The Military-Occult Complex
An Interview With W. Adam Mandelbaum, author of Psychic Battlefield
The ability to see people, places and events at a distance in space and time by employing extrasensory perception seems like a handy intelligence gathering technique. The CIA's acknowledgment in 1995, of the existence of secret operations involving the use of specially trained people to psychically spy on distant targets, was proof enough to many people the technique worked. That announcement has given rise to innumerable experts with training courses all purporting to transform just about anyone into a 'remote viewer'.
To bring the whole phenomenon into perspective, New Dawn interviewed W. Adam Mandelbaum, author of the new book Psychic Battlefield (published by St. Martins Press). He is a former intelligence professional, who served with the United States National Security Agency. He has been a martial arts instructor, tarot card reader, and has worked as an attorney since 1981. http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/Article/Paranormal_ESPionage.html
W. Adam Mandelbaum is certainly qualified to write about remote viewing. He is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, and was a Fellow of the American Society for Psychical Research. Along with Joseph McMoneagle, former CIA psychic spy, he has co-founded the Intuitive Studies Institute, to carry on the research in remote viewing.
NEW DAWN: Tell us about yourself and how you became interested in psychic research and the paranormal?
MANDELBAUM: Since I was a child I had always been interested in the dark side of things, monsters, evil wizards, that sort of thing. When I went to the James Bond movies, I always voted for the bad guy – they seemed so much more interesting than Bond. Smarter too. Anyway, I was an avid reader in occult subjects, and when I became an adult, I made the move to active practitioner too. My study of the Oriental martial arts led me to an interest in the power of the mind. I have read tarot cards semi-professionally since 1975. Later, I became a member of the American Society for Psychical Research – the American version of the British SPR. I have also practiced ceremonial magick for the last twenty five years. The closest I’ve come to working dark side magick is in my work as a criminal defense lawyer in New York. Law may be the one truly Satanic profession. (Laughing)
NEW DAWN: What prompted you to write Psychic Battlefield?
MANDELBAUM: I had served four years in military intelligence during the Cold War. I was involved in electronic espionage. You know, one of those “gentlemen” who aren’t supposed to listen to the conversations of other “gentlemen” – but do. Back then, it was the Czech military and diplomatic types who merited my attention. That experience gave me a fascination with intelligence. As far as the paranormal goes, I always felt that the intelligence services were using psychics, and was aware that the Eastern Bloc had done extensive research in this area. The use of the paranormal for military and intelligence purposes goes back to before biblical times. While there had been books published on specific time periods and specific projects which dealt with military use of the paranormal, there never had been a complete history of the subject, nor the identification of what is in reality a military-occult complex, comparable to a military-industrial complex. Since the book I wanted to read did not exist – I wrote it. St. Martin’s was kind enough to buy it and publish it.
NEW DAWN: Psychic Battlefield is described by one reviewer as the first book detailing the entire history of the symbiotic relationship between the paranormal and the military. What are some of the highlights of this relationship and how have they influenced the course of history?
MANDELBAUM: The British Intelligence system was founded by Sir Francis Walsingham, who used witches as spies. Some five centuries ago. Actually this made a lot of sense. The witch by nature of her or his profession, must be an underground, sub rosa type. She has access to people and networks of connections that could be quite useful to spies. Both sorcery and espionage are by nature clandestine endeavours, and it is no surprise that both types develop a “working relationship.” Now Walsingham also worked closely with John Dee, who was known as Queen Elizabeth I’s “Intelligencer.” Dee had been involved with communication with supposed angelic entities that made such predictions as the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. These revelations were obtained with what they called a “shew stone”, which basically was a polyhedron crystal that Dee, and his seer, former counterfeiter Edward Kelly (aka Edward Talbot) used to communicate with the celestial spirits. Or so they said. Later, during World War II, Ian Fleming, the literary daddy of “Bond, James Bond” who was with British Intelligence, worked with the infamous sorcerer Aleister Crowley in a plan to get Hess to defect to England at an “astrologically” opportune time. Hess did. The Brits also used a supposed remote viewer in WWII named “Ann” who allegedly could psychically spy on high level military meetings in Berlin. Maybe it’s true. After all, the supposed thousand year Reich of Hitler fell some 988 years short of its intended duration. The point is the soldier and the psychic have been comrades in arms for five millennia.
