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Thread: Magical Realism and Information Operations

  1. #41
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Don't get me started on students.... (<GRIN>

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Marc, I do have a better solution, but nowadays you would be placed into a mental institution for doing so. In 74 our Nike Hurcules electronics instructor was so fed up that he wire our metal top desks to a very large and fully charged capacitor. You rarely went to disneyland, went to sleep or for that matter saw ghosts under Rob's bed
    Love it! Actually, I've been lucky in the past few years - most of my Intro students could at least read (some could even write ), and all of my 3rd year theory students have been great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Honestly, I had to pay for my follow-on education and took it seriously. I have no clue what young folks today consider significant. Even here, it's hard to find someone that can even write using a pencil and pad. The internet managed to teach these folks how to type, and spell checkers preclude the need for an expensive dictionary.
    <wry grin>About 15 years ago, I was looking around to find a class in remedial penmanship since I couldn't read my own handwriting . What did I find? 20 classes in calligraphy, but nothing in basic penmanship. Discouraging!

    On spell checkers, I would agree, but a number of my students don't know how to change the dictionary! Honestly, I've been thinking about making the Oxford English Dictionary, 1918 edition, the sole textbook in my classes for a while now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    I have no idea if there are vampires in Latvia, but the women like in Estonia are dead knockouts. We use 9.5 as the benchmark and that includes ladies over 40.
    I think most of the vampires decided to head to New York in the '30's . Definately agree with you on the ladies, however!!!

    Marc
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    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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  2. #42
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Nope I just checked- only duffle bags, hand grenades and dust bunnies. I thought Marc had said Djinn weren't ghosts
    Technically, nope, they aren't. If you want Western equivalents, the closest are the Sidhe and the BanSidhe from Celtic mythography - definately NOT a crowd you want to get mized up with (although, the parties can be pretty good if you don't mind being really late in getting home! ).

    BTW, I've heard you can tell if there are ghosts in your grenades by looking to see if there are two red eyes staring out at you .

    Marc
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    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
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  3. #43
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    I believe I'm going to call it a day. Between arguing with the higher HQs for the obvious and deciding the DIV MiTT is so divorced fro reality they are on a different planet, I've pegged my fun meter for the day. What I could really use is a logistcs Djinn that could get me about 20 new HMMWVs for the IA. These boys are really taking the fight to the enemy, so much so that the AIF is expending significant resources against them. The trucks hold up pretty good, but the CL IX flow is sad. Well tomorrow is a new day.
    Regards, Rob

  4. #44
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    I believe I'm going to call it a day. Between arguing with the higher HQs for the obvious and deciding the DIV MiTT is so divorced fro reality they are on a different planet, I've pegged my fun meter for the day. What I could really use is a logistcs Djinn that could get me about 20 new HMMWVs for the IA. These boys are really taking the fight to the enemy, so much so that the AIF is expending significant resources against them. The trucks hold up pretty good, but the CL IX flow is sad. Well tomorrow is a new day.
    Regards, Rob
    Have a good one, Rob. Personally, I'd go for an electronics djinn - they seem to love that stuff. Set it to infiltrate the AIF commo network and feed them bad co-ords. Hmmm, maybe a Ban Sidhe.... <lololol>

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
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  5. #45
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default According to Muslim demonology Jinnis inhabit the earth

    Marc,
    Are these the very same in Rob's grenades with red eyes under his bed ?
    I would rather have ghosts

    My final comment, if these jinnis are ever to inhabit the DRC, they will all get robbed by former Zärois

    Have a pleasant evening !

    Regards, Stan

  6. #46
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    You all are bringing back fond memories of my life in Egypt as a study abroad student. The radical telesheikhs on Egyptian tv were fond of the term "viper." My dorm roomates and I used to have parties in the afternoon in which we would wager on which metaphor would be dominant today, and to whom or what would the metaphor be applied. In light of this thread, I wish I had taken notes...

    Magical realism and Islamists/Jihadists? You bet. All these adherents to the "pure Islam" have to do is emulate Mohamed, a religious prophet who was aided in his disinformation campaign by an angel. Islam was founded on a magical realist precept of shrewd exploitation of metaphor and superstition and probably psychopathy.

    Another good contemporary example of this would be Castroist Cuba's allowing Santeria co-religionist to operate freely in the country. Santeria exists there as a curious syncretic merger with revolutionary practices and Party tropes. You really can get a good dose of this during the Cuban Carnival month, which is not in February like most island carnival seasons, but rather it's in July and August, flanked by revolutionary symbolic dates, July 26 and Fidel's Brithday.

    And of course, magical realist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Fidel are good friends.

