***Dave Hill's Reviews > The Men Who Stare at Goats

The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson
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's review
Dec 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: text, non-fiction
Read in May, 2010

(Original review http://hill-kleerup.org/blog/2010/05/...)

Unlike the vapid movie based (very) loosely on the book, Goats starts off as a gonzo journalism look at a post-Vietnam military looking for 70s-era “personal transformation” formulae to make super-soldiers, including (in one set of experiments) being able to kill by thought — as tried by the few men who claimed they had actually done so with goats in a secret military base lab.

From there, though, things start getting conspiratorially sinister — including ties to the take-down of Noriega in Panama, the torture of prisoners in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, the deaths of the Branch Davidians and the Hale-Bopp suicides. It’s difficult to tell where things begin to fade from silly spending programs at the Pentagon and CIA into seriously warped activities by those same groups, but it’s a fascinating (if increasingly disturbing) tale, and a quick and entertaining read.

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