The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles

“And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died”

– Don McLean, “American Pie”

The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg – “world view warfare.”  As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d’ȇtre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as “psychological warfare,” a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now.  Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world.  And true to form in this circle game of friends helping friends, this propaganda program was ably assisted after WW II by all the Nazis secreted into the U.S. (“Operation Paperclip”) by Allen Dulles and his henchmen in the OSS and then the CIA to make sure the U.S. had operatives to carry on the Nazi legacy (see David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America’s Secret Government, an extraordinary book that will make your skin crawl with disgust).

This went along quite smoothly until some people started to question the Warren Commission’s JFK assassination story.  The CIA then went on the offensive in 1967 and put out the word to all its people in the agency and throughout the media and academia to use the phrase “conspiracy theory” to ridicule these skeptics, which they have done up until the present day. This secret document – CIA Dispatch 1035-960 – was a propaganda success for many decades, marginalizing those researchers and writers who were uncovering the truth about not just President Kennedy’s murder by the national security state, but those of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy.  Today, the tide is turning on this score, as recently more and more Americans are fed up with the lies and are demanding that the truth be told.  Even the Washington Post is noting this, and it is a wave of opposition that will only grow.

The CIA Exposed – Partially

But back in the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, some covert propaganda programs run by the CIA were “exposed.”  First, the Agency’s sponsorship of the Congress of Cultural Freedom, through which it used magazines, prominent writers, academics, et al. to spread propaganda during the Cold War, was uncovered.  This was an era when Americans read serious literary books, writers and intellectuals had a certain cachet, and popular culture had not yet stupefied Americans. The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites.  Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters, and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity of the CIA and the famous literary journal The Paris Review.

Then in 1975 the Church Committee hearings resulted in the exposure of abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc.  In 1977 Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and publications (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked with and for the CIA in propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world.  (Conveniently, this article can be read on the CIA’s website since presumably the agency has come clean, or, if you are the suspicious type, or maybe a conspiracy theorist, it is covering its deeper tracks with a “limited hangout,” defined by former CIA agent Victor Marchetti, who went rogue, as “spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”)

Confess and Move On

By the late 1970s, it seemed as if the CIA had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, had confessed its sins, done penance, and resolved to go and sin no more.  Seeming, however, is the nature of the CIA’s game.  Organized criminals learn to adapt to the changing times, and that is exactly what the intelligence operatives did.  Since the major revelations of the late sixties and seventies – MKUltra, engineered coups all around the world, assassinations of foreign leaders, spying on Americans, etc. – no major program of propaganda has been exposed in the mainstream media.  Revealing books about certain CIA programs have been written – e.g. Douglas Valentine’s important The Phoenix Program being one – and dissenting writers, journalists, researchers, and whistleblowers (Robert Parry, Gary Webb, Julian Assange, James W. Douglass, David Ray Griffin, Edward Snowden, et al.) have connected the U.S. intelligence services to dirty deeds and specific actions, such as the American engineered coup d’état in Ukraine in 2013-14, electronic spying, and the attacks of September 11, 2001.  But the propaganda has for the most part continued unabated at a powerful and esoteric cultural level, while illegal and criminal actions are carried out throughout the world in the most blatant manner imaginable, as if to say fuck you openly while insidiously infecting the general population through the mass electronic screen culture that has relegated intellectual and literary culture to a tiny minority.

Planning Ahead

Let me explain what I think has been happening.

Organizations like the CIA are obviously fallible and have made many mistakes and failed to anticipate world events.  But they are also very powerful, having great financial backing,  and do the bidding of their masters in banking, Wall St., finance, etc.  They are the action arm of these financial elites, and are, as Douglass Valentine has written, organized criminals.  They have their own military, are joined to all the armed forces, and are deeply involved in the drug trade. They control the politicians. They operate their own propaganda network in conjunction with the private mercenaries they hire for their operations.  The corporate mass media take their orders, orders that need not be direct, but sometimes are, because these media are structured to do the bidding of the same elites that formed the CIA and own the media.  And while their ostensible raison d’ȇtre is to provide intelligence to the nation’s civilian leaders, this is essentially a cover story for their real work that is propaganda, killing, and conducting coups d’états at home and abroad.

