Friday, November 23, 2012

The LSD Chronicles: Captain Trips


Once upon a time Recluse used to dabble in fiction. I was okay at it --I managed to get a few short stories published, at any rate. Things changed, however, once I began my journey into conspiracy culture and all its wonders. Since then I've had little to no desire to write fiction. In point of fact, I consume little to no fiction anymore --I haven't read any novels in several years, watch virtually no TV and only watch movies (on DVD) sparingly. I used to be an uber movie geek for much of my teens and 20s but those days are long gone. The figures and plots I encounter frequently are far more incredible than virtually anything I or any number of artist could conceive of in numerous mediums. Even more amazing, most of these figures and plots are actually real to one extent or another.

Consider the figure of Albert 'Captain Trips' Hubbard, an individual who wore many hats throughout his storied career: free energy inventor, bootlegger, spy, uranium entrepreneur, and ultimately LSD guru. As to the latter, he may well have been the first: the Captain was turned on before Timothy Leary, before Ken Kesey, and certainly before the Grateful Dead. Aldous Huxley had dabbled in mescaline but it was the Captain who gave him his first dose of LSD. Any number of other early psychedelic pioneers such as Leary and Humphrey Osmond rubbed shoulders with the Captain as well --It was something of a rite of passage in the early psychedelic movement.
"The blustery, rum-drinking Hubbard is widely credited with being the first person to emphasize LSD's potential as a visionary or transcendental drug. His faith in the LSD revelation was such that he made it his life's mission to turn on as many men and women as possible."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pg. 44)
the Captain (far right) in the paramilitary style uniform he frequently wore

This is quite an extraordinary mission for a hillbilly from Kentucky who boasted that he never owned a pair of shoes until he was 12. But then again, Hubbard had been around the extraordinary his entire life. Like many gurus over the years, Hubbard claimed to have been contacted by angels. A 1991 article by Todd Fahey originally published in High Times remarks:
"Those who knew Al Hubbard would describe him as just a 'barefoot boy from Kentucky,' who never got past third grade. But as a young man, the shoeless hillbilly was purportedly visited by a pair of angels, who told him to build something. He had absolutely no training, 'but he had these visions, and he learned to trust them early on,' says Willis Harman, director of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Sausalito, CA.
 
"In 1919, guided by other-worldly forces, Hubbard invented the Hubbard Energy Transformer, a radioactive battery that could not be explained by the technology of the day. The Seattle Post- Intelligencer reported that Hubbard's invention, hidden in an 11" x 14" box, had powered a ferry- sized vessel around Seattle's Portico Bay nonstop for three days. Fifty percent rights to the patent were eventually bought by the Radium Corporation of Pittsburgh for $75,000, and nothing more was heard of the Hubbard Energy Transformer."
the Captain in the midst of his free energy youth

This was not the only encounter the Captain had with angelic beings, as we shall see a bit later. For now, let us consider a few more episodes from his early life. The Captain apparently tired of being an inventor by his early 20s and began trying his hand at bootlegging in the midst of Prohibition. From the same Fahey/High Time article:
"Hubbard stifled his talents briefly as an engineer in the early 1920s, but an unquenchable streak of mischief burned in the boy inventor. Vancouver magazine's Ben Metcalfe reports that Hubbard soon took a job as a Seattle taxi driver during Prohibition. With a sophisticated ship-to-shore communications system hidden in the trunk of his cab, Hubbard helped rum-runners to successfully ferry booze past the US and Canadian Coast Guards. He was, however, caught by the FBI and went to prison for 18 months."
Upon his release from prison Hubbard drew the attention of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA, allegedly for his talents in electronic communications. The Captain soon found himself running guns to the British prior to the United States' entry into the second World War.
"As a high-level OSS officer, 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. In pitch darkness he sailed ships without lights up the coast to Vancouver, where they were refitted and used as destroyers by the British navy. He also flew planes to the border, took them apart, towed the pieces into Canada, and sent them to England. These activities began with the quiet approval of President Roosevelt nearly a year and a half before the US officially entered the war. To get around the neutrality snag, Hubbard became a Canadian citizen in a mock procedure. While based in Vancouver (where he later settled), he personally handled several million dollars filtered by the OSS through the American consulate to finance a multitude of covert operations in Europe. All this, of course, was highly illegal, and President Truman later issued a special pardon with kudos to the Captain and his men."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pgs. 44-45)
During Hubbard's time in the OSS he would come into contact with a man known as George Hunter White. White is best remembered for his role in Operation Midnight Climax nowadays and is generally depicted as something of a buffoonish figure. And yet many of his former OSS students would play an enormous role in the CIA and the spread of LSD to American public. Just consider some of the names White trained:
"Among White's first OSS students were several novice officers who would later become top CIA officials: Richard Helms, Frank Wisner, Jr., James Jesus Angleton, Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., Thomas Karmessines, and William Colby. Several other notable students were anthropologists Carlton S. Coon and Gregory Bateson, psychologist Dr. James Hamilton, future Federal Narcotics agent Howard Chappell, and Albert M. Hubbard, an elusive and fascinating figure who arrived at OSS's Area B fresh from a stint in prison."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 399)
the notorious George Hunter White, a key player in the CIA's LSD ventures

Helms and Colby would eventually become directors of the CIA while Kirkpatrick, Wisner and Angleton (of whom Matt Damon's character in the film The Good Shepherd is based upon) would head extremely powerful departments within the Agency. And they were all taught, along with Hubbard, by George Hunter White, who reportedly despised the Captain. But more on that later.




Helms (top left), Colby (top right), Wisner (bottom left), and Angleton (bottom right) 













After the war the Captain seemingly had it made. He had used the connections and cash he made during the war years to found Marine Manufacturing, a Vancouver charter-boat concern, and soon realized his life-long dream of becoming a millionaire. By 1950 he was the scientific director for the Uranium Corporation of Vancouver and owned his own fleet of aircraft, a 100-foot yacht and Daymen Island, a former Indian colony surrounded by a wall of oyster shells off the coast of Vancouver. There was just one problem: the Captain was miserable. Fortunately, it was at this point in his life when he had yet another angelic encounter. Of it, Todd Fahey notes:
"Al was desperately searching for meaning in his life,' says Willis Harman. Seeking enlightenment, Hubbard returned to an area near Spokane, WA, where he'd spent summers during his youth. He hiked into the woods and an angel purportedly appeared to him in a clearing. 'She told Al that something tremendously important to the future of mankind would be coming soon, and that he could play a role in it if he wanted to,' says Harman. 'But he hadn't the faintest clue what he was supposed to be looking for.'"
The Captain soon decided that this thing he was looking for was LSD, naturally. He first became aware of it in 1951 when he happened upon an article describing the substance's effects on laboratory rats. The Captain tracked down the scientist who had conducted the experiments and procured some LSD from him. Needless to say, the Captain's life was forever changed upon his first trip.

Soon thereafter he made it his life's mission to spread the LSD evangelical. The Captain's contacts in business and military circles ensured that he had access to the leading intellectuals of his day. He made contact with the psychiatrists Dr. Humphrey Osmond and Dr. Oscar Janiger and the author and philosopher Aldous Huxley, whose Heaven and Hell the Captain heavily influenced, among others. The Captain soon developed elaborate methods for guiding acid trips that employed religious symbols and other visuals aids. Fahey states:
"Whereas many LSD practitioners were content to strap their patients onto a 3' x 6' cot and have them attempt to perform a battery of mathematical formulae with a head full of LSD, Hubbard believed in a comfortable couch and throw pillows. He also employed icons and symbols to send the experience into a variety of different directions: someone uptight may be asked to look at a photo of a glacier, which would soon melt into blissful relaxation; a person seeking the spiritual would be directed to a picture of Jesus, and enter into a one-on-one relationship with the Savior."

