Sunday, March 13, 2011

Research Shake-ups

The latest responses coming out of the revelations about Jacobs and Hopkins have to do with other researchers. Dr. Mack, Richard Dolan, and sure to be many more, are being held up under a blinding light of inspection.

Nothing wrong with examining and questioning research, as well as theories, conclusions, speculations. But the issue for me isn't if a researcher is too gullible, or too willing, or naively believes a witness, entertains incredible speculations (a subjective call on our part) ... it's about intentional deception. Comparing some researchers to Jacobs, or even Hopkins, is unfair. Disingenuous even. Unless that researcher has lied, planted false instructions under hypnosis that the witness has MPD, encourages the witness to wear a chastity belt and to send him her panties, then, comparison is ridiculous as well as dishonest.

We might at times be too willing to mold experiences into our ideas about what's happening. For example, I know of a local group of UFO "enthusiasts" who are also very energy conscious and concerned about environmental issues. For some reason I still can't grasp, everything UFO wise comes back around to that agenda. I spent a pleasant afternoon once with one of the founding members discussing UFOs, but, could not seem to get him to understand that sometimes, for some of us, parts of  the UFO "experience" aren't always positive. I'm not going to put up with being scolded for being of the "wrong vibration" or put up with smug spiritual bullying because I'm not fitting into the party line. (Somewhat ironically, Oregon MUFON is closely involved with this group...) Good people, good intentions, but stubborn as to ideas about the UFO phenomena and insistence it fit into their values. This is not any different from just about any local UFO group I've known.

But hardly on the same level as David Jacobs.

The good thing about the news concerning Jacobs, and Hopkins (though I'm not suggesting the latter is equally heinous as the former) is that we all needed a reminder to rethink things. Maybe we were all getting too comfortable.

Excluding Jacobs and other researchers who act with intentional deceit, we need to be kinder to each other when it comes to our attempts at research.

2 comments:

Bruce Duensing said...

The other side of this might be unintentional deceit. I think the passivity of our culture in relation to relying on "institutionalism" for separating the wheat from the chaff through "experts" can take away the necessary self skepticism that requires we do some of our own cross checking inasmuch as no one can completely escape fallibility, errors and premature conclusions as far as evidence..because in many cases, if not all, we simply do not know what it is in any definitive sense, what we are referring to, regardless of how we label it.

James Carlson said...

Carol Rainey in "Paratopia": "There are many complex reasons that the UFO community often finds itself twisted in knots, attempting to defend the validity of a case, even one that is as clearly hoaxed as Mortellaro's. Reasons, too, that any criticism of an abduction researcher with Hopkins’ standing in the field will be ferociously attacked. The subject requires far more development than this article has room for, but George Hansen’s erudite and compassionate book, "The Trickster and the Paranormal", offers one explanation that is especially apt for the situations covered in this article: that “Ufology is a tiny field with a tenuous existence and an attack on Hopkins [and to a lesser degree, Jacobs] has greater repercussions than one on a comparable person in a larger field.” Other ufologists, Hansen continues, identify themselves so closely with the field and with the ET hypothesis, that they perceive any criticism of these men to be personal attacks on them, as well."

Regan Lee: "The good thing about the news concerning Jacobs, and Hopkins (though I'm not suggesting the latter is equally heinous as the former) is that we all needed a reminder to rethink things. Maybe we were all getting too comfortable.

"Excluding Jacobs and other researchers who act with intentional deceit, we need to be kinder to each other when it comes to our attempts at research." But what do you do about other researchers who act with conscious deceit? Do you ignore the evidence and join those who "identify themselves so closely with the field and with the ET hypothesis, that they perceive any criticism of these men to be personal attacks on them, as well", an act that results in both the undeserving defense of charlatans, as well as allowing for the continued insult to the field of UFOlogy on the whole, or do you consider it "a reminder to rethink things"?

"Excluding Jacobs and other researchers who act with intentional deceit, we need to be kinder to each other when it comes to our attempts at research." Kindness is great, but when exactly do you stop being kind? When do you look at deceit and reach the conclusion that it's "conscious"? More importantly, when the evidence of "conscious deceit" has been clearly set before you, when do you take the time to examine it?