In Arcana the Central Intelligence Agency operates a top secret “Magick Office” that developed out of the remote viewing experiments that started in the 1970’s. Last weekend I saw the film The Men Who Stare At Goats which draws its inspiration from actual paranormal experiments conducted by the United States Army beginning in 1979. The film is based on a BBC documentary series called Crazy Rulers of the World by Jon Ronson and his accompanying book from which the film takes its title.
This last week I tracked down a copy of Crazy Rulers of the World and was surprised at how many events from the film appear in nearly the same form as they do in the documentary with only the characters fictionalized. As the opening quote of the film states, “More of this is true than you would believe.” Apparently this is indeed the case, and it makes the conspiracy theorist in me wonder if this is just the material that the government was willing to declassify what else might be going on. Could there really be a CIA or Army Magick Office?
One of the more interesting sections of the documentary, at least to a ritual magician like myself, was Ronson’s interview of Guy Savelli, the man who claimed to have stopped the heart of a goat through the psychic power of “remote influencing.” In the following transcribed section Savelli explains to Ronson how he did it:
“I picture a golden road going up in the sky, and I, because I’m Christian, I picture that the Lord is up there. And I picture myself walking up into the arms of the Lord and I picture His arms around me. And when He does it I get a chill inside of me and I know it’s right. So I did that, and I’m kind of asking for a way to knock this goat down.”
Savelli thus starts out with a godform assumption just like any ritual magician would. So far this sounds more like kind of a freeform spell than how psychic power is usually described by parapsychologists.
“So it comes to me that, probably, there’s this one picture that we have of Saint Michael the Archangel with his sword in the air like that. So I got that picture in my mind and I kind of sent it over with my mind to where the goat was. In my mind I pictured that Saint Michael got this sword and was going through the goat and knocking it down to the ground.”
So the resulting paranormal effect was accomplished by conjuring an Archangel! That’s magick, folks, and I’m willing to bet that if this really worked at all ceremonial forms would substantially improve its effectiveness. If I were an Army official who knew anything about Western esotericism and heard someone describe their powers to me in the way that Savelli does, the very next thing I would do is start rounding up funding for a Magick Office!
I suppose in the end you can never really can tell, since fiction does occasionally veer surprisingly close to the truth. But I’ll be as amazed as anyone if it comes out twenty years from now that sure enough, the Magick Office was for real.