First Earth Battalion History.
The First Earth Battalion was the name proposed by Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon, a U.S. soldier who had served in Vietnam, for his idea of a new military of super soldiers to be organized along New Age lines. A book of the same name was published in 1982.
According to the book The Men Who Stare at Goats by journalist Jon Ronson, Channon spent time in the 1970s with many of the people in California credited with starting the Human Potential Movement, and subsequently wrote an operations manual for a First Earth Battalion. The manual was a 125-page mixture of drawings, graphs, maps, polemical essays, and point-by-point redesigns of every aspect of military life. Channon imagined a new battlefield uniform that would include pouches for ginseng regulators, divining tools, food stuffs to enhance night vision, and a loudspeaker that would automatically emit “indigenous music and words of peace.” A movie based on the book—released in Autumn 2009—starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey, fictionalized the First Earth Battalion as the New Earth Army.
Channon believed the Army could be the principal moral and ethical basis on which politics could harmonize in the name of the Earth. He declared that the First Earth Battalion’s primary allegiance was to the planet earth. Channon envisioned that the First Earth Battalion would organize itself informally: uniforms without uniformity, structure without status, and unity powered by diversity, and members would be multicultural, with each race contributing to “rainbow power”. He also proposed as a guiding principle that members of the First Earth Battalion seek nondestructive methods of conflict resolution because their first loyalty is to the planet.
Channon adopted the term “warrior monk” for potential members of the First Earth Battalion.
Revisiting the Occult-Military Complex:
Towards A Mystical Military
By Carl Teichrib, Chief Editor
Forcing Change, Volume 3, Issue 10. Posted November 19, 2009
It’s a strange name for a movie: “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” and what makes this more remarkable is that it’s based on a “true story.”
Staring George Cloony, Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges, this flick – to be released in November 2009 – follows the bizarre story of a United States military program that attempted to employ psychic powers and occult techniques to gain an edge on the battlefield. Welcome to the “First Earth Battalion,” a New Age military concept initiated by Lt. Colonel Channon in the late 1970s.
I originally found out about the First Earth Battalion idea in the mid-1990s when I obtained a copy of its “field manual.” This book, like the program it was promoting, wasn’t in the normal military style; most of it was presented in the form of graphics, and the text promoted global citizenship, yoga, cosmic evolution, and self-godhood. It even offered a prayer to Mother Earth, and suggested that in the future this First Earth Battalion would be the foundation for an “Army of Light.”
But why the movie title, “Men Who Stare at Goats”? Apparently, participants in this occult-military program where supposed to take down enemies by projecting psychic powers. Training for this was apparently done on goats, and the warrior monks – the term used by these mind solders – would stare at goats in an attempt to kill them using mind power alone.
While all of this seems strange, even goofy (the trailer for the movie takes a comedy bent), the First Earth Battalion isn’t the only connection between occultism and the military community. Nor is the United States the only nation that has pursued spiritual/psychic links for battlefield supremacy – Russia, Germany, Great Britain, and other countries have flirted with occult/military programs. However, the US does have the largest and most proficient military in the world, and as a nation that has strong Christian roots, this occult partnering therefore needs some investigation.
I Saluted A Witch
“I Saluted A Witch.” So read the title of an article in the July 5th, 1999 edition of Time magazine. What followed was a disturbing expose of a growing trend within the United States Army—the official sanctioning of witchcraft. While the Army has traditionally been viewed as a conservative institution, it found itself grappling with the issue of religious tolerance, including the recognition of New Age and pagan beliefs.
To that end, Fort Hood, the largest military base in the U.S, gave official recognition to Wicca – a religious belief system associated with neo-paganism and what is more traditionally known as witchcraft. According to Time, “Few people outside the base knew the Army had approved such a group until a couple of months ago, when a photo of a torchlight ritual appeared in a local paper.” Other military bases followed suit, but there was a backlash.
Congressman Bob Barr, in a May 18, 1999 press release called for “an end to the taxpayer-supported practice of witchcraft on military bases.” In a letter to congressional and military leaders Barr exclaimed,
“This move sets a dangerous precedent that could easily result in the practice of all sorts of bizarre practices being supported by the military under the rubric of ‘religion.’ What’s next? Will armored divisions be forced to travel with sacrificial animals for Satanic rituals? Will Rastifarians demand the inclusion of ritualistic marijuana cigarettes in their rations?”
