Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Nov 27, 2007, at 12:32 PM, Jack Sarfatti wrote:

OK See the Sharon Weinberger articles sharonweinberger@gmail.com mentioning me noted on Wikipedia.
On Nov 27, 2007, at 9:34 AM, David Kaiser wrote:

Dear Jack,

Thanks for your quick and helpful reply. I'm glad to continue via email rather than phone; that's easy enough. I am addressing this email just to you and not to the whole group because I wanted to start with some questions about your own trajectory, to fill in some details beyond what I have been able to piece together from your own writings and from newspaper stories (such as the profile of you by Jerry Carroll in the San Fran Chronicle in 1981, or the more recent interview with you in the San Fran Chronicle by Stephen Schwartz in 1997). So this first round of questions is more about people and places; then once I have a chance to digest more of the scientific writings we can dig in to questions of Bell's theorem and signal locality as it was understood at the time and since. Here are some of the things I'm curious about:

1. Why did you decide to leave your faculty job at San Diego State? I talked with Fred Alan Wolf about his decision to leave -- it sounded like a combination of frustration with bureaucracy and cut-backs, plus new enticements in a writing career. Was your experience similar?

1. frustration with bureaucracy? yes

2. cutbacks? no that was not an issue for me and I left a year or two before Fred. Also I brought money to the department with the NSF Summer Schools for College Teachers on Superfluids and Lasers that I did with Herschel Snodgrass.

Both Fred and I got divorced about same time ~ 1971 and we were room mates. I was too young for that job and was bored and wanted adventure which came soon enough from the CIA with the strange events in 1973 at SRI Remote Viewing Project described in my book - 20 years after the strange 1953 encounter - very uncanny - real X-Files sort of Twilight Zone High Strangeness. I had volunteered for CIA in 1963 in wake of the JFK assassination and was interviewed near UCLA in 1963 though I never heard anything explicitly from that interview. My encounter with Dennis Bardens of British Intelligence in 1974

"Dr Sarfatti, it is my duty to inform you of a psychic war raging across the continents between the Soviet Union and your country and you are to be in the thick of it."

- in conjunction with the Uri Geller tests at Birkbeck etc are also clearly relevant as was my working at UKAEA with Marshall Stoneham in 1966. Then going to Trieste at Abdus Salam's invitation in 1973-74 was no accident. Ask Fred Alan Wolf about his visit to me in Trieste with his ending up in Bulgaria in an affair with the daughter of the local KGB police chief there. Both Fred and I were in Croatia for a day at Ljublana Institute for Nuclear Physics then as well. Trieste of course had many physicists from the Soviet Bloc there that I was in daily contact with. See Andrija Puharich in
http://www.stayaerusa.org movie on CIA & SRI. I am in that movie with Uri Geller, Brian Josephson, Colin Wilson, Colonel John Alexander ...

2. You mentioned in your piece in Mishlove's _Roots of Consciousness_ that your Physics/Consciousness Research Group was actually established as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation. I was curious why you wanted to set it up in that official way; was there much in the way of official business transactions to worry about, rent to pay for office or meeting space, or anything like that?

That was the way Werner Erhard wanted it. His people took care of details. I had free run of Werner's est offices.

Basically I'm wondering why the PCRG was set up with a different structure than the Fundamental Physics Group at LBL, which (as far as I can tell) consisted mostly of an informal gathering of people in a conference room at the lab.

As above. FPG was basically a spin-off of PCRG organized by Elizabeth Rauscher. We had all the money from est and from George Koopman's Insgroup in Huntington Beach a DOD contractor with US Army Tank Command and USAF. Also we had money from UFO advocate Laurance Rockefeller's mistress Jean Lanier (widow of founder of a large engineering company Stone Webster) who set us up on two floors across from the Episcopal Church on top of Nob Hill. There is a SF Chronicle article about Brian Josephson's visit there with his new wife when he went to visit Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ at SRI about the remote viewing (i.e. "signal nonlocality" beyond orthodox quantum theory).

3. What sort of activities, discussion groups, seminars, etc., did the PCRG organize or host? I have heard a bunch about the Fundamental Physics Group at LBL; were the PCRG events similar?

The main thing we did was the Esalen Month in Jan 1976 I think that Gary Zukav writes about in Dancing Wu Li Masters. I brought David Finkelstein there and that's how he met Werner Erhard leading to the big est physics conferences described by Lenny Susskind with Feynman, Gell-Mann, Wheeler, Hawking, Coleman, I think Kip Thorne et-al. I had met David at Yeshiva visiting Lenny Susskind. Finkelstein also worked with Ken Shoulders and Hal Puthoff at a company set up by the Fried Chicken guy William Church as a result of the Esalen month.
We had seminars at the facility on Nob Hill with the Rockefeller-Lanier money.

