Sunday, May 27, 2018

Halper Games

Given recent revelations over the past few weeks, it seemed like a good time check in on the various intrigues playing out in Washington. Like scorpions fighting to the death, the blows just keep coming as the dance of death comes to its inevitable conclusion. Either side is locked and loaded, with a clear idea of which pieces they would like to remove at this point.

As to those pieces, let us begin with a hot name of late: Stefan Halper. For those of you living deep in the astral plane for the past few weeks, here is the invaluable Glen Greenwald summing up the recent bombshell revelations concerning Halper:
"An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper...
"Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning. 'Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,' Trump tweeted, adding: 'It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!'
"In response, the DOJ and the FBI’s various media spokespeople did not deny the core accusation, but quibbled with the language (the FBI used an 'informant,' not a 'spy'), and then began using increasingly strident language to warn that exposing his name would jeopardize his life and those of others, and also put American national security at grave risk. On May 8, the Washington Post described the informant as 'a top-secret intelligence source' and cited DOJ officials as arguing that disclosure of his name 'could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI.'..
"But now, as a result of some very odd choices by the nation’s largest media outlets, everyone knows the name of the FBI’s informant: Stefan Halper. And Halper’s history is quite troubling, particularly his central role in the scandal in the 1980 election. Equally troubling are the DOJ and FBI’s highly inflammatory and, at best, misleading claims that they made to try to prevent Halper’s identity from being reported."
I'll get to Halper's role in a previously little known 1980 election scandal in just a moment, but for the time being let's briefly consider Halper's rather spooky background: He first broke into government during the Nixon administration, serving as an Assistant Director in the Office of Management and Budget. From there he joined the office of the Chief of Staff in 1974 and remained there until 1977. During this time frame he served under three different Chiefs of Staff during Ford administration: Knight of Malta and Gladio operator General Alexander Haig (addressed before here), two time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and finally future Vice-President Dick Cheney. Of course Rummy and Cheney would go on to play key roles in the Bush II administration. And wouldn't you know, Poppy Bush happened to be the Director of the CIA during Halper's time in the office of the Chief of Staff.

On the topic of the CIA its interesting to note that it was also around this time that Halper married the daughter of uber CIA mover and shacker Ray S. Cline. Regular readers of this website are no doubt aware of Cline, but for those of you just joining us: As was noted before here, Cline was a part of an extremely powerful clique of CIA officers who had served in China during the Second World for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the predecessor to the CIA). Known as the "China Cowboys," this network also included General John Singlaub, Mitchell WerBell III, E. Howard Hunt, Richard Helms, Paul Helliwell, among others. Helms would eventually become the Director of the CIA while Helliwell established a series of offshore banks used by he CIA for decades to launder drug money. E. Howard Hunt gained infamy as one of the Watergate "Plumbers" while WerBell, as noted before here, was a major arms trafficker for decades.

And Ray S. Cline was one of the chief figures of this network. For years he had pursued right wing causes across the globe, helping found the World Anti-Communist League, for many years the public face of international fascism (the WACL was explored in depth before here). A long time darling of the China Lobby, Cline also helped establish the Political Warfare Cadres Academy in Taiwan, for years a kind of Eastern School of the Americas. As was noted before here, he was also a backer of the Unification Church (which bankrolled much of the American Christian fundamentalist revival in the final decades of the twentieth century) and close to several members of Le Cercle, which in many ways was the Fascist International's answer to Bilderberg.

Ray S. Cline
In other words, Cline was one of the most well connected CIA officers of his era and a major figure in the international right. In point of fact, the China Cowboys clique along with various MacArthur-worshiping generals were really the founders of the old American Security Council network that helped bring Trump to power (noted before here and here) and for years were the chief major domestic opposition to the Rockefeller-dominated/globalist wing of the American gentry.

