Jasun Horsley examines the intersection of social engineering and spirituality.
photo by: Skeptiko
Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Jasun Horsley to Skeptiko. Jasun is the author of several books, including, Prisoner of Infinity (Prisoner of Infinity: Social Engineering, UFOs, and the Psychology of Fragmentation). He’s also the creator of the extremely interesting AUTICULTURE blog and the Liminalist podcast, again, playing around with this idea of multiple realities.
Jasun Horsley: …there’s something very real that has been co-opted, has been redirected by groups and agencies in different programs for various different reasons. One being, of course, just to exploit it, the spiritual potential of the psyche, or psychic potential of the human body, that has all kinds of uses, it can be weaponized, but also to anticipate, if there is this potential within us as human beings, that enables us to discover true autonomy, the true experience of ourselves and our nature within creation, like you said at the beginning, “Who are we, and why are we here?” To really uncover that answer, as individuals, would make us beyond the reach of any kind of control or manipulation or exploitation.
Jasun Horsley: What Prisoner Infinity addresses, is to what extent has a narrative actually been cynically manufactured to superimpose on top of a reality that simply can’t be reduced? But we will go along with that, we will conspire unconsciously and become complicit with the reduction of an experience and an encounter that is trying to pull us out of the prisoner of our illusory identity selves and introduce us to a greater reality.
Alex Tsakiris: You know what Jasun, let me interject something, because that’s a fantastic point, that socio-spiritual engineering, but I have to tell you, that came through even stronger for me in the non-UFO stuff. Now, I don’t know if we want to jump into that now, but like the examples in the co-opting of the New Age movement is kind of an example. I don’t know if you’re totally comfortable with the parallels, but the methods for socio-spiritual, which is what you’re adding to it, the spiritual, the socio-spiritual engineering, are all over the place. It’s almost like they have the playbook, they bring it out, they just kind of run the plays, find out which ones work, and they kind of do it again and again. To me, and this is my read of it, I maybe jumping ahead, but it doesn’t matter if it’s ET or if it’s New Age or if it’s psychedelics, same shit. You know, Gloria Steinem, women’s movement, “Oh no, we know how to do that.” Gloria Steinem, outed as CIA, lifetime actor, and then when she’s outed she comes out and says, “Oh yeah, but I did it because I had to help the women who really lived for the cause, it’s the only way to do it.” Again, it sounds like this scripted kind of thing.
If I can kind of jump subjects, and I’ve got to promise that we’ll come back to the other one, but I think it almost makes it more clear when you talk about the socio-spiritual engineering in some of these other areas where you can really kind of put your finger on it and go, “That happened, and it doesn’t make any sense if you don’t look at it from a conspiratorial point of view.”
Jasun Horsley: Yeah, true, but I think you can do that with the UFO, you can find…
Alex Tsakiris: I agree.
Jasun Horsley: [you can find people who are] spiking the ground and poisoning the well, but I don’t have any problem with superimposing the two or conflating the two, because I think that they are one psi-op, if you will. But having said that, one cultural operation has many of the same players and many of the same themes and even narratives. It’s a bit like that movie with Rashomon by Kurosawa where you have this event and then you see four different installments of four different individuals involved in the event and remember it differently, it’s the same event but seen from four different perspectives. So, I’d say that you could say that about the UFO and the ET and the abduction, that whole mimetic mimetic memeplex, to coin a phrase and New Age channeling entities and past lives and all of the stuff that was more immediately associated with New Age belief. It’s kind of the same archetypal mix, just arranged differently, to appeal to different sensibilities.
So, the ET does appeal to geeks, to science nerds, to Star Trek fans, whereas New Age would appeal more to hippies, children of hippies, fallen Christians or ex-Christians and so on.
Jasun Horsley: So, this is, I think, a key point and I haven’t really given the examples as you asked but maybe I’ll come back to that. But, to me, it’s very key to understand that my approach isn’t debunking, it’s not a debunker, I’m not saying that these principles or these beliefs or these philosophies are necessarily false, I’m not saying that think tanks for the CIA have just invented all of this stuff, on the contrary, but there’s something very real that has been co-opted, has been redirected by groups and agencies in different programs for various different reasons. One being, of course, just to exploit it, the spiritual potential of the psyche, or psychic potential of the human body, that has all kinds of uses, it can be weaponized, but also to anticipate, if there is this potential within us as human beings, that enables us to discover true autonomy, the true experience of ourselves and our nature within creation, like you said at the beginning, “Who are we, and why are we here?” To really uncover that answer, as individuals, would make us beyond the reach of any kind of control or manipulation or exploitation.
