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Terence McKenna's take on ufology groups

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posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 09:42 PM
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I consider myself a McKenna's fan. I may not believe every theory he has made along his career but I can spend hours and hours just listening to his recordings as I happen to believe he was extremely inteligent and elocuent. And no, I don't care for your beliefs about consuming drugs as I don't think doing it could somehow diminish his extense knowledge.

I was listening to a lecture he did many years ago regarding his own theory of evolution and in the later part they hold a Q&A session, and someone asked hiim something regarding UFOs which triggered the following response. I highlighted the part which is relevant to this topic. Disclaimer: there may be some typing errors.


I do think, having been like most of you very interested in flying saucers from the time I was a kid and I grew up when it was all happening-- A couple of years ago I accepted an invitation for the first time to go to a flying saucers' conference. If you've never been to one and you're interested in flying saucers, go. You'll have more insights into the phenomenon in a conference like that than in ten years of studying it because what's perfectly clear is that these people are self-selected for gullibility.

It's not their fault, it's just that the ticket through the front door is, you know, "would you believe this? would you believe that?"

I think probably what happened, historically speaking, is that, you know, in 1947 when the first UFOs were seen-- it was a weird world... The explosion of the atom bomb, the work toward the hydrogen bomb-- People didn't know-- Einstein and Truman and all those, they didn't know what it really meant. They thought it was conceivable the solar system is monitored. And it is conceivable that this is the switch that turns on the monitor and brings attention. I mean they were in awe of the atom bomb and they realised they were tampering with cosmic forces.

And then, at this moment of cosmic awe and realisation of tampering, there began to be reports of spacecrafts entering the skies of Earth and interacting with human beings. Well, what they did-- The CIA had just been funded in 1948-- what they did, is they put a lot of time and effort into infiltrating all these groups that claimed knowledge of what was going on. And as a survivor of the New Left I can tell you, when the government gets interested in infiltrating-- I mean, 2 out of every 3 members of SDS was a government informant at the height of his membership.

So I believe that what happened was these flying saucers' groups were massively infiltrated by the government in the course of its... persuing its constitutional obligation to mantain the public welfare. And by '54 or '55 the government was perfectly convinced that whatever flying saucers were, they did not pose a threat to the integrity of the Air Defences of North America. That was their real concern.

But bureaucracies are weird creatures, they really exist only to perpetuate themselfs. So at some point inside these agencies, they must of had to face the fact that they had massively infiltrated a bunch of very flaky people, and now their choice was to either end the program (tell the budget people that no, they wouldn't be needing those 10 million dollars this year), or keep going with it, because they now had a group of people self-selected for gullibility. And that group of people became the victims of every chemical experiment, weird technology, propaganda experiment and so forth. Because their friends and relatives had already written them off as completely untrustworthy. Who would believe them no matter what story they told?

So I really felt I was among severely damaged people. And it wasn't their fault, it's that they had become part of something that had become part of something that had become part of something, and they never really had a fighting chance. Do strage lights haunt the skies of Earth? You bet they do, but the flying saucer cult is a social phenomenon, largely unrelated to whatever this anomaly is.


Source (at around 1:34 or such)

I found his answer very interesting because he claims the government infiltrated these groups to try to gain information about this subject, and after they did they chose to keep themselfs in, perhaps as a way to spread misinformation and making the subject less credible, or even move the focus away from what the phenomenon is actually about. This would certainly explain all these apparent ufologists who are nothing but buffoons and the general lameness this particular field of study usually carries.

I think Terence's belief was connected to Carl Jung's view about how UFOs are some sort of manifestation that present itself at the end of an era. I haven't really heard him talk about this particular subject so I wouldn't know what he believed exactly but I think it was much less sci-fi and a lot more about human consciousness. Hopefully someone here could fill in the blanks about this.

Anyway, I thought his theory about ufology was pretty honest and in fact highly probable so I wanted to share it. What do you think?
edit on 11-4-2012 by Radiobuzz because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 10:43 PM
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Thanks OP .... S & F

I think McKenna's stuff is really interesting most of the time. Like you, I dont always see things the way he does but this is really interesting. It would explain a few things about how these stories seems to pop up throughout time but leave absolutely zero solid evidence. Perhaps our consciousness is the culprit. When we stare up at the abyss of space and wonder about the possibilities we force our brains to close gaps for us and often jump to odd conclusions.

