Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Here it is: the most devastating and articulate summary of Whitley Strieber and his works that I've ever read. Neither facile dismissal nor endorsement, Rigorous Intuition's analysis is propelled by a sincere interest in Strieber's writings that illuminates the often schizophrenic nature of his alleged experiences.

A sample:

When it comes to understanding the question of Ufos and alien abductions -- and specifically that of "the Grays" -- the essential thing to remember is that none of this is what it seems. And although I am quite sure Strieber would be the very first person to admit this (at least on a good day) -- has been at pains for years to convey this very idea -- for all of that he seems unable to resist the urge to talk and write about the phenomena as if it were, finally, apprehensible to reason. As a result, Strieber spends half his time arguing against simplistic, literal-minded, "good or evil, angel or devil" interpretations, and the other half either damning the beings as demons or advocating them as angels. Apparently, this is all part of the aliens' chosen method of presentation: a positive perspective, a negative one, and finally a synthesis of both. Yet Strieber follows this approach in such a haphazard, slipshod fashion that at times he seems unaware of doing so. It is almost as if he has been programmed by his "visitors," and that, in order to be effective, he must remain in the dark himself, at least until he reaches the third perspective, and achieves synthesis of his various, fragmented selves (assuming he ever does).


Anonymous said...


I think he summed up Whitley pretty damn well. Whitley's attempts to rationalize what is potentially an "alien mind" fall extremely short. Trying to understand something that didn't evolve here and a consciousness that likely doesn't follow the same rules of logic is a tall order.

I despise his downward slide into primitive religious dogma when confronting "them". It's just so narrow a viewpoint. All he does time and time again is prove that we are nothing but skittish animals, clinging to fairy tales whenever confronted with the unknown.


Anonymous said...

The author is in fact Aeolus Kephas who blogs Stormy Weather.

He also authored the wonderfully dense and serpentine treatise on paranoid awareness, The Lucid View.

And no, he is not I.


rorschach said...

I came across this review of Whitley Strieber's writings over on Rigorous Intuition a few days ago, and praised Aeolus Kephas' insights and thoroughness in comments over at The Keyhoe Report a while ago.

Taking all the data so far referenced on just The Keyhoe Report, here, and in view of Kephas' detailed forensic breakdown, and considering Strieber's complete lack of comment or statement about same, even if to simply deny all this data, moves me to suggest there is much more to uncover about Whitley's lack of accuracy, confabulation, and just plain knowing mistatement and fabrication of the "facts" he has included in his books and online journal, etc. The situation is rife with untruth and ripe for exposure, imho.

Can we now conclude Strieber is a deceptive, knowing, intentionally misleading author whose intent is to create fictions that he promotes and sells as if they were factual in basis? I think we can. I'd even suggest his ear implant is likely no more than the most publicized sebaceous cyst in history, and does not move around on it's own accord (how very silly).

Strieber, depending on one's own perspective, need to believe (or not), and general history since Communion, has IMHO always been obvious in ways, as being a clever fiction writer who capitalizes on and exploits the "alien abduction" meme and strong interest on the part of the public about the nature of ufos, etc., and as such, he will continue to spread what I consider the most egregious wrong; false stories about contact with an alien "other" of some kind, that he has characterized in so many differing ways over time, and who has no compunction about deliberately and intentionally lying about these alleged experiences and the actual nature, history, and facts about the ufo/uap phenonmenon in general and about "close encounters" of the third and above kind, in order to, let's put it bluntly, simply sell books, for ego and self-aggrandizement, and to exploit his natural imaginary talents to continue to lie and attempt to fool those gullible enough to, without knowing better, buy into his long-term, ongoing fraudulent actions.

Jes' my humble little opinion, of course, based on the facts that are known to me and many others by now. And ol' Whitley jes' keeps on pretending...and making money off others' will to believe and ignorance. If I speak slander, or write libelously, then I would invite a lawsuit. Go ahead, file one. I dare you, Whitley. Make my day.

