“A dead-on thriller for the decade . . . . I can’t imagine anyone reading this and not wanting more” — Thomas F. Monteleone, author of the NY Times bestseller The Blood of the Lamb and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel
“Ted Krever has been a writer to watch, now he’s a writer to read. Do not miss MINDBENDERS.” –F. Paul Wilson, author of the NY Times bestseller The Keep and the Repairman Jack novels.
If you could hear the thoughts of every person for three blocks around–their regrets, excuses, commercial jingles, the lies that hide what they can’t bear to know—how could you ever trust anyone? And if you could make them believe anything you wanted, how could you ever trust yourself?
Max Renn is a legend of the Soviet mind control program, a genetic experiment, the product of three generations of psychics bred by the state for their power. Before his first mission, the Soviet Union collapses and he disappears.
We meet him twenty years later in the Everglades, keeping as far from people as he can get, until his best friend–his only friend–is murdered and he is forced to assemble a team of people like him to fight the international conspiracy behind the murder.
“Ted Krever is a great storyteller but more importantly, the stories he creates and writes are ones that I want to read. In this ADD era, where even e-mails are considered too long, Ted’s work commands my attention. It is definitely worthy of yours, too.” –David Leaf, biographer and award-winner writer/director/producer of such films as ‘The Night James Brown Saved Boston,’ ‘The US Vs. John Lennon’ and ‘ BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: Brian Wilson and The Story of SMiLE.’
Mindbenders cover photo by Jack Cowley; see his work at http://jackiepoos.deviantart.com/
For an excerpt, click here.
For reviews, click here.
For details of the origin of Max Renn, see The Bequest here.
Thrillers are fun to write, as well as read. You dig a massive hole for your characters and then have to imagine the way out. But what fascinates me in this book is the question of what it’s like to live in this bigger world, where you simply know too much about everyone around you.
Both the Soviets and Americans had serious mind control programs during the Cold War. Very little is known about the Soviet program. There is only one book on the subject in English, now out of print (though used copies are available—I have one). ‘Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain’ came out in the early 70’s and was controversial from the start, being a major factor in the creation of the American mind control program (We can’t have a mind control gap!). If you believe in mind power, the book is evidence of how seriously and objectively the Soviets investigated and tried to exploit everything from telekinesis to aura photography to psychotronic warfare. If you don’t, it’s a sham attempt to defraud the public.
The American program—variously called Stargate, Grill Flame and several other names over its 18-year lifespan—was decommissioned in the late 80’s and declassified in the 90’s. Several former team members have written books on the subject and they’re fascinating reading even if the writing isn’t always great. George Clooney made a jokey movie out of one of the jokier books but the stories these guys tell is credible and incredible at once. I read everything I could get my hands on about both the mind control programs and the quantum physics that serves as the foundation for this research. After a whole lot of reading, I still wasn’t sure what I believed.
And then two bits of information came to me that tipped the balance. The first was a book called “Miracles of Mind” by Russell Targ, the dean of the American mind control program. In the book, he talks about receiving a diagnosis of metastatic cancer and his decision to work with a distant healer (what this culture traditionally calls a ‘faith healer’) to use the powers of mind to cure himself.
And I thought, okay, when you’ve been told you have cancer and decide to trust the power of the mind instead of doctors and hospitals, you’re not faking it. Fear of that kind will burn away your pretensions and pretences right quick.
Shortly thereafter, I found several mentions of the fact that, during the Gulf War, President Bush Senior (not coincidentally, a former head of the CIA) called several Stargate veterans back into service during the Gulf War. You don’t recall agents of an experimental program if the program didn’t yield results.
So now I’m (more or less) a believer. And if the stories these guys tell are even half-true, then Renn or someone like him is surely walking around out there somewhere.
Here are links to some of the books by other members of the program:
As the Man said, “There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”