Night Force, Part Two: Mind as Weapon (or not)


"And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, 
with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name." 

I saw Killing Joke in 1989. To give you a sense of how long ago this was, The Red Hot Chili Peppers opened up for them, the Peppers' first tour with their "classic" Blood Sugar Sex Magic lineup. It was an outdoor event, held in a soccer practice field at Rutgers University.

 The Peppers were received politely but hadn't really built up a repertoire of memorable songs at that point (the cover of Hendrix's "Fire" got the biggest response). Setting the scene, Killing Joke had merch and posters all over the place, all sporting their signature surrealist/brutalist occult imagery

The field was at the bottom of a hill, and a long and winding driveway. The sun was going down as the Jokers took to the stage. They were accompanied by an escort of students carrying torches. The band were all dressed in black leather and Jaz Coleman was smothered in black warpaint. The PA system blared some hellish sounding pipe music.



 It was phenomenally irresponsible. You had a large crowd packed into a small space and Killing Joke were tapping into very dark streams of the collective unconscious. Their march to the stage seemed to take forever and you could feel the crowd slowly but surely devolve into a mob. People were shifting, restless, wary. This was straight out of Munich.

I don't know what force intervened but the fuse was cut when the band took the stage and the sound was an inaudible hash. The band seemed to be giving it their all but all you hear was a tinny, undifferentiated din. 

And it's a bloody good thing too. Because had the full power of that band blasted into the night after that pre-show display there's no telling what could have happened. I had seen them a few years before in Boston and the violence in the pit was downright atavistic.

Pretty much a typical Killing Joke concert in the early 80s

That was at the same venue I remember seeing The Misfits. I remember talking with Glenn Danzig before the show, who was then a scrawny comics geek. He was a big Night Force fan too, as well as a big fan (obviously) of Tomb of Dracula. 

Night Force of course being a cautionary tale about unleashing the forces that Killing Joke were toying with that night...

There's been a lot of theorizing and research done on the intelligence agencies and their involvement in the counterculture(s), a lot of it interesting, a lot of it not. One of the mistakes made in researching this nexus is misunderstanding what the black magicians of projects like MK Ultra were really after. 

Assuming they were after simple mind control, whose techniques have long been known and practiced, is the first mistake. Television, religion and the public school system were and are already highly effective mind control techniques. Cults had been incubators for mind control techniques for a very long time, highly effective ones at that.

I think what they were really after - and could never tell their paymasters in Congress- were ways of weaponizing the subtle powers of the mind. It's exactly why the government sent the skeptic groups (all of whom were reliant on government income in one way or another) to put the lid back on when people like Andrija Puharich wandered off the reservation and started telling the public what they were in fact after.

I think this kind of "mind control"-- suppressing the potentials of the mind to step outside of the linear boundaries of time and space-- is the unspoken driving force behind so much of our history and politics. 



Both the Left and Right, both religious and secular authorities, are united in the their fear and loathing of the potential of the human mind to escape the limits set out for it by thousands of years of law and taboo. The only way it can be allowed to be studied if that study will lead to some kind of weapons technology.

Night Force has the Russians far advanced in psi research, which a Russian general told Jacques Vallee was because the Russians "had never burned their witches," a statement which Vallee found quite shocking. One can only wonder if Putin is still looking into any of this or whether the generals have long ago given up on any of it ever giving rise to weapons technology.

BLACK MAGIC ON THE PAYROLL

I think the first Conan film (written by the great Hollywood iconoclast John Milius) was, like Night Force, an allegory of bizarre goings-on in the Intelligence world in the 50s and 60s. The contexts are obviously different but you see the same critique that there may have been more at work in some corners of the 60s counterculture than some are prepared to admit. 

For instance, Owsley Stanley was horrified by Ken Kesey's "acid tests", calling them out -- accurately, in this writer's opinion-- as exercises in black magic. Whether this was intentional or Kesey was such a brain-fried basketcase that he stumbled on the formula is anyone's case. The evidence is inconclusive.

Certainly many of the original movers and shakers of the hippie scene- the actual counterculture, not the counterfeit counterculture that arose in the late 60s-- saw which way the winds were blowing and tried to kill of the Hippie meme during the "Summer of Love" with the notorious "Death of Hippie" action, just as the major media was turning its focus on Haight-Asbury.



It didn't work. The free-wheeling, untamed, self-sufficient hippie would be replaced with a tamed, leashed counterfeit, one all wrapped up in the Globalist agenda. The same process would repeat itself with every counterculture that arose in reaction. A few weirdos coalesce and create a movement which is almost instantly coopted by the money men and replaced with a toothless imposter. Which seems to be all that's left now.

But the original freaks couldn't compete with the power of the networks and other media giants who would summon tens of thousands of fucked up kids to California in search of hippie Nirvana, only to find predators, STDs and shitty homemade drugs.

There was a two headed hydra at work. Unleashing chaos in the streets- the feeling of being of being invaded by an alien force- roused the "Silent Majority" from its self-satisfied idealist idyll and put Richard Nixon in the White House, smack dab in the middle of the Aquarian Age.*

But there also were experiments being done through the Stanford Research Institute and other venues, seeking to harness this youthful energy and see how weird it could get. And trying to determine whether that weirdness could be weaponized, as we saw in Night Force.

We probably shouldn't be surprised that the forces of darkness soon stomped all over the flower beds of the Aquarian starchildren. Anton LaVey unleashed the satanic virus while his lieutentant Michael Aquino measured its effects for the US Army's mindfucker units.



What the counterculture conspiracy theorists don't tell you is the rest of the story, how the entire Aquarian project was steered into rounding up all the sheep for the CIA's Jesus People program, which was backed by the Hearst and Luce empires. 

We're stuck in a 70s loop so the flower children stuff still seems resonant but the actual, documented fact is that the psychedelic era was extremely short-lived as a mass movement and was arguably simply a feeder project for the Jesus Freak movement, which in turn fed into the Religious Right in very short order. I remember all of this happening when I was a kid.

People who were actually on the street in SF and LA will tell you how quickly acid and pot gave way to STP, angel dust and bathtub speed, creating an army of instant drug casualties ripe for exploitation. And anyone who was alive in the 70s will remember how widespread the Evangelical revival was and how it came with the testimony of the recovered drug casualty. How strange that part of the story seems to have been expunged from the conspiracy lexicon.

Jacques Vallee's diaries of the early 70s paint Church of Satan guru Anton LaVey as a somewhat deflated, defeated figure. Did he realize that he was puffed up simply to play the scapegoat in a large-scale Mystery Play, one that led- as Vallee also documents- to armies of Evangelicals combing the streets of Los Angeles gathering up hippies for the new Great Awakening?

This isn't meant to bash Evangelicals, simply to point out that none of us are immune to the forces of history. But it does grate on my nerves how this history seems to have been expunged from the conspiracy lexicon, for entirely ideological reasons.

ANOMALY

In the age of Beardy and Baldy (Alan Moore and Grant Morrison for the uninitated), all this kind of madness is standard fare for comics. But Night Force came out in 1982, when the average comic reader was 15 years old and most comics were still sold on the newsstand. It was only Marv Wolfman's clout as the writer/editor of DC's top selling title that allowed him to dig into such esoteric topics, and even then it only lasted 14 issues. 

He got even more esoteric, and delved into even thornier political topics. It seems remarkable in hindsight, but goes to show how accommodating the Kahn/Giordano regime were to valued creators.

Besides being a great comic and a great artifact of its time (it's best read not in reprint form but in its original presentation, so you can appreciate the wild contradiction of occult subject matter and toy and candy advertisements- plus, the coloring in the reprints is atrocious) Night Force also feels like a kind of prophecy of our times. It was too far ahead of its time, too challenging for a still-young audience- though Wolfman notes that it sold well on the newsstand (almost certainly outselling anything on the stands today). 


Keeping us trapped in our reptilian brain- the "fight or flight" fear-response part of our minds- is a highly effective way of blinding us to the perhaps the greatest secret of all- that consciousness is not bound by the strictures of time and space and causality.

I don't believe that's true- I know it for a fact.† It's something I experience on a regular basis. Of course, if that knowledge can't be weaponized it's not much use to the powers that be. And as far as I can tell, these subtle forces have thus far been immune to exploitation, no matter what kind of nonsense you might have read in our alleged scientific press.




* Can you think of somewhere else where this process may be in the process of repeating itself? Especially anyone familiar with the actual agenda behind the European project (or European history for that matter)?

† Last night I was doing my meditations and just letting go and following the music when suddenly I was in a hotel room, walking towards a sliding glass door and looking down at a busy city street.It only lasted a couple seconds but it was as real as sitting here typing. It was a room I'd never seen before. I had a few other flashes, less dramatic but still pretty intense. I wasn't thinking about anything to bring that image into my mind - it burst into my mind like like a bomb going off. It took a while to get my pulse and blood pressure back down. This is nothing to experienced astral travelers, I'm sure, but pretty mind-boggling when you're not even trying...

NOTE: A short storyline draws on The Outer Limits; it has an apartment complex whose residents are kept prisoner by a Lovecraftian creature who provides for their needs but won't let them leave. One by one they go insane. Baron Winters sends a sociopathic career criminal to the building to deal with the monster.  For some reason it feels like someone in the X-Files writers' room read that story…

20 comments:

  1. "consciousness is not bound by the strictures of time and space and causality."

    Vedanta expounded this anciently. Here is a fun site for those interested ....

    http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com/2015/09/sanatana-dharma-hinduism-exhumed-and.html

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    1. 454.Jñānam-uttamam: That consciousness which is superior to all, birthless, unlimited by time and space and the cause of all achievements.

      http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/vishnu/vishnu_3.html

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  2. "reprints"? Collected editions were never actually published by DC in the US. Is there a reprinted edition out there somewhere?

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    1. Just this and the digital version. The colors are really assaultive. http://www.comicvine.com/dc-comics-presents-night-force/4050-44621/

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  3. Chris, Once again, your post grabs me on so many levels--the synchronicity with my interests, notwithstanding. I've been a longtime KJ fan and have been fortunate enough to see them multiple times, the hightlight being my first show, after trudging through the snowy Viennese streets, hitchhiking to the show and seeing them in a crowded venue during the "Dirt, Extremities..." tour. It was a life-changer. I was an exchange student, travelling around Austria visiting various landmarks and churches, chock full of occult-ish symbols which were magickally also appearing in the book i was reading at the time, "Illuminatus Trilogy" by RAW.

    Flash forward to the present, where I am ensconced in Morrison's, Invisibles as I type this, which seems to follow similar subject matter as Night Force (which I will now have to find!) The only reason I am so obsessed with comics is because of your posts about Kirby, who I started seeking out after finding your blog.

    Not to mention Vallee, Lovecraft, etc. etc. who i also started to delve into further after reading your stuff.

    In any case, thank you, for all of it!

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  4. Well here's a sync for you- I was just this minute writing about The Invisibles to a friend- the Outer Limits episode rather than the comic. But I was just now thinking about Morrison was most definitely influenced by that show- it's all over that series.

    I actually won tickets to see KJ on that tour but lost my car keys- I later found them in some bag of clothes. It was the strangest thing- I can't explain it. Some force intervened to keep me home that night. Shame too- they were scorching that tour.

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  5. Hey Chris! Been following your blog for quite awhile now and ever since you introduced me to KJ (Hosannahs from the Basement of Hell) I can't get enough. On another note synchronicity is one of the most mind blowing things to happen and when it does... well it goes deep as I'm sure you know. I can only speculate that whatever causes the matrix to glitch not only has a sense of humor as RAW would have us believe, but also a duty to initiate us to whatever our destiny is. Perhaps the dreamscape is a truer reality than our own? Who is to say?

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    1. Why unknown? Identity glitch? The synchromystic way is to let it all hang out. We learn from each other. The more we synch, the more we learn from each other. The Gnostic is all about knowing. The dreamscape for me is always with friends and much adventure. I have no fear telling other synchromystics my dreamtime. Initiation. Shineforth brave souls! Respectfully, 87.

