The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004) is a book by Jon Ronson about the U.S. Army's investigation of psychic theories and the possible military uses of the paranormal. Its title alludes to efforts to kill goats by staring at them. In a Nov 7, 2009 online Twitter post, the well-known mentalist Uri Geller referred to actor George Clooney, saying, “His latest film is about my work.” In a Nov 12 Twitter post, Geller added:
“George Clooney is Uri Geller in the movie The Men Who Stare At Goats? I believe I ignited the story when I told Jon Ronson about some of my adventures with a certain intelligence agency.”
Jon Ronson’s book examines the links between paranormal military programs and psychological techniques used today. The book follows the development of secret psychic activities over the past decades and explores how they are used today in U.S. security and military operations. Project Stargate, the CIA-run program that used remote viewing for psychic spying, came to an end in 1995, and thousands of pages of formerly classified material were released. Journalist Gary S. Bekkum has researched those secret government documents, as well as UFO information and psychic explorations.
According to Bekkum, The Men Who Stare at Goats (the 2009 comedy film) is more or less consistent, with polished performances from a first-rate cast headed by George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey. The America government has been involved in using the paranormal since the beginning of the Cold War. Bekkum now has 89,900 pages of documents about the psychic effort provided by the CIA:
In the 1970s, the American Intelligence Community, including but not limited to CIA, DIA, NSA, Army intelligence, the USAF, the Navy, and others, engaged in secret research to determine the usefulness of psychic phenomena. This is true, and this larger effort is mostly ignored by the film, which tells the story from the point of view of the characters, some who were inspired by real persons and events.
In the 1980s, Army intelligence did train operational military psychic spies, who were tasked against real targets of interest, including several high profile cases, such as the hostage crisis in Iran. Tasking for the units was handed down from highest levels of the U.S. government, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to declassified government files.
Jon Ronson's book focused on one group of psychic spies in the U.S. Army. But if famed paranormalist Uri Geller is somehow related to Ronson’s observations, perhaps we ought to also look into Geller’s military background. Uri Geller was a paratrooper in the Israeli army. He fought in the Six Day War of 1967 and was wounded in action.
Geller’s biographers disclosed a rather intense incident when Uri supposedly tried to “duck and dive” on military service: “His working out of a cunning plan of deception in the paratroopers was not only foolhardy at the time - for what he did, he could have been flung in a military prison for months and suffered a stain on his record for the rest of his life.”
What actually happened to Uri Geller in the Israeli army? According to Uri, a miraculous switchover incident took place, with a machine gun. (‘Ben Gunn,’ says you, ‘has reasons of his own.’) But there was no one he could tell. “His first thought was that God had intervened, and as he has never had any other explanation for it, that tends to remain his belief.”
Although Geller took a bullet through his left hand in the Six Day War, he still headed a crack unit to knock out a pillbox. After being shot at twice, he fired his gun and killed a Jordanian soldier. Shortly later, slices of metal flying off a stricken tank, or possibly bullets, hit Geller again. “He felt a blast, sensed something entering his right arm and the left side of his forehead, and, as he blacked out, assumed with resignation that he was dead.”
Is there anything in the army records to suggest that Uri Geller might be able to stop someone’s heart by staring at him or her? Uri has been filmed staring at fertilized cells (zygotes) and plant seeds in order to make them germinate and sprout. But do certain psychic techniques involve martial arts and self-defense? Why does Geller relate to the men who stare at goats? Should we take a more careful look at Gary Bekkum’s files?
Uri Geller once said he had a dream he would die during a paratrooper jump: “He appreciated that dreaming of dying on a jump was a fairly normal thing for a paratrooper to do.” Did something weird happen to Uri Geller when he jumped as a paratrooper in the Six Day War? Did he in some way set off from this life? Was Uri’s miraculous switchover incident a reference to an out-of-body experience (OBE), or a significant UFO intrusion?
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