Sinister Forces

A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft
Book One
The Nine

Peter Levenda

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Sinister Forces

A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft

Book One: The Nine

Peter Levenda


SINISTER FORCES—A GRIMOIRE OF AMERICAN POLITICAL WITCHCRAFT: THE NINE Copyright © 2005, 2011 Peter Levenda. All rights reserved.

TrineDay PO Box 577

Walterville, OR 97489

Levenda, Peter

Sinister Forces—A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft: The Nine / Peter Levenda ; with forward by Jim Hougan — 1st ed.

p. cm.

(ISBN-13) 978-0-9841858-1-8 (ISBN-10) 0-9841858-1-X (acid-free paper) (ISBN-13) 978-1-936296-75-0 (ISBN-10) 1-936296-75-6 EPUB

(ISBN-13) 978-1-936296-76-7 (ISBN-10) 1-936296-76-4 KINDLE

1. Political Corruption—United States. 2. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)— MK-ULTRA—Operation BLUEBIRD. 3. Behavior Modicfication—United States.

4. Occultism—United States—History. 5. Crime—Serial Killers—Charles Manson— Son of Sam. 6. Secret Societies—United States. 1. Title



10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the USA

Distribution to the Trade By: Independent Publishers Group (IPG) 814 North Franklin Street

Chicago, Illinois 60610 312.337.0747

For Rose

Table of Contents

Title Page Dedication

Foreword by Jim Hougan Introduction: A Study in Scarlet


1. The Dunwich Horror: An Occult History of America

2. The Mountains of Madness: American Prehistory and the Occult 3. Red Dragon: The Ashland Tragedy


4. Unholy Alliance: Nazism, Satanism and Psychological Warfare in the USA

5. Bluebird

6. The Doors of Perception


8. Rosemary’s Baby

Appendix Index

Chapter Headings for Sinister Forces Book Two and Three Catalog

One cannot coerce the Spiritual: if one attempts to enter into the Light without preparation, one always faces the trials and dangers of Darkness. At the very least, an enforced entry into initiation will drive the illegal entrant insane.

— David Ovason, The Zelator



Just when the 20th Century went amok, and why, is difficult to say, but the creation of the CIA would seem to have been, at the very least, a contributing factor.

Born in the septic afterglow of World War II, and in keen anticipation of its successor, WW III (a/k/a “the Big One”), the Agency was shaped, in part, by transformative events that had taken place earlier in the century. These were the efflorescence of psychiatry as an important medical practice, and a turn-of-the-century occult revival that reached a crescendo in the 1920s.

Taken together, these events conspired toward unforeseen ends, not the least of which was the conversion of the American heartland into a laboratory experiment in “psychological warfare.”

As Peter Levenda, the author of this extraordinary and deeply scary book, points out, the term is a translation of a German word, Weltansschauungskrieg (literally, “world-view warfare”). By way of example, one battle in this war got under way in 1953, when the Central Intelligence Agency convened “a prestigious group of scientists” (watch out, dear Reader, whenever you see that phrase) to discuss the problem of UFOs. There were waves of sightings at the time, and people, in and out of government, were getting nervous about them. Meeting behind closed doors, with CIA security guards at the ready, the so-called “Robertson Panel” (named for Dr. H.P. Robertson, a physicist and weapons expert at Caltech) studied the Tremonton sightings and other films of lights in the sky, and listened patiently to the reports of experts from the private sector, the Air Force and Navy.

Soon, it became apparent that the experts were in disagreement. Some claimed that the lights could be explained in terms of natural phenomena (e.g., sunlight on the wings of sea-gulls). Others, such as the Navy’s Photo-

Interpretation Laboratory, insisted that, on careful study, the same objects appeared to be “self-luminous,” and therefore intelligently guided.

So it was a question of seagulls or rockets or spaceships. Or something.

No matter. Since the experts could not agree on the meaning of the evidence in front of them, the scientific problem was redefined in political terms. Whatever was zipping around in the skies over America, it hadn’t killed anyone (at least not yet, at least not directly). So there didn’t appear to be a military threat.

Or was there?

The question arose as to what might happen if the Soviets tried to exploit the phenomenon, preying on the superstitions and weaknesses of the man in the street. A “War of the Worlds” panic might easily result. “Mass hysteria” would set in, and emergency reporting channels would be overloaded. Air-defense intelligence sources would be compromised.

The Reds could walk right in! If not to Washington, then West Berlin. Something had to be done.

