of money to 'hunt' the people, and establishment of a large mafia network which sometimes even the high-ranking officials are involved."

The composition of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce certainly suggests another large mafia network hasn't neglected Baku. The "Honorary Council of Advisors" includes James Baker, Lloyd Bentson, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Dick Cheney (resigned after the Nov 2000 election), Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and John Sununu. Richard Perle is a Trustee, and Richard Armitage was on the Board until his State Department appointment. Turkish and Azerbaijani were Sibel Edmonds' two languages in the FBI's translation department, where she discovered the intersections of drugs, arms and oil.

So it's with some interest I read that the US State Department has today announced the recall of Ambassador Reno Harnish, former Chief of Mission, Pristina (capital of the aforementioned hub of Kosovo) and late of the American Enterprise Institute. Why, is of particular interest.

From UPI:

The Azerbaijani media is rife with speculation that Harnish is being recalled because of a burgeoning human smuggling scandal which came to the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Moscow newspaper Trud newspaper reported on Thursday that FBI agents began interviews with embassy officials about the smuggling of Azerbaijani prostitutes into the United States and the issuing of visas.

As the investigation proceeded, Zarifa Dzhabieva, a former translator for the American embassy was found knifed to death in her own home. Whoever killed Dzhabieva ransacked her dwelling looking for something, even though none of the victim's valuables had been touched. Dzhabieva was under investigation for aiding and abetting the issuing of visas and forged documents to girls destined for the U.S. sex trade.

Tales of prostitution, visa fraud, human trafficking and the murder of an embassy translator prompted the bizarre comment from public relations official Jonathan Henick that "The uncovering of the crime linked to the sale of Azerbaijani girls to the USA, and the punishment of the guilty parties merely shows the high level of American-Azerbaijani relations."

A translation of the Trud story, reproduced in Pravda, can be read here. Trud adds that "It is known for certain that the enlistment and transfer of young people from sunny Azerbaijan to no less sunny Florida were organized on a truly American scale and brought large profits."

Reno seems destined to land on his feet, reputation unsmudged. His next assignment appears already lined up. According to "diplomatic sources", he will find an environmental posting engaged in the "fight against bird flu."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Never saw nothing at all"

Everybody wears a halo, never saw nothing at all
So who put that bullet hole in Peggy's kitchen wall? - Bruce Cockburn

I was in the middle of writing something else when I saw this. Read it fast, while it lasts, because it's the kind of discomforting story that disappears quickly with little follow-up and no national attention.

Two Houston men driving a tractor-trailer pulled up to the gate of Pennsylvania's Beaver Valley nuclear power station Tuesday afternoon. They said they'd arrived from Chicago with an empty flatbed to pick up a large tool container bound for Youngstown, Ohio.

There are at least a couple of accounts of what happened next. In one, the men drove away as soon as they were informed their vehicle would be subject to routine inspection, prompting the security guards to become suspicious and call police, "who pulled the truck over about a mile from the plant." In the sleeping compartment, more than half a million dollars in ten bundles of small bills wrapped in plastic and duct tape was found stuffed in a locked duffel bag. In another version the bag is found by security before the truckers drive off and the search warrant is executed. In both, the truckers claim they had no idea what was in the bag, and offer no persuasive explanation for how it got there. One trucker claimed it was for a truck his boss hoped to purchase, "but when the security workers called the truckers' boss in Houston, he also said he knew nothing about the money." In this account, it was the boss who instructed the drivers to back away from the plant and return to the road.

Three more things: A police dog sensed drug residue on the bills (Not necessarily exceptional, that: "The probability that every single person in the United States is carrying drug-tainted money is almost certain.") Though the truckers were said to be polite and cooperative, one of them wasn't carrying identification, and told the dog-ate-my-homework tale of it having been stolen from the truck the night before. (While a duffel bag of cash was left behind?) And the "truckers worked for a company hired by San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., which is performing construction work and replacing equipment at the plant."

