"Recently a colleague who is producing a conference referred to me in a release draft as an “exopolitical activist” – an appropriate and catchy moniker.   I asked that it read “political activist.” There are two important reasons for this correction."

September 9, 2004

Exopolitical Activism?  (Sept/Oct Column in UFO Magazine)
by Stephen Bassett

dis·clo·sure d-sklzhr

Function: noun:      
1: the act or process of revealing or uncovering.

2: something uncovered; a revelation.

3: formal acknowledgement by the United States government and other governments of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and the planet earth. (pending)

 

ex·o·pol·i·tics   ks-pl-tks  (pending)

Function: noun plural but singular or plural in construction

Etymology: From Greek exo, outside, from ex, out of, and from Greek politika, from neuter plural of politikos political.

1: the art or science of government as concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy toward extraterrestrial phenomena and extraterrestrial beings.

2: exopolitical actions, practices, or policies.

3: the exopolitical opinions or sympathies of a person.

4: the total complex of relations between the human race and non-human, intelligent beings.

 

ac·tiv·ist  kt-vst

Function: noun

A proponent or practitioner of activism: political activists.

Function: adj.
1: of, relating to, or engaged in activism.

2: of, relating to, or being an activist.

Washington, DC – Recently a colleague who is producing a conference referred to me in a release draft as an “exopolitical activist” – an appropriate and catchy moniker.   I asked that it read “political activist.” There are two important reasons for this correction.

The first has to do with the concept of “normalization.”  This has been a fundamental and ongoing strategy of Paradigm Research Group, which attempts to directly confront the intellectual ghettoization inflicted on the field of extraterrestrial-related phenomena research and advocacy since 1947.   The creation of intellectual or even physical ghettos to separate ideas and people from the larger culture in order to diminish their influence has been used by ruling classes and institutions since the beginning of “civilization.”   It is very effective.

This metaphor is not put forth casually.  Other 20th Century examples are well known and intensely remembered.   Physical ghettos with walls of stone lead to great human suffering.  Intellectual ghettos with walls of ridicule have a more complex and subtle impact on the human condition, but still one of great consequence. 

The intellectual ghettoization of extraterrestrial-related phenomena research/activism was orchestrated by elements within the United States government with purchased, voluntary and unwitting complicity from private citizens and institutions.   The full description of its construction and implementation will fill books, but would include:

  • Placement of absurd stories in low-end tabloid newspapers.
  • Direct statements of ridicule of events and evidence from military spokespersons and line officers.
  • Arrangements with selected newspapers to limit serious coverage and encourage humorous coverage of the subject matter.
  • Arrangements with selected television networks to do the same.
  • Interjection of false information to discredit people and organizations, misdirect the media and waste resources.
  • Direct, false denial of events and evidence to undermine credibility of government witnesses.
  • Planting of agents within the research/activist community to incite conflict, engineer career attacks* and “muddy the water.”  Such agents ran the gamut from skeptics to debunkers to subversive agents.  Some emerged from the milieu with a personal agenda but without government connection, and were then encouraged to “keep it up” by invites to radio and television interviews as resident skeptics to counter any and all assertions and evidence put forward by “ufologists.”
  • Prevention or termination of government research studies which could not be controlled by either the Department of Defense or the intelligence agencies.
  • Suppression of the reporting of military pilot and radar operator sightings and other evidence which threatened the cover-up.
  • And much more.

Once the walls of ridicule are constructed the cover-up begins to self-manage.  Whenever anyone touches the issue, whatever that person’s credentials or life accomplishments, they are immediately assigned to the ghetto (tossed over the wall) and instantly diminished.  Particularly vulnerable to this process are academics without tenure and all “licensed” professions such as doctors, lawyers, psychologists/therapists, etc.**

“Normalization” is one way to counter this tactic.  Treat the issue in the appropriate fashion and encourage others to do the same.   If an issue, any issue, has great social and political implications, it should be lobbied – register as a lobbyist; it should have a political action committee – create one; it should be debated by balloted federal candidates – get on a ballot; it should have town hall meetings – hold them; it should have press conferences at the National Press Club – conduct them.  To be just an “exopolitical activist” is to imply it is not “political activism.”  It is not a great distinction – just one less brick in the wall.

The second reason for my correction is a matter of accuracy.   When you engage the “politics of UFOs” meaning “the politics of disclosure” meaning “exopolitics,” you quickly note political issues of a very terrestrial nature intertwined and impossible to ignore.   You learn things about your country you would prefer not to know.   Matters of secrecy reform, abuse of power, constitutional degradation, violation of separation of powers, legislative ineptitude, voter apathy, two-party power concentration, environmental and energy implication, etc.   This is “political activism” in the rawest sense.  “Exo” does not cover this job.

