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UFOs, Flapdoddle, And Au Courant Insanity
Friday, August 05, 2005   By: Mahone Dunbar

A Look At The World Of Whitley Strieber

A Look At The World Of Whitley Strieber

(Warning: This is a long and tedious examination of a subject that is only of interest to the author and perhaps a handful of literary masochists. You are advised to leave now–unless you enjoy marveling at the folly of others.)

Some meaningful terms you will encounter:

  • Flapdoodle –– Empty talk, transparent nonsense: A flap refers to an incident of several UFO occurrences close together in time and space. The doodle refers to the sophistic mishmash of revelations, ranting and chatter that occurs among "contactees" after a UFO flap.
  • Megalomania: a delusional mental disorder that is marked by infantile feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur
  • Paranoia: A psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution with or without grandeur, often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason.
  • Ennui: Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom
  • Au Courant: fashionably up-to-date, or avant-garde (trendy)
  • UFO: unidentified flying object, with the emphasis on unidentified

You cannot say or believe anything too outrageous today. Mankind has sipped the wine of insanity. - Mahone Dunbar

What would Shakespeare's contemporaries have thought of him if he had reported a lifetime of visitation by demons who gave him magical powers and took him on wondrous flights to realms not available to the ordinary mortal? What would it have done to ticket sales at the Globe theater? Of course Dante held concourse with servants of other worlds, and even visited their turf, and he got along just fine - but in those less scientific times his journey was acknowledged as fiction. Today’s audiences are a little more gullible - and this brings us to writer Whitley Strieber, author of horror books, co-author (along with Art Bell) of "The Coming Global Superstorm," (which was the basis of the movie "The Day After Tomorrow,") and of course his biographical series about his hazy memories and vague interactions with aliens (alternately referred to as "grays", "the visitors" and "the others"), which includes "Communion," "Transformation," "Breakthrough," and "The Secret School." Strieber has successfully turned his hazy memories of weirdness into a cottage-industry.

Naturally, in case anyone missed the books or the movie, he also has a web site.

Strieber, according to a piece entitled "My Journey Until Now, which he recently posted on his web site, "Whitley Strieber’s Unknown Country, Daily News From The Edge," (in his journal) maintains he received an implant from aliens, that he can not only transcend time and space, but get completely outside of spacetime altogether, read minds, sort of, and do many other things we mere unenlightened and ‘un-implanted’ humans can't. And how do we know Mr. Strieber can do these marvelous things? Well . . . we have his word for it.


And I can change the moon into green cheese with a snap of my fingers and make women have twenty-minute orgasms by merely looking at them. Take my word on it.

A Brief Biographical Digression

I have been interested in - everything, for as long as I can remember. Things mysterious, taboo, or outrageous were always at the top of the list. If my parents, the school principal, or our preacher, was against it, I wanted to know more about it. Their warnings acted as a sort of negative compass, always pointing me in the opposite direction from orthodoxy. Such is the nature of youth. Hence, I have been following the UFO phenomena for decades; ditto matters occult, mythological, and para-scientific. Coincidental to those studies are my interest in history, science - in particular, psychology and all things related to the way the human mind functions, and dysfunctions. I have found that the UFO experience and the occult experience overlap. They are one thing. An elephant. Some of are looking at the trunk while others are looking at the tail - and still others are staring in fascination at the trail of dung it has left. But it’s still an elephant.

Supposedly, the dividing line between the religious/occult and UFOs and related phenomena is a scientific one; UFOs are of the material world and thus a matter to be studied by science, while religious/occult matters are a matter of belief, therefore not amenable to nor requiring scientific validation.

When wading through the sticky and confusing mire of history, myth, theology, psychology and physics, the maxim that has kept me on the trackless path is this: since we are not always able to know what is ultimately true, sometimes the best we can do is to find out what is untrue, and thus whittle things down closer to the bone. That is, by at least eliminating what we know to be untrue - Uri Geller does not have psychic powers, John Edward does not talk to the dead, and (shock to outraged Christians) the witchcraft and magic represented in Harry Potter books is only a fictional device to entertain children--we narrow the field a bit. Sometimes, due to the muddle created by charlatans like Edward and Geller, this is all we can do.