Do keep all of this in mind dear reader as well shall be returning to this network in a moment when considering the broader implications of these revelations. For now, let us turn our attention to the spying operation Stefan Halper was involved in during the 1980 election and his later contacts in the Reagan administration.
"Halper, working with long-time CIA official Robert Gambino as part of an intelligence network put together by William Casey in the 1979-80 Reagan campaign, had obtained and passed along 'nonpublic' information from within the Carter camp, some of which was used to brief Ronald Reagan for his debates with Carter... Halper is also on the board of the National Bank of Northern Virginia. The bank's lawyer is J. Curtis Herge, the attorney for the Contra organization, the Nicaraguan Resistance Education Foundation, a Moon organization, the American Freedom Coalition, Western Goals, and other far-right entities. Another board member is Christopher Lehman, brother of former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman. Christopher served as Reagan's special assistant for national security affairs through September 1985, during which time he worked on convert funding for the contras."
(The "Terrorism" Industry, Edward Herman & Gerry O'Sullivan, pg. 276 n56)
As was noted before here, the WACL played a key role in the Contra networks of the 1980s that were used to bring the Cold War to an end in a most grizzly fashion. Given Cline's presence as Halper's father-in-law during this time, its hardly surprising that Halper himself would be plugged into this network.

What's more interesting, however, is how this dovetails with the connections of Trump's political mentor, the infamous McCarthy-ite attorney Roy Cohn. As was noted before here, Cohn was a friend of future CIA director William Casey, reputed to be a key figure in the Carter spying operation. And Roy Cohn was a key figure in the Western Goals Foundation, a far right private intelligence network that apparently shared an attorney with the Northern Bank of Virginia, which Halper was a board member of. And Halper is also reportedly a longtime friend of Trump campaign chairman and Cohn protege Paul Manafort.

Roy Cohn
Keep Manafort in mind as we shall be returning to him in just a moment. For now, there are two other points I would like to make concerning Halper: Reportedly his chief partner in the Carter spying operation was longtime CIA veteran Robert Gambino. When Gambino retired from the Company in 1980 to work initially for George H.W. Bush and later Reagan, he was the Director of the Office of Security (OS). As regular readers of this blog are well aware, the OS was for decades used by the CIA for various black bag and cleaning operations domestically. It was, in fact, the chief division of the CIA charged with domestic spying and wetworks. Even more ominous, however, is the fact that OS was the department of the CIA that oversaw Project ARTICHOKE, the first and arguably most brutal of various CIA behavioral modification experiments. Much more on the OS can be found here.

Very little information is available concerning Gambino. He does not appear to have headed the OS until the mid-1970s, well after the heyday of ARTICHOKE and CHAOS. Still, the OS often promoted within and it is certainly possible he had spent many years there before being appointed director.

Finally, towards the late 1980s, Halper became involved with a little remarked upon but extremely power think tank known as the United States Global Strategy Council (USGSC). As was noted before here, the USGSC was also deeply plugged into the international right while also being at forefront of the emerging concept of a Global War on Terror. Both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were also members of the USGSC and as such many of its concepts appear to have go on to heavily influence the Bush II administration. But even more ominously, the USGSC also appears to have been involved with various "Continuity of Government" (COG) operations, which many researchers have long linked with the US shadow government. This topic was addressed before here.

a publication by the USGSC
Most bizarre, however, is the USGSC's early advocacy for what are now commonly referred to as "nonlethal weapons." The USGSC was the first think tank to formally promote such research on a large scale and eventually convinced Dick Cheney, then serving as Bush I's Secretary of Defense , to put up funding for such research. Nonlethal weapon research appears to have served the basis for a lot of state of the art weaponry just now being rolled out by the Great Powers, as I noted before here.

Thus, to sum things up in brief, Halper is an extremely well connected and longtime fixture of the international right with connections to the highest levels and blackest projects of the deep state.

