Not long ago I found myself sitting in a secluded booth toward the back of a Washington, DC-area steakhouse with a man whose name I can’t reveal, because he is one of this country’s leading psi-warriors. “X-men, Jedi, whatever you want to call them,” he told me, “are real, and they live among us.”
In the suburbs of northern Virginia there are an estimated ten psi-warriors in government employ, who spend their weekends barbecuing and playing touch football, and their weekdays inside a secret facility, learning to use mental powers that some would call occult.
“The program was started by the Nazis,” my informant said. “Uncle Sam brought it state-side after the war. Operation Paperclip—airlifting Nazi scientists out of Germany before the Russians could get ahold of them.”
“How worried should we be?” I asked. “What can these psi-warriors do?”
He placed a chessman—a bishop—on the table between us. The piece was lightweight cream-colored plastic, about two inches tall. “Watch closely,” he said.
Then he stared intensely at the bishop, furrowing his brow. Sometimes an eerie calm came over him, while at others he seemed possessed by a seething but silent rage. Sweat appeared on his forehead.
Then, without being touched, the bishop abruptly toppled over.
“Incredible,” I said. “What else can you do?”
“Well, that’s pretty much it,” he replied. “I’m a telekinetic.”
“What can you move?”
“Things like this.” He returned the bishop to his pocket. “Small bits of plastic. A salt-shaker maybe, but only if it’s made of plastic and doesn’t have too much salt in it. I can’t move the salt, just the plastic.”
“And your range?”
“Three or four feet, depending on the weight of the object.”
He went on to tell me about other psi-warriors. There’s a man who, if allowed to handle an ordinary undeveloped roll of film, can cause Lyndon Johnson’s face to appear in every photo. Another can accurately predict what a certain chimpanzee in the National Zoo will do next. A third can cause Justin Bieber to spontaneously burst into flames, although unfortunately he has not exercised this power yet.
And there are seven others in our nation’s capital with powers just as astounding. My informant estimates the Russian and Chinese programs account for another ten or twelve of these superhumans. The only question, you might be asking yourself, is how soon before these psi-warriors move to dissolve the legally constituted governments of the world and rule through naked force?
“Sure we could,” my informant said, “but that’s not how we operate. We work behind the scenes. In a way, we already do rule the world. For instance, I’m good buddies with the man who made Nancy Pelosi throw away some of her best pantsuits, even though they were barely worn. He put that thought into Pelosi’s head. And he could do it again.”