|True skepticism does not begin by being anti-anything. The processes of open consideration and examination (i.e., research) will ultimately establish whether something exists or not. ~ Ingo Swann|
Transcript of the Jeff Rense Program, November 14, 2001. Guest: Paul H. Smith
JEFF: Coming back for a visit this first hour tonight is one of our stellar remote viewers, Paul Smith, whose organization Remote Viewing Instructional Services, Inc. is on the net and probably teaches the best RV course. You won't find a better one anywhere on the planet. But we'll talk more about that a little bit later.
Welcome back to the program, Paul. How are you?
PAUL: I'm good, Jeff. I'm happy to be here.
JEFF: There's news about remote viewing in the so-called mainstream press. In the Sunday Times, just this past Sunday, a short story but nonetheless a pretty big venue for a story about remote viewing, with the headline "U.S. Intel Recruiting Remote Viewers to Help with Terrorism." This is an interesting little item to pop up in any newspaper. How did you feel about it when you heard about it?
PAUL: Of course I'm always excited to see remote viewing get some press, and positive press at that. On the other hand, of course, it always comes out a little bit garbled in one way or another.
JEFF: That's very eloquently stated. It's hard to get the mainstream press to first of all get hold of remote viewing, and secondly to present it in a balanced and equitable fashion. It's difficult. But the story text for those who haven't seen it said,
U.S. intelligence agencies are recruiting psychics to help predict future attacks and to find Osama Bin Laden. The recruits, known as "remote viewers," claim to be able to visualize happenings in distant places by using paranormal powers. The U.S. government established a remote viewing program, known as "STARGATE," [as many of you regulars know] in the 1970's in an attempt to utilize the skills claimed by psychics to combat Communism. The program at the Stanford Research Institute in California was shut down in 1995, after the end of the Cold War.
Well, we need some correcting there, of course. Go ahead, Paul, give us your input on those opening couple of paragraphs.
PAUL: In principle, it's not too far off, there are a few factual errors. The program didn't stay at Stanford Research Institute, it was actually at S.A.I.C. when it was cancelled, but that's a trivial error. Remote viewing is a logical choice for trying to find what your other sources can't find. So there have actually been a number of inquiries from the media, trying to find out if there's something going on with the agencies getting hold of remote viewers. It's an obvious story.
JEFF: You have been contacted?
PAUL: I have not been contacted by any official agency.
JEFF: When you put your head down the railroad track, what does it tell you about other remote viewers? Anybody else getting contacted? Or is it one of those stories that pops up from an obscure location and somehow makes its way by quirk into the mainstream press?
PAUL: The best remote viewers that I know, who have government history, have not been contacted officially by anyone.
JEFF: I'm glad you made that clear.
PAUL: That's not to say that there are not maybe unofficial contacts. Two of the people mentioned, who I know very well, Angela Thompson Smith and Lyn Buchanan -- I've heard from both of them since the story came out -- what they actually said was that there had been individual unofficial contacts with them, but they had not been officially contacted or contracted by any government agency.
How this often works, people have to realize this, is that you get people in the F.B.I., C.I.A. or D.I.A. who know about remote viewing. They are mid-level managers or analysts somewhere down the food chain in the agency and they know about remote viewing and they think it's exciting. They know they have an intelligence problem to solve and it's a very crucial one and maybe their intel resources are inadequate at that point to solve it. If Bin Laden's in a cave, a satellite's not going to tell them that. They're not going to be able to find him that way, for example. If he's not on his cell phone or radios, that's not going to help. So what do you do? Let's try this. We know about it. They might have read Jim Schnabel's book or something, they have a friend of a friend, or they get up on a website and find a phone number and they call somebody. "Can you do this?" There might be some discussion and they might ask them informally to try something and send it off to them.
There's nothing wrong with that. But it's not an official overt kind of a thing.
JEFF: If there were an official contact, Paul, we wouldn't be reading about it in the Sunday Times because the remote viewers that you mentioned, that you worked with, the former STARGATE members, probably have the discretion to keep the thing quiet and go on their way to do what they can to help our country.
