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"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players . . . "

-- William Shakespeare
As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7

Special Operations emerged out of the worldview of a small group of very powerful and invisible leaders, at a time in history when the USA was the only major act left standing on the planet. At that time, the USSR (with its radically different worldview, posing a strong challenge to private ownership) was working hard to develop internally while also continuing to play the "colonial game" by taking over eastern European countries to serve as a buffer against western capitalist nations. In this climate, to the powerful and wealthy elites, Special Operations seemed like a reasonable course of action, allowing them to circumvent bureaucratic red tape while carrying out their various agendas.

Over the course of time, this small unit expanded and multiplied until it became a major force -- stepping into the big time with the assassination of President Kennedy. It continues on to this day doing Lord only knows what. In general the activities of Special Operations support the worldview of this small, invisible group of people. Bucky Fuller understood very well this dynamic and the true interests of such behind-the-scenes, supremely ambitious and forceful individuals.

The efforts of Special Operations are but one part of an entire modus operandi which involves shaping the news, manipulating the public's thinking and in general, pushing the agenda of this tiny, invisible group of the super wealthy and super powerful. In tandem with the somewhat more visible elites who sit on the boards of major corporations (energy, mass media, public relations, financial, entertainment, munitions, telecommunications, ag-biotech, and manufacturing industries) this tiny percentage of the U.S population channels vast amounts of money into the political coffers of both parties to ensure political support, whichever party comes to power. This is one reason why campaign finance reform is so utterly vital to improve the health of American democracy.

In all of this, two important factors offer some hope. First is that each individual who wakes up and realizes what is going on -- and steps forward as an ad hoc leader, committed to making a difference -- can make a difference. And, as more and more of us -- who realize that reality is not what we've been told -- come together to pool our collective knowledge and wisdom, we are creating a new story which is more closely linked with serving life and its interests.

History, Herstory, Ourstory. We all participate in the creation of our collective experience. And we each have a unique and potentially critical role to play in the drama and adventure of life. Every one of us has limitless abilities to respond to the current "act" in life's unfolding drama -- to ad-lib and improvise in an inspired and creative way to meet the challenges and possibilities of each moment.

Today, post-industrial culture's commercialized story-telling is a vapid substitute for the rich, earthy texture of past stories. Dished up as authoritative, objective, disinterested "news", society produces hypnotically-apocalyptic, morbidly fascinating entertainment to preempt and substitute for our own lived experiences. Long ago we distilled and crystallized our existence through telling stories around the fire, the doorway of human imagination thrown wide open to the infinite star-filled roof overhead.

Between the pollution in the air and the glare of lights, that star-studded roof stretching to infinity is too often invisible now -- one more physical reason for our estrangement from direct experience with the natural world and from a sense of continuity with our collective past. We unconsciously collude in this with our daily gluttony of newspapers, television, radio, and magazines. Together, these forms of corporate-controlled stories exert a tremendous influence over not only how we see the world (as well as what we think) but also how we think. Indeed, we have come as far as humankind has ever strayed from experiencing our oneness with the natural world of being to emphasizing this impersonal world of having.

Daily, repetitive programming of "important news", stitched together with an infinite stream of ads -- the culture of materialism's bedrock with its core "You're not good enough" message -- indelibly colors how we relate to our world and to ourselves. The flood of advertising also reinforces a collective cult of consumption. All of this may look innocent enough as cheerful cartoons of happy children exhort us to buy. But highly paid marketing experts spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year to devise ever more sophisticated ways to "manage perceptions" and get us to buy products or ideas. In short, advertising and news constitute mind control programs manifesting to an ever-greater degree of effectiveness.

In this process we have become so insensitive to the alienation which underlies our lives that we seem willing to do almost anything to escape or at the very least postpone facing this paramount fact of our age. Physicist David Bohm expressed this situation well in one of his seminars on Thought and Dialogue in Ojai, California:

I think our whole society tries to stabilize itself by starting out to destroy sensitivity to incoherence starting with very young children. If people could see the vast incoherence that is going on in society they would be disturbed and they would feel the need to do something. If you're not sensitive to it you don't feel disturbed and you don't feel you need to do anything.

I remember an instance, a daughter was telling her mother, "This school is terrible, the teacher is terrible, very inconsistent, doing all sorts of crazy things," and so on. Finally the mother was saying, "You'd better stop this -- in this house the teacher is always right." Now she understood that the teacher was wrong obviously, but the message was, it was no use. Even the message may have been right in some sense, but still it illustrates that the predicament is that in order to avoid this sort of trouble, starting with very young children, we are trained to become insensitive to incoherence. If there is incoherence in our own behavior, we thereby also become insensitive to it. (November 4, 1989)

In the past, our stories were deeply personal, sensitively and intimately connected with nature and with the stories of others. Today, those stories have been stolen by the mass media. This is reinforced by the school system, which was developed in large part by the same elite power-brokers who wanted docile, unthinking workers in their factories. So, kids go off to school and learn to sit still, memorize someone else's ideas and stories, and to obey orders. Only a small fraction -- 10-15 percent -- are trained to be the leaders. But their agendas are rigidly shaped by the money they are paid as leaders. Those who challenge the hegemony of this silent structure are bought off, marginalized, or eliminated.

When American society as a whole came close to the point of understanding this hidden "story", President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were all killed in a relatively short period of time. This shocked the nation, scared people in profoundly disturbing ways and shut down the public psyche about the possibility of true transformation of society.

