Cui Bono? A Dark Knight Thought Experiment

UPDATE 7/29: Alex Jones screeched for days that the Denver shooting was engineered in order to ensure passage of the UN gun bill. He presented this theory as unassailable fact. Well, guess what? The bill failed after the US voted against it.

Unbelievable. How does anyone believe a word that man says?

This post started as a pure thought experiment and became maybe a bit less so as I mulled over the evidence. Whatever the facts may be, there is a clear, direct and unambiguous motive to engineer chaos in order to terrify politicians into voting against that bill, as well as the huge financial windfall that always follows in the wake of these kinds of shootings. But no one seems to have the courage to even bring themselves to contemplate such a possibility. Bizarre, convoluted theories based on old Fundamentalist fever dreams are more comforting.

Which goes to show you the true nature of Conspiratainment- the game's no fun if it gets too real, or if the conspirators get too close...
UPDATE: Put away the Ouija boards and the secret decoder rings for the time being- just like Tucson, Aurora is represented by a Democrat on the gun lobby's hit list:

Perlmutter, a moderate Democrat who represents Colorado's 7th District, was elected to Congress in 2006. During the hard-fought Democratic primary, he ran ads against rival Peggy Lamm, a former state representative, that accused her of ties to the Republican gun lobby.

Although Aurora was recently named one of the safest cities in America, the issue of gun control resonates there. Aurora is less than 20 miles from the site of the Columbine High School shootings, which left 13 people dead in 1999.

Before the 2006 primary, Perlmutter campaigned with the father of a victim of the Columbine massacre. Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was among a dozen students killed, said he supported the former state senator because Perlmutter promised to work to revive the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence also endorsed Perlmutter.

My oh me oh my. Will coincidences never cease?

The following is a thought experiment based on current trends in conspiracy media.
As I've said before, I've not come to a conclusion about the Aurora massacre and have no compelling reason to believe that it was anything but the work of a highly intelligent psychopath. Or worse, the work of an highly intelligent and evil individual, though I realize evil is a concept that is out of favor in some corners these days.

Full disclosure, first: When it comes to violent crime, I'm somewhere to the right of Darth Vader. I know exactly what the families of the Aurora dead are going through. I know exactly what the injured face in the years to come. I know that everyone in that theater will suffer for the rest of their lives, both physically and emotionally, because of the actions of the shooter.

Even those who weren't directly injured could very well develop somatic reactions to the trauma, which will leave them to deal with a lifetime of pain, illness and emotional turmoil.

So needless to say, I have an instinctive and immediate reaction to anyone who tries to excuse the actions of violent criminals, whether you're trying to blame "society" or "mind control." It's all the same bullshit to me.

But there is a tremendous amount of high weirdness attached to this case, not only because of the background of the accused shooter but because of the dense psychological manipulations emanating from the work of filmmaker Christopher Nolan.

So I'd be remiss not to look at some of the deeper streams and ask the only question that any conspiracy theorist worth his tinfoil would ask: Cui bono? The answer to the question is always the same: Follow the money.

The accused shooter identified with the Joker, and the wanton destruction that Nolan's hijacking of the character (based in part on Frank Miller's similar take), which pictured the villain as a cross-dressing homosexual whose unrequited love for Batman unleashed a wave of mass terror in order to get his attention.

It may well turn out that the Aurora massacre was a similar bid for attention, since the accused shooter was trawling for prison groupies on dating sites before the killings (researchers might want to take a look at the film Art School Confidential for inspiration here).

The weird semiotics attached to this case proves the time-honored Secret Sun adage that there's a thin line between Synchro and Psycho. The Surrealists understood this, which is why they somewhat irresponsibly idolized schizophrenia as being a passageway to the world of dream and symbol. This adage is also very easy to test- simply start talking Synchromysticism to the unitiated- they'll immediately think you're crazy. The only difference between the two is a certain level of cogency.

In short, there's often a lot of weird synchronicities attached to psychotic events because there is a deeper connection to the underlying architecture of reality with many of these individuals, the problem being that the psychotic is unable to coherently process that information.*

The Aurora massacre is also reminding me of the Amy Bishop shootings at the University of Alabama, which I blogged on extensively here. As with James Eagan Holmes we immediately saw the usual suspects screaming the usual nonsense about "false flags" and "mind control", even when it soon emerged that the real conspiracy was the coverup of her murdering her brother in 1986, as well as the coverup of a whole host of crimes and outrages in the years between that murder and the U of A shootings (as well as the fact that I have on good authority that she demonstrated signs of psychosis from a very early age).

Why? Because she was useful to the powers that be, just as Holmes obviously was before the shooting. When you are a useful scientific genius, allowances are made. You can literally get away with murder.

You see, there are real conspiracies. And by acting like a irrational, kneejerk hysteric, people like Republican Party agent provocateur Alex Jones are discrediting the serious investigation of these crimes. They are useful idiots for the real conspirators.

But maybe they are something much, much worse.

Many Americans were understandably suspicious when the mainsteam news media began pushing the theory that Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen were responsible for the 9/11 attacks within hours of the event, despite the fact that no one had claimed responsibility and even a cursory investigation of the events hadn't begun.

