Setting the Record Straight

In August 2000 the Washington City Paper ran a cover story on Paul LaViolette.
To view the article, click here, but first read the corrections below.

Paul LaViolette was denied the opportunity to review
the story's text before it went to press, and so the article
contains several inaccuracies which he corrects below.

1. I did not base my physics theory on natal astrology.

The night class that I had taken was on the Tarot, not on astrology.  And I took this class in 1975, a year before I had entered Portland State University to begin my Ph.D. work.  I had for the two previous years been developing a general systems approach to physics called subquantum kinetics.  I had received my original insights on this in 1973 at the University of Chicago.  Subquantum kinetics is founded on a set of well accepted, rigorous concepts known to systems theorists. These concepts describe how systems that maintain a state of flux can develop ordered patterns. My insight in 1975 was that these same systems principles have been symbolically encoded in the Tarot.  It was some months later that I began to see a connection to the astrological symbolism of the zodiac.  Moreover it was fully one year later that I came to realize that the zodiac "message" was configured in the form of a cryptogram, complete with cryptographic key and cryptographic check devices (see Beyond the Big Bang for details about this). 

 The article then refers to my discovery about the deliberate alignments of the stars forming certain zodiac constellations, namely the arrow indicators in the constellations of Scorpio and Sagittarius. This was yet another aspect of the zodiac's message, and I did not come to this realization until 1979.  The article could give the mistaken impression that all these discoveries occurred around the same time when, in fact, they were spread out over many years.
 It is important to keep in mind that none of my books or theories concern themselves with natal astrology, which is the conventional meaning of the term "astrology."  My work is better categorized as archeoastronomy. It is concerned with astronomical understandings prevailing in ancient times, with the understanding that some of the constellations were set in the heavens to record for posterity humanity's endurance of a cataclysmic astronomical phenomenon.

P. A. LaViolette


2. Mindshifts

The article speaks of mindshifts, or paradigm shifts, that I repeatedly experienced as I followed my line of research.  I would like to comment here that these mindshifts were not just "feel good" realizations leading to a different way of looking at things.  They were initiated by a period of careful analysis and self-criticism.  Socrates advocated that advancement in our understanding of the world is best achieved through critical thought, not only by critically viewing established ideas, but also the ideas that our own mind generates. Just because our mind happens to come up with a new view or idea, does not mean that the idea is valid.  One must consider it as a hypothesis and test it out, check its validity against what is known and even, if possible, make predictions.

 Many people become emotionally attached to their ideas and are reluctant to relinquish them even when faced with contradictory evidence.  As a result, scientists make the mistake of blindly accepting established theories or even blindly defending their own pet theories.  In the world of ideas it is best to maintain a stance of detachment.  This gives you the needed freedom to modify your existing concepts, when such modification is demanded, and to thereby continuously perfect your knowledge.

P. A. LaViolette


3. I am not alone!

   The Washington City Paper (WCP) article gives the impression that no one supported my ideas. The article states, "With the exception of a few friends and his ever close family, LaViolette is a man alone in the cosmos."  This is not true.  On many occasions scientists have cited my research findings in their published papers.  Also I have received letters from professors and research scientists from various parts of the world complementing me for my discoveries and asking for paper reprints.  My work has rarely been reported in mainstream lay science media, exceptions being the August 1986 issue of Astronomy magazine which reported my disproof of the big bang theory, and more recently Popular Mechanics (October 2000 issue) which briefly mentioned my ETI theory about pulsars.  However, new theories take time to become widely communicated.  Often a scientist makes his discoveries and theories known by giving yearly papers at scientific conferences and widely disseminating reprints of his papers.  Available financial resources, though, limited my ability to attend such conferences and spread my ideas.

    Also the article does not accurately report how my theory about pulsars was received. In January 2000 I gave a paper at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Atlanta presenting evidence that pulsars are not a natural phenomenon, as had been previously believed, but rather are beacons of extraterrestrial intelligence origin.  In the days that followed my presentation, I had conversations with many astronomers.  I found that of those that had an interest in the subject of extraterrestrial communication, a full two-thirds were open to the idea that pulsars might be of ETI origin and were willing to consider the evidence. The other third were already convinced that pulsars could be nothing other than spinning neutron stars and did not want to bother looking at any evidence contradicting their opinion. I would consider this 2:1 ratio to be fairly good odds.

    However, the WCP instead relied on the assessment of Stephen Maran, public relations spokes person for the American Astronomical Society.  Maran neither attended my lecutre, nor did he witness the conversations I had with astronomers at the meeting.  In fact, the reporter quotes Maran as stating "I don't know of any pulsar experts who are convinced by LaViolette's paper," and saying that my conclusions "were not received favorably."  Not received favorably by whom?  By the one-third who did not want to even see the evidence for my theory?  What about the other two thirds?  My findings were reported in my book The Talk of the Galaxy, which was made available for the first time at this meeting.  I know of no "pulsar experts" who took time at the meeting to read my book.  So it is a bit premature to say that there were no pulsar experts who were convinced.  And if they were convinced, would they have the guts to admit it publically for fear of being attacked by spokesmen such as Maran.  Obviously, right from the start, no matter what evidence I offered to make my case about pulsars, the WCP was going to publish a conservative party-line opinion, one slanted in favor of the conventional interpretation about pulsars.  In summary, the acceptance of my pulsar ETI hypothesis is not as bleak as is made out to be.  Anyone interested in learning how my paper was received at the American Astronomical Society meeting can order the videotape which records my presentation and conversations I had afterward with other astronomers.

P. A. LaViolette