It is a long held hope of Paradigm Research Group that activists in these related areas would someday publicly interact, network, with their “exopolitical” counterparts and share experiences – normalization.   Over the years PRG invites of various types have been extended to environmental activist attorney, Jonathan Turley; secrecy reform activist, Steven Aftergood; intelligence specialist attorney, Mark Zaid; land mine ban activist, Jody Williams; Gulf War activist, Joyce Riley; secrecy/FOIA reformer, Thomas Blanton; secrecy reformer and presidential aide, John Podesta; and others.  Many were connected with the 2004 X-Conference.  All such invites have been declined or unacknowledged.   Maybe next year.

The wall of ridicule is a structure within the mind.  It has no brick or mortar.  It is as formidable as each person permits it to be.  It will not be brought down by blows from a sledge, but by acts of courage.

Recently I had the honor of meeting with Marcia Shiff, widow of New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff, and presenting her with the PRG Award for Political Courage given to her late husband at the April 2004 X-Conference.   Who will stand with Steven Schiff’s legacy? ***

Members of the mainstream political and journalistic establishment: tear down this wall.

___________________

NASA's Dilemma - Metaphor in the Sand

The fate of the returned Genesis capsule presents an irresistible metaphor.  From the moment of its inception in 1958 NASA has been a primary victim of the extraterrestrial-related phenomena truth embargo.  The agency designated to explore space on behalf of the American people would not, could not publicly acknowledged any evidence it might encounter pointing toward sentient extraterrestrial beings, living or dead.   The stress this has caused within the agency can only be imagined.

After so many years and many spectacular failures how odd to watch the centerpiece of the latest malfunction - a shiny saucer-like craft - wobble to the earth at 200 mph and embed itself in the sand.   How could anyone who has pursued this matter not immediately note the metaphor?

It was my privilege to hear the great explorer and author, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, present at the July Roswell Festival.  In his lecture he acknowledged the likelihood that extraterrestrial technology from crashed vehicles had been in the hands of the U. S. government for some time.

After the lecture I asked this question (paraphrasing): "Dr. Mitchell, you stated the U. S. Government likely possessed advanced technology from crashed extraterrestrial vehicles.   Others have come to the same conclusion.   Does it not trouble you that 14 astronauts have died being blasted into space by exploding chemicals and returned on gliding hotplates, while propulsion systems with greater capability were hostage to the cover-up and withheld?

While this question was not intended to be an indictment of NASA, any prudent person would know such an interpretation was unavoidable.  Dr. Mitchell is not just prudent, he is brilliant - and loyal.  In all of his public statements in support of the research and activism targeting the truth embargo, he has never impugned the legacy or integrity of the agency he served and allowed him the extraordinary privilege of standing on the moon.  His answer to my question was consistent and safe.

There is a nobility in this, and I will not challenge an aging legend whose life accomplishments are of a substance and depth about which I can only dream.   No astronaut has done more to assist this truth process or put pressure on the government to end the cover-up.    He has made his mark.

Yet, as I studied the sad image of that $260 million capsule in the sand, I could not help but think the women and men who have risked their lives to explore and understand space on our behalf deserve better than this.  And better will not come until NASA is freed of the truth embargo.   Perhaps other astronauts will begin to come forward and join Dr. Mitchell, Gordon Cooper, Story Musgrave and Brian O'Leary who have directly and indirectly pointed toward a larger, transcendent truth behind the history of space exploration in the 20th Century.

___________________

*    Two notable examples of such attacks were orchestrated by legendary debunker, Phil Klass, who in the 1960s tried to destroy the career of Dr. James MacDonald and later in the mid-1990s, with the help of a colleague’s wife and CSICOP, tried to destroy the career of Dr. John Mack.

**   A recent victim of this process is Dr. Michael Salla, who was moved out of American University’s sphere of influence due to the “direction of his thinking.”

*** Perhaps the Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, has decided to stand with Schiff.  In the foreword to the just published Roswell Dig Diaries (Pocket Books), which Richardson most certainly knew would come out during the presidential campaign, he states, “the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained -- not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government. ...There are as many theories as there are official explanations. Clearly, it would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows. …The American people can handle the truth -- no matter how bizarre or mundane. ... With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July 1947."   Kudos to the Governor.

Relevant Web Links:

Dr. Michael Salla:  www.exopolitics.org
Joyce Riley/Gulf War Veterans Association: www.gulfwarvets.com
John Podesta/Center for American Progress:  www.americanprogress.org
Mark Zaid/James Madison Project: www.jamesmadisonproject.org
Thomas Blanton/National Security Archive:   
www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/
Jody Williams/International Campaign to Ban Land Mines:  www.icbl.org
Steven Aftergood/Federation of American Scientists:  www.fas.org
X-Conference:  www.x-conference.com
Paradigm Research Group (PRG):  www.paradigmclock.com

[Stephen Bassett is a political activist, founder of the Paradigm Research Group, Executive Director of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC), author of the Paradigm Clock website, and a political columnist and commentator.  You can reach him at:  ParadigmRG@aol.com]

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Copyright © 2004 Stephen Bassett

"The wall of ridicule is a structure within the mind.  It has no brick or mortar.  It is as formidable as each person permits it to be.  It will not be brought down by blows from a sledge, but by acts of courage."