Jan 31, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Witchcraft, Demons and the Occult: And Secret Warfare Too

Today's article is on one of those stories that isn't just strange, but that is  extremely strange. On May 10, 1967 a certain, unusual document was prepared for the U.S. military, one that really stands out when it comes to matters of a controversial and alternative nature. Its title was The Use of Superstitions in Psychological Operations in Vietnam. In part, it revealed a very weird story of how U.S. servicemen tried to frighten North Vietnamese soldiers with nothing stranger than the Ace of Spades from a pack of cards. Yes, really. I say "tried," though, because it didn't work. The document continues as follows: "As an illustration, one can cite the recent notion spread among combat troops in the First Corps area that VC and NVN troops were deathly afraid of the 'Ace of Spades' as an omen of death. In consequence soldiers, turned psy-warriors with the assistance of playing card manufacturers, began leaving the ominous card in battle areas and on patrols into enemy-held territory. The notion was based on isolated instances of behavior among Montagnard tribesmen familiar from French days with the Western deck of cards. A subsequent survey determined that the ace of spades does not trigger substantial fear reactions among most Vietnamese because the various local playing cards have their own set of symbols, generally of Chinese derivation. Here then was an incorrect identification of a superstition coupled with a friendly capability to exploit the presumed condition. It did not work." There were other strange, somewhat similar situations, however. Now, onto another - and equally odd - affair.

(Nick Redfern)

There are rumors that top secret files exist within the U.K.’s MI5 – that is the British equivalent of the United States’ FBI – on "Britain’s Most Famous Witch." Her name was Sybil Leek, who was rumored to have undertaken work of a very weird kind to help defeat the Nazis during the Second World War. I have tried to secure such files, but with no luck. But, there’s a chance they exist. The BBC says: "One of the most incredible claims about her is that she was recruited by the British Government during the Second World War. According to the Second World War author Michael Salazar, her role was to provide phony horoscopes for the Germans who believed in Astrology. She apparently wrote a chart which convinced the Nazi Rudolf Hess to fly to England, where he was captured." Maybe, one day, we’ll know for sure the truth of this weird affair. Moving on:

Back in 2007 I got involved in one of the weirdest affairs that has ever come my way. It all revolved around a secret think-tank-type group that was allied to the U.S. Department of Defense and that believed (and continues to believe) that the UFO phenomenon is demonic in nature, rather than being extraterrestrial. That group used the nickname of “Collins Elite” (to this day, however, I don’t know its classified title). It should be noted, though, that there existed, from the 1960s to the 1970s, a top secret group very similar in nature and scope to the Collins Elite. It was code-named Operation Often. And that’s the theme of today’s article: the story of a group that, just like the Collins Elite, dug deep into the world of the occult, the paranormal and the supernatural – chiefly to see if such phenomena could be harnessed and weaponized. A strange story, for sure. The next one is equally strange.

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(Nick Redfern) Demons in the Pentagon

"During the late 1960s, the CIA experimented with mediums in an attempt to contact and possibly debrief dead CIA agents. These attempts, according to Victor Marchetti, a former high-ranking CIA official, were part of a larger effort to harness psychic powers for various intelligence-related missions that included utilizing clairvoyants to divine the intentions of the Kremlin leadership," wrote Dr. Nelson Pacheco and Tommy Blann in their book Unmasking the Enemy. Pacheco was a Principle Scientist with the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE), Technical Center. The Pacheco-Blann book focuses on “End Times,” demonology, UFOs, “Global deception,” and much more of a very controversial nature. It was also as a result of this series of CIA experiments with mediums, that a shocking and terrifying discovery was made. It was a discovery that supported the beliefs and theories of the Collins Elite, and which also saw their operational abilities and scope increased. It is critical to be aware of the time frame of this new development: within the shadowy world of espionage, very strange things of an occult-like and demonic nature were pressing ahead during the late 1960s and early 1970s. And to understand and appreciate the precise nature of the matter, it’s necessary to delve into the world of Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.

And finally:  Incorporating both ritual- and ceremonial-magic into a new body that adhered to the teachings of Aleister Crowley and also aspects of Freemasonry, one Gerald Gardner birthed what, today, is Wicca. According to Gardner, one of the most spectacular successes that he helped achieve was to prevent the hordes of Adolf Hitler from invading the UK. In what was termed "Operation Cone of Power," Gardner and his colleagues in the New Forest Coven performed a magical ritual – filled with supernatural energy invoked in the woods – that sent the following message to Berlin, Germany, and even to Adolf Hitler himself: "You cannot cross the sea, you cannot cross the sea, you cannot come, you cannot come." That Hitler never did invade the U.K. – despite having overrun much of Europe – was seen as evidence by Gardner that the old magic could be utilized in a modern day setting to achieve extraordinary goals. And, as a result, Wicca - with Gardner in the driving seat - was born.

What all of the above data tells us is that, over the years and the decades, a great deal of secret research has been undertaken by military-based and intelligence-based government agencies on such issues as the occult the paranormal and the supernatural. No doubt, behind closed doors it still continues on.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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