Communion

Zeik, Michael

IN THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS COMMUNION Whitley Strieber Morrow /Beech Tree Books, $17.95, 299 pp. Michael Zeik " Not only is the uni- verse stranger than we suppose, but stranger...

...Even though it is currently in first place on the New York Times Best Sellers list for non-fiction, mind you...
...Thus, he suggests, "the corridor into our world" for these Visitors, "could be in a very true sense through our own minds...
...What sets this book apart from others in the genre, is that its author is a professional, with considerable intellectual sophistication a lawyer, a writer, a man who knows his way around Freud, Meister Eckhart, Celtic fairy tales, and the rudiments of astrophysics...
...Indeed, terrified though he was of them, he felt they were also in some fear of our own individual quick-silver minds, so unpredictable and potentially dangerous...
...One of his Visitors presented him with a vision of the world blowing up...
...To my mind these were Sears Roebuck Aliens...
...Hal-dane, eminent twentieth-century scientist...
...Even though Dr...
...I believe them...
...Why my extreme reluctance to accept this story...
...The first is my "Hubbard hypothesis...
...truth ought to be stranger than fiction...
...switch it from the non-fiction to the fiction list, and it may be worth its price...
...The author then alleges he was transported above the trees and ushered into a small grey room, where he was subjected to several probing medical procedures...
...bodily movement mechanical, almost insect-like...
...I'm not even telling you not to buy the book...
...In addition to these thrillers, he had spent the last three years working on books about nuclear war and environmental collapse...
...His raw fear brought him, he believes, close to death...
...Michael Zeik " Not only is the uni- verse stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose.'' These are not the words of Mark, Luke, or Thomas Aquinas, but of J.B.S...
...huge slanted eyes (more than oriental...
...After undergoing repeated interrogation involving hypnosis, he was assured by Dr...
...as have Brian O'Leary, space scientist and former astronaut, and David Webb, member of the National Committee on Space...
...Returned to his home, Strieber says he blocked out all these events from his mind for several days...
...On the night of December 26, 1985, his family asleep, Strieber asserts he was awakened to find a strange being stand426 ing in the doorway of his bedroom...
...But the memory suddenly surfaced, and he "just about exploded with terror and utter disbelief...
...I recall, however, Carl Jung's observation made some forty years ago...
...The visitations, sometimes disguised in the past as myths and fairy tales, Strieber believes, have been going on for centuries...
...Bruce Maccabee, U.S...
...For example, not only were the Visitors insect-like in their movements, but even their minds seemed to operate on the principles of the "hive...
...The psychologist speculated that as modern man more and more dismissed religion, there would be more and more sightings of UFOs...
...Strieber, of course, disclaims any such hysteria and makes it clear that he has long since doused the "burning fire" of his adolescent Catholicism...
...Donald Klein, director of research of the N.Y...
...But I don't...
...It flashed upon me that if I were writing a science-fiction novel, this might be the very way I would imagine them: small bodies, large bald heads...
...Klein that he was free of psychosis, and mood or personality disorders...
...My second scenario is less cynical, and is the one I would prefer to believe...
...Ter rified, he lost consciousness...
...Communion is the account of the author's successive contacts with "Visitors" voyagers from either another planet or a "parallel universe...
...The psychiatrist he chose was known to be sympathetic to persons reporting contacts with Aliens...
...It is true that he considers religion basically irrelevant to his experiences, since, he says, it could not "penetrate that depth...
...Less significant, but interesting to me, was his description of the Aliens, themselves...
...In working out some kind of calculus of credibility, I noted the following: from 1977 to 1983, Strieber was the author of several "imaginative thrillers," which were later made into movies...
...Like the writer, Ron Hubbard, the founder of "Scientology," who, as I have heard, announced beforehand that it should be possible to invent a religion that could make him lots of money, and then did it, this writer of thrillers and prophet of global destruction, Whitley Strieber, is now also laughing all the way to the bank...
...The author's wife and houseguests, by the way, claim to have seen a strange light and heard a loud noise on the night of December 26, although they did not see the Visitors...
...Real or imagined, however, there were a couple of ideas in the book that intrigued me...
...Another interesting suggestion was that even if his reported experiences had no physical reality, he somehow conferred reality upon them by experiencing them...
...My query: in this fashion wouldn't every human hallucination then enjoy the same kind of quantum-reality...
...and has been for the last fifteen weeks...
...but their tempo has picked up remarkably in our own dangerous era...
...In my own mind, I came up with two possible scenarios to explain what transpired in the writing of this best seller...
...The next thing he remembers, he found himself naked and paralyzed in the middle of some woods, in the custody of three of these beings...
...Navy research physicist has spoken highly of it...
...State Psychiatric Institute...
...We are now thirteen years from the second millennium...
...following which, recollections of similar episodes in his childhood began to penetrate his consciousness...
...his child, he claims, either saw or dreamt about them...
...Rational beings, he warned, cannot abide cosmic claustrophobia...
...voice quality "electronic," with a flat, midwest, toneless accent...
...According to my second scenario, we can expect many books like Communion in the next thirteen years...
...Believe me, this one will be also...
...The analogy is with quantum physics, where the very act of observation enters into the reality of the phenomenon observed...
...Polygraph Society, Ned Laurendi, who found no evidence of conscious deception...
...Why two eyes, two arms, and two legs for creatures who evolved in another solar system let alone a "parallel universe...
...In an effort to determine whether something extraordinary had really happened to him, or whether he was losing his sanity, he sought the aid of Dr...
...there is a human need for an open universe, a human need for infinity...
...Within days after the recent Chernobyl disaster, an apocalyptic thrill shivered through "atheistic" Russia: Chernobyl is Slavic for "Wormwood," the name of the star which, according to the Book of Revelations, is destined to poison a third of the earth's waters shortly before the destruction of the world...
...The author conjectured that their species possessed one "single, enormous mind," which, even though millions of years older and far wiser than 427 human minds, actually seemed to work more slowly than our own...
...He was then examined by a member of the N.Y...
...In fact, I am in every way disposed, by temperament (imaginative), and intellectual proclivity (a devotee of space exploration) to take seriously this book about extraterrestrial contact...
...A thousand years ago, as Europe approached the first millennium, the continent was swept by waves of hysteria in anticipation of the end of the world...
...Polygraph tests are not conclusive...

Vol. 114 • July 1987 • No. 13


 
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