Journal Club – Puthoff’s 1996 Account of the CIA’s RV Program

Instructor: Rainsong
Date: March 17, 2018 (Saturday)

Rainsong – Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to this evening’s seminar here at the social club. We’ll be discussing an academic paper.

CIA-Initiated Remote Viewing Program at Stanford Research Institute. Hal Puthoff. 1996.

On the one hand, it’s largely historical and commentary, rather than the usual sort of scientific-journal paper. On the other hand, that also makes for an easier read, so maybe it won’t turn out to be a totally bad choice for our first attempt at this kind of seminar in… lots of years. I chose it because it wasn’t behind a paywall, which my first choice was. And – to be honest – I read it for the first time today. It was in my queue of “background resources” for a book I’m working on.

Does anyone have any questions or comments before we get started?

Flux – Not me.

Silkysky – I’m good.

Rainsong – Alrighty. I’m going to start with a couple of questions, then. (But it isn’t a pop-quiz, don’t worry.)

1) Silky’s read some of the CIA documents. Have any of you read academic journal articles on this (or indeed any) subject before? Or was this your first?

Flux – I have. I’ve only read like two of the CIA ones though. And that’s including this one. And this isn’t explicitly theirs, so. ..

Hoshiniko – I haven’t

Rainsong – Fair enough. The reason for the question is to determine how much “hand-holding” might be needed in “facilitating” the discussion. They do this kind of thing every week at the medical school, as a required part of the coursework, but I’m not a tutor there. I’m a little out of my usual element in this, but I feel it’s important for folks to at least be aware that there is academic work being done in this field.

Hoshiniko: No problem.

Anyone else?

Popping in the link and citation for today’s paper, for reference in the logs: Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 63-76, 1996. Note You’ll need to click on the “Download Full Text PDF” button in the upper right corner of the page

2) Did you find it difficult to follow or understand? It’s understood that English is a second (or third… or fourth…) language for several people in the community, and academic work can be a little hard to follow the first few times.

Silkysky – It was simple enough.

Flux – I don’t recall it being difficult to follow. It was pretty straightforward.

Rainsong – Cool. This time, I’m going to go over some things that are a bit more basic than entirely needed…mostly for the benefit of folks reading the logs later. (People do actually read the logs…) Academic papers don’t use click-bait titles, typically – or the journal’s editor will either reject it out of hand or send it back for revision. The title generally gives you a pretty good idea of what the paper will be about. Often in considerable detail. Closely allied to the title is the “Abstract”. This is a summary of the article. It should tell you not only what the topic is, but basics of the method used and what the results were, if there was actual experimentation involved. In this case, it’s just a really short version of the history being relayed in the paper. It’s easy to find the abstract, because it is helpfully labeled as “Abstract”. It’s always publically available, if a journal is online at all.

Questions so far about this introductory “journal article” part?

Flux – Not from me.

Silkysky – I’m good so far.

Rainsong – So now we dive into the meat of it. Dr. Puthoff’s article was written the year after the declassification of the RV program. (cough cough Yep, of course we believe it was discontinued…)

Flux – You don’t?

Silkysky – Probably onto shall we say more wet work type use of psionics.

Flux – I was informed by some people that had connections to a few of the RV’ers and researchers that it’s pretty much not happening.

Rainsong – Star Gate, under its specific sponsor? Sure. RV as a whole, in intelligence use in the States? Uh, no.

Flux – Ah. So contract work?

Rainsong – Likely so. Disclaimer: I’m not American, and I don’t work for any of the American agencies or military branches.

Silkysky – Or focus on other uses. I recall reading a bit on some reference in using PK to sabotage electronics and equipment or people. I personally feel they might be more devoted to that for the moment.

Rainsong – *nods* Although it would be stupid for them to abandon a means of gathering intelligence that is relatively cheap and which poses little risk to their “assets”

Turbo – Until the next wave of declassifications, I’d like to assume new programs are alive and well

Flux – Our gov, I’m a US American, isn’t always known for being smart.

Silkysky – Yeah but government doesn’t have the best track record for being smart and if they feel they have it advanced sufficiently they might want more applied uses for now. Wouldn’t rule out telepathic manipulation either.

Turbo – The administration isn’t always, but the intelligence communities are

Flux – I can imagine a world where politics kills viable programs. But this is speculation on my part.

Rainsong – Politics has killed viable programs and has undermined programs the government supports, true enough.

Silkysky – Could always remote view them back.

Rainsong – Heh In any case, this paper was written when the program was only recently “officially admitted to the public.” And you may have noticed Dr. Puthoff’s comment on page 74 about the concept being deemed unscientific nonsense and/or demonic causing problems.

In your opinions, what were the most interesting bits or the most surprising bits in this paper?

Flux – I liked reading about how their initial assumptions about the limitations changed. Like how they initially used people at the sites to RV.

Turbo – It’s always amazed me. Here we are, we have proof that the gov believed it. Researched it. Did work. And yet.. it’s not in the public eye. Nobody talks about it. Nobody questions.

Rainsong – Outbounding is fun… Not as useful for intelligence work. (Still does have a use, however)

Flux – I’m also always fascinated with how big Ingo is in the RV community, but I rarely hear his name otherwise.

