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Sludge Report #3

I was recently alerted to the Twitter rantings of John William Warner IV, apparently a third cousin to Christopher Mellon and a fictional author and "UFO researcher". On the "research" page of his website, John claims that his father was a "MAJIC member". On the page, it's also stated that:


He has researched ancient history, philosophy, Theosophy, metaphysics, Freemasonry, mystery schools, religious history, megalithic building history, and military history regarding extraterrestrial visitation and possible interaction.


And that:


John believes strongly in the correlation between the imported German scientists, antigravity, free energy research, and the documented UFO “Foo-Fighters” of WW2.


He is an affiliate of Steven Greer (of CE5-scam fame) and an opponent of Luis Elizondo (of AATIP fame) and claims that the latter's take on UFOs/UAP is counterproductive and a misdirection effort by the intelligence community (he's referred to Elizondo as a "knuckle-dragging moron" and hopes that his "dear cousin" will extricate himself from involvement with the former counter-intelligence man). John is clearly a partisan in the "disclosure movement" and sides with Greer and others of like-mind in the "debate".


John's Tweets and re-Tweets express a convergence of woo and ufology, as well as social conservative takes on various issues such as COVID, a combination that seems to be a thing among many UFO gurus and high-profile personalities even while the rank-and-file of ufology (and believers more generally) probably tend to be more left-leaning in their politics.


Here is a smattering of John's Tweets and re-Tweets, with commentary by me:

This "magick" business is doing the rounds in woo circles and is part of a broader push to undermine material science and promote (in the sense of crediting the truth claims of) immaterial spiritualism and mysticism. UFOs are a surprisingly prominent feature in this wedge strategy, as I will detail in an upcoming article, but here again I note that UFOs have been used as a means to try to rearrange our standard categories of the world and to smuggle in radical pseudoscience.


Here he is promoting moon landing conspiracy theories and the tiresome trope that Stanley the ego-manic Kubric (who somehow managed to keep his mouth shut) was involved. Of course, the moon landings did take place, were affirmed by the Soviet Union (the Cold War foe that was the entire raison d'etre for the Apollo missions) and are backed by masses of physical evidence that definitively proves that they happened (if you're still somehow on the fence about whether men landed on the surface of our natural satellite, I can do no better than to recommend the website Moon Hoax: Debunked!, which destroys virtually every single lie, fabrication and distortion concocted by moon landing conspiracists). John is playing cavalier opportunist with the intellectual laziness of many of his followers in order to inject toxic ignorance into the stream along with, I'm sorry to say, willful stupidity - the more the merrier, it seems, since not even the crass imbecility of the moon hoax fable is off limits to him. He might do well to instead honor the bravery and ingenuity of the American servicemen who risked and sometimes even gave (in various training accidents) their lives to make President Kennedy's vision a reality. He could also honor the hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, technicians and workers who designed, built and tested the innumerable components of the machines that took the Apollo astronauts on their journeys. He should desist from implying that these men and women - far more knowledgeable about machines and science than he will ever be - were too stupid to realize that all the math and engineering they partook in was part of a ruse. People tend to dismiss the moon hoax fable as merely stupid while ignoring the equally important aspect of how truly disgusting it is.


Here we see him promoting the "secret space program" mythos, in which elites are ostensibly overseeing the construction of bases on Mars, sometimes in cahoots with ETs, and/or are using radically advanced propulsion systems that are far beyond anything that is publicly acknowledged (in some versions of the myth, the government will stage a UFO/alien invasion in order to impose martial law or facilitate the further dispensation of largesse to the military-industrial complex/Deep State/secret cabal ruling the world). It's curious, isn't it, that John simultaneously promotes both the narrative that there is a secret space program with unfathomable technology AND that the moon landings were faked. The only consistent theme is a commitment to pushing obscurantist nonsense and making people dumber.


Obviously, this individual has no way of knowing that "Greys" (also spelled "Grays") are doing anything remotely like what she claims, but it has the benefit of fitting with John's favored woo themes, so he'll gladly re-Tweet it. ETs are seen in their New Age incarnation as integrally central to the question of consciousness, and consciousness is unsurprisingly something that's milked for all it's worth by UFO grifters. The more woo, the better, and it doesn't even have to be consistent woo (that's the wonderful thing about woo, really: you can always add more of it on top when you run into logical difficulties, in an endless, absurd spiral in which you're rewarded rather than being called to task for confabulating extreme stories).