Unlike the phony psychics, devious prestidigitators and bogus necro-aurals who deliberately foster deception about para-scientific and occult phenomena on the public, there are those true souls who deeply believe the extraordinary things they are saying , no matter how weird or unprovable their claims may be.

Belief can do strange things to people. Belief is most often associated with religion. Men in the Philippines annually nail themselves to crosses in emulation of Jesus' suffering during the crucifixion; Islamic men have lately been blowing themselves and others to smithereens in hopes of obtaining a one-room walk up in paradise stocked with seventy-two virgins (there must be an easier way to get chicks?); and Hindus risk life and safety by bathing in the Ganges river. Wars have been regularly fought over religion. Some belief systems are insubstantial and harmless; but belief systems that relegate power to invisible hierarchies are most often a danger to you and your neighbors.

Ufology is a new belief system, a new religion. Ufology believes in a supra human intelligence from which instruction should be taken, a source whose pronouncements - no matter how paradoxical or illogical - supercede all earthly authority. Each paradigm, Ufology and traditional religion, has its reliques. One has possession by the Holy Ghost, the other implants by the space brothers; instead of apostles and laity, there are abductees and contactees; one belief system gives us star charts to nowhere, the other visions of heaven's crystal city; we have stigmata, implants, the shroud of Turin, alien autopsy, hell, underground vats of dismembered bodies, crop circles, stations of the cross, UFO slag and splinters of the true cross. Both paradigms have apocalyptic forebodings and messianic hopes - except that instead of waiting for Jesus to descend from the clouds and save them, the contactee waits for the benevolent space brothers so he can hitch a ride to heaven. So, though the details vary a bit, the ultimate motivations and even the form are approximate.

So what is the proper context in which we should consider writings by UFO proponents?

That brings us back to Whitley Strieber. I read the following little piece of blather by author Strieber and was immediately lulled into a state of ennui. How is one supposed to react to this? It isn't exactly Luther's theses nailed to the church door, is it? I think what really amazed me about it was how much public perception has changed over the past three or four decades. And it's not an improvement. There is nothing anyone can say today that is so outrageous, or so extreme, that it won't attract a certain percentage of "believers." Credulity sees to be at an all time low.

Data from: Whitley Strieber’s Unknown Country, Daily News From The Edge, "My Journey Until Now."

(Note: Since Christopher Walken played Strieber in the movie, "Communion," I can't help but hear everything Strieber wrote delivered in Walken’s odd vocal cadence! Which makes it twice as creepy. To enjoy this more, I'd suggest you also envision Christopher Walken delivering Strieber’s lines.)

Whitley Strieber believes, with retrospective insight, that when he was a child the "visitors" (AKA grays, AKA, The Others) put him in " . . . a sort of school, on a learning program. . . . (having to do with) . . . what appears to be a life plan or energetic current in my life, that has led me to become what I am now, and am still becoming."

Notice the vagueness of the terms he uses: a sort of school, what appears to be a life plan or energetic current . . . what I am now, and am still becoming. At every point there is indecision and answers bifurcate and branch to cover more than one possibility. Nothing is ever stated firmly. Intentionally or unintentionally, he is as slippery as John Edward (I sense a mother; or a mother figure; perhaps an elderly neighbor . . . could be a young chick with bad skin wearing a granny dress . . ..)

Strieber relates that as a child he received a " . . . series of tremendous shocks, the first of which was the catastrophe that befell me as a little boy when I ended up in an abusive situation of some kind, apparently involving certain experiments conducted on children at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio." (italics added)

Again, notice the vagueness of terms, which will continue: of some kind . . . apparently involving certain experiments. Note that he later says he can travel freely in spacetime; then why hasn't he revisited and firmed up these vague memories? The Texas setting and the accusations may relate to his later conspiracy theory, as you will see.

