Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prometheus Rising Part I

As I've gotten older movies have progressively lost interest for me. In my teens and early 20s I was an uber movie geek, consuming dozens of titles a year, but nowadays I typically only sit down to watch a film if it relates to this blog. But when I read about Prometheus, legendary director Ridley Scott's prequel to the sci-fi/horror classic Alien, I felt an actual sense of anticipation. Sure, it was something I knew I would eventually feel compelled to write about for this blog but I was also genuinely curious to see how Scott would present the highly topical ancient astronauts meme and how it would be incorporated into the Alien franchise. Disclaimer: Recluse was a mega-fan of the Alien series as a kid, owning the movies themselves, several Dark Horse comic series based upon the Alien universe and even the action figures. Thus, I anticipated Prometheus both in relation to my work with VISUP as well as on a personal/sentimental level, something I haven't felt for a movie in some time.

I put off seeing Prometheus in theaters as to avoid the hype and bells and whistles that go along with tentpole movies. I also avoided reading about it in the blogosphere at all costs so as not to have any preconceived notions about its symbolism. Still, I gave into temptation a time or two and was most interested by how audiences were reacting to the film. For the most part it seemed like the fanboys perceived Prometheus as a compelling if deeply flawed movie that didn't feature enough Alien staples. I was intrigued by this reaction as it seemed to indicate that Scott had relentlessly pursued the ancient astronauts angle.

The ancient astronaut meme has of course been getting a lot of play since the 1960s, first gaining widespread exposure in 1968 with Kubrick' legendary 2001 film and a book by Erich von Daniken entitled Chariots of the Gods?. The 1990s upped the game with the widely popular X-Files and Stargate franchises which incorporated ancient astronauts heavily into their respective mythologies. In recent years things have gone into overdrive in no small part due to the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 2012, long a pivotal date in the New Age community, and the highly popular History Channel series Ancient Aliens, an examination of all things ancient astronaut. Prometheus, a big budget summer blockbuster centered around such notions, struck me as a kind of coming out for the ancient astronaut crowd. Sure, major movies have addressed ancient aliens before, such as the after-mentioned 2001 and the most recent Indiana Jones film, but not as explicitly and/or seriously as Prometheus seemed poised to do.

My anticipation for the film was only heightened after the bizarre suicide of director Tony Scott, Ridley's younger brother, on August 19, 2012, exactly 40 days before the film was released on DVD. I wrote a blog on this incident here in which I noted that the younger Scott had collaborated with the DoD before in the making of the film Top Gun, a marvelous piece of PSYOPs. From what I can tell, the DoD had a similar involvement in Ridley's Black Hawk Down if this article is any indication of what went on behind the scenes. The Scott family, like a surprising number of Hollywood players, came from a military background. Their father was an individual named Francis Percy Scott, a colonel in the Royal Engineers. Thus, there is another highly compelling angle to Prometheus, namely its intended effect on culture and consciousness.

Ridley Scott (top) and Tony Scott (bottom)

When I finally got a copy of it on DVD in October I was so overwhelmed by the scope of the film's twilight language on my initial viewing that I opted to wait nearly a month to rewatch it. Since then I've rewatched it several times and am finally feeling like I have some grasp of the film. There's really no easy way to start a discussion on Prometheus so I shall opt for the easiest route: I will focus on the legendary figure of Prometheus and then delve into the film, addressing its symbolism largely in chronological order. I'm also going to assume that those reading this piece have already seen the film so don't expect an extensive plot synopsis. So, on to Prometheus.

In Greek mythology Prometheus is one of the Titans, the elder gods who reigned before the Olympians during the so-called Golden Age. The Olympians violently overthrew the Titans with the aid of Prometheus, which gained him favor with Zeus. This favor was quickly squandered with the creation of man, an act some sources credit to Prometheus.
"It was time for men to be created. There is more than one account of how that came to pass. Some say it was delegated by the gods to Prometheus, the Titan who had sided with Zeus in the war with the Titans, and to his brother, Epimetheus. Prometheus, whose name means forethought, was very wise, wiser even than the gods, but Epimetheus, which means afterthought, was a scatterbrained person who invariably followed his first impulse and then changed his mind. So he did in this case. Before making men he gave all the best gifts to the animals, strength and swiftness and courage and shrewd cunning, fur and feathers and wings and shells and the like --until no good was left for men, no protective covering and no quality to make them a match for the beasts. Too late, as always, he was sorry and asked his brother's help. Prometheus, then, took over the task of creation and thought out a way to make mankind superior. He fashioned them in a nobler shape than the animals, upright like the gods; and then he went to heaven, to the sun, where he lit a torch and brought down fire, a protection to men far better than anything else, whether fur or feathers or strength or swiftness."
(Mythology, Edith Hamilton, pgs. 85-86)

Zeus was more than a little pissed off about the whole theft of fire thing, which enabled progress and civilization amongst humans and thus making humanity potential threats to the Olympians somewhere down the road. Zeus condemned Prometheus to eternal torment via being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten by an eagle daily until the end of time. Prometheus eventually escaped this fate, however. He was rescued by Heracles and was then given immortality by the Centaur Chiron. Naturally both Prometheus himself and his saga are littered with symbolism.
"The meaning of Prometheus' name --Forethought --makes clear the meaning of the myth. As a descendant of the Titans, the spirit of revolt was innate within him; however, he symbolizes not a revolt of the senses, but that of the spirit, the spirit which, if it cannot make itself the equal of the divine intellect, at least tries to steal a few sparks of its light. This not a quest of the spirit for its own sake, along the path of gradual self-spiritualization, but the use of the spirit for purposes of self-gratification... Prometheus' final deification was to follow his freeing by Herakles, that is to say, after his chains were broken and the eagle killed. But it was also to be conditional upon the death of the centaur, that is to say, by the sublimation of desire. The latter was to be a victory of the spirit at the end of a fresh phase of creative development in the direction of the being and no longer towards power."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerbrant, pg. 773)
This interpretation is especially apt for the film Prometheus, as we shall see. But for now, a bit more on the Titan: Prometheus has been associated with Lucifer by Helena Blavatsky (at least according to this article) as well as any number of Illuminati-exposing conspiracy blogs. There is much merit to this linking as both Prometheus and Lucifer are described as light-bringers in mythology. Beyond the Lucifer ties, Prometheus also has curious entheogenic symbolism as well.
"Prometheus was the first of the new age of shamans to open the pathways of communication between what were now the two metaphysical realms. Without him, the celestial and chthonic worlds would have stood apart in equal and eternal conflict, for it was only because he deserted his own brethren and fought on the side of the Olympians that the battle was decided in their favor. The two worlds were now stable, but with Zeus as a tyrant in intolerable dominance. Communication required mediation. Prometheus's culminating achievement in this regard was his creation of Man. He stole fire and implanted it as the nucleus of life in the creature he had made of clay, so that the human being would incorporate in a single entity the dichotomous realms of earthly matter and celestial spirit, for fire is the characteristic warmth of living matter and burning is the process whereby substance is transmuted into the rising fumes of immaterial essence. Zeus would have destroyed the earthen body of this first Man, were it not that its soul shared in the immortality of the Olympian family.... Prometheus also taught his creation how to eat, the communal meal in which the edible was eaten to nourish the body, and the inedible was burnt to transmute it into spirit as food for the celestial gods who shared in the sacrificial banquet. The rite of this meal was first enacted at a place called Mekone, which was probably Sicyon, near Corinth. Mekone was named for the mekon or opium poppy, and Sicyon is where Sisyphos made the first race of humans out of mushrooms."
(The Apples of Apollo, Carl Ruck, Blaise Daniel Staples & Clark Heinrich, pg. 131)

In this context Prometheus also is associated with the winter solstice, of which the principal action of Prometheus takes place around.
"At the winter solstice for a period of twelve days, the axis mundi between this world and metaphysical realms gapes open as at Ixion's wedding, with the flaming pitfalls below and the burning wheel above. And half-human creatures, mostly centaurs, but other sorts as well, such as satyrs and werewolves, and the wee people, too, the tiny folk like elves and sprites, stream into our reality. It is the time when the sacred food, called soma or haoma is shared with the gods, or stolen, as Prometheus, the Greek creator of Man, stole it in the form of spiritual fire: vase paintings depict him in the theft with his troupe of satyrs."
(ibid, pg. 23)
Prometheus and the satyrs

This passage is strangely apt for the events that unfold once the spaceship Prometheus reaches the distant moon of LV-223, but more on that in a bit. For now, let us turn our attention to the much celebrated opening sequence of Prometheus.

Right off the bat Prometheus distinguishes itself from the Alien series visually. The Alien movies were all very dark and claustrophobic films, largely being set in spaceships and other confined, interior locations. Prometheus opens in an array of wide open spaces and vibrant colors, giving it a very 2001 feel. On a pristine and vacant, Earth-like planet a giant humanoid being with pale skin stands at the edge of a massive waterfall as a spaceship looms overhead. This creature is one of the 'Engineers,' and the ancient astronauts and the film's chief antagonists. They are in stark contrast to the insect-like aliens of the earlier films. The later seemed to be a combination of numerous phobias while the Engineers seemingly represent an idealized form of humanity --or so we are led to believe.

This Engineer proceeds to drink some type of liquid after raising the container that its in toward the spaceship in a ritualistic salute. The spaceship begins to depart as the Engineer's body literally disintegrates before our eyes. It falls into the river and goes over the waterfall, dissolving in the waters below. From there the Engineer's DNA begins to mingle with planet's organic life, thus laying the seeds for intelligent life. It is strongly indicated that this is how life on Earth began.

This sequence is extremely powerful symbolically. Screenwriter Damon Lindelof compared it to various creation myths in which gods sacrifice a part of themselves to create humanity. He stated:
"...the idea of the creation myth that in Judeo-Christian culture it’s Garden of Eden, God creates Adam and Eve but Ridley was more interested in Greco-Roman or Aztec creation myths where there are many Gods and they make Man out of themselves. The idea that they sacrifice a piece of themselves to create Man in their own image I find very interesting and the question was can we do it on a sci-fi level and so the opening of the movie is that exact idea and that theme carries through to our future..."
Prometheus scribe Damon Lindelof, who was also one of the chief writers on the highly synchro-mystic TV series Lost

Ridley Scott drew allusions to the act of the killing of the divine king, a theme that appears throughout Prometheus, when talking about this scene, noting:
"That could be a planet anywhere. All he’s doing is acting as a gardener in space. And the plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself.
"If you parallel that idea with other sacrificial elements in history – which are clearly illustrated with the Mayans and the Incas – he would live for one year as a prince, and at the end of that year, he would be taken and donated to the gods in hopes of improving what might happen next year, be it with crops or weather, etcetera."
The killing of the divine king was a notion first popularized by James Frazer in his legendary work The Golden Bough. Of it, he writes:
"Now primitive peoples... sometimes believe that their safety and even that of the world is bound up with the life of one of these god-men or human incarnations of the divinity. Naturally, therefore, they take the utmost care of his life, out of a regard for their own. But no amount of care and precaution will prevent the man-god from growing old and feeble and at last dying. His worshippers have to lay their account wit this sad necessity and to meet it as best they can. The danger is a formidable one; for if the course of nature is dependent on the man-god's life, what catastrophes may not be expected from the gradual enfeeblement of his powers and their final extinction in death? There is only one way of averting these dangers. The man-god must be killed as soon as he shews symptoms that his powers are beginning to fail, and his soul must be transferred to a vigorous successor before it has been seriously impaired by the threatened decay... by slaying him his worshippers could, in the first place, make sure of catching his soul at it escaped and transferring it to a suitable successor; and, in the second place, by putting him to death before his natural force was abated, they would secure that the world should not fall into decay with the decay of the man-god."
(The Golden Bough, pgs. 228-229)

Thus, we see that Prometheus links ancient astronauts with some of the most ancient rituals and customs in human mythology. What's more, it subtly references the entheogenic experience as well. The Engineer consumes a mysterious substance that begins his disintegration, followed by a 'trip' into the origins of human religion and spirituality, with any number of strange creatures appearing along the way.

From the opening sequence the film jumps to Earth in the year 2089. Specifically the action picks up at the Isle of Skye, located in Scotland. There two archaeologists, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Dr. Charles Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), unearth an ancient cavern containing images of a giant being pointing toward a star map. This proves to be the oldest of a series of similar maps which Shaw and Holloway have discovered across the planet, leading them to believe that the maps represent an invitation to the home of humanity's creators. This discovery proves to be crucial, for it convinces Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the aging CEO of Weyland Corporation (the company is one of the chief links between Prometheus and the original Alien), to fund a highly expensive expedition to the distant moon the maps seem to be pointing toward.

the star map discovered by Shaw and Holloway

Initially I was a bit perplexed by the selection of the Isle of Skye for the discovery of the star map. Given the highly esoteric slant of Prometheus a place like the Isle of Man, Avebury or Newgrange would seem like a more fitting location for such a pivotal plot point. To the best of my knowledge the Isle of Skye has no significant association with mythology, the paranormal, or UFOs. But then I began wondering if the significance was not in the Isle of Skye itself, but the nation it belongs to: Scotland.

Scotland is highly significant in Masonic lore, specifically Masonry's alleged ties to the Knights Templar.
"The legend of the Templars in Scotland invariably hangs on a single event: the Battle of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated the armies of King Edward II in a field only a few miles from present-day Edinburgh and even closer to Roslin --the site of Rosslyn Chapel. The battle is important because the heavily outnumbered Scots under Robert managed to defeat the English handily. According to historical account, the English lost their nerve and fled the field in the face of the rapidly advancing Scots.

"The aspect of the battle that has never been satisfactorily explained is ow the Scots managed this rout. One of the theories put forward is that a contingent of Knights Templar came to the rescue and once the English saw the Templar banner --the famous white banner with the red cross --they knew they would face one of the fiercest and most battle-hardened of any troops in the Western world...

"The order was officially disbanded by order of the pope in 312... and Jacques de Molay burned at the stake in March 1314. The Battle of Bannockburn took place only three months later. The English had cooperated in the arrest and imprisonment of the Templars and the confiscation of their property; the Scots had not. Thus, it was not so far-fetched to believe that some Templars had fled to Scotland to avoid their fate on the Continent and in England, and sided with Robert the Bruce against the English at that famous battle.

"The Templars had, in fact, a long history in Scotland. David I of Scotland had granted some lands to the Templars in the twelfth century, at a town about four miles from present-day Roslin. The earliest Templar charter is that of the town of St. Andrews, and is dated to 1160. The Templars were not the only military order in Scotland, in fact. The Knights Hospitaller also had property in Scotland, as did the Teutonic Knights. As in France, these holdings provided a source of revenue and recruits for the knightly orders.