Because they have deep pockets, they can afford to buy all sorts of people, people who pimp for the elites. Some of these people do work that is usually done by honest academics and independent intellectuals, a dying breed, once called free-floating intellectuals. These pimps analyze political, economic, technological, and cultural trends.  They come from different fields: history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science, cultural studies, linguistics, etc. They populate the think tanks and universities.  They are often intelligent but live in bad faith, knowing they are working for those who are doing the devil’s work. But they collect their pay and go their way straight to the bank, the devil’s bank.  They often belong to the Council of Foreign Relations or the Heritage Foundation. They are esteemed and esteem themselves.  But they are pimps.

El Diablo

Ah, the devil!  He’s their man. A man of many names, but always an impostor.  These pimps know his story and how he works his magic, and this is what their paymasters want from them: ways to use the old bastard’s bag of tricks to conjure confusion, and sow fear and paranoia.  And to do this slow and easy in ways no one will recognize until it is too late.

For like culture, propaganda relies on myths, symbols, and stories.  Some prefer to say narratives.  But nothing is more powerful.  Controlling the stories is the key to powerful propaganda. The pimps can spin many a tale.

Tell people endless tales of the good guys and the bad, of how the bad are out to get you and the good to save you. Think of the use of symbols in the telling of these stories.  They are crucial.  The word symbol comes from a Greek word to throw together.  Symbols that represent the in-group or the “good guys” are used to create social solidarity within the in-group.  Stories are told to accompany the symbols; stories, narratives, or myths tell of how the good guys are fighting to hold the group together and the bad guys are trying to rip the community apart.  The symbolic and its opposite – the diabolic (to throw apart) – the angels against the devils – el diablo.  Very simple, very old.  The aliens are out to get us.  And el diablo is always the ultimate other, the man in red, the reds, the commies, the Russians, the others, immigrants, the blacks who want to move next door, Muslims, gays  – take your pick.  Satanic rituals.  Black magic.  Witchcraft.

Methods of Propaganda

Infecting minds with such symbols and stories must be done directly and indirectly, as well as short-term and long-term.  Long term propaganda is like a slowly leaking water pipe that you are vaguely aware of but that rots the metal from within until the pipe can no longer resist the pressure.  Drip drop, drip drop, drip drop – and the inattentive recipients of the propaganda gradually lose their mettle to resist and don’t know it, and then when an event bursts into the news – e.g. the attacks of September 11, 2001 or Russia-gate – they have been so softened that their assent is automatically given.  They know without hesitation who the devil is and that he must be fought.

The purpose of the long-term propaganda is to create certain predispositions and weaknesses that can be exploited when needed.  Certain events can be the triggers to induce the victims to react to suggestions.  When the time is ripe, all that is needed is a slight suggestion, like a touch on the shoulder, and the hypnotized one acts in a trance.  The gun goes off, and the entranced one can’t remember why (see: Sirhan Sirhan).  This is the goal of mass hypnotization through long-term propaganda: confusion, memory loss, and automatic reaction to suggestion.

Intelligence Pimps and Liquid Screen Culture

When the CIA’s dirty tricks were made public in the 1970s, it is not hard to imagine that the intellectual pimps who do their long-range thinking were asked to go back to the drawing board and paint a picture of the coming decades and how business as usual could be conducted without further embarrassment.  By that time it had become clear that intellectual or high culture was being swallowed by mass culture and the future belonged to electronic screen culture and images, not words.  What has come to be called “postmodernity” ensued, or what the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman calls “liquid modernity” and Guy Debord “the society of the spectacle.”  Such developments, rooted in what Frederic Jameson has termed “the cultural logic of late capitalism,” have resulted in the fragmentation of social and personal life into pointillistic moving pictures whose dots form incoherent images that sow mass confusion and do not cohere.  From the mid-1970s until today, this generalized disorientation with its flowing and eternal present of appearing and dissolving images has resulted in what is surely a transformed world, and with it, transformed worldviews.  The foundations have collapsed. Meaning and coherence have become difficult to discern.  Stable personality has been disassociated, memory downloaded, attention lost, the psyche materialized, sexual identity confused, the electronic mind-body interface established, and the electronic and pharmaceutical drugging of the population accomplished.  Really?  Yes.