Alex Tsakiris: Kind of a gnostic kind of thing, you’re saying?
Jasun Horsley: Well actually, that’s a whole can of worms because the gnostic thing, I used to be very in line with that, but I’ve begun to see the gnostic thing as another example of a counterfeit, I feel. So, it is very subtle, but yeah, in certain senses, the gnostic sense of having direct knowledge of reality and uncovering the heaven with us and that, yes, in that very strict and straightforward sense. Each of us has our own connection to the divine and if we were to uncover that, then we would be beyond the reach of control of these different groups and organizations. So, you can see how it’s key and critical.
Alex Tsakiris: I love what you just said there Jasun. I want to highlight that to people because it’s the point where a lot of people throw up their arms and just give up, when you say, “Gnosticism,” and you go, “Yeah, well, but maybe I feel like that’s been co-opted in some ways too,” and people go, “Oh my god, this guy is just… everything’s a conspiracy.”
That’s, I think, a contribution that you’re making here, that I was trying to put my finger on, is that, of course, again, it’s the playbook man.
Jasun Horsley: Exactly, yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: Whatever crops up, we just throw the shit at it and see what we can do. How hard is it to co-opt the gnostic thing and to throw it in this movie or promote that movie and all of a sudden, we have a hook in it, we don’t know where it’s going to go, but we know we can do something with it or the other. That’s why I love the Gloria Steinem example, it’s not from your book, it’s from another guest that we’ve had, Joseph Atwill, but the point is the same, it’s like, “Yeah, but why would the CIA care about the Women’s Movement? And moreover, it’s kind of a good thing, I mean, women were being disenfranchised, underpaid, all the rest of the stuff.” It’s like, they don’t fucking care, they just want part of that action, wherever it goes. Same with psychedelic, the same with this.
So, I think, what you’ve put your finger on is really important, I think you’re right about Gnosticism.
We’ll return to talking about UFO, ET, because what your insight brings us is that at every turn now we have to be paranoid, because we have to assume that the playbook is happening at every way we want to look at this. If we want to look at it scientific, you know, real spacecraft, Stan Friedman kind of way, it’s in play there. If we want to look at it in the Jacques Vallée and fairies, it’s in play there. If we want to look at David Jacobsen, abductions, it’s sure as hell in play there. It’s in play all over the place. Then maybe, at some point, we’ll return to Whitley Strieber, as, kind of this character, that runs the gamut, runs the gamut and runs the gauntlet through all of those, which is fascinating.
Jasun Horsley: Well, you know Alex, like you said, the nature of the dilemma that we’re in is that pretty much any part of culture that you choose to analyze, you’re going to find ways in which there’s been hooks put in it and landmines and snares and traps and all the rest of it. So, in a certain sense, it would be insane, or it would be foolish to think that we could just analyze the whole of culture and figure out what’s going, one piece at a time, there’s no end to it. It’s the whole of existence in a certain sense, that’s why it corresponds with the spiritual path of Neti Neti, as in, not this, not that. We just keep proceeding through existence, seeing the illusory nature of the things around us until eventually we change the direction of our attention and place it fully inward and discover the what thou art that. I’m just summing up the spiritual quest there in a very short time. But my general point here is that all of my research is an exploration, they’re not about naming the bad guys, they’re not even about mapping the conspiracy so that we can address them or change anything. They’re about actually developing a toolset, a set of eyes and ears and senses by which I will be able to discern better and better in my daily life, what is real and what’s unreal.
