Alexis Brooks, The Intersection of Consciousness and UFO Journalism |416|

#1
Alexis Brooks, The Intersection of Consciousness and UFO Journalism |416|
by Alex Tsakiris | Jun 25 | Consciousness Research, Consciousness Science, Parapsychology
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Alexis Brooks interviews on extended consciousness and UFOs, and goes where mainstream media can’t.

photo by: Skeptiko

Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Alexis Brooks to Skeptiko. Alexis is a well-known journalist into consciousness and UFO communities, as well as being a bestselling author and host of Higher Journeys Radio, a show you might have checked out if you’re at all familiar with these fields and you’ve come across her excellent work. It’s really a terrific show, some fantastic interviews with many bestselling authors, many folks that you’ve already listened to here on Skeptiko but Alexis brings so much to those interviews.
 
#2
How bad is mainstream journalism when it comes to the topics that we care about here on this show?

It is not even journalism. And it is not just the topics covered in skeptiko podcast.

There has been very little journalism for many years now on any subject. What gets called "journalism" is mostly entertainment masquerading as journalism in the pursuit of profit from advertising sales or in an attempt to advance a social agenda.

Entertainment is more profitable than journalism because it is crafted to be exciting. People are not interested in journalism which consists of boring facts, People want the hit of dopamine that comes from controversy, outrage, and sensationalism, and most will not linger anywhere that does not provide it. When trying to push a social agenda on their audience, fake journalists know that facts do not persuade people but psychological tricks do.

The charlatans masquerading as journalists will say whatever will make money or advance their agenda. There is very little respect for the truth or any personal integrity among them.

It is important for people to understand this because they should not automatically assume anything that they see in the news is true just because it is being reported by a "journalist". When it comes to "entertainment journalism" people should assume it is fiction unless they can verify it from primary sources. Understanding that it is entertainment takes away the veneer of respectability that calling it journalism provides and helps people to maintain a proper skepticism when following the news media.

The examples of this bad "journalism" that are most disappointing to me are when someone who seems to be on the right side of an issues damages the credibility of the movement by stretching the truth and making unjustified claims. (Headline editors are the worst.) It is almost impossible to find sources of information to use to explain things to people with a different point of view.

There might be some journalists out there (most likely covering local news) but if they become well known and picked up by major media outlets they are soon corrupted by money. I've seen this happen with my own eyes.

The best sources of information, in my opinion, are from people who quietly blog on their areas of expertise and are not caught up in always trying to attract a larger and larger audience or make money from advertisements.
 
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#3
You know I'm at a place where I can say I'm generally not interested in UFOs. It was one of my favorite fringe topics growing up, especially when Unsolved Mysteries would air a program on it I was hooked. Maybe a certain nostalgic moment will peak my interest again,or maybe it's the lazy thinking of "Aliens did it" "they built the pyramids" etc. I feel like it's a slap in the face to humans even more so to African Americans
 
#4
Fun! I follow Alexis on the Youtube and Twitter. She gets some great guests and seems to be able to walk that tightrope between grounded and woo that I really appreciate.

Re: Baccarat. No interest in UFOs? At this time when UFO's are finally blowing up in the mainstream and may be about to help lead us to the next stage in human evolution? Odd timing. I was over UFOs when all anyone cared about was nuts and bolts and lights in the sky and rehashing the same garbage over and over again. Now we've got the FREE Study (cements the ties between UFOs and consciousness) and the Nimitz event where it was "raining UFOs" and … maybe more coming soon? Link: Unidentified from the History Channel. The Navy was being provoked if they saw UFOs every day on their run. We are being acclimated to the presence of something else in our dimension. Is it to prepare us all for a major shift, possibly in consciousness? Will we need to be evacuated from the Earth? Is something going to happen with the sun? Are we finally about to meet the neighbors? I think it's getting more interesting than ever.
 
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#6
How bad is mainstream UFO journalism? No worse than it is in any other area. It's church for Statism.
Sure, but the ol' turtles are being forced to deal with it instead of ignoring it or ridiculing the issue with x-files music. That's how much pressure they're feeling. I might have interpretted this more harshly than it was intended, but Mark Warner from VA was briefed on UFOs and when the reporter asked him about it he said, "maybe we should start taking it seriously." To me that was the slap that the news media deserved.
 
#8
Really enjoyed the interview and found Alexis to be charming and full of interesting ideas. However, as usual, I have to object to the paranoid conspiracy stuff ("manipulators of our reality" and their sinister harmful agendas, info ops, denying us our spiritual heritage, etc).

I've put more thought into all of that since encountering it so frequently here.

1. I think that strong, idealistic, independent, bright people vastly underestimate the ability of the dull witted masses to get things wrong and to screw up their lives. They also underestimate the desire - the need - of the masses to be led by others. The bright and independent just can't imagine people being otherwise and even think it's cruel and evil to think of others as needing to be led and spoon-fed and controlled. Their own talents and attitudes/idealism blind them to the reality of humanity.
2. This same personality type downplays the importance of the material because they have been steeped in it since day 1. Everywhere on earth, now and in the past, people have desired the best tech and material comfort available. If they don't have it, when they encounter it, they want it. They may not like some cultural concepts that come with the tech, like a different God/no God, open homosexuality or rock and roll, but they still want the 5G, the air conditioning, the modern medicine, the cars, the guns, you name it. All of them. You can kill a lot Tatonka and wipe out a lot of enemies with those fire sticks. Gotta get me some. Islamic fundamentalists living in mud huts in distant mountains eschew modern culture, but they all have cell phones, want better guns, want antibiotics, Toyotas, etc.
3. Telling people that material comfort is meaningless and that they should just follow - what? Their hearts? Meditate the day away? Start believing in any idea, thought or perception that enters their heads? That is going to seriously lead to mass chaos of proportions that would result in societal breakdown and mass suffering and death beyond the wildest imaginings of the hardcore global warming crowd. Most people want and need to be a part of a tangible culture with clear rules and beliefs.
4. Not everyone has direct experiences. Even if those that do could make some helpful meaning out of experiences (and they won't - observe cults, etc), someone has to disseminate knowledge to those who don't have direct experience. So we are back to someone(s) telling the masses what's real. The message would have to be dumbed down so the <=90 IQs can digest it. Who's got a big enough ego to do that? How has that helped people? Look at what Jesus is supposed to have said and look at Church dogmas. If they can't even get that right, how is this knowledge revolution supposed to work? It's empty idealism, poorly thought out and lacking viable implementation process.
5. Assuming "the government" knows anything substantial about all of this, beyond what we do, how do you know that it hasn't decided that not all of this stuff is benign? Since paranoia is part of the intellectual currency here, how does anyone know that the government hasn't determined that people would strengthen extra dimensional malevolent forces by lending attention and energy to them? That's just one hypothetical.
6. Again, if not the govt controlling this information, who? You? Well, then you'd be the new govt - or a cult leader/guru. -
7. Is the problem here that some are taking what they think is a scientific approach to their lives and feel that they can't decide how to live because the govt is holding back critical data that would allow them to perform a full analysis and arrive at conclusions?
8. If the answer to 7 is "yes", I think that some people should prepare themselves to be perpetually disappointed. I don't think the government knows as much as you do.
 
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#9
Really enjoyed the interview and found Alexis to be charming and full of interesting ideas. However, as usual, I have to object to the paranoid conspiracy stuff ("manipulators of our reality" and their sinister harmful agendas, info ops, denying us our spiritual heritage, etc).

I've put more thought into all of that since encountering it so frequently here.