Did not the intelligence agencies foresee all this?  Did not they see it and plan accordingly?  Did they not notice that about the time their old dirty deeds were being exposed, a movie burst onto the screen that introduced a theme familiar to them and their Nazi friends?  I mean the 1973 hit, The Exorcist, wherein Satan struts his stuff, four years after Mick Jagger strut his across the stage at Altamont, singing “Sympathy for the Devil,” while shortly after a killing took place down in front of him and the 1960s were laid to rest.  But during the 1970s The Exorcist and its theme of the devil’s hold on people came to life and was  taken up with a religious fervor by the entertainment industry and promoted by Oprah Winfrey, Geraldo Rivera, and other media luminaries, who went about promoting el diablo’s hold on so many helpless victims.  Occult, magic, and satanic themes became pop staples and would remain so up until the present day.  I would suggest that readers put aside their reservations at what may seem sensational and watch this video.  Then ask yourself: what is going on here?

The CIA as Prophetic

But maybe a better question than did the CIA foresee these developments, would be to ask if it has been involved in the occult and satanic world itself, before and after the social developments of “liquid modernity.”   The answer is yes.  Indeed, all the characteristics of the social and cultural developments I mentioned previously in reference to postmodernity have been a major part of its work before this new world emerged: “the disassociation of stable personalities, memory erasure and the implanting of false memories, materializing the psyche, confusing sexual identity, establishing the electronic mind-body interface, and electronic, hallucinogenic (the CIA introduced and spread LSD in the 1960s), and pharmaceutical drugging,” to name but a few.  In anticipating these developments the CIA was at the very least predictive.  Disinformation, acts of terrorism,  coup d’états, assassinations flow out of a marriage to the Nazis made in hell – Talbot’s “devil’s chessboard” – but they are linked to much more.  Peter Levenda, in Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft, a trilogy on sinister forces in American history, puts it this way:

The CIA, satanic cults, and UFOs, the mythology of the late twentieth century is surprisingly coherent even though the masks change from case to case, from victim to alleged  victim.  The CIA, of course, does exist; their mind control programs from BLUEBIRD to ARTICHOKE to MK-ULTRA are a matter of public record.  Their history of political assassinations and the overthrow of various foreign governments is also a matter of record.  Satanic cults – or perhaps we should qualify that and say ‘occult secret societies’ – also exist and are a matter of public record; their attempts to contact alien forces by means of ceremonial magic and arcane ritual (including the use of some of the same drugs and other techniques as the CIA used in its mind control programs) are also well-known and documented.  Some of these practitioners were – and are – well-known men and women who have not denied their involvement (such as rocket scientist Jack Parsons in the 1950s and Army Colonel and intelligence officer Michael Aquino in the 1990s).  The CIA also aggressively researched American cults and secret societies in an effort to discover the source of paranormal abilities and ancient mind control mechanisms. And while the jury is still out on the question of UFOs, there is no doubt that government agencies have attempted to track, to analyze them, and to explain them away.  Again this is a matter of public record, including FBI and CIA documents in addition to military records.

Skeptical readers may find this strange to consider.  That would be a mistake.  The web of connections is there for anyone who cares to look.  For more than fifty years occult themes and rituals have been part of world view warfare.  Drugs, shamanism, black magic, and the occult – staples of the CIA then and now.  It is well known that Hollywood, television, and the media in general have been working closely with the intelligence agencies for a long time. Especially since 2001, films and television programs have glorified the CIA, our “good” spies, and the military. The mystification of reality has found its best friend in the electronic and internet revolution as strange and “subversive” beliefs are dangled like candy for little children.  Good and evil move through the public consciousness like passing sun and shadows.  Weird conspiracy theories “pop up” to titillate and obsess, and to drive out the serious findings of dedicated and disciplined writers and researchers who have discovered the truth about real government conspiracies.  Sowing confusion is the name of this deadly game, and if you find yourself confused, you are in good company.