NEW DAWN: Paranormal research is often dismissed by mainstream intellectuals and popular culture as charlatanism, unworthy of serious attention. In your book, you write of a military occult complex and show how psychic abilities are indeed used by the highest levels of the intelligence community. Why the cover up? Why in your view is the general public being kept in ignorance?
MANDELBAUM: It is also these mainstream intellectuals who pay serious attention to religion, which in reality is much more incredible than the paranormal, and borrows heavily from it. To be fair, much of the occult is laden with charlatans. I’d say about 95% of it. But, it is important to remember that a spy or a soldier must use whatever weapon or technique proves of utility. That means supersonic jets and psychics too. Whatever works. The same types who don’t understand how psychics might be of service to the military, probably wouldn’t understand plasma weaponry or infrasonics either. They wouldn’t believe that thoughts can be mechanically implanted by using certain frequencies of electromagnetic waves. Yet there are patents for these devices. Why the cover up? The nature of intelligence is secrecy. One doesn’t often expose the variety and capacity of one’s sources and weaponry. But classified information is like an old toilet. Sooner or later something’s going to leak out. Also, the CIA did not want the political fallout from being once again given the reigns to the psychic spying program. It’s hard to justify spending millions of tax money from John Q. Public on programs that Mr. Public would laugh at. Why is the public being kept in ignorance? First, we must realise that this phenomenon called the general public is much more concerned with next meal’s menu than it is with the borders of man’s cognitive powers. Ignorance is its usual blissful state. All you have to do is watch American television to confirm that the general public not only likes ignorance, it desperately wants it – it cultivates it. Hopefully, my book has put a dent in the armour of the public’s ignorance about psychic spying. That portion of the public that can turn off their television and engage in the ancient arcane art known as reading a book. That was my intent in writing the book. (That and the fame, glory and riches it would bring. I still wait for those last three events, however [Laughing]).
NEW DAWN: You mention how the CIA conducted paranormal research and engaged in remote viewing experiments. Can you elaborate on these programs, especially the US government’s Stargate program?
MANDELBAUM: The CIA was the original sponsor of the remote viewing research being conducted at the then Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in the early seventies. I believe the initial investment was some fifty thousand dollars. It was discovered that certain people had the ability to describe situations and sites without any normal sensory contact therewith. We’re talking accurate technical physical details here. It was neither distance nor time sensitive. In other words, one could see into the past, present and future of a location or an event. The CIA was a consumer of the data provided by the operational unit formed in 1978 which lasted until 1995. One consumer of many. Stargate was the last name given to the program of remote viewing. I believe its original name was Grill Flame. (Sounds too much like a barbecue product to me). Stargate was a better name. Watergate had already been used. There were a few talented people sitting around in a low building in Fort Meade, Maryland using their minds to spy for a variety of government intelligence consumers. Imagine some guy on a couch in a neutral room with a bunch of audio and video equipment. All he is given is some random numerical coordinates. No other information, for the most part. And he goes out into the ether with his extrasensory perception and hooks some juicy intelligence information. Sometimes the psychic spies failed. Sometimes they came up with amazingly accurate information of great intelligence value. My book deals with these instances. New weapons technologies were psychically described. Hostages were found. Military plans of enemies were obtained. Neat, huh?
NEW DAWN: In recent years several people have gone public claiming to have worked in some capacity for the Pentagon or the CIA in the area of remote viewing. Books published on remote viewing by many former insiders make contradictory claims. Are they part of an intelligence agency disinformation campaign?
