(Part one of two.)
It was during the 1970’s that I first heard of Bohemian Grove. It was in an article in our Sunday paper, in an issue of Parade Magazine as I recall. An author, whose name I can’t recall and haven’t been able to find, got a job working as a sort of bellhop/waiter at the Grove. The author wrote that while he was there many of the guests, engaged in sexual activities. One of the guests at that time as reported by the author was a President of the U.S. It was stated in the article that in the evening all dressed in black robes and symbolically burned “Charity” on an alter in front of a large owl statue. To me at the time the story seemed so weird and unlikely I wondered how it got printed.
Skip forward about 30 years. I was sitting at my desk, working in my counseling office when a person I knew, and have regard for, came in and rather forcefully threw a book on my desk. “Read that. You can have it for two weeks.” he said and just as abruptly he left my office. Before opening my own practice I had spent a few years working in a clinic that, among other things, treated young people who had experienced sexual abuse. Such work can itself be a traumatizing experience. If you come from a background such as I have, not that my background was free from trauma and stress, but I had never been exposed to the level of pervasive, intense, difficult emotion that often accompanies having been forced to participate in sexual activities one has no desire, whatsoever, to participate in. There is a level of invasion of one’s person that I think is unique to sexual abuse. Add to this that the victims were children and that as often as not the perpetrator was a family member, if not a parent, and the trauma is amplified with feelings of profound isolation and abandonment.
I’m mentioning this because I want to make it clear that I am not, was not, a stranger by any means to vicarious traumatization (being traumatized by learning of another’s trauma). It is an occupational hazard for counselors who work with clients who have been traumatized. My sensibilities have gotten some mileage and I believe I can handle quite a lot without losing objectivity. However, none of that totally prepared me for what I was about to read in the book which was thrown on my desk.
You see, as we’re growing up, typically, we are developing (being taught) mental constructs which, unless there is some profound intervention, may well stay with us all our life. In the U.S., during the 1950’s and ’60’s it often included being taught a deep and abiding regard for the United States as a nation. This included the government, and the men and women who occupy the high offices in the land. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, the list goes on and on. If you grew up as I did during that time you know what I’m writing about. I think it still is going on although some of the names are probably more contemporary. In essence we were/are taught to hold the U.S. Government, our government, in high esteem. (A similar indoctrination takes place respectively in many, if not all, countries.) It may even be said we are taught to regard the government as sacred. I certainly got that message subconsciously if not consciously.
I have learned through the years subsequent to my early education that putting human beings or human constructs on too high a pedestal most often just leads to an episode of disillusionment. It’s not that human beings do not do great and noble things. It’s just that all of us are ultimately developing humans and as such have our weaker, less admirable aspects. I know all that and did at the time the book was given to me. Again, I was not wholly prepared for what I was about to read.
So, the book. The title of the book is Trance Formation of America. It is authored by Cathy O’Brien with Mark Phillips. It is something of a feat that this book even exists. And, to me of more interest, that it continues to exist, unchallenged. There are no libel or defamation legal actions which have taken place regarding the material in this book. Trance Formation… purports to give an intimate, inside look at some of the most reprehensible, sadistic, evil acts imaginable. It goes into great detail and names the alleged perpetrators. Some of the names include: Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Pierre Trudeau, George H. W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Vincente Fox, among others. And a few people from the entertainment world are named, including Jimmy Buffett.
The stories in the book are purported to be the firsthand experiences of Cathy O’Brien. They involve rape, pedophilia, kidnapping, drugs, sadism, murder and maybe most importantly; mind control. I need to advise you that reading this book will, almost undoubtedly, leave you very upset, traumatized. What is told in the book makes the sordid stories of Catholic Priests and pedophilia seem tame in comparison.
It hit me very hard. I think all the more so because the emotional affect with which the book is written is absolutely consistent with the affect I have experienced firsthand from others who have experienced similar abuses. And that is unsettling.
