The Men Who Stare At Goats


As a skeptic this movie had me practically rolling on the floor. When Clooney’s character talks about stabbing an enemy in the neck with a pen to create “Psychic disincentive”, I practically fell out of my chair. Of COURSE if you cause someone severe pain they will be less lakely to attack you. They will, instead, be grabbing the pen in their neck and screaming.

The movie “The Men Who Stare At Goats” is based on the book, The Crazy Rulers of the World” by Jon Ronson. The main character, Lyn Cassady, (whose real name is Glenn Wheaton) played by George Clooney, claims to have witnessed a Green Beret kill a goat simply by staring at it.

From the perspective of a skeptic, I have to wonder what else was going on in the room at the time. I have seen news stories about a breed of goat that suffers from a condition mytonia congenita. When startled these goats faint. They become rigid and drop over for a period of 10 seconds or more. (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jimknapp/goats.html). While it is not an actual ‘faint’, it could be interpreted as the goat having died. So if someone startled the goat while the Green Beret was trying to kill it with his mind, the sudden tipping over of the goat could have been interpreted as success.

If anyone else has more information on the book, the movie or the people involved, I would love to hear it.

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