UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scientology, Ufology, and Psychology

The New Yorker issue for February 14/21, 2011 has a lengthy piece by Lawrence Wright [The Apostate, Page 84 ff.] about a Scientology defector.

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The article presents an overview of Scientology and especially L. Ron Hubbard (its founder).

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Those interested in the Navy’s connection to UFOs will find clues to that connection in the article, but they will find much more about the founder of Scientology, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Just as Christianity is marred by the machinations of its early followers and Constantine, and psychology is saddled by the permutations of Freud to make psychoanalysis viable to his colleagues [See Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s “The Assault on Truth: Freud’s Suppression of the Seduction Theory” – Ballantine Books, NY, 1984/2003], Scientology is riddled by the flaws of its founder L. Ron Hubbard.

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And ufology? Where has that artful and contrived discipline gone wrong?

Ufology has no definitive founder, but the progenitors of the faux “science” were (and are) men flawed by a lack of scientific acumen and a lack of intellectual credentials.

Whereas Freud has great insights about the human mind and behavior, he muddled those profound insights by fudging truths and facts to make his (psychoanalytic) movement palatable to psychologists and the Victorian populace of his time.

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L. Ron Hubbard had no profound insights, but his movement (Dianetics and then Scientology) has been promulgated by a patina of distortions and concocted legends of his acolytes, just as happened with Christianity. [See Bart D. Ehrman’s “Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible…” – Harper One, NY 2009]

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In Ufology, one can’t point to a single person who led the study of UFOs astray but one can point fingers at persons such as Phil Klass (a perverse skeptic), Stanton Friedman (a biased researcher), and a host of other “ufologists” who had or have an agenda that has little or nothing to do with truth or science but is, rather, a ploy for self-aggrandizement.

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The raft of persons who’ve led the study of UFOs/flying saucers astray is too vast to list here, and most readers know to whom we refer.

The point is that movements are always corrupted by followers or instigators who have self-promotion as their premise or ignorance at their foundation.

Psychiatry, Scientology says, is a crock. And Scientology may be right. Psychiatry moved away from a therapy based on the study of the mental afflictions of people to an overly of symptomatic suppression with drugs or various kinds, a move away from the methodology of Freud and his followers.

Freud may have compromised his movement by altering the truth of child seduction but his methodology for getting at unconscious truths was remarkable and unique, even helpful to those afflicted by neuroses of a sexual kind.

But the little insight by Scientology about psychiatry and drug-therapy doesn’t offset the flawed premises of L. Ron Hubbard, as you will see by the New Yorker article.

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And since Jeffrey Masson exposed the flawed, dishonest Freudian account of child seduction – the root of neuroses according to psychoanalysis, and Bart Ehrman (among others) exposes the flawed, distorted beginnings of Christianity, why has no one exposed the flawed roots of ufology?

Yes, skeptics of UFOs abound, and some in the UFO community have assailed the fraudulent in the UFO/flying saucer era, but no one has made as thorough assessment of the UFO crockery as have Dr. Masson of Freud or Bart Ehrman of Christ’s early devotees.

L. Ron Hubbard has been skewered, and Freud too, along with Jesus’s early disciples. But nowhere has anyone taken on the personalities that have tried to make ufology a valid enterprise, using lies and distortions in the process.

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Is that because ufology is seen, intrinsically, as the canard it basically is? Or is it because no one has the intellectual stamina to assail a thing as ridiculous as ufology?

We think it is both…

23 Comments:

  • A good candidate for the person who first led ufology astray is Ray Palmer, as early as 1948. This was long before the word 'ufology' was thought of. He promoted Maury Island, and later, the 'Inside the earth' origin for UFOs.

    Yet some people think Palmer was merely a joker of sorts, and may not have taken his own remarks seriously. I simply don't know. I do know he did occasionally write 'letters to the editor' under aliases, in his own magazines, and then answer them!

    The only other real candidate for leading ufology astray in the early period was George Adamski. But that is a long story, and in fact started long before the UFO era began.