Maybe he ought to, like L. Ron Hubbard, start his own church of abduction (or seduction to the dark side); it would pay more money after a while, I'd guess.

How sad. He is a deep disappointment as both a writer and a fellow human being for continuing this facade and parade of deception.

He is participating, effectively, in a disinformational, diversionary, and transparent effort to obscure and deny the truth about the matters he so facilely and falsely mis-characterizes for his own benefit, and to the detriment of the reading public and, most directly, the truth.

The truth, apparently, matters not at all to Whitley Strieber. And he's not the only one; I find a direct parallel in Raymond E. Fowler's work, specifically his long-term, five book series on the alleged abduction and contact experiences of Betty Andreassen, first written about by Fowler in "The Andreassen Affair."

Fowler now even, in an interesting parallel manner to Strieber, claims to be an abductee himself. I was in intermittent contact with a relative of Betty Anreassen-Luca and Robert Luca, her 2nd husband, who told me of many fabricated and manipulated events his father, Robert Lucas, orchestrated and manipulated, even going to the extent of setting up electronic devices to create lighting flucuations and telephone sound effects for the benefit of exploiting his wife and Mr. Fowler into believing there was really some paranormal and "alien" contact and active effects related to the presence of aliens during some of Mr. Fowler's investigatory visits early on, and to deceive other researchers who, at least at the beginning, were also looking into the claims of Betty & Robert Andreassen-Luca. Mr. Fowler stuck with them, now for almost 30 years, and made quite a goodly sum from his first book on the matter, "The Andreassen Affair."

This relative, out of concern for his reputation, and due to some idle threats of legal action by his father, eventually backed off and withdrew his 3 pp writeup of these fabricated incidents from his website, and now no longer wants to go on the record, due to concerns over his family and the potential repercussions from this threat from his father and others he has received. Before he backed off, this individual told me many things about the scenario that his father, in large part, fabricated, and used to draw Mr. Fowler in, who is by no means naive or stupid, and quite an astute author in his own right.

Sad to say, this situation has a lot to do with and say about the parallels to Strieber's own actions and repugnant, devious behavior. Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack, and other "abduction researchers" also have a lot to answer for, and none of them look good for some of the things they have claimed without evidence and said, claimed, or written about same over time. And, there are many others doing just the same; the impact and unfortunate, destructive consequences of all this bull is to cause ridicule, impugn legit research efforts, and to confuse the issues while exploiting the very same confusion created by these authors and "researchers," who seem to be doing things beyond merely fulfilling their own fantasies and financial needs--they help preclude and harm real, truly scientific and impirical efforts to establish some better "ground truth" about these matters. Very neat, that.

Lying is apparently a small, but growing, fictional cottage industry of sorts. Anyone else here, reading this, and themselves knowledgeable of these kinds of confabulations, at the very least, care to name others or make comment?

aeolus kephas said...

thanks for the endorsement & praise

curious that my piece seems to confirm the skeptics' view as much as or more than that of WS's advocates, considering I never said i thought WS was lying, or even consciously fabricating, nor do i think this now (tho i admit it seems plausible).

For the record, I am a huge admirer of Strieber's books (the good ones), however dubious i feel about WS himself.

Anonymous said...

I love Aeolus' views on Whitley. And I agree with him that there is probably far more to this than a simple dismissal or acceptance.

If you look into Whitley's writings deeply enough (not just the books, mind, but also the forums and journal entries) you see a man who is extremely confused about his situation. However you also can find connections to government programs and projects and the fact that his entire life has been surrounded by military.

It is quite possible that perhaps some of his stories are true. It is also just as possible that he has been completely used and misled, tricked, by the government for their own ends. He is well versed in many esoteric forms of spiritual beliefs that he uses to pull in and hook others.

But despite whatever it is that is going on with him, it does appear that he is misleading people for his own personal gain... I suppose you have to make a buck somewhere, but to whose endangerment? The entire situation is such a well-woven web that it's hard to pull apart in to simple single threads ... rather like a black widow's web than a common house spider, and probably just as lethal.

