Deep Background: SRI, LSD, Changing Images of Man, & The Aquarian Conspiracy

Yesterday, before talking to Gefunden for part two of the mother.strangled interview, I started to re-read the section on Strieber from Peter Levenda’s Sinister Forces (Part Three: The Manson Secret). I came on this passage (p 270-71). Bear in mind that Levenda is talking about the early days of the UFO phenomenon, the late 40s and 50s:
“On the one hand you had the Pentagon and the CIA monitoring UFO reports and massaging data, and on the other hand you had the same agencies racing to dominate inner space, as well. If the UFO phenomena partakes of both the scientific (space flight, faster-than-light travel, alien visitation) and the psychological (hallucinations, visions, spiritual encounters and illumination), then the US government had all the bases covered. . . The civilian would have had one of the most profound experiences of his or her life, and be unable to put it into any kind of context. [They] would have no knowledge of how to interpret the event, and would thus be left in the dark having received no input from either the government or the scientists . . . or the church.”
At least, they hadn’t yet.
It’s worth noting that Levenda begins this chapter of his book on Strieber, UFOs, and intelligence psi-ops, with a discussion of Christianity and the formation of a new religion.
This morning, I received a bunch of quotes and links from my research assistant. I had hoped to be able to read up on all this, as well as Ty Brown’s “10,000 Heroes—SRI and the Manufacturing of the New Age,” which I still haven’t got to, and incorporate it into my next batch of postings. Instead, I’m going to post the quotes whole and hope they provide  a coherent picture in themselves, offering this up as the deep background to this latest stage of the Strieber investigation. (Now it’s impersonal, Whitley.)
And yes, believe it or not, this is all gradually leading us back into the next layer of the Autism Enigma.
First off, exhibit A comes from Skilluminati’s old blog, 2007 (same year Ty Brown was doing his “Nazis from Outer Space,” Strieber, and SRI piece), quoting Jim Keith’s Mind Control, World Control, Chapter 12, which discusses the spread of LSD and the role of OSS/CIA agent Al Hubbard:
“One associate of Hubbard’s was New World Order theorist Willis Harman at the Stanford Research Institute. SRI had earlier received grants from the US Army to research chemical incapacitants. When visited by a representative of the underground press at SRI, Harman told the man, ‘There’s a war going on between your side and mine. And my side is not going to lose.”’
From Todd Brendan Fahey’s classic article on Hubbard, “The Original Captain Trips”:
“Hubbard was specifically assigned to the Alternative Futures Project, which performed future-oriented strategic planning for corporations and government agencies. Harman and Hubbard shared a goal ‘to provide the [LSD] experience to political and intellectual leaders around the world.’ Harman acknowledges that ‘Al’s job was to run the special sessions for us.’”
[Skilluminati continues:] “For what it’s worth, the folks at SRI were very much out there. Changing Images of Man co-author O.W. Markley left behind a very curious paper entitled “Visionary Futures” that outlines some other SRI ‘alternative methodologies”—including ‘channeled material in the book Seth Speaks, by Jane Roberts (1972).’ This is the same SRI who employed top Scientologists, Hal Puthoff and Ingo Swann, to develop their Remote Viewing program. Channeled material, after all, is mainstream today. (Witness the bestseller success of the ‘Conversations with God’ series.)”
And now for something completely similar, from RI.
“Willis Harman, the late Stanford futurist, professor of Engineering Economic Systems and president of Edgar Mitchell’s Institute of Noetic Science (which has been used as cover for some of the CIA’s esoterica, such as remote viewing) . . . believed humanity is embarking on a period of ‘global mind change,’ and that people could reorder the world ‘by deliberately changing their internal image of reality.’
“Harman based his book Global Mind Change upon the Stanford report. In this interview, apparently from the mid-90s, he elaborates on his thoughts on shifting worldviews and our ‘remarkable point in history’:
“’Whether its psychic phenomena, mystical experiences, communications with the dead . . . whatever it is, you’re implying that reality is different from the way they taught you in school. Sooner or later we’re going to say ‘Well if all of that’s so, then our emphases in business and economics have to be different, as well as our emphases in politics, education and healthcare.’
“How to anticipate and capitalize upon the revolution in worldviews in the dawning post-industrial era is the question Harman’s SRI team set to answer. In The Stargate Conspiracy, Picknett and Prince quote the following passage from Changing Images of Man, perhaps the most important book almost no one has read, which suggests how this may be accomplished:
