Excerpt from “Invisible Contracts”

Wednesday, 6 April 2016 by

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This is an excerpt from the book  Watergate: The Hoax, by Ashton Gray, now on sale at AmazoniBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other fine book retailers. This is taken from Chapter 1, “Invisible Contracts”:

The reporters might have been still rewinding their tape of the Baldwin interview that Sunday, 1 October 1972, when the Central Intelligence Agency—almost as if on cue—quietly issued a contract that would remain a deep secret for decades, throughout everything the world knows of as Watergate and beyond: Office of Technical Services Contract 8473.

The CIA was paying, initially, a little over $285,600 to a physicist and “former” member of the National Security Agency (NSA), Dr. Harold “Hal” Puthoff, for “an expanded effort in parapsychology” to be developed for U.S. military intelligence. The key word in that mission statement is not “psychology;” it’s “parapsychology.” Metaphysics. The paranormal. The contract, dated oddly on a Sunday, initiated a Top Secret military intelligence program that ran into the multimillions of dollars across two decades and six U.S. presidencies, but in practical and political terms, it was an invisible contract.

The public would not find out about this CIA-initiated program for over 20 years. Even when some of the facts squeaked out, almost everything done under that contract would remain secret, hidden, invisible. It still is. As Puthoff said in a 1996 article for the Journal of Scientific Exploration, “almost all of the documentation remains yet classified.” A latter-day participant in the tax-funded program, Joe McMoneagle, told Psychic World magazine in its summer 1998 issue: “Probably less than 2 percent of the information pertinent to the program has been released; certainly almost none of the operational data. A great deal of the research data is still classified as well.”

The contract itself has never seen daylight. It’s as invisible as ever. There is a compelling reason why it was kept that way, a reason that goes well beyond the fact that it dealt with psychic phenomenon. That reason lies in the selection of the three main participants.

Of significant interest to the CIA at the inception of the project was a man named Ingo Swann, who, along with Puthoff, had been involved with the CIA for over a year leading up to the contract—parallel in time to everything that became “Watergate.” Another man, Pat Price, also was brought into the CIA’s core group. Those three men who were central to the purpose of the secret contract—Puthoff, Swann, and Price—had something in common that was very uncommon: All three of them were Scientologists.

All three of them had risen through the ascending levels of Scientology services to attain its upper states of being known as “Operating Thetan” (OT). That designation represented an ability—acquired through the processes of Scientology’s secret OT levels—to operate and perceive as a spiritual entity outside of and independent of a human body. The concept could be likened to an “out-of-body experience” that is under the person’s volitional control.

It’s impossible to mention Scientology’s OT levels today without address to purported copies of them that have been broadly distributed around the world through the Internet. Later chapters supply evidence that those copies are forgeries, frauds created by CIA and put into circulation, but in October of 1972, the OT levels were Scientology’s closely guarded secrets, available by invitation only.

The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, had issued official edicts strictly forbidding any government agency from gaining access to the secret upper levels. The OT Levels were his intellectual property, so he had the right to control access to the limited number of copies of the works. He had expressly debarred “suppressive groups,” which included “police spy organizations and government spy organizations” such as the CIA, IRS, FBI, NSA, Department of Justice, “or any other federal agency in any country.” He also debarred any agents, current or former, of any such organization unless and until that organization had been formally and fully disbanded.

Hal Puthoff had been in the NSA, yet he somehow had slipped his way through Scientology’s application screening process to get access to the secret upper Scientology levels. He had reached the highest level attainable at the time, called OT VII, and was bringing that knowledge under contract to the CIA.

Ingo Swann had been given Secret and Top Secret clearances by the government during his service in the military, a clear indication that he had been involved in sensitive classified “spy organization” operations, and he had continued to work with sensitive information in a job at the United Nations after leaving military service, yet he also managed to slip his way through and get access to the secret upper Scientology levels. He, too, had reached OT VII, and was bringing that knowledge to the CIA.

Pat Price had a background as a “California police commissioner and city councilman.” Nothing has ever been revealed about government security clearances he might have had at any time, in any capacity, but he certainly had passed a CIA smell-test to be brought into the secret contract. He, like Puthoff and Swann, had gone up through the Scientology processes, and had reached at least Scientology’s OT III.