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force was summoned and quickly sized up the situation. The truckers were released, the money seized and, as seen in this video, it was the reporters who were detained. The truckers were allowed to leave because authorities claimed there was no indication they had committed a crime. How quaint, and how selective the presumption of innocence. That the men were from Houston rather than, say, Bangla Desh, meant they didn't look like terrorists to the security guards, even though Michael Meiring also lived in Houston for a time.

So what is going on here? Because something just had its cover blown.

Could the intention have been to purchase nuclear material, perhaps for a dirty bomb to trigger the Iran war and make a US nuclear assault less objectionable? Could be, but I'd also say this scene appears too sloppy for such a task, and Bechtel wouldn't risk showing its hand so close to such action.

It strikes me, rather, as aspects of a covert drug routine so familiar that the players got lazy. Caught out, all they have to do is forfeit the money back to the government from which it probably came. In this old racket, Bechtel risks nothing.

On the other hand, terror and drugs are simply different manifestations of the same Will to Control. So whatever was intended will still endeavour to find its way, and the media will be looking somewhere else, comprehending nothing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Bridge over Muddied Waters

I gazed down in the river's mirror
And watched its winding strum.
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum. - Bob Dylan

In the 1930s, Russian neurophysiologist and father of biomechanics Nikolai Bernstein dressed some people in black leotards, painted white dots on their joints, set them against a black background and filmed them dancing, jumping, walking and performing various other common activities.

In The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot describes what happened next:

When he developed the film, only the white dots appeared, moving up and down and across the screen in various complex and flowing movements. To quantify his findings he Fourier-analyzed the various lines the dots traced out and converted them into a language of wave forms. To his surprise, he discovered the wave forms contained hidden patterns that allowed him to predict his subjects' next movement to within a fraction of an inch.

Bernstein's work was influential to Karl Pribram's development of his holographic model of brain function. Discovering hidden patterns of locomotion was another example of the primacy of wave theory in explaining both our apprehension of the universe and the character of the universe itself.

The trouble with a great deal of conspiracy theory isn't the conspiracy, it's the theory. There just isn't much of it. And what there is, with notable exceptions, is too particular.

"Connect the dots
." We hear that - we say that - a lot. But dots, even when connected (even when they should be connected, and are not drawn into the picture simply because they are dots), don't begin to describe the interpenetrating connectedness of our actual subject: the hidden and fluidic patterns of power. So perhaps rather than a pointillist particle theory constructed of dots we've linked together, we should consider an organic, whole-in-the-part wave theory, imagined as ripples on the water.

We're talking metaphorically of course, but metaphors help us organize our thoughts, order the world and frame our arguments. And in a holographic universe metaphors may be the best we have, and carry us much closer to the truth than pure logic.

We can do better than the scattershot method of much conspiracy theory that goes not much further, nor deeper, than a litany of seeming anomalies and breaks to the system. Because any system which helps to structure power can bend itself to conspiracy without breaking. That is to say, parapolitics doesn't just happen when things go wrong with politics, but also when things go right. It's embedded, and so difficult to see and understand if we're trained to look only for the exceptions. To think of another metaphor, it's a forest/tree problem.

Since it was something no one had seen before on such a scale there are a lot of tall trees left standing from 9/11. Some deserve attention, some simply draw attention to themselves, and some have our attention drawn to them by forces which mean for us to miss the forest. Such trees, perhaps, ought to be cut down.

An extreme example of scattershot conspiriology is the film In Plane Site. No anomaly or apparent contradition, whether a shadow or a flash or a puff of smoke, is too subjective or irrelevant to be excluded, and nothing else in the way of evidence is admitted, regardless of whether the whole coheres as an alternative narrative to the official account. In fact, and common to such work, no narrative at all is offered. By way of contrast, the original research of Daniel Hopsicker is all about constructing a narrative - identifying the pattern - which takes him a long way from Ground Zero but much closer to the event's organic nature. His April 17th story, for instance, concerning a DC9 seized in the Yucatan last week after hauling more than five tons of cocaine from Caracas. A co-owner of the aircraft is Brent Kovac, a Tom Delay appointee to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee. The plane's Florida charter company, "Royal Sons," used to be housed in a hanger at Florida's Ground Zero of Huffman Aviation, from which Mohammed Atta, according to Hopsicker's research, also used to make drug runs to Venezuela. "A close look at Royal Sons," writes Hopsicker, "reveals evidence indicating that the firm is part of a cluster of related air charter firms being used as dummy front companies to provide 'cover' for CIA flights." And let's remember, just three weeks after Atta enrolled at his flight school, its right-wing evangelical owner, Wally Hilliard, had his private plane seized with 43 pounds of likely Afghanistan heroin on board. Hilliard made some calls. Hilliard wasn't charged. Hopsicker's narrative is drugs and money, and from Iran/Contra to Indochina's Air America to Bonesmen profiteering by China's Opium Wars, it's a long-established and predictive pattern.