“’Of special interest to the Western world is that Freemasonry tradition which played such a significant role in the birth of the United States of America, attested to by the symbolism of the Great Seal. . . . Thus this has the potentiality of reactivating the American symbols, reinterpreting the work ethic, supporting the basic concepts of a free-enterprise democratic society, and providing new meaning for the technological-industrial thrust.’
“Symbols and myth are not the accents of a society, they are its engines. Something to think about before they run us over.”
According to this site Marilyn Ferguson’s Aquarian Conspiracy was written:
“under the direction of Willis Harman, social policy director of the Stanford Research Institute, as a popular version of a May 1974 policy study on how to transform the United States into Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. . . . The May 1974 report that provided the basis for Ferguson’s work . . . is entitled Changing Images of Man, Contract Number URH (489~215O, Policy Research Report No. 414.74, prepared by the Stanford Research Institute Center for the Study of Social Policy, Willis Harman, director. The 319-page mimeographed report was prepared by a team of fourteen researchers and supervised by a panel of twenty-three controllers, including anthropologist Margaret Mead, psychologist B.F. Skinner, Ervin Laszlo of the United Nations, Sir Geoffrey Vickers of British intelligence.
“The aim of the study, the authors state, is to change the image of mankind from that of industrial progress to one of ‘spiritualism.’”
!! (Yep, my emphasis)
And then there’s this, from The Brainsturbator:
“Few realize that Willis W. Harman could be called the ‘Father of Workplace Spirituality.’ Willis Harman was one of a group of scholars and policy analysts who helped write The Changing Images of Man, a landmark study prepared for the Charles Kettering Foundation by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) Center for the Study of Social Policy. Willis Harman was the director of this Center.
From The Aquarian Conspiracy:
Changing Images of Man, the now classic report issued by SRI… described a new transcendental social and business ethic characterized by self-determination, concern for the quality of life, appropriate technology, entrepreneurship, decentralization, an ecological ethic, and spirituality. The report urged a rapid corporate understanding of this emergent order, ‘probably the most important observation of our time.’”
“In the new paradigm, work is a vehicle for transformation.” (p. 342)
And finally (?) from the same source, this:
“Joseph Campbell advanced that understanding tremendously and his abstracted technical essence of myth was used to pattern a powerful new myth that fused science with a sense of transcendent mysticism: Star Wars (where ‘Star Trek,’ on the other hand was an outgrowth of the more Humanist side of things). As close friends with George Lucas and a stated major influence of his work, Campbell via Lucas helped create an international myth to contain all the societal changes and upheavals that has gone on in the past two decades with the explosion of the consciousness movements and the New Age. It is no wonder than that Joseph Campbell is also listed as an author of a pivotal 1973 document, Changing Images of Man, allegedly funded by the US government, written by the Stanford Research Institute, and credited with inspiring the New Age movement by way of the Marilyn Ferguson book, The Aquarian Conspiracy.
“20 years ago, author Frank White collected, sifted, polished and curated the observations of 30 astronauts and cosmonauts. But these weren’t science observations or notes about the spacecraft hardware. They were reports of this specific, marked psychological shift common to all these space travelers  immediately and profoundly broadening these hard-boiled guys’ perspectives. . . .  Intended mission: maximize opportunities for Earth-dwellers to have individual Overview experiences. Strategy: use art, science, mass media, music, environmental awareness, personal networking and, oh yeah: the Web to spread the opportunity for non-space travelers to understand and possibly experience the Effect.
“After decades of studying this, Ed Mitchell is pretty certain that the feeling of interconnectedness / oneness with the Universe is a consequence of quantum physics. Now Mitchell and the others assembled here want, specifically to induce or produce the Overview Effect in as many of Earth’s citizens as possible.”…
“Barbara Marx Hubbard is convinced this is evolution in action: ‘The sleep of the womb is over,’ she says, ‘We are growing up; becoming fully human.’ Hubbard has worn many hats: disciple of Bucky Fuller, Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee, international space advocate, and importantly a mother of five. ‘As we’re born,’ Barbara says: ‘we pass from the Inner Space of our mothers into Outer Space.’”
Returning to Levenda’s Sinister Forces, “Communion” chapter (p. 272):
“At some point, the exploration of outer space extends into an exploration of inner space.”
That last struck me as somewhat ironic. The trajectory of this blog, that is, my recent shift of focus from autism to aliens, has been the exact reverse of that.