Some not-quite-bright commentators have opined that it was pure happenstance that the CIA-initiated program to explore psychic phenomena would have as its core three Scientology OTs. Given that in 1972 there were no more than about 3,500 Scientology “Clears”—a prerequisite to reaching the OT Levels—and given that the population of the United States at the time was approximately 209,900,000, the most charitable possible odds of that happening are about (3,500 / 209,000,000)^3, or about 1 in 200 trillion. By comparison, DNA odds given in court usually run only about 1 in a billion. The CIA inarguably had an agenda, and whatever their reasons, that agenda was the “appropriation” of Hubbard’s OT technology for military espionage.

There is not any evidence that has been uncovered anywhere that President Richard M. Nixon ever knew anything at all about the CIA’s secret program using the Scientologists. There is every indication from his past and his Quaker creed that he would have brought it to a screeching, smoking halt if he had.

There is not any scrap of verifiable evidence anywhere that Hubbard ever found out about the CIA’s secret program to get its hands on his OT Levels. There is no question at all that he would have brought it to a screeching, smoking halt if he had.

There’s also no question that Bible-thumpin’ doorway-blockin’ good ol’ Southern Methodist George C. Wallace would have brought it to a screeching, smoking halt if by some long chance he had made it to the Oval Office—but he was brought to a screeching, smoking halt himself on 15 May 1972, just months before the CIA’s secret contract and the Presidential elections. That eliminated the Wallace problem.

The Washington Post’s hotshot Watergate reporters, Woodward and Bernstein (hereinafter, “Woodstein”), didn’t find out about it.

Grandfatherly Walter Kronkite never announced it on the CBS Evening News. Nor did government watchdogs Jack Anderson or Seymour Hersh ever write a syllable about it.

The 1975 Rockefeller Commission—formally known as the United States President’s Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States—never revealed it, even though the CIA program had been going on within the United States for two years when the commission was empaneled. That committee was headed up by then Vice President of the United States Nelson Rockefeller. Having Rockefeller in charge of an investigation of the CIA was like sending a velociraptor to guard the henhouse. During the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s Rockefeller had “headed the secret ‘Forty Committee,’ a group of high government officials who were charged with overseeing the CIA’s clandestine operations.” Between 1969 and 1974—throughout Watergate and at the very time that the CIA was laying the groundwork for stealing the secret Scientology OT Levels—Nelson Rockefeller had been a key member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Board, closely tied to Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, and to Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger. Rockefeller, of all people, probably did know that in some devious way the CIA had managed to get past Hubbard and get its hands on his OT Levels, but the committee never reported a single word about it to the American public.

One startling revelation did emerge from the creation of the Rockefeller Commission, though not from the committee itself or its proceedings. It came from the loose lips of President Gerald Ford after he set up the commission:

On January 16, 1975, the President held a luncheon in the White House for the publisher of The New York Times, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, and some of his top editors, including the managing editor A. M Rosenthal. At the end of an hour or so of general discussion, Rosenthal asked Ford how he expected the Rockefeller Commission to be trusted when its membership was so heavily weighted by conservative figures with a history of hard-line political beliefs and sympathy for the military. Ford explained with unusual candor that the commission’s mandate was strictly limited to CIA activities within the United States and he didn’t want anybody on it who might stray off the reservation and begin rummaging about in the recesses of CIA history. If they did they might stumble onto things which would blacken the name of the United States and every President since Truman.

“Like what?” asked Rosenthal.

“Like assassinations!” Ford shot back. And then it sank in on him what he had said, and to whom he had said it. “That’s off the record!” he quickly added.

Another investigative committee, the so-called Church Committee, also met in 1975. Chaired by Senator Frank Church and formally known as the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, it also somehow whiffed finding out about this CIA scandal using the Scientologists. Not a single peep in its report. Then again, Senator Church had been stonewalled by Nelson Rockefeller:

When Senator Church asked for materials from the White House, he was told that the papers had been given to the Rockefeller Commission. When the senator demanded the papers from Rockefeller, the vice president declined to provide them on the grounds that only the president could grant access to the papers.

