Thanksgiving Lite vs. True Gratitude

Like just about every other thoughtful person, I’m a little queasy when I hear all the Christian-lite bromides at this time of year. “Thank you for our health.” So the ailing are hated of God? “Thank you for our family.” Pagans have families, too; so do murdering drug-cartel kingpins. “Thank you for peace.” Well, sort of… only don’t go for an evening walk without a concealed weapon unless you live in an exclusive gated community; and if it’s peace in the world to which you refer, I guess you mean, “Thank you for not making me Mexican, so that I don’t inhabit a nation that produced 21,000 murders last year and 30,000 surviving casualties.”

That’s a little Pharisaical, don’t you think? “Thank you for not making me like that filthy publican at the altar.”

And then we have the unnerving fact that what we fear and loathe most is often what we most need. We don’t know what to be thankful for. Maybe our raise is just going to plunge us into a more materialistic lifestyle. Maybe being bumped to part-time will make us become more creative and independent. Should we be thankful that we can afford to view more trashy Hollywood movies and stuff ourselves on more sweets and fats… or should we be thankful that we’re now having to read books for amusement and grow potatoes and beans in the back yard? How we hate being forced into virtue! When that doesn’t happen, we’re so damn thankful!

I have enough of the old pagan in me that I’m almost afraid to be thankful for anything, lest I make a target out of myself. “Thanks for our prosperous investments… oh, my God! Did you see how much the Dow just plunged?” There’s an Irish saying that runs, Mol an là um trathnóna—“Praise the day as the sun goes down.” It’s the same sentiment that we find at the end of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and ascribed to Solon by Herodotus: “Let no man be called blessed before he is safely dead and secure from the world’s shocks.”

In my more Christian moments, however—truly Christian—I know that I must die to this world some day, and I am grateful for the little clues that alert me to a “winding down”. I am grateful that I can see a way to start tying loose ends together—to leave some sort of legacy that will warn others against living just for the here and now. And, yes, I’m grateful for something to put on the table. “Let each day’s worries be sufficient unto itself.” I am grateful that we get by, that the sun and the rain fall on good and evil alike, and that the means of survival are always within reach of the humble and hard-working. I want to learn more about those means in my final years, and I want to do more about passing them along. Simply feeling the days lengthen and then shorten, simply studying how the earth grows food and then gives it up to those who know her secrets, is a vitally important part of understanding bountifulness and feeling gratitude for it.

I am not grateful to this culture we have created which has carried us so far away from such understanding and such gratitude.



The Dark Elite (Part Five)

So who are the Dark Elite, now that we’ve considered who they are not? Let us review.

1) They are likely to appear in the intersection of several rings of influence and power. A politician with strong ties to the defense or energy-production industry, a career intelligence officer with an academic background and a family fortune, and investment mogul who also owns several radio stations and production studios… such characters are not necessarily prime suspects, but they deserve to make the “suspect” list.

2) They should possess some significant awareness of and involvement in advanced technology. They needn’t be Bill Gates or Werner von Braun… but they should be on intimate terms with people of that caliber. A mere billionaire subversive without any plan for society’s technical overhaul isn’t much of a threat these days.

3) They are discreet: they keep a low profile. A demagogic firebrand or charismatic exhibitionist might well be useful to them, but would never be admitted to their inner circle. This criterion alone eliminates several public figures who have obviously been seduced by applause, adoration, and the vision of a mighty throne.

To these three criteria might be added a commitment to the enterprise which turns it into a virtual family affair. Perhaps there is something of the hostage-taking motive involved; that is, perhaps those figures are most trusted whose wives and children will tumble down catastrophically in the event of betrayal. I have heard it said by an insider that politicians, tout court, are not trusted because they “come and go”. Membership in the Dark Elite lasts for a lifetime, and preferably for several generations. It isn’t an ideology so much as an ethos, apparently.

