Sunday, July 2, 2017

Twin Peaks Musings

As some of you may be aware, Twin Peaks and The X-Files are my all time favorite shows. As a child of the 90s, I was lured into The X-Files debut in 1993 while still in elementary school. Twin Peaks was already off the air by then, but I became obsessed with the show several years later after viewing Fire Walk With Me, a film version of Twin Peaks that came out in 1992. In particular, the sequence involving David Bowie totally blew my mind and remains one of my favorite scenes in film to this day.

While still in middle school, I tracked down a VHS set of the original run of Twin Peaks (sans the pilot), solidifying my obsession. From there on Twin Peaks became like an old friend, a place I could always comfortably escape to when the real world became to dull. My obsession with Twin Peaks never quite became a daily ritual as The X-Files did (I watched an episode or two of The X-Files before I went to bed every night for well over a decade) but it was always by my preferred escape from the daily grind.

Needless to say, when the returns of The X-Files and Twin Peaks were announced a few years ago, I was stoked in a way I hadn't been for Hollywood products in years. While I may have lost my faith in Tinseltown years ago, not so much in Chris Carter or David Lynch.

While The X-Files revival had its faults, possibly its biggest hindrance was a lack of episodes. Six hours of material just wasn't enough to appease the different type of fans the original run produced, who tend to prefer either monster-of-the-week eps or the "mytharc" ones. The X-Files revival tried to tackle both, unleashing two mytharc-centric episodes, one pure monster-of-the-week episode (penned by the great Darin Morgan no less) and three episodes that fell somewhere in between. While the individual episodes, especially the mytharc ones, were strong, the overall narrative felt somewhat disjointed as Carter and company tried to satisfy both sets of fans on a limited run. Hopefully the next season, which will expand to ten episodes, will manage a better balancing act.

Twin Peaks returns with eighteen hours of new footage and seemingly little interest in meeting fan expectations (or at least those of the critics). The new series comes off as a natural extension of the widely panned (at the time of its release) Fire Walk With Me, with the weirdness being upped another half dozen notches or so for good measure. No doubt individuals hoping Lynch would return to the pilot and fist season of Twin Peaks have been greatly disappointed, but they should have known better anyway.

Fire Walk With Me set the template for the rest of David Lynch's career and since then his films (with the exception of the cash-in The Straight Story) have only become and weirder and less concerned with linear storytelling. In that sense, Twin Peaks: The Return is exactly what the fans should have been expecting.

David Lynch
But even if Lynch and greatly underrated co-creator Mark Frost are sticking to their guns, does it work? In this writer's mind, absolutely. In fact, I could just end this post now by urging fans of this blog, or The Secret Sun, Rune Soup and the like, to tune in as soon as possible if they haven't already as The Return is practically a manifesto on many of the arcane topics discussed here or similar sites. Ruminations on non-human intelligence, black projects and the nature of reality and consciousness itself are the order of the day, but filtered through Lynch's supremely surreal prism.

Ah, but that is the exact prism that is needed. A big part of the appeal Twin Peaks has held for me over the years is how it presents the supernatural. When the show began to delve heavily into such netherworlds during the second season it was widely lambasted for loosing the plot. But supernatural fingerprints were always all over the series.

What upset most viewers was how incomprehensible it all was. Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) received messages from the beyond that were so enigmatic that it frequently took weeks for them to begin making any kind of sense, if at all. And the behavior of denzies of the Black Lodge was so strange, with their backwards language and curious phrases ("Let's rock!") that most were simply left dumbfounded.

But for anyone whose ever read the supernatural musings of Charles Fort or John Keel, or similar theories concerning UFOs put forth by Jacques Vallee or has even been following the great Christopher Knowles' examination of the psychodrama played out by Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser, one realizes that Twin Peaks has put forth the most accurate take on the Other Side ever aired on television. And certainly it would have few rivals among film as well.

Simply put, the Other Side speaks in a language that we do not entirely understand and works on a schedule that may well be inconceivable to the human mind.

David Lynch and Mark Frost understand this implicitly and have gone to great lengths to capture this high strangeness on the Twin Peaks revival. And they are absolutely blowing my mind. I'm sure many of you out there are feeling the same way as well.

And while its far to early to attempt some type of broad analysis of the new season with only eight episodes having been aired at the time of this writing, I would like to note a few points that are of interest to me and which I think regular readers will find compelling as well. Warning: this will be extremely SPOILER heavy. Also, I am writing with the assumption that the reader is familiar with both the new season as well as the original run of Twin Peaks and the mythology surrounding. If not, you may find yourself lost throughout this post.

So, with those disclaimers out of the way, let us begin.

The Numbers

Certain numbers appear to have significance to the story line and appear at certain key points in the new season. In several instances, Cooper is told specific numbers by elements of the Other Side that latter have some type of significance. In other cases, these numbers have simply appeared in the background or are uttered by random characters, but seem to appear more than once in the series. Here are a few such examples:

253: Before leaving the Black Lodge, the Arm mentions 253 to Cooper. Later on it is revealed that 2: 53 is the time Cooper's doppelganger was scheduled to return to the Black Lodge.

315: 315 was the number of Cooper's old hotel room at the Great Northern Hotel, the key to which he still has when he returns to our world. When Cooper is forced out of the Black Lodge by Arm's doppelganger, he eventually falls into a room in a vast compound overlooking an Abyss. Awaiting him in the room are an eyeless woman and what appears to be a giant electrical socket with the number 15. Cooper later leaves this room with the eyeless woman and walks out onto what appears to be some type of box floating in space. On the box is some type of generator/container the curiously resembles the fabled Die Glocke, better known as the Nazi Bell.

The eyeless woman flips a switch on the Bell, then appears to be electrocuted. Her body floats off into space as Cooper looks on. He then heads back down, only to find himself in a slightly different room with a different woman (this one listed as "American Girl" in the credits). There is another giant electrical socket here as well with the number 3 by it. Cooper transforms into a kind of vapor and floats into the socket, which takes him back to our world at 2:53 in Las Vegas.

430: During one of the first scenes in the first episode Cooper is told by the Giant (Carel Struycken) to remember 430, along with Richard and Linda and "kill tow birds with one stone." Later Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), a resident of Twin Peaks, kills a small child with a truck. A Twin Peaks deputy tracks down the owner of the truck, who agrees to meet the deputy again at 4:30 to discuss the the murder. The truck owner does not make the meeting.

Deadly 6: The child struck by Richard dies near a power pole with the numbers 324810, and below these numbers a giant 6 in a circle. In episode two Cooper's doppelganger killed a young woman in a hotel room numbered 6.

Lucky 7: If 6 seems to be linked to death in the show, 7 may have a connection with life and luck. After evil Cooper kills the woman in hotel room #6, he goes over to room #7 and appears poised to sleep with another woman (i.e. he gets lucky) there under his sway. Later, (in episode 7 no less) an assassin likely hired by evil Cooper attempts to kill the real Cooper in front of the business where Dougie Jones, the golem created by evil Cooper to take his place in the Black Lodge, worked. The name of the company? Lucky 7 Insurance and it proves to be so as the real Cooper easily disarms the assassin with aid of the Black Lodge.

First Peoples

Much like Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining, the specter of First Peoples is draped all over Twin Peaks. Of course, it was always present in the form of the character of Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse), the Native American artwork of the Great Northern and the mythos surrounding Owl Cave. With The Return, these elements are once again present, and even more amplified. The search for the real Cooper on the Twin Peaks end is set in motion by a phone call from the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) to the now Deputy Chief Hawk informing him that a clue was missing in the death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) related to his heritage.

Meanwhile in South Dakota, a new murder mystery seems to be unfolding in the small town of Buckhorn. And like Twin Peaks, it seems to have its origins in a Native American settlement. In the first shot of Buckhorn Lynch lingers on what appears to be a giant Indian Mound in the middle of the town. As I've noted before here, Indian Mounds have frequently be linked to hot spots of high weirdness. 

