There is nothing better that the science police at CSICOP (“the science cops”—“Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the Claims of the Paranormal”) love to hate than what they can only dimly understand. It is therefore not surprising that CSICOP, based in wintery Buffalo, New York
(ironically the first city to be electrified by Tesla’s technology), would at some point have attacked Nikola Tesla. Sure enough, on our dusty library shelves we find an edition of CSICOP’s
Skeptical Inquirer journal, which devotes its Summer 1994 cover to mockery of Tesla—“The Strange Legacy of Nikola Tesla: ‘Extraordinary Science.’”
Author Jeff Johnson—identified as “an electrical engineer and a member of the board of the Rocky Mountain Skeptics”—thinly disguises his brand of Tesla mockery by poking fun at some of the happenings at a meeting in Colorado Springs of what was then the International Tesla Society. He describes this as a gathering of egotistical pseudoscientists who were (quoting CSICOP guru Martin Gardner) “motivated by a belief in their own greatness, unrecognized by the world.” Johnson claims that in “ordinary” science, “ideas gain stature as unsuccessful attempts to discredit them are made.” Au contraire, Mr. Johnson, in ordinary science (meaning, Establishment science), no idea that contradicts sacred writ of present textbooks is allowed to have any chance to being properly considered—no matter how unsuccessful the experimental attempts to discredit it are. New fundamental ideas, such as LENR/cold fusion, are prima facie dead on arrival and also thereafter, no matter what proof is offered. It’s might makes right all the way.
Johnson can be more direct too. He states that Tesla “later in life was able to indulge in a panoply of bizarre and grandiose ideas; and he achieved considerable scientific notoriety, despite a flawed understanding of physics and other sciences.” Note the implied know-it-allness of Mr. Johnson—if he were around, boy could he have taught Tesla a thing or two about physics! Moving on to praise Edison’s industrial lab style, in contrast to that of Tesla, Johnson writes that “technological development today is too expensive and too complex for any single person to understand it all.” Indeed, that misconception about gigantism is why today we have hot fusion and not cold fusion funded officially. It is also why billions of dollars are spent on high energy physics, when simple table-top experiments launched by Tesla can convincingly show that the foundations of such physics are as weak as mud. The arrogant Johnson continues, “A mediocre artist may acquire an exaggerated reputation by dying just before the onset of a dark age, and something similar seems to have happened to Tesla’s reputation among unsung geniuses today.” Bah!