Romania is a land of unparalleled natural beauty and deep religious sentiments, combined with continuing mystery and intrigue. Vampires, Dracula (perhaps based on the real life fifteenth century ruler Vlad Tepes of Transylvania), witchcraft, black magic, and all things paranormal come to the mind at the mere mention of Romania—and with good reason, for the country has a long and continuing tradition of occult manifestations.
Recently (August 2010) I traveled to Romania and explored its mysteries firsthand. There are too many things of interest to relate in one article; here I will focus on some recent political events that are intertwined with serious allegations of psychic manipulation. First: A little background.
Just over twenty years ago, during the month of December 1989, the government of Nicolae Ceaucescu, the ironfisted communist president of Romania, collapsed. Opposition to the regime had been growing for years. When protests over the government’s attempts to evict a dissident priest broke out in Timisoara (a major city in the west of Romania) on December 16, the anticommunist sentiments quickly grew, with crowds gathering, protests spreading, and riots ensuing. The army was sent in but failed to establish order and active fighting escalated.
On the morning of December 22, Ceaucescu and his wife Elena (who was also Deputy Prime Minister of Romania), along with a few high ranking members of his regime, made their exit from Bucharest by helicopter. The Ceaucescu contingent was captured later in the day by the opposition. Ceaucescu and his wife were executed by an army firing squad on Christmas Day.
The National Salvation Front (Frontul Salvarii Nationale) established a new interim government. In the final days of the Romanian Revolution, sides in the fighting were not always clear as various factions vied for power. Orders were ambivalent, contradictory, and convoluted as chains of command broke down and loyalties shifted. Military contingents at times ended up fighting one another somewhat indiscriminately. The violence and chaos in Bucharest and elsewhere in Romania did not finally end until around December 27.
With my colleague Oana R. Ghiocel (a Romanian by birth who lived through the December 1989 events), I have been studying the 1989 Romanian Revolution from the perspective of the psychical sciences. A number of high-ranking military officers have spoken out publicly, making the case that Romania was a testing ground for unconventional warfare carried out using any techniques available, including psychic manipulation by domestic and foreign interests opposed to the Ceaucescu regime.
Teodor Filip was a key military commander during the Romanian Revolution, holding a number of important posts. He was Chief Commander of the USLA (Unitatea Speciala de Lupta Antiterorista [Special Unit for Anti-Terrorist Protection); he was in charge of security for President Ceaucescu; and he headed security operations at the Bucharest Otopeni International Airport (since renamed the Henri Coanda International Airport), the Parliament House, and other critical areas. In his book Razboiul Parapsihologic Împotriva României [The Parapsychological War Against Romania] Filip writes (translated into English by Oana Ghiocel):
“. . . the moments of the beginning of the Romanian Revolution from December 1989, as well as the events that preceded it, raise many questions and doubts. Many of these events were marked by deeds that make one think of the premeditated action of a ‘film director’ from outside the masses of those revolting. Some elements make one realize that during the Romanian Revolution, against Romania took place a true parapsychological war, where all unconventional weapons of psychological, psychotronic, and psychic warfare were widely used.” (Parapsychology here refers to the study of anomalous mental phenomena, such as mind reading or mind-over-matter, and other psychic or paranormal phenomena. Psychotronic refers to the use of instruments, such as electromagnetic generators, to induce anomalous, or paranormal, phenomena.)
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 began in Timisoara, and it was in Timisoara a quarter century earlier that Professor Doctor Edouard Pamfil, Chief of the Psychiatric Department of the Timisoara Medical School, sponsored an unofficial, illegal, and politically dangerous study group that explored such topics as the influencing of public opinion through the media, methods of mass manipulation, and Soviet-style terror tactics to control the public. Surely topics discussed must have included parapsychological and psychotronic techniques. According to a United States Defense Intelligence Agency report, released under the Freedom of Information Act after being heavily censored, “. . . if these subjects were analyzed and/or publicized, they would reveal the full extent of the deception practiced by the East Bloc political leaders in their unscrupulous manipulation of the masses, and would thus endanger the Communist political system.”
Although unconventional weapons use occurred before and throughout the December 1989 Revolution, such techniques escalated from 22 through 27 December and then suddenly died down. Romanian military radar detected lines of enemy aircraft; and in some cases, these could even be seen by the naked eye from the ground, but when fired upon there were no aircraft present! Noises accompanied the faux aircraft, but not the proper sounds that should emanate from such aircraft. It became difficult or impossible to detect the difference between real and decoy or virtual targets.