Gordon Cole's Office

There appear to be some tantalizing clues in the office of FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole (played by Lynch), Cooper's former boss, in the pictures hanging on his wall. One picture is of the legendary novelist Franz Kafka, whose surreal, often nightmarish work, dealt with bureaucracy run amok in which protagonists often found themselves subjected to complex, bizarre and illogical predicaments beyond their control. The real Cooper's situation may not be quite "Kafkaesque," but the world Lynch invokes in Twin Peaks has more than a few overlaps with Kafka's works.

Franz Kafka
Another compelling image is of a mushroom cloud, presumably from the Trinity Site. As we saw in episode 8, the most recent one as of this writing, Lynch seemed to indicate that the evil personified by the Black Lodge entered into our world as a result of the splitting of the atom.

This is a compelling notion at the cutting edge of research into high weirdness. The great Christopher Knowles has speculated that the Trinity test also opened a gateway into our world that allowed something not entirely friendly to enter. It is no coincidence that the modern UFO era, with the Kenneth Arnold sighting and Roswell, began in earnest less than two years later.

1947 also witnessed the official beginning of the various Pentagon/CIA "behavior modification" experiments that included Projects CHATTER, Pelican, BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA and MKOFTEN, among others. While these projects are generally believed to have been chiefly concerned with mind control, the reality is that they were equally obsessed with UFOs, psi and other strange phenomenon. Project STARGATE, the Pentagon remote viewing project, had its origins in BLUEBIRD/ARTICHOKE (as was noted before here), for instance. And of course by the early 1950s ARTICHOKE scientist Andrija Puharich claimed to have channeled "The Nine" (noted before here and here), an alleged extraterrestrial intelligence that existed out of time and space.

Some may object to this interpretation as things like UFOs have been little mentioned in the show itself (though the beloved character of Major Garland Briggs [Don S. Davis] had worked on Blue Book, as well as Cooper's old partner, the psychotic Windom Earle [Kenneth Welsh]), but readers of The Secret History of Twin Peaks will not be so quick to dismiss such notions. The book delves heavily into Ufology, addressing the Kenneth Arnold sighting, Roswell, Maury Island and Fred Lee Crisman, Projects Sign, Grudge and Blue Book, Majestic 12 and even the long-speculated upon connections Jack Parsons and Aleister Crowley had to the phenomenon, ending up with a Keel/Vallee-esque take on the subject. It even even recasts a minor character from the original series, newspaper editor Dougie Milford, as a kind of budding Fox Mulder who spent years chasing UFOs for the US intelligence community before being reassigned to Twin Peaks. Clearly author Mark Frost is very well versed in this subject and I would not be surprised if the topic eventually crops up in the new season. But back to the matter at hand.

Dougie Milford (Tony Jay)
A third picture seen in Gordon's office is also pregnant with symbolism: that of an ear of corn. In The Golden Bough, James George Frazer links corn to various myths of dying-and-resurrecting deities.
"Dionysus was not the only Greek deity whose tragic story and ritual appear to reflect the decay and revival of vegetation. In another form and with a different application the old tale reappears in the myth of Demeter and Persephone. Substantially their myth is identical with the Syrian one of Aphrodite (Astarte) and Adonis, the Phrygian one of Cybele and Attis, and the Egyptian one of Isis and Osiris. In the Greek fable, as in its Asiatic and Egyptian counterparts, a goddess mourns the loss of a loved one, who personifies the vegetation, more especially the corn, which dies in winter to revive in spring; only whereas the Oriental imagination figured the loved and lost one as a dead lover or a dead husband lamented by his leman or his wife, Greek fancy embodied the same idea in the tenderer and purer form of dead daughter bewailed by his sorrowing mother."
(The Golden Bough, James George Frazer, pg. 405)
the picture of corn in Cole's office
Was the picture of corn then potentially a hint of things to come? If so, it would likely revolve around the relationship between Cooper and Laura Palmer, who appear to have been magically wed at the end of Fire Walk With Me. In The Return it is Laura who appears in the Black Lodge to tell Cooper that he can leave. Shortly thereafter Laura is suddenly taken from the Black Lodge in a sinister fashion. Later Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), Laura's father and killer, tells Cooper to find Laura before he leaves the Black Lodge.

In leaving the Black Lodge, Cooper seemingly goes through his own descent into the underworld, or likely in this case the Abyss, where he ends up at the above mentioned compound with the electrical outlet portals. Episode 8 seems to indicate that this is the home of the Giant. Curiously Enki, the Sumerian deity of fresh waters and one of their chief deities, was said to live above the Abzu (roughly the Sumerian equivalent of the Abyss).

Deep Private Hang Outs

In the first two episodes much is made of glass box under constant video surveillance from all angles in a New York skyscraper. The large room the box is housed in is under 24 hour security detail with an employee tasked with staying in the room with the box at all times to observe it and reload the cameras. 

Eventually the private guards mysteriously disappear and the steward allows a very curious young woman into the room with him. Things soon turn sexual, and while they are distracted a shadowy figure appears in the box. It soon breaks out and literally tears apart the couple. Earlier Cooper had appeared in the box what the steward was out of the room. 

All the information we've learned about the box thus far indicates it and the room are owned by a shadowy billionaire who was conducting some type of experiment with it. Here there are shades of the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS), a research organization dedicated to exploring fringe science. It was founded by the mysterious billionaire Robert Bigelow and staffed with a host of officials such as Colonel John Alexander (addressed before here and here), Hal Puthoff and Edgar Mitchell (noted before here) long linked to deep state forays into UFOs, psi and the like. 

At one point Bigelow acquired the infamous Skinwalker ranch for the NIDS, where it conducted a host of experiments on the bizarre phenomena long reported in and near the ranch. There has long been speculation that the research done at the Skinwalker ranch and other field work conducted by the NIDS were a continuation, in the deep private, of work begun in deep state projects such as ARTICHOKE and STARGATE.

the shadowy Robert Bigelow
It is interesting to note that both Robert Bigelow and his NIDS are/were based out of Las Vegas. Bigelow built his fortune on real estate there before moving into the aerospace industry, space exploration and fringe science. Of course, a good chunk of The Return has been set in Las Vegas, with the real Cooper assuming the life of golem Dougie Jones there after returning from the Black Lodge. I would not be surprised if the mysterious billionaire behind the glass box turns out to reside in Las Vegas and turns up in the story line there eventually.

On that note, it is worth mentioning the Las Vegas chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFOI) that operates out of Nellis Air Force Base. The AFOI brings together many key black ops figures from various branches of the US intelligence community and is believed to wield enormous power behind the scenes in the CIA, DIA and the like. The Las Vegas chapter of the AFOI has many members long linked to fringe topics --that above-mentioned Colonel John Alexander, longtime Area 51 employee and some time Coast to Coast AM guest T.D. Barnes and the infamous Colonel Michael Aquino (noted before here). More information on the AFOI and its Las Vegas chapter can be found here.

As such, Las Vegas is far more apt location for Twin Peaks than it may initially seem. It will be most interesting to see if Lynch and conspiracy buff Mark Frost will further explore the city's deep background. 

But let us return to the glass box for a moment? Ufologist Grant Cameron recently indicated that the Twin Peaks subplot has eerie parallels to reports of a portal being opened between dimensions. 
"He stated that Aliyah Malik Pandolfi had talked to Trump. She is the wife of... Ron Pandolfi. All of this briefing had to do with a portal that would play a role in disclosure...
"Sounds like a crazy idea except for two things.
"First, Smith is very close to Pandolfi who is closely tied to whatever the government knows about UFOs, and Smith has reported things from Pandolfi that later turned out to be true.
"Second, at the same time Smith was saying this, I got an independent Facebook message from Adrian Boniardi in Hollywood who thought there was going to be a gradual disclosure leak of information about UFOs. The leak connected to a new TV show called Counterpart, and had to do with the portal. The coincidence and timing were overwhelming. Boniardi wrote:
More drip? Keep an eye on this show when it comes up sometime this year. It promises to be very interesting of the kind of 'Fringe'. 
I've worked on it these last couple of days and the storyline seems interesting. 
'A U.N. (United Nations) employee discover that in the place where he works at (somewhere in Germany) they're hiding an inter-dimensional portal.'
"As synchronicity would have it, someone recently brought to my attention that Twin Peaks (2017) features a portal into an alternative dimension, with the portal being kept under guard at a New York City skyscraper owned by mysterious billionaire."
(Managing Magic: The Government's UFO Disclosure Plan, Grant Cameron, pgs. 256-257)

In fact, such a concept --a portal to another dimension --has become increasingly popular of late. The runaway hit Stranger Things also dealt with such a concept as did fellow Netflix production The OA. There have of course long been rumors, mainly relating to the Montauk mythos, that the deep state did in fact open such a portal. These developments certainly make for some interesting speculations.