Yet many of these same people didn't bat an eye when the so-called alternative media declared the Aurora, CO theater shootings as "false flag" attacks. Those same people immediately decided- without a single shred of real evidence-- that the accused shooter James Holmes shouldn't be blamed for the attacks because he too was a victim, the victim of "mind control." This despite the fact that they knew next to nothing about him.

At the forefront of this charge has been Jones. The Austin, TX based conspiratainer sits at the top of a massively and mysteriously funded media empire and has been in semi-panic mode since Bilderberg head honcho Peter Thiel threw his considerable financial weight behind Jones' allies Ron Paul and Rand Paul, and the younger Paul endorsed Mitt Romney, just as Webster Tarpley predicted.

This is no surprise to serious conspiracy researchers- the agenda Jones et al are agitating for is identical to the neoliberal/privatization agenda of the real Globalist elite, not the Communist revanchists of the Conspiratainer imagination.

Jones hit the airwaves before the blood had dried, screeching that the massacre was a "false flag" attack engineered by the Obama Administration to ensure passage of a UN agreement on the export of small arms, which Jones falsely claimed was a domestic "gun-grab."

However, Jones sheepishly had to backpedal when details of the shooter's biography emerged, as more so as the Obama Administration initially resisted calls for new gun control measures. He was reduced to badgering guests to bolster his fading theory as the price of pimping their wares on his show, and even his readers are calling out the Watsons (the real brains of the operation) for deceptive headlines related to the case.

The fact is that Obama is in a bind, since union members are dead-set against any gun control legislation but the liberal donor base is generally for it. This speaks to the rural/urban divide of the debate, where urbanites are more concerned with street violence than their rural counterparts.

After days of pressure, Obama came out and announced that he would try to ensure that criminals and the mentally ill couldn't buy guns, a typically weak half-measure that didn't please anyone on either side of the debate.

What agenda Jones actually serves was made apparent when a host of fringe right wing apparatchiks came out and declared that if the people in the theater were armed the massacre never would have happened.

This is total nonsense, of course- there was a similar massacre at the Fort Hood army base not so long ago, a place which is filled with heavily armed men. And the Aurora attack was a classic ambush- tear gas bombs (readily available on the Internet) were thrown to stun the patrons, followed by shooting. You could mow down a platoon using the same exact tactics.

But Jones and his ilk dominate the conversation and do so before anyone has the chance to react, every single time there's a mass shooting. Every single time Jones and his comrades on the far right wing fringe strike first, screaming that x mass shooting was a false flag designed to push draconian gun laws through.

Just look at Jones' history- he's a serial disinfo artist when it comes to mass shootings. Click here, here, here, here and here.

Of course, it's all a lie. As Ted Torbich explains, guns are political pacifiers. They create a false sense of security and indolence. They are also excellent tools of political intimidation, as the late Andrew Breitbart claimed in one of several of his sweaty, manic, glassy-eyed rants during his long public meltdown prior to his fatal heart attack.

The GOP subtly uses the threat of red state militias to intimidate the rest of the country, a troubling development given the fact that the same patrons of the Republican Party also funded Latin American death squads- also largely made up of rural extremists- to achieve its political objectives.

This is one of the reasons I'm all for the Second Amendment, as it's actually written. In fact, it's an amendment I hope all of the non-lunatics in America start thinking seriously about.

But the endless "false flag" and "mind control" preemptions also raise a troubling question: if there is in fact a conspiracy behind these mass shootings, who benefits?

Cui Bono?

The answer? Follow the money.

One of the questions the false flag conspiratainers asked about Holmes is where did he- an unemployed grad student- get the money for all of the weaponry and body armor. The police in Maine arrested another Dark Knight related would-be murderer who had an even more impressive arsenal, and he too was unemployed (he was going to kill his ex-boss). That's a common factor in these mass shootings, how well the murderers are equipped.

It begs the question, where did they get that kind of hardware?

Well, to answer that question, let's look at the Cui Bono? part of the equation. Who is the immediate beneficiary of the horrific massacre in Aurora?
Aurora theater shooting: Gun sales up since tragedy

Background checks for people wanting to buy guns in Colorado jumped more than 41 percent after Friday morning's shooting at an Aurora movie theater, and firearms instructors say they're also seeing increased interest in the training required for a concealed-carry permit.
"It's been insane," Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, said Monday.

A similar increase occurred in Virginia after the shootings at Virginia Tech University in 2007.
Wait: a similar increase in Virginia, which Alex Jones also claimed was a false flag? What an mind-boggling coincidence.

Well, maybe not.
How Come Gun Sales Spike After Mass Shootings?

By now, you can set your watch to a phenomenon that follows nearly every mass shooting in America: A sharp uptick in gun sales. It happened after the shootings at Virginia Tech, it happened after Columbine and Tucson, and it's happening now following the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado.
Besides the natural fear for one's safety -- remember all those Republicans telling you this would have been prevented if the movegoers had been armed-- there's another fear driving the gun sales.
The fear of stricter gun laws: Another logical factor is that gun owners' or soon-to-be-gun owners' sense a tide of gun control regulations following a massacre and seek to purchase guns ahead of fast-moving laws.

Since coming into office, Obama has been virtually silent on the issue of gun control, despite the protestations of liberals.
So; who benefits most of all from mass shootings? The gun lobby.

Even in a bad economy they can hit the jackpot if enough fear is stirred up over a mass killing. And the benefits are not just financial.