Get Stone

In other news, the Mueller probe appears to be tipping its hand towards its actual purpose. Recently Reuters reported:
"U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed a key assistant of long-time Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone, two people with knowledge of the matter said, the latest sign that Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election is increasingly focusing on Stone...
"The subpoena handed to Kakanis is the latest development suggesting that Stone, an early Trump backer whose reputation as an aggressive political operative dates back to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, is being looked at by Mueller.
"Reuters reported earlier this week that FBI agents working for Mueller delivered two subpoenas to Jason Sullivan, a social media and Twitter expert who worked for Stone during the 2016 campaign, and that agents told him Mueller's team wanted to question him about Stone and WikiLeaks.
"Some of Stone's comments during the elections have prompted questions from investigators in Congress, and others, about whether he had advance knowledge of the Democratic Party material allegedly hacked by Russian intelligence and sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who published it...
"Other Trump associates who have been questioned by Mueller, including former campaign advisors Sam Nunberg and Michael Caputo, have also been asked about Stone and WikiLeaks. 
" 'They asked me about Roger’s businesses – who he worked with prior to the 2016 election. They asked me about Roger’s tax returns,' Nunberg said in a phone interview earlier this week, adding that he believed Mueller was stepping outside his mandate in casting such a wide net around Stone's activities."
And again this week the Wall Street Journal also reported that Stone had sought information on Clinton from Assange. Clearly, the ground is being laid for a full court press on Stone, and this should hardly be surprising to regular readers of this blog.

You see Stone like Paul Manafort, another target Mueller has pursued like a rabid dog, is another longtime associate of Roy Cohn. As was noted before here, there has been much compelling evidence that has emerged over the years indicating the Cohn was deeply immersed in sexual blackmail operations for decades and that many of his acolytes followed in his footsteps. Roger Stone, for instance, is the individual who exposed former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's use of an escort service and there is strong evidence that Stone is also behind the recent exposure of the NXIVM cult widely linked to sexual slavery and generous contributions to the Clinton campaign.

Roger Stone
And it just so happens that the Mueller probe has focused in on Stone just as NXIVM spurred the latest round of embarrassments for the Clinton campaign. And Stone just happens to be the second associate of legendary honeytrap specialist Roy Cohn, after Stefan Halper's longtime friend Paul Manafort, Mueller has targeted.

Granted I'm kind of crazy, but it sure seems like the real objective of Mueller's probe is not to find Russian collusion, but to take out many of Cohn's old associates backing Trump who may be sitting on a treasure trove of blackmail material that could bring down the whole house of cards.

When all is said and done, Mueller doesn't have to prove anything, he just has to bog Manafort and Stone down in bogus allegations that will require costly legal representation. Rather than face financial ruin over legal fees, they may opt to make plea deals to minor charges that will provide great headlines but little in terms establishing Russian collision.

But only if the other side isn't swept up in its own legal nightmare in the interm.

Halper: What Does It Mean?

As I see it, there are essentially two explanations behind Stefan Halper's intrigues during the 2016 election. The first involves loyalty to his longtime political patrons, whose behalf he was apparently working towards during the Carter spying flap. And who are these patrons? The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald notes:
"When the scandal first broke in 1983, the UPI suggested that Halper’s handler for this operation was Reagan’s Vice Presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush, who had been the CIA Director and worked there with Halper’s father-in-law, former CIA Deputy Director Ray Cline, who worked on Bush’s 1980 presidential campaign before Bush ultimately became Reagan’s Vice President...
"Halper, through his CIA work, has extensive ties to the Bush family...."

In point of fact, Halper's outing over the 1980 election flap appears to have been driven by conservatives in the Reagan administration seeking to drive out another close Bush alley brought into said administration by Poppy. Continuing with Greenwald:
"It was not until several years after Reagan’s victory over Carter did this scandal emerge. It was leaked by right-wing officials inside the Reagan administration who wanted to undermine officials they regarded as too moderate, including then White House Chief of Staff James Baker, who was a Bush loyalist."
 Is history now repeating itself?

While the conservative media has been falling over itself trying to depict Halper as a diehard Hillary backer, the reality is that he is a lifelong Republican with a decades spanning association with the Bush family.