Anonymous said...

Rorschach seems to be misreading your essay, imo. Plus, Rorschach, Whitley did respond to the Communion/Breakthrough discrepancy. Here, I'll quote it for you:

Whitley Strieber
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I talked to him on the phone, alright. I got his number from Stanton Friedman and had a conversation with him, during which he described some of the materials he had studied, and asked me to send him a description of my experiences.

I did this in the summer of 1986, and sent it to him via UPS overnight. The next morning, the UPS driver called to say that Dr. Sarbacher had died after falling off his yacht.

I was terrified, frankly, because I was beginning to realize that there was a lot of sinister stuff involved in the UFO/close encounter subject, and perhaps somebody had not wanted me and Sarbacher to remain in contact. So I was rather vague about the matter in Communion.

Later, there came to be some confusion about the dates, and that has been exploited to make me look bad.

No matter the dates, I definitely talked to somebody claiming to be Dr. Sarbacher, who answered the phone number given to me by Stanton Friedman, and definitely sent him the document, which was the first thing I wrote about the Communion experience. No question.

The UPS man said that the document would be returned to me, but it never happened.

I think that Dr. Sarbacher lost his life because he came into contact with me. I'm sorry about the confusion about dates in my books.


rorschach said...

Very interesting, anonymous.

The source of the quote from Whitley Strieber, posted just today (April 9th) is from his user board, at:


And, I suppose it could be said that I did misread the intent behind Kephas' analysis of Strieber's writings in general. Mea culpa.

It seems, upon reexamining Aeolus' writeup, he doesn't claim Whitley is either telling the truth or lying, but that rather he thinks Strieber is essentially confused, and mixes things up often. This is a kind of psychosocial interpretation of Whitley and his statements that is most charitable, but one that I respectfully disagree with.

I would concede that perhaps Strieber is simply writing metaphorically, synthesizing his agenda in the form of myth, or that he's simply emotionally and/or mentally disoriented or disturbed to the extent that he himself no longer can tell the truth as opposed to what he thinks is real, even when others point out the known facts that contradict what Strieber has claimed repeatedly. This goes to Strieber, not the facts.

I suppose, depending upon what one thinks of Strieber's tales, which is what they are to me, at least, one can excuse the factual discrepencies in his writings and related statements as merely the natural consequence of someone who has been subjected to various kinds of "mind control," psychological tortures, and difficult to cope with circumstances, and other factors, and that could rationalize away the question of whether Strieber has intentionally and knowingly made statements that don't add up or are factually incorrect. Maybe he didn't, intentionally. Perhaps he's not conscious of the history, timeline, and facts of the matters his comments about Sarbacher touched upon.

This is really a matter of bias on the part of both the writer, and the observer and analyst, in a way, and begs the original question--did Whitley fabricate quotes from Sarbacher after the fact or not? Strieber, finally, as of today, says no, I got Sarbacher's phone number from Stanton Friedman, called him up and we chatted, and that Sarbacher did make the statements Strieber attributed to him in Breakthrough.

This, despite one of the main points I made, which was that Sarbacher is very unlikely to have made any such statements, as he was only peripherally involved, heard second and third-hand accounts, and by Sarbacher's own statements in his letter to Steinman, etc., including to Barry Greenwood, the comments Strieber attributed to Sarbacher having not just handled the "debris materials," but also having put them through testing and analysis himself, and mentioning the findings of "molecular welds" some time in the 1960's when, one has to presume, electron microscopy had developed to the point where such was possible, all contradict what Sarbacher himself, on the record, had said. And when comparing that to what he did say in the Steinman letter, which is amazing enough, and also rather dubious IMHO, why would Sarbacher have "held back" the additional details Strieber alleges he was told? Again, we have a logical conundrum, or paradox.