Soon the Captain was traveling around the globe in his own private plane preaching the psychedelic gospel. What's more, he had the connections to make people with real mojo take him seriously.
"Hubbard's influence on the above-ground research scene went far beyond the numerous innovations he introduced: high-dose therapy, group sessions, enhancing the drug effect with strobe lights, and ESP experiments while under the influence of LSD. His impressive standing among business and political leaders in the United States and Canada enabled him to command large supplies of the hallucinogen, which he distributed freely to friends and researchers at considerable personal expense. 'Cost me a couple of hundred thousand dollars,' he boasted. 'I had six thousand bottles of it to begin with.' When Dr. Ross MacLean, the medical director at Hollywood Hospital in Vancouver, suggested that they form a partnership and set a price for administering LSD, Hubbard would hear nothing of it. For the Captain had 'a mission,' as he put it, and making money never entered the picture.

"Hubbard promoted his cause with indefatigable zeal, crisscrossing North America and Europe, giving LSD to anyone who would stand still. 'People heard about it, and they wanted to try it,' he explained. During the 1950s and early 1960s he turned on thousands of people from all wakes of life --policemen, statesmen, captains of industry, church figures, scientists...
"Like a molecule at full boil, the Captain moved at high speeds in all directions. He traveled around the world in his own plane... buying up LSD and stashing it, swapping different drugs, and building an underground supply. 'I scattered it as I went along,' he recalled. With his leather pouch full of 'wampum' he rode the circuit, and those on the receiving end were always grateful. 'We waited for him like the little old lady on the prairie waiting for a copy of the Sears Roebuck catalogue,' said Dr. Oscar Janiger, a Los Angeles psychiatrist."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pgs. 50-51)

Dr. Oscar Janiger (top) and Dr. Humphrey Osmond (bottom), two of the Captain's early converts

By all accounts, the stockpile of LSD Hubbard accumulated was enormous. Sidney Gottlieb, who directed most of the CIA's LSD experiments under Project MK-ULTRA, was shocked by accounts of Hubbard's LSD supply given to him by George Hunter White:
"Gottlieb later recounted, "White and I discussed Hubbard at length... I wasn't familiar with Hubbard at the time, but White seemed to know a fair amount about him.' White explained to Gottlieb that, according to Federal Narcotics Bureau files, Hubbard had a tremendous supply of LSD, which he had purchased directly from Sandoz in Switzerland. Charles Siragusa, FBN Rome office head, had informed White that Hubbard had enough LSD to produce in excess of 'over one-thousand LSD experiences.' Gottlieb would later say that he had 'serious doubts' upon first hearing this, but that after checking with Agency officials he learned that, if anything, Hubbard 'most likely had more LSD than the amount described by White.'"
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 239)
Hubbard apparently dosed more than a few VIPs with his epic supply.
"...Hubbard came up with the idea that LSD could be used to transform the belief systems of world leaders and thereby further the cause of world peace. Although few are willing to disclose the details of these sessions, a close associate of Hubbard's insisted that they 'affected the thinking of the political leadership of North America.' Those said to have participated in the LSD sessions included a prime minister, assistants to heads of state, UN representatives, and members of the British parliament...

"Dr. Janiger was part of a small circle of scientists and literary figures in the Los Angeles area who began to use psychedelics at social gatherings in the mid-1950s. In addition to Huxley and Gerald Head, those who participated in these drug-inspired intellectual discussions included philosopher Alan Watts, deep-sea diver Perry Bivens, and researchers Sidney Cohen, Keith Ditman, and Arthur Chandler. This informal group was the first to use LSD socially rather than clinically. Captain Al Hubbard, the wandering shaman who visited southern California on a regular basis, supplied the group with various chemicals."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlain, pgs. 50-52)

Aldous Huxley (top) and Alan Watts (bottom), two other Captain associates

Hubbard's dream began to turn sour when the hippie counterculture began to emerge. By all accounts Hubbard loathed the flower children and became increasingly disturbed over Timothy Leary's antics. At one point, the Captain apparently became bent upon shooting Leary while tripping on acid but was talked out of it. The Captain has been described as an arch-conservative and thus found himself decidedly out of place amongst the New Left politics that dominated the acid culture. Undoubtedly the Captain felt little surprise when Leary and the counterculture spurred enough outrage for Congress to take action against his beloved LSD. Still, the Captain did not give in without a fight. Todd Fahey remarked:
"In March of 1966, the cold winds of Congress blew out all hope for Al Hubbard's enlightened Mother Earth. Facing a storm of protest brought on by Leary's reckless antics and the 'LSD-related suicide' of Diane Linkletter, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Drug Abuse Control Amendment, which declared lysergic acid diethylamide a Schedule I substance; simple possession was deemed a felony, punishable by 15 years in prison. According to Humphry Osmond, Hubbard lobbied Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, who reportedly took the cause of LSD into the Senate chambers, and emerged un-victorious...
 
"Hubbard begged Abram Hoffer to let him hide his supply in Hoffer's Canadian Psychiatric Facility. But the doctor refused, and it is believed that Hubbard buried most of his LSD in a sacred parcel in Death Valley, California, claiming that it had been used, rather than risk prosecution. When the panic subsided, only five government-approved scientists were allowed to continue LSD research--none using humans, and none of them associated with Al Hubbard. In 1968, his finances in ruins, Hubbard was forced to sell his private island sanctuary for what one close friend termed 'a pittance.' He filled a number of boats with the antiquated electronics used in his eccentric nuclear experiments, and left Daymen Island for California. Hubbard's efforts in his last decade were effectively wasted, according to most of his friends. Lack of both finances and government permit to resume research crippled all remaining projects he may have had in the hopper."

Thus, the Captain quietly disappeared from the ebb and flow of history. And yet his legacy lives on, as enigmatic now as it was in the 1950s when he first made the scene. Probably the biggest question remaining for researchers is whether or not the Captain was in the employment of the CIA or another branch of the US intelligence community. Martin A. Lee and coauthor Bruce Shalin strongly indicate that Captain was in fact an asset in their classic study Acid Dreams: A Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond:
"The Captain also engaged in undercover work for a number of other government agencies, including the Federal Narcotics Bureau and the Food and Drug Administration (at a time when both organizations were assisting the CIA's drug testing programs.) During the mid-1960s he was employed by Teledyne, a major defense subcontractor, as 'director of human factors research.' In this capacity Hubbard served as adviser and consultant to a combined navy and NASA project that involved testing the effects of psychochemical agents on newly designed 'helicopter avionics system.' Teledyne worked closely with various government organizations, including the CIA, to apply these techniques to additional areas of military interest.

"While Hubbard was not a CIA operative per se, his particular area of expertise --hallucinogenic drugs --brought him into close contact with elements of the espionage community."
(pg. 53)

Lee and Shalin also note, however, that the Captain loathed the CIA.
"During the early 1950s Hubbard was asked to join the CIA, but he refused. 'They lied so much, cheated so much. I don't like 'em,' he snarled. 'They're lousy deceivers, sons of the devils themselves.' The Captain's beef with the Agency stemmed in part from his unsuccessful attempt to secure back pay owed to him from his OSS days. 'They crooked me,' he complained bitterly.

