Joe Szimhart & CultAware - New Niche for Psychopaths

Laura

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Redrock12 said:
Just goes to show ya.
Scratch the surface of any mainstream religion, and beneath that squeaky clean facade you'll probably find the sick and twisted minds of psychopathic predators, usually in positions of leadership where they can mine the innocent and gullible.
And what better organization for predatory behavior than the Catholic Church? :mad: :mad: :mad:

Yup. A filthy pedophile cult if ever there was one.
 

Guardian

The Living Force
Laura said:
Hmmm... do ya s'pose this Joe guy is like Opus Dei or something?

You're reading my mind...again.

_http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_bookreviews/bkrev_opusdei.htm
Cultic Studies Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2006

Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church

John L. Allen, Jr.

Doubleday Religion, November 2005. ISBN: 0-385-51449-2 (hardcover) $24.95. 416 pages

Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart



Not much irritates a former member of a cult more than to hear someone misrepresent details or exaggerate what happens in the cult. If that last statement is true, think how irritated a current member of a controversial group can be in the same situation. A misrepresentation of one’s group or culture is a misrepresentation of one’s behavior and identity: “That is not what we did; that is not who I am.” To understand the nuances and complexity of any group, a critic must avoid reliance on stereotypes and the extreme behaviors that do not represent the common experience of group members.

Soon to be released as a major motion picture, The Da Vinci Code, a best selling work of fiction, has dragged one controversial Catholic group into more controversy than it deserves. That work of fiction by Dan Brown claims to represent Opus Dei as an extremist group willing to kill and bribe to retain its powerful, conservative position in the Catholic Church. A key Opus Dei character in the book is a hooded albino monk who not only does the killing, but also flagellates himself in acts of bloody penance purportedly required by his sect. At least that is the impression I easily got from Brown’s book.

John L. Allen, Jr., is the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio. He is the author of the best-selling book Conclave, about the selection process of a new Catholic pope. Allen has the skills, connections, and breadth of experience to tackle this unwieldy subject. Opus Dei (literally, “the work of God”) is a personal prelature of the Roman Catholic Church. People familiar with Opus Dei merely call it “the Work.” Inspired by a vision in 1928, Opus Dei’s recently canonized founder, Saint Josemaría Escrivá, conceived his movement as a nonreligious order in which all Catholics, lay and religious, can participate by dedicating themselves to Catholic principles and applying those principles in every phase of life, especially secular. There is even a category in Opus Dei for non-Catholics.

Allen opens his book by calling Opus Dei the “Guinness Extra Stout” of the Catholic Church. In a world of “lite” and “diet,” Guinness takes us back to an old tradition of a drink with a punch, a real beer, if you will. Allen calls Opus Dei “the most controversial force” in the church. Not a religious order like the Jesuits or Franciscans, Opus Dei occupies a special category as a personal prelature—the prelate is an elected leader who may or may not be a member of a religious order. Opus Dei has a structure based on intensity of commitment. Numeraries at the high commitment level are 20 percent of membership. Numeraries are celibate, live in centers of separate genders, and follow the daily rituals as strictly as possible. Numerary assistants, a special category, number about 4,000 women that serve as maids and servants at Opus centers. Associates are celibate members that live with their families, may or may not be married, and otherwise have commitments in the world. Supernumeraries, comprising 70 percent of Opus Dei membership, are less committed, not celibate, and can be householders with children and businesses. There are also cooperators, who may or may not be Catholics, but who nevertheless practice principles of a Christian life as espoused by the group. Opus Dei members are socially invisible, meaning that the member wears no identifying costume or emblem and while working in society rarely reveals that he or she is a member. This last feature, fairly or not, has given Opus Dei the reputation of a secret society.

