(Investigator 17, 1991
INVESTIGATOR regularly sends letters to solicit information or just to make a point.The following was sent to the editor of The Messenger:
|The article "MFP
Will Attract UFOs: Claim"
(December 5) is irresponsible in that it's worthy of a sensationalist
Admittedly a reporter reports what people say and does not investigate the truth of the things said. Mr Norris' claim that "we have been observed by extraterrestrials for thousands of years" should at least have been balanced with a quote from someone skeptical of flying saucers.
Adelaide has several scientists who are very informed on UFOs and also several skeptics magazines whose editors could have supplied your reporter with their phone numbers.
give a one aided
report based on statements
by someone with "an axe to grind", and thereby promote a superstition,
The MFP or "Multi Function Polis" is the high tech suburb planned for the area east of Port Adelaide.
It's not the reporter per se who's irresponsible but the act of mixing tabloid material with ordinary news without any disclaimer. It could get youngsters hooked, in this case on flying saucers, leading them to wasting their time for years before realizing they're on a wild goose chase.Some other letters are reproduced below.
|His Grace Leonard
The Archbishop of Adelaide
1989 October 5
refer to the
enclosed newspaper report
about Mr Robert Currie who invests money on behalf of the Vatican. It
"Mr Currie will put his Papal clients into almost anything; tobacco, alcohol, war planes, condoms – to hell with the soul and pass the cashbox."
As a practising Catholic I'm very concerned about this and seek your comment about this news report.
Such conduct by our Hierarchy gives heretics reason to call us apostates, anti Christs, double minded and hypocrites. The Jehovah's Witnesses alone have attracted over 6 million Catholics worldwide to their meetings. The major draw card of the Jehovah's Witnesses is the alleged stark contrast between Jehovah's Witness innocence and Catholic guilt.
I remain your most obedient servant.
Worker's Educational Association
The WEA Spring Course Guide lists approximately 330 courses. Most of these are indeed "educational", worthwhile, and not in conflict with established science.
About 15 of the courses, however, disseminate pseudo scientific material and/or superstition. I'm enclosing a copy of a portion of YOUR Course Guide that has 13 particularly offensive examples.
As long ago as 300 years Isaac Newton recognized palmistry as a "rogish trade to deceive simple people". At the same time Johann Kepler (1571-1630) concluded that astrology was a superstition. There are even Bible statements that support the conclusion that astrology is "all Taurus". (The Encyclopedia Of Christian Ethics p. 28)
I think it irresponsible of WEA to advertise courses on superstition along with courses promoting genuine knowledge and call both types of courses "educational". Some people could be influenced toward evaluating science and superstition equally.
It could be argued that if WEA didn't promote superstition then the profits would go to some other organization that did. That, however, is similar to the logic of the culprits who were tried at Nuremburg and who in effect argued: "If we hadn't obeyed orders and done these things then somebody else would have."
The judges weren't impressed. Indeed, there's a Bible statement against such logic as well – Luke 17:1-2.
Michael O'Leary of the Astronomical Society of SA recently wrote against astrology and added: "Rational people must take a stand somewhere or we may all be on the road to Jonestown." (Investigator Magazine September 1989)
This letter is an attempt to "take a stand".
I would appreciate a reply to my comments.
Educational Association of SA
South Australia 5000
8 September, 1989
Thank you for your letter of 1 September about the range of courses offered in our latest Course Guide.
The WEA is committed to freedom of individual thought and inquiry. It does not make value judgements about the scientific validity of the courses it offers but does feel strongly that if people express a desire to learn about any area of knowledge, they should have the opportunity to do so.
This does not imply that WEA endorses any particularly line of thought, but is rather trying to present to the public a range of views in response to their demand for such courses.
I respect your opinions and realise that a number of people would have a similar viewpoint. However, for those people who do wish to explore these areas we shall continue to offer them the opportunity to do so.
Thank you for your interest in our organisation.
Chairman Dept. of Botany
University of Adelaide
1989 September 15
Please would you answer a question on botany for me?
I've enclosed pages 94-95 from The Australian Women's Weekly (1968 July). Similar articles about "Gardening By The Stars", using astrology to get "excellent results in your garden", appear regularly in the same magazine.
Please inform me about what botanists say about all this. Is it sound science? If I followed astrology would my gardening results be better?
|The University of
22 September 1989
Thank you for your letter inquiring about the "Plants and Astrology" article. I am very sceptical about such claims. I know that there are elaborate systems of rules for planting crops according to the moon and stars and there may be some validity in them, in the sense that following such rules may result in crops being planted at times which are suitable in certain areas, for other reasons.
Many traditional societies learned to regulate their cultivating, sowing, harvesting, etc. by observations of the weather and the seasons, and noticing correlations between local weather patterns and the position of moon and stars could lead to useful guide-lines. But such blanket statements as "Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are very fertile" seem to me to reduce the whole thing to crude superstition which does not help anyone.
The trouble with such claims is that those who make them and believe in them usually cannot get scientific botanists or agricultural scientists to take enough interest to test the claims and prove or disprove them. Hence they persist with them, and the scientists ignore them or scoff, without doing any serious investigation.
So I cannot say I know these claims have been proved spurious. I can only say I cannot see any mechanism by which moon or stars can influence germination and growth success in the way claimed.
If you are interested, the thing to do is try your own experiments. Plant some batches of vegetables according to the Zodiac, and some control batches at the times claimed to be the most unsuitable, and see if you can see any difference.
1989 July 7
Dear Madame Daudet,
Thankyou for offering your "Golden Wave revelations" to me.