So, I don’t really necessarily… I mean, I do care about Whitley Stieber because he had such an impact on me, so it was very personal to me. I felt like I was very indoctrinated with the ideology of the ET and this is the point I wanted to get to about the way in which these things are co-opted. It’s not as simple as top-down or outside-in, it’s inside-out, it’s the way the narratives, they can have all of the same elements that are basically true, like say the ET or the New Age, but they’re arranged in such a way with a subtext or a context or a connected tissue which is ideological. So, then the narratives, although they’re playing out, it’s like a movie, you enjoy the plot, but somehow you sense, “Wait. I’m being propagandized here. It’s not just about Dirty Harry killing the bad guy. Dirty Harry represents the US State and Scorpio represents the youth or the hippy movement, or whatever it is, and this is all a metaphor and we’re being propagandized.”
I’d say that you can find this in the ET, you can find this in the New Age, you can find it even in conspiracy theories. There’s a subtle ideological thrust and because we’ve already been indoctrinated with that ideology, though the narrative with its ideological subtext interacts or gloms onto our already conditioning and we’re just feeding the beast, we’re just oiling the machines of our own imprisonment. So, it never really works if you just keep letting it. It’s the same thing you say about UFO, how are you going to figure out what’s going on with the UFO, when all of the evidence is coming from the UFO, so it’s the UFO deceiving us. Well, it’s the magician if you look. The closer you look at the magician, the more you’re going to get tricked, because he knows how to direct your attention.
So, that’s the level, again, that we have to learn to play at. We have to develop the tools to actually direct our own attention, rather than let it be directed by the thing that we’re looking at.
Alex Tsakiris: Tell me what you think about, kind of deconstructing a little bit, that justified paranoia that we all have associated with conspiracies.
Jasun Horsley: Well, I think what it is, one of the things that occurs to me is that it feeds into the polarization, because I’m sure you’re aware, doing this show that you do and the climate that we’re in now with Trump and all of that. The polarization has always been present around conspiracy theory, or conspiracy fact as well, of course, but it’s only getting greater and what you described there with Rumsfeld, it occurred to me that that actually is a way to intensify the polarization because there are a whole bunch of people who are contemptuous of 9/11 Truthers, or whatever, and when they hear Rumsfeld say something like that, they’ll have a big laugh and say, “Look, even Rumsfeld doesn’t know what they’re talking about, that Building 7 is so irrelevant that even Rumsfeld…” You know, they will go along with Rumsfeld’s, kind of, acting, his performance, whether or not they believe or not or whatever level of consciousness they’re at, it gives the mockers and the deriders and the debunkers validation.
Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely.
Jasun Horsley: While, at the same time, it’s obviously having the opposite effect on those who’ve done the research, including those who maybe haven’t done the research but just believe it because they believe it. Let’s not fool ourselves, there are a bunch of conspiracy theorists and different groups and websites and the rest of it that are very non-rigorous and…
Alex Tsakiris: Don’t get me wrong, and I don’t want to go on and on, but my real point was that there is something beyond misinformation going on here. There’s a game playing aspect to it that you’re alluding to, because I think what Donald Rumsfeld is saying is, “Fuck you.” He’s saying, “Fuck you. Of course, I know what it is and, you know what, I don’t need to tell you the truth.” So, to the idiots who just think, “Oh yeah, it must not be true,” he’s not talking to them, he’s talking to the people who say, “How can you possibly think you can get away with this?” and he’s saying, “Fuck, yes I’m getting away this. Screw you.”
Jasun Horsley: Well, I think, you wouldn’t want to underestimate the levels at which someone like Rumsfeld is operating. He’s not just throwing things out for his own ego satisfaction or to get a dig in at people, it’s all perception management. So, a comment like that would be written and scripted and acted out to have precise effect, which would include the ones that you’re talking about, but not being restricted to them.
Alex Tsakiris: That’s a good point. So, if you want to continue on that, please do, because you can’t overplay that because he’s in a box too, in terms of how much he can really play the game versus how much he has to follow his script and get out there and George Bush standing in front of the UN saying, “We shall not believe in theses conspiracy theories.” All this stuff is multi-layered.
Jasun Horsley: Their original point was a Jack Nicholson speech, is that there are two different rationalities people have. One of them is ‘noble’, if delusionary noble, as in, people aren’t ready to hear the truth, they need to be protected from the truth, or at least the truth needs to be protected from them. Then the other, which is, not so noble, as in, people are just ignorant fools. But it’s kind of similar or the same in certain ways, they can’t be trusted with the truth because they don’t have the discernment to know what it is, never mind to know what to do with it.