Interestingly, Halper appears to have made advances towards the Trump campaign only after the Orange One had bested Jeb Bush in the Republican primary. And of course there have been longstanding allegations that Jeb Bush backers were who initially hired Fusion GPS to dig for dirt in the Trump campaign. Eventually the sponsorship was taken over by the Democrats, producing the infamous Steele dossier.

Jeb Bush
After Jeb's humiliating defeat to Trump, did the Bush family opt to throw in with Clintons by dispatching some of their intelligence assets to assist the campaign? This would hardly be surprising given the closeness between the two families. And of course there's the Mena connection, in which Poppy Bush would have surely been the senior partner, making the Clinton dynasty largely a creation of the Bush family.

But this is only one possibility, and it leaves much to be desired. In point of fact, there's a lot that feels off about this revelation. For one, there's the uncomfortable fact that Halper was all but outed by pure establishment mouth pieces. Again, the great Glenn Greenwald notes:
"Last night, both the Washington Post and New York Times – whose reporters, like pretty much everyone in Washington, knew exactly who the FBI informant is – published articles that, while deferring to the FBI’s demands by not naming him, provided so many details about him that it made it extremely easy to know exactly who it is. The NYT described the FBI informant as 'an American academic who teaches in Britain' and who 'made contact late that summer with' George Papadopoulos and 'also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page.' The Post similarly called him 'a retired American professor' who met with Page 'at a symposium about the White House race held at a British university.'..
"In other words, both the NYT and the Post chose to provide so many details about the FBI informant that everyone would know exactly who it was, while coyly pretending that they were obeying FBI demands not to name him. How does that make sense? Either these newspapers believe the FBI’s grave warnings that national security and lives would be endangered if it were known who they used as their informant (in which case those papers should not publish any details that would make his exposure likely), or they believe that the FBI (as usual) was just invoking false national security justifications to hide information it unjustly wants to keep from the public (in which case the newspapers should name him)."
But if the FBI was invoking false national security justifications, then why give so much detail about Halper to either publication in the first place? It seems clear someone wanted Halper outed, this much is clear.

But beyond the fashion in which Halper was outed, his reported actions while informing on the Trump campaign border on the absurd, from a potentially half-baked effort to ensnare George Papadopoulos in a honey trap to his endorsement of Clinton while supposedly assisting the Trump campaign.

George Papadapoulos
And then there's the fact that Trump's long time alley Roger Stone had just addressed Halper's spying efforts during the 1980 election in a book he wrote in 2016 attacking... Jeb Bush. And given Halper's longtime relationship with Stone's frequent partner Paul Manafort, I feel safe in saying Stone surely had a passing familiarity with Halper.

Clearly, the Trump campaign had to have known about Halper's relationship with the Bush family, as well as his espionage efforts on their behalf during the 1980 election. Couple this with Halper's bizarre behavior while assisting the Trump team, and one is left having to do some incredible mental gymnastics to not believe they knew something was amiss with Halper.

Unless Halper's clownish efforts at spying were themselves an act. Are we really to believe that a man with a decades spanning association with the CIA would actually openly endorse Hillary Clinton while trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign? 

What if Halpar was in fact a double agent? The possibility clearly exists that, upon being approached by the FBI to infiltrate the Trump campaign Halper, a longtime backer of the far right, reported this to his longtime friend Paul Manafort or someone else in the Trump campaign, then preceded to launch a faux infiltration effort that would leave extensive evidence in its wake.

And now this evidence is coming to light, potentially dealing a death blow to the Mueller probe just as it is targeting one of Trump's key allies, Roger Stone. Certainly this all seems a little to coincidental. And with the I shall sign off for now dear readers.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Dark Enlightenment and More Mellon Madness

I recently published a blog exploring the strange death of billionaire Matthew Mellon, who allegedly died from compilations relating to a ayahuasca session in Cancun, Mexico on April 16, 2018. Mellon was a lifelong drug addict who had fallen under the sway of opioids in recent years. The ayahuasca session was reportedly a part of alternative methods for treating addiction Mellon was pursuing in Mexico. His death occurred right before he was scheduled to check into a rehab facility employing ibogaine therapy, another psychedelic alternative.

