A Grateful Dead/Phish Government Connection?

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Postby FourthBase » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:42 pm

Sure, I guess. They exemplified "taking an alternate route". Okay. Quitting your munitions factory job is not the same as dropping out or dropping off the grid, though.
“Joy is a current of energy in your body, like chlorophyll or sunlight,
that fills you up and makes you naturally want to do your best.” - Bill Russell
User avatar
FourthBase
 
Posts: 6723
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 4:41 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Postby theeKultleeder » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:54 pm

American Dream wrote:
Here I'll use Wikipedia to do a quick survey of anomalous data, and then cite some other sources to provide broader context


All very interesting. I don't know if bigwig behavioral scientists who were contracted for secret experiments by governments also having influential public positions could be called "anomalous," on the contrary, one would assume that such a person would have a big-time, high profile "day job."

While in no way endorsing mind-control experimentation I am saying that having those people on board does not automatically make the Tavistock Institute a similar program. Others have been involved:

Many well-known psychologists and psychiatrists have passed through the Tavistock Institute over the years, and it became known as the focal point in Britain for psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic theories of Sigmund Freud and his followers. Other names associated with the Tavistock are Melanie Klein, Carl Gustav Jung, J. A. Hadfield, Beckett, Charles Rycroft, Wilfred Bion, and R. D. Laing.



And there is that "political correctness" phrase again. I just don't buy any arguments that rest on denouncing "political correctness":

Political correctness (adjectivally politically correct, both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behaviour seen as seeking to minimize offence to racial, cultural, or other identity groups. Conversely, the term politically incorrect is used to refer to language or ideas that may cause offense or that are unconstrained by orthodoxy.

The term itself and its usage are hotly contested. The term "political correctness" is used almost exclusively in a pejorative sense.[1][2]

Some commentators have argued that the term "political correctness" is a straw man invented by conservatives in the 1990s in order to challenge progressive social change, especially with respect to issues of race, religion and gender.[1][3]Ruth Perry traces the term back to Mao's little red book. According to Perry, the term was later adopted by the radical left in the 1960s. In the 1990s, because of the term's association with radical politics and communist censorship, it was used by the political right in the United States to discredit the political left, including liberals and Democrats.[2]

The term can also be used to describe any form of political orthodoxy whether the orthodoxy is from the left or the right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness


This sounds creepy:

(iii) The means of methods; physical, neurophysiological,
psychological or other -- that might be used to induce change
of opinion or conversion of attitude in the individual


But what if these methods were used to design a public health campaign for reducing HIV infection or child abuse?


I don't know what other skeptical remarks to add. I am romantically fond of the 60's era and I think a lot of really powerful things were happening then. I hate to see a lot of the positive stuff dumped on, but I am willing to consider the possibility of large scale behavior modification programs influencing that era.

And we already know of one really effective mind control technique right out there in the open: non-diverse monolithic corporate media and the advertising that goes with it.
theeKultleeder
 

Postby American Dream » Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:39 pm

theeKultleeder wrote:
I don't know if bigwig behavioral scientists who were contracted for secret experiments by governments also having influential public positions could be called "anomalous," on the contrary, one would assume that such a person would have a big-time, high profile "day job."...

While in no way endorsing mind-control experimentation I am saying that having those people on board does not automatically make the Tavistock Institute a similar program. Others have been involved...

And there is that "political correctness" phrase again. I just don't buy any arguments that rest on denouncing "political correctness"...


This sounds creepy:

(iii) The means of methods; physical, neurophysiological,
psychological or other -- that might be used to induce change
of opinion or conversion of attitude in the individual

But what if these methods were used to design a public health campaign for reducing HIV infection or child abuse?


I don't know what other skeptical remarks to add. I am romantically fond of the 60's era and I think a lot of really powerful things were happening then. I hate to see a lot of the positive stuff dumped on, but I am willing to consider the possibility of large scale behavior modification programs influencing that era...