Since the 1970’s the allegations of sordid, even criminal, goings on at Bohemian Grove involving the rich and politically powerful have received additional attention and publicity. Not the least of which have come from the late Ted Gunderson. Mr. Gunderson was at one time head of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. In some of his presentations involving investigations he conducted after his retirement, Mr. Gunderson reported allegations of child kidnapping taking place in connection with activities at Bohemian Grove and subsequent murder of a child taking place at Bohemian Grove. He most definitely seemed to give credibility to those allegations.
So why is the title of this article “The Best Defense?”
As I mentioned earlier, along with most other people who have grown up and attended public school in the U.S., I underwent indoctrination at an early age about the nobility of character and purpose of the U.S. government and those who occupy high office within it. As time has gone on I have realized that whether it was intended or unintended, that such indoctrination tends to produce an “It’s too absurd to be true.” knee-jerk response to stories such as those told by Cathy O’Brien, Mark Phillips and Ted Gunderson, among others.
In the cases of pedophilia involving Catholic priests which have surfaced over the past few decades a common theme was that the victims were too intimidated to come forward at the time. They knew, or believed, that they most likely would not be believed if they told someone what had happened. They were up against a situation very much akin to that described in The Wizard of Oz. There was a curtain, in these cases of illusion and deceit, drawn between them, their family members, and their abusers. It was unthinkable to many, if not most, people at the time that such things were taking place. Yet, in hindsight we now know it really was going on.
There is a quote whose original author seems to be unknown that goes: “The best defense is a good offense.” In cases such as the one’s I’m presenting in this article, it seems that a good offense can mean developing a public persona that is so harmonious with the internalized values of the community that, by itself, the persona preempts others from seriously considering any allegations of heinous activity that might arise. A public persona so unassailable you don’t just benefit from a presumption of innocent until proven guilty, but you command a wholesale assumption of innocence so tied into deeply held beliefs that a serious investigation of the allegations is all but unthinkable in the collective public mind. A psychological Teflon coating, so to speak. The Wizard of Oz might well be in awe.
The mental constructs we form, especially those formed throughout our early years, are deeply and pervasively embedded in our psyche. It can be very traumatic to us to have those constructs assaulted. I was informed in graduate school that such an assault to our deeply held beliefs, if severe enough, might even result in death. We sense a threat to our being when we experience someone contradicting the content of our deeply held beliefs. We more than don’t like it, we’re threatened by it; it evokes fear within us. And we tend to want to destroy what we fear. Our natural response when confronted with information which too severely contradicts our internalized constructs is to “kill” that information. We may use ridicule or blanket denial. We may look for any shred of information or excuse to invalidate the information or simply choose to ignore the information as totally as possible.
Consequently, it’s not at all unthinkable that in such cases; when widespread deeply held beliefs are played upon with a well cultivated public persona, that even a guilty party is protected by so reliable a preemptive shield against any allegations that the best on-the-spot defense is often no further defense. The perpetrator(s) can ignore the allegation and it will go away; it will slide off like a fried egg on a Teflon coated skillet.
In such a case if the perpetrator were to even acknowledge the allegation doing so may well place the perpetrator a step closer to the event. That could conceivably expose a flaw in the Teflon. There are some extremely perceptive people in the world. We often rely upon subconscious signals in our discernment of whether or not a thing is true. So, even if there are psychological obstacles to overcome on the part of the observer, if a perpetrator comes into too close a proximity with the material they want to stay buried, there may be some indication of connection.
But we never see people holding high political office, or other “pillars of the community” simply ignoring difficult questions or allegations…do we? And just because someone chooses to ignore a difficult question, or even an allegation, that is not necessarily evidence of guilt. But I’m just saying…
Sources and additional material:
MK Ultra/Project Monarch, mind control:
Presentations by Ted Gunderson;
More on MK Ultra/Project Monarch mind control: