PSYCHIC WARRIOR

INSIDE THE CIA'S STARGATE PROGRAM: THE TRUE STORY OF A SOLDIER'S ESPIONAGE AND AWAKENING

The whiny testament of a former US Army officer who, after a stint of inner-space spying for covert agencies, turned on his erstwhile masters in a belated burst of moral outrage and was effectively cashiered. The third generation of his family to pursue a military career, Morehouse became a model soldier. While on maneuvers with the Rangers in Jordan, however, the author stopped an errant machine-gun round. His helmet saved him, but he soon began having vivid out-of-body experiences and visions. Morehouse was steered by the psychologist he consulted into a hush-hush project funded by the CIA. At his new duty station the apprentice psychic developed his gift for remote viewing; this extrasensory faculty allows him to move (in something very like a fugue state) backward or forward through time and gather information while doing so. On his travels in the ether, the author claims to have ``seen'' Iraqis place canisters near blazing oil wells, which purportedly released slow- acting toxins to poison UN Coalition troops during the Persian Gulf conflict. Morehouse also asserts that he observed the kidnapping and murder by Arab terrorists of a USMC colonel in Beirut, helped track the terrorists who blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland, and identified couriers transporting contraband drugs across US borders. Ultimately revolted by the allegedly nefarious (but undisclosed) uses to which remote viewing had been put, the author resolved to go public with his complaints. Even now, Morehouse professes amazement at the lengths to which the military would go to protect the secrecy of a highly classified project and shock at the realization that his beloved army was prepared to court-martial him on trumped-up charges. A very different sort of war story, one that not only strains credulity but also begs rather a lot of questions about the scientific validity of paranormal visitations along what Morehouse presents as a sort of mental Internet.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 1996

ISBN: 0-312-14708-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1996

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

THE ART OF SOLITUDE

A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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