Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Probe Autumn 2009- Part 1

(This is a postcard from Lytham St Annes sent in 1909, 100 years before this conference.)

Background articles:

HPANWO TV movies of the conference:

Do you ever feel that fate is striving to give you a hard time for some reason? On our journey to the autumn 2009 UK Probe Conference Ustane and I definitely felt that it was. It was the most difficult trip to Lytham St Annes, Lancashire that we’ve ever had. Ustane came to meet me in Oxford and we travelled together. For some reason the train was far busier than usual and we ended up in separate seats. Ustane was sat next to a smartly-dressed middle-aged man, a travelling businessman or managerial type. Ustane took out some papers and began writing. She was working on a Spanish translation of one of David Icke’s free documents; then her fellow traveller looked down at what she was writing and announced: “David Icke!? He’s a nutter!” I overheard him, leaned over and said in a fake cockney accent: “That’s right. And it must be true ‘cos I read it in The Sun.” I found my own mild sarcasm quite cathartic and the man ceased to bother me. Ustane however was deeply urinated off. As we reached Birmingham New Street to change trains we both breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God we’ve got rid of him.” I said. “He was an ignorant fuckin’ prick!” hissed Ustane furiously. We got onto our train for Preston 20 minutes before it departed and had our pick of the seats. As we settled in a suitcase plopped onto the table in front of us and a cheery voice said: “Surprise surprise! Hello again!” The man from the first train sprawled into the seat opposite. Ustane gaped in dismay and glanced at me. Is he following us? our looks between us asked. But no, he’d actually prebooked that seat! “I’ve got a good book to read.” he chortled. “Bernard Cornwell; a better writer than David Icke!” Ustane stared down at her translation and never said a word for the entire 90 minute leg. As we got off at Preston we almost ran across the bridge to the platform for the Lytham St Annes train. We stopped and looked back as our previous train pulled away from the station. I could just see into the window of the place we were sitting in. “It’s OK.” I said. “He’s still on the train.” It seemed that our negative serendipity had backed off a bit… for now. Not a good start.
Things picked up though. We settled into our lovely hotel room. We were at the Ad Astra this time. I told Ustane that I’d eat my hat if she preferred the Strathmore and luckily my hat remains untouched on my plate. This was my seventh Probe and the third one which we’d attended together. Our spirits began to lift and we looked forward to the weekend ahead.
On our way to dinner at the Salters’ Wharf pub we saw a pigeon sitting in the middle of the pavement. To our surprise it didn’t fly away as we approached. When we got closer we saw that it was badly hurt. One of its eyes had gone and swollen crusty flesh replaced it. “Maybe a cat’s gone for it.” I wondered. “Might have been hit by a car.” said Ustane. Ustane, bless her, immediately took enormous pity on the poor thing and we wondered what we were going to do with it. I knocked on the nearest door, that of the District Club, but they weren’t very helpful. “No I don’t know the number of the RSPCA… and we don’t have a phone book either.” (Slam door) I cursed myself for not writing down the RSPCA’s number when I phoned them a few months ago about a family of hedgehog in my back garden. Luckily a nearby vets was still open otherwise we’d probably have missed our dinner meeting with Jean and Sam. Strangely enough it was only a few weeks ago that Ustane found another injured bird in the street where she lives. We promised ourselves that we’d check on the pigeon’s progress on Monday before we left. We even gave it a provisional name: Walter.
We had a lovely meal in the pub carvery than went over to the Carlton to meet up with our old Probe-buddies. It was an evening of mixed feelings because although many of them were there, like Fred, Val, Ann and others; there were many notable by their absence. This was the first time ever that Dennis “the Orb Man” and Marion weren’t there. Two others, a mother and daughter investigation team, had also missed Probe for the first time in years. Brian Allan had already told me that he couldn’t make it. Ellis Taylor is in Australia; he went over there for a couple of months, but I think that was over a year ago. Matt Delooze and Ben Fairhall were also not there (See links column for Brian’s, Ellis‘, Matt‘s and Ben‘s websites). Still, it was great to be back as always. We went to bed quite early and slept very well.

We had our organic Fairtrade breakfast that the Ad Astra is famous for, including what the landlady calls “happy meat” and then we shared a taxi to the venue. The two people in the taxi were both French ladies who’d travelled to Probe specially to see just one of the speakers, Delores Cannon. After more joyful reunions the conference began. I’ve reproduced my interpretation of what they said to the best of my understanding, based on notes I took during their speeches. If any of them are reading this, or anybody else better-informed, and I’ve made some mistakes then I apologize:

Kathy Rowan-Drewitt
2012, Astrology, Angels and Demons
Kathy Rowan-Druitt is a polished, slim, blonde woman. Her neat, red suit gave her the appearance of an air stewardess (If Ralph Ellis had been there he‘d probably have tried to seduce her!). She’s a professional astrologer with a slot on Radio Lancashire and her own Sky TV programme. Along with astrology, she’s trained in the Western mystery schools and is a Witch. She discussed the same subject as Helen Sewell did at the AVII conference (see: but Kathy uses simpler language than Helen and is therefore easier for the layman to follow. She mistrusted modern technology for her speech (wisely, as events would prove later in the proceedings!) and used an old-fashioned overhead projector to present her illustrations. But despite all this she says she got interested in the 2012 phenomenon through Facebook! She got fed up of joining groups like “It’s my birthday today” and “My favourite movie is…” and started meeting people asking “What’s all this stuff about 2012?” She says that there are 22 major concerns about 2012 and many minor ones; I was surprised that there aren’t more! There’s a film coming out in a couple of months called 2012 and I’ve heard this mentioned before when I saw Neil Kramer live in Liverpool. The film is by that King of Propaganda, Roland Emmerich whom I’ve mentioned before. He’s responsible for bringing us such Shakespearean delights as Independence Day and Stargate. I won’t be wasting money on a cinema ticket to see this one! Kathy takes the same position as Neil: films like this are designed to frighten us and build up negative connotations to the phenomenon. The Mayan Calendar, the source of this whole field of study, is a complex subject and warrants some background research; here‘s a good place to start: . The Mayans were a contradictory people, says Kathy. They had achieved fantastic feats of astronomy and mathematics, but were stilled bogged down by strange superstitions like that every 52 years pregnant women would go mad and that children would turn into mice! However much of this stupidity might not be true and could be a fabrication by the Conquistadors; this wouldn’t surprise me one bit! However there’s no doubt that the Mayans carried out human sacrifice. Whenever the Pleiades reached a certain point in the sky they’d sacrifice a child. This might sound barbaric, and I suppose it was, but for we modern Westerners to complain about it would be the height of hypocrisy. The Mayans only did what they did because they believed they had to or the sun would cease to rise. How many children do we sacrifice to our gods? The gods of war, Realpolitik and economic growth? Like the Mayans, we believe we have to commit atrocities in order to preserve our world too, our western privileges! We may never know the true thought and motivations of the Mayans because a Christian priest called Landa destroyed most of the literature and documents of the Mayans; what’s more I’m sure he wasn’t a “lone nutter” either!
Kathy then went on to talk about the Nostradamus quatrain which is supposed to refer to 2012 and analyses it, wondering if it means tsunamies, disease or the end of organized religion. The problem with Nostradamus is that he used to write in such an abstract style that it’s possible to apply his word to almost any retrospective incident. He speaks of “Kings of terror” and “plagues of the Mongols”, but what was going through his head at the time that he wrote this? It’s impossible to know. Kathy then showed a similar chart to the one Helen Sewell did. It was the chart for Blackpool at 11.12 AM (Why a minute later?) on the 21st of December 2012 (see link above). However she interprets it slightly differently from Helen, as all astrologers do. The one I met that I mentioned in the linked article challenged me when I said that astrology was “not an exact science”. She curtly replied: “It’s not a science at all. It’s an art!” Again it’s the changes in Pluto and Uranus that are the most significant. Pluto in Sagittarius gives the ability of mass media to operate below the collective human perception threshold but its transition to Capricorn will cause scandals of politics and celebrities to erupt from the lower mantle of covert culture. Also child abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and similar exposures. This is exciting! It creates more distrust in authorities, like politicians and church leaders. It makes human beings more independent and more concerned for the environment. Spiritually it means “turning away from the buildings” and getting in touch with the Gaia in a tactile and emotional way rather than through organizations like churches and mosques. Uranus is moving into Aries next year and that means… Big Shock! Bolt from the Blue! Uranus is the rebel of the solar system with its eccentric axis tilt. The warrior-spirit of Aries will make it an especially rude awakening. Kathy believes it will make people suddenly aware of all the Pluto stuff above and this knowledge will be put into action through an end to apathy and despondency. We will no longer gloss over in justice and oppression like we sometimes do today. Can’t wait! In September 2012 Neptune moves into Pisces. Neptune and Pisces are best mates and the last time they were together, in the 19th century, there was a spiritual revolution. Characters like Helena Blavatsky and Rudolf Steiner became famous and influential. People got into Spiritualism and psychical research took off. What will happen this time is anyone’s guess, but the upheaval caused by Neptune is more gentle than the Uranus-in-Aries one. It’s more like floating away; conventions changing instead of aggressive revolution. But in excess it can lead to “drink n’ drugs” culture and people becoming ungrounded. In October 2012 Saturn enters Scorpio; this will be very similar to Pluto in Capricorn. Saturnine energy could mean a rough increase in authority, ration books, conscription, harsher laws and state power etc. This is the very thing about the New World Order that I’ve been writing about for years! Kathy thinks this will all collide head-on with Uranus. Well, it will certainly collide head-on with mine! There’s going to be a dual, a showdown and I’ve already taken my place! These two planets are also associated with the slave trade and played a role 200 years ago when slavery was abolished. Are we about to see it return? Maybe it has already in the form of financial slavery, debts and low-paid jobs etc. However Jupiter is also powerful in this combination which speaks of a higher purpose to whatever passes and a “darkest before the dawn” scenario. This means that we should maintain hope that our tribulations will eventually yield to something better.
Kathy then went on to explain the 2012 elements in the Cabbalistic Tree of Life that I’m afraid left me behind. I’m still not knowledgeable enough in that area to comment.
I’ve a lot of respect for astrology and I’m sure it has a lot to tell us, but I’ve never investigated it closely, as I say in my review of Helen Sewell’s lecture. Two of the 8 major planets in the solar system have only been known for the last 200 years. In the last few years a myriad of other new planets have been discovered, thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope. Bodies the size of what we thought was the most distant planet, Pluto, much further away, with exotic names like Eris (“Hail Eris!” as the late great Robert Anton Wilson would say), Makemake and Ixion. In fact the aforementioned planet which astrology currently recognizes, Pluto, has been downgraded to a minor planet amongst a whole array of objects called the Kuiper Belt. This to me sounds like the trivial fuss over whether Swindon is a town or city, but it still illustrates the growing complexity of the current situation. How do these newly reunited members of our cosmic family fit into astrology. Indeed there are even more distant objects in a group called the “scattered disk”. The solar system is at least 3 times the size we originally thought it was! There’s a lot more to learn and analyse; many factors we have not yet contemplated or understood. It’s far too soon to imagine that the fate of 2012 is written in the skies.