PAUL: I think that's true. An intelligence agency would have a number of reasons, if they were to contact a remote viewer, for not wanting that fact known. First of all, there's the so-called "giggle factor." They're not going to want their reputation messed up by consorting with psychics, right? Even though they may find it worthwhile, they do have a public image to maintain.
The second thing is, they don't want to give their hand away. They're not telling us what kind of images they're getting from their satellites. They're not telling us what kind of take they get from their signals intelligence folks. They're not going to say, "we're talking to this remote viewer and this is what we're getting." They're just not going to give away their sources.
JEFF: Common sense tells you that. Nonetheless, it's kind of a glitzy little story to plop in, "U.S. government intelligence agencies are basically reaching out to anyone and anything they can, even to psychics." This could have been spun a lot worse than it was. It was presented in a fairly straightforward way.
What can we expect from remote viewers in a case like this? STARGATE certainly did involve itself with a lot of intel operations, military and otherwise, for the government during its rather illustrious career, and I say that with no hesitation because as you know we've done many many programs including with you and your associates about remote viewing and we've found over the years that the program did marvelously well. Very high percentages of a success. Of course, remote viewing is no better than the validation available to it. But in all seriousness, I have gleaned between the lines, Paul, that there are more than a couple of remote viewers still on the government payroll. Can I phrase it that way.
PAUL: Frankly, if there are I don't know who they are.
JEFF: I'm not asking or expecting you would. But I keep hearing from people who don't want to say particularly that probably most every branch of the service has explored this or has a couple of folks around who are toying with it. It's pocket change. Why not? Wouldn't you, if you were running the Air Force, or the Army, or the Navy - Wouldn't you look into this?
PAUL: Of course if I were, I certainly would.
JEFF: There you go.
PAUL: Unfortunately they don't hire me to run...
JEFF: You know better than most, and a few others - Lyn and certainly Joe, couple of others know that the government did pretty well at times with the program. This whole thing of Robert Gates saying, "Well, it didn't really work out" hasn't been accepted by a lot of people. If it's still there, and I think it is, it's pretty well deeply hidden. I think it's a very important asset, and whoever did this, reach out and make the press, was probably some mid-level person, or maybe a little bit of disinformation too, you never know. They play these things on many levels.
PAUL: It's hard to say what it is, of course. We did have some amazing successes in the remote viewing program. We had our failures as well and I want to make that point, because a lot of people fail to.
JEFF: So do normal battlefield tacticians.
PAUL: Absolutely. Any intelligence discipline has its failures.
JEFF: At least with your business we didn't have to deal with the collateral damage.
PAUL: We might have, actually, if they used our information in a vacuum. You're never supposed to use any single intelligence source by itself. You're supposed to have at least a couple confirming each other in some way before you actually act. There were probably some remote viewing sessions that, if they had acted on them, we would have had some collateral damage because they weren't very good.
JEFF: Did you happen to give any thought to what you might have tried to do, had someone contacted you on an official basis? "Paul, we need Remote Viewing Instructional Services to do some work for us." How do you do this without "frontloading" somebody?
PAUL: That is a challenge. Particularly when it's a huge news item.
JEFF: How are you going to keep someone untainted from the news? You can't.
PAUL: There are tricks. There are ways you can do it.
JEFF: Let's talk about those tricks, how you can keep a remote viewer from being frontloaded, in other words tipped-off to the probable target they're being asked to probe, with Paul Smith in just a minute. To visit his website, click on his name at the top of my homepage, go there and take a look. [http://www.rviewer.com] There is outstanding information, top-notch folks working at Remote Viewing Instructional Services.
JEFF: We're back, talking about remote viewing and the war on terror. Say you were tasked with coming up with the location of Bin Laden or a piece of the infrastructure over there. How would you take your staff, your remote viewers, and clean their blackboard before you gave them the target?
PAUL: First, let's talk about what the problem is with them knowing what the target is about. A lot of people think you know what the target is and you go ahead and you remote view it.
JEFF: Would that it were that easy.
PAUL: Yeah. If you do that, if you know it's Bin Laden let's say, and you've been reading the newspapers and watching the news, and they're talking about him being holed up in a cave with a carpet on the floor and generators and all that stuff, that is going to be immediately in your mind and you're going to sit there and try to remote view through that? You could end up with a lot of contamination from what you already know and it's hard to sort out what's true and what isn't true.
