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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 27

Re: Telescope To Challenge Moon Doubters

From: Colin Bennett <sharkley.nul>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 00:49:00 -0000
Archived: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 10:05:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Telescope To Challenge Moon Doubters


>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 16:09:35 -0500
>Subject: Re: Telescope To Challenge Moon Doubters - Maccabee

Hello List Savants all,

>Mr. Allen is an idiot.

I don't think it is not so much the question of whether Mr.
Allen is an idiot so much as not letting scientists get away
with these very linear and binary assumptions of black or white,
false or true. I myself wholly admire Bruce Maccabee's work, and
people like him, and I believe much of what he and they believe.
The only difference between us that I think the universe is a
far sillier place than they believe it is. I think that the
assumption that Nature's laws are linear, profound, stable and
sensible, and accessible to only those full of good bourgeois
common sense, is a mistake. If we get rid of all plain daftness
by (as suggested) teaching our cat to flush it down the toilet
(a wonderfully daft action in itself) we lose out on vital
inspirations. Noise, mistakes, prejudice, waste  and indeed much
self-deception play a part in the human thinking cycle..

It is no good getting rid of daftness, absurdity, paradox,
humour, and anomaly simple because they cannot be comprehended
by the physical sciences. Daftness is Lear's Fool: throw the
Fool out of the Court, and we are doomed. There is no curse like
the curse of a wronged Fool. That is why I still like to see
John Rimmer on this List.

Noise appears to be functional to all healthy psychologies.
Play, wastes of time, silliness are the basis of fruitful
exploration. I make a plea here for daft complexity. For all we
know, we might be in the middle of some unimagineable
catastrophe, consisting of parts that work better than others,
parts that do not work at all, and other parts that are
beautifully silly, like the armour of the rhino, or the long
neck of the giraffe. We must surely assume that any beings
encountered in this catastrophe are going to be as daft and
silly as we are. The greatest evidence for alien contact is that
we have appeared as aliens from another world to others. It
would be high folly to assume that it has not happened already
or is not going to happen to us in turn. But what will arrive? A
long boat putting out from a two-stacker towards a Polynesian
island in 1910 is not going to contain the leading lights of the
19th century: Marx, Freud, or Einstein. It is more likely to
contain a mad cook, a psychopathic boson, and a few Portsmouth
boys with sore hindquarters. What the alien equivalents are to
such things is anybody's guess. Moreover, there will be than one
cultural level. Level A will make mistakes, and levels B and C
will make other mistakes, ad infinitum. When all these mistakes
are summed, contact will look more like a rain forest more than
anything else. Though Moseley is not a Believer and Pflock is
having all the doubts of one of Lytton Strachey's 19th century
Protestant Clergyman they have indeed (by default more than
anything else) created a mini Canterbury Tales of Ufology (I
think it is time we all used a capital U), in Shockingly,
showing Ufology to be rich and varied culture with characters
just as interesting as any of Chaucer's pilgrims.

Against this Fuzzy view, if we assume a two-state universe of
simply yes and no, then science becomes a Moloch driving a
rectangular bulldozer through the mad rainforests of the brain,
each severed tiny branch of which represents a murdered reality-
option. This of course leads to intellectual tragedy: what we do
not understand, we simplify. But Nature doesn't like the
completely squared-off rectangles of the strong factual-
objective view. Nature specializes in imperfections. These are
far more subtle than accuracies, which are largely an illusion
left over from the 18th and 19th centuries. As entities, both
Nature and experience consist of subtleties infinitely more
complex than absolute reality (truth) versus absolute unreality
(untruth), both of which are theoretical approximations. Both
Matter and Mind are intermediate states that oscillate between
the two theoretical extremes but some scientists talk about
reality as easily and glibly as if reality were a mere self-
evident something, worth no more thought than a piece of cheap
trash dropped into a supermarket trolley, and not one of Plato's
shadows, these being the imitations of some ineffable state.
They then proceed to judge and experiment from this illusory
figment of a datum line, that can be rigged any way which way.
For myself, I cannot wait to see the metaphysics of Oberg's
compromised virtual super-text join the equally compromised
metaphysics of the moving image. This partially official one-
third cancelled (he keeps $5000) is a systems animal that now
grazes in the region between fact and fiction as I have
indicated. This is a new form of life, and the cabalistic
feeding-frenzy we are about to see will make the whole house of
cards a little higher. This is the very cutting-edge of cultural
warfare, and the show is going to get full houses, opening with
a chorus of lines of different kinds of lens caps of which
Galileo would be proud. Oberg's future super-virtual text will
now join the MJ12 papers and the Ramey message as the only
authentic texts for our present human condition. Inventions? You
couldn't invent this drama if you tried for a lifetime.

Eventually these cerebral sagas will replace the novel and the
stage play, both of which are having grave difficulties with the
present world and are retreating into the deep past. Yes, the
Oberg text-cum-telescope drama is n-dimensional Web TV, and it
will certainly replace the old camp arts of yesteryear, most of
which look already like Orphan Annie's lost sock.

In this sense, all cultures practice smoke and mirrors. All is
media, and the Oberg-Moon-hoax show illustrates well that what
we call the real is always changing its position between
absolute limits. It cannot be "found" in this state any more
than the co-ordinates of a single electron at any point in time
can be "found" in the simple sense of a Euclidean position. The
real is the supreme actor. Tear off mask after mask, and the
real appears behind an audience member (the "investigator")
thumbing its nose with yet another set of remanufactured faces

The real is driven along this line of masking approximations by
the anomaly. The function of the anomaly within any set paradigm
is destabilization of the real, which makes the real appear at
another point along our theoretical line exactly as described by
quantum physics.  If the paradigm were not kept in such a
permanent state of uncertainty, then it could not give birth.
Without uncertainty (long ago admitted to by scientists) and
burgeoning Fuzzy noise, growth of objective fact would suffer
infinite vertical acceleration, and the entire universe would
lock itself up, become a one-dimensional tapestry frozen in era-
time.

Now as an automatically generated anomaly, cultural denials are
not new. The Right now denies the Holocaust as the Left once
denied the Russian camps in the Gulag Archipelago for half a
century or more. On that scale, certainly we are dealing with
degenerative pathological states, but outright denial on a more
normal and healthy human scale, is not only a fundamental human
right, it a common way of managing both individual psychologies
and human affairs, for better or for worse, and whether we like
it or not. Everything and everybody in turn denies in turn, both
for evil purposes and for good. Science has to take its place in
line as a culture amongst cultures, and its certainly does its
own share of denying, this denying being called the Big Lie by
Kropotkin long ago. Neither theoretical nor applied science,
when peer-reviewed by humanity comes up smelling of roses. There
are the comparatively small matters of the despoiling of all
land, sea, and air, animal experimentation, and nuclear tests in
the atmosphere, plus human experimentation. The history of
psychiatric practices in the Western world since 1945 is a
secret holocaust not readily admitted to by those who profess
liberal and democratic view. This constant attempt to portray
science as the only Mr. Clean who counts is very  boring. Yes,
science is materially successful at this cultural moment in
time, but then so are cultures based on tree-spirits and men who
walked on water. Science denies the UFO, Cold Fusion, and alien
presence, politicians deny all Creation, and NASA denies no
doubt that the wonderful glamorous and brilliant Moon landing
was organized, led and developed by Nazi SS Officers who were
guilty of the most brutal crimes in the history of the human
race. In turn, the British government denies that Princess Diana
was murdered, and how else do you get rid of 80,000 British Army
casualties in one day of the 1916 Somme battle or the useless
slaughter of Vietnam but shame-facedly deny such things? How you
get rid of thirty million corpses at Nuremberg but stand there
in the dock and deny it all? Answer: you tell one of Kropotkin's
Big Lies, whether they are about Watergate, Vietnam, or
assassinations.

Denial is an essential element of the battle-management of
warring cultures and psychologies. Anthropologically, it is a
tribal vanishing technique, old as mankind, and the need for it
as such goes that deep. Every good PR person knows the way it
works. Whether 2000 BC or in a CNN studio, the face of the enemy
is erased by de-advertising him. This is a process of forced
forgetting. If the opposition has no image, no media profile,
then he ceases to exist, especially in the modern world. His
blood might still be flowing, but with no face, he is very much
the bum in the doorway swinging at a bottle. Morally of course
he is just as valuable as anyone else, but on any other account,
deprived of a decent viewer rating, the non-achiever is nothing.
He has, bless him, been successfully exorcised or vanished in
any sense that means anything. Effectively, apart from his
chewing of a Salvation Army sandwich well past its shelf life,
he is invisible. Denial is not so much a battle for truth in the
old sense it is a battle for prime time in the full
consciousness show. In this sense, it might not some as a
surprise to scientists to realize that they are no longer in
charge of the show, and they have not been for some time. Media
is in charge. Media is the new Estate. It comes as a shock to
some to realize that Media cannot give information, or at least
it gave up trying long ago. Is there anything more ridiculous or
absurd in this universe than the idea of The News? Media has
quite other strengths. Media operates by visual images, not the
language of discursive dialectical rationalism, which in our
brave new world is as funny and odd and curious as Bud Abbot and
Lou Costello. If science is to survive, then it will become a
support base for entertainment; witness the New Cosmology and
the recent Sci-Fi Channel documentary on Roswell.