As for the government infiltration of these groups. I think he is dead on. We see this happen over and over again in different arenas and a large number of these ufologists seem to be less and less intelligent the longer we listen to them. There is certainly and odd phenomenon going on but perhaps we are looking more at a reflection of our own minds than some sort of extra terrestrial race.

ETA - my take - there are certainly more questions out there than answers. I dont think we are on the verge of any disclosure or anything like that. To pretend we know anything about the phenomenon of lights or unknown objects in the sky is absurd.
edit on 11-4-2012 by underduck because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 11:09 PM
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reply to post by Radiobuzz
 


Oh yeah, McKenna's gift was his ability to emcapsule information in language. Then to communicate it. If someone hasn't heard one or ten of his lectures or seminars on tape or via the net then believe you in me, it is an experience. A great gift of sharing via the spoken word.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by Radiobuzz
 


A large part of the ufo/flying saucer phenomenon is indeed related to social climate and influence.
An astoundingly large number of people are quite susceptible to social influence as demonstrated and indicated in results from many studies conducted post WWII where former German regular army, and citizens were polled about their own complicity in events where they just went along because, that's what was being done, as well as many other studies where conditions for learned helplessness and social influence susceptibility in a controlled experimental environment were monitored.

If people are seeing flying saucers, this creates another group that really WANT to see flying saucers, and through positive peer reinforcement feel that claiming a sighting that never happened, or even outright hoaxing photos, will give their life an extra dimension of meaning, though based entirely on falsehood from the attention, whether negative or positive, they get from said claimed experiences.

The bashful claimant has even become a standard cliche where so called witnesses almost on cue seem to go out of their way to make statements about their reluctance to come forward for fear of ridicule.
If it really mattered, and they actually wanted to remain anonymous, they'd maintain their anonymity or simply just keep quiet.
Otherwise, such claims of reluctance are almost a sure fire red flag a claimant is following the formula set down in ufo culture for making a splash with their own attention getting claim.

It's a culture fueled by lies and hoaxes that even go out of their way to support other lies and hoaxes for added 'credibility'. If witness X said they were abducted by people dressed like batman, and then witness Y comes forward in a totally unrelated case and says they were also abducted by batman (even though the case of witness X is widely known), then witness Y surely must be telling the truth since there's precedence established with witness X? Then comes along witness Z that swears up and down they've never ever never ever head of witness X or Y, but Z was also abducted by batman.
The 3 lies then become a self supporting self sustaining part of the larger phenomenon, and also accepted as 'truth' since it happened to so many people and more claims about batman abductions are coming in every day.

People want to get on the band wagon. They want to be part of something, even if they have to lie about the something so they can gain entry into the membership roster.
It's a social disease. If you want to belong to the ufology flying saucer group, you have to have either seen something, got probed by something, or dug up some 'evidence' somewhere that supports the phenomenon.

Most of this is all lies.
It's based on money too.

Some so called researchers like Stan Friedman may have started the good fight as white hats in the beginning, but, a culture of paying these guys money to tell stories and go to conventions to tell more stories and get paid more money plus book sales if they have their own book punches the ticket for these guys where they get sucked into the circular ferris wheel of round and round convention-get paid-convention-get paid.
It creates a fertile circus atmosphere ripe for charlatans and anyone or everyone that wants to be part of the act one way or another in validating each others stories, antics, and beliefs.

It's 'ccol' to have seen a UFO or have pictures, in some circles. so, yeah, whoever is attracted to that kind of stuff and susceptible to social influence, especially in regard to the collective unconscious is going to get sucked in, and some might even fool themselves into believing they actually saw something, when in fact they really just noticed Venus, or a satellite, or misidentified regular aircraft.

Sure, there very well may be some interesting somethings happening, but, with over 50 years of nothing but circumstantial evidence and self supporting self replicating pervasive lies brought on by susceptibility to social influences, and very little to no real scientific inquiry, it's difficult to say even after all this time what if anything is really going on.




posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


Well, I don't think that's exactly Terence's point. Of course there's always liars, scammers and hoaxers, and also you can always count on mass halucination but I think this is only part of it.

On one hand, Carl Jung believed (and this might not be 100% correct as I have read little on the matter) that UFOs are a subconscious representation of, perhaps, hope, which appears on civilizations which are on the verge of something big (such as a social/political change and such), and he used 'ancient aliens' to make this hypotesis. In layman's terms, when a civilization believe s**t is about to hit the fan they subconsciously project the UFO image as a mean to lean on something bigger than our current reality (of course UFOs meaning the posibilities of other races who are capable of much more technologically speaking than we can only dream of), in the same way a group of people might project religious images and people from other eras projected fairies and elves. This is, as far as I understood it, Carl Jung's take on it: basically that it's all made up and not a real, tangible event.

