New York radio station 1010 WINS reports that two teens,19-year-old Rudy Fleming and 18-year-old Ashley Evans, havebeen arrested and charged with the murder of NicoleDuFresne. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says they wereable to find and arrest them thanks so tips from a telephonehot line. The accused don’t seem to have known DuFresnepersonally. Instead, her murder may have been part of a”crime spree” they went on with friends, in which severalother people were attacked.

Peter Levenda wrote: A few days ago, on the Lower East Sidein New York City, a gang of four or five men accosted writerand actress Nicole duFresne and three of her friends. Herfiance, Jeffrey Sparks, was pistol-whipped. Nicole herselfwas shot in the chest, and died. The men fled. No arrestshave been made.

It appeared to be a robbery gone wrong, but, as you willsee, it was much more than that. One of the men tried totake the purse of another woman in the company and Nicolestepped in, shoving the man aside, saying “What are yougoing to do? Shoot us?” Which he promptly did.

Armed robbery by a gang of another group of people on thesidewalks of New York City may not seem strange toout-of-towners, but it is a little strange to a New Yorker.

Normally, thieves and muggers do not accost in groups. Normally they do not attack other groups. Too much trouble.

They wait for the lone walker, the solitary male or female,before they strike. Also, this was on Wednesday night,Thursday morning on the Lower East Side, an area that was avirtual slum twenty years ago but which has since becomegentrified and trendy, full of busy night life at all hours.

It was a very strange place to choose for a robbery, and avery strange target for murder.

Nicole duFresne was only 28 at the time of her death, butshe covered a lot of ground in those 28 years. A co-founderof the Present Tense Theater Project in New York and aresident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn (another trendy area), shehad written and performed in a play entitled Burning Cage. Based on the book about the CIA?s mind control projects ? InThe Sleep Room, by Anne Collins ? it explores therelationship between two women patients in a clinic who aresubjected to electroshock and LSD treatments as part of agovernment-sponsored mind control program run amok.

Ms. duFresne is only the latest in a string of tragic andpremature deaths involving those who study the mysteriousworld where government secrecy and the paranormal meet. Weare reminded of the death of John Mack, the valiant Harvardprofessor who took alien abduction seriously, by a drunkdriver on an English city street late last year. But therehave been many others.Let us take for example the sad end of James Webb, a young,brilliant student of the occult and its relationship topolitics, the author of such masterpieces as The OccultEstablishment, The Occult Underground, and The HarmoniousCircle (the latter about G.I. Gurdjieff and his followers),on May 8, 1980, of suicide. The thirty-four year-old Scotsacademic blew his brains out with a shotgun. Or the case of Professor Ioan Culianu, of the University ofChicago and heir to the legacy of his countryman, MirceaEliade (the famous expert on mythology and shamanism). Culianu, the author of such stimulating and insightful worksas Eros and Magic in the Renaissance (a study of occulttheories and systems and their relation to politics andpsychological warfare, among other things), was murdered onMay 21, 1991, execution style, on the campus of theuniversity where he taught. He was only forty years old. The crime has never been solved, but it is rumored that hewas killed by members of the Romanian secret police.

Then, of course, there was the murder of Danny Casolaro, aninvestigative journalist on the trail of what he called theOctopus, a vast conspiracy of intelligence agencies, wealthyfamilies, and multinational corporations going back at leasta generation. Casolaro went to a meeting with a potentialinformant and was found dead in his West Virginia motel roomthe next day, August 10, 1991 ? a little over three monthsafter the murder of Professor Culianu ? an apparent suicidevictim until further investigation revealed that theshoelace around his neck and the deep gashes in his wristscould not have been the result of a suicide attempt butevidence of foul play. His manuscript ? tentativelyentitled The Octopus and which would reveal a web ofconspiracy involving everything from the PROMIS scandal toBCCI to Iran-Contra to the JFK assassination ? was missingfrom his room and has never been found. He was in his earlyforties. According to one commentator, Casolaro was less aninvestigative reporter and more a ?poet?. Hence the titleof this short essay.

And then there were the UFO investigators. We remember the brave scientist, Dr James McDonald, whoinsisted before a Congressional committee in 1968 that thegovernment dismissals of UFOs as ?swamp gas? ormeteorlogical anomalies were grossly in error. He wasridiculed for his testimony ? which was based on scientificdata and not on prejudiced belief ? and after relentlessattacks by Phillip Klass among others, including theplanting of false stories in political journalist JackAnderson?s column ? he took his life on June 13, 1971. Hewas fifty-one years old.

And the suicide of Morris Jessup, another UFO investigator,who took his own life in a Miami-Dade parking lot on April20, 1959. He claimed he had descended into a nightmareworld of unreality, swept along in a stream of?coincidences?, and that he could only appear insane to therest of the world even as he battled with forces beyond hisunderstanding. He was fifty-nine.

These were all serious people, in most cases professionalswith academic backgrounds, who probed a little too deeplybehind the curtain of consensus reality and saw a web ofconspiracy and coincidence involving government agencies,criminal elements, arrogant scientists and politicians andtheir flacks, and some of the most important events of ourgeneration, from assassination to mind control to the UFOphenomenon.

To study the Qabala, according to Jewish tradition, onemust be male, at least thirty-five years old, and married. The idea seems to be that one must be securely in the worldin order to gaze outside it, or beneath it. One needs to begrounded emotionally, and surrounded by the mundane concernsof everyday life in order to successfully resist theglamours of the Other World. This, at least, shouldpreserve one from the temptations of suicide when confrontedby a set of laws and concepts that seem insane or nightmarish.

But what can save the doomed poet from murder andassassination? There are events and ? relationships ? thatsome of our public servants wish to keep, well, private. Mostly, these seem to concern the involvement of governmentagencies with studies of the paranormal and the unconsciousmind. In this day and age of ubiquitous electroniceavesdropping and the Patriot Act, it is possible that thevery next frontier for government and science will be therecesses of our own minds, and the strange powers that lieconcealed therein. Those of us who study the technologiesof the mind with a view towards expanding its powers andabilities may come under increasing scrutiny in the monthsand years to come. Those who dare to expose thesetechnologies ? and especially the abuse of thesetechnologies ? will be in increasing danger of having theirlives disrupted, perhaps permanently.

I do not know if Ms duFresne was one of these. Quiteprobably, her death was just one more cruel factor of lifein the big city; but after years of studying thisphenomenon I have come to the conclusion that theseseemingly random events ? like the ?coincidences? that droveMorris Jessup insane ? may be evidence of darker forces atwork in the world. In any event, I have a feeling that shewas greeted on the Other Side by John Mack, Danny Casolaro,James McDonald, James Webb, Morris Jessup, Ioan Culianu andmany, many other dead poets who dared to peek behind thecurtain.

And rend the Veil of the Temple.

Peter Levenda is the author of Unholy Alliance, and theupcoming Sinister Forces.

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