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Through the Gateway

Conspiracy theorists love combing through document dumps from the United States Government, trying to read between the redacted lines of text in hopes of finding a particular truth they’ve been seeking. They hope to validate suspicions about a giant coverup of alien visitation or technology, our relations with foreign governments, a secret society that controls political figures like puppets, and more. But what if there was a declassified, unredacted document detailing our position in the universe, what our reality is made of, and how to transcend it to gain knowledge outside of space and time? A lesser-known document called the “Gateway Process” from the US Army Intelligence and Security Command was declassified in 2003. While it has flown under the radar until recently, it may offer us a glimpse into that truth.

A few months ago, I received a random message from a relative on Instagram: “You should Google the Gateway Process.” “What’s that?” I wrote back. She replied, “It’s blowing up on TikTok, and I think you’d find it interesting.” Anyone who knows me knows that I’m interested in the paranormal and UFO stuff (I’m THAT person), so I thanked her and took to my search bar. The first thing to pop up was a PDF document from CIA.gov entitled, “ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT OF GATEWAY PROCESS – CIA,” which I figured must be it, so I downloaded it and began reading. I was not prepared for what I was about to read.

What is the Gateway Process?

The Gateway Process document is a 28-page report written in 1983 by US Army Lieutenant Colonel Wayne M. McDonnell. Back then, the US Army had a contract with a private organization in Virginia called the Monroe Institute, where its founder, Robert Monroe, had developed an audio program. It was used to induce the listener into a meditative state where out-of-body experiences could occur. USAINSCOM (United States Army Intelligence & Security Command) personnel began taking the course, including McDonnell, and he was tasked with writing up a report for his commander. The report detailed the program’s effects and how and why it worked.

Participants listened through headphones to a series of tapes that combined hypnosis, binaural beats, and a guided meditation narrated by Monroe to achieve a brainwave state called “Hemi-Sync,” where the electrical wave patterns of both hemispheres of the brain become equal in amplitude and frequency. Once this state is achieved, the courses build upon themselves to allow the listener to project their consciousness outside of their bodies. In the document, McDonnell states:

“Fundamentally, the Gateway Experience is a training system designed to bring enhanced strength, focus and coherence to the amplitude and frequency of brainwave output between the left and right hemispheres so as to alter consciousness, moving it outside the physical sphere so as to ultimately escape even the restrictions of time and space. The participant then gains access to the various levels of intuitive knowledge which the universe offers.” 

That may be the most intense statement I’ve personally read in a government document, or anywhere, for that matter. Big, if true.

So why did the US Government emphasize such a fringe topic when they did? Psychical research is not a new subject to governing bodies — Adolf Hitler had an entire branch of his military devoted to paranormal and psychic research before and during World War II. The US government acquired intelligence of this through Operation Paperclip. Paperclip was a secret US intelligence program. More than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from former Nazi Germany to the US for government employment after World War II in Europe. In 1972, a classified intelligence report circulating through the CIA claimed that the Soviet Union put a lot of money into psychical research of ESP and remote viewing for espionage. Not to be outdone, the United States began to do the same, which resulted in the Gateway Process and Project Stargate, among others, between 1978 and 1984.

TikTok was blowing up about the Gateway Process because it turns out the Monroe Institute’s audio courses still exist and are available for anyone to use. Some TikTokers got their hands on the courses and tried the experiments themselves, leading to fascinating results. However, I found that McDonnell’s report on the process was the real gem. To explain how it worked to his superior, he gave a distilled version of biofeedback, hypnosis, and transcendental meditation. Then, he explains why the process works, which requires a breakdown of quantum mechanics to describe the nature of human consciousness and theoretical physics to explain the space-time dimension and how expanded human consciousness can transcend it. He also had to use classical physics to bring out-of-body states into the language of physical science. It is the most concise breakdown of the Unified Field Theory I’ve ever seen, and McDonnell manages to tie in everything.

A Unified Field

McDonnell states we live inside a massive hologram of a torus-shaped plane of reality/existence, which mirrors the patterns of electrons around the nucleus of an atom. Our galaxy is positioned near the top of the torus. Galaxies north of us are moving away from us faster than the galaxies to the south, and galaxies to the east and west of us are further away, giving evidence of the ovoid shape, also called the cosmic egg. As the torus flows outward and folds back on itself, it enters a black hole, goes through a densely-packed energy nucleus, and gets spat out the other side of a white hole and begins the process again. The report includes diagrams of what this would look like and our positioning within the model. The torus represents a continuous flow of the phases of time: past, present, and future, and McDonnell reasons that human consciousness, once brought to a sufficiently altered (or focused) state, could obtain information about the past, present, and future since they all live in the universal hologram simultaneously. Thus, our all-reaching consciousness eventually participates in an all-knowing, infinite continuum. Long after we depart the space-time dimension and the hologram, our consciousness continues into what he calls "the Absolute,” which is the energy at rest outside of the space-time confines of the torus.

Within this model, it is reasoned that a person could use the Gateway Process to transcend the confines of space and time to gain knowledge from the past, present, and future to see how the universe works. They could then use that knowledge for logical, spiritual, emotional, and physical improvement. McDonnell even goes as far as to say that “the resulting conclusions do not do any violence to the fundamental mainstream of either eastern or western beliefs.” On the contrary, he reasons that: 

“...the concept of the universe which at least some physicists are now coming to accept is identical in its essential aspects with the one known to the learned elite in selected civilizations and cultures of high attainment in the ancient world. The concept of the cosmic egg, for example, is well known to scholars familiar with the ancient writings of the eastern religions. Nor are the theories presented in this paper at variance with the essential tenets of the Judeo-Christian stream of thought.”

 He also touches on aspects that can be likened to everything from Reiki work, Chakra healing, the Holy Trinity being a representation of the past, present, and future to the Indra and the Flower of Life, the Hebrew Tree of Life, and the Chinese Spiral. Representations of this model can be found within different religions worldwide, going back thousands of years.

Processing the Gateway Process

After reading this report, I came away with a completely altered perception of our universe and how to interact with it. It struck me that people throughout history have founded and maintained religions with less than what was presented in this paper. McDonnell was a government employee tasked with writing a report for a superior, a distilled and simplistic breakdown of why a research program was yielding results. Yet, he ended up giving one of the most concise explanations of Unified Field Theory, and indeed, the very nature of our existence. He had nothing to gain or lose from the conclusion. His job wasn’t tied to the outcome, he didn’t have money riding on it, and his ego wasn’t tied to how people took the findings. He presented his findings so that even the most skeptical would be open to the data, and I believe he succeeded.

The paper concludes that the remote viewing studies weren’t yielding consistent and reliable results for espionage. As it turns out, holograms can be viewed forward, backward, or upside down, which can be tricky for gathering intelligence. So, the government contract was ultimately canceled. Likewise, Cold War psychical research like the Gateway Process and Project Stargate were eventually scrapped after varying results that couldn’t justify any more funding. However, the Monroe Institute is still going today, and they still own the copyright on the Gateway Process, which is currently available for purchase.

While the prospect of taking the Gateway Process myself is alluring, and I’ll probably end up trying it, I would go so far as to say that this paper is required reading for anyone interested in the nature of reality or the metaphysical in general. You can search “Gateway Process CIA” and the document will pop right up. Unfortunately, page 25 (of 28) is missing from the official CIA document, but Reddit users have located and made that available for reading as well.

So, are you ready to venture through the Gateway?


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