In this sense, cultural denials are prototype entertainment.
John Rimmer, a regular contributor to this List, and the editor
of Magonia magazine, is of all people is qualified to comment on
the denial phenomenon. For some years he has denied all Ufology,
from MJ12 to abductions, from Roswell to every single aspect of
alternative science and belief. He denies all New Age thinking,
along with paranormal, telepathy, and religious experience. He
denies all mystical intuition, and of course the experience of
the contactees and abductees. What better man to comment on
denials as a form of entertainment for the cerebral elite? For
those who not know, the Brentford Polonius as he is known, is a
noisy, prattling obsequious fellow, known for the most part for
his unremarkable attempts to reduce the entire cosmos and all
experience to a mundane base line on a graph which means in
surgical terms no heart, brain, or breath. Looking as if it were
put together on a kitchen table, and containing articles for the
most part written by the quarter -brilliant for the half-dead,
Magazine represents the greatest collection of the terminally
unpublished in Christendom, and is dedicated to the worship of
their dying god, the great Ordinary.

The almost suicidal paranoid fear of the fantastic oozes from
the pages of Magonia magazine like pus from a diseased fetlock.
It does not make denials so much as breed them. One particular
monstrous stillbirth is the so-called psychosocial view that
UFOs for example are mental projections caused in the main by
the absorption of American popular culture. An anti-American
streak is present in most Magonian thinking; witness the almost
violent anti-American Uncon speech given by a noted British
writer, savagely accusing American media for the ruinous
corruption of the entire nation.

Make no mistake about it; these people are crusading inquisitors
on the march. A group of Magonian pelicans were responsible for
reducing the Fortean Times almost to its knees by injecting such
an amount of crackpot pelicanist skepticism, much of it of a
strange late-Victorian vintage typical of Rimmer 's influence.
Magonia magazine is reminiscent of those sepia photographs from
the old SPR where famous mathematicians, physicists and
philosophers hold down a medium's legs, arms and head whilst a
nevertheless a stream of cheeky ectoplasm emerges from the
nostrils and mouth of the medium, almost to thumb its many noses
at them. Such a comic fear of cheating, hoaxes and frauds pours
from Magonia's chronically-depressed nail-biting trading-class
contributors reducing them at times to an almost suicidal
apoplexy at the prospect of God cooking the books. That the
universe might just not behave itself on occasion and bounce a
few cheques is anathema to Magonians. Rimmer on the fantastic is
Luther on Transubstantiation, minus the brains and the
scholarship.

The height of Rimmer's influence over the Fortean Times was
reached when all the pouting dames of the entire Magonian corps
de ballet were assembled onstage at the Fortean Times
Unconvention, with, bless him, the web editor of both the
Fortean Times and Magonia magazine acting as chairman! Talk
about the much-vaunted democratic scientific objectivity! For a
minute I thought I was watching a Miss Goody Two Shoes contest,
circa 1900, with such David Icke and his lovely alien lizards as
unmentionable as testicles and penis before great Victoria.

I had not seen so many British Dames together since the old
Lyric Empire was forced to close its doors just before the
Relief of Ladysmith. I thought for a minute some Lindy Hopper
was going to jump on stage and start doing the Charleston. I
asked myself if these people are pelicans, why are they called
supersonic? I supposed that this referred to the speed with
which they head for the nearest politically correct detox
chamber should the names David Icke (or George Adamski) be
uttered in their presence.

The subject of debate was no less edifying. It was The Death of
Ufology, no less.

To show the extent of Rimmer's influence, by trick or treat, he
managed to wangle himself a seat on the panel, and he was not
even an invited speaker at the Uncon.