1. I think that strong, idealistic, independent, bright people vastly underestimate the ability of the dull witted masses to get things wrong and to screw up their lives. They also underestimate the desire - the need - of the masses to be led by others. The bright and independent just can't imagine people being otherwise and even think it's cruel and evil to think of others as needing to be led and spoon-fed and controlled. Their own talents and attitudes/idealism blind them to the reality of humanity.
2. This same personality type downplays the importance of the material because they have been steeped in it since day 1. Everywhere on earth, now and in the past, people have desired the best tech and material comfort available. If they don't have it, when they encounter it, they want it. They may not like some cultural concepts that come with the tech, like a different God/no God, open homosexuality or rock and roll, but they still want the 5G, the air conditioning, the modern medicine, the cars, the guns, you name it. All of them. You can kill a lot Tatonka and wipe out a lot of enemies with those fire sticks. Gotta get me some. Islamic fundamentalists living in mud huts in distant mountains eschew modern culture, but they all have cell phones, want better guns, want antibiotics, Toyotas, etc.
3. Telling people that material comfort is meaningless and that they should just follow - what? Their hearts? Meditate the day away? Start believing in any idea, thought or perception that enters their heads? That is going to seriously lead to mass chaos of proportions that would result in societal breakdown and mass suffering and death beyond the wildest imaginings of the hardcore global warming crowd. Most people want and need to be a part of a tangible culture with clear rules and beliefs.
4. Not everyone has direct experiences. Even if those that do could make some helpful meaning out of experiences (and they won't - observe cults, etc), someone has to disseminate knowledge to those who don't have direct experience. So we are back to someone(s) telling the masses what's real. The message would have to be dumbed down so the <=90 IQs can digest it. Who's got a big enough ego to do that? How has that helped people? Look at what Jesus is supposed to have said and look at Church dogmas. If they can't even get that right, how is this knowledge revolution supposed to work? It's empty idealism, poorly thought out and lacking viable implementation process.
5. Assuming "the government" knows anything substantial about all of this, beyond what we do, how do you know that it hasn't decided that not all of this stuff is benign? Since paranoia is part of the intellectual currency here, how does anyone know that the government hasn't determined that people would strengthen extra dimensional malevolent forces by lending attention and energy to them? That's just one hypothetical.
6. Again, if not the govt controlling this information, who? You? Well, then you'd be the new govt - or a cult leader/guru. -
7. Is the problem here that some are taking a what they think is a scientific approach to their lives and feel that they can't decide how to live because the govt is holding back critical data that would allow them to perform a full analysis and arrive at conclusions?
8. If the answer to 7 is "yes", I think that some people should prepare themselves to be perpetually disappointed. I don't think the government knows as much as you do.
At one extreme are those who automatically attribute practically everything to conspiracy (call it the left end -- no political connotation implied). At the other, right end, are those who swallow whole most of what authorities tell them. I see Alex as predominantly left of centre. I see you as predominantly right of centre. I see myself as predominantly slightly left of centre. Probably few of us are correct about all issues. Most of us may need to lean left or right to differing degrees according to the specific issue. For instance, I lean very much to the left on Global warming but am nearer centre on nuts and bolts UFOlogy, with my views on controlled demolition on the trade centre buildings lying somewhere between the two.

IMO, most people here aren't, globally speaking, conspiracy theorists. I don't believe one should characterise them in stark terms and place oneself as being the only one to be correct about everything. In it's own way, that's also an extreme position.
 
#10
Please remember that we have constructed people to be dull witted and completely dependent. This is not us reflecting on "human nature" this is human engineering. If you are raising a child and you think them stupid and treat them that way when raising them, you are only compounding the problem. No one will gain responsibility by being denied responsibility and being treated like petulant children. Governance and the governed both need to mature, but that won't happen if we keep underestimating human potential. // As for the conspiracy angle, I think we all have to agree there are conspiracies, that is pretty much a given. The only thing we all disagree on is "how much?" and that's a perfectly reasonable question. It certainly isn't as controlled as the worst of our fears and not nearly as non-existent as the mainstream would have you believe.
 
#11
At one extreme are those who automatically attribute practically everything to conspiracy (call it the left end -- no political connotation implied). At the other, right end, are those who swallow whole most of what authorities tell them. I see Alex as predominantly left of centre. I see you as predominantly right of centre. I see myself as predominantly slightly left of centre. Probably few of us are correct about all issues. Most of us may need to lean left or right to differing degrees according to the specific issue. For instance, I lean very much to the left on Global warming but am nearer centre on nuts and bolts UFOlogy, with my views on controlled demolition on the trade centre buildings lying somewhere between the two.

IMO, most people here aren't, globally speaking, conspiracy theorists. I don't believe one should characterise them in stark terms and place oneself as being the only one to be correct about everything. In it's own way, that's also an extreme position.
Michael,
No no no. I don't think I'm right about everything. I will debate strenuously for a perspective that I think has merit, but please don't mistake that for thinking I'm right. I will always challenge what I think are positions that have not been fully assessed, are group think, based on bad info/lack of info, pomposity or lies (to borrow from Tucker Carlson).

Also, I full acknowledge that conspiracies do happen. I think they usually get found out pretty quickly, are far more dysfunctional and, ultimately, far less impactful than conspiracy theorists believe they are. I also think that the government has a responsibility to control information for the good of the society it is sworn to protect. Not all information; maybe not even most information, in time, but definitely some. FOIA releases are common and surprisingly revealing. The govt is not as secretive in the long run as conspiracy theorists think it is. Obviously there are national security concerns, sources, methods, etc. Threats that will be dealt with quietly and effectively could cause mass panics, etc that would be worse than the threat; even if it wasn't stopped. It's always a balancing act - and yes there are dangers of the govt getting to secretive and all of that. It just isn't as clear cut as conspiracy minded people want it to be. There are considerations for the good of society beyond us paranormal nerds' self-perceived need to know.
 
#12
Please remember that we have constructed people to be dull witted and completely dependent. This is not us reflecting on "human nature" this is human engineering. If you are raising a child and you think them stupid and treat them that way when raising them, you are only compounding the problem. No one will gain responsibility by being denied responsibility and being treated like petulant children. Governance and the governed both need to mature, but that won't happen if we keep underestimating human potential. // As for the conspiracy angle, I think we all have to agree there are conspiracies, that is pretty much a given. The only thing we all disagree on is "how much?" and that's a perfectly reasonable question. It certainly isn't as controlled as the worst of our fears and not nearly as non-existent as the mainstream would have you believe.
Who "engineered" people to be dummies? Marxist claptrap, IMO.

Lots of people - with natural ability - have overcome circumstances to learn things. I believe that people are largely born to be who and what they become.

The world needs solid, but intellectually narrow farmers and workers and that is what is created in large. If that offends your sense of social justice, so be it.
 
#13
I know lots of really sharp witted and completely dependent people too. I think folks need to careful about breaking their own arms while patting themselves on the back for being intellectually exceptional and free of dependencies.

I think its likely a strawman anyway to believe that anyone actually actively chooses every action, claim and belief. Or, if there were such a soul, I'd feel sorry for them as that sounds utterly exhausting and, quite frankly, futile.
 
#14
I enjoyed this show, and I found it interesting that Alexis naturally linked many of the Skeptiko themes - the paranormal, consciousness, UFOs and, yes - conspiracy theory.
7. Is the problem here that some are taking a what they think is a scientific approach to their lives and feel that they can't decide how to live because the govt is holding back critical data that would allow them to perform a full analysis and arrive at conclusions?
8. If the answer to 7 is "yes", I think that some people should prepare themselves to be perpetually disappointed. I don't think the government knows as much as you do.
Yes, but Eric, the government has just admitted that it hid the facts as it knows them about UFOs! Wasn't that a conspiracy, and unless you think they are being fully open now, isn't there still a conspiracy going on? Furthermore, I can't remember if Alexis or Alex pointed it out on the show, but the point was that when Tom DeLong talked about going to the secret agencies to ask for the answers, that was either a joke, or it was utterly disingenuous - nobody can go to such people and just ask for answers! But that wasn't just Tom being disingenuous, some portion of the secret service must have decided on that line of patter!

I also think Alexis made a strong point that the media present their news to an agenda, and that even the actors' (sorry I mean newscasters') tone of voice is scripted - just as it might be in a Shakespearian play. When an interview starts to go off-script, the interviwer can become flustered and try to move on. Tucker Carlson comments on an example of this here

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tuc...-is-unravelling-and-only-trying-to-sell-books

This is one show that I want to listen to again, so I'll probably extend this comment later.

I do hope Alexis joins us on the forum.

David
 
#15
I enjoyed this show, and I found it interesting that Alexis naturally linked many of the Skeptiko themes - the paranormal, consciousness, UFOs and, yes - conspiracy theory.

Yes, but Eric, the government has just admitted that it hid the facts as it knows them about UFOs! Wasn't that a conspiracy, and unless you think they are being fully open now, isn't there still a conspiracy going on? Furthermore, I can't remember if Alexis or Alex pointed it out on the show, but the point was that when Tom DeLong talked about going to the secret agencies to ask for the answers, that was either a joke, or it was utterly disingenuous - nobody can go to such people and just ask for answers! But that wasn't just Tom being disingenuous, some portion of the secret service must have decided on that line of patter!

I also think Alexis made a strong point that the media present their news to an agenda, and that even the actors' (sorry I mean newscasters') tone of voice is scripted - just as it might be in a Shakespearian play. When an interview starts to go off-script, the interviwer can become flustered and try to move on. Tucker Carlson comments on an example of this here

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tuc...-is-unravelling-and-only-trying-to-sell-books

This is one show that I want to listen to again, so I'll probably extend this comment later.

I do hope Alexis joins us on the forum.

David
David,
This guy - https://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/the-black-vault-radio-show-notes-episode-breakdown/ - has gazillions of FOIA docs on UFOs.

Do want the government to announce to the masses that space aliens are here and they are abducting us and there's nothing we can do about it. Remember what happened with Orson Wells and War of the Worlds!

I'm not saying that the govt knows that is what is happening or that it is what is happening; just a hypothetical.

And what if at least some UFOs are man made by our or other governments? Should the govt release that classified info just because some nerds want it?

What if the govt really isn't any more sure what to make of it all any more than we are, but is pretty sure something real is happening? Should they go off half-cocked? Is that responsible? How would the general public react? Not someone like you, but regular Joe's and Jane's, fed by an hysterical and scurrilous media that seeks ratings?

They must weight the cost versus the benefits. That's what we elected and pay them to do.

The media is an entirely different matter and I think Alexis made some good points. Who cares? It's a dying communication form. The internet and guerilla journalism is the wave of the future. The more it dies, the cornier, cheaper and faker it gets. The business model keeps doubling down on stupid because they don't want to invest too much (e.g. investigative journalism, foreign correspondents) in a losing proposition. It happens. Kodak doubled down on old fashioned film and cameras when digital was clearly the wave of the future. Was that a conspiracy? Nope. Just bad decision making.
 
#16
David,
This guy - https://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/the-black-vault-radio-show-notes-episode-breakdown/ - has gazillions of FOIA docs on UFOs.

Do want the government to announce to the masses that space aliens are here and they are abducting us and there's nothing we can do about it. Remember what happened with Orson Wells and War of the Worlds!

I'm not saying that the govt knows that is what is happening or that it is what is happening; just a hypothetical.

And what if at least some UFOs are man made by our or other governments? Should the govt release that classified info just because some nerds want it?

