Thursday, April 1, 2021

UFOs, Cults, and Confidence Games

Hat Tip: "Larry," Denim, S90

It's the first of the month once again, which means it's time for a new subscriber's show for The Farm's patrons section. My guest this time round is Diana Walsh-Pasulka. She is a writer and professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has co-edited the anthologies Posthumanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens and Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural as well as being the author of Heaven Can Wait: Purgatory in Catholic Devotional and Popular Culture and American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology

This is a wide reaching conversation largely exploring the rise of the postmodern paradigm. Through this prism, we explore a host of topics: VideodromeIn the Mouth of Madness, and the science fiction reality we find ourselves living in; the strange, nonsensical behavior reported by contactees as a form of depatterning; how the rise of channeled communications coincided with the technological revolution in the West; synchronicity as a form of depatterning; Randonautica; and even the Mandela effect

We also consider the possibility that there is something genetic about families with multiple "Experiencers." From there, we delve into whether personality profiles have been applied to Experiencers, and the rather disturbing implications of this in a post-Cambridge Analytica world. On the topic of disturbing implications, we address whether a "meta-narrative" involving the UFO phenomena will be rolled out by the military during the next year. 

To close out, I have Diana cover one of the more curious aspects of the famed SRI remote viewing experiments: the influence of the French Jesuit anthropologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Further, this also involved SRI's Augmentation Research Center, the same one that played such a crucial role in launching the modern PC revolution. It's a fascinating, and fitting, note to wrap up on. 

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Diana is the latest in a ever growing collection of guests on The Farm's patron section. Others include Christopher KnowlesRichard B. Spence, Douglas Valentine, Greg Bishop, Adam Gorightly, Walter Bosley, J. Michael "Doc Future" Bennett, Neil Sanders, and David Metcalfe. Next up is "The Secret History of 1980s Counterculture." It's going to be awesome. 


We might as well talk some UFOs with this one as there are no shortage of headlines and sound bites making the rounds of late. Just this past week, Senator Mario Rubio paused at Reagan National Airport to discuss the matter with TMZ. It was probably a sound move by Rubio, who has all the charisma of a paper bag. Merely mentioning UFOs gives him the finest sound bite of his political career. But you know it's the end of something when encountering headlines like: "SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: LET'S I.D. THE UFO'S FLYING OVER MILITARY BASES ..." and they're not being taken from The Onion


Disclosure is in the air again, as it is every few years. It's supposed to be different this time because of the provisions placed in a Trump-era COVID relief bill. But it's all supposed to be different. And then, it's more of the same old crap.

But there is one compelling circumstance this time around, and it has nothing to do with COVID, Cold War 2.0, or pending economic collapse. Rather, it has to do with the UFO racket teetering on the verge of collapse due to a recent lawsuit. 

It's goes by the name of Kiviat vs Marriott. The saga is every bit as strange as one may imagine. Many of the usual suspects are present. They include: Hal Puthoff, who co-directed the famed SRI remote viewing program and later helped found To the Stars Academy (TTSA) with Blink 182's Tom Delonge; Silicon Valley entrepreneur and longtime Ufology sugar daddy Joe Firmage; former Utah state congressman Daniel Marriott, also a member of the hospitality dynasty; Utah real estate mogul and current Skinwalker owner Brandon Fugal; and former CIA Deputy-Director, Division of Science and Technology honcho Ron Pandolfi. 

Pandolfi is a crucial figure in this racket. Reportedly, he ran the CIA's "Weird Desk," which was tasked with UFOs and other strange doings. Pandolfi is a part of "The Aviary," an informal network of mostly former spooks that have been gaming the Ufology field for decades. 

possibly Pandolfi

As for Kiviat vs Marriot, the story goes something like this: At some point in the '90s, Hal Puthoff acquired a strange gyroscopic devise from Russia that was (allegedly) capable of producing anti-gravity energy. Naturally, it was claimed to be reverse-engineered extraterrestrial technology. At some point, Firmage acquired this wonderful toy and brought Pandolfi on as his "scientific adviser." Eventually, this all led to a company called the International Academy of Science and Arts, or InterNASA for short. Pandolfi assembled a CIA team of "physicists, engineers, and mathematicians" to examine the devise. Financial backing came from Dan Marriott, and possibly Fugal. 

