The Principal PRE-Contact “Public Policy” Questions Are:
1. Policy Making Process
What is the best “process” for making decisions which affect the community – given the fact that there exist seven entirely different “Worldviews” which shape and mold personal and group perceptions of issues, possible solutions, and evaluation criteria?
2. Personal Independence
What degree of independence and personal freedom should each person retain with regard to her or his personal conduct and social conduct?
3. Personal Rights Safeguards
What agreed-upon community institutional safeguards ought to be established by the community to safeguard this appropriate degree of personal independence and freedom?
4. Norms and Sanctions
What agreed-upon community institutional rules and structures ought are necessary to enforce community adopted norms and rules?
5. Persuasion and Social Pressure
Over and above the formal laws that must be obeyed what measures should the individual be encouraged to obey through social pressure and persuasion. What are the most effective ethical ways to improve acceptance of these regulations?
6. Social Safety Net
What provision should be made for the basic necessities for survival and a life of dignity for everyone over and above the purely private personal efforts on the part of each such individual to provide for her or his own such personal needs and for the needs of her or his own immediate family members?
7. Personal Physical Security
What provision should the community make for personal physical security for its members against internal and external threats?
8. Personal Protection and Development Services
In addition to providing for physical protection what other services or protections should the community afford its members? In addition to education, health care, sanitation, civil infrastructure, housing, food, what other safeguards and programs should the community offer its members?
9. Global Policy Coordination
What steps should the world community undertake to coordinate public policy in these areas?
- Sanitation & Environmental Protection
- Education & Self-Advancement
- Medical Care; and
10. Planetary Governance
Should all of the individual communities on our planet be progressively subsumed into one global collective community, as communication and transportation technologies become advanced to the state of making this possible? Or are there specific practical advantages or important values to be realized by having less massive communities maintained…or even initiated such as “Bio-Regional” Communities.
The Principal Post – Contact Public Policy Questions Are:
1. In the case that we should discover an extra-terrestrial civilization should we make our presence known and the way in which we came across them?
This would not be a good idea until we have found out what level of intelligence they may have and their possible reaction to us.
If we have picked up their radio or some other electronic emission from this Extra- Terrestrial Species, then our presence may still remain a total secret from them. If this is the case, we should keep it this way until we have undertaken a process by means of which our entire human family can participate in the decision as to whether (or when) we should decide to “communicate” with this extra-terrestrial species.
I, of course, would vote that we do contact them. However, others may disagree – even violently – with this position. Since this issue is of such an absolutely extraordinarily important nature, we should undertake every possible step to see to it that every Human Being is provided an opportunity to vote on this permanent species altering decision.
If, on the other hand the specific means by which we have “discovered” the existence of this extra-terrestrial species has compromised the secrecy of our existence. Then we should await some kind of outreach from them while we undertake the above recommended decision-making process as to whether or when we undertake to contact this new intelligent species.
Again, I would, of course, recommend that we reach out to them and communicate our peaceful intentions taking the initiative to establish a positive relationship between our two civilizations.
Other human beings may, of course, view such a course of action to be a demonstration of weakness, opting, instead, to await the initiation of substantive contact from them. This would allow us to evaluate the import and frequency of their communication to us, before we commit ourselves to any specific disposition toward them.
This, of course, would be the very first worldview clash between adherents to different human worldviews as to the policy that our human family should adopt toward the extra-terrestrials.
In order to avoid these clashes, we recommend that we undertake to make these policy decisions now instead of waiting to make them under the duress of first contact.
2. Who should be informed of this discovery? Who should know that we have established contact?
- Top military officials only?
- Key executive branch officials?
- Top level elected domestic officials?
- International allies?
- Leaders of all nations?
Our view is that all of the above groups should be notified and briefed as soon as possible.
1. Shouldn’t we avoid making any contact with extra-terrestrials until we have addressed the philosophical and theological questions that will be posed by this encounter?
To withhold this information from the public is something that leaders of societies all around the world believe is not only their prerogative but also their obligation to protect the people from themselves
2. Should public officials disclose the discovery of an advanced extra-terrestrial society?
This is of course the most sensitive of all public policy questions dealing with first contact. In fact many Americans believe that their government is withholding just such information and has been doing so for many decades. This case has been made forcefully by Dr. Richard Dolan in his two volume work: UFOs and the National Security State.
This decision against transparency appears to be inevitable due to the structure of administrative agencies which exercise their power through dispensing and withholding information.
Despite this probability, our Open Skies Ministry should actively support the! establishment of United States Government Policy and an United NATIONS policy mandating transparency to governments and the worldwide community.
3. Should we inform the general population?
This is a complex issue. Please see the following answers.
4. Should we withhold all information about first contact until we have evaluated whatever military threat might be posed?
While such a Policy might, at first impression, seem to be logical, prudent and even responsible, upon closer analysis, it will be revealed to be nothing more than a habit- response fostered by a national security state mentality. Such a policy institutionalizes a mindset that is explicitly contradictory to the very mindset that is uniformly espoused by virtually every spiritual, ethical teaching known to our species.