The trick is to remote view without the viewer knowing what the target actually is. That will allow the subconscious to work and provide the information through all of that extraneous noise. When the news is so widespread, it's very hard to do. Every time you tell a remote viewer, "Hey, I've got an operation session for you right now," they're going to think "Oh, they want me to find Bin Laden." Even if you don't tell them that.
JEFF: You bet. Even before you got the sentence finished, that's what would pop in their head.
PAUL: That's basically what happens. One way to deal with this, and we used this at the remote viewing unit at Ft. Meade, is that you task them on a series of sessions. One of them might be Niagara Falls, one might be the Eiffel Tower, one might be Osama Bin Laden, another one might be Plymouth Rock, whatever. Give them a series of targets, several of which have nothing to do with what you really want to find out, and going through this, this often helps. It gets the viewer defocused from the current hot news that's going on, enough so that when you actually do spring the tasking you want, they'll be more open to the data and they won't have these preconceptions. It's a little unwieldy, takes more time, but it's one way to improve the likelihood that you are going to get real data instead of memories.
JEFF: For our people who may be new to the whole idea of our remote viewing program, STARGATE, it lasted 14 years, was it?
PAUL: The whole program, start to finish, lasted about 23 years -- from 1972 until June 30, 1995.
JEFF: It got up and really cooking for how many years?
PAUL: You have to distinguish between the research part and the operational part, the part where we worked against actual targets. That, although there was some done at SRI, the unit that was operationally focused started in 1979 for the Army. That lasted until 1995.
JEFF: What would you expect remote viewing to be able to do? Could someone theoretically be able to nail down Bin Laden and, if so, how close of a geographical parameter could we expect to come up with? 10 square miles? 5 square miles? Just impressions of the inside of a cave? What would we expect possibly to see?
PAUL: Here's the trick. Tell someone you're a remote viewer and there are two things they want you to do immediately. They want you to predict the future and they want you to tell where something is that they haven't been able to find. So Bin Laden falls into that later category and there may be future terrorist attacks that fall into the former.
Trying to find something that's missing is something we did a lot in the unit and we had some success and some significant non-successes. What happens is the remote viewer is tasked, "OK, we want you to find Osama Bin Laden." The viewer then describes Osama Bin Laden's location, but of course one cave looks like any other. No matter how accurate the remote viewer is in actually describing the target, that information is virtually useless.
An good example of this, if I can go back to the history of this - I was just talking about Hal Puthoff, who was one of the founders of the remote viewing program, last week and he told me a story I hadn't heard about Pat Price, who was one of the famous early remote viewers.
JEFF: The ever-enigmatic late great Pat Price.
PAUL: A very interesting guy. This was from the time that Patty Hearst was kidnapped. You know the story, the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped her and then eventually she joined the group and participated in bank robberies. At any rate, while she was still in the kidnapped role, they asked Pat Price to see if he could locate her and he proceeded to actually describe quite accurately her location, the room she was in, the closet they had her kept in, even the building she was in. Hal indicated they had an inch-and-a-half thick set of documents that were transcripts of Pat's sessions. He could not go out and read the street signs. He could not tell them where she was. It's the sort of deal where the viewer describes impeccably the location, and the person who wants to find the person says, "OK, but where are they?" The viewer says, "I told you where they are." There are two different universes. That's the problem with locating Bin Laden.
Now, that doesn't mean that remote viewing can't help. From the descriptional aspect, where remote viewing can describe things, the remote viewer can describe things. The viewer might come up with a landmark or something that gives the game away, that happens. Joe McMoneagle did something like that once. But there are also some techniques we developed that help with what we call "the search problem."
JEFF: Just having fun with Paul Smith here, spelling out what we can and can't expect remote viewers to do like the circumstances we're in now, the war on terrorism. We'll be right back with Paul in just a minute and do check his website if you're interested in learning about remote viewing and taking a course. Top people and top techniques.
JEFF: We're back with Paul Smith, talking about remote viewing and the war on terrorism.
PAUL: I was talking about how remote viewing can help to locate someone. We found that the descriptive part of remote viewing, where you describe the target location was sometimes used, but not very often used because you had to be able to identify where that was among a multitude of locations on the Earth.
We thought about dowsing. They experimented with dowsing in the early days of the program but kind of got away from it for a few years.
JEFF: Actual dowsing?
PAUL: Well, in a sense. Map dowsing. I'll explain a little bit what that is. We started in the mid- to late-80's, getting a lot of tasks to locate the hostages, like in Beirut, Lebanon, and we were not having a lot of success in locating anything. We did have a couple of remarkable success, but they weren't successful enough that they actually caught anybody. We found out after some of the hostages were released that at one point we had actually correctly located a building where the hostages were, but it was not timely enough, nor was the information trusted enough by the people who needed to take action for anything to be done.
JEFF: Pretty darned exciting, nonetheless.
PAUL: That was nice. So, what can we do to improve this? A few of us talked about dowsing and finally I decided to do some research and see if we could employ it. It seemed like a good complement to remote viewing. I even joined the American Society of Dowsers, and started going to their meetings up in Baltimore and learning some techniques. Then we translated those into the sorts of operations we were doing. It wasn't just that, we were reading books and papers. And we developed some techniques, sort of a hybrid thing. Map dowsing, sometimes they use a pendulum or a straightedge, and they slide the straightedge across a map, the target is somewhere along that line. That's kind of a standard map dowsing technique. We adopted that and some of us were radio direction finders, we'd done some RDF work and so we started using pendulums and line bearings on maps and it got very complicated. We did a lot of interesting things, experimented with things that didn't work, some things that did sort of work sometimes a little more reliably. There are some folks out in Hawaii that's kind of revived that, they've gotten into finding radio direction finding and map dowsing, and have apparently had some success with it.
We worked at that and had a few successes. I don't know how many we had. We had a number of them, anyway, where we were actually able to locate stuff. For a period of time there we were actually tasked to do counter-narcotics work - locate places where drug exchanges might be made, ships trying to smuggle drugs in, where narcotics might be hidden, cached away. In one instance - one we were told about - we actually did locate a cache of drugs on an island. In another instance a secret compartment was located in a boat, that was an unknown. Another case, a container of contraband was found on a container ship, y'know these babies haul 600, 800, 1000 of these containers, we located the container with contraband in that whole cargo.
So we did have a lot of success in locating that way. But a lot of times it didn't work either. It was kind of a mixed bag, like any intelligence approach is.
Let's say somebody did ask us to find Bin Laden, we could perhaps do that and have maybe a 30-40% chance of locating him within a reasonable area of action.
JEFF: "Reasonable" defined as...
PAUL: Oh, close enough that they could use other means to pinpoint him. And maybe even pinpoint him exactly, that always is a possibility. The problem is, there's one catch here. Again with the search problem that people don't think about and that is, if you're targeting a moving target, even remote viewing doesn't help very much because you can describe the exact location of a person in one hour and if he picks up and moves to different location, you have to start all over again. And that's always going to be a problem with it.
I get a lot of calls for people who have lost their pets, their cats have run away and stuff. I get emails and stuff. I feel bad, because I know how people feel about their pets, I've been a cat and dog owner both. They're desperate; they have not able to find their pet any other way, so they think that maybe a remote viewer can. The problem with that is the same thing as being able to find Bin Laden. The cat is going to be under a bush, or under a house, or in somebody's garage, and you can describe it very well, but it's so generic that nobody's going to be able to find it.
JEFF: Can you task someone to give the location of Bin Laden, say, in exactly 72 hours time?
PAUL: That has been tried. I don't know of any actual successes with it.
JEFF: With other targets, other items?
PAUL: Right. If you could send someone to the right place to intercept the culprit day after tomorrow, then you wouldn't have to worry about where the guy is now. But then you run into the other problem with remote viewing, trying to tell the future. That's not just remote viewing, any discipline that tries to predict the future runs into problems with it. I have philosophic reasons why I think that's the case. Mainly because the future isn't fixed, it consists of a number of probabilities, probabilities that aren't necessarily determinable from this point.
JEFF: I see, very good. Be right back in just a couple of minutes with Paul Smith this first hour, talking about remote viewing and the war on terrorism.
JEFF: OK, we're back. Paul Smith is the guest, talking about remote viewing. As far as what is or is not going to happen in Afghanistan, what from this point out do you think remote viewing might contribute. Assuming Bin Laden is not the only focus of this operation, what other things might we look at? The Taliban has been routed, they are no longer a factor of dominance at all, and things have at least moved to a different level, wherever that level is, I don't know. Up or down. It's hard to tell the players there because one group seems to be about as ruthless as the other, certainly the Northern Alliance has its own history, and various groups within that organization have slaughtered, mayhem, summary executions, you name it.
PAUL: Kind of business as usual in Southwest Asia.
JEFF: It's been that way for a long time.
PAUL: For thousands of years.
JEFF: What can we do? It was interesting to see the statement made the other day that Bin Laden is no longer a target. He's not the Number One guy. They are trying, I think desperately, to position themselves, our administration, in terms of de-emphasizing Bin Laden to lessen his martyrdom and heroic stature to the world in the Muslim world. It was a little late in doing that, but I think that was behind that story, claiming he was not a target.
What from here on out can remote viewing offer?
PAUL: There are some possibilities here. First, if Bin Laden is still in Afghanistan probably conventional means are going to be more useful now, just given the current state. If they don't locate him, remote viewing may give them some edge there, should they decide to try it. If he's out of the country, then it's more valuable. Ultimately, this is assuming the government ever decided it was valuable and tried to formally use it. If remote viewing was ever used in the future, it actually might be more useful in rooting out the cell outfits scattered all over the world. Again, we're dealing with a search problem, so with the limitations we've already talked about, but still it would be useful, there would be a benefit of doing that. It just takes imagination and a bit of courage on the part of a high enough level government official for that to happen. I don't think we've seen that yet, though.
JEFF: A lot of people would agree. I wonder what is your personal opinion; I don't want you to go out on a limb necessarily, of how this thing has been conducted to date? This war on terrorism, which may last longer than our lifetimes, we are told.
PAUL: There really has been a war on terrorism going on for 30 years already. I guess a little more, it's just been sometimes hot, sometimes cold. And the newest effort I think has been, once we got a wakeup call in September, the newest effort has been fairly intelligently done. They haven't been perhaps as proactive in the propaganda war as they might have been. I suspect that there's a different mentality here, between the people who are fighting and us. In the military establishment, the general idea is that results count a whole lot more than words. And so why bother talking and blathering on, when you should just go out and get the job done, and then after you're done people can see what you're up to. Now, that works in a conventional situation. I think that the psychological and verbal aspects of this thing are very important as well. They have a mixed record on how they've handled that. The operational part of it, the on-the-ground, in-the-air, coalition-building and all that I think has been very successful, the results seem to be showing that.
JEFF: Do you expect good things in the future over there, or just more of the same? And we've had a thousand years of it. It's going to be difficult to go into someone else's neighborhood and set up an organization and expect them to play your game. I just don't see how the influence is going to be peddled there, effectively over time, unless you find the right people to pay money to, and to underwrite financially.
PAUL: We've had some of our own buddies, a couple of times, trying to do something like this.
JEFF: We have many times.
PAUL: In Somalia, and of course the Marines in Lebanon were another unfortunate example. Best wishes don't always work, sometimes you have to be real hardnosed. The Afghanis have a very tribal and individualistic attitude about things. They'd just as soon fight each other as anybody else. How to deal with that? Obviously you could end it in one generation if you could mass-educate everybody, you know. But that's not practical. So, how do you deal with it? I don't think that's something anybody really knows.
JEFF: I think we're in uncharted territory here, in a way. It's going to be tough.
Paul Smith, by the way, served for 7 years with our government's remote viewing program at Ft. Meade, Maryland and then during 1984 became one of only a handful of government personnel to be personally trained as a Coordinate Remote Viewer by the legendary Ingo Swann, at Stanford Research.
He has his own business now, it's an extraordinary business, it is Remote Viewing Instructional Services, Inc. I'm going to get you to shorten that name some day!