Personal purification rituals in Opus Dei are voluntary but highly touted. These rituals include the discipline or flagellation of the back with a small, whip-like cord. Another ritual is enduring the cilice or barbed strap worn tight around the thigh for short periods. The cilice can cause minor skin wounds. An eye witness reported that Escrivá whipped himself so long and hard that he would leave splashes of blood all over the floor. However, Escrivá never required anyone to imitate him. According to Allen, Escrivá taught that no one in the movement should do anything that compromises his or her health. These seemingly barbaric rituals are to be done in private and endured silently. Opus numeraries also practice mortification by sleeping on thin boards that cover the mattress. Men will sleep on the floor once a week. Members practice small corporeal mortification at meals by skipping sugar, extra butter, or dessert. Members fast on prescribed days and on their own. But Allen notes that the time he spent with Opus Dei members over a year of research proved that members are “not especially fastidious about denying themselves food and drink.”

Members might have an assigned spiritual director who acts as a guide and confessor of sorts. Ritual prayer several times a day keeps each member aligned with his or her purpose and cause, which is to represent Christ’s message in everything. In general, Opus members are very dedicated to family, job, church, and the mission. Members tend to follow conservative values that align with Catholic principles. For this reason, critics see the group as a throwback to a pre-Vatican II era.

Some ex-members describe Opus Dei as another harmful cult that uses deceptive recruiting and brainwashing. But is it harmful? And if it is harmful, how could a pope as astute and worldly wise as John Paul II support an extremist organization that could damage the Church that he so served and loved?

John Allen wrote Opus Dei both to examine these criticisms and to expose Opus Dei to the light of journalism. This means that he traveled far and wide to Opus centers around the world, interviewed both members and ex-members and apologists and critics alike, and read about the group till he thought he could not take it any more. What he left out of his book would fill many volumes, I’m sure. What he put in should go a long way to explain many facets of the Escrivá movement in Catholicism. Allen summarizes the history and structure of the group and its leader in Section One. In Section Two, he covers the group from the inside and describes its purpose as members generally see it. The title of chapter 4 is telling: “Contemplatives in the Middle of the World.” In Section Three, Allen addresses the criticisms about the group’s attitude toward secrecy, mortification, women, money, politics and the Church.

Allen addresses “blind obedience” among members, and the cult label. In chapter 13, he relates an interview with cult expert David Clark, who exit-counseled a female member who later founded Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN). ODAN has Internet presence and functions as a forum for former members. In his last section, Section Four, Allen gives a fine “summary evaluation,” with some advice for Opus Dei as it moves into the future.

I must admit, having come from a career in the “cult awareness” field, that I hold a bias toward Opus Dei as a kind of Catholic cult with harmful elements. I am also a Catholic. My early sources of information about Opus were not only ex-members’ stories, but also several books published before 1990, including The Secret World of Opus Dei by Michael Walsh. Allen’s book has given me a better understanding of this movement, and I am thankful for his hard work that lays out all the Opus Dei laundry, both clean and soiled. The author brought me more in touch with the average member who appears to suffer no undue harm. Allen reports that members and leaders were more secretive prior to 1990, but this secrecy may have been a flaw that is slowly being corrected. By following a principle of humility to work silently in the world without bringing attention to oneself, the member is actually following a commandment of Christ.

On the flip side, outsiders noted the lack of transparency in a group that, for its relatively small size (less than 90,000 among a billion Catholics worldwide), has considerable influence. Allen reports that Opus attracts people of financial means who have sophisticated fundraising ability. Some critics believe that Opus Dei has too much influence over the Vatican, and that it may be the driving force behind the conservative backlash to liberalizing elements inadvertently released by Vatican II. (In fact, only 0.9 percent of those who are Catholic bishops are Opus members). Allen looks squarely into the problem of transparency as one of the flaws in the group, which even the group acknowledges has led to considerable misunderstanding. The secrecy lends itself to extreme misrepresentation in The Da Vinci Code, for example, because there is no accessible popular information to contradict it!

Allen substantiates charges of deceptive recruiting, pointing out that some members would invite friends to Opus Dei activities without mentioning that the group was behind the activities. Another tendency was to not reveal the high demands initially to new recruits. A third tactic was to “provoke a crisis of vocation” when a recruiter believed that someone was ready for it. But Allen notes that not all Opus Dei members among the hundreds he interviewed behaved this way, nor were they all politically conservative. In fact, Allen discovered that the deceptive tactics are not a policy from the top, but the result of overzealous members. Most members, he found, do fall into the conservative camp, however. In principle, each member votes according to individual conscience—Opus Dei member groups in South America, for example, have entirely different political and social climates than those in the United States or Spain. Another myth that Allen exposes is that Opus Dei works in high places and does no charitable work. Opus members have in fact set up schools and medical charities for the poor in third-world countries. These members are actually following the spirit of the founder, who expected every member to act in the world as Christ would.

