Harvey Newstrom (harv@gate.net)
Wed, 17 Jun 1998 10:47:24 -0400

Andrew Hennessey wrote:
> The Tavistock mass psychological research Institite calls the incessant
> bombardment of the masses with X-Files crap 'future shock' - which lessens
> the capacity of the masses to make an informed and rational decision about
> horrific crisis - and therefore easier to politically direct.

I confess, I am a fan of the X-files. I find the show fun.

What is amusing to me is that the X-files is currently espousing the world-view
that you describe above. Fox Mulder has evolved to the point that he no longer
believes in UFOs. He believes that the whole concept is a fraudulent attempt
by big government to numb the masses into accepting coming future events. They
use the rediculous cover-story of UFOs to conceal a more sinister and
down-to-earth scientific experiments and military exercises. In the X-Files
universe, the government discredits witnesses to secret operations by fooling
them into think what they have witnessed was a UFO. That way, no one
investigates the real events that are occurring, because they are too busy
investigating the bizarre cover stories.

The best thing about the show is that the main character can reject years of
past belief when new scientific evidence shows him to be in error. I hope they
can maintain this integrety, and don't "rescue" Mulder from "losing the faith".

My favorite episode was the one with Charlse Nelson Riley writing a book about
a UFO abduction. The different witnesses gave him radically different versions
of the story, showing that everybody remembers things the way they want to, and
that eyewitness reports are unreliable. Mulder wanted to believe in the UFO,
while one of the witnesses describes Mulder as the evil government man-in-black
trying to supress the information. Scully does an alien autopsy on the alien
to prove it is real and discovers that the alien is a human in a rubber suit
who was killed during the staged event. After reporting that the alien was
faked, a film of her autopsy shows up on Fox carefully doctored to make it look
like a real alien autopsy. The best part was when a girl was put under
hypnosis to bring about more UFO memories. The scene in the hypnotists' office
with all the investigators transformed into the scene in the UFO with aliens
examining her. It was clear to the audience that the "memories" were being
manufactured from the current hypnosis session, even though the characters on
the screen did not realize that the memories were being manufactured!

I find the show to be very extropian, and very true to life. There is
confilicting information in the show. True-believers think that the aliens are
confirmed to exist, while skeptics can show where all the evidence has been
faked. Even the main characters flip-flop between believing and disbelieving.
They find "proof" that convinces them, and then find "proof" that the original
proof was faked. Even if everything in the X-files were literally true, I
still would not believe in aliens while a true believer would think that the
existance of aliens was indisputeable. I don't know how much more realistic
they could get.