PAUL: We've been toying with that and you had a couple of suggestions awhile back and we may end up using one of them. Can I talk up my toll-free number.
JEFF: Before you do that, if you go to the home pages, click on Paul's name or remember rviewer.com and go there, on the home page there you'll see it works! And you see example sessions. Tell us about that in a minute or so.
PAUL: What I've done is just selected from successful session results, from some of my students. One of them is mine, I don't say whose is whose. These are obviously going to be very good sessions. They show what can be done with remote viewing at the level these folks were at. These are just selected from students, they weren't specially commissioned, or anything like that. Not all were double-blind, but probably half of them were run double-blind. In other words, neither the monitor nor the viewer had any clue what the target was when they started out. There are some of them where the results speak for themselves.
JEFF: As president and chief instructor, you're the guy who does the course designing and I guess runs the whole thing. Gabrielle Pettingell is still with you, Bill Ray, Daryl Gibson - you've got a great crew there. Is this something that is continuing to gain in popularity? It was quite hot a year or two ago, a lot of people were talking about it. Where is the remote viewing instructional business now? How is it settling into the community at large?
PAUL: There are still people who are interested. Of course our company is kind of the high-end company and we usually only get the folks who are really committed. Business has slowed down a bit with the recession and the recent events. We're not the only ones who have experienced that, by the way. In a way lately people are starting to develop a new interest in it. I think they looked at how ineffective sometimes our conventional means are, and they start looking around. What is out there that is "outside the box." The new angles you can get on a thing. People seem to be developing an interest in remote viewing again.
JEFF: That's what was behind the interest in this story. A lot of people don't know that remote viewing can be learned, that there are courses like yours. By the way, the F.B.I and C.I.A. refused to officially comment on the whole remote viewing issue, in terms of the war on terrorism, but did confirm that various investigators have been told to "think outside the box." That's being done, I guess.
If you were to be contacted tomorrow, is there something you would have to sign by way of national security to keep quiet about it?
PAUL: That would depend on how they did it. Certainly they would expect me to keep my contacts confidential. Whether or not I had to sign anything...
JEFF: I don't know if you have to sign it, this would obviously have been a national security issue, it wouldn't be popping up in the London Sunday Times, I wouldn't think, as we began the discussion with tonight.
PAUL: I wouldn't think that any official contact with a government agency would be something that they would expect to make the news. They'd be annoyed if it did.
JEFF: I'm sure. Are there still people, Paul, trying to learn remote viewing, to do better at the race track and certainly do better at the stock market, which was seemingly on life support for a few days there.
PAUL: Yeah, there are people. Of course, that's a perfectly legitimate use of it. Again, you are dealing with time, but there are ways to get around that, which I think we talked about on earlier programs. Yeah, there are people interested in doing that.
JEFF: Are they having success, some of them?
PAUL: Some of them are.
JEFF: Are they having extraordinary success? Success that would lead you to think that maybe there's a better way to make a living? You work hard...
PAUL: Yeah, I have other agendas than just making money.
JEFF: Of course.
PAUL: That's part of my issue. I think my wife would be much happier if I had more of a concern about making money. I haven't heard from one recently, so I don't know how to answer that question. Last I heard, they were doing remarkably well.
JEFF: Was this the one where they own their own island or something...just kidding.
PAUL: Well, there's one viewer that bought his own continent.
JEFF: Listen, the way the world is being divvied up these days, you never know. Does this whole thing about New World Order, Illuminati and international globalist cartel, which is trying to de-emphasize American liberty and more and more constrict the American public, trying to bring it into abject control. How do you feel about that, being a patriotic veteran of this country and serving our country so well?
PAUL: I'm always cautious when one talks about conspiracy, because by definition you have no hard evidence. And there have been enough conspiracies around that it leads one to worry that there might be something bigger out there. I'm inclined to think that it's not that cut and dried. They used to talk about international Communism going to take over the world, the problem is that Communism was never a big block. There were factions within it. The end result could have been just as disastrous, if they succeeded, whether they were united or not.
JEFF: Some would say they are still at it and trying. We're just about out of time now. Thanks very much for being here tonight. We'll check with Paul again.
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