It was decided, therefore, that the subject had to be “debunked.” That is to say, UFOs needed to be made intellectually disreputable in the hope that they would eventually become unthinkable. In this way, the problem (if not the lights themselves) would be made to disappear.

So it was that a covert operation was mounted, with the Ozzie & Harriet world of Middle America as its target. Celebrities such as Arthur Godfrey were enlisted to make fun of the subject and ridicule those who were interested in it. UFO watchdog groups, such as Wisconsin’s Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), were placed under surveillance and infiltrated. The Jam Handy Organization, which produced World War II films for the American Army, was retained, along with the Walt Disney organization. Journalists working for Life and the Saturday Evening Post were dragged into the fray, as was the Navy’s Special Devices Center on Long Island.

It took a while, but UFOs eventually became a kind of in-joke among those who hoped to be taken seriously. To raise the issue in public was to invite ridicule and trigger snickers. By 1960, curiosity about mysterious lights in the sky was regarded by many as evidence of mental “instability.” While an expression of interest in the subject would not be enough to get you committed, neither would it enhance your resume.

Other psy-ops followed, at home and abroad. Levenda discusses many of them, including Gen. Edward Lansdale’s manipulation of the vampire myth in the Philippines, and the CIA’s scheme to eliminate Fidel Castro by persuading his constituents that he was, in fact, el Anticristo.

The JFK assassination was, of course, a focal-point in the world-view war waged by the CIA. Just as the Agency conspired to make curiosity about “flying saucers” a litmus test for an addled mind, excessive interest in the President’s murder was made to seem “ghoulish” and trivial. For a journalist or historian to write critically about either subject was professional suicide.

Eventually, psy-ops like these combined to redefine the parameters of acceptable discourse in America. Principal among the notions placed beyond the Pale was the practice and theory of “conspiracism”—which soon came to include criticism of mainstream reportage. More than a matter of seeing cabals behind every murder, it was a way of thinking, a stance toward the networks, the press and the feds. Anyone who looked too deeply into events, or who asked too many questions, was dismissed as “a conspiracy-theorist.” (This, after MK-ULTRA, Iran-Contra, BCCI and the destruction of the World Trade Centers.)

In some ways, it is as if the century itself has been encrypted, so that if an historian would be honest, he must also become an investigator reporter. Failing that, we are left at the mercy of ambitious academicians and journalists, stenographers to power who are themselves complicit in an astonishing string of cover-ups and atrocities that stretch from Dealey Plaza to Watergate, Waco to 9-11. Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian poet and film director who was stomped to death by a street-hustler in 1975 (unless, as some insist, he was beaten to death by a gang of fascists) understood. Fascinated by the 20th Century vectors of politics and violence, Pasolini

despaired of the way in which the age has been encrypted. Writing in Corriere della Sera, a left-wing newspaper, he declared,

I know the names of those responsible for the slaughters…

I know the names of the powerful group…

I know the names of those who, between one mass and the next, made provision and guaranteed political protection…

I know the names of the important and serious figures who are behind the ridiculous figures…

I know the names of the important and serious figures behind the tragic kids…

I know all these names and all the acts (the slaughters, the attacks on institutions) they have been guilty of…

I know. But I don’t have the proof. I don’t even have clues.

Well, here they are: the clues, seething in the evidentiary equivalent of what the French call “a basket of crabs,” in the first volume of what promises to be a virtual encyclopedia of clues. Levenda calls Sinister Forces “a grimoire,” or manual for invoking demons.

Certainly, there are demons enough in its pages: Charles Manson and Richard Helms, Aleister Crowley and David Ferrie, Jack Parsons and the Son of Sam. The “usual suspects,” you say? Well, yes, of course. But the suspects are served up with an entourage of angels and demons you may never have heard of: Arthur Young and C.D. Jackson, Andrija Puharich and The Nine, not to mention a claque of “Wandering Bishops” and the proprietors of Music World in Wilder, Kentucky (surely the model for the nightmare-cantina in Quentin Tarantino’s “From Dusk Til Dawn”).

But that’s just for openers. Levenda’s study is broad and deep, a life’s work that runs to volumes. What distinguishes it from other efforts, such as those of Pasolini, is not merely its comprehensiveness. Rather, it is Levenda’s realization that a matrix of politics and violence is incapable of explaining the demented century that shuddered to an end in Manhattan, not

so long ago. What’s needed is a third dimension, and that dimension, he tells us, is “the occult.”

By this, Levenda means something broader than a mix of magic and religion. When he writes of the occult, he means to include whatever is secret, hidden, or unknown. Add this dimension to those of politics and violence, and the century shivers into focus. Sinister Forces is about evil in what is now the digital age: Evil 2.0.

