The Paradigm Symposium 2014 seeks truth and money at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis

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The Paradigm Symposium, a four-day journey into the realm aliens and the paranormal, descended upon the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis this last weekend, and while the themes of the event were truth and bridging the gap between the fringe worlds of Ufology and paranormal studies with mainstream society, the theme just as easily may have been “everything you know is a lie” and “the world is out to get you.”

From “black budgets” and “breakaway civilizations” to modern shamans and spirits, the Paradigm Symposium was a headfirst dive into the sort of topics that the modern History Channel would absolutely love to make programming about. The event was attended by individuals who have made frequent appearances on History’s Ancient Aliens series, such as Richard Dolan and Graham Hancock, as well Ghost Hunters International’s Barry Fitzgerald. All in all, roughly a dozen individuals, self-proclaimed experts in their fields, were on hand to give presentations and attend panels on all manner of subjects, but in the end it all boiled down to the idea that they were the keepers of a secret truth that they had unraveled a grand theme and that if you would only buy their book and listen to what they had to say, you, too, could be in on the secret.

While the Paradigm Symposium’s stated purpose was to bridge the gap between the fringe and the mainstream culture, the presenters would often vacillate between an open desire to engage with the general public and be taken seriously and a total contempt for a society which they perceive to be willfully ignorant of the secret hand that guides the world and keeps them down. The entire concept of openness seemed contradictory in the face of what seemed to be going on, which was an insular community reaffirming all of their own notions without being critical of one another’s ideas at all.

The cause of bridging the gap was also not terribly well served by the constant use of weasel words to constantly avoid being pinned down to a claim. You will never in your life see so many people use words like “maybe” and “possibly” with so much confidence as you would if you attended an event like this.

Who would attend such a conference? People from all age groups and seemingly all walks of life. There was no pinpointing a group, no obvious basement dwellers or tinfoil types, but instead a variety of individuals who may well have been attending any other event. At a glance at the prices, one would assume that this niche event would be completely cost-prohibitive. A four day pass for the event ran $250, and a VIP pass (which entitled you to a VIP banquet) was $340. Even a day pass would run an individual $85. Yet the event was seemingly well attended, and the VIP passes were completely sold out. Whoever these people were, they were certainly willing to pony up some serious dough to be a part of this event.

There is arguably nothing wrong with harboring paranormal beliefs. There is nothing wrong with gathering together to discuss the possibilities of life after death, alien visitations, conspiracies, and all other manner of esoterica. The problem comes when these beliefs begin to affect your relationship to the rest of the world around you. It’s one thing to entertain the concept that aliens have visited earth, and an entirely different thing to try to scare a certain type of person into believing that they are here right now and they can control your mind and oh God we’re doomed. It is absolutely terrifying to wonder whether these people actually believe these things or if they are wolves who are preying on the money of gullible sheep who are absolutely desperate to believe that the world is something more than it is, and they are somehow special snowflakes in the midst of an ill-informed rabble. 

10 thoughts on “The Paradigm Symposium 2014 seeks truth and money at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis

  1. Who ever wrote this article is a narcissistic gaslighter…with no regards for the failings of modern academia.
    Why are American universities failing to teach and reference Gobekli Tepe ( ancient megalithic site in turkey dates 11,600 yrs ago) which predates the tools required to build it? So instead of listening to some stiff professor’s guess…I’d rather put on “my foil hat” and pay nearly $400 to hear some information from the explorers themselves.. To the fun boy who wrote this sliming garbage of filth… Are you university professor who preaches the gospel during your free time…. Because that is the only perspective you offer.

  2. As an attendee of the all three Paradigm Symposia and a trained PhD hard scientist, I have many problems with this synopsis. The cost is no more, and in fact much less than a scientific conference. Now for the other points: all/most researchers use the terms “usually,” “most likely,” and similar, because we, even in the traditional sciences, are only 95% sure (using statistics) of being correct. And in fact the one he writes about probably had the best thought out and supported research of any of them to date. Maybe the author does have a point about better bridging; however he must have missed the disaster of the year before with the outside expert being worse than the paradigm speakers. I am not sure where in the talks he got the idea of doom and gloom. Any doom was in the past,a s Hancock pointed out. And I am not sure based in all above how well versed the author is in scientific thinking and meetings.

  3. I for one do not see my self as a gullible Sheep. I see myself as someone open to many points of view. Some I agree with some I do not, but I am not afraid to hear someones theory of how they see things. Science is all about looking at theories and then investigating those theories in an attempt to prove or disprove said theories. I do not let authors, academia, or the opinionated media tell me what to think. As for trusting the government and or the “Accepted Academia” Watergate taught me in my youth to distrust our government and those that put themselves above the common man in an attempt to control our lives and thoughts.

    I am my self educated and educate, but I believe in free thought and encourage the exploration of that which is not in the conventional box. It is through the exploration of that which is not considered the norm that has opened up some of humanities greatest achievements. Flight, electricity, micro-medicine, all of these things were scoffed at and now we accept as common place and logical. SO maybe instead of being critical of others who have accomplished something in their lives, or those that have decided to be open minded enough to listen to another’s point of view, maybe you should be examining why you are so critical? Do you feel inadequate for not having written your own book? Are you some how harmed by others having differing points of view? Were you not invited to the party? Negativity comes from within, it has be taught and shared to grow. It like racism is not healthy nor productive perhaps you should try to open your mind and by doing so realize that all knowledge dose not begin and end with you and your thoughts.

