You need to show this to "Pierre" and "Dr. H." I would pay a hundred bucks to see Pierre email this guy and argue with him directly. The author of this piece, Alfred Lehmberg, is a brilliant UFO writer, wtih whom I have debated in the past. He's a very, VERY effective proponent of real logic and reason, and I guarantee you he would disembowel Pierre in a direct, one-on-one debate. I throw down the gauntlet and directly challenge Pierre to email Lehmberg with a direct response to this article.
Points Of Shame
By Alfred Lehmberg
I come not to praise CSICOP, but to bury it! And I must caution the reader, from the outset, that it is not *Skeptics* I have a problem with or that I am merely bored with the rationality CSICOPians only pretend to dispense... skeptics are not the issue, are in comparison persons to be revered above all others, and are welcome company ... honored team members... boon companions... the most interesting of us, the most knowledgeable of us, and the ones to enlighten us the most! They are not to be confused with scurrilous skepti-bunkies, ponderous pelicanists, or insipid CSICOPians, the antagonists regarded in the rest of this piece!
...A righteous pox on CSICOP, that "Committee for the Serially Insentient Commitment of Obdurate Persons", a collection of fringe flogging front-men and intellectually constipated imps of anti-science! Lately, their ranks swell with the even more deceitful and cross-purposed, and their smug smirks of corn-fed contempt works its way through our cyberspace like an unhealthy mass worried uncomfortably through its electronic bowels!
A pox upon them, again! Verily!
They are -not- what they vociferously portray themselves to be! They provide for and nurture the informational void that the hapless -only- attempt to fill, and then they complacently demonize these hapless for their, many times, sincere attempts to address that unnecessary void that CSICOPia founded and busily facilitates!
They've duplicitously set themselves up as a clearing house for hardnosed rationality and impartial science! They've populated their ranks with lettered ringers of dubious veracity! They've cloaked themselves in the too proud mantel of a convenient lap-dog science engineered to grind only the axes they contrive to grind! Axes of denial, Axes of denunciation, and Axes of refutation...
...Axes well ground and then fatuously brandished like righteous swords, I add, in an astonishing display of -arrogant- hubris (disguised as humble piety), they proclaim their six point covenant with the unwashed masses (they despise!), establish their thin veneer of trustworthy credibility, and publish their *balanced rational worldview* in a six point plan of stated intent, the subject of this piece. That six point plan is a fraud!
Like most frauds it is anything but balanced, actually. It is a canted mess of reflex denials, character assassinations, and bald duplicity. Let's look at that six point covenant, then, and examine each of the points in turn...
CSICOP's first point is especially stalwart sounding... fairly ringing with lofty ideals... nearly oozing good intentions, high standards, and best practice...
"1. Maintain a network of people interested in critically examining paranormal, fringe science, and other claims, and in contributing to consumer education."
One is immediately compelled to examine a *demonstrated* lack of integrity for this aforementioned *network* of implied efficaciousness. Founded by Dr. Paul Kurtz, a man constitutionally unable to perceive a difference between a UFO and a traditional leprechaun, this *network* seems, at first blush, to be a paragon of refined education, advanced experiential acumen, and incisive brainpower!
Predictably, as with everything -else- regarding CSICOP, appearances can be deceiving. Consider the unrelated and immaterial Doctor's degrees of many of the CSICOPian principals, as in the case of Dr. Joe Nickell, and the ridiculously canted, clearly assumptive and NON-networking remarks he's made (among significant others) as if it were -he- (an English major!) that would proscribe what -was- and what was -not- acceptable to think about, for the rest of us! Dr. Nickell, sadly, is typical of the kind of person closely associated with CSICOP. What *service* is provided with this anti-network of canted expressions and immaterial persons?
The (overwhelmingly male and so hormonally affected) persons involved with CSICOP are a demonstrably canted lot decidedly incapable of balanced examination... if for no other reason than that there is so -little- investigation actually going on! Indeed, the word investigation is a component of the very acronym they use to identify themselves, forgetting that it is publicly touted that "investigation is the middle name" of your garden variety CSICOPian...
