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Editors Introduction - Borawick vs. Shay Discussion

Cultic Studies Journal, 1997, Volume 14, Number 2, page 171



Editor’s Introduction



The Cultic Studies Journal (CSJ) is pleased to present two more contributions by Professor Alan Scheflin and Drs. Robert Karlin and Martin Orne pertaining to the Borawick decision on hypnotically influenced testimony. In CSJ 13,1, they commented on the case; here, they reply to their respective comments. We thank them for the exceptional level of scholarship and courtesy they bring to these contentious issues. It is important to keep in mind that their replies are part of a dialogue, and are not standalone articles. In reviewing their contributions in this and the prior issue, I soon realized that it was not feasible for me or reviewers to “referee” these replies in detail. They raise too many issues, many requiring specialized expertise, for us to determine who is correct or incorrect about the many specific points. Instead, we limited our editorial comments to general issues, stylistic matters, and statements affecting the integrity of the dialogue. The authors’ qualifications to speak on the subject are beyond dispute.

They and others are likely to disagree with many specific points made in this discussion. CSJ believes that these disputes can be most effectively aired, if not resolved, through dialogue. The amount of dialogue published in future CSJs will depend on the quality and length of submissions. If there is much commentary, AFF, the publisher of CSJ, will consider putting out a special supplement on the issues raised by the Borawick decision. We look forward to comments that strive to emulate the scholarship and civility demonstrated by Scheflin and Karlin and Orne. We believe that these vital matters are directly relevant to CSJ’s subtitle, “Psychological Manipulation and Society.”

Karlin and Orne’s and Scheflin’s contributions clearly demonstrate that compelling cases can be made on issues about which there is profound disagreement. If disputing parties do not have an opportunity to dialogue at length and in good faith, then reason and scientific evidence will play reduced roles in determining which perspectives eventually prevail with regard to specific issues. AFF seeks to magnify the influence of reason and scientific evidence in the evolution of this debate by providing an opportunity to continue this stimulating exchange of ideas.

Michael Langone, Ph.D.

Editor’s Introduction

The Cultic Studies Journal (CSJ) is pleased to present two more contributions by Professor Alan Scheflin and Drs. Robert Karlin and Martin Orne pertaining to the Borawick decision on hypnotically influenced testimony. In CSJ 13,1, they commented on the case; here, they reply to their respective comments. We thank them for the exceptional level of scholarship and courtesy they bring to these contentious issues. It is important to keep in mind that their replies are part of a dialogue, and are not standalone articles. In reviewing their contributions in this and the prior issue, I soon realized that it was not feasible for me or reviewers to “referee” these replies in detail. They raise too many issues, many requiring specialized expertise, for us to determine who is correct or incorrect about the many specific points. Instead, we limited our editorial comments to general issues, stylistic matters, and statements affecting the integrity of the dialogue. The authors’ qualifications to speak on the subject are beyond dispute.

They and others are likely to disagree with many specific points made in this discussion. CSJ believes that these disputes can be most effectively aired, if not resolved, through dialogue. The amount of dialogue published in future CSJs will depend on the quality and length of submissions. If there is much commentary, AFF, the publisher of CSJ, will consider putting out a special supplement on the issues raised by the Borawick decision. We look forward to comments that strive to emulate the scholarship and civility demonstrated by Scheflin and Karlin and Orne. We believe that these vital matters are directly relevant to CSJ’s subtitle, “Psychological Manipulation and Society.”

Karlin and Orne’s and Scheflin’s contributions clearly demonstrate that compelling cases can be made on issues about which there is profound disagreement. If disputing parties do not have an opportunity to dialogue at length and in good faith, then reason and scientific evidence will play reduced roles in determining which perspectives eventually prevail with regard to specific issues. AFF seeks to magnify the influence of reason and scientific evidence in the evolution of this debate by providing an opportunity to continue this stimulating exchange of ideas.