As explained in Computer: A History of the Information Machine, the personal computer was in large part a product of the “computer liberation” movement that grew out of the counter-culture of California in the 1960s. More specifically, those trends were in turn an outgrowth of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program that popularized drug use for “mind-expanding” purposes.

A leading representative of this trend, who coined the term “personal computer,” was Stewart Brand, MK-Ultra agent and founder of the influential Whole Earth Catalogue. Before studying biology at Stanford University, Brand attended Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious American private prep school in New Hampshire, one of the oldest secondary schools in the US. The Economist described the school as belonging to “an elite tier of private schools” in Britain and America that counts Eton and Harrow in its ranks. Exeter has a long list of famous former students, including Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, novelist John Irving and Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and the Masonic-inspired The Lost Symbol.

Phillips Exeter Academy was established in 1781 by banker Dr. John Phillips, who was a great-grandson of the Rev. George Phillips, founder of the Congregational Church in America, who arrived on the ship Arbella with Governor Winthrop in 1630. John Winthrop, who one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony, was also an alchemist and follower of the infamous sorcerer John Dee, who was the driving force behind the Rosicrucian movement of the early seventeenth century.[1]

Winthrop was a member of the circle around Samuel Hartlib which, as I have shown in Black Terror White Soldiers, was comprised of an international network of Rosicrucians involved in instigating the mission of Sabbatai Zevi, who rocked the Jewish world by declaring himself messiah in 1666. His followers, known as Sabbateans, practiced a heretical Gnostic doctrine which repudiated Bible commandments and became the founders of the Illuminati and spearheaded the leading organizations of the Occult Revival of the late nineteenth century, particularly the Golden Dawn where Aleister Crowley had been a member.

First serving as a soldier in the US Army, Brand was a parachutist and taught infantry skills. In 1962 he studied design at San Francisco Art Institute, photography at San Francisco State College, and participated in scientific study of LSD in Menlo Park, California. By the mid-1960s, Brand was associated with key MK-Ultra agent, author Ken Kesey and his “Merry Pranksters.” In San Francisco, Brand produced the Trips Festival, involving rock music and light shows. This was one of the first venues at which the Grateful Dead performed in San Francisco. Brand is described in the beginning of Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Brand was deeply influenced by cybernetics visionary Norbert Wiener, electronics media theorist Marshall McLuhan, and architect and designer Buckminster Fuller. Contemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control and psychology in the 1940s, often attributed to the Macy Conferences. The Macy Conferences were a set of meetings of scholars from various disciplines held in New York under the direction of Frank Fremont-Smith, starting in 1941 and ending in 1960, at the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, which was a CIA front. Among them was Max Horkheimer, the head of the Frankfurt School, who were the neo-Freudian architects of the 60s counterculture.

Jeffrey Steinberg in From Cybernetics to Littleton: Techniques of Mind Control, reports that, “for John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener, the core of the Cybernetics Group project was the development of computers, and the prospect of combining high-speed computers with so-called Artificial Intelligence, to literally ‘program’ the human race.” Underlying all of their efforts was the absurd belief that the human mind was a machine, and a Tower of Babel-like conviction that its functioning could be replicated, and eventually surpassed, by computers.

Dr. Jerome Wiesner, the president of MIT, participated in several of the Macy Foundation sessions. In 1952, he took over the directorship of the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, where leading members of the Cybernetic Group had all taken up residence. Soon, the RLE had spun off the Artificial Intelligence Lab. Much of the work at MIT, and at the Artificial Intelligence labs at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, was funded through the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

In 1974, Stewart Brand published a collection of essays under the title, II Cybernetic Frontiers. Two of the essays consisted of interviews he conducted with Gregory Bateson, a leading member of the Cybernetics Group and key MK-Ultra scientist, through his posting at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital. The other, longer essay in the book, Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums, first published in 1972 issue of Rolling Stone, provided a seminal influence, announcing, “Ready or not, computers are coming to the people.”

Brand created the Whole Earth Catalogue, published between 1968 and 1971, which identified and promoted key products or tools for communal living and to help “transform the individual into a capable, creative person.” According to Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, the catalogue was “one the bibles of my generation.”

Also working with Brand was Howard Rheingold, who was as founding executive editor of HotWired, one of the first commercial content web sites published in 1994 by Wired magazine. A lifelong fascination with mind augmentation and its methods led Rheingold to the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Xerox PARC.

PARC is a research and development company in Palo Alto, with a distinguished reputation for its significant contributions to the modern personal computer, including graphical user interface (GUI), featuring windows and icons and operated with a mouse. The evolving mythos is that Steve Jobs was granted access to view PARC’s developments, and was able to turn them into marketable products by integrating them into the Macintosh computer.

PARC hired many employees of the nearby Augmentation Research Center of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) as that facility’s funding from DARPA, NASA, and the US Air Force began to diminish. Originally founded as a means of attracting commercial business research at Stanford University in California, SRI began taking on military and intelligence contracts, many of them classified.

It was SRI which initiated what came to be known as the Stargate Project, the umbrella code name of one of several sub-projects established by the US Federal Government to investigate claims of psychic phenomena with potential military and domestic applications, particularly “remote viewing,” referring to the purported ability to psychically “see” events, sites, or information from a remote distance. At least three of the key remote-viewers at SRI were former leaders in L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology: Hal Puthoff, Ingo Swann and Pat Price. Price, a former police chief, after being trained as a remote-viewer, went to work for the CIA. Swann, a New York artist, went on to train remote-viewers at the Pentagon.[2]

In May 1974, SRI led a study on how to transform the US into Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, entitled “Changing Images of Man.” The report stressed the importance of the United States in promoting Masonic ideals, effectively creating the ideal Masonic state.[3] Leading the study was Willis Harman, a former consultant to the White House and who had been involved in LSD research on behalf of the CIA.

In 1976, Harman wrote An Incomplete Guide to the Future in which he advocated a society based on the ideals of Freemasonry. Harman believed that the symbol of the pyramid with the floating capstone on the Great Seal “indicates that the nation will flourish only as its leaders are guided by supraconscious intuition,” which he defined as “divine insight.”[4]

Rheingold, who was also affiliated with IONS, co-authored Higher Creativity: Liberating the Unconscious for Breakthrough Insight, with Willis Harman. Harman had been president of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS) in their first remote-viewing experiments. IONS was established by Edgar Mitchell, the sixth astronaut to walk on the moon, who claimed to have undergone a cosmic consciousness experience on his return flight to earth. Mitchell briefed then CIA director George Bush on the activities and results of the IONS.[5]

IONS figures prominently in The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. It was founded in 1973 to encourage and conduct research on human potentials. IONS, it claims, “conducts, sponsors, and collaborates on leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness, exploring phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor.” IONS partly funded remote-viewing experiments at SRI, until the CIA eventually acknowledge responsibility for them.

The director of IONS was James Hurtak. Although Hurtak has never been officially employed by SRI, he has retained close contact with its senior figures. In 1975, Hurtak participated in the First Psychic Tournament in 1975 as part of Gnosticon, sometimes called the Gnostica Aquarian Convention. The events, which attracted many of the best-known Witches, Wiccans, Magicians and Neopagans of the time from all around the world, were covered in 1974 in Playboy Magazine by Mordecai Richler, author of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.

Hurtak’s The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch, published originally in 1973, is a book of channeled revelations from a group of entities who refer to themselves as The Nine, which he claims he was chosen to receive, and draw on many ideas from Crowley, H. P. Blavatsky and Alice Bailey. Hurtak claimed to belong to a group called the Sons of Light of the Order of Melchizedek, “designed to change the destinies of the world by occult means,” and that he and others with access to “confidential and secret information,” were working to make the public aware that the people of Earth were soon to be contacted by “highly evolved beings.”[6]

Willis Harman disciple Marilyn Ferguson in her best-selling The Aquarian Conspiracy (1980), depicted the New Age counterculture as the realization of H. G. Wells’ The Open Conspiracy, tried to popularize it by painting the drive to foster New Age doctrines as a spontaneous and positive development.