What if the govt really isn't any more sure what to make of it all any more than we are, but is pretty sure something real is happening? Should they go off half-cocked? Is that responsible? How would the general public react? Not someone like you, but regular Joe's and Jane's, fed by an hysterical and scurrilous media that seeks ratings?
Well I think what you are really saying here is that the government did conspire to conceal stuff from us, (and belittle those who tried to tell the world what they had seen) but maybe their motives weren't so bad!
The media is an entirely different matter and I think Alexis made some good points. Who cares? It's a dying communication form. The internet and guerilla journalism is the wave of the future. The more it dies, the cornier, cheaper and faker it gets. The business model keeps doubling down on stupid because they don't want to invest too much (e.g. investigative journalism, foreign correspondents) in a losing proposition. It happens. Kodak doubled down on old fashioned film and cameras when digital was clearly the wave of the future. Was that a conspiracy? Nope. Just bad decision making.
I'd still be lost without Fox News - the BBC now seems run by zealots of one kind or another. It is only fun when one group of zealots clash with another - for example I have heard feminists who (very reasonably) don't want men who have transitioned competing in athletics with them vs someone championing the 'right' of transgender folk to do just that!

The BBC also unconditionally supports Muslim rights and gay rights, so that can generate a few sparks as well!

I also find RT valuable - which has a certain irony.

The real problem with relying on the internet and 'guerilla journalism' is that it is hard to authenticate anything. I think informed democracy is in real danger.

David
 
#17
Well I think what you are really saying here is that the government did conspire to conceal stuff from us, (and belittle those who tried to tell the world what they had seen) but maybe their motives weren't so bad!

I'd still be lost without Fox News - the BBC now seems run by zealots of one kind or another. It is only fun when one group of zealots clash with another - for example I have heard feminists who (very reasonably) don't want men who have transitioned competing in athletics with them vs someone championing the 'right' of transgender folk to do just that!

The BBC also unconditionally supports Muslim rights and gay rights, so that can generate a few sparks as well!

I also find RT valuable - which has a certain irony.

The real problem with relying on the internet and 'guerilla journalism' is that it is hard to authenticate anything. I think informed democracy is in real danger.

David
Palm to forehead. Sigh, etc.

There has never been a fully informed democracy and there never will be.

I don't think the government originally knew that they were dealing with real UFO phenomena. Now they do and they're telling us.

Who was belittled?
 
#18
Well I think what you are really saying here is that the government did conspire to conceal stuff from us, (and belittle those who tried to tell the world what they had seen) but maybe their motives weren't so bad!

I'd still be lost without Fox News - the BBC now seems run by zealots of one kind or another. It is only fun when one group of zealots clash with another - for example I have heard feminists who (very reasonably) don't want men who have transitioned competing in athletics with them vs someone championing the 'right' of transgender folk to do just that!

The BBC also unconditionally supports Muslim rights and gay rights, so that can generate a few sparks as well!

I also find RT valuable - which has a certain irony.

The real problem with relying on the internet and 'guerilla journalism' is that it is hard to authenticate anything. I think informed democracy is in real danger.

David
Palm to forehead. Sigh, etc.

There has never been a fully informed democracy and there never will be.

I don't think the government originally knew that they were dealing with real UFO phenomena. Now they do and they're telling us.

Who was belittled?
 
#19
I visited Alexis' podcast site and I'm glad I did. She's a very good interviewer, steering the conversation with a light hand, which I find very refreshing. I've bookmarked her site and will be investigating her other offerings, but one interview in particular has already impressed me:


Robert Davis is a sterling interviewee, and since the interview touches on some of the issues discussed in Alex's podcast, I hope no one will mind my posting this.

As to the question of how bad mainstream "journalism" is in areas of interest to Skeptiko listeners, well, all I can say is that it isn't so much bad as virtually non-existent. And seeing that since the advent of the internet more and more people have come to realise that such topics are as fascinating to many others as to themselves, many podcasts and blogs seem to have more or less cornered the market. It's just another example of the mainstream media missing the boat, and one more reason why it's in steady decline.
 
#20
I don't think the government originally knew that they were dealing with real UFO phenomena. Now they do and they're telling us.
Who was belittled?
Endless people who were mocked for reporting UFO phenomena. Nobody would have mocked them if it had been public knowledge that these phenomena occurred.

I rather liked Alexis' suggestion that some non-human entity may be forcing their hand.

David
 
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