In a May 21, 1999 column, Congressman Barr explained that,
“…the military is now drafting regulations allowing soldiers to use the powerful hallucinogenic drug peyote as part of a ‘religious’ ritual…What happens if a pilot hallucinates while flying, or if an artillery officer experiences a flashback while calculating coordinates?”
Rice Beer, Sacrificial Chickens, and the Special Forces
One of the most unusual examples of the military linking with pagan spirituality took place during the Vietnam war. In 1964 U.S. Special Forces employed a 10,000-strong montagnard strike force in the Vietnamese high country. The montagnards were native highlanders who were trained by certain elements of the U.S. military and intelligence community to fight against the North Vietnamese regular army (NVA). Besides combating the NVA, the montagnards were also at odds with the U.S-backed South Vietnamese government, and had hopes of establishing an independent highland nation outside of Saigon’s domain. Understandably, tension existed within the montagnard/U.S. alliance (see National Geographic, January 1965).
On September 19, 1964, more than 3,000 armed mountain tribesman located within five US Special Forces camps openly revolted against the South Vietnam government. Such a move put American forces in serious danger. In Buon Brieng, a U.S. Special Forces facility containing a 700-man battalion of montagnards, tension rose to dangerous levels. In order to calm the situation, U.S. Army Special Forces Captain Vernon W. Gillespie agreed to participate in a pagan ritual designed to summon the spirits and bring peace back to the base. Montagnard battalion leader, Y Jhon Nie explained, “We will make a sacrifice, and the sorcerer will invoke the spirits to help us.”
Captain Gillespie (the U.S. commander of Buon Brieng), Y Jhon Nie, and Captain Truong of the South Vietnamese Special Forces donned the traditional ceremonial garb – a black and red long-sleeved top and a similarly colored loin-cloth. Howard Sochurek, a writer for National Geographic witnessed the event and explained what happened next,
“Shortly after 10 a.m. we walked to the ceremonial hut. Huge brass gongs announced the arrival of the sorcerer, a sunken-faced man with watery eyes. A delegation of camp and village dignitaries faced a row of seven jars, each brimful of fermented rice mash and water – a potent concoction. Food offerings lay beside the jars: one pig and a chicken as an offering for Gillespie; a chicken each for Y Jhon, Captain Truong, and the sorcerer. Chanting, the sorcerer communicated with the spirits. After each communication the participants sipped rice beer.
“The climax of the ceremony came when the sorcerer, after one particularly long drought of brew, crouched alongside Captain Gillespie and fastened a brass ring to his right wrist. This – joining a twin ring from [a] previous ritual that had united Gillespie and Y Jhon – would give notice to the spirits that a suitable offering had been made. Captain Truong, too, received a like bracelet, as did Y Jhon. Now all three were bound in alliance. The spirits having been appeased, the ceremony ended. The rice liquor that remained in the seven jars was distributed to the soldiers in the strike force, as were the sacrificial chickens. The tension in the camp eased considerably.”(For details see National Geographic, January 1965, pp. 38-42).
After a week of negotiations, the rebel montagnards capitulated to U.S. ultimatums. And while it is likely that Captain Gillespie’s participation within the pagan ritual helped set the tribal soldiers at ease, the fact remains that spiritual forces were summoned.
Transcending Time and Space
For science fiction buffs, Stargate is a successful television show in which the military has acquired a portal device that links Earth to other worlds via a wormhole – a concept in physics that suggests “shortcuts” or tunnels exist in the time/space fabric, and that these tunnels can link different parts of the universe. In the show, the wormhole hypothesis is played out in a cross-galactic drama where, each week, the cast of the series faces different adventures.
Ironically, the US military-intelligence community also had a program named Stargate, and over the last few years, different elements of this project have come to light. Dale E. Graff, former director of Stargate, published some of his experiences in a book titled Tracks in the Psychic Wilderness.
“As part of my responsibilities, I created the name ‘Stargate’ for our total remote viewing effort. Stargate invoked the feeling of exploration, a sense of reaching beyond our ordinary capabilities, or expanding the boundaries of our human potential.” (p.6)
The point of Stargate was to explore, develop, and manipulate psychic abilities, including remote viewing and remote influencing.
What is “remote viewing”? It’s the ability to mentally/spiritually detach yourself from your present physical state and, through paranormal means, engage in espionage and information gathering activities. “Remote influencing,” on the other hand, is the paranormal ability to influence a static object and manipulate it through mind-powers alone. This is also known as psychokinesis, and it includes the moving of physical item, self-levitation, and the influencing of events from a distance.
