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February 14, 2016 — Whitley Strieber



Liminalist

Skilled Investigator
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: Strieber described himself in this interview as a trickster, in a very deep way, a coyote. This is probably a key. Castaneda described himself the same way, as a coyote. I wonder if it's newagespeak for mendicant?
 

courtspark1960

Skilled Investigator
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: Strieber described himself in this interview as a trickster, in a very deep way, a coyote. This is probably a key. Castaneda described himself the same way, as a coyote. I wonder if it's newagespeak for mendicant?
See, that's what I mean. I'm not sure if I would have ever made the "WS/Castenada" connection or correlation. Thanks again, and yeah, I didn't really mean the military atta boy; simply trying to say that your thinking/research/ideas are, to me,brilliant.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: Strieber described himself in this interview as a trickster, in a very deep way, a coyote. This is probably a key. Castaneda described himself the same way, as a coyote. I wonder if it's newagespeak for mendicant?
Castaneda, while a unique historical figure, was also more than a bit cultish in terms of his relationships with his devotees. That part of his life is highly problematic. Strieber as the begging meditator by the side of the road? I don't think so. These are choices made in terms of what he chooses to publicize and explore publically. Trickster figure? Also, too much credit there. If anything, the trickster perhaps once interacted with him which sparked the journey that he began in Communion. And given that a strong career as a horror author was pitched into another direction for the sake of his narration of the visitors one may feel that in fact something very real, from his "perspective" happened to him that created this otherworldly experience.

But, all his discussion about being a seer, about having the cosmic egg cracked open, about being chosen, about being a prophet....that sort of stuff speaks to a different personal transformation that he is defining. The talk of the implant without any verification or proof is a problematic feature in Ufology, as problematic as Sims or Jacobs: self declared wielders of the truth whose personal narratives translate into delusion when we start getting critical about it. But I also get the sense that there is enough devotion to actually prop up his personal beliefs no matter how manufactured, bizarre or problematic they may be. What actually is the appeal of Whitley and what is his message as that was not clear at all from this podcast, outside of the singular claim that we have souls?
 

Liminalist

Skilled Investigator
What actually is the appeal of Whitley and what is his message as that was not clear at all from this podcast, outside of the singular claim that we have souls?
Speaking personally, the appeal of both Strieber and Castaneda was more or less identical: both describe, in nonfictional terms, encounters with beings of immense power, knowledge, and wisdom and the transformative effects they have on the author's lives, which become magical and filled with mystery, wonder, danger, and excitement. Both suggest it is possible to have a mediated (i.e., personal) relationship with the divine or transpersonal forces of existence. In Strieber's case, these divine intermediaries were initially nonhuman, hence even more amazing and exciting to encounter, but with The Key he met/created his own "Don Juan," another perfect father/god figure whose blessing he received. The appeal of these kinds of accounts is ancient but also infantile (literally): it is the stuff of myths and dreams and children's phantasies.

As for the trickster-designation being too much credit to Strieber: it was he who self-identified this way, as did Castaneda (tho Castaneda meant it almost literally, in that his "ally" ~ inorganic spirit guide ~ appeared in the form of a coyote; I also agree CC's cult was a more actual, manifest phenomenon, where Strieber's is largely online). Archetypally speaking, the trickster is Hermes or Mercury, god of thieves, liars, and writers. CC claimed that his books were forms of sorcery, which he defined as handling awareness (also known as perception management). WS seems to be in the same business, and his methods clearly include trickery and deception, with the supposed aim of illumination.

Does anyone else wonder why someone seemingly so desperate to be taken seriously and believed would continue to make extra cash writing, frankly, hokey sci-fi and horror novels that use more or less the same subject matter as his supposed nonfictional accounts? Doesn't this seem like self-sabotage?

Also, his claim that The Super Natural is intended to provide ground for the intellectual and scientific establishment strikes me as fairly absurd. And his lament that the book is not selling is simply inaccurate. Here are today's rankings:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I should be so lucky as to have a flop like this!

IMO, the book is very clearly aimed at New Age types and people who are already into the paranormal (as evidenced by WS's choice of podcasts), certainly not at intellectuals and skeptics. That claim appears to be no more than a ruse.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
As for the trickster-designation being too much credit to Strieber: it was he who self-identified this way, as did Castaneda (tho Castaneda meant it almost literally, in that his "ally" ~ inorganic spirit guide ~ appeared in the form of a coyote; I also agree CC's cult was a more actual, manifest phenomenon, where Strieber's is largely online). Archetypally speaking, the trickster is Hermes or Mercury, god of thieves, liars, and writers. CC claimed that his books were forms of sorcery, which he defined as handling awareness (also known as perception management). WS seems to be in the same business, and his methods clearly include trickery and deception, with the supposed aim of illumination.
Many good points raised in your post; all very accurately reasoned as well. Re: Perception Management - this returns us to a core thread running throughout Ufology, and how those perpetuating belief/disbelief systems use things like UFO's for personal gain and ulterior objectives.

All religions are about perception management and are interested in handling our awareness. Whitley is a fairly soft sell in his approach, as opposed to the more overt personal & public practices of Castenada. There's also the play of, "Oh, woe is me" as heard on the podcast. He seems to draw great appeal from those who want to believe in "the visitors" vs. those who are still critically questioning an unknown variable. He is claiming an answer despite his many protestations to the contrary.

He may lay claim to the trickster position but then I want to see more art and less matter. He needs to start getting much more inventive if he wants to wear that mantle.
 

mike

Paranormal Adept
Again I am reminded of the platypus.

200 years ago you could have had ten witness tell you what they saw, but their description would still be deemed a hoax.
they could each relate their experience as it pertained to an encounter with this unbelievably strange creature.

But their experience is not evidence.........

Indeed even when the physical evidence was presented it was still deemed a hoax because it was so weird.

All whitley has to relate to us is his experience , its not evidence.

You cant demand of him something he doesn't have. And even were he to produce his "platypus" in all likelihood it would get the same reaction that our mysterious monotreme did.

He clearly doesn't have any clearer answers than we do, to expect otherwise is pointless.

Even if he did have evidence ,the subject matter is so outside our experience it would automatically draw cries of hoax.

All he has is his experience, it may give him a deeper personal perspective, but it doesn't answer the questions

We all have questions about this enigma, that's why we are here. expecting whitley to have the answers even as they pertain to his own experience is naïve.

Just as science needed 200 years to develop before it could explain how male platypus got its venom, so too the alleged beings that are intergral to his experience narrative may well beyond our own scientific and experiential understanding.

We simply don't have the words, the language the lexicon yet to properly frame them in a manner that can interface with our worldview

(And its time for my standard caveat.i don't know. I don't present answers, just ideas)
 

Liminalist

Skilled Investigator
All religions are about perception management and are interested in handling our awareness. Whitley is a fairly soft sell in his approach, as opposed to the more overt personal & public practices of Castenada. There's also the play of, "Oh, woe is me" as heard on the podcast. He seems to draw great appeal from those who want to believe in "the visitors" vs. those who are still critically questioning an unknown variable. He is claiming an answer despite his many protestations to the contrary.
I guess I see what you mean about soft-sell insofar as WS isn't peddling spiritual practices like Tensegrity (though he has done meditation groups, I believe with some promise of contact involved); yet it's hard to imagine anyone with a more hard-sell personal style than Strieber.

The "woe is me" lament is SOP for Whitley and it's remarkable that Kripal backs him up with it in The Super Natural. The only way in which WS can be seen as reviled, rejected, undervalued (or in the "cultural background") is in the context of him as a Great Teacher bringing a message of profound importance to humanity, along the lines of Moses or St. Paul, to whom Kripal, a scholar of religion, compares him. Within a more reasonable context, that of a fiction and supposedly nonfiction author who has some interesting tales to tell and theories to expound, Strieber has had way more success than 99% of equivalent punters. I hardly think having your car spat on is a reason to get all irate on a public podcast, unless the intent is to keep alive the idea of being a martyr to the truth.