If I have a criticism of Allen’s book, it regards factors that may be beyond his scope. From his book, we learn that new movements, like saints, are flawed entities and often rub contemporaries the wrong way. Allen tells us about Josemaría Escrivá’s flaws, even if his devotees shrink from recognizing anything beyond the legend of his holiness. But Escrivá and his more dedicated devotees envision more than just another movement equal to hundreds of others spawned within Catholicism. Their purpose is to infiltrate all aspects of society with God’s grace through “the Work.” The path emphasizes work on oneself through mortification, as if this will bring more of God’s grace into being.

Allen quotes Escrivá from his writings in The Way (227): “If you realize that your body is your enemy, and an enemy of God’s glory since it is an enemy of your sanctification, why do you treat it so softly?” In The Forge, by Escrivá, he states: “What has been lost through the flesh, the flesh should pay back: be generous in your penance.” Although members will dispute it, in this latter regard, Opus Dei falls into the radical dualism of the Gnostic cults that denigrate the corporeal self in favor of a spiritualized self. In addition, Gnosticism as one of the early Gospel heresies, like much of occultism in general, emphasizes a magical union with the divine through ritual prayer and mortification. Simply put, God gives you more grace if you pray more or fast more. The Gospel and especially the writings attributed to St. Paul do not support this nonsensical approach to God. In effect, such cults tend to separate members from a reasonable approach to faith, and to cut off one’s reason in matters of faith is always dangerous.

Allen does not offer a neat answer to the question of how harmful Opus Dei is. His research indicates that some ex-members have legitimate complaints, but, like any new organization, Opus Dei has made adjustments and decreased what appears as secrecy during the past two decades. Using his analogy that Opus is like strong beer, one can understand how the group members might lose the more sober approach to religion common to Catholics. His book corrects misperceptions about conspiratorial power, and it places the mortification rituals in context. Unless Allen missed something, I got the impression that I suffered more mortification playing high-school football for four seasons than an Opus Dei member will in a lifetime of religious practice!

Overall, I liked this book. It should be required reading for anyone who wishes to get beyond the distorted image of Opus Dei portrayed in The Da Vinci Code.
 

Possibility of Being

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Guardian said:
_http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_bookreviews/bkrev_opusdei.htm

Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart
Some ex-members describe Opus Dei as another harmful cult that uses deceptive recruiting and brainwashing. But is it harmful? And if it is harmful, how could a pope as astute and worldly wise as John Paul II support an extremist organization that could damage the Church that he so served and loved?

Good try and good companion. Apparently, this "astute and worldly wise pope John Paul II" was covering up the pedophile clergy in the Vatican and worldwide, conspired with Pinochet and other Latin American dictators, and during his pontificate one of the biggest financial frauds in the Vatican took place. Of course all of that, and more, out of his deep love for the Church... Never mind all those pedophilia victims. :mad:
 

aragorn

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Being curious, I started looking at the so called "papers" that Szimhart has produced. Not surprisingly, most of them are book reviews etc.

But the interesting thing I noticed was that most of them, since around 1996, have been published in the magazinge 'Skeptical Inquirer magazine'. Now, this magazine is owned by 'The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, formerly known as CSICOP. And, it seems, that Joe Szimhart has close ties to this organization, see:

_http://www.skeptiko.com/religious-cults-expert-on-spiritual-experiences/

Cult expert Joe Szimhart discusses how genuine spiritual experiences can be exploited by religious cults.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Joe Szimhart. During the interview Mr. Szimhart explains how religious cults use spiritual experiences to their advantage:

[...]
Alex Tsakiris: No. I just don’t agree and I don’t think we share that common understanding of science. Science is a set of tools. It’s not a position statement. We don’t draw lines in the sand, and that’s what’s the problem with that oft-repeated quote, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Of course they don’t. That’s completely unscientific because it adds a subjective measure. I could always claim that your claims are extraordinary. My claims are not. My proof is extraordinary. Your claims are not. Science is about trying to bring some objective measures to these things, but it’s still just a game. It’s just a tool. We don’t wind up with any truth. We just wind up…

Joe Szimhart: Let me stop you right there. I understand where you’re going with this because I’ve been through these arguments before and I’ve read Dawkin’s books and all that sort of thing about these issues. I’m a member of the Skeptical Inquirer organization. I’ve gotten their magazine. I helped set up a skeptics group in New Mexico when it first formed with Ken Frazier.