• Ask yourself this: where could James Holmes and the other unemployed killers have gotten all of that expensive firepower and armor?

• If they couldn't afford it, could someone have given it to them?

• Who would be able to most easily and cheaply do so?

• Who would be able to supply a lone nut with all the firepower he could handle and later be able to reap a massive monetary windfall from their actions?

• Who is out there trying to cultivate an atmosphere of fear and terror in order to create demand for their products?

• Who believes, like Chairman Mao, that political power comes from the barrel of a gun?

Cui Bono?

We've seen that Obama has been hesitant to enact any kind of gun control (even now), so how do we explain the endless rantings of Alex Jones and other conspiratainers who have convinced millions of Americans that the big, scary black man is coming for their guns?
Why gun lovers still fear President Obama

President Barack Obama hasn’t done much of anything to curb Americans’ gun rights. Despite his 2008 campaign pledges, he hasn’t pushed to reinstate the assault weapons ban. And he hasn’t tried to force background checks on people who buy firearms from unlicensed vendors. In fact, he’s barely said a word about guns during his presidency, other than urging “the beginning of a new discussion” on the issue after then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot.

But the National Rifle Association and many gun enthusiasts still deeply distrust and fear him.

The powerful gun rights group — which is setting aside at least $40 million to defeat Obama in November — claims he would gut the Second Amendment in his second term through a series of domestic or international moves that he’s been hesitant to advance over the past three-plus years.

Gun and ammunition sales, which rocketed when Obama took office, are again on the rise as owners stockpile weaponry in part because they’re afraid those won’t be available if he wins reelection, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade group.

“He’s his own stimulus plan for the gun industry,” Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said.

“I get the [NRA] magazine. I think he’s on the cover nine out of 10 times,” added Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska).
So, we've seen there's a monetary benefit from mass shootings for the gun lobby, now we see there's a political benefit to be gained by blaming Obama for somehow creating mind controlled assassins in order to enact imaginary gun laws. Who would possibly vote for gun control laws and risk being accused of being part of the mind control conspiracy?

It's a brilliant double-bind.

Now, surely I can't accuse the gun lobby or the gun manufacturers as whole of engineering these massacres for financial and political gain. I'm not necessarily doing so. Until I hear names, dates and real evidence, I assume that the guy caught red-handed is responsible for his own actions.

I'm simply engaging in a thought experiment to show how the so-called "alternative" media is just as corrupt and just as compromised as the mainstream media. This is a message I've been trying to communicate for several years now.

I'm starting to lose patience, however. There's too much at stake to fall for entertaining bullshit anymore, especially when it's married to a very troubling and manipulative political agenda. Too often the self-appointed liberators are just future slave masters. If History hasn't taught us that yet, we're in for a very rough ride in the days to come.

UPDATE: In the previous post I linked to a 1996 essay by Tom Wolfe on the hazards of contemporary neuroscience, a discipline that could be used for extremely nefarious purposes. Although the kneejerk response is to classify it all as "mind control," drawing on the evergreen Manchurian Candidate fever dreams of the fringe right wing, it's a lot more dangerous than that.

This is a branch of science that is hellbent on stripping every aspect of human experience of meaning and purpose. This isn't mind control so much as mind obliteration. Everything you hope and dream and love is reduced to a random series of chemical reactions. What this means is that the "how" is being imposed on the public mind as the "why." Already we're seeing the arguments of neuroscience adopted by the moral nihilist subculture within the New Atheist movement as justification for their philosophy.

When morality is abandoned, anything is possible.

Of course, seeing that encoding even the simplest organism would require massive computing bandwidth, the totalizing claims of neuroscience are ultimately a conceit. That's the good news- scientists still don't understand the nature of consciousness, so despite the mythology, the actual practice of mind control (as opposed to brainwashing, which religion has perfected and involves a far greater level of consent than some people would want to acknowledge) has never lived up to the hype.

But the goal here isn't so much science as the veneer of science painted over a reductionist, materialist control paradigm, which can act as an ideational contagion with tremendously destructive consequences.

One of the reasons I've been skeptical of the theorizing about the Holmes shooting- despite all of the weirdness and despite all of the dodgy connections-- is that we've been down this same exact road with Amy Bishop, who was also sucked into the dark orbit of neuroscience.

I'm struck by how many parallels to Bishop there are with the Holmes case and the common denominator between the two is neuroscience.

It can be very weird and scary shit and I'm sure there's no end of extremely damaged individuals-- and strange attractors-- drawn into it. No outside puppetmasters need apply for this particular stew to go rancid. I have no doubt that there's a lot of weirdness going on in those labs, weirdness that could have a devastating effect on marginal psyches.

Don't forget that the mad scientist archetype isn't purely the invention of bad pulp writers from the Twenties. History is filled with them.

*I've seen this first-hand with a number of people I've encountered, sadly with my beloved late grandmother, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia her whole life. Like many people it manifested itself while she was a young adult. Like many people she was able to control her symptoms with medication but experienced terrible episodes in which she'd handwrite long manifestos of how the Vatican and the Boston Fire Department had been conspiring against her. Those episodes would be followed by catatonia. Needless to say, I was pretty traumatized by it all, since I spent a lot of time with her. And she made one hell of a toll house cookie.