That's a very valid point about how WS (and now Kripal) emphasizes and employs the tension between those who want to believe and those who are supposedly scorning him. The book makes a repeated point about trying to find the middle way between belief and dismissal, yet Strieber himself not only doesn't appear to walk this talk but even to profit from stirring up controversy around his work (as with The Key reprint fiasco). He seems to react to anything less than total belief as if it were scornful rejection. His claim that he is only presenting "perceptions" and raising questions seems to be, as you say, a case of the prophet who doth protest too much. Strieber is not merely testifying to experiences, it's been a long, long time since that was all he was doing, if it was ever the case. All this output is accumulative; if a person propagates outlandish, fiercely-held and firmly stated beliefs and theories about "visitors" and all the rest for three decades, but once in a while says they are not providing answers or fomenting beliefs, all the while accruing a massive following who do believe he has the answers, IMO those qualifiers don't amount to much, besides PR & PM (perception management).

What I would encourage when looking at Strieber is more close analysis of the deep background on which his output has been forming these past decades: William Sims Bainbridge, Willis Harman, The Process Church, MKULTRA, Scientology, Gurdjieff, the CIA, NASA, Edgar Mitchell, Kripal & Esalen & the Institute of Noetic Science. Strieber is not some lone voice in the wilderness. He is part of a Choir (and it's not angelic....).
 

mike

Paranormal Adept
Perception management raises some interesting aspects for discussion

Lets suppose for a moment we do indeed have visitors, thay they are familiar with a dynamic we ourselves have learned the hard way. that when an advanced culture meets a less advanced one, the less advanced one doesn't fare so well . the resulting cross cultural shock being negative.

Perception management becomes a useful tool to soften the blow. teasing the target culture up to parity technologically and otherwise might work.
Let the target culture think they are coming to you and meeting you as equals.


That's the macro as far as plans go. but it also works on the micro the implementation.

MKultra is an example of technological proof of concept. Its been reported we now have the ability to insert and or delete an experience set in the human mind.

Prior to the mid-21st century, there will be a virtual explosion of knowledge in the field of neuroscience. We will have achieved a clear understanding of how the human brain works, how it really controls the various functions of the body, and how it can be manipulated (both positively and negatively). One can envision the development of electromagnetic energy sources, the output of which can be,
  • pulsed, shaped, and focused
  • that can couple with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements
  • control emotions (and thus actions)
  • produce sleep
  • transmit suggestions
  • interfere with both short-term and long-term memory
  • produce an experience set
  • delete an experience set




US Air Force, New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century – Ancillary Volume, Scientific Advisory Board (USAF), Washington, DC, Document #19960618040, 1996, pp. 89-90. EPI402ight





it stands as logical imo that "visitors" would have perfected this.

So.....isn't it possible that the interest in the various organisations mentioned could be part of a PM program designed to soften the blow in an individual slated for abduction/contact down the line ?

An interest in these things is as far as I have read and indeed personally experienced not uncommon.

Mental vaccination so to speak
 
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mike

Paranormal Adept
And of course unravelling this mystery is a bit like those make your own adventure novels.
there are multiple possibility's to any given question

case in point

I had to explain Milabs to my wife after a recent episode of the new X files

The narrative: abductee winds up on a craft and sees classic aliens and humans in military uniform

The possible explanations:
Real aliens are faking humans in uniform
Real humans are faking aliens
Real humans and real aliens are working together

The experience as described tends to create more questions than answers

What I will conclude though is whatever it is, it seems to want to be seen, but not known

Yet.......
 

Liminalist

Skilled Investigator
So.....isn't it possible that the interest in the various organisations mentioned could be part of a PM program designed to soften the blow in an individual slated for abduction/contact down the line ?

An interest in these things is as far as I have read and indeed personally experienced not uncommon.

Mental vaccination so to speak
I think this level of speculation is technically known as "grasping at straws." Once you propose advanced nonhuman beings, it is possible to speculate pretty much anything from that point. The logical procedure, however, is to first of all see if it is possible to account for all the data without a magical explanation (advanced, nonhuman beings). I believe it is.
 

