Jon Ronson, author of Them: Adventure with Extremists has a new book coming out called The Men Who Stare at Goats, which is out on Nov. 5th in the UK. The main link is to an extract published in The Guardian. Apparently the U.S. Army thought soldiers could kill goats by staring at them very, very hard.
From New Age to Abu Ghraib: "Perhaps this is the way it happened: in the late 1970s Jim Channon, traumatised from Vietnam, sought solace in the emerging human potential movement of California. He took his ideas back into the army and they struck a chord with the top brass who had never before seen themselves as New Age, but in their post-Vietnam funk it all made sense to them. Then, over the decades that followed, the army, being what it is, recovered its strength and saw that some of the ideas contained within Jim's manual could be used to shatter people rather than heal them. Those are the ideas that live on in the war on terror"