MANDELBAUM: No, I don’t think so. The disinformation campaign of the CIA was delivered with their 1995 sponsored Evaluation of the Remote Viewing Program by the American Institutes of Research. What I call in my book the “Hot AIR Report.” This think tank, AIR, was provided with the “facts” the CIA wanted them to have. They didn’t get access to about 90% of the data. They reached the conclusions the CIA wanted them to reach – that yes, there was evidence of psychic functioning, but it had proven operationally useless. This was a complete lie. After the issuance of this “evaluation” the following year in 1996, the CIA made the mistake of declassifying a 1977 internal CIA evaluation showing that remote viewing was of operational utility. It was a report that originally appeared in a CIA classified in-house publication, Studies In Intelligence, by Doctor Kress. This report is in the appendix of my book Psychic Battlefield, and should be read by everyone interested in the subject. Actually, it should be read by everyone in the world, because it details the amazing potential in the mind of man. As to the so called, ex-remote viewers, some of them are legitimate. Ed Dames, who teaches, was a training officer in the program, and went through the training. Lynn Buchanan served in the remote viewing unit, and is well respected in the field. He sponsors free remote viewing assistance to law enforcement searching for missing children. Nice guy. David Morehouse was a member of the program for a short time, and proved himself to be (among other things) a competent remote viewer. He’s a very creative writer also. The best in the field, the longest serving remote viewer was Joseph McMoneagle, who I interviewed in my book. Joe and I became friends, and we recently formed a research organisation to carry on the investigation of the powers of man’s mind. The world will be hearing more about that soon.
NEW DAWN: Has the CIA had any reaction to your book?
MANDELBAUM: On May 15, 2000 I had the pleasure of having lunch with the DCI, George Tenet at the Yale Club in New York City. The Director of the CIA is a young and highly intelligent person. I hope he survives as DCI after the November elections. I presented him with a copy of the book. His reaction was to say “thank you.” Any other reaction is probably so classified, I don’t even know what it is. (Laughing) I don’t think the CIA is sending any “men in black” to come get me. Maybe they put a copy of the book in the library at Langley. Personally, I think they should buy a copy for every employee for Christmas. That way I would become incredibly wealthy, and could come to Australia to visit. You seem to have the most incredible animals here. You also have the right idea about the proper size for a can of beer.
NEW DAWN: There seems to be strong pro and con reaction to Psychic Battlefield. To what do you attribute this?
MANDELBAUM: Differences of opinion make a horse race. I believe a lot of the negative criticism comes from those “wannabes” in the field. A “wannabe” is American slang for somebody who wants to be a player, but can’t. It should not be confused with the Australian word “wallaby”, which I believe refers to some type of animal I probably wouldn’t want to eat, and might be rather messy to keep as a pet. People who are in the field have been most kind in their praise and attention given to the book. I humbly thank them.
NEW DAWN: What’s next on the horizon for you, bookwise?
MANDELBAUM: I am presently (through my agent) marketing a book that deals with the supernatural on trial in the 20th century courtrooms of the world. This book, like Psychic Battlefield, will be a “first of its kind.” If the spirits are willing, it should be out in a year or two.
NEW DAWN: Does everyone have psychic abilities? How can a person develop these abilities and where do you advise they begin?
MANDELBAUM: Psychic ability is like artistic talent. Everybody can draw stick figures, few can draw like Leonardo Da Vinci. You are either born with it or not. Not very democratic, but true. The training can help bring out natural talent, but it will not likely increase it. Think of decreasing the static in a radio signal. Where to begin? I would say to read my book, for its historical overview, to show what has been done, what is possible. Then, I would recommend Joe McMoneagle’s book, Remote Viewing Secrets. I cannot recommend, nor do I condemn, the variety of video and in-person training courses out there. I will say that if you expect to become expert in remote viewing after eight hours of training, you should read Dicken’s Great Expectations. It’s as much a work of fiction as the advertising claims for some training courses. For some excellent exercises, (when pruned from the moralising) I would recommend reading Initiation into Hermetics by the late Franz Bardon. For an entertaining and informative survey of the entire field of magic and psychic power, I would heartily recommend Real Magic by P.E.I. Bonewitz. But since I wrote Psychic Battlefield, I hope your readers will buy that one first. After all, I used to watch the Paul Hogan show, and none of those other guys did.
NEW DAWN: Do you think psychic spying is still going on?
MANDELBAUM: Absolutely. If not directly under intelligence agency sponsorship, then through back channels. It is an inexpensive and sometime highly effective method of information collection. I would not be surprised if the more enlightened terrorists in the world are making use of it. In other words, I sure as hell hope we are still doing it, because sometimes it is the only available method of intelligence collection.