"In 1312 all Templar property in Scotland was granted to the Hospitallers, as was happening throughout Europe. However, there is no record that the Hospitallers actually took advantage of this in Scotland at the time. Indeed, although the two orders were merged legally, they seemed to have maintained their separate identities for at least a century to come. We know that, in 1488, James IV of Scotland issued a statement in which he upheld the rights of both the Templars and the Hospitallers, referring to them as separate entities. This document implies a close relationship between the Scottish monarchy and the Templars. We do not know if this relationship was based upon common goals and agendas, or was more a reflection of the political (and perhaps economic) realities of the times. Nonetheless, there was a demonstrable Templar presence in Scotland that outlasted the papal edicts.

"What becomes more interesting --in light of the speculation concerning the Freemasons and their origins --is that Freemasonry was known to have been practiced in Scotland as early as 1590, thus predating the creation of the Grand Lodge of England by more than a hundred years. The oldest Masonic 'catechisms' comes from Scotland, and thus the oldest mention of the 'Masonic Word' and other Masonic ritual and ideology. According to David Stevenson, these were probably the creation of Scotsman William Schaw, the man to whom Stevenson traces the earliest forms of Masonic initiation and organization dating from the very late sixteenth century. In fact, Stevenson contends that these rituals may be older and that they may have been created by Schaw 'out of earlier practices of the craft.'"
(The Secret Temple, Peter Levenda, pgs. 58-60)
a tomb designed by William Schaw ladden with early Masonic imagery

It would appear then that the significance of the Scottish location is confirmed by the name of the lead female character, the previously-mentioned Elizabeth Shaw, and the above-mentioned William Schaw (Schaw clearly being a variation on Shaw), one of the earliest recorded Masons. The name Schaw/Shaw is of Scottish and English origins. It derives both from the Old English word sceanga, which means "dweller by the wood," and the Gaelic personal name Sitheach, meaning "wolf."

Keep in mind that the winter solstice, a period that the mythological Prometheus was associated with, was a time when the barriers between worlds was thin and mythological creatures such as werewolves were able to seep through. The bulk of Prometheus unfolds against the backdrop of the winter solstice, otherwise known as Christmas. And the presence of Shaw ensures that there is a wolf present on board the ship, named Prometheus. Again, I can't help but feel there is an underlining entheogenic thread running throughout the film. We shall explore this and many other things further in the second part of this series.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The LSD Chronicles: George Hunter White Part III

Welcome two part three of my examination of the life and times of Federal Bureau of Narcotics officers and CIA asset George Hunter White. In part one of this series I outlined White's longstanding ties to the United States intelligence community, which stretch back to said community's infancy during World War II. White was an officer and trainer for the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA, who churned out such pupils as future CIA directors Richard Helms and William Colby as well as uber powerful department heads such as Frank Wisner and James Jesus Angleton. White was also involved in forging alliances with various organized crime syndicates as well as conducting assassinations and field experiments with 'truth drugs,' chiefly marijuana.

In part two I began to examine White's post-WWII intelligence working, including his continued ties to various underworld figures such as Pierre Lafitte, a man with close ties to every key member of the notorious French Connection, as well as his work on MK-Ultra, one of the CIA's most notorious ventures into truth drugs and mind control. More on MK-Ultra and other such programs can be found here and here.

As far as MK-Ultra is concerned, White is most well known for a series of safehouses that he established first in New York City and later San Francisco. At these safehouses White conducted experiments with a whole host of drugs given to him by the CIA, most notably LSD. White also apparently conducted various sexual experiments (that also involved drugs in many cases) with the aid of local prostitutes that lured johns back to the San Francisco safehouses from time to time. White did not restrict his experiments to the safehouses, however. White also took a sick pleasure in dosing friends and associates with LSD in his private life. These incidents were apparently outside of his work on MK-Ultra (officially) and frequently disastrous.
"White's 1953 and 1954 date book entries reveal that he drugged at least seven unwitting people for no apparent reason other than to see the effects of LSD on unsuspecting people. One woman drugged by White during a dinner party at his home had required brief hospitalization. Another woman, a friend of his wife, suffered long-term effects from the drug and subsequently required psychiatric treatment for over thirty-five years. A young aspiring actress who lived in the same apartment building as the Whites was drugged in 1954 and hours later had found herself on the roof of the building, contemplating jumping to escape the monsters trying to drive her mad."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 279)
White seems to have had a perverse fascination with dosing people unwittingly with LSD. Liz Evans, a former aspiring actress and sometime prostitute who worked for White during his time in San Francisco, recounted this peculiar fetish.
"Evans remembers that White 'three or four times at his house' dosed people with LSD 'just for fun.' She recalls, 'He gave it to me once and I hated every minute of it. I told him if he ever did it again that would be the last time he did it to anyone.'

"Evans also recalls that White, or 'someone who worked with him... sometime around 1959 or 1960,' dosed 'a really pretty, blond-haired waitress at [San Francisco's] Black Sheep bar.' Says Evans, 'her name was Ruth [Kelly] and George wanted her to take part in things, but she had no interest, so he, or someone he told to, dosed her with LSD.' Kelly, who also performed as a singer at the bar, was dosed during one of her singing performances in 1960, according to CIA documents. Evans says, as CIA document confirm, 'She nearly flipped out during her set, but somehow managed to hold on. After she finished, she ran outside and got a cab to take her to the hospital. A few days later she was okay.'"
(ibid, pg. 290)

Considering how many of George White's former associates recall him dosing unwitting peoples with acid, it seems pretty safe to assume the above-mentioned instances were not isolated. Virtually all such instances were outside his role in MK-Ultra, at least officially. By all accounts, however, his actual test subjects for MK-Ultra at the safehouses did not fair much better. Besides LSD, a whole host of other exotic drugs were also toyed with, typically with disturbing results.
"In addition to LSD, which they knew could cause serious, if not fatal problems, TSS officials gave White even more exotic experimental drugs to test, drugs that other Agency contractors may or may not have already used on human subjects. 'If we were scared enough of a drug not to try it out on ourselves, we sent it to San Francisco,' recalls a TSS source. According to a 1963 report by CIA Inspector General John Earman, 'In a number of instances, however, the test subject has become ill for hours, including hospitalization in at least one case, and [White] could only follow up by guarded inquiry after the test subject's return to normal life. Possible sickness and attendant economic lose are inherent contingent effects of testing.'"
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pgs. 105-106)
While it's impossible to tell just how many victims White tallied during the 1950s and early 1960s, the number is seemingly significant. Another mystery is just how long White's safehouse operation lasted.
"The MKULTRA crew continued unwitting testing until the summer of 1963 when the Agency's Inspector General stumbled across the safehouses during a regular inspection of TSS activities. This happened not long after Director John McCone had appointed John Earman to the Inspector General position. Much to the displeasure of Sid Gottlieb and Richard Helms, Earman questioned the propriety of the safehouses, and insisted that Director McCone be given a full briefing. Although President Kennedy had put McCone in charge of the Agency the year before, Helms --the professional's professional --had not bothered to tell his outsider boss about some of the CIA's most sensitive activities, including the safehouses and the CIA-Mafia assassination plots. Faced with Earman's demands, Helms --surely one of history's most clever bureaucrats --volunteered to tell McCone himself about the safehouses (rather than have Earman present a negative view of the program). Sure enough, Helms told Earman afterward, McCone raised no objections to unwitting testing (as Helms described it). A determined man and a rather brave one, Earman countered with a full written report to McCone recommending that the safehouses be closed. The Inspector General cited the risks of exposure and pointed out that many people both inside and outside the Agency found 'the concepts involved in manipulating human behavior... to be distasteful and unethical.' McCone reacted by putting off a final decision by suspending unwitting testing in the meantime. Over the next years, Helms, who then headed the Clandestine Services, wrote at least three memos urging resumption. He cited 'indications... of an apparent Soviet aggressiveness in the field of covertly administered chemicals which are, to say the least, inexplicable and disturbing,' and he claimed the CIA's 'psotive operational capacity to use drugs is diminishing owing to a lack of realistic testing.' To Richard Helms, the importance of the program exceeded the risks and the ethical question, although he did admit, 'We have no answer to them oral issue.' McCone simply did nothing for two years. The director's indecision had the effect of killing the program, nevertheless. TSS officials closed the San Francisco safehouse in 1965 and the New York one in 1966."
(ibid, pgs. 108-109)