Rainsong – Mr. Swann was a brilliant man. Talented in several areas. And, he was good at snark.

Silkysky – Well they readily had a few good subjects capable of it and given what I have read elsewhere (will have to check dates) they would have already known those limitations weren’t as much a factor or even time so much. Seems they kept quite a few of their own stuff hidden away. The cia that is.

Flux – I was under the impression that they didn’t think they could just associate something with a target like a random set of numbers.

Rainsong – Turbo: Yep… I think it’s because of superstition and fear, personally

Silkysky – I might have the dates of things mixed up honestly with other research.

Flux – Agree with the superstition and fear. I also think it has a lot to do with not wanting to look silly.

Rainsong – Early on, they were working out some details by a combination of trial and error, and “Uh, well, when I’ve done this, it seemed to….” from Mr. Swann et alia

In this paper – and I’d been aware of it from other historical accounts – I was amused by how Mr. Swann went ahead and described the apparatus they asked him to affect, after affecting it… a task they expected to be impossible in itself.

Flux – That was pretty amusing.

Rainsong – The ring of Jupiter was also good.

Flux – Oh yeah!

Rainsong – “Uhhh, Perhaps I missed, and saw Saturn?”

Silkysky – Yeah. I think affecting it helps know to describe it because you see it but also feel it when you reach out.

Rainsong – waggles hand in a yes-and-no gesture It seems to vary from one person to another.

Silkysky – I tend to be very tactile when I reach out towards things myself.

Rainsong – For example, I get detailed mental images of what I’m working on, but at least half the time, these “working models” are not what the item actually looks like. It just provides a “user interface”

And, of course, I’m not Mr. Swann.

In other news, I’m sure most of you are aware of the CIA’s directory of online documents that they’ve declassified. It’s simpler for them than printing stuff and sending it on request. Quite a lot of the documentation of the time this article covers is now available on that directory to anyone who wants it. Do not, however, expect the file names to be particularly useful…

Turbo – The file names aren’t – but the content is

Rainsong – There’s all sorts of fun stuff to wade through: Briefing notes, hand-written notes from meetings, records of training runs….

Silkysky – You have to be psychic to read some of the handwritten notes.

Rainsong – Yeah, there’s a reason that most of the important stuff is typed up in a “good” copy.

Silkysky – some of them are really hard to read. Might just be me though. I have trouble with cursive.

Rainsong – Filed away somewhere, there are hand-written hen-scratches decorated at irregular intervals with little sketches of ducks (when there were pauses in the day-and-a-half-long meetings)…. I’ve worked for the government in the past..

Decyphering poor penmanship is a skill in its own right. In fact, deciphering excellent penmanship is a separate skill in some places (Japanese calligraphy, for example).

Silkysky – Most I have seen are basically scanned copies of the typed documents complete with random handwritten excerpts or notes on the edges. The one on mars was interesting. I wouldn’t mind trying to recreate that experiment at some point. See if it was high class government trolling or authentic.

Rainsong – There’s a certain amount of international trolling in the intelligence world.

Silkysky – At the same time though I wouldn’t doubt what they saw in that instance being authentic either. Crazy stuff does pop up now and then. Partly why I want to recreate some of them.

Rainsong – I didn’t say that one was trolling… There’s all manner of “interesting” stuff out there.

Turbo – Is there any that most stands out in your mind?

Rainsong – Trollage?

Silkysky – Yeah. It gets trippy when you start just projecting yourself out to random planets. The most interesting for me is the work they stole from the USSR and the complete absence of certain other works. At least as far as I’ve seen.

Turbo – Papers

Rainsong – There’s one – I’ll need to track it down – in the CIA papers which is a translation of some Western European stuff, in which the French researchers had expressed annoyance that the Americans dismiss any results deemed “too good” out of hand. Makes collaborations difficult

Turbo – Hah

Flux – That’s cute.

Silkysky – That is an annoying tendency to dismiss something without trying it.

Flux – I think it’s also just overactive skepticism. But to be fair, outlier are often written off in other fields.

Desolus – It’s not skepticism unless you are skeptical of your skepticism

Silkysky – Probably a good thing honestly with how the government may treat certain people in certain outliers.

Rainsong – The phrasing in the document implied that it wasn’t just what the Europeans encountered as outliers.

Flux – Ah, so the overall results were better. Maybe a pride thing? No clue. I’m speculating without having even read the article in question.

Rainsong – The documents in which the American spooks “round up” whatever data they can find – verified or otherwise – from the Warsaw Pact are quite interesting, too. Obviously, keep in mind that the reports are unverified and incomplete. Still interesting, though.

I think this is one of the “annoyed Frenchman” ones, here: (not the same one I was thinking of, but same topic)

I think we can safely say that this seminar topic has stimulated some healthy discussion. Are folks up for trying it again sometime?

Flux – I am. I thought this was fun.

Silkysky – sure.

Turbo – Definitely

Rainsong – Excellent. Thanks for participating, everyone.

Turbo – Thanks Rain

Silkysky – Yep.

Rainsong – Mwahahahaha. What looks like a handwritten summary of a translation of a Chinese report:

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