Ferguson conducted a survey of 185 leaders of the Human Potential and New Age Movement and found that the most influential thinkers mentioned were the French philosopher, Jesuit priest and Julian Huxley associate, Teilhard de Chardin, of the Piltdown Man hoax, followed by Carl Jung who worked closely with CIA head Allen Dulles, and Aldous Huxley, who was the guiding figure of its MK-Ultra program.

Aldous’ brother Julian wrote the introduction to de Chardin’s book, The Phenomenon of Man. Aldous and Julian were the grandsons of Thomas H. Huxley, who was also a founder of the infamous Round Table, which was responsible for creating the Council on Foreign Relations. Thomas H. Huxley was also known as “Darwin’s Bulldog,” for his defense of evolutionary theory, which according to Rabbi Kook (1865 – 1935), most important exponent of Religious Zionism, “is increasingly conquering the world at this time, and, more so than all other philosophical theories, conforms to the Kabbalistic secrets of the world.”[7] According to Julian Huxley: “evolution is nothing but matter become conscious of itself.”[8]

Interest in Darwinism was related to the Theosophical notion of spiritual evolution. Based on the Kabbalah, it asserted that nature as well as human consciousness evolves, forming the basis of the belief in an expected cultural transformation that would come to characterize much twentieth-century occult and eventually New Age thought.

Although Teilard had come into conflict with the Catholic Church, and was severely reprimanded and his works condemned by the Holy Office, more recently, Pope John Paul II indicated a positive attitude towards him, and in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI mentioned Teilhard’s idea of the universe as a “living host.”

Often referred to as the “Catholic Darwin,” Teilhard de Chardin developed the concept of the Noosphere, reflecting the Kabbalistic notion of evolution. The Noosphere, derived from the Greek nous (“mind”), is the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Teilhard defined Noosphere as the “thinking envelope of the biosphere,” and the “conscious unity of souls,” which was “the very Soul of the Earth,” woven around the earth from the contributions of the totality of mankind.

Teilhard laid the ground for aspirations of creating artificial intelligence by arguing that as mankind organizes itself in more complex social networks, the Noosphere will grow in awareness, culminating in the goal of history, which he referred to as the Omega Point, a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving.

Teilhard called on humanity to create a “sphere of mutually reinforced consciousness, the seat, support and instrument of super-vision and super-ideas.” In other words, mankind was to build the Noosphere. Effectively, man will create God, the all-seeing eye featuring on the back of the dollar bill, floating above the pyramid of human society, whose omniscience and wisdom will be derived from mining the accumulated data from recording every facet of human activity.

Teilhard de Chardin is often regarded as the patron saint of the Internet. Tom Wolfe suggests that Teilhard de Chardin was a hidden influence on the work of Marshal McLuhan. McLuhan is known for coining the expressions the “medium is the message” and the “global village,” and for predicting the coming of the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented.

Teilhard’s concept of the Noosphere is currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project (GCP), which is privately funded through the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). GCP monitors a geographically distributed network of hardware random number generators in a bid to identify anomalous outputs that correlate with widespread emotional responses to sets of world events, or periods of focused attention by large numbers of people.

[1] Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, p. 226.

[2] Picknett & Prince, Stargate Conspiracy, p. 110.

[3] Picknett & Prince, The Stargate Conspiracy, p. 319.

[4] Picknett & Prince, The Stargate Conspiracy), p. 319.

[5] Edgar Mitchell, The Way of the Explorer, (GP Putnam’s Sons, 1996), p. 91.

[6] Jacques Vallée, Messengers of Deception, p. 133.

[7] Rabbi A. Kook (Orot Hakodesh Book 2 Chap. 537).

[8] Pierre Teilard de Chardin, The Human Phenomenon, (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press), p. 114.

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