    Menzel was a bit dishonest or disingenuous, at times, but on the other side, of course.

    By Blogger cda, at Sunday, February 20, 2011  

  • The problem, CDA, with the Ufology sobriquet is that there are so many who have led the procedure astray that we could spend days compiling a list of the reprobates.

    There are those, like Adamski, who used flying saucers as their claim to fame.

    Then there are those like Menzel who are patsies for those who wish to deny the things exist at all.

    And the beat goes on...with a bevy of ne'er-do-wells still mucking up the phenomenon with their own brand of ufology.

    (And you know where the bulk of them are "listed.")

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 20, 2011  

  • Here's the tinyurl link to the lengthy New Yorker article cited, formatted all on one web page:

    http://tinyurl.com/4v3k7dq

    Very intriguing and revealing article.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Sunday, February 20, 2011  

  • Steve,

    You are a prince.

    Thanks.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 20, 2011  

  • Prince? Nah, I'm the, uh... "Duke of URL" .... 8^}

    "...Those interested in the Navy’s connection to UFOs..."

    You know, this is an area of US government involvement in the UFO phenomenon I've been very curious about for quite some time.

    Since the Earth's surface is covered by about 70% ocean, and considering the apparent affinity of a large proportion of UFOs for water, I've often wondered to what degree the US Navy or Coast Guard have been involved in the collection, research, and analysis of UFO/USO data.

    You have mentioned several times in the past that the US Navy is the place to look for UFO info, even over and beyond the USAF. Can you tell us how and why in some detail?

    I've been reading online lately some interesting but ambiguous data about a late 1940's budgetary turf battle between the US Navy and the USAF referred to as the "Revolt of the Admirals," and its alleged connection to the UFO phenomenon, although ostensibly the "Revolt" had mostly to do with Navy advocates calling for more aircraft carriers, while the USAF was in turn requesting equally large amounts of funding for a large intercontinental bomber force made up of B-36's. Some strange intrigues occurred during this era and conflict between the USAF and Navy.

    Additionally, there was a very odd incident in early 1952 of two disk-like UFOs being sighted by the pilot of a VIP aircraft carrying the US Secretary of the Navy, Dan A. Kimball, and which were then, 2 minutes later, also clearly observed closely by the pilot of a trailing VIP Navy aircraft 50 miles away, carrying additional personnel in Kimball's party, when the two aircraft were flying between Guam and Hawaii, and which resulted or led to (after some intense Navy frustration with the USAF over Navy pilot UFO sightings that the Air Force did not want to disclose) Kimball, and soon-to-be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Arthur Radford, to initiate a separate UFO study within the US Navy, due to lack of cooperation from the USAF, which may have been the residue of the inter-service rivalry during the "Revolt of the Admirals" a few years before.

    Yet, no copy of this Navy UFO study or relevant UFO MERINT reports ever seems to have surfaced or been declassified. The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Office of Naval Research (ONR), and/or Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) also seem to have had some past involvement in the study of UFOs, but again there is a nearly complete dearth of actual declassified documentation.

    It has been suggested by some that historically the US Navy was much more in favor of "disclosure" than the USAF, but I don't find much substantiation or evidence for that. It seems the opposite may be more accurate, considering the lack of Navy documents about the UFO subject, by comparison.

    See the following links for further info:

    http://tinyurl.com/6d362x6

    http://www.nicap.org/hawaii.htm

    http://tinyurl.com/2wq6t6r

    http://tinyurl.com/49kwn2a

    Although I realize this is not the relevant thread to ask about this, Rich, perhaps you can do a blog post with specific details on how and why you think the US Navy's involvement in the UFO phenomenon is so important or considerable, so that we have the opportunity to ask questions and contribute comments in that regard.

    I think it would be both useful and pertinent to discuss the role and degree or kind of activity the US Navy has engaged in regarding the UFO phenomenon, as you seem to know some things about that the rest of us don't. What say you?

