Every night for the past few days I’ve been reading bits of Kenneth Brower’s Freeing Keiko: The Journey of a Killer Whale from Free Willy to the Wild and I feel relatively ambivalent towards it; the story itself is interesting but Brower seems to be reaching to find a mythology to relate to Keiko, be it found in Moby Dick, the Bible, or Norse mythology. I can accept such attempts to make the unprecedented return of a killer whale to the wild seem mythic, but Chapter 16 (entitled “The Galactic Federation”) made me want to drop the book and not finish it.
Chapter 16 begins as follows;
In the early 1990s, when Keiko was still in Mexico, a woman named Dianne Robbins began going down to the shore at Deerfield Beach, Florida, where she would sit alone by the ocean with pen and notebook. Robbins is a telepath and empath [emphasis mine]. In the late 1970s, she had been an active member of Greenpeace, but she had not understood back then, very early in her spiritual evolution, that she could hear whales; that she had been telepathically linked to cetaceans in previous lifetimes. Once this reality dawned on her, communication with whales became easy. On the Florida beach she would telepathically call out, “I am ready.” The voices of the sea would then press in upon her as the cetaceans dictated their messages.
“I am Corky, your sister imrisoned in Sea World. Know that my days are fraught with sorrow.”
The chapter continues on with the wild claims, never once qualifying them as Robbins’ beliefs but instead merely presenting them as if everyone believes in telepaths and empaths and all other kinds of neo-spiritual woo. My personal favorite “missive” from the whales Robbins alleged she communicated with is related in this passage;
“I am your Orca Friend dictating this letter to you,” Keiko telepathized. “Know that although I am well taken care of, I still am not free. How long must it be, before I am free? The only sure way to rehabilitate me, is to set me free. The ocean is my home, where my family still awaits me. The ocean contains all the healing ingredients necessary for my complete reintroduction back into Orca life. I have not forgotten how to eat live fish, or how to fish, just because I’ve been penned up all these years. On the contrary, would you forget how to eat your food or shop for food if you were imprisoned?”
Keep in mind that this is all before the assertions that cetaceans are the data-collectors of the universe, the closest beings to being made of pure light, that they repair damage to the earth’s magnetic field, and they can spiritually be beamed aboard Galactic Command ships. Brower makes no comment on such claims, only relating (at the end of the chapter) that Robbins has a different view of the whale than others. I tire of the new-age psychobabble that is so entwined with cetaceans today, just as I am infuriated by those who refuse to acknowledge their intelligence. All too often cetaceans are related to just being animals responding to their environment or some sort of mystical creature that feels kinship with mankind, both extremes being wrong. If Brower wanted to reproduce some of Robbins’ ramblings, so be it, but I can’t abide the blind relativism that allows crackpot claims to seem respectable and proliferate.