I don't think we can just breezily suggest that Whitley did discuss these matters with Sarbacher, when there is no other evidence, or other researcher who Sarbacher talked to, including Friedman, who ever heard Sarbacher make these comments.

To me, that means Whitley made them up. How, or why, or with what intent or purpose, is at question. But what he stated in Breakthrough does not either add up, or make much sense. I mean, they don't even make scientific sense, as the stealth applications/tech supposedly back-engineered from such debris were, in fact, NOT the basis for stealth.

So, who's lying? Sarbacher? Strieber? Perhaps both? Neither?Are or were they simply confused? As I see it now, truth is apparently in the eye of the beholder, and is subject to reinterpretation based on one's own biases or perspicacity in being able to discriminate the details of this fine weaving of tall tales and a smidgen of truth, which is a definition of disinformation, for whatever purpose.

I will admit to being rather harsh in some of my comments about these issues, and have been hardcore in my parsing of the available data. But I do not apologize for calling a spade a spade. Not confabulated blue roses. Whether this has all been "created" out of Whitley's imagination, or not, remains to be seen.

I am exploring an alternative avenue of data about this matter and will note my findings here when I know more, but I don't intend to spend much more time beating what seems to me, at least, a moribund, dead horse. Everyone can come to their own conclusions, despite all that has been said here and elsewhere, and they will anyway, based on their own ways of defining "truth."

But, as I said before, the effect and impact of this kind of retro- psychosocial revisionism about Whitley's veracity, or even his ability to tell the actual truth, for me is less important than its' consequences, which are to negatively affect and impugn, or hold up to ridicule by contagion, side-effect, or relationship to others' sincere, impirical efforts to establish facts and truth in the area of real ufology. And that's bad, as it misleads the gullible and the vulnerable.

I should also say that I find Strieber's mere reiteration of his factoids, without comment on the particulars of the discrepencies noted, is less than adequate to properly address the questions that have been raised.

I will have more to say later.

rorschach said...

Well, it's a couple days later, so here's more (Mac, I'm "cross-posting" the last part from the comment thread started April 1st --as a result of your post then about D.M. Duncan's initial post about the Strieber contradictions ref. Sarbacher-- since that post and comment thread are about to drop off the page for archiving--I hope this is OK, as I wanted some further potential info from DMD to have a place here to be posted as a comment, and for fresher continuity, since the earlier post here went up to 33 comments prior to going to the "see older posts" twilight zone--if this is not appropriate, let me know and delete this particular comment):

dmduncan said...
Whitley Strieber has answered! Unfortunately it doesn't address the matter of the contradictory accounts. He merely repeats the Breakthrough version and apologizes for mixing up dates without explaining why he gave two different accounts of the same incident in two different books. Personally I don't find his answer satisfying at all, but his fans consider the matter thoroughly explained now. You can find the details in the comments section here:


Well, at least it's the illusion of an answer.

12:15 PM

rorschach said...

In your episode of "binge-reading" those three Strieber books, did you come across any other significant contradictions or discrepencies? Someone over on the Unknown Country board suggested if that's the only thing found, Strieber's tales are likely authentic, or more errors would have been found.

And, you mentioned you would be posting some new data about Sarbacher--since this post is about to fall off the end of the page (aieeee....), perhaps you can note a link to the new Sarbacher stuff when you post it, I assume at your site, to the comments section of Mac's newer post here of April 8, where he comments on Aeolus Kephas' analysis (the post with the gray with big black eyes).

12:47 AM

dmduncan said...
Rorschach, there are loads of "discrepancies" found by others, but this is the first thing that I found which directly and powerfully contradicts something else he wrote.

Whitley's response is something a politician running for reelection would have said.

But no matter what I or anyone else finds, there is always going to be room for Whitley to wiggle out of it, at least to the satisfaction of his fans. So it's not just "one" thing. To his fans it is. But there is a much larger overall impression of Whitley created by all these things.