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • Steve:

    The material we have about the Navy and UFOs is rather vast.

    Putting it together in a cogent, succinct, intelligent way is daunting.

    And, aside from you, we find the UFO community inured against Naval involvement of the UFO phenomenon, preferring to assign that to the Air Forces.

    Nonetheless, I have always wanted to make the case for the Navy being the place where one will find the most information about UFOs.

    I've discussed this with Anthony Bragalia many times.

    But placing what we have online, in our blogs or our web-sites, would be casting pearls before swine, you excepted.

    We have shared some of our material, accumulated over the years, from sources and sites unknown to most, with a few of our guys and some media persons who have an interest in the subject matter.

    They find it suspiciously intriguing.

    At any rate, I'll try to sneak a few items online here, where response, again aside from you, is generally niggardly and wanting, to see what happens.

    As you have found, Naval fingerprints are all over the place when it comes to UFOs but nailing the service forensically is next to impossible.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • The navy would be interested in UFO sightings made from ships at sea, but would not want to get involved with them otherwise. At least, I cannot see how two separate branches of the US military would concern themselves with UFOs, possibly, even probably, having conflict over explanations, personnel involved, costs, etc.

    But if the US Navy did indeed get involved with UFOs at times, you would expect the navies of other countries to also get involved. Is there any evidence that they did so, except in rare cases of sightings at sea?

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • Christopher:

    You mentioned this before, that other Navies (other country's militaries) would be as anxious to get into the UFO fray as the U.S.A. has been.

    I'm thinking not.

    The U.S.A. (to be provincial) is unique in its curiosity, about things weird.

    The only other country with a Naval propensity is yours.

    But from all I've seen, it's the RAF that has zeroed in on the UFO thing, not your Navy.

    But, here, we see the Navy's footprints all over the UFO crime scene, if one cares to really take a look.

    That UFO mavens continue to eschew the Naval imprints goes to how lax and incompetent UFO research is here in the states.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • @cda:

    Aside from the US and British Navies, it seems the Russian Navy has also collected and analyzed UFO reports at sea for quite some time.

    About a year and a half ago, there were news reports indicating the Russian (former Soviet) Navy had declassified a very large portion of their UFO data, but I can't seem to find original Russian Navy UFO documents themselves, only news reports of this declassification. See links below:

    http://tinyurl.com/mnst78

    Note at the link above the comments by Paul Stonehill and Jan Aldrich.

    http://tinyurl.com/4emh96s

    http://tinyurl.com/kq26rk

    According to these news reports, about 50% of Russian UFO incidents occurred at sea, and another 15% over bodies of fresh water. So this would indicate a considerable body of Russian UFO documentation must exist, but just where is this allegedly declassified data? And what portion may remain classified?

    @RR:

    "The material we have about the Navy and UFOs is rather vast.

    "Putting it together in a cogent, succinct, intelligent way is daunting."


    Rather vast? Is some of this data on your homestead website? If so, regardless of what other "UFO mavens" might think about the US Navy's involvement, I'd appreciate access to such data if possible. How can I arrange that?

    And while the volume of data you may have is probably dispersed, perhaps you could write a post summarizing the basic data you think is most significant about the US Navy's UFO involvement, in a blog post or two, as a preliminary to later specific blog posts of particular cases or data on this subject.

    Maybe the UFO research community is generally ignorant of the US Navy angle, due to their focus on the USAF, and an article by you giving a foundation about the US Navy's UFO interests would spur some greater degree of interest and investigation.

    If we don't know, we can't initiate investigation, and to restrict or not provide this relevant data because you may think it won't get looked at or seriously examined then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I'd urge you to provide at least some basic article for this blog which outlines your thesis with the most pertinent cases or examples of US Navy involvement in the UFO phenomenon and related study and analysis if you know of such.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • Steve:

    I'll take, as they say in the legal profession hereabouts, your suggestion under advisement.

