Strieber

Discussion in 'SFF lounge' started by Salamander, Sep 9, 2004.

  1.  
    Salamander

    Salamander New Member

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    What do you guys think of Strieber, his books, his claims?

    If I read Communion as a pure piece of fiction I would have classified it as decently entertaining. But because of the author's claims, outside of the book, I was thoroughly intrigued.

    I'm not saying I believe him, I just think it's very interesting how he parlayed an average piece of work into something else by claiming it was true. The fun of reading it is almost like being on a jury of some bizarre intergalactic crime.

    Just a funny side note, the other night as I was falling asleep I started to smell fresh cookies. Confused I asked my fiance if she smelled cookies as well. She didn't and I just chuckled. Explaining the joke naturally isn't going to make this event funnier but for those who haven't read the book, Strieber smells cinnamon before most alien encounters. It must be the Taco Bell Cinnastix those rascly aliens love...
  2.  
    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    I don't think I've ever heard of him. What is it that he's claiming to be true, alien abductions? Now I'm very curious (like I'm not that way everyday!) about it. Give me all the dirt :p
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Whitley Strieber is a writer, and quite a successful one (he wrote "The Hunger" and "Wolfen", both of which were fairly successful and were made into fairly successful films), who claims to have had a long series of encounters with beings from another space/place/dimension (last I heard, he doesn't make any claims to know where these beings come from or exactly what/who they are). He has talked about these experiences in a series of books, starting with "Communion". "Communion" was made into a film (in 1989) starring Christopher Walken. More recently, he seems to be continuing his career as a writer of fiction, and also wrote the novelization of the recent film "The Day After Tomorrow" with director Roland Emmerich. That film was apparently partially based on a book Strieber wrote with radio personality Art Bell, called "The Coming Global Superstorm". Strieber has parlayed his claimed experiences into a second career as a writer and broadcaster on fringe issues.

    I've read several of Strieber's novels, as well as "Communion" and a couple of it's sequels. I've also heard a number of his broadcasts on different issues. What is clear is that he seems to believe what he is saying. I have a hard time buying a lot of it, but I try to make it a rule not to ridicule people's claimed experiences because I've had a few strange experiences myself (although none of them like what he claims), so that I'm not willing to dismiss anything out of hand, even though I might find these claims unlikely.
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    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    I've read Wolfen - liked it. As to Communion - well, it's just so extravagant, its either true or he sincerely believes it to be so. I didn't realise WLaken was in the movie - must get a hold of it then.

    Has anyone noticed how the spate of UFO sightings and abductions seems to have petered out over the last two decades? Either the belief system has collpased, or the aliens have probed us enough and are now tickling mitochondrians on Io.
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Actually, the sighting reports haven't so much petered out as just go unnoticed in the media. The National UFO Reporting Center website, which takes and lists UFO reports from all over the US and sometimes from other parts of the world as well, already has 74 reports listed for September. There are 422 reports listed from August (although this number seems to be a bit inflated, based on the numbers listed for other months, due to a spate of reports that seem to be attributable to a missile launch from Cape Canaveral), and 346 reports from July. I occasionally check the website because it seems to at least make some effort to sort out misidentifications from truly unidentifiable sightings.

    I think I've said here before that while I'm not a true believer in UFOs by any means, I do think there have been enough sightings that haven't been identified to make a real, solid, scientific study of the phenomenon desirable (the Condon report wasn't that study, although the skeptics try to portray it as such). It might be that it is just some kind of psychological phenomenon, and it might be something else. But I think it's worth taking a look at.

    Just my opinion.:)
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    Lucifer

    Lucifer Pontificating Brat

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    "Communion" the movie is worth tracking down for the scene in which Christopher Walken's character is . . . ahem . . . violated with a probe. It isn't graphic at all, but Walken makes a "clinchy face" and says something along the lines of, "You dirty bastards. I'll get you for this." Must have been a low point. I don't think I ever imagined Mr. Walekn agreeing to a probing sequence.

    The aliens also look super silly, but Streiber claims that they looked just like that.

    Finally, "The Hunger" is very cool if you haven't seen it: David Bowie, Susan Surandon, and Catherine Deneuve plays the main characters. There is (warning) a graphic lesbian scene. They don't have fangs either; they use ankhs with concealed blades to do their blood-letting.

    As for Streiber himself . . . (shrug). Who can say? I find him much more believable than Graham Hancock and his "Chariots of the Gods?" filth, but I'm still unconvinced when it comes to abductions.

    Lucifer
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    That's an interesting observation, Lucifer. The thing is, I've always found Strieber to be more serious about his belief in what has happened to him. And it's apples and oranges in a way, as Hancock's theories are on a much less personal level, shall we say. I enjoy reading Hancock's books, but I've always had the impression that he doesn't so much believe what he writes about as that he goes and tracks down a theory and reports on in with sort of convinced tone, then goes on to the next theory and does the same thing. For example, I read somewhere that he has already distanced himself from some of the claims he made in "Fingerprints of the Gods".

    As to abductions as a phenomenon...I still don't know what to think. It seems silly on some level. On the other hand, the people who claim to have been abducted seem so convinced. So, I keep an open if skeptical mind on the issue.

    By the way, Lucifer, welcome to the forum. Are you in your guise as Prince of Darkness or Angel of Light?;) :D
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    Lucifer

    Lucifer Pontificating Brat

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    You know, you're very right about the comparison (or lack thereof). I think my vehemence of anti-Hancock springs from reading "Ancient Mysteries" by Peter James and Nick Thorpe. It's a great look at a lot of the things Hancock seems very fond of, such as Atlantis, crop circles, ley lines, that sort of thing. I have a bad tendency to get hard-nosed and start . . . well . . . pontificating. Perhaps as a child I had the air let out of my balloon one too many times.

    When I read Hancock or someone like him, I have a huge flashback to my days as a 15 year old Wiccan yowling about the Burning Times and the Old Religion. Reading "Drawing Down the Moon" was like a slap in the face and it stopped my ignorace cold.

    Of course, I have already humiliated myself by mistitling Hancock's book. (Retrests to corner. Abases self. Returns.)

    I think that the world would be a much more interesting place if aliens did abduct people. Perhaps they do, but I just don't understand all the anal probing and sexual experiemnts. It's the extraterrestrial version of one of the witch hunt theories - namely that sexual repression breeds extreme sexual fantasy.

    I wish that Atlantis was real. I wish that ley lines existed. But it's hard for me to cuddle up to these theories when such marvellous things as the Nazca Lines or the Mayan calendar really do exist. The Atlantis theory in particular upsets me, because it seems to downplay the ingenuity of our ancestors, as if they were incapable of building pyramids without alien intervention.

    Thank you very much for the welcome. I live in a cultural void and I'm excited about a lot of the ideas I've seen thus far on these forums.

    Lucifer is a pretty personal title due to my religious beliefs. I have this funky theory, completely unprovable, that God and Satan are opposites with Lucifer hanging in the balance. God in His Heaven, Satan in His Hell, Lucifer outcast and wandering our world. When he reconciles with God (far in the future as they're both so stubborn), initiate the endtimes, because Lucifer holds Satan back from this world. There's not a single grain of truth in it, but after years of searching and trying on every religion I could find, I finally found peace with this mad idea. (Now, of course, I feel like a complete jerk for criticizing Hancock.) In the midst of my research, I found two distinct periods of time wherein Lucifer was considered something of an Antihero to the cruel and merciless God: the Renaissance and the Romantic Era. All I can say is that I love the art and poetry of both; I haven't studied enough for a more concise answer.

    So a shorthand reply to "which Lucifer" would be: Lucifer as the Morning Star, brightest at daybreak, and Lucifer at Twilight, when the edges of reality grow soft. Lucifer the displaced prince, who clung to his ideals despite the punishment he knew would follow. Lucifer is a lot of things, but not stupid by any stretch of the imagination. If he was God's most favored angel, he had to know what the price of defiance would be, yet he took the fall anyway. I admire him for that.

    Thanks.
  9.  
    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    You too? Living in a cultural void, I mean. It's kind of that way here where I live (farming town in the middle of the great Central Valley of California). I didn't grow up here, but I've lived here for a long time, and I've never gotten used to it.

    Anyway. "Drawing Down the Moon". Good book. I'm not Wiccan, but my best friend is (how cliched does that sound?:p ); I also found the book very helpful when I did an anthropological field study of Wiccans, specifically those who do not practice in covens or other groups, for a class I took at university. The assignment was to study a religious group that I myself didn't belong to. Interesting experience, that, particularly since it was a Christian university. I expected my professor to react in horror, but she loved the idea. Some of the others in the class had a bit of a problem with it, but the prof sort of just told them they had to suck it up, as it was university, after all.:D

    I don't actually do religion. Haven't ever found one that I'm compatible with. Been through quite a few of them, and had some pretty bad experiences. I have beliefs of a religious nature, but I won't go into them as we don't actually discuss a lot of religion around here. However, if you haven't found it yet, you might like to check out comparative-religion.com, which is an intereting and quite diverse site with an active forum.

    About the mysterious in the world. As I said about alien abductions, I tend to keep an open but skeptical mind about such things. I can't rule such things out entirely, because I used to live in a house that was either haunted or had some kind of vortex or something in it. Whatever it was, some very weird things that I could not explain away no matter how hard I tried went on in that house.

    I do quite agree with you about all of the different "ancient astronaut" theories being kind of dismissive of ancient peoples and their intelligence and abilities. That has always been my main objection to books about such ideas...they're just too ethnocentric. Oh, and about getting titles wrong...don't worry about it. Happens all the time...I had to go off and check the title of the Hancock book I referred to in my other post, or I would have gotten that wrong. I did get it wrong and had to change it before I submitted the post. But, being the obsessive-compulsive that I am, I just had to go and check.