Richard Helms (top) and John McCone (bottom)

There were actually at least five known safehouses, two in New York City, two in San Francisco, and one in Mill Valley, located about 14 miles north of San Fran (the Agency apparently liked the isolation of this safehouse). What's more, its interesting to note that White's safehouse operations were winding down right around the time San Francisco's grassroots acid scene was emerging. By the time 1965 rolled around, the streets were full of acidheads the CIA could (and did) study, making White's operation superfluous. Coincidence?

Before wrapping up with White, there are potential episodes in his life I would like to address. One is White's possible ties to Candy Jones, the former model and pin-up girl who later claimed to be the victim of a CIA mind control plot that created an alternative personality in her mind. Jones claimed that this process was accomplished through hypnosis and that her first session occurred in San Francisco during the year 1960.
"San Francisco was a hotbed of MK-ULTRA activity in the 1960s, incorporating everything from drugs to hypnosis and, later, to paranormal and occult research. In 1955, MK-ULTRA operator George White... had moved to San Francisco from New York City, where he had run a 'safehouse' that was used to test the effects of various drugs on prostitutes and their clients via two-way mirrors and the like. He set up an identical operation on Telegraph Hill, and wired it for sound, bringing in hookers, their johns, and eventually a whole assortment of local characters, both underworld and 'civilian.' George White's operation in San Francisco went on until the summer of 1963, covering the time of Candy Jones' first visit to the hypnotist in the autumn of 1960. Thus, there was a proven CIA presence in San Francisco under the auspices of the MK-ULTRA mind control program at the time of her recruitment..."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pgs. 317-318)
Candy Jones

I've found nothing to indicate that White had any actual contact with Jones, but as one of the CIA's main MK-Ultra operators it seems likely their paths would have crossed during his time in San Francisco if her story is true. Given White's love of pretty women and celebrities, it seems unlikely George could have been kept away. What's more, there is some indication that associates of White hypnotized at least one of the prostitutes, Liz Evans (who was mentioned previously), who worked for White during his San Francisco days.
"Asked if White or anyone associated with him had ever hypnotized her, Evans says, 'We used to play these crazy games at that, hypnosis and like that, yes, I think I was hypnotized once by a friend of George's.' She does not remember who it was or where."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 290)
Candy Jones has been linked by many conspiracy researchers to Project Monarch (the existence of which is highly controversial even within conspiracy circles), an alleged mind control program that employs drugs, hypnosis and sexual abuse, among others things, to create alternative personalities in 'recruits.' Certainly White was involved in his fair share of drug and sexual experimentations (both for the CIA and in his private life) and associated with many psychiatrists over the years skilled in hypnosis, all of which is consistent with Monarch theories. It's interesting to note that several of White's former OSS pupils, most notably future CIA director William Colby, have also been linked with Monarch.

Finally, I would also like to address allegations of George White's role in the death of Frank Olson, for years the only human being the CIA admitted to testing LSD on. I've already written extensively on the Olson affair here and here, so I will be brief here. Olson was a U.S. Army biological warfare specialist employed at Fort Detrick in the early 1950s. There Olson came into contact with CIA officials and was eventually dosed with LSD by Sidney Gottlieb himself at a West Virginia retreat attended by Army scientists and CIA personnel. Shortly thereafter Olson had a nervous breakdown ending in his suicide on November 28, 1953. Or at least that's the official story anyway. A growing body of evidence has emerged that Olson, who plunged to his death from a thirteenth story window, was murdered, though much debate remains as to who was the killer.

In 2007 acclaimed author and researcher Gordon Thomas published a book called Secrets and Lies that fingered White as Olson's killer. H.P. Albarelli Jr., whose A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments is easily the definitive account of the Olson saga (as well as the CIA's role in the spread of LSD), strongly disputed Thomas' allegations.
"... One of Thomas' most sensational assertions is that George Hunter White killed Frank Olson, a claim that he skillfully formats as having come out of the mouth of Eric Olson: 'According to Eric Olson's reconstruction, what happened was this: White entered Frank Olson's room in the early hours of that November morning... White delivered his famous blow and then hurled Olson from the window.

"According to Thomas, White's 'famous blow' was the same that he used in Calcutta 'to kill a Chinese spy... with one fist blow of such sufficient force that it made a hole in the man's skull.' [... White actually shot the spy. Eric Olson, having read White's 1953 date book, was well aware that White was not in New York on the night in question.]

"In support of his claim that White murdered Olson, Thomas offers no evidence other than statements he attributes to deceased CIA official William Buckley. Buckley, Thomas claims, was assigned by DCI Dulles in 1953 to look into the death of Frank Olson. However, in 1953 Buckley was still attending college and had not yet been recruited by the CIA. Even after he was employed by the Agency, he was never involved in MKULTRA work and never assigned to Dr. Gottlieb's TSS branch as Thomas claimed.

"Thomas's account of White killing Olson is indeed fascinating and provocative stuff, but one problem with it is that White, at the time of Olson's death, was over 3,000 miles away, having departed New York on November 10, 1953 for California to help his father arrange for the burial of his mother who passed away on November 26, 1953...
"Other claims by Thomas appear to be a bit over the line even to the harshest of CIA and Army critics. But the primary reason for discounting Thomas' assertions about the death of Frank Olson is simply that they do not square with the evidence and, instead, dovetail with official versions that were clearly intended as cover up."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pgs. 673-674)
Gordan Thomas

While Albarelli strongly disputes George White as Olson's actual killer, he compellingly argues that White was involved. Sources revealed to Albarelli that White was supposed to be assisting CIA agent Robert Lashbrook, the man who chaperoned Olson threw New York during his final days. White, however, was forced to drop out due to the sudden illness of his mother that required his attention in California. Before leaving he sent Pierre Lafitte (of whom much more is written on in part two of this series), the long time Corsican mafia associate, to assist Lashbrook. Lafitte in turn brought in Francois Spirito, a high ranking Corsican mobster, to aid him with Olson on the night of the chemist's death.
"Why or how Lafitte enlisted the assistance of Spirito is unknown. What we do know is that Spirito had been unexpectedly released from federal prison in Atlanta and had journeyed to New York the week before Olson arrived there with Ruwet and Lashbrook. Spirito's long acquittance with Lafitte is a matter of historical record.

"Details of what happened the night that Olson died are still somewhat vague because neither Albert nor Neal would go into specific details.

"At some point during Olson's last night in New York, Neal explained, Lashbrook had become concerned that 'Olson was once again becoming unhinged.' Before Olson and Lashbrook retired for the night, the decision was made that 'it would be best' if Olson were transported back to Maryland for confinement at Chestnut Grove... but by means other than the commercial flight Lashbrook had booked for the next day.