As the events of the Romanian Revolution unfolded, an interesting phone conversation between two generals arguing about helicopters was aired on television. One general asked the other if the helicopters flying across Romania and picked up by radar were his, and the other denied it. The two officers involved were General Stefan Gusa, chief of the General Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces (1986-1989), and General Iulian Vlad, Minister of State, Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, and Head of the State Security Department. During the televised conversation, Vlad when questioned about the helicopters said to Gusa, “No they are not my helicopters. We do not have helicopters!” Gusa responded, “Well, if they are not yours, or mine, whose helicopters are they? Someone explain to me what is going on!” This conversation is very telling as it was between the top commanders of the very forces, the army and the state security forces, which were supposed to protect Ceaucescu.
Something very strange was indeed going on. Were electronic means being used to jam radar and give false signals? Were hallucinations being induced in pilots and ground personnel? Clearly the intention was to confuse, distract, and destabilize the Romanian military apparatus while cutting into their supplies of fuel and munitions (wasting them on chasing and shooting at nonexistent targets). Such strange, non-existent, aerial targets may possibly have been a more sophisticated form of the “foo” fighters, glowing lights that darted around flying aircraft, which were commonly reported during World War II. Former U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas E. Bearden, writing a decade before the Romanian Revolution in his book Excalibur Briefing (1980), explained such phenomena as tulpoidal (thought-form) manifestations from the collective human unconsciousness, stating, “A war is a typical example of a situation where the group consciousness of a country is under enormous pressure. In such a situation, the ‘targeted’ population is often exposed to tulpoidal manifestations from time to time.” Bearden implies that such tulpoidal forms arise spontaneously, but during the Romanian Revolution, enemy forces may have purposely induced similar, indeed more sophisticated, phenomena.
Engineer Gheorghe N. Popescu (cited by Filip) was a direct witness to the potential use of manipulative techniques during the Romanian Revolution. Popescu believes that during a speech given by Ceaucescu on December 21, 1989, in Bucharest, those fomenting the revolution broadcast a coherent transmission of electromagnetic radiation at the correct frequency (probably in the ELF, extremely low frequency, range) producing both psychic effects among the human crowd and also initiating localized fires. Members of the crowd experienced strange, unsettling, and inexplicable sensations including the feeling of being stabbed. Fires that may have been ignited by these emissions included those that burned down the Central Library, the Art Museum, and the Small Hall of the Palace. These buildings were so completely and thoroughly destroyed by the fires that it is unlikely only conventional techniques of burning were used.
As his regime came crumbling down, Ceaucescu may have known what was going on. He may have understood that paranormal and psychotronic methods had been used against him. During his trial, he asserted that the secret services of various Western countries were involved in the Revolution. Perhaps Ceaucescu had to be eliminated quickly, because he was indeed very aware of the truth. His captors asserted that he was delusional, but at his trial Ceaucescu seemed sharp, clear, and focused. Many people now wonder if his statements regarding foreign manipulation and intervention (in part by parapsychological and psychotronic means) were true.
The Romanian Violet Flame
Twenty years after the 1989 Revolution, accusations of occult dealings in politics continue to be taken seriously among much of the Romanian public and some well-positioned leaders. To understand this latest round of psychic manipulation, we must first consider St. Germain and The Violet Flame.
The Comte de Saint Germain is a mysterious occult figure of the eighteenth century. According to one account, St. Germain was a son of Francis II Rákóczi (1676-1735), a prince of Transylvania, and St. Germain is variously referred to as the Master Rakoczi (Rakoczy) or Master R. Whatever the truth about St. Germain may be from a conventional point of view, a long line of occultists and Theosophists have regarded St. Germain as an Ascended Master—a former human being who, through many incarnations, achieved spiritual transformation and enlightenment. St. Germain’s prior incarnations included (depending on the authority subscribed to) a high priest of lost Atlantis, the Biblical Samuel, Plato, Merlin (of the King Arthur sagas), an anonymous organizer of secret societies during the Renaissance, and Sir Francis Bacon (during which incarnation St. Germain authored the works conventionally attributed to William Shakespeare).
Various legends suggest that St. Germain is immortal, and he may continue to inhabit the physical Earth in some bodily form to this day. Theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854-1934) claimed to have met St. Germain in 1926 in Rome. At that time St. Germain was apparently in the habit of performing magical rituals in his Transylvanian castle utilizing a suit of golden chain mail formerly owned by a Roman emperor, a purple cloak clasped by a star with seven points fashioned from diamond and amethyst, and a violet robe. In 1930 mining engineer Guy Warren Ballard (1878-1939), while hiking Mount Shasta (California), met (or had a vision of) a man who claimed to be St. Germain. Before long, Ballard was lecturing on, writing about, and espousing various mystical teachings that supposedly originated from St. Germain.
Something that St. Germain taught was the concept and use of The Violet Flame. The color violet is unlike any other color and has long been a focus of attention by alchemists and occultists. Seen as the boundary between the physical and the spiritual, with the ability to promote transmutations between the realms, in modern terms the color violet does indeed have unique properties. Of the visible spectrum, violet has the highest frequency and in this sense may be viewed as the most noble and ascended color, certainly worthy of the Ascended Masters. The Violet Flame, literally and in its representation and manifestation spiritually, can be harnessed and channeled as a powerful force—a force that, like any force, can be used for good or evil. The Violet Flame, so it seems, can be set to violent purposes.
This brings us to modern Romania and the presidential elections of 2009. In the initial election of November 22, 2009, a dozen candidates squared off, but no one gained a majority. On December 6, 2009, a highly contentious runoff election was held between the top two candidates, Traian Basescu and Mircea Geoana. Nearly ten-and-a-half million votes were cast, and Geoana was favored by most exit polls. However, election officials declared Basescu the winner with 50.33% of the vote. Inevitably, perhaps, Geoana supporters contested the results, arguing that the election was unfair, with accusations of questionable voting protocols and downright fraud. The matter was taken to court, but ultimately Basescu was upheld as the winner. Then, the serious accusations began—at least from an occult perspective.
Viorel Hrebenciuc, a high-ranking politician close to Geoana, suggested publicly that Basescu had used the power of The Violet Flame against Geoana. Basescu had at various times during the campaign been seen in a purple/violet necktie or a purple sweater, and this was not simply because he happened to like the color purple. Essentially, Basescu had channeled negative energy, or hexed, his opponent. Such an accusation might sound silly to some ears, but Romania is a land where magic (genuine occult magick) is still taken very seriously. A regular clientele consults witches, many from the gypsy communities, who partake in divination and casting spells. Soon Geoana was suggesting publicly that he had indeed been targeted by malicious energy during a final debate with Basescu. Geoana’s wife, Mihaela, added that as a result of the psychic attack her husband’s concentration had been broken. Indeed, at the final debate Basescu and most of his supporters had worn purple/violet neckties, scarves, clothes, and even carried purple/violet document holders. Furthermore, Hrebenciuc claimed after the fact that the day of the debate, a Thursday, had been set to favor Basescu’s mystic plot as the power of The Violet Flame apparently peaks on Thursdays.
All of this seemed too bizarre to take seriously, but then more evidence surfaced. Upon analysis of photos and video footage of the campaign, a man known by the name of Aliodor Manolea, and described variously as a “healer” and a “parapsychologist,” was seen to have accompanied Basescu on many occasions. Indeed, Manolea was present at the debate during which Geoana supposedly had his energy sapped and concentration broken, even “paralyzing” him during part of the time, enough so that the election tipped toward his opponent. Clearly, at least in some observer’s minds, Manolea was there to harness occult powers against Geoana. Basescu, for his part, failed to provide a convincing alternative explanation for the involvement of Manolea in the campaign.
But what has been dubbed “The Violet Flame Curse” of Romania does not end with the elections. A flock of black birds allegedly entered the Romanian Parliament building a few years ago, and since then there has reputedly been a bit of a curse on the Parliament. In early 2010 a group of witches, surrounded by purple and violet fabrics, gathered to perform rituals in an attempt to lift the curse.
In the end, what should we make of these continuing reports of psychic manipulation and occult harnessing for political and military purposes in Romania? Is it all high silliness, or could there be some truth to it? Maybe more truth than many people, either inside or outside of Romania, want to admit? I do not doubt the reality and potential effectiveness of certain parapsychological and paranormal phenomena, and I find the “practical application” of the occult conceivable, especially in a country so deeply steeped in esoteric traditions and beliefs.
Robert M. Schoch, a full-time faculty member at Boston University, earned his Ph.D. in geology and geophysics at Yale University. He is best known for his re-dating of the Great Sphinx of Egypt. His latest book is The Parapsychology Revolution (Tarcher/Penguin, 2008). Website: www.robertschoch.com