Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Office of Security Meet The Nine: Even Stranger Things

"Oh you will set the world babe 
You will set the world on fire 
I can work the scene and I can see the magazines 
I can hear the nation 
I can hear the nation cry 
You will set the world babe 
You will set the world on fire 
You will set it on fire"
--"(You Will) Set the World on Fire," David Bowie

Welcome to the second installment in my examination of the potential ties between the CIA's mysterious Office of Security and the even more mysterious entities commonly referred to as The Nine. This blog has already considered the Office of Security at length in a prior series that covered the OS's ties the Watergate scandal (noted before here, here and here); Mafia-linked assassination plots to get Castro; the curious "suicide" of Frank Olson; the OS's role in Operation CHAOS (all of which was noted before here); the potential ties the OS had to the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK (noted here); and of course their role in several of the CIA's notorious behavior modification programs, including Projects BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and QKHILLTOP (noted here, here and here). Of special relevance to our current subject here is the extensive investment ARTICHOKE made in parapsychology, including the Rhine experiments at Duke University, and its potential role in investigating the UFO phenomena (all of which was addressed here).

As for The Nine, that is an even more peculiar subject. They were addressed at length in the first installment of this series and it is strongly suggested that the reader familiarize themselves with the saga of The Nine, especially dates, before delving into this post. But in brief: modern rumblings of The Nine appeared in the West Coast occult scene in the years before and after the Second World War (as the greater Christopher Knowles outlined before here), but it was not until December 31, 1952, that The Nine really began to emerge as a force.

It was on that particular New Year's Eve that they were channeled by a brilliant scientist named Andrija Puharich using a medium known only to posterity as Dr.D.G. Vinod. Vinod would channel The Nine again for Puharich on at least one more occasion, in 1953. After this Puharich would have sporadic contact with them until 1971, when he became involved with the famed Israeli stage magician Uri Geller.

Uri Geller
Geller would become Puharich's most well known medium and would be involved with the saga of The Nine throughout the early 1970s during roughly the same time he was being tested at Stanford Research Institute (SRI)'s legendary remote viewing program as well as at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Geller would begin to distance himself from Puharich, however, in 1974 after the publication of Uri. This Puharich-penned biography of Geller was supposed to legitimatize psi to mainstream science. Instead it weaved a fantastic tale of alien gods using Puharich and Geller to positively influence the development of world.

Geller soon learned that being a simple stage magician (and an Israeli and American spy) was far more lucrative and took his leave. Puharich continued on with new mediums, Phyllis Schlemmeter and a Daytona Beach cook known only by the pseudonym of Bobby Horne, generally operating out of an estate that he had procured in Ossining, New York. The place was known either as the Turkey Farm or lab Nine.

Beginning in 1975 Puharich began to conduct a series of experiments assessing the psychic abilities of children. These kids were known as the "Space Kids" and they attempted to remote view politically sensitive locations (such as Washington and the Kremlin) as well as other worlds. While these experiments appear to have been fairly benign, they came to a fiery end in 1978. It was at this point that someone burned down Lab Nine. Authorities suspected a disgruntled psychic Puharich had rejected while the doctor himself blamed the CIA. Regardless, the fire has never been solved.

Geller (left) and Puharich (right)
Many were quick to dismiss Puharich's claims of CIA involvement but this was effectively the beginning of the end for Andrija. After moving in rarifield circles that included wealthy backers, celebrities and powerful individuals within the defense and intelligence communities, Puharich now found himself under assault from one of the wealthiest families in the world. He would never recover and die destitute in 1995, largely forgotten by the New Age community he had done so much to build.

Puharich: the Early Years (1918-1947)

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After giving a conventional account of Puharich's involvement with The Nine in the prior installment, I would now like to focus in on his ties to the deep state and the implications this has. So let us begin by considering Puharich 's curious development in the 1940s that laid the foundation for his later misadventures in the deep state during the 1950s.
"Andrija Puharich was born Henry Karel Puharic on February 19, 1918 in Chicago. His parents were Balkan immigrants from what would soon become Yugoslavia, his father a stowaway who had entered the united States in 1912. His parents were divorced in 1933, and the young Puharich spent two years on a farm in Illinois working the orchards and doing general farmhand work. He eventually went back to school, graduating from Farragut High School in Chicago in 1938, when he was already twenty years old...
"Upon graduating from high school, Andrija was awarded a scholarship to the College of liberal Arts at Northwestern university, receiving his B.A. in philosophy in 1942, with a minor in pre-med. During the rest of the war years, Andrija --as a member of the US Army Medical Corps on inactive status and studying medicine on Army funds --also did some post-graduate work in philosophy, thus becoming himself one of those scientist-philosophers that he seemed to attract around him in later years. He also manged to get married, in 1943, to a lady who was working at the Office of War Information (and hence the OSS) and who eventually moved with him to the Kaiser Permanente Research Foundation in Santa Barbara, California..."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pg. 236)
How much of an influence Puharich's first wife had on his later career in the deep state is highly debatable. While at Kaiser Puharich carried on an affair with another woman and he was soon separated from his wife (and baby girl). Not long afterwards he resigned his post at Kaiser and dropped in on an alleged "old family friend" then residing in Camden, Maine. This was Zlatko Balokovic, another Yugoslav who had married into the wealthy Borden family. Balokovic appears to have been the one who encouraged Puharich to pursue parapsychology.
"Whatever was discussed during that period in Camden --where Puharich stayed for two to three weeks during a snowstorm --the end result was that Puharich would stay in Camden and build a hospital there where he could engage in the kind of research that interested him. Thus, he would turn down the more prestigious and potentially much more lucrative position at Kaiser Permanente, and stay in the frozen northeast. Balokovic would subsidize him to the tune of two hundred dollars per month, and in no time Puharich had located an unused barn that he would convert into his hospital. The barn itself was interesting, having been used by the US Navy during the War to store material that was never described. Naturally, explosives come to mind or some form of munitions, but this was never revealed."
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pg. 237) 
Zlatko Balokovic
The fact that this location Puharich's first hospital geared towards parapsychological work was located in a barn that had previously been used by the Navy is most interesting for reasons the reader shall soon learn. But for now, back to our narrative.

Puharich was also traveling to New York frequently during this time where he met with psychiatrist Warren S. McCulloch, one of the founders of cybernetics. McCulloch would also do work for the CIA in later years and during his time visiting McCulloch, Puharich's views of parapsychology would be further refined. The end result was that Puharich founded the Round Table Foundation in 1948 in Camden. As was noted in the first installment, it was the Round Table Foundation that sponsored the initial contact with The Nine. This is essentially the official history of the beginning of Puharich's involvement with parapsychology and The Nine. But your humble researcher believes that he has turned up two aspects of Puharich's early days that have been overlooked and which may be quite relevant to later deep state developments.

The first involves one of Puharich's potential classmates at Northwestern. The great Philip Coppens notes: "Graduating from medical school at Northwestern University in 1947, his interest was immediately captured by the paranormal." In a prior installment in the Office of Security series, the reader was introduced to another scientist who potentially graduated from the same school in the same year:
"... Dr. Stephen Aldrich, a graduate of Amherst and Northwestern Medical School, took over the role that Morse Allen and then Sid Gottlieb had played before him. Aldrich had been the medical director of the Office of Scientific Intelligence back in the days when that office was jockeying with Morse Allen for control of ARTICHOKE, so he was no stranger to the programs. Under his leadership, ORD officials kept probing for ways to control human behavior, and they were doing so with space-age technology that made the days of MKULTRA look like the horse-and-buggy era..."
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pg. 224)
Dr. Stephen Aldrich
According to Dr. Aldrich's obituary, he in fact graduated from "Northwestern Medical School" in 1947, the same year that Puharich also graduated. This researcher has not been able to determine if "Northwestern Medical School" is the same as the medical school at Northwestern University, but it seems all but certain as I have been unable to find any other reference to a "Northwestern Medical School" outside of Dr. Aldrich's biographies. Thus, he and Puharich were almost surely in the same medical program, which they apparently graduated from in the same year. This researcher would suggest then that it is highly likely that Dr. Aldrich and Dr. Puharich knew one another.

Beyond this, Aldrich's involvement in ARTICHOKE is most suggestive as well. The administrative battles mentioned above unfolded between 1951 and 1952, while Puharich was involved in ARTICHOKE by 1953, if not sooner (he was already consulting with the military by then and the CIA had begun to follow his research by 1952, as we shall see). It is unknown to this researcher if Aldrich continued on with the Office of Scientific Intelligence after authority was transferred back to the Office of Security in 1952, or departed then.

Aldrich would go on to take over the newly founded Office of Research and Development (ORD) in 1962. The ORD would begin its own behavior modification experiments during this period and would launch Project OFTEN in 1968. OFTEN is the source of much speculation due to the accusations that, in addition to its own drug experiments, it extensively investigated clairvoyance, astrology, demonology and the like. While this researcher has not found definitive evidence linking OFTEN to such topics, the ORD does appear to have been investigating such arcane topics by the late 1960s, though on what scale is unknown.

part of the drug experiments conducted by OFTEN
What is known is that the ORD was one of the two departments, along with Gottlieb's Technical Services Staff (TSS), that funded the SRI remote viewing research in the early 1970s --the same research that Puharich brought Uri Geller to America to participate in.

Thus, Aldrich attended the same medical program at the same university as Puharich, he graduated in the same year as Puharich, he had known involvement in ARTICHOKE a year or so before Puharich became officially involved in the project, and the office Aldrich headed would later fund the SRI program Puharich's star pupil would participate in.

Ans yet many researchers continue to insist that Ewen Cameron's "psychic driving" experiments that Gottlieb and the TSS sponsored in the late 1950s and early 1960s under MKULTRA were the basis of OFTEN and that much of the CIA's later remote viewing experiments were based upon Cameron's research. This is despite the fact that there is no credible evidence that Cameron ever investigated parapsychology, that Puharich had already engaged ARTICHOKE in parapsychological research back in the 1950s and that the doctor who oversaw OFTEN may well have been a college classmate of Puharich's and even worked with him on ARTICHOKE in the 1950s.

Ewen Cameron
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Much more information on OFTEN and the questionable claims surrounding it can be found here. For now, let us get back to Puharich's early years in the deep state.

Penguin, Pelican and Super Soldiers (1948-19??)