But many are catching on and realizing that what seems strange but innocent is part of a much larger effort to hypnotize the public to agree to their own destruction through the ingestion of what can only be called black magic.

The eloquent writer and brave American, Jim Garrison, the former District Attorney of New Orleans and the only person to bring a trial in the assassination of President Kennedy, put it this way in On The Trail of The Assassins, the story of his quest to solve the murder of JFK.

I knew by now that when a group of individuals gravitated toward one another for no apparent reason, or a group of individuals inexplicitly headed in the same directions as if drawn by a magnetic field, or coincidence piled upon coincidence too many times, as often as not the shadowy outlines of a covert intelligence operation were somehow becoming visible.

Rub Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness,  the right way and the CIA emerges into the light.  You can see its shadowy outline with your eyes wide shut.  As it says on CIA headquarters: “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”

26 thoughts on “The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles”

  1. I understand on some level (“feel” is probably a better word) the fundamental point you are making about that thing Jesus called “the evil one” being increasingly “summoned” by malign governmental and corporate powers to help control and dominate our world from the shadow side. Another term for “the evil one” is, as you so clearly indicate, “the great deceiver.” If, indeed, we are dealing not only with purely temporal forms of evil but also with what Paul called the malevolent “powers and principalities” existing at higher levels, then our tactics for fighting the good fight must move in a more spiritual direction, something that is anathema to much of today’s left. Here’s an article I stumbled upon about MLK’s grappling with all of this during the Civil Rights struggle. Although I am not a Christian prayer warrior (many of whom appear to me to be on the wrong side of this battle), I did find the article utterly fascinating.

    1. Having read this article on OffGuardian, one commenter suggested a look at the comments on this website. The battle of Good vs. Evil I always understood as being an internal struggle within each one of us i.e. we have the free will to choose the easy road of evil, or the much more difficult path of good. in that sense, once can say that God is within each of us, and we are exhorted (by Jesus, among others) to look for that good in everyone. Irrespective of one’s belief in God, both Old and New Testaments are replete with insights into the Human Condition. (Sum Via, Veritas, Vita)
      But going off now on a new tangent: JFK’s speech “The President & The Press” shortly after his realisation of the depth of treachery within the CIA (post Bay of Pigs) paints a portrait of what some may have understood as Communism, but fits to perfection our (now) understanding of the CIA. See:
      Or maybe I am seeing what I want to see? No doubt, someone will soon enlighten me. “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant….etc.”

  2. “And who by brave assent, who by accident
    Who in solitude, who in this mirror
    Who by his lady’s command, who by his own hand
    Who in mortal chains, who in power
    And who shall I say is calling?”
    -Leonard Cohen, “Who by Fire”

    This is a challenging article and one that I feel is the culmination of many that have been written by Professor Curtin. By challenging I mean of course that it makes one think (as Mr. Finn’s intelligent post demonstrates); thinking being a quality that like spiritual understanding seems lacking in the left-right dialectic cognitive dissonance filter bubble. I have one thought to share which I believe is explained already in the article but that I wish to flesh out for my own elucidation. The true way to distinguish between the symbolic and the diabolic is in knowing which exists on a trajectory with infinity. For, in that the symbol brings together, it must persevere endure. It is a representation of truth based on geometric principals that have existed for as long as the human mind (and perhaps have proceeded it). The diabolic on the other hand cannot and must not last. When that force of chaos is shown in symbolic language it is like the petard whose box is built only to house the agent of destruction. Further we might say, comparing that box to such a one as the mytho-historic Ark of the Covenent, that one would not build a petard out of valuable woods but make it from those that are relatively valueless and that the builder of the sacred does not compromise his work by any join which is not true to the chest’s durability. Far from employing care in the design of the diabolic petard all that the offender must do is to affix a bell shape piece of brass to a thick board (or madrier) firmly enough so that when the gunpowder inside the bell explodes all of its force is directed through the slab of wood. This brings to mind another mythic story dealing with a wooden horse. The common factor involved when either the bomb or the horse succeed in their purpose of breaching the boundaries of the door or wall respectively is the belief/assumption that the interior is safe; that the door is thick or the wall tall enough to withstand all attacks. Professor Curtin’s article makes clear to me one thing and that is that the enemies of freedom have existed for longer than any name we have been given for them and yet they have not existed longer than freedom itself for that is the only philosophy which makes for the true humanism which is our birthright. The magnitude of what is being shown makes this article worth many libraries of “American history” and I am only sorry if I have been clumsy in trying contain my thoughts on the matter.