Which methodology seems more profitable and encouraging and troubling to power, and which evidence most merits dissemination? Which is the only one to receive play, as though it were representative of the whole, in America's corporate media?

Similarly, a study of High Weirdness should be more than a laundry list of anomalous events and Forteanea, particularly now that analysis is catching up with the phenomena. We shouldn't shy from using Occam's Razor, even though it's a favourite tool of debunkers claiming to follow a parsimonious scientific method, because the new science is not in their corner, and the most economical explanation is sometimes the weirdest.

Bernstein employed dots to see the pattern, but it was the pattern that was real and the subject of the study, not the dots themselves. The dots were his necessary fiction to manifest the pattern.

We have the pattern. But if we can't see the pattern for the dots, maybe it's time to erase some dots.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Egg Hunt

"But the eating - it filled him with white light." - Sin City

What a difference a collar can make. The man on the left looks like Henry Lee Lucas's dumber brother; the man on the right, the sort responsible parents might entrust with their children.

Both are Father Gerald Robinson. I've written about him before. He's the Toledo priest belatedly facing trial for the 1980 ritual murder of a nun, Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. She was found, strangled and stabbed to death, in the sacristy of the chapel of Mercy Hospital, an altar cloth draped over her torso and her body posed lewdly to suggest she had been sexually assaulted. A "deliberate" pattern of stab wounds allegedly resembled a cross.

Sister Margaret Ann Pahl:

Today, Good Friday, is Gerald Robinson's 68th birthday. Margaret Ann Pahl was murdered on Holy Saturday. Her 72nd birthday would have fallen on that Easter Sunday. And Robinson's trial begins this Monday. A curious alignment of remembrance this long weekend.

Robinson was an early suspect and failed a polygraph test - he later admitted having lied when he'd said he'd heard the murderer's confession - but the case was cold until a number of women began to speak freely about having endured, as children, rape and ritual abuse in "cult-like ceremonies involving altars and men dressed in robes." Beneath the robes were Toledo clergy, and one of them, allegedly, was Gerald Robinson. ("I've had nightmares about this since I was a child," said one survivor. "I didn't think anyone would believe me.") Then, following the discovery of blood transfer patterns linking Robinson to the murder, he was arrested.

Again, it will be interesting to see how the ritual aspects of the murder and the ceremonial abuse of children get played by an embarrassed prosecution and a defense eager to capitalize on the seeming, bloody absurdity of it all. I mean, come on - just look at him. (The priest on the right, of course.)

Robinson retired from the priesthood in 2004, but his bishop has granted him permission to wear the collar in the courtroom. Good thing, too. That guy on the left didn't stand a chance.

Happy Easter, anyway.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal - Bob Dylan

Funny, that, how the public face of the "Satanic Panic" flap was a black-clad Dr Evil with an Eddie Munster 'do, and its fearless vampire hunter an almost impossibly bumbling everywhere-man of the far right with an FBI backstory. And how the leading proponents for the "disclosure" of extraterrestials have been military careerists or intelligence assets, while the most noisome "researchers" supporting the ET hypothesis have also been disseminators of military disinformation. Or how, suddenly, the loudest voices for "9/11 Truth" are those of former Bush aides and lifelong Republicans, beating the drum for - dig it - no passenger aircraft having struck the World Trade Center.

