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The rantings and ravings of superstar theologian, Joe Vee


The First Victim of the Cosmic Inquisition

This past May, a very special, yet entirely somber, anniversary tiredly trekked across all of our calendars unnoticed, save for a few regretful or disappointed glances dreaming of what might have been. May 9th marked the seventh year since the demise, a part from a few sparse internet broadcasts between 2000 and 2002, of Michael Corbin's nationally syndicated talk show The Paranet Continuum. Taking to the air in April of 1994 after five previous years of internet bulletin board service, Paranet was one of the many contenders in the early late-night paranormal talk radio race and like most of them the predominate topic of interest was UFOs. Corbin helped forge the Paranet Information Service after experiencing his own unexplainable sighting, equally providing information as he was trying to puzzle out his own conclusion. Sadly, Michael Corbin made the mistake of making like Plato's Socrates and following the evidence where it led him, even unto his demise, in this case at the hands of a rabid Ufological orthodoxy.

The 90's were, to be sure, a fantastic time for the UFO contingent of the post-modern esoteric. Heck, when you boil it down, it was a booming decade for all subjects easily classed as the esoteric in the late 20th Century. UFOs, Ghosts and Hauntings, Witchcraft and the Occult. All of them have, save for Ghosts and Hauntings, in one way or another, pattered out. Most of the Witches I know kind of lost the craft and the occultists have done little more than try to re-enact H.P. Lovecraft stories. Although, the bottoming out of Ufology is perhaps the most noticeable. To be sure, UFOs were HUGE business in the 1990s, largely thanks to the FOX network. Fox pumped out Sightings and Encounters at various points in the decade, Alien Autopsy and, of course, the late great X-Files. Pop bands like 311 had an grey as their logo and little aliens found there way onto tee-shirts and sew on patches, key chains and just about anything you could purchase. And during this whole decade, fantastic sightings and reports of strange objects in the sky pervaded the country.

Growing numbers of those "in the know" (about what no-one ever explained) tuned into to radio shows, often airing around midnight, dedicated to the subject. Of the original cabbage patch of paranormal talk radio shows, only the spawn from Art Bell's loins and Jeff Rense (at a distant second) remain, and both of them have spread there wings a bit. Coast will air just about anything, from the seriously strange, in the sense that it deserves our attention, to the just plain paranormally flakey. Rense, for his part, largely stays within areas of government conspiracy and super-corporation manipulation, although his extreme paranoia and veiled antisemitism (gotta call it like it is folks) leave it debatable how long he'll remain on the air, or, rather, profitable to have on the air. Yet, in the 1990's mix, apart from other forgotten contenders, Michael Corbin's program stood out.

As Corbin's program progressed, Paranet gradually began developing a critical approach to Ufology, which they dubbed "skeptical believer." Corbin increasingly weeded out flash and flamboyant tales of alien encounters Art Bell, back in his hyper heyday, would have had a field day with. December 8th of 1996 marked an irreversible course for Corbin. Corbin interviewed Alan Hale, co discoverer of the Hale-Bopp comet, and took Art Bell and Linda Moulton Howe to task. For months, Linda Howe had appeared on Bell's show with reports and alleged evidence and scientists to prove an unidentified flying object was following comet Hale-Bop. Howe's fraudulent reporting (for a recent example, see Howe's early endorsement of Dan Bursch in early 2004) and Bell's sensationalism played no small part in the Heaven's Gate cult suicide. Hale vehemently denied Howe's reporting, thoroughly debunked her alleged evidence, and explained just why Howe and Bell's sensational story was impossible. Corbin called Bell out, challenging Bell's credibility, and in some small way his manhood. Three months later, Corbin hosted a round table discussion on the Heaven's Gate cult's suicide and the antics of Howe and Bell after the passage of the comet. During the show, Corbin took calls, occasionally greeting none too happy Bell listeners distraught over the potential of Corbin shattering their little paradigm of Art Bell as the courageous host breaking through the conspiracy and Linda Howe as the intrepid reporter uncovering startling evidence of the "space brothers," some going to far as to incriminate Linda though absolving Bell, saying Art never endorsed her statements. Corbin succeeded in crossing the unsaid line in Ufology, the thin line denoting the outerlimits of acceptable Ufology. Oh, why not just be blunt with it? The thin line denoting the boundary which should you so cross you risk violently disrupting a scarcely tenable construction of reality. Corbin crossed the line, and he found himself chased by everyone and his cousin vying for telepathic communication with their starbrother. Corbin, however, had his gloves off.

Michael Corbin was well aware of the line he crossed and everyone he would upset, thankfully, he didn't back down. Corbin researched the phenomenon for himself, indeed, he probably researched it better than most of Ufology's consumers, and he reached a hypothesis different from the most popular in the culture. Corbin, muck like Jaquees Valle, question the extra-terrestrial origins of the phenomenon and gradually became convinced UFOs were little more than an attempt at mind control, largely due to the affinities between alleged UFO encounters and material garnered through investigating various mind control programs such as MK Ultra, often better known by one of its subsidiaries, Project Monarch.

To Corbin's credit, he began posing the mind control hypothesis, both to guests and listeners. For his bravery, he found himself skewered by the Cosmic Inquisition, receiving calls and emails denouncing him as a debunker, explaining to him how the aliens are our star-parents who seeded us a long time ago and have returned, or how the aliens have come to lead us into a new era of piece and harmony with new energy saving technology but the evil US government, apparently unbeknowst to all the other governments, is with holding the new technology, or how the aliens are us from the future, traveling back in time to save us from the horror that befell them, or, more adventurously, how there are the good aliens and the bad aliens and the bad aliens work with the government to experiment on us and the good aliens only abduct us to teach us the ways of wisdom but the bad aliens and the government are trying to stop them from helping us so they can have control. No one knew what the anal probe was for, though.

The attempt by societal elites to manipulate humanity, to shatter the human psyche thus creating a malable society to forge the vision of humanity conceived by and benefiting the few, became the focus of Paranet's last two years, and of course, the UFO phenomenon was investigated as a key gear in the machination. Corbin, man that he is, took it on the chin so to speak. Corbin has moved on with his life, thoroughly exiting the Ufology ring in the process, now hosting For a Closer Look (www.4acloserlook.com). His subject matter has gradually become more practical, with Michael now focusing on local, state, and federal politics, often mentioning the grand agenda he believes is manipulating the state and federal levels, encouraging people to vote at the local and statewide level so as to bring change. And, really, you can't blame the guy. If you think you've found the hidden hand manipulating post-modern society then you ought not spend all of your time ranting about it but rather encourage people to get politically active in the areas most comprehensible.

If, heaven forbid (I'm serious!) the UFOs really are our star brothers, then doubtlessly Michael Corbin will be noted as Ufology's first heretic. If not...then doubtlessly UFOs will survive in our living folklore so long as the post modern age continues, being replaced by some other phenomenon whose origins lay at some point along the line reaching from the unknown depths of the cosmos to the inner depths of the human psyche when this cultural moment runs its course. Either way, I'm being credited with coining the term, "cosmic inquisition."

Standing on the carcass of Friedman, this has been the Wrath of Joe.