December 2010

The Men Who Stare At Goats

I recently finished reading The Men Who Stare At Goats by Jon Ronson.  It was quite a bit more interesting and detailed than the movie version, which played everything for laughs in a way that made a lot of it seem fictionalized, or at least highly exaggerated.  As Ronson takes care to detail in his book, none of this is fictionalized or exaggerated.  If anything, Ronson downplayed a lot of the wackiness he encountered, and exercised admirable restraint in handling and describing the subjects of his book.

The Men Who Stare At Goats covers some of the odder corners of America's military's "psy ops" divisions.  Many people are aware that in the 1960s the military and the CIA experimented with mind control, LSD, telepathy, and other fringe concepts.  Few people are aware that many of those wacky projects continue still, or were revived for the continuing Gulf War, and used to influence torture methods of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.