Alex Tsakiris: One has a certain psychopathic element to it. That word gets thrown around a lot, but we have to acknowledge that that’s real. There are some people, psychologically we can measure them and say, “They just do not have that sense of empathy,” and in a lot of these situations that makes them extremely powerful, in terms of, if you really don’t care about other people, and if you really think that in this narcistic, getting my way, is all that really matters, there’s a huge edge of power that goes with that, because most of us just can’t do that at the end of the day.
Jasun Horsley: Something Graham Greene wrote, which I always remember, an English writer, he said something to the effect that those who love humanity don’t give a damn about human beings. I think that something more like that is going on, with what we’re often terming psychopaths as in these very high-powered figures who are directing society down all kinds of roads that seem really destructive and deceptive and all of the rest of it and exploitative. I do think, like the obvious cliché example, Adolf Hitler, that they tend to have very lofty goals and they tend to believe that they’re pursuing some higher end that any kind of means are justified in order to achieve it. I think that’s also inseparable from this thing of, the belief that people can’t handle the truth, that most people don’t have the overview of the global situation that the social engineers have, because, most people, we’ve not been given the tools, we’ve not been allowed to have that viewpoint. So, it’s a bit of a circular reasoning there.
Part of the rationale behind keeping most people in the dark and manipulating them and treating them like cattle, it’s a self-fulfilling rationale, let’s say, that the more that people are kept in the dark, the less tools they have for understanding reality, or , social reality even, I mean, just at that level, the more in the dark they’re going to become, right? So, basically, it accelerates, it intensifies and that intensifies also the investment that people have, at an individual and a collective level, of not seeing the truth and I think this is becoming more and more observable in our society now with the polarization around conspiracy theory, that you will encounter people, I’m sure you have often and I do constantly, who simply want to talk about conspiracy theory as if it was one thing and as if it was all equally dismissible. They will ignore and completely overlook the fact that some conspiracy theories are not theories at all, they’re just part of history, they’re just conspiracy facts and then there are plenty of facts around conspiracy that one can theorize about but one doesn’t have to, one can just stay with the fact, and so on. There’s a spectrum, a conspiracy spectrum, ranging from historical fact to the most lunatic fringe flat-earth stuff. Not to discount Flat Earthers, they could be right fore all I know. But, you know what I mean, right?
Alex Tsakiris: Let’s go ahead and discount Flat Earthers. [unclear 00:44:57] that people want to avoid pissing off.
Jasun Horsley: There’s different levels, you know? But, the thing that consistent through many, if not most of these conspiracies is they do provide evidence that our leaders are not to be trusted, that our social reality is not what it appears to be, that our institutions do not have our interests at heart, that organized pedophile rings might be abusing our children if we send them off to daycare and that the food might be designed to kill us and so on. I mean, I could go on and on.
But basically, all of these things, if people start to take them onboard and really think about them, they’re going to become less and less secure and stable within their day to day lives. They’re already feeling destabilized, right? I think that this is all quite deliberately orchestrated, not at a micro level but at a more macro level and then it filters down to the micro. So, eve down to entertainment, like the entertainment we like.
Alex Tsakiris: I get your point. I kind of feel like you mixed a couple of things in there in an interesting way that I’d like to pull back apart. I think the whole pedo thing is super important and interesting, we’ve talked about it on this show. It’s the Pizzagate phenomena, perfect psi-op, where most people think Pizzagate, it’s not about all of those emails, it’s not about spirit cooking, it’s not about provable sex rings and the association between John Podesta and Dennis Hastert, it’s not about all of that provable stuff. Dennis Hastert who was the deplorable, the judge who sentenced him on sex crimes against children said he was one of the worst examples he’d ever seen in his court. No, it’s not about any of that, it’s about some guy who shot-up a pizza restaurant.
So, that’s the psi-op part of that, but I digress, because what I was really talking about was, I think that’s almost of a different ilk, that’s because of the whatever dark evilness is there and whatever political blackmail opportunity is there and whatever other things are there, they have a different agenda on that, I would say, I would guess, than they do on fluoridated water and global warming, which it’s really kind of more clear to see, hey anything global in it, we pretty much know what the agenda is. It’s like globalization, let’s all just become one so we can get you in a big pack and control you better.