It's more than just theme and content that evoke The Outer Limits. It's our uncritical digestion of dubious information that becomes our fattening hobby. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.... Sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. If we're open to all channels and lack the discernment to know what we're watching, we're nothing but passive consumers of conspiratainment.

Ritual abusers aren't likely to be the overt occultist and the kid getting his hate on to Black Metal, but the priest in Toledo and the preacher in Ponchatoula; the prominent Nebraskan belting out the national anthem at two Republican national conventions. More often than not, the abuser isn't the self-marginalized outsider of caricature, but the insider: the one who already has power by the world's measure, and who means to gain more of it. But that caricature is too good to let go, and on all sides, because on all sides can be found the allies and the assets of power that encompass and define the discourse. And so the foolish and imprecise caricature becomes the defining image of the crime - likely to become an uncrime - for both those disposed to discount everything and those who eat it all up.

Who profits by the You're with us or you're against us essentialism of the advocates for the most contentious and spurious speculations on 9/11, and how far does it carry us from the scene of the crime and its high criminals? The pods, the holograms, the missiles, the demolitions: how did we arrive at this familiar position of irrelevance, and who do you think means to keep us here? Popular Mechanics, CNN and the great Anglo-American dailies don't shy from drawing strawman caricatures of conspiracy and then delight in setting them ablaze with all of us supposedly inside like some springtime wickerman sacrifice, yet the meat of the case for criminal intent rots on the offering plate. Why do you think that is, and who do you think might like it like that? The conspirators, who create both a false opposition and a false conspiracy, remain invisible and free to deal more death.

It's a conceit of liberalism to believe knowledge is power, and it's a deceit of the "Information Age" to mistake information for knowledge. Gone missing, for the greater part, is wisdom. Find that, and maybe we find our power.

"Big Brother is watching, so learn to be invisible." That's some advice dished out early on in Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. It's a comic book from the mid-90s, a knowing caricature of a guerrilla war waged by the "Invisible College" against an occult elite that Morrison claims was determined by his own abduction/shamanic experience in Kathmandu. It also happens to contain more wisdom about the world than yet another cut and paste contending that the hole in Tower Two was too small for a Boeing 767. Art can do that. Even comic art.

A few years ago Morrison said, "Fuck man, I tell you when I was a kid I read Robert Anton Wilson and all this shit and here we are, we're standing here, talking about this shit and it's real!"

If the popular culture - even the popular alternative culture - gives us little but caricature, at least we have a good comic book.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died - Leonard Cohen

A quick review of the teaser of the nuking of Iran before they roll out the feature presentation.

First of all, the target isn't Iran, though of course it will be Iranians who may die by the hundreds of thousands should nuclear weapons be greenlighted for Washington's latest McGuffin. But Iran is no more the target than Japan was for Fat Man and Little Boy.

The principal target demographic for the atrocity still on storyboards is Russia and China. The nuking of Iran will be a blockbuster remaking of the demonstration events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which announced to the Soviet Union and all comers that the American Aeon had arrived. At least that's how it will appear, and how it's being sold in the boardroom of America Inc. But the large stakeholders who are short-selling their shares in the Homeland, who supply sewage to its army for drinking water and whose loyalties are neither to that nor any other nation-state, may intend, rather, a windfall gotterdammerung that's more Springtime for Hitler.

The Council on Foreign Relations' Foreign Affairs primes the pump with triumphalist glitz in its March/April issue, confidently anticipating the coming end of the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction with the proclamation, "It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike."

Ring them bells: some would have it that the new balance of terror has been wargamed, and the balance has so tipped that the United States can terrorize the world at will. On the irradiated soil of the simulated East, everything's coming up roses:

To determine how much the nuclear balance has changed since the Cold War, we ran a computer model of a hypothetical U.S. attack on Russia's nuclear arsenal using the standard unclassified formulas that defense analysts have used for decades. We assigned U.S. nuclear warheads to Russian targets on the basis of two criteria: the most accurate weapons were aimed at the hardest targets, and the fastest-arriving weapons at the Russian forces that can react most quickly. Because Russia is essentially blind to a submarine attack from the Pacific and would have great difficulty detecting the approach of low-flying stealthy nuclear-armed cruise missiles, we targeted each Russian weapon system with at least one submarine-based warhead or cruise missile. An attack organized in this manner would give Russian leaders virtually no warning.