Dimensions and Universes

And that brings me to my own outlandish theory concerning the new season of Twin Peaks: What if it takes place, at least in part, in a different dimension than the original series and the film? 

I ask this speculative question due to what initially seemed like simple continuity errors on the part of Lynch and Frost. Specifically, I'm thinking of much of what went down episode 6 relating to Carl Rodd (Henry Dean Stanton), a returning character, but one who only appeared in Fire Walk With Me. 

In FWWM, it was clearly established that Rodd was resident of Deer Meadow, Oregon and managed the Fat Trout Motor Home there. An FBI agent, Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) was sent there to investigate the death of Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley), the first victim of BOB/Leland. Banks kept her trailer at the Fat Trout. Also located there is the electrical pole with the numbers 324810 and a circled 6 on it.

Seemingly the same exact electrical pole that turns up in Twin Peaks, Washington over 25 years later at in intersection where the magician MIKE had confronted Leland/BOB and Laura Palmer in FWWM and where Richard ultimately kills a child in the new season.

the well traveled electrical pole
Further muddying the waters is the issue of Fat Trout Trailer Park, also of Oregon in FWWM. In The Return its referred to as the New Fat Trout Trailer Park, leading many fans to assume Carl had simply moved it at some point. But The Secret History of Twin Peaks, written by series co-creator and the co-writer of the new season Mark Frost, tells a different story.
"In the early 1980s Rodd returned to his hometown for the first time in nearly 30 years and took up residence outside Twin Peaks in a brand-new trailer park. He eventually became the manager of this park, and part owner as well. He quietly gained a reputation there and in the rest of the community as a sensitive, caring and, despite his meager means, generous soul. He lives there in the park to this day."
(The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Mark Frost, pg. 146)

But FWWM clearly established that Rodd was living in Oregon in 1987 when Teresa Banks' murder occurred and yet here it is alleged that he was already living in Twin Peaks at that time. Mark Frost was only an executive producer on FWWM so its possible he was not overly familiar with the story line, but given how obsessive fans of the show are, it seems odd that such a glaring continuity error would be left in, especially sense it appears Rodd and the Fat Trout will play a key role in the new season as well (the other individual mentioned by the Giant, Linda, is apparently a resident of the Fat Trout).

Ah, but Rodd and the Fat Trout are not the only continuity error in Secret History either relating to the Teresa Banks saga either. In fact, Frost relocates the entire town of Deer Meadow from Oregon to Washington state, near Twin Peaks no less.

Nor is the story line of FWWM all that is altered as I've noted some changes in the book go back to the original show, which Frost was deeply involved in. For instance, the time frame of Big Ed (Everett McGill) and Nadine's (Wendy Robie) courtship is dramatically changed while Audrey's (Sherilyn Finn) motives behind being in the bank at the time of explosion also appear to have been changed.

Was all of this just sloppy work by Frost? But what of the electrical pole, which the viewers were clearly meant to notice, being transferred from Deer Meadow (of either Oregon or Washington) to Twin Peaks? I'm getting the sense that Lynch and Frost are subtly indicating that the world of the new season is slightly different than that of the original series and especially FWWM.

An even stronger indication of this possibility is dropped at the end of episode 7. Twin Peaks fans on Moviepilot made a startling observation about the final scene of this episode:
"Ready for the most mind-boggling thing you might have missed? At the very end of the episode we find ourselves in the Double R Diner instead of at our usual gig at the Roadhouse. It seems like a pretty average scene: People are sitting around enjoying their coffee and cherry pie, Norma's at a booth crunching numbers, Shelly's pouring refills, and Heidi is giggling. Then a man runs into the diner and frantically yells, 'Anybody seen Billy?' (btw, the man is credited as Bing and is played by Lynch's son Riley, who was also in the band Trouble in Episode 5).
"But this is where it gets really weird. Eagle-eyed Redditor EricMee13 pointed out that after Bing's exchange, the scene completely changes. Just look at the before and after photos above. After Bing leaves, Shelly turns around at looks a bit confused, before shaking it off and going back to work. But was she confused because of Bing's question, or was she noticing the changed clientele? This is certainly no editing fluke, but whether or not Lynch is trying to convey just a general sense of unease or something more sinister remains to be seen."
An accompanying picture clearly shows that the patrons of the Double R are different than the ones who had been eating prior to the entrance of "Bing" (played by one of Lynch's sons):

Before (top) and after (bottom) Bing
It seems hard to believe that this was some type of continuity error as well. This sequence, along with the bizarre appearance of the electrical pole in Twin Peaks, strongly indicates to me that things are not quite as they seem in the current Twin Peaks universe. Is it possible then that the new season is set in a different dimension or universe? Certainly doppelgangers are well established in the Twin Peaks universe by now, but are they limited to characters? Are there doppelgangers universes as well? To my mind, this is certainly a possibility worth considering at this point.

And with that I shall wrap things up for now. If I have some more thoughts as the series progresses, I'll be sure to weigh in again. Until then or next time, stay tuned dear reader.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Babylon 5 Curse --Updated 6/21/17: Another Death

NOTE: An update is at the bottom

As a child of the 90s, I was blessed to experience some of the most ambitious genre fiction in my formative years. I missed Twin Peaks during its initial run, but had caught up with it by the mid-1990s. I was with The X-Files at the beginning, watching the pilot on September 10, 1993. And of course there was also Millennium (which I've written at length before here) and some of those could-have-been classics like Nowhere Man and  The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

But a particular favorite of mine was Babylon 5. At the time it was one of the most ambitious narratives ever attempted on a sci-fi TV series (or really any TV series), featuring the early use of a story arc. All five seasons were plotted out ahead of time by creator J. Michael Straczynski (though the story lines of the fourth and fifth seasons were later altered when there were concerns over cancellation) so that the series would flow like a novel. Even seeming stand-alone episodes would feature minor plot points (some times headlines glanced on a newspaper or TV new reports playing in the background of scenes) that would hold major implications for future plot developments.

J. Michael Straczynski
Nowadays we take story and myth arcs for granted, but at the time there was really nothing else that quite had the scope of B5. The X-Files was close, but featured ample monster-of-the-week episodes, while the myth arc after the Syndicate was suddenly killed off never quite recovered.

B5, like The X-Files, is also loaded with mythological and esoteric allusions along with rich symbolism. I've toyed with writing an extended examination of such things for several years now but have yet to feel like I could do it justice. This feeling was only reinforced of late as I began re-watching the series several weeks ago.