I don't know exactly what Terence believed about UFOs in general but I believe that he took a part of Jung's views and made it a little more broad. I may be completely wrong here but I think Terence believed exactly the opposite: that UFOs show up to mark great changes, and not as a consequence of that.

But regardless, in this talk he's refering specifically about ufology groups and it's interesting to me because the consequence of what he says is basically that every holy cow ufology mantains is false or innacurate as a product of CIA agents infiltrating these groups at their very birth to the point of steer them away of what this phenomenon may be about. In that case, every single ufologist regardless if they're in it for the money or not is basically just wasting his time because the subject itself has become something so far away of the actual truth that every effort in trying to understand it within this 'cultism' is useless.

At least that's what I take of it, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
edit on 12-4-2012 by Radiobuzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 12:45 AM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by Radiobuzz
 
Interesting thoughts. I had to read it a couple of times and think about his perspective for a moment or two.

I think he's right about official involvement in 'flying saucer groups' but in those early days a lot of the military/intel guys were open members of NICAP. Hillenkoetter was ex-boss of the CIA for example and was one of the first governors of NICAP.

The more covert involvement was for several reasons although the primary one was fear of foreign technology (Russian). Perhaps less urgent, but as important, was Cold War fears of Communists when much of the message being trumpeted by 'saucer groups' was anti-bomb and pro-peace. The wacky Contactees were all highly-monitored for Commie infiltration.

For some of these reasons, I don't tend to agree that 'saucer groups' were selected for gullibility. I strongly believe that the groups contain a large population of folk who are *self-selected* through their own incredible gullibility. Their 'will-to-believe' is stronger than their critical thinking skills.

In part, I think this also applies to McKenna because he is more attracted to the idea of a conspiracy of government officials creating an environment to attract the gullible instead of accepting that they have always existed. Rather than view the groups as a side-show to society, he uses them to suggest bureaucrats have cultivated them to perpetuate their own departments. This is conspiracy above pragmatism.

The darker side of his opinion is the suggestion that these bureaucracies farm the gullible as a source of subjects for experimentation. Really? Doesn't this say more about McKenna's outlook and paranoia levels than
it does about the cultural and social forces behind 'saucer groups?'

His sympathy is then misplaced.

As for the gullible? They aren't limited to the saucer groups. At political rallies, there they are...waving flags and regurgitating every damned lie from whatever politician or party they support. They're screaming at the X-Factor like Joe Nobody is the greatest singer EVER. They're keeping the diet industry alive by buying all the new weight-loss books and DVDs.

On some level, we're all gullible for something we want to be true.

edit on 12-4-2012 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 03:36 AM
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UFOs in term of aircraft are real, so are highly advanced aircraft that seemingly even the newest stealth fighters over Area 51 can't reach in technology. If this McKenna is saying that there aren't any real highly advanced flying craft, then this one is an IDIOT,

Otherwise, some are making money out of it and stories, that is also true but NOT all.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Radiobuzz

For some of these reasons, I don't tend to agree that 'saucer groups' were selected for gullibility. I strongly believe that the groups contain a large population of folk who are *self-selected* through their own incredible gullibility. Their 'will-to-believe' is stronger than their critical thinking skills.



THIS. YES.

If you have never been to a MUFON meeting in your area, I recommend stopping a few times. Some groups will cost you anywhere from $10-$20 a weekly, biweekly, monthly meeting as a compulsory 'membership dues' thing at the door, because well, they have to get $ from somewhere to pay for speakers (entertainers) to keep the group interested and coming for more and more validation.

I'm straying. If you have not been to one of the meetings or whatever local UFO club there is around, please, go take a look. The people are mostly harmless, but, in some ways, it's spooky how spooky and self marginalizing a number of the personalities that show up at these meetings are from my own experience.

As far as marginalization goes in leading saucer clubs astray, I'm sure things were a little different back in the early days during the big Red Scare, McArthy-ism and such. Now, from personal observation, these groups don't need any help at all in going down any number of different colored and shaped rabbit holes as they're quite capable of leading their own selves astray.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla

I'm straying. If you have not been to one of the meetings or whatever local UFO club there is around, please, go take a look. The people are mostly harmless, but, in some ways, it's spooky how spooky and self marginalizing a number of the personalities that show up at these meetings are from my own experience.