    The Cubans have a penchant for inviting Muslim leaders from other non-aligned states to vists during Carnival, too. Surprise surprise.

    Also, one more note about this: Bassam Tibi devotes some discussion in his book "The Challenge of Fundamentalism: Political Islam and the New World Disorder" to the symbolic nature of Islamist discourse. Tibi is always on my recommended reading list. He's a Syrian Muslim who practices in Germany.

  7. #47
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Terri!

    Glad to see you made it on . You know more about the Islamist ideology than I do... so, tell me, how do djinn fit into the MB/AQ crowd? I was suggesting earlier in the thread that we get a couple of good combat magician (Alexandro-Gardnerian preferably) and so Seitha practitioners to do some "work". Any ideas?

    Marc
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    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  8. #48
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Was Jim Jones a "Jinn" Jones/ Guyana mass suicide

    One of the things about discussions and how they drift off course, but often lead to something interesting or useful. Stalkers often have charismatic personalities and can exert incredible influence over people almost like a hypnotic trance.
    This got me to thinking about one of the absolute masters and that was Jim Jones and his ability to convince 908 people to commit mass suicide by drinking poisoned Kool Aid down in Guyana. I think this is what the expression "drinking the Kool Aid" actually means but perhaps people don't realize it. In the late 70's or 80's when this happened it was considered impossible, but it happened.
    Think of all the Guerrilla leaders or terrorists leaders like UBL that have the same type of charisma and his ability to influence people. They have that Jinn like quality that can make them very formidable Psy-Op enemies. In contrast if we could come up with a Lawrence of Arabia type we could wheel and deal. So where is the Jinn of Lawrence?? Rob,Stan,Marct need to find him we need him. Might be over there Latville hanging around.

  9. #49
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default Oh yes,Jim Jones

    I saw a history or discovery channel show on the Jim Jones stuff last night. I can very vaguely remember it when I was a kid. Scared the bejezzus out of me. Jungles, spooky voodoo, cultism. I can remember seeing it on the news and eventually the 60 minutes expose. I have no idea if my parents knew I was watching it, but it was spooky.

    This djinn stuff speaks to an interesting conversation I had with one of my former platoon commanders during OIF 2.0. We had since moved on to other billets, but he was outside the wire almost every day. Because he knew Arabic and was a Middle Eastern studies major, he had a fresh perspective on what was going on.

    When discussions turned to Zarqawi, he told me that a lot of Iraqis he'd met during ops didn't believe there was a Zarqawi. It seems that early on many had equated him with an Islamic version of the boogeyman. The notion of Zarqawi was quickly used to scare the heck out of Iraqi kids and keep them in line. If they didn't, Zarqawi would "get them" in the middle of the night. The point to this rambling is that maybe we don't need a djinn, but the counter-djinn, like an Aladdin...

  10. #50
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Jimmy Jones and electric kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    One of the things about discussions and how they drift off course, but often lead to something interesting or useful....
    This got me to thinking about one of the absolute masters and that was Jim Jones and his ability to convince 908 people to commit mass suicide by drinking poisoned Kool Aid down in Guyana. I think this is what the expression "drinking the Kool Aid" actually means but perhaps people don't realize it. In the late 70's or 80's when this happened it was considered impossible, but it happened.
    I remember that <wry grin>. Everyone thought Jim Jones was "impossible", but I kept remembering a conversation I had had years before in the mid-60's with a guy who had heard Hitler speak in person. He told me that even though he was Jewish (and spent most of the war in Dachau), Hitler still impressed him with his charisma. He said it was like being the victim of a snake watching, hypnotized.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Think of all the Guerrilla leaders or terrorists leaders like UBL that have the same type of charisma and his ability to influence people. They have that Jinn like quality that can make them very formidable Psy-Op enemies. In contrast if we could come up with a Lawrence of Arabia type we could wheel and deal. So where is the Jinn of Lawrence?? Rob,Stan,Marct need to find him we need him. Might be over there Latville hanging around.
    Well, I'm convinced that Stan is the anti-UBL dhinn - it'sthe bike, mon!

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I saw a history or discovery channel show on the Jim Jones stuff last night. I can very vaguely remember it when I was a kid. Scared the bejezzus out of me. Jungles, spooky voodoo, cultism. I can remember seeing it on the news and eventually the 60 minutes expose. I have no idea if my parents knew I was watching it, but it was spooky.
    Yeah, it can definately have hat effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    This djinn stuff speaks to an interesting conversation I had with one of my former platoon commanders during OIF 2.0. We had since moved on to other billets, but he was outside the wire almost every day. Because he knew Arabic and was a Middle Eastern studies major, he had a fresh perspective on what was going on.