So, without getting into the whole global warming thing, why is it so tied to a worldwide currency and carbon trading? Well, because that makes a sense from a politically driven thing. I don’t think there’s a parallel with the pedo thing. I mean, that, I think you have to look at the occult and just the nature of evil kind of thing, in order to get there.
I know those lines are perfectly black and white, but I do think you have to, kind of, divide things and that’s like what I was talking about in the ‘getter done’, you can’t handle the truth. People do have a reason just to, kind of, get shit done. Somebody’s got to rule the world or someone else will rule the world and if we were faced with the options that some of those people face, we would probably make the same decisions. On the other hand, when you step into the pedo sex ring stuff, we probably would not make the same decisions. Does any of that resonate with you?
Jasun Horsley: Yeah, I see what you’re saying but I guess it brings it closer to my own hunting ground then, because this is why my approach to Prisoner of Infinity and what I found was just unavoidable, which is that all of the different, let’s say global or collective pathologies which can be traced in big picture stuff, like world wars or environmental collapses or all of that stuff, on the one hand it historically intercepts with child trafficking, as in with Hilary Clinton and Haiti and all of that stuff that also came out via Pizzagate, because the same agendas incorporate various different areas. So, MKUltra was about mind control, which relates to creating different players on the world stage, whether it’s assassins or it’s cultural figures and so on, but it also relates to the systemized, organized abuse of children, it also relates to occultism and so on. So, all of that, that’s quite a wide spectrum, in terms of the different areas on the world’s stage that we might see the effects of something like MKUltra.
But, more specifically and more precisely, what I have found was a fruitful approach for understanding the big picture was actually looking at the motivating drives behind the individuals that can be identified, who are shaping the cultural programs and movements and policies. So hence, somebody like Whitley Strieber is a very… I mean, anyone, well not anyone, but if you’re going to try and understand something on a large scale it’s good to narrow the focus down and look at one specific example, otherwise you get overwhelmed, right?
Alex Tsakiris: I want to jump in there and pull apart what you’re saying, but there’s no need to. I do think it’s easy to kind of blur some things together. I like the model of coming back and saying, “You could sell me on some of the stuff that looks like evil in the world. You could sell me on some of the wars. You could sell me on some of the bombing. You could sell me on some of the other despicable looking stuff that goes on because it’s a, kind of, choice between two evils. Then, there’s another element of it that I could never cross that line morally and I think there is that wisdom of the crowd, kind of dividing line there and then I think there’s these people, and that’s where I think the psychopathic thing comes in, who just transcend way over that in a way where they can kind of play both side and pull people over to one or the other where people are involved in… and that’s where we’ll get into talking about your experience with the occult thing, because I love how you say, “You can say you’re not going all the way, but you just get to the point where you’re going to cut the cat’s throat or not.”
Jasun Horsley: I was just looking at Strieber’s own testimony, so then the question becomes a much subtler question relating to, to what extent is his experience of these visitors and his interpretation of the experience a compensatory dissociative strategy of a traumatized psyche that is generating a reality that is part fantasy, part reality, in order to escape an unbearable reality.
Alex Tsakiris: There might be a lot of overlap with those two things that you said. You know, one thing that I’d love to get your comment on that just floored me in listening to this most recent interview with Whitley on Greg Carlwood’s excellent show, The Higherside Chats, and he goes, “At the end of the day, this is much, much stranger than we could possibly imagine.”
Again, it’s one of those things, it’s like a throw away line, but the way that he said it, it just struck me at a level of, maybe it is at that level of impossible to understand, no matter which way we approach it and it has that, as we started this discussion, multiple realities, both created and imposed beyond our will, running through it at the same time that make it really, really strange.
Jasun Horsley: Yeah, well, you won’t get any argument from me there. I mean, that is Strieber’s stick, if I may say it that way, like he loves to emphasize just how unbelievably strange his experience is and yes, it is, but why does he de-emphasize the equally strange but far more mundane aspects that entail psychological trauma, abuse, government manipulations, deceptions and so on and so forth.