In my new book, A Shining City on a Hill: Novus Ordo Seclorum (Har-Anand, 2018), I retrace a process of investigation of certain aspects of the American State and society which began in the 1980s, when I went to live in Aspen, a glamorously quaint resort town in Colorado, at the heart of the continent. My quest, prolonged over many years, yielded some fascinating findings which are described in the book.

I did not wish to make yet another academic analysis of the country and its policies. I chose to write a story woven out of living experience, conversations with and communications from a wide array of Americans: scientists, inventors, business leaders, society figures, high ranking military officers, journalists and academics. Some of them appear under their real names; for others, I have used pseudonyms in order to protect their anonymity.

As can be expected of any country, especially of one as large and mighty as the United States, there are many contradictory aspects to the picture it shows the world and even more paradoxical ones which remain mostly hidden. As the book’s title recalls, the young Republic drew inspiration from the Biblical Promised Land, the Shining City on a Hill, a hallowed protestant vision, which President Ronald Reagan was fond of evoking in the years when I resided in the country and when he heralded a new morning in America. Yet some founding fathers, free-thinkers or believers in esoteric sciences, were admirers of the Athenian state and the pagan Platonic utopia derived from it. Others aspired to create a new Roman Republic, which later turned into a putative scion of the Roman Empire. Benjamin Franklin, probably the most original thinker among the builders of the new nation and an agnostic was a member, while in England of a secret society whose name, The Hellfire Club betrayed Satanic leanings.

I discovered that arcane beliefs and mystery cults, always attractive to the human mind, retain a large following in officially Judeo-Christian but rationalistic America. An apt literary allegory for its self-image may be Francis Bacon’s Nova Atlantis, the utopian island state of Bensalem ruled by a council of mighty “scientists” (the term had not yet been coined) dedicated to the investigation of nature and man for the pursuit of unlimited power. That Masonic project endorses the ancient Anglo-Saxon claim to the throne of David and the hidden Ark of the Covenant, revived by the famous and influential 20th century Evangelist Herbert Armstrong, according to whose doctrine Britain and the US are the lost tribes of the Chosen People fated to bring about the Messiah’s rule over the world, in alliance with a reborn Israel in the Near East. This religious agenda, I discovered, underlies the worldview and the activities of many Americans, including eminent ones.

I was made aware of the great but little known role played by the 20th century Canadian, California-born hermetist P. Manley Hall, regarded as a prophet by both America’s most revered pop idol Elvis Presley and by Ronald Reagan, among others. Manley Hall professed that America has a God-given destiny as the beacon and leader of a new world, in the spirit of the logo on the US great seal: New Order of the Ages. He echoed the pronouncements of earlier visionaries and teacher, but he lent them the authority of his vast erudition in ancient Gnostic and symbolic lore. One of the many who studied his works, Jack Parsons, a handsome and tormented genius, also born in California was a godfather of the space programme; he set up the jet propulsion lab, which became a part of the California Institute of Technology. Parsons, once an associate of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, practised occultism and black magic, initiated by the “dark pontiff” of the early 20th century, the British Luciferian Aleister Crowley, high priest of the Order of the Oriental Temple.

The agenda of the semi-hidden Deep State was sometimes exposed to me and illustrated with disclosures about the long-secret Manhattan Project;  the assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers and of Martin Luther King; the Jonestown massacre in Guyana.