"Memories of this are vague, but whatever was going on, it led to the stress-induced collapse of my immune system in the summer of my seventh year. It seemed, also, to have somehow cracked the cosmic egg for me, and when I was nine, a series of encounters started that would continue until puberty. I have little direct memory of them . . ." (italics added)

His memories are vague in the extreme. His use of dream-like terminology concerning his other-worldly experiences continues through out. Notice that even though he does not know what 'it' is, he blames it for the failure of his immune system and 'cracking the cosmic egg' for him. (This is too easy: I would say the experience not only cracked the cosmic egg, it also made a cosmic souffle of his mind.) The initial experiences continued until his puberty; hopefully, after that, girls, for a while, became more interesting than shapeless grays.

"I have little direct memory of them (the aliens) - just the few snatches that I reported in the Secret School. More telling is the fact that one of the neighborhood boys, Michael Ryan, remembered me telling about the soldiers I had seen with aliens on a trip to Wisconsin taken in the summer of 1957, an experience I spontaneously (sic) recalled under hypnosis in 1986. In addition, a prominent San Antonio lawyer, who has not made his name public, has vivid memories (as opposed to Strieber’s hazy ones during the same period) of UFOs flying over our neighborhood in broad daylight. So I think now that something was certainly going on then, and that it was meant to prepare me for what would take place in 1985." (Italics added)

First of all, nothing ‘spontaneous’ occurs while one is under hypnosis. There has to be suggestion, even the slightest suggestion, which can even take the form of a question to the hypnotized subject. Hypnotized subjects are unreliable and prone to confabulation. This is why testimony elicited while the subject was under hypnosis is rarely allowed in most court rooms. Strieber’s belief that spaceships came to earth, and his neighborhood, just to prepare him for something, clearly smacks of delusions of grandeur.

He continues:

"The first shock in my life took place in my childhood, the second in 1985, when the visitors showed up and manhandled me to the point that I awoke to them. They have, throughout my life, displayed a great mastery of being. Whoever they are, they have nothing to do with the dark side that I and others have written about and faced. They were, and are, a powerful life-affirming force and well aware of their mastery and their right to assume a teaching role in my life. (Italics added)

It sounds like Mr. Strieber had a childhood full of night terrors and bad dreams. Incidents of akinesia would not be surprising in this context. Now, he sees all of this as a part of his selective education process. The visitors displayed a "great mastery of being." What does this actually mean? I’m clueless. The visitors invoked terror in him at times, supposedly subjected him to their will without seeking his compliance, yet he affirms that they have nothing to do with the dark side, are a "life-affirming force" (again, what exactly does that mean?) and have a "right" to assume a teaching role (by appearing to him at night and sometimes inducing terror in their pupil?) in his life. This sounds suspiciously like a cosmic version of Stockholm Syndrome.

"Another great event for me has been, as it has turned out, the placement of the implant in my left ear. The video of the attempt to remove this is already archived in the subscriber section, so you can watch it if you wish, and if you are a supporter of this site. Looking back, I consider the doctor's failure to remove the little white disk that moved off into the tissue of my ear when he touched it with his scalpel as one of the luckiest breaks I ever had. I have learned how to use this implant - at least, begun to - and I see it now as a tremendous and powerful gift, a technological device that has freed me from the bondage and illusion of space-time and enabled me to travel in realms undreamed. It is not a mind control device, nor does it read my mind. I know this because I have learned to turn it on and off myself, and to begin to use it as what it is: a tool." (Italics added)

The aliens placed an implant in his ear? No, this is not a sort of cosmic hearing aide? A Babel Fish, perhaps? Wrong again. Note that the doctor (representing orthodox science, which he continually rails against) is blamed for not removing it - even though Strieber claims that it moved around, evading the scalpel. Perhaps scalpels have no effect on imaginary devices. The lack of confirmatory evidence for his delusion, the failure to produce the implant, is seen, retrospectively, of course, as fortuitous. He continues to explain that it is "a technological device that has freed me from the bondage and illusion of space-time and enabled me to travel in realms undreamed." (The Babel Fish could never do all that.) This - a technological device that frees one from the illusion of space-time - is an expression of messianic yearning in terms that twenty-first century man can understand; salvation from technology carried to the heights of magic. As far as traveling to "realms undreamed," he may be a little premature on that.

