Reading Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces: The Nine, which collects and investigates the minutiae of American political history. Levenda abandons the kind of clear and convincing historical pattern most common to historical textbooks, in favor of collecting and analyzing bizarre coincidences and synchronicities, the warp and weft of historical threads of various intentions and purposes. This I think has an unintented consequence. How often have we heard that "truth is stranger than fiction?" We know this can be true because we have experienced it in our own lives. However, perhaps most historians fear that their theses will be disregarded if they get lost in the tangential circumstances surrounding "the EVENT." While Levenda's tangential obsession makes him seem like a crackpot, it also gives his work a kind of verisimillitude that seems strangely convincing--because it seems like the way life operates.
Levenda likes to find connections and correspondences between seemingly disconnected events. Charles Manson seems to stand at the nexus of many of these threads. How does Charles Manson relate to military intelligence, the CIA, and psychological warfare? Levenda connects the threads in a convincing way. At first blush, most would consider these connections to simply be coincidental. Levenda believes that human history is connected in ways that are invisible and strange (what he calls "occult") and thus not written about by mainstream historians. Levenda believes that coincidence is an illusion. I find his hypothesis meritorius. My life is dicated by my beliefs and desires, and these have led me in certain directions to meet certain people whose beliefs and desires have led them across my path. Human organizations also have beliefs and desires and act accordingly. We do not live our lives in a vaccum. Our lives are determined by forces (belief and desire) which are invisible and often unarticulated and unexamined on an individual level. These forces of motivation are as strong as laws of gravity. Human life and culture is a closed system.
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