Time magazine long ago, and famously, posed the question: “Is God Dead?” Implicit in Levenda’s study is a related inquiry: Did the Devil survive Him? If he did not, then how are we to explain a century of recreational homicide and political mayhem?

Perhaps with reference to what seems to be a Fortean element: the pattern of coincidence that enfolds these highly strange events, adding a distinct “woo-woo factor” to Levenda’s study. Whether it is Lee Harvey Oswald’s habit of hanging out at the Bluebird Cafe in Atsugi, Japan (“Bluebird” was the code-name of a CIA mind control program to produce “programmed assassins”), or the famous chain of coincidences surrounding the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations, (eg., Lincoln’s secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy’s secretary named Lincoln each warned the President not to make his fatal sojourn). It seems almost as if an early warning system is embedded in the passage of time itself, or in what Carl Jung called the Collective Unconscious. And that system would seem to be sending a stream of warning signals, enciphered as synchronicities.

Exploring topics like this is what makes The Nine one of the darkest and most provocative books that you are ever likely to read (pending publication of Book II). That said, it also one of the most enjoyable, easy to pick up (start reading on any page), and hard to put down. Levenda’s intuitions are a delight, and his choice of subject-matter unerring. Both a compendium of 20th century evil and an investigation of it, Levenda’s study is deep, intuitive (and, often, droll).

It is, in other words, parapolitics at their most bizarre and, I suspect, their most illuminating. Like UFOs, conspiracies and assassination, serial killers, mind control and the occult, “evil” isn’t something that serious people are

supposed to think about. If they did, the emergency reporting system would soon be overloaded. And you know what happens when that occurs.

All hell breaks loose.



“There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”

— Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887

August 25, 2000 Rome

It is the centenary of the death of Friedrich Nietzsche, but I am in Rome. A week ago, I was in Turin, standing in the plaza where Nietzsche went insane in January, 1889. He saw a horse being whipped and—out of all character—was so moved to compassion that he threw his arms around the horse’s neck and suffered a nervous breakdown on the spot. Since then, psychiatrists have been of the opinion that this spontaneous gesture of compassion was so alien to Nietzsche’s own writings that it precipitated the breakdown.1 Compassion, that most un-Darwinian of emotions, went against everything Nietzsche thought he stood for.

What blond beast, its hour come round at last…

I am thinking of Nietzsche now, in the intense, unforgiving sun of St. Peter’s Square in a relentlessly hot August, escorting an American executive (my employer) and his fiancée on a tour of Rome. In a way I am coming full circle to my childhood from this moment in time, nearly fifty years after my birth and, like Nietzsche, I am confronted with my antithesis. It is not a whipped horse I see before me, however, but as we descend into the crypt below the high altar it is a small casket said to contain the bones

of St. Peter himself, the first Pope and the small rock on which Christ is said to have built his church.

Ecce Homo. Nietzsche’s last work, finished in the months before he went mad, titled after Pontius Pilate’s famous words to the crowd as he asked them to spare the accused Jesus Christ: Behold the Man. St. Peter was murdered, and died a martyr’s death. This pilgrimage to make contact with his remains—remains over which the entire edifice of Roman Catholicism has been built—is for me a confrontation with the Enemy. And, like all true Enemies, in his face I see my own.

Christ was executed, according to the official version of the story (although this has always been in doubt, both among historians and among members of Western secret societies). His chosen successor, Simon Peter— in whose Basilica I now stand—was also executed, and in fact crucified upside-down. St. Peter’s Cross is a reverse crucifix, such as those the Satanists wear, perhaps marking them as more Christian than they would be comfortable knowing. St. Andrew was also crucified, he of the X-shaped cross. And every Catholic church must have the mortal remains of some saint present in the altar stone. It is, with its gruesome crucified Jesus and saints missing eyes and being roasted alive or torn to pieces, a bloody religion: a faith built on aggression and murder, madness and sacrifice. The Passion. The early Christians met in catacombs, in cemeteries and in darkness. And now I pass lines of sarcophagi containing the remains of dead Popes buried beneath the nave of St. Peter’s Basilica. More death: death in everlasting rows, quiet chapels and candles burning alone, in silence. And there is the sarcophagus of Pope John Paul I. He was Pope for a month, and then he died. Mysteriously, to be sure. There is evidence to suggest he was murdered. Volumes of evidence and, as in the Kennedy assassinations, the spoor of conspiracy and hatred.