Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A nutter in the White House.

Nancy Reagan, when husband Ronald was in the White House, scheduled events on the advice of an astrologer but there’s no evidence that the President himself believed in such hokus pokus. With Reagan’s predecessor Jimmy Carter, however, the evidence of nuttiness comes from his own words as dictated for his diary at the time with annotations added for a recently published version of it.
From a review of White House Diary in the New York Review of Books comes this weirdly frightening gem:
Carter’s religious views were unfairly derided by some commentators. He was a sophisticated reader of Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr. But one does wonder at the reliance he put on psychics to get his foreign intelligence. After the CIA briefed him on a plane crash in Zambia, he dictated:
An American parapsychologist had been able to pinpoint the site of the crash. We’ve had several reports of this parapsychology working; one discovered the map coordinates of a site and accurately described a camouflaged missile test site. Both we and the Soviets use these parapsychologists on occasion to help us with sensitive intelligence matters, and the results are unbelievable.
He appends to this entry his own current comment: “The proven results of these exchanges between our intelligence services and parapsychologists raise some of the most intriguing and unanswerable questions of my presidency. They defy logic, but the facts were undeniable.” Later he dictated this: “We had a session in the Situation Room concerning a parapsychology project where people can envision what exists at a particular latitude and longitude, et cetera.”
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