Now that Mr. Strieber is free from the illusion of space-time, I would like to make a request of him. Dear Mr. Strieber: Please send me all the illusory money that resides in the illusory bank under your illusory name. Not only is the use of illusory money beneath you, but I don’t think they honor earth currency in outer space. Besides, since your imagination is so vastly superior to mine, you can always create more should the need arise. Thank you very much.

Another paradox is inherent here: if space-time is only an illusion, why would Mr. Strieber need a technological device to help him see that space-time, not to mention all technological devices - such as his implant - it contains, are also illusionary? But this is typical of the specious reasoning and paradox one finds in UFO circles and occultism. (For example: I once read a book about a man who had invented an electronic machine which allowed him to communicate with the dead; he was guided in the design of the machine by a deceased scientist. Get it? If a dead scientist could already communicate with the inventor well enough to help him design an intricate technical communication device - why did the inventor need the device in the first place?)

Strieber continues, lamenting that " . . . the scientific community (speaking as if it were a single entity) remains opposed to addressing both the "UFO and close encounter phenomena in a useful manner"

Actually, the subject has been addressed by and speculated on my many scientists; Strieber just doesn’t like their conclusions (some of which involve the possibility of psychological aberration on the part of the percipient). "Addressing" the question in a "useful manner" apparently means coming to a conclusion which would validate Strieber's belief system.

"As such, this is the ONLY (sic) mystery in the natural world that science will not address. This arises out of a culture of denial that starts with the United States Air Force and - ironically - is centered in Dr. Condon's preface to the Project Blue Book report, not to the report itself, which clearly identified a number of cases which did appear to involve intelligently guided craft of unknown and probably nonhuman origin. But Dr. Condon's lying preface denies this, and that denial has been used ever since by the Air Force, the US Government, the media and science as justification for ignoring these phenomena."

See above comment: for one thing, the Air Force, in the early sixties, was scarcely prepared to address matters that not only lacked hard physical evidence but bridged into psychological and occult phenomena. And dragging up Condon and the Blue Book report, or the fact that the latter may have contained decades old unsolved cases, is as fruitless as bringing up the fact that the Catholic Church once opposed Galileo's heliocentric theory. Here the threads of paranoia (conspiracy theory) are beginning to twine together, making a tenuous thread linking government, the media and science.

He continues, and the paranoid heat picks up:

"It's too bad. One of the grays told Col. Phil Corso that there was on offer for us, a new world, if you can take it. Apparently, they can't take it. Can't bear it. Are afraid, individually, to defy their various cultures and go for it anyway."

Damn! A NAFTA treaty with outer space? Why didn’t we get to vote on that? I personally would like to see if anybody out there has developed a way to make a weed-free lawn. Here the ranting against his detractors - those fools who don't believe in out-of-body space travel by way of ear implants - begins, and overtones of martyrdom and megalomania kick in big time:

"But I am not afraid. I can take it. Have taken it. I have stolen this fire that was put in my head, and will spend the rest of my life learning to use it and using it. Here are some of the things I have learned to use it for: 1. Observe other worlds. I can lie down, collect my thoughts, gather my attention as I have taught in the meditation series in our subscriber section, and see rich, almost television-like images of life on other planets."