Dick Cheney’s name often surfaces in discussions. A political gamesman of savvy demeanor and great poise who contentedly played second fiddle for eight years to a president very much his intellectual inferior, Cheney also had strong ties to Big Oil; and, for good measure, his wife was a career federal bureaucrat and his daughter a wannabe politico. I always found the Cheneys to have good manners, and even charm… which was sufficient to make me nervous. Yet the Vice President’s accusers (who have charged him with everything up to and including the murder of 3,000 Americans on 9/11) could never hang a better motive around his neck than that he wanted to sell more oil. Members of the Dark Elite would not be so retrograde and paltry: they have plans to save the world from itself, not to multiply their dividend income. If I were to find that Cheney had some sort of connection with transformative technology, I might consider boarding the “conspiracy” ship. As things stand, I am incredulous. I think my fellow birddogs in these matters (e.g., Steven Greer), tending to have a progressive worldview themselves, are too quick to ascribe “caveman” lusts to their adversaries. They fail to realize that the enemy they seek is probably one who shares their ideology at an abstract level.

Now, the Bushes have created a political dynasty, they enjoy extensive ties with mega-business, they have fearfully chummy relationships with utopians on the other side of the political aisle, and George Sr. was once head of the CIA (where he might have been introduced to all kinds of “dark ops” programs). The same electorate that considered Ted Cruz too close to Goldman-Sachs in 2016 would have nothing whatever to do with Jeb Bush… so the suspicion of that family appears to be pretty widespread. Almost too widespread. Maybe Cheney is the better bet, after all.

Or the professorial Newt Gingrich. What I “like” about Newt’s credentials is that they bespeak a genuine affection for utopian projects. An “idea” man who always has something new on the drawing board, Gingrich often shows a commitment to transforming society which could easily adapt itself to transformative technology. His Catholic conversion has put him in touch with a certain “shepherd leading the sheep” mentality in that faith which has conduced to secret “philanthropic” organizations for centuries (and also rendered Catholicism traditionally suspect to the self-determining American electorate); while his daughter, an active political commentator, appears to the manner born.

But as Donald Rumsfeld so correctly observed, we don’t know what we don’t know. My suggested candidates above are probably disqualified by the unpromising fact that someone as far on the outside as I can finger them.

The Dark Elite (Part Four)

It would be easier (especially for someone sitting on the sidelines, like me) to say who the Dark Elite are not than who they are. They are not “mainstream media” and “fake news”. Though our Fourth Estate has indeed assumed much too aggressive a role in shaping public policy, and though its sympathies overwhelmingly veer in the direction of creating a highly centralized utopia, none of this group, it seems to me, can credibly be visualized as pulling the strings of puppets on the national stage. At most, the owner of a communications empire—preferably one who has made his broadcast domain part of a vast conglomerate—might be a member of some covert Star Chamber; but this person’s vast wealth and his influence over other sectors of the economy would supply the ticket for admission. The people who directly persuade us, before their microphones or cameras, to take comfort in the emerging totalitarian state are not among that state’s architects. In the phrase supposedly used by Lenin, they are “useful idiots” who champion the abrogation of our freedoms because they identify egotistically with the cause of creating a brave new world.

Still less are Hollywood’s movers and shakers suitable collaborators for an enterprise that aspires to rule the world. Again, unless a major producer also has his finger in several other entrepreneurial pots, his job is essentially meretricious, no matter how much lucre it spills into his bank account: that is, he is more slave to public taste than engineer of public opinion.

As far as established political parties, I should say that Republicans are more likely to be source material for a twenty-first century illuminatus than Democrats. The reasons for this are simple. With their superior appeal to “the masses” (which does not always translate into real benefit for ordinary people), Democrats are more conscious of “image”. They enjoy applause and live for celebrity. Once they discover how much loot is also to be harvested in the corridors of power, their heads are more readily turned away from the hidden heart of the magnetic force field. They would rather bask on a Caribbean island in a lobbyist’s company than explore the underground vaults of NSA’s new megaplex in Utah. Among this latter type, one is more likely to find Republicans. They have cut their professional teeth in boardrooms and back rooms. They know how to dress, how to be discreet, and how to blend into the wallpaper when necessary. The hard part for them is being flamboyant enough to get elected, in the first place, as the electorate grows more YouTube-addicted.

