The Tradition and Method of Selecting a New Pope

Vatican-SmokeMurder, bribery, and nepotism were the primary ways in which a pope would enter or exit the papacy prior to the 12th century. It was during the 12th century that cardinals who were senior clergy in Rome, Italy created what they referred to as a “college” to act as a council which would regulate the elections of future popes. This system became referred to as the “conclave” which refers to the practice of a “private meeting assembly of cardinals for the election of a pope”. The term “conclave” was chosen because of the Latin term “con” with means “with” and the Latin term “clavin” which means “key”, more literally translating to “locked room” as cardinals would be locked away to avoid the interference of outside politics. As of 1274 A.D., all papal elections are held in secret, adhering to this strict tradition in an attempt to remain unbiased. Elections are held again and again until a 66% majority is achieved at which point white smoke is released to signify that the council has reached a decision. The election ballets from each voting round are burned so that the election is completely anonymous and private, even for those who are present in the meeting. It is this burning which creates the iconography of the smoke being released to signify a decision. In the Middle Ages, cardinals added damp straw to the ballots which created black smoke to signify that a pope had not yet been chosen. White smoke was created by burning the paper alone, but during the modern day, chemical additives are added to ensure the white smoke color is as unambiguous as possible

The Development of Modern Institutionalized Psychological Torture as a Means of Interrogation


In the 1950’s, Scottish psychiatrist Ewen Cameron started experimenting upon his own patients which ushered in the modern age of the psychological techniques leveraged by governments to extract information from high value targets and low level targets alike. In 1951, the U.S., the U.K., and Canada began developing the Survival Evasion Resistance Escape program, abbreviated as “SERE” (pronounced “sear”) designed for when domestic soldiers became captured by enemy forces (e.g. aircraft shot down over enemy lines) as well as techniques which could be used against captured Soviets. This research became dominant within Canadian universities for almost a decade, with researchers beginning similar psychiatric experiments within psychiatric hospitals in the U.K. In the U.S. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency dominated most research and had over 160 secret projects within 80 institutions, comprising a total of $25,000,000 ($25 million) allocated for human experimentation. This project was code named “MK Ultra”. In 1963, many of Cameron’s psychological experiments were codified for the first time and compiled within the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation hand guide, a book which is now declassified and freely available online. The term “kubark” is a cryptonym, the name for the Central Intelligence Agency itself. This content became the foundation for the method of psychological interrogation and psychological torture which the Central Intelligence Agency disseminated across the U.S. intelligence community and worldwide among allies for 30 years after its initial release. Since the 1950’s, confirmed cases backed by evidence and testimony of these techniques of torture being used have been recognized or admitted to by governments in 28 nation states including Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Borneo, Brazil, British Guyana, British Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Cuba, the UK, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lithuania, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, Vienna, and Yemen

Whilst I rarely if ever will submit an opinion upon this blog, I feel that it is important to state that the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation hand guide is now declassified and been made public. To educate yourself so that these techniques cannot be used against you, click here to read the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation hand guide