Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
Psychic ability and war go hand in hand. It can be hard to imagine this given that nearly all psychic people tend to avoid violence of any kind and far prefer to stay far away from the kind of people attracted to the military and function poorly in its highly bureaucratic autocratic setting. Battle is hardly the setting one would imagine as a place for heightened awareness, yet this happens on a regular basis. Life or death situations force people to rely on any advantage at their disposal and psychic ability is just such an advantage.
The main problem with psychic ability however, is that you cannot order someone to use it. It cannot be used effectively in planning and cannot be counted on as a tangible battle asset. Not that it hasn’t been tried. Psychic ability has always been taken seriously in military organizations throughout history; sometimes to great positive effect, sometimes, not so much; sometimes it has been a complete disaster. One thing has remained constant though, it has never been formally integrated into any military.
The most common use of psychic ability by the military is information gathering in the form of remote viewing, which has both positive and negative attributes. The positive attribute is that done properly, it really does work and success rates as high as 85% have been unofficially reported. It works and it works well, and that is one of its greatest negative attributes. This is very inexpensive intelligence gathering and available to even the smallest military and intelligence organizations and beyond. Secrecy is a huge advantage and a well used one every military organization throughout the world. Remote viewing is a Pandora’s box; if it is ever fully opened, it can never be closed again. Any group can find any secret if they know it’s there.
In other words, remote viewing is regarded as a secret and its successes are not made public. Thus, it is open to constant attack by skeptics from within and without, and subject to constant ridicule and scorn. The individuals doing the remote viewing are not given feedback and their information is a hard sell to the rest of the military. The secrecy, which is regarded as absolutely essential, prevents remote viewing from ever being truly useful. It is caught between the rock of secrecy and the hard place of skepticism and there it stays, forever underutilized.
Unless the usefulness of remote viewing becomes general knowledge, it will be useless in the situations where the need is greatest: the tactical level. (Strategy is deciding what you want. Tactics is how you do it.) In the case of a search and rescue, it is important for the leader of the search to trust the intelligence he/she is receiving. They have to know something about the strengths and weaknesses of remote viewing before they will accept it.
This is not the only problem, far from it. The most basic problem is that of the gifted psychic and the military. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. military pulls psychics from their own ranks. Using their own military personnel for psychic duty makes the most sense on the surface. There are plenty of these people around and they have already accepted the military way; they will obey orders and behave with military discipline; they are also subject to military law. No need to deal with pesky outsiders.
But in doing so the military is limiting their choices to psychics with the most fragile psyche’s. Unless they are American Indians (or like them) with a strong culture of acceptance and well supported and acknowledged for their psychic abilities with their families and circle of friends, they will almost always be very conflicted individuals for whom the constant forays into the deeper recesses of their psyche’s will slowly unhinge them.
Why are they conflicted and why will they be unhinged? The conflict comes from the acceptance and belief in an authority outside themselves. This is a trait desirable to the military because it translates into following orders without question and not questioning or confronting authority. However, in the realm of psychic ability (particularly something highly sensory like remote viewing) it is a total disaster because this acceptance of an exterior authority translates into giving power to their fears and giving those fears form and substance. It is a recipe for a psychotic break.
A strong sense of empowerment is extremely important to long term exposure to the psychic realm of human consciousness. You have to be able to change your thoughts and emotions in the midst of self created fear and that requires an inner certainty that this is doable. You have to believe that you are stronger than anything you encounter and that you can overcome all obstacles and fears in order to remain emotionally stable. This is because delving into the psychic realm will slowly unlock your deepest fears and if you are not strong enough to deal with them they will take the form of nightmares and eventually psychosis. This happened to David Morehouse, which he chronicles in his book Psychic Warrior. It isn’t well documented, but I have run into passing references to this problem a couple of times in literature I have read.
Here’s the problem: if you are psychic and feel empowered personally, you are going to stay away from the military because it requires you to surrender control over your life. If you are empowered then the military doesn’t want you because you are the sort of person who questions authority and challenges poor leadership and bad policy. The very thing that would make a person an ideal candidate for remote viewing also makes them unsuitable in the military.
It is strongly suspected that intelligence gathering via remote viewing is an ongoing operation, but so what? In its current form it is next to useless.
Of far more practical value is the occasional use of psi by the everyday soldier. This is not trained or solicited in any way, but merely occurs as the result of a soldier’s keen sense of self preservation. This includes the sense of being stared at, clairvoyance and premonition usually. Soldiers, being normal people, albeit on the conservative side mostly and excessively concerned with security, will display psychic ability on a par with the rest of the world’s population. Given their stressful life threatening situation, they are probably more prone to use it than ordinary people.
There are countless stories of soldiers throughout history knowing when they are going to die; of soldiers performing near superhuman feats to either destroy an enemy or save their comrades and of course, there is the soldier who cannot be killed. There are a few of them in every war; men who seek out battle and yet consistently avoid death; partly through skill, partly through luck and partly through . . . something else. There is General Grant, standing on a bridge observing a battle, the bullets of Confederate sharpshooters narrowly missing him several times; there is Lt. Col. David Hackworth, who survived numerous battles in the Korean war only to cheat on his hearing test and go to Vietnam to fight some more. I’m sure there is a driver in Iraq right now who semi-miraculously avoids roadside explosives. Somewhere in Afghanistan is a soldier that always knows when he is going to be ambushed.
Generals who have used their intuition and psychic ability have prevailed more often than not. Gen. Robert E. Lee won many battles by getting in the head of his opponent, Gen. George MeClellan lost even with better trained and more numerous troops because he didn’t. In WWII no one doubts that Gen. Patton intuitively understood the need for speed in taking back France from the Germans. It wasn’t just training, he knew in his gut what he had to do. He understood the importance of the intangibles, such as morale, in determining the outcome of the war.
It is notable that in Iraq and Afghanistan we have had no such leadership. The generals are merely competent, not inspired and this is probably because there is simply no defined goal in either case. I am not going to go into all the things that are wrong in both wars, other people have done that and much better than I could do. The point is that no general has stepped forward to distinguish himself as a great battle leader.
I think that the most powerful form of psi in battle probably comes from group efforts, when soldiers are relying on one another and win a victory out of proportion with their numbers and strength due to their sheer force of will. This has happened many times in history as well. Seasoned troops working closely together find a way to succeed against overwhelming odds. It’s not just experience, it’s a collective will that makes the difference.
I think that most military organizations, from top down, would benefit from a basic understanding about psychic ability. Soldiers should not be surprised when it happens, but should expect it and encourage it for their own safety; larger groups should understand the power of their collective will and develop their group consciousness. By the time they command they will have a better grasp of the reach of their own intuition and its power in shaping the course of battle.