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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 24

Re: Special Note From Budd Hopkins

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 12:20:35 -0600
Archived: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 14:15:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Special Note From Budd Hopkins

>From: John Rimmer <johnrimmer.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 14:57:32 +0000 (GMT)
>Subject: Re: Special Note From Budd Hopkins

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 05:39:16 -0600
>>Subject: Re: Special Note From Budd Hopkins

Sigh, John,

>>Speaking of desperate attempts, I note here the ham-handed
>>rhetorical strategy that seeks, yet again, to conflate Hopkins
>>and Jacobs, who though friends are not one individual and whose
>>methods and conclusions are not the same. Nice try, though,

>>And speaking of moral morass, I note here again that your idea
>>of a moral arbiter in these matters is character assassin Phil
>>Klass. I doubt that even his friends judged him that. I did hear
>>a prominent skeptic once characterized him as "despicable,"

>Erm, exactly where did I say that Phil Klass was a "moral
>arbiter", Jerry or did you just make that up? I think if you
>read through the collected wisdom of Magonia you'll find that we
>criticise Klass as much as we agree with him.

Uh, you piped in with a quote from Klass early in this
discussion, which focuses in good part on the abominable
character of abduction investigators and of the need -
rhetorically, at least - to teach them a lesson at the end of a
rope, surrounded by howling townsfolk, presumably led by Alfred

You have since paraphrased Klass's charge that abductions and
abduction investigators are playing a "dangerous game" which,
one infers, gives people indigestion, causes throat irritation,
runny noses, and toothaches, generates baldness, hastens global
warming, emboldens terrorists, leads citizens to watch dumb
sitcoms and to vote in especially idiotic politicians, and on
down the list of all bad things that afflict individual humans
and the human race in general.

I confess I don't understand why you so merrily cite somebody in
the context of moral arbitration _if you don't agree that he is
a moral arbiter_ - and then dare to complain when your citation
is brought to your attention. Then again, I'm no Magonian, which
means I can handle only so much cognitive dissonance.

(Incidentally, I'm willing to wager that more grave complaints
of misconduct are filed every year - I'm speaking percentage-
wise, obviously - against physicians, psychiatrists, and
psychologists than against abduction researchers. [By the way, I
have a wonderful story from my personal experience about what
happened when a disbelieving psychiatrist met two abductees a
decade before anybody outside immediate family and the art world
knew what a "Budd Hopkins" is, but that's for another time. I
also have a story about medical incompetence from sad Clark
family history, but that's too personal to relate.] In Magonia
logic, one can only conclude that going to see a medical
professional must indeed be a dangerous game. It's striking even
to me how relatively little of this spills over into abduction
matters. That's why, I suppose, hands wave and loose talk gets
expelled, sans compelling evidence to match, about massive
psychic damage to people whose experiences and ideas the
Magonians of the world otherwise would be treating with open
derision and condescension. Of course, as we all know, by
"damage" is meant this: some people report experiences Magonians
disapprove of; thus, only damaged people could possibly believe
they've had abduction experiences, and only villainous,
manipulative ufologists who interact with them could encourage
them by taking them seriously.)

As for the remarkable claim that "we criticize Klass as much as
we agree with him": nope, sorry; beyond the rare, brief dissent,
I don't see it. Remember, I have been reading Magonia since it
was MUFOB. Once upon a time, it is true, Magonia sought - at
least rhetorically - to position itself between proponents and
debunkers, which if true would have made for an interesting,
arguably needed perspective. That, sad to say, was long ago. I
well recall my disappointed realization that the pretense had
been dropped when Magonia fell all over itself burbling praise
for Klass's anti-abduction screed - whose title, as noted, you
recently quoted as if the defining word on the ethics of

>>I guess the larger conclusion we are to draw from the collected
>>wisdom of Rimmer and Klass is that anomalous experiences exist
>>in the world because evil people force innocent people to
>>imagine them.

>Speaking of desperate attempts, I note here the ham-handed
>rhetorical strategy that seeks, yet again, to conflate Magonia
>and Phil Klass, who were not friends were not one individual and
>whose methods and conclusions are not the same. Nice try,
though, Jerry.

Cool gambit, John, though I must say it's amusing to find you
suddenly struggling to put a whole lot of distance between
yourself and Klass. I imagine, alas, that this positioning will
last approximately as long as this thread survives, at which
point it will disappear into the memory hole.

>>>If you cannot see the problems with Hopkins' methodology, and
>>>how it has defined the development of the abduction phenomenon
>>into the dangerous monster it has become today, then you have
>>clearly not read Hopkins's book as carefully as you would have
>>us think.

>>And what "dangerous monster" would that be? That some people
>>have experiences you don't approve of? That some other people
>>actually give them sympathetic attention and try to understand
>>what these experiences may be about? That healing may come out
>>of that simply because investigators actually _listen_, as
>>opposed to, say, dismiss, ridicule, and demean?

>And that some people are bolstering other peoples' beliefs that
>they are being abducted/attacked/impregnated/controlled by alien
>beings. I don't believe that[,] Jerry, nor do you.

Ah yes, it's so simple, just one thing or the other, in
Magoniaworld, isn't it?

Meantime, other people are bolstering beliefs that people who
report these and other kinds of anomalous experiences are lying,
or if not that demented, ridiculous, too bubble-headed to
comprehend or relate an experience with anything approaching
accuracy, and thus are to be pitied/ridiculed/turned over to
psychiatrists and/or the tender mercies of the disbelief
traditionalists who gather at the Pelican Pub to congratulate
each other on how rational they are. Those persons who feel that
abduction researchers like Hopkins have done well by them, and
who dare to state as much on Kay Wilson's website, this List,
and elsewhere, render you - as you've revealingly acknowledged
on this List - nauseous. No, folks, it's not brain science,
it's stomach science.

It's depressing how large a role contempt for people's
experiences, coupled with demonization of those who listen
sympathetically to them, figures in the theology of
"psychosocial ufologists," a.k.a. amateur psychologists and
sociologist who pretend not to be garden-variety debunkers. It's
topped with the kind of simplistic black-and-white either/or
analysis you (and not only you) bring to the discussion.
_Somebody must be at fault. Let's get him!_ Sorry, John; I don't
do lynch mobs.

>>Pretty scary, I'll admit. But I'll concede that the list of
>>alleged abductees who complain that Budd Hopkins has ruined
>>their lives is too long to count. For example, there's...
>>well... um... and ... uh... well, I'm sure they're out there
>>somewhere, the legions of the suffering who haven't figured out
>>yet how Hopkins ruined their lives because, after all, they're
>>too stupid and insensitive to read Magonia.

>If people are convinced that alien beings (or maybe some other
>sort of non-human intelligence) are abducting/raping them, why
>should they blame the person who supports them in their belief?

Jeezus, could you be any more condescending? No wonder you tell
us that those people make you want to grab what you quaintly
call a "sick-bag." I would imagine you have the same effect on
them. Neither of you is better off for that.

Your argument lacks basic coherence, I'm afraid. First, we are
to believe that unprincipled abduction researchers are forcing
people to have imaginary experiences they wouldn't have had
otherwise. Then, according to you, we are to believe that these
people already _had_ these experiences, which they interpreted
literally (as most people would, quite understandably [to all
non-Magonians anyway] under the bizarre circumstances), and the
abduction researchers _merely concurred with their

The latter failed to understand, I take it, that it was their
responsibility to ignore them, demean them, feel sorry for them,
straighten them out, or dispatch them to the nearest
psychiatrist or psychosocial ufologist, where the poor sap would
get to recite his or her (of course delusional) experience for
five minutes, then be privileged to listen for the next 55 as
the authority figure tells him or her what he or she _really_

That's why it took centuries, to cite a famous instance, for the
Old Hag phenomenon to be explained, or mostly explained. The
skeptics reinvented the experience, then judged delusional, and
proceed to "explain" what they'd just made up. Knowledge did not
advance thereby.


>>The late John Rimmer managed to define himself as both
>>"psychosocial ufologist" and "skeptic" and never once

>Maybe before we both shuffle of this mortal coil, you could
>explain exactly what you mean by this frequently repeated trope.

I've been waiting for you to respond in precisely this fashion.
Thank you, John. I think I'll let you stew about it. Or you can
forget about it instantly. It makes no difference to me. All I
will say is that any reader whose concern for the
psychosociology of the centuries-old debate about the reception
of anomalous/unconventional experiences rises above mere
polemical convenience will know _exactly_ what I mean.

And one last note: credit where due, I give you points for not
denying you're a skeptic. Extra points when you drop the phony
"psychosocial" label.

Now, can't we go do something else?

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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