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The Wingmaker's Hoax Revisited

Bernard Roy writes:

I have just read Ed Wolfe's conclusions about the Wingmakers (www.wingmakers.com) hoax. What amazes me about these sorts of metaphysical "scams" is the willingness of so many seemingly intelligent people to believe them, even after they have been proved false. For many of "the faithful", attempts to reveal the spurious origins of their New Age belief systems are simply further proof of the ultimate truth of the philosophy they embrace. If you want a new religion to thrive, persecute the believers and discredit the founders.

Urban shamanism was never more popular, and the empire of the late cult author Carlos Castaneda never more successful, than they were following the appearance of a rash of books and articles published in the 1980's proving, once and for all, that the "brujo" Don Juan (whom Castaneda had always insisted was a real person) was a figment of a very fertile and highly entertaining imagination. If you tell people something they either already believe, or wish to believe, they will take their own recognition as proof of the genuineness of the source in spite of what even the author himself may have to say about it. Many people insist on believing that the world created by the late fiction/fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien (THE HOBBIT, LORD OF THE RING et al.) is a factual representation of the true, but hidden, history of the earth. The protestations of the author himself could not daunt these diehard enthusiasts bent on forging a new belief system out of his works.

The Wingmakers, whose hackneyed and conspiratorialist "back to the future" premise seems to have been inspired by Scully & Muldaur, is so transparently derivative that I am truly amazed that anyone could think, even for a second, that it could be factual or historical. The "artifacts" appear to have been gleaned from a New Age flea market, the paintings are insipid and decidedly mid-20th Century in style, and the endless poems and other writings contain many common, disconcertingly consistent errors in grammar and sytax (mistakes such as confusing the verb "to lie" with the verb "to lay"....."I was laying on the ground"). The further you read, and the more you delve into the philosophy of the Wingmakers, the less plausible and believeable it becomes, although I stongly suspect that it will "speak to the hearts" of large numbers of predominantly white, American, middle-class, reasonably educated, un-mated and uncommitted women between 25 and 50 - such individuals are always the backbone of any new religious or philosophical movement.

I have not heard the Wingmakers music, but if it is consistent with the other "artistic" offerings left behind by these mysterious visitors from our past/future, it will sound suspiciously like most of the CD's created by keyboard sythesizers and digital samplers that play endlessly on the stereo systems of New Age bookstores and gift shops throughout North America.

The real mystery here is not the origin or the legacy of the Wingmakers, it is the willingness of so many to believe in and be spiritually nourished by such mediocrity.


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