  1. We synced again it seems, posting at about the same time on the same topic. I am most grateful that you chose to plug in my video as well. I will update my post with a link to this one as well since I really like the way you take over the agenda and satisfactorily demonstrate a completely legitimate and well reasoned counter scenario that no one is proposing. Great post.

  2. Dear oh dear. You need to read this.

  3. Chris - I think you have a lot of the right pieces, but I'm not sure you're assembling them in the right pattern.

    For one thing, "Cui bono" is not the same as "Follow the money." The latter comes out of Watergate and refers to tracking the money-trail from CREEP to the plumbers.

    For another, "Profit!" may be sufficient to explain Bain Capital, but I don't think it can explain these events of high weirdness.

    For a third, I can't quite imagine representatives of the gun lobby seeking out promising young psychotics and feeding their fantasies with guns and body armor. I really can't.

    And another complication is that Jared Loughner was apparently a fan of Alex Jones ( -- a connection that the Jones people did their best to shout down or explain away.

    I actually think that the real heart of the matter is the f-word -- fascism -- and that you come closest to the heart of the matter where you write, "As Ted Torbich explains, guns are political pacifiers. They create a false sense of security and indolence. They are also excellent tools of political intimidation, as the late Andrew Breitbart claimed in one of several of his sweaty, manic, glass-eyed rants during his long public meltdown prior to his fatal heart attack. The GOP subtly uses the threat of red state militias to intimidate the rest of the country, a troubling development given the fact that the same patrons of the Republican Party also funded Latin American death squads- also largely made up of rural extremists- to achieve its political objectives."

    Before the fascists came to power in Italy, and before the Nazis came to power in Germany, they were essentially street thugs -- beating people up, force-feeding them castor oil, and otherwise intimidating anybody who tried to expose them or was otherwise in their way. I think we're seeing the first inklings of something similar here and that the people who are inciting it perceive the growth of vigilantism as a good thing for their interests -- except when it gets too close to home, as in Loughner's case, and then they jump to cover it up.

  4. Chris,

    I agree with you. During the wake of the tragic event I read some of the rant that was coming out of the "alternative media" like jones, etc etc. Before I consumed their information I followed up on the mainstream media and read up all i could on this news.

    This is what I discovered about the now decaying "alternative media":

    -They regurgitate some other alternative medias info.

    -Exaggerate information like how he got the money. [when its clearly stated in the news that he had a federal grand, he was a research assistant, he worked in the summer etc etc plus he had parents and credit card.]

    -They said he wore body armor but its actually a vest with pouches

    -They said he was a genius when in fact it is now known he ain't that big of a intellectual..just an average nerd

    And many many more..

    Here is what they failed to notice:

    -Most of the folks who went to watch the movie were navy military officers (men and women) who served in the middle east i.e. iraq including the victims

    As for the idea that some one sprayed devils breath on him or drug him etc well from the news here is what it says:

    He bought the submachine gun right after he failed his oral exam. He was not able to get a job and had trouble integrating with the grad school program. It shows he wasn't strong mentally.

    Loneliness and failure triggered a building up of resentment that manifested as a psychotic episode. And the fact that he was living alone without his parents who were in California meant he didn't have the maturity to talk with any one or find help. He lost the social comfort, the benefit of having friends to talk to. NO gf, etc etc. I mean parents and their love is important its like a battery. Home sickness can sometimes trigger psychotic episode.

    You know i would blame the culture. Why? Well look at it, sex and more materialism has created unstable social fabric. The disparity between haves and have nots. The ones who have a sexy life, beautiful social friends, life partners that is portrayed in the movies and which every one aspires to. Women who have no respect for the average guy. Guys who treat women like sex objects. Movies that advocate the life of moral debauchery.

    Yes he did murder a lot of innocent victims and caused pain to the families. He deserves to be treated like a monster and a freak of the society.

    But I've noticed that in america every year or so these things happen in the same way. Always the same story. And nobody has addressed the problem only speculate the issues and talk about guns.

    I hear you man I hear you.

  5. A friend of mine went through a fairly nasty divorce. Before the proceedings he learned that a good tactic is to always be the first to accuse the other of some impropriety - whether true or not. If done, the other's case is on the defensive from the get go and generally remains that way.

    Jone's early comments could be related to this tactic - a focus to waste useful time and resources.

    I've read your blog for many years and without a doubt it is truly the most useful blog on the net.

    (I kinda of like "Too Long in This Place" too)

  6. i wince at your use of the word 'entertainment,' even though i know that youre using it very loosely, chris.

  7. Who benefits? Who benefited from the 911 attacks and what has happened in the years after? Does Operation Gladio ring any bells? What about The Phoenix Program and what happened in America shortly afterwards. Your glib dismissal of MK Ultra does a great disservice to the readers here.

  8. An all around great post. Refreshing to see a person who thinks for himself.

  9. i liked the post, one thing that jumped out at me.

    whether you're trying to blame "society" or "mind control.

    somehow this idea of cultural toxicity has been bouncing around for some time, but its rarely, if ever, addressed openly. the most ive heard it was bible-thumpers preaching about the corrosive nature of this devil culture, and its sort of a taboo in other communities, especially acceptable "society". although it does admittedly come off as anti-social and even hatefully offensive, i really feel it should be addressed.

    like so many things in the post-industrial world, toxicity is a very real threat. the debate as to it being a conscious/unconscious will to cause harm is a conversation for another time.

  10. Hey Chris,

    Excellent, intellectually engaging post. This quote here speaks to a lot of things:

    "In short, there's often a lot of weird synchronicities attached to psychotic events because there is a deeper connection to the underlying architecture of reality with many of these individuals, the problem being that the psychotic is unable to coherently process that information."

    This is an idea that I think bears repeat musing. You're offering a lot of complex insight with that paragraph. Like you say, it's a thin line between Synchro and Psycho, and it is indeed about a certain level of cogency, and an appreciation of inter-relatedness.

    If you mix very high intelligence, or psychic ability, or both, with a deeply unbalanced psyche - a terrible kind of dark gravity can sometimes occur, in which actual events seem to configure themselves in weird and disturbing patterns. It can be very, very dangerous. And also it can be very frightening, to perceive the presence of those kinds of energies.

    That's why balance, lucidity and cogency are so vital. Consciousness is EXTREMELY powerful. And like any power source that's misused, it is potentially just as dangerous. The materialists can call consciousness an illusion if they want to, but it doesn't change this fact. Writers and artists especially know the truth of this.

    As a species we have barely scratched the hidden potentials of our consciousness, thus we also barely understand what can happen if that consciousness is fragmented, desecrated or ignored.

    Stellar work as ever, Chris. As I've said before, I'm very proud to be a part of this community.


  11. This is how I look at it regardless:

    Holmes is a "patsy"

    Nolan is involved

    Nobody has mentioned on this site so far that Jessica Redfield (nee Ghewi) was present at another shootout in Toronto just a week before inside the Eaton Center mall.

    But we should be looking at how we can prevent these events. Exposing the psychological manipulation of the Hollywood Military Complex is one. Even the synchromystic readings are helpful in the way they decode semiotics and enable multiple readings. I mean, cinema is such a powerful force, I would say breaking down its codes is of primordial importance to understand this reality.

    Or, just as valid: get the fuck out of this country ...

  12. I don't think this event was orchestrated, but I do think it ultimately will end up benefiting Romney.

    Aurora took his finances out of the media spotlight, and gave him the opportunity to say what every gun-lover in America wanted to hear: that he will never stand between them and their beloved assault rifles.

    That's why Obama's response to the tragedy was so weak. He knows Americans care about their jobs, but they care more about their muthaf#%ing guns.

  13. You're forgetting the other major beneficiary of the shooting: the psychiatric industry. Look into the connection between mass shootings and psychiatric drugs. Just about every mass shooter has been on either SSRIs or other powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

    I think this history effectively dispels the notion that psychiatric screening, aka Orweillian pre-crime detection/citizen profiling, is an effective solution to the mass shooting problem. Unfortunately, the Aurora shooting will likely be used as an excuse to implement just such a program on involuntary populations. Psych drugs have been used to control political dissidents in Soviet Russia and Communist China, and there's no reason this pattern can't be repeated here.

    As for Manchurian candidates, you're using the exact same research method that you yourself have complained about skeptics employing on UFO sightings: attack the most obvious hoaxes and declare that every other source is therefore falsifiable. Look into the history of George Estabrooks' hypnosis experiments or Dave MacGowan's research on serial killers. There is a lot more to this story than some vague collective consciousness explanation. The military family, self-reported amnesia in the shooter, reports of multiple shooters and numerous other details add up to a scenario that looks suspicious to say the least. I am, however, wary of anyone making authoritative statements about the shooting, including anyone willing to dismiss the history of CIA mind control atrocities without adequate consideration of the evidence.

  14. John - I'd agree that Operation Gladio and the Phoenix Program are extremely relevant, but that's very different from getting caught up in fantasies about MK/ULTRA mind control schemes. As I pointed out at the Facebook group, the recent radicalization of the NRA seems to have been a result of pressure from Gun Owners of America, a far more extreme organization that was founded in 1975 by a John Birch Society member and run at its peak in the 1990s by Larry Pratt, who was tied in with both the Latin American death squad agenda of the Reagan administration and the white supremacist Christian Identity movement.

    There is a connected line of thought here that began when some right-wing extremists started thinking of themselves first as guerrillas behind enemy lines (as in Operation Gladio) and then as justified in endorsing torture, assassination, and death squads (as in the Phoenix Program or in the Latin American dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s.)

    Pushing for the proliferation and stockpiling of guns, and their open display in daily life, is definitely part of that agenda. I don't think they deliberately set out to incite susceptible individuals like Holmes to run amok -- but I believe they regard them as unavoidable collateral damage at worst and as useful tools for terrorizing the public at best.

    And as far as who the "they" are, I would guess they're the same type of conservative businessmen who formed the Birch Society in the 1950s, convinced Reagan to run for governor of California in the 1960s and later formed his kitchen cabinet, and persuaded retired General John Singlaub to become head of the World Anti-Communist League in the death squad days of the 1980s. Only these days they havee far more money (like the Koch brothers, whose father was an early Birch Society supporter) and are that much more dangerous.

    Oddly enough, the one thing that might save us is those same susceptible individuals like Holmes who act as canaries in the coal mine -- picking up on whatever negative vibes are floating around, amplifying them, and acting them out in public. We just have to be able to read the message right, and the Alex Joneses of this world are working overtime to make sure we don't.

  15. I read McGowan's research 10 years ago and didn't find it compelling. Either way, manipulating psychotics is not mind control, it's just dirty dealing.

  16. Amy Bishop claimed amnesia after her shootings too. Funny how she fell down the memory hole.

  17. @ Hugo
    " Nobody has mentioned on this site so far that Jessica Redfield (nee Ghewi) was present at another shootout in Toronto just a week before inside the
    Eaton Center mall. "

    I was just thinking how close Eaton is to Easton,as in
    Bret Easton Ellis,
    author of "American Psycho".
    It makes you wonder the odds of being involved in two fatal shootings cities apart,in the same year.
    What are the odds of that?
    I'd say less than zero,

  18. It's also worth mentioning that one of the first self-professed "super soldiers", Duncan O'Finioan, is an Odinist, not a right wing nut job.

  19. Let's not forget the Ft. Hood mass shootings where the perp was an Army psychiatrist. He was later painted as a radical Muslim, which I've always though was an after-the-fact excuse made up by the Army for not taking seriously enough the warning signs that this man's head wasn't screwed on right.

    Having once considered then rejected a career in psychology, I often noted people with heavy psychological issues of their own are attracted to psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. It's as though their motivation for entering these fields is more about seeking an explanation for or relief from their own damaged psyches than benefiting others or intellectual curiosity.

    I'm sure, just like the Army at Ft. Hood, every institution Holmes attended is already making excuses to cover their own asses for ignoring blatant warning signs that something was seriously wrong with this guy all along. This will further confuse the truth and provide more grist for the conspiracy mill.

  20. Just spotted this over on the Facebook page and would like to respond to it.
    "Here are two questions the MK Manchurian Candidate theorists can never answer: If this technology exists, why aren't we seeing these guys everywhere, all of the time? And why does everyone they've cited as a MK victim have a documented record of mental illness and often a criminal record of violent crime?"
    First of all, the same question about ubiquity of the phenomenon could be asked about UFOs as well, yet that is a theory supported here wholeheartedly despite the fact that UFO sightings are hardly an everyday occurrence. Besides, mass shootings have become a routine part of our culture so the argument could be made that, in fact, we ARE seeing Manchurian Candidates all the time.

    As for why so many MK Ultra victims have documented records of mental illness, let me ask you this question. If someone's personal history has been defined by abusive childhood military training, including electroshock, scientifically calculated methods of torture, forced drugging and sexual assault, how do you think that history is going to affect said person on a psychological level? Common sense says that an emotionally well-adjusted adult life will not be the result.

    On another level, trauma-based mind control victims are typically selected on the basis of their ability to dissociate, which is correlated with high levels of activity in the right hemisphere of the brain (although what programmers also want is someone who can use BOTH hemispheres simultaneously, an unusual trait). Studies have documented that right brain dominance is associated with mental illness, which is one reason why so many artists and creative types are a bit nuts. The same logic applies to the psychology of MK Ultra targets.

    The thing is, with subjects like the Monarch Project, the only way to conclusively prove that it isn't real is to point out that FOIA documents never mentioned it, and that Monarch researchers don't have much credibility within the academic establishment. The problem with this approach is that the only evidence admitted for analysis is that which has already been approved by the intelligence community, law enforcement or the academic establishment. In other words, fringe researchers who automatically discount the Monarch Project, or cult ritual abuse and related subject matter, do so using the same tactics which have been used to dismiss many of the same topics which make up the bread and butter of their own culture.

  21. UFO sightings aren't an everyday occurrence? You haven't done much research into the topic, have you?

    As to Monarch I'll refer you to Jim Kieth's takedown of the theory or the obvious fact that Phillips didn't even try to hide he was CIA. All of this folklore doesn't help expose official misconduct, it helps shield it by making claims of abuse sound ridiculous and incoherent. Just the same exact way that the SRA panic was designed to deflect attention from the nascent priest abuse scandals back in the 80s. The best way to cover up a real scandal is to create an artificial hysteria that gets everyone's attention before it is thoroughly debunked. It's straight out of Aesop.

    But I presented a perfectly reasonable suspect if in fact a conspiracy does exist- one with means and a very, very strong motive. So I look forward to your comments on the actual topic of this post.

  22. I continue to believe that "profit" is not a sufficient motive -- and also that the gun industry is different in significant ways from other industries, none of which have the same almost hypnotic power over the Zeitgeist. The energy industry is powerful, but powerful enough to prevent pushback against fracking or the Keystone pipeline. Hollywood is powerful, but it couldn't push through SOPA. The gun industry is far smaller than either of those, and yet it has political power beyond either of them.

    There's something else going on and it has to do with power, not money. Power grows out of the barrel of a gun, as Chairman Mao reminds us -- and that may be the crucial way in which the gun industry is different from both the energy industry and the entertainment industry.

    That said, I still keep pushing the pieces around without feeling that the pattern has yet come clear. However, one piece I've been thinking today is that even if mind control doesn't actually exist, people who crave power have often thought it does and have put a lot of effort into pursuing it.