This simple plan is presumably less effective than Washington's actual strategy, which the U.S. government has spent decades perfecting. The real U.S. war plan may call for first targeting Russia's command and control, sabotaging Russia's radar stations, or taking other preemptive measures - all of which would make the actual U.S. force far more lethal than our model assumes.

According to our model, such a simplified surprise attack would have a good chance of destroying every Russian bomber base, submarine, and ICBM. This finding is not based on best-case assumptions or an unrealistic scenario in which U.S. missiles perform perfectly and the warheads hit their targets without fail. Rather, we used standard assumptions to estimate the likely inaccuracy and unreliability of U.S. weapons systems. Moreover, our model indicates that all of Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal would still be destroyed even if U.S. weapons were 20 percent less accurate than we assumed, or if U.S. weapons were only 70 percent reliable, or if Russian ICBM silos were 50 percent "harder" (more reinforced, and hence more resistant to attack) than we expected. (Of course, the unclassified estimates we used may understate the capabilities of U.S. forces, making an attack even more likely to succeed.)

There's a secondary audience for this, and it's us. Going nuclear has long been unthinkable, and the Dark Powers consider the problem to be the prohibition of our ethical tripwire, not the weapons themselves. So leaks are leaked and denied and the media assets go to work. It's how the unthinkable enters thought.

And one more thought. If Iran is nuked, it doesn't mean we're suddenly in an End Game scenario. We're already in it. Except for the shadows beneath the mushroom cloud apocalypse doesn't come in an instant. The breaking of souls is incremental. We are meant to acclimatize ourselves to Hell, to raise our children in it, and teach them to expect worse to come.

J Robert Oppenheimer became Death, the destroyer of worlds. Since George W Bush's religious alter is Christian rather than Hindu, perhaps what he's becoming is contained in this packet of Revelation 9:11 Truth: "They had as king over them the Angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon." And in English, Destroyer.

We're ready for your close-up, Dr Oppenheimer.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Body Eclectic (Part Two)

Live if you want to live (Rastaman vibration, yay-ah - Positive!)
That's what we got to give (I'n'I vibration, yay-ah - Positive!) - Bob Marley

Carrying on from this post, do you remember The Spirit of the Beehive? Here's yet another example of the "buzzing of bees" common to boundary experiences, this one mentioned in a 1996 interview by cereologist Colin Andrews when asked, "What was your most memorable crop circle experience and why?":

While visiting a circle in a remote field at Kimpton, Hampshire, England during July 1987, I heard a very strange buzzing sound which was close to me and appeared to interact with me. I was overwhelmed by the experience and it left me very touched because it began after I had stood near the ring alone and prayed for a clue as to what the crop circles were about. A year later, the same sound was recorded on two occasions in crop circles -- one was at "Operation White Crow," the other while a BBC Television crew were interviewing myself and Pat Delgado, my co-author of "Circular Evidence."

Debunkers quickly ascribed the trilling on the "White Crow" tape to the Grasshopper Warbler, though the bird is rare and its habitat is marshland rather than crop fields. More persuasively, an audio analysis of the frequencies show them to be oscillating at entirely different frequencies. And frequencies can be as serious as a heart attack, because that's the heart when it loses its own. "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" may be a sensible question after all.

Karl Pribram, "one of the world's leading cognitive neuroscientists," is best known for his holonomic model of the brain. Pribram's model suggests that cerebral function follows holographic principals, with memory and information "stored not in cells, but rather in wave interference patterns."

"What had occured to Pribram," Lynne McTaggart writes in The Field, "is that when we look at something, we don't 'see' the image of it in the back of our heads or on the back of our retinas, but in the three dimensions and out in the world." That is to say, sight creates a virtual image of an object in the same place as the actual object, and memories are preserved in highly efficient wave-frequency patterns distributed throughout the brain rather than as discrete bits of information assigned to localized regions. (Though Pribram's theory of distributed memory was first greeted with much disbelief in the 1960s, it has since been supported by the laboratory work of fellow researchers (numerous vivisections, for instance, on the brains of salamanders have demonstrated they share the attribute of generalized recall).

When we observe the world, Pribram theorized, we do so on a much deeper level than the sticks-and-stones world "out there." Our brain primarily talks to itself and to the rest of the body not with words or images, or even bits or chemical impulses, but in the language of wave interference: the language of phase, amplitude and frequency - the "spectral domain." We perceive an object by "resonating" with it, getting "in synch" with it. To know the world is literally to be on its wavelength.


In a sense, in the act of observation, we are transforming the timeless, spaceless world of interference patterns into the concret and discrete world of space and time.... As with a holgram, the lens of the eye picks up certain interference patterns and then converts them into three-dimensional images.... If we are projecting images all the time out in space, our image of the world is actually a virtual creation.

A holographic brain should be expected as the natural, biological decoder of a holographic universe, such as that of quantum physicist David Bohm. In these compatable models, the brain becomes a participant in the construction of reality by assembling certain frequencies of wave patterns. Just as a hologram cannot be divided against itself as each division contains the base wave pattern required to recreate the image, so Bohm says our brains are smaller aspects of the whole picture that nonetheless "contain the whole knowledge of the universe." Our perspectives are determined by the frequencies to which we're attuned, so the virtual reality we construct encompasses only a narrow spectrum of the quantum wave pattern, or zero point field, that both contains us and which we ourselves contain.

DNA, we've noted, is biophotonic. It's a "coherent source of light, like a laser." A laser, of course, is a useful tool for the creation of holograms.

Light is a form of wave motion, as is sound. A formerly distinguishing characteristic of the two was thought to be that light can travel through empty space, while sound needs a medium, but zero point theory has done away with the vacuum: light traverses the medium of the quantum field. Shamanic initiations appear to stimulate the reception of both wave patterns. For instance, ayahuasca ceremonies generate visual stimuli while the presiding ayahuasqueros sing sacred songs, icaros, said to be taught by the plants or elemental spirits. "I am not the one creating the song," says a shaman. "It passes through me as if I were a radio":

The notion that ayahuasqueros learn their songs directly from the spirits is generalized. According to Townsley (1993), Yaminahua shamans "are adamant that the songs are not ultimately created or owned by them at all, but by the yoshi [spirits] themselves, who "show" or "give" their songs, with their attendant powers, to those shamans good enough to "receive" them.... Chaumeil (1993) talks of the extremely high-pitched sounds emitted by the spirits who communicate with Yagua shamans, more particularly of "strange melodies both whistled and talked," with a strong feminine connotation"

("Extremely high-pitched sounds" of the spirits. The buzzing of bees?)

If life is vibration, then music must not be incidental to it. (See, for instance, "Vibration, Music and the Basic Truths of Reality.")

In 1891 Margaret Watts-Hughes sang notes into a device containing lycopodium powder and captured for the first time precise geometric patterns on film. Seventy six years later, Swiss scientist Hans Jenny published his first study on the transmission of sound through electronic frequencies:

He observed how sound vibration created geometric shapes - a low frequency produced a simple circle encompassed by rings, whereas a higher frequency increased the number of concentric rings around a central circle. As the frequencies rose so, too, did the complexity of shapes, to the point where tetrahedrons, mandalas and other sacred forms could be discerned. Like Margaret before him, Jenny enabled humanity to observe 'frozen music'.

crop circle and a standing wave of sound vibration

The late Gerald Hawkins, former chair of the astronomy department at Boston University, identified a musical scale embedded in the geometry of the crop circles depicted in the early study Circular Evidence, that conformed to the "diatonic ratio," or the white keys of a piano. Hawkins' also found that circle patterns contained a formerly unexpressed Euclidian theorem.

Colin Andrews, whose most memorable experience in a circle was the "strange buzzing sound," says something like three quarters of the patterns made today are probably hoaxes, lacking such properties as magnetic anomalies ("the magnetic field within 20% of crop circles is consistently a few degrees rotationally out of sink with the magnetic field of the earth"), electronic malfunction, cellular change to the grain which germinates seeds growing up to 40% faster than seeds from unaffected plants in the same field, the emission of sound and more.