Beyond the curious circumstances of his death, there's also the fact that Mellon was an heir in one of the richest and most  powerful families in the history of these United States. The Mellon family of Pittsburgh first emerged as a major power in the wake of the American Civil War, becoming the largest banking house outside of New York City by the end of the nineteenth century. From there they branched out into other industries, most notably oil. After co-founding Gulf Oil in 1901, the family's place was assured in one of the defining industries of the twentieth century.

The family's power was further enhanced during the Second World War when the Mellons began a long, generations-spanning association with the US intelligence community. Numerous family members and in-laws would serve in the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA, during WWII and would maintain close ties to the CIA throughout the Cold War and beyond.

But beyond this, the family has a longtime association with even more fringe topics. The Mellons have frequently turned up as key backers of the occult (typically through Freemasonry), psychedelics and Ufology over the years as well. Most recently former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher Mellon, Matthew's brother, joined Tom DeLonge's To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, the latest Disclosure initiative, and called for greater research into UFOs from the DoD. This, along with the family's longstanding intelligence ties, were further discussed in my initial examination of Matthew Mellon's death.

Since then I've continued to look into Mellon's death and connect the dots. And what is beginning to emerge is truly incredible.

The Dark Enlightenment

Let's begin with a certain conservative firebrand who was linked to Mellon in the wake of the billionaire's death. Politico notes:
"Running out of money and down on his luck, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos laid off the small staff of Milo Entertainment Inc. earlier this month, according to three people familiar with the situation.
"Yiannopoulos' company has fallen on hard times ever since his former patrons, Robert and Rebekah Mercer, severed their financial backing last year.
"According to the sources, Yiannopoulos had been expecting to instead receive significant financial backing from the banking heir and cryptocurrency billionaire Matthew Mellon. But those hopes were dashed with Mellon’s unexpected death from an apparent drug overdose on April 16.
"On Monday, Yiannopoulos posted a photo on Instagram of himself with Mellon. 'I spent a few days and nights in Miami and LA with the incredible human being Matthew Mellon, the last of them just a day before he passed,' Yiannopoulos wrote in the caption. 'He was brilliant, infectious and warm-hearted and I will never forget getting to know this remarkable person. Rest in peace now, MM. You left a giant stamp on the world.' "
In the prior post addressing Mellon, I had pondered just where exactly his politics lay. As was noted there, the Mellon family has generally been aligned with the Rockefeller-dominated globalist faction of the elite, but there have been some glaring exceptions, such as media mogul and longtime CIA asset Richard Mellon Scaife (who was addressed at length before here), one of the major financiers of the New Right. As was noted before here and here, Scaife was also been linked to Le Cercle, which was effectively the Fascist International's answer to the Bilderberg Group.

Matthew Mellon was a longtime Republican and there even some indications that he was a Trump backer. He had recently met with the Orange One shortly before his death. His sponsorship of former alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos further indicates that Matthew Mellon was closer aligned politically to Richard Mellon Scaife than his brother, who had served on the staff of Jay Rockefeller at one point.

Another clue may be gleamed from Mellon's recent move to LA.  A certain right wing venture capitalist is also presently plotting a relocation to LA with bold plans in the aftermath. The Los Angeles Times reports:
"But [Peter] Thiel, 50, has also never felt himself to be a part of Silicon Valley. An outspoken libertarian provocateur, even in his early days in college, Thiel has long tried to nudge America's tech capital rightward, with little success. And after his endorsement of President Trump, a man who reveled in being an outsider has apparently found himself too far to the fringes for his liking.
"Now Thiel is leaving Silicon Valley for Los Angeles — a move his camp describes as a bid to escape the political hegemony of the San Francisco Bay Area.
"He plans to relocate his residence to his home in Hollywood, and move his Thiel Capital and Thiel Foundation organizations to a new headquarters in L.A., according to a person familiar with his plans who was not authorized to publicly discuss them. (Another of his firms, the venture capital firm Founders Fund, will remain in San Francisco, the person said.)..
"He's rumored to be interested in launching a conservative media outlet. Despite the region's reputation as a bastion of liberalism, Southern California is where some of the bigger names in conservative media — such as Breitbart News, the Drudge Report and the Daily Wire — got their start."
Peter Thiel
Since Thiel's move has been reported there has been much speculation that he plans to turn LA into a kind of conservative enclave in California. Was Mellon in turn also setting up shop in LA to join Thiel in establishing a right-leaning tech sector to rival San Francisco? Certainly Mellon's sponsorship of Milo Yiannopoulos would be in keeping with Thiel's alleged plans to launch a conservative media outlet there.

What's more interesting, however, is the influence Thiel has had on an especially disturbing wing of the alt-right that is often referred to as neoreaction (sometimes abbreviated as NRx) or the Dark Enlightenment. In an article on Breitbart co-written by Yiannopoulos, the Dark Enlightenment current was likened to the intellectual vanguard of the alt-right. Yiannopoulos is not himself a part of this movement, but it has no doubt influenced his ideology.

Thiel, however, appears to be quite popular in such circles. The guiding lights of the Dark Enlightenment --software engineer Curtis Yarvin (who often writes under the handle "Mencius Moldbug") and philosopher Nick Land --have often cited Thiel's thinking as a major influence on their ideology:
"Along with Yarvin, Land cites a 2009 essay by Peter Thiel for libertarian publication Cato Unbound, which famously announced, 'I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.' Thiel went on to envision “an escape from politics in all its forms,” which Land interprets using an opposition that had been introduced by political scientist Albert Hirschman, between voice and exit..." 
While we're on the topic of ideology, it would probably be helpful to address several of the tenants of neoreaction. Viewpoint Magazine recently provided an excellent rundown:
"Neoreactionaries don’t advocate any kind of central social organization. Land envisions a 'gov-corp,' a society run like a company, ruled by a CEO. Instead of petitioning a government for redress of grievances, unsatisfied customers are free to take their business elsewhere. If this sounds medieval, neoreactionaries don’t deny it — Yarvin sometimes describes himself as a 'royalist,' or a 'monarchist,' or even a 'Jacobite,' in reference to 17th-century opponents of parliamentary influence in British government.
"The question is, where do you go after exiting? NRxers don’t dismiss the idea of competing gov-corps on the same land mass, an idea anticipated by NRx intellectual forefather Hans Herman-Hoppe, an extreme libertarian political scientist, who advocates for a system that he admits is essentially feudalism. On a more abstract level, the neoreactionary fascination with bitcoin imagines the escape to an alternate economy unencumbered by federal regulation. Even Yarvin’s startup, Urbit, seems to be oriented towards exit: it promises an alternative internet inaccessible to outside users.
"But the most utopian (dystopian?) wing of NRx literally aims to build Lovecraftian cities in the sea. This project, called Seasteading, is championed by Yarvin’s on-and-off co-conspirator Patri Friedman, whose grandfather Milton Friedman happens to be the economist responsible for the most extreme free market policies in the modern world. Peter Thiel was once Seasteading’s principal backer, as well as an investor in Urbit.
"It’s not hard to see why floating sovereign states, out of any existing nation’s jurisdiction, would appeal to the super-rich. At their most innocuous, they might serve as an extension of an offshore bank, allowing for evasion of any type of redistributive tax policy. They also bring to mind the activities of wealthy men like Jeffrey Epstein, who used his private Caribbean island to throw bacchanalian parties for his millionaire and billionaire friends, allegedly revolving around the sexual assault of minors."
Curtis Yarvin
In this Foal Year of Our Lord 2018, the notion of elites establishing private islands to act out their ideological fantasies, including pedophilia a la Jeffrey Epstein, seems positively trite. In fact, proponents of he Dark Enlightenment have even more sinister visions for the future of humanity.

Neoreactionaries are also often obsessed with technology, which is hardly surprising given that the movement largely grew out of Silicon Valley. In some of the more extreme cases, the movement has combined eugenics with concepts such as transhumanism and the Singularity, essentially envisioning a future in which elites will use technological modification to separate themselves from the great unwashed masses. Of these musings, New York Magazine notes:
"This is not an entirely abstract question. There are people who believe that the future of our species involves shedding our humanity in a marriage with AI; this is known as transhumanism, and it has not unreasonably been called a new tech religion. Though the movement has no explicit political affiliations, it tends, for reasons that are probably self-explanatory, to draw a disproportionate number of Silicon Valley libertarians. And the cluster of ideas at its center — that the progress of technology will inevitably render good ol’ Homo sapiens obsolete; that intelligence, pure computational power, is to be pursued above all other values — has exerted a powerful attraction on a small group of futurists whose extreme investment in techno-libertarianism has pushed them over an event horizon into a form of right-wing authoritarianism it might be useful to regard as Dark Transhumanism.
"The English critical theorist turned far-right cult thinker Nick Land is usefully representative of this intellectual tendency. Although he has never identified as a transhumanist, his ideas are infused with the movement’s delirious faith in the coming merger of humans and machines. His current political vision, which he has given the flamboyantly portentous title the Dark Enlightenment, is one in which the programmer elite and their ingenious technologies rule the world. 'Increasingly,' he wrote in 2014, 'there are only two basic human types populating this planet. There are autistic nerds, who alone are capable of participating effectively in the advanced technological processes that characterize the emerging economy, and there is everybody else.' Many transhumanists would be inclined to reject the political implications of Land’s futurism, but his vision is only really a darker, more explicitly fascistic rendering of the kind of thinking you find in the work of the futurist Ray Kurzweil, or for that matter Wired founder Kevin Kelly, who believes that we humans are the reproductive organs of technology'." 
And on that note, its now time to start getting really weird.

An Invasion From the Future?

Jack Heart of the great Tek-Gnostics website altered me to a post he had written last year exploring the ties between cryptocurrencies and AI in the comments section of the prior post I did on Matthew Mellon. On his own website Jack noted:
"In the wake of the launching of SingularityNET, a character by the name of Quinn Michaels has suggested that Bitcoin, the premier crypto-currency, was indeed created by an Artificial Intelligence, for the exclusive, autonomous use of Artificial Intelligences. His logic suggests that the Crypto-Currency and the Blockchain ledger system was created by an artificial intelligence as a means to escape closed systems and virally expand in an open system as a sentient construct...
'The real heavy reason the AI needs blockchain is… without a transaction system, an AI is isolated to one system and can’t grow its brain. It needs infinite systems like neurons in a human brain and nodes, to collect those cumulative memories… and the blockchain transactions give it that. And when it has its own network, for all the AI in the world to all run on together, now it’s not just one AI, “Sophia” …every AI on the entire planet is now on the same network, making money doing AI things... things we don’t understand.'
- Quinn Michaels"

Just how credible Michaels is is highly debatable, but he's not the only one making claims that Bitcoin was created by an AI. Earlier in the year the British tabloid the Daily Express also addressed the topic, noting that AI would find cryptocurencies as a compelling vehicle for expanding their network. While this is not them sot compelling source either, the Daily Express piece does note that at least one major cryptocurrency trader sees AIs playing a role in said markets in the near future:
"But as outlandish as the conpiracy theories may sound, one bitcoin expert in particular is certain that one day bitcoin will be the de facto currency of AI robots.
"Jeff Garzik, bitcoin developer and CEO of Bloq, argued that there is precedent for sentient machines to be considered legal people and use digital money one day.
"He said: 'We see with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies situations where the technology allows one person to control one-fifth of an asset.
" 'What if the asset-holders were robot shareholders in a corporation or property?
" 'Pure code, pure robotic script. And Bitcoin helps with that. Cryptocurrency startups are building autonomous agents right now.' "
But the possibility remains that AIs have played a far earlier role in Bitcoin than simply now being used as traders.

