CIA paranormal program finds new life in Utah
Paul Smith’s Psychic School is located in an industrial park on the outskirts of Cedar City. It could be an accountant’s desk, except for a decal of a pyramid and an all-seeing eye on the door.
It’s called Remote Viewing Instructional Services, and inside, half a dozen students from Colorado, Canada train before their first session.
Remote viewing is a form of extrasensory perception, or ESP, where practitioners learn to describe an object, which could be on the other side of the world, without using any of their five senses.
In Smith’s version, a “manager” gives a “viewer” an arbitrary number. It represents a target that could be anything, from the Eiffel Tower to the site of a terrorist. But the student doesn’t know what it is.
The spectator listens to the number then Something come. Even Smith said he didn’t know what exactly. But the students quickly draw the target, and in front of them appears on paper the impression they received.
“I teach them how to get that number and then their subconscious comes out and finds out what the target is from that. There’s a little hand sign here because we’re not sure exactly how it works. But it works if you put people in the right circumstances, ”he said.
Smith learned the technique as a recruit in a CIA program.
“While I was in what became the Stargate program, I was an operational viewer, which meant that I actually applied remote viewing projects to try and get information about potential foreign threats.” , said Smith. These threats included the Soviet Union, Chinese companies and drug traffickers.
Smith grew up in a small town in Nevada. He joined the military as an Arab linguist and was in intelligence at Fort Meade, Maryland when he was recruited into Stargate. The program lasted from 1978 to 1995 and cost up to $ 20 million according to declassified documents and former operators.
Although Stargate was abandoned by the military, a cottage industry has grown around remote viewing. Some two dozen schools offer courses and services to civilians. Smith’s weeklong program costs $ 3,000. He said it was the Cadillac option because of his CIA training.
“My own particular approach is the closest to the original that’s actually available out there,” Smith said.
Apply paranormal science
People have recently used remote viewing for things like financial investments. There’s even an app, called Remote Viewing Tournament, which looks for psychic talents to play in the market. On-call viewers are hired for everything from commercial research to archaeological explorations.
Tonya Gunnarson, a health care worker from California, signed up for Smith’s class to help families find loved ones.
“I took training to maybe find out why someone died and the story behind when an investigation is underway. It can be very helpful, ”Gunnarson said.
But for some students, the appeal is not limited to practical applications. Joffre Perrault visited Smith’s class from Canada.
“It shows me our potential as human beings, beyond our physical selves and beyond our physical surroundings. You can help people, you get better. And anything that illustrates and illuminates our human potential is something that really touches me, ”said Perrault.
Joseph Baker is a sociologist at East Tennessee State University where he studies religions, politics, and paranormal subcultures. He said our scientific age may leave a void for some, which explains the attraction of students to remote viewing.
“Science is useful, but the idea that it is going to get a hold of these things that were previously the purview of religion or the paranormal, it cannot go through with it,” Baker said.
He said mainstream science can’t always explain bizarre experiments. And the more science tries, the more some push back.
“People can be alienated by the cold, empirical nature of it all and think ‘well, that can’t explain how I saw my deceased relative come to me,” Baker said.
After all, the paranormal search for explanations and meaning is nothing new. “Religion doesn’t have that stigma at all. It’s a cultural distinction between one who is normative and one who is seen as deviant, ”Baker said.
Paul Smith believes that a major draw for his students is self-actualization: the possibility that humans are not just “meat machines”. He thinks we are capable of more.
“[The students] definitely come away from here with a much broader understanding of what human nature is and what it consists of.
The fact that remote viewing is still in use shows that there are people out there looking for answers, even without CIA support.