Mother was previously hosted on mother.strangled.info, and episodes were recorded between 2012 and 2017. It was undertaken in response to the world of UFO podcasting which suffered – and still suffers – from some combination of:
- UFO podcast hosts acting as UFO pundits
- UFO podcast hosts considering themselves ‘researchers’
- UFO podcast hosts referring to their podcasts as their ‘work’
- UFO and paranormal podcasts as vehicle for self-promotion
- UFO and paranormal podcasts interviewing other UFO and paranormal podcasters ad infinitum
“Eppur, si muove” – these words were attributed to Galileo, and they are translated roughly as: And yet, it moves. According to legend, Galileo muttered these words when being forced to recant his claims based on observation that the earth moved around the sun. When confronted with stories about UFOs, aliens, ghosts, and so on, from people who are neither lying nor delusional, a reasonable person might conclude that even though such things ‘aren’t real’, nevertheless they exist.
Of course, because belief in such phenomena is taboo, the topic is charged and attracts all sorts of pathological types. That includes the mentally ill, liars, hoaxsters, and con artists. But this isn’t as terrible as it appears. There are equally pathological reasons to reject such phenomena including normalcy bias, and the world of everyday belief is plagued, as we know, by mistaken belief, delusion, stupidity, and misperception. Human nature being what it is, one might conclude that underlying all belief is a pathology of some sort.
Whatever the war of all against all when it comes to belief – even within the world of belief – strange phenomena like UFOs, ghosts, and more represent a tantalizing possible reality. Mother sought to discuss such phenomena in a way diametrically opposed to the norm. Mother had no hosts, no guests, and gave no titles to its episodes other than recording date. Participants avoided calling themselves by name and made no effort at self-promotion. The site and the podcast did not even give itself a clear title or refer to itself by name, posting only its conversations, allowing these to spread by word of mouth.
Conversations on Mother were strongly influenced by Whitley Strieber and, in particular, his book, The Key. Strieber is unique in the world of UFOs and the paranormal as the only public intellectual who advocates for their reality. An accomplished writer with an extensive generalist grounding in the humanities, Strieber advances such a complex and intellectually sophisticated picture of alien contact, the world of the supernatural, and more, that for those seeking a cohesive picture for such phenomena that does not simply leave out science and the whole Western intellectual tradition – Strieber is the only game in town.
Mother contributed to the discussion on UFOs and the otherworldly by exploring the work of Strieber in detail. Creator of Mother and participant ‘Heinrich Moltke’ in the end concluded that Strieber had fabricated his 2001 book, The Key, and had confabulated much of his lifetime of purported experiences. Strieber’s intellectually sophisticated view of these phenomena borrows liberally from G. I. Gurdjieff, while sometimes imputing Gurdjieff’s views to the alien Grays. Strieber likewise fantasized various visions and prophecies recorded in his books which can be demonstrated were taken from science news and items he separately admitted to reading.
The many problems with Strieber were explored in the most extensive academic work on Strieber to date: Problems with Strieber and The Key. The paper can be downloaded at strieberthekey.com.
Mother is Unique
Unlike other podcasts, Mother features ongoing conversations that try to process the various phenomena of UFOs, ghosts, and the otherworldly using intellectual perspectives taken from Buddhism, post-structuralism, the greats of the Western philosophical tradition, and Lacanian psychoanalysis. The Mother conversations do not reflect the simple-minded partisanship in the UFO field today, in which one faction considers itself intellectually wise for having read Jacques Vallee, and another faction explains the mystery of UFOs away as physical conveyances of space brothers or alien scientists.