It is important not to disregard the impact the murder of John Kennedy had on the adult and coming-of-age population of the world starting at that time and continuing to the present. As occurred for both my parents, particularly within my father, many people experienced a form of psychic death on November 22, 1963. Charles Bohlen, whose 40-year career in the Foreign Service included an extraordinary experience with and understanding of Soviet-American relations, wrote about his sense of the significance of Kennedy's death:

Emotions are often difficult to recall, but I well remember feeling, as I sat under the soaring arches of the great cathedral, that the future had collapsed on the present. Here I was, with thirty-five years of experience in the Foreign Service and extremely skeptical about the great men in public life, yet completely crushed by Kennedy's death. I still feel that a great future was extinguished by his death.[1]

After more than 35 years the actual purpose for which the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy took place still haunts our society. That a future of possibilities with JFK living out his full term as President did indeed collapse on the present is a fact many cannot fully and truly come to terms with. To do so would mean acknowledging the fact that Kennedy was murdered intentionally and that his murderers got away with the crime. As Fletcher Prouty has written in a number of venues, the purpose of the murder of President Kennedy was to take over the power of the presidency and set the heading of the ship of state on a different course than it was taking with `the youngest man ever elected to be the President of the United States'. By writing this I may be dubbed one more "conspiracy theorist" by media pundits who themselves live in a fantasy world where coup d'états are "standard fare" in other "inferior" countries, but in the great United States of America, such events simply do not take place. Fletcher said it best near the beginning of the "Guns of Dallas"

This control mechanism did not start in 1972 with Watergate. It began, in a tentative way, in the Korean War era, when the military and the executive branch found out how easy it was to fool the Congress and the American public. And with that recognition, power-hungry and money-mad industrialists began to usurp more and more power. And when those rifles crackled over Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 and John F. Kennedy's brain was splattered across the road, they had made their move into the big time. They took over control of the President and of the Presidency. The man they had killed was no longer a problem and they had made certain that his successor, Lyndon Johnson, heard and remembered the sound of those guns. It is the sound of those guns in Dallas, and their ever-present threat, which is the real mechanism of control over the American government.[2]

Anyone who reads The Secret Team carefully with an open mind will understand how aborting President Eisenhower's Crusade for Peace -- with the downing of the U-2 flown by Gary Powers[3] -- and assassinating President Kennedy were events intentionally planned and executed to serve the interests of those in the conventional munitions and armaments industries as well as in the nuclear power-weapons industries who most assuredly did not want to see a lessening of Cold War tensions that would decrease their profits. JFK was intentionally murdered because he was trying to lessen Cold War tensions just as Eisenhower had tried to do at the end of his Presidency. And, the fact is that those responsible for instigating and then covering up the truth about these events achieved their own goals of continuing the Cold War arms race escalation even after Gorbachev said "Let's stop". These are ugly truths that we are still unable to publicly acknowledge. To do so would lay bare the lack of legitimate authority of over three decades of political leaders.

Given all this, ever since Oliver Stone's JFK movie came out, I have increasingly come to feel that we are moving more and more into an era where the age of the leader is over. It is as Laurens van der Post observes: "There is a very profound reason why there are no great leaders any more. It is because they are no longer needed."[4] Van der Post expresses his understanding that greater consciousness and awareness must now be created within each one of us. Each must become a leader, following the light within. As we each reconnect with our own core of being, and as we connect authentically with others, a new community is being born.

A second note of hope is sounded by the crisis in our biosphere which is forcing all of us -- including the invisible power-brokers -- to wake up to the urgent need to transform radically the way we humans interact with our physical world and with each other. If we continue on our present course of destruction, our planetary home will no longer be able to sustain human life. Even the wealthy and powerful need oxygen, healthy soil and food. Their children and grandchildren will suffer along with all other children unless we change the course of human events.

The great fork in the road we now face is this: do these invisible power-brokers attempt to continue working behind the scenes to create a new world order (which is neither new nor an order), or do we seek to fulfill the visions of the more enlightened of our founding fathers, who saw that each one of us has something important to contribute to the fabric of life.

In freedom, each person is empowered to fulfill her full potential as a unique and divinely created being. In true freedom, each individual is empowered along the lines Thomas Jefferson called for in his famous quote, "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."[5]

Special Operations continue to this day, expanded far beyond the ideas of the original conceivers. They continue to use public monies, channeled in carefully concealed ways, to carry out actions the public would never approve. They continue to act as an independent force. To whom are they accountable? Working on behalf of what vision and what values?

The imperative is for us to wake up, come together and create a new vision for humanity and the earth -- something that will earn for us the praise of future generations, who will look back on us and feel toward us the way we feel toward the more enlightened of our founding fathers. But this time, the transformation is beyond any country, any race, any religion, any limited group. For humankind to survive, we must come together as never before and create a new story which we can begin to live into, day by day. Krishnamurti states this necessity clearly:

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.[6]

Fletcher Prouty has done a great service in helping us understand the nature of Special Operations. For people everywhere of goodwill, the task now is to join together, focusing our infinitely expanding talents and energies on building a truly sustainable civilization for the benefit of all life on earth.[7] For, as my friend, author and educator Norie Huddle says, "Together we can do what no one of us can do alone."

  1. Witness To History, 1929-1969, Charles E. Bohlen, 1973, p.504.

  2. "The Guns of Dallas", Gallery, October, 1975, p.44

  3. This mission was flown in direct contravention to Ike's standing orders that there be no such overflights of the Soviet Union at that time. See also, "The Sabotaging of the American Presidency", by L. Fletcher Prouty, Gallery, January, 1978.

  4. A Walk With A White Bushman, Laurens van der Post in conversation with Jean-Marc Pottiez, 1986, p.68

  5. Letter to William C. Jarvis, September 28, 1820

  6. Jiddu Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, 1969, pp. 51-52

  7. For a list of organizations dedicated to this course see Appendix G.

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