Note that if you are a subscriber, you can spend illusory money to see video of the implant in his ear and have access to his meditation series. The things he has learned to use "it" for, in a less enlightened time, like yesterday, a time not blighted by logic or science, would have been called an exercise in imagination. But for a megalomanic, their imagination is real. And another note: with his new found powers, he sees "rich, almost television-like images." I can do the same thing from the comfort of my Barcalounger by watching my digital TV. And isn’t television supposed to be bad for us?

"Usually, I cannot see the beings, only their artifacts. Sometimes I can see them as well, but that's hard because it involves much more than just looking."

Yes, it involves more than just looking. It involves imagination. And why does Strieber call it "seeing" if perceptual organs are not needed? He can't always see "beings?" I had the same problem. I finally ditched the dish and went back to cable.

His education continues:

"There is a level of interaction that I am just now learning. The problem is that the contact is so personal and so startling that it backs me out of the whole process. But I'm getting past that. What I have learned from this is, among other things, that the universe is radio silent because this method of communication is extensively used. Understand, I am not talking about something vague, (What a delightful change that would be) like a hallucination or dream (or all your memories of alien contact). These images are powerful, spontaneous and as complex as images of daily life here, but often so unusually constructed that they amount to a flood of original detail. It's also possible to return to different places, as I have done, in some cases, many times. There is a world, for example, that I have come to know well, which I describe in detail in the book that I'm bringing out a year from August, the Grays: it is agrarian and formed along lines that really appeal to me."

He sees a place " . . . agrarian and formed along lines that really appeal to me." God, how telling! Thus, he reveals the truth and doesn't recognize it. Wish fulfillment and imagination. The people's agrarian paradise in space; can't you just imagine a big-headed Mr. Gray behind a plow, or out hoeing a row of neon pink cabbages, while Mrs. Gray is in the kitchen baking him an apple pie? This sounds like the longing for Roseau's noble savage, the appeal of a primitive simple life to those living in tough and complex times. Oddly - or maybe not - Strieber mixes this idyllic non-technical agrarian vision with space ships and implants and arrives at primitivism by way of super technology. It's simple, really, once you get the hang of it. In spite of his online yearnings for a simpler life, I can't but help wonder how much stock Strieber owns, how much he has in savings, how many cars he has, how much jewelry, and how many square feet of living space he has in his primary and secondary residences. If you have all this, and recommend or insist that others eschew the same, you are consumed with the disease of hypocrisy.

He explains the importance of his implant:

"The implant also enables me to travel almost anywhere in space and time, or even outside of space time. It acts as a sort of accelerator of being, intensifying my ability to move out of my body and into many remarkable realms. It also causes me, at times, to hear the inner workings of the minds of other people, something that is so extremely different from what one might imagine that it is really hard to describe in words." (italics added)

Mr. Strieber is now a cosmic traveling telepath. What with all that, and the writing career, what a busy man he must be. Are we experiencing delusions of grandeur? ‘Accelerator of being? That’s neologia, the creation of new words or phrases, which is associated with some states of mental dysfunction. But it’s not even pure, it’s "A sort of accelerator of being"? Hell, I don't even know what the phrase "accelerator of being" means. Another question I have for Mr. Strieber or anyone who purports to understand his lexicon: How can you tell if you are traveling outside of space-time? Are there any referents? Don't turn left at the next nothing? Am I doing it now? Are you?

"It's not a common experience and has not entered language, which is why I can only talk about it indirectly. However, there can be a spontaneous, extraordinarily deep movement between minds that exposes their truth and their sense in a way that we cannot speak of directly. Suffice to say that fingerprints and faces are different, but minds are REALLY different. Every one of us is a God peering into the physical world in a completely unique way."

Well, I can't speak about this indirectly, so . . . However, his statement that "Every one of us is a God peering into the physical world in a completely unique way," is the one statement he makes that I don't disagree with (I don't know it to be true; it is a belief). Perhaps that is because his sentiment here (which I guess we are supposed to credit as original) is old hat in some theological and occult circles.

