From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 09:52:16 -0600 Archived: Sun, 06 Feb 2011 11:55:26 -0500 Subject: Re: Budd Hopkins >From: John Kubish <dooleys09.nul> >To: post.nul >Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2011 15:55:27 EST >Subject: Budd Hopkins >With all the posts about Budd Hopkins, I would like to say the >following in his defense. Budd worked with me about 7 years ago. >We had lengthy phone discussions on several occasions years >before I came to New York to meet with him. I have been >hypnotized by the State Police helping in an investigation back >in the 60's. Budd used similar methods also. At no time did Budd >try to influence, plant ideas or lead the session in any >direction. He was always very careful in the questions he asked >and everything was recorded and notes taken, including the phone >conversations prior to our meeting several years before. <snip> Budd Hopkins has been a valued friend of mine since the 1980s. Because I live far from New York City, others (such as the estimable John Velez) are better qualified to assess what goes on between Budd and abductees than I am. What I can say is that I once attended a meeting of his abduction group. I have spoken with medical professionals whom Budd brought into his researches. They supported his efforts even if not all agreed with Budd's conclusions about the overall meaning of the phenomenon. No abductee with whom Budd worked has come to me with allegations of misconduct. Complaints from abductees with whom he's worked have been relatively few, and even these generally muted. At the risk of being called names, I will simply state (as a divorced man myself) that ex-spouses' claims about the character of their ex-spouses need to be read with due caution. It also bears mentioning that most of Budd's fiercest critics have never met him. The more excitable among them seem to believe that Budd in some sense "invented" the phenomenon. He didn't, of course, and as I know from my experience investigating and interacting with abductees in the 1970s (before I knew what a "Budd Hopkins" might be), he didn't invent the phenomenology of the experience. Eddie Bullard's empirical analyses of the data have shown as much. I do know that as a kind and compassionate man Budd early on was moved by the suffering of abductees, shunned and ridiculed by others to whom they recounted their experiences. Just by listening to them and respecting their testimony, Budd did them a service. As I can testify from my own conversations with him, he also gave a lot of thought to the proper use of hypnosis. Like all of us, including his critics, Budd is imperfect. When he entered the abduction arena, he could have had no idea what he was getting into. In time he was overwhelmed, not only by strange accounts but by the human suffering associated with them. He was also prey (and hardly alone in that) to the occasional psychopath who wandered through the door. My own view of the phenomenon parted from his in the wake of the Roper poll in the early 1990s. Ufology's abduction era ended when it became apparent that theory had exceeded evidence by a considerable margin. (That's also true, by the way, of Budd's critics, who are nothing if not determined theoriticians.) I no longer consider abductions to be event phenomena, even as the phenomenon solely from an experience angle remains deeply puzzling, resistant to any explanation - prosaic or extraordinary - that makes much sense. It would do us all good, in my opinion, if we would just stand back, take a deep breath, and acknowledge the obvious: a conclusive solution remains elusive. Not exciting, I know, but surely the only demonstrable reality at this stage. Still, perhaps if I were in Budd's shoes, I would not have done things much differently from the way he did them. It's the easiest thing in the world to judge coolly from a perspective outside the hothouse. I am certain that history will offer this judgment of Budd Hopkins's work: he did the best he could under the circumstances. Because of him, we know more about one curious, often frightening and bewildering variety of human experience than we would have otherwise. Finally, reading the often unwarranted, sometimes sickening attacks on this good man, I make this plea to whatever basic decency remains in ufology. Budd Hopkins is gravely ill, now involved with a personal crisis each one of us without exception will confront one day. Let us hope that when this happens, people who hate us and seek to discredit us are not out there frothing at the mouth and howling our name at the moon. Agree or disagree with him, he has worked hard. He has given and sacrificed much. For now, basic decency (if it still exists in this field) requires, at the least, a lowered polemical volume. Jerry Clark Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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