Attraction to the black arts is strong in the American psyche inhabited by puritanical impulses and fears and that fascination is manifest in the innumerable best selling films and books which explore the themes of witchcraft, horror and the supernatural, often merging with science fiction, across a wide range of authors encompassing Lovecraft and Stephen King. There is an oriental link in much of the American occult culture, at least in its higher reaches, partly inherited from organisations and figures connected to India, including the Theosophical Society, the Divine Life Society of Swami Yogananda, the Institute of Integral Studies inspired by Sri Aurobindo, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s International Meditation Society and the various offshoots of Buddhist, Vedantic and Sufi traditions from India, Tibet, Thailand and Japan that took root in the US. Not all spiritual seekers came to Eastern wisdom, but the pioneers of American eco-spirituality and universalism, the transcendentalists led by Ralph W. Emerson were students of Indian philosophy, like Thomas Merton and Aldous Huxley in later days, 0while more traditionally western “Renaissance” thinkers in the European hermetic tradition such as Walter Russell built cosmological systems consonant with the Hindu and Buddhist models which inspired the New Age movement. Other innovative scientists steeped in Asian philosophies, Nikola Tesla, Robert Oppenheimer, Arthur Young, Andrija Puharich, Buckminster Fuller, Harold Puthoff, Russell Targ, John Lilly, Karl Pribram and John Wheeler among others opened new vistas on the nature of cosmic reality. Steve Jobs, the progenitor of Apple was not the only illustrious tech tycoon exposed to India and her wisdom.

While uncovering the deep impact of Indic thought (which extends to Sino-Japanese Buddhist teachings) in America I could not but be aware of the dogged resistance that those metaphysical and mystical currents aroused in what remains a materialistic, individualistic civilisation fuelled by the craving for economic gain and personal success and wedded to a Biblical Black-and-White or Manichean perspective of history.

The dark side is always there and the book evokes it when it describes the extensive research carried out by various government-related agencies in and for mind control, espionage, torture, repression of dissent, instigation of terrorism, subversion and assassination, as part of constant planning for ever more destructive and insidious wars against possible enemies or challengers of US supremacy.

The agenda of the semi-hidden Deep State was sometimes exposed to me and illustrated with disclosures about the long-secret Manhattan Project; Paperclip, the systematic relocation of more than 1,500 high level scientists and engineers from defeated Nazi Germany secretly drafted into the US military-industrial complex; the assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers and of Martin Luther King; the Jonestown massacre in Guyana; the Vietnam War in its fiendish clandestine aspects, the allegedly state-sponsored promotion of the drug culture amongst the nation’s young and the operations of the Federal Reserve Board to control the global economy through discretionary virtual currency emissions. The colonialistic and often sinister character of US policies crafted by a parallel, secret and unelected government bred many rebels from within. Jim Morrison, the iconic lead singer of The Doors was the son of the admiral who commanded the US Fleet in Indochina at the time of the staged Gulf of Tonkin incident and he turned his back, early in his drug and alcohols soaked youth, on his father and his country. Rennie Davis, the child of a high ranking official of the Nixon administration became one of the “Chicago Seven”, which spearheaded the agitations against the Vietnam War, before joining the ashram of a Hindu child guru and sponsoring research into exotic technologies. Some of the insiders helped me discover the flip side of the “American dream” presciently evoked by Edgar Poe and often luridly highlighted in the national pop culture. There was, there is, an elephant in the room that no investigations of the kind I was carrying out could fail to see. The Gnostic and technological dimensions of the American global project converged in a domain that could initially only be described as supernatural and was therefore not acknowledged in official discourse, although it is profusely alluded to in popular culture, in songs, comics, magazines, novels and films. Yet, since 1947, a policy of denial and censorship hid a massive effort, spearheaded by military agencies and private corporations to unravel the mystery surrounding out-of-this world visitors who display stupendous technical powers which still largely elude our understanding.

The overriding goal of US secret “Black Projects” is to study and reverse-engineer the technological capabilities evinced by those beings of various types. This ongoing endeavour has already achieved momentous life-changing results, shown in the ever more sophisticated devices that surround us, but so much more is still hidden and will transform us and our environment beyond recognition in the coming years. A hitherto clandestine reality, persistently hidden behind a barrage of discredit and denial is now being publicly, though only partly, disclosed from official sources. Coincidentally, A Shining City on a Hill retraces my exploratory saga and reflects on some of the most important factors determining our collective future as a species and as a planetary community.