Yesterday, we did two radio interviews – one with Anne Strieber, the second with Whitley Strieber. The links to those interviews should be posted in the next few days. Each interview took a distinctly different slant. Anne, who read the 200,000 plus letters Strieber received after Communion was published, focused on the abductees in our book. Whitley’s focus was primarily chapter 8 from our book, entitled, What’s Coming, about presidents and UFOs and what the government knows – or not.
Whitley referred a number of times to “social engineering.” The term is synonymous with the massive disinformation campaign that has existed since Roswell – more than fifty years – the deceptions, outright lies, and the ways experiencers are ridiculed, humiliated, and the corrosive ways in which people’s reputations are destroyed. Fear is a powerful weapon- the Bush administration used it quite effectively. Fear is why many abductees don’t want their real names used when they talk about what they experienced. The fears range from what their families and friends might think, to being harassed or spied upon online, to getting fired from their jobs. Or worse.
That term, social engineering, stuck with me after the interview. It followed me into Rob’s meditation class this evening. And I think Whitley is right, particularly in the era in which we live now. We are constantly “socially engineered.” Our beliefs about what is real and possible are sculpted by movies, TV shows, radio shows, novels and books, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, 24/7 news… You get the idea. We are constantly bombarded.
After 9-11 happened, for instance, we were bombarded with opinions and news about why we simply had to invade Afghanistan – and then Iraq. We were told that waterboarding isn’t torture. We were told things that many of us, intuitively, knew were wrong.
After Communion was published in 1987, Whitley was first embraced – and then rejected and reviled by people who claimed the book was fiction, that he had written it to make money. The accusation reveals a side to human nature that is ugly – envy. He made a ton of dough, why can’t I? It also reveals fear – fear that the story is true and if it’s true, what does it mean about the nature of the world in which we live? He pointed out that on many UFO message boards, he is blasted as a fraud, a liar, and worse.
I went to one of those boards and yes, the comments are scathing. But many of those comments are made by people who never read Communion or any of his other books. If you have actually read Communion – or Strieber’s subsequent books – it’s impossible to miss the thoughtful, questioning intellect that he brings to this topic. It’s impossible to miss the profound impact his experiences had on his life. His story resonates.
When I read my first Jane Roberts/Seth book back in the 70s, I was a social worker. I mentioned Seth Speaks to one of my co-workers and she burst out laughing. “The book was channeled?” A shake of the hands. “Woo-woo stuff, Trish. Ridiculous.”
“Have you read the book?” I asked.
“Well, no. I don’t read stuff like that. Jane Roberts is doing it for money.”
Any time that a new, cutting edge idea is put forth into the collective, it threatens the status quo and those people who cling to that status quo, whose lives are defined by it, are the loudest protestors, the most vociferous critics. Look back through recent history. At one time, it was illegal for a white person and a black person to marry, for blacks and women to vote; now it’s illegal in most states for gays to marry and the Republicans are trying to rule what women do with their bodies.
In one of the Amazon reviews for our book, the reader took issue with our taking a vial of holy water to a psychic in Cassadaga. With a mere touch of the vial, the psychic is able to spin off astounding detail about the situation of the owner. She provides a detailed analysis which matches almost point by point the scenario that is vexing the “experiencer.” All this is well and good – but it can’t help but make me think – with psychics of such astounding clarity of vision out there – why then can’t they turn their penetrating powers on some of the other UFO mysteries that the authors are concerned about?
Why, for example, can’t these obviously marvelously gifted psychics get to the bottom of the Disclosure issue? Why can’t they ferret out details of what the government knows, or who knows that, and provide at least decent clues to investigative journalists — to help them gain some traction on the government cover-up issue? But they never seem to apply their amazing powers in this way.
This reviewer actually provided his email address with the review, so I wrote him and said that the next time we were in Cassadaga, I would ask this psychic about disclosure and what the government knows or doesn’t. Not surprisingly, the man never responded. I should have told him that the psychic didn’t go in that direction because in my head, those weren’t the questions I brought her. The vial was my focus.
Critics and skeptics abound. It’s much easier to criticize and ridicule whatever terrifies you than it is to embrace it, research it, wade through it and try to figure it out. That’s what Strieber has done for the last thirty years. The idea that he would perpetrate a lie for three decades is patently absurd. On a strictly rational level, what would be the point? He’s a successful novelist, his books have been turned into movies, it’s not like he needs to write about encounters to survive. He writes about this stuff because he needs to understand what the hell happened to him. And really, the bottom line for any writer is exactly that. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, writers write to figure stuff out. They write to figure out their personal lives, their emotional lives, their passions. They write because it’s how they are wired.
Years ago, a PhD cousin asked me why I didn’t write literary fiction. I honestly didn’t know what to say to her. I write about what fascinates me, intrigues me, puzzles me. I write to clarify my own world.
And so does Strieber.