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The "eyes" have it

Overture Films
The "all-seeing eye" images (third eye) noted in "The Men Who Stare At Goats."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Surprisingly, I had not watched the 2009 film The Men Who Stare at Goats in about six years – until yesterday.

Perhaps, due to the subject of psychokinesis and remote viewing, I was reminded of Goats because I was still in the midst of catching up with Season 2 of Stranger Things, a show that seems to be grasping at straws in the midst of high expectations. The beginning of both The Men Who Stare at Goats and Stranger Things both begin in that tense, weird, alchemical year of 1983. Both with secret, psi-spy stuff going on. And so it goes ... 

Shadow spiders ... in Stranger Things. (Netflix)

So, I wanted to take a fresh look at The Men Who Stare at Goats, surprised by how much I had forgotten or overlooked the first time I watched it. I’m glad I watched it, and now, in light of the latest mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, there are some unsettling syncs that stood out to me. (Reminds me of my August 2016 post - "Back to the old salt mine" - where I first linked The Men Who Stare at Goats and Stranger Things).

While it stars George Clooney as gifted military psychic spy Lyn Cassady; Ewan McGregor as Michigan-based newspaper reporter Bob Wilton; and New Earth Army’s New Age-y Bill Django, played by Jeff Bridges; another top star in the film is Kevin Spacey – a noted movie and TV villain - who plays the main Goats antagonist, a psychic spy named Larry Hopper, who uses his powers for evil – and at one point, fails to correctly identify, via remote viewing abilities, of an image of the Lincoln Memorial, saying – via a “spirit guide” – that it was a “tin mug.”


Cassady, meanwhile, correctly identifies the hidden object as the Lincoln Memorial - “it’s a man sitting in a chair” - further creating tension between Hopper and Cassady.

Spacey's character, Larry Hopper, incorrectly "guesses" what was in the drawer. (Overture)

Where have we seen that image before?

I will point you to Christopher Knowles' excellent observations on "Big Spacey" on The Secret Sun, for more on that angle. Oh, and we all know that President Lincoln died from gun violence. And note Spacey's character's bloody hands in the House of Cards poster. And now we see the ironically-named series collapsing on itself in the wake of allegations against the actor, known for his smart and sinister roles over the past few decades.

Hands up, Mr. Accountant. (Showtime)

But back to this mass shooting thing. Back in early September, in my post "Stress test," I noted how people seemed to be under a lot of stress, as noted in the Las Vegas scenes in this summer's Twin Peaks: The Return, particularly when Jonny Coyle's "Polish accountant" character loses all patience with hillbilly assassins Hutch and Chantal and blows them away, after they shoot at him and nearly run him over. One wonders how the rage-filled "Polish accountant" had access to a weapon of that caliber? 

In the Oprah-ish 2000 film Pay It Forward, Spacey plays a bespectacled weirdo named Eugene Simonet, who was abused by his father and set on fire, resulting in his burns. The film is set in ... Las Vegas, of course.

Spacey's "Eugene" looks a lot like this guy Richard Doty, a notorious disinfo agent who spread his lies into the already fractured UFO investigtion community. Doty's story was share in the documentary Mirage Men

Doty was allegedly involved in the notorious Paul Bennewitz case in Albuquerque, New Mexico, relayed in Greg Bishop's great book Project Beta. He likely had ties to Holloman AFB, as well as Kirtland AFB there in Albuquerque.

Note Richard Doty's "dead eyes." (Via Jules Didlio)

And what of Sutherland Springs' mass-murder mastermind Devin Patrick Kelley? Another dead-eyed monster with access to weaponry no sane civilian should be handling.

Domestic terrorist Devin Patrick Kelley. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

He was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child while he was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico, not far from Alamogordo, White Sands and the Trinity Site. Holloman is also noted for its copious number of UFO and alien-related "incidents" over the years, purportedly involving presidents meeting ET's ... 

As People magazine noted today: According to People magazine, Kelley was known for having serious problems years ago ... 

"An Air Force spokeswoman tells PEOPLE that Kelley served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, working in logistics readiness. He was stationed there from 2010 until he was discharged in 2014, following a 2012 court-martial on accusations he assaulted his spouse and their child, the spokeswoman says.

Kelley received a bad conduct discharge and 12 months’ confinement as well as a reduction in rank, the spokeswoman says."

Logistics readiness? Perhaps we'll learn more about what Kelley was really involved with during his rage-filled years in the New Mexico desert. The Albuquerque Journal reported on Kelley's divorce while "in jail" at Holloman. He was notoriously violent, particularly towards women ... a trait that seems to infect many of these mass shooters of late.

Red Dirt Report's Brandon King has more on this gun-related massacre - said to be the worst in Texas history, and just over a month after the worst mass shooting in American history - and with the military angle, it takes me back to The Men Who Stare at Goats, a film loosely based on Jon Ronson's 2004 book of the same name which focused on the U.S. military's post-Vietnam War efforts to utilize New Age beliefs, paranormal abilities and other esoteric things to enhance their military information-gathering abilities during those latter years of the Cold War. 

As an aside, a key figure in helping Ronson gather his material was a British journo named John Sergeant, was completely airbrused out of the book - and the film. I could not find Ronson's explanation of why Sergeant was treated this way. Of course it was Jon Ronson who accompanied a young Austin, Texas-based radio host and conspiracy theorist - Alex Jones - on the infiltration of the evil Bohemian Grove in northern California. 

Ronson and Jones are forever tied together due to the Bohemian Grove link - the event that got my attention back in 2000 or so about Jones' seeming seriousness about taking down the "globalist elite." As a journalist, and naturally suspect of those in power, there was a time when I really respected Jones. Now we know Jones is a hatchet man for the Trump crime syndicate and the far-right, fascist goons who want to see The Handmaid's Tale made real. And Jones gets attention for predicting that anti-fascist groups were going to go apeshit on Nov. 4th ... and, well, nothing ... except now, Jones is saying that this evil fuck-up Kelley may have been an "antifa" rebel trying to target Christians ... and on and on.

"Hey Alex. Umm. Good to see you ..." (

But back to The Men Who Stare At Goats ... in the film, we see Spacey's "Hopper" character using "unauthorized" LSD and mind-altering experiments (shades of MK-ULTRA) - "nothing is real ... living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see ..." and causing his "guinea pig" soldier, Lt. Norman Pendleton, losing it and heading out into the quad at Fort Bragg, where the experiments were taking place in the early 80's, and wandering out there, naked, and randomly shooting at soldiers, before taking his own life. The experiment was not safe. And Hopper's "lab rat" was dead. Recall that the police chief in Stranger Things, played by actor David Harbour, is also named "Hopper." And yet that Hopper is a hero. The "duality of man"? That "Jungian thing" that Stranger Things' evil scientist, played by Matthew Modine - Private Joker - notes in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, a film that The Men Who Stare At Goats seems to pay homage to in spots.

I am reminded of this interview that horror film actor and legend Christopher Lee did back in the mid-1970's (via Dangerous Things) talking about black magic and the occult and how his characters did not intersect with his real life and how he knew the dangers of dabbling. I thought of Kevin Spacey when I read that. His diabolical characters - particularly on the popular House of Cards series - seem to be intersecting with his real life, if the accusations that have been coming forth are true. This story says eight House of Cards employees have come forward talking about a "predatory" Spacey creating a "toxic" work environment, according to this People story.

Life imitating art ... or the other way around, here in the Upside Down?

My Tom Petty "Hypnotic Eye" tour hat - and my pyramid/eye woodcut. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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