"Also, it (the implant) enables truly extraordinary out-of-body journeys, some involving complete separation and even entry, in places where the right equipment is available, into physical nodes that enable one to literally walk the streets of other worlds. I know that this sounds completely incredible, but it is quite true."

Do you have to subscribe to the web site before getting an implant? Are separate visas needed for travel in space-time and outside of space-time?

"However, there are also complex rules involved, that have enabled me to see why those who come here either using physical bodies of their own creation or human forms, such as those of people who are capable of sharing their bodies - and yes, that is commonplace, too - are so careful about not disturbing the local culture. This gets to a very large thought, and one that is contemplated around this whole universe, and deeply: what is the condition, meaning and future of intelligent life? How is intelligence faring in the universe, and what meaning might it have? The problem is that intelligent species are a risky proposition. They are incredibly rare. Mostly, the universe is a grand wasteland."

As apparently are most web sites run by UFO gurus. As far as the future of intelligent life, right now, reading this, it doesn't look very good.

He goes into the motivation of the grays ". . . they do genetic manipulation because 'we (intelligent species) are dying faster than we are being reborn.' And why is intelligent life wanted? The reason was provided by scientists in 1977 (back when they were good, I guess) who speculated that the motive of intelligent species, if they came here, would be to 'observe novel events, ideas and lives, and that, therefore, they would keep their own presence secret.' "

Of course, as those of you paying attention might have noticed, the UFOs, cattle mutilations, abductions and contacts ARE NOT KEPT SECRET. One more point about the specious reasoning in Strieber's story: why do the Grays, etc. , come here in space ships when a simple implant in the ear would allow them to travel anywhere in space-time - or out of space-time - without leaving their agrarian estates? Perhaps it is because the Grays don't have ears?

For most beings, Strieber relates, the universe is actually a claustrophobic place (in spite of its billions and billions of stars). Surmising, he says most of us are imprisoned by reality because we can't see its borders. Of course the earth is in trouble and the species of humanity in danger of extinction from " . .. .overpopulation and the attendant environmental breakdowns."

"It is possible to gain the right to come and go on this earth, and to do so physically. Personally, I have been offered this twice, but the price is too steep: I would have to step out of my life on earth and become an observer here, no longer a direct participant. There are those who have done it. I have met some of them. Two of them put the implant in my ear in the first place, to enable me to join them if I wished."   And though Mr. Strieber has been offered the freedom to leave his body completely and come and go at will, he graciously turned the offer down, since ". . . this species is in trouble, and I don't intend to opt out of the hard part. We are going to go through a dieback on earth that could commence literally any time, and for dozens of different reasons. It's not our fault. There are simply too many of us."

Got it. Mr. Strieber is a messianic figure. He is going to help save mankind, and the world. Note that earlier, one of the goals of the noble grays was to extend the life of intelligent species, since they are rare. In fact, this is why the grays were doing genetic manipulation. Now, there are too many of us.

By happy coincidence, in 1993 he observed a world that mirrored earth's problems.

"They were suffering from overpopulation and the attendant environmental breakdowns, just as we are. Their culture had declined in a way that is tragically familiar in this universe: it had divided into two opposed totalitarian states, one like Nazi Germany and the other like Soviet Russia. There was no freedom on the planet, and when that happens, a species will almost always destroy itself."

Note that when it comes down to it, Strieber, in spite of his excess of imagination, is a linear thinker, and reduces the flux and flow of the universe down to terrestrial parameters. Thus, he projects the familiar on to the stars, and in turn reduces supposed universal dilemmas back to earthly dimensions.

"This was a place of yellow skies and ruined forests, of vast factories and teeming masses of people confined, except for a few, to public transport and life in blocks of flats chronically short on everything. (The USSR had a planet in space?) There was immense wealth, hidden, of course, and seeming so peculiar to the observer, who is always led to wonder why people want to keep objects near their bodies - what "possessions" even are? Then, very abruptly and for no known reason, there was a massive nuclear exchange."

My solution: give them all the inhabitants simple ear implants and let them resettle on other planets - or set up house keeping outside spacetime.

"I was able to interact here somewhat, (Another book? "Whitley Strieber: Freedom Fighter In Space") trying to be a spark of freedom for a few of them who were engaged in a very secret and forbidden activity, which their governments regarded in the way the Soviets regarded religion, but which did raise them enough to see those of us who took an interest in the place. Still, the planet did not recover from the nuclear exchange. It is dead now and will remain dead for millions of years. (God, ain’t that always the way?) It's not alone: many, many intelligent species ruin their planets. In fact, essentially everything happens. Some every bit as bad as the one I have just described - some, even, that have gone collectively mad - do get out into the universe in all sorts of ways, and cause all sorts of trouble. To the really old ones, they're not even unwelcome. Novelty is too delicious to reject, even if it is negative. So, looking back to the scared guy on that podium so long ago, I see that I have come a very far distance. As I was speaking there, I was thinking that the visitors were still very much in my life, and how could I ever communicate that? I still wonder. I wonder what effect this journal will have?"

What effect your journal might have? Would it be less than tactful of me to suggest that it might be used in a court of law to prove you non compos mentis?

Winding down, he says: "No doubt, I won't be believed, and that's all right, because, in a sense, it leaves me free in ways that belief would not. I suppose that the visitors might one day dignify all of this by showing up."

According the reports, books, articles, documentaries, etc., I've read or seen over the last several decades, the aliens show up and make themselves known all the time. They just don't seem to mention Whitley Strieber.

"Then, I wonder, what will I do? One ends up so far from home, in a sense, that the grammar of home, its logic and meaning, become like distant memories. How can I ever synchronize myself to this world again, I wonder?"

Is this a cry for help? As to how he can synchronize himself to the world again, perhaps mediation or long term therapy will help.

"I work in it, live in it every day, but it's as if one foot lives here, while the other walks in the stars."

Or staggers and stumbles through the trash bins and slag heaps of spacetime, or outside of spacetime. Someone needs to help this man. Like Michael Jackson, and numerous others before them, Mr. Strieber is a victim of his own success; no one will tell the emperor he is wearing no clothes. When you have sufficient power, you are strangled by your success; your excesses remain unchecked until they fester and infect body, mind and soul.


Today, childhood fantasies, delusions, hallucinations from febrile minds, and paranoid ranting are all acceptable in the mire that comprises New Age/occult/UFO circles. Anything goes. Anything. Never mind that the resulting cosmic revelations turn out to be like wisps of smoke reflected in dark mirrors and seen through a Vaseline-smeared lens of the mind. In Strieber's case, this doubtful UFO pedigree is supposed to give a cosmic sheen to the drivel that dribbles from his mind. The more illogical a cosmic scenario one comes up with, the more credibility it seems to have. Perhaps believers accept such confusion in their prophets because it mirrors their own. Paradoxical uttering is the magnet, questing minds the iron fillings.

Whitley Strieber is a major flake. And a purely cultural phenomena. Generally, if one is of a paranoid persuasion, with a pinch of megalomania thrown in for taste, debate with them is futile. Questioning their veracity means you are attacking them. If you are attacking them, it is because you are of an inferior nature to them and cannot comprehend their superiority; hence, by attacking them, you are merely validating their belief system. After all, only a fool would question either the veracity or the motives of a god.

Is Strieber paranoid? In another journal entry, "A Nation In Peril," Whitley says that pre-planted atomic bombs will destroy some American cities. In this day of Islamic terrorism that is certainly not an original speculation; however, Strieber's postulated motives for such a horrendous act are. Though he admits he can not prove it, he speculates that " . . . there is a hidden group, not organized in any overt way, that possesses both the motive and the will to engage in this horrific act."

