Weekend Roundup 29-06-2007

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...

Enjoy!

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gbv23's picture
Member since:
5 June 2006
Last activity:
6 weeks 3 days

There's that silly meme about ACIM & the CIA again.

I'm pretty sure Bill Thetford was never married to Helen Schucman (as the article implies)

The fact that its from the alleged voice of Jesus does not make it "religious"

ACIM has nothing to do with "Christianity" as we know it ---it is a correction of the man-made distortions which became Christian dogma.

Ken Wapnick is a humble person and perhaps the greatest teacher of ACIM.

ACIM has enjoyed a resurgence recently with the help of Maine-resident and former guitarist Gary Renard who was visited repeatedly by 2 good-looking "ascended masters"--he's got 2 books and another on the way (plus CD's and appearances)
http://garyrenard.com/

johnsaw's picture
Member since:
23 March 2005
Last activity:
41 weeks 6 days

Your objection doesn't address the article's main point:

"Dr. William Thetford, co-scribe of the book, co-headed the CIA's "Mind Control" MK-ULTRA SubProject 130: Personality Theory, while at Columbia University, between 1971 and 1978....When we check dates, it is clear that A Course in Miracles was written in the middle of this project's existence. The next question should therefore be whether it was part of this project. After all, the project addresses "personality theory" and the Course tackles how heal the personality."

As for being "humble": just because someone is, or appears to be humble, doesn't mean they can't be deluded. And humbleness isn't hard to fake.

gbv23's picture
Member since:
5 June 2006
Last activity:
6 weeks 3 days

It true that Thetford and Schucman were both "difficult" people and were clashing at work. The story goes that Helen had said "there must be another way" and this led to her hearing the voice that dictated the course.

I still don't see what the purported "experiment" is supposed to be. I don't think anyone mentioned could have just made-up the ACIM books, though they are of a psychological nature.

Some folks have tried to make ACIM into a cult (such as the endeavor academy, home of "the master teacher") but I would not call the course itself a cult.

If Thetford was "in" on some kind of CIA thing --he certainly played-along until the end of his life.

johnsaw's picture
Member since:
23 March 2005
Last activity:
41 weeks 6 days

In the same vein as Whitley Strieber's "what if the drones are real" speculations in his journal entries on his web site, I'll take a "what if" position: What if Strieber's Communion stories aren't true? I'm not saying they aren't--maybe he and his friends and family really have experienced at least a few of the things he relates, but what if they didn't? If so, then Strieber may see it as his purpose, with his "stories that are true", to invent fictions designed to make us think, to stretch our minds, more than traditional speculative fiction (SF), by claiming them to be real. Using this technique, he knows his stories can have more of an impact than many traditional fictional story usually do. I know that while I read his Communion books, which I did each time they were first published, that I got several eerie feelings of "recognition" of some of even the wilder ideas he promotes, which I haven't gotten from reading SF that doesn't claim to be true, probably because part of the "deal" you enter into while reading his "true stories", is to at least entertain the possibility that at least some of it might be real, at least for a while--that opens up parts of your brain that a standard SF story rarely does. To his credit, I had a few similar feelings while reading his fictional "Cat Magic", so he does know his tricks, even when writing admitted fiction. But Strieber may not have been satisfied with the degree of influence that the entire body of admitted SF has had, and decided to create a new genre, or at least expand upon one that was pretty small at the time. I see a lot of influence by standard SF in many of the world's "modern" cultures, but Strieber may have seen the greater possibilities in creating some stories that he claimed were true, and indeed his "true story" (remember that's how the first Communion book was labeled on the cover) has had more influence than most traditional SF.

In this sense, Strieber's writings are similar to those of L. Ron Hubbard--both originally SF authors, who then began to label their writings, past a certain point, as being nonfiction, in order to influence events by claiming to have knowledge relating to human growth. We can see how much influence, of a sort, one person such as Hubbard can have with this approach, even though the storyline of the alien "Xenu" is so absurd:

www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/OTIII

Thousands of Scientologists really believe in the Xenu story. Thousands of "tech" Scientologists don't, so I'll give that bunch at least a tiny bit of credit ("tiny" is the operative word here), but the tech stuff--e-meters, etc.-- is nonsense too, but it's important to note that the e-meters play a prominent role in the "true story" fraud--show the gullible a piece of supposedly high-tech hardware (like the "drones"), and it gives them something solid to relate to, an item that's at least physically real (though not functionally real) that seems to reinforce the story as being real. I don't know how many Scientologists there are of whatever sort, but even if there aren't that many, Scientology serves as a useful example of how presenting something as fictional, as being true, can have substantial impact.

