THE INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT
by Tara Carreon
"PARANORMAL STUDIES LABORATORY -- VENKMAN BURN IN HELL"
"On January 22, 1946, [President Truman] issued an executive order setting up a National Intelligence Authority and, under it, a Central Intelligence Group, which became the forerunner of the CIA. The Authority's members were Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal and Admiral Leahy. The Central Intelligence Group was the Authority's operating arm. To head it, Truman selected Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, the deputy chief of Navy Intelligence. Souers had been a businessman in St. Louis before the war; the nation's first Director of Central Intelligence once headed the Piggly Wiggly Stores in Memphis."
"It is repugnant to the principles of representative government that a body should give power to itself ...
It would be an act of despotism, or what in England is called arbitrary power, to make a law to prohibit investigating the principles, good or bad, on which such a law, or any other is founded."
"Certain it is, that what is called monarchy, always appears to me a silly, contemptible thing. I compare it to something kept behind a curtain, about which there is a great deal of bustle and fuss, and a wonderful air of seeming solemnity; but when, by any accident, the curtain happens to be open -- and the company see what it is, they burst into laughter.
In the representative system of government, nothing of this can happen. Like the nation itself, it possesses a perpetual stamina, as well of body as of mind, and presents itself on the open theatre of the world in a fair and manly manner. Whatever are its excellences or defects, they are visible to all. It exists not by fraud and mystery; it deals not in cant and sophistry; but inspires a language that, passing from heart to heart, is felt and understood.
But the case is, that the representative system diffuses such a body of knowledge throughout a nation, on the subject of government, as to explode ignorance and preclude imposition. The craft of courts cannot be acted on that ground. There is no place for mystery; nowhere for it to begin. Those who are not in the representation, know as much of the nature of business as those who are. An affectation of mysterious importance would there be scouted. Nations can have no secrets; and the secrets of courts, like those of individuals, are always their defects.
In the representative system, the reason for everything must publicly appear. Every man is a proprietor in government, and considers it a necessary part of his business to understand. It concerns his interest, because it affects his property. He examines the cost, and compares it with the advantages; and above all, he does not adopt the slavish custom of following what in other governments are called Leaders.
It can only be by blinding the understanding of man, and making him believe that government is some wonderful mysterious thing, that excessive revenues are obtained. Monarchy is well calculated to ensure this end. It is the popery of government; a thing kept up to amuse the ignorant, and quiet them into taxes.
The government of a free country, properly speaking, is not in the persons, but in the laws. The enacting of those requires no great expense; and when they are administered, the whole of civil government is performed -- the rest is all court contrivance."
The CIA's interest in parapsychology dates back to the late 1940s. A handwritten memo of the period suggests that "hypnotists and telepathists" be contacted as professional consultants on an exploratory basis, but this proposal was initially rejected. It was not until 1952, after the CIA got heavily involved with LSD, that the Agency began funding ESP research.
While parapsychology has long been ridiculed by the scientific establishment, the CIA seriously entertained the notion that such phenomena might be highly significant for the spy trade. The Agency hypothesized that if a number of people in the US were found to have a high ESP capacity, their talent could be assigned to specific intelligence problems. In 1952 the CIA initiated an extensive program involving "the search for and development of exceptionally gifted individuals who can approximate perfect success in ESP performance." The Office of Security, which ran the ARTICHOCKE project, was urged to follow "all leads on individuals reported to have true clairvoyant powers" so as to be able to subject their claims to "rigorous scientific investigation."
Along this line the CIA began infiltrating seances and occult gatherings. A memo dated April 9, 1953, refers to a domestic -- anbd therefore illegal -- operation that required the "planting of a very specialized observer" at a seance in order to obtain "a broad surveillance of all individuals attending the meetings."
The CIA also sought to develop techniques whereby the ESP powers of a group of psychics could be used "to produce factual information that could not be obtained in any other way." If it were possible "to identify the thought of another person several hundred miles away," a CIA scientist explained, "the adaptation to the practical requirements for obtaining secret information should not give serious difficulty." Moreover, "everything that adds anything to our understand of what is taking place in ESP is likely to give us advantage in the problem of use and control."
In a rather bizarre twist, during the late 1960s the CIA experimented with mediums in an effort to contact (and debrief?) dead agents. These attempts, according to Victor Marchetti, a former high-ranking CIA official, were part of a larger effort to harness psychic powers for various intelligence-related missions that included utilizing clairvoyants to divine the intentions of the Kremlin leadership. Secret ESP research is still being conducted, although CIA spokesmen refuse to comment on the nature of these experiements.