All Seeing Eye of Richard Nixon –or- The Silent Majority
The School Year of 1969-70 -or- Environmental Studies
In 1969, I was 14 and attended Zion Heights Jr. High, where I was placed into a partial self study program that the Board of Education was trying out for some students. Richard Nixon was the President of the United States and Pierre Elliot Trudeau the Prime Minister of Canada. Courses like art, French and geography were still mandatory for me. Otherwise, I was allowed via my program supervisor to plan the curriculum that I would study and learn and report on. I remember two books that I read that year, "The Red Badge of Courage" and "If the South had Won the Civil War".
My main interests during this school year were divided between art and my environmental studies, most specifically "thermal pollution". I wrote away to 100's of places, mainly in the US to gather information. Most of the people I wrote to replied to my requests for information. Towards the end of the school year, I organized a school trip to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The news was always a family pastime, so it was not surprising to see the reporting of Vietnam War brought directly into our living room. In my dream notebooks started in 1977, there are dreams, comments and ideas about every President since Jimmy Carter. There are no entries about Nixon, although there are dreams that reference the Nixon period, through such films as "Deer Hunter" and "Apocalyse Now". No school picture stands out more when I was a young student, than the iconic shot that won the Pulizer Prize (image in theatre above). The image of Marie Anne Veccio (a 14 year old runaway) "kneeling" over the body of Jeffrey Miller killed at Kent State.
Here is a dream about President Richard Nixon, reported by Edward F Edinger "The Creation of Consciousness: Jung's Myth of Modern Man" (Inner City Books, Toronto, 1984).
Reported by a "middle-aged man";
"President Nixon was addressing a large group of people in a hall. I was siting on a bench next to his lectern. The thought crossed my mind: if I tried to kill him, no one can stop me. Two guards in uniform came past me; one turned off all the house lights. A strange orange light came up at the back of the wall, where a large metal screen lifted, revealing some kind of scanning device. A loud hum became audible as the scanning device screened the hall with a mysterious ray. I saw a large eye in the opening in the brick wall, looking in my direction and then roving over the hall. A shot rang out. A teenage boy who had evidently planned to kill the President had shot himself. When the lights were turned on again President Nixon was kneeling in prayer."
Dreaming about President Richard Nixon -or- Massacre at Kent State
In the dream, "a shot rang out", this was not a "shot in the dark" as the dreamer would have us believe, instead it took place in broad daylight, where there was enough light for a young photojournalist to take the American iconic image of the year. This teenager that died, was protesting at Kent State on May 4, 1970, against Nixon's invasion of Cambodia. Was his anger as a student, perhaps even hate against the actions of Nixon and his administration misdirected? Nixon had announced the invasion, in a TV address (much as in the dream; "Nixon was addressing a large group of people") to the Nation on April 30, 1970. Public opposition to the war had been mounting, the My Lai Massacre (becoming public knowledge in 1969), the use of "Agent Orange" (is there an allusion to the dream?; "a strange orange light came up") against the civilian population. Then later, in 1971 "The Pentagon Papers" were "leaked" by Daniel Ellsberg. Ellsberg stated, that they proved the "unconstitutional behaviour" of numerous Presidents and a political violation of their "oath". The final picture in the series (above in the theatre) is a picture of a Vietnamese child I remember seeing during the war.
Nixon in a Presidential address on November 3, 1969 (read the full speech), made an appeal to the "Silent Majority". Nixon most likely had borrowed this political concept from then senator John F. Kennedy's book Profiles of Courage. The dream above, I believe gives a voice and syn-opsis of the silent majority, which summarizes what they saw and felt.
The All Seeing Eye of Richard Nixon -or- An American Influencing Machine
The All Seeing Eye in the dream may have an allusion to the rays of the eye of G_d found on American currency. It also may have a political allusion to the "telescreens" of Big Brother found in the political novel "1984", by George Orwell. As we know today, Nixon had an "enemies list" (top 20) and master enemies list which reinforces our perception of his political paranoia.
To better understand the "scanning device" in the dream, we can turn to Stella Pierides article "Machine phenomena", (found in; "Even Paranoid's Have Enemies", edited by, Joseph H. Berke, Stella Pierides (et al). Pierides article discusses Viktor Tausk's concept of the "influencing machine". This concept and metaphor is not a new one. Plato's simile of the cave, pre-dates the idea of an "influencing machine" by nearly 2500 years. The allegory of the cave, predicts the psychological effects of film and television.
The negative psychological aspects of the machine metaphor can be seen in a dream that Charlotte Beradt included in her collection of dreams from ordinary Germans that were collected from 1933 to 1939. The IIDR has given voice to Hitler's propaganda machine and mind control techniques over the German public, in such interpretations as "The Psychodynamic Problem of Democracy", and "Inside the Third Reich of Dreams". As well, the IIDR dream interpretation "American Dreams, Television Networks and Culture Industries" provides proof of the ongoing influence of mass media on our dreams.
When the lights are turned on in the dream, Nixon is found to be kneeling in prayer. The American public had been kept in the dark about so much of Nixon's and his administrations activities, which took on a film noir character. The men that brought Nixon to his knees, were two Washington Post investigative reporters, Bernstein and Woodward who tried to understand the tangled web of the "Watergate" break-in. Bernstein and Woodward had a surreal film noir informant, a man in the administration who was known by the code name "Deep Throat". Deep throat gave Bernstein and Woodward enought bread crumbs and leads to follow, so the whole convoluted story would come to light. Deep Throat would reveal his real identity in 2005 as William Mark Felt Sr. the deputy director of the FBI at the time of the Watergate scandal. Nixon would deny everything and attempted to obstruct justice, for which he was nearly impeached.
The Hollywood dream factory film "All the President's Men", gives us a perspective to see the Watergate scandal unfold which led to Nixon's resignation. Nixon was granted a pardon by President Ford, but Nixon's co-conspirators were not granted such salvation. Much as in the dream, Nixon would meditate on the error of his ways, and in time would politically re-habilitate himself. In the eyes of the American public no simple verdict is possible about his deeds. I remember studying about "graphology" at the University of Zurich and discussing the deterioration of President Nixon's handwriting due to stress. The transformation can be seen in the image in the theatre above.
From a popular culture perspective, this now middle aged man in the dream saw through "the opening in the brick wall". Is this, a music allusion to Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" (watch music video)? Do the Pink Floyd songs give a voice to the anger, grief of a young Marie Anne Veccio?
Jerry Mander Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television saw the negative aspects of media influence on the mind that TV exerted and advocated its abolition. I do not advocate such a move, instead a "watch dog" agency needs to police the abuses by networks, advertisers and so on. Political policies concerning "subliminal" media influence must be instituted and implemented. Large numbers of dreams need to be analyzed to see and measure the exact extent and dynamics of media effects, before the public policy recommendations are made. A rational model of the process of dreaming on the planet is necessary to harmonize and optimize the psychodynamics for all those living on the earth. It is not the use of the mass media that is the problem, the medium as an "influencing machine" is neutral in itself, it is the political, economic (read commercial), religious and so on, abuses of the medium that is the problem. The ideological problem of indoctrination is given voice in the IIDR dream interpretation, The Seminary Student.