"The alternative plan involved Lafitte and Spirito, apparently as personal escorts for Olson. Said one source, 'White would have been the ideal alternative, perhaps along with Lafitte, but e was in California.' That Spirito had just been released form prison in Atlanta where he had been a subject of Dr. Carl Pfeiffer's 'psychic experiments' was either overlooked or unknown. 'I don't think anyone knew where he had come from or where he had been; he was recruited by Lafitte,' said Albert.

"According to Albert and Neal, when a late night 'attempt was made to remove a subdued Olson from the room to transport him by automobile to Maryland,' things went drastically wrong. The short and entire explanation is that '[Olson] resisted and in the ensuing struggle he was pitched through the closed window.'"
(ibid, pgs. 692-693)
I believe Spirito is the one on the left

The above mentioned Dr. Carl Pfeiffer conducted experiments at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in the 1950s and early 1960s that involved inducing psychotic states with LSD. Pfeiffer's experiments bare many similarities to the work Dr. Ewen Cameron did for the CIA as part of his ventures into 'psychic driving.' Cameron's work has in turn been closely associated with Project Monarch, the alleged mind control project designed to create alternative personalities that are capable of assassinations, among other things.

Dr. Carl Pfeiffer

And it is here that I shall wrap things up. George White played an enormous role both in the early Cold War activities of the CIA as well spurring the acid scene that emerged in the United States in the early 1960s. During World War II White trained several of the most influential and powerful figures in the early CIA. He also became deeply involved in early US intelligence ventures into assassinations and truth drugs. Once WWII was over and the Cold War was heating up White was brought back into the intelligence fold so that his 'expertise' and first hand experience in such things could be put to work in the field.

White was a major player in the early days of LSD. He advised Sidney Gottlieb, the MK-Ultra head, and was involved in the legendary death of Frank Olson. But more importantly, he was instrumental in the spread of LSD in both New York City and San Francisco. Both cities, but especially the city by the Bay, were major players in the emerging acid subculture that would become big business in the 1960s. Not only did White dose countless individuals in his safehouses, but also friends and acquaintances, some knowingly, some not. While Albert 'Captain Trips' Hubbard, a man who White trained during his OSS days, is generally described as the 'Johnny Appleseed of LSD,' his former boss certainly did more than his fair share.

While this alone would be a enough to ensure White's notoriety, there are even stranger aspects of his life that researchers have only skimmed the surface of. The implications of his ties to Pierre Lafitte, a man involved in the international heroin trade, the Corsican and American mafias, and possibly even the JFK assassination and cover up, a startling. White himself is not without vague links to the Kennedy assassination as well, i.e. his interview with Jack Ruby. Indeed, there are few unsavory aspects of the CIA's early Cold War policy that White does not appear in. This combined with his access to high ranking CIA officials implies that White may even have devised some of these policies.

As with many things of this nature, we shall likely never know whether White was simply a loyal soldier or an actual agenda setter. All we can be certain of is that he was ever present in the underbelly of the US intelligence community in its early years and that his reach was wide, well beyond that acid tests he is mainly known for. Thus, his place in modern US history should be far more widely known that it is. Hopefully this series will help change this state of affairs.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Firearms, Drugs, and Doomsday -Updated 12/20/12

Guns have been a major hot button topic this year and for good reason. The United States has witnessed two of the most horrific mass shootings in its long, bloody history of mass shootings in 2012. In between Aurora and Newtown has been an increasingly surreal wave of gun violence that has involved peoples as diverse as neo-Nazis and NFL football players. As the carnage spirals out of control America is becoming increasingly divided over firearms, each side largely acting in predictable fashion.

Liberals are still leading the charge for stricter laws regulating firearms, especially military-style weapons. Meanwhile conservatives continue to insists that the solution to the wave of gun violence is even more guns, with at least one Republican Congressman arguing for teachers being armed. Naturally the conspiratorial media sees Newtown at the latest black ops bid to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights, thus paving the way for a UN-led Red Dawn-style invasion, or something to that effect.

As has become the custom, gun sales have gotten a healthy boost from the Sandy Hook shooting. Even the slightest hint of stricter gun laws, be it the political rhetoric in the wake of a mass shootings or Obama being re-elected, has meant big business for the gun industry. Despite the perception of Obama as an arch gun-grabber, the president has done little more than talk about stricter gun control, much to the delight of the industry. Indeed, some within the industry are even referring to Obama as the gun salesman of the year. Before all is said and done, he may be the greatest of all time.

This has led some astute-types to question the gun industry's role in all of these mass shootings. Christopher Knowles recently published an excellent piece to this effect on the Secret Sun, which can be read here. Knowles has been calling BS on the prospects of a federal gun grab for a while now and until recently I would have been inclined to agree with him. But on Saturday I read an article on MSNBC that put me in doubt. It said:
"Pot smokers in Washington and Colorado are inhaling a little easier after President Barack Obama said the federal government has more important things to do than go after 'recreational' drug users in states that legalize marijuana.

"'We've got bigger fish to fry,' Obama told ABC News' Barbara Walters.

"He was weighing in on the issue for the first time since voters in the two states approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana – which is still a crime under federal law.

"Obama admitted this disconnect between federal and local laws had put him in a tough spot.

"'I head up the executive branch. We're supposed to be carrying out laws,' he said. 'And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?'

"The Justice Department is still looking into how to handle the conflict. But in the meantime, Obama suggested, the feds aren't gearing up for what might be a costly, unpopular crackdown on tokers in Colorado and Washington."

This may simply be a feign on Obama's part, however. The same article goes on to state:
"The president’s comments on the new Colorado and Washington laws echo the stand he took on medical marijuana during the 2008 campaign, when he said prosecutions would be a low priority.

"Two years later, though, federal authorities toughened up that stance, announcing that dispensaries and growers in 18 states that have legalized medical marijuana could be charged with violating drug and money-laundering laws. Dozens of medical marijuana collectives have been ordered shut since then."
This is putting it mildly. The Obama administration has cracked down harder on medical marijuana than any prior regime, including the Bush II administration. It would be a grave mistake to take anything Obama says about cannabis laws at face value for the time being, so keep in mind that the following thoughts are based upon hypotheticals with no real certainty, i.e. Obama will actually follow through on what he is saying in regards to cannabis laws.

At this point I'm sure many of you are wondering what the legal status of cannabis has to do with gun laws, so let me explain:

I've begun to believe that for the War on Drugs to wind down something must be found to take its place and that something will almost surely be firearms. This belief is not driven by some grandiose conspiracy theory about the rights of Americans being eroded (though in the case of both drug and gun laws this is a bonus effect for the Cryptocracy) but by dollars and cents.

It's no secret that the international drug trade is big business. What's more, it's barely hidden any longer that certain segments of the American power structure, most notably the banking industry and the US intelligence community, benefit greatly from the billions upon billions of dollars produced by this totally unregulated industry. As far as the banking industry is concerned, recent scandals involving drug money laundering by Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) and HSBC only scratch the surface. For instance, it was quietly revealed in 2009 that drug money was about the only thing that kept a big chunk of the financial sector afloat in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. The UK-based Guardian reported:
"Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.

"Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were 'the only liquid investment capital' available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result...

"...Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. 'In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor,' he said.

"Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.

"'Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.' Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered."

Drug money is absolutely essential to the global financial structure for reasons stated above: It is a vast source of liquid investment capital that any major financial institution can dip into whenever fast money is needed. The fact that laundering drug money is also a highly profitable, off-the-book source of income only helps.

As noted above, the US intelligence community also benefits greatly from drug money. There is a simple reason for this: Drug money is idea for funding black ops, covert wars, and other nefarious operations that require considerable sums of money. Rogue historian Peter Dale Scott has been chronicling this state of affairs for years.
"...Operation Paper, the U.S. government's support for the remains of the Nationalist Chinese KMT forces in Burma and Thailand. These forces worked off and on with OPC and CIA for more than a decade. Operation Paper's assets were off the books and self-financing --mostly by profits from drug dealing. By restoring the global drug traffic out of Southeast Asia, the KMT proxy institutionalized what would become a CIA habit of turning to drug-supported, off-the-books assets for fighting wars --in Indochina and the South China Sea in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; in Afghanistan and Central America in the 1980s; in Columbia in the 1990s; and again in Afghanistan in 2001. As I have written elsewhere, nearly all these wars where in defense of the overseas interests or aspirations of major U.S. oil companies.

"Because the use of drug-supported armies was at odds with Washington's official antidrug policies, the practice had to remain secret. This meant that major programs with long-term consequences were being initiated and administered by small cliques that were almost unknown in Washington. Operation Paper brought OPC into contact not only with drug traffickers abroad but also with organized crime at home. OPC officer Paul Helliwell was the key figure involved in creating an infrastructure in Thailand (SEA Supply Inc.) and a supporting airline (Civil Air Transport, later Air America). Helliwell's infrastructure linked top CIA officials from the Wall Street overworld with leaders from the organized crime underworld. For example, he was the legal counsel for the small Miami National Bank used by gangster financier Meyer Lansky to launder his foreign profits."
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 14-15)

As the above quote indicates, not only were major financial institutions and the US intelligence community heavily involved in the international drug trade, but they frequently collaborate with one another in said venture. This is a logical arrangement as both institutions have found the vast, unregulated pool of drug money to highly useful in numerous endeavours.

This is, to my mind, one of the chief reasons why the United States has continued to stay the course on its disastrous and increasingly unpopular drug policies. Still, a point is fast approaching where it will be all but impossible to continue generating the public support, both domestically and abroad, necessary to continue such policies. The legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington state is just the latest blow to the US War on Drugs. At a U.N. General Assembly meeting in September the heads of several major Latin American countries all but called for an end to drug prohibition, for instance. These things combined with the changing demographics in the United States (the staunchest drug war support has historically come from the pre-Baby Boomer generations in the US who are fast dying off) make it all but certain that they heyday of the (illegal) international drug trade is coming to an end.

The major problem in all of this for the Cryptocracy is the possibility of the vast pool of off-the-books cash drying up. After all, if cannabis is legalized, psychedelics decriminalized, and pain med laws are further relaxed, much of the black market demand for entheogens and opiates will but disappear. There's still cocaine of course but the kids seem to increasingly dig meth, which can be easily produced in a home bathroom, for a speedy buzz.

What then is left that can bring in the same kind of black market revenue that drugs have managed for years? Firearms, already a multi billion dollar industry in the United States, are an obvious candidate. Gun companies are already deeply involved in the War on Drugs, making a shift from narcotics to firearms all the more viable. The United States seemingly has an inestimable demand for firearms and a vast smuggling network already exists between it and Mexico.

Presently the flow of firearms heads south while the drugs go north, but this could be easily reversed. The U.S. need only initiate a 'War on Firearms,' giving it the perfect excuse for sending vast supplies of weapons to Mexico where the notoriously corrupt government will simply transfer them over to the cartels. The cartels would then use their long-established smuggling networks to ship the weapons back to the United States where members of the fringe right would re-sell them. Some may scoff at such a notion, but keep in mind David Koresh, the infamous head of the Branch Davidians who perished in the 1993 Waco siege with 75 of other members of the cult, dipped into the arms trade in a bid to cash in on the forth coming Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
"Koresh developed a good understanding of the profits that could be made from dealing in guns, and over time he purchased a large number of guns for investment purposes. In the early 1990s, Koresh knew that the federal law banning semiautomatic weapons would eventually pass. In order to profit from increasing demand, he bought a large number of semiautomatic weapons, and entered into a partnership with a gun dealer to buy parts to assemble other weapons for later sale. When the law passed, Koresh expected to realize a huge profit."
(Searching For a Demon, Steven M. Chermak, pg. 41)
David Koresh, would-be arms dealer

No doubt a similar line of thinking will appeal to the more radical elements of the Patriot Movement, who will see both dollars signs and a way of striking back at the Federals. Thus, everyone (except normal people. of course) would benefit. The gun 'enthusiasts' would still have relatively easy access to new firearms, the bank industry and US intelligence community would still have their vast pool of off-the-books funding, and organized crime would still have a highly profitable product to sale. Some may argue that the gun industry would object, as their profits would seemingly be threatened by a widespread ban on firearms in the United States. In all likelihood, however, they would continue to profit in much the same way the drug industry did in the wake of narcotics prohibition going into high gear in the Western world in the early 20th century.
"During the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of legal drug factories and pharmaceutical houses were located in Germnay, France, and Switzerland, including such companies as Merck, Hoffman, La Roche, A.G., I.G. Farben and Sandoz, all major suppliers of morphine, heroin, cocaine, and dilaudide. As Block describes it, 'While legal shipments went out the front doors of these firms, countless crates of drugs earmarked for illicit trafficking were going out the back doors. It was a highly lucrative operation for many criminals at the time.' It was also quite lucrative for the pharmaceutical companies."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 405)
No doubt the arms industry would be more than happy to make similar back door deals with gangs, militias and other would-be arms dealers. This combined with the inevitable fresh wave of funding for another ill defined war along the lines of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror would ensure handsome profits. Thus, the arms industry wins regardless of what the legal status of firearms in the United States is.

So much for guns then. In another recent blog Christopher Knowles addresses Nancy Lanza's status as a 'doomsday prepper,' a growing movement mostly deriving from the conspiratorial right, a factor that surely contributed to her son's rampage in Newtown on some level. In a prior blog I tried to address the fallout from the rampant paranoia the conspiratorial right are descending into myself but Knowles makes the case far better than I could ever hope to. He makes a few other excellent points that are also worth noting.

For one, Knowles points out the specter of the Mayan calendar hysteria that has subtly lingered over the recent wave of mass shootings. Much like the Y2K paranoia, a meme of an impending apocalypse largely centered around 2012 has gripped popular culture in recent years. Unlike Y2K, however, America is a much different place now than in the feel-good Clinton years. The 2000 presidential elections, 9/11, the War on Terror, and the recent economic collapse have made America a much more pessimistic and paranoid society. In the 1990s, when the economy was stable, crime was low and the world was seemingly peaceful (at least according to the media), the apocalyptic fantasies of the conspiratorial right concerning Y2K were all but impossible for Americans to take seriously. Now an apocalypse doesn't only seem possible, but even inevitable.

With this in mind Knowles puts forth what is the best explanation I've read thus far for Adam Lanza's motives in targeting school children. Knowles writes:
"I can't help but think that 12/21/2012 was the stressor here. Did Lanza feel that nothing mattered anymore in light of the coming apocalypse? Or was he- in his warped calculus- trying to actually spare these babies the horrors of his imaginary apocalypse?

