Friday, September 2, 2011
Mind Control 101
Dr. Donald Hebb's famous/notorious sensory isolation experiments, for which student volunteers were paid the then-princely sum of $20 a day. Some of the volunteers were unable to stand this torture for more than a few hours. Some tore off the bandages and banged on the door of the isolation chamber, screaming and crying to be released.
Back in the 1980s, when I lived next door to him, Leonard Cohen once told me he enjoyed these experiments. He said he learned to dissociate, leave his body, and go on long voyages through the universe. The experience was so pleasant that later he volunteered to be placed in a flotation tank while on LSD. He enjoyed that, too.
We now know that D.O. Hebb's sensory isolation experiments became the foundation for torture techniques used by the CIA etc. in its secret prisons around the planet. Hebb, a neurologist, had CIA clearance, and also allegedly experimented on small children, mainly orphans and aboriginal children who arrived in his laboratory courtesy of McGill and the RCMP. Having access to human guinea pigs made Hebb's research that much more impressive. He also, of course, worked with rats and monkeys. It seems quite likely that his famous "rat" study on the effects of sensory isolation on IQ, would have been based on his experiments with children. McGill, at the time, was controlled by a network that included many British-trained, mind-controlled pedophiles with an interest in eugenics – and probably still is today.
In 1951, when this photo was taken, Leonard Cohen was 17, i.e. still a minor. One wonders who signed the permission slip – his mother? Or perhaps they just didn't bother with those little details, back then.
Leonard Cohen went on to become a poet of note. In fact, that same year, 1951, he published his first book, Let Us Compare Mythologies. It would be interesting to do a textual analysis of all of Cohen's writing – someday when I have more time I plan to do that (: – combing his poetry and novels for references to the secret program that he has been part of for most of his life. Up to now, his biographers seem to have overlooked all the references to hospitals, (Nazi) doctors, psychiatric experiments, electroshock, etc. They also have failed to adequately explain the missing years (mid-1950s, i.e. peak years of the MKULTRA program) when Cohen did some sort of graduate work at Columbia University in New York.
McGill and Columbia happened to be co-epicentres of MKULTRA research into mind control. As were certain studios and film-making teams at the NFB, the arm of British intelligence that brought our Leonard to national attention in 1966, with the film Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen. As was the Silva Mind Control organization, where Leonard met Suzanne in the late 1960s. As was Nashville, where his musical career took him later. And let's not forget the Chelsea Hotel, where he hobnobbed with musicians and CIA programmers like Kris Kristofferson, always mentioned whenever Cohen introduces his song "Chelsea Hotel" about the time he had sex with mind-controlled singer Janis Joplin. That night, Janis was apparently looking for Kristofferson, one of the "handsome men" she preferred, according to the song – one of the creepiest in Cohen's repertoire, in my opinion.
Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen's Elegy For Janis Joplin - Chelsea Hotel #1
Chelsea Hotel No. 2 - Leonard Cohen
It's very obvious to anyone who happens to have followed Cohen's career, that the singer-songwriter who composed "I'm Your Man" has spent most of his life surfing the mind control circuit that took him from McGill to New York and then Europe where he connected with the Rothschilds.
Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
Allan Memorial Institute, Montreal
It is one thing to meet and get to know Leonard Cohen. It would be hard to imagine or find a more charming, generous, affable, funny guy to have as a neighbour. Unfortunately, though, that's only one of many personae, or "alters" – Cohen has many. I wouldn't like to guess how many. I suspect there may be hundreds. What this means is, getting to know him is virtually impossible, because his various alters are not necessarily aware of one another. This explains why, while living next door, I witnessed events that sometimes made no sense, and would have been impossible if Cohen were a normal person, with a single core personality.
Beside Major General Ariel Sharon (center left), Leonard Cohen (white shirt) sings to a group of IDF soldiers, 1973
Leonard Cohen - Field Commander Cohen
Pierre Trudeau: "Just Watch Me" (October 13, 1970)
CBC Archives: Just Watch Me, 1970 (video clip)
Janis Joplin and Kris Kristofferson, Los Angeles, summer 1970
An incident comes to mind that occurred in about 1985, when I had been living next door to Cohen for two years. During that time, I had rarely seen him – I was busy, in those days, making a living by writing and editing. I also had a weekly program on local community radio, went out with friends most evenings. I had little to do with my neighbours who, in many ways, behaved like members of an exclusive club. The incident I'm thinking of happened out of the blue, one day. I got a phone call from Leonard, whom I hadn't seen in several months. He invited me next door for tea. Cautiously pleased with the invitation, which seemed to suggest we were back on a friendly footing, I rang his doorbell, he opened the door, and we drank tea in his kitchen. We chatted, he may have played me a new song or two, or showed me a drawing. Just like in the old days when we'd been friends.
Then he said he had an appointment somewhere and needed to take a bath. I offered to leave. He said: no, just sit here for a few minutes in case the phone rings. He got in the bath, I sat in the kitchen, and sure enough, the phone rings. It's Hazel, the woman next door. I tell her Leonard is in the bath, and to please call back in a few minutes, which she does. At this point, the story becomes a bit extraordinary. I am standing a few feet from the phone, and I can hear Hazel shouting. I can't make out what she's saying, but she is screaming what appears to be verbal abuse, and Leonard, who has his ear to the phone, becomes rigid and just listens. The screaming goes on for, maybe, half a minute during which he does not move, does not respond, or react. When the screaming stops, he says "OK" and hangs up. The phone rings again; he picks it up. More of the same shouting. Once again, he listens without affect, without moving, and says "OK." Then he hangs up, turns to me, and in a blank tone says "You'd better go now." Which I do.
Famous Blue Raincoat - Leonard Cohen
Later that night, there is a meeting in his front room. I happen to walk by, and unusually, the blinds are up and I see Leonard, encircled by the people I thought of as his "cult followers." He is speaking to them, gesturing dramatic. I only get a glimpse of this meeting as I pass the window, but my snapshot impression is that he is asking for their help in some difficult matter that is causing him great anxiety.
And sure enough, half an hour later, I get a phone call, from a woman called Birgit, whom I know quite well, but consider to be a fairly hardcore Cohen groupie. She has come from the meeting. She arrives as I'm cooking supper, sits in my kitchen, and goes straight to the point. I have to move from the neighbourhood, she says, and stop harassing Leonard Cohen. I'm, well, stunned. It's the first time anyone has spoken to me in two years about how I came to be living next door. The first time anyone has suggested it might be a problem. But I'm not stupid. I'm quite aware that my presence in the neighbourhood has caused concern for certain people. The fact, however, is that I am there as the result of a peculiar coincidence. That there is no way I could have found this apartment on my own – I'm there, and I can't really explain how it happens, in a city of 1 million people, I manage to move in next door to Leonard Cohen – it just happened. That's it, that's all.
I also knew, back then and today, that nobody in Cohen's circle believed this. And neither do I, to this day, really understand how things like that happen. But that day, he had invited me over, as if letting bygones be bygones, and it had appeared, for about an hour, that relations were back to normal – until Hazel called, that is, and shouted into the phone, and he went numb.
And who called the meeting? And what was it about? No explanation was ever given. Another cult member, Charlie, phoned me the next day and invited me across the street to his place, for tea. We sat in silence. I didn't feel like talking until someone explained to me what was going on on that block.
No one ever did.
Leonard Cohen - The Window, with live footage (1979)
Leonard Cohen on a tour bus (1979)
Looking back, in the light of what I know now, but had no notion of back then, I would say: yes, there was a cult. Leonard seemed to be at the head of it. His word held great weight, then and now. But the man who invited me over for tea and chatted normally earlier that day, was not the same man who addressed the meeting later that evening.
These were separate "alters" that might not have known of each other's existence. The alter that addressed the meeting did not recall having phoned me that day, and may not have recalled the two phone calls that came from Hazel – which was when they "switched" –
Worried, I rang his doorbell and he let me in. He asked me to go shopping for him, to buy food because he didn't feel able to leave his house. "I'm on this new anti-depressant, but it's not working. I'm in an incredible state of anxiety."
Remembering that other day, five years earlier, I said "You must be doing something wrong. You need to be in some kind of therapy to figure it out."
That suggestion just seemed to alarm him. "The doctors at the Allan are doing everything they can for me. Drugs are the only solution."
That was in about 1990. It was one of the last times I saw Leonard in person. Every so often, I'd read an interview with him, but over the next 20 years it seemed he just kept giving the same interview over and over.
We live in an age of totalitarian Mind Control, and entertainers like Leonard are front-line soldiers – as well as victims. We listen to them at our own risk.
First We Take Manhattan
Whatever Happened to Kelley Lynch?
Un-knotting the Ties
Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967, full album)
Leonard Cohen - I Am a Hotel (1983)
Prince Charles On Leonard Cohen
Mission Mind Control (ABC News Documentary, 1979)