The trope that reality involves, or even is, consciousness, and that the universe itself is conscious, is a major running theme in ufology these days. Quantum mechanics is often strong-armed in the service of this perspective. While "everything is consciousness" and related tropes sound innocent enough on their own, there are some darker incarnations of it that are anything but innocent, and John may well be playing at these tropes. In his book "Black Sun", Nicolas Goodricke-Clark describes variants of mysticism pushed by some neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups positing that there is "Aryan spiritual energy" emanating from another place in the cosmos, beaming out to "reawaken" the "Aryan race" to complete its "mission". Savitri Devi espoused similar themes in her works (also described by Goodricke-Clarke), though with a more cyclical tinge. My point is that something as seemingly innocent as New Age woo can easily be co-opted for atrocious ends. I point this out because of the next item and especially one further down:


John, who no doubt likes to think of himself as, or at least wants to be seen as, someone who promotes lofty and transcendental ideas, apparently can't resist the allure of pedestrian and meat-headed macho posturing. I argue that there is no contradiction in this. His man-brat posturing also shines through in his takes on COVID and other social issues. Here, we see him lashing out at the "Deep State" (represented in this graphic via the allusion to the CIA) and "Big Tech" and its ostensibly girly/effeminate manifestations (full disclosure: I'm no fan of Zuckerberg, and I think there is much to despise among the current crop of high-technology billionaires; I also fully acknowledge that the CIA has engaged in many atrocities, including its mind-control experiments on human subjects. However, I like to think that I oppose atrocities and billionaire shenanigans for ethically sound reasons that don't need to invoke fear of "femboys"). It perhaps escaped John's attention that Bruce Wayne is a high-technology billionaire in the fictional universe of Batman, but maybe for John, Batman is one of the "good" billionaires, if only because he can kick Zuckerberg's ass and has no effeminate pretentions. I'm sorry, but how is this related to UFOs, John? Your profile page is titled, "John William Warner IV's UFO Page". Hmmm, maybe this really isn't about UFOs after all.


More stupidity-mongering. Needless to say, when two things look vaguely similar, it does not at all have to indicate that they are actually related. Ancient Astronauts is pseudoarcheology and should be regarded as such. Like moon landing denial, it is also deeply toxic. Did John never bother informing himself about such matters as the blatant inaccuracy of Ancient Astronauts claims during his forays into "history"?


More "everything the mainstream tells us is fake"-mongering (full disclosure again: I'm no fan of Elon Musk and in fact I regard him as something approaching a scam artist, but what John is doing here is just stupid. Instead of calling out Musk on something genuinely fake or problematic, he makes a fake insinuation himself, needlessly hinging his opposition to Musk on an item of nonsense and thereby exposing himself as someone who indulges in the cheap fanning of ignorance to get his message across).


Here we have pathetic fearmongering. As someone on Twitter noted: isn't it weird how all the people most loudly proclaiming that they are personally under threat from the government are in fact wealthy white men who have only profited from their UFO yarns, while the people who are termed "shills" by the believers mostly make a modest living? Phil Schneider, shown in the lower left of the graphic, was NOT "assassinated for telling the truth about UFOs", by the way. I don't think that John cares, to be honest.


John's profile lists him as an "historian", but I think he may be giving himself too much credit on that score. He's certainly a fictional author.



Aaaaaaaaaand there we have it, his racism. I don't think I really need to discuss this one too much. John isn't merely someone engaged in a bit of harmless fun, but rather is someone who uses UFOs, woo and pseudoscience as means to turn people into pliable mush, and he pushes ugly ideas that have nothing to do with UFOs.


"...are said by pseudohistorians to be ET reverse-engineered tech" is what he should have mentioned (of course, the article on phys.org makes no mention of alien tech; the slipping of an ET narrative into the history of fiber optics is John's choice). Again, note the discrepancy between these alien narratives and his promotion of moon landing hoax fables.


This is from his website. In this graphic, he elegantly combines macho posturing, white nativism and demagoguery about "knowledge" into one.



To other (though related) matters: what's with all the people on YouTube pushing "UFOs are demons/fallen angels" and similarly overtly religious messages? I've noticed an uptick of it lately. I'm reminder of a chapter from Carl Sagan's book "The Demon Haunted World", titled "The City of Grief", in which he verbatim quotes numerous correspondences from people who believe all manner of miserable nonsense and gives a glimpse into the scary prevalence of pseudoscience and anti-intellectualism in American society. The following comments are illustrative of this sickly trend (which I hope "to God" is just a fluke; otherwise, we're in for some rough times as a society) and are from the comment section of flying saucer fable-teller Bob Lazar's 2019 interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast:



Of course, this linking of UFOs to Satan and demons/fallen angels is nothing new. It's been doing the rounds for decades, but by some appearances it could be making a comeback as a more mainstream (within ufology) theme. One shouldn't be surprised by this, given the proliferation of quasi-religious themes more generally in ufology, such as the ones alluded to by our friend John earlier. When these sorts of tropes are pushed in so cavalier a manner, it is inevitable that many people who are of a more traditional religious persuasion will see "confirmation" of some of their own beliefs and will seek in the UFO an affirmation of their faith's narrative and eschatology. The UFO religion does not always displace traditional faiths; it can supplement and bolster them.

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