Thus I was quite saddened, upon finishing up two season three episodes in the wake of dinner, to find that Jerry Doyle had passed away on July 27th. Doyle, 60, had recently found new life as a conservative radio talk show host (he had also ran as a Republican for the US House of Representatives in California after leaving the show several years earlier) but he is till most widely remembered (like much of the rest of the cast) for his turn on B5. In the show he had played the cynical security chief Michael Garibaldi, a character said to be the descendant of the legendary Italian statesman and Freemason Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Babylon 5 had a rather expansive cast, featuring 17 regular characters during its five year run. Curiously, five of them have already died, and all at fairly young ages. Sixty especially seems to be an unlucky age for B5 alumni. Michael O'Hare, who played Command Jeffrey Sinclair, the first military governor of Babylon 5, also died at sixty in 2012. This researcher has long suspected that Commander Sinclair's last name was inspired by the famed Sinclair Clan of Scotland. This would be in keeping with the Masonic theme the Garibaldi choice hints at. Consider:
"Central to many recent theories about secret societies, the Sinclairs are a Scottish aristocratic family of Norman extraction --their name was originally St. Clair --with a historic connection to Scottish stonemasonry... it was well enough established in tradition in the early seventeenth century that one branch of the Sinclair family was able to gain the backing of Scottish stonemasons' lodges in two attempts to re-establish their rights over the craft. The Sinclairs were also patrons of the masterpieces of Scottish medieval architecture, the famous Rosslyn Chapel...
"The hereditary rights of the Sinclairs over Scottish masons lapsed with the transformation of Scottish stonemasons' lodges into modern Freemasonry in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In 1736, at the establishment of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Willaim Sinclair of Roslin formally relinquished all rights over Masonry. In return, the members of Grand Lodge made him Scotland's first elected Grand Master for a term of one year..."
(The Element Encylopedia of Secret Societies and Hidden History, John Michael Greer, pgs. 560-561) 
was Sinclair supposed to have had famed distant relatives as Garibaldi did?
The final of the B5 actors to have passed away at the age of 60 is Jeff Conaway. Conaway was also known for work on Taxi and his turn in the film adaptation of Grease. He died of a case of pneumonia that was exasperated by years of drug abuse. On B5 he had played security officer Zack Allan. He began as a reoccurring character in season two and was upgraded to a regular cast member for the third season. He remained as such until the show's end in 1998, his character eventually becoming chief of security.

Jeff Conaway as Zack Allan
Another B5 regular nearly died at 60 as well. Andreas Katsuls, who played the Narn ambassador G'Kar, passed away at the age of 59 in February of 2006. Like Conaway, he had suffered from an addition, though in Katsulas case it was smoking. He ultimately succumbed to lung cancer. He was the second of the regular cast members to die.

Andreas Katsulas
The first was Richard Biggs, who played Dr. Stephen Franklin. Biggs passed away in May 2004 at the age of 44. Thus, he is the only of five deceased regulars not near the 60 mark to pass on. The last name of his character, Franklin, could be seen as an allusion to yet another famed Freemason, namely the American statesman Benjamin Franklin. As far as I can tell, these are the only regular characters with names potentially alluding to Freemasonry, though there are many others loaded with historic and metaphysical significance.

Richard Biggs
Certainly it would seem the age of 60 and character with last names potentially inspired by Freemasons have proved to be a lethal combination for B5 alumni. This is quite a morbid synchronicity.

UPDATED 6/21/17

As a reader kindly pointed out to me in the comments section, another regular B5 cast member has died: Stephen Furst, who passed away on June 16, 2017 from complications related to diabetes. The New York Times reports:
"He first learned of his diabetes when he was 17 — complications of the disease had killed his father — but did not face the condition directly until a foot infection in the mid-1990s led doctors to tell him that he might need to have his leg amputated.
" 'Like most severely overweight people, I had to hit a rock-hard bottom before I’d take responsibility for the consequences of neglecting my own health,' he said in an interview with USA Today several years later. The wake-up call led him to a significant weight loss. He began to take a leading role in educating others about the disease."
Furst nearly lost the foot while filming Babylon 5. Afterwards he went through a dramatic weight loss that was evident on the show.

On B5 he played Vir Cotto, the long-suffering aid of some-times-psychotic Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik). The Centauri are a bit of a cross between the Roman and British Empires and are every bit as bloodthirsty and genocidal as either was during their prime. Vir was quite an exception, however, being one of the only Centauri depicted in the show who was truly aware of the significant failings of his civilization.

Furst as Vir
Vir would eventually serve, briefly, as the Centauri Ambassador to Minbar and eventually succeed Londo as the Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5 after Londo became the Centauri Emperor. Vir himself would later don the purple and seemingly lead the Centauri Empire to a period of restoration after Londo's disastrous reign.

Furst is now the sixth B5 regular cast member to die. There were eighteen total regular cast members during the show's four year run, meaning a third of the cast is now deceased. Five of the six total cast members have died around the age of 60 --Andreas Katsulas was was 59 while Michael O'Hare, Jeff Conaway and Jerry Doyle were all 60. Furst was 63.

When one considers how many Twin Peaks regulars were still around to film The Return (though a fair number of them have since departed after filming their scenes for The Return...) or that over half of the original Star Trek cast is still around, this is rather striking.

As was indicated above, Babylon 5 dealt with some very heavy, esoteric themes. As Chris Knowles has been exploring in his brilliant series roughly based around the death of Chris Cornell, these kinds of "psychodramas" can have heavy costs for those who perform them. The B5 cast may now be paying such a cost.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Fringe: The Strange and Terrible History of the Far Right and High Weirdness Part XI

Welcome to the eleventh in my ongoing examination of the netherworld of the far right and high weirdness. Over the course of this series I've used "high weirdness" as a catchall for a host of arcane topics including UFOs, psi, Tesla weapons, human potential and so on. As for the far right, I've largely examined it through the lens of a host of think tanks costly linked to the American military-industrial complex such as the Committee on the Present Danger Mach I and the American Security Council (ASC).

For those of you just tuning in, here is a rundown of the topics discussed in the prior installments:

And with that out of the way, let us return to Colonel John Alexander, whose involvement with the far right was only just getting started. In 1988 Alexander officially retired from the military and not long afterwards would find himself involved with a curious organization known as the United States Global Strategy Council (USGSC). And the USGSC just happened to be one of the most powerful outposts of the shadow government during this era. Naturally, it was little addressed at the time and has received even less commentary since it was dissolved some time around 1995. Hopefully this post will change that.

The Players

The USGSC is extremely important to our narrative as it brought together many of the organizations and players we've considered throughout this series. As such, an in depth examination is warranted. So, let us start with the main who is generally credited with its creation: longtime CIA spook Ray S. Cline

Cline, simply put, was one of the most powerful deep state players of his era or any. He had longstanding ties to the far right as well, driven in no small part to his decades-spanning association the Nationalist Chinese of Taiwan, who for years constituted the US's "China Lobby." Much of their influence in these United States was bought and paid for with drug money. 

Cline was part of the OSS's "China Cowboys" clique (briefly addressed in the prior installment) in the 1940s, when he first established ties to the Kuomintang (the Nationalist Chinese political party). By the late 1950s he was the CIA's station chief in Taiwan. It was during this period that he played a key role in establishing the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), a curious assortment of international drug and arms traffickers, various terrorists and religious extremist of various stripes, "former" US military and intelligence officers and the inevitable Nazi war criminals. This blog has considered the WACL in depth before here.

Ray S. Cline
 Another gift Cline bequeathed to Taiwan and various other Third World countries was an institution, based in Taiwan, known as the Political Warfare Cadres Academy. The PWCA was linked to various Latin American death squads throughout the 1980s and appears to have been used by the old WACL as a training center for their various international operations. This "academy" has been likened to other institutes of higher learning sponsored by the American national security complex such as the School of the Americas (formerly located in Fort Gulick of Panama, presently operating out of Fort Benning, GA) and the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (of Fort Bragg, where Alexander's Jedi Project was conducted). More information related to the Political Warfare school can be found here. But moving along.

the old flag of the PWCA
During his time in Asia, Cline also appears to have established close links with the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, a relationship that shall be touched upon in a moment. In addition to the WACL and USGSC, Cline also played a key role in establishing Georgetown's Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The CSIS has since become one of the most prominent neoconservative think tanks in the nation and appears to wield considerable influence over the Trump regime's foreign policy. Both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have close ties to the CSIS. More information on it can be found here.

Cline was thus an extremely connected figures, with links stretching the gauntlet of the far right and reaching up to such Overworld figures as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski via the CSIS. But the USGSC would surpass both the CSIS and WACL on our principal point of interest: high weirdness.