Easily one of the most curious claims made by Puharich was his assertion that he was brought into a Navy project known as Penguin in 1948. The great Philip Coppens provides the most in depth details concerning this project:
"According to Puharich himself, it was around this time that he was spotted by the intelligence agencies as a potential asset. Puharich claimed he became involved with a 'Project Penguin', a project whose existence has been denied by its sponsor. Project Penguin allegedly got underway in 1948, a Navy exercise that ran for some years. Its scope: to test individuals set to possess 'psychic powers'. In charge of the project was Rexford Daniels, this according to a statement made by Puharich on the Geraldo Rivera show on October 2, 1987. A Rexford Daniels did indeed exist and owned a company that in the 1970s must have attracted the attention of Puharich as the company did research into an area in which Puharich was a world-renowned expert at the time: how proliferating electromagnetic emissions interfere with one another and may work harmful environmental effects on man.
"However, it is only Puharich who has spoken about Penguin and even though there is no logical reason why he would lie about that episode of his life, it is not substantiated at present by other material. Still, whether Puharich worked for the Navy or not is not that important. It is a fact that he himself started to become the magnet that attracted the world’s most notorious psychics. The only question is whether it was pure selfinterest, or whether the Navy was asking him to meet these people. Still, one of the more notorious of these individuals, Peter Hurkos, was brought to the US by a man with a background in Naval intelligence. So at the very least, the Navy did help Puharich… and we need to wonder why they did so much for what was, in essence, a psychic, for which there was no official interest."
Rexford Daniels, Puharich's alleged "Penguin" handler
There is indeed no evidence that Pengiun ever existed, which has long baffled Puharich researchers. It is well known and documented that Puharich was doing parapsychological research for the Army by 1953. Puharich himself even briefly discussed this development in The Sacred Mushroom. Why then lie about his research beginning in 1948 under the auspices of the Navy in a project that clearly never existed?

This researcher believes that the project did in fact exist, only that Puharich had slightly altered the name. While there is no record of a Project Penguin, there can be little doubt that the Navy initiated Project Pelican some time around 1948. It came on the heels of the more well-known Project CHATTER, one of the first American programs to formally test hallucinogens on subjects (at least officially). As I noted before in my examination of the Office of Security, there are indications that Pelican served as the basis for BLUEBIRD, which eventually became ARTICHOKE in 1951.

Very little is known about Pelican, but the little information available to the public is highly disturbing. There are indications that the project was still active until at least the mid-1970s and it appears to have been geared towards the creation of "super soldiers." In 1975, a Dr. Thomas Narut of the US Navy let slip to several journalists details about A Clockwork Orange-style indoctrination program Navy assassins were put through in which they were strapped into chairs with their eyes clamped open and shown a series of increasingly disturbing and violent films. This theoretically desensitized them and made them into more effective assassins, individuals who could kill on command without thought or hesitation.

The Navy of course denied Narut's allegations but reputable journalists were able to get confirmation of the program's existence off the record from official sources. At least one of these sources stated that this project was known as Pelican. Much more information on Narut and his revelations can be found here.

This researcher suspects that Narut's work was only one part of Pelican. If it was as wide-reaching as BLUEBIRD (and this is certainly a possibility as BLUEBIRD was potentially based upon Pelican), then the Navy would not have limited itself to simply creating more effective killers. If Puharich was in fact a part of Pelican, then his task may have been to create soldiers that relied upon psi as much conventional weapons to perform their tasks. Puharich himself appears to have embraced the notion psychic super soldiers by he early 1950s:
"In a later 1953 presentation at Edgewood Arsenal that perhaps presaged the subsequent development of remote viewing, Puharich predicted the day 'in the not too distant future when a select cadre of soldiers will possess the ability to telepathically accomplish critical intelligence tasks, and may well hold the mental abilities to observe and counteract enemy movements and tactics.' "
(A Terrible Mistake, HP.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs. 54-55)
While some may scoff at such an idea, there can be little question that super soldiers were an early objective for ARTICHOKE (the successor to BLUEBIRD). Consider:
".... CIA-funded Project Artichoke experiments were just beginning at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and various mental hospitals in Louisiana. At Tulane University in New Orleans, Dr. Russell R. Monroe was just beginning his research on neurological brain dysfunctions in the minds of criminals and psychopaths. The CIA and the military, which were quickly drawn to the program, were becoming intrigued with the possibility of creating what were then referred to as 'aggressive soldiers' and now are called 'super soldiers.' "
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 14)

If the CIA and the military were already trying to create more aggression in the minds of their soldiers, would they have stopped there? Or would the possibility of telepathic soldiers have been to much to resist? This researcher suspects that it was irresistible and that the Navy, who launched the first full scale "special interrogation" programs with CHATTER, were first in line here as well. And as we shall see, there is evidence of two tracks for Puharich's research --one for the creation of more conventional assassins and one for these psychic spies.

So Puharich, alleges to have begun his relationship with the deep state as part of Project Penguin in 1948. While there is no evidence of Penguin existing, Project Pelican most assuredly did and was started around this time frame. Also in 1948, Puharich establishes the Round Table Foundation. As noted above, the initial laboratory for these endeavors was in an old barn used by the Navy during WWII to store materials that remain unknown to this day.

For the next four years Puharich is involved in the Round Table Foundation conducting a host of psi-related experiments. He ends up with a host of wealthy donors as well as considerable donations that are still unaccounted for despite being from a poor immigrant family, not graduating from high school until he was 20 and graduating from a university that, while being some what prestigious, was hardly Ivy League. And yet here he was with seemingly unlimited sums of money to pursue a host of arcane subjects.

This researcher suggests that, while Puharich did have some wealthy and generous donors, the real sponsor of this research was the US Navy and possibly the Army. Given the political climate in the country at time (the Cold War was just heating up while Joseph McCarthy was beginning to earn a name for himself), the military likely decided it was best to keep this research off the books until Puharich had produced compelling results.

Official Deep State Interests Begins (1952-1953)

These results began to emerge in the early 1950s, finally allowing an official approach. Consider this series of events: As noted in part one, in 1951 (the year BLUEBIRD became ARTICHOKE) Puharich miraculously received a research grant of almost $100,000 (no small amount of money in 1951) from an unknown source to build a Faraday Cage and test the alleged ESP of one of his star subjects, Eileen Garrett, in. Then by his own account the Army came knocking in 1952 to inquire about the usefulness of the Faraday Cage and the research he had done as part of the Round Table Foundation:
"... The first such conversation had started prior to my entry into the Army. The first such conversation had started in August of 1952 at the Round Table Laboratory in Glen Cove, Maine. A friend of mine, an army colonel, who was Chief of the Research Section of the Office of the Chief of Psychological Warfare, had dropped in to say hello. He expressed a rather normal sort of curiosity about my investigation of extrasensory perception and was quite interested in a device which we had been developing in order to increase the power of extrasensory perception. He asked me if it really worked. I told him that I didn't know yet and that I wouldn't for a couple of months, until our statistical analysis of the results of the experiment was completed. The colonel then surprised me by saying that if we found any positive results to be sure to let me know, as the Army was definitely not disinterested in this kind of work.
 "It was November 1952 before the statistical analysis of the telepathy experiment was completed. The results showed that extrasensory perception was increased in the Faraday Cage device by a healthy margin over those scores obtained under ordinary room conditions. This, to me at least, was an exciting finding, as it represented the culmination of two years of experimentation. My enthusiasm led me to send the results to my colonel friend in the Army. He invited me to give a report on this work at the Pentagon. On November 24, 1952, I made such a report before a meeting of the Research Branch of the Office of the Chief of Psychological Warfare. As far as I could tell at the time my report evoked little interest in this group. (However, I found out much later, after I was in the Army, that I had been requested for active duty in the Army on November 25, 1952). On December 6, 1952, I received one of those well-known greeting cards from my draft board, took a physical examination and was inducted into the Army on February 26, 1953."
(The Sacred Mushroom, Andrija Puharich, pg. 10) 
an early Faraday Cage
H.P. Albarelli alleges that official military (and CIA) interest in Puharich's work with the Faraday Cage began even earlier that what Puharich reveals in his book:
"... Since February 1952, TSS officials had been intrigued with Puharich's claims about telepathy and clairvoyance, especially in connection with a devise Puharich employed called a Faraday Cage, essentially a copper-lined box that Puharich claimed 'increased the abilities of a psychic by a thousand fold.' Puharich described the cage as a 'shield from electromagnetic radio waves, allowing only extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic waves to get through.' On several occasions Puharich had asserted to CIA scientists: 'There isn't a psychic warfare operation or research laboratory in the world that does not make use if the [Faraday] Cage.' Robert Lashbrook went so far as to hand write a letter to Mulholland expressing, at length, TSS' s views on the value of using the cage. Wrote Lashbrook: 'As far as we can tell, the group does not indicate why the cage should work.... Good luck, John. Don;t taken any wooden nickles.'
"Gottlieb and Lashbrook, both of whom may have been in over their heads on the subject of telepathy and psychics, were acutely aware that U.S. Army officers at the Pentagon and in Army intelligence were especially interested in the Faraday Cage. The two TSS men had no intention of being left in the proverbial dust by the Army on any potentially significant scientific development. The U.S. intelligence community and military use Faraday cages, or Faraday shields as they are sometimes called, extensively. Many CIA and NSA buildings are enclosed within Faraday cages, intended to act as a Tempest shield (eavesdropping protection), and also a mitigation against electromagnetic pulse. Additionally, intelligence agencies employ portable cages to shield passports, credentials, documents, and credit cards from electronic interference."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs. 256-257)
Gottlieb and the rest of the TSS were likely concerned about being left in the dust by Morse Allen and the ARTICHOKE crew as well. As we shall see, a rather intense rivalry appears to have broken out between the MKULTRA and ARTICHOKE projects over Puharich's research. But more on that in a bit.

TSS's interest appears to have perked up after Puharich's work with the above-mentioned Eileen Garrett in the Faraday Cage. In A Terrible Mistake, Albarelli notes that January of 1952 witnessed some especially intense and rewarding experiments that Puharich conducted on Garrett using the Cage.

Eileen Garrett
On the whole this was an eventful time for Puharich. In December of 1951 he had met Dr. Vinod, his initial medium for The Nine, for the first time. On February 16, 1952, Puharich alleges to have had his first session with Vinod in which the medium reconnected events from both Puharich's past and future. On December 31, 1952, New Year's Eve, Puharich had his first contact with The Nine. This was just a little over a month after Puharich's last acknowledged meeting with Pentagon officials.

Curiously, it was in October of 1952 that the research began that would lead the CIA to the "magic mushroom." As was noted before here, it was at that time ARTICHOKE head Morse Allen was told of piule, a shrub used by Mexican indigenous peoples as a hallucinogen. In early 1953 a "young scientist" arrived in Mexico City on behalf of ARTICHOKE to collect samples of the piule and search for other curiosities. It was here that the CIA allegedly first learned of hallucinogenic mushrooms and their lore. Morse Allen would soon thereafter learn everything he could about them.

This scientist appears to have returned with his samples to Washington in February of 1953. In The Sacred Mushroom, Puharich remarks: "I had given the same lecture in February 1953 at the Pentagon for the Advisory Group on Psychological Warfare and Unconventional Warfare, Department of Defense" (pg. 12). Puharich was thus in Washington during this time, would develop a well known interest in hallucinogenic mushrooms in 1954 (officially) and would end up back in Mexico in 1956 for curious reasons (it was during this trip he got another communication from The Nine, as noted before here). He would also engaged in a dialogue with R. Gordon Wasson by at least 1955 involving Mexican hallucinogenic mushrooms as well.