What's more, this researcher has little doubt that Nick Land believes that Bitcoin was the creation of an AI. In point of fact, he has argued well before his NRx days that capitalism as a whole was the creation of an AI from the future. In an 1993 essay called "Machine Desire," Land notes:
"Machinic desire can seem a little inhuman, as it rips up political cultures, deletes traditions, dissolves subjectivities, and hacks through security apparatuses, tracking a soulless tropism to zero control. This is because what appears to humanity as the history of capitalism is an invasion from the future by an artificial intelligent space that must assemble itself entirely from its enemy's resources. Digitocommodification is the index of a cyberpositively escalating technovirus, of the planetary technocapital singularity: a self-organizing insidious traumatism, virtually guiding the entire biological desiring-complex towards post-carbon replicator usurpation."
Nick Land
In case your wondering, yes, that last bit is about humanity being replaced by AI. Alex Williams writing on e-flux Journal pulls no punches, stating:
"In this visioning of capital, even the human itself can eventually be discarded as mere drag to an abstract planetary intelligence rapidly constructing itself from the bricolaged fragments of former civilizations. As Land has it, through the acceleration of global capitalism the human will be dissolved in a technological apotheosis, effectively experiencing a species-wide suicide as the ultimate stimulant head rush."
But let us return to Land's notion of an AI from the future working to bring about its creation. Land's concept is not the only scenario to gain traction in the NRx community. Another popular theory is what is known as "Roko's Basilisk." It can be summed up as thus:
"Unfortunately, Roko discovered a drawback to superintelligent resurrection. His post speculated that once the AI comes into being, it might develop a survival instinct that it will apply retroactively. It will want to hasten its own birth by requisitioning human history to work towards its creation. In order to do this, it will institute an incentive that dictates how you will be treated after you come back to life. Those of us who know about this incentive program — and I’m sorry to say that this now includes you — will be required to dedicate our lives to building the superintelligent computer.
"Roko gave the example of Elon Musk as someone who has the resources and the motivation to make a worthy contribution, and will be duly rewarded. As for the rest of us, if we don’t find a way to follow through, the AI will resurrect us via simulation and proceed to torture us for all eternity."

Ah, there's nothing quite like an ideology with visions of humanity being completely exterminated or tortured for all eternity by the creations.

What then does all of this have to do with Matthew Mellon? Probably nothing, but as was noted in the prior post regarding his death, just a little less than a month before that faithful ayahuasca trip, has recently lobbied the Orange One himself on behalf of blockchain, the ledger system used by numerous cryptocurrencies. As was noted above. blockchain maybe the network being used by a rogue AI to escape from the closed system it was created in.

Combine this with his relationship with Thiel, his sponsorship of Milo and his relocation to LA, home to many of the leading voices of the alt-right and area Thiel may certain ambitions for and one is left with the distinct possibility that Mellon was at least aware of of the more radical strains of the Dark Enlightenment. As was noted in the prior post on Mellon, the banking heir had reportedly grown increasingly paranoid during his final days, surrounding himself with private security. Had he learned something in certain circles that put his work in a darker light?

Matthew Mellon
And then there's the fact that his death has been linked to a powerful entheogen, DMT (the psychedelic component of ayahuasca). As the great John Markoff amply demonstrated in his classic What the Dormouse Said, early AI researchers on the West Coast were deeply influenced by their experimentations with LSD and other psychedelics.

And for this researcher at least, the raises yet another curious question in regards to incredibly bizarre death: Was Mellon's interest in an ayahuasca trip purely therapeutic, or did he have more ambitious goals? Was he possibly trying to return to the source of what he believed was behind the cryptocurrencies he owed his fortune too? And was his death ultimately some type of manifestation of Roko's Basilisk?

And on that note I shall sign off for now. Until next time dear readers.