Honey-Pot

Paranormal Maven
I know this forum well, so I'm no dummy about the active members here. I'm not here to play nice, though striking at the truth in its sometimes harsh limitations is the best I can do. I've seen and experienced what many here would agree that I've witnessed UFO phenomena and "contact" with "the presence" of unknown and unseen entities, though I definitely cannot say these were real beyond my mind's eye. There were no witnesses.

Strieber is on a book tour "on air", and that's the only reason the Paracast got the interview now.

The interview seemed too scripted and tailored to promo his new book, and it was hardly challenging Strieber's abilities to wiggle out of anything he's said in the past vs present. That's not a very skeptical or challenging approach to get much out of Strieber, when he is already a pro at BS and double and triple speak to pacify the controversial topics he covers. Wishy washy and nebulous.

I picked-up on him consistently playing the victim and being an outcast that has made him millions of dollars over the years. He has a new SyFy TV series coming out based on his writings, so I just don't think he is a whistle blower of any kind. He's been an insider creator to magnify these modern mythologies to the public at large, and I don't think that is accidental or a coincidence. He has the power player connections to be very successful well beyond his own talented limitations.

IF that is true that he was part of some childhood volunteer "Skinner Box" experiments sponsored by some [MIC or ?] government program that required his parents approval, then he is likely an unwitting [back then but not now] government experiment with an agenda that might be tracking him and using him for their bizarre plans and/or agendas long-term. In that sense, he reminds me of Linda Moulton Howe, though she was not co-opted [and exposed] until she was a reporter on the alien cattle mutilations. Strieber is a product of the same agendas and same time frames, the 1980's, when these people became visible in the public mind with their writing and reporting of the very bizarre alien agendas.

The Paracast brags about being different with their skeptical approach towards these UFO topics, but that will never be accomplished by having these same kinds of "accepted" UFO Community "experts" that are all well known and long established within the UFO community as insiders and their same o same ol topics referencing crashes, events, encounters, incidents, and agendas with mirrored explanations over and over and over... a form of almost religious mind control that is brain washing the public mind to the UFO Tribal POV. The Paracast is co-opted by this agenda by being one of the insiders.

There is nothing different about this whole ET Alien tribe of people. Stop pretending to be critical or skeptical, because you're just one their constant and same o same ol PR outlets with an insane amount of ad time and commercials too.

If you really are going to be skeptical and want to be different, then you should start interviewing new people outside of the UFO Insider Community. People that do not have the same mirrored POV's that are typically well known or controversial with same o opposing POV. It's a closed system.

If at least 25% to 50% of your guests can't fit these new qualifications as outsiders in the decades old established tribe of UFO experts, then you have nothing new to offer us. You're just another PR insider within the established UFO Tribe. PR Artists pretending to be the critical skeptics you can never be offering-up the same ol catalog of Ufologists.
 
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Liminalist

Skilled Investigator
Fun times. I am not familiar with this forum or the show, so I won't comment about any pretenses; but the points about Strieber seem fair to spot-on to me, and I absolutely concur about the ad time. Not that anyone is asking, but I wouldn't even consider being on a show with such a low noise-to-signal ratio.

Have you never heard that the medium is the message? To be dumbing down your audience with endless commercials while claiming to be encouraging critical thinking is about as consistent as Whitley Strieber's arguments about the visitors.

Anyway, that's a side topic. I'm glad for any opportunity at all to talk about Strieber and the memeplexes he is part of, with interested people who aren't frothing fans.
 

Mr. Fibuli

Paranormal Adept
Fun times. I am not familiar with this forum or the show, so I won't comment about any pretenses; but the points about Strieber seem fair to spot-on to me, and I absolutely concur about the ad time. Not that anyone is asking, but I wouldn't even consider being on a show with such a low noise-to-signal ratio.

Have you never heard that the medium is the message? To be dumbing down your audience with endless commercials while claiming to be encouraging critical thinking is about as consistent as Whitley Strieber's arguments about the visitors.