Looking up Ken Frazier on Wikipedia gives us:

Kendrick Crosby Frazier (born March 19, 1942 in Windsor, Colorado) is a science writer and longtime editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He is also a former editor of Science News, author or editor of ten books, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a fellow and a member {from their site at _http://www.centerforinquiry.net/about/corporate_governance we can see that he belongs to the board of directors} of the executive council of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), an international organization which promotes scientific inquiry.[1]

Which makes it seem even more probable that Szimhart is an 'insider' at CSICOP.

So, what exactly is CSI or CSICOP?

From Wikipedia:

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), formerly known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), is a program within the U.S. non-profit organization Center for Inquiry (CFI), whose stated purpose is to "encourage the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminate factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public."[1] CSI was founded in 1976 by Paul Kurtz to counter what he regarded as an uncritical acceptance of, and support for, paranormal claims by both the media and society in general. Its philosophical position is one of scientific skepticism. CSI's fellows have included many notable scientists, Nobel laureates, philosophers, educators, authors, and celebrities. It is headquartered in Amherst, New York.

History

The Center for Inquiry was established in 1991 by philosopher and author Paul Kurtz. It brought together two organizations: the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal[1] (CSICOP) and the Council for Secular Humanism[2] (CSH), both of which had previously operated in tandem but were now formally affiliated under one umbrella {which is CFI}. By 1995 CFI had expanded into a new 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) headquarters in Amherst, New York, and in 1996 opened its first branch office in Los Angeles, CFI West.[3] In the same year, CFI founded the Campus Freethought Alliance, organizing college students around issues of importance to CFI and its members.

By 1997 CFI had begun expanding its efforts internationally through an association with Moscow State University. CFI Moscow now operates an exchange program where Russian students and scholars are able to visit CFI headquarters in Amherst, NY and participate in a summer institute each year. Additional international programs exist in Germany (Rossdorf), France (Nice), Spain (Bilbao), Poland (Warsaw), Nigeria (Ibadan), Uganda (Kampala), Kenya (Nairobi), Nepal (Katmandu), India (Pune) (Hyderabad), Egypt (Cairo), China (Beijing), New Zealand (Auckland), Peru (Lima), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Senegal (Dakar), Zambia (Lusaka), and Bangladesh (Dacca).
Between 2002 and 2003 CFI opened two new branches in New York City[4] and Tampa, FL[5] in addition to expanding its west coast branch into a new building in Hollywood, California. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, CFI West also became home to the Steve Allen Theater, named after the former Tonight Show host and CFI supporter. By 2004, CFI continued to expand into cities across the United States with the creation of a network of community organizations called "CFI Communities"[6] in cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tucson, Tallahassee, FL, Indianapolis, and Fort Lauderdale.

In 2005 CFI once again expanded its Amherst headquarters with a new 15,600-square-foot (1,450 m2) research wing. Additionally, CFI was granted special consultative status with the United Nations the same year.
Since 2006 CFI has been expanding rapidly with a series of new branches in cities across North America and around the world. These include new Centers for Inquiry in Toronto, London, Washington DC, Indianapolis, IN, Grand Rapids, MI, and Austin, TX. The branch in Washington is headquarters to CFI's Office of Public Policy, which represents CFI's interests on Capitol Hill.

Then...from _http://www.greatdreams.com/faking.htm

An international organisation exists which appears to be solely concerned with debunking and ridiculing the work of others. This organisation is CSICOP - The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. It was formed in 1976 by Professor Paul Kurtz as a breakaway group from the American Humanist Association. Paul Kurtz, born in 1925, is now retired as a philosophy lecturer at New York University. Politically, he is a Social Democrat, part of the American Non-Communist Left through which the CIA channeled funding from large American foundations such as Ford and Rockefeller, to promote liberalism in Europe during the Cold War.