Still, it refrains from same! CSICOP, instead, prefers to portentously pronounce on what is "acceptable" thinking in the form of scientific sounding dictates of dubious veracity, disingenuous assumptive-ness, and biased incompleteness.
At it's head... and as typified by its adherents near that head, CSICOP is a conflicted entity driven only by the denial of hostile mal-educated ideologues and -not- a network of credible and balanced persons interested in critical examinations of anything but its -own- obtuse agenda! It is a network -only- of obstinate denial, conflicted cant, and obvious bias! Verily, and at the last (?), the hapless consumer is -ill- served!
The CSICOPian second point is -another- insult to our aggregate intelligence...
"2. Prepare bibliographies of published materials that carefully examine such claims."
"Careful examination" of paranormal claims is airily abandoned in the production of bibliographies heavily (even admittedly!) stacked with researchers who toe the CSICOPian party-line. Since the very beginning (and as typified by the Dennis Rawlins imbroglio over the "StarBaby" paper) research critical *of* or in opposition *to* that CSICOPian party-line remain with convenient and very limited citation in these not so efficacious *bibliographies...* or why was "StarBaby" published in "Fate" and not in the "Skeptical Inquirer". Moreover, why can't Dr. David Rudiak get a peer review for his Mogul Work in the same canted rag?
...On to the third point:
The third point would be more funny were it not for the dire implications it makes regarding a complete and balanced research -outside- the cloistered CSICOPian paradigm CSICOP would promote and insists upon...
3. -Encourage- research by -objective- and -impartial- inquiry in areas where it is needed. (emphasis mine...)
This is rolling-on-the-floor-and-clenching-near-incontinent-cheeks-together laughable! Where can your garden variety CSICOPian -not- be shown to be -anything- but tediously -subjective- regarding every aspect of their conduct... and corrosive performance of same? Where is their *encouragement* possible given their character assassinations and reflex research discriminations? Their hoaxes and ringer placements? Their campaigns of ideological suppression and sponsor intimidation? Their bullying, their individual harassment, and their tyrannous aggravation?
How is a person with an alternative thought *encouraged* in such atmosphere, or in the scurrilous actions of famous stage-clowns like Penn and Teller who lied to their guests, otherwise misrepresented their scurrilous intentions, and made them -all- look like, buffoons, nut-bags and public whackos? What manner of "Bull-Shit" (-Their- choice of title, remember!) -is- that? CSICOP is -far- from 'objective', miles away from 'impartial', and, decidedly NOT the -best- choice to decide where 'inquiry is needed.' They perform a treacherous disservice, at best, to suggest that they do!
The fourth point is key to the infrastructure of their institutional infidelity and the transmission of its ignoble CSICOPian meme!
"4. Convene conferences and meetings."
Oh... they do enough of that! Rest assured. They encourage all sorts of little splinter groups to grow up, clone-like, in their image... other busy imps to caper around the book-burning fire... harsh infernos where reputations get burned at the stake and where the catechisms of the jealous status quo are rehearsed in the flickering light and stinking smoke...
No, any resemblance to balanced "conferences and meetings" is dissolved in the Ad Hominem attacks tendered at these meetings, the derisive ridicule provided at these meetings, and easy dismissal of the opposition thinker at these meetings! Audiences are encouraged to laugh and the provoking speaker is visibly pleased with the expression of that laughter, it's been reported. ...Sounds more like a college frat party, than a meeting of serious, hardnosed intellectuals.
Clearly -- these meeting are *coven conferences* described by some as Scientistic "Inquisition" assemblies. Their purpose is to dictate thought, proscribe their canted eschatology, and rehearse their *approved* scripture. All hail Doctors Kurtz and Shermer, our teachers, leaders, and holders of the rational guiding light!
Moving on, the fifth point proves that their intimated balance is a self-admitted fraud!
"5. Publish articles that examine claims of the paranormal."
Asked previously and answered! "Examine" how, given that there is so little (if any) investigation, going on, to support an examination! Besides, what further needs to be said than that their publishing accomplishments include the churlish screeds of one Kal K. Korff? 'Nuff said!