" Lanza's misfiring synapses- that he was sparing the children from a greater horror? That may well emerge as investigators sift through the Lanza home."
In reading the above passages I couldn't help but be reminded of another recent instance of child murders featuring right-leaning, conspiratorial overtones. In this case a Virginia-based defense contractor murdered his entire family, including his children, over fears of Obama being re-elected. The Daily Mail reports:
"Albert Peterson shot dead his wife and two sons hours after going to church because he dreaded the thought of Obama winning the election, a family friend has revealed. 
"A confidante of the family for the past 25 years has spoken to MailOnline about the strength and grace of the Peterson family, as well as the torment that plagued Albert which drove him to shoot dead his wife Kathleen and his two sons Christopher and Mathew at their suburban home in DC on Sunday.

"A history of mental illness, the loss of a dear uncle, and a growing fear of Obama winning a second term in the White House took its toll on the mind of Mr Peterson, a wealthy defense contractor, the friend said.

"'He just did not want his kids inheriting this mess,' Maggie L, who did not wish to reveal her last name, told MailOnline. 'Sometimes we thought he might take his own life when he was so depressed. We never thought he would take Kathie's...'

"Recently, Mr Peterson began writing paranoid emails to his friends and family about politics on a daily basis, sometimes even more frequently, Maggie said.

"'I got emails and the emails stopped all of a sudden last week,' Maggie said. 'He felt that our God-given rights were being taken away. He didn't like where the country was going.'"
Albert Peterson and the wife and kids he murdered over fears of Obama's re-election

In this case we see an already mentally disturbed individual driven to such paranoid lengths by Obama fear mongering that he potentially murdered his children to 'spare' them from the dystopian future he believed the Obama administration was leading America toward. While the article is extremely vague concerning Albert Peterson's ideological leanings it would hardly be surprising to learn that he was influenced by the conspiratorial right.

In this context Knowles' musings about Lanza's motives seem especially on point. And the implications of this are far more disturbing than the conventional debates concerning firearms, especially for conspiracy culture itself. Naturally most conspiracy-oriented blogs, to say nothing of the demagogues who have spurred them on, will be to busy 'exposing' the gun-grab/UN-peacekeeper meme to consider such implications.

UPDATE 12/20/12
With 12/21/12 just about an hour away here on the East Coast it seems like a good time for a few final thoughts on the Mayan calendar hysteria. Today I stumbled upon an interesting article on MSNBC centered around the 2012 effect on China. Apparently the People's Republic has the highest percentage of 2012 believers in the world. The article notes:
"Not everybody thinks the end of the world is funny, though. A poll conducted by Ipsos-Reuters in 21 countries earlier this year claimed that as much as 20 percent of China’s population believed that the Mayan calendar correctly predicted this month as the end of the world. That percentage was markedly higher than in the second country on the list, Turkey (at 13 percent), or in the United States (12 percent)."
an ark built in China for the 2012 apocalypse

Earlier I argued that the Mayan/2012 apocalypse fear mongering may have played a role in the rash of mass shootings in the United States both in 2012 and a few years prior (a lot of the apocalyptic fantasies of the conspiratorial right went into overdrive with the election of Obama). Obviously the US has a disturbingly high percentage of its population believing that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world but China tops us with a good fifth of the population buying into the Armageddon meme. A curious question then is whether China has been displaying random, violent acts akin to the mass shootings here in the united States in recent years.

The answer seems to be in the affirmative. Loren Coleman has chronicled as series of bizarre and gruesome school stabbing incidents in which an individual with a knife or like weapon has assaulted children in schools both here and here. What's more, there was a recent school stabbing in the Henan Province on December 13, the day before the Newtown massacre.

The recent school stabbing is hardly the only violent bit of strangeness China has faced during this year. In May it was reported that Chinese authorities had arrested a man from the village of Nanmen suspected of murdering and eating over a dozen boys and young men. His most recent victim allegedly went missing in April of 2012. All of this unfolded right around the same time the infamous Miami cannibal attack occurred here and Canadian porn star Luka Magnotta murdered, dismembered and allegedly ate parts of his gay Chinese lover north of the border. I wrote more on these cannibalistic incidents here.

the Chinese cannibal

More recently Chinese authorities have rounded various members of a Christian cult for plotting to attack the Chinese Communist Party. MSNBC reports:
"The government is taking one aspect of the doomsday talk seriously; it has reportedly rounded-up members of a religious group calling for the toppling of the Communist Party.

"The group, known as the 'Almighty God,' has called for a "decisive battle" to slay the 'big red dragon,' a reference to the Book of Revelation and the organization’s name for the Chinese Communist Party.

"Nearly 1,000 members of the sect have been arrested, The New York Times reported. NBC News could not independently verify the number of detentions, but Chinese state media also reported that authorities had detained around 1,000 members over some seven provinces, Reuters reported.

"This is not the first time that China has dealt with a fast-moving Christian cult it deems a risk to party rule. In fact, according to the newspaper, 'Almighty God' has its roots in a sect that claimed it had 300,000 adherents called "Lightning from the East," according to Time Magazine in 2001.

"Lightning from the East propagated the belief that Jesus had returned to earth in the form of a 30-year old Chinese woman who had written a third testament of the Bible and promised salvation from the coming apocalypse for all who joined her."
Interestingly, this Chinese female Christ apparently claimed to be from the Henan Province, the same location as the most recent Chinese school stabbing. This account of the cult alleges that the message of the female Christ bares similarities to that of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. It notes:
"The message of the “female Christ” of Eastern Lightning resembles that of Rev. Sun
Myung Moon of the Unification Church. Moon came to America in 1971 claiming that Christ had not completed His mission, and in 1992 he declared he and his wife to be the Messiah, the True Parents, who would usher in a “Completed Testament” age of world peace."

Incidentially (or not), Moon and the Unification Church have curious links to the arms industry and the murky world of intelligence.
"As for the Reverend Moon and his Unification Church, this convicted felon (for tax evasion) has supported the extreme right in America for decades. The Unification Church itself fronts for the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, and when the author himself was approached by the Church in the 1970s they owned --in addition to a network of churches with a sophisticated marketing campaign aimed at scientists and other intellectuals --a rifle factory in Korea. Reverend Moon himself believes that Jesus will return as a Korean, and he has let it be known that he believes this Second Coming involves his own person."
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pgs. 309-310)
Is the Eastern Lightening Church tied in some way to the Unification Church and, by default, the US intelligence community? This would certainly go a long way toward explaining the scope of China's crackdown on the Church, which apparently considers 12/21/12 to be the date of doomsday.

Hopefully tomorrow's headlines will not involve this cult or any number of other such groups feeding off of the 2012 hysteria.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hook -Updated 12/16/12

Every time I start feeling like I'm becoming desensitized to the spiralling violence of the modern world something truly grotesque comes along to snap me out of it. The shooting rampage that occurred today in Newtown, Connecticut, mostly at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is such an occasion.

In brief: Some 28 people died today at the hands of an alleged human being known as Adam Lanza, 20, including Lanza himself. Lanza also killed his mother in addition to 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School where his mother worked as a kindergarten teacher, 20 of them children between the ages of five and ten. Lanza apparently killed his mother, Nancy, at the home they shared in Newtown before heading to the school.

