The Psi-Corps!
October 30, 2004 9:55 AM   Subscribe

In the wake of Vietnam, the US military were demoralised and prey to some fairly crazy ideas. They thought they could train 'super soldiers' with psychic powers. In this first extract from his revealing new book, Jon Ronson describes how their aspirations were perverted in the prisons of Iraq. [from The Guardian]
posted by salmacis (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some of us civilians know about the goats. It's an open secret around here.
posted by konolia at 10:32 AM on October 30, 2004

General Ripper approves.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:22 AM on October 30, 2004

This is the pre-Abu-Ghraib photo that Jon Ronson interprets as "screaming so hard it almost looks as if he's laughing". I'm not so sure of that interpretation.

One of the same photographer's other photos is pretty insightful: it shows MP's carefully searching a room in Iraq while two children sleep. How do you interpret that?
posted by iffley at 1:44 PM on October 30, 2004

I tried that walking-through-the-wall thing, too. Turns out it's not the atoms we have to worry about, it's the atomic bonds.
posted by contessa at 2:39 PM on October 30, 2004

That is a pretty excellent article, with some (hilarious) anecdotes and an interesting argument. I'm not sure I'd accept that the torture stems from the wacky new-age guys, but it seems reasonable to think that some of the methods could have been inspired by it.
posted by kavasa at 3:43 PM on October 30, 2004

Part 2 of the article gets very scary, but part 1 is like Monty Python meets the Special Forces...

"It was apparently determined within Special Forces that it was just about impossible to form an emotional bond with a goat."

"The new battlefield uniform would include pouches for ginseng regulators, divining tools, foodstuffs to enhance night vision and a loudspeaker that would automatically emit "indigenous music and words of peace"... The soldiers would learn to give the enemy "an automatic hug."
posted by Meridian at 4:54 PM on October 30, 2004

Meridian - thanks for posting that little gem

I had an emotional bond with a goat once. Then, I ate it.

Wow - soldiers with loudspeakers blaring indigenous music !

That should be easy. Their iPods can be preloaded, from a central server, and tailored to the country and even the sub-region or province of deployment.

Are "automatic hugs" always appropriate ?
posted by troutfishing at 5:49 AM on October 31, 2004

I agree with Meridian, the second part of the article is very creepy
posted by daHIFI at 10:19 AM on October 31, 2004

I also remembered - ahaa! - my brief brush with the weird world of "Psychic Spying" (scroll halfway or so down page, on left) mentioned the Guardian article
posted by troutfishing at 3:35 PM on October 31, 2004

from my (hopefully soon to be deleted) double post:
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon's First Earth Battalion and a speech by General Albert Stubblebine on remote viewing.
posted by bashos_frog at 11:03 PM on November 1, 2004

also: Black-Ops Budget Increases Dramatically
posted by bashos_frog at 11:04 PM on November 1, 2004

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