Saturday, November 19, 2005

Freedom Summit: Complete Kookery

Steven M. Greer, M.D., the creator of CSETI (Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence), brought the Freedom Summit to a low point. Greer, whose CSETI group used to go wandering in the woods to communicate with aliens by waving their high-powered flashlights (as documented by Alex Heard in Outside magazine), was promoting his Disclosure Project.

Greer gave a rambling speech filled with claims of his direct connections with senior government officials which prove that the U.S. has been in possession of alien propulsion technology since the 1950s. According to Greer, this technology obsoletes gas, oil, coal, nuclear, and all other forms of energy production in use today--that we have not needed to burn any such fuels since 1950. He claimed that billions of dollars of taxpayer money have been put into black budget projects involving this alien technology, which is being suppressed by the "kleptocracy," an "interlocking" group of government officials and private families which run the world. He did not explain the economics of why the government would be pouring billions of dollars into suppressing the use of a technology which could generate trillions of dollars in revenue.

He made much of an alleged briefing he gave to CIA Director James Woolsey on UFOs in 1993, while failing to note Woolsey's account of that meeting, which characterizes it as a "dinner party" at which Greer sat at a table with Woolsey and his wife Suzanne and with James Petersen and his wife Diane. The four of them signed the letter to Greer chiding him for publishing a "distorted" account and for portraying their "politeness as acquiescence and questions as affirmations."

It wasn't clear how many, if any, people in the audience were taking him seriously, though they did let him speak. The first question in the Q&A session was a good one: "Why haven't you been killed?" Greer answered that he took plenty of precautions by going public very loudly (appearing on Larry King) and that he had the protection of a third of the secretive (and nonexistent!) MJ-12 organization who want the truth about UFOs to come out, but that he has received many threats. The next questioner, noting that Greer kept referring to "we" with respect to his organization, asked how many people are in his organization. Greer misheard the question as being how many of his people have been killed, and said that three of them had been murdered.

Greer's talk was rambling and disjointed, and was punctuated with lots of specific accurate facts (such as that CIA Director William Colby's dead body was found floating in the Potomac; Greer attributed this to a murder designed to keep him from going public with UFO-related information). The content and manner of his talk reminded me of the works of those who claim to be targets of CIA mind control experiments, like Cathy O'Brien and "Brice Taylor" (Susan Ford)--they like to drop names of famous people and claim direct contacts with them, but they work everything into a bizarre and only semi-coherent fantasy structure with zero plausibility.

While I enjoy occasionally listening to the rantings of a kook, it was a discredit to the organizers of this conference that they gave a public forum to Dr. Greer. If they seriously thought that Greer had a meaningful and important message, it casts serious doubt on their credibility or ability to distinguish fact from fiction. Even many in the UFO community recognize that Greer is a kook (you can find many examples searching for Greer's name at

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