This is not to imply that politicos of any stripe are very likely to sit on the Board of the Knights Templar. As with publishers and film producers, they would almost certainly require connection with some other avenue of power to receive the initiation: banking and finance, energy production, and defense contracting are three of the private-sector ties that our elite-eligible may have formed before entering public office. But these avenues are little traveled now. Most congressmen come to DC by way of the bar and the bench. In other words, they know how to design and manipulate legalese to reach a desired objective through a squid-like ink screen. While this can be a useful survival skill, it doesn’t get you to the top of the food chain. Honestly, I doubt that most of our elected representatives have any idea where the greatest power ultimately resides, any more than a little pilot fish carries around a full mental image of the shark’s jaws under which he comfortably feeds.

Many have proposed George Soros as a prototype for the Goldfinger-like character who darkly subverts the mechanisms of nations as if he were toying with pawns on a chessboard. My initial reaction is to concur—perhaps because the world of high finance is so alien to me. (Tacitus writes, omne ignotum pro magnifico est: a very free translation might be, “We like to imagine that all the boxes we can’t find are in the closet we can’t open.”) On the other hand, Soros is very visible, and a characteristic of our kind of shady figure might almost be that you can be sure X is not one if you’re convinced he is. Soros’s money, besides, has not been spent with particular efficiency. He has unlimited amounts of it to meddle in other nations’ affairs, but the horses he backs come croppers far more often than they visit the victory circle. He also has no apparent connection with high tech: and this, I believe, is an indispensable quality in our Shadow King.

I like bankers as prospects… but they need to have a mine of pixie dust somewhere in their portfolio. William Gheen once wrote me (in defense of his support for Donald Trump) that Ted Cruz was disqualified in the struggle to “drain the swamp” because his wife Heidi had worked for Goldman-Sachs. The suspicious, however, are not those who engage in pursuing material profit; they are those invested in materially engineering the future of our species for the “betterment of all concerned”.

The Dark Elite (Part Three)

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk… Werner von Braun, Karl Heisenberg, Ferdinand Porsche… Andrei Sakharov, Aleksandr Prokhorov, Sergei Korolev… from where does the Dark Elite draw the genius that ultimately drives the progressivist vision? It has been said ad infinitum that capitalism causes genius to rise to the top like cream because our economic system so handsomely rewards innovation. Yet this argument, let it be repeated ever so lyrically, often suffers contradiction in practice. The names offered just above, in fact, show that a totalitarian regime can exploit its best brains at least as well as a free society. Indeed, the Soviets could make life very nice for their top-tier minds, pooling them together in idyllic communities abounding in all the existential comforts so woefully deficient elsewhere in the nation. These privileged few might not be allowed to leave their Shangri-La, or not for long… but within its confines, they were treated as princes. Capitalism doesn’t necessarily make the going so smooth for its most brilliant citizens. There have been all too many cases, unfortunately, of revolutionary patents being bought up and buried by producers who want to keep the chain of manufacture and consumption moving just the way it presently moves.

If the Dark Elite, then, were seeking the best of the best to create a “brainwash ray” (say) or an assassin’s bullet that could travel one hundred miles disguised as a happy little bee, recruitment would not necessarily target private industry that extended tentacles into such areas. There’s actually a long history of the government’s raiding academe for its magicians and alchemists: e.g., Robert Oppenheimer and Einstein himself. The “private industry” connection might have the advantage of turning up people who had already forged ties with influential figures in government–such as Gates; but the academic connection promises the equal or superior advantage of mentalities nourished in a progressive/utopian political atmosphere, such that a recruiter’s well-delivered pitch for a one-world government with energies focused on interplanetary exploration would likely fall on sympathetic ears.

Let’s not forget, either, that money makes the scientific world go round, however idealistic its ivory-impregnated air… and the Dark Elite can offer its prospects virtually unlimited funding. The private-sector wizard, in contrast, has to produce something at the end of the day that appeals to the plodding intelligence of John Q. Consumer. The case of Elon Musk is in fact quite instructive here: though ostensibly a producer of futuristic vehicles marketed to the general public, Musk would never stay afloat without immense infusions of government subsidy.