11 thoughts on “Deep Background: SRI, LSD, Changing Images of Man, & The Aquarian Conspiracy”

  1. I had never heard of Barbara Marx Hubbard, so I looked up her website. I don’t wish to be unkind, but…creepy doesn’t even begin to describe her. I found this quote on her “blog” – “The Foundation has designed and developed a remarkable set of programs, providing a comprehensive approach to evolutionary service.” Is she serious? And people pay her money for this? *shudder*

  2. She’s the second of two Hubbards mentioned in the material, neither of them related to L. Ron, as far as I know.
    I’m surprised at the lack of comments. Does this material come as a surprise to anyone? It’s hardly discussed at all (on the INternet).

  3. Yes, I wanted to see if she had any relationship to Scientology because her name was a new one to me. The lack of comments may simply be due to readers taking time to go through the linked material. At least for my part, I have gone through the shorter links, and am only now starting to read the book, Changing Images. That book has a peculiar tone to it – it is written in a voice that seems professorial/academic and impartial, but the topic it is discussing is really pretty chilling. Psycho/social engineering is not new – Orwell made us all too aware of it. But I can see connections developing here between people and ideas that I had previously not connected. It was published in 1982 – just as the Reagan era was beginning to march us down the path to where we are today. (Just as a side note, the list of Reviewers, was also a surprise. I was sad to see Ralph Metzner’s name among them. I rather like his work).
    I will comment more later in the weekend when I finish the book. Thank you for the links (and to whoever took the time to scan and publish)!

  4. I have about 20 pages left to read in Changing Images. If anyone is starting it, my suggestion would be to skip the first 50 pages. Maybe even the first 100. At around page 150, it starts to get interesting. I would also suggest reading pages 169, 170, the summary points. (a bit too long to quote here). The whole book so far has a very strange vibe to me. My impression is that it is pseudo-academic in tone, but not content. The writers give the impression that they know a lot (150 pages of historical “analysis” of our cultural/social/economic identity), and use that impression to have the reader accept their conclusions (I skipped ahead to the end to check:-) The sources that they use throughout the book are dated primarily between 1968-1972, and the majority are people who either taught or guest-lectured at Esalen Institute. In fact, I have the feeling that Esalen plays a bigger part in this overall story.
    I am left with the impression that a group of people in the late 1960s and 1970s got together and figured out ways to redirect the “metanarrative” of how people in the western world think of themselves, their culture and their government. They explicitly state at the beginning that they are disrregarding the arts, film, etc., but they constantly reference it to support their ideas. I also checked on the academic credentials of the writers. Harman is deceased, but seemed a real academic. Markley, on the other hand. I will withhold judgement. He has a lot of degrees, that I have a hard time believing he earned them in the short amount of time he states on his resume. I did find a youtube video of the University of Houston Clear Lake Future studies program, where he was a emeritus professor. It is odd and not worth linking, but that it exists at all is surprising. I also checked and Pergamon Press was a British publishing house that specialized in scientific papers. It was sold a couple decades ago to Elsevier, and is now a subsidiary of them. I haven’t checked on who the early publishers of Streiber’s work are, but that may not matter.
    I would love to hear what others think! But what I want to understand understand better, is how these things connect to Streiber.

  5. Its always exciting to read this kind of barrage of connections. The way I read this, it seems like the changing image of man is this precious morsel behind many of the numerous overlapping groups/agendas that had been working. I have read a few passages, and find it interesting.

  6. Great article and discussion, I’m really excited to find this blog!
    I just started reading “Changing Images” and would love some contextual sources. Wondering how this research might relate or conflict with other crazy but true developments in the 50’s and 60’s: RAND’s studies in the beneficial uses of LSD (by McGlothlin); MKUltra research in the therapeutic uses of socially driven coercive persuasion; the rise of Synanon methods; NIMH and Federal Bureau of Prisons research in coercive persuasion treatment; and the subsequent millions of dollars in federal grants given to PRIVATELY operated thought reform treatment programs designed to combat the use of marijuana, primarily among white middle class teens. I wonder how conflicting conspiracy theories about social engineering look when they are put together with original documents.
    I’m very interested in acquiring original documents pertaining to this realm of history and if anyone knows of current academic research and professors interested in the (non-conspiratorial) history of social/human engineering (besides Rebecca Lemov, who’s work seems about as non conspiratorial as can be), I would love to hear about their work.

        This blog has more info than I will have time to read anytime soon. The link above is to one of what looks like an epic amount of research that would take months to really examine.
        One thing I am curious about is why there seems to be so little “non-conspiratorial” research out there about this history. It all seems to be presented with an agenda of “proving” that there are “evil” “supernatural” or “immoral” forces behind these events. I wonder if there is a way to look at all these facts as simple truths about human nature under the influence of power imbalances. In my own research concerning the history of federally funded thought reform programs and cultic groups, developed by NIMH grants and within federal prisons, there is no shortage of verifiable conspiracy, corruption, and blatant illegal activities that led to harm on a large scale. But I’m seeing how easy it is to slant historical documents, and put a spin on the facts according to what fits my preconceived explanations.
        I’d love to see to other ways of revealing the facts about Tavistock, SRI, Scientology, Esalen, and “the aquarian conspiracy” in ways that might speak to the parts of society that don’t have a right or left wing agenda. It seems that those who care enough to research this history (myself included) have personal reasons for seeking the truth, that may skew the lens the facts are looked at.
        I’m perhaps being a bit hasty in posting this, sneaking away from my work to write because the topic intrigues me, but I probably should have put more care into how I’m phrasing this.


Leave a Comment