Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Psychic Warriors

"The Men Who Stare At Goats" by Jon Ronson

Well, for some reason the original post I did on this subject has disappeared into cyberspace, but I will try to rescue it and repost it here.
This week in Las Vegas there will be a meeting of psychic spies, a classified military unit that had mixed results but broadly expanded the role of metaphysics in the U.S. military.
The book above, "The Men Who Stare At Goats" refers to a lab where Army psychic soldiers attempted to kill goats with mind power, and author Ronson details many other tests and programs - some that included Martial Artists.
The Las Vegas meeting will be hosted by retired Col. John Alexander, who has mixed feelings about the new movie coming out that is based on the book, there is a link to Alexander's thoughts and more details at THIS LINK.
Another man involved in the project, Col. Jim Channon, was tasked out to go to Guru's, Hippie Communes, Martial Arts schools and other modes of esoterica to study technology that would allow the military to "think out of the box".
Here's part of an interview with Channon:

--I look foward to seeing the movie, which stars George Clooney, and it should be out soon. Here's the previous post I wrote on Ronson's book, as I said it has disappeared into cyberspace (interesting, eh?):
The Men Who Stare At Goats

Pat over at Mokuren Dojo posted This Review of Richard Strozzi-Heckler's book "In Search Of The Warrior Spirit", a book I had reccomended because Aikido is part of the theme. As Pats review suggests, the book touches on the difficulty of an Aikido instructor's experiance teaching a group of Green Berets in a special military program. This program used sensitivity and bio-feedback in an attempt to create a super-soldier. Heckler obviously did not realize how deep the entire program went, which is detailed in Jon Ronson's "The Men Who Stare At Goats". Ronson gives the entire (unclassified) background of "The First Earth Battalion", which used Psychic Spies and other unorthodox warfare with mixed results. For instance, assassin training included developing photographic memories, to walk into a room and know at an instant where every pencil, chair, ashtray or other potential weapon lay, down to minute details. The title refers to a special lab, "The Goat Lab", where a large group of goats were kept. The subject would concentrate his psychic energy on one goat, and kill it while sitting in a room nearby. It is not exactly clear how well this worked, but Ronson's sources said at times it was performed successfully. You can see the obvious implications of this. Ronson travels across the country, interviewing people who were involved in the secret program, including martial artists that train assassins.
Now, most of us don't go for this Woo-Woo side of the martial arts, which borders on the occult. None-the-less, the military (and not just ours) is involved in this stuff. Here is a post from last January I did on "No Touch Knockouts" Which I have witnessed, performed by various Masters, with mixed results. There is a guy on YouTube who is offering thousands of dollars to anyone who can do one of these "no touch knockouts" to him, and I don't think he has had any takers.
The bottom line is, the U.S. military thinks this stuff may work, and has been involved in these types of training programs. I have read accounts of the Russians, who have been ahead of the Americans in all things Psychic, training their elite killers in this also.
Ronson's book opens a view into a dark world of Psuedo-science and the military-occult industrial complex. It takes up where Heckler's "In Search Of The Warrior's Spirit leaves off. "The Men Who Stare At Goats" is a quick read and is suprisingly humorous, considering the subject. It's also chock-full of martial artists that he interviews along the way.


Steve Perry said...

Voodoo is easy -- if you are a believer and somebody puts a curse on you, you can take yourself out. Lots of documented cases showing the power of psychology.

Long time ago, I had a guy who claimed to be a hoodoo man say he was going to lay a curse on me. I laughed at him and allowed as how I was a proponent and practitioner of glyph magic and any such attempt would rebound on him five-fold.

I'm still here. Dunno if he is.

The Yellow Bamboo stuff works great against people who believe it will. I've seen vids of people who don't believe it attacking and tackling YB guys flat without a second's hesitation.

Some years back, there was an article on silat in a non-martial arts publication, I think it was Time or maybe Newsweek. There was a Javanese master who was knocking his students silly by waving at them from ten meters away. Somebody asked him what what happen if he tried that on a truck bearing down on him.

I'd get run over, he said.

There are things that science hasn't pinned down, energies we don't understand, but I haven't seen any evidence of any art that can call on these systematically and use them against anybody who doesn't buy into it.

Not to say it isn't possible; only to say, I don't believe it is happening on the Bali beaches. I think any serious time spend trying to learn such things is better spent on physical-plane basics.

(That said, I can knock a man down across a room with a wiggle of my finger. Three-fifty-seven-fu, it's called ...)

There's an old Hindu proverb that essentially says, Why spend thirty years learning how to walk on water if there's a perfectly good boat tired up right in front you ... ?

The Amazing Randi has a big buck reward for any demonstration of any paranormal energy that can be verified, and none of the no-touch folks have stepped up to collect the money yet.

I'm not holding my breath ...

Rick said...

Killing goats with psychic mind power? Why, were they bad goats?

Sean C. Ledig said...

I met a professional fortune teller about 15 years ago. He told me that when he was in the army, he did palm readings and Tarot card readings for the guys in his barracks.

A few weeks later, he was called into his C.O.'s office. There were a couple of guys with suits sitting there.

The C.O. said that he knew this guy was telling fortunes for the guys in the barracks. He wanted to know if he would put his skills to the test for his country by going with those CIA guys and doing some psychic experiments with them.

The fortune teller didn't want any part of it. He told his C.O. that he was faking it. It was all a party gag.

The C.O. said "fine" and sent him back to his barracks.

That story was told to me in 1994. The following year, it was revealed that the CIA was enlisting psychics to try to spy on other countries.

Modred said...

Yes, attempting to stare a goat to death is, well, hilarious. And the pinnacle of wasted time.

Sadly though, whenever the words "occult" and "martial arts" appear in the same sentence, the paragraph seems to end with no touch knockouts.

But the occult isn't about unbelievable hokum. Alchemy is an occult science, and don't forget that Isaac Newton was an alchemist. As Nataf said in his Dictionary of the Occult, "Transmutation of the religious into the sacred is the very object of the occult sciences and especially of initiation." Every belt exam is an initiation, and most martial artists are looking not just for effective skills but also for living, vibrant, sacred experiences that can only be had during martial training.

All martial arts are occult arts -- just not in the popular sense. For more information you might try browsing to cabalfang dot com. There are martial artists who believe that fitness, practical self defense, and the occult are not mutually exclusive.

Dojo Rat said...

Thanks for your views Modred, I checked out your Blog and like it.