I think you'll all recognize many names in the article below....sounds like a summary of much of Coast to Coast over the last decade plus.
I must admit I had to chuckle when I read both Oberg and Shermer's name!!!
Skeptics, true believers, or hired liars ?
William B Stoecker
My late friend, Jeff Challender, spent his last years patently viewing hours of live feed from the Shuttle and the International Space Station, searching for anomalies, which he found and published on his web site.
He was his own strongest critic, weeding out everything that could possibly be paint flecks or ice chips, etc., and publishing only true ufos. He left it up to the viewers to decide what these might be, and never claimed that they were alien space craft.
He finally began to get the recognition and respect he deserved, and was praised by well known and responsible researchers like George Filer and Richard Dolan. So then he was sharply criticized by well-known skeptic James Oberg.
Ad hominem attacks are used a great deal by skeptics. If you cannot debate the issue and don't have the facts and logic on your side, attack the messenger. In quite a few skeptic articles, ufologists and proponents of intelligent design, for example are depicted as ignoramuses, as mere "laymen."
But a physicist is a layman when it comes to biology and evolution, and a biologist is a layman when it comes to astronomy, and so on. Many scientists consider psychology to be a pseudo science, but well known skeptic Michael Shermer has a degree in psychology, and his colleague Susan Blackmore has a degree in parapsychology.
Perhaps they at least deserve credit for evolving and changing their views over time. Joe Nickell has advanced degrees in English (as do I), and while we both have a right to hold opinions on scientific subjects, neither of us has a right to dismiss others as "laymen." In addition to ad hominem attacks, skeptics often evade the real issues; they will write articles ostensibly debating the issue of intelligent design, but in reality attacking fundamentalist creationism, which is child's play. When they do address the issues at hand they rarely get specific about, for example, irreducable complexity in cell structure and chemistry or the emergence (simultaneously) of flowering plants and pollinators.
And the savagery of some of their personal attacks is way out of proportion to any real threat to rational thought posed by alternative thinkers.
When physician Velikovsky (an astronomical layman) wrote Worlds in Collision his idea that the planet Venus was somehow ejected from Jupiter was preposterous and easily argued against. But well known astronomer Harlow Shapely did not bother to debate Velikovsky; instead, he tried to stop publication of the book, and used his influence to see to it that the editor who had accepted it was fired.
Perhaps what he really objected to was Velikovsky's reliance on myths and the challenge to the uniformitarian world view, which has since largely been abandoned even by mainstream researchers, especially now that we know that Earth and the other worlds in our Solar System have repeatedly been bombarded by comets and asteroids.
For years, if anyone even suggested pre-Columbian oceanic crossings by Phoenicians, Chinese, etc., they were savagely attacked, despite the fact that in our time people have rowed across the oceans. Now that is changing too, with some main stream archaeologists suggesting even prehistoric Atlantic crossings. Note that this is exactly how science is supposed to work; a certain amount of skepticism and conservatism is a good thing. But it is not good science to be totally closed minded and resort to ridicule and personal attacks.
Certainly, alternative thinkers, people interested in ufology, the paranormal, and lost civilizations, can become mindless true believers, ranting about Pleiadean beam ships and Sirian mother ships, when there is not the slightest evidence that we have been visited by anyone from these very young star systems. There are people who believe, contrary to all facts and logic, that the Earth is hollow, and even a supposedly rational researcher like Graham Hancock still pushes the idea of pole shift via massive crustal slippage, which, again, is contrary to all the facts and easy to argue against. Hancock, however, will publish no article against it on his web site. He also pushes relentlessly the idea of human-caused global warming, making him an ally of government and the elite media, rather than an alternative. But the scale of the modern skeptic movement is, again, out of all proportion.
Nowhere is that more obvious than in their relentless attacks on religion. Christianity in America has long been in decline; the true believers are out there, but they have little power, and the elites are systematically eliminating all reference to God and Christmas in public. Yet the skeptics and militant atheists, those fervent believers in nothing, continually attack any vestige of a belief in God, including intelligent design, which requires, after all, a Designer.
I am reminded of a CS Lewis novel where the protagonist, being inducted into a quasi-Masonic satanist cult, finally notices that, for a group who claimed to be atheists, they seemed positively obsessed by Christianity, which they hated with a passion. And the atheist/skeptic movement is massive and well funded, with large organizations, web sites, and magazines.
