I am not normally given to commenting on a website comment, but in this instance, the commentator's remarks were so profound and insightful, I thought readers of this website should be made aware of them by highlighting them in a formal post, and should also be aware of my response to his remarks.
In response to my remarks in my Fireside News and Views from the Nefarium of March 4, 2011, Mr. Greg Parent said the following:
"The alternative community is flooded with alt-babble, which has had the effect of devaluing all alternative research, even that which is legitimate. Frankly, I have stopped listening to the alternative radio programs because they will put anybody on with the most outrageous, unsubstantiated claims and not pose any hard questions. Any legitimate research, even alternative research requires some standards but "alternative" has come to mean anything goes. In short, it has imploded into the post modern abyss of relativism. This applies to books as well, 98% of which amount to total drivel. But such is the goal of the counter-initiation to create cognitive dissonance and break down any objective sense of reality, so that it can be reconstructed for malevolent use. That is to say, it's quite possible that the alternative community itself has become an instrument (if it wasn't always) of social engineering."
I have to admit that I pondered these profound observations for several days until I finally decided to write about them. In the main, I think Mr. Parent has put his finger on what has been troubling me, and that is the almost total breakdown of any sense of research rigor within the alternative community. The "acid drip" here is not a real one, it is being created by the alternative community itself, or rather, by the big names within it, who are so often paraded in front of the microphones at conferences and on radio and television shows, who, without much argument or research, can and do say the wildest things. Reality itself dissolves beneath this acid; it becomes pliable and plastic, capable of being molded into whatever transparent thing the "alternative community media' choose to make it. And here, I think, the old adage of C.S. Lewis cuts right to the heart of the issue: one cannot go on seeing through everything, or one only ends seeing nothing at all. There has to be some opacity somewhere in order for anything to be seen.
This leads to Mr. Parent's second trenchant observation, namely, the possibility that certain names and shows are championed by the powers that be for the express purpose of using the alternative research community for social engineering purposes. A population that believes that the British Royal family are quite literally reptiles will believe almost anything. A population that is now justifiably cynical about any pronouncement coming from their respective governments can easily be fed the ersatz "knowledge" of numerology, of channeling, of past lives... in short, the whole panoply of esoterica.
Like Mr. Parent, I too have grown cold to many famous examples within the alternative media, though no names need be mentioned, I am probably not alone in this. Junk "reality" shows on television chase ghosts, radio shows that used to attempt to plumb the technological depths implied by UFOs are now filled with witches, ghost chasers, near-death survivors, and so on.
Mr. Parent's observations only highlight in bold relief once again why I am so adamant that at least some sort of academic standards - including proper referencing - have to be brought at least to the written media within the community. But it will, I'm afraid, be some time before we find similar standards being applied in the other media.
Most of all, Mr. Parent's remarks also evidence a final concern, namely, that the more unreal the agenda, the more air-time that seems to be given to a topic or individual. And that, of course, is social engineering at its best.