How does one counter the inevitable "Scientists have proved that . . . or Scientists can't explain . . ." arguments from a population who are, for some reason, in need of mysticism? Where does that gullibility originate? I find most people who accept paranormal pseudoscience testimonials are not, for the most part, malevolent. They seem to, for lack of time, interest or education, possess an inadequate sense of judgment. If you take the time to delve into the subject in question chances are that the claims will dissolve quickly. For those who are not critical thinkers however, it is possible for the claims to retreat back into the mystic mist from the co-dependent community which it came. Usually these ideas, fake photos or misinformations are then reincarnated when a new guru, or UFO fruitcake needs some argot to bolster their new angle.
A couple examples of this are:
David Icke's nonsense "The Biggest Secret" where he bases his alien conspiracy on the (so called) work of Zecharia Sitchin. He also gives "dues" to many other pseudo-scientific "works" some which have been badly battered, but most simply debunked. He embraces it all - psychics, UFOlogy, numerology, anything which is counter to the "government position" or "what scientists tell you." Thus he attempts to build a conspiracy exposing counter culture where he, along with a network of other "enlightened," are the crown princes.
Sri Chinmoy, (or any other guru who allege supernatural abilities) claims to be able to achieve superhuman acts lifting huge weights. In reality he uses cohesion and doctored photography. His group endorses Meditation and Hindu mysticism as its authoritative foundation. His followers or more generally proponents of religious mysticism, return the favor saying, "but look what people like Sri Chinmoy can do" or worse, still maintain an aloof air and knowing smile.
While David Ickes book is so juvenile it's unclear to me how anyone taken in by it can actually read, my question is to Sri Chinmoy's followers. It's plain to see that Mr. Chinmoy needs and seeks publicity and goes to great lengths to get press coverage. Why then, does he not simply become the world and Olympic weight lifting champion? If he can really lift 7,000 pounds with one hand, it would be a walk in the park for him.
This is how it works. Just like a crooked cop can't turn in another crooked cop or he would be exposed, this network practices a code of silence and support. A typical scenario is the psychics who "believe in god" - they say that's ultimately where their power lies and why they can speak to dead people - they're in heaven right?! They can't risk alienating the most gullible segment of society. In return for their loose indorsement, the churches go light on these charlatans. You scrub my back and I'll scrub yours.
Another element of the code of silence is where a photo, or a supernatural hoax is exposed, instead of this community coming clean and admitting that this was a fraud, they call on their buddies and blur the facts or cry, "but it's part of the government cover up." The UFO journals are full of proven fake photos, but do the publishers remove them? Of course not. I recall many years back when a British TV show, I believe it was called "Alternative 3", ran an April fools spoof about a conspiracy between the arms build-up and aliens on the dark side of the moon. I believe it didn't air on April 1st, however, by the time the programs true nature was known at least one UFO magazine had used parts of the program in its editorial. In the next issue did it run a retraction? No of course not, instead they claimed, (not in the magazine, that was kept clean of detractors), it was real and the government tried to cover it up later by claiming it was a spoof. Another classic example is Erich Von Daniken's 'Chariot's of The Gods' which was more than adequately debunked by rational thinkers in 'Some Trust in Chariots' published in response. What was touted as an alien landing site was revealed to be not much bigger than a bank note. Fire from a rocket engine was exposed as a stylized relief of bird wings well within the cultural norms. Yet Daniken's books are still championed by the community and are still best sellers. These omissions and falsities in his work have simply devolved into the sea of misinformation to be washed up again and again on the shores of the next fraud who needs alternative "facts" to prop up his new revelations.