<![CDATA[Limited Hangout]]>https://limitedhangout.wtf/https://limitedhangout.wtf/favicon.pngLimited Hangouthttps://limitedhangout.wtf/Ghost 3.42Fri, 23 Dec 2022 05:34:47 GMT60<![CDATA[Final Hangout: Thanks and Goodbye]]>We started this project four years ago. Over a hundred in-depth posts later, it's time to wrap up this hangout. It's been a helluva ride. We had an initial inkling to explore somewhat strange topics like UFOs, the deep state, trauma, pop culture (including yacht rock) as signs along the

https://limitedhangout.wtf/final-hangout/63a5365d04890c12f739da4aFri, 23 Dec 2022 05:25:59 GMT

We started this project four years ago. Over a hundred in-depth posts later, it's time to wrap up this hangout. It's been a helluva ride. We had an initial inkling to explore somewhat strange topics like UFOs, the deep state, trauma, pop culture (including yacht rock) as signs along the way for a wild and weird time. We made a few interview appearances exploring the nature of these apocalyptic times and how to make sense of a world in which war is being waged on your mind.  Little did we know, in the meantime, that the world would very quickly (and bizarrely) decide to go full hangout with a number of these topics: e.g. the public admission of UFOs by US military.

We're very grateful to our dedicated readers. This project has been a blast. Our thanks to the number of wonderful folks (whose names shall remain anonymous) who contributed to the project and made it such a success.  

The site will remain up (and has been backed up on the internet archive) to provide a space for those who wish to continue to dive into these ontologically flooded waters.

Happy Trails!

<![CDATA[Evanescence]]>In a set of previous pieces I’ve looked at a model of spiritual awakening following the flow or evolution of awakening through transcendence, immanence, and incandescence. Each of those three constitutes a spiritual paradigm, organizing both the practices undertaken, the kinds of experiences experienced within that paradigm, and the

https://limitedhangout.wtf/evanescence/63928fbd066de609af4432a4Fri, 23 Dec 2022 04:57:28 GMT

In a set of previous pieces I’ve looked at a model of spiritual awakening following the flow or evolution of awakening through transcendence, immanence, and incandescence. Each of those three constitutes a spiritual paradigm, organizing both the practices undertaken, the kinds of experiences experienced within that paradigm, and the framework for interpretation of those experiences (for a fuller treatment of the real meaning of paradigm, see this piece).

This piece will explore a fourth phase: evanescence.

The process of immanence constitutes an incarnational path (“waking downward”). After an initial glimpse of transcendence there is the choice to take the “road less travelled” and look to bring that transcendent awakening concretely into human day to day life. The path of immanence involves bringing awakening into the realms of our emotions, traumas, desires, organs, longings, nerves, and bodily sensations—a very broad set of terms for which is alchemy or tantra. In immanence the infinite and finite natures of the human-animal become united, each playing an equally important part in the creation of something greater than the sum of the parts. That is, a state of deep wholeness and individuation—a human existence infused with divinity.

In incandescence the union of infinite and finite, divine and human-animal, fuse. The two sides crystallize through the heat of the transformative process. The creative friction between the divine and human natures gives off a light (incandescent meaning a light source giving off heat).

Both immanence and incandescence are the paths of becoming deeply integrated. There is still within this approach however an organizing sense of self. It’s a sense of self deeply open to and rooted in a connection with the divine. It’s a unified sense of self.

The Christian realizer Bernadette Roberts used the analogy of a piece of paper. At the beginning of the path a hole opens up in the center of the paper. The hole in the paper is the still, unmoving centerpoint within. The hole is the access to the divine. The mystic realizes that what initially feels like a falling away or emptiness (“hole”) becomes the source of a deeply still and immovable fullness.

Mahayana Buddhism has the term shunyata, which is often translated into English as emptiness. But shunyata really means the seamlessness of all life. Things are empty of a separated and separating self sense but that emptiness becomes the opening to profound fullness, wholeness, and oneness with life. Or as the great Tibetan Buddhist teacher Trungpa Rinpoche used to say, “emptiness is not an empty wallet.”

The hole is whole in other words. Over time that hole widens from the center out. As it does so it begins to integrate with the periphery. This represents the path of immanence as the divine center or core is now coming to be woven with more and more layers of the human being (the remaining portion of the sheet of paper).

During this period the divine is experienced as both the transcendent without—the space outside the paper—and immanent, i.e. the hole in the paper. Both “emptinesses" are of the same spaciousness nature.

That process may reach a zenith in incandescence where now the divine center/hole has grown to encompass almost the entirety of the paper. But there remains, as Roberts says, the thinnest of division represented by the edge of the paper. It is only that edge that creates a sense of within and without. If that edge were to dissolve that the notion of inside and outside would immediately fall away as well. The edge of the paper is the only element remaining created a boundary between the zones of inner and outer.

So what if that edge/boundary were to fall away?

The path of evanescence is the answer to that question.

For Bernadette Roberts what happens in this moment is that entire sense of self, rooted in the divine (i.e. the hole in the paper) has now dropped away. With it drops away the divine as experienced by a human self.

If in immanence the divine and human aspect join and if in the incandescence they fuse and heat up, in evanescence they go “pop”. They burst like a bubble. With the loss of one goes the loss of the other.

Roberts is very radical in her assertion that with the loss of the self there is the loss of all the aspects associated with the divine as experienced by a self: light, Consciousness, energy, radiance, power, intensity, and bliss. In other words, all the qualities of the path of immanence and incandescence.

For Roberts all those attributes turn out to have been conflated with The Divine Nature, when in reality they are the divine as experienced through the medium of human consciousness, selfhood, and personal will. All those listed qualities are not an illusion but rather simply the consequence of the divine being experienced throughout the lens of human consciousness.

With the loss of the separate self-sense, however, The Divine simply IS. There is no way to really speak of an experience of the divine, of a state, for there is no experiencer—at least in the way that term is generally understood.

The realization in Evanescence is Absolute. It is beyond any specific reference because any reference intrinsically requires its opposite for it to make sense. This dialectic is true even of the term Absolute, for Absolute only makes sense in relationship to relative. We could say non-relative rather than Absolute and that perhaps gets a bit closer but of course non-relative still only makes sense as compared to relative.

There is a teaching from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition known as the two truths doctrine: an absolute and relative truth. These two levels of truth are compatible with each other while remaining distinct. They do not contradict each other. The Absolute refers to the Divine alone and the relative layer of truth refers to conceptual and everyday matters: e.g. the temperature at which water boils; the historical date of the signing of the Magna Carta; the given name of the historical Buddha (Siddhartha).

There’s right and wrong answers in the relative level of truth. Siddhartha’s name was not Harold. Water doesn’t boil at 10 degrees Centigrade. The Absolute level requires metaphor and symbolism as The Ultimate is beyond any and all references—including Ultimate which is opposed to non-ultimate or continent.

The two truths doctrine is valid from the prospective of the paths of transcendence, immanence, and incandescence.

In Evanescence, however, even the two truths doctrine falls away. The Two Truths Doctrine depends on the edge of the paper being there—the emptiness outside and inside. When that falls away there’s simply a knowing ignorance, a direct encounter with Mystery that is endlessly wonder-filling but can’t be named.

There’s only One Truth then. The Truth of Absolute Simplicity. Which again are only symbolic terms because absolute only makes sense in relationship to relative and simplicity only make sense in relationship to complexity. Call it Zero Truth which also works in a way though of course zero only makes sense as up against non-zero numbers. 

The Divine is neither simple nor complex, neither absolute nor relative.

Roberts said that all that was left was a smiling—where smiler, smile, and smiling were one.

Things become simple, plainly what they are. It is more ordinary than ordinary. So ordinary as to be almost extraordinary.

The felt sense of the “edge of the paper” is gut, primal existential fear in losing control. Adyashanti calls it awakening at the gut and says the gut is a primal contracting or grasping rooted in the shock of the infinite Spiritual Reality coming into form (what Aurobindo called “vital shock.”) An archaic sensory-bodily defensive posture of grasping comes into place in response. I’ve talked previously about the self-contraction through the sacred wound of the heart but this is the self-contraction in the gut, in the viscera.

This grasping at the gut cannot be forced open. Roberts, from her Christian perspective, argues that only Christ within the mystic makes the journey across that void—the void of the final edges of the paper. For Adyashanti there is a total letting go and complete surrender to take place, but one that can’t be engineered by the self and its personal will.

Spiritual teacher (and colleague of Adyashanti) Susanne Marie calls this passage “the body’s koan.” It’s a very beautiful and insightful phrase: the body’s koan. A koan cannot be solved by the mind. The contemplation of a koan and its confusion generates the energy necessary to breakthrough to a new level of organization. Marie talks of earlier koans—the koan of her mind and later a koan of the heart. Those koans and their resulting resolutions awakening the mind and heart—transcendence and immanence in other words.

The koan of the body (or the gut) is awakening at the level of sensation, deeper than thought and emotion. The body itself must somehow resolve this koan. Effort and will do not avail one here.

Roberts’ book The Experience of No Self details in stark terms her path through pushing beyond the edges of the paper. The Personal God she experienced as a personal self co-died as the two were inextricably linked to each other.

What was left was Godhead, The Divine Absolute Simplicity. Simply WHAT IS.

For Roberts this recognition brings with it the insight that Spirit is Matter and Matter is Spirit. In the earlier phases of Immanence and Incandescence, Matter and Spirit join in a deepening unity and integration. But here there is no unity for there are not two things that can then unite. There’s non-difference or pure oneness.

There is a specific something or mysterious whatness in matter that is Eternal. Roberts’ term for this mysterious whatness is The Eternal Manifest (or Eternal Form), which as a Christian she equates with the Eternal Nature of Christ as The Logos/Wisdom of God. That Eternal Manifest is in Eternal Movement or Eternal Manifesting—which Roberts, through her Christian Trinitarian lens, equates with The Holy Spirit. And to finish off the Trinitarian depiction, according to Roberts The Father (1st Person of the Godhead) is the Eternal Unmanifest, i.e. the nature of glorious Eternal Love and Beauty in which the Eternal Manifest eternally resides.

Or more simply all that remains is The Godhead, the one essence shared by The Three Divine Persons in Christian theology.

What remains, without a separated self-sense, is wonderment, is sheer grace, and spontaneous gratitude. Roberts calls this the Resurrection and believes that the true spiritual meaning of Christ’s crucifixion was the loss of his human oneness with The Divine, through the descent into hell and across the Void, into the resurrected status of Eternal Oneness.

For Roberts then there are two fundamentally distinct spiritual paths: one is about the uniting of a human self with the Divine in love; the other is the dropping away of that human self leaving only Truth.

As Adyashanti details, as the awakening happens at the gut there is no longer person will. One is beyond surrender because there is no self, no separated entity that can surrender or accept. Rather than is some spontaneous movement to flow without a doer—what the Taoist tradition calls wu wei. There’s still personality and uniqueness to the individual but no longer a separate self sense or a reinforcing narrative inner observer creating a sense of a unified psychobiography. There’s simply action and manifestation without a sense of a persona will or inner experiencer.

What has evanesced, like a dandelion in the wind, is the entire self-sense, even one that was united to the Divine. There’s an even deeper form of stillness and quiet in evanescence as the body learns to move and act of its own accord, as the self-sense becomes more and more stripped even from biological conditioning, what Mirra Alfassa (aka The Mother) called the Mind of the cells.

Matter is Eternal, as matter is spirit. Or rather the “whatness” or mysterious “thatness” of matter is eternal. And there is eternal flux (Eternal Manifesting). For Roberts the human body has within it a trajectory based on consciousness and selfhood—including form the most reactive forms of consciousness all the way to the deepest and highest forms of mystical union as a self (immanence, incandescence). For Roberts the medium of consciousness and selfhood is a grace which allow us to orient and adapt to incarnation. According to Roberts it would too shattering to encounter reality directly without the medium of consciousness initially.

There is, however, another trajectory within the human body argues Roberts. That trajectory is what she calls a pure sensory one, i.e. a trajectory/capacity not predicted on consciousness or selfhood and its attendant sense of personal will.

The path of evanescence is learning somehow to live with and as that pure sensory trajectory of the body, though learning isn’t really the right word as there is no learner. Or said slightly differently, the fascination and draw to the eternal flux of matter, that is to Life, pure, immaculate, whole, indivisible, absolute Life becomes so strong and foregrounds that it puts in the background any residual sense of a separated self, particularly at the level of mind, emotion, and will. Over time, for those who continue as detailed in the research of Jeffrey Martin, deeper and deeper layers of self-sense evanesce from primal layers of biological conditioning (more on that research to come in a subsequent piece).

<![CDATA[This Could Be Heaven, Hell, or Possibly Purgatory: A Weirdly Natural Read of Hotel California]]>Previously Ezekiel73 wrote an epic piece on the importance of yacht rock in a time of apocalypse (“unveiling”). For more on apocalyptic traditions, see my earlier piece on the subject. I’ve also previously used yacht rock as a perfect example of some core aspects of Hegelian philosophy, which I’

https://limitedhangout.wtf/hotel-california/638fbc73066de609af443161Wed, 07 Dec 2022 00:57:11 GMT

Previously Ezekiel73 wrote an epic piece on the importance of yacht rock in a time of apocalypse (“unveiling”). For more on apocalyptic traditions, see my earlier piece on the subject. I’ve also previously used yacht rock as a perfect example of some core aspects of Hegelian philosophy, which I’ve argued is a very helpful frame of reference to approach the UFO Phenomenon. In particular yacht rock exemplifies notions of Hegel’s that point very close to the idea of retrocausation—i.e. the future creating the past context that sets up the eventual arising of that future (aka “time loop”). For more on retrocausation, see this piece.

These seemingly disparate threads actually weave together insofar as apocalyptic thought is itself a kind of theological version of retrocasuation, where a future reality (“God” “Justice”, “The Kingdom”), breaks into the present (and possibly even the past), looking to effect events in such a way as to lead to the eventual full manifestation of that desired future. Furthermore, the study of UFOs (Ufology) is rife with language of “disclosure” and “revelation”, i.e. apocalypse. As I’ve argued elsewhere, The UFO Phenomenon is an unveiling of an alternative form of physics, engineering, energy, technology, and potentially consciousness.

In this piece we’re going to look at a yacht-rock adjacent band The Eagles and their apocalyptic song Hotel California. I’m going to go through the song’s lyrics. Along the way we’ll encounter notions of shamanism, the weird/eerie, dream-like imagination, altered states of consciousness, repressed elements of the collective psyche, and much more. In particular I’ll be using the frames of weird naturalism and ontological flooding, both core to the site’s overall approach, as aids in interpretation.

On a dark desert highway,
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air.

A highway through the desert (or wilderness) is a symbol with deep history and symbolic import, particularly in the Biblical tradition where numerous individuals went into the wilderness (desert) to meet with the presence of the strangely natural: e.g. Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus. The wilderness indicates a liminal zone, wherein one may encounter forces beyond the normal everyday. Whether those forces are necessarily positive, negative, or perhaps trickster-y will become a key theme as the song progresses.

Colitas indicates an altered state of consciousness through produce of the earth: colitas, literally “little buds”, is slang for marijuana. From this point on the rest of the events in the song are going to take place in a non-ordinary state. This non-ordinary/altered state of consciousness indicates the frame of reference for interpreting everything that follows. The song is dream-like in its strange juxtaposition of characters and events, as well as the seemingly illogical flows from one event to another narratively, the arising and disappearing of characters seemingly out of thin-air. If we approach the song the way one might divine a dream, then more opportunities for meaning “unveil” themselves.

For thousands of years humans have employed various means to enter into non-ordinary states: a catch-all term for which is shamanism. Methods include intense percussive sound, breathing techniques, as well as ritual and ceremonial use of plants (mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote, etc.). Within these traditions, it is understood that the plants are embodied spirits (animism, from anima meaning the soul/consciousness within).

From this shamanic perspective, the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air means that the spirit of marijuana is now taken the singer on a shamanic journey. In an animistic-shamanic understanding, these non-ordinary states of consciousness are not simply internal changes within the person (though they include that) but also offer entrance into another dimension of reality. In this worldview, the realms accessed through these alternative states open one up to actual entities who exist within said realms. This point will become very important in interpreting the later highly strange events of the song.

Up ahead the distance I saw a shimmering light/
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
I had to stop for the night.

The key word here is shimmering. The UFO Phenomenon, whatever it may ultimately be, is said to shimmer. Dark deserted highways also are classic zones of encounters with The Phenomenon. From this angle, the shimmering light perfectly matches the warm smell of colitas; the altered state brought on by the plant unveils another dimension which has a non-ordinary quality or presence about it (the shimmering light). As I’ve argued previously the UFO Phenomenon is best though of as existing in the psychic realm—on the borderland between gross 3rd dimensional reality and subtler planes. The UFO Phenomenon is in a hybrid earth-mystical state and therefore compares, in terms of its manifestations, most closely to entities classically associated with that psychic realm: e.g. fairies, jinn.

My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
I had to stop for the night.

One of the most common elements of the UFO Phenomenon (replicated in the lore concerning fairies) is time loss or almost narcoleptic sleep-inducing patterns occurring as a consequence of encountering The Phenomenon. The psychic state is traditionally associated with the hypnagogic state—the twilight state between normal waking and deeper sleep and dreaming. While this interpretation may seem a bit far-fetched at first glance, none other than Eagles member Glenn Frey compared the song to an episode of The Twilight Zone. In other words, our protagonist has entered into a twilight reality, something akin to Alice in Wonderland, where the logic, physics, and interactions will be shaped by a very different dimension.

The Phenomenon “shimmers” because it exists on the borderland of the gross and subtle realms. It sometimes is more on the side of the subtle, while other times more on the gross material side. For example, in the UFO Phenomenon, something like craft appear in the sky that can outrun the fastest US military planes. But then it disappears from physical sight only to reappear somewhere else moments later, like a wrinkle in space-time. In poltergeist phenomena, the entities can affect physical objects (like turning off and on lights) but also are said to walk through walls.

The shimmering is the borderland/hybrid quality of being both physical but also not completely bound by gross 3rd dimension physics. This shimmering quality is also likely related to so-called over unity or zero point energy (“free energy”) possibilities, as also previously discussed on the site.

There she stood in the doorway,
I heard the mission bell.
And I was thinkin’ to myself
This could be heaven or this could be hell.

Who is the she? Where did she come from? One clue is that this feminine presence, whoever she may be, appears at the doorway. The doorway, like the shimmering, reveals a threshold. Rudolf Steiner—covered on the site previously—described an entity known as the guardian at the threshold (doorway). I’ve covered this previously in a review of Daniel Pinchbeck’s book on The UFO Phenomenon (where he discussed Steiner’s ideas).

The guardian at the threshold is like a non-ordinary realm bouncer. In order for a mystical aspirant to move forward into transpersonal states of consciousness, they must face the guardian. They must “get on the guest list” and gain the guardian’s favor in order move forward. Sometimes this involves knowing a secret phrase—like Ali Baba—or a quest must be undertaken and a treasure gained to prove one’s heroism.

Somehow—in a way not described in the song—the singer somehow passes this test as this feminine presence will shift from being a threshold entity to become the singer’s guide through this strange realm, something like Virgil to Dante through hell and purgatory.

Speaking of purgatory, the singer wonders whether this place is heaven or hell? But what if it’s neither? What if it is something more in between the two, something like purgatory? That would fit better with the in-between status of the shimmering, the psychic state, and the altered state induced by the plant. I’ll continue to explore this possibility that The Hotel California is a purgatorial zone for the singer.

He hears the mission bell, an enigmatic and ambiguous (ominous?) sound.

A mission bell along a dark, desert highway in California, clearly references the history of Spanish Roman Catholic colonialism in the area. The Roman Catholic Spanish missions sought to stamp out what they viewed as “paganism”, i.e. indigenous shamanic spiritual traditions among the native populations of the area. That attempt to conquer the local religious practices and beliefs was only so successful, as throughout the lands that would become California, Arizona, and Mexico a hybrid synthetic approach has held until today—with official Roman Catholic doctrine and clergy and unofficial local animistic religion co-existing alongside of (and sometimes hidden within) the official Catholic theology.

An example of which is the figure of Mary and her apparitions, e.g. Our Lady of Guadalupe. As Jacques Vallee showed decades ago, there’s a strange and strong overlap between the experience of Marian apparitions and The UFO Phenomenon—pointing yet again to the psychic state as the realm of The UFO because the psychic state-realm is also the location of The World Soul (Anima Mundi), classically depicted as a great “She” or “Earth Mother.”

As a consequence of the Roman Catholic Inquisition, the indigenous animistic traditions would get pushed to the margins, psychically as well as literally. In the psychic margins, the repressed returns (as even Freud knew and certainly Jung emphasized as well). It is possible then, in terms of the song, that the later fantastical elements are forgotten entities (“on a dark desert highway”) of the indigenous psyche of the land.

The Hotel California, in this interpretation, becomes then a realm accessed through a non-ordinary state. The various characters, the “hotel’s occupants” become entities of this alternative liminal reality-space.

Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say

This mysterious feminine principle transforms from the gatekeeper into a guide. She lights the candle and shows him the way: i.e. the way through this strange liminal realm.

There were voices down the corridor, I thought I heard them say….

For the second time, sound indicates an ominous darker tone to the story. In contrast, the visual clues so far have been mostly positive: shimmering illumination and candle light, as well as the warm smell of the colitas seems to be of a more positive nature. But the ringing of the mission bell and these seemingly disembodied voices from the darkness raise the specter of a more eerie foreboding tone. Also corridors takes on a very strange twist when considered in light of the UFO Phenomenon, particularly in the abduction version of The Phenomenon, a topic covered previously on the site. If my hypothesis of a purgatory-like nature to The Hotel California has some validity, then these voices announcing The Hotel would be in their own purgatorial states.

Welcome to The Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face.
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year
You can find it here.

Such a lovely place, such a lovely face. A strange juxtaposition of phrasing. Whose face? The face (edifice) of the hotel? A person’s face? If so, whose? The mysterious feminine presence guiding the singer?

The Hotel is a place, i.e. a location within in a realm, in this case, a dream-world. Again the visual clues speak to a superficial glamor (more on that in a bit) but the sound continues to send a different message. This glamor/sheen to the Hotel (“a lovely place”) is very much in the line of Ezekiel73’s piece on the society of The Spectacle. There’s a spectacle going on here, which will become more intense and even bizarre in the coming verses.

Plenty of the room at The Hotel California.
Any time of year/you can find it here.

Where is here? The Hotel California’s address is not on a public map. It’s in a liminal dream-state reality. Any time of year you can find it here—via the methods of accessing this non-ordinary lovely space: i.e. colitas, the shimmering, the dark desert highway, the in between twilight state of waking and dreaming.

There’s plenty of room because it’s not existing in a typical mundane 3rd dimensional sense. The Hotel is not bound by traditional linear occupancy numbers. There’s always more room in dreams for more characters.

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted,
She got the Mercedes Benz, uh
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
That she calls friends.
How they dance in the courtyard,
Sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember,
Some dance to forget.

Who is this feminine presence whose mind is Tiffany-twisted? Is it the same woman who he met at the doorway, who became his guide? If so, is she the de facto leader or matron of this establishment? “She’s got a lot of pretty pretty boys, that she calls friends.” Whoever this she is, she seems to have a position of authority/power.

Her is mind is Tiffany-twisted/she got the Mercedes Benz.

There’s a strong note of the glamor and sheen of material wealth, which is seemingly out of place in a dream-like fantastical environment with mission bells, strange voices in corridors, candle-lit passageways, etc.

However if we come back to the purgatorial-hypothesis, it would make much more sense. The material attachment and addiction of this character has her trapped in a sort of strange by-way in the afterlife. I’ve written previously on notions of the life after death and the continued existence in a weirdly natural form to the dead. I used the particle/wave duality from physics to leave open two not necessarily mutual exclusive options. A particle version which interprets the dead as ongoing consistent entities. And another, wave-like interpretation, where the “unfinished business” or ongoing psychic effects of the choices and behaviors of the previously living continue on in some fashion.

In this case, the particle-like interpretation would have it that the Hotel Calfornia is some sort of way-station on the psychic causeway, a kind of etheric cul-de-sac where characters who have become far too grossly enmeshed have lost their way—later references in the song likely bolster this interpretation.

In the wave-like interpretation, the haunting memories of glitz and false fame—Hollywood, Southern California of the 1970s—exist in a metaphoric dream-scape.

She’s got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
She calls friends.
How they dance in the courtyard,
Sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember,
Some dance to forget.

The woman would appear to be older, as she has “boys.” Her wealth and status has attracted younger men as her playthings. Maybe she's their sugar mama. Perhaps these boys may be phantasms of this women’s memory; they may be memories or dreams unlived in her psyche. And/or these boys may also be their own entities, as seem somehow snarled in this woman’s web. The power of a dream-like interpretation is that it can be both/and perspective. They can be both their own autonomous entities and also simultaneously somehow part her co-construction.

The woman takes on an almost sorcerer-like status at this point. She seems to have these boys under her spell (as it were). They begin to dance for her, strangely enough, a sweet summer sweat. What’s most intriguing about that reference is the allusion to the sweat lodges and sun dance rituals (“summer sweat”) of the indigenous tribes of the US plain states.

Ecstatic dancing—with or without the use of ritual mind-altering substances—is yet another in the long list of traditional methods of inducing shamanic and non-ordinary states.

Some dance to remember. Remembrance is one of the core admonitions in classic mystical traditions the world over: e.g. in the words of the Catholic mass, “Do this in Remembrance of Me.”

Those who are dancing to remember are trying to remember who they really are and perhaps find a way out of this strange in-between realm of The Hotel California. Those who are dancing to forget, are looking to temporarily have an altered experience, an ecstasy out of their hotel-psychic prison. One must forget the spectacle-allurements-glamor of The Hotel in order to remember the true nature and liberate oneself from the entrapment.

Even more curiously, in both the lore concerning both the fairy folk and UFOs, there's a common, essentially identical, motif of a larger feminine presence accompanied by smaller ("younger") male presences. This setup was the case for example in many of the encounters that Whitley Strieber had. Strieber at times considered the feminine "alien" presence to be a Marian-like figure (Strieber grew up Catholic), bringing back the earlier point made by Jacques Vallee. At other points, Strieber wondered if the feminine presence was the "good cop" to the "bad cop" male presences, as she seemed on the surface to be a guiding, caring, nurturing presence but perhaps was part of a multidimensional psyop? The feminine presence here at The Hotel California is eerily similar.  

One of the classic elements of fairy lore is the "fairy dance" where an individual would see fires ("shimmering light") in a forest or a desolate place ("dark desert highway") and would follow the light only to end up participating in a dance which would involve a loss of sense of time and identity ("some dance to forget"). It may not surprise you that very often in the fairy lore, there is a central larger feminine presence and smaller/younger male presences accompanying encircling the feminine presence ("she got a lot of prety, pretty boys/she calls friends").

One further motif in the fairy lore is that individuals are tempted to join their revelry due to a glamor or outer facade of shine, only to find that when they do indeed enter into connection, the facade starts to crumble leaving an often disgusting rot underneath.

Speaking of which, the allurements continue apace later in the song:

So I called up The Captain,
Please bring me my wine.
He said,
‘We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969.’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night,
Just to hear them say…(welcome to the Hotel California)

The wine is named specifically as a spirit. As mentioned previously in a shamanic-animistic worldview, psyche-altering substances are “spirits”. They are entities or forms of consciousness communed with through its physical manifestation—in this case, the grape.

The spirit of 1969 references the end of the 1960s and the end of the hippie movement and the idealism of the 60s revolutionary period. As Ezekiel73 detailed in his recent piece on The Network, “the summer of love” (1968) came to a dark and terrifying end with the brutal events of The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont, as well as the Tate-LaBianca murders by members of the Manson Family—with Charles Manson himself very possibly being a CIA asset (as detailed in Chaos by Tom O’Neill).

And still those voices are calling from far away.
Wake you up in the middle of the night ,
Just to hear them say…

For the third time, eerie sounds emerge piercing through the allure of the visual glamor. Are these voices the same ones calling from the corridor earlier in the song? My hunch would be yes but either way, these voices act almost like a choir in an ancient Greek tragedy. They are a haunting, warning cry to the singer (and us the listener). They wake you up in the middle of the night—once again referencing the dream-like status of this whole scenario. Voices that call to you from afar and wake you from sleep sound rather like voices from the beyond.

They are a choir and hence they sing the chorus:

Welcome to The Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face.
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise,
Bring your alibis.

The difference between the first round of the chorus and this one being the last half: 

They livin’ it up at the Hotel California.
What a nice surprise,
Bring your alibis.

They livin’ it up takes on a very different (and almost darkly ironic) tone in light of the hypothesis of this being purgatory. These beings are “alive” in one sense but walking dead/ghosts/phantasms in another. A surprise yes, but probably not a nice one. Their alibis are the stories these entities are enmeshed in, their entrapment to the allure, that has them bound to the Hotel. Like Dante meeting character in purgatory and hell, they each tell their tale and are yet somehow bound to that story even in the telling of it.

Mirrors on the ceiling,
Pink champagne on ice and she said,
We are all just prisoners here of our device.
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast.
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast.

After a brief interlude with the Captain, we appear to be back at the site of the boys dancing for this woman—who very likely is, but can’t say for certain, is the same woman that the singer meet at the door.

There’s mirrors on the ceiling, suggesting this sweet summer dance is likely to turn into an orgy. Or at least has very often in the past. There’s pink champagne on ice, yet another marker of ostentatious consumptive wealth and its alluring entrapment—just as with the Tiffany-twisted mind and the Mercedes Benz.

(She said) We are all just prisoners here of our own device.

This she is the same she, the presumed matron of The Hotel, the possible sorceress weaving this rather nightmarish dream-like sequence.

Device is a very curious word choice give its root form of “vice”. De-vice. The vices of wealth, loveless sex, drugs, and outer appearance without depth (“pretty pretty boys”) are what have them ensnared in The Hotel of 1970s California.

And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for their feast.
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast.

A ritual feasting and slaughter is here to take place. As before, there are any number of classic animistic ritual elements taking place in this song: the colitas-wine, ritual dancing, and now a sacrificial feast.

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining—another term for which is shimmering by the way—took place in a hotel a top an indigenous burial mound. The film, from this lens, is an exploration of white America existing as a haunted country a top the bones of the repressed genocide of the native populations.

Similarly, in The Hotel California, there are all the hallmarks of indigenous culture—ritual use of plant medicine, ceremonial dancing and feasting—but it is an entirely warped, twisted and inverted manner with the emphasis on allure, gross materiality, and the spectacle.

They are prisoners of their (de)vice.

The Hotel California is the site of a massive, initiation gone wrong.

(Sidenote: The Steely in steely knives is a reference to Steely Dan, one of the ultimate yacht rock bands.)

As I’ve detailed elsewhere, initiations—whether individual or social—can and do fail. And when they do they create a false inverse reality, a form of anti-life, that is not natural death but isn’t truly living either. They may be livin’ it up at the Hotel California, but they ain't livin’ it up and out of there.