The above comments don't really get to the central points of the information I posted.

For example, the point of my posting had little to do with the semantics of whether the"bigwig behavioral scientists who were contracted for secret experiments by governments also having influential public positions could be called 'anomalous'". It had to do with the actual content of the data on Tavistock I culled from Wikipedia.

The fact that "others have been involved" in Tavistock besides the military shrinks, fails to differentiate between who were the founders and core group, and who simply "passed through" the organization.

Then saying, "I just don't buy any arguments that rest on denouncing 'political correctness'". Well what argument did rest on this? Wikipedia stated that some people criticized Kurt Lewin on these grounds, but this is rather peripheral to the post!

Finally, talking about "methods; physical, neurophysiological, psychological or other -- that might be used to induce change of opinion or conversion of attitude in the individual", and commenting, "But what if these methods were used to design a public health campaign for reducing HIV infection or child abuse?" seems once again to be really peripheral to the data cited.

tKl, you have every right to be "romantically fond of the 60's era and think a lot of really powerful things were happening then", but you are not presenting a really focused and coherent argument here. I also think a lot of powerful things were happening. The summer of '68 embodies the political power of the era to me, a power which the ruling classes desperately wanted to detain. Whether the dropout culture could have changed the structures of society is an open question, but you are not making such a strong case for your position.

Neither am I dogmatically asserting that Tavistock is the key to it all, nor that there is incontrovertible proof of any think-tanks at all shaping the psychedelic revolution.

I did present evidence that Tavistock was tied to military/intel/elite interest in the behavioral sciences, and that British, Canadian, and US efforts in those areas converged during the Cold War period. How much, if any, of the the 60's counterculture was influenced by such programs is a much deeper, and far more elusive, question...
American Dream
 
Posts: 19816
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Postby theeKultleeder » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:05 am

American Dream wrote:I did present evidence that Tavistock was tied to military/intel/elite interest in the behavioral sciences, and that British, Canadian, and US efforts in those areas converged during the Cold War period. How much, if any, of the the 60's counterculture was influenced by such programs is a much deeper, and far more elusive, question...


Yeah, you basically gave a list of names and a bunch of trigger words like ARTICHOKE. The most damning "evidence" was admitted speculation.

I pointed out that interest in the behavioral sciences does not automatically mean that something "much deeper, and far more elusive" MUST be there.

Some of this stuff is so "elusive" the deeper you look the farther away any clarity becomes.

Anyway, if you have something to offer beyond a list of names and trigger words, please do so.

And does everything have to be an argument? I didn't dismiss or contest anything you posted. I just added my thoughts.

But if you want to argue, well... let's save it for another day! :)
theeKultleeder
 

Postby American Dream » Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:21 pm

The film The Net, by Lutz Dammbeck, seems to involve speculation about related themes:

http://www.techgnosis.com/chunkshow-sin ... 1818-0.txt

The Net
by Erik Davis ( techgnosis.com )


July 5, 2006


Though it’s too short on rants to have anything like the impact of Fahrenheit 9/11 or An Inconvenient Truth, Lutz Dammbeck’s 2003 film The Net ( Other Cinema Digital) deserves a wide audience, especially among those who, like me, are drawn to the twisty ties that link contemporary technology to the countercultural experiments of the 1960s and 70s. A painter and filmmaker from East Germany, Dammbeck became obsessed with studying the Unabomber years ago, and his film follows the serpentine course of his research as it takes him into the hidden wiring of contemporary consciousness. Less an assemblage of facts and stories than an associational network, Dammbeck’s doc suggests that our global, multicultural identities—that sense that our personalities are marked by pluralism and constant play—may have been intentionally engineered during the technological ramp-up of the postwar world.

There are two main threads of Dammbeck’s tale. One takes on the Unabomber, his life and motivations and present thoughts. Dammbeck begins by asking the simple question: why would Ted Kaczynski, a boy-genius Harvard-educated math wiz, become a neo-Luddite and ultimately a murderous mailer of bombs? Dammbeck paints a relatively sympathetic portrait of this very strange terrorist. This portrait includes fascinating if controversial claims about Kaczynski’s brief career as a guinea pig in personality stress experiments run by an ex-OSS/CIA researcher at Harvard—experiments that some believe may have pushed the young man over the edge.

Dammbeck wrote letters to Kaczynski, and though the recluse refused to meet with the artist, he did respond to the letters from his cell in Florence, Colorado’s brutal ADX federal prison. In his letters, Kaczynski—who still denies being the Unabomber—comes off as a sad, thoughtful man with the know-it-all arrogance of an isolated autodidact who nonetheless packs a considerable prophetic punch. “Would you like it if people lived in a virtual world?” he asks Dammbeck. “If machines were smarter than people? If in the future people, animals and plants were products of technology? If you don’t like these ideas, then for you the computer and biological sciences clearly are dangerous. This is very simple, and bears no relation to morality…”

Along with exploring the origins of the Unabomber, Dammbeck asks another, more amorphous question: how did the avant-garde ideas of the 1960s, which stressed open systems, improvisation, and the loops between consciousness and media, worm their way so snugly inside contemporary technological culture, all the way up to Web 2.0? To answer this question, Dammbeck outlines a “secret basic pattern” that connects Buckminster Fuller, LSD, the Merry Pranksters, the CIA, the Internet, Esalen, and the mutation of contemporary consciousness. The kernel of the pattern is cybernetics. Norbert Wiener developed the basic principles of cybernetics during World War II, later articulating them as a science of “control and communication” that applies equally to technological and biological systems—including you and me. As Dammbeck crisply puts it, cybernetics holds that the human mind does not so much reproduce or reflect reality as calculate it. Moreover, these “reality engines” calculate according to perceptual frameworks, cultural artifacts, and feedback loops that themselves are open to change and control.

Wiener’s ideas took off during the postwar era, when America realized it was king cheese in a world that, even fifty years ago, was going bonkers with technology, electronic media, and incipient globalization. In New York, the secret Macy Conferences, which gathered together elite scientists from many disciplines, explored cybernetics as a way to predict and control human behavior. One thing they wanted to prevent was the formation of what the Frankfurt School smarties Adorno and Horkheimer called, in an influential article the German expats wrote in California, “The Authoritarian Personality”—a totalitarian-friendly type that registered high numbers on the so-called “F scale” (F is for fascist, J is for jacks). To achieve this goal, Dammbeck implies, some nameless cabal decided that it would be good to destroy the traditional values that undergird the authoritarian personality. Instead they would try to make conditions of society and consciousness more “fluid,” at which point a post-nationalist, multicultural, and “global” citizen could take the stage. If Dammbeck’s implication seems a bit too strong, consider the goofy Lacanian philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s crucial point: in the old days, the authoritarian Superego told us to “Obey! Obey!” Now the Superego has changed its tune, and commands us to “Enjoy! Enjoy!”

This cybernetic orientation becomes key to Dammbeck’s exploration of LSD, the Merry Pranksters, New Age spirituality, and the origins of the personal computer. Dammbeck interviews major players like John Brockman and Stewart Brand, who proclaims that the Acid Test was Ken Kesey’s alternative form of cybernetics. (This certainly holds true for Burning Man today.) In the interview, Brand, who created the term “personal computer,” claims that the counterculture’s “open systems approach” was its greatest gift to the emerging culture of media technology. What Dammbeck implies is that this spirit of mind-machine improvisation and constant reality hacking were in the cards from the get-go, and that our own hyperactive digital experimentalism is the echo of a deeper, and less playful game.

The paradox is that, in addition to launching the “personal computer” meme, Stewart Brand also founded the Whole Earth Catalog, which trumpeted the very same back-to-the-land ethos that led Ted Kaczynski to pull up his Berkeley stakes in 1971 and head for a primitive shack in Montana. In a sense, that shack tells the whole story. From the shaky, creepy video of Kaczynski’s hermit hut that opens Dammbeck’s film (to the tune of the Grateful Dead’s “Death Don’t Have no Mercy”), to the absurd news footage of the thing making its way to the courthouse in Sacramento, the Unabomber shack is our central icon of dilapidated refusal, a dystopian echo of David Thoreau’s Arcadian hut in the tame wilds of Massachusetts. Brand implies that the hippie’s rural escapism was a dead end, and that only technology offers us a genuine way forward. But for Ted Kaczynski, isolation was the only escape from the demonic feedback loops of a technocultural experiment far more insane than he. Nurse, please! << >>
American Dream
 
Posts: 19816
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Postby IanEye » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:07 am

that doc sounds really interesting. Thanks AD, i added it to my Netflix queue.

although the Brand thing doesn't seem like a paradox these days

one could move out to the sticks, commune with nature everyday, away from urban chaos, and still surf the net for an hour or two each night.

moderation in all things?!?
User avatar
IanEye
 
Posts: 4856
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:33 pm
Blog: View Blog (29)

Postby American Dream » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:09 am

Here is some information on Stewart Brand:

http://www.prwatch.org/node/4954

John Rendon's Long, Strange Trip in the Terror Wars

By John Stauber
07/10/2006


In his hippie youth as a Merry Prankster, Stewart Brand [1] bounced around San Francisco in Ken Kesey [2]'s day-glo bus, dousing people with LSD [3]-laced Kool-Aid at the legendary Acid Tests. Those were strange days, but his latest trip is also bizarre. Brand and his Long Now Foundation [4] are bringing to San Francisco John Rendon [5], the elusive head of the Rendon Group [6], one of the CIA [7]'s favorite PR firms.

John Rendon is the self-described "information warrior” who, under contract with the CIA, named and nurtured the infamous Iraqi National Congress [8]. INC leader Ahmed Chalabi [9] was a Rendon protégé embraced by the Project for a New American Century [10] and other advocates of war with Iraq [11]. Rendon and Chalabi probably did as much as anyone to deceive the US into war.

John Rendon usually stays in the shadows, but he’ll be riding high with Stewart Brand this Friday, July 14, 7:00 PM at San Francisco's Herbst Theater.

Sheldon Rampton and I described some of the Rendon Group's activities in our 2003 book, Weapons of Mass Deception [12], and we go into further detail in our new book, The Best War Ever [13], which will be published in September. The Iraqi National Congress was the source for much of the false and deceptive propaganda on Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction [14], which they planted in the press with help from Judith Miller [15] of the New York Times [16] and other obliging journalists. Ahmed Chalabi has subsequently fallen out of official favor with the US, but he is currently serving in the Iraqi government and is very friendly with Iran [17], a real bummer for his patrons in the Bush Administration [18].

Stewart Brand [19] is a serious guy these days, and his endorsement of John Rendon [20] as a guru in the "global war on terror" is for real. Brand finds Rendon "exceptionally informed, astute, and engaged. ... It should be a hell of a talk." Brand says Rendon wants the US "to deepen its thinking and activities against terror“ and Rendon's talk is titled "Long-term Policy to Make the War on Terror Short."

Some small bit of public enlightenment could occur at Rendon's appearance if he is thoroughly grilled by critics in the audience about his lucrative career as an information warrior before he slips back into the shadows. But Rendon is first and foremost a PR guy, and dodging questions and spinning an audience are his stock in trade. His San Francisco gig looks like a set-up for more hallucinations, delusions and self-deceptions. Merry Prankster meets Mis-Information Warrior; what a long, strange trip it's been in the never-ending, secretive, dirty, spy-infested, mis-named and mis-handled war on terror.
American Dream
 
Posts: 19816
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: Planet Earth
Blog: View Blog (0)

Previous

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests