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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 14

Re: 'She Blinded Me with Science'

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 98 08:27:55 PDT
Fwd Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 03:04:34 -0400
Subject: Re: 'She Blinded Me with Science'


> From: RobIrving@aol.com
> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 23:04:53 EDT
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: 'She Blinded Me with Science'

> >To: "UFO UpDates - Toronto" <updates@globalserve.net>
> >From: "Jerome Clark" <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: 'She Blinded Me with Science'
> >Date: Fri, 10 Jul 98 11:56:02 PDT

> There's a problem with your characterisation. As far as I am
> aware, Festinger never conducted any "study of prophetic saucer
> groups". When Prophesy Fails was derived from a much more
> complex idea. If you were to describe the work that simply in
> print I'd be appalled.

When Prophecy Fails, as any reader of it is aware, is a study of
a prophetic saucer group.  Festinger and his co-authors use it as
a case study to argue for a larger social theory which, alas,
proves to be based in part on a major misreading of a particular
historical episode.  As I have said before, read Prophecy for its
entertainment value, and for its insights into a particular group
in a particular time and at a particular place.  Read its larger
theoretical claims with caution or even skepticism.

> >My impression all along has been that you are using Festinger
> >simply as a stick with which to beat all who are interested in
> >UFOs, and I do not recall your even responding to my complaint
> >that you lump everybody together. So let me try one more time:

> I gave it the attention it deserved.

Having given you the opportunity now on several occasions to show
us that you know the difference between, say, Dorothy Martin and
Isabel Davis (or George Van Tassel and James McDonald, or
whomever), I can only conclude that you don't. After all, you
have said Prophecy is about "ufology" on more than one occasion.

> >See my words immediately above. In any event, I don't see any
> >lessons for, or parallels to, ufology in Festinger's book, which
> >isn't about ufology at all. It's about a saucerian group
> >oriented toward the contactee message and occult doctrine. The
> >fact that you seem to think this is the same as ufology only
> >confirms, alas, my suspicions about your approach.

> You use the word 'fact' all too loosely, Jerry. In fact your
> impression is quite wrong, of both WPF (did you read the
> introduction?) and me.

Have you caught that whopping historical error yet?  Have you, by
the way, read the introduction?

Jerry Clark