Review by: KEN KORCZAK
Clocking in at more than 600 pages, Smith slogs through just about every aspect of remote viewing — from the mind boggling to the mundane — from the first days of its development through its eventual demise as a sanctioned government project.
Smith was a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and among the original remote viewers. Here he doggedly documents the endless and banal bureaucratic twists and turns of managing a super secretive, highly classified intelligence operation — but, wow! — it was a spy game unlike any other in the already dark and spooky underworld of international espionage.
Most readers eager for sensational stories of extraordinary paranormal happenings will find themselves enduring some eye-glazing moments as Smith plods through all the crushingly boring — the red tape, the funding methods, the inter-governmental squabbling. However, those who wade through it will be rewarded with a greater perspective about what really happened inside our government’s unlikely foray into “psychic spying.”
But there is much to amaze as well. There’s lots of juicy paranormal stuff — psychic powers, UFO tangents, channeling strange entities, spoon bending — that will satisfy the inquiring mind.
It would take pages to provide a truly comprehensive review of everything Smith covers in this book, so let me focus on one area where I think the author provides invaluable insight into a deeply controversial topic.
The insight I am talking about is the window inside Smith gives us on certain people who emerged as high profile public remote viewers after the official program ended — especially Ed Dames and David Morehouse.
Smith tells that Dames and Morehouse are two guys who more or less went off the deep end and were ensnared by the most unscientific and fringy possibilities associated with remote viewing.
Smith levels his biggest criticism at David Morehouse, whom he describes as a barely involved, minimally trained slacker who was, if not actually AWOL, absent for much of the time when he was supposed to be on duty working RV sessions. Morehouse also had periods of mental instability, a disastrous illicit affair, was once suicidal — none of which was precipitated by the strangeness of remote viewing — although Morehouse sought to use RV as an excuse for his behavior when he was facing court martial.
Yet Morehouse is active today as a “celebrity” remote viewer, promoting himself as one of the original “Psychic Warriors” (That’s the title of his book). He also peddles a RV study course, he leads remote viewing seminars and is popular on the lecture tour. But Smith paints Morehouse as little more than a failure at remote viewing, a fraud and a blatant, self-serving opportunist.
But the guy who really sucks up all the oxygen in the world of remote viewing today is former U.S. Army Major Ed Dames.
Smith is somewhat kinder to Dames in terms of his work ethic and commitment to military intelligence. Smith even gives him high marks for his professionalism as a soldier. However, when it came to performing the actual remote viewing sessions, Dames was rarely the one sitting in the psychic spying seat. Rather, Dames served more often as a monitor and facilitator for other remote viewers. His own ability to remote view were unremarkable, and he barely worked more than a half dozen official RV sessions himself.
Smith writes that Dames also frequently thwarted protocol by improperly “front loading” remote viewing sessions — that is, Dames frequently attempted to “lead” or bias remote viewers with his own unstoppable obsession with UFOs and his own pet theories about extraterrestrials.
When Dames could not goad disciplined remote viewers into coughing up questionable information about ETs, he would go ahead and conduct his own sessions with sloppy protocols, which would, not surprisingly, confirm his own belief system about aliens from other worlds.
Even worse, Dames displayed an extreme proclivity for apocalyptic scenarios. Again and again, Dames came up with end-of-the-world predictions both during his time with military intelligence, and for years after as a public figure — and he continues to do today. Dames has appeared dozens of times on the hugely popular Coast to Coast radio program hosted by Art Bell, and over the years had made one disaster-scenario prediction after another, none of which have ever come true.
Smith also sharply criticizes Ed Dames for the claims he has made about his involvement with the development of the remote viewing program — in short, Smith says that many of Dames’ claims about what he did and to help develop the military remote viewer program are flat out false. Dames was a far more marginal player than he has long advertised himself to be, according to Smith.
So this is an outstanding book which is an invaluable historical document that both dispels the many myths that still linger about remote viewing, and which provides incredible insight — a clarifying window into one of the strangest times in the history of U.S. espionage and intelligence operations.
Please see also my reviews of these books on astral travel and remote viewing:
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS
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