I can't say much about what went on at this doomed event,
because my opening remarks caused a near riot, mainly sponsored
by Rimmer's well-organised card-carrying supporters at the back
of the hall. What all this had to do with the ideas of Charles
Fort (it was after all, the Fortean Unconvention) is a question
best asked of the editors, now recently retired, although the
title The Death of Ufology was not exactly a good note on which
to go into the Fortean sunset. Having known Rickard for nearly
thirty years, I personally warned him about the dangers he faced
by including unseemly amounts of skeptical material in the
Fortean Times. Nothing but contempt and ridicule has been poured
upon every single aspect of Ufology, from Rendlesham to Roswell,
from contactees to abductees, and the editors in their wisdom
decided to include such things as the original pelican article,
and prior to that, no less than five full articles by Peter
Brookesmith putting forward the view that the entire UFO
phenomenon was psychosocial in origin. Though Brookesmith is
always worth reading (being, like Karl Pflock one of the few
pelicans with brains), the pelican idea itself was a schoolboy
joke that did some considerable damage to the magazine's
intellectual credibility, and no good at all to the Fortean
cause. There was even an attempt at the Uncon to initialize a
hands-across-the sea attempt (Mr. Pflock was the other half, I
do believe), to trash the Betty Hill experience, though
fortunately this conspiratorial link failed at the last moment.

Whether the hand of Rimmer and his acolytes was behind all these
this, I can't quite say at the moment. Taking his recent advice
about investigations, I am investigating these matters. The
results of my research into skeptical groups will be included in
a book about the historical roots of traditional English
skepticism up to the UFO age. Perhaps I shall call it
Deconstructing Disbelief, a title Charles Fort himself might
have liked, although I might think up something sexier than
that, just to annoy Rimmer. I might consider calling it Rimmer
in Love. I might have a character in it who, just after he has
got all his rationalist assumptions under control, opens a door
to see a face of his dreams who smashes every single logical and
evidential assumption he has ever had into fragments lost beyond
all recall. The sleepless nights John, are heading your way.
Instead of having to constantly replace UFOs with thrown
dustbins and flying currant buns, you will be in love, utterly
possessed by some fantastic thing that you cannot possible
account for. Perhaps you might even be abducted, and like
Shakespeare's Bottom, you will be utterly translated, and you
will write letters begging forgiveness even to Jerry Clark.

Pending this miraculous event, considerable Magonian venom is
focused on the said Jerome Clark, the editor of the UFO
Encyclopedia. Rimmer can't complain if he gets some venom back.
Clark has earned this not so much because he is a believer in
the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis, and he has rejected the
psychosocial view, but because his brilliant and scholarly work
has made him certainly the Dr. Johnson of ufology. The Magonians
are clever enough to know that once a culture has sufficient
credibility to justify an encyclopedia proper, then that culture
has reached an acceptance level qualifying it to be judged
alongside other more legitimate cultures far older in the tooth.
Jazz for example was once in the embryo stage of ufology: it
soared, dipped, went into a steep dive, but yet leveled off to a
permanent state where it will last for all time as a cultural
"success". This is what annoys Magonians: the fear of the
official acceptance of ufology through brilliant work such as
Clark, Dick Hall, Loren Coleman, Jacques Vallee, and indeed of
late, the work of Richard Dolan and Hansen, the author of
Missing Time. Skepticism has yet to produce works that come to
within a million miles of this standard.

But back to History. The British skeptical movement was mainly
Puritan-Protestant inspired, and its paranoid fear of the
fantastic stems primarily from its fundamentalist hatred of
Catholic mysticism. Should anyone doubt that, then they might
bear in mind that, as in Saudi Arabia, they could get their
heads blown off tomorrow in Northern Ireland through making a
wrong remark about the interpretation of the Scriptures. Even
2000 years later, even slightly different versions of the
Incarnation as Symbol or the same Incarnation as real can
produce bullets zipping from all directions.  That is what
Fort's theories were all about: the flow and counter-flow of
warring information, different beliefs acting almost the bodies
of battling animals. After practicing mass genocide on the
Catholics of Great Britain for two hundred years, the bones of
their hung, drawn and quartered bodies are still under Marble
Arch in the center of London not far from where I live.

After reaching these dizzy heights of achievement, the skeptical
movement flourished particularly well in the 19th century when
taken up by various branches of Methodist Utilitarianism,
although some Methodists went in the other direction and became
Spiritualists. They split again, with some taking the inevitable
road to Rome via the Oxford Movement, and others forming the
original Atheist Society. In those days, Protestant-skepticism
was useful for scientists, socialists, and those communists
having doubts. It lacked the intense spiritual commitment and
glamour and mystery of Rome, but it left the door open for what
W.C. Fields called loopholes, just in case God chose finally to
come on stage and declare himself. The very last significant
representatives on Earth of this movement were the dim
luminaries Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher and the rather
brighter luminaries such as the left-wing rationalists Lancelot
Hogben, and  Bertrand Russell, who wrote Mysticism and Logic, a
skeptical bible, although I doubt if Magonians have heard of it.

