The story of the US Army’s top-secret, Cold War psychic espionage unit as told through the experience of Major Paul H. Smith.
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About the Project
You are invited to be on the ground floor of a campaign to raise production funds for an important and captivating documentary film exploring the US government's use of ESP to spy on perceived threats during the Cold War. The film features Army psychic spy, Paul H. Smith as well as other Remote Viewers who participated in the top-secret programs, and it just may change the way we look at the potential of humankind.
My last feature documentary, TINY: A Story About Living Small (with Merete Mueller), premiered at SXSW in 2013 and has enjoyed a long and successful run on the film festival circuit and will be released on iTunes and DVD around June 2nd.
But American (ESP)nonage is going to be more complicated to produce, and thus a more expensive production. That’s why we are reaching out to people like you to ask for your support in helping get this film made.
But first, here is a brief summary of the film that you would be supporting:
During the 1970s, in response to a similar program uncovered in the USSR, the CIA began a top-secret program investigating the use of psychics for intelligence gathering. Their mission was simple, develop a practical application of ESP that can be replicated and can provide information not obtainable through other more conventional means. The program began in the CIA and was eventually moved to the Army where it successfully functioned throughout the early 1990’s. The ESP process they developed, which anyone can be taught, is called Remote Viewing
American (ESP)ionage primarily follows the story of Major Paul H. Smith, who served in the US Army’s Stargate program during the 1980s, but it also explores the history of the program and the stories of the people who participated in this fascinating chapter in Cold War history.
Paul is many things. He is an artist, musician, veteran of the Persian Gulf War, devout Mormon, a philosopher (with a PhD from University of Texas), a devoted family man, and he's my father. In his time since retiring from the Army, Smith has become one of the most prominent voices of the Remote Viewing and wider ESP community.
Through intimate vérité, archival footage, animations, and re-creations, American (ESP)ionage interweaves the historical story of the US military’s Remote Viewing program as well as Paul’s participation in it, with the contemporary story of Smith’s (and other’s) efforts to legitimize Remote Viewing among the wider public. Paul faces strong resistance from skeptics as well as ‘true believers’ who sensationalize ESP and the Remote Viewing -often as a way to make a profit.
The film follows Paul as he endeavors to bring to light many of the experiments and operational sessions he participated in during his 8 years as one of the core members of the Army’s formerly classified Stargate program. He finds himself up against misinformation, false accounts, and skeptical claims that often counter the mounting scientific evidence supporting the existence of ESP phenomenon.
This film is not meant to convince the audience that ESP is real (though that may be a possible consequence) but rather to force the audience to confront their assumptions about ESP and the nature of reality. American (ESP)ionage will challenge the audience’s preconceived notions about the limits of human potential, which necessarily has implications for religion, world peace, and the greater human condition.
As Paul’s son, I have been exposed to this topic for most of my life (after it was declassified, that is) and I have been fortunate enough to meet many of the central figures of this amazing chapter in our military history.
It has never been a more important story to tell than it is now. As humankind navigates its way through the 21st century, people are exploring the topics that this film touches on more than ever. While Smith’s story is timely in some ways, it remains timeless in others, and will have an impact for years to come.
What we need
Events are transpiring right now in Paul’s story that we need to capture for the film - so we really need to raise some production funds quickly. This Kickstarter campaign will help us raise money to fund the early stages of production. It may appear that we are asking for a substantial sum, it is only a fraction (about 30%) of what we need to get this film shot and ready to be edited. That’s why we have the official campaign goal of $55,000 (whew! I feel intimidated just thinking about it!).
The funds will be spent prudently on equipment rental, purchases, travel funds, crew fees, studio fees, and other production costs.
A successful Kickstarter campaign would not only help us fund a significant part of our production, but it will also show other prospective funders that there is an audience out there that would not only like to see this film be made, but are willing to support it at an early stage. With your support, it will be much easier for us to raise our full budget.
If you believe in this project, please contribute at the highest level you feel comfortable as every bit helps us reach our goal. Not only will you receive some sweet rewards (take a look, they are awesome!) but you will also be a critical part of telling Paul’s amazing story.
Check out all the rewards to the right! Some of our favorites are:
- Paul's books, Reading the Enemies Mind (which went to paperback but is now out of print) and his not yet released, The Essential Guide to Remote Viewing
- The online seminar with Paul himself, which is an amazing introduction to the fascinating skill of Remote Viewing
About Paul H. Smith
Paul H. Smith became a psychic spy in 1983, when he was recruited for the Army' s remote viewing psychic espionage program -- a program he never knew existed up until the moment he was invited to join. He was one of the longest-serving remote viewers in the military program. During his seven years in that program, he studied under the legendary Hal Puthoff and Ingo Swann, served as a first-line operational remote viewer doing thousands of training and live operational RV sessions, wrote the official manual on controlled remote viewing ('CRV' -- a more disciplined form of remote viewing which was used as the primary remote viewing method during the second decade of the military program), and taught CRV to new remote viewer candidates. Among his students are included now-famous remote viewers such as Lyn Buchanan, Mel Riley, and David Morehouse. Paul has briefed and demonstrated remote viewing to senators, admirals and generals, and other senior military and government officials. A Desert Storm veteran, Paul retired from the US Army in 1996 at the rank of major from his final duty position, chief of intelligence and security for the Military District of Washington.
For three decades now he has immersed himself in consciousness-based skills. He has dedicated his life to changing society' s attitudes towards applied consciousness through the powerful leverage of teaching, speaking, and writing about -- and organizing around -- remote viewing. Since 1997 he has been president and chief instructor of his own commercial full-service remote viewing training company, Remote Viewing Instructional Services, Inc., and is a founding director of the non-profit International Remote Viewing Association, of which he is past president. He has chaired and organized seven of IRVA s annual remote viewing conferences since the organization 's founding in 1999.
Paul is author of the book "Reading the Enemy s Mind: Inside Star Gate America s Psychic Espionage Program " (Tor/Forge 2005) which was the Book Bonus Feature and Editor s Choice Selection for the March 2006 issue of Reader s Digest. He is also co-producer of the acclaimed DVD-based "LearnDowsing" training program. He has a bachelors degrees from Brigham Young University, a masters of science degree from the National Defense Intelligence College, both in Middle Eastern studies, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin, writing on consciousness, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. He has spoken on the subject of remote viewing and parapsychology at various national and international conferences, and appeared on numerous national and regional broadcast media programs.
About the filmmaker, Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith is a documentary director and editor. His first feature, TINY: A Story About Living Small (with Merete Mueller), premiered at SXSW in 2013 and has screened at over 40 film festivals around the world. It won several awards, and aired on Al Jazeera America and CBC in Canada. It will be released by First Run Features in June, 2014.
He has spoken publicly at universities across the United States, and has been featured on prominent media outlets such as CNN, ABC, AL Jazeera America, MSN, Huffington Post, Canada AM, The Denver Post, UK Daily Mail, and Oprah.com.
Christopher also edits both feature and short form documentary content, including assisting on the forthcoming documentary by Academy Award winning director of the The Cove, titled 6, and Romeo is Bleeding by Jason Zeldes, (editor, 20 ft From Stardom).
Christopher Smith And the rest of the American (ESP)nonage team
Risks and challenges
While we are determined to finish this film come hell or high water, you should never-the-less be aware that things can -and do- go wrong on film productions. Thus, any contribution you make to this campaign should be viewed primarily as a donation to make this project a reality (but with some pretty sweet perks likely attached).
We will do our best to completely fulfill the promised rewards - so don't worry too much!
While the dates we have listed are our best guess as to when we can fulfill the rewards, they should be taken as an estimate since actual delivery might be different. In the case of rewards that are dependent on completion of the film (such as DVDs, screenings, etc), please allow flexibility in the fulfillment dates as the time it will take to the complete the film and/or secure distribution can vary widely.
Please also make sure to keep your contact information up to date with us so we can be sure to get you your rewards in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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