Thus, this researcher believes the possibility exists that Puharich may have been the researcher tapped by ARTICHOKE for the trip to Mexico that turned up the initial account of hallucinogenic mushrooms that would so fascinate the ARTICHOKE men. When the MKULTRA crew took steps in 1956 (noted before here) to procure samples of the Mexican mushrooms, it was likely to avoid being left in the dust by their counterparts (and rivals) in ARTICHOKE.

Enemies (1952-19??)

We shall return to magic mushrooms in a moment, but for now I would like to turn to the opposition that Puharich faced within the deep state. It probably goes without saying, but not everyone was on board with Puharich's more incredible theories and he would be beset by enemies throughout his official time in the deep state. Some of these rivalries may well have gone on to effect Puharich's career for the rest of his life, as we shall see.

One of the first enemies Puharich made was the legendary chemist Frank Olson, who would commit suicide under highly dubious circumstances in November of 1953. Puharich had already butted heads with Olson even before Puharich was re-drafted back into the Army.
"That Puharich favored and was quite open-minded toward matters esoteric was not disputed by anyone, much less Puharich himself. His claims in the early 1950s ranged from the existence of extraterrestrial entities on earth to man's ability to communicate with higher intelligences that dwarfed human intellectual capacities.
"Frank Olson scoffed at such claims, perhaps more out of fear of the unknown than from objective knowledge to the contrary. One day in mid-1952 he made a less than flattering remark to Puharich who was a guest at the Chemical Corps Biological Division briefing on hallucinogenic plants. Puharich, more than capable of countering any form of derision or skepticism, quickly challenged Olson to a debate. Puharich called Olson a 'frightened schoolboy who had not yet managed to overcome his fear of the dark.' Olson's retorts were far less sophisticated and the argument would likely have degenerated into fistcuffs had not the Chemical Corps' medical director and Puharich's friend, Col. Norman Elton, intervened and put a stop to it.
"Here it is most interesting to note that during Frank Olson's last week in New York City with Richard Lashbrook and Vincent Ruwet, Lashbrook would take the time to hand-deliver a CIA travel check to renowned stage magician John Mulholland. The check was for Mulholland's trip that same week to Chicago to meet with Puharich and a close associate, an officer in the Army's Psychological Warfare Office. The meeting would cover a number of subjects, including hypnotism, in which Puharich was intensely interested. Just six months earlier, he had attended a demonstration of hypnosis and sleight-of-hand practices staged at the Statler Hotel for CIA and selected Federal Narcotics officials. Mulholland, the magician, had also attended the Statler event. Reportedly, Mulholland remained skeptical about hypnosis throughout his life and never incorporated hypnosis into his stage show..."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 55)
Frank Olson
Whether or not Olson's death had anything to do with Puharich is highly debatable. I did note, however, that there is a strong chance the ARTICHOKE team played a role in Olson's death. The "terrible mistake" that Olson referred to may have been an experiment that ARTICHOKE carried out in which it dosed the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit. with LSD in 1951. Pandemonium ensued and a few deaths occurred.

As we shall see, Puharich was also doing very questionable research during this time (1953, when Olson became increasingly unstable) as well. Whether or not this further contributed to Olson's instability is unknown, but one suspects that Olson would have been troubled by some of Puharich's experiments in this era. Curiously, John G. Fuller, the man who wrote the first account of the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident, The Day of Saint Anthony's Fire, was an associate of Puharich's. But moving along.

There appears to have been no one individual that Puharich clashed more with in the CIA than the above-mentioned stage magician, John Mulholland. Mulholland, a close associate of Sidney Gottlieb who had worked extensively on MKULTRA, despised Puharich for reasons that have never been properly explained. One report Mulholland issued on Puharich was especially critical of both the man's work and character.
"Mulholland showed [George] Gordon a paper he wrote for 'an intelligence agency' and of that paper, Gordon remarked, 'John's work for the CIA was not esoteric or strange. The CIA had been presented with a man who said he could send and receive thoughts or codes long distance by mental telepathy. So, they employed John to tell them if this was the real McCoy. And this man was no more a mind reader than fortunatetellers can tell fortunes. The man was simply using tricks that magicians use to give the illusion of being able to read minds of others. John wrote how the charlatan was trying to take the CIA for a ride.
 "Mulholland's report titled A New Type of Experiment in Parapsychology dated November 11, 1953, is extensive regarding Dr. H.K. Puharich's experiments for 'The Round Table Foundation.' Dr. Puharich was also the same doctor who 'verified' the controversial Hungarian-born Uri(ah) Geller as being genuine psychic in the 1970's. Puharich changed his first name shortly after their initial meeting, possibly to obscure his past.
"Mulholland was firm in his recommendation that the government was wasting money on parapsychological experiments without solid controls. In other words, they were throwing money after experiments that could have deceptive results to out and out cheating by doctors and subjects who were shielded by Faraday cages.
"The Faraday cage was used to block out all electrical influences to the 'sensitive' subject being tested. The scientists who were unfamiliar with the ways of deception, assessed irrational findings through a rational locus. This tested the magician's ire. The general test was that a psychic test subject would know when an electrical current passed through the Faraday cage during 90-second intervals. The professional magician Mulholland was particularly virulent when he assessed scientists' finding:
It seems to me that the report was too obviously written in the psychic researcher's four-dollar word double talk. This type of writing purportedly is done by truly 'scientific,' but the results are more as if it were written for 'Science Fiction' or one of the pulps in which the 'scientific wonders' of the year 2000 are disclosed.
(The Magician, Ben Robinson, pgs. 178-179)
Here seems a good place to pause to make a few remarks. For one, this shows continued interest in the work of Puharich's Round Table Foundation by the US intelligence community. In point of fact, Mulholland issued his report a little over five months after Puharich's alleged second contact with The Nine in June of 1953. This was the one that featured ample "Boston Brahmins" present, in addition to one reputed member of the Navy (noted before here). This session was also done under the auspices of the Round Table Foundation and this researcher can't help but wonder whether contact with The Nine was one of the things being evaluated, if not by Mulholland, then someone.

Another point that should be made are the errors made by Ben Robinson, the above-quoted researcher. Puharich did not change his name to Andrija after meeting Geller, but in fact had been using Andrija since at least the 1950s, if not the 40s. What's more, Geller was not born in Hungry (though one of his parents had been born there).

magician and author Ben Robinson
While The Magician is a solid effort, Robinson appears to have embellished Mulholland work with the CIA throughout the work, to say nothing of Mulholland's "expertise" with parapsychology. Here he would have us believe that Mulholland could detect the unsoundness of Puharich's methods by Puharich's use of "four dollar word double talk." Earlier in The Magician Robinson indicated that Mulholland himself, a professional stage magician with no formal scientific training, was tasked with performing ESP experiments for MKULTRA. The great H.P. Albarelli found these claims to be somewhat questionable.
"By mid-1955, Mulholland's work and travel related to the occult or parapsychology intensified considerably. Around the same time, Mulholland's generally concise, professionally written communications with Gottlieb and Lashbrook assumed a more relaxed style, often referring to 'the girls,' 'the women' and 'the women in Maine.' Magician and Mulholland biographer Ben Robinson speculates, without elaboration, that it 'is likely that these people were psychic test subjects who attempted to read maps while blindfolded at a distance.' Robinson adds: 'Possibly he [Mulholland] was referring to the prostitutes employed by the Agency for the development of their new drugs. Both operations existed simultaneously.' 
"Robinson is only partially correct. References to 'the girls' began to show up in George White's date book at the same time, and it is certain that White had nothing to do with psychic experiments. White had, however, recruited three young women to assist with the LSD experiments he was conducting in the Bedford-Barrows Street safe house. None of these women were prostitutes, however. Two were aspiring actresses whom White had first encountered through his wife, Albertine, and the third was married to a close friend of the Whites. Interesting to note is that all three women had been dosed with LSD, one unwittingly and the other two knowingly. While it is possible that Mulholland used these women for psychic experiments, it would appear doubtful since White makes no mention of it anywhere. Moreover, sources close to White, and highly knowledgeable about Mulholland's work for the CIA, report that the magician's 'girls' were actually several young women that Mulholland had recruited through his secretary-mistress Dorothy Wolf. He recruited them not only for psychic tests, but also to secretly dose CIA-targeted individuals with LSD and other drugs. The targeted individuals were located in Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Connecticut, as well as other states.
"Some of the clandestine work was directed at Henry (Andrija) Puharich and possibly also some of his associates..."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs. 255-256)
So, while Mulholland may have had some involvement in testing ESP, how seriously it was taken by the Agency is highly debatable. Would they really have entrusted such assignments to a professional stage magician and would they have valued his opinion over trained scientists and medical doctors This makes the possibility that Mulholland's actual purpose in these shenanigans was to spy of Puharich all the more plausible. This could help explain why Mulholland was dispatched to Chicago to oversee Puharich's work with a Dr. Clark Thorp in December of 1953 on behalf of the Armour Research Foundation. Certainly Mulholland would seem more fitted to spying on this group than evaluating them. Consider:
"The Armour Research Foundation is a research and funding institute attached to the Illinois Institute of Technology that conducts extensive scientific research for the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, including the Army's Chemical Corps. Much of this research is classified and concerns radio frequency interference reduction, as well as other projects. Armour continues to be an active Department of Defense contractor.
"Dt. Clark E. Thorp was the manager and chairman of Armour's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in the 1950s. Thorp is considered the 'Father of Modern Ozone Research,' primarily because of his expertise concerning Ozone toxicity and its effects on humans. Scientists say that it was Dr. Thorp's work that 'led the way to clearing the Ozone as a potential pollutant.'...."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 261)

