Internet Kills Wacky Aliens, Undercuts Scientologists

Although the Internet is blamed for spreading all sorts of rumors and bad jokes, it probably doesn’t get enough credit for also dispatching with all sorts of crazy nonsense. This column on the right-wing TechCentralStation needs a grain of salt, because the writer previously spoke warmly of Harriet Miers’ mediocrity, and grandly declared without evidence that the religious ideology known as "Intelligent Design" was going to win wide acceptance in science classes.

But when it comes to aliens, he has a point.

"…the rise of the Internet in the late nineties corresponded with the fall of many famous UFO cases. Roswell? A crashed, top-secret weather balloon, misrepresented by dreamers and con men. The Mantell Incident? A pilot misidentified a balloon, with tragic consequences. Majestic-12? Phony documents with a demonstrably false signature. The Alien Autopsy movie? Please. As access to critical evidence and verifiable facts increased, the validity of prominent UFO cases melted away. Far-fetched theories and faulty evidence collapsed under the weight of their provable absurdity. What the Internet gave, the Internet took away."

Another writer on the subject of Scientology made much the same point earlier this year. I can’t find the piece, unfortunately, but his point was that the couch-jumping antics of famous Scientologist Tom Cruise concealed an underlying desperation. The cult simply can no longer recruit the credulous as readily, now that its ridiculous fantasies can be checked out on the Internet so easily.

A site by a  woman who took a few courses in Scientology back in the l980’s, called The Truth About Scientology, makes the point eloquently with a chart based on statistics drawn from a Scientology publication called "Source" magazine. The number of "Clears" has fallen to a low level and stayed there in recent years, ever since the arrival of Google in the 90’s.

Clears
It’s just not as easy to hoodwink people as it used to be.

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