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<nettime> GSA: ET Biopolitics and Creative Industries
Konrad Becker on Thu, 7 Jun 2007 05:11:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> GSA: ET Biopolitics and Creative Industries

Below is a text from the French new science journal "Le Planete
Laboratoire". The latest issue investigates the laboratory model of social
organization. It was presented at "Espionage Technologies and Art"
conference organized by RIXC in Liepaja Karosta. 
GSA presented a keynote on shadow technologies and provided aerial security
for the event. More on cultural peacekeeping and a whole range of critical
information relating to safety issues and services at:


Extraterrestrial Biopolitics and Creative Industries 

Global media and business networks create a planetary environment for
geopolitical experimentation with global parameters of life - and death. 
The "Grand Chessboard" of the geo-strategic world has expanded to outer
space and inner space. Conflict management has migrated into the military
entertainment complex, the domain of culture, media and the creative

The space age began with a grand media spectacle. In the 1960's, for the
first time in history, planet Earth was emerging in the consciousness of a
global audience, terrestrials on a pale blue dot in the vastness of the
skies. But the innocent picture of Man on the moon was diverting attention
from an advanced weapons program for the militarization of space. The
rockets of the United States space program and the Soviet Union's Cosmic
Troops were based on the V-2 ballistic missiles of World War II. In 1945
Wernher von Braun and his team, who developed and manufactured the V-2 based
on slave labor, were brought to America. This operation named Project
Paperclip included scientists linked to human experiments in concentration
camps. Nazi military officers were at the core of Defense Department
projects that centered on carrying military personnel up into space and
moving them around, but also on the use of robotic weapons in orbit, nuclear
missiles and the setup of armed "Death Stars".

In the 1950s the Army's missile program and later NASA's space program began
a concerted effort to sell the idea of space flight to the American public
and ensure adequate funding of the space program. Walter Elias Disney, an
ardent supporter of right-wing politics, joined Wernher von Braun to sell
terrestrial audiences on the idea of space. When they communicated a vision
of space in simple terms but with the authority of science, audiences became
moonstruck. The same year von Braun worked on Disney TV programs about "Man
in Space", "Man and the Moon" and "Mars and Beyond", Disneyland opened its
doors. In 1955 Disneyland became a milestone in the exploitation of the
human imagination, an environment where people enjoy being manipulated.
Visitors to this experimental theme park happily indulged in artificial
cheerfulness that was comfortable, reassuring and very well operated.
Disney, an early sympathizer of the American Nazi movement and a main figure
in McCarthyism's Hollywood witch-hunt, developed a model of experimental
psychological totalitarianism where subjects gladly settle for containment
in an artificial illusion of power and autonomy.

In 1960 the rocket development center was transferred from the U.S. Army to
the newly established NASA and von Braun, converted to a born-again
Christian, became director of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Even though
programs were shifted to a supposedly civilian organization they have never
been much about science or space exploration. Apollo missions were driven by
a military offensive in support of ideological domination and global nuclear
warfare while a grand media spectacle created the illusion of a peaceful
mission for all humankind. When the US military sent air force pilots to the
moon in 1968 it officially declared space as "Today's Front Line of Defense"
and the extension of weapons systems beyond the lower atmosphere as "natural
and evolutionary". Star Wars, Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI) in the 1980's, became a smokescreen for a plethora of approaches to
global warfare that go far beyond galactic weapons systems. However, most of
Reagan's "Star Wars" 
ideas had been conceived in the 1950's, including details of antiballistic
systems in space with hundreds of satellites armed by scores of missiles.
Even today's Space Shuttle design has its source in Third Reich research for
an orbital bomber plane. Military strategies in the 1990's confirmed space
as the "real priority for national security" 
and concepts for new exotic weaponry advanced. Recent projects focus on
networks of space-based lasers, directed-energy cannons, radar satellites,
exo-atmospheric kill vehicles and a range of other projects including
high-powered global non-lethal weapon systems.