Enter Robert Kiviat, a TV producer best known for the Alien Autopsy "specials." Kiviat went to work at InterNASA for nearly a year handling "Communications, Public Relations, and Studio projects" for the company. All Kiviat saw for his efforts was five grand, considerably less than what he signed up for


While Kiviat's lawsuit was launched nominally to recoup his pay, it had a another purpose: to expose this group of hucksters. Specifically, it would have forced Pandolfi to go on record concerning his claims of continual intelligence support. These claims would have in turn been submitted to the inspector generals for the CIA and DIA. Needless to say, the results of those inquiries could have caused a considerable amount of trouble for Pandolfi and company. Most likely, they would have revealed that Pandolfi was using his status as a former senior CIA officer to bilk gullible investors for these fantastic technologies. 

A key early figure in all of this, Hal Puthoff, is a co-founder of TTSA, a major force behind the current Disclosure push. Interestingly, many of the heavy hitters in TTSA such as Christopher Mellon, Luis Elizondo, and Steve Justice recently departed this past December. Beyond this, TTSA is also rebranding itself as an "entertainment company," and largely abandoning it's research into science and technology in the process.

Gee, could that be due to the fact that the gyroscopic devise Puthoff pawned off to Firmage is hardly the only piece of dubious tech he's backed over the years? Like Pandolfi, Puthoff is another Aviary huckster who's been working behind the scene for decades now. These men have made impressive livelihoods for themselves off of using their intelligence credentials to rope in people with too much money and too little common sense. 


But what about men like Firmage, Marriott, and Fugal? These men already had fortunes well before entering the UFO field. Surely there are easier ways for them to expand these fortunes than the otherworldly confidence games men like Pandolfi and Puthoff specialize in. 

This is where the strange beliefs of the elites come in to play. Want to know something interesting that Firmage, Marriot, and Fugal all have in common? Besides the UFO racket? The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS). 

Yes, all of these men are Mormon. And they are hardly alone in the UFO field. Indeed, members of the LDS have been covertly pushing the extraterrestrial narrative since at least the 1970s. Consider, for instance, Sunn Classic Pictures, a production company located in Salt Lake City and dominated by Mormons. During the 1970s, it had some success with a series of documentaries it released. These documentaries either dealt with Biblical narratives or UFO/paranormal subjects, especially the ancient alien trope. This was also the era of the original Battlestar Galatica, created by Mormon Glen A. Larson and loaded with Mormon cosmology. The 21st century version toned down the Mormonism greatly, but several of the crucial elements. 

Glen A. Larson

Since the 1990s, a Mormon presence in Ufology has been much more pronounced beyond Hollywood. Firmage was once one of the principal investors. Fugal has picked up some of the slack in recent years. Elsewhere Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate Majority leader who procured funding for the Pentagon's 21st century UFO inquiries, is also a Mormon. 


Personally, I don't think it's a coincidence at all that there has been such an influx of Mormons into the UFO narrative since at least the 1970s. This is likely a glimpse into true ideology that dominates in certain circles --not the wholesome, Leave it to Beaver image of Mormonism that's been carefully cultivated for decades now, but an esoteric variety with a truly bizarre conception of the chosen people. It's faith that few are probably ever brought into fully, least of all rank-and-file LDSers. And Mormonism is surely not the only flavor available in such circles, but certainly one of the most overlooked ones. 

Suffice to say, this is the type of thing that no one in these circles wants coming out. A guy like Pandolfi cashing in on his CIA credentials to run a confidence game or two on dupes is one thing.  Financial gain is a motive the public can easily grok. The implications of the belief systems driving the continual funding for this stuff is not so easy to digest.

But with the heightened attention the UFO narrative is currently generating, the moneymaking schemes of many of the "experts" in the field could become a major issue. Fortunately for all involved, Kiviat's lawsuit appears to have been ill-conceived. It appears to be winding down with no major revelations forthcoming. But it is very illustrative of how fragile the mythos around Ufology truly is. The combination of flim-flam men and religious fanatics at the heart of Ufology is not something certain quarters want John Q. Public paying too much attention to. 