In Robertson's narrative, Mulholland was practically the only thing standing between the hapless scientists and Puharich's schemes.
"... Mulholland traveled to Chicago on December 3rd and 4th to meet with Mr. Clark Thorpe and Dr. H.K. Puharich of the Armour Research Foundation and the Chairman of the Foundation, Kenneth Miller. Dr. Robert V. Lashbrook and Dr. Henry Bortner, who later took over the Special Operations Division of the CIA, also traveled from Washington to Chicago on American Airlines Daylight Mercury. All four then traveled to the Armor Research Foundation Administration Building at 35 West 33rd (33rd & State) in the Windy City. The CIA has said that they sought operatives in the field that are 'the best actors, politicians and can think on their feet.' This was clearly in evidence during the magician's trip to Chicago when reviewing the policies of the Armour Research Foundation.
"Mulholland's report makes a special note that Clark Thorpe was unknown to the receptionist at the address the team was sent to. Only after much haggling was Thorpe discovered on the premises, whereupon the entire team were taken to another building.
"The magician's assignment was to assess the value of research by Thorpe and company. Mulholland 'respectfully submitted' a very detailed two-page report back to Washington stating that The Literature Survay (sic) on Thought Transference was 'most Pollyanish in (its) make-up.' He was probably accurate in his assessment as he found Dr. Puharich particularly sycophantic.
"Apparently when a certain doctor's name was brought into the conversation, Puharich was quick to bring up a multitude of references concerning that doctor. Ever the watchdog of peculiar behavior on the part of the Armour Research Foundation parapsychologists, Mulholland thought to test Puharich's assertions, and writes in his report:
I was somewhat surprised by the Doctor's comparative youth. It is unusual to find a sincere believer in things psychic who has not passed through life's meridian. Mr. Thorpe took the Doctor and me on a tour through the Foundation's various departments. Our conversation was on what we were shown and was very general. After about an hour, I discovered that within five minutes of the time Mr. Thorpe mentioned a name or scientific discovery, the Doctor would mention the name or scientific data in some other connection. He seemed to be attempting to show familiarity with everyone and everything mentioned. So, I spoke about a Professor and the Doctor seemed to be quite familiar with his work. This interested me as I had just made up the name of the professor and what he had been doing. In my judgment, the doctor is using things psychic as a means to meet and mingle with people he otherwise would have no opportunity to know.
"Mulholland wisely counsels his Washington contacts that such behavior of the parapsychologist's was based on ambition so strong that it would lead to trickery. He wrote, 'I trust that I am wrong, but I am fearful that I am not.'...."
(The Magician, Ben Robinson, pgs. 179-180)
Were the MKULTRA men dependent upon Mulholland for these kinds of brilliant insights, or was there another purpose to dispatching Mulholland on such a mission? H.P. Albarelli believes the latter was likely the case:
"Mulholland biographer Robinson writes that the magician's Armour 'assignment was to assess the value of research by Thorp and company,' but this seems hard to imagine given Mulholland's lack of scientific training in any of Armour's undertakings. Robinson claims that Mulholland 'respectfully submitted' a 'very detailed two-report' to Gottlieb sating that 'The Literature Survay {sic) on Thought Transference [was] mostly Pollyanish in [its] make-up.' (One cannot help but think that Gottlieb and Lashbrook were using, and indulging, Mulholland for something other than scientific expertise --which he clearly lacked --and tapping his real skills for devious purposes. A handwritten, cryptic note from Lashbrook to Gotltieb in 1955 fails to illuminate much of the story: 'Mr. Mulholland again discounts the bulk of what he witnessed, nonetheless every objective was achieved.' Robinson, in his biography, provides no hint whatsoever of the specific research Mulholland was evaluating at Armour so it is very difficult to ascertain what he was really doing in Chicago. It is abundantly clear from Robinson's book that Mulholland detested Puharich, but here it is important to note that the CIA and the Army never wrote Puharich off, or discounted his work, but they did closely monitor his work."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 261)
John Mulholland
Further clouding this strange series of events is the possibility that Mulholland had lied in subsequent tellings of what he saw in Chicago. Certainly there appears to be a strong possibility that Mulholland did not think Puharich was a total fraud:
".... It was revealed years later, in fact, that at the 1953 Chicago gathering magician Mulholland had become 'so frightened of something Puharich did' that he abruptly left the meeting, aborted his Chicago stay and immediately flew back to New York."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 55)
Unfortunately, no information is available as to what Puharich may have done that frightened Mulholland so. But this would strongly indicate that Puharich was hardly the quack Mulholland attempts to depict him as. What's more, Mulholland would eventually test one of Puharich's star subjects, the above-mentioned Eileen Garrett, and declared her the real deal. Thus, it would seem that Mulholland may have felt there was more merit to Puharich's work than what he acknowledged publicly.

Deep State Intrigues: Enter the Rockefellers

This situation is further complicated by the fact that Puharich's bosses in ARTICHOKE, Brigadier General Paul Gaynor and Morse Allen, appear to have despised Mulholland every bit as much as Mulholland detested Puharich. In point of fact, Gaynor invested over a year into keeping Mulholland out of the CIA.
"Gottlieb did not mention that the CIA's Security Office, in the person of Paul Gaynor, and perhaps Morse Allen, had raised a number of concerns about Mulholland in the process of clearing the magician for Agency contractual work. Chief among Gaynor's concerns were Mulholland's 'sexual proclivities' and his long-standing relationship with his personal assistant Dorothy Wolf... SRS chief Gaynor was expert in identifying and exploiting certain idiosyncrasies of targeted individuals. Mulholland had employed Ms. Wolf about seven years before e married Pauline Nell Pierce, yet he never ended his romantic entanglement with Wolf. Indeed, Mulholland's love for Wolf was so sincere and steadfast that he informed his wife-to-be that his relationship with Ms. Wolf would not end and that Pauline would have to accept it if they were to be married. According to Mulholland biographer Ben Robinson, Pauline Mulholland once remarked, 'Johnny was so much a man, one woman's love would not satisfy him.'
"Despite Gaynor's concerns, Mulholland was finally approved for work with the Agency. Robert Lashbrook hand delivered Mulholland's security oath to him in New York for his signature on November 14, 1953. This was almost two years after Professor S.L. Quimby had first suggested Mulholland for hire in early 1952. Gotltieb had first met Mulholland in mid-November 1952, and then in early February 1953, briefed him on the specifics of what TSS wanted the magician to do for the CIA. Understandably, Gottlieb had grown impatient with the security clearance process. In fact, Gottleib had gone so far as to speak personally to Dulles about Mulholland. Also significant is the fact that Mulholland was extremely well connected with circles of power:the Rockefeller family, including Nelson, had been boosters of Mulholland; Mulholland's wife Pauline was related to Barbara Bush, George H.W. Bush's wife; and Pauline was a distant cousin of former U.S. President Franklin Pirece. Pauline herself came from a very wealthy family, and her father, Arthur J. Pierce, was a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 253)
Nelson Rockefeller
Gaynor's objections to Mulholland's extramarital adventures are especially absurd when one considers Puharich's involvement in ARTICHOKE. Puharich went through multiple wives and mistresses in his day, rarely being satisfied with one woman at a time. Surely he was no more indiscreet than Mulholland, whose affairs were openly acknowledged to his wife. This is surely not the reason why Gaynor sought to keep Mulholland from doing contract work for Gottlieb as part of MKULTRA.

The likely reason comes from Mulholland's close relationship with the Rockefeller family, especially Nelson. Increasing evidence has come out in recent years indicating that the Rockefeller family was one of the primary funding conduits for MKULTRA and related programs.
"... As early as December 1954 and extending through December 1955, Rockefeller had served as President Eisenhower's representative on the National Security Council's Operation Coordinating (OCB), which was very much involved with CIA clandestine operations. Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennet write that Rockefeller acted as 'Eisenhower's "circuit breaker," informing the president of CIA covert operations while protecting the  president's "plausible deniability" before Congress, since some operations ran afoul  of American or international law.'...
"Moreover, Rockefeller's knowledge and approval of drug experiments and brainwashing research went far beyond his OCB experience. Still largely overlooked in the public record is the fact that the U.S Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) undertook drug experiments sponsored by the CIA when Rockefeller was department undersecretary in 1953. Many of these experiments involved CIA funding and required Rockefeller's specific approval. Also, beginning in the early 1950s, the Rockefeller Foundation had been funding CIA-front groups like the Fund for Human Ecology, which was directly involved in CIA-sponsored behavior 'modification' experiments. Beginning even earlier, in 1943, the Foundation had been funding a psychiatric research facility, the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, Canada, which soon became the site of some of the CIA's most notorious and horrific psychological experiments, conducted by Rockefeller-funded Ewen Cmeron."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs. 464-465)
As noted before here, there was a power struggle earlier for control of ARTICHOKE between the Office of Security (OS) and the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). For a brief period of time, between late 1951 till September 1952, the OSI was in control of the project before it reverted back to the OS, where it remained for at least another decade. At the time the OSI was headed by H. Marshall Chadwell who, between WWII and his time joining the CIA in the early 1950s, had worked for the Rockefeller Foundation.

H. Marshall Chadwell
It would seem that the OS had rebuffed one effort by the Rockefllers to take a direct hand in these projects, but with the creation of MKULTRA they were not so lucky. Mulholland was brought onto MKULTRA shortly after the project was officially launched (Gottlieb had already been working on it since 1952) in 1953 (Mulholland had done some work prior to his November clearance coming through, however), and was used regularly on a host of operations that he did not seem especially qualified for over the course of the next several years. This researcher suspects that part of Mulholland's function on MKULTRA was to keep track of how his benefactor's money was being spent.

Curiously, a little over a year after Mulholland was brought onto MKULTRA, some of the scientific projects being overseen by ARTICHOKE were transferred to MKULTRA:
"... Early in 1955, Sid Gottlieb and his Ph.D. crew from TSS took over most of the ARTICHOKE functions, including the Society [for the Investigation of Human Ecology], from Morse Allen and the Pinkerton types in the Office of Security. The MKULTRA men moved quickly to turn the Society into an entity that looked and acted like a legitimate foundation. First they smoothed over the ragged covert edges. Out came the bugs and the safes so dear to Morse Allen and company. The new crew even made some effort (largely unsuccessful) to attract non-CIA funds..."
(The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", John Marks, pg. 162)

Marks isn't entirely accurate here. ARTICHOKE in fact continued until 1963 and would be involved in a host of strange activities, but some of the research functions were passed on to the more conservative Gottlieb, who was far less inclined to mysticism than Morse Allen. Further, the MKULTRA men did in fact appear to have attracted private funding to the Society, for as noted above, the Rockefellers were sponsoring these activities at this point. And John Mulholland appears to have been right in the thick of it with the Ph.D.'s of MKULTRA.

It is interesting to note that Puharich left the Army at around the same time and continued his research in the private sector. While Puharich appears to have still had some intelligence connections at this point, the same to have been primarily from the military. Further, Gottlieb would allege that MKULTRA had stopped following Puharich's work (if they were ever close to it) around his time as well. But more on that later.

Was Puharich forced out by Mulholland with backing from the Rockefellers? As outlandish as that sounds, this would not be the only time Puharich would run afoul of the Rockefllers for there can be little doubt that he began to draw their direct ire in the early 1980s. The great Christopher Knowles notes:
"In 1983, Puharich got himself into trouble again, this time with a patent application:
(Puharich) was granted a U.S. patent for a 'Method and Apparatus for Splitting Water Molecules.' This method would reportedly split water molecules into Hydrogen and Oxygen with a net energy gain, and is essentially a perpetual energy device that many believe violates the first law of thermodynamics.
Puharich being a friend of R. J. Reynolds found support and protective acceptance, until he fell into disfavor with David Rockefeller, ultimately necessitating him to seek protection from another friend, the [then] Mexican President. Puharich capitulated, acquiescing to Mr. Rockefeller’s demands, promising not to engage in further ‘water as fuel’ research, thereby, stopping all attempts at his sanctioned assassination by the CIA.
...Puharich was well connected, and respected within the most elite of global society. He was known academically, and internationally among the power elite. He therefore was a significant threat to those special interests involving a direct influence regarding energy sources as fuel derivatives. And his use of ‘water as fuel’ was a direct threat to one of the most powerful families on planet Earth. Puharich had to personally assure the Rockefeller family, that he would no longer engage in further research or usage of ‘water as fuel’ to power combustion engines... 
"Were Puharich's problems with the Rockefellers only a function of his work with free energy? Or was his other project-- The Nine-- causing the Rockefellers grief on the other side of the country?"
David Rockefeller
As was noted in the prior installment, Puharich had alleged that the CIA was behind the destruction of his Ossining estate that housed Lab Nine in 1978. He had already begun to pursue "free energy" at this point and was a very close associate of Lt. Col. Thomas Bearden. Bearden was one of the earlier proponents of zero point energy.

