In attempt to brush up their severely tarnished image after censoring my presentation “The War on Consciousness” from the TEDx website today (on the grounds that I was “unscientific”) and also censoring the presentation “The Science Delusion” by my colleague Rupert Sheldrake for the same reason, TED have now rushed to create a remote corner of their website, which I imagine they hope no-one will see, where our talks have been put back online and may be debated: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/ This gesture, they claim, is in response to my suggestion that they had censored us and should be taken as evidence of their “spirit of radical openness”.
All I can say is this is extremely devious behavior on TED’s part. On the one hand they take down two videos from Youtube that had generated enormous public interest and traction (mine had received over 130,000 views and Rupert’s over 35,000 views). (emphasis mine) Then as soon as TED is tagged for censorship (did they hope we wouldn’t notice?) they put the videos up again in a remote place, which cannot benefit from URL sharing by any of the previous 160,000-plus viewers and which is, thus, to all extents and purposes invisible.
Worse, rather than allowing those viewers who do find this remote corner of the TED website to make up their own minds about our presentations, TED feel the need to “frame” our talks in a way, they say, that can “highlight both their [i.e. Hancock’s and Sheldrake’s] provocative ideas and the factual problems with their arguments.” I find this manoeuver disingenuous in that (1) I see no “framing” at all of our “provocative ideas” but plenty of “framing” of what TED claim are the factual problems with our arguments; this “framing” occurs in the lengthy introduction that TED has published to our videos. (2) TED did not approach either Rupert or myself in advance for any refutation of the “factual problems” they allege in our presentations. In fact I refute all these so-called “factual problems” with regard to my own presentation, and have now posted these refutations on the TED blog (http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/) in the form of a series of questions to TED to which I expect answers. (3) The whole concept of this manoeuver by TED is worrying and insulting. It implies that TED believes it has the right to act as arbiter of the context in which my presentation and Rupert’s presentation is received rather than simply putting what we have to say before an intelligent public and letting the public decide. It also suggests that TED believe the public are incapable of making up their own minds about our arguments without approved scientists first highlighting “the problems” with our arguments. Would TED, we wonder, treat many of the provocative talks by, for example, Richard Dawkins, in the same way?
I hope that many of my wonderful and supportive facebook community who see this post will go to the TED URL linked above (again — http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/) and register to post, and add comments there. I believe this is an important issue and it is important that TED do not get away with what (regardless of how they try to finesse it — “spirit of radical openness LOL!!) is after all censorship.