MRS. BUELL MULLEN - 1967
What was to become the saga and soap opera of remote viewing probably began in 1967, a year of great changes in the world at large and in my life's directions as well.
As already mentioned, this was the year I took the decision to resign from working at the United Nations. The purpose of the resignation was to depart from wage-slavery and somehow to become self-employed and learn to exist solely on my own creative activities.
Resigning my permanent contract with the United Nations Secretariat was a long-drawn-out process, because a two year advance notice was required. I started that procedure in April 1967, changed my mind twice, but ultimately went through with the resignation and was then unemployed as of April 1969.
Had I not become "self-employed," then remote viewing would never have come about for I would not have been free to, or even would have thought of, working in parapsychology labs.
Now, as you read through the following chapters, you will see that the real story of remote viewing is not mine alone.
It is actually the story of the very many wonderful and fascinating people who made it possible. Ultimately, it is also the story of those who decomposed it -- or at least of those who fell into those circumstances which eventually undermined it.
I met the first of the fascinating people in 1967 in the form of two totally wonderful ladies. When judged against any standards, both were fabulous. The first of these was Mrs. Buell Mullen, the second Mrs. Zelda Suplee.
Both are dead now and few in the world will ever note their having existed.
But both breathed renewing life into my soul when it faltered, and mere
words hardly suffice to reveal my many debts to them.
Buell had been born in 1901 to a wealthy Chicago family, part of the influential Chicago 400 families' network within the worlds of politics and finance.
She grew up under the best auspices. Which means not only that she had advantages, but was extremely well-connected among the high and mighty -- but behind the scenes. For she was a female and in her time and social circles females were behind the scenes where they were expected to remain if they were properly brought up.
The whole of this was a bane in Buell's life, and she complained of it many times.
She properly married, of course, but then scandalized her family first by obtaining a divorce, second by becoming an artist in order to, third, earn her own living. Back then, women of her social class did not work to earn their own living.
Buell's art was astonishing. As it developed she ultimately devised enormous murals on stainless steel panels and used virtually indestructible epoxy paints. She was the first to utilize such paints as an artistic medium, and thus attracted the grateful attention of those who had developed them.
She was relatively famous for this innovation, and was a leader in the various mural associations in the United States. Many of her quite dynamic murals exist in South America, Europe and the United States. A good example of one can be found in the Library of Congress.
When I met her, although famous as an innovative female artist, Buell was already suffering debilitating neurological disorders from long exposure to the highly toxic fumes from the liquid form of the epoxy resins.
It was increasingly difficult for her to walk, and she could no longer lift the heavy machines used to etch the stainless steel panels. She hired me to do this work. I became her student and friend.
In spite of her increasing afflictions, Buell's zest for life remained undaunted. One of her favorite topics was psychic phenomena. Buell also entertained, giving large sit-down dinner parties in her glamorous studio on Central Park South, it's tall windows facing on Central Park.
An extensive collection of very amazing people attended her parties and dinners. Some of these were soon to play substantial roles in my life.
Among these were Dr. William (Bill) Bennitt, then Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University, and his fabulous wife Vy. The Bennitts were utterly fascinated with psychics and psychic phenomena.
Indeed, Vy "collected" psychics, presented them at dinner parties, and generally facilitated their sittings and demonstrations. Vy favored British psychics and mediums of which there seemed to be an endless supply. The Bennitts brought a good selection of them to the States were they could strut their stuff through readings and seances. Thus, I met a whole lot of British psychics.
Through the excellent social auspices of the Bennitts and especially of Buell Mullen, most of the psychics were funneled toward individuals of standing and wealth very many of whom paid for psychic readings and advice.
And for the first time in my life, I was able to witness the actual but hidden extent of the demand for psychics among the wealthy, among politicians, Wall-street types, culture gurus, and even among the very powerful.
I, of course, was not yet a "noted psychic," and indeed such had never dawned on me or on anyone else. I was an artist, but one who was socially acceptable because I could dress well, was comfortable among high-society types, and knew which fork to use at dinner.
But it was actually only as Buell's protégé that I was accepted at all among her social set.
In this social ambiance, I was soon to learn that British psychics are among the biggest gossips in the world.
And from Vy's collection of them I occasionally heard references to the use of psychics by, of all things, MI5 and MI6, the two top-dog British intelligence services.
It was also said, by several British psychics, that the British Customs Service also utilized psychics to help spot illegal aliens and illegal cargo being imported into the Kingdom.
I was at first somewhat flabbergasted and didn't believe the gossip. But as Vy collected additional mediums, the same gossip kept coming up occasionally.
So I asked Buell about this. "Oh, yes," she informed me. "Everyone on the inside of things know this although they will deny it publicly. Both Hitler and Churchill tried to use them. Many national leaders consult psychics before they make important decisions. The Russians are trying, too, and have been trying for a long time."
"C'mon, Buell. How do you know this for sure?"
"Well, for one thing, I've arranged meetings with mediums for Madam Chiang Kai Shek, on behalf of herself and the Generalissimo. Madam knows everything throughout the world. And she and I have had long talks. Madam has her OWN intelligence service, you know, and the Generalissimo has his own, too."
And indeed, both Madam and the Generalissimo had sat in Buell's studio to have their portraits done on stainless steel."
But what Buell next said simply blew me away.
"In the '30s before the War, our own military were interested in psychics. They came to New York and went around talking to those I knew. They also came to talk to me several times, so I know of this interest for a fact."
So I asked: "How do you know they WERE from the military? Did they say so?" I somehow had the idea that if the alleged agents were interested, they would have come in disguises and not admit to their military affiliations.
I remember what Buell said very clearly:
"Well, it was obvious because they came in uniform. J. B. Rhine was making a fuss, and so I guess they were interested because of that."
IN THEIR UNIFORMS! "Are you sure, Buell?"
"Oh, yes, Very certain."
After that revelation I started paying more attention to the gossip of
the British psychics and mediums. In talking with the Bennitts about this
-- fascinating stuff, right? -- I soon discovered that during the 1950s
the famous Soviet Researcher, Leonid Vasiliev, had given papers at conferences
in Brazil on "distant influencing."
Years later (in 1975), I was to learn from classified documents that the "psychic warfare efforts" (so-called, anyway) of the KGB were in full part built upon Vasiliev's original work dating from as early as 1924.
The second wonderful set I met through Buell Mullen was the team of Dr. John Wingate and his great and sensitive wife, Dr. Isabel Wingate. John was a professor at New York University, and on the boards of several important religious organizations.
Isabel, also teaching at New York University, was perhaps the world's leading authority on textiles, their designs, and their history. She had authored the significant textbooks regarding these and which are still in use today.
The Wingates, of course, being intimate friends of Buell and the Bennitts, were also deeply interested in psychic phenomena and parapsychology.
Indeed, John had long been on the board of trustees of the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR), the oldest psychical research group in the United States.
And, in 1971, it was to be John who introduced me into the ambiance of that venerable Society -- and which was where and when remote viewing began.
Buell Mullen, the Bennitts and others, however, virtually sneered at that Society, considering it a non-progressive cesspool of parapsychological egos and incompetence.
For one thing, the contemporary functionaries at the venerable Society had no interest in psychics in spite of its name -- while such creatures, after all, were the focus of attention of Buell and the Bennitts and their enormously wide circle of friends.
However, even though this group sneered at the ASPR, and in general at parapsychology as well, none of them feared to gossip about ASPR and parapsychological luminaries -- excepting the Wingates who usually did not say anything negative about anyone.
Buell's group knew where all the dead bodies were buried -- and who buried them -- and all this was stuff I couldn't find out by reading a book.
I, of course, was entirely fascinated -- with the soap opera of psychical and parapsychological research.
The whole of this wide social circle was, I think, delighted with me. For although I was not a psychic, I was extremely well-read concerning psychical research and parapsychology. And so I could discuss and banter the bigger pictures and many small details -- and which, indeed, made for compatible small talk.
At one of Buell's dinner parties I also met the woman who, at the time, was virtually considered the reigning "empress" of psychical research -- Mrs. Lucille Kahn. For it had been she and her deceased husband, David Kahn, who had discovered and financially supported the famous Edgar Cayce who became the most famous "sleeping prophet" in history.
Up until David Kahn's death, for the better part of four decades Lucille had held what amounted to open salons for anyone who was anyone -- not only in psychical research but for the seminal formulators of what later became known as "consciousness development."
Lucille was extremely beautiful even in her advancing years, and entirely gracious and regal. But she had the precision-eyes of a hawk, although few would ever guess as much.
She was no one's fool, and possessed a tremendous amount of accumulated knowledge regarding all matters psychic -- including the behind-the-scenes kind.
She was to become one of my most valued mentors and advisors in the years ahead. Two of her sons were also on the board of trustees of the American Society for Psychical Research.
The momentous events of the two years of 1967 and 1968 have largely been forgotten by now but need briefly to be reprised here for the contexts of this book. Those events acted to separate the past from the future, and induced an array of circumstances which forevermore changed the ways in which the human world was viewed.
The concept of the world as a Global Village had been introduced earlier of course, and whose exponents advanced ideas about the planet being one world and whose affairs and social designing involved everyone.
But the circumstances which united the "world consciousness" more than anything else, and which came to a head in 1967-68 with great social upheavals, did not really involve global village social designing.
It was universal fear of nuclear holocaust, and thereby the destruction of the planet's ecosphere, which brought about a conceptual unity of world conscience and consciousness, and which resulted in the astonishing social upheavals which then came about.
Back then, this prospect of nuclear destruction caused everyone to to pause who was reasonably awake with some kind of intellectual awareness of the world.
Since the 1950s, this fear had been contained within ideological precincits which justified the necessity of nuclear devices as deterrents on behalf of peace and the balances of Cold War political powers. But by 1967, the fear had transcended ideological values.
