Skeptigator

Icon

Aggregating Skeptical Thought

Information request

I’d be interested if anybody out there has ever head of the following item and had any good skeptical information regarding them. I haven’t yet found any comprehensive source. Anyway here goes

 Somebody by the name of R.W. Wetherill put forth a theory on Nature’s Social Laws/Right Action, Richard W. Wetherill has since died but his legacy/name/philosophy lives on through alphapub.com by one E. Marie Bothe.

Advertisements

Filed under: Skeptic

21 Responses

  1. jen says:

    Richard Wetherill was my grandfather’s brother. He pressured his brothers and sisters and their families to join his “religion” or cut off contact. Most of them chose the latter.

  2. Mike says:

    I think the problem that arises in Wetherill’s premise is that the creator endowed us with free will, which even the creator does not interfere with.

    If one says to analyze the facts and make a “right” decision, by what standard do we suppose “right” and test against for wrong, as even morality comes down to an opinion, swimming in free-will?

  3. Skeptigator says:

    I haven’t spent much time on this lately but this philosophy doesn’t seem to have many adherents and for good reason.
    Mike you make a good point here and that is, What is “right”? I mean, this guys philosophy is everyone’s philosophy without any substance. It’s not like when I’m faced with the obvious right answer I still choose the wrong one. The question in a world of “grey” is, What guiding philosophy do you use to determine the best course of action?

  4. Mike says:

    There is merit in Wetherill’s idea I think, iff one can determine what nature’s demand or expectation is. For many years the scientific world foretold doom, if the rain forests continued to be depleted. I don’t argue that depletion of a nearly finite resource should be considered wrong just from common sense. However, it wasn’t until we had depleted the resource to less than 2% of it’s global presence that we learned it is not the rain forest which renews our oxygen, but rather the most basic and pervasive natural resource… Molds and Fungus. Still much more has been lost in that resource’s depletion. My point is that we cannot ever fully know what nature’s design, strength and limits are and therefore we cannot impose controls on it we can define as a reliable guide.

    I think the right and wrong that draws my greatest attention is if Wetherill abandoned his family for not believing his premise, he himself, did not believe in it, since love, like fungus, is foundational in human development.

  5. john says:

    I tripped across your thread while researching Wetherill. It looks to me like he was a product of his times, perhaps nice to people, but perhaps gruff and W.A.S.P.Y. and influenced by the likes of the early Positive Mental Attitude crowd; Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill etc. From a psychologists’ point of view his ideas sound like a reframing of the Cognitive/Behavioral school of therapy which asks folks to catch their negative and irrational thoughts, a la Aaron Beck.
    However, the language that is used, with the creator talk and the “absolutes” gives it that tinge of religiosity that makes many of us skeptical. Most of the ads for his stuff look as though they are written by one person (Marie Bothe?) who may not understand that this kind of terminology is going to freak people out a little, like door-to-door cultists do. Nevertheless, it is probably like anything in the Self-Help genre, It will work for SOME, depending on how they choose to frame it and what boundaries they set for themselves in investigating the material.

  6. Skeptigator says:

    That’s pretty much the conclusion I’ve come to. This is empty self help infused with a sort of new-agey religious-ness. Although I think with a charismatic enough leader this could end up being a cult.

    All you need is a list of “right actions” (preferrably divinely revealed). Something I’ll have to add to my To-Do list. 😉

  7. richard wetherill V says:

    my name is richard wetherill V and i would like to know where jen got her information becuse that is not true in any whay shape or form please reply

  8. Skeptigator says:

    Not sure what you want me to reply to, you should ask your cousin(?) what she meant.

  9. tom says:

    Sounds like craziness to me. I saw an add for this guy in the Smithsonian magazine. My BS detector went off so I did some googling. There’s surprisingly little out there. Sounds like a less than successful cult to me. I don’t see falsifiable testable theories. We all know where that leads.

