Setting the Record Straight

Paul LaViolette continues his reality check by countering misstatements
of fact and outright lies that are being circulated about him in the press.

Preamble about dogmatic trends in physics and science in general.

      Over the years the physics community has become increasingly dogmatic, ostracizing anyone who espouses theories different from the dyed-in-the-wool antiquated concepts that it "sanctifies."  Einstein's theories of special and general relativity, despite their flaws, are faithfully revered as is Einstein himself, his poster-sized image frequently adorning the offices of university physics theologians and their faithful followers.  I have nothing against Einstein.  I greatly respect the man and his work.  But, heaven help any free thinking physicist who might point out these flaws or dare to challenge aspects of the relativistic paradigm.  It is tantamount to professional suicide.
   We see the zealous physics establishment even sticking their noses into the field of engineering to foist their narrow ideas about what is physically permissible and what is not.  If an inventor develops a novel alternative energy conversion device and claims that it releases its energy without consuming a fuel that physicists know about, like coal, oil, or U-235, then they claim that this inventor is obviously a fraud.  "His claims violate the universal principle of energy conservation," they shout.  Rather than investigate a new natural phenomenon that does not fit in their theoretical box, they deny and admonish, and lobby the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reject the patents of such upstart inventors.  If inventors are permitted to pursue ideas only within the realm of the conventional, technologies that do not challenge the rather limited reach of physical theory, then are they really inventing anything new?  Are they not dotting the "i" for the tenth time?  The implications for the average citizen are obvious: Technological stagnation, more CO
2 build-up, more global warming, higher utility bills, and more roaming blackouts.
    Every dogmatic movement has need of religious police to ensure that its sacrosanct principles are not violated and to dole out punishment to those who have the audacity to challenge the status quo.  The American Physical Society (APS), which at one time was a respectable scholarly society, has risen to this despicable cause.  In the early 1990's, their Director of Public Information Robert Park began using his "Whats New" internet news column to launch sarcastic attacks against scientists who proposed novel ideas that challenged conventional physics thinking.  Cold fusion and Randall Mills' hydrino theory were among his most favored scapegoats.  In his Washington Post review of Park's book Voodoo Science, Charles Pratt wrote:

"Park's anger permeates his rebuttals, which border on character assassination... he violates basic principles of journalism and science itself by apparently suppressing information that conflicts with his foregone conclusion....his widely published attacks create a chilling effect that can discourage even legitimate scientists from discussing controversial work. This hardly seems consistent with the spirit of genuinely free inquiry that should energize science. Likewise, Park's reliance on second-hand data, his presentation of selective evidence and his refusal to quote his opponents are habits that seem unworthy of a scientist."

    At the March 1998 American Physical Society meeting, Peter Zimmerman, one of Park's APS cronies, went so far as to state to an audience of hundreds of faithful that "he and Robert Park would work to expose and purge anyone at the Patent Office who sympathizes with cold fusion;" see Infinite Energy magazine, vol. 25, 1999.  Zimmerman also called upon the audience to join him in this crusade, and to report to the highest authorities any rumors about unauthorized research at their institutions and of groups of more than three people caught discussing cold fusion.  Through strong arm tactics and outright defamation of its organizers and presenters, Zimmerman and Park later managed to prevent an alternative energy conference from being hosted by either the State Department or by the Commerce Department.  This conference happened to include a paper on cold fusion as well as a few papers on novel energy technologies that are unexplained by the catechism of conventional physics.  Later, the APS and Park publicly took credit for getting Tom Valone and myself fired from our jobs at the Patent Office.  Tom Valone was the main organizer of this conference and I supported his effort by placing a link on my website so that surfers could find out details about the conference.
   Park has since continued his attacks against me in his What's New column and more recently in Playboy magazine by making fun of the EEOC's landmark decision which upheld my right to pursue a civil rights case against the Patent Office.  Using his usual tactics, he has invented "facts" and twisted the truth to suit his whim, as he pursues his crusade against cold fusion and other new science.  Below I will try to correct the misinformation that he and others have been spreading about me and this EEOC decision.

Robert Park spreads disinformation in Playboy Magazine.

    In his article entitled "Screwball" published in the January 2001 issue of Playboy Magazine, American Physical Society spokesperson Robert Park underhandedly tries to smear alternative energy technology by spreading his usual lies.  At the end of his article, he repeatedly twists the truth, repeating distortions that he presented earlier in his internet "news" gossip column ("What's New") which attempts to publicly diseminate his outmoded views. He states,

 "LaViolette believes in cold fusion."  

    Here he tries to make his readers think that I have a blind belief in this subject, like someone who throws reason to the wind.  In actual fact, I have no such fixation on cold fusion.  I will admit that I am interested in the field and I do feel it is a very important area of research like many other areas of science.  As for my approach to science, whether it is a novel theory that is in a new area being explored, or well accepted dogma of the sort that Park espouses, I try to maintain a detached perspective.  Unlike Robert Park, I try not to let any preconceived notions blind my views about the world.
Park then states:

"Actually, he believes in a lot of stuff. He believes the B-2 stealth bomber uses secret antigravity technology, reverse-engineered from a crashed flying saucer."

    Here Park spreads more lies.  In fact, I have never said anything about the B-2 using technology that was reverse-engineered from a crashed flying saucer.  The paper I wrote, which is published in the book Electrogravitics Systems, suggests that the B-2 utilizes electrogravitic technology for controlling gravity, or what could be termed "antigravity technology."  But my paper traces the origin of the B-2's technology to Townsend Brown, an eminent scientist and inventor who was born in the U.S.A, not on some other star system.  The paper shows that disclosed features of the B-2 conform closely to ideas published in Brown's 1962 electrokinetics patent.  The book also contains a formerly classified military intelligence report that I had obtained from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that describes how in the 1950's leading aerospace companies were aggressively experimenting with Brown's technology.  I acknowledge that my theories about the B-2's exotic propulsion system are tentative to the extent that I have no first hand experience of the plane's classified construction.  This is well understood by people who read my paper.  So if Park wishes to use the word belief here, in the context of blind, religious belief, he is willfully misleading the public.
Park later continues:

"Convinced that his dismissal had to do with his belief in cold fusion, LaViolette appealed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He argued that belief in cold fusion should be treated as a protected religious belief."

    Again, this is inaccurate.  I did not narrowly focus on cold fusion.  In my letter to the EEOC I stated that I was convinced that I was dismissed from the PTO because of my unconventional beliefs in cold fusion and other technologies as well as because of my beliefs related to novel scientific theories I held and novel theories I published in my books and on my website.  Then I argued that "discrimination against a person on account of his beliefs is the essence of discrimination on the basis of religion."  From this standpoint I was arguing that all scientific beliefs should be under civil rights protection, e.g., as protected religious belief, including the dogmas that Park so fervently espouses.
Park then concludes:

"In July 2000, the commission upheld his complaint, in effect ruling that cold fusion is a religion.  This appeared to confirm what many scientists had suspected all along."

    Park's statement that the EEOC has ruled that "cold fusion is a religion" is again misleading.  Obviously, he tries with twisted logic to infer "the EEOC says its religion, therefore we were right all along, cold fusion is a religion!"  Let's get something clear; the only one who is saying that cold fusion is a religion is Robert Park.  Here of course he tries to create the impression that people interested in cold fusion research have a blind belief in the subject much like religious fundamentalists.  But if he is looking for religiously fundamentalist beliefs in physics, he need look no further than his own.  After all Park has been publicly accused of "suppressing information that conflicts with his foregone conclusion."  This sounds like blind belief to me; doesn't it to you? As for the EEOC decision, they stated that the complainant (I, Paul LaViolette), "claims he was terminated and denied the opportunity to be rehired because of religion, which embodies his cold fusion beliefs."  But note there is a difference between saying that one's religion "embodies ones cold fusion beliefs" and saying that "cold fusion is a religion."  As I stated to the Washington Post, there is a connection between my scientific beliefs and my very deep religious feelings.  But this does not mean that my scientific beliefs are themselves a rigid and cult-like religion.  As I have stated, I ascribe to the scientific method of holding theories in a condition of tentativeness and checking their validity against observation.  Also I practice the Socratic method of questioning the validity of my own views just as I question the validity of those that the American Physical Society so staunchly advocates.

Smart Money Magazine sacrifices accurate reporting for sarcasm.

      In the news item "ET PHONE Lawyer" printed in their February 2001 issue, Smart Money magazine quips:

"Believe in alien radio signals, cold fusion and that the zodiac is a cataclysmic message from ancient humans?  Former patent examiner Paul LaViolette does -- and he says it got him canned."