Nevertheless, as they have been at every stage of this discussion, the lines can get very blurry if we grope with too much persistence for a clear distinction between public and private–between Werner von Braun and Henry Ford. Sometimes the arcane fiddling of white coats working in the labs of Security can create a private-sector growth industry, as has happened so often with the space program.

Or take “climate change” and its impact on the energy industry. Wind and solar power have so far proved impractical boondoggles, profitable to a select few only because politicians engineer subsidies for certain corporations (whose execs invariably counter with generous donations). Yet something really innovative might come along, such as tapping into coastal wave energy, that Security would wish to exploit in a covert way. And, indeed, are we very, very sure that Security has not manufactured “climate change” (i.e., irregular weather patterns, which is what most citizens understand by the term) from its quiver of top-secret arrows? We know that programs to weaponize weather systems have been dithering about in Earth’s stratosphere at least since the advent of HAARP in the early Nineties (though the Department of Defense only acknowledged the endeavor ten years later to say that it had been discontinued: yeah, okay). Wouldn’t Defense be quite capable of creating destructive weather patterns just to gin up popular support for a “save the climate” governmental crusade upon the private sector, which in turn would generate more tax dollars and more abysmal bureaucracies for the development of more “mass-control tech”? To those who say, “No, our public servants wouldn’t do that,” I would ask, “Please tell me why not. Are you going to use a word like ‘conscience’ or ‘legality’? Are you really?”

Academe, I think, probably remains the favored hunting ground for locating the miracle-workers who will transform our Dark Elite into the gods they already imagine themselves to be.

The Dark Elite (Part Two)

I perhaps erred in my previous post by insisting that our career politicos and captains of industry are a seamless unit. I realize that CEO’s don’t retire to enter politics and that, by the same token, politicians (few of whom have any business savvy today) don’t retire to go into private industry. In a way, that was exactly my point: neither needs to stray into the territory of the other, because either side is already doing the other’s bidding.

Now that I’m trying to focus my attention upon the sector that I call Security, however (meaning the high-ranking bureaucrats who “protect” us more than men and women wearing any sort of uniform), I find myself uncomfortable with advancing any sort of provenance. I don’t really know where these people come from. Are they military personnel? Sometimes… but if so, they have seldom smelled powder or seen blood before being entrusted with a nation’s survival. This type usually seems to scale the ranks by discreetly guarding or purveying secrets and working effective “damage control” for incompetent but powerful superiors. The military record of Michael Hayden, former chief of NSA and the CIA, is essentially that of what used to be called an aide de camp—a well-connected, copiously decorated “yes man”. Might another type have occupied elective office prior to penetrating the inner circle of watchdogs? Less often, I would guess… but more often than never. Leon Panetta began life on the national scene in the US House of Representatives before embarking upon a series of cabinet positions that led to his being CIA director. George Bush’s career path was similar.

These are men, in short (and in my logarithm, they show up as male without fail), who have served in the “armed forces” without being armed, never having to choose between bearing a moribund comrade along clumsily and saving the rest of the squad in a quick dash; or perhaps they have represented the “people’s choice” at some point in some capacity, but without playing the demagogue or polarizing the public. They have shown themselves to be “team players”—trustworthy practitioners of the inside game even when it bends the rules ostensibly observed by others. They keep things quiet rather than stir things up. There’s something, maybe, a little cold-blooded about them. They enjoy a kind of aloofness from the madding crowd. Whether ex-military or former legislators, they have displayed a particular talent for making the right people look good and for making the wrong facts go away. They know where the skeletons are hidden—and, in their capable hands, those closets have been dry-walled over and hung with dim portraits.

One may wonder if someone like Bill Gates might prove himself worthy of admission into the club from the private sector. Gates’s attempted trespasses into education policy strongly imply that he wants to be a member—that he wants to market hardware and software on a vast scale, yes, but also that he considers himself worthy of directing society’s course for decades to come. Without question, he holds the keys to a lot of doors; and his legendary acts of “hard ball” when Steve Jobs took him too far into his confidence may impress the Dark Elite more as salutary ruthlessness than as risky infidelity… or perhaps they suggest to us, rather, that one does not deserve trust in this club who cannot be ruthless, and that anyone who trusts too much deserves not to be trusted.

