Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Whitley Strieber's flip-flop

No, I'm not talking about the man's footwear.

I've never understood Strieber's take on the "visitors." He vacillates from calling them evil and demonic to praising them as facilitators of human evolution -- in essence, gods. I'm sure I'd be a little kooky if I had endured the amount of high strangeness he has, but if there was ever an award for paranormal flip-flopper of the late 20th/early 21st century, Whitley would take the trophy.

At the same time, I always enjoy reading his contradictory theories, and I believe Whitley is sincere.

An excerpt from his latest:

Looking back, I consider the doctor's failure to remove the little white disk that moved off into the tissue of my ear when he touched it with his scalpel as one of the luckiest breaks I ever had.

I have learned how to use this implant--at least, begun to--and I see it now as a tremendous and powerful gift, a technological device that has freed me from the bondage and illusion of space-time and enabled me to travel in realms undreamed.

It is not a mind control device, nor does it read my mind. I know this because I have learned to turn it on and off myself, and to begin to use it as what it is: a tool.

More at link.


Blogger RDR said...

Around 15 years ago, I hoisted a few in a local brew pub with a local journalist- an arts critic for one of the local newspapers.

Somewhere in the course of a long, rambling conversation, he told me that he had a personal friend who knew Whitley Streiber, and that Streiber had confided to him that all the Communion "alien kidnapping" business was a hoax, a fiction consciously perpetrated under his authorship.

Presumably as an attention attracting gimmick to sell more books- fiction with the "paranormal non-fiction" cachet...

That's it. Fourth-hand hearsay. Third-hand, to me. Make of it what you will.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Professor Pan said...

That is certainly very possible -- and something I've considered myself.

I read "The Case for Communion" (I think that's the title) some time ago, and the writer supposedly found lots of corroboration for Whitley's story.

Then again, perhaps some of it is true, and some is embellished. I could imagine someone having strange experiences, making a lot of money, and making up further experiences to keep the cash flowing and to keep the "franchise" afloat.

If he is a total fraud, he's damn good at passing for sincere.

2:22 PM  
Blogger RDR said...

Well- speaking as someone who bought a first edition of Communion, as well as the sequel, and as a result became half-persuaded that Streiber's account was authentic- we're talking about the paranormal, here. The bar for verifiability isn't so much set low as it is non-existent.

In retrospect, Streiber reads like someone who's studied a lot of the "classic" literature of UFO contacts, Fortean phenomena, and "the unexplained." You know, Hans Holzer, Brad Steiger, Charles Berlitz, John Keel...the Saga magazine crowd. Along with Bud Hopkins, John G. Fuller, et al. And, above all, Jacques Vallee...and Robert Anton Wilson, perhaps the biggest popularizer of "paranormal speculations" of the past 30 years.

And then Streiber ran with it...

A skilled writer who studies those authors and their subject matter will find it well within his or her novelistic abilities to concoct a fairly intricately plotted and convincing fiction. Once done, it's an easy trick to apply a veneer of "factuality" to the work...

6:41 PM  

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