The Cold War was of course in full swing, and on whose behalf a very hot war was going on in Vietnam with the Soviets sending massive amounts of aid and assistance to the North Vietnamese Communists.
The United States and other Western-nation participation was going down in flames and the horror of accumulating body bags -- resulting in the wide-spread realization that the rationale for that war was nutso-whacko.
This realization, however, was more perceived at the public level than within official government circles -- as was the threat of universal nuclear destruction.
Now occurred a phenomenon somewhat blithely remembered in history as "student unrest." It was a phenomenon which no one predicted, and one which has never been submitted to the insightful scrutiny it should have been.
It was within this unrest that the Ban-The-Bomb commitment took on focus, and also in which War was not seen as a necessary and inevitable factor in human existence, but as a problem of human consciousness.
Two new circumstances now arose, almost overnight: the very powerful student campus riots against academic participation in any military-industrial activity; and the Consciousness Movement itself.
The campus riots proceeded for the next five years, and were to prove serious business. The Consciousness Movement is still going on today, albeit with several changes in formats and in many derivative directions.
One of the important fallouts of all of this needs to be pointed up because few today will recognize if not.
Prior to the 1967-68 period, the existence of Consciousness had never been considered meaningful, and in fact was hardly ever referred to -- except possibly within the contexts of Eastern mysticism. This is an area with which I am exceedingly familiar.
And so I can say with confidence that even within mysticism, occultism, psychical research and parapsychology -- in whose arenas one would expect to find consciousness an important topic -- such is actually hardly the case.
The term was occasionally used, of course, but not with the meanings and relevance attached to is because of the 1967-68 events and circumstances.
This is to say that in the West, and especially in the United States, the concept of Consciousness was not recognized as a thing in itself, not recognized as a thing which transcended the brain-mind relationship.
In the revolutionary 1967 contexts, though, the existence of war was defined as a problem in consciousness, one which needed a permanent solution -- lest the horrors of nuclear destruction come to shroud the planet in decades and years of radiation.
At the time there were few sources which saw Consciousness as a thing in itself -- except the Eastern philosophies. And, as it turned out, within the experiential realms of psychoactive substances. And by 1969 these two sources had gone big time -- all soon dignified by the phrase "Consciousness Studies."
The whole of the issues discussed above was promptly subsumed into the Hippie Generation, or the Hippie Culture. Neither were present in 1966, but were vividly present by 1968 -- and to the utter astonishment of everyone, including the Hippies themselves who watched their venues explode into gigantic proportions and social impact almost overnight.
Those events have their pros and cons, of course, and the Hippies have been forgotten by now and discredited, too.
But in my studied opinion, the world owes a very great deal to those stalwart souls of the Hippie Generation. For it was their combined, if at times unintelligible thinking, which introduced the concept that the human being consisted of something other than just a bio-body with psychological balances and problems.
For example, that Consciousness exists, and as such, incorporates the entirety of our species, was novel enough. But that it also has alterable or fluctuating states, whether by artificially induced psychedelic experiencing, or otherwise naturally so was, at the time, something along the lines of a Revelation.
That this was new can be seen by comparing it to the earlier modern age period -- in which human experiencing was merely seen within the scopes of the modernist hypotheses as an intellectual or psychological situation at the individual level.
In other words, in those earlier contexts it was not that our species had problems of consciousness management, it was only individuals that did.
To emphasize the point here, in the Hippie Generation contexts Consciousness was seen as a species thing transcending all cultures, ideologies, beliefs and other lesser whatnot -- seen this way at least by the more intellectually alert Hippies and affiliated advocates.
If I had space here to do so, I could show that there were many past preludes to this development, but that all of them had none the less reduced the scope to the individual level.
You may be wondering by now what all this has to do with remote viewing.
Well, for one thing, between 1967 and 1975 the conventional Western socio-political systems tasked with managing society had a very difficult time dealing with the enormous public aspects of all of the above.
It was one thing if some philosopher, mystic, or sociologist wrote a book or two about what was involved.
But it was quite another thing when, of all things, entire student bodies of the United States, France and even in England and Germany, rose in direct revolt to various conventional policies regarding war, the idiocies of the nuclear threat, social control, military-industrial combines, and even the essence and purpose of conventional education itself.
To put it mildly, if one was present during those years and remembers their staggering events, quite a number of past values and relevance and other Holy Cows were shattered, some of them to pass completely into dusty history without much comment about their passing.
Indeed, in my opinion at least, the Modern Age, which roughly began in about 1845, abruptly ended in 1967-68 -- and the somewhat brief Post-Modern Age began.
In any event, when in 1972 I first went to Washington to discuss psi phenomena with a variety of officials, I cast the problems of psi in terms of universal human consciousness -- not in terms of parapsychology and past out-dated psychological mindsets.
At first I thought this would be a very hard-sell. But indeed almost everyone understood what I meant, at least vaguely so. Consciousness and its altered states had become a real thing, of and in itself.
No understanding of this kind would have been possible before the momentous events of 1967-68. In 1972 found no argument anywhere.