    During the 2004 election, I became obsessed with the covert, off-the-book operations of the Reagan era because so many current scandals seemed to have their roots there, from Jack Abramoff to the Swiftboat Veterans to Duke Cunningham and more. As I noted at the Facebook group, Larry Pratt -- who headed Gun Owners of America in the 1990s, when it was the main force pushing the NRA away from responsible gun ownership and towards extremism -- had been of that milieu. (

    So had Stefan Possony, a refugee from Hitler's Germany who became a consultant to the US military on psychological warfare during World War II and later an influential strategic theorist. He was working for the Air Force by 1959, became one of the most influential civilian strategic planners in the Pentagon, founded the International Strategic Studies Association, and has been called the "intellectual father" of the Star Wars missile defense system.

    But Possony also had a weirder side. He was a member of the World Anti-Communist League in the early 1970s and again in the 1980s when it was at the center of Iran-Contra. He is alleged to have attended meetings of the CIA's UFO Scientific Advisory Panel in 1953. And he had a continuing interest in mind control, including being a member of something called Mankind Research Unlimited.

    (continued below, since Blogger won't let me post this all at once)

  23. I had never checked out that Mankind Research Unlimited connection until today -- but when I did, I found this description (

    [Founded in 1972], an obscure District of Columbia corporation called Mankind Research Unlimited (MRU) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Systems Consultants Inc. (SCI), operated a number of classified intelligence, government and Pentagon contracts, specializing in, amongst other things: "problem solving in the areas of intelligence, electronic warfare, sensor technology and applications."

    MRU's "capability and experience" is divided into four fields. These include "biophysics -- Biological Effects of Magnetic Fields," "Research in Magneto-fluid Dynamics," "Planetary Electro-Hydro-Dynamics" and "Geo-pathic Efforts on Living Organisms." The latter focuses on the induction of illness by altering the magnetic nature of the geography.

    Also under research were "Biocybernetics, Psychodynamic Experiments in Telepathy," "Errors in Human perception," "Biologically Generated Fields," "Metapsychiatry and the Ultraconscious Mind" (believed to refer to experiments in telepathic mind control), "Behavioural Neuropsychiatry," "Analysis and Measurement of Human Subjective States" and "Human Unconscious Behavioural Patterns."

    The piece is long and I haven't had a chance to read it all. It's written by A.J. Weberman -- the guy who was once famous for poking through Bob Dylan's garbage in search of clues -- and it takes the whole MK/ULTRA thing way too seriously. So on that level it's not believable, and I would simply dismiss it as an artifact of the Men Who Stare at Goats era -- except that what the hell is somebody as seemingly respectable as Possony doing with this bunch of crackpots?

    There is a strange and enigmatic nexus between gun extremism, right-wing politics, unofficial covert operations and dirty tricks, and belief in certain forms of high weirdness. And I would submit that all these things are inseparable -- that you can't split off the more rational beliefs and motivations and ignore the rest, any more than you can split off the "plausible" elements of sea serpents or bigfoot from the folklore aspects. It's a puzzle that has to be solved either as a whole or not at all.

  24. Chris, It may very well be that I was mistaken about the UFO subject. I will be the first to admit that it is not my area of expertise. But I hope you can extend the same courtesy to the large number of MK Ultra victims, of whose personal history you know very little.

    As for me going off topic, I was only responding to your repeated statements about "mind control nonsense", which characterize Manchurian Candidates as a "right wing fever dream", despite the published history of CIA consultant George Estabrooks, who openly stated "The key to creating an effective spy or assassin rests in splitting a man’s personality, or creating multipersonality, with the aid of hypnotism.... This is not science fiction. ...I have done it.". Believe it or not, there are huge numbers of MK Ultra and Monarch victims who want nothing to do with either fundamentalist Christianity or right wing politics. Most organizations which pursue the subject of cult ritual abuse in depth acknowledge that it is a phenomenon which is not confined to any particular religion. Your statement that SRA (aka ritual abuse) is a fundamentalist fantasy designed to obscure the history of Catholic sex abuse reveals how little you actually know about the organizations which are discussing it. The SMART ritual abuse page, for one, routinely publishes a newsletter that compiles news articles related to cult ritual abuse and child molestation taking place within the Catholic Church. Even Fritz Springmeier has stated that the Catholic Church carries out more Monarch programming than any other single organization.

    So, while I have no contention with the premise that mass shootings benefit the gun lobby, and that AJ is a shill for neoliberal policy-makers, I have to say that you are making a huge mistake by dismissing victims of trauma-based mind control as a propaganda invention of right wing extremism. Did you know there are yearly conferences for survivors of cult abuse, and that virtually none of those people are telling their story in a public context?
    Given that this information is by no means hard to find, I can't see the way you have trivialized these people's personal history as anything but callous disregard for human suffering. Make no mistake: I have no problem with your attacks on the overlap between conspiracy culture and right wing politics, and in fact feel this connection should be exposed. But when it comes to MK Ultra, you are coming dangerously close to covering up gross human rights violations, perpetrated by the same military-intelligence establishment you claim to be exposing.

  25. How dare you? You're way of line, Sierra. If I was trying to cover anything up I wouldn't let you ramble on in my comments sections.

    By the way, Fritz Springmeier is a Christian Fundamentalist, a convicted felon and a known conman and you cite him as an authority? Try again.

  26. Cory, mind control does exist. The constant drumbeat of irrational fear you see in the mainstream and alternative media is pure mind control. It changes people's behavior, beliefs and expectations every minute of every day. It breaks down their immune systems, it causes stresses that limit human possibility on an untold scale.

    Fear is the ultimate mind control- it's simple, cheap, addictive, and contagious.

    And everyone who runs around spreading irrational fears is a total and complete accomplice to the real MK program. Sometimes they even realize it.

  27. How dare I? The majority of people I know and interact with on a day-to-day basis have had their lives all but ruined by MK Ultra and related mind control programs. For this reason, it is very challenging for me to see people who have read a few books on the subject and are now promoting themselves as experts, whether said researchers are hysterical fundamentalists who want to twist data to fit their own agenda or debunkers like yourself who want to deny how truly damaging the program has been. I don't, however, believe you are aware that many of the posts here mentioning MK Ultra serve to protect perpetrators while sweeping the full extent of the situation under the rug. As for Springmeier, I disagree with much of his worldview but have found enough in his research that overlaps with my own personal history to know that much of what he wrote about was based in truth. To what extent, I don't know, but I have never claimed to be an expert with infallible knowledge on the subject.

  28. Enough. You've had your say. I'm tired of this conversation. The reality of MK Ultra and the idle, amateur speculation that pops up every time there's an event like this are two separate issues entirely.

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  30. Chris I agree with most every point you made- aside from speculating about Holmes being given the tools of his infamy by the gun industry- though it's a fair point, and a plausible scenario. Really I don't have any evidence- and you did make some good points I'd never heard before/put together in the statements and, historical stance of the industry.

    My thoughts are, the archetype of the "super-villain" generally is a singular, obsessive, operator- too paranoid (in reality vs. media) to accept accomplices, because logically, the only serendipitous benefactor or, helpful lackey is a governmental agent. "Super-villain's" alone, generally, can quickly accomplish minor feats, related to their obsession, with only dedication and intellect (which is the departure point from common villainy, and your everyday psychopath).

    I also agree- and this really needs more attention; the amount of unvetted, misdirected attention given to the construct of "super-soldiers" via mk-ultra is intolerable.

    No new- real research has been done to accept mk-ultra or any other program was pursuant, or successful to this end. Just a bunch of unsubstantiated hearsay accepted, without a shred of tangible proof! But that's the accepted state of research these days. People just take that hard-wrought data of yesterday and keep pulling the threads out from it. pridefully exhibiting us their frayed conclusions, that couldn't hold up even a hand-made web of lies.

    There’s something in our culture- this self-deluding mechanic, of rehashing time hardened materials into almost derogatory fluff. It’d be fine to point at it with new data, to incorporate. Though what’s happening is cheap, it’s too easy, and it’s wrong morally & factually. You don’t decide your new career goal is to become an investigator. Someone realizes your obsessive hobby & wealth of data is research, and labels you thus. But people are throwing money at these hacks. I only hope it’s just a wave of youngsters consuming the easily digestible stuff on their way to the harder facts.

  31. I think your assessment is off because you're trying to make it fall into alignment w/ a certain narrative that relies on logical fallacies and is based on predetermined ideas and biases. Demonization seems to take priority over providing critical analysis or making an argument backed by strong evidence.

  32. ^this type of shit, right here!

    It might be beneficial (with regards to relevant reply yield), to name whom your addressing with 18 of us in discussion. Also to address what issue taken relates to which item discussed.

    As well, if you do not understand someones stated point of opinion, poorly pointing out it's baseless argument, will not help you garner better understanding. It's not conducive to beginning a civil conversation, but only for resolving a debate.

    If you were replying to my comment, Being that mine was a stated opinion- a monolog, no dialog was taking place for debate to occur. Nor was there a distinction made to which of my three paragraphs and seven points, your two sentences might have been refuting, or why you might have come to those conclusion without asking me to clarify my statements, or give evidence- if you were indeed replying to me.

    Further, it was my assumption a comprehensive reader of "The Secret Sun" would follow the unextrapolated opinions, especially being that the comment was addressing Mr. Knowels, speaking to topics he has addressed there in:

    1.Lack of solid research and contributing factors
    2.the super-villain *archetype {a collective construct open to interpretation by definition*(as I did)}
    3.The problem-state of culture and it's aspects in media

    [edit: previous comment - double posted]

  33. While I feel this post was an interesting and useful thought experiment, many of the arguments are based on assumptions that reported details about the alleged shooter are true and that reactions of conspiracy theorists regarding the official story are knee-jerk rather than justified based on previous patterns. We must remember that the shooter (or shooters) wore a mask and so it's impossible for witnesses to positively identify the culprit. As tired as we may be of accusations of brainwashed patsies, with today's advances in neuroscience and neurochemistry, such a possibility is more likely than ever. There's also conflicting reports regarding who opened the theater exit door and whether Holmes lived with roommates. Before we get too caught up with questions about why Holmes did it we should first ask ourselves IF Holmes did it and whether he had partners or controllers. As for who benefits? There might be multiple parties that benefit with varying levels of involvement. And the type of benefit isn't always obvious or immediate.

  34. Not at all. I'm saying there's one interest group out there with the resources and the motivation to engineer chaos in order to achieve its objectives. Who the actual shooter is is irrelevant- what is relevant is that we saw a bunch of heavily armed Jokers running around before the gun vote and then they all vanished immediately after. And no one questions that at all. It's as if you're not even allowed to do so.