What Is it?
By Bruce Kettler
Latest update May 2005
Net Freedom, for the average poster to a paranormal newsgroup: including UFO Research, Astrology, and New Age, is to not be discouraged from posting in that newsgroup.
See this URL and specific part of the page:
It reminds me of what is going on now with faithful Christians, as prophecied, but it's not just on the Net. It's all over the Earth.
If you access the page9328 URL, you will see only a small portion of the testimony of posters who write that they don't want to participate in a newsgroup with either blatant hostility, or constant challenges to justify the use of the word "astrology," "psychic," or "UFO."
This is a form of censorship, discouraging people, frightening them, so that they do not write to the properly designated newsgroups. It is also censorship when the derogatory writing about these proponents of astrology, the paranormal, UFO research, New Age ideas, is believed. That is because people pay less attention to them, given the accusations of them being "kooks," and so forth.
More about this CENSORSHIP on THE INTERNET, linked HERE.
Witnessing excessive writing against those who defame can be a detriment, as too many of such posts fill the newsgroups and makes it seem like a battleground, dissuading serious posters.
No, freedom on the NET is not freedom to write whatever one wants, where-ever,
any more than freedom of speech is yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.
Current netiquette may say, "yes, it is," but netiquette makes noticeable
changes every few months with the activities and writings of people. The
NET is in a very rapid and constant change. What is or is not proper changes,
and groups seek their own level.
During December of 1997, Earl Gordon Curley was attacked continuously, with slanderous remarks against him by a multitude of persons, with no prior provocation. In one instance, he wrote some predictions, and without writing anything nasty to anyone, post after post appeared in the thread with denigrating remarks.
I have been attacked continually, in alt.paranormal, with no provocation, and there have been many attempts at intimidation, with subtle offers to stop the remarks if I would not point to my URL's, (some happen to expose CULTISTS) or act like an authority.
FAQs were written to inhibit my free speech, to forbid me from
pointing to any of my WEB pages, and earlier drafts even had my name in
them. The proposed FAQs and Charter were posted by anti-paranormal
persons with limited experience in the Newsgroup. Though it is legal
according to USENET rules, it is still absurd.
During December of 1997, Edmond Wollmann was attacked continuously by a number of cultists, and called a "kook" for no good reason.
Edmond has visciously been knocked off of his ISP by a campaign of e-mail writing of the CULTISTS, and even now, for no good reason, this campaign continues.
During 1997, new FAQs for alt.astrology were placed by a person entirely unfriendly to the subject who dominates the newsgroup with anti-astrology posts. This placement of FAQs, though legal, is also absurd.
In 1998 a fake charter was introduced by pseudo-skeptics for alt.astrology.metapsych,
after the founder, Edmond Wollmann had started the newsgroup and written
In the long run, slandering and insulting people will not intimidate them into some change that a certain few people want. It may work in the short run, but that is all. People evolve, and they learn how to fight back rather than run away.
As far as the militant anti-psychics, anti-UFO enthusiasts, and anti-astrologers are concerned, it's okay for paranormalists to have the newsgroup, but their message is that the advocates should not write about the paranormal, astrology, or UFOs, except to attempt to justify the existence of the words "UFO" "psychic" or "astrology."
In effect, those who discourage pro-paranormal activity are saying, go ahead and debate its existence, but don't dare write as if it were true. Don't write about it, but rather tell us why you dare discuss it on our Usenet. Actually, their attitude is as if they owned the NET.
Sound far-fetched? You should read some the posts I've saved at the web site:
Take a look at this example, saying I write in alt.paranormal "introducing [my] beliefs as if they were facts." See my rebuttal, and see if his attitude isn't...
it, prove it, but don't dare
write of it as if it were true.
See, that is why I get attacked. I want to write of the paranormal. I don't want to debate whether it is true, and I have stated again and again that I don't have to call it a "claim," or paraphrase it with "oh, this hasn't yet been proven, but if it existed, this is a way we could enhance it." The skeptics don't like my attitude - justifyably arrogant. The question came up, recently, in a post:
...why are they nice to Charles Gregory?
I say in December 1997, with his "Pear Establishes Mind over Matter" thread he did what "skeptics" wanted - to hold on to the edge, the edge of there being anything to the paranormal, and continue to justify the subject on Usenet. I don't say he did that deliberately, or even knew what was happening. He just went with the flow, and got deeply involved in a long, drawn out, thread. He has not always done that, however, and does go against the "skeptics" quite often.
If a person is obnoxious, and they are writing according to a pattern
of a certain dogma, I will point it out. I continually point to my URL
that exposes skeptics, something the "skeptics"
are so obsessed about me doing, that they want to write FAQs to forbid
me from doing it. Are they so bothered by my URL that tells what skeptics
YAHOO (www.yahoo.com) SEARCH ENGINEThe FAQs proposed read as follows:
TYPE: skeptics what they do and why
or click here
6. WHAT SPAM IS ACCEPTABLE?
In a nutshell, none.
Repeated citation of
a commercial URL
within posts is inappropriate.
posts are also
inappropriate. Anything else that is
considered spam, by Usenet convention,
is obviously unacceptable.
Those, who wish to
post, commercial spam,
mindlessly repetitive posts, or massive
cross-posting, so-called, should place
their spam, in a more appropriate newsgroup,
such as: alt.fan.bruce-kettler
Though on the surface, the above may not seem so, it is written expressly
to censor me, to keep me from exposing the CULT of so-called "skeptics."
The definition of "spam"
is for the cult's own purposes, and is inaccurate.
As absurd as this is, the proposed FAQs were placed by the following poster to Usenet, someone who's sole intent was to take over the Newsgroup alt.paranormal, and who has no interest in the paranormal.
> Subject: Re: Pear Establishes... /CULTS
> email@example.com (dr. digger)
> Fri, 26 Dec 1997 12:07:27 GMT
> Here we have robo-spam, commercial spam and repetitive
> reference to a commercial website, all in 1 post. This, DAN,
> is an example of why all the above are discouraged in the a.p.
> [alt.paranormal] FAQ.
This Cult of so-called "skeptics" has, over a period of more than a year, repeatedly referred to my non-commercial Web Page of links, called Scientific Study of Psychic Phenomena, scistudy.html, spam. Whenever I've referred to the page that exposes their Hate Cult, they have called that "spam" also. My exposure of lack of sense, honesty, and civility through posts that, at the usual frequency of posting, do not individually appear more often than approximately once each 6 months, has also been called "spam."
In an effort to protect their own interests, they are obviously working toward censoring my writing on Usenet.
It could be that the smartest move for a number of posters is the one I've been advocating for some time: use of a newsreader that blocks out all the posts except for those from 15 to 50 people who have agreed beforehand not to allow anyone but that special group in their newsreaders. No matter how anyone changes their address, only that specified group's posts will appear. Forte Agent does that. See the search engines. To a great extent, the skepticult(those with www.skepticult.org in the signatures of their posts) consists of immature mentalities that need attention. Starve them of what they seek, and the less fanatical will go away.
Yes, one can get a sophisiticated newsreader, but freedom of speech is not about that. It's not having to use killfiles. It's not having to avoid reading posts. It's not feeling obligated to answer questions. It's not having to wade through tons of garbage postings to find an on-topic post. It's going to alt.paranormal, alt.astrology, alt.paranet.ufo and other newsgroups, and reading about the paranormal, not debates.
alt.astrology has a faq that says:
Alt.astrology is not intended
as a forum for disbelievers to
voice their contempt for astrologers
or to harass astrologers about their
belief in astrology and demand of them
scientific proof. Groups discussing
the scientific validity of theories
are prefixed with "sci."
...and the alt.paranormal FAQs and Answers are similar:
There is wisdom to that. It fits with real life experience. People don't debate whether Republicans or Democrats run the country better in a Republican organization or a Democratic organization building. They go elsewhere for that.
The FAQs do not actually forbid anything. Anyone can do what they want, but a person should be able to point to the FAQs and answers as a guideline, if necessary.
It's really a freedom. It's a freedom to go to sci.skeptic and debate, to make an announcement that you have a thread for debate in sci.skeptic (announcement in alt.paranormal). The freedom for those in alt.paranormal is that they are able to use a newsgroup for a specific purpose.
See, one has to have years of experience in alt.paranormal to see why this works, and is needed. There is an attitude of those who have no respect, as alt.paranormal founder Steve Reiser says, for a "division of interest."
This attitude of no respect has been prevelant in the paranormal-type
newsgroups, and is against the wishes of those who post as paranormalists.
Sure, some will post debate, but the
majority of regulars (those who read and post over the long term who find value in the paranormal) are not there for debate. Freedom is lost when people from other groups rule the attitude and the activities, and those interested in the paranormal are intimidated into not posting.
Wonderful contributors to newsgroups have left, and we lost a lot. They stopped posting because they were tired of answering questions of skeptics. Two people started the question in alt.paranormal: "Are Skeptics Cruel" and I turned it into a thread title.
The predominance of an effort to prove PSI's existence is psychologically detrimental. It presents an attitude.
My attitude shows in advocating
presenting it this way:
"Look here is a reference..." (a book,
a WEB site,
whatever) "Go check it out. Don't bother me
with details. Write to the researchers and ask
One web site you can reference is a URL with links to sites that report such research:
Here is another:
The attitude presented by excessive attention to proving the existence of PSI, of UFOs, or the validity of astrology, brings such a prevelance of it that it precludes the opportunity to present ways of improving psychic ability, of furthering research into UFOs, working toward improved methods with astrology, or discovering the true nature of any of this.
The skeptics are always demanding proof. This keeps people away from discussion of the subject, and on to proof. Compliance with demands for proof feeds the prevelant attitude that people have to prove it. The skeptics, in effect, are running the newsgroups.
When a person is holding on to life, they are not giving attention to the enhancement of that life? Can one get on to considering the enjoyments and enhancements of life while trying to stay alive? The analogy is that attention to proving the existence of PSI, UFOs or astrology, is staying at the water level and not drowning, while using the abilities and helping each other to know more about them is living life more fully.
The activity of a predominant thread, or group of threads, in a newsgroup tends to lend an atmosphere to the activity of the entire newsgroup.
One of the most offensive things I wrote in a Newsgroup to a skeptic, was "Does anyone of any worth or substance care what you, CSICOP, or others like you, believe?" It caused the writing of a lengthy exchange which I've captured the essense of here:
...and if one goes on trying to prove to them, they are made weaker,
and fall into the same psychological trap the CULTISTS are in -- fanatical
devotion to a cause. PSI, UFOs, Astrology, New Age thinking, and
the uses thereof, should not be a cause for anyone, just tools for spiritual
growth and practical benefits.