    1. This is a very good commentary. I think the most significant sentence is, “The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”
      I think of people being easily distracted, limited attention span. Why? How?
      One reason I feel is, we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know who we are as individual human beings. We don’t even know who we are as indoctrinated organisms. So-called teachers and professors aid this along under the guise of ‘education’ only to help perpetuate this madness which some people even applaud and boast about!

  3. This is a brave article. I had a very religious upbringing and rebelled (I’m not an atheist, but I have a hard time with most religions especially monotheistic or manichean ones), so it’s hard for me to be convinced the satanic symbolism means anything too dangerous–except as, as you say, propaganda that confuses AND–most important–sends the message not only of helplessness, but of in a twisted way–individualism as anti-class or even community consciousness.
    I’m not sure how to express that intelligently but I’ll give a non- christian example: I had a boyfriend who was white and had become Buddhist, and I used to wonder sometimes if Western Buddhism was CIA-backed. That suspicion grew when I read somewhere about Peter Matthiessen’s connections with the CIA (Paris Review, Zen Buddhism). My own personal “conspiracy theory” was that Buddhism, as adopted in the West (in a mostly pretty flawed way), translated to focus on the self, on one’s own “enlightenment” and NOT on any kind of social organization, so it was perfect for neutralizing those hippies who had Marxism on the mind.
    Well, I hesitate even to say all this–that’s how shamed we are about “conspiracy theories.” But, your article got me thinking. There’s something I can’t articulate, which has to do with the artificiality of the God-Devil dichotomy, and why it seems a really silly way to “soften us up”, but, that’s because I lived dat shit for a long time. And your point is about the CIA anyway, and the very real evil of coups, regime change, torture, etc. Maybe that’s just the point–distraction, and or getting us used to violence & domination. (See how confusing this all is?).

    1. Lorrie,

      I think your hunch about the concentration of the self (or non-self) is true. They set up these false dichotomies for pseudo debates. Thanks, Ed

    2. Hi Lorie, the ‘greater vehicle’ Mahayana Buddhism seems to address the selfishness aspect, particularly the last sentence of this extract. … ‘Furthermore, Mahayana Buddhism argued that it was impossible to achieve enlightenment without compassion, for if englightnment means selflessness, a notion present since the earliest strata of Buddhist teachings, then for the Mahayana true enlightenment must be seeing others as oneself, deconstructing the self-other binary and providing a doctrinal support for the prioritizing of compassion. According to this approach, if there’s suffering in the world, I only see that suffering as not mine if I have a discrete notion of the self. But since Buddhist practice aims to deconstruct the self, the suffering of others becomes my suffering as well if I have no-self, and hence my own enlightenment and compassion in regard to the suffering of others becomes necessarily intertwined. In this sense, reducing the suffering of others reduces my own, because the more I am compassionate, the more the obstacle to my own enlightenment which is my self is reduced. Furthermore, the more my self is reduced, the more I am able to see clearly, and hence, able to direct others onto the path, so the goal of helping self and others become aspects of the same’

      1. Andy,
        yes, granted. My problem was/is not with Buddhism, but rather the connection (which, again, is really only me saying this, so take it with a lot of salt) the focus on enlightenment, etc., instead of social and class issues–something the CIA would probably be all for. Back in the 60s-70s, like the 30s, there was, I think (i didn’t live it, so dunno) a strong attempt to question capitalism from various fronts. Buddhism is very anti-communist, anti-class consciousness, I think. Especially here in the US where Buddhism, (Zen & Tibetan), from what I’ve seen, is mostly a white, upper middle class thing.
        But again, I have no intention of dissing Buddhism as a religion. Nor did I want to take focus from the point of Ed Curtin’s article–which is the divide & conquer, co-opt and brainwash nature of the CIA’s actions. Which are incredibly insidious and I don’t pretend to be un-brainwashed! Great discussion, too.

