Friday, May 4, 2018

A 1971 attempt by witches and mystics to end the Vietnam War

Here's another tidbit from the June 1971 issue of "Fate" magazine that was featured here in mid-April.

Toward the back of the magazine, alongside the advertisements for ESP laboratories, handwriting analysis, meditation, personal horoscopes and crystal balls, there is a section titled "Report from the Readers."

One of those reports is from Ken Nahigian — not the same Ken Nahigian who served as executive director of the Trump-Pence presidential transition — of Sacramento, California.

Here is Nahigian's report/request:

We are interested in knowing whether there are witches or psychics among the FATE readers who are willing to lend their minds and craft to an experimental attempt to end the Vietnam War.

On August 1, 1971, a number of covens in central California will attempt to terminate the war by applying a collective melding of their powers. After some deliberation we decided that if we could launch this campaign on a national level, eliciting the aid of other psychics and mystics, we would be much more certain of at least partial success. Is anyone willing to help?

If you are, it is not necessary to write us or even to move from your home. At the proper time — 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. Pacific Daylight Saving Time on August 1, 1971 — merely seat yourself in a quiet dimly-lighted room, relax your mind and allow your thoughts to flow uninterruptedly toward this end: to produce a halt or slowdown in the Southeast Asian military activity. This may be done individually or in groups. Also, if anyone is more familiar with techniques of psychic control other than passive meditation, then by all means employ them instead. We only ask your aid in one form or another.

Our feeling is this: If a large enough number of witches and mystics join us we will be able to harness enormous fields of collective psychic power for peace, elemental power which properly manipulated will certainly serve to aid the peace effort and perhaps stop the war completely.

We feel the cause is a good one and we need all the help we can get. Only an hour's effort is required from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M., PDST, on August 1 of this year. Please try to help.

Although not mentioned in the request, August 1 is Lammas Day, and was almost certainly chosen intentionally for that reason. Lammas Day marks an important milestone, as I understand it, for the Wiccan calendar and neopaganism.

Of course, the Vietnam War did not end until three years and nine months later, with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. But who's to say the witches and mystics, in their striving for peace, didn't stop it from lasting even longer?

According to the AOF (Atheists and Other Freethinkers) website, Nahigian, born in 1952, was a voracious reader and thinker at a young age, exploring "atheism, positivism, academic skepticism, mysticism, even the occult." His profile quote on AOF is now "I don't have an answer, but I admire the question."

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Note: The mostly unrelated illustration is by Robin Jacques and is from 1966's A Book of Witches, written by Ruth Manning-Sanders and published in the United States by E.P. Dutton & Co.

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