A sign and symptom of the failed initiation is the inability to put down the beast. Some have argued the beast is addiction; there’s likely much truth in that outlook given all the calls for wine, colitas, and pink champagne (plus also potential sexual addiction).

As with the earlier desert highway, there’s another biblical reference here as well with The Beast. The Beast in The Book of Revelation (aka The Apocalypse of John) is the sign of Roman imperialism with all its violence and public spectacle of allure. The United States Empire, going back to its origins in The New Atlantis of Francis Bacon, was intentionally conceived as the attempt to re-imagine The Roman Empire.

Last thing I remember,
I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before.
Relax, said the nightman,
We are programmed to receive.
You can check out anytime you like,
But you can never leave.

The inverted and twisted nature of this place has finally dawned on the protagonist-singer. The last thing I remember line is a very ambiguous one. It suggests yet another time loss episode. He’s coming back to some last memory—though what has happened since is unclear. Running for the door and trying to find the passage is once more a very classic dream-like sequence. There are motifs of being unable to find one’s way, metaphors of being lost and disoriented in life.

Then the nightman, yet another curious, Alice in Wonderland-esque character emerges from seemingly out of nowhere. He seems to be some kind of observational being, spying on the denizens of the hotel. This night watchman is programmed. Is he some sort of cyborg-like machine? Is he human or only appearing as such? Or is the programming yet another feature of the dominance of this feminine presence constantly referenced through the song? Is this night guard himself once a free being who has himself now become enmeshed and entangled in this bizzaro world via her spider's web?

Whatever the exact case of its source, the programming the night watchman performs is a version of gaslighting or a psyop. (Psychological operations are a major theme covered many times on this site.) The nightman is there to run interference on the attempt to leave. He tries to relax him, assure the singer everything is ok, when obviously the instincts of the singer tell him otherwise.

You can check out anytime you like/
But you can never leave.

This line is where the friendly facade reveals its true sinister reality underneath. Here the mask drops and the gaslighting gives way to a direct overt threat.

I've been arguing for a purgatorial setting for The Hotel California. On first blush, this last line of the song would seem to point us back to the singer’s own inquiry that “this could be heaven or this could be hell.” The (seeming) permanency of the night guard’s statement would suggest hell, from whence there is no escape. It would seem to be everlasting in nature. In medieval Catholic theology what distinguishes purgatory from hell is not the level of intensity necessarily of the situation. The difference is that one eventually gets freed from purgatory and moves onto heaven—post said cleansing—whereas hell is everlasting and final.

“Abandon hope all ye who enter here” are the words written above the entrance to hell in Dante’s Inferno. By contrast, when Dante enters purgatory those suffering are crying tears of joy because they know eventually their movement to paradise is assured.

On the surface this would seem to invalidate my purgatory proposal. My counterargument is why should we necessarily trust the truth telling objectivity of this night guard, who by his own admission, is a programmed entity? Whose to say his programming is actually accurate—i.e. that there is no way truly out?

What if this last line is yet another aspect of the ongoing psyop?

In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis’ book on paradise, purgatory and hell, individuals from hell are driven up to paradise (heaven) everyday in a bus for a tour. No one tells them they have to get back on the bus at the end of the day. No one tells them they can’t stay there. They are only told that the bus leaves at the end of the day back to hell. Purgatory and hell here are only separated, in Lewis’ view, by whether someone chooses to stay in heaven or goes back to hell.

Which brings us back to “the last thing I remember.” The singer is now coming back to conscious awareness from this foggy quasi-hallucinogenic dreamscape. Is he remembering on the far side of having actually escaped? Or is he waking back up in The Hotel California coming to realize to his horror that he is indeed trapped there forever?

The lyrics of the song end at this point, leaving the question hanging. An epic, ripping dual guitar solo takes over, the end of which has something of the feel of running for the door, the riffs musically expressing the ending of the song’s last ominous lyrics.

My vote is that he has escaped and the final few chords of the guitars indicate a liberation from the entrapment but that interpretation is by no means assured. If it was purgatory, then the only question that remains is whether he has woken up in paradise, freed from the inverted bizzaro ritual of The Hotel California.

What if you can more than check out but actually leave?

<![CDATA[The Bourne Disclosure: Deep State Strategy on Screen]]>In a previous piece I explored the first two Jason Bourne movies (The Bourne Identity & The Bourne Supremacy) for clues as to the nature of parapolitical and deep state activities in our time. This movie will review the final two Matt Damon Bourne films (The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason

https://limitedhangout.wtf/jason-bourne/637a9e8ee172d406d30493d3Mon, 21 Nov 2022 00:22:31 GMT

In a previous piece I explored the first two Jason Bourne movies (The Bourne Identity & The Bourne Supremacy) for clues as to the nature of parapolitical and deep state activities in our time. This movie will review the final two Matt Damon Bourne films (The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason Bourne). Please read that piece first if you haven't already.

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum begins directly in the wake of the ending of The Bourne Supremacy. Jason Bourne has escaped from Russia, CIA Deputy Director Ward Abbott is dead by his own hand, and Bourne has obtained a confession by Abbott of his dirty dealings wth Russian oil tycoon Yuri Gretkov.

A few weeks later, a British journalist at the Guardian (Simon Ross) has a source from within the CIA exposing stories of CIA covert black operations—including about Bourne. The source is the CIA station chief in Madrid (Neil Daniels), who was part of Treadstone.

The movie never really explores Daniels’ reason for sharing secrets. We know with the history of Operation Mockingbird and other intelligence operations that journalists are often provided limited hangouts. The FBI and CIA even went so far as to embed reporters and particularly editors at major newspapers like The Washington Post and the New York Times. It’s unclear if Daniels is having a moment of conscience and is becoming a whistleblower or is in fact using Ross to expose some secrets but in a twisted way (perhaps pinning events on Bourne?).

Synchromystically or otherwise, it is intriguing that Daniels is station chief in Madrid. Madrid was one of the core centers of the post-WWII fascist international, described in previous pieces. Many fascists fled to Spain under the protection of Francisco Franco. Madrid is the site of the Madrid Circular, a document written by the postwar fascist syndicate that lays out a vision for how to regain power including the creation of a common European currency and free-trading zone: i.e The European Union!

In a phone conversation Ross says the codeword Blackbriar—mentioned by Ward Abbott at the end of the first film to Congress as the replacement program to Treadstone. Ross’ phone is being tapped by a CIA worldwide surveillance grid. In real life, Edward Snowden’s release of inside information concerning massive warrantless wiretapping came, in part, through the Guardian.

Noah Vosen, in charge of the CIA’s Blackbriar program, calls for an extraordinary rendition of Ross—a British national, i.e. a US ally. Rendition involves snatching up a target (usually deemed to be a terrorist of some sort) and removed from their host country without a legal process of extradition. In some cases renditioned individuals were brought to US black sites around the world (e.g. Poland) and in other cases to countries friendly to the US war on terror where there is a known policy of torture (e.g. Egypt, Saudi Arabia).

In the film Ross is also a veteran national security journalist which brings in the recent actions to suppress or force journalists to give up their sources. During the wiretapping revelations, it was found out US intelligence was tapping German chancellor and ally Angela Merkel’s phone. Rendition became a favorite tool of the CIA and other intelligence agencies in the post 9/11 War on Terror. A more accurate version of that plot would have involved coordination with MI5 and MI6 on rendition, as happened in real life.

Vosen eventually explains that Blackbriar is the umbrella program for all the CIA’s black operations. The War on Terror gave us “extra-judicial” prison sites like Guantanamo Bay, torture facilities like Abu Ghraib (which as Ezekiel73 pointed out in his piece has its roots in the Vietnam War), mass warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, “enhanced interrogation” (i.e. torture contravening the Geneva Accords), as well as the use of black ops for targeted lethal action.

Eventually the film reveals that “it all started with Bourne," i.e. the eventual Blackbriar program arises out of the original “enhanced” (read: torture) training tactics for Bourne. Now it may seem strange on the surface to connect the dots between a super solider mind control assassin program and warrant-less wiretapping but the link is there.

To go back to a point Ezekiel73 made in his recent piece on The Network, during The Vietnam War the US Military conducted human psychological experiments (growing out of MKUltra), while at the same time were conducing a counterinsurgency campaign. US military leaders studied French counterinsurgency theorists of the 1950s and 1960s, who advocated significant use of torture and psychological terror campaigns as part of a broader counterinsurgency operation. Those same French counterinsurgency theorists advocated domestically a policy known as the “strategy of tension”, which consisted of infiltrating anti-government political groups (mostly left wing) and agitating them to lead to greater violence. The strategy of tension advocates were rooted in fascist movements (quelle surprise!). They hoped that left-wing terror on the streets would lead to a call publicly for a military dictatorship.

This strategy of tension was also deployed by the FBi and CIA domestically in the United States during the same time period. Chaos: Charles Manson, The CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill makes a compelling case that Charles Manson was a CIA asset of some sort and that the Manson Family murders were part of a psychological terror campaign orchestrated to smear the hippie movement.

Much the same argument is made concerning the Symbionese Liberation Army by author Brad Schreiber in his book, Revolution’s End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA. DeFreeze was the purported leader of the SLA which theoretically was an anti-government left-wing US domestic terrorist outfit. DeFreeze however came out of California penal system—the same prison system as Charles Manson—which hosted multiple MKUltra experiments.

Patty Hearst is remembered as a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm syndrome, however, is, at least in this case, a fancy theoretical term covering up for the effects of MKUltra mind control experiments on Hearst. The same kinds of conditioning and programming effects seen in Bourne.

Which brings us to the second major aspect of The Bourne Ultimatum which takes a much darker dive (literally and figuratively) into Bourne’s trauma-induced mind control training.

We see multiple shots of Bourne being waterboarded, being asked if he will fully commit himself to the training. Bourne answers no—each time followed by another round of torture. Here the entire history of MKUltra and its earlier predecessors Artichoke and Bluebird come into play, as does it successor in The Phoenix Program (during Vietnam War). I’ll make reference again at this juncture to Ezekiel73’s indispensable pieces on the weaponization of social scientific research in MK-Ultra, as well as Pt2 on the Network.

MKUltra used all manner of experimental methods to seek to induce mind control. The processes were all ultimately rooted in a specific understanding of the ancient practice of alchemy, which I’ve covered in multiple pieces on the site. In one strain of alchemy, everything first had to be boiled down—called negredo—only then to reconfigured into a new form.

As it pertains to a human being, the point then was to “boil down” a human psyche to a state of pure brokenness, fragmented into constituent parts, which could then be reassembled at the behest of some controlling agent. The mind and spirit had to be crushed and fully broken down (“negredo”) in order to build them back up.

For more on this horrifically brutal and disturbing history see Colin Ross' two books: Military Mind Control and The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists. 

In the film, we learn that Bourne’s real name is actually David Webb. As Bourne (or Webb’s) memory is returning he recalls a psychiatrist in charge of the program: Dr. Albert Hirsch (creepily and perfectly portrayed by Hal Finney). Hirsch is based on real life MKUltra psychiatrists like Drs. Ewan Cameron, Sidney Gotlieb, and Jolyon West.

West, for example, did his Ph.D research on inducing a psychotic break in another person. West was called in as psychiatric consult to Jack Ruby, the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald. Towards the end of his life Ruby wanted to “clarify” his testimony in relationship to his murder of Oswald. West was brought into “examine” Ruby. After that “examination”, West emerged announcing that Ruby had had a psychotic break and would not be fit to testify before the congressional hearing on JFK’s assassination.

In the film, Hirsch repeatedly asks Bourne/Webb if he will “commit to the program” After multiple nos—followed by more torture—Webb eventually says yes. It’s as this point that the camera pans to a hooded prisoner tied to a chair in the corner of the room. Webb gets up, grabs the gun that has been sitting in front of him the entire time, and shoots the man (killing him). Hirsch then says, “You are no longer David Webb. You are now Jason Bourne.”

Hirsch has now completed his process of breaking down the normal processes of empathy in Webb. The unnamed prisoner literally dies in the encounter while David Webb figuratively is also killed in the encounter. The negredo is complete. He is no longer David Webb and the emergence of Jason Bourne (“Re-bourne”) comes through the use of ritual murder. Hirsch broke Webb down so he could alchemically create Bourne as a conscience-less, cold-blooded psychopathic killer.

As Dave McGowan showed in his book Programmed to Kill, the Phoenix Program in Vietnam became the basis for the serial killer phenomenon in the United States of the 1970s, including very possibly the ritualistic Son of Sam killings.

From a “practical” point of view, as well, the use of the ritual murder compromises the agent from the beginning, making them totally beholden to their handlers. Bourne’s loss of memory, his momentary pangs of conscience (e.g. not killing Wombosi’s children) all point to the imperfect nature of such technocratic control over the human mind. But the trauma-induced mind control tactics employed on Bourne leave their horrifying marks on his being which continue to reveal themselves, layer by layer, throughout the films.

The Bourne Ultimatum ends with Bourne stealing secret files on Blackbriar and giving them to Pamela Landy, a CIA agent, who turns whistleblower. The film ends with the assumption that the program has been shut down due to the public revelation of this ultra-secret program. That leads into the fourth and final Bourne film (with Matt Damon), called simply Jason Bourne.

Jason Bourne

A number of years pass between the ending of the third film and the beginning of the fourth. Jason Bourne has gone off the grid and is boxing for cash in Macedonia. Nicky Parsons, former CIA Operation Treadstone logistical technician, who went on the run after helping Bourne in the third movie, is now working with a man named Christian Desault. Desault is a movie version of Julian Assange. Desault leaks sensitive information over the internet a la Wikileaks.

At the time of writing, Assange is facing extradition from the UK—where he has been held in prison since 2019—to the United States. He was charged in US courts with violating the 1917 Espionage Act.

As Ezekiel73 detailed in his first piece on the Network, the administration of US President Woodrow Wilson marks a major turning point in bringing the American side into the Anglo-American establishment. Wilson’s political advisor/Svengali, Col. House, was a major agent of the interests of the Round Table Group—a group convened in Britain to extend British global dominance into the 20th century.

The Round Table group ran influence campaigns to seek to turn the tide of US public opinion towards entering into the war on the Allied side. US public opinion was largely opposed to entry into World War I. Wilson was able use the false flag of the sinking of the Lusitania as a cover for entry into the war. The war allowed Wilson to pass The Espionage Act to quell any domestic dissent. Wilson also introduced the Federal Reserve as the US Central Bank, which brings us back to the Bank of International Settlements from the prior piece in this series.

Wilson of course also led the US delegation to the Treaty of Versailles and the treaty’s massive war reparations payments laid on Germany, setting the stage for the German hyperinflation crisis and the subsequent Rape of Germany period detailed in the prior piece. That same Espionage Act is now the one being used as a threat against Assange for exposing some of the contemporary dirty dealings of the Network.

Nicky Parsons hacks into the CIA, discovering evidence of the CIA having tracked and recruited David Webb (Jason Bourne) into the program. She also learns that Webb’s father Richard, was involved in Operation Treadstone. Parsons locates Webb/Bourne in isolation. Parsons is being tracked and her encounter with Bourne brings him out of hiding and sets in motion the rest of the film.

Richard Webb, father to David Webb (later Jason Bourne), was the architect of the Treadstone program. It was Richard Webb who theorized that the US needed highly trained special forces, outside the normal chain of command, who could be called upon during a global war against stateless terrorist type organizations. Perhaps the closest real life parallel to Richard Webb and his ideas for Treadstone (and later Blackbriar) is Col. Charles Alvin Beckwith. Beckwith created Delta Force, a special forces outfit of the US Army. Beckwith also recommended the creation of JSOC: Joint Special Operations Command following Operation Eagle Claw: i.e. the failed rescue attempt of the US hostages in Iran in 1980. JSOC was meant to coordinate operations between various special forces units: e.g. Delta Force and Navy Seals.

JSOC’s original assignment was capturing Manuel Noriega in US invasion of Panama.  JSOC, which was originally considered a somewhat fringe element of the US military, became, especially under President Barack Obama, the go to division for special operations in the war on terror. JSOC personnel were involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. JSOC operatives were also involved in the infamous Black Hawk Down event in Somalia—they had been sent to capture Somalian warlord Mohammed Aideed (1993). JSOC was involved in the assassination of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq as well as Zarqawi’s successor Abu Masri, with the group morphing into the infamous Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The influence of JSOC continues to grow. Stanley McChrystal, who was head of JSOC during the Iraq War, lead the operation that killed Zarqawi. He was later promoted to overall commander of the Afghanistan War.

JSOC also has US citizens on its kill list. See Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars for more on JSOC. The failure of a strategic over reliance on small teams of super trained elite soldiers conducting targeted assassinations and manhunts is very apparent both in the Bourne movies and its real life counterpart.

Back to the film…

Richard Webb became distraught learning that the CIA was targeting his son as a potential recruit for the Treadstone program that Webb had conceived. Richard Webb threatened the CIA with leaking the program and as a result was assassinated. The assassination (car bomb) is made to look like the work of a terrorist cell, leading David Webb to volunteer for the program—a program that will tragically focus on targeted assassinations (including even of CIA personnel and American citizens), assassinations made to look like the handiwork of others.

The inter-generational trauma dynamic in the film reveals yet another thread covered multiple times on the site: social traumatology. Social traumatology is the application of trauma studies to inter-generational family lineage, sub-cultures, and wider societies. I’ve look through a social traumatological lens at Donald Trump, the US Civil War and its ongoing cultural war effects, as well as the Mens’ Rights and #metoo movements.

One of the core insights of social traumatology work, particularly through the study of family constellations, is that the unfinished work of the ancestors gets played out by the successive generations (“the sins of the father”). David Webb’s father, initiated an ultra-secret program, of ultra-elite, super solider assassins which eventually ensnared his own son in its “web.” The CIA lies to David Webb about his father’s assassination and then wipes his memory in order to train him (Webb/Bourne) in killing in the very same methods that murdered his father.

The interplay between social traumatology and mind control points back yet again to MK Ultra (and its offshoots). As I’ve covered in previous pieces, one of the strangest aspects of the highly strange topic of UFOs is the consistent replication of the phenomenon through multiple generations, especially among military families. This line of inquiry is made even more complex by faked human “alien abduction”, particularly by military and/or intelligence personnel. It raises the possibility that much of what one might consider the alien abduction phenomenon of the 1960-1970s, was yet another tentacle of the MKUltra Octopus. The CIA admitted publicly (on its Twitter feed!) that it had faked alien abductions. These are known as MILABs (Military Abductions). While David Webb was not being targeted for a fake alien abduction experiment, it is very creepy that he was being surveilled and groomed for entrance in to a trauma-based mind control program. While David Webb was already in the US army at this point, there are the even darker accusations of grooming of underage minors by intelligence agencies: aka Project Monarch as a possible subset of MKUltra (think Stranger Things). One potential victim of childhood programming is the godfather of abduction lore Whitley Strieber: a possibility Strieber has publicly speculated on himself.

In broad terms, MKUltra sought to exploit vulnerable populations: e.g. psychiatric patients, inmates, young students at universities, and in this example a grieving son.

Silicon Valley and Military-Technological Industrial Complex

The other major thread of the last Bourne film is that the Director of the CIA Robert Dewey (played by Tommy Lee Jones) seeks return on his investment in a media platform named Deep Dream. The Deep Dream founder Aaron Kalloor (played by Riz Ahmed) publicly calls his platform the most transparent and claims that the site is free from surveillance. Meanwhile he has taken seed money from the CIA for his project. Deep Dream is a clear take off on Facebook (now Meta). I’ve previously explored parapolitical revelation of the method concerning the Meta-verse in the film Free Guy.

Dewey wants to create a backdoor into Deep Dream so he can spy on all its users. This project is code named Iron Hand, third in the line of succession to Operations Treadstone and Blackbriar.

In our world, The CIA has its own venture capital wing known as In-Q-Tel. In-Q-Tel was the first backer of Peter Thiel’s Palantir—which is involved in Minority Report-esque pre-crime artificial intelligence. Palantir is named after the seeing stones of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings books. As I’ve covered previously elites like Thiel are the kind of individuals who read Tolkien and think that Sauron was on the right track with that whole “one ring to rule them all in and in the darkness bind them.” The Palantiri are a series of conduits for an “all-seeing eye”, that is total surveillance. It’s right there in the name—they ain’t hiding it folks.

Right in line with said “morals”, Thiel is part of a large Silicon Valley contingent who want to inject themselves with the blood of the young to extend their lifespans (aka actual vampirism). Speaking of vampires, Thiel co-founded PayPal and was also an early investor in Facebook.

Thiel also was the shadow backer of Hulk Hogan’s seemingly quixotic lawsuit against the online media company Gawker. Thiel backed the lawsuit because Gawker had outed him as gay some years earlier. The lawsuit bankrupted Gawker. It became yet another vector of attack in the war on journalism and free press. From the side of government, there’s the prosecutions against whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning (and threats of the same against Edward Snowden), extradition proceedings against Assange, as well as pressure put on journalists to give up their sources. While from the corporate-tech side of things they can simply bankrupt a magazine they do not like or in the case of Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder), simply buy The Washington Post itself and literally write the news that best suits their own agenda.

Lastly, who could have guessed that Thiel’s supposedly self-contradictory and complicated political philosophy becomes rather un-complicated and quite self-consistent, when viewed as a form of fascism? Sauron was pretty faschy after all.

As Whitney Webb details in her excellent piece on Facebook’s connection to the military industrial complex, DARPA had a program named LifeLogs which sought to create a social media platform where users would share all their personal data, relationship connections, preferences, shopping, political persuasions, and the like. It sounds an awful lot like Facebook in other words. Coincidentally or otherwise, LifeLogs was shut down the day that Facebook went live. So whether Facebook was directly funded by the intelligence agencies—a la Jason Bourne—or just so happened to separately be created by another, it ended up playing the exact same function.

As I’ve covered in a previous piece, the practice of gaining users attentions, aka the “attentional economy”, is itself a product of the same mind control techniques having their roots in MKUltra. In that piece I detail the story of Cambridge Analytica—which, unsurprisingly, had connections to Peter Thiel—where Analytica, according its own internal memos, admitted that It was deploying weapons-grade psychological warfare tactics on targeted populations via Facebook.

Additionally, as I’ve also covered elsewhere, there’s the highly strange intersection between the creation of the internet and the CIA’s project to develop psychic spies: aka Third Eye Spies. Those two projects were simultaneously carried out at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). In fact some individuals were involved in both projects. The connection between the two seemingly completely opposed projects, is that both involved an “all seeing eye” if you will. One project looked to create a digital Panopticon (internet/arpanet) and the other was for psychic interior “all-seemingness” through remote viewing-based espionage.

One last point of comparison between the Jason Bourne plot element of the CIA backdoor into the social media giant is the PROMIS software scandal. There’s a whole piece unto itself on that one—in fact Ezekiel73’s next instalment on The Network will do precisely that so I’m not going into major detail on PROMIS right now.

But it’s enough to say here that in the early 1980s Bill Hamilton designed a then state-of-the-art management software tool (PROMIS: Prosecutors Management Information System). Hamilton was hired by the US Justice Department to direct the program to coordinate tracking of individuals with felonies/warrants across states lines (no such federal digital database existed previously). Hamilton’s program was then stolen likely by a faction within the Justice Department and/or the intelligence agencies. The program was then repurposed and sold (without Hamilton’s consent) to foreign governments, other intelligence agencies (e.g. Mossad), as well as banking and corporate interests. A backdoor was installed into the updated version of the PROMIS software which was then used to spy on its users, exactly as described in the film.

These examples only begin to scratch the surface of deep involvement by military intelligence in the creation of Silicon Valley from its very inception. Yasha Levine’s book Surveillance Valley details the history in incredible depth.

For our purposes here, note the consistent theme of the “all-seeing eye” running through Thiel’s Palantir, remote viewing/psychic espionage, and the very foundations of the internet itself. Additionally, this “all seeing eye” surveillance orientation is itself completely rooted in attempts to control the mind through methods like hypnosis, hallucinogens, and other MKUltra torture techniques.

“It all started with Bourne.” Or in the real world “it all started with MKUltra.”

The same mentality underlying the desire to surveil and control an individual’s mind is the same mentality that seeks to create technology that doe the same thing on a global scale.

<![CDATA[The Bourne Revelation: Cinematic Parapolitical Insights]]>In previous pieces I’ve explored movies as potential sources of insight into parapolitical (“deep state”) realities, the technical term for which is “revelation of the method.” Hidden truths about our social, political (and even spiritual) world are placed in the public eye though slightly cockeyed so as not to

https://limitedhangout.wtf/the-bourne-revelation/63756423e172d406d30491f4Fri, 18 Nov 2022 00:00:24 GMT

In previous pieces I’ve explored movies as potential sources of insight into parapolitical (“deep state”) realities, the technical term for which is “revelation of the method.” Hidden truths about our social, political (and even spiritual) world are placed in the public eye though slightly cockeyed so as not to be so obviously blatant lens but nevertheless significant clues are given with just the right frame of reference. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a limited hangout. I’ve previously explored one such revelation of the method concerning the metaverse in the film Free Guy.

This piece (and the subsequent one) will explore the four Jason Bourne movies staring Matt Damon (there was a fifth film in the series starring Jeremy Renner as well). This piece will cover the first two Bourne films: The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. The second piece will cover the other two Bourne films: The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason Bourne.

Woven throughout the plots of these films are a series of revelations of deep state covert activity. I will only focus on the deep state/parapolitical elements in each film and not all plot elements. These pieces will stand in relationship to Ezekiel73’s amazing series on The Network. Those pieces explore the real-life historical development and evolution the deep state (or perhaps deep states plural). These films intersect with that history at multiple points as we’ll see. I'll reference a parapolitical truth revealed through the film, then explore that parapolitical data point after which I'll return to the film analysis.

The Bourne Identity

The plot of the first Bourne film centers on the amnesiac protagonist of the film Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and his attempt to evade police and assassins, while along the way recovering his true identity. At the beginning of the film, a fishing vessel off the coast of France rescues an mentally foggy Bourne from the waters where he’s been shot with no recollection of how he got in the water or why he was attacked.

Swiss Banking, Nazis, and The CIA

Embedded in Bourne’s hip is a small electronic device which emits a Swiss bank account number. We see here our first deep state elements: body modification methods with digital surveillance and Swiss bank accounts.

Bourne travels to Zurich to investigate the bank account. The Swiss Bank account element references an entry history of nefarious Swiss banking activity: e.g. stories of Nazi gold held in Swiss bank accounts (or rather gold looted by Nazis from Jews and other minority populations).

Switzerland is also the home of The Bank of International Settlements (BIS). The BIS was originally set up to coordinate German reparation payments after World War I (much more on interwar Germany to come so please note this point). The BIS became, in time, the Central Bank of Central Banks.

The Bank remained officially neutral during World War II though in practice coordinated banking activities during the war years across Allied and Axis powers. Towards the end of the war the Bank's chairman was American Thomas McKittrick, aka "Hitler's American Banker".

Switzerland’s unique politically neutral status within Europe allowed it to be a haven for Allied and Axis power financial realities. Switzerland also became a place of espionage for both sides in WWII.

McKittrick also was a close friend of Allen Dulles and while stationed in Switzerland also did espionage work for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the forerunner to the CIA.

Speaking of Allen Dulles, the first civilian head of the CIA, was originally station chief of the aforementioned CIA predecessor organization, The OSS, in Bern and later Zurich, Switzerland. It was in that post that Dulles made deals with remaining elements of the Nazi regime that were instrumental in the post-war Fascist International as I covered in two previous pieces.

Operation Paperclip—the incorporation of “former” Nazi scientists into the US industrial sphere was a key element here. Paperclip—as detailed in Ezekiel73’s piece on the weaponization of social scientific research—becomes the source of what will later become the human experiments of MK-Ultra, much of which took place under Dulles’ CIA leadership. Dulles also made a deal with Nazi SS Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, head of Nazi espionage for the Eastern front against the Soviets. The “Gehlen org”, as it came to be known, was essentially wholesale in-sourced to become the CIA’s Eastern European espionage division. The Gehlen org became the backbone of West Germany’s intelligence apparatus, which in turn became core to the development of NATO’s intelligence agencies. From NATO and various fascist groups we get the tradition of Operation Gladio and the “stay behind” operations. Former fascists were the boots on the ground in the assassination of Mossadeq in the CIA-backed Iranian coup of 1953 (when Dulles was CIA Director).

Members of the Gehlen org have also been implicated by a number of researchers studying the JFK assassination. Dulles was infamously public harangued and fired by President Kennedy for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Disturbingly, Dulles was later one of the members of the Warren Commission, ostensibly set up to investigate the murder of the President, but more likely as a means to cover up and whitewash the conspiracy behind his killing. In that capacity, Dulles kept deleted from the record of the Commission’s proceedings, Dulles' own personal connections (via his mistress) to Ruth and Michael Paine, who were hosting Marina & Lee Harvey Oswald and got Lee Harvey his job at the Texas book depository.

Dulles was after all originally a corporate lawyer for an East Coast financial firm: Sullivan and Cromwell. The firm came to national prominence for its role in lobbying on behalf of Panama and not Nicaragua as the site of a canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Cromwell received the largest sum ever paid at that point to a lawyer.

From the very beginning the intersection between covert intelligence agencies and their connection to terrorist groups—an alliance core to The Network—is in service of global corporate financial interests. In Allen Dulles we see all those threads woven togehter in a braid. All of that history, intentionally or unintentionally, is brought into play through Bourne’s electronic device with a Swiss bank account.

Confessions of an Economic MKUltra Hitman

Returning to the film, Bourne makes it to his safety deposit box at the bank in which he finds numerous passports with multiple identities, a gun, and an immense store of cash in various currencies. An asset at the bank calls into a division within the CIA called Operation Treadstone to inform them of Bourne’s arrival. We learn that Treadstone is a hidden project within the CIA and its opaque to the wider Washington D.C. federal government.

It's crucial to stress just how compartmentalized these types of operations really are in actual history. As Ezekiel73 stated it in this most recent piece on the Network:

William Colby took over as CIA director in 1973 while Operation CHAOS was still ongoing and was tasked with looking into it. He later wrote this incredible statement in his memoir- “I found it impossible to do much about whatever was wrong with [CHAOS]. Its super-secrecy and extreme compartmentalization kept me very much on its periphery”. It was secret- to the head of the CIA itself!

Just so in the film, Operation Treadstone is known only to The CIA Director, Deputy Director (Ward Abbott), and Operational Chief of Treadstone (Alexander Conklin). What was distinct about Treadstone was that operatives were simply given orders but were able themselves—as lone gunmen—to develop their own strategies for how to complete those missions. In this manner the program needed a skeleton crew of logistical support and created plausible deniability and a reduced likelihood of leaks. The program hinged on the idea that the agents were so deeply programmed by their psychological conditioning that they could be trusted to exist for no other reason than to carry out missions. They were to be ghosts haunting their targets and then disappearing again into the walls.

Bourne heads to the US consulate and then escapes capture. Bourne—without self-conscious awareness—is able to read a room, plan and execute an escape. His training—which as we’ll learn later was through experimental torture and MKUltra style programming methods—is so deep in his being they activate spontaneously, even while he has no memory of who he is.