4. When did you first meet Werner Erhard, and how did you and he arrange things like financial support for your work?

I think that's in Destiny Matrix? I was in Paris with Fred Alan Wolf at his flat in Odeon - I think it was where the Marquis de Sade had lived - that was the rumor. Fred dragged me to the Ritz Hotel to meet Werner who I had never heard of. I was restless. I asked Werner in the lobby of the Ritz, he in a silly inappropriate casual outfit, with a woman adorer, what he did. He said "I make people happy." I wanted to run and I said in a strong Brooklyn accent, "I think you're an asshole." Werner got up from his chair a big smile, embraced me warmly and said "I am going to give you money." I had no idea about the message of the est-Training being "You're an asshole." Werner thought I was some kind of Guru I guess. I sat down and Werner told me he wanted to set up PCRG with est-Foundation money and that's how it started. Werner is now living in London under a new name across the street from Parliament according to Fred Wolf.

You note in Destiny Matrix that at one point Fritjof Capra came to you asking for money to help pay for his green card application, and that you were able to get Erhard to pay it; so it sounds like a pretty easy-going flow of cash at the time.

Yes. I gave Fritjof $1500 that he needed to pay his lawyer for a Green Card. I also brought my then room-mate Gary Zukav to Esalen and wrote all of the rough draft of the physics parts of Wu Li Masters for him and helped him with the editing in later drafts.

Were there other people besides Erhard who helped pay for the PCRG activities and/or your research?

As I said George Koopman & Jean Lanier (with Laurance Rockefeller in the background calling our Nob Hill place to talk to Jean who kept a room there. Koopman had apparently been keeper of the Weird Desk at DIA before leaving to set up Insgroup. He came from the NY Times family somehow. Big obit on him in NT Times when he suspiciously was killed in auto "accident" on his way to test a rocket at Edwards AFB. George was a "spook" who managed Tim Leary when Nixon let him out of prison. Leary was sent to PCRG in Esalen right from prison. Note also my connection to a Nixon personal advisor Robert Dickson Crane through his daughter Maiti in 1979-80. Crane involved with Herman Kahn Hudson Institute and Minsky at MIT. Crane also advisor to Saudi Royals and he converted to Islam and became first US Army Muslim Chaplain I think (from Maiti). Crane told me that my "signal nonlocality" corresponded to "Tauhid" in Islam metaphysics.

E.g., Edgar Mitchell and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which helped support some of the early work by Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ at SRI on Uri Geller and remote-viewing? (Part of what I'm interested in for the book is how patrons other than the NSF or DOD stepped in to subsidize research in fundamental aspects of theoretical physics in the 1970s.)

Werner may have also financed some of that. I met Edgar of course but we did not get any money from him.

5. Same question for Michael Murphy of Esalen: how did you first meet him, and how did you set up the mid-1970s Esalen workshops on physics and consciousness? Any need for formal arrangements, or did Murphy basically give the group a blank check to proceed as you saw fit?

The latter. Michael and I were close for awhile. He gave me his Telegraph Hill flat on 2 Whiting when he married Dulce. Dan Ellsberg was a frequent visitor when Michael lived there. This was where his character "Jacob Atabet" lived and where I wrote http://qedcorp.com/book/psi/hitweapon.html in one short sitting high on some magic mushroom tea that a woman visitor served me.

6. Saul-Paul Sirag, in his "Contact" essay within Destiny Matrix, writes that at least for a while, you, he, and Fred Alan Wolf actually worked with Erhard's est trainers, to teach them about quantum physics and nonlocality.

Yes, that's correct.

Can you say more about what kind of things you did with the est trainers, what specific things you talked about, what level of detail they seemed to want to know, etc?

It's 30 years ago so I don't recall much. Saul-Paul Sirag probably took notes at the time and he has (had) a photographic memory for details. At that time the "creative tension" between locality and nonlocality was not understood. Bell's theorem was not well-known yet. Nick Herbert tried to use orthodox QM to get signal nonlocality in his FLASH paper. The remote viewing clearly showed signal nonlocality. Unlike the knee-jerk debunkers we assumed this to be an empirical fact and went from there - and still do. Signal locality in orthodox QM rests on shaky ground as Antony Valentini's papers now show and the spooky "Matrix" nature of consensus reality is becoming more apparent with the discovery of dark energy and dark matter and the intensification of UFO activity with more competent scientific observations now coming on line. Now back then in the 70's we were into John Wheeler's observer participator "delayed choice" and "You create reality" that you see in Fred Alan Wolf's books and in the recent alleged remark by President Bush - or was it Karl Rove?

7. The 1981 San Fran Chronicle piece by Jerry Carroll mentions a falling-out between you and Erhard. Can you say more about what happened? It seems to have coincided with Erhard's new conference series on theoretical physics, which Bob Fuller helped to organize with people like Sidney Coleman and Roman Jackiw (starting around 1976).