But the implications of "the true story" approach, throughout history, are even bigger. Hubbard's claimed aim was to create a new religion, of a sort, and though really it was all a tax dodge, a grab for personal power, and madness, other people, smarter than Hubbard, may be attempting to devise other fake religions for various control reasons, also using the "alien" phenomenon, with fake versions of high-tech hardware such as supposed alien vehicles, and ideas about human growth. Standard religious myths, claiming to be true, supposedly supported by bits of tangible items for the gullible to handle and mull over (bits of "the true cross", the Shroud of Turin, and fantastic items just out of actual reach, like the Grail--UFOs play that role at the moment), have worked to both organize and manipulate humans for thousands of years, so why not see what happens by using other combinations of hardware and mystical trappings to start another religion? I'm not the first person to observe that the whole UFO phenomenon bears a close resemblance to standard theology--godlike beings who were supposedly responsible for creating the human species, originally in closer contact with humans, then pulling away for centuries or eons, making mostly hard-to-pin-down appearances during that time, only to finally return to hopefully save humanity. Sure, the evidence indicates that a weird phenomenon might have been going on for at least thousands of years, and we don't know what it is yet, but now we may have human fakers emulating new incidents for their own gain, or some misplaced sense of benificence or mere control.

Strieber's approach is much milder than these stories--he takes the stance more of a hoped-for "meeting of the minds" than a ruling class--but it still has mystical elements, and until he jumped onto this "drone" nonsense, his fictional worldview didn't have much of a hardware element. He makes some revealing statements in his June 29 2007 journal entry, regarding the drones and truth: "…to demand the wrong sort of explanations--concrete proof, for example, that none of this is a hoax--is to stand fast instead of continuing the journey. No risk, no gain."…."In our consciousness, fact and imagination are two different things. We say, "it was just imagination" to dismiss something. The visitors have a different view of this. They say that imagination creates fact, and it is out of this more correct understanding of reality that their evolution of power forms has arisen." I'm glad to see he's such an authority on something he also occasionally cautiously says he has no real understanding of.

I don't deny that there may be something truly mystical in human experience, and certainly imagination plays a huge role in our lives, but I'm not convinced that Strieber's take on the "alien" phenomenon is entirely sound, especially when he thumps the old "It looks like they might be about to show themselves!" drum. If "they" show themselves in any of the guises of the supposed alien nonsense that's been circulating since the Kenneth Arnold sightings, look off to the side, where they don't want us to look, for the guys in the military uniforms, the lab coats, the banker's suits, and the jailer's uniforms. Or at least nerds in Klingon Halloween costumes, but armed with real weapons.

thefloppy1's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
11 weeks 1 day

latley there has been a lot of modern conceptions of how consciousness looks at the ufo thingy.
We can easily be blinded to think this is a modern, as in last 70 odd years, phenomenon. But we have the advantage of TV and books and mags of stories and we can relate to modern things like planes and shuttles and stuff.

So, why are there paintings that date back centuaries that depict UFO's as we see them now. Those painters did not have the comparisons we have now.......
Maybe something in that???????

"Life can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you do what your told."
LRF.

anthonynorth's picture
Member since:
13 April 2007
Last activity:
5 years 43 weeks

Hi Floppy,
I'm not sure we're looking at ancient depictions of UFOs in the way they would have been portrayed then. I'm not saying sky phenomena wasn't seen, but written accounts ally them to their culture - sailing ships, airships, etc - subtly different to the images we say are expressed.
If we think of Gestalt imagery, I can't get it out of my head that we see ancient images and we understand them by today's values, not theirs.

...

I'm fanatical about moderation

Anthony North