    When discussions turned to Zarqawi, he told me that a lot of Iraqis he'd met during ops didn't believe there was a Zarqawi. It seems that early on many had equated him with an Islamic version of the boogeyman. The notion of Zarqawi was quickly used to scare the heck out of Iraqi kids and keep them in line. If they didn't, Zarqawi would "get them" in the middle of the night. The point to this rambling is that maybe we don't need a djinn, but the counter-djinn, like an Aladdin...
    We've seen this effect time and time again over the course of history. This was the sort of thing I was talking about when I said that people play out stories with recognizable plots (or something like that). Both Claude Levi-Strauss (no relation to the Jeans family) and Carl Jung looked at this. I think Levi-Strauss got the structural aspects right (see his Structural Study of Myth) while Jung got the rest of it right.

    If you want a counter-djinn, try The Phantom from the 30's-50's. Ideally, a counter-djinn would operate outside of any constituted force and would use assasination combined with psyops - e.g. track down an AIQ cell leader, kill him and display the body in a public place with a listing of his crimes - think Batman after he went psycho. This would fit the mythic patterns. If you really want to freak the Iranian agents and the AQ crowd, have him use the name "Zurvan".

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  11. #51
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Yezidism info link

    Terri, Glad you signed up, you'll find this is a pretty good bunch, and your contributions and wit will be much appreciated. One of the things we've had to work through with our majority Kurdish battalion is that some are Yezidi, which seperates them some from the Sunni Kurds. Not much mention was made of the Yezidi's before we came over, or how it might lead to friction within an organization. As you can see in th elink there are some major points that differ with Islam. In one of the books on Mosul I read since I've been here it talked about mass conversions (the violent kinds) when the caliphates came in.

    Well, looks like it will be a busy day today - I'll sign back on later tonight.
    Regards, Rob

  12. #52
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Where is the Djinn of Lawrence??

    Hey Folks !

    Slapout, I checked, he's not in Latvia !

    We've seen this effect time and time again over the course of history. This was the sort of thing I was talking about when I said that people play out stories with recognizable plots (or something like that). Both Claude Levi-Strauss (no relation to the Jeans family) and Carl Jung looked at this. I think Levi-Strauss got the structural aspects right (see his Structural Study of Myth) while Jung got the rest of it right.
    Marc,
    You're not going tell me we went from Djinns and ghosts to Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, and psychological type framework, are you ? This would be the same Carl Jung, or another Carl from your "Craft Section" ?

    Regards, Stan

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    Default Ju-jus and Skin Changers

    The UCMJ prohibits doing anything to the dead, so any 'believers' on our side better stick to high tech and real-time digital magic. Bill Donovan and that old time crowd could have better exploited the potential use of ju-jus and skin changers than we of today can due to the political oversight that guides and directs any engagements we enter into. Guzman from the Shining Path was pretty much considered a Shaman by the locals and we know Noreiga from Panama was heavily into Santeria/Lukumi. 2cd hand reports suggest Che adapted Bolivian ritual magic to wow peasants from time to time and Bustos, one of his henchman, is reported to have been heavily into Santeria. The Jinn are not readily exploitable in the Islamic theatre of operations IMHO because Mohammed didn't employ/exploit them and Islam pretty much tells its followers to ignore the Jinn.

  14. #54
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Jonestown

    This got me to thinking about one of the absolute masters and that was Jim Jones and his ability to convince 908 people to commit mass suicide by drinking poisoned Kool Aid down in Guyana. I think this is what the expression "drinking the Kool Aid" actually means but perhaps people don't realize it. In the late 70's or 80's when this happened it was considered impossible, but it happened.
    Slap,

    This went down in 1978. I was in the 82d at the time and 1st COSCOM sent a unit down to help recover the bodies.

    Things like this are why I caution folks about looking at events in Africa or elsewhere as "out of world" impossible in the "sophisticated West."

    Look at Pat Robertson, the 700 Club, and Operation Blessing's gold and diamond smuggling in Zaire or other groups...

    best

    Tom

  15. #55
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default MBTI, Djinn etc.

    Hi Stan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Marc,
    You're not going tell me we went from Djinns and ghosts to Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, and psychological type framework, are you ? This would be the same Carl Jung, or another Carl from your "Craft Section" ?
    The MBTI is really a highly watered down version of Jung's work. I was thinking more of his work in Aion and Vol 9,i of the Collected works on Archetypes. MBTI done well has about a 70% predictive value but, as with all typologies, it is hopelessly outclassed by the more complete (and complex!) dynamic system models.