Yes. est people were getting jealous of my close relation to Werner (like Putzi Sedgwick-Hanfstaengl with Hitler in 1938? ;-)) Maybe it was Bob Fuller? I don't know. Fred Wolf and I were edged out probably because they thought we were too crazy? Finkelstein sort of took over and I was the guy who brought him there in the first place. It was the usual academic shark cut-throat back-stabbing both Fred & I left SDSU for. There was still a back-channel to Werner through his aide Raz Ingrasci who sent Jenny O Conner to me at 2 Whiting after the "falling out" right before she went to Esalen and "channelled The Nine" and allegedly bamboozled the Soviet KGB "Institute for US & Canada" as part of the "Hot Tub Diplomacy" (see Newsweek article that title in mid 80's).

This is a barrage of questions; sorry for dumping them on you all at once. I look forward to chatting more about all these topics --

many thanks -

Dear David

Phone is not my preferred mode of communication because the channel capacity for scientific communication is too low. Also I only use a cell phone, quality not good noisy frequent drops on ATT and I do not like to stay on it - microwave radiation danger. This e-mail is much better for complex technical issues because we have a detailed record and can correct errors. So please ask me questions by e-mail. :-)

I am cc'ing this to some of the participants who I am still in touch with. Fred Wolf recently spoke to Werner who now lives in London. I also ran into Stan Klein only a few days ago who is doing very interesting brain research with Stapp. I think Fritjof Capra is still in Berkeley and Stan Klein is in touch with him. Unfortunately Tim Leary, George Koopman and Robert Anton Wilson have died. I think Gary Zukav lives on Mount Shasta. You should also talk to David Finkelstein.

We did not clearly understand "signal locality" issues back then in 1976. Indeed Nick Herbert's FLASH paper led to the no-cloning theorem so important in quantum computing today. Antony Valentini's papers
show how to hack quantum computers in principle.
Like string theory, quantum computers do not yet exist of course - except possibly our minds, which must be post-quantum computers with signal nonlocality as described here

quant-ph/0203049 (March 2002)
Subquantum Information and Computation
Antony Valentini
Received. 11 March 2002 Last updated. 12 April 2002
Abstract. It is argued that immense physical resources - for nonlocal communication, espionage, and exponentially-fast computation - are hidden from us by quantum noise, and that this noise is not fundamental but merely a property of an equilibrium state in which the universe happens to be at the present time. It is suggested that 'non-quantum' or nonequilibrium matter might exist today in the form of relic particles from the early universe. We describe how such matter could be detected and put to practical use. Nonequilibrium matter could be used to send instantaneous signals, to violate the uncertainty principle, to distinguish non-orthogonal quantum states without disturbing them, to eavesdrop on quantum key distribution, and to outpace quantum computation (solving NP-complete problems in polynomial time).

Signal nonlocality (sub-quantal non-equilibrium) also, obviously, has profound implications for the Hawking-Susskind debate on information loss down a black hole. Susskind was also at some of the later Erhard physics meetings. See his interview with John Brockman's "Edge". I met Lenny at Cornell in 1963 where we worked on the quantum phase operator problem with Johnny Glogower a childhood friend of mine. Phil Morrison got Johnny to Cornell at my urging. Also note my 1969 paper predicting supersolid helium that is reproduced in my book Super Cosmos. My paper was published months before Tony Leggett's. Also note my 1966 paper with Marshall Stoneham "The Goldstone Theorem and the Jahn-Teller Effect" cited in APS Resource Letter on Symmetry in Physics 1980. You should also speak to Ray Chiao now at UC Merced on my 1966 paper on self-trapped laser filaments described by a Landau-Ginzburg eq that he told Charles Townes helped him in his early experiments.

On Nov 26, 2007, at 11:31 AM, David Kaiser wrote:

Dear Dr. Sarfatti,

I'm working on a book about physics in the 20th century, looking in particular at some of the waves of interest in topics like foundations of quantum mechanics. I'd like to talk with you by phone some time when it might be convenient for you. I am interested in your work during the 1970s with the Physics/Consciousness Research Group and related groups such as the Fundamental Physics Group at LBL and the Esalen workshops from that period. I recently read your book, 'Destiny Matrix,' which of course has lots of useful information in it, as well as some of your old essays like the material you contributed to the 1st edition of Jeffrey Mishlove's _Roots of Consciousness_. I have also spoken a few times with Fred Alan Wolf, Henry Stapp, and Robert Fuller, who was (as you know) director of Werner Erhard's 'est foundation' for a few years.

If you have some time this week or next, it would be a great help to my research if we could chat by phone. I'd be happy to give you a call, or you can try me at my current office number (while I'm on sabbatical): 781 283-2719.

Thanks --

Dave Kaiser

David Kaiser dikaiser@mit.edu
Associate Professor
Program in Science, Technology, & Society
and Lecturer, Department of Physics
Building E51-185
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Phone: 617 452-3173 Fax: 617 258-8118

David Kaiser dikaiser@mit.edu
Associate Professor
Program in Science, Technology, & Society
and Lecturer, Department of Physics
Building E51-185
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Phone: 617 452-3173 Fax: 617 258-8118


Anonymous said...

how interesting is http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0103/0103031.pdf ?

Jack Sarfatti said...


Jack Sarfatti said...

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