Saturday, December 1, 2012
Earlier this week, a story first reported a little over a decade ago resurfaced. It seems that in the 1950s, during the Cold war, the U.S. considered detonating a nuclear bomb on the moon as an intimidating display of power to the Soviet Union. According to the man in charge of “Project A119,” physicist Leonard Reiffel, the project was scrapped for fear of endangering the people of earth and contaminating the moon with radioactivity.
"Thankfully, the thinking changed,” Reiffel said in a 2000 interview. “I am horrified that such a gesture to sway public opinion was ever considered."
Does that make sense to you? I mean, going to all the trouble of firing a nuclear bomb at the moon to spook the Soviets?
Look what we can do, ya damned commies! We can blow up the fuckin’ moon! So you’d better behave.
Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t compute. It sounds more like a cover story. But what could that story be covering up? What other reason could there possibly be for nuking the moon?
During WWII, the Nazis had a space program under the direction of General Hans Kammler. He and his team were working on flying saucers with which Hitler planned to bomb London and New York. They also wanted to conquer orbital space long before anyone else even had the chance to think about it. The program was quite successful. There are many eyewitness accounts of the Nazi flying saucers that bore the iron cross. When the war turned out differently than the Hitler had hoped, they used that space program to flee to the moon, where a base had been under construction since as early as 1942.
A lunar Nazi base is a much better reason to nuke the moon than the one we’ve been given, don’t you think? It certainly makes more sense. I mean, if there are Nazis on the moon, then of course you’re going to fire a nuclear bomb at it! Especially when you consider the fact that they’ve been monitoring us with their flying saucers all these many decades, waiting for the right moment to strike again. All those alien encounters you’ve heard about that involve anal probes? Probably Nazis.
The only problem, of course, is that I don’t believe any of this stuff.
I just read a book called Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. It’s about how the human mind works and suggests ways we can get it under control — because we don't control it as much as we think. Wilson stirred Timothy Leary, G.I. Gurdjieff, Alfred Korzybski, Aleister Crowley, and the disciplines of Yoga together in a big pot and came up with this book. It’s fascinating, funny, even enlightening, and each chapter ends with some exercises for the reader to do that will illustrate that chapter’s point and make it stick.
In the book, Wilson spends a lot of time discussing our “reality tunnels,” a term coined by Timothy Leary. A reality tunnel is how a person sees the world through the filters of his senses, personal experiences, conditioning and prior beliefs, and other non-objective factors. We all have them, like it or not, and in Prometheus Rising, Wilson tries to make the reader aware of them and show how they can be changed.
Right now, we’re living in a time of colliding reality tunnels. There was a time when a person probably would spend his whole life in the same community, where everyone had reality tunnels that ranged from very similar to virtually identical. But the world has gotten a lot smaller, information travels a lot faster, and so do we. Conflicting reality tunnels are crashing into each other all over the place. When we encounter a conflicting reality tunnel, we’re often quick to conclude that the other person is just plain wrong or maybe even crazy. We reach these conclusions without giving any thought to the fact that the other person’s reality tunnel probably makes them see us the same way. And that person is probably no more aware of his reality tunnel than we are of ours. Wilson encourages us to approach these conflicts with understanding and openness rather than simply dismissing the other person as a nutjob.
We could use a lot more of that in the United States these days. That’s why I read the book.
Some of the exercises encourage the reader to enter someone else’s reality tunnel, to believe the things that someone else believes for a little while, things that conflict with the reader’s reality tunnel. I did some of those exercises. One of the more extreme things I tried to believe for a little while was that there are Nazis on the moon. It was triggered by the story of our plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon.
I’m a fan of conspiracy theories, and one of the goofiest is that the Nazis established a base on the dark side of the moon during WWII. Yes, there are people who believe this. Google it. Search YouTube. You’ll see what I mean. There’s even a movie about it, a comedy called Iron Sky. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
I took a shot at believing in the moon Nazis. I tried. I want to be more understanding of other ways of thinking, I really do, but ... I’m sorry. After a few minutes of that, I concluded that I was nuttier than a Christmas cheese log and went back to my old reality tunnel. If you believe there are Nazis on the moon, your biggest problem is not Nazis.
I can, however, recommend Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising. And while we’re on the subject of Wilson and conspiracy theories, I also recommend the Illuminatus! trilogy written by Wilson and Robert Shea. In fact, I think it’s probably a good idea to read anything by Wilson, who will stretch your brain in the funniest and most entertaining ways.