        1. The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet
          something tangentially related to both, professor Curtins’s article and Your comments Lorie…which ,may be of interest.
          “Between 1957 and 1969 the CIA armed, financed, and helped train Tibetan guerrillas who operated first inside Tibet, and later — after the Dalai Lama’s escape to India in 1959 — from a base in Mustang, a remote corner of northwestern Nepal. This project, code-named ST Circus, was one of the CIA’s longest-running covert operations. The withdrawal of the CIA’s support in 1969 was as abrupt as its initial involvement was unexpected.”

  4. Well, I not going to intellectualize here or analyze the commentary…, we have a problem…, we have a gigantic problem! The problem is how we live and think! How we repeat the same mistakes over and over and don’t seem to notice the second time around. Why? Are we afraid of dying or are we afraid of living? Both? Do we even know who we are? The author stated; “The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”
    So, are we even fully conscious? I don’t think so. I know I’m not.

    1. The way we define the mind, defines ‘the problem’ in such ways as the attempt to escape or solve it – makes it real thereby to the mind of such a-tempt.
      That one cant solve a problem at the level of the problem is not a new idea – but when the fixation on problem-defined self drops away, is disinvested or paused, a new and indeed now or living perspective gives new eyes to see. However, only to the willingness to accept – and so some illusions are more readily undone than others more dearly defended and depended on for the current sense of self.
      The lie and the father of the lie are a package of cause and effect where the effect has made its own cause. While impossible in truth, it is evidently true that we believe it in a world where as Michael Ellner said; “Everything is BACKWARDS; everything is upside down! Doctors destroy health, Lawyers destroy justice, Universities destroy knowledge, Governments destroy freedom, Major media destroys information, And religions destroy spirituality”.

      Recognizing the lie or denial within our own consciousness may be served by meeting it in others. The uncovering of terror and deceit beneath our mind or our world is in a sense how the mind has become structured to evade. (how can the first not make the second because the mind is cause or first and what goes forth will reap a like measure).

      Recognizing this is the freedom to give true with-ness and extend a true worth-ship – in other words grow the enlightenment of a true appreciation by living from it – through cultivating willingness to disinvest from reacting to appearances of dissonance and conflict in the desire and curiosity to know the truth – as the movement of being that ‘frames’ us in a present and presence of compassion because the boot of the past made in anger is not stamping its image into a future like itself.

      If a mind thinks alone, it cuts itself off from living thought. This self-specialness can only seem to operate in secrets and lies.
      But self-illusion recognized as such is no longer power over us and so a purpose and process or reintegration replaces a mind capture of possession and control – set against fear of being dispossessed.

      Living thought communicates the qualities of presence.
      Fixation in image or model sacrifices the living to the i-dol.
      Problems are the very fuel for the maintaining of such a focus, and is setting up failure by design – in the wish NOT to know and be known is the worth-ship given to the masking or symbol of life as a ‘victory’ over a symbol of evil.
      The fear of knowing and being known is itself hidden, so as to run as if at the hand of another – or of circumstance and put the problem of a split self OUT and away from the little or sense of lack, that remains.

      The only way to NOT KNOW is to be-live knowing something else, and so we suffer not only our own convictions, but the loss of love’s truth in ourself as each other.

      Your last seemingly humble statement is more an expression of what you take to be, and accept as… you. Everything then follows as sure as the night the day.
      So we can ‘self-reference’ in all sorts of dissociative thinking – socially reinforced’ and live the result. No blame implied by the way.
      This creative or imaginative ‘consciousness’ that we identify in is not unlike a train of thought that we are suddenly captivated in the following – until we presently notice that we were in a sense ‘absent’.
      What would fully conscious be?
      For a start it would reject nothing of its thought/self.
      Be unconflicted or whole.
      Be fully or intimately present.
      Who has not known at least SOME moment of joy?
      But who then identified in the forms of its association and made a ‘problem’ out of a gift. Self-aware is already true – self-conscious inhibition is a temporal imbalance and communication within the whole – that is One extending in the many. The extending of life is its meaning or effulgence. In our current terms we project a meaninglessness of conflicted meanings as if one illusion will rise to rule them all. Until we change channels. But no one is free to change what they are convinced is being done to them against their will. Nor do they want to know their will, while set in terms of reaction or rejection.