    Interesting explanation of your screen name. I got mine just from being told way too often that I have an attitude, and finally deciding to own it.:)

    Glad to have you here, at any rate. We can get a little silly sometimes, but there are also a lot of interesting conversations going on around here.

    Well, I'm going to go check on the eclipse now (about 1/4 of the moon covered last time I checked a few minutes ago) and see how the Series is going.
  10.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Sounds like an interesting idea for a novel, anyway. :) Is that what you're actually writing?

    I gather it would be silly to ask if you've read a little Milton...?
  11.  
    Lucifer

    Lucifer Pontificating Brat

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    It's one important thread of a very big plotline. :) Writing the Lucifer-based character is something of an honor while being a little overwhelming. In fact, the story starts right when Ilumial (Lucifer) is starting to get critical of Adonai. One of the subplots of the first book is about the Fall. I think I might even go so far as to imply that Adonai asked Ilumial if he would take the fall, that it was a mutual understanding to disagree between the two of them. I'm writing them with a mutual obsession with one another, something very much like a passion.

    I have to admit that I'm not as polished on my Milton (or even my Blake) as I should be. This entire concept arose from reading a few verses of "La Fin de Satan" by Victor Hugo. I am having a terrible time finding the entire thing translated into English, but here's that part that struck me:

    Satan:
    God leaves me out; he terminates at me; I am his boundary.
    God would be infinate if I did not exist . . .
    A hundred hundred times I repeat my vow:
    I love! God tortures me, yet my only blasphemy,
    My only frenzy, my only cry, is that I love!
    My love is enough to make the sky tremble. But in vain!

    Satan cried out, "Love hates me!"

    God:
    No, I do not hate you! . . .
    O Satan, you need only say, I shall live!
    Come, your prison will be pulled down and hell abolished!
    Come, the angel Liberty is your daughter and mine:
    This sublime parentage unites us.
    The archangel is born and the demon dies;
    I erase the baleful darkness so that none remains.
    Satan is dead; be born again, heavenly Lucifer!
    Come, rise up from the shadow with dawn upon your brow.

    Powerful stuff. And now I've dragged this thread completely off topic. Where could this go to be a continued conversation?

    Lucifer
  12.  
    Starbeast

    Starbeast Benevolent Galaxy Being

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    I was already doing research in the field of Ufology when Whitley Strieber's film Communion came out in 1989, I saw it, and I was interested to learn more about him. His book went into more details, as did his following book Transformations.

    Mr Strieber is very open about discussing his experiances, and even today he admits he is still learning more about the outworld races that are interested in hiim. If his claims are genuine, then he has joined the thousands who have also had astonishing encounters with unearthly beings.

    Perhaps one day, one of these races of people from another planet or dimension will make themselves known to everyone, and that would finally prove they exist. For now, these outworlders only wish to know a rare fortunate (or unfortunate) few.
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    Toby Frost

    Toby Frost Active Member

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    I read Communion and found it very interesting. While I don't believe a word of it, reading a book so coherent by someone who is either somewhat deluded or completely out of his tree is a very odd experience. I actually find Communion a much more effective horror story than most horror novels: it's got a nightmarish, disjointed quality, where weird things happen for no clear reason.

    Some while ago I got talking to an expert on the paranormal - not a professional debunker, but someone who considers what he's told and on the evidence believes very little of it. He said that the most boring explanation (mental issues aside) for Strieber's experiences would be that he had been abducted by aliens. The modern UFO story, he said, read like a cross between bad 50's SF and old myths about the fairy folk, and it would be interesting to know why people through the ages felt a need to have that sort of story.
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    Jennifer Cthulus

    Jennifer Cthulus New Member

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    I thought that his current position was that his experiences with aliens were actually false memories implanted by the government. Perhaps I was misinformed (and, now that I think about it, it was about a decade ago when I heard that, so perhaps he's gone back to saying that they actually happened since then).

    I read Communion and Transformation when they came out, back when I was young enough to genuinely not care whether they were true or not. He said that his abduction memories were revealed under hypnosis, and, as a kid, that was proof enough for me. Since then, I've been told that his claims had somehow been debunked, and later that he himself was saying that the abductions didn't happen. But, like I said, maybe he's back to saying that they did -- I haven't really kept up with him.

    Good writer, regardless. The very first to make me really think about how the destruction of the moon would necessarily entail the destruction of the earth, as well. Also the same guy who made me fully aware of the safety of modern aircraft, with backup systems for each backup system, which helped me in contemplating starship design. But there's a darker element there, too. If the abduction claims were entirely of his own invention, then he seems to be overly interested in anal probes and human ethnicity (blue-skinned aliens at one point tell him that their natural skin tone is like that of black people, but that if they had been that colour, he would have looked down upon them as a result -- and he acknowledges this to be correct).

    I did like his especially dreamlike descriptions of alien planets in Transformation. Like fiction shot through a fisheye lens coated in Vaseline. Neat.

    Seconded.

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