The first edition of The Key, published by Walker & Collier in 2002, was censored by unknown parties. The second edition, published this month by Tarcher/Penguin, contains the dialogue between Whitley Strieber and the Master of the Key as it Mr. Strieber originally transcribed it in 2001. Whitley says, "When I saw what had been done to my edition, I was appalled and I was furious at myself for not noticing it in all these years. But the changes were small and hard to notice, just very important." An astute reader of the Key discovered that there were differences between the first version published through the Striebers’ Walker & Collier imprint in 2002, and the new version published by Tarcher/Penguin this month. When the original edition was ready to print, Whitley received proofs from the printer and signed off on them after comparing them to his transcription. The changes were made at some point after that, and appear only in the actual printed book. They are not in any digital file possessed by Whitley Strieber. Whitley went on to say, "this was done by a skilled individual with deep knowledge of the Key. It wasn’t a simple act of sabotage. It was careful, thoughtful censorship that was designed to disempower the reader and subtly discredit both me and the Master of the Key. It didn’t ruin the book completely however. My edition is still filled with rich information."
References to generalized use of mind control were removed, as were the Master of the Key’s explanation of the resurrection, and references to US government complicity in concealing UFO secrets. In addition, when Whitley asked him what the word that began creation sounded like, he actually answered, "I don’t know, I wasn’t there." This was changed in the printed edition to, "A whine." Whitley says, "I wondered about this when I went through the finished book. I should have checked it again against the transcript, but I didn’t."
For a complete list of all the changes that were made, and Whitley’s comments on the significance of each one, please click here.
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