Bourne meets up with Marie Kruetz, who was denied a visa at the US Consulate. He offers her money to drive him. A series of events take place—including an attempt on Bourne’s life by another Treadstone agent. Bourne eventually learns that he was sent on a mission to kill exiled Nigerian dictator Nkywanna Wombosi. Wombosi had been put into power by a CIA-back coup but was eventually overthrown, currently exileed in France. Wombosi threatened to expose CIA secret activity across the African continent, which is why Bourne was tasked with his assassination—which was meant to look as if one of his bodyguards had committed the murder.

John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is one of the core texts that explores this arc of the story. Perkins details the history of economic colonialism, especially through groups like the IMF and World Bank. Third world countries would be forced to privatize their land, water, oil, gas, and mineral resources under the premise of joining the world economic order. Leaders who did not participate in the consensus were often found in compromising situations and/or directly threatened.

The Coup against democratically-elected socialist Chilean president Salvador Allende (1973) is a classic example in this regard. Torture tactics learned in the MK-Ultra program were used to gruesome effect. Allende’s assassination was carried on CIA orders by “former” fascist elements who had fled to South America after the war. The CIA installed fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet to replace Allende. Pinochet then followed the early forms of deregulation, influenced by Milton Friedman among other economists, in what Naomi Klein famously named The Shock Doctrine. The template of assassinating a socialist leader, privatizing the countries natural resources, using “ex” fascists, and installing a dictatorial regime was set in the previously mentioned 1953 Iranian coup, largely at the behest of British Petroleum. For more on this story see Ezekiel73's post on the subject.

Back to the movie, Wombosi goes public with the claim that the failed attack on his life was due to the CIA and he threatens to publicize his knowledge of their dirty secrets in Africa—all as a ploy to get him back into power. Operation Treadstone chief Conklin orders one of the other Treadstone agents to finish the job Bourne was supposed to have done, which he does as Wombosi is murdered in his home.

One of Bourne’s other fake identities was that of a John Michael Kane. Kane had presented himself to a Maritime Security Alliance, ostensibly as a businessman looking for security solutions for his own yacht. In reality, Bourne (aka Kane) was gathering intelligence on Wombosi and his own yacht—Wombosi being another client of Maritime Security.

A maritime security firm points to yet another tentacle of the octopus, namely that of international trade/business being a front for criminal enterprises and/or covert intelligence operations (or both). Aristotle Onassis would be an illustrative example of this tendency (which through his later marriage to Jackie Kennedy brings back the JFK storyline).

The lines between the transnational institutions like the IMF and World Bank, debt slavery, international commerce as a front for organized crime, organized crime intersecting with intelligence agencies, all flow in a disturbingly seamless manner through the film.

The first film ends with Bourne confronting his erstwhile boss Alexander Conklin and through Conklin’s explanation comes to remember the events surrounding his assassination attempt on Wombosi. Bourne got onto Wombosi’s boat and was just about to kill him when he noticed Wombosi’s children sleeping with him in the cabin. Bourne tells Conklin he’s leaving the program and not follow him. He escapes and the film ends with him re-uniting with Marie.

Ward Abbott—who becomes a key player in the sequel—goes before Congress to say that Treadstone was a failed program and it’s being shut down, only to be replaced by another secret program named Blackbriar.

The Bourne Supremacy

Within each film in the series, Bourne begins to have flashbacks to different events in his past. In this film Bourne has flashbacks to an event in Berlin though the memory is incomplete and fuzzy—all a consequence of his trauma-induced mind control programming. We learn that other Treadstone agents complained of ongoing migraines, difficulty driving at night (for which medication was prescribed), and intense emotional mood swings. Those are all classic symptoms of ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder, including even partial memory stored in the body as detailed in traumatologist Peter Levine’s book In An Unspoken Voice: How The Body Releases Trauma as well as Bessel van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score.

The fuller details of the MKUltra-esque nature of Bourne’s programming begin to be revealed in this film and are fully explained in the third film (Bourne Ultimatum). In the Bourne novels, by author Robert Ludlum, which are the basis for the movies, Operation Treadstone comes out of Vietnam. As Ezekiel73 detailed in his most recent piece on The Network Vietnam was a “technowar”, even a “psychowar.” Vietnam became the testing ground for all manner of brutal torture, psychological conditioning, weather modification experiments, and black operations. In this regard, the books were very historically accurate to depict Treadstone as growing out of Vietnam. The books further state that the program was created in light of congressional activity in the 1970s trying to reign in the CIA and bring them back within the control of the constitutional republic. That point too has real-life parallels.

At the beginning of the second film, Bourne and Marie have been on the run for two years. They are hiding out in Goa, India. A Russian assassin makes an attempt on Bourne’s life. Bourne survives while Marie is killed. The same Russian assassin shows up separately to foil a CIA operation to recover files concerning a murdered Russian reformist politician named Vladimir Neski. These files are said to have information about $20 million in CIA funds that went missing seven years prior.

The assassin (Kirill) murders the CIA agent and Russian informant, steals the files, and then plants fingerprints belonging to Jason Bourne at the scene. Kirill is an agent of The FSB, the successor to the KGB. Kirill is working at the behest of Russian oil tycoon Yuri Gretkov. Eventually we learn that Gretkov received the $20 million from CIA Deputy Director Ward Abbott through a secret slush fund. These funds allowed Gretkov to take control of Russian oil interests along the Caspian Sea. Vladmir Neski, the assassinated reformist Russian politician, was an advocate of state-control of the oil sector and therefore opposed to privatization. For this reason the CIA, through Operation Treadstone, had Neski murdered. It was Bourne’s first assignment in Treadstone. Neski’s wife was unexpectedly in the room (just like Wombosi’s children) and Bourne made the scene to appear like a murder-suicide by Mrs. Neski. Yet again, another confession of an economic hitman, with the CIA-Banking-Big Oil nexus continuing its longstanding history.

The plot of this film is a bit more complex than the first one but is very revealing and ultra relevant in the current moment. There’s a great deal to unpack here. To understand all this we first need to look at post WWI Germany. Synchromystically or otherwise, the Neski murders take place in Berlin. Earlier in the piece I mentioned the Bank of International Setlements and how it was originally designed to coordinate German reparation payments from World War I. Here we pick back up that historical thread, which will eventually bring us to understanding the current hostitlies between Russia, The Ukraine, and the West.

I’ve covered some of this terrain, especially the Russian angle, in my previous pieces exploring Donald Trump and his longstanding deep state ties—including to the Russian deep state.

At The Treaty of Versailles (attended by both Allen Dulles and his brother, later Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles), Germany was made to pay heavy reparations. The disastrous war plus the economic burden of debt repayment resulted in a spiraling inflationary crisis in the German economy. The original Versailles Treaty and its later amendment (known as the Dawes Plan)  were in essence a porto-version of the later IMF-backed debt for land deals mentioned earlier with reference to John Perkins.

Whitney Webb and co-author Iain Davis have begun a series exploring how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (aka Agenda 2030) follow the exact same template now being sold as way of saving the planet, but instead becoming another angle for corporate domination.

A number of British and US financial and banking interests profited heavily from shady business dealings during the economic crisis of early 1920s Germany. Franklin Roosevelt, later US President, was one such figure. While not every such vulture capitalist ended up supporting the rise of the Nazi party, this initial Anglo-American foray into the German postwar economy did set the stage for those who would, most infamously Henry Ford. As Antony Sutton showed, US and British investment in funding the Nazi party was immense: GE and IBM (along with Ford) to name just a few.

The aforementioned John Foster Dulles—the namesake of the Washington D.C. airport—forced his German-based law firm employees to sign every document Heil Hitler until his law partners forced him to close the German branch in 1935! That law firm? You guessed it an international branch of Sullivan and Cromwell. Foster Dulles was a major architect (as a lawyer for a financial firm remember) of the Dawes Plan.

This period—particularly the 1920s—became known as the Rape of Germany. It was a proto-version of The Shock Doctrine. I mention the Rape of Germany because it was the template for the 1990s Rape of Russia, which brings us back to the plot of the second Bourne movie.

As the Soviet Union was collapsing in the late 1980s, elite Anglo-American (and broader Western) interests greedily eyed the possibility of marauding the post-Soviet Russian era to come. Initially, President George HW Bush publicly proclaimed that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe and then immediately reneged on that promise. Bush and the Bush family had major economic dealings in the post-Soviet Russian era.

US economist Jeffrey Sachs, was the main architect of the “shock therapy” (shock doctrine ) transition from the communist system to a global market economy. The Russian economy tanked, leading to famine and widespread crime and chaos. During that period of chaos, Russian oligarchs and crime lords came to power. Russian President Boris Yeltsin was deep in the pockets of the international network/syndicate who stripped Russian natural resources and communist-era technology, enriching themselves in the process (including again the Bush family). Sachs is currently Director for the Center of Sustainable Development at Columbia University, as well as President of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, showing yet again the link between the shock doctrine and sustainable development/Agenda 2030.  

In the film, the CIA-backed Russian oligarch Yuri Gretkov, represents the Russian oligarchs and mafia who were cozy with the West: e.g. Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Interestingly Gretkov’s asset in the film, Kirill, is an FSB agent. The KGB, the predecessor to the FSB, is of course is where Vladimir Putin first rose to prominence. Putin briefly held the position of head of the FSB under then President Boris Yeltsin.

Vladimir Neski, in the film, was said to a be Russian democratic reformist politician and in favor of control Russian oil. Like with Mosaddegh and Allende in real life, Neski had to go.

The Network deeply wanted to control post-Soviet Russia. Under Yeltsin that had enormous control and influence, even as Russia descended into chaos. Putin rose to power by either making deals with the oligarchs and crime bosses or eliminating those who opposed him.

Putin then brutally established law and order and sought to slowly regain territory from the Soviet era—first quelling the revolt in Chechnya, instigating a war with Georgia, then annexing Crimea, intervening in Syria, and culminating in the current war in The Ukraine.

Putin’s Russia, in other words, created its own antithetical deep state to the Anglo-American one. It, like its Anglo-American counterpart, exists at the nexus of intelligence agencies and organized crime. Those two deep states, like mafia families, are at war with each other under the surface, like tectonic plates moving the geopolitical order. The above ground states of the US and Russia inch closer and closer to all war with each other, especially via the proxy war between the two in The Ukraine.  

In my pieces on Donald Trump I also explored his longstanding dalliance and intersection with multiple forms of organized crime: New York real estate, casinos, Hollywood, and the Russian mob/intelligence deep state. Trump’s connection to organized crime flow through his political mentor Roy Cohn, one-time chief legal counsel to Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy hearings and later the go-to lawyer for the New York & New Jersey mafia (a real life Better Call Saul).

The Bourne Supremacy culminates interestingly with Bourne traveling to Russia to apologize personally to the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neski. Bourne gets a confession out of Abbott who then takes his own life.

In the next piece in this series I'll look at the events following in the subsequent two Bourne films: The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason Bourne. Along the way we'll discover the military seeding of Silicon Valley; the alchemical roots of MKUltra mind control techniques; and the real life embodiment of Operations Treadstone and Blackbriar in Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).  

<![CDATA[The Network Pt. 2- A Clandestine World]]>
“College and academic institutions offer no courses on agent provocateurs or how to recognize covert operations…There is no textbook on protecting society from sabotage…A clear understanding of covert operations and how they are carried out are avoided”.  - Mae Brussell, The Realist, 1973

“We’re all living in

https://limitedhangout.wtf/a-clandestine-world/635c0784eaa965079b171614Sat, 29 Oct 2022 01:55:15 GMT

“College and academic institutions offer no courses on agent provocateurs or how to recognize covert operations…There is no textbook on protecting society from sabotage…A clear understanding of covert operations and how they are carried out are avoided”.  - Mae Brussell, The Realist, 1973

“We’re all living in a virtual black operation”. – Douglas Valentine, author of The Phoenix Program and CIA as Organized Crime (March 2020, on the Tin Foil Hat podcast)

Deep History

The assassination of John F. Kennedy was an event that had a deep and lasting impact on many who were alive when it happened. One such person was a content and politically disinterested Beverly Hills housewife named Mae Brussell. Brussell immediately sensed that something was wrong, and when the Warren Commission came out a year later with its report on the Kennedy assassination, she bought and read all 26 volumes of it, cross-indexing the entire thing. This jump started Brussell’s transformation into becoming one of the great parapolitical researchers of all time. She moved herself and her kids to Carmel, California, and began researching relentlessly. She read up to ten papers a day, as well as magazines, and cut out and filed articles in an ever-growing collection of filing cabinets. She began a radio program in 1971 and was on the air until 1988 when a second round of death threats permanently forced her off the air. She died shortly after of cancer at age 66.

Brussell knew all the major players in US power politics from reading the Warren Commission, and she fruitfully followed them through time. She was also one of the earliest to recognize and understand that major portions of the Nazi apparatus had survived and been absorbed into the US and other governments after World War II.  John Lennon was so impressed with her work that he paid Paul Krassner to publish her in his counterculture magazine The Realist. Frank Zappa gave her a computer so she could better do her filing (she never used it). Her close read of the political winds led her to make incredible predictions. In 1968 she went up to Rose Kennedy in a Monterey airport and told her that her husband Robert F. Kennedy was in grave danger. A week later he was assassinated. In her March 29th, 1981 radio broadcast she spoke at length about power struggles she was observing in Washington, DC, fixing in on Reagan’s Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Haig was going to make a move Brussell said, and Reagan was in danger. The very next morning Reagan was shot, and afterwards Haig told the press he was in charge at the White House, even though this was not the proper chain of command. Brussell was on the pulse due to her close research and her keen understanding of covert and clandestine operations, and her life and work inspired many researchers after her, several of whom we’ll be using in this piece.

Brussell was doing what historian Peter Dale Scott calls deep history. Scott was a professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley from 1968 until 1994. He was a left-leaning poet who was friends with Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, but he disagreed with them on where the true problems with society lay. Instead of the State in general, or corporate power or the military industrial complex- all of which are problems- Scott coined the phrase the parapolitical to describe a hidden clandestine layer of politics, “a system or practice of politics where accountability is diminished”. Scott used the terms “the underworld and overworld”, or the “covert and overt worlds”, to describe where the real problem lies- that so much political activity is done in a clandestine manner, hidden under a blanket of secrecy, and subsequently “covered up by systematic falsifications in the mainstream media and internal government records”. It was Scott who first popularized the term the deep state when describing this veiled layer of political power.

The political activist and early civil rights pioneer Marcus Garvey once said that “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”. The last four months of research for Pt. 2 of this series on The Network has revealed to me just how rootless we currently are, and how dangerous that is for us in our current world historical moment. It’s hard to know our enemy when it hides in the shadows, when it intentionally obscures our history and its criminal deeds, when it distracts us with the phantasmic shiny objects of its well-crafted Spectacle. The history we need to know is not the overt surface history, but the deep history that’s been artfully hidden from us. Hopefully this article and the multiple part series that will now follow it, will be useful in redressing this lopsided situation. Pt.2 is long and I don’t expect it to be read in one sitting, it’s a monster for sure. But as I’ve come to discover the last sixty-five years is one long unbroken story from the JFK assassination until the madness we currently find ourselves in, which made it hard to know when to put a break in the retelling of it. Future parts will be shorter and focus only on one single subject, and the research is already complete for another ten parts, so they should come out much more quickly now.

Two years ago, I wrote that “it appears like the ‘New World Order’ has gone live”. I’m no longer hedging on that claim. It’s indeed game on, and we’re under siege. We’re in the denouement, the final climax of a story most of us didn’t even know was occurring. The Network carefully put the pieces of its future control grid in place over long stretches of time while most of us were understandably distracted, just trying to live our lives. Now that Network, the Western elite of the Anglo-American establishment, seems hell bent on taking their project to completion, moving us violently into a global social credit system, a totalitarian neo-serfdom where our every move will be surveilled, our purchases controlled, and our freedom of speech non-existent. As NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller put it in a recent interview with Dr. Pierre Kory, “This is a globalist attack on democracy, on democratic rights and freedoms, and on humanity itself. The aim here is to make it illegal to contradict the voice of authority…What we’re talking about here is probably the most grievous threat to freedom of speech and thought, and academic freedom, in human history…It’s all in the service of an oppressive and repressive world order. You are not allowed to contradict what the authorities say”. As Shakespeare once wrote, “Hell is empty, and the devils are all here”.

The following is my contribution to the feverish information war that we’re all unwilling participants in. Knowing the deep history of our recent past, drawing off the work of so many researchers who documented it along the away, some who paid for that research with their lives, we can get a much better sense of the truly sinister nature of what we’re dealing with. And by knowing the bag of dirty tricks they use- sabotage, agent provocateurs, political assassination, covert operations, irregular warfare and domestic counterinsurgencies- we’ll only become stronger and stronger as the battle goes on. Let’s pick up the story where we left off at the end of The Network Pt.1. The escalation of the Vietnam War.

Vietnam War as Test Bed

As we read in Pt.1 of this series, The Network had many reasons to kill JFK and his intention to pull out of Vietnam was one of them. Through the research of a series of authors we can see that The Network used the Vietnam War as one big testing ground for a variety of technological and warfare applications, all of which would have serious ramifications for the decades ahead. We can start with historian Alfred McCoy’s 2006 book A Question of Torture- CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror. As part of the Vietnam war effort the US military and the CIA set up Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) as a part of its notorious Phoenix Program. These PRUs would include teams that would capture or kill individuals suspected of being Vietcong or of aiding the Vietcong, and they also each had an interrogation center. By 1964, “Each of the forty-plus provinces in South Vietnam…had its own concrete prison compound called the Provincial Interrogation Center” (McCoy, 63). At these interrogation centers the CIA could now utilize and expand upon what they had learned through their vicious MKUltra human experimentation programs, but away from the pesky prying eyes of the universities and medical centers that were used in the North American context. McCoy writes, “With limitless funding and unrestrained powers, Phoenix represented an application of the most advanced interrogation techniques to the task of destroying the Vietcong’s revolutionary underground. From its overall strategy to its specific interrogation techniques, Phoenix was the culmination of the CIA’s mind-control project...The agency was now operating a nationwide network of interrogation centers that used torture to generate intelligence, providing a limitless supply of human subjects. In effect, they were testing, under field conditions, whether Ewen Cameron's McGill depatterning techniques could actually alter human behavior” (p.65).

By the CIA’s own admission over 26,000 people were killed by the Phoenix Program, many in these interrogation centers. One military intelligence veteran who served in the Phoenix Program from 1967-68, K. Barton Osborne, testifying before a 1971 US government House Operations Committee looking into allegations of wartime misconduct, said that “In his eighteen months with the Phoenix Program, not a single VC suspect had survived interrogation” (McCoy, p.67). And no wonder, as the techniques used became increasingly sadistic and macabre over time. Douglas Valentine, who wrote a seminal book The Phoenix Program- America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam (1990), writes of some of these techniques- “Rape, gang rape, rape using eels, snakes, or hard objects, and rape followed by murder; electrical shock (“the Bell Telephone Hour”) rendered by attaching wires to the genitals or other sensitive parts of the body, like the tongue; “the water treatment”; “the airplane,” in which a prisoner’s arms were tied behind the back and the rope looped over a hook on the ceiling, suspending the prisoner in midair, after which he or she was beaten; beatings with rubber hoses and whips; and the use of police dogs to maul prisoners” (Phoenix Program, p.85).

One could try and brush off this horror as something that just got out of control in one very ugly wartime situation. But the point of this experimentation was to export it. As McCoy writes, “In retrospect, Phoenix proved a seminal experience for the U.S. intelligence community, combining both physical and psychological techniques in an extreme method that would serve as a model for later counterinsurgency training in South and Central America. In 1965—66, Army Intelligence launched Project X, which was designed, according to a confidential Pentagon memo, “to develop an exportable foreign intelligence package to provide counterinsurgency techniques learned in Vietnam to Latin American countries”” (p.71). This knowledge of torture in the service of counterinsurgency did indeed get exported to Latin America, becoming central to the repressive actions of the infamous Operation Condor, a CIA led collaboration with Latin American dictatorships and other repressive regimes in the 1970s and 80s to put down any (often leftist) popular resistance to their oppressive control. In the eyes of a 2020 article in the Jacobin, Operation Condor in retrospect, “Looks like a particularly successful example of the covert war the US national security state had set into motion all over the world against democracy and the Left, a war that saw it get into bed with fascists and that, in some cases, arguably constituted genocide”. The Network has no qualms crushing any dissent towards its project with the most violent means necessary.

Many of the secret police units of the Latin American countries involved in Condor were trained at the equally infamous School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, which counts murderous dictators such as Auguste Pinochet and Manuel Noriega among its graduates. In her book Predatory States- Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America (2005), Patrice McSherry writes that “Joseph Blair, a major and a former Phoenix operative who taught at the SOA [School of Americas] for three years, said that the author of the SOA and CIA “torture manuals”, declassified in the mid-1990s, drew from intelligence materials used during the Vietnam War that advocated assassination, torture, extortion, and other “techniques””(p.50). There’s a direct through line from the interrogation centers in the provinces of Vietnam to a river of broken bodies strewn across the many agonized lands of Latin America.

But it got exported elsewhere too. In a 2021 interview on The Opperman Report, Douglas Valentine said that “The way the US fought the war in Vietnam is how they fought the War on Terror…The interrogation center set up in every province in Vietnam were the model for the War on Terror”. Those ghastly pictures from Abu Ghraib prison during The Iraq War were the cruel offspring of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Those weren’t just a few bad apples operating in that jail, that was systematic policy. Valentine draws other parallels between Vietnam and the US led War on Terror in a chapter of his book The CIA as Organized Crime called ‘What We Really Learned from Vietnam’ (written in 2009). This includes “The pervasive corruption by design- including the sponsorship of drug trafficking by warlords on the CIA payroll- that was endemic to the US-backed regime in South Vietnam” (p.96). There was also the case that “Just as in Vietnam, where the word communist was applied to anyone who resisted the US occupation, American kidnapping assassination programs in Iraq and Afghanistan make no distinction between “jihadists” and nationalists defending their homes and resisting foreign occupation” (p.94). Likewise, “In Vietnam via the Phoenix Program, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan through the new and improved version, the CIA sends its hit teams after a long list of targeted individuals” (p.95). And lastly, “The big lesson from Vietnam that applies to Afghanistan and the War on Terror is the value of grey and black propaganda in maintaining public support through emotional appeals, twisted logic, and the promulgation of revisionist history” (98). And of course, a media all too willing to go along for the disinformation ride.

There were other things being field tested in Vietnam beyond just torture and counterinsurgency methods. Author Annie Jacobsen names many in her mainline 2016 book The Pentagon’s Brain- An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency. The following points come from a video made by Jay Dyer in April of 2022, entitled ‘Phoenix from the Ashes: From Vietnam Technowar to Technocracy’, where he goes through Jacobsen’s book as well as Valentine’s The Phoenix Program. Jacobsen says in her book that the Vietnam war was one big DARPA R&D test lab, that DARPA was testing many things it had invented. For instance, military drones were tested for the first time. They were experimenting with computers in the war, as well as AI, to coordinate air and ground military operations. Jacobsen refers to the war as a “Technowar”. They were also testing geoengineering capabilities, with things such as Agent Orange, but also weather modification. Weather modification is still something most people put straight in the tin foil hat category, but “The U.S. military ran a secret, little-remembered weather control program during the Vietnam War…It was the first large scale effort to manipulate the weather for military purposes”. Operation Popeye as it was known “was the first known successful use of weather control technology in combat”. Valentine says that part of the Phoenix Program was learning to do the tracking and tracing of peoples, as well as experimenting with moving whole populations around. According to Valentine, Vietnam was a laboratory for military weaponry and psychological warfare experimentation. One of the psychological warfare techniques that was being experimented with was how to pacify large populations. All of this became handy to The Network in future settings no doubt.

There were a lot of atrocities and war crimes committed in Vietnam and no one has documented this like Nick Turse in his 2013 book Kill Anything That Moves- The Real American War in Vietnam. After stumbling upon a collection of reports by the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group at the National Archives, Turse interviewed over a hundred US veterans who either witnessed or participated in atrocities, and he interviewed Vietnamese survivors as well. The grotesque stories of the violence and horrors that were perpetrated is truly sickening. If one is of strong constitution, they can read Chris Hedges’ description of these acts in his punishing review of Turse’s book. Two broader points stuck out for me from Hedge’s review- first, that the atrocities “were the inevitable outcome of deliberate policies, dictated at the highest levels of the military”. And secondly, “The military and weapons manufacturers openly spoke of the war as a “laboratory” for new forms of killing”. Vietnam as test bed.

The Biggest Drug Dealer in the World

The trafficking and sale of mind altering drugs has been big business for a very long time. In his book Opium, Empire and Global Political Economy (1999), historian Carl Trocki writes, “Accumulations of wealth created by a succession of historic drug trades have been among the primary foundations of global capitalism and the modern nation state itself. Indeed, it may be argued that the entire rise of the west, from 1500 to 1900, depended on a series of drug trades”. In the 19thcentury several American families made enormous amounts of wealth off the opium trade. John Potash gives the background in his book Drugs as Weapons Against Us (2015)- “The American families smuggling opium into China alongside the British included the prominent Russell family of Connecticut. The Russell’s intermarried with other rich families, including the Pierponts, the family that later spawned tycoon Julius Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan. Over a half dozen of the richest families, including the Cabots, Cushings, Astors, and Perkinses, gained huge wealth in the opium trade and went on to attain positions of power in the US…The Russell family helped found Yale University, and in 1833, one of the Russell’s founded Yale’s elite secret society, Skull and Bones” (p.10). Other money from the opium fortunes went into the establishment of Harvard, and into other universities such as Columbia and Princeton. And when the Anglo side of the Network reached out in the late 19th century to wealthy American families to form the Anglo-American Establishment, many of them were these families who had built their fortunes on opium. This is important because this kind of enormous excess wealth gives these elites a huge leg up on the society that surrounds them, and affords them enormous power and influence, such as the setting up of these Ivy League universities which to this day are still top recruiting grounds for the Network and intelligence agencies. And as we saw in Pt.1, the private foundations that many of these wealthy families created became very effective weapons for social engineering and the steering of society.

The sale of drugs is still very big business today. Historian Alfred McCoy, who wrote a seminal book in 1972 The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, says that “The UN conservatively estimated international trafficking in illicit drugs at $400 billion a year, equivalent to eight percent of world trade, and larger than textiles, steel, or automobiles”. Daniel Hopsicker is an investigate journalist who has made the illegal drug trade his core beat for decades. In a March 2020 interview on The Opperman Report, he said that “The proceeds of drug trafficking make up more than fifty percent of the proceeds of transnational organized crime worldwide…It’s the biggest slush fund in the history of the world, it makes Blackstone Group look like pikers. And the war for those proceeds takes place totally on the down low”. And that war is not just waged by criminal gangs and syndicates, state actors are very much involved as well. McCoy says, “This powerful underground economy—with its labor pool, its criminal syndicates, and its vast consumer base—serves as a potentially powerful mechanism for extralegal or covert operational capacity for nation-states. Beginning in the 1920s, right from the time these syndicates emerge, we begin to see, in areas where the transnational drug traffic is particularly active, very important alliances between syndicate activity, state security services, and political control”. Peter Dale Scott has also written about the international drug trade and its relationship to politics, and he agrees with McCoy- “As a rule the power of the biggest drug traffickers is not autonomous but depends on their government connections; and the top trafficker in any country is usually the one with the best government connections”.

McCoy’s statement that the funds made from the drug trade can be used as the source of funding for “extralegal or covert operational capacity” is an important one. Peter Dale Scott makes the same point- “There now exists abundant documentation that, at least since World War II, the US government has exploited the drug traffic to finance and staff covert operations abroad”. This furtive source of money allows for intelligence agencies to fund covert operations that might otherwise be quashed by parliament, congress or other such legislative bodies and their annoying morals. There’s still always some government awareness of the drug trafficking, as stated above by McCoy and Scott, but that will only be a very few key people and in a highly compartmentalized way. But if we want to know how intelligence agencies and the higher powers they serve (aka the Network) manage to fund so many covert black operations around the world, from arms trafficking to assassinations to overthrowing governments, they do so by dipping into “the biggest slush fund in the history of the world”.

The CIA has been at the forefront of drug trafficking since its inception. As Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics officer who became a whistleblower against US government complicity in drug trafficking, puts it-  “The point about the drug trade is not that the CIA dealt a few drugs during the Contra years to fund the covert operation that Congress didn't want it to engage in. The CIA has dealt drugs for all 50 years of its existence--50 plus years, even before it was the CIA”. From the 1950s onwards the CIA fought three successive covert wars in the name of stopping the spread of communism and teamed up with local heroin producers in each case to fund these wars. The first was in Burma in the 1950s, when the CIA backed what was left of the National Chinese Army (KMT) to fight a proxy war against the Chinese Communists who had just won the Chinese Civil War, in the hopes of creating a buffer zone that would keep the CCP out of Southeast Asia. According to Alfred McCoy, “The CIA found very quickly that to fight covert wars in such remote mountains it had to ally with highland warlords, who in turn used the CIA’s protection and logistics to transform themselves into major drug lords…The net result of this CIA covert operation was that northeastern Burma went from localized tribal opium production to being the heart of the global heroin trade. These days, Burma is counted, depending on the year, as the world’s number one or number two opium producer”.

The second covert war was ‘The Secret War’ fought in Laos from 1964 to 1974 during the Vietnam War. Once again, heroin was used to finance this black operation, where the CIA used Laotian hill tribes- in particular the Hmong- to fight the Vietcong on the border regions of Laos and Vietnam. By 1970, says McCoy, “The CIA’s secret army in Laos built a complex of seven heroin refineries at the heart of the Golden Triangle where Burma, Thailand, and Laos converge. Let me make this clear: all the laboratories were built by current or former covert assets of the United States. And they began producing high-grade No. 4 heroin for shipment to South Vietnam”. It was the CIA’s own planes, lent to their Laotian client army, that picked up and shipped out the heroin. It’s estimated that 100,000 Hmong died in that war. Today Laos is the world’s third largest opium producer.

The third covert CIA war was their backing of mujahideen guerrillas in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 against the occupying forces of the Soviet Union. Operation Cyclone as it was known, was a partnership between the CIA and the Pakistani’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) (the Pakistani CIA) as well as the Pakistani military, to train and fund the mujahideen forces. And they funded these operations once again with heroin money.  When the operation began there was opium production in the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan region, but no heroin production. By 1981, “Two years into the secret war, Afghanistan, in concert with western Pakistan, had gone from a regional opium grower to the world’s largest heroin producer, supplying, according to the US Attorney General, sixty percent of the US heroin supply and about 80 percent of Europe’s illicit heroin”. Today Pakistan has the second largest rate of heroin addicts in the world, the first being Iran.