Having given a bit of background about Cline, let us now consider the rest of the composition of the USGSC. Here's a rundown of some of the alleged founding members from the highly controversial Armen Victorian (aka Habib "Henry" Azadehdel) from an article that originally appeared in Lobster magazine in 1993:
"The United States Global Strategy Council is an independent think tank, incorporated in 1981. It focuses on long-range strategic issues. The founding members were Clare Booth Luce, General Maxwell Taylor, General Albert Wedemeyer, Dr Ray Cline (Co-chair), Jeane Kirkpatrick (Co-chair), Morris Leibman, Henry Luce III, J. William Middendorf II, Admiral Thomas H. Moorer USN (retd), General Richard Stilwell (retd), Dr Michael A. Daniels (President), Dr Dalton A. West (Executive Vice President). Its Research Directors were Dr Yonah Alexander, Dr Roger Fontaine, Robert L. Katula and Janet Morris."
I'm sure more that a few of the above names stand out to regular readers of this blog or astute researchers as they are quite the heavy hitters. A few brief biographical sketches of the several of the more compelling names should outline just how heavy this roster truly is. Consider:

Clare Boothe Luce: Wife of publishing magnet Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life. Henry had quite extensive ties to the old Anglo-American establishment, being a member of the enigmatic Pilgrims Society (from which the Council on Foreign Relations and other institutes of the Anglo-American Establishment hail from) and Skull and Bones. C.D. Jackson, a longtime employee of Luce's, was an OSS veteran and Dwight Eisenhower's adviser on psychological warfare as well as a member of the Psychological Strategy Board. Jackson also played a key role in establishing the Bilderberg group.

Despite such extensive ties to the traditional conservative establishment (which was addressed in part two), Luce began to drift further and further to the right after his marriage to Clare Boothe. Like Cline, both the Luces would become close to drug-riddled China lobby. As fanatical supporters of the anti-Castro movement (noted before here), they became highly critical of the JFK administration prior to the assassination. Henry Luce would later buy the rights to the Zapruder film and suppress it for nearly a decade.

Henry Luce
Clare Boothe Luce was a longtime member and patron of the American Security Council. She was also a Dame of Malta, the female auxiliary of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and is regarded as quite a reactionary Catholic. Despite this, she also became quite a proponent of LSD.
"In the late 1950s, her marriage unraveling because Henry wanted to leave her for a younger woman, Clare Booth Luce... first experimented with LSD. Under the direction of Dr. Sidney Cohen, Clare, at a loose ends, further continued her exploration during a time of personal turmoil. In spite of her extraordinarily successful careers, which included writing four critically acclaimed Broadway plays in the 1930s, serving as managing editor of Vanity Fair from 1933 to 1934, becoming a two-term congresswoman in the 1940s, serving as American ambassador to Italy from 1953 to 1956, and finding herself regarded as one of the world's ten most admired women – Clare described herself as 'deeply unhappy.'.. Clare's psychedelic voyages would turn her into an LSD proselytizer. Starting in 1954 and through 1968, both Time and Life would publish a number of enthusiastic articles about hallucinogens. According to Colombia University historian Alan Brinkley, Clare also believed that her use of hallucinogens had 'saved our marriage.' "
(Mary's Mosaic, Peter Janney, pg. 272)
Clare Boothe Luce
Clare Booth Luce's apparent fetish with LSD would hardly be the most curious interest held by this group. As noted above, she was also joined in the USGSC by her stepson, Henry Luce III. Like his father, Luce III was a Pilgrims members and reportedly even presided as chairman of this enigmatic group for a time.

General Albert Wedemeyer: We've already encountered Wedemeyer in part five. Wedemeyer is part of the far right wing clique of military officers that rallied around the UFO-obsessed Douglas MacArthur at the onset of the Cold War. Wedemeyer had unabashed Nazi sympathies and was even suspected of treason during WWII. Like MacArthur, he appears to have had a keen interest in UFOs as well. He was an early member of NICAP and remained with the group for decades.

Admiral Thomas Moorer: The Admiral initiated the highly secretive Task Force 157 within the Navy that was later exposed during Watergate. As was noted before here, Moorer himself appears to have played a key role in the Watergate scandal while serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, working in conjunction with the CIA's Office of Security (OS). The OS oversaw Project ARTICHOKE until at least the early 1960s and may have continued to operate offshoots of it until 1973 or so. Moorer's Task Force 157 appears to have been heavily staffed with OS veterans and may have been involved in sexual blackmail operations, among other things.

General Richard Stilwell: We first encountered Stilwell in the prior installment. As was noted there, Stilwell is the man who assigned Colonel John Alexander to the Army's Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) in the early 1980s. There he teamed up with its head, General Albert Stubblebine, to pursue a host of fringe topics, including the Jedi Project. Also noted there was Stilwell's longstanding links to deep state drug trafficking, which likely stretched back to the early 1950s. Stilwell, like Cline, was a part of the old "China cowboys" clique of OSS officers that would turn up time and again in some of the dirties dealings of the deep state.

On that note, it is now worth mentioning some other unsavory connections Stilwell had, such as this one:
"... Members of the 6I 'Politburo' also soon assumed high office: General Walters would act as Reagan's Ambassador at Large from 1981 to 1985, US Representative at the UN from 1985 to 1989, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to West Germany from 1989 to 1991, whilst General Stilwell served from 1981 to 1985 as Reagan's Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy – despite the anodyne title, Stilwell was in reality charged with a fundamental reform of US special forces..."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pg. 193) 
The 6I was a private intelligence network launched by longtime CIA and British intelligence asset Brian Crozier in the late 1970s. It would play a key role in bringing Thatcher to power in the UK and would maintain close links to the Iron Lady's administration. Even more ominous are Crozier's associates linked to pedophilia during the Thatcher years, as was noted before here.

In addition to the 6I, Crozier was also a key figure in a shadowy network variously known as Le Cercle or Pinay Cercle. Originating in the 1950s, it is in someways the far right's answer to Bilderberg, though Le Cercle has always been dominated by religious extremists and high ranking Western military and intelligence officers, unlike the banking elites and captains of industry that have long controlled the Bilderberg group. As such Le Cercle, like other linchpins of the far right such as the ASC and WACL, was a vast private intelligence operation in addition to policy coordination body. It had the inevitable ties to drugs and arms trafficking, but has also been extensively inked to pedophile rings in Britain, Belgium and beyond (as was noted during extended series I wrote on the organization). It is at the absolute black heart of the international power structure.

General Richard Stilwell
And per the great David Teacher, General Richard Stilwell became a member of both Crozier's 6I network and Le Cercle along with the ASC in the 1980s while serving as a a Deputy-Under Secretary of Defense. Specifically, he was deeply involved in reorganizing US special operations forces which, as noted in the prior installment, led to the creation of both the Joint Special Operations Command as well as the Intelligence Support Activity (reportedly the above-mentioned Task Force 157 was something of a prototype for the Activity), one of the secretive intelligence operations in the entire US deep state. At the same time, he also appears to have been a silent patron of the arcane pursuits of Colonel John Alexander and General Albert Stubbeline in INSCOM.


