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Psychic Warrior

David Morehouse

Saint Martin's Press

US Hardcover First

ISBN 0-312-14708-2

258 pages; $23.95

Reviewed by Rick Kleffel © 2001



Non Fiction


In recent months, one-time "remote viewers" for the US government have stepped forward to officially reveal the existence of the long-rumored 'psychic spy' program. Unsurprisingly, they revealed little of interest. The program was mostly a bust, they said, with little if any useful information extracted. If we accept the contents of David Morehouse's Psychic Warrior as genuine, then these statements were clearly the clever pieces of disinformation they appeared to be to the conspiracy theory crowd. In any event, Psychic Warrior is certainly far more interesting than anything we've heard so far about these black-budget programs. David Morehouse writes well, and in spite of a lack of documentation -- there are no references, bibliography or any other substantiating data to support Morehouse's story -- Psychic Warrior has the ring of truth. It's convincing because, like the most believable psychics in fiction, Morehouse does not initially see his talent as a gift, but rather as a curse.

Morehouse is an army brat, the son of a soldier destined to become a great soldier himself. He runs through an appallingly normal military childhood, early marriage, and admission into the Mormon Church, not a noted supporter of psychic phenomena. His writing is simple and straightforward. In 1987, he was engaged in training courses in Jordan when a stray bullet struck him on the head. He began having vivid nightmares, in which he would leave his body. The dreams followed him back to the states, where he was promoted in the Army Intelligence Corps. When the intensity of the dreams became too great, he revealed them to the psychiatrist he was required to see by the Army. Fearful for his sanity, he was taken aback when the psychiatrist told him he was not crazy, and that his dreams might qualify him for a new assignment, far beyond even his nighttime excursions. Unhappy with the culture of the Army Intelligence, desperate for an end to, or at least an explanation of, his nightmares, Morehouse accepted the new assignment.

Morehouse's descriptions of his training and indoctrination into this program make for some fascinating but frustrating reading. His descriptions of the remote viewing expeditions themselves are gripping and topical. He is "sent" to view extra-terrestrials, the Gulf War (where he sees shiny canisters emitting a gas that is likely to be responsible for Gulf War syndrome) and drug-bearing America-bound ships.

But he is frustratingly sparse on the details of remote viewing. Again and again we are told this is a precise science, but neither the precise nor the scientific aspects are described in any detail. The usage of "coordinates", for example, is dealt with in enough detail to confuse, but not enough to explain. They are instead glossed over, so Morehouse can concentrate on the effect his assignment has on himself and his family. For, though Morehouse sought admission to the remote viewing unit hoping for a cure for his nightmares, he continues to experience them. In one particularly vivid and horrific vision, he sees himself murdering his own family. Fortunately for his family, this is one experience that does not come to pass.

There is a emotional truth to Morehouse's account that offsets the lack of factual data. He describes the breakdown of his ability to live with his family, which leads to a legal separation. He doesn't handle his gifts well. He sleepwalks and wakes up on the front lawn regularly. It's not an ideal life for a dedicated family man and a career officer. He is removed from what is then called Project Sun Streak, and his decision to expose it leads to attempts on his life, his family's lives, and his hospitalization for mental illness at the insistence of the very people who brought him into the program in the first place. Betrayed by those he trusted once he decides to betray them, he reaches a frightening low point in a mental ward, forced to take huge doses of powerful anti-psychotics and anti-hallucinogens. He doesn't flinch when portraying his own decline. It's a powerful journey.

Along the way, fortean favorite Ingo Swann makes an brief guest appearance, but he's the only familiar face to be found. Morehouse talks about at least two other books in the works on his experiences. While Psychic Warrior is gripping and believable, one hopes these other books will provide more details on the technical aspects of this program. Psychic Warrior may be the tip of a very interesting iceberg.