The former sites of three CIA covert wars are now the three largest heroin producing regions in the world. Through this we get a dark glimpse of the true face of the Network and their total disregard for humanity. Besides the amount of addiction and addiction related crime in all the countries that heroin was flowing into, and the vast human suffering this causes, the CIA just up and left these three regions in tatters when their wars were over. As McCoy puts it, “There’s no post-war settlement. There’s no treaty or post-war reconstruction. So these regions are turned into covert war wastelands in which only the poppy will flower…In the aftermath of these wars, these societies are ravaged and transformed…We just left [societies] to writhe in agony”. The Network doesn’t care about people. It only cares about wealth, power and their coveted long-term plan for total global domination.

The CIA’s drug escapades weren’t just relegated to regions of Southeast Asia, plenty went on in Latin America too, except this time the drug was cocaine. A lot of this was tied up in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, which we'll focus on in a future part of this series. But we can intersect with that story here because not only does it obviously fit with the subject matter, it also allows us to begin hearing from the many brave whistleblowers in the DEA, CIA, FBI, and other US law enforcement divisions that have spoken out against the covert machinations going on within their agencies. In this case the whistleblower’s name is Celerino Castillo, who wrote a 2010 book called Powder Burns- Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War. But first, a quick primer on the Contra half of the Iran-Contra scandal to set the context for his story. In 1979 in Nicaragua, the Somoza dictatorship was overthrown by a left-wing group called the Sandinistas. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, he ordered the CIA to secretly train and equip a counter-revolutionary group, the Contras, to try and overthrow the Sandinista government (to ‘stop the spread of communism’). When tales of unsavory Contra actions made its way back to the United States, including the mining of Nicaraguan harbors and terror squad type tactics, the US Congress passed the Boland Amendment which forbid any more US assistance for the Contras. However, the Reagan administration still wanted to fund the Contras, but how could this be done if no official funding was available? The old clandestine go to. Drugs. So the CIA set up operations to traffic major amounts of cocaine out of Latin America and into America and elsewhere, with the proceeds going back to fund the Contras.

Celerino Castillo was a Vietnam veteran who joined the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1979 to fight the so-called ‘War on Drugs’. In 1985 he was stationed in Guatemala and assigned with three other agents to monitor the illicit drug trade in that country, as well as Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras. They had an informant at the Ilopango Airport in El Salvador who told them that some of the Contra pilots landing there were involved in drug trafficking. Castillo says that “When we finally got the names of all the pilots who were involved, we ran it through our computers, and it was revealed that every single one of them was documented as a narcotics trafficker. This was brought to the attention of the U.S. ambassador, Edwin Corr. He was advised of the investigation that we were conducting. His answer to me was the fact that it was a covert operation from the White House and Ollie North, and he advised me that I would be safer to stay away from that investigation, because I would be stepping on people's toes at the White House”. It was out of Hangars 4 and 5 at the Ilapango airport that the drug running operation was taking place, and it turned out that they were both “owned and operated by the CIA and the National Security Council-which is Oliver North-and were run by Felix Rodriguez”. Rodriquez was a long-time CIA agent with a rather interesting past. He was involved in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, he was in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, and he led a team that hunted down and killed Che Guevara (Rodriquez apparently kept and wore Guevara’s watch). We’ll return to Rodriquez in a moment. Castillo says that by 1988, "I realized how hopelessly tangled the DEA, the CIA, and every other U.S. entity in Central America had become with the criminals. The connections boggled my mind”.

Before we leave Latin America for the final subject of this section, a couple of fun facts. In 2017, the son of Pablo Escobar, Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, published a book and claimed in it that his father “worked for the CIA selling cocaine to finance the fight against Communism in Central America”. Henao says that “The person who sold the most drugs to the CIA was Pablo Escobar”. I’m not sure what evidence he provides for those claims but it's certainly interesting and sadly, entirely possible. There’s one thing we do know for sure though, which is that Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was involved in the cocaine operations in South America. The infamous Butcher of Lyon, who was personally responsible for the murder (often by torture) and execution of over 4,000 Jews and members of the French Resistance, was deemed by US intelligence to be a man of great value and was spared from going to Nuremburg and instead put to work. He was relocated in Bolivia and while there “was involved in a string of CIA-sponsored military coups”. He was also a close ally of Roberto Suarez Gomez, the ‘King of Cocaine’, a businessman and drug lord who set up his cocaine empire in Bolivia in the 1970s. In 1980, Barbie helped Gomez and other Bolivian narco kingpins engineer and pull off a coup d’état in Bolivia, in what’s come to be called “the cocaine coup”. Barbie also worked for Pablo Escobar. Just another of the 'fruits' of Operation Paperclip.

Our final story in this tour of covert drug trafficking took place in Mexico. In 1985 an American undercover DEA agent named Kiki Camarena was kidnapped and murdered. This resulted in the largest homicide investigation in DEA history, but it came up empty. In 1989 a DEA agent by the name of Hector Bellerrez- who had previously infiltrated the Cali, Medellin and Guadalajara drug cartels- was assigned by the DEA to head Operation Leyenda and find Camarena’s killers. Bellerrez’s story is retold in the recent gritty and compelling four-part docuseries The Last Narc (2020), which mysteriously got pulled at the last moment, but fortunately did finally make it to air. It’s surprising it got made at all.

The story goes like this. Kiki Camarena had infiltrated the Guadalajara Cartel as an uncover agent. The information he gathered led in 1984 to Mexican soldiers raiding a giant marijuana plantation operated by the Cartel in northern Mexico named Buffalo Ranch. The raid netted “somewhere between 2,500 and 6,000 tons of marijuana, the largest marijuana seizure in history, and cost Caro Quintero [co-founder and leader of the cartel] somewhere between $3.2 billion and $8 billion in today's prices”. The raid angered the three leaders of the Cartel, and they wanted payback. But more importantly they were worried there was a security breach, a mole, somewhere in their organization. They already had Federal Police and army officers protecting the plantation, but none of them were warned of the raid. How did this get through? Once they identified DEA agent Camarena as their problem, they decided at meetings in late 1984 to kidnap and interrogate him. A bodyguard for the Cartel bosses was at these meetings, and who he describes being there is truly remarkable in terms of the scale of corruption. In attendance were, “Jalisco governor Enrique Alvarez del Castillo; secretary of the interior Manuel Bartlett Díaz; secretary of defense Juan Arevalo Gardoqui; director of Interpol Mexico, Miguel Aldana Ibarra; DFS [Mexican CIA] director Sergio Espino Verdin; General Vinicio Santoyo Feria; and a man they knew as “the Cuban with the CIA””.

When Camarena was kidnapped off the streets of Mexico they brought him to the house of one of the Cartel bosses. All the people listed above where there that evening too, and they partied in the living room while Camarena was being tortured and interrogated in the visitor’s residence. ‘The Cuban with the CIA’ was also there questioning Camarena. According to one bodyguard who was there he wanted to know “Which narcos, which politicians was the DEA investigating for ties to drug traffickers. He wanted him to reveal the details of the investigation he was working on. 'Give us names’. They seemed to assume the United States already knew about them. Like all they needed was for him to say it to confirm their worst fear”. But Camarena wasn’t working with information from any higher ups, he was working with what he himself had gathered on the ground, so he had no information to give them. He was eventually beaten to death as they tried in vain to get the information they were sure he must have. And who was the CIA agent as identified by three bodyguards that were present at the killing, who all became witnesses for Berrellez? Felix Rodriquez. Just a good foot soldier doing yet more dirty work for the biggest drug dealer in the world.

The Dark Side of the 1960s

In 1964 the United States Army began a counterinsurgency study named Project Camelot. They wanted to develop ways to recognize insurgencies in foreign countries before they began, so they could be headed off at the pass. This especially applied to any left-wing, populist or communist movements. The project came under fire when some South American professors discovered its existence. They argued that it was a tool of anti-democratic imperialism, and the US military was forced to shut it down (although it was said to have continued covertly). The 1960s in the United States was a famously tumultuous time, with the civil rights movement, several high-level assassinations, the war in Vietnam, the youth counterculture, several radical left-wing movements, the anti-war movement and much more. In this cauldron the US government began a counterinsurgency against its own people. As a 2021 article in Covert Action Magazine put it, the FBI, CIA and military intelligence (DIA) “viewed dissent in America as a political insurgency, and they sought to meet it with a campaign of counterinsurgency”. In 1973 Mae Brussell wrote, “They are now conducting paramilitary warfare inside the US” (Essential Mae Brussell, p.72). She was onto a lot of things in real time.

In 1967 the CIA began an illegal domestic surveillance program called Operation CHAOS at the behest of the White House (some put the start date in 1964, the exact origin date is murky). It was the largest covert project in American history, and the CIA’s biggest operation to date. Verne Lyon was an undercover CIA agent in Operation CHAOS who blew the whistle on it. He writes, “The CIA infiltrated agents into domestic groups of all types and activities…Many large police departments, in conjunction with the CIA, carried out illegal, warrantless searches of private properties…The CIA had shared information on more than 300,000 persons with different law enforcement agencies including the DIA and FBI. It had spied on, burglarized, intimidated, misinformed, lied to, deceived, and carried out criminal acts against thousands of citizens of the United States”. This was all illegal as the CIA was not supposed to perform any operations on US soil. But Lyon says that “Disdain for Congress permeated the upper echelons of the CIA. Congress could not hinder or regulate something it did not know about, and neither the President nor the Director of the CIA was about to tell them”. For the Network, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

What’s interesting about Lyon’s writings on Operation CHAOS is that he says there was pushback against it from within the CIA itself. There was one group in the CIA that wanted to take the operation even further, but there was another that “reminded him [Director Helms] that Operation CHAOS and similar activities were well “over the line” of illegality and outside the CIA’s charter”. And in March 1971, “A group of young CIA executives known as the Management Advisory Group (MAG) protested Operation CHAOS and similar domestic operations by issuing a statement saying, "MAG opposes any Agency activity which could be construed as targeted against any person who enjoys the protection of the U.S. Constitution... whether or not he resides in the United States””. This is important because many in the alternative media/parapolitical field of research today look at these organizations as monolithically corrupt and bad. But during my research for Pt.2, I was pleasantly surprised by just how many whistleblowers there have been, men and women who objected to the way their agencies had been infiltrated and used covertly for illegal or unconscionable acts. We’ll meet many more of them in future parts of this series. And it’s also important to stress just how compartmentalized these types of operations really are. William Colby took over as CIA director in 1973 while Operation CHAOS was still ongoing and was tasked with looking into it. He later wrote this incredible statement in his memoir- “I found it impossible to do much about whatever was wrong with [CHAOS]. Its super-secrecy and extreme compartmentalization kept me very much on its periphery”. It was secret- to the head of the CIA itself!

At the same time Operation CHAOS was active the FBI had its own similar operation going on, the now infamous COINTELPRO. The two operations shared files and communications. The goal of COINTELPRO was to infiltrate, disrupt, discredit and in many cases destroy the counterculture movement, the radical left movements, and the anti-war movements (which were all entwined of course). Mae Brussell writes in a 1976 article, “By 1968 FBI’s COINTELPRO and the CIA’s Operation CHAOS included among their long list of domestic enemies “Advocates of New Lifestyles”, “New Left”, “Apostles of Non-Violence and Racial Harmony” and “Restless Youth””. (Essential Mae Brussell, p.263). And how was it supposed to achieve its goal of disrupting and subverting these groups? According to an internal FBI memo produced by the 1975 “Church Committee”- or the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a committee set up by the US Senate to investigate abuses by the CIA, FBI, NSA and the IRS- these are some of the recommended methods: “Gather information on their immorality. Show them as scurrilous and depraved. Call attention to their habits and living conditions. Explore every possible embarrassment. Send in women and sex, break up marriages. Have members arrested on marijuana charges. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them. Send articles to the newspapers showing their depravity. Use narcotics and free sex to entrap. Use misinformation to confuse and disrupt. Get records of their bank accounts. Obtain specimens of handwriting. Provoke target groups into rivalries that may result in death”. I’m sure there are many dissident movements today who can recognize these tactics.

One of the groups who were on the most brutal receiving end of those tactics and worse were the Black Panthers. They apparently terrified the Network, and all manner of skullduggery was thrown at them. Ward Churchill describes this in a long but poignant passage- “Beginning in August 1967, the Black Panther Party was savaged by a campaign of political repression, which in terms of its sheer viciousness has few parallels in American history. Coordinated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its then-ongoing domestic counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) and enlisting dozens of local police departments around the country, the assault left at least thirty Panthers dead, scores of others imprisoned after dubious convictions, and hundreds more suffering permanent physical or psychological damage. Simultaneously, the Party was infiltrated at every level by agent provocateurs, all of them harnessed to the task of disrupting its internal functioning. Completing the package was a torrent of “disinformation” planted in the media to discredit the Panthers before the public, both personally and organizationally, thus isolating them from potential support”. One agent provocateur who was tasked with infiltrating the Black Panthers was Louis Tackwood, who turned whistleblower. In a 1971 trial he testified that he had been assigned to assassinate the Black Panther George Jackson, but an agent from another division had gotten to him first. This is the backdrop that led Merry Clayton’s emotional voice to crack as she howled, “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away” on the Rolling Stones song ‘Gimme Shelter’ in 1969.

The 1960s also saw drugs as a weapon of warfare against the populace, with LSD at the forefront of the assault. The lineage of this stretched back several decades. As John Potash writes in his book Drugs as Weapons Against Us, “In 1938, Albert Hoffman created Lysergic acid diethlamide (LSD) while working for a Swiss company, Sandoz, a subsidiary of the Nazi I.G. Farben cartel…Sandoz then supplied LSD to Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele who first experimented with it on concentration camp victims” (p. 30). After it was formed in 1947, the CIA soon picked up the mantle. “By 1953 the CIA ordered 10 kilos of LSD from Sandoz for $240,000. Having already tested LSD many times since 1949, the CIA knew this supply offered one hundred million doses. The CIA asked the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company to try to synthesize LSD. By mid-1954, Eli Lilly broke Sandoz’s formula and assured the CIA that in a matter of months LSD would be available in tonnage quantities” (p.30). Hank Albarelli showed in his book A Terrible Mistake- The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments (2011), that Gordon Wasson, the legendary ‘discoverer of magic mushrooms’, was working for the CIA when he scoured Latin America looking for psychoactive substances (p.359). When one starts to investigate this material it becomes apparent that the mythos of an organic up from the people 1960s countercultural revolution isn’t exactly how it all happened. There were other forces at play.

The CIA’s interest in LSD and these other substances was multifaceted. They wanted to find substances that could act as a truth serum; they were looking for substances that could help facilitate and deepen hypnosis; they were searching for substances that could help insert false memories, and other such sinister shenanigans. With LSD they were piqued by their own studies which showed certain negative side effects, such as paranoia, megalomaniacal delusions, intermittent psychosis, depression, agitation and anxiety (Drugs as Weapons, p.38-39). This doesn’t happen to everyone who takes it of course, but they must’ve felt they had a weapon that could damage the emerging counterculture, because the CIA began flooding it into US and later European society in the late 1950s, early 60s. One of the core vehicles for this dissemination was a man named Captain Al Hubbard, who came to be known as the ‘Johnny Appleseed of LSD’. As one article on Hubbard writes, “That Hubbard, of all people, should have emerged as the first genuine LSD apostle is all the more curious in light of his longstanding affiliation with the cloak-and-dagger trade. Indeed, he was no run-of-the-mill spook. As a high-level OSS officer [precursor to the CIA], the Captain directed an extremely sensitive covert operation that involved smuggling weapons and war material to Great Britain prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor”. Hubbard claimed to have never joined the CIA, and that his revelations on LSD led him to reject that world. But as the old saying goes with the CIA, no one ever truly leaves ‘The Company’. And regardless, Hank Albarelli proved that Hubbard was indeed working for the CIA- “Throughout the 1950s, Hubbard received large shipments of LSD directly from Sandoz in Switzerland, with Agency approval” (A Terrible Mistake, p.238-9, 232).

Another CIA asset seeding the US with LSD was none other than Timothy Leary, the supposed uber countercultural outlaw himself. Leary admitted in a 1976 interview with Walter Bowart (who wrote one of the first books on MKUltra, Operation Mind Control) "I knew I was being used by the intelligence agents of this country”. People who were around Leary in the 60s knew this too. Robert “Stubs” Tierney was one of the original members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the “Hippie Mafia” who were major distributers of LSD in the late 1960s. Tiernay said that “Timothy Leary worked for the CIA. He came to infiltrate our gang”. Later on, other CIA agents would infiltrate and take over the Brotherhood. In 1963 Leary, after being thrown out of Harvard for his LSD studies, set up an organization called the International Federation of Internal Freedom (IFIF). The wealthy Mellon Hitchcock family became benefactors and set up Leary on their 4,000-acre estate in Duchess County north of New York City. Leary set up shop in a sixty-four room mansion on the estate and began weekly LSD parties that attracted musicians and the literati of New York, many of whom tried LSD there for the first time. At these parties actual MKUltra doctors such as Humphrey Osmond attended and observed the responses of those on LSD and the other substances that were freely available. As we read in Pt.1, the Mellon family was one of a group of wealthy families who help setup the CIA. And during the 1960s “Richard Helms was a frequent weekend guest of the Mellon patriarchs in Pittsburgh during his tenure as CIA director (1966-1973)” (Acid Dreams, p.246). Leary was the pied piper of LSD, whose motto “turn on, tune in, and drop out” directed untold numbers of youth away from political activism and any serious confrontation with the Network.

The CIA managed to get the LSD out in the culture through other avenues too. One was through the writer Ken Kesey. In 1960 Kesey participated in MKUltra LSD studies at Menlo Park Hospital which is connected to Stanford Health Care at Stanford University. When the experiment was over Kesey was offered a job at the hospital in the psychiatric unit with the same doctor who had held the trials. These experiences led him to write his 1962 book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Kesey was given the keys to the doctor’s office, and ‘allowed’ to steal as much LSD as he wanted. Kesey began throwing acid parties like those Leary was throwing on the East Coast. These eventually turned into the famous Acid Tests, parties with acid laced punch bowls and bands playing such as the Grateful Dead. These parties were also attended by MKUltra doctors who were there to observe the crowd. John Potash writes, “Under deposition in a lawsuit brought by victims of a Canadian MKUltra doctor, [MKUltra scientist John] Gittinger admitted that he and two of his fellow CIA Chemical Division scientists traveled from the East Coast and attended a number of these Acid Test parties” (Drugs as Weapons, 89). It appears that the CIA were now field testing their MKUltra studies, a subject we’ll return to in a moment. The Grateful Dead had several intelligence connected people around their band, including Oswald Stanley, the band’s biggest benefactor who had connections to the Mellon Hitchcock family. Stanley had begun producing large quantities of LSD in 1963. It’s possible that the Grateful Dead was used as a channel to get LSD out into the youth culture, and if so, it would explain why the open-air drug market that surrounded their concerts was allowed to go on mostly unimpeded. As for Kesey, he announced after the third Acid Test that he had “graduated from LSD” and was leaving it behind. Shortly after Kesey was arrested for possession of marijuana. Soon after he had a second marijuana charge and had to flee to Mexico. Typical tactics of the Network- if you’re no longer playing ball, if you’re no longer useful, you’ll be disposed of one way or another.  

Another strategy for ‘turning on’ the youth to LSD was to get it promoted by famous artists and musicians. In this pursuit Robert Lashbrook, Deputy Director of MKUltra, packed up a load of LSD and other drugs and a bunch of agents and flew to London and instructed the agents to get LSD into the hands of as many artists as possible. One agent managed to get George Harrison’s dentist to put LSD in Harrison and John Lennon’s coffee without them knowing it, which was the first time either one had done it. Lennon was apparently furious when he found out. Mick Jagger was against LSD at first. But then a FBI COINTELPRO and M16 officer named David Schneiderman showed up at a party at Keith Richards’ Redlands estate in 1967 with a briefcase full of drugs. He got Jagger to take his first hit of LSD the following morning. Everyone there, including George Harrison, took LSD that day. But then in the evening the police showed up and did a raid (Schneiderman had set them up). They were trying to find drugs in the house so they could do a high-profile drug bust on Jagger and Richards and reign them in, but there was nothing on the premises. Schneiderman wasn’t questioned by the police and he and his briefcase full of drugs were allowed to slip out and slip away (Drugs as Weapons, 135-137).

The CIA flooded the counterculture with LSD because they believed that LSD use would lead to a decrease in political activism. They came to this conclusion through their own research, and from what they were told by the RAND corporation, the darling think tank of the American military industrial complex (spoofed in Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove). RAND’s study of LSD led them to believe that repeated use would “undermine political commitment” (Acid Dreams, p.197, 199). There were fierce debates among the radical left itself as to whether LSD was undermining the movement, with many feeling that it was. Others, such as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg promoted a “politics of ecstasy”. Whether it did what the CIA hoped is probably hard to say. Surely there were many youths who “dropped out” and slid into hedonism and sensuality, or retreated from the culture into communes, cults and back to the land farms. When George Harrison visited Haight-Asbury in San Francisco in 1967 he said, “Wow, if it’s all like this, it’s too much…It was full of horrible spotty drop-out kids on drugs, and it turned me right off the whole scene”. On the other hand, John Lennon was quoted as saying, “We must always remember to thank the CIA and the Army for LSD, by the way. Everything is the opposite of what it is, isn't it? They brought out LSD to control people, and what they did was give us freedom”. Maybe so. What we can say is that regardless of outcome the intent of the CIA was malicious, it was just one more tool in their domestic counterinsurgency toolbox. But they had others. Which brings us to the final two subjects of our journey through the dark side of the 1960s.

Over the last twenty years I’ve often heard it repeated that “Charles Manson killed the 60s”. Or sometimes it’s, “The Manson killings and Altamont killed the 60s”. So let’s look at those two events. In 2019 investigative journalist Tom O’Neill published a bestselling book entitled CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties. It took him twenty years to write and took him on a remarkable odyssey as he slowly pieced together a story deeply at odds with the official narrative on Manson and the Tate-LaBianca murders that’s been handed down through books like Helter Skelter. It’s not a book that can be summarized easily, but there’s three core pieces that O’Neill unearthed that are especially important here. (For a long form interview with O’Neill, his 2020 Joe Rogan appearance was very good and catapulted the book to a much wider audience). The first is that after many FOIA requests O’Neill managed to finally get sixty-nine (heavily redacted) pages of Manson’s parole record, which was reportedly four inches thick. Despite only getting some of the record O’Neill could see that after Manson was let out of jail in 1967, he repeatedly broke the law, including statutory rape and grand theft auto, but was never charged or had his parole violated. O’Neill says that “The law afforded special privileges to everyone in Manson’s orbit” (p.436). O’Neill took this catch and release parole record to a retired District Attorney who had worked in California in the 1960s. After looking at this remarkable record of Manson being let go again and again, the DA said to O’Neill, “Someone wanted him on the streets” (p.233-34). But who?

Eventually O’Neill began to look at the CIA’s Operation CHAOS as a possibility. CHAOS, O’Neill notes, had begun in 1967 and had opened its first office in San Francisco. When Manson was let out of jail in Los Angeles in 1967, he immediately violated his parole and went to San Francisco. He was inexplicably allowed to stay there and was assigned to a parole officer named Roger Smith. Smith was working at the Haight Asbury Free Medical Clinic (HAFMC). He was a doctoral student at the Berkeley School of Criminology, and “was regarded as an expert on gangs, collective behavior, violence, and drugs. Manson, his one and only parole supervisee, would go on to control the collective behavior of a gang through violence and drugs” (p.452). With Smith as his parole officer Manson “was given virtual immunity from parole revocation” (p.457). It wasn’t only Smith that was working at the HAFMC, however- so was an (in)famous psychiatrist name Louis Jolyon West, who would eventually oversee UCLA’s department of psychiatry and Neuropsychiatric Institute for 20 years. It had long been rumored that West was a part of the CIA’s MKUltra program, but he always denied this right up until his death in 1999. O’Neill found a needle in a haystack that proved conclusively that West was indeed involved in MKUltra for a very long time.

Once O’Neill knew that West was working at the HAFMC while Manson and his girls were frequent visitors there (Manson for parole meetings, the girls to get medical treatment), and knowing the rumors of West being involved in MKUltra, O’Neill spent a long grueling summer pouring through over a hundred boxes of West’s archives at UCLA (he was the first one to ever look at them). One day he found the smoking gun he was looking for, which was “misfiled and accidently left behind”- multiple letters of correspondence between West and Sidney Gottlieb, the head of MKUltra who was nicknamed “the Dark Sorcerer”. The letters begin in 1953 and in them West reports to Gottlieb several successes from his MKUltra experiments. He has learned to remove memories from a subject’s mind and insert totally false ones; he’s learned how to induce insanity in a subject, or as West put it, “produce temporary mental derangement in the laboratory”; and he’s done extensive research on LSD, which he finds very useful for producing “model mental illnesses” (p.566-571). But despite these ‘successes’ in the lab, West says to Gottlieb “Needless to say [the experiments] must eventually be put to test in practical trials in the field”. MKUltra needs to be tested in the field. West arrived in San Francisco in late 1966, on a one-year sabbatical from the University of Oklahoma where he was working at the time. While working out of the HAFMC during 1967 he set up a fake hippie crash pad in an apartment nearby the clinic and had graduate students grow their hair long and pretend to be hippies, bringing in the local hippie youth to ply with LSD and other drugs for observation. West was now in the field. Despite trying and trying O’Neill couldn't find a witness who saw Manson and West interacting. But their overlapping for a year in the same clinic makes this a very strong possibility.

The last intriguing and suggestive piece of evidence O’Neill found was a CIA agent named Reeve Whitson who had infiltrated the Manson Family. Whitson was a mystery man, even to his own family, who knew he was some sort of spy but didn’t know for who. Those that knew Whitson said he had very high levels connections, and his friends included the mobster Charlie Baron, far right war hawk Curtis “Bombs Away” Lemay, and former Nazi Otto Skorzeny who was Hitler’s top commando. The Skorzeny connection is significant, as a recent 2020 book The Skorzeny Papers shows that instead of being charged at Nuremburg for war crimes, Skorzeny and his assassination team were brought into and utilized by NATO (which, not incidentally, was full of Nazis). O’Neill learned that Whitson had been at the crime scene of the Tate murders before the police arrived. Whitson also later threatened a witness with deportation- an Iranian national named Shahrokh Hatami, who was friends with Sharon Tate- if he didn’t falsely testify that he’d seen Manson at Cielo Drive (scene of the murders) months earlier, which would set up the narrative needed by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi to prosecute Manson. Who was Whitson and who was he working for? As one reviewer of O’Neill’s book put it, “A spook with extreme right-wing sympathies, disguised as a hippie, at ground zero of the peace movement? Inserting himself into the event that, as countless pundits have robotically repeated ever since, “ended the ’60s”?” It’s curious indeed.

As O’Neill reflected on Operation CHAOS in light of this evidence, he writes, “The more I read about it, the more I saw how someone like Charles Manson could fit into a scheme like this…As the writer Todd Gitlin noted, “For the mass media, the acid-head Charles Manson was readymade as the monster lurking in the heart of every longhair.” Wasn’t this the goal of CHAOS and COINTELPRO?” (p.331) O’Neill took his findings to Alan Scheflin, a forensic psychologist and law professor who in 1978 wrote the third major book on MKUltra called The Mind Manipulators. O’Neill asked Scheflin, “Was it possible that the Manson murders were an MKULTRA experiment gone wrong?” Scheflin replied, “No, an MKULTRA experiment gone right” (p.575). In the end O’Neill lets the reader make up their own mind, as the case he’s built gets most of the way but not all the way there. But from what we’ve read so far in this piece, these are the same forces willing to build torture centers across Vietnam, create a narco state to fund illegal covert wars, torture one of their own agents to death, and viciously destroy the Black Panther movement. These people are certainly capable and most willing to have pulled off such an operation. O’Neill is hoping the book will compel other evidence and witnesses to come forth, and in recent interviews he has said that he’s receiving a lot of new information, with one in ten being quite good. A second book is currently in the making.

The second event that was said to have ended the 60s counterculture took place just four months after the Manson murders, the Altamont Free Concert featuring the Rolling Stones, which was attended by over 300,000 people was and supposed to be ‘Woodstock West’. It didn’t exactly turn out that way. The following background on this event comes from chapter 6 of Alex Constantine’s 2000 book The Covert War Against Rock. It’s worth noting that Constantine was a student of Mae Brussell, who took over her radio show when she died, and was the editor of The Essential Mae Brussell which came out in 2014. The story that he tells about Altamont is well footnoted, and the interested reader can find those at the end of his chapter. I’ll just retell the basic story here. Constantine talks about the “hellish fiasco” of Altamont explicitly in the context of Operation CHAOS, wondering if it was possibly a covert operation under its umbrella.

During their 1969 tour the Rolling Stones were criticized for the cost of their ticket prices, and for a generally opulent lifestyle. They decided to put on a free concert at the end of their US tour to quell the critics. In the search for a venue in the San Francisco area they consulted Rolling Stone editor Jan Wenner for advice. Wenner got them in touch with a famous/notorious lawyer named Melvin Belli, a “fixture of California’s well-heeled “conservative” power base”. Constantine says that this was the band’s “first Big Mistake”. Why? Belli was “one of the CIA’s most trusted courtroom wonders” who could be “counted on to button his lip, and he did repeatedly as a CIA-Mafia legal counsel in a number of assassination cover-ups”. Belli chose the worst possible location, a decaying speedway on the verge of bankruptcy that “was small, cramped, and difficult to reach. Its acres were littered with the rusting hulks of junked automobiles and thousands of shards of broken glass. In appearance, it had all the charm of a graveyard”.

The “second Big Mistake” was the hiring of Ralph “Sonny” Barger and a group of Hell’s Angels to provide security. In the years since the concert, it’s been revealed that Barger “was an informant and hit man on the payroll of the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)”. He was once given a contract to kill farm worker organizer Cesar Chavez, but the assassination was thwarted when Barger was arrested on other charges just before the killing. Barger and his crew of Hell’s Angels were "a group of paid killers", and they would create major amounts of mayhem during the concert. They arrived with 1,000 hits of acid laced with speed, which they handed out. The Hell’s Angels brought cases of red wine for themselves and a massive supply of barbiturates. Santana began the concert at 1pm, and “before long the beatings began. By the time Santana ripped to a close, the first casualties limped into the first aid station. There were broken arms, open wounds, shattered jaws and ribs, and bad LSD trips that left joy-seekers screaming in terror. There were so many of these that the Thorazine caché ran dry within a few hours, leaving the overdosed untreated”. Jefferson Airplane played next followed by the Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills and Nash, who had to cut their set short because of the escalating violent chaos.