Therefore, our open minds ministry should, I propose, actively espouse the establishment of a United States Government and United Nations public policy affirmatively mandating the public disclosure of any information establishing the existence of life on any other planet in our universe within 24 hours of the confirmation of the credibility of this information.
5. What is the best way for us to reveal first contact to the public at large in order to generate the best possible response?
This “Public Policy” Decision is, of course, the subject of intense discussion within The UFO Community.
Some long-time, and trusted, members of our International UFO Congress Community such as Randolph Koppang believe that they have come across very-persuasive evidence that such a public policy decision has already been made by the United States government. Some believe that the government even before the Roswell crash in 1947 has been engaged in a program of inoculating our society and culture by introducing data that they thin will help the public overcome the shock of first contact. This is supposed to consist of phased revelation after phased revelation through timed releases of factual information through good faith investigators who believed that they were extracting this information from an unwilling government
Others in our community are equally convinced that that a firm decision has been made by our government to take every step that might be necessary (including the use of physical violence) to keep this secret concealed from the public for as long as they possibly can. And there is certainly evidence to support this thesis as well such as the public testimony of many witnesses surrounding The Roswell Crash Investigation who assert that they were directly threatened with physical violence if they did not remain silent about what they had seen surrounding the removal of debris and bodies from the crashed saucer site on the Braswell Ranch.
I propose that our Open Minds Ministry undertake to establish the public policy – both on the part of our United States Government and on the part of the United Nations – that any and all information about the existence of any and every potential Extra- Terrestrial form of Intelligent Life be transmitted to public through official classes taught in every public school in the world.
I also propose that we undertake to establish the policy on the part of every faith based community to instruct all of their members as to the details that we come to know about any extra-terrestrial species so as to have these teachings undertaken in a way to build an ever growing community who will approach our relationship with these extra- terrestrials from the perspective of “the better angels of our nature” rather than out of fear and mistrust.
6. Should we first establish some form of covert surveillance of this E.T. civilization to assure ourselves that they are peaceful before we reveal its existence?
We should undertake every ethical method at our disposal to find out everything that we possibly can about these extra-terrestrials. We should be overt, not covert.
7. Should we try to contact these extra-terrestrials?
8. Would it be ethical to attempt to use our discovery and the knowledge gained from it to try to secure some advantage over other nations?
Absolutely not. This is the most important opportunity since the beginning of the nation state system under the treaty of Westphalia in 1648 to start setting aside the dysfunctional aspects of this intrinsically dangerous human institution.
9. Given the profound negative implication of public policy questions #7 and #8 above, shouldn’t we consider establishing a new global joint institution to develop these important policy positions in the common interest of people everywhere?
YES, and the make up of such an Institution must be very carefully analyzed and discussed so as to receive a virtual consensus on its make-up. This should be done as soon as possible.
Should we conduct ourselves toward these extra-terrestrials in basically the same self interested manner we deal with other human nation states? NO. This is precisely why such activities should be undertaken by non governmental civilian organization. Ideally this organization would be grounded in and motivated by genuinely spiritual values and aspirations such as the Open Skies Ministry.
Should we trust or distrust extra-terrestrials more or less than we trust or distrust other humans? We should handle these relations from the very highest principles. First Contact can give our species a chance to start over again in the way we frame and conduct our communications and establish relationships.
10. If the E.T. civilization is substantially more advanced than we are technologically, what steps should we take to protect ourselves from the destructive effects that were suffered by human societies when they encountered others with more advanced technology?
This is a very challenging public policy issue. Our own history gives us reason for great pause here on the threshold of encountering what may be an extra-terrestrial culture that is much more advanced. This threatens to cause our entire distinctly human to be almost immediate subsume by such an advanced culture which may be right here in our own galaxy.
Should we avoid making any contact with extra-terrestrials until we have addressed the philosophical and theological questions that will be posed by this encounter? To withhold this information from the public is something that leaders of societies all around the world believe is not only their prerogative but also their obligation to protect the people from themselves. Our view is that the public should be informed.
This challenge gives us all the more urgency for us to update and affirm our own culture as a species to prepare us for the effects the First Encounter will have on our music, art, religion, science, and technology. Our social norms will also be influenced regarding the structure of ethical and political systems and interpersonal relationships including sexual mores.
Professor Samuel P. Huntington’s landmark work The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order strongly advises any culture that finds itself on the brink of encountering a more powerful culture should take every step to identify and strengthen its most fundamental values, beliefs, spiritual practices, and other fundamental aspects of its own culture.
Professor Huntington’s remarks were made in the context of the rising economic and political strength of China and its potential influence on western culture. However, this advice is a useful warning regarding the unintended consequences of First Contact.
Consequently, the Open Skies Ministry should encourage our human family to ascertain what it is that beliefs and values we want to retain in the face of an encounter with a more technologically inter-stellar advanced civilization. It is important to remember that we are not supporting or advocating xenophobia – a fear and rejection of other cultures. By the same token we should not adopt beliefs and values that are diametrically opposed to our own.
We may well be at that point in our history in which we have the opportunity and the challenge affirm positive beliefs and values and to shed and discard others as we step out together into the stars.