But perhaps even the hoaxers are unwitting participants in a genuine mystery, because human consciousness appears to be engaged somehow in even the creation of the most mysterious pictograms.

In the early days of crop research, Colin Andrews dreamt of a Celtic cross pattern which hadn't been seen in the fields before. The next morning one was discovered in a field adjoining his home. Busty Taylor, an aerial photographer, was flying with a colleague when he remarked "all we need right now is to see all the designs that have appeared so far rolled up into a Celtic cross." The next day, flying over the same field, he saw the precise depiction of his imagined pattern. These examples and more are reminiscent of UFO reports in which observers describe the objects in the sky as though behaving with an intelligence that is reading their minds.

Researcher Ed Sherwood has found "The Nine" of the Great Ennead of Ancient Egypt - and of Sirius, and Andrija Puharich - represented symbolically in every crop circle season since the early 1980s, when "crop circle seasons" began. He additionally notes that the "contact" of the "White Crow" trilling happened before nine witnesses, on the ninth day of the operation, on the 18th of the month. (For what it's worth, visions of large pyramids surrounded by waves of energy and vibrant colours have been described by "sensitives" while standing in the patterns, as recounted by Eltjo Haselhoff in The Deepening Complexity of Crop Circles.)

Laurence Rockefeller spent a fortune - or what might pass as a fortune for the rest of us - on paranormal research, and gave particular attention in his later years to UFOs and crop circles. I think it's always instructive to consider what captures a Rockefeller's interest.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Money doesn't talk

Money doesn't talk, it swears - Bob Dylan

You want some 9/11 truth? You won't find it in the accretions of increasingly absurd conjecture and the tail-chasing diversions of no evidentiary value. The hard-ass, 9/11 truth has the colour of money and the sweet stink of opium, and plenty of both.

How's this for a headline, and from Institutional Investor, even:

Mystery N.Y. Bank Allegedly Funnels $3B In Funds To Terrorists

A bank identified only as being one of the largest and most prominent in New York has been caught allegedly funneling an estimated $3 billion in profits from drug deals and other illegal activities to Mideast terrorists, The New York Post reports. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the paper says, plugged the profits pipeline as part of an ongoing investigation of suspected funds flowing through local banks.

In the most recent scheme, according to The Post, the money originating from the so-called "tri-border region" of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, was transferred to an account at the New York bank through a money-transfer company in Uruguay and then on to accounts in the Mideast, where they were distributed over the past two years to the likes of Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. "I can't go out and arrest Osama bin Laden," the 84-year-old Morgenthau told The Post. "But I can try to cut off his money."

"Tri-border region" sound familiar? "Chiggerbit" notes on the RI board that it's a territory in which Sun Myung Moon has recently planted his Unification flag, acquiring the land atop the Guarani aquafer. Moon's 600,000 hectares also happens to be "an enormously strategic point in both the narcotics and arms trades," according to Paraguay's former drug czar, who adds that "the available intelligence clearly shows that the Moon sect is involved in both these enterprises." And "Starroute" adds that Khalil bin Laden, Osama's brother, has business connections in the nearby Brazilian province of Minas Gerais, "an alleged center for training terrorists."

The Post today discloses the identity of the "mystery bank." And guess who:

The Manhattan DA is pursuing a settlement with the Bank of America in a major money-laundering probe of more than $3 billion that flowed from Latin America through one of the bank's accounts to Mideast fanatics, sources said yesterday.

Sources familiar with the case - reported in yesterday's Post - revealed that DA Robert Morgenthau is close to reaching a settlement with the nation's second largest bank. The bank is not being accused of complicity with money-launderers or terrorists, but is facing possible penalties for dealing with an unlicensed money transmitter from Uruguay, sources said.

The bank will be permitted to settle, like Jonathan Bush's Riggs Bank, because to find such institutions complicit would mean the Apocalypse of All Safe Assumptions. It's why September 11th's insider trading scandal, once reported by Bloomberg as "the worst case ever," was made to dry up and blow away, and the data recovery project of "dirty doomsday dealings" made on World Trade Center computers disappeared into the belly of the beast it was intended to investigate.

