This week on The Gralien Report, Micah and Mr. Oakley open the show with some spirited discussion about belief, bias, and attitudes towards subjects that are deemed “unexplained,” or which are often called conspiracy theories. Most importantly, how do language and the media shape people’s ideas about these subjects, and are they unfairly marginalized in at least some cases?
Then getting to the news, the recent appearance of a mysterious group of circles in the ice of the Arctic Ocean have baffled NASA scientists who spotted them; elsewhere, Yale University’s famous secret society Skull and Bones has rebuked a prankster trying to tap new members. Also, what does science have to say about things like exorcisms, and belief in ghosts and hauntings?
In the final segment of the program, we turn our attention to instances where the U.S. Government has disclosed information to the public–whether or not it was entirely intended–which revealed secretive programs and other activities. Notable examples include the recent release of documents on “Psycho-Electric” Weapons obtained by MuckRock, as well as earlier examples like Area 51 being “disclosed” when it turned up in CIA history document, and a leaked Pentagon memo in 1994 that disclosed details about the infamous Black Budget.
However, perhaps there is no better example than the release of information about the CIA’s MK ULTRA mind control program, which involved at least some illegal activities aimed at advanced interrogation techniques, among other things. The full scope of the program remains unknown, due to a purge of CIA documents related to its operations; however, a number of surviving documents have been released since information about the program became public knowledge in the 1970s.