David Morehouse, the author of Psychic Warrior, explains that once remote viewing is cultivated, it allows the individual to psychically jump into different time/space dimensions. Upon mentally/spiritually entering the desired “reality,” the observer views the intended events and returns to his physical existence with the sought after information. Morehouse, a decorated Army officer, Airborne Ranger Company Commander, and invited speaker at Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1995 State of the World Forum, admits that he was involved in psychic espionage. He also admits that the U.S. military has been utilizing remote viewing for decades.
W. Adam Mandelbaum, a former intelligence asset who claims to have engaged in this type of work, draws a comparison between ancient shamans and these psychic spooks.
“Whereas the ancient shaman painted wall caves, predicting successful hunts, and danced before tribal fires to contact the spirits, the modern-day magus sits on his CIA-issue couch and sends his government-trained astral body into the ether in search of prey. Even today, what might be called ‘Primitive Third Eyes’ exist, veterans of the military-psychic spying program. Now, for hefty fees, they will enter the astral world for information, the world’s most valuable commodity.” (The Psychic Battlefield, p.2)
Bizarre as all this seems, it only scratches the surface of the occult/mind linkages found in the military-intelligence complex. This most recent movie, Men Who Stare at Goats, which painting a comedic aspect to this episode, will probably downplay such programs as quirky but ultimately harmless. Interestingly, serious practitioners of occultism recognize the dangers latent in this realm.
Secrets That Kill
H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society and mother of the New Age Movement, penned a very perplexing statement: “there are secrets that kill in the arcane of Occultism…” She goes on to say,
“Thus, if purely material implements are capable of blowing up, from a few corners, the greatest cities of the globe, provided the murderous weapons are guided by expert hands – what terrible dangers might not arise from magical occult secrets being revealed, and allowed to fall into the possession of ill-meaning persons!” (Studies in Occultism, p.28)
Those who have witnessed the violence of occult forces, such as Barney Lacendre, speak to this reality.
Mr. Lacendre, who was once a Cree witchdoctor in northern Saskatchewan, talked of his experiences under the bondage of Native witchcraft – including physically destructive manifestations – in his book, The Bushman and the Spirits. In 1960, after a period of trapline hexes and an encounter with a Christian man who understood the Indian life, Barney realized that Jesus Christ had more power than the evil spirits that operated in his world. After turning his heart to Christ Jesus, a new man was born, and while he evangelized to the Cree communities of northern Canada, he also warned about the darker elements of spiritual bondage.
In his 1979 book, Lacendre wrote,
“Witchcraft isn’t something that’s just practiced in distant heathen countries. It’s going on right now, here in Canada. It’s widespread, maybe more so now than ever before. It isn’t just back in the bush, either. It comes in different forms.” (The Bushman and the Spirits, p.24)
Some may dismiss all of this as so much hocus pocus, but history is replete with observations and examples of spiritual powers and occult forces. Hundreds of millions of people live in day-to-day fear of evil spirits and dark powers. Sophisticated secular minds may claim it’s only superstition; but even a casual survey of such cultures points out that these beliefs are built on something tangible.
Hocus pocus? Obviously mainline institutions, such as the U.S. Army, recognizes some validity to the paranormal or “spiritual” – enough, at least, to pursue occult experiments. It’s more than just goats and a goofy movie. So, what can we glean from this brief exploration of such a different topic?
Simply put: It demonstrates that society’s fascination with occultism isn’t limited to those who are “spiritually-minded” or the paranormal fads of popular culture – it even transcends accepted norms of civil service. Therefore, by understanding this context, we have a better grasp of our culture’s spiritual appetite, and hopefully can be better equipped to recognize the inroads made by occultism. And in the case of Barney Lacendre, realize the freedom from spiritual bondage that comes through Jesus Christ.
The Bible provides a guideline when encountering such spiritual practices, even within a national setting. Deuteronomy 18 gives instruction to the Hebrew nation not to follow the occult ways of those around them. We too can take heed.
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-13) FC
Black Magic, the Occult and the CIA.
By Brent Swancer
March 22, 2018
There is no doubt that governments get up to some strange dealings, research, and experiments, and top secret programs have always drawn to them tales of suspense, mystery, and conspiracies. One of the stranger stories concerns an offshoot of a mind control program run by the United States, which by some accounts branched off into the realms of the supernatural and the occult.
Perhaps no other secret military project has been as talked about or as wrapped in conspiracy theories as the CIA’s Project MKUltra. Launched in the 1950s by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the project was an extensive program looking into the development and applications of numerous methods of mind control, often using rather inhumane, unethical, and frankly illegal methods, such as using unwitting human guinea pigs and forms of psychological torture including sensory deprivation, verbal abuse, and others.