The money's swearing, and it's swearing at us. Over the fractious din of arguments for missile strikes, demolition and holograms, can you hear it?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fool me once

"O Fool! begetter of both I and Naught, resolve this Naughty Knot!"
- Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

I hate April 1st. I always have, but more so in recent years, because it might as well be every day now. So much news, both reported and suppressed, seems tailored to make us look like fools for believing we live in a world where such things are possible. But this is our world, or at any rate mine now: a concretization of formerly ungrounded fears into an eff-you reality that parodies what used to pass for paranoia. And since it's a truism of comedy that there are diminishing returns for satirizing a self-parody, what's to become of April 1st?

This Register story, for instance, which now carries the byline April Fool: "Bush Preps Historic Third Term - Memo." While I didn't fall for this one - a term limit serves some still necessary fictions, perhaps the most important being that real power resides in the presidency - it's not surprising that so many, apparently, did. A "draft proposal for a future Executive Order establishing a Continuity Presidency" is no more absurd than Bulldog Gannon's press credentials, or the Vice President shooting a man and joking about it afterwards.

The Register owned up to its prank, but Cannonfire's still playing this one straight: Was Barbara Bush's real father Aleister Crowley?

A sixth-level initiate within the OTO (the Ordo Templi Orientis, the mystical society that Crowely came to head in the 1920s) first set me down this research path by revealing that [Barbara Bush's mother] Pauline Robinson had befriended an woman named Nellie O'Hara, an American adventuress who, at some point during her European travels, met the famed writer Frank Harris. Despite his advancing years, Harris still maintained a reputation for sexual excess that rivaled Crowley's. During this period (1919-1927), Nellie and Frank Harris lived as man and wife, although they could not actually wed because Harris' second wife was still alive and would not grant a divorce.


Nellie's friend Pauline no doubt scandalized her social circle by traveling to France on her own and leaving two very young children in the care of nursemaids. However, her correspondence with her friend -- whose life in France with a famous literary figure must have seemed quite glamorous -- can only have inspired a sense of wanderlust. Her husband, increasingly bound to his duties with the McCall Corporation, did not share this spirit of adventure.

Thus it was that four individuals came together: Frank Harris, Nellie O'Hara, Pauline Pierce [formerly Robinson], and Aleister Crowley. Anyone who has studied Crowley's life will understand that what happened next was, in a sense, inevitable.


Pauline returned to America in early October of 1924. On June 8, 1925, she gave birth to a girl named Barbara. Barbara Pierce married George H.W. Bush, who eventually became the 41st President of the United States.

Many of the details check out, but I haven't found anything yet outside of Cannon's story supporting a link between Barbara's mother Pauline and Nellie O'Hara, let alone between Pauline and Crowley.

I'm not saying it's not true. I'm just saying it sounds too perfect, like a good hoax should. This piece stands out for Joseph Cannon since he doesn't usually pick at the occult aspects of power, and he's also a solid researcher not given to extraordinary claims. So I suppose what I'm really doing is adding the caution that before we repeat "Barbara Bush may be the daughter of Aleister Crowley" we should have more than the word of Cannon's annonymous OTO initiate as reported on April 1st.

Since we've already slipped into a time of attenuated reality in which anything - or at least anything bad - seems possible, we should take particular care about distinguishing fantastic fact from fantasy. For example, I still see The Onion gag from 2000 "Bush 'Refuses To Dignify' Mass-Murder Allegations" sited as a legitimate news story because "highly-regarded independent investigator Sherman H. Skolnick" cribbed from it in 2004. Whatever their previous merit, "investigators" like Skolnick and Tom Flocco seem little more than schlock artists now, serving product to the niche of paranoid entertainment by fabricating elaborate Black Iron Prisons in the air. It's poison to the legitimate inquiry of forbidden subjects, but consumers of conspiracy would rather have the thrill of being scared by a lie than be challenged by the terrible truth, because the truth demands more than our goosebumps.

But damn. I really hate April 1st.