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CSICOP - from the Milton pages.

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  • Frank Sirett
    In April, I sent a news article that appeared to be based on a news release by either CSICOP and/or their investigator, Joe Nickell. This is as close to all I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2000
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      In April, I sent a news article that appeared to be based on a news release
      by either CSICOP and/or their investigator, Joe Nickell. This is as close to
      all I know about CSICOP save for Mr Milton's pages and it is not very
      impressive. He went off to debunk a number of supposed myths in the maritime
      provinces of Canada. It appeared that the only bunk on offer was the story
      itself, since it put a spin on things that was specious at the minimum.

      Telling countrymen that they cannot tell woodland creatures swimming in a
      lake, and having a city boy tell them at that, is not the most confidence
      inspiring situation. That and telling people that an optical illusion -
      clearly posted to be an optical illusion - is an exercise predicted to lose
      friends and influence people to dispose of you at the nearest border with
      clear indications of what will happen if you come back.

      This might be a waste of time and resources, but it is not my time or
      resources. I need not pay any attention to it if I do not choose to do so.
      Mr. Milton gives us all reason to pay very close attention.

      Mr Milton tells us that the president of the organisation, Dr. Kurtz, has
      said on television:

      "If we are going to admit aliens, what are we going to admit next? Fairies?
      Elves? Where do we draw the line?"

      This is a very common propaganda technique, not drawing the line so that the
      line can be drawn to very close standards later. Lines that allow more than
      they should on one side but less on the other. There is no significant body
      of the population that claims to have seen fairies or elves, but there is a
      sizeable number that think they have seen aliens. Until they are PROVEN to
      be wrong, we cannot make these broad generalisations. It is unscientific.

      Even this would simply tell me that the group is not to my taste, it is
      simply an aside but they go much further, according to Mr. Milton. The
      CSICOP's "Council for Media Integrity" is not there to put their view before
      the public, but employ the tactics that are quite opposed to free speech.

      If a story goes out that they do not like, they send out an alert to get
      their members to "bombard" the media with complaints and even organise
      boycotts of the sponsors. As an example, Mr. Milton said they targeted
      Mysterious Origins of Man (NBC) where they tried heavy handed pressure
      tactics against the programme.

      It must be noted here that I agree with measured response to problems.
      Amnesty International uses these tactics but have a very strict protocol
      they follow. This is a case of killing flies with sledge hammers at the
      least. Why not ask for rebuttal time? It is usually given. However, if all
      you want to do is to restrict information, and muzzle those you do not agree
      with, this is a good way.

      There is an argument to be made that the creationists and others use these
      tactics. Very true, but is victory worth the dishonour? Now you really do
      have a problem with line drawing because they will not be made wider and
      many more will be squeezed out and we will all be the losers.

      If this is true, and I did say IF, then they are trying to censor the
      information we get. They want to give us a one sided view. Their side. After
      all, if we get to hear about alternatives, where will we draw the line? We
      might all decide to abandon medical science and take up with seers and
      fortune tellers. They may think we are all idiots, but I have my doubts.

      Frank Sirett
      Castelldefels, Spain
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