Now, a nerdy milquetoast like Bill Gates would never be admitted into the rarefied ranks of Security, would he? Or would he? Why not? If federally mandating costly communications and information systems creates the ultimate bonanza for tech companies, doesn’t their proliferation also create the ultimate opportunity for the nation’s watchdogs to eavesdrop on everyone’s every movement? Isn’t that, indeed, the mother lode for a private innovator: an advanced surveillance and data-gathering network’s being purchased by public-sector bureaucracies? And if you were the Eavesdropper in Chief, wouldn’t you want Bill Gates on board—all the way on board, and as gung-ho as you about a perfect planet where wars no longer bubble up because trouble-makers are preemptively identified and subdued? Wouldn’t Bill Gates or Steve Jobs be all in for that?

I’m already beginning to anticipate the next step in my speculations—the “tech whiz” portal; so allow me to backtrack briefly into the deathly-discreet vaults of Security for a few more words. I cannot over-emphasize that these elite few do not dream of clearing out Times Square with tanks as the Chinese did Tiananmen Square. That’s a Hollywood script, recycled and retreaded God-knows-how-many times since Seven Days in May screened in 1964. (Hollywood, by the way, is now as seamlessly joined to the news media as corporations are joined to politicians: more useful idiots, their Woodstock-era nightmares of men in uniform create a very successful diversion from the real threat.) Preserving the myth of a fully armed, booted, and helmeted military probably assists Security in funneling money to its “black ops” programs, to be sure. The American voter is generally willing to be taxed more if he thinks he’s financing new submarines and jet fighters. He is also completely oblivious to how much of this money disappears down the hole of off-budget projects.

But no, Security’s vision of domination has no battlefields and no heroes. The planet will be made ready for her “great leap forward”, rather, by handling obstacles with sanitary efficiency: by dazing armed militants with sound waves, by mollifying dissidents through the education system (delivered via home computer), by thinning out burdensome social elements with sterilants in the yearly flu vaccine, and by disgracing spirited opponents with faux mafia pay-offs uploaded to their bank accounts. While this portion of the Dark Elite is the more sinister for being the less disruptive of daily routines, its solutions are perhaps more permanent than a nuclear holocaust; for extermination of one’s adversaries only postpones the power struggle for another generation, but the Orwellian integration of adversaries into the mainstream makes society forget how to say “no”.

The Dark Elite’s security (read “enforcement”) branch, then, is quintessentially high-tech. That’s why the exposure of our nation’s power grid to the threat of Electro-Magnetic Pulses is so worrisome: because, I mean, our rulers are far too sophisticated to have allowed such a vulnerability to take them by surprise. If our civilization risks such catastrophic collapse, it is because our “guardians” have decided to preserve collapse as a “pacifying” option. Should our numbers and demands become inconvenient, ninety percent of us may have to be culled so that the remnant may grow strong and straight.

The Dark Elite (Part One)

I don’t know how long I’m going to ride a wave of thoughts that has swept me up lately… and I don’t know, either, where the wave will carry me. Some of you may be interested in following; and in that case, we’ll find out together what strange coast lies before us. I do have a feeling, already, that it’s littered with bones.

The first notion of which I’ve had to rid myself in pondering the Dark Elite (i.e., the select few who really rule us) is that the corporate private sector and the political public sector have any significant degree of separation. They don’t. There is no “industrial-political complex”—only a single corporate monstrosity whose tentacles extend into both public and private domains. Big business gives donations to politicians; then government passes laws favorable to the proliferation of mega-business activity. The activity produces or takes away jobs in this or that locale or sector while multiplying product. Prices rise on cutting-edge technology and lower for the obsolescent, the reduced-capacity, and the knock-off. Politicians represent all of these changes in a “narrative” (as it’s now called) that best serves their bid to stay in power. They may elevate taxes on their profiteering business cronies while also sullying their name in public; but the tax hike is paid for by higher consumer prices, hidden deductions, and lucrative government contracts. Not since Richard Burton and Liz have two entities fought so openly while spending so much time in bed together off camera.