Rather than sending the requested $30 I have a better offer. Please send me your "revelations" and I will share with you the "huge sums of money" that I receive as a result of "passing each day through a magnetic field that's lucky" for me.
If any other investment (in addition to the $30) is required to cash in on the "secret Golden Wave" please send it to me and I will refund it when your promised $2,500 to $1,000,000 comes my way.
As you see, I'm as generous to you as you are to me. Generosity, however, is not my only motive. I'm also cautious. Your "promise" to make people "wealthy" might indicate that you yourself are "passing through a magnetic field" that could get you sued.
Please demonstrate your sincerity and honesty and make out your cheque to me in Australian dollars.
According to Woman's Day magazine (1988 June 21) you consulted a. psychic named Zandra Marie to inquire about the (future) birth of your first child.
The psychic allegedly stated: "a boy…would be born on June 21, and would have blond hair and blue eyes." (p. 28)
Could you please confirm for me whether you did consult Zandra Marie as claimed and whether she did accurately predict (about Prince William) what she says she predicted.
A photocopy of the Woman's Day article is enclosed for your inspection.
I REMAIN YOUR HIGHNESS'
MOST OBEDIENT SERVANT
|ST. JAMES'S PALACE
LONDON SWIA IBS
5th December, 1990
Private Secretary to
H.R.H. The Princess of Wales
Thank you for your letter of 12th November addressed to The Princess of Wales, to which I have been asked to reply.
For reasons which I hope you will understand, no comment can be made on the type of speculative article to which you refer.
North Adelaide 5006
1990 February 12
Dear Mr Jones,
Please find enclosed a copy of an advertisement published in Time Australia (1990 Jan. 8).
The advertisement by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi offers "Alliance With Nature's Government" of which His Holinese is the chief executive.
The benefits to Australia would be an end to crime, natural disasters, poverty, and sickness. This would mean no more police corruption, earthquakes, destitute children or hospital crises with long waiting lists for operations.
The Maharishi's method for creating "perfect government" is allegedly documented in "430 research studies" and can be understood by anyone "with the slightest intelligence". Our politicians will therefore be able to understand.
If His Holiness' offer is genuine then it constitutes an opportunity to set Australia aright at last. It should not be despised – especially as this is an election year – since we don't want Her Majesty's Opposition to take the initiative in this matter and claim the credit.
Please inform me about any steps Her Majesty's Australian Government may be taking to enter into alliance with Nature's Government.
I Remain Your Obedient Servant
|Reverend J G Speers
1990 July I
Dear Reverend Speers,
I came across a news article of August 6 1971 about your daughter, then 16, being miraculously cured of a congenital hip dislocation by means of prayer.
Sometimes people ask me about divine healing and how long, the healing lasts.
Could you inform me whether, in Megan's case, the results were permanent?
The news article quoted you as saying that you would have Megan X-rayed to prevent any false claims being made.
Could you tell me what the X-rays revealed?
Please find enclosed a press clipping about one Megan Speers supposedly cured miraculously of a "congenital hip dislocation". The cure resulted in her left leg becoming 1½ inches longer and thus equal to her right leg.
The article says: "Her case has been registered with the Crippled Children's Association which held full records of her previous condition."
Can you supply me with any information about this case and Megan's alleged miraculous cure.
I'm writing because one of my interests is to check news reports of miraculous cures by contacting the person when possible or contacting the relevant organization.
The news article
to in the above
letters [about Megan Speers] was from The News, Friday, August
6, 1971, page 3. It reported
that Megan was cured of a congenital hip dislocation by Ted Whitefell:
The NSW Society
Crippled Children replied:
The case of "The Miracle of Megan Speers" remains mysterious. One opinion we heard is that Megan's hip problem was a learned habit, which was unlearned under the emotional impact of the religious meeting.
|April 29, 1991
Thank you for sending the article about Megan Speers.
I don't know anything about this particular case but I am familiar with Mr Whitesell (his name is spelt wrongly in the article). When I last met him in Australia, I found him to be a very unusual person, but there seems no doubt that people were healed by God through his ministry.
On a larger scale, I can certainly affirm the fact that many people of my acquaintance have been permanently healed through faith in God. I know many people who have had hearing restored, for example, or who have been healed of conditions such as arthritis, etc.
kind of healing is a
natural healing which happens to coincide with the laying on of hands
healing prayer seems to me to require a greater sense of faith and
to believe that the healing was, in fact, done by God!
|To: R Watters
Editor of Bethel
Dear Mr. Watters,
I want to comment on your article (May/June 1990) When Prophecies Fail.
You showed that cults survive disconfirmation of their prophecies by proselytizing; by members convincing each other they have nowhere else to go; by reinterpreting what was predicted; and because most cult members have invested their lives in the cult and "burned their bridges."
You showed how these features accompanied the major prophetic dates of JWs – 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918,1920, 1925, 1975.
JW dates, however, have an added feature you may not have noticed. In every instance from 1878 onward new dates were set or stressed even before a current date failed.
Before 1975 failed the new date was "within our twentieth century." (The Nations Shall Know, 1971 p. 216) Before "within our twentieth century" fails there are already hints for the 21st century. (WT 1980 10/15 31; Awake! 1985 12/22 p. 25)
Similarly, before 1924 and 1925 failed there were strong hints for 1928. (WT 1924 1/1 p.4 paragraphs 12-14) Ten years before 1914 the previously "firm" prophecies to occur before or by 1914 were changed to "after October 1914." (Watchtower Reprints 1904 7/1 p. 3389)
And so on for every other date.
In this way dates act like the "carrot on a stick" with the "carrot" regularly being changed so it stays fresh.
Published in: BETHEL MINISTRIES 1990 No. 4