Kurtz was concerned about the revival of Astrology in the US, and circulated a letter to leading scientists and academics collecting 186 signatures, including those of 18 Nobel Prize winners, to a manifesto called "Objections to Astrology", the publication of which brought about the formation of CSICOP. Soon afterwards, Kurtz held a press conference in New York to announce "a campaign to purge the media of occultist leanings" and to ensure "no TV programs dealing with parascience would go out unvetted by the appropriate authorities", i.e. CSICOP. Among it's first members were science fiction writer Isaac Isimov, magician and showman James Randi, and astronomer and writer Professor Carl Sagan.

CSICOP began a journal called "The Zetetic" which was replaced in 1978 by "The Skeptical Inquirer". It is illuminating to note from the definitions of Zetetic and Skeptic how CSICOP was also changing: Zetetic: adj - having to do with enquiry or investigation. Skeptic: n - a member of adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophy that maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible. Quite what prominent scientists were doing lending their names to an organisation whose journal denied the results to which their lives had been dedicated is a matter for them and their reputations. Perhaps other pressures were being applied beyond their control or understanding.

From the start, the Skeptical Inquirer's style was jokey and cynical, and was the hallmark of many articles which it published. CSICOP's own studies did not follow accepted scientific procedure and results not matching their preconceived views were simply changed, causing extreme damage to serious scientists, spiritualists and healers, both professionally and personally. Most notable of these were the astrological links to the "Mars Effect" on athletes (where their performance appeared to be affected by the position of the planet Mars). when CSICOP carried out their own studies which confirmed Gauguelin's results that there was a real effect, the information was suppressed. Also, the hounding of Professor Jacques Benveniste, following his research into the 'memory of water' and its apparent validation of homeopathic practice, was directly linked to CSICOP. Since October 1981, CSICOP have had an official policy of not conducting any scientific experiments. This appears to be diametrically opposed to their stated objectives and organisation title.

The structure of CSICOP came to resemble organisations set up during the Cold War by the US foundations and the CIA to mask their activities: just a few people to handle admin, while the use of PR gave the appearance of something much larger, including the ability to place articles in media all over the world. An extensive list of advisers and associates such as philosophers, scientists, writers and magicians numbering well over 100 as committee participants of CSICOP, raised the public profile and plausibility of the organisation. The activities of CSICOP were promoted by scientists close to the US government, who pushed it as a scientific policing organisation. Magazines such as 'Science' and 'Scientific American' published articles on its behalf. However, other scientists observed CSICOP was acquiring an inordinate influence and appeared to be directed by hidden forces. Writing in the 'Times HIgher Education Supplement', Harry Collins said science did not need 'a scientific vigilante organisation' apparently unaccountable to anyone.

In 1986, James Randi, one of the most prominent members of CSICOP, received a five year grant of $272,000 from the MacArthur Foundation to assist with his hoaxes and attacks on all matters spiritual, psychic and holistically medical. Uri Geller has recently won a long and costly court case against Randi, who had accused Geller of fraud. Randi then had to resign from CSICOP in order that Geller would not sue it also. As early as 1978, the New Age was being attacked and ridiculed, "especially those attracted to cults and others who grouped around Glastonbury and other supposedly sacred sites". Alternative lifestyles would increasingly attract vitriolic levels of attack as their influence was perceived to grow. A British branch of CSICOP was launched in 1987 and is represented by the small circulation magazine 'The Skeptic'.

On both sides of the Atlantic, CSICOP carried out a sustained campaign against alternative medicine. There are close ties with the National Council Against Health Fraud with continual debunking and ridiculing of any therapies which do not meet its approval, specifically to do with cancer and AIDS. It is notable that approval is inevitably given to treatments deriving from the products of multinational drug companies: Welcome, Hoffman, LaRoche, Eli Lily, etc., all of whom are not only linked to the US foundations through hospitals and research institutes, but also the government in the guise of the FDA (Federal Drug Administration), who approve the use of new drugs for sale, so implying their safety. It is also legitimate to question why senior members of the US government, politicians, the military, industry, bankers, the foundations, religion, universities and the media meet clandestinely in the USA under the auspices of an organisation founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller, the Trilateral Commission, and how their decisions are then implemented - if not through their own organisations, then their offshoots and associated companies.