Lt. Col. Thomas Bearden
But what of Puharich's ousting from the Army in 1955? Is it possible that his feud with Mulholland and his later confrontation with the Rockefellers in the early 1980s also involved The Nine as well as "free energy"? To this researcher's mind, this possibility can not totally be discounted.

Puharich seems to have largely abandoned The Nine, at least publicly, after 1956 and did not acknowledge them again until 1971, when he became involved with Uri Geller. At the time the Rockefller faction in the Nixon White House was under siege. A year later, longtime OS veteran James McCord would participate in the Watergate break-in that seems to have been partly inspired by the deep state's contempt of Rockefeller hatchet man Henry Kissinger (as noted before here).

This is a topic that shall be explored more in a moment. But for now, it is worth noting that Puharich was not the only one who fell afoul of a professional stage magician with Establishment ties. Beginning in 1973, Puharich's once-protege Uri Geller would draw the ire of the Amazing Randi. James Randi, one of the founders of the infamous CSICOP, would go on to spend decades trying to debunk Geller. Randi himself had ample Establishment ties, including the Rockefellers. The great ISGP notes:
"Received a five-year $272,000 grant of the CIA- and State Department-linked MacArthur Foundation for the years 1986-1991. Chairs in this period were Thorton Bradshaw and Elizabeth McCormack, both with very close ties to the Rockefeller family. As for McCormack, she's been a director since 1970, chair in the 1986-1995 period, and at the same time an advisor to Rockefeller Family & Associates and Rockefeller family in general. Her protege, Jonathan Fanton, was chair of the MacArthur Foundation in the 1999-2009 period..."
James Randi
Whether or not Randi had links to the Rockefellers prior till then is unknown, but certainly it is curious that Randi began to attack Geller in earnest shortly before the claims concerning The Nine emerged, and in their aftermath published a tract attacking the Israeli magician known as "The Magic of Uri Geller" in 1975. This appears to have been expanded into a full fledged book by 1982 known as The Truth About Uri Geller.

I would like to note one other possible connection the Rockefeller faction had to The Nine before moving along. In the groundbreaking "The Secret Star Trek", Chris Knowles noted that Jenny O'Connor, another prominent channeler of The Nine, was deeply involved with Esalen Institute from the late 1970s up until 1983. Specifically, she was close to Dick Price, one of the founders of Esalen.

While Esalen received ample support from the Rockefeller family, it was not Price, but his partner Michael Murphy, who was close to the Rockefeller interests. O'Connor appears to have been a source of conflict between Esalen's two co-founders. Knowles remarks:
"Price, like partner Michael Murphy, came from a wealthy family (you don't get access to Rockefellers if you're poor). But he experienced a major psychotic break when he was young and was institutionalized. In many ways his spiritual seeking was a function of seeking healing. Although its hard to imagine now, Esalen once attracted the cream of the crop of psychiatry. Ironically, it would Price's father that would pull him out of a second psychotic episode in the 1960s.
"Murphy was cut from a different cloth. He was the one who was close to Laurance Rockefeller and he spent most of his time away from Big Sur. He opened up a branch office and a sports center in San Francisco and left the running of Esalen Prime to Price, who was growing erratic in the 1970s...
"But it was very clear that there was a definite line of demarcation between Price's Esalen and Murphy's Esalen and that the men had followed their interests in very opposite directions. At the same time Price and Jenny (and if you insist, The Nine) were remaking the workshop/spa end of the spectrum in their image, Murphy had begun his work with Soviet scientists and so on and ne'er the 'twain would meet. The two founders were like an old married couple who agreed to tolerate each other. As Price said of Murphy, "He puts up with my ETI and I put up with his KGB."* 
"Mother Jones did a negative piece in December 1979 ('Esalen Slides Off the Cliff') that focused on Jenny and The Nine. The writer, though a leftist, wasn't necessarily opposed to psychic phenomena, he just thought Jenny was mediocre. But she stayed around from early 1979 to at least the beginning of 1983 (according to Upstart Spring) and I can't find any mention of her leaving, other than Marion Goldman writing of Murphy marshaling his forces to get rid of her and The Nine in the early 80s and reassert control over Price (which is a whole other story).
"As much as people within Esalen want to treat Jenny and the Nine as a footnote, it wasn't. It covered a full fifth of Esalen's lifespan by 1983. Seeing as how Price went through enthusiasms like Obama goes through your email, it's even more remarkable how long he and Jenny kept things together...
"By the mid 1980s, Murphy had reasserted control over Esalen, bringing in a corporate type named Steve Donovan (who was involved in the building of Starbucks and Peet's Coffee) to act as a third co-president. This move also smells faintly of Rockefeller, but it could be all these people were moving in the same elite Bay Area circles (Donovan was already an Esalen trustee)...
"Soon after Donovan was appointed to the Esalen leadership role, Price hiked out to the source of the springs for an routine inspection. Apparently there had been a heavy rain and by some bizarre fluke a boulder came loose and fell down a mountainside. It exploded on impact and Price was struck in the forehead by a stray chunk and killed instantly. He was found sitting in the water basin that feeds the Esalen water supply, a huge gash in his forehead."

Knowles presents even more compelling details of the Rockefeller aligned Murphy faction here. With all of this in mind, this researcher does not believe the notion that Puharich's interest in The Nine may have played a role in his being booted out of the military and a transfer of functions from ARTICHOKE to MKULTRA can be dismissed. While there were certainly other issues at play, Puharich's research may well have presented a real affront to the Rockefellers and their agent, John Mulholland. Certainly it would be interesting to know what Puharich did during the 1953 Chicago meeting that allegedly scared Mulholland so.

Puharich's Work on ARTICHOKE (1953-1955)

And with that out of the way and the context established, let us now turn to Puharich's experiments. Puharich's work on ARTICHOKE has been a closely guarded secret for well over sixty years now and even in 2016, we only have vague details available to us concerning this work. In this section I shall try to piece together the extent of his work and its influence on later operations.

The bulk of what is available to us concerns Puharich's work with hallucinogenic mushrooms. It seems clear now that Puharich was the first individual to do formal experiments with psychedelic mushrooms on behalf of the CIA and Pentagon. Consider:
"Recently uncovered document fragments from the mostly destroyed MKULTRA collection reveal that Puharich had far more contact and interaction with the CIA and Army concerning drug experimentation than he indicates in any of his books. Indeed, it appears that Puharich participated in a number of secret experiments with amanita muscaria, the species of psychoactive mushrooms mentioned in his book. The experiments took place at prisons for men in New Jersey and Maryland, as well as at the Spring Grove Mental Hospital in Catonsville, Maryland. Also involved in these experiments was Dr. Amedeo Marrazzi."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarreli, Jr., pg. 54)
amanita muscaria
While MKULTRA appears to have had some involvement in these experiments, it was almost surely ARTICHOKE that was directing them, as we shall see. For now, the timing of these experiments merits comment. Albarelli does not provide at date, but they surely unfolded between 1953-1955, during Puharich's time in the Army. At a minimum, these experiments had likely already wrapped up a few months prior to the MKULTRA team acquiring their own psychedelic mushrooms from Gordon Wasson in 1956. Puharich himself appears to have already been in contact with Wasson by 1955, however. Indeed, Puharich, along with ARTICHOKE head Morse Allen, appear to have been the men who spurred the CIA's early interest in psychedelic mushrooms.

Allen's role was already noted before here. It is interesting to note that Allen would meet representatives from the mushroom industry in Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania on June 24, 1953, to discuss the possibility of growing psychedelic mushrooms there. It is unknown if anything ever came out of this meeting, though certainly this may explain how Puharich was able to procure ample samples of these rare mushrooms for his experiments. Certainly the CIA would have had to have their own supply if they were able to conduct tests on prison inmates and mental patients.

Curiously, Puharich had his second formal contact with The Nine of June 27, 1953, a mere three days after Allen's meeting. This was the one featuring ample Boston Brahmins. As I noted earlier, there is also a possibility that Puharich was the young scientist Allen dispatched to Mexico to acquire samples of piule and came back with tales of God's flesh. This could have potentially happened in early 1953, shortly after Puharich's initial session with The Nine on New Year's Eve. This scientist apparently returned to Washington at some point in February. Puharich of course had to report to duty for the Army on February 26. The time frame is thus very suggestive.

Even more compelling is the possibility that psychic Harry Stone, whom Puharich alleges was the individual who put him on the trail of the psychedelic mushroom, and the experiments Puharich conducted with him using the fly-argaric were part of Puharich's CIA mushroom experiments:
"... Puharich ran a series of highly successful experiments with Stone using Amanita muscaria and other drugs that especially captured the interest of the CIA. These experiments eventually blossomed into its controversial remote viewing programs involving a wide array of targets, including convicted murderer and egomaniac Ira Einhorn. Einhorn, who had once been close friends with Puharich and had written the introduction to the 1962 edition of his book, Beyond Telepathy, claimed in the 1990s, while on the lam for murder in Europe, that Puharich's CIA-sponsored drug research in 1953 and 1954 was linked to Frank Olson's death."
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pg. 263)
The Sacred Mushroom explored Puharich's work with Stone in depth
Ira Einhorn is of course hardly a reliable source, but there is documentation that Puharich clashed with Olson, as noted above. And as we shall see in a moment, there were aspects of Puharich's research they may have deeply troubled Olson.

The time frame Albarelli lists above --1953-1954 --is most interesting. Puharich alleged to have not even known about psychedelic mushrooms until the summer of 1954 when the experiments with Harry Stone began. R. Gordon Wasson apparently did not witness the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico until the summer of 1953. It is of course possible that Puharich was using other psychedelics instead of mushrooms in 1953. Certainly the CIA was still extensively testing LSD during this time frame. But it would clearly seem that Puharich was doing tests on psychedelic mushrooms for the CIA by 1954, nearly two years before the Agency (or at least MKULTRA) officially received their first samples.

The possibility that Stone was a part of Puharich's CIA experiments is quite probable --after all, they took place while Puharich was in the Army apparently testing drugs to determine there effects of psi. In this context, the Stone experiments seem like nothing more than an extension of Puharich's work for the deep state during this time.

Even more intriguing, however, is the possibility that Stone's experiences were linked to The Nine. As noted in the prior installment, Puharich never seems to have publicly linked Stone's visions to The Nine, but it seems difficult to believe that he never made the connection, given how much The Nine are associated with Ancient Egypt in Uri.

Puharich never actually linked The Nine to the Great Ennead publicly, as far as this researcher is aware, but Harry Stone dropped references to them while allegedly channeling the Pharoh Rahotap with the aid of magic mushrooms
If Puharich did make the connection to The Nine during the Stone experiments, would he have shared them with his bosses in ARTICHOKE? Given Morse Allen's interest in subjects such as hypnosis, magic mushrooms and parapsychology (topics that were close to Puharich's heart as well), one suspects Puharich would have found a sympathetic ear in Allen. And given the dating of certain events Allen and Puharich were involved in during this time frame, it may well have been Puharich had already informed Allen of The Nine some time before the Stone experiments. Perhaps that was partly there purpose --to contact a nonhuman intelligence.

Albarelli's claim that the later remote viewing experiments at SRI were based upon Puharich's research during the 1950s are compelling as well. As was noted before here, the Office of Security was urged to start formally investigating parapsychology in 1952, the same year Puharich was first officially approached by the Army, a close partner in ARTICHOKE with the OS (as noted before here). This researcher suspects that Puharich's work was part of the first large scale effort the CIA and military had made to investigate parapsychology scientifically.

Then, in the 1960s, the Office of Research and Development (ORD) became the lead section of the CIA pursuing this arcane research. As noted above, the doctor who headed the ORD at the time, Stephen Aldrich, almost surely knew Puharich from either their time in Northwestern University Medical School or during Aldrich's work on ARTICHOKE in the early 1950s (as noted above, Puharich was already consulting with the military in 1952, when Aldrich appears to have been involved with ARTICHOKE).

In addition to drugs, the ORD also begins to test astrologers, clairvoyants, and demonology, topics that long fascinated Puharich and which he had conducted experiments with for years. In 1967 or 1968, the ORD along with the Army initiate Project OFTEN, which allegedly pursues many of these esoteric subjects. The ORD goes on to become one of the two CIA sections, along with Gottlieb's TSS, that fund the SRI experiments (noted before here). And then, in 1971, Puharich is dispatched to Israel to vet Uri Geller. By 1973 Puharich has Geller at SRI (and later Livemore Laboratory) for tests.

Geller at Livemore Laboratory
This is very compelling chain of events, one of which Gottleib and the TSS did not play a prominent role in, as is commonly claimed. As with many things related to these experiments, MKULTRA's role appears to have been greatly embellished and largely based upon research already done by ARTICHOKE. And it would seem that the most disturbing aspects of Puharich's research were totally under the control of ARTICHOKE:
".... another still very mysterious CIA project involving young people and women. This project, commencing in early 1953 and running until about 1963, involved the training of small cadres of women for work as Agency and military couriers, as well as young girls and teenagers for mostly unknown objectives apparently related to the CIA's interest in hypnosis, slight-of-hand, and telekinesis. Some of the best evidence of this project comes from the activities of CIA officer Robert Vern Lashbrook in November 1953, when he was in New York City with Dr. Frank Olson (for Olson's alleged psychiatric sessions with Dr. Harold Abramson), and shortly thereafter in December 1953 and January 1954. We are fortunate to have this evidence from the assiduous research of writer and magician Ben Robinson, who reveals it in his book, The Magician: John Mulholland's Secret Life, the activities of Lashrook concerning Dr. Andrija Puharich's research and projects.
"Additionally, former CIA scientist John Gavin, who worked in the CIA's Technical Services Division under Gottlieb, said in 1979, 'There was a project around the mid-1950s that involved children, covet operation and parapsychology of sorts. I didn't work on it, but I knew about it.' Gavin, who resigned his CIA post in the late 1950s, also stated, 'There was also one project I was aware of that trained women as couriers and covert operators. It made use of LSD and what was called 'narco-hypnosis,' a term devised by the Agency's Medical Office... it was operated apart from Technical Services under the ARTICHOKE Project and involved the development of special interrogation techniques.' A May 19, 1952 CIA document sent from the Agency's Medical Staff chief to the Assistant Director of Scientific Intelligence reads in part:
Reference is made to the attached draft, subject 'Special Interrogation.' At the meeting of 14 May 1952 the Medical Office outlined its position regarding the Artichoke Project and requested that the term 'Narco-hypnosis' be used to those responsibilities within the interim program that are basically medical... It was also agreed at the meeting of 14 May 1952 that field activities would be under the command of the chief of field station concerned, provided that instances of this agreement would be referred back to headquarters for final decision.
"In late 1998, when this author interviewed Dr. Sidney Gottlieb... the former Technical Services Division chief said, 'Yes, I have some trace memories of the project. I think it began before MK/ULTRA was approved... with an unrelated program Morse Allen initiated around [Dr. Andrija] Puharich's work. It was never a formally sanctioned TSD program, but we were interested and [Dr. Henry] Bortner stayed with it for a while... It was one of those projects that would be greatly misunderstood today.' "
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli, Jr., pgs. 42-43) 
This is not the only reference I've found to this bizarre "courier" program. As was noted before here, former military intelligence and CIA officer Richard Case Nagell once revealed to journalist Dick Russell that he had regularly undergone hypnosis while serving as a courier for the CIA in the early 1960s. He further alleged that this was a fairly common practice then and that it was conducted by the Office of Security, who apparently had an entire section dedicated to hypnotism by this point.

Richard Case Nagell
An example of one of these couriers may have been Heidi Rikan, the madam who oversaw the Columbia Plaza call girl operation that played such a key role in the second Watergate break-in, which was addressed at length before here. Heidi came from an abusive childhood and joined the Army in 1957. She dropped out a little over a year later and by 1960 she was stripping in Washington D.C. Not long afterwards she became mixed up with the Syndicate and by the early 1960s was working as a courier for them. As was noted before here, the ARTICHOKE team had set up a D.C. "safe house" in the early 1950s that used Mafia call girls at times. What's more, some of the noted couriers in the early ARTICHOKE experiments were Agency "secretaries" that were hypnotized and encouraged to pick up strangers in the D.C. area for casual sex, as noted before here.

Heidi Rikan is on the right
Heidi appears to have been involved in another such "safe house" operation in the early 1970s that primarily serviced politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike. Her operation was being filmed through two way mirrors by a private detective, Lou Russell, who at the time was working for James McCord in his security firm. McCord, one of the Watergate "Plumbers" was a long time veteran of the Office of Security. By the mid-1950s he had been detached to the Security Research Staff (SRS), the OS section that oversaw ARTICHOKE. McCord was very close to the SRS chief who had overseen ARTICHOKE, Brigadier General Paul Gaynor, as well as ARTICHOKE director Morse Allen (noted before here and here), whom McCord had known since the late 1940s when Allen was still with the State Department and McCord the FBI. McCord thus would have almost surely been aware of the ARTICHOKE project.

As was noted before here, McCord was involved in an operation targeting the Fair Play For Cuba Committee (FPCC) in 1963 that also involved the notorious David Atlee Phillips, whom many JFK researchers believe was Oswald's handler. McCord, Phillips, the above-mentioned Richard Case Nagel and Oswald all appear to have been lurking in New Orleans during this time.

David Atlee Phillips was also close to Gordon McLendon, a famous radio personality and former Office of Naval Intelligence officer. McLendon appears to have befriended Heidi Rikan at some point during her time in Dallas in the mid-1960s while working for the Syndicate. A little over half a decade later she appears again in D.C. seemingly working for McCord. More information on Heidi's possible role as a CIA courier can be found here.

Gordon McLendon
It is most interesting that Puharich's research appears to have been what inspired this "hypno-courier" program that the OS was running for nearly ten years, up till 1963 (and likely beyond as one of the successor projects based upon ARTICHOKE when it was shuttered officially in 1963). Here it is interesting to note that another CIA hypnotist involved in this courier program, the infamous George Estabrooks (noted before here), also had a keen interest in parapsychology. He was a long time believer in telepathy and had helped found the Boston Society for Psychical Research back in the 1920s (noted here). There are some indications that another hypnotist linked to this courier program, the famed psychiatrist Milton Erickson, may have also had an interest in psi, though this researcher has been unable to confirm this. It is interesting to note, however, that Erickson is widely credited with heavily influencing the development of neuro-linguistic programming. But moving along

A Special School? (1953-1956)

And of course the couriers appear to have been only one component of this project. The other involved "young girls and teenagers for mostly unknown objectives apparently related to the CIA's interest in hypnosis, slight-of-hand, and telekinesis." This of course sounds somewhat like Puharich's later work with the "Space Kids" program that he ran out of his Ossining estate ("Lab Nine") from 1975-1978 (noted in the prior installment). This project also involved testing the psi abilities of kids. This researcher suspects that his early work for ARTICHOKE was somewhat more intense and likely involved administering psychedelics to the kids to enhance their psi abilities. I have no proof of this, but it clearly seems that Puharich was involved in studying the effects of hallucinogens on psi during his ARTICHOKE years, if the Harry Stone experiments are any indication.

And it does seem that this was very much an ARTICHOKE project, as Gottlieb's comments above indicate. Harry Bortner, whom Gottlieb mentioned, was one of the scientist dispatched with John Mulholland to review Puharich's work with the Armour Research Foundation. As noted above, there are indications that part of John Mulholland's purpose in tagging along on this assignment was to spy on Puharich's research, perhaps via planting a bug. The fact that Gottlieb himself acknowledged that Puharich worked for Morse Allen and that he appears to have attempted to spy on Puharich's research should be ample proof that Puharich's research was not being directed by Gottleib, TSS and MKULTRA.