(Go on to Part 2:

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mutopian said...

Hi, Ben,

Thank you very much for going to the trouble of writing up what in my opinion is a very well composed, well considered review of this autum's probe conference.

I would also like to thank you for making the u tube probe films.
I haven't been able to attend any probe conferences since october 2005, after I became severely disabled and immobile. So watching the films made me feel like I was there. All the people are lovely, not just Jean and Sam, and it's great, like you mentioned in your film of the venue, to be with kindred spirits twice a year, and I'm sure that this is an equally attractive reason for attending with probe-goers as is the actual content of the conference itself.

Yes, Probe conferences always leave me with more questions than answers but perhaps that is their ultimate function, as we have to ask questions to raise our awareness and evolve further, and the answers these seminars reveal just add even more grist to the mill. It can be a colourful celebration of free-thinking if we allow this process priority, rather than to adhere to any particular doctrine or and fall into the trap of thinking inside the little boxes.

In response to the astrology talk review, I've been studying astrology, along with astronomy and the nature of time and space, since I was about 7 years old, precipitated by my own experiences, and i'm not much further on than I was then, (although my technical knowledge has increased since the advent of string theory, holographic universe, and dark matter, etc). But, staying with this quantum theme, the study of astrology often says more about the ideas and preconceptions of the student/proponent than it does about the subject itself, and I am very irritated by the current climate of carte blanche (sub-)cultural acceptance of this subject as a means to define ourselves, and understand others/the world, because I see a lot of idiotic pigeonholing and judgemental thinking going on as well as intelligent assessment.
As it is an art, we should treat it like art, take it or leave it, not as science or with blind acceptance. To present concrete ideas or even conjecture based upon an art form which is open to so much contradictory opinion, is, in my opinion, not helpful to anyone, though it may appear to be.
I think on a personal level, it can provide the autosuggestion of a personality which you will develop, in the same way a religion will wash your brain. Fair enough, but it will also provide a lens through which you will start to view all else/others, and sadly, place these in convenient little boxes, so that they are interpreted accordingly through this filter. I've seen it and experienced it so many times. Certain signs - for example, scorpio - have far more unwarranted kudos than others, which is just idiotic, and again, says more about our own nature and the need to have hierarchies and cool icons to revere than anything else.

Bye for now, love,

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