Lanza as a child

I'm a bit pressed for time now, so I'm going to do a quick rundown of the instances of twilight language that have occurred to me in this tragedy:

First, the shooter's name: Adam Lanza. The name Adam can mean either 'red earth' or 'red man,' from the Biblical narrative in which Adam is created from red earth. Colorado, the state in which the Aurora shooting occurred, means red. Aurora means dawn, thus we have 'red dawn.' Red Dawn is of course a famous 1980s action flick in which high school kids fight a guerrilla war against Soviet invaders. The film was recently remade and released this past month. A red dawn is also associated the helical rising of Sirius, of which I've written more on here. Curiously, Newtown's seal is a rooster weathervane. Roosters have long been associated with the dawn, as Loren Coleman has noted here.

As for the last name, Lanza, I've found several different meanings. In Spanish it is said to mean 'lance' while in Italian (apparently where the name originated from) it means noble or eager. In this case the Spanish meaning of lance (which is interchangeable with a spear) is far more appropriate. According to Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant's Dictionary of Symbols "The spear is universally regarded as an axial, phallic, fiery or solar (yang) symbol" (pg. 900). This would certainly be consistent with the 'red man' association of the name Adam. According to Manly P. Hall, Adam is himself a phallic symbol.
"That phallic symbolism occupies an important place in early Jewish mysticism is indisputable. Hargrave Jennings sees in the figure of Adam a type of the lingam of Shiva, which was a stone representative of the creative power of the World Generator: 'In Gregoire's works...,' writers Jennings, 'is a passage to the effect that 'Noah daily prayed in the Ark before the Body of Adam,' i.e., before the Phallus --Adam being the primitive Phallus, great procreator of the human race."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, pg. 403)

Excluding Lanza, 26 people were killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. According to Aleister Crowley, 26 is one of the numbers of the Tetragrammaton. Specifically, Crowley writes: "Jehovah, as the Dyad expanded, the jealous and terrible God, the lesser Countenance. The God of Nature, fecund, cruel, beautiful, relentless" (Gematria, pg. 30). Crowley is working from the concept of Jehovah as the Demiurge. The legendary figure of Adam had a curious association with the Demiurge in esoteric accounts.
"...As the Macrocosm, Adam is the gigantic Androgyne, even the Demiurgus; as the Microcosm, he is the chief production of the Demiurgus and within the nature of the Microcosm the Demiurgus established all the qualities and powers which He Himself possessed."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 402)
the Demiurge

28 is the total number of victims involved in the Newtown rampage, including the shooter and his mother. 28 also has some interesting esoteric associations. According to Crowley, it is the mystic number of Netzach, the seventh of ten Sephirot in the Kabbalah. It is also associated with both power and clay. In some creation accounts, Adam was made from red clay.

That date the tragedy unfolded upon is December 14, 2012. This exactly a week before December 21, 2012, the winter solstice and the end of the Mayan calendar, an event that has obsessed the New Age community for years. After December 14, there are only 17 days left in the year. 17 is a number highly significant in the occult, as I've noted before here. Adam Lanza was apparently 17 years old when his parents divorced.

Incidentally, Adam's father happens to be a vice-president of taxes for GE Financial Services. Adam's brother Ryan, 24, has noted that his younger sibling had some type of "personality disorder." Lanza has been described as a "goth" and was said to be dressed in black when he arrived at the school for the shooting spree. This is similar to Columbine where the two shooters were characterized as goths and metalheads and wore black of the day of the shooting. For a time after the Columbine shooting there was even talk of a "Trench Coat Mafia" comprised of such types. It'll be interesting to see where the media goes with this. Naturally, there were early reports of another shooter.

Finally, there's the name of the school: Sandy Hook Elementary School. When I think of the word 'hook' in association with kids I come up with Captain Hook, the antagonist in Peter Pan. Over the years many dark allegation have been made about Peter Pan and its author, J.M. Berrie. There are of course rumors that Berrie was a pedophile and that he engaged in such acts in at least one occasion while dressed as a pirate character who was a prototype for Captain Hook. The character of Hook sought to do harm to children, specifically the Lost Boys. More recently Loren Coleman has speculated, here and here, that some kind of nation wide pedophile ring may exist that uses references to Peter Pan, especially Captain Hook, in their deeds. Most disturbing are his reports of young boys found dead hanging from a hook.

UPDATE 12/15/12:
This saga just keeps weirder and weirder as is typically the case with these types of things. After widespread reports yesterday that Nancy Lanza, the shooter's mother, worked at Sandy Hook School the media is now singing a different tune. At least one school board member has stated that Mrs. Lanza never worked at Sandy Hook while her name has not be found on any staff lists. One parent, however, has claimed that she was a substitute teacher, though this has yet to be confirmed. Thus, the motive for Mr. Lanza's rampage remains as enigmatic as ever.
Early reports indicate that Mr. Lanza suffered from Asperger's syndrome, an extreme form of autism that can cause a lack of empathy for peers, among other things. Autism is commonly treated with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (commonly known as SSRIs). SSRIs have been linked to sucidal and violent behavior in some circles. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin states:
"Evidence from many sources confirms that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly cause or exacerbate a wide range of abnormal mental and behavioral conditions. These adverse drug reactions include the following overlapping clinical phenomena: a stimulant profile that ranges from mild agitation to manic psychoses, agitated depression, obsessive preoccupations that are alien or uncharacteristic of the individual, and akathisia. Each of these reactions can worsen the individual’s mental condition and can result in suicidality, violence, and other forms of extreme abnormal behavior. Evidence for these reactions is found in clinical reports, controlled clinical trials, and epidemiological studies in children and adults." 
So far I've found absolutely nothing to indicate that Mr. Lanza was using SSRIs though he almost certainly was taking some kind of medication for his autism. It will be most interest to learn what exactly that is.

UPDATE 12/16/12:
The UK-based Daily Mail has a fascinating rundown of Adam Lanza's background with at least one startling revelation: Nancy Lanza, Adam's mother, was apparently a 'Doomsday Prepper,' also known as survivalists, a movement closely associated with the Patriot movement, which also includes tax protesters, 'Sovereign citizens,' and militias, among other grassroots right-leaning groups. The article notes:
"Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping firm who worked on the family’s home, said she was an avid gun collector: ‘She told me she would go target shooting with her kids.’

"Sources close to the investigation also revealed last night that Nancy had recently stopped hosting monthly get-togethers for neighbors in order to look after her increasingly troubled son...

"Last night it also emerged Nancy was a member of the Doomsday Preppers movement, which believes people should prepare for end of the world.
"Her former sister-in-law Marsha said she had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.'"
"‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.’"
As regular readers of this blog know, I am not a big fan of the Patriot movement. While I do believe some of the concerns of said movement are legitimate and that the bulk of people involved in are decent, well-intentioned individuals, I am increasingly concerned about the rampant paranoia it has become infested with. What's more, there is seemingly a tendency among various groups within the movement to dehumanize the masses of Americans that are not 'enlightened.' How often do we see normal people reduced to the status of 'sheeple' or uses-eaters in the right-leaning alternative media? At times one almost feels like factions within the Patriot movement would welcome Armageddon simply to be rid of their countrymen that do not meet their standards. Increasingly, this is creating a kind of 'Soldier of the Apocalypse' mentality in individuals involved in such movements, a topic I've written on before here.

Was Adam Lanza caught up in this mind set? Its impossible to know at this point but it seems highly probable that his mother's ideology had some kind of effect on him. Certainly turning her suburban home into a fortress stockpiled with weapons is not the best environment for a highly socially awkward kid already facing an uphill struggle to form attachments with other human beings. If those human beings are nothing but sheeple, then perhaps their lives loose all value all together.