Computer-related industries and their offshoots have consistently posed the most obvious manifestation of this unholy marriage from my perch of observation (as an educator) for the past two decades. From a capitalist perspective, the wonderful thing about the digital revolution is a) that “old stuff” is utterly useless—a PC literally cannot negotiate today’s Internet through a landline; and b) that stuff gets old very, very quickly. Obsolescence may now occur within a year, requiring the purchase of state-of-the-art gadgetry at premium cost. The Managerial State has been surprisingly slow to harvest the enormous propagandistic benefits offered by this technology; but we should note that such “benefits” are latent and always ready for exploitation, should our elected officials decide to take the next Orwellian step. The Obama IRS, it is true, showed much talent for the game; and senior officials appointed to the Department of Justice, the FBI, and other strong-arm bureaucracies by that administration continue to resist the exposure of their lairs to the sunlight. We know this crew popularly as the Deep State—which is not, however, the same thing as the Dark Elite. The former merely defends its careerist turf; the latter intends to rule the world.

Now, the appendage of the State that we may call Security—which includes the FBI and the police and military generally, but is increasingly out of uniform and unequipped with firearms—has in fact begun to open wireless windows through which Big Brother may watch. Yet Security’s vigilance, again, is not motivated by the partisan ends of preserving careers and impeding unsympathetic political movements. At least at the Dark Elite level, it compiles dossiers on everyone everywhere, and does so with no short-term objective in mind. We will attempt to unknot this loop of the nexus later. For the moment, we may be thankful that Security presently operates with an almost blatant and arrogant defiance of mega-business’s elected, constantly legislating pimps and panders.

Or so it seems to me. That is, most politicians, to this day, continue to fund vast phone banks at their campaign headquarters and to travel about kissing babies and belting down hot dogs. They are apt to be digital imbeciles. Their forte, after all, is tugging at collegial elbows, passing notes under the table, and smuggling into bills indecipherable riders that award special privileges to their donors. They don’t actually use the Internet themselves: they just advance legislation that makes everyone else use it. Medical records pile up in databases like stalled traffic during an LA rush hour, the NSA’s backlog of unsifted data mounts at a faster rate than the national debt, and identity theft spreads across the Internet like a digital version of Ebola… but our lawmakers persist in delivering more and more of our daily lives to the Cloud. It’s progress.

In my opinion, then, most politicians are not so much “members of the illuminati” as they are unwitting facilitators of an ambitious few. Their objective is to get rich—through contributions, perks, speaking fees, book deals, and (after retirement) consulting fees. Accusing them of participation in global conspiracy is, generally speaking, an undeserved compliment. In the stupidity of the short-sighted, they settle for a small fortune rather than angle for control of the world. The more narcissistic they are (viz. both of our most recent presidents), the less fit their temperament clearly is for manipulating our lives behind the scenes. Any true member of the Dark Elite would be delighted to preserve complete anonymity, or at least to be thought boring and negligible. A Bill Clinton, a Barack Obama, or a Donald Trump would wither under such negligence. Everyone must notice his entry into a room and concede him to be far and away the most important person in it. Hillary Clinton might nearly have been cut from the right shade of dark cloth… but she failed to reach the cave’s inner sanctum because she couldn’t keep her fingers off all the baubles lying along the way. Vladimir Putin is perhaps the one top-tier politico who also, in stunning paradox, has the ability to lower his profile and pass by scarcely noticed.