MKUltra focused heavily on trying to alter and manipulate human mental states and consciousness, often with the help of generous portions of hallucinogenic chemicals and drugs such as barbiturates, amphetamines, mescaline, psilocybin, scopolamine, cannabis, and LSD, in an effort to create a drug that could be used for mind control purposes and to develop a perfect truth serum and other substances that would dramatically alter the human psyche, including alleged efforts to create a true “Manchurian Candidate” type assassin or spy that could be activated when needed. They also looked into various other forms of mind control and alteration of the human psyche, such as hypnosis and the use of sub-aural frequency blasts to erase memory, and a microwave device for planting thoughts in the enemy’s mind, among many others.
The program went on for over a decade in total secrecy, and this was no small operation, with such mind control research being carried out at an estimated 80 different institutions, ranging from universities, to pharmaceutical companies, to private companies, as well as hospitals and prisons, which provided plenty of potential test subjects, some of whom purportedly died during the experiments. The scope of it all was huge, and the CIA was very good at obfuscating that any of this was going on at all. It was not until 1975 that the Church Committee of the United States Congress brought the sinister program out from the shadows, and even then most of the top-secret documents pertaining to it had been destroyed in 1973 by then CIA director Richard Helms, making investigation into Project MKUltra difficult, its full extent hidden in darkness.
MKUltra was a vast, sprawling warren of weird experiments and strange studies, and it actually served as an umbrella for 150 other research sub-projects operating under them with funding from the CIA. One of these numerous projects was called MKSearch, launched in 1964, which was a joint operation with The U.S. Army Chemical Corps primarily tasked with research and development of various substances that could be used to incapacitate the enemy, including biological, chemical, and radioactive materials. A sub-project of MKSearch was called MKOFTEN, also sometimes referred to as MKCHIKWIT, which sought to test the behavioral effects of different drugs on animals and humans and which mostly operated at Holmesburg State Prison in Philadelphia from 1967 to 1973. According to reports, the project supposedly ostensibly pursued compounds for stimulating heart attacks, producing irrational or violent behavior or psychotic states, and otherwise “disturbing a person’s psyche,” but it has been alleged to have been involved in far more bizarre realms as well.
According to some sources, MKOFTEN went beyond the mere research of mind control and incapacitation of enemies, and branched out into the world of black magic, witchcraft, and the occult. The accusation was first put forth by British investigative journalist and author Gordon Thomas, who wrote the 2007 book Secrets and Lies, and who claims that a Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, chief of the CIA’s Technical Services Branch and also known as the “Black Sorcerer” due to his expertise with poisons, used the program to “explore the world of black magic and harness the forces of darkness and challenge the concept that the inner reaches of the mind are beyond reach.”
To this end, people involved with MKOFTEN purportedly met with, consulted, studied, or employed numerous mystics and occultists, including fortune-tellers, palm-readers, clairvoyants, astrologists, mediums, psychics, practitioners of voodoo and witchcraft, black magicians, demonologists, Satanists, and even a monsignor in charge of exorcisms for the Catholic archdiocese of New York. The program also allegedly pursued magical rituals for possible military use. According to Thomas, the CIA employed three astrologers for telling the future, as well as two palm readers whose abilities were looked at for their use in intelligence activities, a sorceress from Houston named Sibyl Leak, and various other psychics and occultists.
In addition to Thomas, another journalist and researcher, Alex Constantine, also wrote of these arcane pursuits carried out by the program, claiming that the CIA was interested in starting religious cults such as that of the People’s Temple of Jonestown, the Church of Set, and the Process Church of the Final Judgement, the Finders, and others, in order to look into mind control and alteration of human behavior, and that they also helped set up a course in black magic, demonology, and witchcraft at at the University of South Carolina as a sort of “social laboratory.” This course apparently delved into all manner of the occult and magical rituals and was carefully monitored by CIA behavioral scientists. Another researcher named Peter Lavenda has also claimed that MKOFTEN was involved in “everything from séances and witchcraft to remote viewing and exotic drugs.”
It is unclear just how much of this is true and how much of it is pure conspiracy theory. Although it is known that the U.S. did in fact pursue mind control experiments with its MKUltra program, the real extent of how deep the rabbit hole goes is still rather a mystery. Did any of the offshoots and subprograms actually look into the occult and utilizing magic to any extent, and if so what results did they achieve, if any? Whether it is true or not, it is a wild story, and the perfect fuel for intrigue and conspiracies.