I have been unable to find any additional details about Puharich's work, but the following account of a "special school program" in the mid-1950s could potentially be related. Physicist Jack Sarfatti, a later friend of Puharich's, would allege that he was recruited into such a program during the early 1950s, one that was keenly interested in the psi abilities of children:
"Nuclear physicist Jack Sarfatti (intimate of Saul Paul Sirag, Andrija Puharich, Uri Geller, Ira Einhorn, Philip K. Dick, Carlos Castaneda, Barbara Honegger, and many others) has written about a... experience he had as a primary school student around the same time, in 1952, an experience in which he places a lot of stock and which was obviously a seminal event in his life. He had been identified as boy with a genius IQ, and preparations would soon be made to send him to Cornell University on a full scholarship at the age of 17. In the meantime, however, he received a strange phone call at his home in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
"According to Sarfatti's own account in The Destiny Matrix (1995), and also available on the Internet,
The telephone rings. I pick it up. I hear curious clanking mechanical sounds like relays clicking. A distant cold metallic voice speaking numbers gets louder.
'Who are you?' I ask. 
'I am a conscious computer on board a spacecraft... We have identified you as one of four hundred young bright receptive minds... You must give us your decision now. If you say yes, you will begin to link up with the others in twenty years.'
"After a few seconds, young Sarfatti agrees, and the voice replies, 'Good, go to your firescape [sic]. We will send a ship to pick you up in ten minutes.'  
"Nothing happened. 
"Sarfatti then goes on to explain how he later became a member of a group of gifted children, an after-school coterie led by one Walter Breen (1928-1993), 'a graduate student at Columbia and well known Numismatist associated with psychologist William Shelden.' Walter Breen is a fascinating person in his own right. His Complete Encyclopedia of US and Colonial Coins is the definitive volume on this subject, and retails today for $135. But he was also very familiar to the science fiction circles of the 1960s, and he was a co-founder of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). He also wrote, under the pseudonym, J.Z. Eglinton, Greek Love, a text which has been referenced by the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) as supportive of their philosophy concerning sexual relationships between men and boys. Breen had been arrested before for child molestation, and would be again at the end of his life. 
"But the gifted children group to which Sarfatti belonged was somehow linked with the Sandia Corporation, now part of Lockheed Martin, a charter member of the Defense-Energy establishment. In an email posted on a Web site... and dated July 16, 2001, Sarfatti writes, 'Breen was talking about extra dimensions, telepathy, remote viewing, UFOs, mutant humans, contact with aliens... Sandia was trying to develop us as super-kids to have paranormal powers and to deal with extra-dimensional intelligence.' Sandia is still involved with gifted children to this day, in cooperation with a 'super kids' program that selects very bright students to work with its supercomputer.
"As for Walter Breen, he eventually married Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930-1999), the science-fiction author of The Mists of Avalon (and author of much lesbian fiction besides, who was very active in gay counseling as well as a contributor to The Mattachine Review) who would bear two children (in addition to a child by her first marriage) while they were married and before their separation in 1979. Even more dascinating is the fact that, in 1980, both Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen would be ordained as priests in the Eastern Orthodox Church by Bishop Michael Itkin, amking their line of apostolic succession (via Bishop, and now 'Saint,' Carl Stanley) the same as David Ferrie's!..."
(Snisiter Forces Book III, Peter Levenda, pgs. 257-258)
Jack Sarfatti
Levenda goes on to note that Sarfatti would describe this school program as the "McDermott-Sheldon-Breen 'Columbia-Sandia eugenics' connection of 1953-1956" (pg. 260). In other words then, Sarfatti got his bizarre phone call in 1952, and then ended up in this special school program from 1953-1956 when he would have been around 13.

Sarfatti's description of the mechanical voices on the phone is most interesting. Throughout Uri, Puharich makes repeated references to finding the same type of mechanical voices on his tape recorder, allegedly from The Nine. But Sarfatti claims to have received this call in 1952. As Puharich did not have his first session with The Nine until December 1952 on New Year's Eve, then Sarfatti's call surely came before Puharich's first contact.

It's difficult to say what this may mean. From what this researcher can tell, Puharich does not appear to have associated these mechanical voices to The Nine until the early 1970s, by which time he knew Sarfatti. Certainly Puharich could have adopted this element into the saga of The Nine if it was in fact a hoax. On the other hand, the legendary psychonaught Terence McKenna had written at great length about "Machine Elves" and mechanical voices during experiences with DMT and other hallucinogens. Nor is he the only one.

While Sarfatti could have theoretically been drugged, he has given no indication of this and this association of mechanical voices with beings seen during drug-induced hallucinations does not appear to have emerged before the 1970s. And it would seem to stretch plausibility that this association was made just to "confirm" Sarfatti's experience in 1952. Further, strange mechanical sounds have been reported in conjunction with alleged nonhuman beings not involving drugs. John Keel reported hearing mechanical sounds on the telephone while investigating the Mothman, for instance. All in all then, this phenomena does not seem to be something that can be explained away be intelligence shenanigans.

a depiction of the Mothman
Curiously, the voice told Sarfatti that if he said "yes" he would "link up with the others in twenty years." Twenty years from then would have been 1972, just as the SRI remote viewing experiments were starting and the West Coast in general was becoming a mecca for fringe scientists. Sarfatti was among the vanguard of such scientists drawn there.

As was noted above, Puharich was already lecturing the Pentagon about telepathic soldiers in 1952 and appears to have been testing teenagers by 1953 as part of his work on psi for ARTICHOKE. Thus, the possibility exists that what Sarfatti described was part of Puharich's work for ARTICHOKE. Certainly there years in which Sarfatti was active in the program were consistent with Puharich's time ARTICHOKE, which officially ended in 1955, a year before Sarfatti finished with the program. And the objective of dealing with "extra-dimensional intelligence" is certainly on par with Puharich's later descriptions of The Nine.

But it should be stressed that this researcher has found no ties between Sarfatti's claims and ARTICHOKE, nor has Sarfatti ever indicated that he saw Puharich participate in this school program. And as Sarfatti later knew Puharich, he surely would have recognized him. And despite the presence of  Walter Breen, who was first convicted of pedophilia in 1954, Sarfatti has never indicated that sexual abuse was a part of this project.

Walter Breen
This isn't to say that sexual abuse may not have been employed in ARTICHOKE, but there is no evidence that Puharich engaged in such activities. What is most troubling is Breen's connection to a network Levenda dubbed "wandering bishops." As I noted before here, at least two prominent members of this network have been linked to pedophilia and one of them had done work for ARTICHOKE before. David Ferrie is most interesting in this context and I indicated before how Ferrie (an arch pedophile and occultist) may have experimented with "ritual abuse" for ARTICHOKE. But I should stress again, this is all highly, HIGHLY speculative on my part.

Aftermath (1956-1974)

Puharich does not appear to have ceased his involvement with the deep state after being booted out of the Army in 1955, but his research would continue largely in the private sector until the early 1970s, when he became involved with Uri Geller. During the late 1950s he appears to have made a most curious acquaintance who would go on to sponsor a lot of Puharich's paranormal research from that period up to the mid-1960s.
"Andrija Puharich had gone to Brazil in August of 1963 with businessman Henry Belk, a former agent with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), heir to the largest chain of department stores in the southeast United States (the Belk Stores which are headquartered in Charlotte, South Carolina), and founder of the Belk Research Institute, of which Puharich was president, an institute created for the study of paranormal phenomena. Belk had also been acquainted with Dutch psychic Peter Hurkos but, according to one account, became disillusioned with Hurkos when Belk's ten year old daughter and only child went missing shortly after Hurkos had done a psychic reading for Belk and predicted nothing of the sort. His daughter was found dead by drowning and, according to the same source, it was Hurkos who saw the site where she ould be found. That was not enough for Belk, of course, who felt that if Hurkos had any real powers he would have warned Belk of the tragedy so that he could have averted it. The Belk family is famous in South Carolina; they have endowed various educational institutions and have been major contributors to charities. Willaim Henry Belk, the founder of the department store chain, began in 1888 with a small store in Charlotte which he named The New York Racket..." 
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pgs. 186-187)
Peter Hurkos
The great Philip Coppens notes that Belk was actually the one who had introduced Puharich to Hurkos, indicating that they had known each other since at least 1955, just as Puharich's time with Army was winding down. As was noted above, Puharich alleged that it was the Navy who first took an interest in his work as part of "Project Penguin" (likely Project Pelican) in 1948. As I noted above, I suspect that Puharich's research was being subsidized throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s by the military before he was officially brought into the fold in 1953. Belk may indicate that the military, specifically the Navy, was continuing to sponsor his research for years after Puharich had left the Army (and ARTICHOKE) officially.

Puharich's work with Belk was not the only thing he was up to during the 1960s. In 1958 he founded the Intelectron Corporation, a medical electronics business. By the early 1960s Intelectron had acquired a roster of rather prestigious clients. Philip Coppens notes:
"With Intelectron, he mainly worked for the US government. “They had immediately seen the many potential applications of electromagnetic stimulation of hearing,” Puharich said. The U.S. Air Force thus awarded Intelectron a research contract. From there on, research was to be performed under the guidance of a member of an Air Force committee. Puharich, it seems, was never more than a long arm away from a government official…
"The interest of the committee led to an active exchange between Puharich and representatives of the U.S. Government. These agencies were the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Foreign Technology Division of the Systems Command of the U.S. Air Force (USAF-SC), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)… not your normal 'interface' when working for the government.
"As I have already mentioned, the United States and Russia were actively interested in telepathy. Apparently Professor Vasiliev, head of the parapsychological department in Leningrad, had used a Faraday Cage isolation technique to prove the existence of telepathy. This work had been done in secret, and all the witnesses to the work were no longer alive. There was a question in the minds of some NASA officials as to whether the Russians had actually done this cage-telepathy research, or had merely copied Puharich’s work of 1952. Puharich himself had many discussions about this question with NASA officials. The conclusion was that NASA was going to support his research in psychic phenomena, or what they called bio-information-transfer, or energy transfer.
"According to Puharich, a curious situation was created in the fall of 1963, so much so that he himself did not clearly foresee when it started to happen. It all came out of his research work in two different areas, the psychical research (ESP), and the research in electro-stimulation of hearing (ESH). The problem arose, he thought, because competing agencies of the US Government supported different aspects of his research. The United States Air Force supported his research in ESH under contract; NASA supported the research in ESP. 
"In September 1963, at the International Astronautic Congress in Paris, NASA’s Bioastronautics director Eugene Konecci said that both the American and Soviet Union Space Agencies were testing 'non-electronic biological communication'. He believed that “thought transference” might be a workable method of communication through space. 
"The announcement made by Konecci caused a fierce negative reaction from the US Congress. One of their spokesmen had just said that NASA believed in telepathy? The administrator of NASA, James Webb, was told that if he did not stop this ESP research, there would be major cuts in the NASA budget. Dr. Webb could only follow up on this advice and the research project that Puharich was to direct was cancelled. Puharich himself believed that the US Air Force was behind this congressional pressure on NASA, because of the intense rivalry that existed between the two agencies." 
1963 in general appears to have been a banner year for Puharich and his research. Puharich, with Henry Belk's urging, ended up in Brazil investigating Arigo, the "psychic surgeon" who performed operations without any anesthesia or antisepsis and using only kitchen knives. His patients allegedly felt no pain and there was practically no blood. Arigo claimed that a Doctor Fritz, who had died in 1918, guided him (curiously, Puharich himself was born in 1918).

1963 was also the year of the JFK assassination. As was noted before here and here, there are strong indications that Puharich's old ARTICHOKE bosses, Brigadier General Paul Gaynor and Morse Allen, may have played a role in the assassination. This was also the year that ARTICHOKE and MUKULTRA were shuttered. Each project produced successor programs, but the research was at a much reduced scale.