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    2. Oh man. Well my name's Kyle and I'm 25 and I was going to include both those things and my own personal experiences with synchronicity in my post above your's Dennis, but I chickened out before hitting send. Funny you should comment on this in such a manner.

      I grew really interested in all sorts of mysticism in my teens and when I hit 17 an older friend of my brother gave me Cosmic Trigger completely out of the blue. It was my first taste of his writing. It was completely... mind blowing to reuse the phrase and it hardly stops there. My dream time borders on personal prophecy at times and relating it makes me feel dishonest somehow even though I know it's my own truth. Sort of the like I am attention seeking when I talk about my own amazement.

      I too have had adventures in dreamtime with friends. I've also waken up crying my eyes out from some sort of infinite sadness I encounter regularly in my dreams. I once in a dream had my buddy since childhood point a gun to my head and pull the trigger at my own bidding and I experienced a strange thing where my entire vision went white and I felt a bliss before waking up. I've been different genders/people/and even species in my dreams. I've also found deep and profound joy in dreams that was accompanied by foreign musicians and verses. It's unhinging. It's sometimes too much.

      I had a strange dream where two scholarly looking men with grey beards appeared before me and told me in unison that the number 211 was the number of Jesus.

      I had Aleister Crowley behind a desk gesture meaningfully at some paper that either had some chemical compounds structure on it or some mystic tree of life type deal. I couldn't decide which.

      I had the wall of my room completely light up with words, words, words all in different boxes and when I would read them they would all switch and swirl and the sentence would be some type of gibberish. Another dream.

      I've had weirder and weirder and weirder dreams. I think it may have to do with my depressive disorder which I refuse to take prozac for.

      I feel like it's an act of defiance now to relate these things and to experience them. We are told that it's just our imagination, our wet-ware, a by-product of evolution. But it's so much more.

      "Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." -Zhuangzi

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    3. This is awesome testimony, Kyle. Thank you for opening up like this.

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  6. would the monks out in burma and whats happening over there be connected to all this? how its not about what power you have but how much the enemy thinks you have. are all of the nuclear superpowers trying to start an arms race or already in one and the modern world is a direct result? i know the cold war research got big again after the towers but in what direction i dont pretend to know

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    1. I can't rightly saw off hand other than there always things bubbling beneath the surface that link the present and the past. It's a stream not a production line, if that makes sense.

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  7. Guys, new X-Files trailer is up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1SmJUBT5q0

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  8. You're a brave man, Chris, and you speak the truth.

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  9. I'll back Raj up on that- a great two part blog. It's a delicate balance dealing with PSI. Natural vs Unnatural- I think our scientists and mediums realized this. When the government started the real funding is when things got bizarre and a lot of this occult stuff started swirling around. It turned up in a lot of media. I think a lot of guardian angels were working overtime during this period- protecting our souls to an extent. "Life is stranger than fiction" as the quote goes.

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  10. When my uncle was a younger man. He had paranormal books on the Bermuda Triangle and UFO 's from the 1970's. When you read towards the end of those books. A Christian priest would use the paranormal events and bible passages to warn the reader about the Anti-Christ.

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  11. I think I still have the issue where the criminal "helps" vs. the Lovecraftian Thing-that-Should-Not-Be. It's really quite shocking,dark, violent, and full of despair, certainly the darkest comic book I ever bought from a spin rack. I was more into War & SF comics then, so I didn't buy anymore of 'Night Force'.

    But I can still recall a few panels of Gene Colon's moody art from it. Maybe I should track down the back issues, my tastes have changed sine 1982. XD

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    1. That's a heavy storyline. It reminds me of the X-Files episode 'Anasazi' for obvious reasons. Chris Carter denies being a comics fan but I don't know if I believe that.

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    2. Yeah, it seems a pretty obvious inspiration, kind of like how obviously 'New Gods' influenced Lucas on Star Wars. Marv Wolfman worked in TV too, didn't he?

      I wonder if Carter and Wolfman ever met?

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