  10. Anonymous Ex Member says:

    Richard W. Wetherill was most certainly the leader of a now almost defunct cult called “Humanetics”, primarily located in Royersford, Pennsylvania. At it’s heyday in the 70’s it had about 150 members (with some small factions in other parts of the country). His cult principles were based on fuzzy principles of creating a utopian sort of society — right action, non-conflict, no competition, love everyone equally (meaning no special relationships — dating, marriage, sex), no drugs, alcohol. Like any other organized cult, Mr Wetherill positioned himself as a prophet, was not to be questioned, had an inner circle of power people (including E. Marie Bothe) and brainwashed and persecuted his followers. They worked for peanuts, gave him a lot of money, made him very wealthy through an auto parts business (WAI) and were told that individually they were “nothings” and “nobodies” on a regular basis. Overweight people were merciliously persecuted and publicly humiliated and people who fell ill were abandoned as that was a sign that they were sinners. There were only a handful of ethnic minorities and non-Christians in the cult. I know all of this because I was a member for many years. Jen is correct that he abandoned relationships with all of his family members, and for that, they should consider themselves lucky. If you want more information, post and email address and I will get in touch.

  11. Cynical Skeptic says:

    This sounds a lot like the Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard personality cults. Intelligent people dominating and abusing less intelligent or weak people in the name of some superior beleif. There is an ad for the “Alpha” publishing business in the latest Astronomy magazine, a place you wouldn’t expect this sort of thing. But then again that’s probably the hook. It will be interesting to see what kind of individual will take the bait, and what behavior it produces.

  12. baxter says:

    I found an ad in a popular science magazine – march 2008. the article is just vague enough to draw in someone who is looking for power or hope outside themselves. and thus is willing to hand over a few dollars for it.

  13. Curious says:

    I would like to know more of what is going on here.
    I’ve been in the company of some of these people.
    Do they minipulate? Are they honest or is there a motive for tears shed in a conversation?

  14. Heather Ford says:

    My parents and grandparents are loosely involved with this group, or at least were while I was growing up. I remember going to meetings on occasion, visiting friends of the family in Royersford and King of Prussia, PA and often listening to recordings of Mr. Wetherill’s sermons with family members. I have a few pieces of literature as well as what I’ve heard over the years but no solid grasp of the ideology or beliefs. I’d like to fill in the gaps so if anyone has anything they can share, I’d appreciate the information. LadyHeeds@aol.com

  15. Michelle says:

    When I going through a Popular Science magazine one day I discovered a totally random page. That page was a picture of Richard W. Wetherill and his definition of “Natural Law”.

    After reading this one page advertisement I had to pick my chin up off the ground in amazement that someone finally hit the nail on the head! The Natural Law as defined by Mr. Wetherill and the two choices we have, either to conform to the law or not is so right on and makes so much sense that I tore the page from the magazine and eagerly went to my neighbors to make some copies of this Natural Law with intent to give this to as many people as I could! Since then I have done just that. I hold my copy close to me always.

  16. Michelle says:

    When I was going through a Popular Science magazine one day I discovered a totally random page. That page was a picture of Richard W. Wetherill and his definition of “Natural Law”.

    After reading this one page advertisement I had to pick my chin up off the ground in amazement that someone finally hit the nail on the head! The Natural Law as defined by Mr. Wetherill and the two choices we have, either to conform to the law or not is so right on and makes so much sense that I tore the page from the magazine and eagerly went to my neighbors to make some copies of this Natural Law with intent to give this to as many people as I could! Since then I have done just that. I hold my copy close to me always.

  17. OTR says:

    Ah, if only we could find the “right” way to live…

    BTW – What happend to richard wetherill V? Has he abandoned this blog post?

  18. Skeptigator says:

    Looks like it, i haven’t done any follow-up to this though myself

  19. Babagi says:

    Michelle would you please post Wetherill’s “Natural Law” ?

  20. Tricia says:

    I’m not “Michelle,” but you can read about Wetherill’s law in his book: Tower of Babel, published in 1952. I believe you can get a copy from Amazon.

  21. You can find a link to his book “Tower of Babel,” which pretty much outlined the nuts and bolts of his philosophy at alphapub.com. Actually pretty harmless stuff in and of itself. Heaven knows, many us us could use the concept of thinking a bit before we speak or act.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: