In terms of on-going circumstances that people get sucked into, the matter regarding WHO IS TO HAVE POWER OVER WHOM, AND FOR WHAT REASONS is tremendously important.
The contours of this ageless problem or situation are easily visible regarding power structures, hierarchy, societal arrangements and interpersonal relationships. Since those contours are visible, I would, in this book, handle the power syndrome more indirectly as most writers do.
However, the power syndrome became a very important factor not only regarding the history of remote viewing (as might have been anticipated), but regarding the remote viewing FACULTIES themselves.
As will be described in chapters distantly ahead, it WAS discovered that unless the omnipresent power syndrome is acknowledged and intimately dealt with regarding the faculties, then it can degrade, abort or distort them, or wipe them out altogether.
What this means at this point may be unintelligible. But before long you will have an increase of comprehension about it.
Thus the power syndrome is important from two perspectives. I've therefore decided not to evade or soften the issues, but, perhaps somewhat stridently, to tackle them head-on. This chapter is therefore a preface to aspects of the power syndrome which will be encountered ahead.
Nowhere is anyone free of those on-going power circumstances, albeit there is an enormous variety of them.
Power circumstances can be gross and very visible -- such as the power structures of the military.
But many are very subtle, even as to be identifiable -- such as in optimistic, sweetness-and-light sub-cultures or groups.
After the real story of the remote viewing faculties themselves, the next most important backbone of the story has to do with the ever-present power syndrome, especially as regards the Saga and the Soap Opera sectors of the real story.
Indeed, very many elements of the real story of remote viewing hinge on power circumstances -- and the power-seeking agendas of many individuals within it.
Unless the reader is made fully cognizant of the fact that POWER circumstances constitute several of the structural threads in the history of remote viewing, then the real story itself won't hang together very well.
Indeed, NO stories of human circumstances hang together unless scrutiny of the power syndrome is admitted into them -- the syndrome of who is to have power over whom, and for what reasons.
There are many power-less in the world, the vast majority of people. But among these is an extremely tiny population, so tiny that it has never been identified.
Psychical research and parapsychology themselves are of course tiny (powerless) social sub-groups within larger pictures of bigger social factors.
But within those social sub-groups there exists the tiny population of laboratory and experimental test subjects who are not only completely powerless but often are even kept completely anonymous when their existence needs to be mentioned. Subjects A, B & C, for example, or Mr. or Madame X, Y & Z.
There are, of course, power groups just about everywhere, and power groups within power groups within power groups.
Parapsychology was, and is, no exception. Indeed, nothing is an exception -- and certainly not the American intelligence community.
Cleve Backster has never been considered a parapsychologist by the parapsychological community, and so his work, quite excellent, was of no official interest to that community.
So my "entry into parapsychology" took place within the excellent auspices of Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler -- at that time one of the few notable pillars of that community.
The "entry," however, was as a test subject -- to be studied and later dispensed with. And meanwhile, as was thoughtlessly taken for granted by everyone, to willingly suffer all of the thoughtless indignities carelessly extended to test subjects thought of as experimental rats or guinea pigs.
I understood all of this quite well in advance. I didn't at all mind it because I believed that my stint in the laboratory was only a temporary phenomenon in my life. This belief was entirely typical of all those who had preceded me in parapsychology lab testing. Lab testing was considered a temporary thing for the subjects.
I didn't even mind the anonymous procedure. When Schmeidler asked me if I wanted to be mentioned by name in her report or identified as subject X, I replied that I'd leave that to her.
"Oh, well," she eventually said, "they're going to find out who you are anyway, so I might just as well identify you by name."
But suffering INDIGNITIES during my temporary tour of being a test subject was entirely a different matter. I never suffered any indignities within my relationship with Schmeidler, of course. But when "entered" slightly further into parapsychology, some of those soon appeared.
All of them were based in who was to have power and power over whom.
And unfortunately for all who were concerned and involved then and later, in the case of THIS test subject, all of them encountered a guinea pig who was not only "articulate" but well-grounded in his long-term study of power.
Who had power, and why, had fascinated me at least since my high-school years. I had collected and diligently read everything I could locate.
I had never planned to utilize my accumulated (and clearly only avocational) knowledge of power -- largely because I was of the opinion that having power over others was usually a disgusting affair and business. I am still of that opinion today -- an opinion based on even better evidence than I had back then in 1971.
It must be established within the relevant contexts of this book that if I had not been subjected to INDIGNITIES, then I fully believe that I would have quickly passed through parapsychology and returned to my life as an artist and a hopeful writer.
The experimental results would have quickly passed into parapsychological quasi-oblivion, into which most of parapsychology passes anyway. Our cultural mainstreams see to THAT in strategic ways, and parapsychologists have never figured out how to outwit those ways either strategically or tactically.
As it happened, not long into the year of 1972, many were saying that I was "making waves" in parapsychology. The "waves," however, did not particularly concern experimental results. They concerned my responses to test-subject indignities, power games, power agendas, and power stupidities.
And here was the subtle beginning of my transformation from an introverted, bookworming nerd into a lean, mean fighting machine within the battlefield of open-and-shut doors of perceptions.
You see, POWER, who's to have it and who's not to have it, is largely a matter of controlling doors of perceptions, doors inherent in the fabulous bio-mind of our species, doors which every specimen of our species DOES possess.
Power is a fundamental ingredient of the "human condition," so-called anyway. Various attempts have been made to study it, to dissect it, to pull its internal elements apart so that it could be better understood.
But in the end, it's surprising how little is really known about it. Various psychologists studied it during the last and the early parts of this present century -- Man as a Power Animal, for example.
The "social dynamics" of power have been noted and somewhat inquired into. We are somewhat familiar with the existence of power structures, the distribution of power, "dressing for power," "power ties (for males)," power competitions, power mongers, power dealers, "power games" and power "balances."
The list is very long of other power whatnots -- including self-help courses which teach one how to "visualize that one is powerful" with the expectation that the visualizing WILL increase one's power.
And, above all, it is broadly accepted that all human situations turn on power of some kind -- rather, turn upon who has power and who has not. We even know that power influences, that power corrupts, but that it takes power to get anything done.
Power, then, is a huge and very fundamental aspect of humans everywhere -- a MEGA-fundamental aspect. And via all of the above, it is thought that we know something of it.
In fact, though, we don't know very much about its intrinsic nature and "workings" -- and via such workings many sets of circumstances arise and suck people into them.
There is, I think, a central reason or explanation for this, one which few really want exposed too much.
It is this: No one wants others to have power.
And so there is a general and very broad silent consensus that the real elements of power should NOT BE OPENLY EXPOSED for general consumption -- since if they were then they would be accessible to just about everyone.
THEN where would everyone be!
No, no. Power is defined relative to those who do not have it. And so the existence of the powerless must be maintained in order for power to be defined.
Indeed, those who do manage to have power have probably won or seized it from someone else -- usually by trashing that someone else, whether subtly or overtly. Had I space herein to do so, I could quite easily demonstrate that this is the case even WITHIN power groups bonded together by communal power.
In any event, power is fundamental -- so fundamental that the lack of formal educational and academic courses regarding power is noticeable by their nearly complete ABSENCE.
There is very little in the way of educational tutoring about power and its constituents. Children, of course, are expected to grow up and take their functional place within some kind of power structure or system. But when they manage to find that "place," they are expected do so completely illiterate about power, power games, power structures, etc.
So meaningful is this topic to me that I'm planning a book regarding it and about power in general. Anyone interested?
By now the reader might be wondering why I've temporarily diverted into this topic and what it has to do with remote viewing and the other superpowers of the human bio-mind.
Well, the real unearthing of the superpowers, and their development for practical applications, would automatically change power systems, structures and edifices. And, as well, would shift the definition of power itself -- and the definition of who is to have power and who is not.
And as I'll again remind, when the intelligence community DID take an "unconventional and scandalous" interest in "potential powers of mind," it did so NOT because of any intrinsic meaning regarding it, but because of the WORRY (and even FRIGHT) that discovery and applied powers of the bio-mind by that OTHER world superpower would shift the balances of power in very irregular and unanticipated directions.
Indeed, the very phrase POWERS OF MIND is entirely redolent of potential disruptions of the various status quos of existing power systems, their balances and controls of them.
Meanwhile, back in the winter of 1971 -- and you can believe it or not -- I already had a good grasp of all of the above. In fact, Cleve Backster and I had mused it over, and such musing and implications were variously discussed within the contours of Buell and Zelda Centrals.
Here you must not make the mistake that those Centrals were composed only of Fringe types, of mainstream rejects. They were nothing of the kind, and Buell Mullen's circle especially radiated out to incorporate CEOs, embassy people of high standing, scientists, and politicians.
Zelda Central radiated out to incorporate media representatives constantly requesting interview for "fill-in" articles about nudism and/or the transexual activities of her employer, Mr. Reed Erickson, who was funding such research at Johns Hopkins University and medical research center.
I am very much of the opinion that about the only "waves" one can really make is to somehow impact on, or even tickle, the status quo of some kind of power structure. I also realized that anyone who even tickles such status quo is certainly to be targeted to receive a cow dump of you know what.
I had no desire at all to disrupt the parapsychology status quo, simply because I was quite certain that my "entry" into it would quickly be followed by my "exit."
Within its higher-minded contexts I honored parapsychology, as I still do. But there was no money to be made regarding being a test subject, and anyway most parapsychologists had to fight tooth and nail to get any funding at all.
When I was invited to act as a test subject at The American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR), I decided to accept for a month or two -- and then get back to the more serious business of my artistic and hopeful literary pursuits.
But it was at the ASPR that I encountered circumstances out of which arose my first indignities. These did not come from a hostile media or mainstream, or from skeptics -- but from certain parapsychologists who were in leadership positions and exceedingly good standing in parapsychology.
When the circumstances of the indignities began unfolding, it took me about ten seconds to realize that I had inadvertently become incorporated within the ageless on-going syndrome of who was to have power over whom, and for what reason -- this the very syndrome which introverted bookworms take extreme caution to avoid altogether.
And, again believe it or not, it was those indignities and my responses to them which THEMSELVES brought into existence an entirely new set of circumstances -- into which I ultimately AGREED to get sucked.
For one thing, I'm quite certain that I would not have agreed to fly to California and meet with Dr. H. E. Puthoff -- for reasons made clear ahead.
In that case, remote viewing would have remained the "blip" it was within the precincts of The American Society for Psychical Research. There it would have been passed over, forgotten and retired into the dusty oblivion where much psychical research and parapsychology ends up.