"Hubbard was unkindly disposed toward the CIA for other reasons as well. Most important, he didn't approve of what the Agency was doing with his beloved LSD. 'The CIA work stinks,' he said. 'They were misusing it. I tried to tell them how to use it, but even when they were killing people, you couldn't tell them a goddamned thing.' (Hubbard was certain that Frank Olson was not the only person who died as a result of the CIA's surprise acid tests."
(ibid, pg. 52)
A more recent study of the CIA's involvement in the rise of LSD, A Terrible Mistake by H.P. Albareli Jr., dismisses allegations that the Captain was an intelligence asset after his OSS days.
"Contrary to what has been written by several authors, Hubbard, whom George White despised, was never an employee or consultant for CIA, nor was he ever an informer for the Federal Narcotics Bureau, as some have claimed. Hubbard's extensive FBI file, released recently, reveals no formal or covert links to any federal agency."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albareli Jr., pg. 790)

According to Albareli, White described the Captain as "a real opportunist" and charged that he made a small fortune off of his LSD sessions. This is in stark contrast to the view many others took of the Captain and contrary to numerous accounts of the Captain offering his sessions for free. White, on the flip side of the coin, was involved in any number of CIA dirty tricks, possibly including the murder of Frank Olson, which I wrote more on here.

While many researchers have been inclined to view the Captain in a dubious light I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. If anything the Captain was a subversive working within the power structure to reshape it. I suspect this is why he drew the ire of individuals like George Hunter White, who seem more bent on power than anything else. By all accounts the Captain never seriously considered acid as a tool of mind control --Quite the opposite, in fact. He believed that, when administered properly, it could be used to help people see themselves for who they truly were. Such introspection holds little interests for the CIA and like organizations --If anything, it's a threat. I suspect that this is why the Captain died in obscurity, his fortune long gone, while figures like Leary (whose CIA ties have generated much specualtion in recent years) continued to thrive long after the acid revolution had fizzled out.

Perhaps things may have been different if a man like the Captain had spearheaded the movement rather than a clown like Leary. That such came to pass likely involved the CIA in some capacity.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012: The Year of Cannabis?

 
There have been a lot of strange, horrific events that have defined 2012 thus far --the rash of cannibalism in the spring and the wave of mass public shootings triggered by Aurora in the fall immediately spring to mind. Underlining the most notable of the spring cannibalism stories, namely the 'Miami Zombie, as well as the tragedy at Aurora, is the presence of cannabis. The Miami Zombie, who reportedly was a human known as Rudy Eugene, had apparently smoked cannabis shortly before his attack. There are also some reports that James Eagen Holmes, the Aurora shooter, had toked up before the killings, but evidence of this is sketchy.


Rudy 'the Miami Zombie' Eugene (top) and James Eagen Holmes (bottom)

Then, on November 6, voters in the states of Colorado (where the Aurora shootings occurred) and Washington voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in the midst of Barack Obama's re-election to the US presidency. This puts weed at three of the major events of 2012, two of them positively oozing with high weirdness. The fact that cannabis legalization passed in Colorado by such a wide margin with Aurora still relatively fresh and Holmes being linked to pot smoking is a testament to just how far into the mainstream grass has come. There are some interesting implications behind this for the future, as the Miami Zombie and Aurora may be examples of.


Cannabis and humanity have a long and storied history together. I do not plan on going into great depths over this relationship in this particular post but I shall drop a few highlights. For starters, this relationship is very old and likely had a strong influence on human development.
"No plant has been a continuous part of the human family longer than the hemp plant. Hemp seeds and remains of ancient cordage have been found in the earliest strata of many Eurasian habitation sites. Cannabis, a native of the heartlands of Central Asia, was spread throughout the world by human agency. It was introduced into Africa at a very early date, and cold-adapted strains traveled with the early human beings who crossed the land bridge into the New World. Because of its pandemic range and environmental adaptability, cannabis has had a major impact on human social forms and cultural self-images."
(Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna, pg. 150)
Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the consumption of cannabis enabled humanity to access higher spheres of the mind. For instance Robert Anton Wilson, the famed counterculture philosopher, believed that cannabis provided access to the fifth circuit of consciousness.
"The fifth brain began to appear about 4,000 years ago in the first leisure-class civilizations and has been increasing statistically in recent centuries.., a fact demonstrated by the hedonic art of India, China, Rome and other affluent societies. More recently, Ornstein and his school have demonstrated with electroencephalograms that this circuit represents the first jump from the linear left lobe of the brain to the analogical right lobe.

"The opening and imprinting of this circuit has been the preoccupation of 'technicians of the occult' --Tantric shamans and hatha yogis. While the fifth tunnel-reality can be achieved by sensory deprivation, social isolation, physiological stress or severe shock.., it has traditionally been reserved to the educated aristocracy of leisure societies who have solved the four terrestrial survival problems.

"About 20,000 years ago, the specific fifth brain neurotransmitter was discovered by the shamans in the Caspian Sea area of Asia and quickly spread to other wizards throughout Eurasia and Africa. It is, of course, cannabis. Weed. Mother Mary Jane."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume I, Robert Anton Wilson, pg. 201)
Robert Anton Wilson

Naturally cannabis has some interesting occult and religious associations. Probably the most well known cannabis-using sect in earlier eras was the Medieval Islamic order called the Nizaris, more commonly known as the Hashshashins or Assassins. As the name implies, the Assassins have become legendary for the very public murders of various political figures that came into conflict with the sect over the years. These assassinations almost always occurred in public places where the killer faced almost certain death in the aftermath. This led many to the belief that said killers had somehow been brainwashed to perform such tasks.


For centuries it was alleged that the Assassins indulged in hashish (the word assassin derive from the word hashishiyya, an Arabic word meaning hashish eater that was used to slander the sect) and that the drug was responsible for their fanatical loyalty. In recent times scholars have compellingly argued that the association of the Nizaris with hashish is unfounded and the propaganda of the Christian West and more mainline Muslim sects.

Based on my research it seems highly unlikely that the use of hashish would have been allowed under the reign of Hassan-i-Sabbah, the founder of the Hashshashin branch of the Nizaris. Sabbah was a harsh taskmaster who supposedly had one of his own sons executed on suspicion of drinking wine. Some of his ancestors, however, may have been more tolerant. An event that occurred on August 8, 1164 strongly indicates that hashish use was at least tolerated at some point in the sect's history.
"On that day, the head of the Nizaris --Hasan II --the grandson of the founder of the Assassins, Hasan-i-Sabah, performed a strange ritual at Alamut in the presence of his followers, who had been summoned from the four corners of the Nizari empire. He erected a pulpit, facing west, with four banners at the corners. The banners were white, red, yellow and green. The people he had summoned arranged themselves around the pulpit on the right and left sides, directly in front. They all had their backs to Mecca.

"At noon, Hasan II --dressed completely in white --approached the pulpit and announced the millennium.

"Addressing all the inhabitants of the world of men, of angels, and of the jinn... he proclaimed that the hidden Imam had spoken to him and told him that the old Law --the Shariya --was abrogated, and that the time of the Resurrection was at hand. He then invited everyone to a banquet, there, at noon, in the midst of the fasting month of Ramadan and on the anniversary of the murder of Ali, to emphasize his proclamation that the time of the Shariya was ended. Messengers went out to all the Nizari strongholds, carrying the same message. A shock wave went through the community, and news of it reached the ears of Muslim and Christian alike. Either Hasan was, as he proclaimed in his speech, in direct communication with the Hidden Imam who had released the faithful from their spiritual obligations, or he was insane, or he was deserving only of a blasphemer's death...
"As Lewis and other historians have noted, this new dispensation was embraced by most of Hasan's followers without question, including the Syrian strongholds. Thus, the Assassins abandoned all pretence of following the Islamic law, discontinuing praying five times a day facing mecca, and began drinking and eating whatever suited them, whenever it suited them. Although there is no documentation for this, it can be safely assumed that the consumption of hashish was then also --if not encouraged --easily tolerated. Perhaps this event in 1164 gave the greatest impetus to the derogatory nickname of the Nizaris: the hashishim --the eaters of hashish --the Assassins."
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pgs. 146-147)
Hasan-i-Sabah, the legendary founder of the Assassins

While there is much debate still as to whether the Nizaris used hashish the same cannot be said of another Medieval mystical Islamic sect known as the Sufis. The Sufis have long indulged in cannabis with some sects elevating its use to the realm of ritual. This compelling article notes:
"Part of the reason for cannabis' eventual prohibition in some Moslem countries had to do with the drug's association with certain heretical sects that existed on the fringes of Islam. The Sufis were one such group ? they originated in the 8th century and are referred to by cannabis historian Ernest Abel as 'the hippies of the Arab world.' The Sufis used hashish, along with wine and coffee, to stimulate mystical consciousness and appreciation of the nature of Allah...

"Cannabis was made into a chewy medicinal confection called ma'joun, and to the Sufis eating hashish was an act of worship. The benefits they claimed from their use of hashish included otherwise unattainable insights into themselves, as well as laughter, happiness, reduced anxiety, reduced worry, and increased music appreciation. But most importantly, as the Sufi al-Is'irdi noted, was the 'secret' of the drug, which permits 'the spirit to ascend to the highest points in a heavenly ascension of disembodied understanding.' It was for this reason that many of the more mystically inclined of the Sufi preferred cannabis over wine."

More recently the Great Beast himself, Aleister Crowley, experimented heavily with cannabis and worked it into his magical system. Crowley associated hashish with the element of water due to its image-making properties and because it opened the gates of Pleasure and Beauty. Crowley disciple Kenneth Grant states:
"Hashish, Crowley found useful for mental analysis because it aids the imagination and increases courage...

"Hashish is of special use to the occultist because it abolishes the subconscious. In the Amalantrah Working (1918), Crowley notes that 'a hashish experiment is rather like going slumming --one is amazed by the variety of the vividness of the impressions. I think this is caused by a Freudian recognition. One sees again the things that used to be familiar in a simpler consciousness --things long since buried --the same thrill as revisiting one's childhood. It is therefore a return or a regression in mental structure; a degeneration. Thus we see that analysis represents going back, and synthesis, advance."
(The Magical Revival, pg. 94) 
 The use of marijuana was apparently one of Crowley's secret teachings.
"Marijuana, of course, also puts you on the fifth circuit-right-brain rapture --but only temporarily. It was one of Crowley's secret teachings, only passed on verbally to promising students, that the combination marijuana + tantra was the key to rapid mutation into a permanent Rapture Circuit."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume I, Robert Anton Wilson, pgs. 68-70)
Crowley

Thus, the use of cannabis had a wide variety of possibilities, much of it incredible, some of it dubious. And now it is gaining widespread acceptance in the United States. I personally have mixed feelings about this development.

On the one hand, I strongly believe that prohibition has been a resounding failure and is a gross injustice in our society. Almost a third of all Americans are arrested for a crime by the time they're 23 and cannabis prohibition is a big part of this. These types of laws have been used to create an ever growing criminal underclass that will face an uphill struggle for the rest of their lives to gain a decent standard of living. Alcohol and opiate-based prescription meds are responsible for far more deaths in our society and yet the legal status of cannabis is used daily to ruin the lives of the most vulnerable Americans.


On the flip side of the coin I am already very of weary of mainstream cannabis culture and tremble at the possibilities of further corporate involvement. Frankly, I think much of the cannabis culture from the late 1970s on (when the rise of the whole Cheech and Chong stoner stereotypes became the norm) has totally debased the use of the drug. Rarely if ever are the introspective or spiritual aspects of the drug addressed. Instead, stoners are presented in the most buffoonish caricatures possible. Further, any type of serious, introspective use of the drug is typically seen in a dubious light. I am not a big fan of the ethnobotanist Terence McKenna but he hit the nail on the head in describing modern American cannabis culture:
"The pharmacological profile of a drug defines only some of its parameters; the context --or 'setting,' in Leary and Metzner's fortunate turn of phrase --is at least as important. The 'recreational' context for substance use, as currently understood in the United States, is an atmosphere that trivializes the cognitive impact of the substance used. Low doses of most drugs that affect the central nervous system are felt by the organism as artificial stimulation or energy, which can be directed outward in the form of physical activity in order to express the energy and quench it. This pharmacological fact lies behind most of the recreational drug craze, whether legal or illegal. An environment dense with social signals, noise and visual distraction --a nightclub, for example, is typical of the culturally validated context for use of recreational drugs.

"In our culture, private drug taking is viewed as dubious; solitary drug use as positively morbid; and, indeed, all introspection is seen this way. The Archaic model for use of psychoactive plants, including cannabis, is quite the opposite. Ritual, isolation, and sensory deprivation are the techniques used by the Archaic shaman seeking to journey in the world of the spirits and ancestors. There is no doubt that cannabis is trivialized as a commodity and is degraded by the designation 'recreational drug,' but there is also no doubt that when used occasionally in a context of ritual and culturally reinforced expectations of a transformation of consciousness, cannabis is capable of nearly the full spectrum of psychedelic effects associated with hallucinogens."
(Food of the Gods, pgs. 162-163)
what mainstream cannabis culture has become

McKenna and other psychonauts such Robert Anton Wilson have proclaimed that cannabis can be used to alter consciousness, a concept I tend to agree with. And yet the bulk of cannabis users are not even aware of such concepts though they experience that same effects as the illuminated few. A question that comes to mind then is whether recreational use of cannabis simply trivializes the drug or whether its potentially dangerous. Is the appearance of cannabis at incidents such as the Miami Zombie attack and the Aurora shooting coincidence, or were already disturbed minds further reprogrammed in an even more unhinged direction?

While cannabis prohibition is undoubtedly a great evil the degradation of cannabis culture that has occurred for nearly 40 years poses its own problems. The Miami Zombie and Aurora may be partly the result of this degradation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eleven and Nine Over Petraeus


The scandal unfolding around David Petraeus may well be remembered as a kind of modern day Profumo affair when all is said and done. For those of you living under a rock, here's a brief breakdown of the scandal that brought down the head of the CIA and the most well known general of our time:

Petraeus' name came up in a FBI investigation of cyber stalking allegations made by Jill Kelley, a Tampa Bay resident described as a 'socialite' and volunteer social liaison to the MacDill Air Force Base in several press accounts. Mrs. Kelley, who complained to the FBI of being sent a series of vaguely threatening anonymous emails, is apparently a 'friend' of Petraeus. Another friend of Petraeus is Mrs. Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer and author who penned a biography of the former general entitled All In. That Mrs. Broadwell was having an affair with Petraeus while she wrote said biography makes the title all the more apt indeed.