This cast of characters is already quite impressive, and there are still more heavy hitters yet mentioned. The great Edward S. Herman provided even more details concerning the key members during the Bush I years, the height of the USGSC:
"The council was incorporated in 1981 as a "tax-exempt educational research foundation." Former deputy director of the CIA Ray S. Cline is currently its chair (with the aid of co-chairs Jeane Kirkpatrick, Morris Leibman, J. William Middendorf, Donald Rumsfeld, and retired Lieutenant General Robert L. Schweitzer). Cline also serves as co-director, with Yonah Alexander, of their program on the topic 'Low-Intensity Conflict and Terrorism.'
"Among those who have served on the council's board of directors and 'strategy board' are Arnaud de Borchgrave and retired General E. David Woellner. Woellner became president of the Moon organization, CAUSA World Services, in January 1985 (to be succeeded in that post by Philip Sanchez, Nixon's ambassador to Honduras and Ford's ambassador to Colombia). The Unification Church's input into USGSC is impressive, and the organization is regarded by investigative journalists Louis Wolf and Fred Clarkson as 'yet another CAUSA operation.' Current board members include L. Francis Bouchey; Robert Pfaltzgraaf of the IFPA; Lawrence Sulz, affiliated with the Hale Foundation... ; Richard Pipes of Harvard University and the Heritage Foundation; and a large set of retired military officers also affiliated with ASC (Moorer, Graham, Lemnitzer, Stilwell, Wedemeyer, etc.). 
"The aims of the Global Strategy Council are to promote 'global strategic planning' and 'to act as a catalyst to help define national strategy' along the lines desired by its hard-line-right board and officers... In accord with these aims it sponsors strategy formulation and outreach programs, as well as research and conferences on various international issues. Its Caribbean and Latin American studies director is Roger W. Fontaine, former Latin America specialist for the Reagan National Security Council, also affiliated elsewhere with the Moon system and Bouchey's Council for Inter-American Security... We mentioned earlier the program on low-intensity conflict and terrorism co-directed by Cline and Alexander. Most revealing, perhaps is the program on Geopolitics of Southern Africa, directed by Stephen A. Halper, a former operative in the Nixon White House and Ray Cline's son-in-law, who was involved in the Debategate scandal, brought to light during House hearings in 1984... The featured political subdivision of the program is 'African Insurgencies Supported by the Soviet Union.'
"The council links together individuals connected with the Unification Church and other far-right operations (ASC, CIAS, and IFPA), to CSIS and the omnipresent Yonah Alexander. It has former officials Cline, Kirkpatrick, and Rumsfeld to lend respectability-to its terrorism studies. With this political cast, that South African viewpoints would be put in the frame of Soviet support and insurgent 'terrorism' is a foregone conclusion."
(The "Terrorism" Industry, Edward S. Herman & Gerry O'Sullivan, pgs. 92-93)
one of many publications issued by the USGSC during its heyday
The great David Teacher in his classic Rogue Agents asserted the USGSC's ties to the Moonies as well, dubbing it the Unification Church's "American geostrategic propaganda outlet" (pg. 226). As was noted before here, the Unification Church and founder Sun Myung Moon had a keen interest in both Ufology and psi and would covertly support such pursuits throughout 1960s until at least the 1980s. Moon appears to have developed close ties to former Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, whose Institute of Noetic Sciences foundation was used to funnel CIA funds to the early SRI remote viewing experiments.

Ah, but there are more eyebrow raising connections here than just the Moonies. Lets consider  few more biographical sketches:

Arnaud de Borchgrave: A longtime operative of the Unification Church, de Borchgrave also had extensive dealings with Le Cercle. Specifically, he had links to the infamous Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin, an affiliate of both Le Cerlce and Bilderberg who would be deeply implicated in Belgium's pedophile rings. As was noted before here, de Borchgrave was working for the Washington Times in the 1980s when Douglas MacArthur II, a longtime US ambassador/intelligence asset and nephew of the legendary general, was working on the editorial board. As was noted before here, MacArthur II was implicated in Belgium's pedophile rings in the 1980s as well. Thus, de Borchgrave seems uncomfortably close to such things through various associates.

General Lyman Lemnitzer: Another far right wing military officer. As was noted before here, during his time as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he proposed Operation Northwoods as a means of provoking war with Cuba (and by default the Soviet Union). He was later dispatched to Europe, where he headed NATO forces there. During his tenure (1963-1969) the infamous Operation Gladio, which bore more than a few similarities to Northwoods, kicked into high gear.

General Daniel Graham: We've already encountered General Graham briefly in part eight of this series, where it was noted that he was a major proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a longtime obsession of the ASC's that has fascinated conspiracy theorists and Ufologists for years. Graham headed High Frontiers, the chief lobby group for the SDI. Graham went to great lengths to promote the SDI, even appearing before Elizabeth Clare Prophet's group to praise it benefits. Prophet and her Church Universal and Triumphant were but one of several New Age-centric groups and individuals to endorse to the SDI.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet
Graham, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was also deeply involved with the American Security Council and the World Anti-Communist League. Through these organizations he became a key player in supporting the Contras and other Central American "freedom fighters" during the 1980s.

Curiously, Graham is one of the only figures in the old ASC network to seriously question psi research. He headed the DIA during the military's early forays into remote viewing and in the classic Remote Viewers, Jim Schnabel quotes him as saying in regards to it: "When it came up, I was embarrassed to mention to my superiors that there were people in my part of the establishment who thought there was something to it" (pg. 193).

General Daniel O. Graham
Nonetheless, Graham had no problem addressing Prophet's group or signing up with organizations such as the ASC and USGSC that were littered with numerous officials obsessed with psi, UFOs and other arcane topics. In the case of the latter, they would in fact become the nation's premier lobby group for some very New Age-like approaches to combat. But more on that in just a moment.

Donald Rumsfeld: Rummy is unquestionably one of the most powerful deep state players for well over a quarter century. Rumsfeld first rose to prominence in the Ford administration, where he first served as the White House Chief of Staff (1974-1975) and later Secretary of Defense (1975-1977). After his tenure as Secretary of Defense ended, he theoretically retired from government until the Bush II years. There have been disturbing allegations for years, however, that he was deeply involved in "Continuity of Government" (COG) planning during the Reagan years and beyond.
"Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have been associated since the 1980s with a parallel planning structure in the United States. The formal goal of this planned parallel structure was called 'continuity of government' (COG), but the name is misleading. The Progressive Review referred more descriptively to plans for 'a possible military/civilian coup.'
"The plans for with journalist James Bamford has called the secret government' of COG Had been slowly developing, chiefly but not only under Republican administrations, since the 1950s... A major step was the creation in 1979 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). But FEMA's emergency planning was radically politicized under President Reagan. By 1984, in the words of journalist Ross Gelbspan, 'Lt. Col. Oliver North was working with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency... to draw up a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an unspecified national emergency. The plan, part of which was codenamed Rex 84, called for the suspension of the Constitution under a number of scenarios, including a US invasion of Nicaragua.... But in addition to groups opposing United States policies in Central America, the FEMA plan reportedly included environmental activists, opponents of nuclear energy and refugee assistance activists.' "
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 183-184)
Some believe that certain portions of these plans were initiated on 9/11 and made legal with the passage of the Patriot Act not long afterwards. By this time Rumsfeld was of course the Secretary of Defense again, while his longtime friend and close alley Richard Cheney was Vice-President. Rumself would initiate a profound reorganization of the United States covert operations capabilities that resulted in the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command as a major player in the deep state. This was seemingly in keeping with what Rumsfeld's colleague in the USGSC, General Richard Stilwell had originally envisioned for the JSOC when he set out to reorganize us special operations forces in the 1980s.

Donald Rumsfeld
Both COG and the reorganization of special operations forces were but two obsessions of various deep state players during the Reagan era that returned with a vengeance during Bush II. And Rumsfeld's reorganization of special operations forces may have involved some very esoteric concepts which originated with John Alexander's work with INSCOM in the 1980s and later became a major obsession of the USGSC after Alexander signed up with it in the late 1980s.

The USGSC and the Terrorism Racket

As I hope the above biographical sketches have demonstrated, the United States Global Strategy Council was a major powerhouse. Ray S. Cline and Stilwell in particular were two of the most powerful figures in the American deep state in the past century, men who for decades had been involved in the blackest of black ops and have had a profound effect on the foreign policy of the United States that continues to this very day. Like Stilwell, novelist/journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave appears to have had ties to Le Cercle and the European pedophile rings extensively linked to this group. Admiral Thomas Moorer may also have been involved in sexual blackmail operations via the Navy's infamous Task Force 157. And he surely was involved in Watergate.

Admiral Thomas Moorer
General Albert Wedemeyer was a longtime luminary of the fascist MacArthur clique of generals who long dominated the ASC (noted in part three) while another ASC member, General Lyman Lemnitzer, has been linked to Northwoods, the Kennedy assassination and Gladio. In contrast, General Daniel Graham's efforts to arm various Central American death squads seems quaint by comparison, though he made up for it via his lobbying efforts for the SDI.