It’s not really surprising that Congress and the American people remained blissfully stupid about the CIA’s long-running dirty little secret. Hal Puthoff, in a 2008 talk at The Arlington Institute, revealed that the program had been more than merely Top Secret; he described it as a Special Access program, meaning that it was also code-word protected. In Puthoff’s words: “Someone could have a Top Secret clearance, but they could not get access to the program or any of its results unless they were on a special list.”

Somehow, right in the middle of the Watergate scandal, the CIA secretly and illicitly had got religion—and had it under government contract, Hubbard and his copyrights and his edicts be damned.

 

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Excerpt from “The Sea Project, Ingo Swann, and a Damned Liar”

Tuesday, 5 April 2016 by

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This is an excerpt from the book  Watergate: The Hoax, by Ashton Gray, now on sale at AmazoniBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other fine book retailers. This is taken from Chapter 16, “The Sea Project, Ingo Swann, and a Damned Liar”:

Whatever he [L. Ron Hubbard] did in Tangier at the beginning of 1967, he was going to be coming back there. On this trip, he stayed in Tangier until nearly the end of February, when he flew to an old familiar place: Las Palmas, Canary Islands. He was there to meet up with his ship the Enchanter, which arrived there on 25 February 1967.

This event brings up an anecdote that is a classic example of the kind of uncorroborated gossip and garbage that is the stock-in-trade for the Hubbard hatchet-job “biographers” from Britain, all of them in league with the CIA and the Five Eyes. It’s embodied in the following melodramatic “account” of Hubbard’s arrival in Las Palmas to meet the Enchanter, told in Russell Miller’s Bare-Faced Messiah by one Virginia Downsborough, who opened herself to any smearer of Hubbard who wanted to probe her. She claimed to have been aboard the Enchanter, coming from Hull with a small crew—even though other sources cited in this book say the ship was in Clearwater, Florida, when purchased, and that Downsborough arrived later on a different ship, the Avon River. According to her, though, she and the Enchanter had already arrived when Hubbard got to Las Palmas, flying in from Tangier:

We found him a hotel in Las Palmas and next day I went back to see if he was all right, because he did not seem to be too well.

When I went in to his room there were drugs of all kinds everywhere. He seemed to be taking about sixty thousand different pills. I was appalled, particularly after listening to all his tirades against drugs and the medical profession. There was something very wrong with him, but I didn’t know what it was except that he was in a state of deep depression; he told me he didn’t have any more gains and he wanted to die. That’s what he said: “I want to die.” . . .

I moved into an adjoining room in the hotel to take care of him. He refused to eat the hotel food, so I got a little hotplate and cooked meals for him in the room, simple things, things that he liked. My main concern was to try and get him off all the pills he was on. . . .

I don’t know what drugs he was taking—they certainly weren’t making him high—but I knew I had to get him over it. I discussed it with him and gradually took them away. He didn’t carry on about it. He had brought a great pile of unopened mail with him from Tangier, a lot of it from Mary Sue, and I got him to start reading her letters. After about three weeks he decided he would get out of bed.

It’s oh-so-breathy, isn’t it? It’s been quoted and requoted and told and retold all over the Internet, all over the world, to “prove” what a fraud ol’ Hubbard was, taking all these drugs—about 60,000 different pills, don’t you know!—and being depressed, and lying in bed for three whole weeks. So much for the effectiveness of Scientology.

There’s one slight problem with Ms. Downsborough’s self-aggrandizing Florence Nightingale act: She and the miserable hack Russell Miller didn’t check the microfiche records for HASI, Inc., at the Arizona Corporation Commission. If they had, they would have discovered that on 28 February 1967—just three days after Hubbard met the Enchanter in Las Palmas on 25 February—he was nowhere near Las Palmas or any hotel there, hotplate or not; he was over 2,000 miles away, in the little burg of Crawley, West Sussex, England, where he and Mary Sue signed a notarized annual report for HASI, Inc. Crawley is 9.7 miles from East Grinstead, home of Saint Hill Manor. The annual report covered the fiscal year that had ended on 30 April 1966. [Below is a detail from that document, showing the date and signatures. —Ed.]

1967-02-28-HASI-Document-DETAIL-150

So the question becomes whether Ms. Downsborough is merely a self-aggrandizing muck-raking liar, or a damned self-aggrandizing muck-raking liar. (Miller unquestionably is the latter.)

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