When humans went to space for the first time in history, a mission to the
terra incognita of the human mind had a lift-off too. At the very same time
when technology extended the arena of human conflicts into outer space, the
mapping of inner space and the policing of the cognitive act was
skyrocketing. The first mind control projects in the 1950's simply aimed at
finding ways to force and to prevent unauthorized extraction of information.
Programs for colonization and militarization of outer space have gained
momentum synchronously with the quest for counterintelligence truth serums
in the 60's. When rockets were launched into space, the first mass
production and large scale involuntary testing of psychotropic and
mind-altering drugs took off as well. A series of exotic psychological
experiments were initiated alongside a massive diffusion of psychoactive
substances worldwide. Secret human tests evaluated the offensive uses of
unconventional interrogation methods, including hypnosis and sophisticated
combination of drugs. 
Experimentation with human guinea pigs extended to practical try-outs on the
lethal dose of LSD for a bull elephant. Donald Ewen Cameron, a member of the
Nuremberg medical tribunal who became President of the new World Psychiatric
Association in 1961, expanded some of the German experiments on humans.
Beyond psychoactive and paralytic drugs combined with sleep deprivation, Dr.
Cameron specialized in extreme electroconvulsive shocks, months of
drug-induced coma with exposure to audio loops as well as extended memory
and sensory modification tests. 
Missions of covert research programs aimed at the creation of "Manchurian"
killer marionettes, and ranged from brain telemetry with intra-cerebral
control devices to the possibilities of using telepathic control and remote
viewing. The dislocated German scientists provide an important historical,
technical and ideological link between these programs for supremacy in outer
and inner space.

The successful collaboration of Walt Disney and Wernher von Braun, Disney's
expert on the "World of Tomorrow", was deeply emblematic as it represents a
historic point in time and the beginning of a new era of geopolitical
domination beyond the planet. It marks the chemical wedding of technologies
of war and the mind, the conception of cosmic warfare and the birth of the
new military-entertainment complex. Pong, the first videogame ever,
developed at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the late 50's, was based on
missile trajectory plotting; and the first game for a digital computer in
1962 was named Spacewar. The digital entertainment of today has its source
in the massive investment in cold war military research and computer
science. By now technologies of warfare, war games and combat training, 3D
simulations and recreational computer games have converged on many levels.
The marriage of the security complex and the entertainment industry is
breaking the ground of what experts consider the future of post-human
conflict management.

Disneyland and the global media sightings of men on the moon are exemplary
for the universal power of imagination management and the spectacle.
Receptiveness for the spectacle is deeply embedded in human desires for
excitement, stimulation, knowledge acquisition and the construction of self
esteem. Largely based on the bio-cybernetic exploitation of human response
mechanisms that influence emotion, excitement and thrill, the technological
spectacle in its play with danger and disorientation is rooted in the
biology of ancient neural patterns. But its arena has been dramatically
extended through technology. The machinery of the spectacle generates affect
by triggering failures of orientation and control. This can be loss of
physical balance, a rollercoaster ride or cognitive dissonance. The
intensity of affect is directly correlated with the depth of disorientation
and the more that vital human response structures are touched, the deeper
the effect. Contextual parameters of relatively secure environments allow
appreciating these disorientations as hedonistic experiences instead of
discomfort and panic. These mechanisms trigger delight and numinous
experiences, moving and enthusing audiences.

The 18th century political economist Adam Smith based his lycanthropic
mythology of social order on "invisible hands" and fear. The business of
politics historically implied a delicate equilibrium of hope and terror but
with the end of the bipolar world of the cold war, the balance of devices to
uphold authority tipped from positive to a negative reinforcement stimulus.
In the 21st century, the social engineering of dread and longing evolved
into a bio-political arena of terror and a psycho-political culture of
internalized domination. The globally deployed technology of the spectacle
transforms to a creative panic industry, the pacification of the self and
the silencing of multitudes. 
With no visible alternatives to universal pan-capitalism there seems to be
no need for payoffs for the disenchanted, no necessity to bribe the
dissenting segments of the population and no incentive to grant extension of
freedoms. Instead of peddling hope and visions of mutually shared
commonwealth, authority is maintained by the production of synthetic fear
and the need to secure property against some other. 
Deimos and Phobos, the gods of panic, angst and terror dominate the
omni-directional realm of geo-psychological strategies in an asymmetric
world war against invisible enemies without qualities. Market concentrations
benefit neo-feudal power structures that know how to use access to media,
private security and intelligence services to advance their interests.
Private oligarchic networks of finance and business cartels cultivate
relations to governmental entities controlling state agencies and military
units. Media narratives and public relations strategies transform synthetic
fear into advantages that produce windfalls of power and profit. This
theater of fear is a skillful interplay of compartmentalized information
units, privatized command centers, loyal officials and gatekeepers as well
as professional Special Forces. Productions of artificial angst call for
scenarios of counter-terrorist theater rehearsals and paramilitary actors as
well as the professional staging of scapegoats and dupes. The dark networks
draw on privatized intelligence units, so called "asteroids", business
entities which provide cover for compartmentalized operations.

Space was formerly known as heaven and manned space flight from earth could
be understood as mechanical equivalent to an ascent to divinity. 
Johannes Kepler suspected paradise to be located on the moon and Konstantin
Tsiolkowsky, the Russian pioneer of modern rocket science, saw manned space
flight as a freeway to the supernatural. In his novel "Gravity's Rainbow"
Thomas Pynchon contemplates the ambiguous interrelations between sex,
rockets and magic. Jack Parsons, a key figure in American rocketry, lost his
reputation and security clearance in obsessive pursuit of occult rituals and
sexual mumbo-jumbo before he diffused into space in a lab explosion in 1952.
A crater on the dark side of the moon is named in memory of Parsons, a
tribute to the shady cofounder of the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
The 19th century spiritualist pseudoscience of a world of ghosts and occult
belief in spirits, a complex adaptation to modernity, has morphed into 20th
century sciences. From social theories and "optimization" of the workplace,
from operations research to scientific communication and applied psychology,
many genres of academic disciplines and the influence business are rooted in
the twilight zone of the netherworlds.

When Norbert Wiener, who developed his work on cybernetics from ballistics
research, writes that "Communication and control belong to the essence of
man's inner life, even as they belong to his life in society" he evokes the
ancient art of assessing the human personality and exploiting motivations.
Developed out of clandestine mind control programs in the 1960's, the
methodical application of Personality Assessment Systems became standard
operating procedure in business and intelligence. Systems of discipline and
control which took shape in the 19th century on the basis of earlier
procedures have mutated into new and aggressive forms, beyond simplistic
theories of state and sovereignty.  In the past, the science of power
branched into the twin vectors of political control and control of the self.
In the 21st century the technologies of material control and subjective
internalization are in a process of converging. The traditional twin
operations, with which the authorities aim to win the hearts and minds, the
binding maneuvers of law enforcement and the dazzling illusionist control of
the imagination, are transforming into each other. Not unlike werewolves
using the powers of the moon for a violent metamorphosis, contemporary
agencies of power turn into shape shifters and fluctuating modes of
dominance. Star Wars technology shape-shifts into applications of creative
industries, into the domain of desire, imagination and mediated lunacy.
Technologies of individualization bound to controllable identities and the
global machinery of homogenization are superimposing to a double-bind of
contemporary power structures. The renaissance heretic Giordano Bruno
anticipates these developments in his visionary treatise "De Vinculis in
Genere" - a general account of bonding - on operational phantasms and the
libidinal manipulation of the human spirit. The disputatious philosopher of
an infinite universe, beyond his unique investigation into the imaginary and
the persuasion of masses and the individual, also challenged the ontological
separation between the spheres of the heavens and the sublunary world of his
time. Today, in a technological marriage of heaven and earth, there is a
full spectrum military entertainment fusion of global conflict management. A
strategic analysis of the enforced colonization of space and mind will
certainly provide a more comprehensive understanding of the parameters of
life and death on planet Earth.

Konrad Becker - Global Security Alliance

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