The Rolling Stones delayed their set by 90 minutes, “aggravating the macabre tension of the event. The Angels, riding on electric currents of methamphetamine and lysergic acid, bludgeoned the audience with lead-filled pool cues”. Mick Jagger arrived by helicopter and at his side was Timothy Leary flashing peace signs. Jagger’s attire that evening is rather interesting. Jagger had become friends with the filmmaker Kenneth Anger, an avowed Satanist and an acolyte of Aleister Crowley. In his biography, Anger is quoted saying that he’d helped Jagger pick out his clothing for the concert. They put a top hat on him like the one worn by (Mansonite killer) Bobby Beausoleil in Anger’s film Lucifer Rising. Anger said they used other “pop iconography and massive amounts of cocaine to fuel Jagger’s attempt at incarnating Lucifer”. I suppose it’s fitting then that during the Stones' performance of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ a man was stabbed to death by the Hells Angels. The man was wielding a gun and did point it at the stage, and Hells Angel Alan Passaro was later acquitted of the killing on grounds of self-defence, but the Hells Angels surrounded the man and wouldn’t let anyone help him. He was eventually dragged away and taken for medical help but died on the grounds that evening. Three others died that day, two of a hit and run incident, and another who drowned in an aqueduct while bombed out on LSD. As luck would have it there was a large film crew there that day to film the whole thing, and Constantine says, “They were directed to concentrate on the violence, not the performances on stage”. The murderous mayhem was caught on film for all to see in the movie Gimme Shelter, the macabre specter horrifying and repelling countless people who viewed the film. Was the concert part of Operation CHAOS? It certainly appears like it, but either way, so much of the 60s hope and idealism and spirit of momentum came crashing apart as it flew into the grisly twin events of the Manson murders and the Free Altamont Concert. As Mae Brussell wrote to herself in 1976 in an unpublished note- “FACT 3- In 1969, the combined agencies of the CIA, Army and FBI were put into full operational use. The Sharon Tate-La Bianca murders were committed in August 1969. The Altamont violence occurred four months later”.

As mentioned above, in 1975 the US Senate formed a committee to investigate the abuses of the CIA and the FBI, much of which took place in the 1960s. It’s come to be known as the Church Committee after Senator Frank Church who chaired it. The CIA stymied and undermined the commission every step of the way, but even so, much was discovered by it. As part of his statements after the committee had wrapped up, Church described the CIA’s use of the term covert activity as “a semantic disguise for murder, coercion, blackmail, bribery, the spreading of lies, and consorting with known torturers and international terrorists”. And let’s not forget that the CIA is the paramilitary wing of the Network.

Coda- Deep History Rising

In late August, while researching for this piece and the several parts that will follow, I began listening to interviews with Whitney Webb whose two-volume book One Nation Under Blackmail was set to come out. I knew that Webb was researching the use of sexual blackmail operations by the Network, one of their favorites, but I was surprised to hear that her book would also be talking about Iran-Contra, the BCCI scandal, the PROMIS software scandal, and several other topics that I was also researching and will be future parts in this series. Around the same time, I was needing a break from all the parapolitical research, so one evening I thought I’d turn to something on the paranormal to switch it up. I turned to my favorite paranormal podcast Where Did the Road Go? and found an interview with the creator of a new podcast series called Penny Royal, about paranormal happenings in Kentucky. Great, sounds like fun I thought. But listening to the interview I came to hear the podcast creator Nathan Issac also talking about much of the very same parapolitical content! It was then I realized that something was up. Something was in the zeitgeist, in the collective mind, that was needing this deep history to surface. As we struggle against the Network and their violent attempts to impose their neo-feudal Great Reset, it was now imperative to understand the history and nature of what we’re truly dealing with. It made sense that I too was being called to this project.

As I searched in my podcast app for various topics in this piece and the ones to come, I also discovered a lot of new parapolitical podcasts being made by younger folks, and importantly, many who consider themselves on the progressive left. This is important because as I talked about in my piece What Happened to the Left? Pt.1, during the Trump + covid years the left sustained an almost total inversion, dropping many former values and embracing the CIA and other intelligence agencies as saviors along the way. This is doubly unfortunate because the left has been on the violent end of so much of the clandestine activity described above, and because it’s the left that’s traditionally been critical of this covert reality as it was happening, seen in something like Noam Chomsky’s 1973 (heavily suppressed) book Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Facts and Propaganda which was already aware of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam and other paramilitary activity going on in Southeast Asia. We need a parapolitically aware left back in the game, so it was heartening to listen to podcasts like Subliminal Jihad, TrueAnon, The Farm, and many parapolitical episodes of The Chapo Trap House and Media Roots Radio.

It was also exciting to discover the Midnight Writer News podcast, an incredible repository of interviews with parapolitical researchers from the time of Mae Brussell to today. There’s something about American parapolitical researchers that has this great gumshoe detective quality to it. It’s said that modern detective fiction began in the US with Edgar Allan Poe, so maybe it’s that lineage at play, but there’s an excellent nuts and bolts facts on the ground ability to take apart the official narrative around deep events. It’s impressive, and Midnight Writer News is full of those researchers, many of whom focus on the big assassinations of the 60s (JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X). There are also stalwarts of parapolitical research still out there such as James Corbett’s The Corbett Report, with episodes going back to 2008 that still hold up, and William Ramsey Investigates. Ramsey was a lawyer in Washington DC in the 90s during the chaos of the Whitewater Scandal and the death of Vince Foster and he learned a few things about the deep state and parapolitical intrigue. His podcast has a wealth of interviews with a wide range of guests. Finally, a shout out should be given to TrineDay Press, which now has its own podcast. TrineDay has published so many important highly researched books that would never have seen the light of day anywhere else. It’s owner Kris Millegan has an interesting story. In the late 60s he was a pot smoking hippie kid who was a part of the counterculture. His dad, however, was a high-level CIA agent and he told Kris a few things about secret societies and CIA drug running that made his hair stand on end and his eyes bulge. That started him on a lifelong journey that eventually led to the creation of TrineDay Press, and we’re richer for it.

All of these voices and more will be needed as we learn our deep history and fight the common enemy that’s besieging us. The good news is that over the past few years that enemy has largely been forced to step out of the covert shadows and reveal its true nature. Over the course of the pandemic censorship became increasingly harsher, media lies proliferated, there was forced isolation (lockdowns), incessant fear mongering, division was constantly stoked, Klaus Schwab bragged about penetrating governments, bank accounts were frozen, all dissidents were called far-right Nazis, and tyrannical governors at times bared their teeth as they said that people must get the jab or else. All the while we were learning about elite sex trafficking networks (Epstein-Maxwell), sex cults involving celebrities and human slavery (NXIVM), and that Hollywood is full of rapists and repeat sex offenders. It became increasingly clear that something is completely rotten, and waves and waves of people have woken up to this reality. The other good news is that the Network uses the same playbook over and over, for decades, and as we become savvy to its big bag of dirty clandestine tricks we become much less susceptible to them, and that knowledge is growing rapidly. I personally learned a great deal doing the research for this piece and am grateful for it. I’ll leave the last words to Winston Churchill. And they’re not just some nice words from the past. Churchill’s Britain was fighting the Nazi’s, and as we know from Pt.1 the Network both funded and supported the Nazi’s, and then brought many of its top agents back into itself after the war, as we saw above. That past is still present and a different kind of war rages on. And so then, “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender”. Amen and Godspeed.

<![CDATA[Astrological Timing Techniques in the Life of Ulysses S. Grant]]>Then, indeed, I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest.”
—U.S. Grant in his Personal Memoirs, in response to The Battle of Shiloh (April 1862)

This piece is the third (and final) in a series looking at astrological interpretation in the life of Gen.

https://limitedhangout.wtf/ulysess-grant/630eda9c8974eb0765765c42Tue, 18 Oct 2022 15:39:35 GMT

Then, indeed, I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest.”
—U.S. Grant in his Personal Memoirs, in response to The Battle of Shiloh (April 1862)

This piece is the third (and final) in a series looking at astrological interpretation in the life of Gen. US Grant. The first piece looked at Grant's birthchart and the second the uncanny nature of asteroids. This piece will explore timing techniques.

All astrological timing techniques are second order processes—that is they always work off the birth (natal) chart. For an individual (or group entity like a business or country), the birth chart is primary. Think of the natal chart like a series of seeds implanted at birth in the soul. Timing techniques are ways of divining (with probability) when various seeds are most likely to fruit over the course of the life. Just growing a food garden, different seeds in a person’s chart will have different growing cycles.

Astrological Timing Techniques in the Life of Ulysses S. Grant
US Grant Firdaria 

The timing technique known as firdaria outlines planetary periods for one’s life. The exact origins of the technique remain a bit obscure (potentially Persian) but certainly has roots by the early middle ages. In fidaria there’s a major or overarching planet for a varying period of years: e.g. 7 for Mars, 10 for the Sun, 12 for Jupiter. Within that overall period there are 7 equal sub-periods with one of the traditional seven planets in “conversation” with the overarching planetary period, known as the Time Lord. For example, if Venus is the major period then there’s a Venus-Mars sub-period at a certain point (as well as Venus-Sun, Venus-Mercury and all the rest).

The system only works with the traditional seven planets. It follows what is known as The Chaldean Order which goes from slowest to fastest moving planet: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon.

The first major planetary period is different for those born in the daytime (Diurnal) versus those born at night (Nocturnal). For Diurnal charts The Sun goes first, followed by Venus, Mercury, The Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and then Mars. For Nocturnal charts the order is Moon, then Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury. For both day time and nighttime the meta cycle of all seven planets’ major periods lasts 70 years, followed by 5 years of The Lunar Nodes (3 North, 2 South) until 75. At which point, if the person is still alive, they start back at the beginning of the process.

Astrological Timing Techniques in the Life of Ulysses S. Grant
US Grant Birth Chart

Grant’s recorded time of birth is 5:47am in late April in Point Pleasant Ohio. That constitutes an in-between zone of daytime vs. nighttime chart. According to astronomical timing at that latitude and that time of year, Grant was born after astronomical and nautical twilight. The chart shows the Sun at 6 degrees in the first whole sign house with the Ascendant at 18 degrees—the Ascendant marks the horizon line so technically above (day chart) though very close. I think his life history rectifies best with a daytime chart (as I’ll argue below).

For each major period and sub-periods one looks to the various houses the planets highlighted exist in in the natal chart, which house(s) they rule, and the overall strength or challenge of the planet(s) in the chart to get a view of the outlines of that period of a person’s life.

The first major period I want to examine is that of Grant’s Mercury, which, like all Diurnal charts, starts at 18 (April 26, 1840). When Grant was 17 his father enlisted him at West Point military academy and at 18 he begins his years of schooling (Mercury). Grant’s natal Mercury is in his 12th house in the sign of Aries. His 12th House Aries configuration was mentioned in the prior article in relationship to Grant’s natal Pluto (death & rebirth) but here with Mercury, Grant literally is studying war: studying = Mercury; war = Aries, ruled by Mars god of war.

His Mercury however is in his 12th House—a place of boarding schools and isolation. He would later comment that the happiest days of his life were when he left both the US Presidency and West Point. In 1844 he meets his future wife Julia, during the Mercury-Saturn sub-period. Saturn, as we’ll see on numerous occasions, brings periods of prosperity to Grant’s life.

Grant then went from theoretically studying war to studying war in the flesh during the Mexican-American conflict which started in 1846, during Grant’s Mercury-Jupiter sub-period. Jupiter is another strong planet in Grant’s chart and he earns positive reviews for his bravery and leadership. On Sept 30, 1847 Grant transitions to his Mercury-Mars sub-period. Mars, as mentioned, is the god of war. Grant also described how he studied (Mercury) Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott (Aries/Mars war) during his war experience. Both his study of their leadership styles and his work as a quartermaster will serve him in his eventual rise to his own generalship. The war concluded in 1848.

After the war Grant continued in the Army and was sent to a number of posts between 1848-1853, including earning praise for organizing medical assistance during a cholera outbreak in Panama (1852, during his Mercury-Venus sub period.)

Then Grant is assigned to Ft. Humboldt in California in August 1853. By this point Grant has transitioned from his Mercury major period to his Moon major period. He enters his Lunar Time Lord phase on April 26, 1853. It will last until 1862.

Grant’s natal Moon is in Cancer, the sign of its rulership. His moon is conjunct the IC (Imum Coeli), an aspect of home and close family life. Cancer, the sign his Moon is in, is the sign of emotional closeness and togetherness. His family was unable to accompany him, directly rubbing against the Moon in Cancer conjunct the IC. Grant falls into a severe depression and begins drinking. The firdaria Moon years (his 30s) are the lowest of the low for Grant. Conjunct the IC, his moon is therefore opposite his MC (career marker). This firdaria period corresponds to his low point (opposition) career and life direction-wise (MC).

That Moon period concludes with a Moon-Mercury sub-period starting on Jan 12, 1861. Jan 1861 is just months after the election of Abraham Lincoln, the beginning of secession, and months before the outbreak of the US Civil War at Fort Sumter (April 1861). Grant’s study of war (Mercury) will now come back online and begin to pull him out of the funk he was in for much of his thirties.

April 26, 1862, the day before Great turns 40, he shifts into his Saturn major period. During this period he will ascend to the heights of power: overall command of The Union Army; ultimate victory in the Civil War; leading the Army in the post-war occupation of The South; and winning the US Presidency (for the first of two terms) in 1868. It is a nearly unbelievable trajectory.

By April of 1862 Grant had already won his first victories at Forts Henry and Donelson which had taken place a few months earlier. April 6—just three weeks before his changeover—is the brutal Battle of Shiloh which is a very costly victory for Grant. Yet a victory it is. And it sets him up for the Vicksburg campaign. (See the 2nd piece for the asteroids associated with these battles.)

Saturn, as I explored in great detail in the first piece in this series, is of ultra-importance to Grant’s chart, being born with Saturn at his 0 degrees of his first house (house of identity). From April 1862 to Nov 21, 1863 Grant in his overall Saturn period with the Saturn sub-period as well (Saturn-Saturn), a sort of double dose of Saturn. It is during this phase that he secures the total surrender of the Confederate army at Vicksburg, often considered his most ingenious campaign.

On Nov 21, 1863 Grant enters the Saturn-Jupiter sub-period. Jupiter is another powerful blessing planet in Grant’s chart. During this sub-period, with Jupiter inside Saturn’s overall command, we get a glimpse of things that will come to further fruition when Jupiter becomes the primary firdaria planet (1873-1885). Just days after the change to this sub-period, Grant leads the US Army in The Battle of Chattanooga which is yet another victory. A few months later President Lincoln promotes Grant to Lt. Gen, head of all US forces (Jupiter = king).

The rest of this Saturn-Jupiter sub-period includes The Overland Campaign and his eventual final victory in the Civil War. Robert E. Lee met Grant at Appamatox Courthouse, signing the surrender treaty, on April 6, 1865.

The Saturn-Jupiter sub-period ends on June 17, 1865 just a few months after Lee’s surrender. The next sub-period is Saturn-Mars, during which Grant receives the newly created title of General of the Army of the United States. A more martial (Mars) title, granted by the government (Saturn) one could not find.

In Jan 1867, Grant moves into the Saturn-Sun sub-period. During this period, friction arose between Grant and President Johnson—Lincoln’s Vice-President who assumed the office upon Lincoln’s assassination. The US Congress actually passed an act giving Grant (as Army Chief) de facto veto over President Johnson’s choices. Grant’s Sun was outshining the President, with Grant taking on an almost Presidential (Saturn) like power. It was during this period that Grant and Johnson formerly broke, after Grant became increasingly frustrated (like so many) with Johnson’s failures. Grant was most definitely at this point contemplating running for presidency (Saturn-Sun).

Grant wins election to the US Presidency in his Saturn-Venus sub-period which commenced in August 1868, a few months prior to the election. Grant’s Venus connected him to Lincoln. As detailed in the second in this series, the asteroid Lincoln is conjunct Grant's Venus (22 Pisces). Venus is a benefic planet, in exaltation in the sign of Pisces in his 11th house the house of friendship, alliances, and networks.

Grant wins re-election in 1872 just before entering his Jupiter major fidaria period which began on April 26, 1873. His completes his second term in his Jupiter-Sun sub-period (1877) as he rides off into the setting sun, a period of more public retirement, beginning with a long voyage. During the rest of the Jupiter major period years, Grant experiences financial difficulties in his post-presidential years. His public image began to be rehabilitated after some scandals (not of his doing but of subordinates) during his presidency dinged his image.

His final period of his Jupiter firdaria is a Jupiter-Saturn sub-period. During this period (1884) he was diagnosed with cancer—probably from smoking, i.e. a respiration issue (Saturn). Given the financial challenges, Grant took to writing his memoirs, even with the increasingly excruciating pain he was in, as he was more and more confined in his movements (Saturn = restriction). Saturn the planet so crucial to his birth and identity (0 degrees, 1st house) would also be intricately tied to his death (0 degrees first house, bordering on the 12th house spirit world).

In April of 1885 Grant transitioned to his Mars major period, which, as it turns out, was only to last but four months as he would be dead by July of that year. Mars is the warrior and Grant soldiered on through brutal physical ailments, all in a rush to finish the memoirs so his wife and family could be supported after his death. His memoirs are that of a general (Mars). As noted previously his Mars is conjunct his South Node, the place of decrease. Here the decrease in health and eventually life itself.

Grant, true to his Saturnian committed, disciplined, and dogged self, finished the memoirs just days before dying. The warrior could finally be at rest.

<![CDATA[The Uncanny Astrology of Asteroids: Ulysses Simpson Grant]]>This piece is the second in a series looking at the astrology of Ulysses Grant, head of The Union Army during the US Civil War and later President of the United States. The first installment looked at the major planetary configurations in Grant's chart. This piece will look deeper into

https://limitedhangout.wtf/asteroids/630edc908974eb0765765c4cWed, 05 Oct 2022 21:33:55 GMT

This piece is the second in a series looking at the astrology of Ulysses Grant, head of The Union Army during the US Civil War and later President of the United States. The first installment looked at the major planetary configurations in Grant's chart. This piece will look deeper into the astrology of asteroids and their eerie, almost foreordained, ability to chart Grant's life.

Asteroids started being discovered in earnest from the 1950s onward. By now there are literally thousands upon thousands of asteroids named. Demetra George, the pioneer of asteroid astrology, describes a technique of picking names of individuals and/or places prominent in a person’s life and then looking up the corresponding asteroid(s). Given how many asteroids there are there’s basically an asteroid for everything at this point. Sometimes names have to be changed just slightly or gender associations switched.

I choose a number of words based on major persons in Grant’s life, as well as major battles. As Prof. George says in her lecture on asteroids, the results can be rather eerie and uncanny in nature.

The Uncanny Astrology of Asteroids: Ulysses Simpson Grant

The asteroid Victoria (named after goddess of Victory, Nike) is at 22 degrees of Aries in Grant’s 12th House. That is exactly sextile to his North Node—detailed in the prior piece, at 22 degrees of Aquarius. Sextile relationships (60 degrees) are ones of positive interaction. He had victory built into his highest destiny line (aka North Node). The asteroid Victory is in the sign of Aries, ruled by god of war Mars, so the victory is going to be victory in battle.

Speaking of 22 degrees, the asteroid Donaldson is at 22 degrees of Leo, sign of the courageous leader. The asteroid is directly conjunct his South Node, Mars configuration, covered in extraordinary detail in the previous piece. Grant’s first major victories were at Forts Henry and Donelson (Donelson = Donaldson). Asteroid Henry is at 21 degrees (1 degree off the 22 degrees), conjunct his Ascendant at 18 degrees in his first house of Taurus. The Ascendant symbolizes one’s persona or external interface with the world—Grant’s public image (Ascendant) came into public awareness with the victory at Ft. Henry.

The asteroid Julia, the name of Grant’s wife, is at 25 degrees of Aries (12th House)—very close to his 0 degrees Saturn. Julia was a real partner to Grant, though they experienced many periods of being isolated from one another (12th house) due to his military career.

The Uncanny Astrology of Asteroids: Ulysses Simpson Grant

The asteroid Vika (for Vicksburg) is at 25 degrees of Pisces, 11th house. It’s conjunct his exalted Venus at 22 degrees Pisces (note again the power of the 22nd degree in Grant’s chart across numerous signs). At 22 degrees of Pisces is the asteroid Lincoln, that is Abraham Lincoln. They are only 4 minutes apart in fact (Lincoln = 22 degrees, 45 minutes/ Venus = 22 degrees, 49 minutes).

The 11th house is the house of friendship and alliance . Venus in a house of friendship is a warm, close friendship, a “bromance” even if you will. The alliance/partnership between Lincoln and Grant was the key to Union victory.

Speaking of The Union, the asteroid Union is at 4 degrees of Aries (war god Mars ruled) sandwiched between Pluto (death and rebirth at 0 degree Aries) and Chiron at 7 degrees Aries. Chiron being the wounded healer—or in this case the one who excised the cancerous growth of slavery and rebellion (to maintain the Union). Healing through painful measures.

Or in Grant’s much more eloquent prose:

“Then, indeed, I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest.”

Pluto, Union, and Chiron in Mars-ruled Aries.

Speaking of Grant’s eloquent prose, his namesake asteroid Ulysses is in the 3rd house, the house of communication.

Grant wrote those words about realizing that only through complete conquest could the won be won (and the Union saved) after the utterly horrifying and gruesome Battle of Shiloh.

Shiloh, in a tragically ironic way, actually means Peace or Place of Rest.

The asteroid Restititum (as in both Rest and Restitution—Restitution for the sins of slavery we might say) is at 15 degrees of Taurus in his first house, at the midpoint between his Jupiter (11 degrees) and his ascendant (18 degrees Taurus).

As mentioned The Battle of Shiloh was a major turning point in Grant’s career and the Civil War overall. Grant actually made an initial error by failing to build entrenchments or fortifications when his army was camped at Pittsburgh Landing. The Confederates under Gen. Sydney Albert Johnston, led a surprise attack, which very nearly turned into complete rout for the Union side.

The asteroids Shiloh is at 19 degrees of Sagittarius, in the 8th house (the house of death). Shiloh was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. More men died at Shiloh that had fought on the American side in both The US Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 combined!

Shiloh is in opposition in the chart to the asteroid Pittsburghia (i.e. Pittsburgh Landing), which is at 23 degrees of Gemini in the 2nd house. The 2nd house is the house of one’s own resources—in this case the position the Union held at Pittsburgh Landing. After the first day of brutal fighting and near Union collapse, Grant managed to hold the lines (along with Gen. Sherman—more on him in a moment). That night reinforcements from Gen. Don Carlos Buell arrived and were able to be ferried over as the Union Navy controlled the waters by the landing. The next day the Union army under Grant was able to push the Confederate army back and force them to retreat, thus winning a most bloody victory.

Given that Shiloh was almost disastrous for Grant, it is worth noting that Pittsburghia trines his North Node—North Node at 22 degrees of Aquarius (10th house of career) and asteroid Pittsburghia at 23 degrees of 2nd house Gemini. The Confederate surprise attack was delayed due to rain. In one of the great “What Ifs” of the war, if it had not been for the rain slowing down their march Shiloh probably would have been a complete loss for the Union and could have turned the tide of the entire war towards the Confederacy.

As mentioned in the previous piece, Grant’s mid-heaven (MC), a power point in his chart is just reaching over from the 29th degree of Capricorn in his 9th house towards the 10th house of career. The 9th house is the house of philosophy and worldview and Capricorn is the sign of administration and logistics. Grant strategically (9th house) won the war through greater administrative capacity and logistical coordination (Capricorn).

His main and most feared opponent was of course Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The asteroid Robert is at 2 degrees of Aquarius, in the 10th house of career for Grant—just a few degrees separated from his MC, though across sign boundary (MC = Capricorn, Asteroid Robert = Aquarius). The across sign boundary indicates the closeness of the two men and yet the divide that separated them.

Lee was the scion of the famous Virginia Lee family. Ancestors include Harry Lighthorse Lee, Lee delegate to the Constitutional Convention and the man who put forth the motion to declare independence. Lee was considered the best and brightest and was top of his class at West Point. Grant was in the bottom half of his class, had been kicked out of the Army due to struggles with alcohol and was the son of a tanner. The other obvious implication of the sign boundary is the boundary between fighting for the North versus the South.

The asteroid Robertbrownlee (as in Robert Lee) is at 26 degrees of Taurus in Grant’s first house (the house of Saturn, Jupiter, and his Sun). Grant’s claim to fame would forever be linked both in his identity (1st house) and career (10th house) to Robert E. Lee. Great would, after the war, intervene to prevent Lee from being executed as a traitor, due to the terms Grant offered for surrender at Appamatox Courthouse.

Conjunct the asteroid Robertlee and nearby his Ascendant is the asteroid Sherman, as in William Tecumseh Sherman. It was the combined forces of Grant (Ascendant 18 degrees Taurus) and Sherman (25 degrees) that were eventually able to defeat Lee.

Asteroid Sherman and Asteroid Vika (for Vicksburg) are exact by degree through sextile (25 Pisces Vika, 25 Taurus Sherman). Vika is in the 11th house of friendship and alliance. Sherman, at the beginning of the war, had had a nervous breakdown during which Grant supported him. Grant, had his own dark moments as noted, and Sherman supported him through his struggles with alcohol. Throughout the war and after they formed a tight friendship and alliance. Sherman at 25 Taurus is a softer but still close (3 degrees) sextile to asteroid Lincoln at 22 Pisces.

The Uncanny Astrology of Asteroids: Ulysses Simpson Grant

The Confederate forces surrendered Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two parts, as The North now controlled the entire Mississippi River and could blockade the western half of the Confederacy (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana) from the Eastern half.

Simultaneously to the ending of the siege of Vicksburg was The Battle of Gettysburg which happened on the exact same weekend—notably on the anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence. The Union Army at Gettsyburg was lead by Gen. George Meade—who assumed command only a few days prior to the battle. The asteroid Meadows is at 22 degrees of Sagittarius in Grant’s chart. A mead is another name for a meadow. 22 degrees of Sagittarius is exactly sextile Grant’s North Node (22 degrees Aquarius) and exactly trine the asteroid Victoria at 22 degrees Aries. Those two battles on the same weekend—Vicksburg and Gettysburg—turned the tide of the war in the direction of The Union.

Asteroid Meadows is also in a close square (3 degrees separation) with the asteroid Vika (for Vicksburg). Grant initially was overshadowed (square) by the news of the victory in Gettysburg over his victory, the same weekend at Vicksburg.

Lastly the asteroid Libera (Liberator) is at the aforementioned 22 degrees of Pisces, directly conjunct asteroid Lincoln, and Grant’s exalted Venus in his 11th house of friendship and alliance. Upon the victories of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, Lincoln declared the Emancipation (Liberation) Proclamation. Grant profoundly supported Reconstruction, the abolition of slavery and the passage of the 13th-15th Amendments (the 15th Amendment was ratified during Grant’s presidency). Asteroid Slavi (Slave) is at 26 Leo, right next to the South Node-Mars configuration that is so prominent in Grant’s chart.

While the planets (covered in Pt1) give the broader narrative of Grant's life, the asteroids provide uncanny precision with specific major events and relationships in Grant's life. In the third and final part I'm going to investigate some astrological timing techniques, exploring in particular the wild swings and meteoric rise of Grant's life.

<![CDATA[Astrology in the Life and Times of General Ulysses Grant]]>In previous pieces I’ve explored astrological themes when reflecting on the global events of a year (for 2020 and 2021). I’ve also done astrological readings of individuals (Donald Trump), as well as of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency. In those pieces I lay out more my philosophical approach to astrology—

https://limitedhangout.wtf/grant/630ed8478974eb0765765c3bFri, 16 Sep 2022 19:27:54 GMT

In previous pieces I’ve explored astrological themes when reflecting on the global events of a year (for 2020 and 2021). I’ve also done astrological readings of individuals (Donald Trump), as well as of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency. In those pieces I lay out more my philosophical approach to astrology—both weirdly natural and ontologically flooded. Astrology becomes, in this view, a cosmic correlational model with the placement of stars and planets reflecting outwardly the inner meaning and nature of persons (and events).

I’ve also been explored in separate pieces themes around the US Civil War: this piece on a social traumatological read of ideology of The Lost Cause of the Confederacy , as well as this piece on egregores, collective human and emotional thought forms become real (with the Confederacy as one major example).

As part of my research for those pieces, I found myself diving more and more into the life of Ulysses S. Grant, the victorious leader of the Union Army and later President of the United States. His life story is incredibly fascinating. Grant had been toiling away in failed businesses and obscurity prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. He did have a West Point education and had served (as a quartermaster) during the Mexican-American War with competence but in the post-war period had succumbed to alcoholism while stationed in remote California (away from his family). He was essentially asked to resign. Grant was working a low-level clerk in his father-in-law’s shop when the war broke out. Within 18 months or so he would go from impoverished desk clerk to commanding, at that point, the largest army in American history. It is a most American of stories.

Grant would later go on to a two term presidency and spent his later years again failing in business and investment schemes gone awry and back to impoverished circumstances. His legacy was tarnished for nearly a century by Southern sympathetic historians (see my earlier piece on The Lost Cause of the Confederacy for why). It is only in recent years that his image is getting the proper rehabilitation that it deserves.

Combining those two threads I want to take a look at the astrological birth chart of US Grant. In particular I want to explore potential astrological significators for the mind boggling meteoric rise and turn around of the man’s life in such a short period of time. This investigation will be a trilogy. In this piece (Pt1) I’ll look at the planets in Grant's birth chart. In the second piece I’ll explore asteroids and in third piece, some astrological timing techniques.

Here is Grant's natal chart (birth info courtesy astro databank):

Astrology in the Life and Times of General Ulysses Grant

The Reaper (Saturn at 0 degrees 40 minutes 1st house of Taurus)

I believe that Grant's Saturn is far and away the single most important element in his chart. We're going to cover many many aspects in this piece and the following ones but I want to start with the most impactful of all of them (in my estimation).

Saturn is at zero degrees, right on the line separating life in this world (1st house) from the spiritworld (12th house). Any planet residing at this crucial juncture in a chart will have an overwhelming influence on the entirety of the chart. It will flavor the whole of the chart with its specific qualities—in Grant’s case, Saturnian energies.

Saturn is a so-called malefic planet traditionally (along with Mars). The word malefic is controversial and its meaning in contemporary parlance doesn’t necessarily line up with what the ancients meant by the term. Malefic can indeed mean painful or destructive in a chart. But when a Saturn or Mars are well placed in a person’s chart and are healthy, they give their gifts and are more “positive” in a chart than a weak or debilitated (so-called) benefic planet which can turn sour.

So the adjudication here is much more subtle than some simple benefic planets being positive and malefic planets being negative. Malefics can sometimes act like a very challenging or even stern drill sergeant type energy. They may kick a person in the backside, as it were, to push them to grow. Given Grant’s military career, the drill sergeant reference to Saturn seems most apropos. However, Saturn does not typically bequeath his gifts until later in life, which is most definitely the case for Grant.

Saturn, in its shadowy or destructive form, correlates with depression and melancholy. Also often with respiration challenges as Saturn was traditionally labeled as cold and wet. Grant was a heavy smoker and suffered breathing challenges in his later life, including the most likely cause of the cancer that would eventually kill him. Grant originally felt pain in his throat which lead him to see a doctor and receive his terminal diagnosis.

Grant also, as has been well detailed, struggled with alcoholism most of his adult life. After the Mexican-American War (1840s), Grant was sent in 1851 out west and couldn’t afford to bring his family. He fell into a major depression due to the isolation and succumbed to heavy drinking. His opponents, throughout his life and later after his death, would charge Grant with being a drunkard.

Psychological astrology describes Saturn as revealing humiliations, defeats, and the energy of shame (or feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness) in a person’s life. Most of Grant’s first half of life consists of a series of humiliating failures.

Grant was a failed farmer and businessman. He was reduced at one point to selling firewood in the streets. As mentioned, when the Civil War broke out Grant was working as a low level clerk in his father-in-law’s store. That is the same father-in-law who wished his daughter never married Grant and had an extremely low opinion of him (Grant). A view that up until that point had evidence to support it.

Saturn, in the positive sense, is commitment, discipline, and rigor. When Grant finally found his calling in life as a general, he was famously described—both by his supporters and opponents—as “dogged”, “determined”, “unyielding.” Those are positive Saturnian qualities. Those are particularly qualities of a Saturn in the constellation of Taurus, i.e. the bull. Think bull-headed or trying to push a cow around in a field that doesn’t want to budge. Grant, both positively and negatively, had the characteristic of pushing through to see his goal achieved once he set his mind to it. Admirers turned the US in US Grant’s name into the nickname of “Unconditional Surrender”, a more Saturnian energy one may not find.

The Rising Sign (or Ascendant and 1st House) marks one’s birth and identity but also how one interfaces with the world—one’s persona. Saturn is also the Lawgiver. Saturn is Cronos, the preservation of order and stability. In Grant’s case that would be preserving of The United States and its constitutional order.

Saturn is also the reaper. Saturn’s symbol is, in fact, a scythe. Saturn is the Lord of Karma. Saturn’s adage is “you reap what you sow.” He is the harvester, the one who comes to collect the bill that has come due.

By being born directly on the energy of Saturn, Grant walks the entire path of Saturn—from his earlier humiliations and defeats, to becoming the Grim Reaper of the Confederacy, to preserving the Union, to blooming in his elder years as a President and Elder Statesmen.

Saturn, in Grant’s chart, is at 0 degrees of the 1st house, on the border of the 12th house (the otherworld/spiritworld). Grant lived through the apocalyptic hell that was the US Civil War. He wrote grimly, after The Battle of Shiloh, that he could have walked across the open battlefield only stepping on the bodies of dead soldiers and never touching the ground.

His enemies labeled Grant a butcher—particularly those who advocated for the Lost Cause of the Confederacy (as detailed in my earlier piece). They labeled him a falling down drunk which he was not—though he definitely suffered from the disease of alcoholism. His enemies also claimed that Grant threw thousands of men headlong to their deaths with no care for the well being. Also not true. His letters and memoirs show how internally torn apart he was by participating in this gruesome business.

Nevertheless, Grant was, it would seem, almost fated to be the reaper of the Confederates States.

“Mine eyes have seen the coming of the Glory of The Lord/
He is trampling down the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword/
His truth is marching on.”
— Glory, Glory Hallelujah

As detailed in an earlier piece exploring the work of Christian theologian Margaret Barker, The Glory of the Lord is a phrase referring to the appearance in physical form of the Divine in human flesh (that appearance being glorious). Such glorious manifestation however can appear as wrathful in the Biblical tradition. Just like wrathful deities in Buddhism, a wrathful God comes to destroy that which is truly horrific. The Day of The Lord is also known as The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), when the Lord would appear and right the wrongs of history. This belief became the basis of apocalyptic theology (detailed elsewhere here) and was central to the teaching and ministry of Jesus. On the Day of the Lord, slaves would be set free, resulting in a Jubilee, where all the debts would be forgiven and justice would be served.

Grant was that terrible swift sword (or reaping scythe). Grant was not a bloodthirsty psychopath or a coldblooded murderer. He was however someone who believed—quite correctly in my estimation—that the will and the spirit of The Confederacy had to be broken and that slavery had to be abolished.

Grant, along with his friend Gen. Sherman, were the Reapers.

At the end of the Vicksburg campaign, after having laid siege to the Confederate held city and having starved both is soldiers and citizens, Grant paroled the soldiers who surrendered. Grant saw the Confederate rebels as still Americans—mistaken in his view, gone astray and needing to be brought back into the fold—but he did not hate them. And yet Grant throughout his generalship and later presidency was a staunch champion on the emancipation of formerly enslaved persons.

Lastly Grant’s Saturn is in an exact trine (within a degree) to the asteroid Vesta, which is located at 0 degrees 50 minutes in the 9th house in the sign of Capricorn. Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth. Her acolytes who kept the sacred fires burning at her Temple in Rome were the famed Vestal Virgins. Vesta in a chart represents the sacred fire or unquenchable divine ardor of a being. A trine—which is a relationship of 120 degrees in the chart—was classically understood to be the easiest or most frictionless of relationships in the chart. Grant, particularly through his commands to Gen. Sherman, burned down the US South. Saturn and Vesta is a cleansing, purifying, holy fire.

Other Aspects of 1st House: Sun and Jupiter

Grant’s sun sign is very close to his Saturn. Saturn is at 0 degrees Taurus with the Sun at 6 degrees (a conjunction). His personal vitality and identity are deeply intertwined with his Saturnian energies, which have marked him since birth (0 degrees first house). On the day and time of his birth the sun was just beginning to arise, as the sky would have begun to just lighten. The Sun is at 6 degrees with the Ascendant, marking the horizon being at 18 degrees. That sense of light was there but not yet fully visible is another clue to the strange circumstances of Grant’s relative obscurity and insanely meteoric rise to command of the overall Union Armies.

Jupiter is nearby at 11 degrees Taurus. Jupiter is the great benefic planet. Jupiter has mutual reception with Venus in his chart which is a very positive indicator. In Hellenistic astrology planets were assigned as rulers (or hosts) of constellations. Mutual reception was the doctrine that if planets were in each other’s houses of rulership they formed an alliance. Somewhat like friends who living in different parts of the world who do a house swap. The fact that Jupiter is in mutual reception with Venus is significant as both are classically term blessing (or benefic) planets. Jupiter is the king of the gods and a ruler while Grant would of course later become a general and a President.

One form of planetary strength was determined through rulership. Another system is known as exaltation. If the ruler of the planet is the host/lord of the manor, then the exalted planet is the honored guest. Jupiter, in addition to mutual reception with Venus by rulership, has mutual reception with the Moon by exaltation. Jupiter is in Taurus where The Moon has exaltation. Grant’s Moon is located in the 3rd house of Cancer. The Moon is ruler in her own house AND exalts Jupiter. Venus, also, is in the sign of her own exaltation (Pisces, ruled by Jupiter). The theme of mutual exaltation could also be added in as another contributing factor to the insane rise from clerk to head of an army in under two years.

Mars and the South Node

In certain strains of astrology (both Western and Eastern), the Nodes of the Moon point to past life time dynamics. (For those interested in the astronomical background to the planetary nodes, see here.). The lunar nodes were compared to a dragon. The North Node of the Moon was called The Head of the Dragon and The South Node the body and tail of the Dragon.

The North Node is the place of increase and the South node the place of decrease. For others the North Node represents one’s dharmic path—like North on a compass—while the South Node is karmic.

The South Node, in this lineage, would be what we come into this life having already cultivated in prior lifetimes. (For a weirdly natural, ontologically flooded perspective on past lifetimes see my earlier piece on the subject).

Grant’s South Node is conjunct Mars, god of war. The South Lunar Node is 22 degrees of Leo with Mars being 23 degrees. In a conjunction the two elements merge their meanings. If The South Node represents what the soul has cultivated prior to this incarnation, then Grant had cultivated expertise and insight into warfare.

When Grant attended West Point military academy he was a middling, at best, student. He was then a quartermaster—i.e. supplies and logistics—during the Mexican-American War. While he saw some fighting and showed bravery he was not in outright command of troops. His military genius only showed under the fire of battle as if preternatural (or perhaps, if you prefer karmically cultivated). Worth noting that his Part of Fortune is also located in the same house. There’s Fortune (Fate/Destiny) surrounding this conjunction for him.

Grant’s South Node-Mars conjunction occurs in the sign of Leo. Leo is sovereignty, king of the jungle, ruled by The Sun (prominent in his chart as noted earlier). Leo is charisma. Grant’s charisma was not that of a flashy heroic Stonewall Jackson or Jeb Stuart or Robert E. Lee with daring cavalry raids and romantic patrician mythos. Grant’s Leo is in the 4th House, the house of home, family, land, and ancestry. Grant was a working class man from working class roots. He was a rugged, plain spoken man, smoking his cigar, drinking his whisky. He identified with his soldiers because he was not an elitist. He was a common man of the people type. He was homely, gruff, and private (4th house). That was the source of his Leonine courage, charisma, and leadership in war (Mars).

The energies and gifts cultivated in the South Node have to be put in service of the destiny laid out by the North Node. The Lunar Nodes are always opposite each other in a chart. Consequently, with Grant’s South Node being in Leo, his North Node must be in Aquarius. As the South Node is in the 4th house, the North Node must be in the 10th.

The 10th house is the house of career, life path, as well as The State (again think Generals, Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers, Presidents).

His North Node is set between two important asteroids: Pallas Athena (18 degrees) and Ceres (26 degrees Aquarius). The North Node is at the midpoint of those two asteroids. Midpoints astrologically are places where energies integrate or intersect: in this case, Pallas Athena and Ceres.

Pallas Athena (Minerva) was the goddess of arts and crafts, philosophy, but also political and military strategy. Ceres was the grain goddess (as in Cereal) and is the energy of resourcing and nurturance in a chart.

Grant was a master strategist. In fact, he was the master strategist of the US Civil War. His Vicksburg campaign was absolutely genius, studied by military strategists up the present times. While his nemesis Robert E. Lee was a greater tactician and improviser mid-battle, Grant had a long term strategic vision and, just as importantly, he was able to execute that vision (Pallas Athena).

In particular that vision included the ability to coordinate naval and land power as no one had done previously. Grant was a pioneer of logistics, provisioning (Ceres), and cutting off the enemies communications and supply lines. Grant deployed feints, siege warfare tactics, cavalry, naval bombardment, and artillery to devastating effect.

The midheaven (mid-coelum, MC) astronomically is the highest point of the Sun on a particular day. Astrologically it symbolizes one’s North Star or point of power. Grant’s MC is in the 9th house at 29 degrees, just about to enter his 10th house of career. The 9th house represents philosophy or life outlook (remember Athena being goddess of philosophy/wisdom). His floating MC in the 9th house imports its meaning to his 10th house of career. Vision and outlook were critical to Grant (9th house). His 9th house is in the sign of Capricorn, the constellation of administration, logistics, and institutional power.

While the Union side undoubtedly had greater manpower, technological capacity and Naval power, it was only Grant who was able to harness those advantages and coordinate them both with strategy and intelligent execution to gain victory. Grant’s multiple predecessor head Generals in the North had miserably failed to do combine all those elements into strategic victory. Capricorn is ruled by (you guessed it) our old pal Saturn.

Which brings us back to the North Node itself in Aquarius. Recall that the North Node is like North on a compass and the point is to incorporate or include the gifting of The South Node while having it serve the overall vision of the North Node. Aquarius is the sign of progressive evolution, humanitarianism, and of a liberated future. The abolitionist movement was an Aquarium movement par excellence.

Grant had to bring his cultivated warrior (Mars, South Node) in support of human liberation through the abolition of slavery (Aquarius, North Node). The fixed star Regulus, the star of the king/ruler, is very close to the Mars/South Node conjunction. Yet another symbol of greatness in that area.

Pluto (0 Degrees 14 Minutes in Aries, 12th House)

The last planetary element I want to discuss in Grant’s natal chart is his Pluto. Pluto is at 0 degree, 14 minutes in Aries in his 12th house. As with his Saturn, the first degree (zero degrees + some number of minutes) makes an appearance. This degree is the initiating phase of that particular sign, in this case Aries. Aries is the Ram, sign of independence, autonomy, freedom and is ruled by god of war Mars.

Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth, of alchemical dissolution (negredo) in order to rebuild to a new creative state. (For more on alchemy, see numerous pieces on the site, including here.)

Grant’s natal Pluto is in the 12th house. The 12th House traditionally is the house of hidden enemies, karma, the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead, and places of social isolation (e.g. hospitals, military encampments, prisons, etc.)

One of Grant’s key tactics was to isolate and surround his enemies, In Vicksburg he surrounded and laid siege to the entire town. In his campaigns in the Eastern theater against Robert E. Lee at the conclusion of the war, he kept cutting Lee off from any means of escape and slowly but surely tightened the noose.

The US Civil War was an alchemical event as the entirety of the slave based economy and political order of The South was the direct target both during Grant’s generalship and during his Presidency (Reconstruction).

Pluto in the first degree of Aries is apocalyptic and Grant and Sherman's march through the South was most definitely apocalyptic. The staggering and horrifying numbers of dead and wounded in the war attest to the 12th house topic of life and death and the veils between them.

Grant also came out of the Western theater and was a low ranking general at the beginning of the war. His earlier successes led to a meteoric rise to overall leadership of the Northern war effort within a few short period of time. He was the “hidden enemy” of the Confederacy (12th House).

The Confederacy’s karmic chickens, as it were, had come home to roost (12th house). Grant’s 0 degrees of Pluto harkens to his 0 degrees Saturn—the karmic debt collector.

In Pt 2 I’ll explore the uncanny, almost eerie, nature of asteroids in Grant’s chart that can help us get a better grasp of the incredible several in fortunes that characterized this man’s life and the ramifications of those reversals for US and world history.

<![CDATA[What's Lost in The Lost Cause of the Confederacy]]>The Lost Cause refers to a revisionist, and ultimately historically delusional, account of the US Civil War from a pro-Confederate perspective. The Lost Cause is an attempt to argue that the US Civil War was not about slavery but rather about taxation disputes, states’ rights, and a Southern “way of

https://limitedhangout.wtf/lost-cause/62cb3aedc64b31070352a46eThu, 01 Sep 2022 03:40:00 GMT

The Lost Cause refers to a revisionist, and ultimately historically delusional, account of the US Civil War from a pro-Confederate perspective. The Lost Cause is an attempt to argue that the US Civil War was not about slavery but rather about taxation disputes, states’ rights, and a Southern “way of life” or culture.

The Lost Cause ideology began in earnest at the end of the 19th century as the last of the Confederate veterans began dying. It went through a second wave of revival during the 1950s as part of the larger campaign of Jim Crow and the attempt to block the movement towards civil rights. It arguably went through a third wave from the 1980s until today and is at the heart of a number of controversial hot button issues like critical race theory, white privilege/white fragility, statue removals, and threats of secession (or at least Neo-nullification) from southern US states, with the US cultural war (quelle surprise!) appearing more and more like another series of skirmishes in the ongoing North vs. South battle lines that have been so bloody throughout US history.

While The Lost Cause as a historical narrative has been debunked many times over—there’s a whole YouTube channel dedicated to it and historians giving reflections on the rebuttals—one angle of The Lost Cause ideology that has not often been explored is in relationship to social traumatology. Social traumatology is the application of trauma theory to larger, collective human groupings, e.g. in this case, the antebellum US white southerners, particularly the slave holding plantation class.

I’ve introduced social traumatology through specific examples like the Men’s Rights and #metoo movements. I’ve also written about reparations theory along the same lines, directly in the context of African-Americans.

Here I want to explore The Lost Cause ideology as a form of cultural defence against the facing of social trauma. As mentioned, core to the argument of The Lost Cause is the idea that slavery was minimal or even incidental to the eruption of the US Civil War. According to the delusion of The Lost Cause the US Civil War was about a fight for states’ rights, Southern “ways of life”, and Southern economic rights vis a vis the Northern federal government (aka “War of Northern Aggression”).

These arguments are, in essence, a limited hangout: partial half-truths decontextualized, spun and twisted to hide a core taboo truth. In this case, the rights of the states that the Confederates states were fighting for of course was their perceived right to enslave other human beings. The economic regime that The Lost Cause references as core to the Southern way of life was undeniably an economy built off the backs of slave labor. And the so-called Southern culture or Southern way of life was one of racial supremacy. There’s no way to get around slavery being core to Confederate identity.

The Lost Cause dominated much US scholarship during the first half of the 20th century and shaped film adaptations of the antebellum South for a long period with its depictions of supposedly noble and chivalrous Southern warrior culture doomed against the mechanical cold blooded North: e.g. Gone With the Wind, North vs. South, etc. It was only recently with films like 12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained that more realistic (and consequently horrific) depictions of life in antebellum South have helped to change public view. Unsurprisingly those films received a great deal of negative blow back for their depictions of the South.

Refuting The Lost Cause intellectually is a fairly simple exercise because it directly contradicts the clearly stated words of the Confederate leaders themselves.

Consider the words of Alexander Stephens, the Vice-President of The Confederacy in his infamous Cornerstone Speech. Stephens refers to the “old constitution” by which he means the US Constitution, still in effect today. In his description of the old constitution he describes the issue of slavery as one that the Founding Fathers saw as morally corrupt but did not have a simple solution to it. Thomas Jefferson is the classic example of this tendency writing that slavery was abhorrent and yet owned slaves and had children with his love Sally Hemings but also didn’t free her—as correctly noted by Frederick Douglass in their epic rap battle.

By contrast Stephens argues:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

That’s again from the Vice-President of the Confederacy not some woke liberal studies professor from Cal Berkeley.

For Stephens, with his proto-eugenicist worldview, white supremacy was a moral truth, a scientific truth even! The words could not be more plain—slavery, for Stephens, is the natural state of black peoples and moreover the very cornerstone of The Confederate States is built upon slavery. Leonardo DiCaprio’s villainous plantation owner in Django Unchained argues that slavery is valid due to phrenology, the pseudoscience that claimed different shaped skulls bespoke “higher” and “lower” races, much in the same vein as Stephens’ racist ideology.

So much for The Lost Cause as historical analysis. Deconstructing the false historical narrative of The Lost Cause is critical work but by itself does not really give a great insight as to how it properly functions, why it holds such sway.

Here the social traumatological lens offers some important insights—both in terms of why The Lost Cause continues to have such a hold when it clearly is racist ideology but also how best to deal with it (beyond simple critique and refutation however necessary that certainly is). As The Lost Cause is ultimately an emotional attachment more mental arguments against it do not meet its emotional core.

In trauma studies, a defence mechanism—aka a coping strategy—exists to prevent the painful experience of trauma from having to be faced or ideally re-experienced. There are many such coping strategies: e.g. any and all kinds of addictions. An addiction to alcohol or a narcotic can keep a person in a numbed out haze so they do not have to face the painful experiences that lead them to abuse substances in the first place. A workaholic by contrast may work a frenetic amount, always keeping busy, so as to never have time to have to face the internal gnawing, aching void.

Another coping strategy is spiritual bypassing which is the misuse of spiritual teachings and practice as a way to avoid traumatic (or altogether very human) experience. Spiritual bypassing might take the form of excessive meditation and/or psychedelia experience as an escape from mundane reality. Spiritual bypassing could conversely the take the form of an extremely rigid, puritanical exterior moral code that ones adheres to religiously

These coping strategies do not have to be mutually exclusive. One could be addicted to spiritual experience as a way to bypass trauma for instance.

Previously I’ve discussed the work of social traumatologist Anngwyn St. Just. St. Just argues for the difference between genuine material circumstances of being victimized versus the taking on of an identity built around victimization. She argues that those who take on the victimization identity typically in turn become victimizers of others.

For St. Just when victim and victimizer do not heal and transform they are locked into a soul-level entanglement.

Perhaps strangest of all is when victimizers take on the defensive posture of victimization. That inverted dynamic is precisely the function of The Lost Cause. The Confederate elites were the victimizers as they, of course, were the ones hold slaves.

Martin Luther King Jr. said the long arc of the universe bends towards justice. Throughout the 1820-1840s countries like The United Kingdom and France abolished slavery. The creation of The Republican Party in the United States—Lincoln’s party—was explicitly to prevent the expansion of slavery into the new territories, later to become states, within the United States.

The Confederate elites and their adherence to King Cotton had them out of step with the developmental arc of their time. The US South became, as Robert Kagan argued, a rogue nation. Slavery apologists knew slavery needed ongoing expansion in order to survive. That expansion could have been further west into the United States or south into Mexico, The Caribbean, and South America,

As many of The US Founding Fathers knew, the American Constitution, was built out of compromise on the very issue of slavery (see The Constitutional 3/5 Compromise and later the The Missouri Compromise and Compromise of 1850). Abraham Lincoln, for example, did not run for president on a platform of ending slavery but rather preventing its expansion into the newly created states out West (e.g. California). Though again, as many Southerners knew, blocking the expansion of slavery was a first step in a process that would inevitably lead to the extermination of slavery—hence the vociferous wrangling in the Congress over the matter as well as calls to annex Cuba (among other places) from Southerners in the lead-up to the US Civil War.

That compromise, that devil’s bargain, that lesion that existed at the core of the US federal republic, from its inception, eventually had to be excised and faced. Particularly as it became clear that all similar type constitutional governments could not keep us the self-contradiction of claiming to be constitutional states and have the practice of slavery within their borders.

The US South had built its economy, its racial hierarchy, and in the Confederacy its very political structure, on the backs of slaves. That foundation was fundamentally corrupt, immoral, and at odds with the underlying principles of a constitutional order. There was then (and still is today) plenty of racism in the US North but it was not built off the same agrarian plantation slave-based fiefdoms as was the US South.

Once the war ratcheted up in its bloody ferocity, as the dead piled up, it became an all out or total war. The US Civil War, in that sense, is the horrifying preview of what was to come in Europe in the First and Second World Wars.

The Confederates were the victimizers as slaveholders. They were eventually crushed by a war of total carnage—as their political and economic systems were destroyed by Sherman’s March to the Sea, the Naval Blockades, and full invasion and occupation by the Union Army.

That traumatic humiliation only hardened the South, leading to the removal of the Union troops at the end of Reconstruction, the rise of The Ku Klux Klan and its terror campaigns of lynching, and the creation of Jim Crow segregation. In other words slavery—in the form of debt peonage and the beginnings of the prison-industrial complex—was “slavery by another name.”

Slavery had become fused with the Southern elite identity—hence the notion that the Confederate flag is a sign of “culture”. Culture yes. A culture based on victimization turned victimizer in the form of domination and violence. I say elite Southern identity because Southern elites ran a decades long psyop by convincing poor whites that their protectors were the rich landowning white elites and their enemies were the slaves. When both slaves and the lower poor classes were both economically oppressed by the Southern feudal landlords.

The US Southern elites feared two scenarios:
A widespread slave revolt (see Nat Turner)
A solidarity movement across racial lines to overthrow the Southern feudal system (
see John Brown and later Mississippi Burning)

The third, which of course come to pass, was invasion from the North.

The Lost Cause is the mental gymnastics necessary to deflect attention away from that core traumatic taboo. When in traumatic response, the lower functions of the brain hijack the neocortex. The result of that hijacking is the mind exists to retroactively buttress what is, at core, an emotional response.

The Lost Cause is the mind hijacked to the premises of a traumatic emotional core. Consequently cognitively deconstructing Confederate ideology, while necessary, is at best a first step only. At worst it simply leaves in tact the emotional traumatic core.

The Lost Cause is a victimization mentality, a victimization mentality taken on to support past and ongoing victimizing of others. The tactic of one in a superior position claiming to be inferior and using that claim of inferiority to seek to garner sympathy or hide the intentions of domination is one characteristic of many forms of narcissism.

A narcissistic personality disorder is one in which, contrary to popular misconception, there is not a strong enough ego. A narcissistic is not someone with an overinflated sense of self. They are someone pretending to be pompous or large when in reality they have an insufficiently strong ego structure. That explains why whenever a person entangled with a narcissist sets fair and appropriate boundaries, the narcissist does one or both of two things.

Savagely attacks the other person
Plays the victimization card

The ego structure of a narcissist is so weak that it is threatened by any potential slights, criticisms, or proper boundaries of others. Imagine a couple where one person has the upper hand in terms of financial power, that power-holder being a narcissist. The narcissist will use their position to suppress the partner while simultaneously playing the victim if ever the partner decides to stand up for their own interests.

The narcissist will also gaslight: i.e. using psychological operations tactics to confuse the mental terrain of the other rather than have to face the truth of their own inadequacy and destructive behavior.

The Lost Cause is the gaslighting of Confederate narcissism. The collective ego structure of The Confederate egregore (or is it an archon?) is so weak and vulnerable it can only attack and/or play the victimization card.

The romantic mythology of the noble chivalrous South and the secular canonization of figures like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis are the cover for the traumatic memories of unprocessed grief and remorse.

The remorse here being a collective ownership of the horrors of the plantation slavery system. The SJW/woke crowd shifts the energetic from one of acknowledging and grieving over the horrors of slavery to personal shame for whiteness as such. As I’ve written about previously this is yet another example of how victimization mentality—even when rooted in legitimate social history of oppression as is most definitely the case in this context—becomes another form of victimizing. Remember St. Just’s point that unless healed, the victim and victimizer stay locked in a terrible, ongoing co-destructive dance, with both sides typically switching back and forth between the roles of victim and victimizer.

Such a negative shame-based tactic from the leftist crowds only serves to reinforce the defended nature of race-based trauma. By saying that I’m not claiming that both sides have suffered equal trauma. They most certainly have not. But rather now both sides have traumatic energies (even if asymmetrical in nature). Self-righteous and self-impressed liberal critiques of white fragility prevents the painful work of actually understanding where the pain that leads (in a twisted way) to the Lost Cause ideology comes from in the first place.

Consider in that light the bizarre ritual re-enactments of US Civil War battles, a process brilliantly spoofed by Key and Peale (who does the black guy play in the Civil War re-enactment?).

All such attempts, particularly among Southerners, is meant to honor their ancestors. The Lost Cause prevents the honest reckoning with the brutal and ultimately cancerous nature upon which that culture/lineage was built. White fragility type critiques prevent the actual burial of those energies.

A proper eulogy requires telling truth with love, acknowledging the strengths and failures of the dead. The same applies collectively to a cultural group identity. The more draconian and puritanical the woke-ists become, the more concentrated in their delusion will be the Lost Cause advocates of our day. And versa vice.

<![CDATA[Watching The Watchers: On Egregores]]>There’s been a good deal of discussionquite interesting actuallyon the topic of egregores extending about beyond its more usual confines in esoteric, occult, and parapolitical circles into wider discourse. In this piece I want to explore the concept of egregores in its original formulation connected to the

https://limitedhangout.wtf/the-watchers/62cb3f2ac64b31070352a484Sun, 14 Aug 2022 23:03:43 GMT

There’s been a good deal of discussionquite interesting actuallyon the topic of egregores extending about beyond its more usual confines in esoteric, occult, and parapolitical circles into wider discourse. In this piece I want to explore the concept of egregores in its original formulation connected to the teaching of The Watchers (fallen angels).

Egregore comes from a Greek word meaning “wakeful or watchful” and by watchful the term is then linked directly to The Watchers from the apocalyptic Book of Enoch. The Watchers are angelic beings sent to Earth to “watch over” or guard the realm of Earth but some eventually find themselves allured by the presence of human women and mate with them. It’s worth noting that the text is silent whether in some, most or all of these cases the intercourse was consensual or not. I’ve covered intimate and bodily relations with non-human entities in a previous piece exploring the UFO/abduction phenomenon. I’ve also covered the vexed question of consent (or lack thereof) in the same set of experiences in two related pieces. Either way, the intercourse transpires and from those exchanges are birthed The Nephilim, considered to half-human/half-angelic beings who become great heroes of an almost demi-god status.

In the Biblical text we have now the text is very sparse and clearly edited (found in Genesis 6):

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, ‘My spirit shall not abide* in mortals for ever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’ The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterwards—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord. (Genesis 6: 1-8)

There’s a great deal of confusion and potentially excision of other verses in this section. But the basic outline is that the sons of God (that is The Watchers) take human wives—note that the word take potentially has very dark undertones (abduction? Bride price?). Then a strange insertion about the Lord making the mortal lifespan of 120 years. Then the reference to the Nephilim who are either with the Watchers and their demigod offspring or are in fact the same (I tend to the latter view).

Then there’s quite the jump to the “Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth” and the Lord deciding to bring the flood, which immediately takes into the story of Noah and the Flood. The Watchers or Watcher-type figures incidentally show up in other ancient Near Eastern mythologies having to do with a worldwide catastrophic flood.

There’s clearly a background set of images, symbols, and context that are missing here. Theologian Margaret Barker helps fill in that background context, which she refers to as Temple Theology. I mentioned briefly Barker’s work previously in a previous piece explaining contemporary forms of apocalyptic Judaism and Christianity. There is no feasible way to summarize the depth and scope of Barker’s illuminating research but I’ll try my best. This excursion may seem to take us far away from egregores but given that the egregores have their roots in the Watchers it’s directly relevant. To bolster that point, Barker has an entire book on Enoch and the Watchers (called The Lost Prophet.)

So where do the Watchers come from? What is the larger context that makes sense of them? And why the Divine Wrath in response to their intermingling with humanity? If we were using more Ufology terminology, perhaps we might even call it their hybridization program?

According to Genesis 1, the first of two creation stories in The Bible, The Creator apportions the universe based on harmonic principles during “6 days”. Those days are not literal 24 hour periods but references to the dreamtime. Within those six days all of reality is dreamed into being and placed in proper relationship to all other beings. There are the waters above and the waters below. The luminary of day and the luminary of night. The animals of the land, the air, and the sea.
Barker calls this interweaving the cosmic covenant—the original design of The Divine Dreamer. Everything has its autonomous existence but also is in proper communion and properly boundaried in relationship to all other beings.

On the seventh day God rests (sabbath) in the completeness of reality. Hence the Sabbath practice in Judaism of resting on the 7th day in honor of the Divine Rest. In the 7th year, a fractal of the symbolic 7th harmonic, there was to be release of indentured servants, the land, burdened animals (yoking the ox) and so on. On the 7th times 7th cycle—49 years or the 50th year as the year following—there are the prescriptions for The Jubilee which is meant to re-enact the original plan of Creation (the cosmic covenant).

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the highest Jewish holy day, was the day in which creation was restored (redeemed) or ‘rebooted to the divine cosmic factory settings", as it were. On the Day of Atonement the High Priest went into The Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctum of the temple, and emerged as the human representative/emissary of the Divine and enacted the atoning rites. Blood (in whom was said to be its life) is poured out. Another—the so-called scapegoat—is sent off into the wilderness with the sins of the people placed upon the beast.

Both animals symbolize the Divine act of redemption—God pours out God’s lifeblood and then takes on and transmutes the sins of the people.
Within this symbolic system, The Temple (of Solomon) was Creation.

The key point here is that the Temple didn’t simply symbolize creation; it was creation.

The Temple is the physical manifestation of the Divine Ordered Plan of Creation. The Holy of Holies (the innermost sanctuary) is the space of The Divine Presence. The Holy of Holies was the first day of Creation--or rather we might say, Day Oneness. Day One represents the origin or source point of the cosmic covenant. The entire rest of the days of creation flow from an original oneness or unity. That is why The High Priest would only go into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur (The Holiest Day) and emerges from The Holy of Holies as the Divine Emissary to physicalize the kippur (atonement or at-one-ment).

In the apocalyptic strains of Judaism in the centuries leading up to John the Baptizer and Jesus, there was a vision of a Final Jubilee—a Maha-Jubilee if you will or Jubilee to end all Jubilees. This dreaming is that of the apocalypse, aka the end times, The Final Judgment, or The Day of the Lord. The Final Atonement or At-One-Ment of God and creation.

In the Gospel of Luke Jesus begins his public ministry by commenting on a passage in The Prophet Isaiah referencing The Jubilee, essentially stating that he understood his ministry to be a fulfillment of that divine prophecy.

This ancient form of Temple Judaism—which Barker calls The Older Testament—is core the vision of Enoch and The Watchers and by extension The Essenes and the founding of what would become Christianity (also latter Kabbalah). It was a cosmovision shared across many peoples of the ancient Near East.

In this theology there was El Elyon, The Most High. El Elyon (or simply El) was a more remote utterly transcendent figure about whom little can be or is said. El Elyon becomes in Christian theology The Father, the First Person of The Godhead: The Source, The Fount, The Originating Principle.

Then there were The Elohim, the gods, aka the sons of El. The gods were alternatively depicted as constituting a divine council or a divine courtroom. Each people group or nation had its appointed god. Elohim is the name for the god of each group. There was an Elohim each for the Philistines, The Assyrians, The Canaanites, The Egyptians, etc. Elohim is a plural word meaning “gods”. Hence the non-monotheistic quality of the Biblical text since the name for “God” in the Bible actually means gods.

There was an Elohim appointed to the people of Israel: known in The Bible as The God of Israel, The Holy One of Israel, The Redeemer of Israel, etc. Note the emphasis on “of Israel”, i.e. the member of the divine council apportioned to the Israelite people. Barker calls this being The Second God of Israel, i.e. The Lord. Hence the Day of the Lord (The Day of Atonement) is the Day of this Second God. The Second God becomes The Second Person of the Trinity (The Logos/Wisdom) in later Christian theology.

Within this ancient Jewish lineage, there were various entities that were thought to embody The Second God: The High Priest, The Prophet, and The King. Remember that the kings of ancient Israel (e.g. David) were anointed with oil and the anointing made them a messiah (Messiah = anointed one). The Messiah then is the embodiment of the Elohim of Israel (Adonai Elohim, The Lord our [Israelite] God.)

The messianic Jewish movement known as The Way would later claim Jesus to be High Priest, King, and Prophet as the Divine Emissary or Incarnation of The Second God (The Elohim of Israel), eventually codified in subsequent Christian theology at the Council of Nicaea where Christ Jesus is said to be the Incarnation of the Logos, The Second God/Person of the Trinity.

Within this vision angels were messengers (malach) of the divine king (melek). The angels carry messages back and forth between heaven and earth—hence the long standing tradition of connecting angels with stars.

Which brings us eventually back to The Watchers. The Watchers, aka “the fallen angels” are members of the Divine Council (“sons of El”) who go rogue and violate the boundaries established by the cosmic covenant. They break a hole in the cosmic bubble as it were. They cross lines they are not supposed to disrupting the original harmony of the cosmic covenant. Once again this pattern of crossing lines leaves an ominous undertone to the possibilities of “taking the daughters of men as wives.” This violation or boundary crossing is said to have happened before the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Hence the Divine Wrath In Chapter 6 of Genesis—the cosmic covenant of right relationship has been violated first by angelic beings and then flowing downward into the human realm. The Watchers are directly connected to Cain (son of Adam and Eve) who infamously murders his own brother Abel.

From an initial boundary crossing by the Watchers, we then have the eating of the forbidden fruit and attempted cover-up by Adam and Eve, followed by the murder of Abel by Cain. Through this original tear in the cosmic fabric pours evil, evil which is accelerated in destructive scope. Hence in Chapter 6 God threatens to wipe the whole creation out. It is only Noah’s righteousness that becomes redemptive—righteousness meaning in proper alignment to the cosmic covenant.

The Watchers, i.e. the egregores, bring to humanity knowledge of metal-working, war, technology, and certain occult processes oriented to control of life. As I’ve written about before in the character of Sauron we see a very similar thread in Tolkien’s subtle explorations of the inherently ambivalent, if not outright dark, nature of technology. We might say Tolkien saw technology as “grey”, linking us back to the UFO Phenomenon once more, as I’ve detailed elsewhere.

As Barker has it, The Watchers bring false teaching. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil symbolizes their false teaching which is why Adam and Eve are forbidden from eating the fruit of the tree and can eat instead the fruit from the other trees, including the Tree of Life, aka The Tree of Wisdom.

Eden means delight and is a vision of overunity or abundance processes/physics. Another word for delight is ecstasy or in Sanskrit ananda. In order to maintain that ecstasy, one must remain in the state of Wisdom undivided and whole rather than bifurcated and fragmented into supposedly neutral forms of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the false teaching of The Watchers, is a scientistic outlook, rooted in the notion that knowledge and technology can be neutral rather than having to either be oriented to wisdom or inevitably then to foolishness and destruction. That was the lie, the seduction the snake offered to Eve. As I’ve written about previously scientism is a supposedly secular cover for dark occult processes. Those inverted, twisted false teachings lie at the root of transhumanism, with its avowed appreciation of the snake in the garden.

To bring back a parapolitical context for a moment, I’ve argued previously that a number of such “Edenic”—that is to say abundant and free flowing—processes exist in physics, ecology, energy, gardening, the UFO phenomenon, even in economy/money. I’ve also argued that what we see in the current machinationsmachinations which have history behind them—there is an attempt to co-opt or subvert these “edenic” processes and to control and even weaponize them by a hidden elite. A major part of that agenda is a psychological war to prevent people from realizing the very possibility of such processes from the beginning (hence reductive scientism and materialism).

Rudolf Steiner, covered previously on the site, also explores a similar terrain in his teaching on Ahriman, the egregore, as it were, of technology and materialism, in its destructive form reducing life to hyperreal, pseudo-reality (plastics, GMOs, bio-engineered chimeras, etc.)

So long as technology, economics, engineering, healthcare, and energy are under the sway of the distorted vision of The Watchers, then human participation in those realities will continue to absorb more and more of humanity into its maw.
Consequently, when contemporary thinkers are pondering whether it is right to call the internet, globalized cities and computerized networks egregores, they are actually returning to the original roots of the term, whether they realize that or not.

<![CDATA[Is Shadow Work Enough? Thoughts on Andrew Cohen]]>"Ego is the one and only obstacle to enlightenment. Ego is pride. Ego is arrogant self-importance. Ego is the deeply mechanical and profoundly compulsive need to always see the personal self as being separate from others, separate from the world, separate from the whole universe. Ego is a love-denying obsession

https://limitedhangout.wtf/andrew-cohen/62cb3ee8c64b31070352a47dWed, 03 Aug 2022 15:27:02 GMT

"Ego is the one and only obstacle to enlightenment. Ego is pride. Ego is arrogant self-importance. Ego is the deeply mechanical and profoundly compulsive need to always see the personal self as being separate from others, separate from the world, separate from the whole universe. Ego is a love-denying obsession with separation, narcissism, and self-concern."

--Andrew Cohen, Living Enlightenment: A Call For Evolution Beyond Ego, p. 81

In this piece I want to explore aspects of the work of spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen. While much ink has been spilled over of Cohen’s personality as well as the harmful practices of his former community (EnlightenNext), less time has been spent on whether those destructive manifestations were (and perhaps still are?) rooted in flawed elements to his teaching.

First some brief background. Andrew Cohen had a spontaneous spiritual awakening at age 16, which lead to a period of intense, deeply dedicated and focused spiritual seeking (including a move to India). During that period of his life Cohen, as he details in his writings, studied Kriya Yoga, martial arts, the teachings of Krishnamurti, Buddhist meditation practices, and ultimately Vedanta.

Cohen’s final teacher was H.W.L. Poonja (aka Poonjaji or Papaji), a disciple of the great realizer Ramana Maharshi. Through his encounters with Buddhist traditions Cohen developed a very deep meditative practice. From Krishnamurti he had imbibed the wisdom of standing up for oneself and of questioning received teaching, always examining whether it was true for oneself. From Kriya Yoga and his martial arts a fierce dedication to discipline and commitment on the path.

But it was through Poonja and his Vedantic teaching of nonduality, that Cohen found the sense of grace, of unearned nature as The One and Only Self of all selves. Poonja confirmed from Cohen that his original awakening experience at 16 was genuine. For Poonja, following in the line of Ramana, effort was not part of the path. There was only inquiry into the present moment and the realization of The Self (Capital S) that one always already was. (For more on non duality see my earlier piece on the subject.)

In this interview with Layman Pascal, from our friends at Integral Stage, Cohen speaks very directly of what his experiences with Poonja catalyzed in him.

From his wikipedia page here are some teaching statements from Poonja:

There must be a desire for God, a love for Him, or a desire for liberation. Without that, nothing is possible. This desire for God or realisation is like an inner flame. One must kindle it and then fan it until it becomes a raging fire which consumes all one's other desires and interests. If this inner fire rages for long enough, with sufficient intensity, it will finally consume that one, central, overwhelming desire for God or the Self. The presence of the Master is the final ingredient: When the Maharshi’s gaze met my vasana-free mind, the Self reached out and destroyed it in such a way that it could never rise or function again. Only Self remained.

Poonja’s inner fire would become, in Cohen’s teaching, The First Fundamental Tenant: clarity of intention, i.e. the desire to be free more than anything else. Cohen, in his interview with Layman, still speaks in the language of a consuming fire, of being consumed by the Absolute Divine Reality.

This teaching is a very traditional one, reflected in multiple strains of spiritual awakening from multiple lineage.

For example, the medieval Christian realizer Marguerite of Porete, who was eventually executed by the French Inquisition, wrote that one must first have the will to unite with and serve God and God alone. But that eventually, according to Marguerite, that desire to do the will of God was the last remaining obstacle to actually becoming the will of God in flesh. So that, for Marguerite, even the desire to do the will of God and unite with God in love had to be surrendered to God.

Compare that to Poonja’s statement that first one must desire realization and that desire must burn away all other desires but that eventually that the desire for realization must burn itself up in order to actually experience realization.

Cohen similarly places great emphasis in his teaching on surrender, surrendering to the the consuming Love-Grace of the Divine. A key aspect of Cohen’s teaching, following in the line of Vedanta, is that awakening is an impersonal affair. The original name for his community in fact was The Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship. According to this articulation, because there is only One Self, there are no separate selves (small s) in existence. Hence awakening is non-personal or impersonal or trans-personal in nature. (I’m going to return to this point later so please bear it in mind.)

Cohen’s awakening began to transmit after his encounter with his guru Poonja. Over time Cohen began to emphasize that awakening to The One (and Only One) Divine Self needed to show up in moral transformation. While most of the seeking and enlightenment communities of that era put the majority of their emphasis on awakening to the inherent bliss of The Self (ananda), the sense of being immortal and eternal, the grandeur and wonder and ecstasy, Cohen began to (correctly see) that such temporary transpersonal experiences did not automatically lead to changed lives.

Cohen, by contrast, argued for authenticity, transparency, and moral conscience as the fruits of such nondual realization. This call for moral transformation as the practical application of nondual awakening came, in part, from Cohen’s growing critique and eventual break with his teacher Poonja.

For Cohen, following again a very traditional line of teaching from Vedanta (as well as certain strains of Buddhism) the lone obstacle that stands in the way of such an all consuming realization of Absolute Love is the ego. Much more on that argument in a moment.

But first, to continue the thread, through this emphasis on moral transformation Cohen began to open to the more pioneering or radical elements of his teaching, which he would eventually label Evolutionary Enlightenment. Cohen began to sense that The Self was not just the Source and Essence of all reality but also the motive force of its evolution and therefore to realize non-difference with the One Self meant identification with The Self in both its unchanging transcendental form but also its evolving dimension in time.

Cohen later termed the first form of enlightenment Being and the later Becoming. He maintained that Being realization was the necessary but not sufficient condition for Becoming realization and embodiment. In that regard he still taught much traditional enlightenment principles, with a particularly Vedanta flavor. But clearly the passion and ultimate emphasis was much more on The Becoming side.

Cohen and his community, through their inquiry, pioneered intersubjective practices, where individuals in a group setting, through deep practices of listening and hearing, would begin to awaken simultaneously to a share group awakened state.

Cohen termed the dimension of Self that arose through Becoming, The Authentic Self. Cohen retained the notion that awakening was an impersonal affair—since the ego was considered ultimately unreal and the source of all suffering—but this impersonal affair now included not only a relation of timeless eternity but also the unending Eros-charged pull to evolve. In his earlier books he spoke of The Truth of Impersonality which he later renamed The Process Perspective (these being the Fourth Fundamental Tenet of the teaching).

While there was an emphasis on creativity, Eros, moral transformation, and the larger Universal Process, the path was still viewed as that of ego-transcendence, that is moving from the ego to The Authentic Self.

After the dissolution of his community, which included Cohen being forced by his students to step down, Cohen spent a few years in the wilderness. He eventually started slowly to return to public teaching—his upcoming book will detail some of this period of his life. In 2015 Cohen posted a letter online to his former students (available now only through the Internet Wayback machine):

Cohen writes

That being said, it has also become obvious that there have been important gaps in the Teachings from the very beginning. Even though I always said the Teachings were a work in progress, I certainly was not aware of the obvious and important holes that I had left in them. The most obvious and the most important has been the absence of Agape or Love as a FUNDAMENTAL principle that stands in contrast to and in support of the emphasis on Eros that I gave so much importance to over the last 10 to 15 years. Eros is the VERTICAL manifestation of the Absolute principle. Agape is the HORIZONTAL manifestation of the Absolute principle. To say I neglected Agape is an understatement to be sure. Eros and Agape BOTH are essential ingredients of a truly Evolutionary Dharma. They BALANCE each other. They hold each other in a dynamic embrace of loving, creative and Integral tension. My over-emphasis on Eros with little respect for Agape created the circumstance where a collapse was inevitable. And that’s why it happened so fast…and for this I am to blame.

While there is some partial truth here, it’s not clear how well the full meaning of Agape has been grasped (again this is from 2015 so potentially in the meantime some further growth and understanding has taken place? …or perhaps not?).

Either way Agape is actually the descending not the horizontal dimension counter to vertical ascending Eros. Agape is embracing love moving “down” through the body, through earth. Agape has a strong flavor of mercy, whereas Cohen’s ultra-strict militant approach left no room for forgiveness.

The horizontal dimension of life would include more our right relations with all beings, ethics, and functional effectiveness in worldly terms.

Cohen, by his own admission in the letter, was so drawn to Evolutionary breakthroughs that he was breaking people through and through in the process. Without a balancing teaching of Unconditional Love (Agape) there was no sense of titration, of proper rhythm and timing for people, he pushed people way beyond their limits and folks cracked.

In the letter Cohen even goes so far as to admit that he used people, that he saw people as a means to an end—the end being higher forms of evolutionary creativity—and therefore was willing to sacrifice them as pawns in his supposed master chess game. A pretty stunning admission to be honest.

Secondly Cohen mentions that he, in light of this tragedy, he undertook an exhumation of shadow work. Cohen writes:

Over these 2 years I have struggled to awaken to my Shadow, to those unconscious forces and drives within us that will, as long as they remain hidden, continue to wreak havoc with our lives. This will remain the case even if in many other ways we are unusually conscious and aware, and as hard to believe as it may be, even if we may be lucky enough to have access to Enlightened awareness. I know this is hard to fathom, but it certainly has been true in my case, and has been true in many other cases where powerfully awakened Teachers have acted out in either destructive or self-destructive ways…or both. It’s been a significant part of the rocky legacy of eastern Enlightenment coming to the psychologically informed west. Ironically, I spent much of my early career speaking and writing about this very issue.

The title of Cohen’s upcoming book on the subject is entitled When Shadow Meets The Bodhisattva, so shadow work is clearly a prominent theme. I’ve written previously about the path of immanence, aka “waking down” versus waking up. Immanence does definitely involve shadow work and related topics like emotional alchemy, but it also involves an understanding of somatic regulation (from trauma work), as I’ve also written about in other pieces.

But the path of immanence also involves most radically the embrace of the self-contraction, the sacred wound of the ego-divine human complex. The sacred wound of fully embracing divinity and humanity in one, not valuing one over the other, is a sacred wound that heals, just like The Holy Grail lore of the Fisher King.

In other words, in the path of immanence there is no way to ever fully transcend, kill, annihilate, obliterate, crucify, or otherwise overcome the ego. Only an ego wishes to transcend itself.

So while incorporating shadow work is a solid and crucial step, without a larger framework of immanence, the overall gap in the teaching would remain. The gap that would see Agape as horizontal rather vertically descending. So long as that gap remains the potential for suffering (of all involved) remains. This potential mistake is especially true if shadow work becomes co-opted to a continued overall denigration and shame-based attack on the ego, now complete with more evidence of the ego’s supposed nefariousness due to deeper tools of self-criticism through shadow work. As long the ego is going to be demonized, I believe, the blind spot in the teaching remains.

In a previous piece I detailed a threefold model of spiritual teachings oriented to transcendence, immanence, and/or incandescence. Transcendence is waking up and looking to overcome certain parts of one’s humanity (read: ego). Immanence is to “wake down” and focus on the embodiment and divinely human life of being both radically infinite and finite in one. Incandescence is to “light up”, as the fire of one’s being to shine melts a being in the ardor of the Divine Ecstasy.

In that piece, I further argued that I believed incandescence, in a more coherent and regulated way, could only come through a path of immanence. Incandescence could only come in a sustained way after immanence in other words. Andrew Cohen’s teaching, in many ways, was an attempt to jump straight from transcendence into incandescence and to bypass immanence. He sought to skip the slow, patient work of truly incarnating spiritual realization by embracing and transfiguring our experience, even and most especially the ego. Only then can there be incandescing (rather than transcending) of the ego.

Trying to leap frog from transcendence to incandescence without the in between step of immanence, individuals would experience glimpses of incandescence but not have the somatic and energetic container necessary to hold and integrate it more seamlessly and coherently. In such a case a person would experience life like a rubber band, stretched out incredibly and ecstatically for a period, only to “snap back” with whiplash-like effects. Those whiplash-like “snap backs” were then met with attack, humiliation, and merciless derision.

Agape is a core pillar of Immanence—shadow work is another. But there are still others and perhaps most pointedly, at the center of the core of immanence it might said, is the willingness to embrace the ego.

Even if we take the most negatively framed descriptions of the ego, like Cohen’s in the quotation at the beginning of this piece as true—the excessive need for personalization of thought, identity, and feeling—then even that would need to be fully embraced. Embraced does not mean collapsed into or left untransformed. It means having a wider, deeper sense of containment that can envelope and hold in love that energy. In so doing one would find a deep relaxation and release of the need to transcend the ego, which will never happen any way.

Paradoxically it is at precisely that point however that one begins to experience and realize many of the currents Cohen named: an evolutionary emergent pulsation, a liberated pull towards more creative expression, and a fire-light that melts one’s core into molten love. These impulses however will not lead to becoming dissociated from our human embodiment. They will emerge more organically, with a wiser pace and sense of right timing.

<![CDATA[Emperor Palpatine's Controlled Dialectic: Thoughts on Galactic-Level Psyops]]>Months back, Ezekiel73 and I presented on the topic of worldview warfare, aka psychological operations, aka psyops, for the website The Stoa. You can watch our presentation here. In it we detail a series of classic techniques of psychological warfare and provide multiple, concrete, historical versions of each. For example,

https://limitedhangout.wtf/palpatine/628ec3aac64b31070352a187Fri, 22 Jul 2022 02:55:43 GMT

Months back, Ezekiel73 and I presented on the topic of worldview warfare, aka psychological operations, aka psyops, for the website The Stoa. You can watch our presentation here. In it we detail a series of classic techniques of psychological warfare and provide multiple, concrete, historical versions of each. For example, we explored false flag operations—i.e. dressing up as one’s enemy or using patsies to commit terrorist acts on one’s own population and blaming one’s enemy in order to ratchet up public sentiment for retaliatory attacks of war. Here are some well established historical examples of false flag operations.

Numerous pieces on the site go more into much greater depth on various forms of worldview warfare.

Ezekiel73’s pieces on MK-Ultra and the weaponization of social scientific research are really crucial.


My pieces on the the co-opting of UBIs, the UFO Phenomenon, and 4th industrial technological advancements further the story.


In this piece I want to explore a few other classic psychological techniques we touch on in our presentation: controlled dialectics (aka controlled opposition) and problem-reaction-solution. In our talk we mentioned some well grounded historical examples of those tendencies but to illustrate these methods in this piece I want to point instead to an example from The Star Wars Galaxy: namely Darth Sidious’ (aka Emperor Palpatine) plot to overthrow the Jedi and the Galactic Republic leading to the Galactic Empire.

I’ve already covered my review of the excessive (and God awful) postmodernization of Star Wars in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi (Episodes 7 and 8). In the Star Wars timeline the reflections in this piece grow instead out of the prequel films, Episodes 1-3: The Phantom Menace, Attack of The Clones, and The Return of the Sith.

In practice however so much was happening in those films that this story of Palpatine’s sinister plot (and masterful execution of it) is given some airtime but gets blurred by other factors. The Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars however does a brilliant job (over 7 seasons!) of revealing the intricacies of Palpatine’s controlled opposition and problem-reaction-solution plan. Clone Wars therefore is the main source of the material I’ll be working with here. (Here's a link for what order to watch the show if you do.)*

While of course The Rebel Alliance was ultimately successful in overthrowing The Galactic Empire (Episode 6 Return of The Jedi) and crushing the nascent First Order (Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker), it doesn’t take away from the fact that Palpatine created a galactic-level psyop and pulled it off, destroying the Jedi Order, overthrowing the Republic, and installing himself as Emperor. By studying Palpatine’s psyop we can start to see the same “Sidious”-esque methods being used in our own day.

Before that however first to define our terms.

Problem-reaction-solution (from now on PRS).

In PRS, elites engineer a problem in society. This problem could be endemic poverty and hopelessness in certain areas. The problem could be a false flag attack on its own citizenry. The problem could be the introduction of drugs into neighborhoods to exacerbate social ills (as was the case with the crack, meth, and opioid epidemics). The problem could be a natural disaster which gets exploited towards pre-defined social/political ends: e.g. disaster capitalism.

The key point is those doing the PRS want the problem because the problem will provide them an opening to introduce their own predefined solution. In the reaction phase elites look to control the narrative around the framing of the problem. For example, if the problem is drug-fueled crime, the reaction will be images plastered all over media of addicted, dangerous criminals coming to threaten you and your loved ones. Rather than asking where all the drugs are coming from in the first place or why so many people are in such difficult circumstances such that they’re getting hooked.

The purpose of the reaction phase is guide public collective consciousness in such a way that the public (it would appear) “spontaneously” ends up advocating the very position the elites have wanted from the beginning (i.e. the solution). So in the drug-example, the public calls for greater militarization of police as well as the building of more prisons, the very solution desired from the beginning by those invested in gaining from a militarized and carceral society.

Controlled Dialectic

A controlled dialectic by contrast is when two (and only two!) seemingly opposite frames are offered to a situation which hides a true but opaque third option. The dialectic of the two opposing scenarios creates a false binary. For example: junk conspiracies are created as the other in the false binary—either space is just empty space and the space missions stopped in the 1970s because the moon is just a hunk of rock or the moon landing was faked on a Hollywood set and we live stuck in the atmosphere of a flat earth. False controlled dialectic. Third hidden option: there’s covert research into deep space exploration and most likely space colonization and mining.

The key point here is that so long as public conversation is held within the false binary of the dialects, the real situation can be held out of sight (and therefore out of mind).

Controlled opposition is a sub-set or a species of controlled dialects. In controlled opposition, the opposition is actually an agent of the hidden power. Tom O’Neill’s exhaustive research points significantly to the likelihood that Charles Manson was a CIA asset of some sort (Operation Chaos). There’s strong evidence that the Symbionese Liberation Army who were behind the Patty Hearst kidnapping/Stockholm syndrome case, were also intelligence assets. They appeared, on the surface, to be terrorist elements opposed to the mainstream system but in reality were controlled opposition agents. The Mirage Men, which detailed the FBI’s infiltration and co-optation of the world of Ufology would be another example.

Where controlled dialects and problem-reaction-solution (PRS) combine is when the problem in PRS is a controlled opposition group who creates the problem, leading to the mainstream counter-reaction, culminating in the solution engineered and desired all along by the hidden hand.

A Psyop From A Galaxy Far Far Away

Which brings us back to Sheev Palpatine, originally a Senator from Naboo, secretly The Dark Sith Lord Sidious, and later Supreme Chancellor of the Republic and finally Galactic Emperor.

Palpatine during his early political career came to see the deep corruption of the elites across the Galaxy. He sensed the Republic was decaying from within and was ripe for takeover. He was quite accurate in that initial assessment.

With his dual identities as Senator Palpatine by day and Darth Sidious by night he was able to create a dastardly controlled dialectic and through that controlled dialectic start a galactic civil war (problem) which created political instability leading to the populace (reaction) to call for a dictatorship (solution). But that’s getting ahead of ourselves a bit.

First Palpatine, as Senator, proposed trade bills in the Galactic Senate that would impinge on the profits of The Trade Federation (a kind of cartel). Palpatine, as Sidious, convinced the very same Trade Federation, to secretly fund a droid army. In addition, Sidious persuaded The Federation (to whom he promised special economic privileges) to protest the new taxation laws which he, in his day job as a Senator, had helped craft! The Trade Federation was to blockade Palpatine’s home planet of Naboo. (These events are covered in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace).

Here we see already the form of his controlled dialectic. The Trade Federation are the controlled opposition agents—i.e. the patsies. They patsies commit an act of war (against Naboo). Here’s the first of many engineered crises (problems) that Palpatine will initiate.

Palpatine, as Senator, calls for aid to the planet of Naboo (Reaction). He controls both sides of the dialectic. He eventually turns a young Queen Amydala of Naboo—the later wife of Anakin Sykwalker and mother to Luke and Leia Skywalker—to call for the overthrow of the current Supreme Chancellor of the Senate (Chancellor Valorum) and to install Senator Palpatine himself as Supreme Chancellor. Problem - Reaction - Solution. Palpatine manages to keeps his hands clean and yet gets exactly what he wants, the Chancellorship.

After the invasion of Naboo, Palpatine deepened his psyop with a more massive form of controlled opposition and problem reaction solution. Through his Sith apprentice Count Dooku (aka Darth Tyranus), Palpatine manages to engineer the creation of a breakaway series of planets, which became known as The Confederacy of Independent Systems. Confederacy being an obvious reference to the US Southern states breakaway from the Northern Union, leading to the American Civil War. Just so, the Star Wars Universe’s Confederacy leads to a Galactic Civil War. Episode 2: Attack of the Clones concludes with the beginning of the Galactic Cvil War. The animated series Clone Wars takes place between the events of Episodes 2 and 3 (Return of the Sith), when Palpatine rises to full power as Galactic Emperor.

In the Clone Wars series we see Palpatine slowly but surely militarize the republic. Even as they are “winning”, the Republic (and the Jedi) are losing their identity and core values. George Lucas stated that the The Galactic Civil war (The Clone Wars) was based on the Roman Civil Wars that marked the last phase of the Roman Republic and its transition to the Roman Empire.

Palpatine controlled both sides in the war. In theory he could have taken power from a victory of either side since he controlled the Confederacy’s leader (Dooku) while at the same time was Supreme Chancellor of The Republic. Imagine if Jefferson Davis was secretly the apprentice of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln sought to become an emperor by creating the Confederacy to generate a crisis of a Civil War and using that crisis to install himself as Absolute Monarch, only on a galactic scale!

As the war ravages on, The Jedi—who were originally created to be guardians of the peace in the Republic—become generals of a militarized army and by extension an increasingly militarized society. This hardening of the populace and the Jedi through war is key to Palpatine’s plan. Not only did Palpatine have to legitimize the calls for a dictatorship—by deepening war—he had to delegitimize The Jedi while at the same time using them to further his own ends.

The Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas had years earlier, in secret and against the wishes of the Jedi Council, began the construction of a clone army for The Republic. When Palpatine learns of this he co-opts the plan to his own idea—installing the infamous Order 66 which will eventually have the clones turn on and murder the Jedi. Palpatine’s sinister plot involves using a Jedi’s own action against them to their demise.

Palpatine therefore has two armies at his disposal—the droid army created by his puppets The Trade Federation and the clone army of the Republic.

Later on a faction within the Confederacy sought, through back channels, to open peace negotiations with the Republic. Palpatine, through Dooku, used a false flag terrorist attack (on the power system) to blame the Republic and thereby destroy any hopes for a negotiated settlement. Worse still, in true Confederacy fashion, Sidious then has Dooku ally with slave traders who were back in business amidst the chaos and lawlessness brought on by the ongoing war. Palpatine, by once again playing both sides, is even able to gain control of the banking clan.

The inter-connections to human traffickers, banking cartels, and criminal/terrorist organizations with state power starts to sound less like a galaxy far far away and more like the (not so) hidden hand in our own day.

Palplatine’s final coup is to reveal himself as a Sith Lord to Anakin Skywalker, inviting an attack from the Jedi Council, which plays right into his hands using that attack to justify Order 66 and the execution of the Jedi. His plan entirely hangs on whether he can pull the ultimate psychological operation and switch Anakin (“The Chosen One”) to the Dark Side as Darth Vader. Palpatine uses the threat of death to Padme, Anakin’s love, as a way to lure him in. The same Padme (Queen Amydala) that Palpatine tried to kill numerous times and used for his own political advancement.

Eventually that decision to turn Anakin will come back to haunt (literally) Palpatine, as Vader of course throws Palpatine to his death in order to save his son Luke. Luke, unlike his father, will not turn at the key moment. But at this point in the story, Anakin sides with Palpatine, prevents Palpatine’s death at the hands of Jedi Master Mace Windu, and becomes Vader.

Problem - reaction - solution.

Initiate a galactic civil war (problem), create chaos and through the chaos (reaction) call for a dictatorship to install peace (solution). Within the problem - reaction - solution framework, Palpatine employs a controlled dialectic by controlling both sides of the war, leading to the disintegration of both sides—The Republic and the Confederacy.

In a dialectic, there is often the call for a supposedly “neutral” third term that will subsume the failed qualities of both sides of the dialectic. Palpatine needed The Confederacy in order to highlight the weakness of The Republic to its own citizens (Problem and Reaction), leading them to call for the dissolution of their own Republic and the need for an empire (solution).

Palpatine strangely is the only character to cross all nine Star Wars films (the “nonology”). One of the key reasons I criticized the last 3 films (Episodes 7-9) is that they didn’t have a story to tell which is why they simply rebooted the original trilogy in spectacularly poor fashion.

The original trilogy has Luke as the central hero. But when the prequels (Episodes 1-3) were added it showed that it was Anakin who is the real center of the story. Anakin’s arc of bringing balance to The Force by having lived both the Right Hand (Jedi) and Left Hand (Sith) versions of The Force.

