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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 9

Re: Budd Hopkins

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 10:24:19 -0600
Archived: Wed, 09 Feb 2011 13:11:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Budd Hopkins


>From: Carol Rainey <csrainey2.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 17:51:21 -0500
>Subject: Re: Budd Hopkins

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 19:17:57 -0600
>>Subject: Re: Budd Hopkins

Patient and gentle Listfolk:

>In this field, apparently, the more one tries to stick to the
>facts of the issue, the less attention respondents pay to the
>actual facts that are presented.

>In both my article in Paratopia Magazine and in my post to this
>List, I presented some serious and justified concerns about
>where and how alien abduction research had taken students of the
>phenomenon, the experiencers and the public over the past 20
>years. I spoke only of cases I was directly involved in, as
>Budd's former life partner. I gave precise, evidence-based
>instances of observing faulty, sometimes dangerous, and
>certainly misleading research conclusions reached by Budd
>Hopkins and his best friend David Jacobs.

Sigh. Apparently, only you are entitled to a point of view. Only
your story is true. All else, we learn, is sexism.

In any event, hardly anything of my original posting was about
you -disappointingly, I'm sure, to you - but about Budd as a
man, his work, and his current physical incapacity, which makes
it all but impossible for him to respond to your myriad
accusations. [I had a follow-up sentence to that, but on second
thought I have deleted it.] I might also add that nothing is
strikingly original about your criticisms of abduction research
methodology, the subject of a vast controversy and debate within
ufology and other literature. Eddie Bullard has covered it well
in my encyclopedia and elsewhere, and he always provides
excellent bibliographies. Having a life and a book deadline to
meet, I preferred not to revisit the matter.

Let's remember this: I devoted a single sentence to you, didn't
even name you (though the reference is apparent), and said not a
single thing about your character, noting only that you (as
everybody but you would agree) are a uniquely interested party
in the discussion. _That's all_. Since then, while going to
extraordinary lengths to trash my character, you have placed
yourself at the center of all this. Frankly, whatever
satisfaction you may derive from such a dramatic posture, it
strikes me as boring and irrelevant, whether viewed as
rhetorical strategy or reflexive self-centeredness. In one way
or another, nearly every sentence of this posting and your
previous one makes you the virtuous, cruelly attacked hero of
the story. How unfortunate. How uninteresting.

Those who reread my original posting will recall its actual
point: that Budd Hopkins did not invent the abduction
phenomenon, which exists in recognizable form independently of
him. I also said that in my experience and observation,
abductees who have worked with him tend to speak warmly of him,
and I have heard no complaints from participating medical
professionals about his methodology. I also said I think he's a
good guy, if like all of us susceptible to human failings,
misjudgments, and mistakes. I never accused him of being any
more perfect than I am. Really, Carol, _it wasn't about you_. I
have lived a relatively happy life practically never thinking
about you. I look forward to returning to that life.

<snip>

>Yet, as a senior spokesman for and leader in the field of UFO
>research, Clark has taken zero responsibility - to the best of
>my knowledge - for actually educating himself about how
>abduction research is done. He disagrees with his two good
>friends, Hopkins and Jacobs, about their conclusions. Privately,
>he has stated to one correspondent that he has entertained
>doubts about some of their methods for a long time.

Ah yes, a dubiously ethical tactic I recognize all too well: the
citing of anonymous testimony with conveniently paraphrased
words intended to damn and embarrass. This is the second time
Carol Rainey (in the third person hereafter), whom I barely
know, has done this to me in a public forum. (Incidentally, till
the current exchange, I have not mentioned her a single time in
public, and virtually never in private.) The first time I was
the target of her ire, however, the anonymous informant was
herself, and the subject was my character (loathsome, of
course). The assault was published in a widely read UFO
bulletin.

Of far more importance to me and relevance to larger issues, I
have harbored serious doubts about Dave Jacobs's approach for
some time. Because Dave is a longtime friend, this judgment, as
it would be for any normal person, has been an uncomfortable,
even painful one. It is also one on which I have nothing
informed or useful to say beyond firm disbelief in the notion
that hybrids are coming to get us. Having had only concerns and
questions unlinked to specific facts and revelations, I haven't
had reason or occasion to say anything publicly till now. As we
all know, things are playing out melodramatically on the
Internet these days, and if I have anything of significance to
contribute, I will do so. Till then, I'll attend to my own work,
from which the necessity to defend myself from ungrounded
charges and inexplicable personal accusations is an irksome
distraction.

My impressions of Budd - qualified, as I tried to make
abundantly clear, by the distance that separates Minnesota from
Manhattan - are as stated in my original posting. The reasons
behind my opinion are as stated. _Of course_ there are those who
are much closer to day-to-day events than I am. They will tell
their stories which - as we have already seen - are hardly
identical to Carol's. This house has multiple stories.

Unlike Carol, I do not mistake Hopkins/Jacobs, even though close
friends, for a single entity with a single brain. Carol does not
cite the actual words of my alleged criticisms, or the context
or the name of the recipient of same. Like the rest of you, I
often think aloud in private communication as I'm working my way
through a complex or troubling issue. That's why it's _private_.
That's why people don't serve food until it's cooked. It is only
when I've thought something through and am willing to stand by
it that I put it out there for whoever cares to see, consider,
and agree or disagree.

It is thus entirely possible that at some time I may have
expressed some concern about some specific instance or approach
or action of Budd's. So what? In the end, I came to the
conclusion - personalities of specific individuals removed from
the equation - that the abduction phenomenon, while surely
anomalous, is not what it appears to be. I came to that
conclusion, let me repeat, without having to demonize any
specific human being, fallible as each of us (Carol excepted)
is. Apparently, in Carol's world it's not possible to arrive at
conclusions without accompanying them with blistering
denunciations of colleagues.

>Essentially, the leadership position of the UFO field seems to
>be this: Those guys are our best buddies! What they do with
>their research subjects is _not_ our problem. People like Emma
>Woods and "Dora" should just take a hike. The abductionists'
>over-the-top conclusions about the coming end of the human
>species are not our problem, either. It's a helluva a lot more
>fun to hang out after a long-day's seminar with two entertaining
>friends than it is to speak up for what is rightfully gained
>knowledge, for what is ethical, moral, and true.

"The abductionists' over-the-top conclusions about the coming
end of the human species"? That sounds like Jacobs, obviously,
but "the abductionists" as an entire species? It's news to me
that this is the conclusion of "abductionists" everywhere, or
even of a significant faction of them. And Carol is accusing
_others_ of playing loosely with facts?

I have tried to be generous, obviously to a futile end. Rather
than have to repeat myself, I reprint below - so that my
meaning remains plain after this concerted effort to obfuscate
it - what I said last time. I doubt that the views expressed
will look all that controversial or contemptible to anybody but
Carol:

"My sole point, which I would have thought blindingly apparent
to any adult reader, is that an ex-spouse has his or her story,
but - as we have already seen - it isn't the only one to be
told.... I am _not_ accusing anybody of insincerity, by the way,
nor am I urging onlookers not to read or consider what
interested persons, Carol included, have written recalling their
particular (and, as we've already seen, conflicting)
observations.... Carol has said what she wants to say, I've said
what I have to say, and now others can tell their stories.
Nobody owns this story."

Can we hear from somebody else now?


Jerry Clark


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