    But, as I told Paul Kimball a few months back, we're moving away from a concentration on UFOs -- it's a wasteful enterprise for us.

    And putting an effort into making relevant any documents we have found over the years is not something I am intellectually encouraged to do.

    That said, I will forage through what we have and make some of them available here (or somewhere accessible to you).

    The UFO phenomenon needs a totally fresh evaluation, shorn of the accreted fluff it has gathered over the past decades.

    Placing documents not extrinsic to the phenomenon online, in a blog, where others can pilfer them and provide them to the rabble, as has happened with the Scientology post (and others), whereby they'll be stripped and rifled by barbarians is not something I find endearing.

    So I'll have to be cautious and discriminating, to avoid the mob-like dithering that one finds at UFO UpDates for example.

    I'll keep you posted, of course.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • The USAAF (and its successor, the USAF) are at the origin and core of ufology. Besides inventing the term "U.F.O.", it created the first spec for a flying disc, the first and most extensive and longlasting investigations, the first to refer to an ET origin (even if only to dismiss it. Nobody asked, though). Reading the news of the late 1940s and early 1950s about UFOs, the AF pr refers to Charles Fort, Ezekiel, and the paranormal (Meade Layne, I think), for example. In the Rhodes case file, reference is made to Amazing Stories. At least the CIC was researching the phenomenon.

    Civilian ufology took its cue from Donald Keyhoe, who, being a former officer, had contacts in the military and government. The investigations, such as Blue Book, became the motherlode source material for many ufologists. And to this day, many await "disclosure" from our armed services honchos.

    Regarding the Navy. The US Navy in 1951 (I think, or perhaps 1952) attempted to become the branch of service responsible for earth orbit satellite r&d. It was a wakeup call for the USAF (didn't last though, thus NASA). Believe it or not, the Navy is very interested in the sky.

    They even have airplanes.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • Hahahaha Don:

    And the Navy has pilots too, some missiles, and other things that go up rather than down or in.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • "Placing documents not extrinsic to the phenomenon online, in a blog, where others can pilfer them and provide them to the rabble, as has happened with the Scientology post (and others), whereby they'll be stripped and rifled by barbarians is not something I find endearing."

    Maybe, like the articles by Tony, you should note a copyright, and brief paragraph that the articles are not to be used without explicit permission to avoid them from being ripped off. At least then you'd have the right to request DCMA takedown notices or potential legal action based on copyright law.

    "That said, I will forage through what we have and make some of them available here (or somewhere accessible to you)."

    I would appreciate that. Let me know when you do how to access such data.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Monday, February 21, 2011  

  • The point is that movements are always corrupted by followers or instigators who have self-promotion as their premise or ignorance at their foundation.

    A nice soundbite but couldn't it implicate almost any movement? Would a movement instigated by someone for the purpose of self-promotion be inherently corrupt? (I can't help but think of some poiticians.)

    Is that because ufology is seen, intrinsically, as the canard it basically is? Or is it because no one has the intellectual stamina to assail a thing as ridiculous as ufology? We think it is both…

    I think your conclusion is correct vis a vis ufology--I am sceptical of the physical ET hypothesis--but let's not claim that all debunkers are equal. Having stamina to assail something is not an indication of intellectual ability. Cf. NT scholar Ben Witherington III on Ehrman:

    "It is mystifying however why he would attempt to write a book like Jesus, Interrupted which frankly reflect no in-depth interaction at all with exegetes, theologians, and even most historians of the NT period of whatever faith or no faith at all. A quick perusal of the footnotes to this book, reveal mostly cross-references to Ehrman’s earlier popular works... What is especially telling and odd about this is Bart does not much reflect a knowledge of the exegetical or historical study of the text in the last thirty years. It’s as if he is basing his judgments on things he read whilst in Princeton Seminary. And that was a long time ago frankly.
    It is not sufficient to reply that Bart is writing for a popular audience and thus we would not expect much scholarly discussion even in the footnotes. Even in a work of this sort, we would expect some good up to date bibliography for those disposed to do further study, not merely copious cross-references to one’s other popular level books... The impression is left, even if untrue, that Ehrman’s actual knowledge of and interaction with NT historians, exegetes, and theologians has been and is superficial and this has led to overly tendentious and superficial analysis." [emphasis added]

    My personal gripes aside I generally enjoy the material I've seen here since I found the blog a couple years ago and just wanted to let you know.

    joe

    By Blogger joseph, at Thursday, March 03, 2011  

  • Thanks, Joseph, for your note.

    As supplementary support for Ehrman, let me suggest Charles Freeman's "A.D. 381" [Woodstock, NY, 2008].

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 03, 2011  

  • > Jeffrey Masson exposed the flawed, dishonest Freudian account of child seduction

    What??? Read Paul Robinson's "Freud and His Critics" (1993) for a scholarly decimation of Masson.

    By Blogger terry the censor, at Saturday, March 12, 2011  

  • Terry,

    I've read the critiques of Masson's expose.

    And I have to disclose that Masson is a friend of mine.

    I am a full-blown Freudian, but Masson's work showed that psychoanalysis bent its observation of child seduction to accomodate Freud's "cowardly" changing of direction to assuage Victorian critics of the reality of child seduction.

    Time and news stories show that Freud's early accounts and realization of how children are abused by parents, relatives, and "friends" (plus strangers) should have remained intact.

    Paul Robinson does a disservice to truth, just to be included among the rank of psychoanalytic elite, a goofier group of psychiatrists than most people surmise.

    And I am, as I wrote, a Freudian through and through.

    Freud was right on the button about sexuality as the prime mover of civilization and human beings,
    but he was remiss by abandoning his child seduction theory.

    And Masson called him on it -- one of the great disclosures of all time.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 13, 2011  

  • Come on, Freud had a theory and suggested the abuse to his neurotic patients, much like investigators via hypnosis suggest alien abduction and fear to their subjects. The difference being that Freud quickly realised the error of his ways.
    Masson along with the "Courage To Heal" and MPD cult of the '80s were trying to "reclaim" women's "suppressed" negative experiences of male dominance. These movements also fell apart owing to lack of evidence.
    See "Rewriting the Soul," by philosopher Ian Hacking for numerous instances of suggestion driven by an investigator theories.

    By Blogger terry the censor, at Sunday, March 13, 2011  

  • Terry,

    Freud, like, Jung presented views that transcend mundane neurotic behavior.

    I am, again, a Freudian, full-blown.

    I covered the Janet Malcolm/Jeffrey Masson trial for the newspapers my organization (InterAmerica) worked for -- The Indianapolis Star, among them, and the AP.

    I fully supported Masson then and now, but still have a preference for Freud's theories.

    Freud was right about lots of things, borne out by what we see in society today.

    That he fudged his views on child seduction is disappointing surely.

    But his views on sexuality are de rigueur with me.

    You can eschew Freud and Masson too, as is your right as a thinking person.

    But you won't dissuade me from my affection for both.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 13, 2011  

  • I too am an admirer of Freud, but I feel comfortable acknowledging when he was wrong. You should learn to do the same for Masson. For instance, you note you covered the Masson/New Yorker trial, but do you say who won?

    By Blogger terry the censor, at Sunday, March 13, 2011  

  • Terry:

    Masson was sucker-punched by Janet Malcolm.

    Moreover, I hope you have read his book on Freud's child seduction backtrack.

    We won't settle this here I'm afraid, but I still remain a friend of Masson, and an admirer of Freud, only less so.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 14, 2011  

  • That's right, it's a conspiracy. Elites are raising their profile by stepping on the face of the selfless scholar. First Robinson then Malcolm. Anyone else?

    By Blogger terry the censor, at Monday, March 14, 2011  

  • Terry,

    Now you're just mucking around.

    You think Masson was injudicious or worse.

    I don't.

    That's about it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 14, 2011  

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