Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Men Who Stare at Goats

My sister bought me a copy of Jon Ronson's The Men Who Stare at Goats for my 37th birthday three days ago (I'm already approximately 37.01) - it took me two days to finish 99% of it, and today to finish that last bit. First impressions, I liked Them, Adventures With Extremists much more than this book. "Them" had the sheen of research overlying it, perhaps because it had been a television series, so you could actually see Ronson interacting with the loonies. In the case of this book, the loonies are the U.S. (and British) military, and the lunacy is so over the top - stopping goats hearts with the power of the mind, an army of hippies/soliders of love (ew...isn't that Donnie Osmond), non-lethals inspired by new age army credos, telepathically affecting hamsters, remote viewing assassins, subliminal Matchbox 20 cds, and on and on - that even though you suspect it's absolutely true (Ronson doesn't really footnote or provide articles, most of his research is interviews), it's almost too much to accept. And at times he does veer into conjecture and a bit of interview leading without really coming to any solid conclusions or even inuendo. Nevertheless, it was absolutely absorbing in the breadth of what it alleges the U.S. military is up to and, of course, there's plenty of proof out there that they have been up to such things in the past and that with increased black ops budgets due to the war on terror, Afghanistan and Iraq, they're probably up to anything and everything they can think of once again.

For example, you know that this little gem is probably back in their arsenel somewhere - using drugs to interrogate prisoners, possibly addicting them and using the addiction as leverage. All you have to do is hop back to all the information about MK-ULTRA and the over 100 associated programs. If you're not familiar with the MK-ULTRA, it's the program whereby the government used LSD as a truth serum and allegedly murdered a scientist, a scientist who had been doing similar,lethal, experiments for them on Soviet cold war agents and post war Nazis. Loverly. It's now primarily the domain/subject du jour of conspiracy nuts, but there's plenty of truth behind the craziness. Here's the links if you feel like a bit of light reading and, while you're reading, don't forget, one of the primary players in these operations was a professional magician (he wrote "Mullholand's Book of Magic") who tried to poison Castro - roll that one around for a while:

  • MKULTRA - Manufacturing Killers Utilizing Lethal Tradecraft Requiring Assassinations - the CIA and mind control.

  • MKSEARCH - truth serum (LSD and the like)

  • MKDELTA - biochemical mind control, specifically, abroad.

  • Project Chatter - scopolamine and mescaline as truth serums.

  • Project Bluebird - psychirists inducing amensia and hypnosis.

  • Project Artichoke - after Bluebird. "Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self preservation?"

  • MKNAOMI - biological and chemical warfare.

  • Frank Olson Project - dedicated to Frank Olson, the scientist who was slipped LSD and "jumped" out a window, somehow gaining a gun-induced hole in his head on the way down.

As a bonus, if you're interested in the Bush link, Democratic Underground has a link to Allen Dulles on their MKULTRA page, Allen was George Bush, Sr.'s mentor at the CIA and moved the base to it's current location, named after GB Sr.


LissyJo said...

Holy crap. Thos links were freakin' scary. Glad you liked the book (you *did* like it, didn't you?). I'd be interested in reading it myself. What a surprise that eagan library didn't have it.

Scooter said...

Well you can certainly borrow it back to read it - I think Pooteewheet might want to read it, but after she's done I'll ship it back your direction.