On the topic of cults and UFOs, I've got a great one to share with you guys! We already discussed some of the strange symbolism present at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Let us now consider one of the speakers, a certain Hiroaki “Jay” Aeba of the Happiness Realization Party (HRP). This outfit helped establish Japan's own version of CPAC.


Predictably, Aeba and the HRP have an anti-PRC stance, and the threat China poses to the American Empire was at the heart of his address. This is all pretty textbook for a right-wing Japanese politician addressing his US counterparts for the past 75+ years. What really stands out about Aeba and the HRP is the body behind both. 

It is known as "Happy Science" and has been described as a cult by some commentators. Founder Ryuho Okawa reportedly believes himself to be the reincarnation of a god from Venus who created all life on earth millions of years ago. So yeah, cult sounds about right. These Happy Science folks should fit right in with Falun Gong and the remnants of the Unification Church in the GOP's Asian section. 

Happy Science...

Predictably, neo-liberal outlets like Vice are having a field day with the GOP's increasingly open relationship with various cults. No doubt they feel secure in knowing the Democrats would never publicly align themselves with an outfit like NXIVM or the Satanic Temple or some weird UFO cult...

Neo-liberal cults have an easier time flying under the radar. They typically attract celebrities and feature glowing accounts in Rolling Stone or whatever constitutes a chic/hip publication in 2021. There's no way GOP cults can compete in terms of gloss. Fortunately, they more than makeup for it in sheer batshit insanity. 

Case in point, the whole Shaunawaz and Sabmyk thing. There have been some interesting developments in this offshoot of QAnon since I last touched upon them. Rumblings indicate that the "visionary" behind the "Sabmyk network" has been unmasked. Reportedly, he's a Berlin-based artist known as Sebastian Bieniek


As one might imagine, Bieniek is an interesting guy. In the twilight zone of Q, strange figures appear endorsing the purported crusade against the Pedophocracy. Figures like General Paul VallelyMichael Aquino's old Mind War buddy. And something maybe in the works for Sabmyk as well. Turns out Bieniek worked with none other than Marina "Spirit Cooking" Abramovic, she of Pizzagate infamy. Apparently, Abramovic was an influence on Bieniek's approach to performance art. Don't expect many discussions on that to emerge among the Safmyk network. 


Another interesting aspect of Bieniek is his long history of making fake social media accounts to promote his art. Indeed, it seems as though the Sabmyk network grew out of various characters Bieniek created to promote his work. Bieniek even published a book in 2011, RealFake, that detailed his use of social media and fake identities ("sock puppets") to promote his efforts. As the title implies, the book takes the Baudrillardian perspective that the lines between reality and fiction have been blurred to the point of being non-existent. Is Bieniek a practitioner of theory-fiction? I've found nothing online to suggest such, but it would hardly be surprising if he were aware of the concept. 

Bieniek's connection to Abramovic puts developments in conspiritainment over the past five years in a curious perspective. As was noted above, there are compelling indications that various Aviary types having been crafting UFO mythos to promote their own confidence games. For more on the strange dealings of the Aviary, I'd suggest picking up a copy of Adam Gorightly's most recent work, the groundbreaking and brilliant Saucers, Spooks, and Kooks

If Ufology has been used as a field for various confidence games for decades now, are mainline conspiracy theories any different? Certainly Bieniek appears to have been using QAnon to promote a hoax for the purpose of selling his art. Michael Flynn has already cashed in on QAnon. He is hardly alone in these efforts. And what of Pizzagate, a crucial foundation stone in QAnon? While there were clearly political motives for leaking Podesta's emails, did someone start playing up Abramovic's art as a marketing gimmick, one that quickly got out of hand? 

But would someone use the Pedophracy and conspiracy theories in general to sale their art? Well, if you've seen any number of music videos made in the twenty-first century, or skimmed a website like Vigilant Citizen, then the answer to the question should be a resounding "yes." This isn't to suggest that there aren't strange beliefs present in these circles --see my above musings on esoteric Mormonism. But there's a lot of humbug as well, and that's what sales. And certain folks are living very well off of these efforts. 


  1. I am looking forward to this MP3!

  2. Good entry! Hadn't checked-in in a while...

  3. Hi I have written about a New Age UFO cult on my blog if anyone is intrested?

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  6. Tour de force, my man. Tour de fuckin force.

  7. Some amusing new stuff from Peter Levenda: