It was some thirty years ago on the big screen that we watched Darth Vader kill with sheer force of will. It was pure science fiction. Or was it?
"The Men Who Stare At Goats" is a soon to be released major motion picture starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, and Ewan McGregor. It is a lighthearted look at how the U.S. Army explored paranormal powers, parapsychology and psychic functioning in the late 1970's and early 80s. The film portrays all of this in a whimsical and comical tone, but there is a real story behind this comical tale, and that story is dead serious.
Three years in the making, Jon Ronson’s Crazy Rulers of the World explores the apparent madness at the heart of US Military, Intelligence and Government communities. With first-hand access to the leading players in the story, Jon Ronson examines the extraordinary -- and plain bizarre -- national secrets at the core of George W Bush's war on terror.
Interviewee: "We had a master sergeant that could stop the heart of a goat"
Jon Ronson: "What? Just by looking at it?"
Interviewee: "Just by wantin' the goat's heart to stop...
This is the first of a 3 part documentary series, Ronson uses his superficially nerdy journalist demeanor to elicit candid responses from interviewees.
The topic here is the acceptance of outrageous ideas such as mysticism by the US Military after failing to win in Vietnam. At times the documentary seems like parody, but despite being about a lunatic fringe who believe that soldiers can be trained to do such things at communicate psychically with animals, it shows a serious point. Each one of the actual people interviewed represents a uniquely American cultural stereotype, Texan cowboy, West Coast hippie, Pro Wrestler style martial arts fan. For the first time ever, high-level members of the US power elite reveal extraordinary - and very nutty - national secrets. It begins In 1979 as a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US Army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion and they really take their task very seriously. What's more, they're back and helping to fight the War on Terror. THE CRAZY RULERS OF THE WORLD is a hilarious and an eye-opening exploration of American Military and Intelligence paranoia. The series looks at the irrationality at the center of George W Bush's America. With first-hand access to the leading players in the story, Ronson traces the evolution of these bizarre activities over the past three decades, and sees how it is alive today within US Homeland Security and post-war Iraq. Why are they blasting Iraqi prisoners-of-war with the theme tune to Barney the Purple Dinosaur? Why have 100 de-bleated goats been secretly placed inside the Special Forces command center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina? How was the US Military associated with the mysterious mass-suicide of a strange cult from San Diego? THE CRAZY RULERS OF THE WORLD answers these, and many more, questions. Jon Ronson has written a book THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS to accompany the series, which will be published by Picador in November.
If this is a real, albeit extreme reflection of the reality of the military’s ability to be influenced by irrational ideas that seem culturally acceptable, then ideas that are more widespread in the US but not in the rest of the world, such as extremist Christianity could also damage its efficacy.
When one of the greatest military force in the world cannot create armies capable to win a relatively small war in Iraq, or Afghanistan and when our leaders sanity are not questioned based on their leadership then we should all fear for our freedom and safety.
This is just a short clip of the documentary, Please visit my YouTube Channel at;
to view the complete serie
Episode 1: The Men Who Stare at Goats"The men who stare at goats" charts the history of a secret US Army unit founded in 1979, the First Earth Battalion. The program uncovers the truth about this unit's involvement with paranormal activities that defy accepted military practice, including mind reading and out of body experiences.
Episode 2: Funny TortureWe learn how the New Age movement of the 1980s has influenced interrogation at Guantanamo Bay and in post-war Iraq.