The sixth and final point provokes in me a -keen- astonishment that a card carrying CSICOPian can -ever- behold his own reflection in a mirror!
"6. Do not reject claims on a priori grounds, antecedent to inquiry, but examine them objectively and carefully."
What denatured and toxic "flapdoodle" is this!
"A priori" means:
1. Proceeding from a known or assumed cause to a necessarily related effect; deductive.
A priori, flatly, suggests the exact -opposite- of a process of going where the data might lead -- the aspiration of any -true- scientist! The history of CSICOP is, again flatly, rich with the direct antithesis of "following the data." They are patent cherry-pickers for evidence that supports their contentions and, by admission, dismissive of evidence that -doesn't support their contentions. This is widely and competently reported. So, in this sense they are -very- "a priori" when they very unctuously proclaim... they are not!
A priori also means: 2a. Derived by or designating the process of reasoning without reference to particular facts or experience, or, b. Knowable without appeal to particular experience.
The particular experience (or bias) of your friendly neighborhood CSICOPian is very -much- a factor in their, so-called, inquiry! Claims are measured first with a rubric of: can that claim -first- be *true* or not! That which is determined to be incapable of *truth*, to begin with (by dictate of fiat), is -removed- from serious consideration and airily ridiculed!
"UFOs cannot exist," FIRST, so an inquiry regarding whether they exist or not, is moot! They -can't- happen... period, without regard to conflicting evidence of -any- type. CSICOPians make up their minds about a question, and prosecute -that-, without once validating the cogent question, which, facilitating -them-, must remain unasked! They are very much a priori in this sense, too. ...and they say, remember, that they are NOT...
Finally. A priori means:
3. [The Determination] made before or without examination; not supported by factual study.
The preceding is the -obvious- method of the garden variety CSICOPian, who has made up his mind, thank you -very- much, and would prefer not to be confounded with the facts, if you'd please. Forget that this is proclaimed by the concerned to be "not so," ...it remains that "a priori" describes them -perfectly-. "A priori," and not "investigation" would appear to be their middle name! Additionally "careful and objective" are duplicitous malapropisms they employ, words carefully chosen to mask a very real agenda of *think-cloaking*, acrimonious axe-grinding, and rank intellectual fascism!
Clearly, a reasonable assessment of these six points, then, shows them to be more CSICOPian artful dodge... than stated aims to which they might bravely aspire! They are red herrings scripted to deceive and mislead... -not- to edify and enlighten!
Summing up, CSICOP's six points of shame are carnival hucksterisms, empty platitudes to get you into their big CSICOPian tent for the scientistic (sic) revival meeting! Once there, smooth faced scient-evangelists like (the hugely disappointing!) Penn and Teller, the not so amazing Randi, or the bellicose and whiney Dr. Nickell... can perform their unbalanced slights of hand! Now -these- guys, among others, are just slick scientistic-scripture pounding frauds with ulterior motives. They front an organization of similar myopic intellectualists, little men who steadfastly assert to the worried -credulous- that there -is- a place for *everything*, and everything (read 'everybody'!) should be in its place!
-I- see them as spiritless men for a soulless organization as bereft of imagination as they are of creativity. It's no stretch that they are the nineteenth century proponents for the new dark ages threatened in our... 21st century.
Now I'm not a scientist, but an artist and a poet (...forgetting I was raised by a scientist and been around them all my life, and that I have a deep respect, admiration, and appreciation for the rules of science), I can call these CSICOPians as I see them, smug proponents of unbrave institutional evil, a scourge of canted intellect, and a needless hurdle to the rising and advancing of the human spirit -- a torpedo for our aggregate potential!
As with other dark-age producing tyrants of the past, I patiently await the eventual demise of planet CSICOPia and I further anticipate the strident repudiation of their unctuous six point covenant of bald misdirection and oily obfuscation. Their *covenant*, finally, is a disingenuous farce.
A pox on their house... if I haven't made that clear enough, already.