The CIA Recruited ‘Mind Readers’ to Spy on the Soviets in the 1970s
The roots of Project Star Gate go back to 1972, when a classified report made waves within the U.S. military and intelligence communities by claiming that the Soviet Union was pouring money into research involving ESP and psychokinesis—the ability to move objects with the mind—for espionage purposes. In response, the CIA began funding its own top-secret research, headquartered at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California.
Psychic Uri Geller led ESP investigations.
Late that year, the research team at SRI invited Uri Geller, an ex-Israeli paratrooper who had become internationally famous for his psychic powers, to Menlo Park for testing. Though Geller was best known for his alleged ability to bend metal cutlery with his mind, the CIA was much more interested in another of his professed skills: the ability to read other people’s minds, and even control their minds with his own.
As Annie Jacobsen writes in her book Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis, the declassified documents show that CIA analysts wanted to probe Geller’s abilities in the area of “mind projection” and its possible use for national security purposes.
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