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Open letter to science editors


Foreword . . .

Some Good Advice

Lynn E. Rose

February 26, 1976

Dear Dr. Velikovsky:

I urge you to devote your entire and undivided energy to the completion of Mankind in Amnesia and to the completion of the remaining volumes of the Ages in Chaos series. Both in the long run and in the short run, that will be the best way not only to deal with your opponents but also to ensure that your work receives the attention it deserves.

In particular, I urge you not to waste any more time with the AAAS people or with their volume that was supposed to be a report of the AAAS sessions on your work held in San Francisco in 1974. The behavior of the AAAS people has been deplorable from the start. Their intention never was to examine or to debate your work; all along, their intention was to find ways to ridicule and to belittle your work before the public.

The AAAS people set up the program so that four panelists would speak against your theories and you alone would be allowed to speak in your defence. (A fifth panelist did speak, but he neither attacked you nor defended you.) Not a single scientist working with you was allowed to participate in the panel discussion. This violated the AAAS promise that there would be as many panelists speaking for your theories as there were panelists speaking against your theories.

All the panelists, including yourself, were to be given "equal time". Each of the four negative panelists then proceeded to enumerate alleged errors on your part and alleged evidence against your theories. Clearly, the intention was that these "equal-time" arrangements would permit them to introduce so many points that you would not have enough time to answer them all.

This same strategy is still being used by the AAAS people, in the arrangements for their proposed volume on the San Francisco sessions. They wish to retain the four-to-one odds, and have still not allowed anyone in addition to yourself to argue in support of your theories. They wish to keep all arrangements for the volume in their own hands, and to prevent any balanced and serious examination of your work. They wish to provide far more space for negative comments from your opponents than for positive comments from you. And they wish to allow the four negative participants to include additional remarks that you will not have an opportunity to answer. It is possible that they will not even show you those additional remarks until the volume has already gone to press. It is also possible that, after you have spent so much time preparing material for their volume, they may suddenly decide not to publish it at all, thus leaving you with little to show for your time and efforts.

This proposed volume is supposed to be an investigation of your work. But the fact is that this volume, like the AAAS sessions themselves, will not be aimed at any serious examination of your work, but rather will be aimed at "educating" the general public that your work is "of too little weight to take seriously" (as Ivan King put it).

When a volume really is devoted to serious examination and criticism of a man's work, the format and atmosphere are light-years away from what the AAAS people are doing. I have in mind, for example, the Library of Living Philosophers series edited by Paul A. Schilpp. That series includes publications on Einstein, on Russell, and on many others. Each such volume includes a long bibliography of the man's writings, and a long preliminary essay by him in the form of an intellectual autobiography. There are a number of critical articles included in such a volume, but the man whose work is at issue is given as much time and space as he needs to reply to each criticism, and he has the last word. The entire approach is serious and fair; there is debate and argument, but not abuse or slander. And the volume is presented to the reading public as if it were an honor and a form of recognition for the man who is its subject. What a far cry from the way the AAAS people are treating you!

The trouble with trying to cooperate with the AAAS people is that they do not permit your theories and arguments to receive an objective hearing and evaluation. Even if you do answer their charges and claims, as you did at San Francisco, all they have to do is use that event as an occasion for filling the general and scientific media with their own propaganda. And you are then left with no adequate opportunity to reply, since nearly all of the media outlets that they use are tightly closed to you.

This is an entirely unproductive situation, in which you are forced to choose between two evils: If you refuse to participate in their various proposals, they say that you have failed to meet their challenge, etc. But if you do participate, then they rig everything to their own advantage, and report on these events to the media in whatever way they choose. And at no point in any of this are you being treated as a serious investigator. They merely use you as an object lesson that they can employ in reshaping societal attitudes about science to their own liking.

What course of action, then, would be productive or constructive? How can you deal with your critics, and how can you ensure the serious attention that your work deserves? By devoting your entire and absolutely undivided attention to the completion of Mankind in Amnesia and of the remaining volumes of the Ages in Chaos series.

You should not permit any other matter whatsoever to divert your attention from those books. If you complete them, you will have provided the best of all possible answers to your critics, and you will have chosen the best of all possible means for ensuring that your work receives the wide and serious attention that it deserves.

Publication of those books is a door that is wide open to you. The AAAS people and others can make sure that many doors are closed to you. But they cannot stop you from going through a door that is wide open to you. Or can they? Perhaps that is exactly what they have been doing. They have kept you busy pounding fruitlessly on their closed doors, with the result that you have not had time to go through that wide open door.

My advice is to break with all trivial matters, such as the AAAS projects. Plunge all of your energy into the completion of your books, and allow nothing to distract you from that effort.

With best wishes,

(Signed) Lynn E. Rose

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