Mrs. Broadwell is allegedly the one that sent Mrs. Kelley the threatening emails that spurred the investigation that ultimately brought down Petraeus. Apparently Mrs. Broadwell became concerned that Petraeus was about to begin an affair with Kelley and was rather upset about this, compelling her to warn Kelley away. Petraeus is not the only high ranking military official that Mrs. Kelley is friendly with either --Emails between her and General John Allen, the current commander of United States forces in Afghanistan, that also turned up in the Petraeus investigation have been described as inappropriate and in one instance, flirtatious. At least one defense official has insisted that there was no affair between Allen and Kelly, however.

General john Allen (left) and Jill Kelley (right)

This is the broad jest of the Petraeus sex scandal but there are all kinds of peculiarities surrounding it. The most overt one was the timing of the whole thing: Petraeus resigned suddenly on Friday, November 9, just three days after the 2012 U.S. elections that saw Barack Obama re-elected to the presidency. Besides its closeness to the elections, the date of November 9 is also curious on more esoteric levels. For one, there's the appearance of nine and eleven --November is the eleventh month in a calender year and Petraeus' resignation occurred on the ninth day of this month. Both nine and eleven are highly significant in the occult, which I've written more on here. In the American consciousness they will forever be associated with the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. More recently 9/11 witnessed the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, which shall play a part in the Petraeus saga, so keep it in mind.

Christopher Stevens, the US State Department official killed in the highly controversial Benghazi attack

There are even more esoteric associations with November 9 than nine and eleven, however. For instance, November 9, 1888 was the day on which the final (official) victim of Jack the Ripper, Mary Jane Kelly, was murdered. Over the years conspiracy theories have cropped up alleging that the Ripper murders were in fact a bloody Masonic ritual. Probably the most famous of such accounts was author Stephen Knight's 1975 work Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution. Of it the highly controversial revisionist historian Michael A. Hoffman writes:
"Knight's book contains the making manifest of what is hidden in these masonic Ripper murders. Knight demonstrates that the women were butchered according to masonic ritual...

"Four of the five Ripper victim's throats were cut from left to right in accordance with the masonic Entered Apprentice 'penal sign.' In some cases their intestines were severed, lifted out of the body and placed over the poor victim's shoulder. In masonic ritual, the three 'Juwes' --'Jubela, Jubelo and Jebelum,' are all killed by having their bodies ripped opened and the entrails thrown over their shoulders.

"The Ripper murder ritual also pertained to the significance of siting in masonic immolation. Catherine Eddowes' body was arranged in Mitre Square, London. Mitre Tavern, at No. 3 Mitre Street, at the entrance to the square, was the meeting place of the masonic lodges of Hiram, Union and Joppa. According to masonic mythology, it was on the coast of Joppa that the three 'Juwes' were captured.

"Eddowes' apron, soaked in blood, was discovered on Goulston Street in a hallway of a building. Above the bloody apron, on the wall, a message had been written in chalk by the masonic perpetrators: 'The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing.'

"The double negative reference is not to Jewish people but to the aftermentioned three Entered Apprentices of masonic mythology, who were both ritually murdered and themselves ritual murderers. The trio form the 'ruffians' or 'three unworthy assassins.' They are masonic assassins."
(Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, pgs. 59-60)
What was left of Mary Jane Kelly's body after Jack the Ripper murdered her on November 9, 1888

In the case of the Ripper murder on November 9, 1888 we also find an appearance of the name Kelly. This name has obviously played a major role in the current scandal that broke on November 9, 2012. Whether there is some kind of Masonic significance to November 9 other than the appearance of the heavily occultic numbers of nine and eleven is something I have not been able to uncover. The same can not be said of the Nazi reverence for this date.

It was on November 9, 1923 that the notorious Beer Hall Putsch came to an end. This event was an attempt by the Nazi Party to seize control of Munich and spur a coup d'etat. It marked the emerge of the Nazi Party as a major force in Germany. The revolt was unsuccessful and the Nazi upper brass that led the ordeal, including Adolf Hitler, were briefly incarcerated. It was during this time that Hitler penned Mein Kampf. The Fuhrer would later turn the Beer Hall Putsch into a kind of mythological event in Nazi Germany that was celebrated yearly on November 9.
"And so it was the day of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, a day that Hitler commemorated forever after with speeches and festivities, and sanctified with the creation of the Blood Order: a society of those men who marched with him on that fateful day, and symbolized by the Nazi flag that they carried and with which all other Nazi flags were 'blessed' by being touched with it in impressive ceremonials presided over by Hitler himself. It was the day of a failed assassination attempt in 1939 on Hitler's life at a meeting commemorating the Putsch... And it was also the day of Kristallnacht, when roving Nazi gangs went on a rampage in 1938, smashing shop windows and destroying Jewish homes, businesses, and temples. If anyone in Hitler's Germany believed in numerology, they would have spent considerable time in analyzing this most pregnant of dates for the Third Reich."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pg. 142)
Hitler posing with the 'blood flag' of the failed Beer Hall Putsch, which became a kind of Nazi holy relic

Johann Georg Elser's assassination attempt on Hitler actually occurred on November 8, 1939, but otherwise Levenda is correct. By all accounts November 9 was a highly significant date in Hitler's Nazi Germany, taking on a kind of quasi-religious status, and continues to be revered by modern neo-Nazi organizations. For instance National Socialist-leaning British First Party is also referred to as the November 9th Society.

members of the British First Party, otherwise known as the November 9th Society in honor of the Beer Hall Putsch

Thus the date of Petraeus' resignation is most curious, but it's hardly the only thing. Petraeus resigned before questions surrounding the CIA's role in the 9/11/12 Benghazi attacks were to be put to him by Congress. MSNBC reports:
"Lawmakers question the timing not just because the news was delivered so soon after the elections, but because Petraeus was scheduled to testify Thursday about the attacks on the Benghazi, Libya consulate that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

"Those lawmakers argue that Petraeus is the key to receiving answers about the attacks."
Some elements of the right wing have alleged that the Petraeus sex scandal was an attempt to keep the former general from testifying on Benghazi. If so, it hasn't worked very well as Petraeus will still be brought before Congress on Thursday to discuss such matters. This is not the only tie the Petraeus sex scandal has to the Benghazi attack, however. Prior to the scandal breaking Paula Broadwell had made comments in Colorado alleging that the Benghazi 'Consulate' was in fact a CIA detention center. The Company has been quick to deny these charges, naturally. Again with MSNBC:
"The CIA is denying an assertion made by David Petraeus' biographer and girlfriend that the agency held militants in Libya before the Sept. 11 attack.

"During a talk last month at the University of Denver, author Paula Broadwell said the CIA had detained people at a secret facility in Benghazi, and the attack on the U.S. Consulate there was an effort to free those prisoners."
I daresay Mrs. Broadwell is seriously regretting this little slip up now. She is apparently still in the cross hairs of the FBI, who recently conducted a search of her home without a warrant. Said search was supposedly 'consenual.' The New York Times notes:
"On Monday night, F.B.I. agents went to Ms. Broadwell’s home in Charlotte, N.C., and were seen carrying away what several reporters at the scene said were boxes of documents. A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case remains open, said Ms. Broadwell had consented to the search."
the FBI removing boxes of things from Paula Broadwell's home after a warrantless, 'consenual' search

There are more than a few hints of political intrigue in the Petraeus sex scandal that goes beyond Benghazi. The most overt evidence of this comes in the form of an FBI agent who was apparently a prior associate of Jill Kelley that became involved in the investigation in an unofficial capacity. This individual later passed information along to a prominent Republican congressman. Continuing with the same Times article:
"Ms. Kelley, a volunteer with wounded veterans and military families, brought her complaint to a rank-and-file agent she knew from a previous encounter with the F.B.I. office, the official also said. That agent, who had previously pursued a friendship with Ms. Kelley and had earlier sent her shirtless photographs of himself, was 'just a conduit' for the complaint, he said. He had no training in cybercrime, was not part of the cyber squad handling the case and was never assigned to the investigation. 
"But the agent, who was not identified, continued to 'nose around' about the case, and eventually his superiors 'told him to stay the hell away from it, and he was not invited to briefings,' the official said. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday night that the agent had been barred from the case.
"Later, the agent became convinced — incorrectly, the official said — that the case had stalled. Because of his 'worldview,' as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent’s concerns."
Congressman Eric Cantor, who was aware of Petraeus investigation well before many of his colleagues

Was the Petraeus scandal a kind of 'October surprise' that Obama's handlers were able to keep under wraps before the election? Certainly Mrs. Kelley's associations with Petraeus, General John Allen (both of whom are also involved in her sister's child custody woes) and the currently anonymous FBI agent mentioned above have all the makings of a 'honey trap' --a sex ring designed to entrap prominent politicians and businessmen. When the FBI failed to move on the Petraeus allegations before the elections on November 6 Kelley's FBI 'friend' even contacted Eric Cantor in a bid to likely force his employer's hand.


On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Petraeus was brought down by the CIA itself for its own purposes. Certainly having a director whose mistress nonchalantly mentions covert and illegal detention centers couldn't have endured the former general very well to long time Company men. According to the neo-con propaganda organ otherwise known as World Net Daily Petraeus was apparently undone by his outsider status. In a recent article from there Wayne Simmons, formerly a part of the CIA's Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Group, called Petraeus a sell out. The article went on to state:
"Petraeus was almost universally respected as a military commander and strategist, but Simmons said the general was not the right fit at the CIA.

“'There are no tears being shed today for his resignation,' said Simmons. 'He’s not an intelligence professional. He is a military professional.'

"Simmons said the next director should definitely be an intelligence professional, but he anticipates Obama nominating someone 'out of left field.'

"But the chaos over Benghazi and now this Petraeus scandal suggest to Simmons a stunning lack of national leadership.

“'This is absolutely indicative of what has been going on for four years around the world, in the military, in the intelligence community, in the State Department,' said Simmons. 'We are in shambles. And that is because of the lack of leadership coming out of the White House.'”
Possible translation: Petraeus was not part of the CIA's good ole boy network and if one of said good ole boys doesn't succeed him more shenanigans will follow.

A few months ago, in the wake of the Benghazi attack, I wrote a piece entitled "The Fall of 11." In this article I speculated that the Benghazi attack of 9/11/12 might be the first shots fired in another wave of Islamic uprisings such as those that happened during Arab Spring of 2011. Clearly I was wrong on this account --No further revolutions have as yet broken out in the Islamic world.

images from the Arab Spring

But is it possible that the Benghazi attack was a revolutionary event, one of the domestic kind? Petraeus' resignation has been closely linked with the Benghazi attack, typically in the context of a cover up by the Obama administration. And yet it seems Petraeus will testify before Congress on this event despite his resignation. Was the sex scandal simply a bid at discrediting him or is he being pushed out of the way?

I find it most ominous that Petraeus resigned on 11/9. The numbers nine and eleven have become closely associated with tragedy and conspiracy in American culture in recent years. Beyond that, the date of 11/9 is highly significant in Nazi mythology, as noted above --Indeed, the Beer Hall Putsch of 11/9/23 can be seen as the beginning of the Nazi revolution that nearly conquered all of Europe and left millions dead in its wake. Further, this date is still highly significant to many neo-Nazi movements that have appeared since the end of World War II.

I seriously hope that the events of 11/9/12 will not play a part in another such revolution.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pat Robertson:The Life and Times of an Intelligece Assett


Typically when the mainstream media has considered the figure of Pat Robertson, the famed televangelists, it is usually as an object of ridicule. This is understandable considering some of the more outlandish behavior Robertson has engaged in over the years, such as his on-air prayers to ward off Hurricane Gloria in 1985. But Robertson is far from the buffoonish figure his public spectacles have indicated. In fact, Robertson has had an enormous if little reported influence over the cultural landscape of the United States for over thirty years. In this piece I shall more closely examine the legacy Robertson has created in the United States and its possible sinister origins.

Pat Robertson is the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, its flagship show The 700 Club and the Christian Coalition advocacy group, in addition to being the author of several books. Probably no other figure is more responsible for the rise of modern Christian fundamentalism in the United States than Robertson. The platform Robertson has with CBN and The 700 Club has made him one of the leading figures in the far-right Christian fundamentalist movement which has wielded considerable influence over American political life since the mid-1970s. In 1988 Robertson even ran for the GOP nomination in the U.S. presidential race. While his campaign quickly lost steam he wielded enough influence to help George H.W. Bush secure the nomination.

Robertson on the campaign trail

While Robertson has typically portrayed his rise as a grassroots/rags-to-riches deal the facts on the ground strongly contradict this notion. Robertson is in fact from a well-to-do family and has received ample corporate backing over the years.
"Pat Robertson began his career as a televangelist in 1959 when he bought a run-down television station in Portsmouth, Virginia. In his autobiography, Shout it From the Housetops, Robertson described how in the early days he and his wife Dede had to survive on soybeans and how he opened CBN's first bank account with three one dollar bills. With help from Christians in the Tidewater, Virginia area, Robertson struggled to refurbish the station and, in 1961, began broadcasting a few hours each day.
"Robertson's 'rags to riches' tale strains credulity given his background. His father Willis A. Robertson served in Congress for 34 years, first on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and later as U.S. Senator from Virginia and Chair of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee. The Senator's son may have had only three dollars in his pocket, but his father's prestige and influence gave him access to the nation's wealthiest corporate executives. After graduating from college and before proceeding to law school, the young Robertson had worked a brief stint with the Senate Appropriations Committee, followed by two years as a 'management trainee' with the W.R. Grace Corporation."
(Spiritual Warfare, Sara Diamond, pgs. 12-13)
J. Peter Grace

The W.R. Grace corporation was owned by J. Peter Grace, known to most Americans nowadays for his role in the Grace Commission, a committee appointed by Ronald Reagen to examine waste and inefficiency in government. Grace, an Irish Catholic who would spearhead post-World War II attacks on U.S. labor, had vast dealings in Latin American via sugar, textile and banking industries. Grace helped found the American Institute for Free Labor Development to help suppress progressive labor movements in Latin American. He also helped Nazi chemist and former director of I.G. Farben Otto Ambrose establish a residency in the United States.