My coup d’essai grows long: just one more example. A politician demands “clean energy” of the industrial giants; and the electorate, being almost totally ignorant of how power gets to wall sockets, picks up the chant. He vows to take General Electric, Exxon Mobile, and the others to the woodshed if elected; and indeed, shortly after victory, he withdraws with the bad boys to a tightly sealed space. The energy-producers emerge gushing public penitence and love of Mother Nature on television commercials, and the politician has a new bulge in his pocket. In their suits of sackcloth, the corporations fling themselves into the creation of windmills and solar panels—with plenty of tax-funded incentives, grants, and deductions to ease the transition. The politician sees that certain districts associated with producing these dream-dynamos enjoy an employment boom… and the hefty profits of the corporations, in turn, translate into a steady trickle purling into his campaign coffers. The public sees windmills and, like Don Quixote, supposes that a magician is at work and has solved the energy crisis. It does not see the cancer villages in Africa and Southeast Asia that supply rare-earth elements for the solar panels… but then, it doesn’t need to see those, and the complicit news media ensure invisibility.

By the way, the news media are never part of the Dark Elite; few of their captains, I venture to say, so much as penetrate its outer circle. Their contribution to the effort is gratis. They are useful idiots, perhaps more likely to end up getting shot than anyone else, eventually—but lubricating the spread of a totalitarian “progress”, in the meantime, with the adolescent utopian drivel of a coddled social class.

The Scriptwriters of Alien Abductions: Dare We Name Them? (Part Two)

As well as information on David Jacobs’ research, I’ve lately found on Netflix a documentary about Stan Romanek. This rather Walter Mitty-ish middle-aged American claims to have been abducted by aliens several times since childhood. The only evidence he has to support his outlandish story is highly advanced physics equations burned into his memory about navigating space-time, videos of ghostly intruders into his house, corroborative testimony to abduction events, medical examinations of strange scarring that turn up no probable cause, and a photo of his “alien daughter” which was viewed by dozens of people before it disappeared from his camera as they all looked on. What a prankster, this guy!

Stan never had any asteroidal chips inserted into him; but his unearthly hosts did leave peculiar marks on his body from time to time, it seems, and also took a keen interest in breeding hybrid humans from him (hence the daughter). I can’t for the life of me, and with the best of wills to bear out Romanek, think why they should do this. What do you do with a half-human whose immense almond eyes and pixie stature give it away as something bizarrely different—something beyond a mutation? You can’t very well seed the human population with such leprechauns and expect to take anyone but a college professor by surprise. Why not, if you’re an alien traveler, just put in an appearance yourself, like Michael Rennie in The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original version, made before our race began to degenerate precipitously by interbreeding with computers)?

Be that as it may, Romanek’s easy recitation of equations which perhaps a dozen people on earth understand—and among whom he most definitely cannot be numbered—inclines me to believe at least some of his story. Then, too, there’s his recent arrest for possessing child porn on his personal computer. Turns out that the NSA is fast developing an m.o. for uploading forbidden porn onto targeted computers and then sending agents to take the owners out of circulation. Most effective—for who would want to plead the case of a creep or a pedophile? If there are NSA fingerprints on any part of this man’s story, then the eagerness to shut him up virtually proves that he has something embarrassingly true to say.

And back to the implanted chips: who would have access to asteroid fragments? Aliens, I suppose… and also anyone who could pilfer some of the harvest of NASA’s exploratory flights.

Who manufactured the circumstances behind the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? Who once drafted plans to stage a bloody attack on Miami as a pretext to invade Cuba? Whose response to petitions for the whole truth about 9/11 is to ridicule and defame the petitioners? Who switched our astronauts to a private radio frequency whenever they started to remark the presence of inexplicable phenomena on and around the Moon? Who has so mastered Soviet technique of dezinformatsiya that unimpeachable testimony about UFO activity is hopelessly compromised by sensationalist folderol (such as endless sloppy TV documentaries)?

Who would profit from having a convenient “panic” button to push or a source of popular hysteria to rev up as an occasion to declare martial law? Who could pump victims with hallucinogens (perhaps only those with certain blood types) and then parade robots or dwarves in costumes before them?

Who demands to know your income, requires you to have insurance, would like to mandate your having yearly flu shots, exacts a whole battery of inoculations of your children before they may attend mandatory schooling, aspires to confiscate your firearms “for your own good”, monitors your drinking water so that it’s as salubrious as the crystal effluvient of Flint (Michigan) taps, and increasingly governs the news you see on the Net and over TV and radio?

Gee… I just don’t know who that might be. Do you?