    • Yep. Racism is not productive. So maybe u should research Roberts’ very racial ideology in his articles and book. Maybe u should ask why his business partner felt it was a good idea to use Nazi SS symbols on his logo. Maybe its u who needs to do some research.

  4. As a person who has been to all the past events and who will be at the 2015 event. I enjoy the conversations that occur during the event and at the gatherings after the day is done. As a paranormal investigator, I know that there is some things that can not be explained fully …. that is why we use the words like “maybe” and “possibly”. If you can not fully explain things … YOU MUST USE these words.

    Who said that we were “ALL DOOMED”? I never heard that one. I really think the person who did this article was the wrong one to send to this type of event. I believe that “All” of the speakers at the events are published authors and lecturers, In fact, the first year Erich von Däniken, author of “Chariots of the Gods” and Giorgio Tsoukalos from “Ancient Aliens” were both there along with George Noory of “Coast to Coast am.”

  5. EDITOR’S NOTE: The response below comes from one of the organizers and speakers of the series.

    Caleb,
    In seeing and reading your article from last year for the first time this morning, I think it is worth a few minutes to respond to some of your statements and claims.
    I am the founder and organizer of the Paradigm Symposium, which launched in 2012 as a public event “branch” of our Intrepid Magazine, with speakers and presenters who not only contribute to the magazine, but also are fairly well-known authors and speakers in the fields of ancient origins, alternative science, archaeology, history, ancient alien theory, esotericism and hermetics.

    You utilize in your article, language that is indicative of one who holds alternative studies in a more or less contemptuous light, characterizing the presenters – and those who read their works or hold to similar theories – as fringe sycophants or conspiratorially minded fear mongers. You further intimate that while there is nothing wrong with asking the questions inherent in these theories, that those who would attend an event like the Paradigm Symposium are merely the small minded who are “afraid of the world around them.”

    You stated that we present ideas that leave people, “…believing that (aliens) are here right now and they can control your mind and oh God we’re doomed.” You also insinuate, in your surprise, that the sort of people you might expect to see attending an event like this would be those who are “obvious basement dwellers or tinfoil types,” rather than critical thinkers.

    In fact, we – and our invited speakers – promote nothing of the sort. If you attended the event, and left it thinking that we promote that brand of silliness, then I would maintain you simply clouded any objective reporting with your own ideas on what you believed we believe and adhere to.

    You are correct to mention that the Paradigm Symposium was founded for the purpose of “bridging the gap” between the scientific and alternative communities. There is efficacy to both trains of thought, as well as the varied shades of grey in between, and we open the PS stage to those who would like to share their ideas, albeit not to every weird, woo-meistering, fringe notion out there. We feel that the very best way to achieve answers to the wild questions on origins, esotericism and hermeticism, ancient mysteries and questions that fall outside the mainstream nomenclature of academia, is to address them openly. And the attendees of the PS find that this has been a wonderful forum for sitting at the feet of some great thinkers.

    And while we present some of the more alternative views in our magazine and on our stage, we also had speakers who delved into the mathematics of the (alien free) construction of the Giza Plateau and the Great Pyramid of Khufu; a presentation of the ongoing archaeological work at Gebel el Silsila, the great array of sandstone quarries south of Luxor, Egypt on the River Nile; ancient cosmological views of the people who would have constructed the array of structures at Gobekli Tepi in Turkey, and presentations surrounding the existence and study of the UFO phenomena. I don’t think we had any actual “ancient Alienists” on the stage, save for a couple of presenters who simply addressed the question.

    Finally, a few words about “making money…”

    Putting on an event of this nature costs money, and funding it is something we deal with every year. Having a ticket price of $250-$280, plus a price for the banquet and its entertainment is not at all out-of-line for what attendees get over the four day event – especially when you consider that these events cost upwards of $60-$80,000 to produce, and present some of the most noted authors and speakers in these fields of research and study. If you think we have gone running to the bank, you would be sorely mistaken. And if you believe that we are simply here to capitalize on “alien fear mongering” or to dupe the uninformed into spending money on personally hearing these authors and pundits speak, you adhere to a completely ridiculous notion, and you have obviously misconstrued and misinterpreted the entire picture.

    I would say that your article would have been well-served by actually speaking to some of the presenters and attendees to see what it is they actually think.

    In an end review of your critique, I would have to say that I believe you fell quite short of an accurate appraisal of what the Paradigm Symposium is truly all about, and the goals we strive to achieve.

    But you are certainly welcome to call me for another free press pass, and sit in for a bit longer, maybe even stick around for the after hours gatherings and conversations that fall well into the wee hours every night of the Symposium. This might give you a clearer view of how everyone truly thinks.

    Sincerely,

    Scotty Roberts

    Founder, Paradigm Symposiums

    Publisher, Intrepid Magazine

    http://www.intrepidmag.com

    http://www.paradigmsymposium.com

    (651) 468-8115

    scotty@intrepidmag.com

  6. Maybe Mr. Roberts can explain why he claims to be an historian and his business partner claims to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, and Egyptologist when neither of them has a degree in anything whatsoever.

    While he’s at it, maybe he can explain as well his racial comments noted in the posted links above.

    And maybe he can explain why his business partner was using Nazi SS symbols as part of his personal business logo until he got caught.

    People need to read the links posted above and see whats really. behind the righteous indignation.

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