Robertson had other such far right corporate backers over the years.
"An analysis of money raised on air from '700 Club' viewers indicated that in 1985 Robertson was raising only about $100 million from viewers. According to CBN Public Affairs Director Earl Weirich, the rest came from 'sympathetic corporations.' CBN is not obliged to disclose the source of its individual or corporate donations, but the presence of Holly Coors, wife of the famous Colorado beer magnate, on the board of CBN University provides a clue as to where some of it comes from. In Shout it From the Housetops, Robertson described the generosity of the billionaire H.L. Hunt family in Texas. In 1970, Hunt helped launch Robertson's broadcast in Costa Rica, with an initial donation of $10 million."
(ibid, pg. 13)

Holly Coors (top) and H.L. Hunt (bottom)

Robertson would become involved in his own business ventures as the years went on. More than a few of them raised major ethical concerns.
"Investing heavily in Africa, Robertson created the African Development Corporation, or ADC. This was allegedly not connected in any way with his religious broadcasting operations, although it is hard to tell how these two companies are financed. What is known for sure is that, in 1992, the ADC entered into negotiations with the Zairean government of President Mobutu for the development of the diamond trade in the southern mining town of Tshikpa, along with projects including logging in other areas of Zaire.
"The idea, as touted by the Robertson organization, was that it had secured Mobutu's blessing to use some of the profits from these enterprises to boost humanitarian aid projects in Zaire. The fact that Mobutu had already plundered his country's economy, banking hundreds of millions --if not billions --of dollars in foreign accounts in Switzerland and Belgium, suggests the cynicism of this self-congratulations, It has been estimated that Mobutu could have single-handedly solved his country's economic and humanitarian problems with the funds he had salted away abroad while his countrymen's per capita annual income was something like $500, belying the necessity of a Robertson-Mobutu partnership."
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pg. 306)
Mobutu

The nature of this 'humanitarian aid' was revealed during the Rwandan Genocide, which shared a border with Zaire.
"Robertson initiated Operation Blessing as a tax-exempt humanitarian mission to help those less fortunate in Africa, buying three Caribou aircraft in the process, for the ostensible purpose of flying medical supplies and doctors to those areas of Zaire being flooded by refugees, both internal refugees as well as those from the growing Rwandan crisis across the border...
"Unfortunately for the poor Zaireans and Rwandans, Operation Blessing was largely a scam.
"Pilots who had been employed by the organization revealed to newsmen that their job was not hauling medicine to Goma or the other regions where people were starving to death or dying from a host of terrible illnesses; rather, they were involved with moving mining and dredging equipment to Robertson's diamond mines...
"As the Rwandan crisis deepened in 1994, Robertson was on the air constantly trying to raise money for his humanitarian efforts to help the refugees. Where this money wound up is anyone's guess at this point. None of the pilots who have been contacted by investigators could come up with more than half-a-dozen humanitarian flights during the entire period Operation Blessing was in operation in Zaire, and even then the medical support was minimal. In a 1994 Time magazine article... one aid worker complained that the efforts of Operation Blessing in Goma --the town hardest hit by the Rwandan refugee crisis --were a joke: that they were heavy on transportation and light on aid; workers preferred to stand around and preach rather than get down and dirty with the dead and dying, and the organization pulled its people out after only short tours in the region."
(ibid, pgs. 306-307)
image from the Rwandan genocide

Zaire was hardly an isolated incident.
"...Robertson... continued with his business dealings in other parts of Africa, such as Liberia in support of Charles Taylor, a man with a human rights abuse record as least as long as Mobutu's. Taylor's use of death squads, his support of mercenary groups who use Liberia as a staging area for attacks in other countries, and his involvement in arms trading made him a '90s equivalent to former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin; he had even been known to conduct torture and interrogation sessions in his own home, the Executive Mansion. Corruption was rife and unapologetic in Liberia, with Taylor and his cronies pocketing at least 20% of Liberia's annual budget, according to a 1998 US department of State Country Report on Liberia.
"In 1998 Robertson created a company called Freedom Gold for investment in Liberia. His focus remained roughly the same: the exploitation of Liberia's raw material and natural resources --gold diamonds, oil, lumber --with the expectations that profits would be plowed back into the Liberian economy for humanitarian efforts."
(ibid, pg. 307)
Charles Taylor

There are no indications that this worked out any better than Robertson's humanitarian aid in Zaire. These are just two of numerous instances when Robertson cozied up to far right dictators for various unsavory agendas, as we shall see. For the time being I would like to consider Robertson's rise a bit further.

Pat Robertson began to emerge as a major figure in the Christian fundamentalist movement in the late 1970s. By the 1980s The 700 Club adopted a political slant that was highly favorable to both American foreign policy as well as corporate America.
"Throughout the 1980s... CBN was perhaps the most valuable, consistent forum for New Right political figures eager to organize the fundamentalist masses. For years, everyone who was anyone in New Right political circles or in the U.S. intelligence establishment (those not under deep cover) paraded through the "700 Club" studios or spoke with Robertson live by satellite from one of CBN's off-site broadcast centers, usually in Washington D.C."
(Spiritual Warfare, Sara Diamond, pg. 12)

Initially CBN and The 700 Club were Robertson's main forums for waging his own peculiar world view war. He mastered several basic propaganda techniques such as framing a debate with two nearly identical sides, heavy use of loaded terminology, outrageous statements presented as quotes from unnamed sources and shocking film footage used in conjunction with scripts about the 'enemy,' all of which proved to be highly effective. These techniques combined with his unusual access to heads of state made his program invaluable in the process of shifting the audience's view rightward.

Robertson's propaganda blitz was not limited to the airwaves, however. In the 1970s he also set his sights on academia.
"In the mid 1970s, CBN purchased about 140 acres of land for an international broadcasting headquarters facility, and in 1978 opened CBN University graduate school. CBNU started with a graduate program in the School of Communications and later expanded to include Schools of Education, Business, Biblical Studies, Public Policy and an Institute of Journalism. CBNU enables evangelical students to receive a master's degree in just a year or two in a safe, less than rigorous, 'Christian' environment. Foreign students are especially encouraged to attend."
(ibid, pg. 21)
By the 1990s CBNU would be renamed Regent University. By then it had acquired a reputation as being the "Harvard of the Religious Right." Thus far the apex of its influence occurred during Bush II's presidency when numerous Regent graduates were granted positions in the administration. The Boston Globe reports:
"But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website." 
Regent University

Regent is yet another instance of Robertson's propaganda efforts at work. The scale of his campaigns in television and academia point to a full scale world view war. The question then becomes, what world view is Robertson attempting to project? Some believe that Robertson is a part of an incredibly fringe movement in modern Christian fundamentalism.
"Some of America's most influential Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson... are adherents of Dominionist theology, although Robertson and others officially disclaim any loyalty to the radical doctrine."
(Fixing America, John Buchanan, pg. 60)
The bulk of Americans have never heard of dominionist theology even thought it has had an enormous influence on the American political landscape for more than three decades. Of it, journalist Katherine Yurica wrote on her website:
"There were an estimated 110,000 Pentecostal and fundamentalist churches in America in the 1980s. Robertson taught them—through his vast television network and through his books—that the role of the Christian is to rule over the wicked. Dominionism’s purpose is to create theocrats (a Christian class of rulers). But in order to successfully place only certain Christians in positions of power, Dominionism divides Christian believers into classes based upon political ideology and certain hot point issues such as the privatization of Social Security and Medicare, freedom to decide on medical procedures with ones own physician, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, freedom of the arts, and certain rights like the right to a fair trial and protection from governmental intrusion into the privacy of marriage and adult associations. 
"The believers who are destined to rule are called the 'elect,' and are separated from those believers who do not and will not accept the predestined superiority of the chosen ruling class. A Christian who raises his voice against the 'elect' could be labeled a 'false prophet or a dreamer of dreams,' and therefore, according to the Deuteronomic law 'shall be put to death.'"