Despite there being no mention of crop circles as a subject worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of the paranormal, which by now covered UFOs, abductions, ghosts, faith healing, moving statues, weeping statues, metal bending and mediums, the UK skeptics corrected this oversight with an article by Dr. David Fisher in the British and Irish Skeptic (March/April 1990), reviewing the available crop circle literature to date. His conclusion was that "there was n reason why every one of the hundreds of recorded crop circles could not have been made by tricksters" using a "giant comb-like farm implement". Dr. Fisher had not found that this researches required him to visit any crop circle prior to his article appearing. This was published four months before the first issue of either The Cerealogist or The Circular. the same Dr. Fisher also had a letter printed in The Guardian (11 July 1990) challenging cerealogists to distinguish between a 'genuine' crop circle and a hoax.

There also a book out there called 'The Missing Times' by Terry Hansen, that describes the ties between CSICOP and the CIA. I couldn't find any other excerpts on that one, except this:

_http://www.alienscientist.com/forum/showthread.php?2469-CSI-Skeptic-Robert-Sheaffer-Doubts-the-U.S.-Government-Uses-the-Media-to-Debunk-UFOs

In a recent blog post, Robert Sheaffer, a leading spokesman for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), apparently dismisses the idea that the U.S. government might be using the media to help debunk UFOs. However, those who have actually studied the facts say otherwise. Anyone wishing to have an informed view about all of this should read the definitive exposé on the subject, journalist Terry Hansen’s The Missing Times: News Media Complicity in the UFO Cover-up, which has just been republished as an e-book.

While the CIA’s infiltration of mainstream news organizations, to serve its own purposes, was first divulged during the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee hearings in 1975, and further exposed by The Washington Post’s Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein two years later, Hansen credibly documents decades-long efforts by the intelligence community and the Pentagon to spin or suppress objective media coverage—in both news and entertainment programming—directly relating to the UFO phenomenon.

Significantly, Hansen discusses in detail information suggesting a government infiltration of Sheaffer’s own group by persons whose motives are other than their publicly-stated skepticism of UFOs. CSI (formerly known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, or CSICOP) has a well-established track record of attempting to influence media coverage of the phenomenon, ostensibly for “rational” and “scientific” reasons. Hansen proposes that this is merely a smokescreen and writes:

“CSICOP is an organization of people who oppose what they contend is pseudo-science...CSICOP, contrary to its impressive-sounding title, does not sponsor scientific research. On the contrary, its main function has been to oppose scientific research, especially in areas such as psychic phenomena and UFOs, two topics that, coincidentally or not, have been of demonstrated interest to the U.S. intelligence community over the decades. Instead, CSICOP devotes nearly all of its resources to influencing the American public via the mass media.”

Hansen continues, “CSICOP can accurately be described as a propaganda organization because it does not take anything approaching an objective position regarding UFOs. The organization’s stance is militantly anti-UFO research and it works hard to see that the news media broadcast its views whenever possible. When the subject of UFOs surfaces, either in the news media or any other public forum, CSICOP members turn out rapidly to add their own spin to whatever is being said. Through its ‘Council for Media Integrity’ CSICOP maintains close ties with the editorial staffs of such influential science publications as Scientific American, Nature, and New Scientist. Consequently, it’s not too hard to understand why balanced UFO articles seldom appear in those [magazines].”

I'm not sure how much this is worth following, but I think there's a possibility that Szimhart has connections pretty high up. One last thing that caught my attention was a web page with an article about e.g. CSICOP, CIA and James Randi. I'm not sure who is behind this article, but the information is pretty intriquing, but hard to verify.

_http://www.whale.to/b/csicop.html

CSICOP, is the original skeptic organisation, from which all other skeptic groups have flowed over the last thirty years. It was founded originally as a Marxist /atheist organisation that poured its academic energy into disputing everything spiritual, religious and other-worldy. For much of its early years, while the CIA searched for psychic weaponry, CSICOP was on hand to publicly dispute the possibility of such Psycho-technology, ensuring that if it was viable it didn’t fall into the wrong hands. However, in the eighties with the cold war coming to an end and the CIA turning its interests to the protection of corporate rather than cold war America, CSICOP became more and more involved in the defence of pharmaceutical company competitiveness.

[...]

The so-called "sceptics" of CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, headed by Klass) are not true sceptics, but rather a clandestinely controlled false propaganda operation of the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence, a branch of the CIA's Science Directorate, under its Clandestine Services, Operations Division). Their operations within the continental U.S. are illegal under the U.S. constitution, but if you read the so-called "national security" laws, you'll see that Congress has betrayed 'We the People' by agreeing to the passage of legislation which permits this betrayal, by allowing pretty much anything the "spooks" want to do.

February 11, 1996, Toronto Star: "What I had hesitated to mention is that the colorful Randi has been involved in a number of lawsuits. Part of the evidence brought against Randi was a tape of his telephone conversations, of explicit sexual content, with teenage boys. Randi has at different times claimed that the tape was a hoax made by his enemies to blackmail him, that he made the tape himself, and that the police asked him to make it. Whichever version is true, it's amazing indeed that such a person could be taken seriously as a scientific adviser in an organization dedicated to denying claims of child sexual abuse." This tape was played during a trial in which Randi was accused by Eldon Byrd, a good friend of Uri and a former Naval Surface Weapons Center researcher, of defamation by claiming he was known pedophile. True or not, during the trial Byrd and his team played a tape on which Randi was speaking to a small boy about sex and how much it would cost. Randi claimed it was all a setup by Byrd and the boys on the tape were prank callers. The judge wasn't so sure about that, especially because Randi voluntarily called back one of the boys after the latter told him his money was running out. It's a confusing story, but you wonder what he's doing at the FMSF. _http://www.isgp.eu/dutroux/FMSF_freaks.htm {the information on this page is gone, it seems}
 

mb

The Living Force
Redrock12 said:
Just goes to show ya.
Scratch the surface of any mainstream religion, and beneath that squeaky clean facade you'll probably find the sick and twisted minds of psychopathic predators, usually in positions of leadership where they can mine the innocent and gullible.
And what better organization for predatory behavior than the Catholic Church? :mad: :mad: :mad:

Yes. I think there may have been some very sick, twisted portal-types that set up the mother church with "guidance from above" and since then it has been more a matter of maintenance, although history has recorded quite a number of psychopathic overseers and shepherds along the way. There seems to be no shortage of twisted humans to draw from.
 

Lilou

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I found it curious that Intelius free people search has the name Mal Hiller (short for Malcolm) as an alias for Joe Szimhart. I found an obituary for John Malcolm Hiller of Santa Fe,NM. He died at the age of 85 (Alzheimers) in Oct 2006. Hiller worked at St Michaels in Santa Fe, St Francis College in Loretto, PA & NM Military Institute in Roswell.

[quote author= bio of Szimhart]
His journey as a young artist took him to New Mexico where he made a living as a “starving artist” sketching portraits in charcoal and pastel for tourists and teaching part time at St. John’s College.
[/quote]

So maybe Szimhart and Hiller crossed paths? And maybe he sometimes uses an alias? It might mean nothing, but thought I'd mention it.
 

mb

The Living Force
Aragorn said:
Being curious, I started looking at the so called "papers" that Szimhart has produced. Not surprisingly, most of them are book reviews etc.

But the interesting thing I noticed was that most of them, since around 1996, have been published in the magazinge 'Skeptical Inquirer magazine'. Now, this magazine is owned by 'The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, formerly known as CSICOP. And, it seems, that Joe Szimhart has close ties to this organization, see:

_http://www.skeptiko.com/religious-cults-expert-on-spiritual-experiences/
...

How interesting, from deprogramming to debunking. It figures. I was aware of some of what Skeptical Enquirer was up to, but this connection is new.

You know, "the end of the world as we knew it" (as we imagined it) is already here. No need to wait for a solstice.
 

name

Jedi Master
I looked at the website of the MCES and their annual report published there.
I found it strange on first read that appear to be taking in lots of donation money but nowhere do they mention that they are organized under 501(c)(3) because their profile more than indicates it. Could they be trying to scare away potential donors?


Even stranger is that they ARE actually a 501(c)(3) "charity", and that since 1974.


Here, for your viewing pleasure:
_http://nccsweb.urban.org/communityplatform/nccs/organization/profile/id/231894907
And their "currentest" F990:
_http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/990.php?ein=231894907&yr=201106&rt=990&t9=A

(Addition)
I had an "eheheheh" moment when I looked up one of the doctors of the place:
_http://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Consolacion_Alcantara/reviews
Patient review quoted from there: "The doctor made a diagonsis before she even got to know much about me."

It looks like the place is a modern version of "Teh Nuthouse, Inc.", now making more profits on the backs of sane people declared crazy by specialists highly motivated by their income.
 

Guardian

The Living Force
Lilou said:
So maybe Szimhart and Hiller crossed paths? And maybe he sometimes uses an alias? It might mean nothing, but thought I'd mention it.

Hmm, Szimhart was in New Mexico when he was arrested for being a fugitive from justice.
 

Guardian

The Living Force
name said:
Even stranger is that they ARE actually a 501(c)(3) "charity", and that since 1974.


Oh yeah. This is their tax return for 2008. Very interesting.
-http://irs990.charityblossom.org/990/200906/231894907.pdf
 

name

Jedi Master
MCES appears to work together with something called "United Way" - a "Federated Giving Program" - which has 973 chapter throughout the USA, has its main offices in Alexandria, VA, and collects about 100M USD per year.


See:
_http://www.unitedway.org/
_http://nccsweb.urban.org/communityplatform/nccs/organization/profile/id/131635294
 

Guardian

The Living Force
name said:
I had an "eheheheh" moment when I looked up one of the doctors of the place:
_http://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Consolacion_Alcantara/reviews
Patient review quoted from there: "The doctor made a diagonsis before she even got to know much about me."

Geezzzz.

Hey Name, would like to take a couple of names off this list of Directors and see what you can dig up? I am literally drowning in data, and I'm not even done with Szimhart or Marrone yet.

Anybody else want to snag a sicko and run with it?

Joan Johnston-Stern
Vice President

Hudson B. Scattergood
Vice President

Neal F. Basile
Treasurer

Margaret Bailey
Secretary

Brad Barry

Carol Caruso

Caroline Ellison, Ph.D

Linda Farestad, RN

Michael Kennedy

Marvin Levitties

Faith Millen

Randall S. Floyd

Barbara Watson Rawls

Clifford Rogers, Ph.D

Harold Borek, Esq.
Solicitor
 

Guardian

The Living Force
name said:
MCES appears to work together with something called "United Way" - a "Federated Giving Program" - which has 973 chapter throughout the USA, has its main offices in Alexandria, VA, and collects about 100M USD per year.


See:
_http://www.unitedway.org/
_http://nccsweb.urban.org/communityplatform/nccs/organization/profile/id/131635294

Yeah, the United Way is a HUGE org in the US. Employees can support the UW with automatic deductions from their paychecks, which they are often "encouraged" (almost forced) to do by their employers.

The United Way then funds a bunch of other scamish charities like MCES.
 

name

Jedi Master
Uh, Guardian, these people *might* be sickos, but what is relevant is that this has "spooks" written all over it. There are those many small things which are a sign that the gravity constant has changed in this particular area. What you've come across is a 73-bed nuthouse run by "specialist" doctors with outrageous salaries, and that is not nothing IMO.
My guess is that finding people who have had the privilege of being treated by the MCES would reveal lots about what they really do - look at the info about "plasticsmith" which I linked to in the Davidis thread, and if you find similar things here, it could be taken as probable that the MCES is a location where something similar to the MK-* projects of a generation or two ago.
I'll go to bed for now.
 

Lilou

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I started looking at the treasurer. I'll probably be a bit more useful after some rest - but do have the day off tomorrow. So I'll see what I can find.
 
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