'The Other' / Esoteric America

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

'The Other' / Esoteric America

About the show

In the first half of the program, George Knapp welcomed legendary paranormal writer, Brad Steiger, who reflected on his prodigious career researching the unexplained and shared his thoughts on what may be behind encounters with otherworldly beings. Based on his experience looking at a vast array of paranormal phenomena, he surmised that "some external intelligence has been consistently trying to make contact with us or to teach us." To that end, he recalled being surprised to notice, when first speaking with UFO contactees in the 1960's, that the messages allegedly imparted to them by ETs were "essentially the same thing I was hearing in spiritual séances." Furthermore, he pointed out that the seemingly silly names used by these entities can be found appearing again and again in recorded history under similar circumstances of 'contact.'

Ultimately, Steiger observed that paranormal phenomena has a way of fundamentally altering the lives of those who experience it and that may be part of a larger agenda aimed at "forever expanding" humankind's concept of reality. Acknowledging the nebulous nature and varied forms this "collective intelligence" appears to take when it interacts with humans, Steiger opted for the moniker of 'The Other' for whatever is driving the phenomena. However, he also theorized that the witnesses or experiencers, themselves, play a key role in how a paranormal event unfolds by unconsciously selecting the form it takes. Over the course of his appearance, Steiger also shared the story of his near-death experience at the age of 11, as well as recollections from when the MIB phenomenon first burst upon the paranormal landscape.


In the latter half, author Bill Birnes discussed the often unspoken esoteric history of the United States as well as how the government secretly studied psychic phenomena and mind control techniques. He detailed how psychics have been advisors to various presidents throughout history, including Lincoln's use of a trance medium during his time in the White House. "We have so much psychic power from our 19th century presidents," Birnes marveled, noting that FDR reported hearing the footsteps of Lincoln and even seeing the ghost of former president Franklin Pierce as well. Occupants of the White House using psychics for insight has continued into the modern era, he said, including then-first lady Hilary Clinton employing a trance medium to contact the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt in order to glean advice on how to navigate her husband's unfolding scandal.

Regarding the government's clandestine research into mind control, Birnes shared the story of Candy Jones, famed wife of radio host Long John Nebel. He explained that Jones would wake up screaming in the middle of the night and spoke in an strange voice. Under the advice of friends, Nebel had her undergo hypnosis to see if they could determine what was causing these episodes. Via this technique, they learned that Jones had been programmed by the government to have an alternate personality which could serve as a secret agent and assassin. Through treatment, Jones' doctors were able to merge this personality with her 'real' one and dispel the subliminal programming. While government tinkering with mind control appears to have ended, Birnes theorized that such research may have unwittingly created a thread where the chaos induced in the original subjects gave way to modern day copycats.

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