    There has been some specialized, and pretty complex, work done on the relationship between archetypes and neurological structures in the brain - e.g. Charles Laughlin's Biogenetic Structuralism, Michael Persinger's God Helmet, and some of Susan Blackmore's work. Blackmore, along with some of the more conventional symbolic anthropologists, has tended to concentrate on the "programming elements" (i.e. symbols), which Lauglin and Persinger have gone more heavily into the neurology. My own stuff, mainly unpublished, tends to straddle the two although I also put more emphasis on the programming elements.

    Probably the easiest way to think about this is that we all have similar "hardware" (actually, it's semi-mutable wetware, but that's another story ), but our programming languages differ. Oh, yeah, one other form of Western djinn that got co-opted about 1600 years ago are what the Greeks called "daemons". In the programmin language metaphor, you could think of them as self-propagating computer programs, some of which are really quite complex and powerful.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  16. #56
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Goesh,

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    The UCMJ prohibits doing anything to the dead, so any 'believers' on our side better stick to high tech and real-time digital magic.
    Yupper. Then again, any type of operation like that would be totally outside of the rules of war anyway. If it was done, it would have to be so black an op that it would never appear.

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    Bill Donovan and that old time crowd could have better exploited the potential use of ju-jus and skin changers than we of today can due to the political oversight that guides and directs any engagements we enter into.
    Donnovan also had the advantage of working with Gregory Bateson, who was probably one of the best people to ever come out of academic Anthropology.

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    Guzman from the Shining Path was pretty much considered a Shaman by the locals and we know Noreiga from Panama was heavily into Santeria/Lukumi. 2cd hand reports suggest Che adapted Bolivian ritual magic to wow peasants from time to time and Bustos, one of his henchman, is reported to have been heavily into Santeria. The Jinn are not readily exploitable in the Islamic theatre of operations IMHO because Mohammed didn't employ/exploit them and Islam pretty much tells its followers to ignore the Jinn.
    The profet may not have exploited them, as you put it, but Soloman did. Anyway, it's not so much a case of Islam "ignoring" the djinn, as it is of their existing as "people" who may or may not be Muslims and who are going to take a part in the human world anyway. For a number of Muslims, the djinn are already in this conflict (e.g. for the Northern Alliance).

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  17. #57
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hey goesh !

    The UCMJ prohibits doing anything to the dead, so any 'believers' on our side better stick to high tech and real-time digital magic.
    I won't for a minute think that one of ours would perform voodu on a corps, but stranger things have happened that will indeed open your eyes. My tours in Korea, somewhere in South American (no tail numbers, no flight plans kinda traveling), and later Sub-Sahara not only opened my eyes, but at times forced me to close them. The dreams will still get you later, no matter how many times you try and close your eyes.

    Marc,
    Strangely enough, while in Korea and taking night courses in Personnel management (read Pysops 101, first chapter) the instructor insisted we read and retain to memory Gregory Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972).
    I would later here about Bateson while undergoing DIA mandatory MBTI evaluations. Wow this Sierra really works

    Regards, Stan

  18. #58
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Marc,
    Strangely enough, while in Korea and taking night courses in Personnel management (read Pysops 101, first chapter) the instructor insisted we read and retain to memory Gregory Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972).
    I would later here about Bateson while undergoing DIA mandatory MBTI evaluations. Wow this Sierra really works
    Hey Stan,

    Cool! I'm glad they remembered Bateson. If you've read Steps to an Ecology of Mind, you might also want to look at A Sacred Unity and Angel's Fear - they are the completions of his work in a lot of ways. I wish he was still alive <wry grin>.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Default Rogue Anthropologists (and Shamans)

    - are hard to come by these days and I use the term rogue because the current tone and tenure of Academia is decidedly ant-military, anti-Bush and at best, overtly hostile to the GWOT. I've come across some conservative Blogs by Academics who do so anonymously for fear of scorn and even retribution by colleagues. I did follow one professional Anthro blog for a while and the topic of Anthropology per se assisting the American Administration in its foreign policy was brought up and the vitriol expressed was harsh to say the least. On-the-side, hefty consult fees are another matter though.....

    Exploitation of the spiritual is a hard sell at best and the Military is not known for fast adaptation - recall the hoopla over SF troops in Afghanistan being told to shave the beards off and get back in uniform. Nope, I don't look for any Shamans sporting fetishes and ju-jus to be leading any patrols to psych out the indigs any time soon nor to be on any operational/policy planning teams either. It's odd if you think about it, not wanting to exploit spirituality when there are tactical advantages to it.

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    Default Ontologically Disadvantaged

    Not that I am trying to upset any Chaplains or people of faith or anything like that, but I don't see how our lethal enemies can have any fear of our God that is bloody and nailed to a cross with thorns driven into his head. This may be somehow connected to our inability to exploit spirituality.

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