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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 19

Re: A Reason For CSICOP Condemning The X-Files

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 98 08:11:29 PDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 11:35:16 -0400
Subject: Re: A Reason For CSICOP Condemning The X-Files


> From: William Hand <ufotruth@ix.netcom.com>
> Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 22:27:44 -0500 (CDT)
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: A Possible Reason Why CSICOP Has Condemned The X-Files Movie!

> They have tried to trash, bash, and discredit every single thing
> to do with UFOs, ETs, coverups, creatures like big foot,
> telepathy, phychokinesis, and other phenomenon that are very
> interesting and could show that there is more to this world, the
> mind, and the universe than what is commonly accepted by the
> government and "mainstream" science.

I think you mean "psychokinesis."

> Now, why would they be doing this? They claim that it is because
> there is no chance of any of the above phenomenon being real or
> actually existing! They claim that it is dangerous for people to
> believe in anything that is even possibly "not real". Well, this
> seems sort of odd. Because if these people really don't think
> that any of these interesting phenomenons are real then why in
> the heck have some of them spent years of their life trying to
> irrationally and with any justification debunk them?

There is something rather sad -- or amusing, if your humor runs
to the perverse (CSICOP tends to bring out my perverse side) --
about people organizing around something they don't believe in.
(I guess that's why I'm not an atheist: so I don't have to go to
meetings.)  The ideological and theological roots of the
organized debunking movement are discussed in Paul Kurtz's The
Transcendental Temptation (Kurtz is founder and
president-for-life of CSICOP) and elsewhere.  The rationale is
that  acceptance of unorthodox phenomena is a variety of
religious belief, and the hardcore CSICOP types are strongly
against religion (or at least any religion other than their own).
This does not, however, describe every CSICOP figure; Martin
Gardner, for example, is a deist  whose fundamental philosophical
position seems to be  that the idea of the paranormal trivializes
God.  (He once, for example, decried experiments testing the
power of prayer as mockery of God.)

> I don't think they would. I know if I did not believe in some
> thing like lets say "vampires" I would not be trying my hardest
> to debunk and disprove that they exist. Most definantly I would
> express my opinions if someone asked me but I would not spend
> years of my life trying to disprove what I do not believe in.

Yours is the position most sane humans hold.  All of us,
including CSICOPs, believe at least some things that aren't true.
Being wrong is a part of being human.

So long as the mistaken belief is harmless, it does not require
an emotional response, a big organization, a huge p.r. operation,
and relentless fund-raising to combat it.  Well, actually, this
last may be, in the end, what it's about.  CSICOP and affiliated
Kurtz enterprises generate an enormous amount of money.  Kurtz is
a genius at separating the frightened from their cash.  If you
were to believe CSICOP's many fund-raising letters, and
apparently many do, you'd be scared silly.  Let me emphasize
"silly."

> I would simply spend my time doing something productive in
> something that I did believe in and not just waste years of my
> life trying to disprove something that I already did not believe
> existed......

Of course.  Want to do something?  There are hungry people
out there.  This world, full of injustices and horrors, needs the
services of decent people.  One of those injustices and horrors
is not the forthcoming X-Files movie.

> In my opinion it is very possible that the governmnet could be
> involved with CSICOP. They could use this organization to try
> and do damage to claims about anything they did not want the
> public knowing the truth about. Also, the military or private
> organizations might be interested in CSICOP as well! What if,
> and this is only an example, the technology recovered from the
> Roswell Crash was what helped the transistor come into
> existence? Then several companies might not want the truth to
> come about about Roswell because then their secrets might be
> revealed......

Here you've lost me.  There is not the slightest reason to
believe CSICOP is financed by anybody but private citizens
with more money and time on their hands than they need.
The average CSICOP supporter may not know all that much
about anomalies and the paranormal, but he or she knows
they're bad.  The debunking of such matters has a long,
long history.   Debunking, of course, is not always a bad
thing; a lot of things deserve to be debunked.  The problem
with CSICOP-style debunking is that it's so ideologically
driven that it is often incompetent or dishonest debunking,
which is no more useful than inept or corrupt advocacy of
the claims at issue.

> Maybe some people who work for CSICOP are really government
> agents.

> Maybe some of the people who work for CSICOP have just been
> encouraged all along in secret by various organizations that
> really wanted them to continue their debunkery of topics they
> did not want exposed to the world....

> Well, who really knows.... But the motives of CSICOP, and those
> who are members, really seem suspicious in my opinion....

To every available indication, this is not remotely true.  When
you speculate like this -- without a whiff of evidence -- you play
into CSICOP's hands.  On one issue I do agree with CSICOP:
conspiratorial thinking is harmful both to individuals and to
society.  (Fortunately, one does not have otherwise to be in
sympathy with CSICOP to come to that conclusion.)

The history of CSICOP and the debunking movement general, as
well as the biographies of the leading figures in same, is
part of the public record, and you should familiarize yourself
with it before you wander off into paranoia-laced speculation.
When you have educated yourself in these matters, I think you
will find that the individuals may be misguided from our point
of view, but their logic and motivation are clearly apparent.
Conspiratorial interpretations are simply unnecessary.

> Then again it is possible that everyone in CSICOP are just very
> closed minded skeptics... But I doubt that....

You shouldn't.

Cheers,

Jerry Clark




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