Clare Boothe Luce was unquestionably one of the most powerful women of the twentieth century and a major advocate of (elite) LSD consumption to boot. And then there's Donald Rumsfeld, one of the most pivotal figures in the national security complex for decades. Rumsfeld is quite crucial to our narrative here, so do keep him in mind.

But now, let us turn our attention to the USGSC itself. The organization appears to have had its origins in a 1979 conference put on by the notorious Israeli think tank known as the Jonathan Institute. This particular think tank was also founded in 1979 by none other than current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who named it after a brother who was killed in a terror attack allegedly staged by the PLO. Netanyahu was a former IDF member involved in special operations forces and long suspected of having been recruited by Mossad. As such, the Jonathan Institute has long been described as an extension of the Mossad.

Benjamin Netanyahu
The Jonathan Institute has played an enormous role in shaping Western concepts of terrorism and was instrumental in launching what Herman and O'Sullivan dubbed the "Terrorism Industry" in the 1980s. And it all started with two pivotal conferences put on by the Jonathan Institute, the first of which was staged in 1979 in Israel.
"The two conferences organized by the Jonathan Institute, in Jerusalem in July 1979 and in Washington, D. C., in June 1984, were major events and highly effective for Israeli and Western propaganda. Both drew in many high officials and big-name journalists and successfully attracted extensive press coverage on the threat of terrorism as portrayed in the Western model. The 1979 conference, held under heavy army and police guard, attracted some four hundred journalist. Attendees included Annie Kriegel and Jacques Soustelle from France; Lord Alan Chalfont, Brian Crozier, Paul Johnson, and Robert Moss from Great Britain; George Bush, Ray Cline, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Clare Stirling, Ben Wattenberg, George Will, and Senators John Danforth and Henry Jackson from the United States; and numerous Israeli political, military, and intelligence figures."
(The "Terrorism" Industry, Edward Herman & Gerry O'Sullivan, pg. 105) 
Cline appears to have taken the conference to heart. As noted above, he would launch the USGSC in 1981 and almost immediately it became a leading authority in the emerging terrorism racket. To assist Cline in these endeavors, one Yonah Alexander (no relation to John) was recruited. Alexander had himself cut his teeth with the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (now the Institute for National Security Studies), another Israeli think tank founded by "former" military and intelligence figures.
"Alexander, a professor of International Studies at the State University of New York, has run his own institute since 1977, but he has also been affiliated with many other institutions within the terrorism industry as visiting fellow (CSIS), as member (the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies), and as a participant in numerous programs and studies. He was selected as director of terrorism research of the NFF in the mid-1980s, and has been codirector with Ray Cline of the program on terrorism and low-intensity warfare at the U.S. Global Strategy Council. Also in collaboration with Cline, Alexander has been in the risk analysis business for private corporate clients. In addition to the thirty conferences and seminars on terrorism sponsored by his own institute, Alexander has been a regular participant in conferences staged by others, including that put on by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv in 1979, the Brooking seminar of 1982, the Nuclear Terrorism conference of 1985, and others..."
(The "Terrorism" Industry, Edward Herman & Gerry O'Sullivan, pg. 146)
Yonah Alexander
Alexander and Cline were even commissioned to write a book on terrorism by the U.S. Army in 1984. Its name? State-Sponsored Terrorism, the irony of which was surely not lost on Cline, especially considering the year in which it was published.

Needless to say, Cline and the USGSC were quite the authorities on terrorism in the 1980s and the presence of Rumsfled in the organization by the end of the decades implies that the ideas of the USGSC would later re-emerge with a vengeance during the Bush II years.

But these were likely not the only ideas that would influence the administration of Bush the Lesser. The USGSC would become quite obsessed with a rather arcane field of military tech in the late 1980s that may have had a profound effect on the national security state ever since.

Non-lethal Weapons

And that brings us back to Colonel John Alexander. As was noted above, after retiring from the Army in 1988 he went to work for Los Alamos National Laboratory. This is of course not the first time Los Alamos has popped up in this saga. In part nine, it was noted that Los Alamos has long been linked to deep state research into the UFO question as well. Thus, it was no stranger to arcane concepts. And Alexander was certainly full of those.

There he began to pursue the concept of "non-lethal" weapons, an effort to wage war without conventional weapons. Some of the methods advocated by Alexander were quite ridiculous and have been heavily lampooned by the media at various points. One of the most notable instances of this was the disastrous use of the Alexander-inspired "sticky foam," used for crowd control during Somalia in 1995 by US Marines. The results were so impressive that it has never been deployed again in anything resembling a combat situation and provided a good laugh in the film version of The Men Who Stare at Goats.

some of Alexander's sticky foam in action
But despite the dismissive position mainstream commentators take when considering non-lethals (when they are mentioned at all), there are some quite sinister implications that shall be addressed in a moment. But for now, let us finish with Alexander's journey to the USGSC.

It appears to have been primarily the result of the working relationship he forged with science fiction writer Janet Morris, who would co-authored The Warrior's Edge with Alexander. Morris already had quite impressive credentials before hooking up with Alexander:
"Janet Morris, co-author of The Warrior's Edge, is another noted expert in this area. As well as being researched director of USGSC, she is best known as a science fiction writer and has been a member of the New York Academy of Sciences since 1980 as well as member of the Association for Electronic Defense. Morris was initiated into the Japanese art of bioenergetics, Joh-re, the Indonesian brotherhood of Subud, and graduated from the Silva course in advanced mind control.
"She has been conducting remote viewing experiments for fifteen years and worked on a research project investigating the effects of the mind on computer systems."
(Mind Controllers, Armen Victorian, pg. 181) 
We've already encountered the Silva Method in part seven of this series, where it was noted that it heavily influenced the methods of Mind Dynamics and the jointly owned Leadership Dynamics. Both organizations had an enormous role on est. And est graduates may have aided in Alexander's arcane pursuits in the Army, as was noted in the prior installment. Alexander himself had also reputedly studied the Silva Method as well.

After the USGSC broke up in 1995, Morris reemerged with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the bastion of the traditional conservative establishment (addressed in part two). The CFR appears to have been quite taken with the concept on non-lethal weapons in the mid-1990s, but not before the USGSC had initiated ample deep state interest in such techniques.

Morris was at the forefront of these efforts, having become quite an evangelical after hooking up with Alexander in 1988. She brought him into the USGSC (at least officially) and took the lead on selling non-lethals to the national security establishment. Wired notes:
"Morris, a research director of a DC think tank called the US Global Strategy Council, and her husband, Chris, a fellow writer and national security expert, were also intrigued by the nonlethal possibilities of some of the futuristic technologies being researched at the government labs. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the time seemed especially ripe for new ideas. Janet Morris enlisted the support of her boss at the time, Ray Cline, a former deputy director of the CIA whose connections opened doors in Washington. Cline put together the Nonlethality Policy Review Group, which was made up of various ex-government officials and military chiefs of staff. The group spent a year studying the issue and forming recommendations. Janet Morris then published a widely circulated white paper outlining the nonlethal idea and listing the various available technologies. In Nonlethality: A Global Strategy, she trumpeted the concept as a 'revolutionary strategic doctrine' that would allow the US to seize the moral high ground in coping with the demands of a new world order marked by threats ranging from ethnic violence to narco-trafficking."
Janet Morris
Here are some highlights of the various "white papers" she authored on non-lethals during the early 1990s for the USGSC:
"Morris's paper recommended 'two types of life-conserving technology.' 'Anti-material' techniques for disabling the enemy's infrastructure were listed. One technique would be to destroy or impair the enemy's electronic systems, or in other ways stop mechanical systems from functioning. This could be achieved by using:
  • Chemical and biological weapons using anti-material agents 'which do not significantly endanger life or the environment, or anti-personnel agents which have no permanent effects.'
  •  Laser blinding systems to incapacitate the electronic sensors, or optics, i.e. light detection and ranging. Already the Army Infantry School was developing a one-man portable laser weapon system known as the Infantry Self-Defense System. (The US Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), was also engaged in the development of non-lethal weapons under the program called 'Low Collateral Damage Munitions' (LCDM). The LCDM is trying to develop technologies leading to weapons capable of dazzling and incapacitating missiles, armored vehicles and personnel.)
  • Non-lethal electromagnetic technologies.
  • Non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons. General Norman Schwarzkopf, head of allied forces in the Gulf War, told the US Joint Chiefs of Staff that one such weapon stationed in space with a 'wide-area-pulse capacity' had the ability to fry enemy electronics. What is less known is the fate of enemy personnel in such a scenario. In a joint project with the Los Alamos National Laboratories and with technical support from the US Army's Harry Diamond Laboratories, ARDEC was developing High Power Microwave (HPM) 'projectiles.' According to ARDEC, the Diamond lab had already 'completed a radio frequency effects analysis of a representative target set' for (HPM).
  • Among the chemical agents, so-called 'supercaustic,' 'millions of times more caustic than hydrofluoric acid,' were prime candidates. An artillery round could delivered jellied super-acids which could destroy the optics/gas of a heavily armored vehicles and 'could be used silently destroy key weapon systems.' Also mentioned by Morris are net-like entanglements to delay vehicles, or 'stealthy' metal boats with a low radar signature 'for night actions, or any seaborne or come-ashore stealthy scenario.' Another seemingly bizarre way of targeting enemy equipment at a distance was the use of 'chemical or liquid metal embrittlement' and 'anti-material polymers.' These would be used with aerosol dispersal systems to spread chemical adhesives or lubricants (using Teflon). 
"The second category revealed by the documents are 'anti-personnel non-lethal technologies':
  • Hand-held lasers which are meant 'to dazzle', but which could also cause the eyeball to explode and to blind the target.
  • Isotropic radiators, that is explosively driven munitions capable of generating very bright omnidirectional light, with similar effects to laser guns.
  • High-powered microwaves (HPM) as mentioned above. US Special Operations Command already have that capability within their grasp as a portable microwave weapon. As Myron L. Wolbarsht, a Duke University opthalamist and expert in laser weapon stated: 'US Special Forces can quietly cut enemy communications but can also cook internal organs.' 
  • Another candidate was 'Infrasound' using acoustic beams. In conjunction with the Scientific Applications and Research Associates (SARA) of Huntingdon, California, ARDEC and Los Alamos laboratories were busy 'developing a high power, very low-frequency acoustic beam weapon.' They were also looking into methods of projecting non-diffracting (i.e. non-penetrating) high frequency acoustic bullets. Already some governments have used intrasound as a means of crowd control, for example in France. ARDEC scientists were looking further into methods of using pulsed chemical lasers. These could project 'a hot, high-pressure plasma in the air in front of a target surface, creating a blast wave that will result in variable but controlled effects on material and personnel.'
  • Very low frequency (VLF) sound (25-35 KHz), or low-frequency RF modulations can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pains. 'Some very low frequency sound generators, in certain frequency ranges, can cause the disruption of human organs and, at high power levels, can crumble masonry.' "
(Mind Controllers, Armen Victorian, pgs. 177-179) 

As incredible as all of this may sound, several of the weapons the-not-always-reliable Victorian outlined above are already in use or are on the verge of going operational. The above-mentioned stealth boats, for instance, are already widely used by Navy SEALS. And various "sonic weapons," using both infrasound and ultrasound, appear to have been used for crowd control for decades now. One instance of this would be on protesters at a G20 meeting in Pittsburgh during 2009. More recently "sound cannons" were reportedly used against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.

a "long range acoustic devise," also known as a "sound cannon"
And then there are High Powered Microwave weapons. The Pentagon has continued to pursue these weapons vigorously, though there is some dispute as to how effective they are. This isn't stopping the Air Force, however, which is apparently moving forward with HPMs as a means of generating an EMP burst. Reportedly the People's Liberation Army has recently made advances with EMP-producing HPM weapons as well. I've found nothing indicating the Special Operations Command has some type of handheld HPM weapon as indicated above, but the Air Force Special Operations Command is in the process of testing a mounted HPM weapon allegedly designed for "crowd control."

it is hoped HPM weapons will lead to the fabled "e-bomb"
It is interesting to note that many of the above-mentioned non-lethal weapons employ various forms of electromagnetic radiation --which includes microwaves and radio waves in frequencies that are very low or extremely low. Sound waves such as ultra and infra are also regularly used. The interest in electromagnetic radiation and sound waves is longstanding --as was noted before, Project ARTICHOKE delved into the waters during the early 1950s. MKULTRA would also reportedly explore these fields. But in addition to physical effects, electromagnetic radiation has long been alleged to have psychological effects as well. But more on this topic in a future installment.

Suffice to say, the USGSC became the leading voice for non-lethal warfare by the early 1990s. And their efforts paid off, thanks in no small part to Donald Rumsfeld's old friend, Richard Cheney. In 1992, the Baltimore Sun noted:
"... Last March, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney established a Non-Lethal Warfare Study Group, chaired by his undersecretary for policy, Paul D. Wolfowitz. A proposal to plunge $148 million into non-lethal arms research over the next five years hangs in the balance."
As Wire noted, Cheney was quite an enthusiastic supporter:
"Intrigued, Dick Cheney, secretary of defense under George Bush, appointed his own nonlethal task force after the gulf war. Though the task force enthusiastically endorsed the concept, the efforts of Cline, Alexander, and the Morrises to lobby for a comprehensive policy of nonlethality limped along at the Pentagon during the Bush years. 'We spent three years supporting the Cheney defense department's nonlethal task force but couldn't get anywhere,' Morris complains, 'because there was such a great desire to resuscitate the Cold War.' "
Richard Cheney
Things received a boost with the Clinton administration, with the CFR joining in support of the far right to advance non-lethals. But in The Men Who Stare at Goats, Jon Ronson indicates that things appear to have gone into over drive when Cheney and Rumsfeld returned to the government with Bush II. With the launch of the War on Terror, Ronson believed that aspects of non-lethal weapon technologies had been used as part of the "enhanced" interrogation methods deployed at Abu Ghraib, Guatanamo Bay and the like. This revival may have coincided with a return of Alexander's Jedi Project, as was noted before here. Alexander himself appears to have been reactivated at several points.

What to make of all of this? Clearly the primary advocate of non-lethals in the early days --the USGSC --was a powerhouse that has had lasting influence. Their early and vigorous advocacy of counter-terrorism was pivotal in laying the foundation for the War on Terror. At least one influential member, General Richard Stilwell, was also a major proponent of reforming special operations forces. And the general obsession the group had with "low-intensity conflict"  probably led to a broader interest in such reforms within the organization. When a former member, Donald Rumsfeld, became Secretary of Defense for the second time many of the USGSC's longtime agendas began to become a reality.

But this group, like the similar American Security Council, was littered with influential members drawn to the bizarre. As such, it is not difficult to believe that their belief in "non-lethals" was genuine. But how non-lethal were the weapons truly meant to be in the hands of such a group?

Keep in mind, multiple members have been linked to extensive arms and drug trafficking and even a few have turned up in pedophile rings. Others played key roles in Gladio and like operations (state-sponsored terrorism) and COG (martial law by any other name). These were among the blackest projects of the deep state and many of these powerful operators would be the ones to take up the banner on "non-lethals" as the Cold War drew to a close.

Perhaps it was simply a way to keep the defense dollars flowing.

Or perhaps the beginning of the next stage of totalitarianism. Is it a coincidence that the United States (and much the rest of the developed world) is relentless bombarded with electromagnetic radiation, a staple of "non-lethals," via microwaves, cell phones and other wireless devises in the twenty-first century?

And with that I shall wrap things up for now. With the next installment we'll consider new forces behind far right ventures into high weirdness. Stay tuned.