      He who binds to himself a joy
      Does the winged life destroy
      He who kisses the joy as it flies
      Lives in eternity’s sunrise
      ~ (William Blake)

  5. Since you mention U.F.O.’s, is this C.I.A. disinformation?
    Disclosure project
    “Secret Knowledge: Probably one of the most important videos of our time; On Wednesday, May 9th, 2001, over twenty military, intelligence, government, corporate and scientific witnesses came forward at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to establish the reality of UFOs or extraterrestrial vehicles, extraterrestrial life forms, and resulting advanced energy and propulsion technologies. The weight of this first-hand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, will establish without any doubt the reality of these phenomena.”

  6. Are we fully intrigued? I know I am! And I realize I have known of the problem for many years and have spent all of my energy intellectualizing it. Perhaps the reason I unconsciously chose the path of the intellectual was because I lacked courage. Leadership also was lacking in my approach (as in a sense of personal authority) but I risk making this comment into a narcissistic escape. All I mean to share is that intrigue seems a passive state wherein the one intrigued in made impotent by having giving away the power of ideas, words and actions. Is intrigue in this case something we do or have done to us? Maybe it is both however that answer is too ambiguous for an accurate reading. If we are merely fascinated, well that is alright insomuch as it at least holds the virtue of our having curiosity. The public, having been formed in the media of the heart and by their consent are therefore intrigued upon (deceived). I, having been made to feel impotent and a victim, feel my creative forces blocked and feel frustration. If I am cognizant that I will someday die the frustration is transformed into anxiety. If I am in denial of this inevitability then I will feel rage concerning my finiteness. “The more someone has espoused the cause of his own aggression, the more perfectly he represents the repressive principal of society.” (T. Adorno)

  7. A fascinating post Ed. Your run through CIA history was excellent. It appears I’m not alone if feeling that the moorings have come lose. That we are now existing in what could be described as a “post-reality” society. That is a society in which observable events which happen in the physical world routinely differ from their portrayal in corporate media, or how those events are described by the political class. For example, it was an “open secret” that while the Obama and Trump administrations said America was “fighting ISIS,” we were in fact arms, and providing protection and logistical support for ISIS. This goes beyond the simple “governments lie” explanation to something that feels new in my lifetime. I have never felt so totally unable to discuss “reality” (events that occur in the physical world) with people I know and love, because if I don’t line up with their corporate provided “explanation” of such events, I’m suspected of being one of those dreaded “conspiracy theorists.” As P.C. Roberts once put it so well, “reality has become a conspiracy theory.”

    The historically documented complete and utter amorality of the CIA acting as the invisible arm of oligarchy suggests there is likely no bottom to the ever deeper psychic and spiritual abyss we are collectively descending into more and more rapidly by the day.

    1. I have the same problem, Gary. Attempting to engage others in meaningful discussion about public affairs has become largely a futile endeavor, because they and I inhabit entirely separate intellectual worlds. There is no common ground of perception, not to speak of comprehension, which would allow us to respectfully differ or come to agreement about this or that public issue. Unless one makes the time and effort to search out the truth (as best we can grasp it) on the alternative media, one’s head quickly becomes full of emotional opinions based upon lies and spin. The old Marxist idea of “false consciousness” has truly come into its own.

