LETTERS

(Investigator 17, 1991 March)


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 tabloid.

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.

To give a one aided report based on statements by someone with "an axe to grind", and thereby promote a superstition, is irresponsible.
 


 

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 Faulkner 
The Archbishop of Adelaide
1989 October 5

Your Grace,

Please refer to the enclosed newspaper report about Mr Robert Currie who invests money on behalf of the Vatican. It says in part: 
 

"Mr Currie will put his Papal clients into almost anything; tobacco, alcohol, war planes, condoms – to hell with the soul and pass the cashbox."


To invest in things that kill people such as tobacco, alcohol and warplanes is bad enough. It denies Christ's principles of love and peace. To invest in condoms – while giving lip service to being against artificial birth control – seems like hypocrisy.

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.

 


 
The Director
Worker's Educational Association
Adelaide 5000
1989 September
 

Dear Sir/Madam,

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.

Yours faithfully,
 

 
 
Workers' Educational Association of SA
Adelaide, 
South Australia 5000
8 September, 1989

Dear Mr….

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.

Yours sincerely,

Education Officer
 


Dr. Sinclair
Chairman Dept. of Botany
University of Adelaide

1989 September 15

Dear Sir,

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.

Advice given includes:
 

  • "always plant and transplant during the waxing cycle, when the moon is growing";
  • "Do not plant or transplant on the day of the new moon or the full moon";
  • "Not only must you plant crops which grow above the ground during the waxing cycle and crops which grow beneath the ground during the waning cycle, but you must also co-ordinate these rules with the moon's position in the 12 signs of the zodiac."


Then follows a complicated colour coded chart to help apply all this advice.

Please inform me about what botanists say about all this. Is it sound science? If I followed astrology would my gardening results be better?

Yours faithfully,

 

 
The University of Adelaide              22 September 1989
Botany Department

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5001 
 

Dear Mr--------

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.

Good luck,

Yours sincerely,

R. Sinclair

 


 
Ruth P
Australia

1989 July 7

Madame Daudet
New Jersey, USA

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.

Yours faithfully,

 


Alan Winters
Adelaide
Australia1990 

November 12

Her Royal Highness 
The Princess of Wales

Madam,

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

Alan Winters
 


 
 
ST. JAMES'S PALACE
LONDON SWIA IBS

5th December, 1990

From: The Assistant 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.

Your sincerely 

Patrick Jephson


 
Investigator
North Adelaide 5006

1990 February 12

The Honourable Barry Jones MHR
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600

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
Queensland 

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?

Yours sincrely

 


 
 
______________

South Australia
1990 July 19

Secretary
NSW Society for Crippled Children
Head Office
Sydney 2000
 

Dear Sir/Madam,

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.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

The news article referred 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:

Mr. Whitefell was the president of the Pasadena chapters of the Full Gospel Business and Professional Men's Fellowship International. Mr. Whitefell had a world-wide reputation for his ability to effect miraculous cures of various physical disorders.The American had made four trips around the world in recent years and had cured many formerly hopeless cases… Reverend Speers replied by letter saying, "Due to much adverse publicity received over this whole business, we decided many years ago to not make further comments."

The NSW Society for Crippled Children replied:

Thank you for your letter of 18th August (and its enclosures) which I read with interest. However I must inform you that it is the policy of this society not to disclose the personal records of any of its clients.

I regret, therefore, that I am unable to assist you in this matter.

 
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.

 
The following letter published in Investigator 19 was received from Barry Chant, president of Tabor College:


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.

To suggest that this kind of healing is a natural healing which happens to coincide with the laying on of hands or healing prayer seems to me to require a greater sense of faith and [sic] to believe that the healing was, in fact, done by God! 

Every blessing

Barry Chant
President



To: R Watters

Editor of Bethel Ministries
USA

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.

Investigator Magazine
Australia

Published in: BETHEL MINISTRIES 1990 No. 4
 
 
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