When I debated well known atheist Michael Newdow on a local Sacramento television show, he admitted that certain unnamed individuals were funding him. As for the magazines, whether the skeptics are right or wrong, their magazines do not seem, to most people, as interesting, as, say, ufo magazines. In short, they would seem unlikely to attract a large readership and many advertisers, so the question of initial funding and the possibility that they are only kept afloat by continuing subsidies seems reasonable.So on 10/25 and 10/26/07 I e mailed CSICOP and the Skeptic Society, pointing this out, and asking them where they got their initial investment. Their failure to reply to my rather impertinent request does not prove that they are funded by, say, George Soros or the Rockefeller Foundation, but neither does it clear them of all suspicion.
Many of the leading skeptics have some sort of government connection. James Oberg is a former(?) employee of NASA, and the late Carl Sagan also did work for the space agency. Phil Klass was a senior editor at Aviation Week and Space Technology, a house organ for the aerospace industry, whose primary customer is the Defense Department. Dr. Edward Condon, who headed the University of Colorado's USAF-sponsored ufo investigation, had also worked on the Manhattan Project. The late Dr. Menzel, a leading ufo skeptic in the fifties, also had (according to Stanton Friedman) intelligence connections. This, too, renders the whole movement somewhat suspect.
Stranger still, there is a "party line" relentlessly pushed, subtly and not so subtly, by government, academia, and the elite media, all more or less controlled by the same global elite.
We are told that there are no government conspiracies and that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone gunman. Ufos are nonsense, there are no artificial structures on the Moon or Mars, intelligent design is mere superstition, Man is a very young species, and Chicken Little says Man-caused global warming is about to make the sky fall on us if do not all (except Al Gore) drastically lower our standard of living, and cold fusion is a hoax.
In short, accept the atheist/materialist/logical positivist world view and trust your government and the conventional scientific establishment. A number of astute observers have noted that science has become the new religion, the new dogma; if so, the atheist/skeptic movement are the new Inquisition.
They do not (so far) burn heretics at the stake, but they do ruin lives and careers; geologist Virginia Steen-McIntire lost her job merely for suggesting (based on sound gelogical evidence) that stone tools found in Mexico appeared to be over 200,000 years old. No dissent is tolerated, and the skeptics hew to the party line on every single issue. If their whole movement was created and funded by the elites, this is exactly how they would behave.
C.S. Lewis' character eventually discovered that the cult he had foolishly joined preached one thing (atheism) and practiced another (satanism).
This may also be true of the founders of modern science, which, at the highest levels, may never have been quite what it pretends to be.
Science as we know it today began in England with the Royal Society, most or all of whose founders were Freemasons, and Masonry most certainly is a religion, and a secret one at that.
At least some modern skeptics have rather odd connections to some rather strange religious groups. Sagans ex wife, Lynn Margulis, was a cofounder, along with James Lovelock, of the Gaia hypothesis, a belief that all of Earth's organisms (including us) are joined togethet into one super-organism. No matter how they disguise this with quasi-materialist rhetoric, this is nothing less that goddess worship. Sagan and biologist Stephen Jay Gould (another pit bull for Darwin) attended a 1988 Oxford conference of radical environmentalists featuring Lovelock as a speaker. Sagan also warned us of nuclear winter resulting from widespread fires putting sun-reflecting particulate matter in the air; to do this, he had to ignore the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide that would also be released by these fires. Later, he warned us of global warning by simply reversing himself and ignoring particulates from smokestacks and focusing on the greenhouse gas.
Another prominent participant in this and similar conferences was Robert Muller, former UN Assistant Secretary General, who praised Alice Baily, a New Ager who created the powerful Lucis Trust. Alice was a rabid anti-Semite who admired Hitler and Stalin and worshipped a charming fallen angel she called "Lucifer." Connection after connection.
So perhaps we have a right to ask: Are the skeptics really the open minded skeptics they pretend to be, and which we all (especially us alternative thinkers) should be? Or are they narrow minded true believers in the new dogma? Or do they secretly believe something quite different from what they profess? Perhaps we need to be skeptical of the skeptics.
Great article IMHO...what do you think about the above?