      1. Newton,

        Gary, you, Lucas, me, and many others – no one wants to hear much of what we think – different worlds, at the moment. Frustrating as it is, don’t give up trying to break through with others – sometimes miracles happen. Ed

    2. Gary, Counterpunch published this piece early yesterday and by 11 AM it had been deleted – unprecedented. Isn’t it interesting! Ed

      1. Ed, Wow! First of all I’m amazed that CounterPoof would still publish anything with your name on it since you have steadfastly refused to accept the ample evidence provided by the Chomsky approved Warren Commission that a single “magic bullet” has proven that our own CIA & military did not in fact assassinate JFK, and we know how those boys at CounterPoof just hate us “conspiracy theorists.” 🙂

        However, to publish and then delete your work, well, it takes a particular brand of coward to engage in such behavior and CounterPoof seems to have jettisoned whatever courage it might have once had in the process of ditching Diana Johnstone, Andre Vltchek, C.J. Hopkins, and now censoring your work – in only a matter of hours no less.

        The only reason I even periodically peruse the CounterPoof site anymore is to see if they’ve published anything recently by John Steppling, as the rest of the true anti-imperials who’s work I appreciate have been summarily dismissed in favor of regime change hucksters like Louis Proyect and Melvin Goodman. Although to be honest, if I ever wake up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep for wondering “what music Jeffrey St. Clair might be listening to lately,” well, I know right where to look. CP has become a parody of it’s former self, and I suggest you wear your censorship as a badge of honor Ed.

  8. Talk about new wine in old wine skins! It’s at once old as much of what you say has been said before, and new because you put it all together so well. This is potentially transformational. No wonder somebody deleted it from Counterpunch. Not just a syllabus or a course but a university without boundaries with its own bookstores and libraries featuring resources which currently one has to bother to order. It took me two sittings — had to go out — to explore what Curtin, Stringfellow, Cornel West, Eugene F. Rivers III, the duo on the linked video, and the other commenters had to say. It would take many sittings to read some of the books you mention, most of which I’ve had on my wish list — if I could find them. Is it too much to hope for teach-ins to get some of this into wider currency? Would younger people get out to them? Keep it up, Ed.

  9. Having read this article on OffGuardian, one commenter suggested a look at the comments on this website. The battle of Good vs. Evil I always understood as being an internal struggle within each one of us i.e. we have the free will to choose the easy road of evil, or the much more difficult path of good. in that sense, once can say that God is within each of us, and we are exhorted (by Jesus, among others) to look for that good in everyone. Irrespective of one’s belief in God, both Old and New Testaments are replete with insights into the Human Condition. (Sum Via, Veritas, Vita)
    But going off now on a new tangent: JFK’s speech “The President & The Press” shortly after his realisation of the depth of treachery within the CIA (post Bay of Pigs) paints a portrait of what some may have understood as Communism, but fits to perfection our (now) understanding of the CIA. See:
    Or maybe I am seeing what I want to see? No doubt, someone will soon enlighten me. “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant….etc.”

  10. MKULTRA and Karl Marx

    The easy / lazy and all encompassing, “the CIA is Nazi” meme, needs to be re-evaluated imho. It is much more nuanced than that. Either that or folk may need to reconsider what “Nazi” actually means. Also, I suggest that covering the CIA’s antecedents without mentioning Angleton, is a mistake.

    The “CIA is Nazi” philosophers also need to explain the following, very informative exemplar of their occult narrative fabrication method.

    The major players from the “Frankfurt School” went into the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program, via the AJC / Macy Foundation.

    MK-ULTRA sub-project 58 was the CIA’s launch of psychedelics via Henry Luce & Gordon Wasson et al.

    For those who are really interested in what lies behind the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program, see this post :

    MKULTRA : Karl Marx

    It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

    Pick any “narrative” from any theatre / production and these are the signatures found.

    It is always thus.


  11. In case someone needs an example of cultural propagandization at work look no further than the continual refrain we hear thanking our military for their service. No one stops to ask what service are they giving? To whom? For whom?

  12. In my hasty comment to a preliminary reading of the article I closed with the (vague) statement ending in “the true humanism which is our birthright.” In following the video link given by Prof. Curtin I was immediately set straight on what has constituted for humanism in the 20th century. I can only explain the fact that no one corrected my assumption on this matter by the very polite and generous nature of this thread. Participating here has taught me something about what education is. The comments here and on the article’s post at Offguardian have been for the most part highly informative and I want to thank you Ed for facilitation this discussion by sharing your research.

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