Monday, March 16, 2009

The Return of Pavel Florensky

Artist: Valery Balabanov 1989

In discussing two of my most recent blog posts with my wife Birgitta [namely Berlin Again & Nobody Knows], she asked what they had to do with my Orthodox Odyssey. Her question surprised me, since I thought the connection obvious. But I had difficulty answering her. "Can you not see a convergence?" I asked. I had to acknowledge that my response felt unsatisfying, even to me.

However, on reflection I realized that I could begin to speak about this more clearly because of Col. Bob's most recent questions to me in updating his pending book about the Berlin Spy Tunnel. His questions and suggestions continue to evoke old memories. The colonel is adding an appendix that includes my experience plus those of two other soldiers who served at the Tunnel Site. He wants his book to be fair and complete.

One of the questions nagging me for decades concerns the nature of the "pop-up" images that I began to experience during my Soviet telephone line monitoring and translation activities. Col. Bob has not yet picked up on this, so I want to do so here. That is, could it be that we were a target of KGB "psy-war" techniques and that those images that I produced, which were of special value to the Berlin Tunnel operation, were planted as disinformation? That seemed too far-fetched and I did not consider it seriously. That is, until the last few days.

When responding to Col. Bob's latest questions and comments, I recalled how Charlie E, the SIS guy, noticed and became interested in the hand-written notes I began to feed to CIA Section Chief Darryl, which were separate from my regular type-written translation reports. It seems this activity began sometime in January 1956, perhaps after I returned from R&R to Garmisch. During my resumed translation duties, I began to be distracted by "pop-up" images that came into my mind while listening to and translating recorded Soviet military and intelligence conversations between Berlin and Moscow.

Before yesterday I had only considered the possibility of Soviet intelligence "disinformation" mischief having influenced me. However, after Col Bob's most recent questions, something more positive came to mind. What if, rather than disinformation, certain on-line KGB closet Russian Orthodox believers may have been feeding life-saving information into my mind?! Indeed, this scenario more closely explains the results that CIA SC Darryl relayed to me about the nature of the information contained in my hand-written notes. Another scenario might consider that those pop-ups were a kind of involuntary, primitive form of "remote viewing", which eventually became a well-focusted intelligence discipline for the CIA's "Star Gate" program before it was declassified in 1995. [See Reading the Enemy's Mind by Paul H. Smith, published in 2005.]

Either of these last ideas support my theory that Russian Orthodox Priest Pavel Florensky, who was highly valued by the Soviets as an electrical engineer, may have influenced the secret "mental suggestion" work of Soviet physiologist L. L. Vasiliev. [In the mid 1920s, Vasiliev was tasked to create an interdisciplinary group of the brightest scientists to study Russian folklore and religion in order to develop an official white paper exposing and debunking the superstitions that were frustrating Soviet government initiatives.] If any of these scenarios or connections have substance, it could also explain the creation of the Soviet concepts of glasnost and perestroika, which evolved from Gorbachev, who rose to power out of the KGB.

Far out? Why not?!

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