Anyway, that's a side topic. I'm glad for any opportunity at all to talk about Strieber and the memeplexes he is part of, with interested people who aren't frothing fans.
There's usually a little slider bar on the media player screen that you slide to skip past advertising. Hope that helps.
 

Honey-Pot

Paranormal Maven
A great example of a commercial free program that has a skeptical viewpoint of traditional UFO interpretations is done by Greg Bishop. Greg has been a guest on the Paracast more than once, and he has posted to this forum under another screen name... I think as SpaceBrother???

Go to radiomisterioso.com to locate his free interviews that also have no commercials. Greg has authored at least one very good book on a UFO topic, and he had a UFO magazine in the 1990's that was published for a number of years.

The Paracast does have a 10 year library of interviews, and many of these are excellent to listen to. The problem now is that it is becoming too repetitive by recycling the same/similar topics with the same insider people with the same explanations and controversy or opposing viewpoints. It becomes too repetitive once you have the basics.

New blood is desperately needed...
 

mike

Paranormal Adept
I think this level of speculation is technically known as "grasping at straws." Once you propose advanced nonhuman beings, it is possible to speculate pretty much anything from that point. The logical procedure, however, is to first of all see if it is possible to account for all the data without a magical explanation (advanced, nonhuman beings). I believe it is.

Thats text book denialism

Denial is different. It is the automatic gainsaying of a claim regardless of the evidence for it – sometimes even in the teeth of evidence. Denialism is typically driven by ideology or religious belief, where the commitment to the belief takes precedence over the evidence. Belief comes first, reasons for belief follow, and those reasons are winnowed to ensure that the belief survives intact

In trying to paint the example of a nuts and bolts advanced non human factor as "magical" you are winnowing the data to fit your position.

Are some of the examples within this genre explainable in prosaic terrestrial terms ? absolutely. are they all able to be resolved this way ? Not so far.
There are countless cases that are beyond simple explanation




Gosford UFO sucks up water from bay
On New Year’s Eve 1994, police switchboards suddenly lit up with reports of an unidentified illuminated object flying over the waters around Gosford on the Central Coast of New South Wales. According to Sergeant Bob Wenning, callers reported seeing a “huge ball-shaped object with bright lights on the bottom”. To many of the witnesses, it appeared as though the illuminated craft was sucking up water from the bay with beams of light shining down from the object, penetrating the water. Some thought that these beams were turning the water to steam, while others described the water frothing.

Following the many frantic reports received that night from a wide cross-section of the community including prominent local citizens, doctors, teachers, nurses and lawyers, police were despatched to investigate. They soon found themselves chasing a “strange metallic craft” back and forth across the bay.

The police would later report that whenever they came within 50 metres of the UFO, or when car headlights shone near it, the “craft would turn off its own lights and shoot up skywards, out of sight”. One officer compared the swift movements of the craft with “if you had a torch beam and whipped it around”.

During the night of the sightings, residents reported their pets acting strangely, with many hiding and cowering and dogs howling for no apparent reason.

 

Christopher O'Brien

Back in the Saddle Aginn
Staff member
I know this forum well, so I'm no dummy about the active members here. I'm not here to play nice, though striking at the truth in its sometimes harsh limitations is the best ..
Welcome aboard, fire away Ahab! arrrrgh

If you really are going to be skeptical and want to be different, then you should start interviewing new people outside of the UFO Insider Community. People that do not have the same mirrored POV's that are typically well known or controversial with same o opposing POV. It's a closed system.
Obviously you haven't listened to many of the shows or bothered to look up the names you didn't recognize.
If at least 25% to 50% of your guests can't fit these new qualifications as outsiders in the decades old established tribe of UFO experts, then you have nothing new to offer us. You're just another PR insider within the established UFO Tribe. PR Artists pretending to be the critical skeptics you can never be offering-up the same ol catalog of Ufologists.
COOL, I think we have a volunteer to book our guests, Gene! FINALLY! So, Honey, crack open the pot and help us bring 'em on... You don't like our guests? Book us better guests... You don't understand my thinking? Read my books. Or start yet another "podcast" and broadcast out into the void. ;)
 

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