Fact checking The Men Who Stare at Goats

first earth battalion manual

Danger Room has an article posted fact checking the claims made in the new The Men Who Stare at Goats movie:

Hippie Army? True. Lt. Col. Jim Channon dove deep into the New Age movement, and came back to the military with a most alternative view of warfare — one in which troops would carry flowers and symbolic animals into battle. In the movie, Channon is played by Jeff Bridges. His First Earth Battalion is renamed the “New Earth Army.” But the ideas are the same. Much of the artwork from the New Earth manual is lifted straight from the Channon original.

Channon has been taking advantage of the publicity for his cause; this week he has a column in the Guardian newspaper, suggesting (among other things) that armies should be used for reforestation and navies to control over-fishing.

The military’s interest in Eastern and alternative practices is once again on the rise. “Warrior mind training“, apparently based on ancient Samurai techniques, is being taught at Camp Lejeune as a possible treatment for PTSD. Elsewhere the Army has a $4 million initiative exploring other approaches including Reiki, transcendental meditation and “bioenergy.” The Air Force is looking into acupuncture for battlefield pain relief.

Danger Room: Psychic Spies, Acid Guinea Pigs, New Age Soldiers: the True Men Who Stare at Goats

As pointed out at Danger Room, you can download the original First Earth Battalion Manual from Jim Channon’s web site


Psychic Warfare from 1981-2008

Real life DHARMA Initiative # 1: SRI (Stanford Research Institute)


  1. another interesting angle that this whole hollywood take on mind warriors is bringing up shadowy characters like Michael Echanis. Check out this post on him: http://thestandingpost.tumblr.com/post/229111041/michaelechaniseverwhere. I was surprised of his connection to the ‘goat starers’ story, cause i just knew him as some crazy mercenary, but then came the rigorous intution post and then the Ronson BBC doc (the Crazy Rulers of the World Episode one – used to be on youtube up until a day or so ago…)on the goatstarer’s which is what the book was based on. Channon made an appearance last week on the Guardian and wrote a few paragraphs on his continuing vision for an enlightened military: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/05/1

  2. The character Brig. Gen. Hopgood (played by Stephen Lang) in the movie “The Men Who Stare At Goats” is based on Major General Stubblebine, US Army (now retired). In reality, Stubblebine was an intelligent pioneer in the development of human resource technologies. He understood the latent potential of the human mind that warriors would eventually be trained to harness.

    For instance, field-tests by militaries (Ecuador & Mozambique) and peer-reviewed scientific research published in reputable journals have documented the positive effects of a human resource technology called Invincible Defense Technology.

    See the article published in News Blaze titled “Don’t Stare at Goats, Read Robert Oates – Permanent Peace” http://newsblaze.com/story/20091112144204zzzz.nb/topstory.html or in Frontier India World Affairs titled “Taking The Men Who Stare at Goats Seriously” http://frontierindia.net/wa/taking-the-men-who-stare-at-goats-seriously/510

    More information on the Internet can be obtained by searching on “Invincible Defense Technology.”

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