An optimist could say that Magonia magazine represents the usual
play of very eccentric English petite-bourgeois egos. The time
line of many of the main characters is that of Well's novels
Kipps and Love and Mr. Lewisham. Others have not even reached
Complexity, Chaos, or quantum theory yet. Our optimist could add
that British skepticism in particular is all as dotty-harmless
as British Socialism, nudist vegetarianism, or tea at the
Vicarage and Alice in Wonderland. To a certain extent, I would
agree. But in recommending that UpDates folk investigate the
background of what he terms hoaxers, Rimmer reveals himself as
rather a dangerous fellow. Perhaps he should start investigating
the background of his main contributors and associates, because
at least six of them no less are to my knowledge, the biggest
UFO and corn-circle hoaxers in Merry England. He should
investigate also those loosely affiliated to Magonia magazine
who run regular denial-schedules and equally regular media
disinformation programs. Talk about hypocrisy! I myself have had
to run counter-hacking operations in order to protect the
computers of my own counter-intelligence organization. But in
turn of course, Rimmer will deny anything and everything.

As the author of Politics of the Imagination, skeptics who say
that Fort was the biggest skeptic of all time have criticized
me. That is true, but his skepticism is very different to
Magonian skepticism, which says that there is nothing
extraordinary going off at all. Fort, on the contrary, says that
there is so much going off that skepticism is a control, not a
means of "separating fact from fiction". That is very different.
It means that skepticism is needed to keep consciousness within
that spectrum of experience within which we still remain sane
and functioning. Otherwise, without this kind of frequency
filter as it were, we might come near to hearing, like George
Eliot's Dorothea in Rome, the beat of every squirrel's heart. In
this respect, the problem with Magonian pelicans is that, like
Holocaust and Moon Landing deniers, they want to disbelieve. And
some people will disbelieve anything.

But now John asks for a copy of my book.

John, if you are still listening and have not yet switched off,
I won't send you a book yet because I don't think you are quite
up to this kind of thing at the moment. However, since you say
your love life is at stake, I am prepared to be merciful. Try my
piece in Philosophy Now: A Late Disciple of Lucretius, in the
current edition issue 38 for starters before you dive in at the
deep end. If you have your usual difficulties with this piece,
then sir, I fear for both your education and your mind, never
mind your love life. And please do not use your favourite word
"incomprehensible" yet again. Constantly telling people about
your inability to understand is very boring, and makes you sound
like a complete idiot, which I know very well that you are not.
You have used this same word time and time again to describe the
work of Friedman, Clark, Keel, Jacobs, Hopkins et al, so I am in
good company. However, sir, if your love life still needs
improving after reading my article in Philosophy Now, you might
try and win one of the five copies of my Politics of the
Imagination on offer by the current Fortean Times as prizes in a
quiz, and give your other half the thrill of a lifetime. You
could of course buy a copy off the shelf and give it to one of
your amateur McCarthyist coffin-donkeys or petulant Harry
Potters and have them stamp their tiny little feet on it.
However, fortunately for me, the public you would try to mislead
have a nasty habit of clearing the bookshop shelves of my book,
so you had better be quick.

John, I am glad you say you find my work erotic, if somewhat
difficult. As far as you are concerned sir, that is its precise
intention. Such intellectual arousal might enable you to write
something equally as beautiful, extraordinary, original,
profound and magical. It might do just that, instead of running
around on your one-wheeled bicycle making comments worthy of a
mentally arthritic grocer's delivery boy, circa 1900 and frozen
to death. So concentrate, listen, read and learn, that will cure
your stifling ordinariness, which sir, is either an irritation
of cosmic proportions, the biggest front-conspiracy yet
encountered by humanity, or on the other hand, is a thing as
phony as a silicon tit.

So, UpDate folks, when John Rimmer asks you to covertly
"investigate" your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances and
report back to him, beware, because he is well plugged in to the
American skeptical circuit, and you never know where your
information might turn up, or who is going to use it, or more
dangerous, who might just act on it. There are old World War 2
names for Rimmer's suggestion, but fortunately I have forgotten
them.

Perhaps some people have better memories than myself, and will
take the legal risk of using them.

Be warned!

He is not called the Brentford Polonius for nothing.

Keep smiling!


Colin


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