    Actually, I never claimed that my work about pulsar signals being of possible alien intelligence origin had anything to do with my firing from the PTO.  The other items (cold fusion, and the zodiac), yes.  But alien radio signals?   No.  My book The Talk of the Galaxy, which presents evidence that pulsar beacons may be of artificial origin, was not published until the spring of 2000, a whole year after I had already left the Patent Office.  
    The EEOC decision to expand civil rights law to include protection for scientific beliefs is a victory for the American worker.  It means that people can now sleep soundly at night without worrying that they might be fired for espousing unconventional science and technology interests on their website or in books they may have published.  For the Smart Money magazine writer to demean this decision and make fun of our civil rights system saying "Rumour is, the case is now under further investigation by little green men," this indicates that he has a rather sour view of worker's rights.  Is "Smart Money" really about employers enslaving their workers and controlling every aspect of their daily lives?

The Arizona Employment Law Letter muddies the waters.

      In his October 2000 article in the Arizona Employment Law Letter entitled "Is belief in UFOs a protected activity?" Troy Foster is also a bit off the mark in reporting the facts of my case.  He writes:

"Paul LaViolette worked as a patent examiner for the federal government until he was fired in April 1999. He contends that he was fired because of his beliefs in the paranormal, which he posts on his web site."

    This is wrong. I do not have an obsessive belief in cold fusion, and the EEOC never said that I did.  

No, I never contended that I was fired because of my "beliefs in the paranormal."  I contended that I was fired because of my unconventional scientific beliefs.  "Unconventional" is not synonymous with "paranormal."  
    As examples of the kinds of things my website writes about, the article mentions books I have written on a number of subjects listing "extraterrestrial communication and crop circles" among these.  But keep in mind, my writings about extraterrestrial communication and crop circles which are presently on my website were posted in the year 2000, a full year after I had left the PTO and had nothing to do with my civil rights complaint against the PTO.  The other subjects -- Yes.  Foster then goes on to state:

"Without making a specific determination about whether beliefs in UFOs and related phenomena are protected, the EEOC has directed the government to reconsider its decision."

    Indeed, the EEOC did not make a specific determination about beliefs in UFOs and related paranormal phenomena.  But these were not mentioned in my case, unless Foster is willing to consider the B-2 bomber a UFO.  Whether or not one wishes to consider the B-2 as being "unidentified," it certainly is not of extraterrestrial origin.  Perhaps the EEOC ruling could help someone who claims he has been fired because of his interest in UFOs and paranormal phenomena.  But that would be another case, not mine.


Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) distorts the facts.

      In their November 30, 2000 article entitled "Crisis in the Workplace" the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) wrote:

"The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced in July that an employee fired for his obsessive belief in the validity of 'cold fusion' can sue the employer for 'religious' discrimination."

     This is incorrect. I do not have an "obsessive belief" in the validity of cold fusion, and the EEOC never said that I did.  As I have explained above, I maintain a detached view with respect to all scientific observations and theories, including cold fusion.  By stating that I have an obsessive belief in cold fusion, the Star Tribune incorrectly infers that I throw reason to the wind and have a blind allegiance to a particular point of view.  I find their allegation highly offensive.
    Later the newspaper states:

"...the vast majority of physicists believe "cold fusion" is bogus. ...Paul A. LaViolette, worked at the U.S. Patent Office, but there was no evidence that he was assisting in the patenting of bogus technologies."

   Here the paper implies that "cold fusion" is indeed bogus and that it is a good thing that LaViolette wasn't examining patents on technologies that physicists believe is bogus.  (What a relief!)  Instead of claiming that I have an obsessive belief in cold fusion, perhaps that the author of this article should investigate whether physicists have an obsessive belief that cold fusion is bogus.  Hundreds of scientists have published articles and given papers reporting positive results with cold fusion experiments.  Moreover, the 1989 MIT study which is one of three studies that the news media and DOE so frequently cite to denounce cold fusion has, in fact, been found to favor cold fusion.  As Dr. Eugene Mallove has shown in Issue 24 of Infinite Energy magazine (March 1999), the physicists involved in that MIT study blatantly falsified their test data so that it would indicate a negative result for cold fusion.  These scientists must have had an obsessive belief that cold fusion is bogus considering that they would go to this extreme.  But even after the data falsification scandal was made public, physicists and DOE administrators continued to blindly believe that the MIT study had negative results on cold fusion.  So you tell me, who are the ones with the obsessive belief?  Incidentally, the other two frequently cited studies, done at Caltech and at Harwell, have also been shown to favor cold fusion when their data is properly and competently analyzed.