12 votes

Found: Page 25 of the CIA’s Gateway Report on Astral Projection

4 comments

  1. [2]
    PapaNachos
    Link
    In general, I don't really mind what people believe with respect to spirituality, religion and the super-natural in general, so long as they don't try to codify it into law, use it as a...

    In general, I don't really mind what people believe with respect to spirituality, religion and the super-natural in general, so long as they don't try to codify it into law, use it as a justification for oppression or claim it has the same legitimacy as science.

    This particular article makes a lot of claims couched in pseudoscientific language. Without going into why a lot of the claims they're making are, scientifically speaking, unjustified. It would be relatively easy to test whether or not astral projection is a real, verifiable, phenomenon.

    Find someone who claims they're capable of astral projection, preferably someone who many folks who believe in astral projection would recognize as an expert. Let them astral project through whatever method or methods they prefer. Draw a picture or write some password or in some way record some hidden information that they would not be able to see unless they were capable of astraly perceiving it. When they're done astral projecting, ask them what it is.

    If they can repeatedly and accurately retrieve hidden information under experimental conditions, then there is reason to believe that their claims have weight. If not, it seems more likely they're just hallucinating, which is a known phenomenon. And consult with some stage magicians because there are ways to surreptitiously gather information that don't rely on super natural abilities.

    Again I don't want to be disrespectful towards anyone's beliefs, but I do want to address the claims in the article. If you believe in astral projection, that's not really my business. But this article in particular is making claims that this phenomenon is scientifically studyable. And if so, those claims should be able to hold up to scrutiny.

    15 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I don't have any particularly strong views on this. I just thought the article was interesting because I enjoy the whole conspiracy theory aspect. Particularly the idea that page 25 may have been...

      I don't have any particularly strong views on this. I just thought the article was interesting because I enjoy the whole conspiracy theory aspect. Particularly the idea that page 25 may have been intentionally excluded so that those who can do astral projection could read the report themselves to prove the topic true is hilarious.

      I may have missed it, but I thought the article overall just summarized what Lieutenant Colonel Wayne M. McDonnell detailed in the report, which claimed that projection was something that could be empirically studied, as well as what various religious scholars and "psychics" thought. I did not necessarily think that the author was taking a view endorsing these beliefs.

      6 votes
  2. [2]
    jcdl
    Link
    This whole thing is... a lot to take in. Does anyone know of any podcasts or documentaries on the subject to get my feet wet?

    This whole thing is... a lot to take in. Does anyone know of any podcasts or documentaries on the subject to get my feet wet?

    4 votes
    1. Gatonegro
      Link Parent
      The whole astral projection/remote viewing stuff was really popular in conspiracy circles in the 90s and, as you'd probably expect after reading that sentence, it was full of con artists and...

      The whole astral projection/remote viewing stuff was really popular in conspiracy circles in the 90s and, as you'd probably expect after reading that sentence, it was full of con artists and kooks. People like Ed Dames, a US Army Major turned remote viewing consultant and peddler of books, seminars, and training videos, used the fact that government research into the subject did in fact happen, to give some sort of legitimacy to an entirely new branch of pseudoscience, and make a good chunk of money in the process.

      These self-proclaimed remote viewers like Ed Dames provided support for all sorts of whacky theories: they could "see" alien civilisations on Mars, knew that shadow beigns were in fact manifestations of remote viewers from other dimensions, and made predictions about world-altering (even -ending) cataclysms that would happen in the near future. Of course, they also had a speech reminding you that "remote viewing" wasn't an exact science, so a failed prediction didn't really mean anything. Maybe the remote viewer misinterpreted the vision, or maybe they were just viewing the wrong thing. The solution for this? Have more remote viewers focused on trying to see that specific target, so you could filter out the inaccurate predictions.

      The truth is that the US government in general, and the CIA in particular, did (do?) at least some amount of research into all sorts of bizarre areas. Mind control, astral projection, memory manipulation, basically nothing is too whacky. Why? If I had to guess, I'd say it's because were interested in quite literally anything that might provide some benefit to them, particularly back in the days of the Cold War. It might sound insane at face value, but what if remote viewing actually works and it lets you spy on the Soviets from a CIA basement? What if pumping folks full of synthetic drugs actually helps turn them into enhanced soldiers? There are lots of once-secret government projects ranging from the patently absurd to the downright sadistic. Most of them were dead ends. But, when the taxpayer is footing the bill, you can just shut those projects down and move onto the next weird idea.

      9 votes