Whether Robertson is an actual dominionist or simply found the ideology useful for his purposes is impossible to tell. What is more clear, however, are his ties to the United States intelligence community. Evidence of this first began to emerge in the mid-1980s, such as allegations made by Robertson and CBN in 1985, first that they were aware of the location, and later the identity, of US hostages taken in Lebanon.
"While running for the GOP presidential nomination, in February 1988, Robertson surprised reporters when he announced that CBN had known the location of U.S. hostages abducted in Lebanon in 1985. Robertson argued that even if he knew their whereabouts the White House was certainly remiss in not obtaining their rescue...
"...CBN's Beirut bureau chief Gus Hashim told the Washington Post that he knew the identity of the 1985 TWA plane hijackers but not the location of the hostages. The real question, then, was not whether Robertson was accurate about the location of the hostages nor whether he conscientiously reported information to the White House. The relevant matter is that most likely Gus Hashim's inside information came from top-level intelligence sources, making CBN an intelligence 'asset.'"
(Spiritual Warfare, Sara Diamond, pgs. 18-19)

Even more damning was the role Robertson played in generating financial support throughout the 1980s for a series of Central American dictators that the Reagen administration believed were essential in the Cold War struggle against the Soviet Union.
"Another 'Christian' ruler supported by Robertson on television and in his books is Jorge Serrano, the bizarre President of Guatemala who wanted to create a Pentecostal Christian government in Guatemala. The list goes on and on. Here is Robertson sitting down to dinner with notorious Salvadoran death-squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson. Here is Robertson raising two million dollars for Guatemalan military dictator General Oscar Humberto Mejia Victores. Here is Robertson being saluted by the Contras at their base camp in Honduras. Here is Robertson once again in Guatemala, this time in support of death-squad leader and eventual president Rios Montt, a born-again Christian who suspended his country's constitution and proceeded to murder thousands of his fellow citizens. The eagerness of Fundamentalist Christians in their support of vicious dictators simply because they pay lip service to Christianity is baffling...
"The story of Iran-Contra as is generally known to most Americans omits one important aspect. Although the trail of deceit and treachery --especially against the US Congress and in violation of the Borland Amendment which forbade the government from giving military aid to the Nicaraguan rebels --stretched as far as North, Secord, McFarlane and others sworn to defend the Constitution, and whose names became household words (and in some cases, heroes) to Americans in the 1980s, the breadth of 'private funding' of the Contra rebellion has never been deeply explored. The fact that the Christian Right raised millions of dollars in aid to the Contras has been 'backburneed' in most histories of the affair. Indeed, Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network was only one source of aid and support to the Contras; in addition, we find the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon as well as the Knights of Malta fraternal society involved in fund-raising and other efforts on behalf of the rebels.
"The Knights of Malta participation is interesting because, at the time, its head was J. Peter Grace, an old friend of Pat Robertson and the godfather to his children..."
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pgs. 308-309)

Robertson and his fellow Christian fundies bare an enormous amount of responsibility for the destabilization of Central America in the 1980s. Further, it wasn't merely the money that they raised for a series of brutal regimes that caused the destabilization. Even more insidious was the psychological component at play: Robertson and company used the religion of the peoples of these Central American nations to rationalize the behavior of their governments in the context of the Cold War. This was absolutely essential to the foreign policy objectives of the Reagen administration in these nations.
"'Total warfare' relies, to a large degree, on the concept of 'humanitarian aid' which itself is a major component of 'psychological operations.' 'Humanitarian aid' is a euphemism frequently used to describe the millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars channelled to corrupt military regimes. The term 'psychological operations' (PSYOPs) had been used to describe the practice of dropping propaganda leaflets from helicopters or campaigns in which smiling, 'humanitarian' soldiers give candy to peasant children. But PSYOPs is much more than that.  
"'Humanitarian aid' and 'psychological operations' are two areas of 'total war' where the Christian Right serves U.S. foreign policy objectives best. Acting either as 'private' benefactors or as agents of the U.S. government, Christian Right 'humanitarian' suppliers and promoters of anticommunist ideology use religion to mask the aggressive, cynical nature of 'humanitarian' projects. Cloaked as missionary evangelism, the 'spirual warfare' component of counterinsurgency escapes serious attention by anti-intervention activists who are justifiably preoccupied with stopping massive, direct forms of U.S. militarism.
"It is doubtful, however, that counterinsurgency could be effective without the use of religion. Because the conduct of 'psychological operations' relies on the successful interpretation and manipulation of a target population's deeply held beliefs and cultural practices, the functional use of religion simply must be addressed by anyone intending to understand and put an end to 'total warfare.'
(Spiritual Warfare, Sara Diamond, pg. 162)

It goes without saying that the PSYOPs component of Robertson's efforts was not limited to foreign nations: It was also meant for domestic consumption. What's more, it wasn't simply fundamentalists Christians that were being targeted. Robertson also made major in roads with the militia movement in addition to conspiracy culture.
"His [Robertson's -Recluse] bestselling 1992 book, The New World Order, purports to reveal an elaborate, centuries-old conspiracy dominated by a satanically spawned clique of Freemasons, occultists, and European bankers who just happen to have Jewish names. Refurbishing the old canard about a handful of rich Jews who backed both godless Communism and monopoly capitalism as part of a sinister, long-range plan, the Christian Coalition commander claimed this ongoing superconspiracy was behind everything from the French and Russian Revolutions to the assassinations of President Abraham Lincoln
"Robertson's musings resembled not only anti-Jewish motifs of the past --he listed several notorious anti-Semites in his bibliography --but militia fables of the of the present. In his books and on his ubiquitous cable network, he rallied against one-world government and the United Nations. Robertson's nightly TV show, The 700 Club, also promoted the militia line on Waco and gun control. Spokesmen for the Militia of Montana appeared on this program as experts, commenting upon photos of black helicopters and other misinterpreted phenomena that were allegedly threatening American citizens. New York Times columnist Frank Rich summed it up best when he accused Pat Robertson of throwing 'gasoline on the psychic fires of untethered militias running across the country.'"
(The Beast Reawakens, Martin A. Lee, pgs. 359-360) 
 
The New World Order was probably Robertson's most well known book. It helped bring a lot of the NWO theories being promoted by personalities like Bill Cooper, Texe Marrs and A. Ralph Epperson (who also wrote a book called The New Wold Order, published in 1990, that inevitably had a lot of overlap with Robertson's book) into the mainstream. Few seemed to question Robertson's anti-government stance in light of fanatic support of the Reagen administration's foreign policy or his close relations with members of the U.S. intelligence community. Instead, his mega-status within the Christian right likely leant much needed credibility to figures like Cooper, an acknowledged 'former' Naval Intelligence officer, as well as the militia movement.

William Cooper

And it is here that I shall wrap things up. For years Robertson's detractors have tried to portray him as the head of a radical Christian movement bent on installing a theocracy in the United States. But is Robertson really a true believer or do his longstanding ties to the U.S. intelligence community hint at a more sinister agenda?

Robertson was undeniably a major part of the grass roots right wing movement that emerged in the late 1970s and achieved its apex of power under the Bush II administration. Said movement was a staunch backer both of U.S. imperialism and corporatism despite receiving no real benefits from either. This curtailed well, however, with the interests of Robertson's friends amongst the military/intelligence and business communities. Robertson would certainly do his part to raise support, both in terms of money and votes, from his followers for these agendas.

At the same time as Robertson was embracing these blatantly fascistic policies he began copying the party line of various right-leaning anti-government movements that secular communism was the greatest threat humanity had ever faced... At the same time as the Soviet Union was collapsing and multinational corporations were becoming global powers unbeholden to national governments.

Certainly this has all the makings of a PSYOPs slight of hand and a most likely candidate for Robertson's actual agenda.