The chief reason for such an act, he speculates, is that there would " . . .. seem to be elements within the United States government . . . deeply committed to destroying this free society, and rendering it powerless to prevent their larger aims in the world, which are to fulfill a modified version (sic) the racial and social objectives that were formed in Germany during the twenties and thirties of the last century." (Ibid. Emphasis added) Strieber’s cabal is indeed unique, being comprised of Germans (modern Nazis) Arabs, and Texans. (italics added)

Gee, that seems logical. The people you depend on most for protection, in this case the United States government, are in reality in cahoots with the evil powers who seek to do you the most harm. Such thought processes are positively Freudian.

If you read this post, you will note that even though Strieber admits he can't prove the conspiracy, he offers some "evidence" on its behalf. (This is akin to the Christian who argues that you have to take scripture on faith alone - and then proceeds to try and prove historical literalness of the Bible anyway.) Anyway, if such rants seem credible to you, perhaps you can hurry and make a reservation; maybe there is still a berth available on the next mothership leaving for Sirius.

Given the earthly demons that fill Mr. Strieber's head in the form of conspiracy theories, it is no wonder he would rather be out of his body flying about spacetime . . . uh, and outside of spacetime.

Addendum: On the author's motivation

I remember a story my father related to me when I was seven or eight. One evening driving home, after my family visited relatives living in Milledgeville, Georgia, my father stopped the car at a lonely spot in the road, a rise that formed an overlook of the vast dark woods beyond. The woods were eerily lit by the moon, making a creepy chiaroscuro of foliage and shadow. It didn't help that a song about a "one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater" had just played on the radio. I was seriously creeped - and thus doubly fascinated by the story he related.

It was here, he told my brother and I, just two years before, that a local man had claimed to have had an encounter with a spaceship and its inhabitants. Mind you, this was in the fifties, post Roswell but pre-Betty and Barney Hill. I still remember the details: the aliens looked like sticks of chalk (tall, pasty colored, pointy heads with no necks) with arms and legs, and had an odd manner of shaking hands: they clasped the man's hands inside both of theirs and pumped up and down vigorously. They offered him a ride, but he wisely declined. This was apparently the last wise thing he did, since afterwards he unwisely related his story to the authorities, who promptly had him committed to the state mental institution (which, coincidentally, was located at Milledgeville, where we had just visited; Milledgeville was synonymous with insanity in my youth.)

After reading Whitley Strieber's matter-of-fact pronouncements about his lifelong interaction with ‘grays’, I marveled at how things had changed in the interval since the chalk-stick men had trawled the road to Milledgeville offering rides to humans: back then, the luckless contactee, a victim of the age of unenlightenment, was locked away and reviled as insane; today, after recounting far stranger intercourse with aliens, Whitley Strieber is rich, lauded and fawned over, and free to run around espousing his cosmic flapdoodle on his web site. This is progress, right?

I am a firm believer in the rational approach to all things (with the exception of romance/sex - but let’s not go there). As far as I can tell, this stems from an event that occurred when I was around three years old. I relate it here because it is instructive.

When I was a young child we lived in an old duplex with very high ceilings. My mother, a nurse, worked the late shift at a local hospital. Often she would take me to bed with her for a nap before she had to leave for work. I'd fall asleep, then she would quietly get up and go to work. One night I woke in this dark cavernous room, alone. I reached for my mother . . . she wasn't there. I opened my eyes and saw several electric blue ‘globe-like things’ floating in the room. Naturally, I panicked and screamed my head off. My father and my brother came running. It was just a nightmare, I was told. Or was it?

The event impressed itself so strongly on my psyche that I retained it in my memory, and only years later finally figured out what happened. When I opened my eyes suddenly, that night, I saw blue spots - the same sort one sees when a flash bulb goes off - dancing around the room. It wasn't a bad dream, nor a visit by aliens or spirits. It was an optical phenomena that I wasn't familiar with. Had I not put this together, and had undergone regressive hypnosis, the event would have no doubt formed the basis for more ‘recovered memories’ and abduction nonsense.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren