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The judgment (of MIB) is that the population couldn't cope with knowing how the universe actually works, that it's filled with super-powered aliens capable of destroying the Earth at a whim.

As K says, the fear is that there would be mass hysteria. In the novelisation (based on the original screenplay) Kay lays it out for Jay.

Kay nodded at other people in the park. "That old man with the dog, those two women pushing baby carriages, they don't know, either. See it would wreck their worldview to know. Most people can't deal with the naked truth."

"People are smart, they could handle it."

"Wrong. A person can be smart, but people are dumb. Clump people together and spook them and what you get is a mob. And a mob is only as smart as the stupidest person in it."

and

"Listen up, Sparky, there is always an alien battle cruiser or a Korlian death ray or some intergalactic plague about to wipe out life on this planet. We stop it. We've always stopped it, and I don't plan on screwing up this time. The only thing that allows people here to get on with their lives is that they don't know about it! How do you think they would feel if they knew? There'd be a panic that would trash half the planet and cause thousands, maybe millions of deaths!"

The film transcript contains a very similar exchangeexchanges...

KAY: Not as many as you'd think. Humans, for the most part, don't have a clue. Don't want one, either. They're happy. They think they've got a pretty good bead on things.

EDWARDS: Why the big secret? People are smart, they can handle it.

KAY: A person is smart. People are dumb. Everything they've ever "known" has been proven to be wrong. A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact, that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, they knew it was flat. Fifteen minutes ago, you knew we humans were alone on it. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

and

KAY: There's always an Alien Battle Cruiser...or a Korlian Death Ray, or...an intergalactic plague about to wipe out life on this planet, and the only thing that lets people get on with their hopeful little lives is that they don't know about it.

The judgment (of MIB) is that the population couldn't cope with knowing how the universe actually works, that it's filled with super-powered aliens capable of destroying the Earth at a whim.

As K says, the fear is that there would be mass hysteria. In the novelisation (based on the original screenplay) Kay lays it out for Jay.

Kay nodded at other people in the park. "That old man with the dog, those two women pushing baby carriages, they don't know, either. See it would wreck their worldview to know. Most people can't deal with the naked truth."

"People are smart, they could handle it."

"Wrong. A person can be smart, but people are dumb. Clump people together and spook them and what you get is a mob. And a mob is only as smart as the stupidest person in it."

The film transcript contains a very similar exchange...

KAY: Not as many as you'd think. Humans, for the most part, don't have a clue. Don't want one, either. They're happy. They think they've got a pretty good bead on things.

EDWARDS: Why the big secret? People are smart, they can handle it.

KAY: A person is smart. People are dumb. Everything they've ever "known" has been proven to be wrong. A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact, that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, they knew it was flat. Fifteen minutes ago, you knew we humans were alone on it. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

The judgment (of MIB) is that the population couldn't cope with knowing how the universe actually works, that it's filled with super-powered aliens capable of destroying the Earth at a whim.

As K says, the fear is that there would be mass hysteria. In the novelisation (based on the original screenplay) Kay lays it out for Jay.

Kay nodded at other people in the park. "That old man with the dog, those two women pushing baby carriages, they don't know, either. See it would wreck their worldview to know. Most people can't deal with the naked truth."

"People are smart, they could handle it."

"Wrong. A person can be smart, but people are dumb. Clump people together and spook them and what you get is a mob. And a mob is only as smart as the stupidest person in it."

and

"Listen up, Sparky, there is always an alien battle cruiser or a Korlian death ray or some intergalactic plague about to wipe out life on this planet. We stop it. We've always stopped it, and I don't plan on screwing up this time. The only thing that allows people here to get on with their lives is that they don't know about it! How do you think they would feel if they knew? There'd be a panic that would trash half the planet and cause thousands, maybe millions of deaths!"

The film transcript contains similar exchanges...

KAY: Not as many as you'd think. Humans, for the most part, don't have a clue. Don't want one, either. They're happy. They think they've got a pretty good bead on things.

EDWARDS: Why the big secret? People are smart, they can handle it.

KAY: A person is smart. People are dumb. Everything they've ever "known" has been proven to be wrong. A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact, that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, they knew it was flat. Fifteen minutes ago, you knew we humans were alone on it. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

and

KAY: There's always an Alien Battle Cruiser...or a Korlian Death Ray, or...an intergalactic plague about to wipe out life on this planet, and the only thing that lets people get on with their hopeful little lives is that they don't know about it.

1
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The judgment (of MIB) is that the population couldn't cope with knowing how the universe actually works, that it's filled with super-powered aliens capable of destroying the Earth at a whim.

As K says, the fear is that there would be mass hysteria. In the novelisation (based on the original screenplay) Kay lays it out for Jay.

Kay nodded at other people in the park. "That old man with the dog, those two women pushing baby carriages, they don't know, either. See it would wreck their worldview to know. Most people can't deal with the naked truth."

"People are smart, they could handle it."

"Wrong. A person can be smart, but people are dumb. Clump people together and spook them and what you get is a mob. And a mob is only as smart as the stupidest person in it."

The film transcript contains a very similar exchange...

KAY: Not as many as you'd think. Humans, for the most part, don't have a clue. Don't want one, either. They're happy. They think they've got a pretty good bead on things.

EDWARDS: Why the big secret? People are smart, they can handle it.

KAY: A person is smart. People are dumb. Everything they've ever "known" has been proven to be wrong. A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact, that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, they knew it was flat. Fifteen minutes ago, you knew we humans were alone on it. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.