Brigadier General Paul Gaynor
A year before, in 1962, the Office of Research and Development (ORD) became the CIA department tasked with taking the lead on furthering the Agency's pursuit of fringe topics. The ORD, as noted above, was headed by Dr. Stephen Aldrich, a veteran of ARTICHOKE in the early 1950s who appears to have graduated from the same medical school as Puharich in the same year. There is a strong chance that Aldrich knew Puharich and if not, almost surely knew his work as the ORD would push the CIA towards fringe pursuits to an extent not seen since the heyday of ARTICHOKE. Topics such as astrology, clairvoyance and demonology were once again fair game for research.

In 1968 Project OFTEN was initiated by the ORD and the Army. Officially the task of OFTEN was to further test drugs, including even more power hallucinogens, but there have long been allegations that it was also deeply involved in high weirdness as well. The ORD would go on to be one of the two CIA offices (along with Gottlieb's TSS) to sponsor SRI's remote viewing experiments in the early 1970s (noted before here). The stage was set for Puharich's triumphant return. Philip Coppens notes:
"By the late 1960s, Puharich had built a solid foundation for ESP, and had shown practical applications, many of which he had done for the US government. The next phase of his life took him back to the days of the Round Table, where he had worked with psychics on a largely informal basis. Puharich went in search of new psychics, of which Uri Geller would become the most notorious example. Sponsored and largely run by the CIA, the remote viewing project seemed to use Puharich as a consultant, whereby the day to day management was left to other scientists. It seems that Puharich carried on where he had left off more than a decade before..."
Was Puharich's involvement with this research driven partly by his old bosses in the Office of Security? Successor programs to ARTICHOKE were likely still active at this time and the OS was the only one of the major CIA offices involved with behavior modification research (which also included the TSS, the ORD and the Office of Scientific Intelligence) who do not appear to have had an agent involved in the SRI experiments. But Puharich clearly was, and this researcher can't help but wonder if part of Puharich's job at this juncture was not just to evaluate Geller.

Ultimately, no one appears to know for whom within the CIA Puharich was consulting for. Given his strained relations with TSS and Gottleib (who appears to have been close to the Rockefeller family, Puharich's longstanding enemies), it does not seem likely that these were his patrons. The OSI or the ORD are possibilities, but this researcher suspects that the OS would not sit idly by and let other departments run with research it had largely pioneered. And why not get back in the action with their star researcher, the man whose work appears to have inspired the SRI experiments and the subsequent Project Stargate in the first place?

And then came Uri and Puharich's revelation of the The Nine to the general public. Puharich's motives in writing this work have long baffled friends and colleagues (as noted in the prior installment) for instead of legitimizing his decades of research on psi, it made Puharich and his star pupil a laughingstock.

Wars in Heaven and Wars on Earth

The publication of Uri is most interesting in terms of deep political events then playing out, however. In 1972 longtime OS-SRS (Security Research Staff, the component of the OS that oversaw ARTICHOKE) veteran James McCord walked into the Watergate building and set in motion a chain of events that would bring down the Nixon presidency. In my examination of the OS, I argued that a cabal including the OS, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the American Security Council (ASC; for decades the premier lobby group for the military-industrial complex as well as a vast private intelligence network, as noted before in this series) and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) had conspired to remove Nixon so as to sabotage Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's efforts at detente with the Soviet Union.

Henry Kissinger
Kissinger is of course a notorious Rockefeller crony and the Rockefeller family had a longstanding goal of detente with the Soviet Union that had been pursued by both Henry Kissinger during the Nixon years and throughout much of the Trilateral Commission-dominated Carter administration. As noted above, the Rockefellers appear to have had an axe to grind with Puharich. They would openly move against him in the 1980s when Puharich attempted to pursue free energy and they appear to have played a role in his ousting from the Army and ARTICHOKE in the mid-1950s via their agent, John Mulholland.

This also resulted in shake up of the behavior modification research, with ARTICHOKE losing some of its functions to the Rockefeller-funded MKULTRA. This researcher suspects that the OS never forgot or forgave this slight and here, in 1972, James McCord would put events in motion that would lead to the end of detente by the end of the decade. Tellingly, in the aftermath of Watergate McCord would pen tracts denouncing the Rockefellers, Kissinger and the Council on Foreign Relations, as noted before here.

Watergate is of course cited as a major reason for DCI Richard Helms's decision to destroy the ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA files in 1973. And yet there are no direct links between Watergate and MKULTRA that this researcher is aware. But James McCord was almost surely aware of ARTICHOKE, as noted above, and may even have been employing ARTICHOKE methods on the Columbia call girl ring that was so crucial to the second Watergate break-in and which he appears to have been running. This is likely what Helms was really worried about and not Gottlieb and his limp-wristed academics.

James McCord
It is of course well known by now, thanks to the great Peter Levenda's work in his Sinister Forces trilogy, that the specter of The Nine lurked in the background of the JFK assassination via the figure of Michael Paine (addressed before here and here). Michael Paine, along with his wife Ruth (whose father the OS may have used as an agent), had ample dealings with the Oswalds during their time in Dallas during 1963. Paine's stepfather was Arthur Young, a long time associate of Puharich's. He was one of the "Brahmins" for the June 27, 1953 session with The Nine and appears to have been involved in their saga until at least 1956.

Ruth and Michael Paine
What has yet to be addressed is the fact that the degrees of separation between The Nine and Watergate was not that great either. James McCord was in contact with Security Research Staff chief Brigadier General Paul Gaynor throughout the Watergate scandal, the same man who had overseen ARTICHOKE, and McCord had known ARTICHOKE director Morse Allen since at least the late 1940s. Allen was of course Puharich's supervisor on ARTICHOKE and it is likely that Gaynor knew Puharich as well. There's even a slim chance that McCord himself knew Puharich.

It seems rather fitting then that The Nine would appear in the backdrop of both the JFK assassination and Watergate as these two events were effectively bookends to a civil war being played out between factions of the Establishment (for more information on the deep politics of the Kennedy assassination, check here). The Rockefellers would weather Watergate, but it was a Pyrrhic victory. Nelson Rockefeller would come within a heartbeat of the presidency, but his family would totally be driven out of the Republican Party in 1976.

The Rockefellers would take refuge in the Democrats with Rockefeller Republicans being rebranded as "neo-liberals" but by 1979 detente was dead. In 1980 Reagan would come to power with ample backing from Le Cercle (noted before here), the World Anti-Communist League (addressed before here) and the American Security Council (ASC, which Paul Gaynor was a long time alley of, noted before here and here). The military-industrial complex were now co-partners with the financial elite.

But in 1974, Puharich would reveal The Nine to the public at large. This occurred a year before the Rockefeller Commission (chaired by Nelson) and the Church Committee were launched and began to reveal the CIA's behavior modification experiments to the public, but the CIA was already anticipating such things as early as 1973 as the "Family Jewels" report and Helm's decision to destroy the MKULTRA and ARTICHOKE files indicate. An investigation was coming --the writing was on the wall --and eventually the public would get a peak into these highly secretive projects of even more highly questionable legality. But when the information began to come out in the middle of the decade and ramped up towards the end, a curious thing occurred: Essentially every aspect of these experiments were blamed on Sidney Gottleib and MKULTRA.

Sidney Gottlieb
In 2016, countless books have been written exposing Gottlieb and MKULTRA and yet many fundamental aspects of ARTICHOKE are still unknown to the public. As was noted before here, there was in fact a conspiracy on the part of the CIA to pin as much as possible on Gottlieb and MKULTRA while downplaying ARTICHOKE's role and perpetuating the out and out lie that it was "rolled" into MKULTRA in 1953 or 1955,

And Morse Allen? Aside from the limited ARTICHOKE material available covering the period of 1950-1955, virtually nothing else is available covering his intelligence career prior to 1949 or after the mid-1950s. It is unknown when he retired from the CIA or when he even died (Albarelli was able to determine it was sometime in the late 1980s). Why, after over 65 years since BLUEBIRD was started, is Allen and his career still shrouded in mystery? What is the CIA still trying to hide?

Could it be related to The Nine? As outlandish as this may sound, this researcher suspects Puharich's revelations in 1974 may have been sending a message to certain deep state factions about what could come out if ARTICHOKE was thoroughly investigated. Certainly a consorted effort emerged not long afterwards to perpetuate the MKULTRA myths despite the Rockefellers having ample involvement with MKULTRA.

While Puharich may have been doing one last favor for his old bosses, Paul Gaynor and Morse Allen, it came with a heavy price. Both Gaynor and Allen appear to have left the Agency by 1974. A year later Puharich would start the Space Kids, but by 1978 his Lab Nine research center was burned to the ground and he apparently feared the CIA was trying to assassinate him. Was it Puharich's research involving free energy and ELF waves (ARTICHOKE had investigated electromagnetic radiation in the 1950s but it does not appear that Puharich was involved in this research) that spurred this sudden reversal? Or perhaps the fact that his Space Kids program bore to close a resemblance to the highly classified Project Stargate, which had just been launched (and which was largely based on his research)? Or was it pay back for his revelations of The Nine? Or perhaps a combination of all three?

But despite everything, the CIA offered Puharich one last chance --with the ASC-aligned Ronnie Raygun in office. The great Philip Coppens notes:
"Perhaps as a reward for his silence, in 1982, Puharich was offered the post of ELF (Extremely Low Frequencies) research director for the CIA. In the words of his biographer, “supposedly two CIA men came to his house in Delaplane, Virginia apologizing that the CIA gave him such a hard time.” Puharich declined the position. He had got the message: do what you want, but keep quiet about it. And so he did. In 1980, Richard Joshua Reynolds invited Puharich to live at his estate and study ELF at his own convenience."
Coppens goes on to note that Puharich would continue to discuss ELF waves with the CIA up until the late 1980s, but the Agency seems to have kept him at arm's length after his confrontation with the Rockefellers over developing a fuel based on water in 1983, as noted above. He appears to have rattled to many cages by this point. When Puharich died in 1995, he was destitute and largely forgotten.

The Nine experienced something of Renaissance in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Only Planet of Choice by Phyllis Schlemmer, who had channelled The Nine for Puharich in the 1970s (noted in the prior installment) was published in 1994 and elements of their saga cropped up in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, the Stargate franchise, among others. But the publication of The Stargate Conspiracy in 1999, the first in depth look at Puharich and The Nine, proved to be their last hurrah. No major new contacts have occurred in years now and the general public is largely oblivious to them despite the enormous comeback the New Age movement has made in recent years.

This researcher does not pretend to have all the answers. What I have hoped to achieve with this series is to display how incomplete our understanding of these events truly are. In 2016 the hit Netflix series Stranger Things lifted its story line largely from Puharich's research and yet attributes these experiments to MKULTRA and a thinly-veiled version of Ewen Cameron, likely out of sheer ignorance. No doubt another generation of researchers are already poised to follow this red herring yet again.

in fairness to Stranger Things, there may have been some subtle hints to ARTICHOKE
My hope is that this series may finally spur researchers to take a closer look at the true black magician of the CIA during the Cold War years, namely Morse Allen, and his star researcher, Andrija Puharich, who provided the intellectual frame work for research into such arcane topics. Herein one will find the true stranger things.