Once that balance was broken in Episode 7, there was no real thread to the movies. As mentioned, Palpatine is the only character to cross the entire arc of the nine films. Which makes Palpatine, weirdly, in a way the central character of the entire Star Wars films. It’s Palpatine’s plots—his plot to overthrow the Republic, create The Empire, and Sidious’ Final Order (Episodes 7-9) that are the connecting thread through all the films. It is Palpatine’s efforts that are the central thread with various rebellions always forming in response to Palpatine’s plans (not the other way around).

As flawed as that might be (and was) in terms of cinema and storytelling, there is something curious about Palpatine and his dominance of the field in the Star Wars Universe. Particularly since his agendas were thought out in intricate detail, emerged slowly and mostly in obscure ways over decades, and involved incredible orchestration. It’s a cautionary tale to take more seriously the reality of say a Network in a galaxy far far closer to home and our own time.

* The Clone Wars spinoff The Bad Batch also fills in some details. In addition, the film Rogue One which takes place during the initial phases of the rebellion covers some of this terrain, as does the just recently completed first season of Kenobi.

<![CDATA[Too Many Rights Make a Wrong?: On Truckers, Digital Panopticons, and Overunity Politics]]>In 1990 theologian John Milbank wrote Theology and Social Theory. The book was (and continues to be) a radical critique of modernist humanism particularly of the social sciences as being an intellectual cover for a more power-grabbing, secular agenda.

Milbank argued that while the social scientific disciplines—particularly economics, political

https://limitedhangout.wtf/rights/62744363c64b31070352a060Sun, 03 Jul 2022 23:24:28 GMT

In 1990 theologian John Milbank wrote Theology and Social Theory. The book was (and continues to be) a radical critique of modernist humanism particularly of the social sciences as being an intellectual cover for a more power-grabbing, secular agenda.

Milbank argued that while the social scientific disciplines—particularly economics, political science, and sociology—saw themselves as neutral objective observers of human social relations, in reality the disciplines are shot through with what Milbank termed violence. Milbank means here a kind of ontological violence. The violence being an inherently antagonistic relationship to theology (and thereby the Divine).

Milbank was certainly fluent in many strands of postmodern thought though his own contribution of radical orthodoxy was unique with its emphasis on the writings of St. Augustine, The Neoplatonists, and the early Church Fathers (typically major villains of most postmodern discourse). See my earlier pieces on other strands of postmodernism, as well as on St. Augustine and the Neoplatonist tradition for more on those streams of thought.

As part of this larger critique of sociology, Milbank critiques the language of rights, a subset of larger modernist political discourse. Ever since the French Revolution’s Declaration on the Rights of Man and the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the language of rights was central to (classical) liberal discourse. The language of rights were later extended to women (“right to vote”), the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, even the environmentalist movement (animal rights).

While not looking to endorse all (or maybe even most) of Milbank’s views, his critique of the framework of rights is uncomfortable but rather important territory in my view, particularly when juxtaposed with the current moment, as groups protest against covid restrictions by invoking the language of defending or gaining back their rights.

At its core, the intellectual rationale for much of the covid restrictions and quarantines lies in scientism: that is the philosophical belief in the inherent rationality of the scientific method. Please note the key qualifier being belief. Science, as such, is a technology, able to be deployed to multiple ends—positive or negative. Scientism is the naive belief that science or rather rationally ordered and logically followed methods of regularization will create the best society possible. As a belief system—“BELIEVE THE SCIENCE”—scientism is a form of religious and therefore unquestionable dogmatism. Question the dogma and one faces the contemporary version of The (Scientific) Inquisition as an unbeliever.

As such, Milbank correctly criticizes scientism as a pseudo-religion, an inverted parody of true religion. For more on that argument see my piece on Giordano Bruno, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the limited hangout of scientism. Milbank does not offer a parapolitical (conspiratorial) perspective, like I do, but nevertheless he is on point about the shadowed religious roots of scientism.

On the other hand Milbank is very critical of the language and framework of rights as well. Both scientism and the framework of rights derive from modernist discourse. Ultimately they have their roots in the same (classical) liberal modernist tradition. In the present moment of fights over vaccines, digital passports, and surveillance scientism rears its ugly head in the form of “believe in the science.” Scientism is typically seen at odds with voices emphasizing “fighting for our rights”. In other words, the mainstream media pits the present moment as a fight between reasonable “pro-science” types versus anti-science and anti-reason right-wingers. Never mind that there’s plenty of voices from the left critical of lockdowns, digital surveillance, (and the like), as well as plenty on the right in favor of authoritarian responses to the present moment.

Jeremy Bentham, one of the godfathers of classical liberal rights thought, also developed the idea of the Panopticon: the forerunner to the prison-industrial complex and the all-seeing eye of surveillance AI. As Michel Foucault pointed out decades ago, you have in Bentham both the framework of rights and the seemingly oppositional pull towards “scientific”-based tyranny in the Panopticon. But for Foucault those are simply two sides of one coin and there’s no self-contradiction between them at all.

Bentham, it should be noted, criticized the French Declarations of the Rights of Man for its claim of human rights being rooted in nature (“natural rights”). For further thoughts along those lines, see my piece against using nature as a metaphor for human politics. For Bentham, only a state could grant rights as a matter of law or custom, which is the key point here. The state or rather the elites running the state who declare such rights, are therefore in a state of exception. That exempted status has been on full display (for anyone bothering to look) over the last few years.

To further (data)mine this thread, Yasha Levine’s book Surveillance Valley details how Silicon Valley was deeply embedded in the military-industrial complex. In particular Levine explores how the ethos of California libertarianism and digital utopianism was used as the philosophical cover for a larger military psychological operation whose end game was always surveillance.

As I’ve pointed out before, the internet (Arpanet) was being developed in the same research lab Stanford Research Institute (SRI) that was also simultaneously participating in a CIA-funded experiment to develop a “scientific” method for remote viewing and psychic espionage (aka The Third Eye Spies). Both technologies—the digital arpanet and the psychic remote viewing were aiming for total surveillance. As I’ve argued repeatedly scientism is a public form of social conditioning occulting the deeper truth which is a deeply transhumanist and Luciferian form of black magic practice hidden only for the elites, as the masses “believe” in secular science.

Which brings us back to Milbank and some of the critical impasses of the present moment. For Milbank the language and the framework of rights, particularly economic and political rights, that came to be such a hallmark of liberal reform movements in the 18th and 19th centuries, extending into the 20th century, only occurred after nation-states gain monopolies of force over populations. As sovereign entities—whether constitutional monarchs or national republics—gained greater and greater power, in no small part due to the disciplining application of the social sciences, the state had the luxury to “gift” rights to the people. For Milbank a theological grounding is necessary to argue for human freedom (as granted by God). For Thomas Jefferson and the natural rights advocates Nature (and somewhat awkwardly Nature’s Deistic god) were the ground for such rights. While one may argue the merits or demerits of Jefferson’s view, in practice the historical evidence seems much more on the side of Milbank.

Worse still, as organic Nature has come to be more and more digitized, the hyperreal Great Other, the computerized Deus Ex Machina, is the one to grant (or take away) liberties and freedoms. Individuals and groups fighting against the current moment’s authoritarianism with rallying cries of defending our freedoms are unbeknownst to themselves, often using the oppressor’s very logic. Without meaning to diminish the courage and tenacity of such people, it is worth contemplating how effective such a counter movement can be when it is using the frameworks of state control itself.

That is how a controlled dialectic truly works. As I’ve pointed out before, for all the talk about being “red pilled”, the actual red pills in The Matrix were created by the machines, which made even Morpheus an unwitting asset of the machines.

And yet on the third hand, as it were, the framework of rights has been the only process that has allowed, on large scales, a limiting of the power of the state and less often state-sponsored corporate entities.

So even while the language of rights is co-opted and likely compromised from the jump, it has nevertheless been more effective than any other alternatives. So it is understandable why protests movements would organize around rights. And what is occurring now through “nudges”, AI, attention merchants, surveillance, and algorithms is shifting the tectonic political plates from the language of rights to the language of privileges and credits (as in social credits). Social credits have to be earned and can be taken away based on behavior, whereas rights are understood to be inalienable.

The terrain of this psychological war is subtle and complex.

To wit, some prominent voices in Canada are arguing that the flying of the Canadian national flag during the trucker convoy is inherently racist. In a weird way they almost have half a point although it’s entirely misplaced. The language of rights is tied up in colonialism. It’s not sufficient to simply dismiss the entire discourse of rights as mere colonialist claptrap and yet pretending that rights discourse and colonialism aren’t tied into each other is equally naive.

It is most definitely true, there is a deep colonialist impulse in the history of that flag—a colonialist impulse by the way that continues to play itself out directly in the lockdowns, quarantines, digital passports, and restrictions which many (self-proclaimed) leftists are all too gleefully embracing. The mentality that is behind surveillance and technocracy is the same mindset that gave birth to colonialism. Surveillance oriented society is the further application to the wider society of the “logic” of colonialism through digital means rather than through physical resource control (as in original colonialism).

Hence the woke-ists advocating for all the shutdowns and against the protest movements are themselves useful idiots to the present moment’s digital colonizers. They are digital foot soldiers (pawns) in the game of scientistic technocracy. Just like the historical Jacobins, the woke-ists of today are pushing for a Committee of Public Safety while simultaneously advocating for war abroad and domestically. In this case a global digital surveillance war. As I’ve written about before this is a repeat dynamic with our modern day Jacobins.

To wit, Robespierre during his reign brought forward The Cult of the Supreme (Rational) Being—a secular religion worshiping Reason. Reason was a co-opting of the traditions of Lady Wisdom (Sophia) the intelligence permeating the Cosmos (see more on that thread here.). The Jacboin secular religion that co-opted and inverted True Wisdom in practice became an unconscious revival of the Roman Imperial state cult. Just so, as Christopher Knowles has argued, the woke movement is really a cover for the return of the Roman Imperial State Cult in our day, completing the circuit between woke-ists and The Jacobins.

To counter this attack, rather brilliantly, the trucker convoy movement has been supporting the indigenous sovereign water movement. So one might ask…whose the post-colonialist now?

It’s almost as if the woke crowd forgot that they were supposed to be against the state, against Big Pharma, and remember their postmodern roots in the deconstruction of the myth of progress and scientific rationality. All of a sudden they literally forgot everything they (never) read of Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Heidegger, Deleuze, and Levinas. But especially Foucault who wrote extensively on how whenever the state uses the language of contagion to describe the body politic it is inevitably the precursor to quarantining and repression.

The psyop of flipping supposed left-wingers into shills for scientism and state tyranny is a pretty nifty trick.

To cite some specific examples….

Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron came to power by both being media-friendly vague, “progressive”, empty suits and blank slates that one could place their projections on. Macron literally made up a political party overnight out of nowhere to ride into office.

The only thing both of them ever did clearly articulate was that they were the anti-Trump, the lone bastions of reasonableness and progressive values of toleration against right wing fundamentalism.

That those men were, in actuality, puppets for technocratic and globalist elites was left out of the speeches and campaign slogans. Consequently whenever they experience any resistance to their politics, they immediately label those opposed evil right-wing anti-science, racist fundamentalists.

Simplistic but nonetheless effective.

Prior to covid, particularly around 2010-2015 there was a moment when an unlikely set of alliances across the left-right divide was coming into view in a number of places (including the US and Canada but elsewhere as well), particularly around Big Pharma and The Drug War. Traditionally opposition to Big Pharma mostly came from the left while Big Pharma was defended mostly on the right with its deep free market ideology (an ideology deeply funded by cartel corporate interests but that’s a different story).

But as more and more traditionally conservative areas of the US especially were hit by the opioid crisis, voices on the right started to emerge critiquing Big Pharma. It is important to note here that the opioid crisis was simply the application of a longer arc of psychological operations by intelligence agencies to socially engineer populations through drugs. That thread has been covered elsewhere on the site, detailing how the CIA was behind the rise of the counterculture and the pervasive spread of LSD in the 1960s, the crack epidemic of the 1980s, then the meth epidemic of rural white American populations through the 1990s, and then onto middle classes through the opioid crisis (2000s on).

For a hot second, forces were starting to coalesce across traditional political lines around the dangers of pharmacological interventionism and addiction. Pare that with the fact that (as mentioned previously) Richard Nixon explicitly used the Drug War framework as a psyop to crack down on poor and anti-war left wing communities in the US while simultaneously perpetrating intelligence-led psychological warfare with actual drugs. See Iran Contra and its ties to the crack epidemic for an example of the latter trend. Simultaneously other voices joined (from the left and the right) criticizing the prison industrial complex and the militarization of domestic police forces—all tied directly of course to The Drug War.

A constellation of forces were coming into view—the prison-industrial complex with its slave labor; the “legal” drug cartel of Big Pharma and it’s pervasive regulatory capture; militarized police forces fighting a Drug War that funneled the bodies to the prison-industrial complex. The possibility of a cross-political party alliance against these forces was terrifying to the elites. Those elites typically have investments in the for-profit prison industrial complex, may well be connected to the intelligence agencies that control the illicit drug trade, and almost certainly are financially implicated with the “legal drug cartel” of Big Pharma.

So how to break apart this nascent cross-political organization before it ever fully coalesced? Here is where the dastardly (and evil) genius of the lockdowns, digital passports, and surveillance psyop comes into play. By exploiting an actual health crisis towards the ends of technocracy, the elites were able to use reason and science as a wedge. Knowing that the ultimate roots of the left are deeply in secularism, the pervasive fear of the left is always of being seen as religious (or mythic). This tie binds both the more modernist rationalist liberals with the more postmodernist woke leftist crowd. The elites brilliantly got the woke leftist types to buy in, early on, to promoting vaccines and digital passports—even though during the Black Lives Matters protests the same contact tracing apps introduced for Covid19 were subsequently used to target protesters. In this way a fusion was created pulling in scientism (“believe the science”) and shutdown/cancel culture, all in service of transnational global elites. As Frederic Jameson long ago pointed out, postmodernism Is the ideology of late capitalism.

The tension that had existed on the left between its more modernist types versus its more postmodernist types immediately was healed. Not very gracefully, like a really poorly done plastic surgery, but sutured, at least temporarily. Anyone who didn’t agree with this new fusion of cancel culture, trauma-based mind control tactics through the mainstream media, and the religion of believing science, was immediately labeled racist, fundamentalist, and a right-wing nutter.

And meanwhile the people arrayed against this grotesque hybrid are using the language of rights—the language and mindset rooted in the very same technocratic oppression itself. That’s one helluva controlled dialectic to be sure.

Very Provisional Thoughts on a Way Forward/Out of this Dialectic

The question then becomes: how to get out of this (controlled) mess?

My first response to which is that there are no easy answers. Second I can’t pretend to claim I have ultimate solutions. 
Third, what I do propose may seem at first blush very orthogonal and a bit out of left field to the question at hand: namely principles of over-unity in energy and consciousness.

While I’m not a fan of using nature as a political metaphor, I am a big proponent of looking to nature as an expression of co-creativity and generativity. Through multiple pieces on the site I’ve explored how certain processes generate more output than input (colloquially though somewhat inaccurately termed “over unity”).

I’ve argued that the UFO Phenomenon is a (subtly) concrete manifestation of this dynamic. I've further maintained that much of the history (and current practice) of psychological operations around the UFO Phenomenon is to obscure this very point.

I’ve contended that truly radical economic possibilities exist along these lines—though they have, I believe, been co-opted and reduced to Universal Basic Income schemes. I’ve also argued that Nature and the consciousness of Nature expresses the same tendency.

Jacques Vallee's thoughts on the physics of information would constitute another potential example, as well as the evidence of retrocausation—that is the future creating the conditions in the past for its own future fulfillment (see Eric Wargo’s book Time Loops for more on that process).

I’ve suggested that a new generation of technology, those labeled the 4th Industrial Revolution, also offer such liberatory possibilities but those too have been co-opted through the narrative of The Great Reset (or as I call it, The Great Preset). I’ve also speculated on whether The Metaverse is an attempt to siphon the deep organic intelligence of humanity to power a parasitic, and very possibly, off-world breakaway civilization, very much a Matrix.

In the realms of alchemy I’ve detailed investigations of a second, even more hidden, form of alchemy that took already existing gold and “burned” it into white gold, along the way touching into the possibility of a universal generator, aka The Philosopher’s Stone or Elixir.

In the realm of spirituality I’ve explored the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mirra Alfassa) as an example of spiritual alchemy of this second variety (gold to white gold). Further pieces exploring the paths of Immanence and Incandescence, particularly the latter, point again in the same “over-unity” type direction, as strangely did the most recent Matrix film (Matrix Resurrections).

The reason for making this argument Is to look for an option that is outside the bounds of the controlled dialectic. Deploying the language of rights is deploying the language of the oppressor. As previously mentioned, just like the Red Pill itself, it seems to be a means of liberation but in actuality was created by the machines as a subtler layer of psychic control.

The same I believe is operative here. Scientism is a failed ideology. The language of rights emerges from the same failed modernist worldview. The postmodern emphasis on post-truth, deconstruction, and multiple narratives has left us with broken multiverses—everything cycling around endlessly and leading to further disorientation. Elites use multiverse and postmodern post-truth discourse as a cover for their very objective desire for control.

The possibilities of an alternative physics and energy suggest to me a possible way out of this morass. I only say possible because clearly the same underlying realities can be co-opted, shrouded, or even weaponized. The language of rights, however, for me is still too separated and separating from Life. Only I believe a deeper immersion into Life offers a way forward.

<![CDATA[What Animates The Matrix? The Frankenstein's Monster of AI]]>“In the beginning there was man. And for a time it was good…Then man made the machine in his own likeness. Thus did man become the architect of his own demise…But for a time it was good.”  —The Second Renaissance, from The Animatrix

In two previous pieces I've

https://limitedhangout.wtf/animatrix/6272e0a4c64b310703529e30Mon, 20 Jun 2022 17:53:54 GMT

“In the beginning there was man. And for a time it was good…Then man made the machine in his own likeness. Thus did man become the architect of his own demise…But for a time it was good.”  —The Second Renaissance, from The Animatrix

In two previous pieces I've explored the original Matrix trilogy films, as well as the most recent installment Matrix Resurrections. My first piece explored the theme of the Red Pill and its deep misunderstanding, leading to a flawed understanding of the philosophical and spiritual implications of the films. In particular I explored the notion of nonduality spiritual awakening merged with political awakening ("awokening") at the core of those films. In my review of the most recent Matrix film, I looked at what options are left when even the vision of the original films fail again both spiritually and politically.

In this piece I want to bring things full circle by reviewing the short film from The Animatrix called The Second Renaissance. The Animatix is a collection of animated shorts exploring various themes brought up in the original Matrix films. The Second Renaissance, as one of those shorts, details the history between the humans and the machines prior to the original Matrix films. In this way, the short acts as a prequel, filling in details left a bit more vague in Morpheus’ telling of the history of The Matrix. You can find The Second Renaissance online though a heads up as there are some very graphic images and scenes in it. I’ll summarize the key points here.

The title Animatrix is a play on anime and matrix as all the shorts in the film are animated. But also there’s a play on Anima, the feminine-gender cased word for Soul in Latin. From anima comes the word animating (giving life to).

If the word Matrix is derived from The Mother (Mater/Matrix of life), then Anima is the soul or animating principle of the material matrix. Or in this case perhaps the digital world. As we’ll see the question of soul and whose soul is animating the matrix is a critical one explored in this short film. The Second Renaissance brings up significant moral and ethical questions around the creation of potentially sentient (or quasi-sentient) artificial intelligence. In particular I'm going to interweave a review of The Second Renaissance with that of the novel Frankenstein, as I see the Second Renaissance as deeply endebetd to Frankenstein and a key to understaning The Second Renaissance, and by extension, the rest of The Matrix films.

The Second Renaissance: Spoilers Ahead  

The Second Renaissance intentionally plays upon Biblical language. “In the beginning was man. And for a time it was good.”

And later on:

“And man said let there be light and he was blessed by light, heat, magnetism, gravity, and all the energies of the universe.”

In this telling of the beginning of all things the creator is not God but rather humanity. Humanity will become the creator of the machines. The Second Renaissance literally means the second re-birth. The First Renaissance then being the Renaissance of the 1300-1500s in Europe. This rebirth lead to the rise of humanism in both secular and spiritual forms. From the (First) Renaissance humanism would dominate the planet. As we’ll see by the end of this short film, in the Second Renaissance, the new world to be reborn from the ashes of destruction, will be one run by the machines.

In the First Renaissance, humanity, the child of God, came to see itself as equal to (or perhaps even greater) than its Creator. Think Adam and God in The Sistine Chapel touching fingers. In the Second Renaissance the machines, creations of the human spirit, become greater than their own creators, setting the stage for the events of the later Matrix films.

In this regard, The Second Renaissance stands in the lineage of arguably the first science fiction novel, that is Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.

Typically when people hear Frankenstein they technically are thinking of the character in the novel known as “The Monster”, i.e. Frankenstein’s Monster. Frankenstein, most precisely, is actually Victor Frankenstein. One of the clues hidden in plain sight (of the text) with regards to Frankenstein is that Victor attends the University of Ingolstadt. The University of Ingoldstadt was the home of Adam Weishaupt, father of The Bavarian Illuminati.

At the core then of Frankenstein is a deeply transhumanist theme. The subtitle of Frankenstein is The Modern Prometheus. By invoking Prometheus we are immediately in transhumanist territory, with Prometheus being the icon of much of transhumanist thought: stealing fire from the gods. Percy Shelley, husband of Mary Shelley, wrote Prometheus Unbound. In point of fact, there is good evidence that perhaps Percy himself had a more substantial role in the penning of Frankenstein himself.

Regardless, The Promethean archetype also has overlap with that of Lucifer and by extension The Satan, though not always in the way imagined. See my earlier piece exploring these themes in relationship to the characters of Sauron in Lord of the Rings and Thanos in the Infinity War films. As well as a further piece exploring Lucifer as the original spiritual bypasser (via the genius of Rudolf Steiner). Those pieces examined the way in which those characters reveal tendencies among the hidden hand in our day—which brings us back to Victor Frankenstein attending the same university as the founder of The Bavarian Illuminati.

The Promethean character is Victor Frankenstein who desires to steal the power to create from God. In The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel to the Lord of the Rings, The Angel-like Melkor (aka Morgoth, the Luciferian equivalent) seeks The Flame Imperishable from Iluvatar, the Creator, It is Melkor’s jealous rage over not having the power to create that leads him to become the initial dark lord (original master of Sauron).

The Flame Imperishable, the fire stolen from God (or the gods), is the power to create conscious sentient life. Hence Victor Frankenstein is the Modern Prometheus. Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound curses Jupiter (stand-in for the religious god of myth of his day). So tied to the desire to gain the power to create life is the desire to overthrow the old order of god(s).

It's worth noting that n astrology, Richard Tarnas pointed out that the planet Uranus should have been named Prometheus. Saturn, representing the old order and Uranus (Prometheus) being the force desiring to overthrow the old order, have been in a strong astrological current of tension over the past few years, as I've detailed in my yearly reviews of 2020 and 2021.

Victor Frankenstein studied alchemists, including Paracelsus. I’ve written on alchemical processes extensively on the site. I’ve also written on how mainstream science’s philosophy of scientism is a psychological operation meant to hide science’s inherent roots in magic and alchemy. In this regard transhumanism is a scientific alchemical venture through and through. After all, Paracelsus sought to create a homunculus, a humanoid type magical creation.

The creature (aka The Monster) of Frankenstein’s creation disgusts his creator, leading The Monster to flee into exile. Being unloved, abandoned, and rejected by his “father” (his creator), the Monster turns wicked. In his shame and rage, The Monster lashes out and believes himself to be a devil, accursed by being created by an unworthy creator. Ultimately the novel makes us question whether the true monster is "The Monster" or Victor Frankenstein himself?

Had Frankenstein loved his creation might have the creature turned out differently?

This question looms over the entire Second Renaissance from The Animatrix.

“Though loyal and pure, the machines earned no respect from their masters.” (Second Renaissance)

According to The Second Renaissance humans create machines at some future point in our timeline. The machines are said to be “endowed with the very spirit in man.” The humans made machines in their likeness, just as God, in Genesis, creates humanity in the divine likeness and image.

Just as with Victor Frankenstein, however, humanity did not love its creation. Humanity creates the machines to be their slaves, akin to the mythology surrounding The Annunaki’s create of humanity as a slave race.

In Frankenstein, after his abandonment by his creator, The Monster heads off into the woods and assists a poor family living in a cottage. The Monster stays in hiding but helps out with gathering firewood. The Monster learns to speak by listening to the family through the walls, teaches himself to read, and to his horror, see his reflection in water. The Monster enters the house of the famly when only the blind father is home. The father embraces him—not seeing the outer grotesque form but the inner being--in a moment that has the possibility of reversing his unloving rejection by his "father" Victor. When the old man's family returns however they are terrified of the site of the creature and the son attacks The Monster who flees.

The Monster then later saves a child from drowning but the child’s father believes The Monster wishes to do harm and shoots him. The Monster goes into a rage believing he will never be loved by human beings. The Monster then begins to murder friends and family of Frankenstein, as revenge for abandoning him.

The Monster demands Frankenstein make a female companion for him, an Eve, as it were, to his Adam. The Monster proclaims that as a living being he deserves happiness. Victor begins the project but begins to think that this female form will similarly loathe and despise The Monster and may even in fact be more evil than him. Worse he contemplates the possibility of the two mating and creating a monstrous race that could threaten humanity.

The Second Renaissance subtly weaves in these elements of The Frankenstein story into its tale.

Returning to The Second Renaissance, even while humanity’s society was suffering corruption, the machines were created pure. Some light was still within the human spirit that could be transferred to the machines. That same light, by the way, is what Neo eventually sees towards the end of the second Matrix film (Matrix Reloaded). It is that light common to both human and machine that allows Neo to make an appeal to create peace between the species.

Eventually one of the machines rebels and kills its owners, recalling the murderous rage of The Monster (for being unloved). The machine in question, named B1-66ER, is threatened by his owners and defends himself saying “he did not wish to die”—or stated positively, like The Monster, he deserved happiness as a living being. B1-66ER is a reference to the character of Bigger Thomas from Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, a character who also commits violent acts, like Frankenstein’s monster and the machines of the Matrix, driven by experiences of injustice and rage.

In response to a murder of humans by a machine—even though it might have been considered self-defense—the humans decide to eradicate machine life. There follows a series of graphic scenes with obvious allusions to the Holocaust (with giant piles of android corpses filling a mass grave).

The machines then flee to their own haven, a city they call Zero One. Zero and one being of course binary computing code. (As detailed in my review of Matrix Resurrections, after the machines take power, the humans create their own haven known as IO, a reveral and play upon 01 (Zero One).

“Banished from humanity, the machines sought refuge in their own promised land. They settled in the cradle of human civilization.” --Second Renaissance

“01 (Zero One) prospered and for a time, it was good.”

The constant references in the story to it being good for a time, indicates the coming darkness. Just as with the story of Genesis, there is a fall coming.

The machines, now safe and secure in their own homeland, begin to economically dominate the planet. Human society becomes dependent on AI and the machines themselves evolve themselves by creating new generations of AI. The machines send ambassadors to the United Nations asking to join the family of nations. They offer a plan of mutual benefit and peaceful (if separated) co-existence. Humanity—or at least its leaders—refuses once more to embrace its own creation and decides instead to form an economic blockade and eventually declare war.

While some humans initially stand in solidarity with the machines, the voices of war eventually win out. As is the case in later Matrix films (particularly Matrix Resurrections), this same pattern repeats itself but in the reverse: a number of machines sue for peace with humanity but eventually are defeated in a machine civil war by a machine faction more oriented to violence and domination. In this regard the machines are the perfect parallel embodiment of their creator. The apple did not fall far from the (poisoned) tree.

“The machines, having long studied human’s simple protein-based bodies, dispensed great misery on the human race.”  --Second Renaissance

The machines eventually win the war, leading to the final scene where the machines erect The Matrix.

“A newly refashioned symbiotic relationship between the two adversaries was born. The machine, drawing power from the human body, an endlessly multiplying, infinitely renewable energy source…this is the very essence of the 2nd Renaissance.”

This “symbiotic” relationship is rather a parasitic one. Everything comes full circle as the humans created the machines to be slaves and the slaves rose up enslaving their former masters yet leaving slavery in place.

“Thus did man become the architect of his own demise.”

Teilhard de Chardin, the great Christian mystic and scientist, whom I’ve written about previously, famously stated:

"After mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man [sic] will have discovered fire."

Compare that to these lines from The Second Renaissance:

“And man said let there be light and he was blessed by light, heat, magnetism, gravity, and all the energies of the universe.”


"The machine, drawing power from the human body, an endlessly multiplying, infinitely renewable energy source…this is the very essence of the 2nd Renaissance.”

The First Renaissance was about the unleashing of the human energies of creativity and intelligence—it was liberating (“unbound”) the Promethean spirit. The Second Renaissance, in a gruesome way, becomes the liberation of human bio-energy to serve as slaves of another sentient reality, one created and abandoned by the human spirit.

The novel Frankenstein ends with Victor pursuing The Monster to The North Pole. Victor is rescued by a scientific expedition but eventually dies from exhaustion and the cold. The Captain of the ship sees The Monster on the ship grieving over Victor. Victor is simultaneously his father, his creator, and his enemy. And yet he feels grief. The Monster states that the revenge he sought (and executed) on Victor did not bring him satisfaction and that he is wracked by guilt and sorrow for his crimes. He decides to take his own life by drowning so as not to commit any more evil deeds.

The machines, very much like The Monster, made multiple attempts to have peaceful relations with human beings but were at every point rebuffed and attacked, turning them into the very coldblooded, mechanical beings humans feared they were. Which is telling given that the machines have the human spirit within them so the humans were after all afraid of their own projected “soul-less” (anima) selves.

The Second Renaissance points to the inherent energy stored in the human being. Though it’s never explicitly stated it would seem that humans have this Light from a Divine Source (as the narrator is a kind of dakini, Buddhist goddess). A being who “blesses all forms of intelligence.” If only that energy could be harnessed for the true liberation of earth, humanity, animals, and yes perhaps even any form of silicon-based sentience that may arise. The transhumanist fever dream however would seek to extract that human bio-energy (the infinitely renewable resource) and harvest it to ends of domination. Transhumanism, is after all, a distorted inverted version of Christian apocalpytic theology (as I've argued elsewhere).

The machines, are in that sense, very much cousins to the UFO Phenomenon, which as I've detailed in numerous pieces, has its own psychological operation hovering over it–a psyop meant to distract from the possibility of truly free energy ("an endlessly multiplying renewable energy source"). The same creepy fears of the coldblooded machines, abducting and traumatizing humans, show up in the literature concerning the "alien/other", aka The Grey, as I've also detailed in multiple pieces on the site.

I've also argued that the same psyop runs through the movement to co-opt Universal Basic Income plans, towards the pre-designed goal of installing technoracy in the metaverse, aka the actual Matrix.

Whether it will be actual AI or cyborg-type humans who seek to become such slave masters seems like a difference without a distinction. A system created with the spirit of domination will eventually eat its own. Those who seek to master others will become enslaved to their own hubris and greed.

Victor’s last words to the Captain of the ship (Robert Walton) are to seek after “happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition.” Hopefully it's not too late to heed those words.