Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By Steve Hammons
This week, Smoke House Pictures is in Roswell, New Mexico, filming the action-comedy Men Who Stare at Goats.
How will the film end up portraying early U.S. military and intelligence efforts exploring and implementing what is now sometimes referred to as "transcendent warfare?"
George Clooney may have something to say about it.
He stars in the movie along with Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. Grant Heslov is director. Heslov and Clooney formed Smoke House Pictures in 2006 and they are also producers of the film.
Peter Straughan wrote the script, based on the book of the same name by UK journalist Jon Ronson.
Ronson’s 2004 non-fiction book included both ridicule and dark warnings about some of the unconventional activities of the U.S. military and intelligence community. However, did Ronson miss important aspects of these early attempts to utilize new discoveries and ancient knowledge about human consciousness?
Ronson’s book explored innovative programs within the U.S. Army, beginning in the 1970s, that included elements of the human potential movement, discoveries about extrasensory perception, ancient martial arts techniques, non-lethal weapons, advances in the understanding of the human mind and other unique areas of study.
Efforts on several fronts within the U.S. military and intelligence communities included activities aimed at learning more about these developments and training U.S. personnel in possible understanding and applications.
Ronson was probably accurate to point out that some of these activities may have been questionable, unethical or unrealistic.
He may also be correct that some of this knowledge was used for the "dark side" of U.S. military and intelligence activities.
Yet, many of the programs investigating these phenomena and possibilities did lead to significant results that, decades later, seem to be bearing fruit in ways we may not fully comprehend.
This body of knowledge can be termed transcendent warfare.
For example, there now may be a general acceptance that humans do possess a sixth sense that can be called intuition, gut instincts, street smarts, extrasensory perception (ESP), or even the formal name for an intelligence-gathering technique called remote viewing or the scientific term anomalous cognition.
Work begun in the 1970s in what was later called Project STARGATE produced highly significant data and findings about the potential of human consciousness to recognize and use these kinds of natural abilities that we all probably possess.
CHANGE AND TRANSCENDENCE
At this particular time in American history and in the state of world affairs, a hopeful view that positive change can occur is evident. Renewed attempts by good people to make this world a better place are on the minds of many.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq, the "enhanced interrogations" that Ronson notes in his book and the ethics (or lack of them) in these kinds of activities are legitimate causes for concern.
We might want to remember that knowledge gained about the potential of human consciousness can be used in different kinds of ways, depending on the people involved.
Ronson’s book, and most likely the movie too, examine the moral integrity and mental health of those within our government, military and intelligence community who wield the power of both conventional and unconventional weapons and tactics.
Before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, it could be helpful to remember that much has been learned about discoveries in human consciousness from some of these efforts.
In addition, this knowledge has spread from the military and intelligence community to the public arena. This dissemination of information may be a positive development.
Now, in today’s world, we may want to expand the capabilities and expertise of our military and intelligence communities in areas such as humanitarian efforts, peace operations and war prevention.
Lessons learned in past decades and emerging now about transcendent warfare developments can be very helpful in accomplishing these goals.
Will the new movie based on Ronson’s book take all of these sometimes complex factors into consideration? Let’s hope so.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
By Steve Hammons
When people hear the terms "transcendent warfare" or "transcendent concepts," they might wonder what exactly these phrases are describing.
One reason the terms are quite open-ended is because their nature, potential and far-reaching implications are unclear, even to those conducting research and activities involving transcendent concepts.
The basis of some transcendent phenomena can be quite conventional and everyday, such as the love, fellowship, compassion, creativity and courage that human beings often show.
At other times, it may be unconventional or even seem "paranormal." This gets into the realm of things like near-death experiences, unidentified flying objects (UFOs), extrasensory perception (ESP) and similar unusual phenomena.
The range of these kinds of transcendent elements often seems quite deep and wide.
And, the application of various transcendent approaches may be useful, or even crucial, in areas ranging from national defense and intelligence gathering to medicine and healing, from technological development to childhood education, from agriculture to sustainable clean energy, from movies and TV to human development.
Let's briefly look at three areas where transcendent concepts are involved: physics, national defense activities and creative media projects.
While some transcendent viewpoints are based on philosophical, psychological or spiritual perspectives, others have their basis in scientific theories and discoveries.
For example, theoretical and experimental physicist Hal Puthoff, PhD, recently stated, "The interesting developments going on in physics lately have brought us to where science fact is outstripping science fiction."
According to Puthoff, "Wormholes and warp drives, quantum entanglement and teleportation, multidimensional universes – these are now standard fare in mainstream science journals."
"Based on this, phenomena that would have seemed outrageous even just a decade or two ago cannot now be rejected out of hand without careful scrutiny. The playing field of reality has expanded," Puthoff said.
Puthoff was one of the scientists involved in the early stages of the U.S. government project on human consciousness generally known as Project STAR GATE. He is a former Navy intelligence officer and president and CEO of the Austin, Texas, research firm EarthTech International, Inc.
And, he is not alone in his views about such ongoing developments. Other researchers and professionals from different fields have also come to similar conclusions – that our understanding of "reality" should include awareness of leading-edge and transcendent developments that are now emerging.
That expanding reality is not only around us – it is within us. Human consciousness is one of the key elements of transcendent concepts and activities. Who we are and what we are connected to – these seem to be important elements to consider.
Several years ago, a Navy SEAL officer doing research for a graduate-level academic paper at the Marine Corps War College looked into the applications of emerging leading-edge discoveries for national defense activities.
The SEAL officer concluded that knowledge gleaned from certain advanced research and development projects could contribute to what he called "transcendent warfare." He referred, in part, to the discoveries involving "remote viewing," a type of ESP used to gather intelligence.
At the same time, he seemed to include a larger range of potential applications of new knowledge in his idea that transcendent warfare activities can be helpful for national defense and on many levels.
Joeseph McMoneagle, a retired U.S. Army intelligence chief warrant officer, was "Remote Viewer #001" of Project STAR GATE. That project researched and implemented the specific ESP protocol called remote viewing in support of numerous Department of Defense and national intelligence agencies for twenty years.
McMoneagle is the author of four nonfiction books on the subject of remote viewing. "Few realize the extent to which the government will go to use paranormal abilities in solving problems with critical national implications," he says.
He is also a member of Writer's Guild of America-East (WGAE) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
We seem to now be in an era when we may want to explore the effectiveness of "soft power," public diplomacy, peace operations, humanitarian operations, constructive psychological operations (PSYOP), open source intelligence activities (OSINT) and other helpful methods.
It seems clear that transcendent concepts have an important role to play in the areas of national security and international relations as well as human development.
In the rich creative milieu of today’s media, we find many books, films, TV shows, online sites and other communications platforms that seem to connect with transcendent concepts. Part of the reason for this is that people may increasingly be aware of emerging developments and leading-edge discoveries that are both interesting and relevant to our daily lives.
Why settle for "dumbed down" books, TV shows or movies when we can access more meaningful and enjoyable creative products related to transcendent concepts?
Media platforms that explore these ideas may themselves be on the leading edge of creative development. The market for transcendent media activities seems to be expanding, like the expanding reality that physicist Puthoff described.
Maybe there is synergy and synchronicity in the ways some of these factors connect. Maybe other developments around us and within us are continuing to flow toward some objectives or outcomes that have not yet come clearly into view.
However, the exploration of, and communication about transcendent concepts in science, national defense, education, human development, mass media and other fields seem to be very valuable endeavors at this time.