As far as marginalization goes in leading saucer clubs astray, I'm sure things were a little different back in the early days during the big Red Scare, McArthy-ism and such. Now, from personal observation, these groups don't need any help at all in going down any number of different colored and shaped rabbit holes as they're quite capable of leading their own selves astray.



Agreed. These meetings are odd to say the least. I went there expecting to meet a lot of people like myself and there were some but it was very clear that the overwhelming majority of the people there were very "out there". People claiming to be hybrid alien children and the like. I really wanted to talk about potential government cover ups and the like but the majority of the people there seemed to be well beyond that.

You see the same thing in a lot of the alien/ufo documentaries out there. You get going and everything is good and interesting and all of a sudden the video takes a sharp turn towards something very questionable and you are forced to question all the previous stuff too. It very frustrating.

I just watched this one with a bunch of what I would call good footage and then they spent half an hour talking about these NASA videos that, to me, looked like particles of some sort that were all over the film. Their conclusion ... thousands of UFOs just outside out atmosphere. Some measuring 3 miles in diameter. It was that teather video. Ugh! 30 minutes! It was the focal point of the entire thing!



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 02:52 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Radiobuzz
 

For some of these reasons, I don't tend to agree that 'saucer groups' were selected for gullibility. I strongly believe that the groups contain a large population of folk who are *self-selected* through their own incredible gullibility. Their 'will-to-believe' is stronger than their critical thinking skills.

In part, I think this also applies to McKenna because he is more attracted to the idea of a conspiracy of government officials creating an environment to attract the gullible instead of accepting that they have always existed.


No, that's actually what he meant. He didn't said the government attracted those people, what he was saying was that these people got together all by themselfs and what they had in common was precisely gullibility, that's what he meant with "self-selected". He claims that afterwards the CIA infiltrated those groups and after they had found what they wanted, instead of leaving the groups they chose to stay within them. You should re-read it, it's very interesting.


Originally posted by Imtor
If this McKenna is saying that there aren't any real highly advanced flying craft, then this one is an IDIOT,


Instead of califying one of the (perhaps) greatests thinkers of our time as an idiot and posting a response without actually read what the thread is about, you should really try to understand what he is saying. He had witnessed UFOs in his lifetime so he was not skeptic. In fact, the point he is trying to make is so far away from the "skeptics vs. believers" topic that apparently you fail to comprehend the subject.
edit on 14-4-2012 by Radiobuzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 03:22 AM
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^ It's it's painfully too many thinkers, doesn't make him 'god', looking for doers.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 03:49 AM
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A fantastic and curious mind, a new type of thinker who brought science of the mind on tenfold. But to suggest he knows that UFO`s are not real doesnt make it true,
Terrence i believe was an example of someone who through his experiences was a believer that everything, EVERYTHING resides in the mind. So like religion or ET believers, his experiences took him down his own path.

There is no right or Wrongs in this, We do NOT have the answers, Who KNOWS the TRUTH?



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 04:16 AM
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reply to post by Radiobuzz
 
I just disagree with McKenna's interpretation of events.

Where he states that..."...And that group of people became the victims of every chemical experiment, weird technology, propaganda experiment and so forth. Because their friends and relatives had already written them off as completely untrustworthy. Who would believe them no matter what story they told?"

This, in my view, is McKenna showing a similar level of wishful thinking to those he describes in the saucer groups. It's a paranoid perspective that overstates the malice of bureaucracies and the relevance of saucer groups. To an extent, he's demonstrating a belief in the orchestrating omniscience of people in power; especially those in the Intel sector. Could it be that they have little better to do than mess with the minds of the UFO conference attendee?

Another thought is that McKenna and his audience are in a self-confirming relationship where each side can smile knowingly at the misdeeds of tptb. It's a quick route to intimacy between stage and audience, book and reader.

As I said, I found his thoughts interesting and simply disagree with his conclusions.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Sometimes it is difficult to extrude the wit from the wisdom, the entertainer from the philosopher, in McKenna. This "take on ufology groups", I believe, is a perfect example.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 12:52 PM
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I have been to a couple dozen national and regional UFOlogy seminars. It's the same people, for the most part, over and over and over again. Joseph Farrell and Richard Dolan have expressed the same concerns.

Are there nutters in this group? You betcha, by the truckloads.



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