For example, if Sarbacher did die by falling off a boat, he could use that to support his contention that Sarbacher was murdered for speaking with him. Of course that does not necessarily follow, but Whitley can SAY that, and many will believe it without checking the facts themselves. But if Sarbacher did NOT die that way, Whitley can say, "Well that's what the UPS man told me. I guess the UPS guy was wrong." Either way, Whitley has a means of escape.

Whitley seems to be the prophet of some pseudo-religious movement, and those who believe don't want to be bothered by silly contradictions or people who actually check facts UNLESS the facts end up agreeing with what they want to hear.

So at this point, I really don't believe there is anything to be learned by studying Whitley Strieber other than how and why Whitley's mind works the way it does.

I will post more information about Sarbacher, but the trail has proved a difficult and time consuming one to follow, and I may or may not be on to something. It's puzzling. When I get an answer, I'll post it.

5:53 PM

dmduncan said...
One more thing. Keep in mind that I didn’t look very hard. This one incident struck me as odd when I read it in Breakthrough, so I went back to Communion and compared the accounts. I did NOT go through all of Whitley’s “faction” books, highlighting all the later accounts he mentioned in earlier books and then comparing the accounts to see how well they matched up. This was not the “best” I could do, it’s he ONLY thing I looked at.

What a person will find who actually does do the rigorous highlighting and comparing would be interesting to see. But it will take time, and I may get around to doing it if someone else doesn’t beat me to it first.

So the idea that it reflects well on Whitley because it’s the only thing I found assumes that this was the best I could do. It wasn’t. I have no idea how much stuff I may have missed. The only way to tell is to do a rigorous comparison which I did not do. But finding this one thing leads me to wonder how much more there is to find.

However, it also depends on how many instances in Whitley’s books were recounted in other books, because the contradictions that may be there will be most apparent in those cases where the same story will be told twice or more. So the opportunity to detect contradictions depends on how many actual times the same stories were retold

So if there are NOT that many retellings, then I think the fact that he got one of the few retold stories wrong actually reflects very POORLY on Whitley, and not well at all.

How well it reflects on Whitley is actually a measure of how many opportunities Whitley provides for us to catch contradictory accounts he himself wrote, and NOT a measure of how much effort I or anyone else puts into looking for them. If those opportunities aren’t there, then neither I nor anyone else can find them.

6:40 PM

rorschach said...
Thanks for the update, DMD. I'm cross-posting my last comment here to the April 8th post by Mac, above, as this post is about to drop off the end of the page into "older posts" achive land.

I would agree that finding further discrepencies of the sort you originally noted at The Keyhoe Report is not that likely, as it would require, as you outlined, Strieber retelling a previously written about story in some later book or posting, but that this doesn't even touch on the issue of the veracity of Whitley's many and manifold claims about his "experiences."

At this point, as you may be implying, diminishing returns may not make such an effort to find further errors and confabulations that worthwhile, as the believers will still believe, regardless of the facts, and those, like myself, who never believed or accepted Strieber's "factions" really don't need any further documentation that Strieber is, for whatever reason, unable to tell the truth.

There are more important things to deal with--I kind of feel like the character in "Catcher in the Rye," who finally realizes you can never erase all the scribbled grafittied "Fuck You"'s from the walls of the world. It's just a tragedy that Strieber gets away with exploiting and making good money off the gullible and those with a "need to believe" hole in their lives.

3:49 AM

Anonymous said...

I think WS is a victim of Catholic child sex abuse. The aliens in hooded robes are simply a transposition of the clergy that abused him such that the "monsters" are outwardly visible and not the monsters hidden by society and family who likely would not have accepted any tale of child sex abuse back in the 1950s. I think this hypothesis has a lot more explanatory power than the fantasy he has spun over several volumes. People in ritual garb abduct him and force him to participate in secret acts with other children, painful acts that inflict profound psychological trauma on him that he later conflates into aliens with heavy religious overtones and particularly Catholic contexts. A Stockholm syndrome carried over into a books, movie, and radio career.