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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 25

Re: Woods/Jacobs - A Salient But Missing Point

From: Steven Kaeser <steve.nul>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 16:40:09 -0500
Archived: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 09:05:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Woods/Jacobs - A Salient But Missing Point

>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 14:13:11 -0400
>Subject: Re: Woods/Jacobs - A Salient But Missing Point

>>From: Gene Steinberg <gene.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 13:56:57 -0700
>>Subject: Re: Woods/Jacobs - A Salient But Missing Point

>>>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>>>To: <post.nul>
>>>Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:30:26 -0400
>>>Subject: Re: Woods/Jacobs - A Salient But Missing Point

>>>Well psychiatry did it for years before it actually became a
>>>medical tool. They have been blundering around in people's heads
>>>experimentally for over one hundred years.

>>>The history of psychiatry is truely frightening.

>>I like to simply think that we're all crazy, and be done with it.

>>More to the point: Medication for minor emotional issues is a
>>scandal of the first order. Surveys show that the most common
>>antidepressants only work in extreme cases. For most people,
>>counseling and maybe meditation would do as well. At least
>>that's what the surveys show, although the drug companies
>>probably hope people won't notice when they buy their $300-a-
>>month snake oil.

>>I'm especially concerned when I hear the side effects in TV ads.
>>May result in suicidal tendencies, for instance.

>Hi Gene,

>You are probably aware of how many kids in school these days are
>on Ritalin. Now kids have ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder rather
>than being boisterous when I was a kid in school. Kids are
>always in therapy these days for problems we just considered
>normal back in the day.

>I'm sure the psychiatric profession has improved somewhat since
>the 1980s; their publicity profile has gotten better on TV after
>all. Notice how there's always a quick solution to crime
>problems on Law and Order by the shrink on that program. Easy as
>pie. Hopefully it has improved since the Stanford Experiment
>back in the late 1960s.

>One of my jobs years ago was to record the meetings of the Law
>Amendments Committee, the final arbiter for laws with public
>input before a Bill went back to the house for 2nd and 3rd
>reading. Once case was of interest to the psychiatric physicians
>at the provincially run Mental Hospital. The physicians wanted
>to continue doing lobotomies (see One Flew Over The Coo-Coo's
>Nest) claiming that their intentions were good. The Chairman of
>Law Amendments told the doctor that the road to hell was paved
>with good intentions. "This is my bill and if I ever hear of
>another case of one of you guys sticking an icepick into
>someone's brain one of my Crown Prosecutors will have you up on
>attempted murder charges."

>The seven or eight sources (including a GP - and two nurses at
>said Provincial Hospital) I rely on never seem to have anything
>good to say about psychiatry.

>But this is my opinion. I'm not saying that just anyone should
>be poking around in someone's head. But since the professionals
>have been avoiding the abduction issue like the plague, someone
>had to fill the vacuum.

Hi Don,

There have been numerous professionals involved in the Abduction
arena.  Let's not forget the 1992 MIT Abduction Conference and
the papers that were generated:


MIT Abduction Conference Publication 'Marks New Era of Thinking'
About UFO-Related Issues (Book Review of Alien Discussions)

John Archer

Summary: On June 13 - 17, 1992, a conference was held at MIT in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, focusing on the Alien Abduction
Experience [AAE]. "Alien Discussions" contains the papers
delivered at the conference and transcripts of author/audience
discussion about the papers. This book is huge: 683 large size
(8.5 X 11) pages counting Index and glossary. But, of course, it
is the quality of the papers that give the book its value.

Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study

Edited by Andrea Pritchard, David E. Pritchard, John E. Mack,
Pam Kasey, and Claudia Yapp.

Published by North Cambridge Press, Box 241, Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 354-6007. Limited Edition Hardcover $69.95.

Available direct from the publisher or from Arcturus Book Service,
1443 S.E. Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 (407) 398-0796.

Review by John Archer

Every once in a while a book comes along that defines an era.
Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" was one such book. It closed
the books on prior strands of dream theorizing and started a new
era in which thinkers, whether for or against, defined
themselves in relation to Freud's ideas.

"Alien Discussions" is another such book. Its publication marks
the transition to a new era in thinking about UFO related

On June 13 - 17, 1992, a conference was held at MIT in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, focusing on the Alien Abduction
Experience [AAE]. "Alien Discussions" contains the papers
delivered at the conference and transcripts of author/audience
discussion about the papers.

This book is huge: 683 large size (8.5 X 11) pages counting
Index and glossary. But, of course, it is the quality of the
papers that give the book its value.

John G. Miller, MD, leads off with a discussion of 'The
Realization Event' that makes a person come to suspect or decide
that he or she has been abducted. Many of the factors that bring
about the realization event are problematic for researchers.
These include exposure to books and movies with abduction
related themes, contact with other abductees and hypnotic
retrieval of memories.

The book includes a lengthy section on the medical examinations
described by abductees. Four papers detail the variety of aliens
depicted in AAE reports and several experiencers give poignant
accounts of the impact of the experience on self, family,
friends and lifestyles.

Thomas E. Bullard, the noted folklorist, has a piece on
anomalous cases, such as 'psychic abductions' -- out-of-body
experiences where the experiencer's report contains themes
familiar from abduction reports, but where it is known with
certainty that the experiencer's body was not removed from its
surrounding. It may have been under observation of a witness
while incapacitated due to medical emergency, for example.

Budd Hopkins has a short piece on the Return of the Abductee. It
focuses mostly on cases where the abductee was not 'returned'
properly to the setting from which s/he was taken; i.e., people
being left stranded in the woods in a nightgown a mile from
their home; women waking up and finding other women's nightwear
in the room; people waking up with their nightwear missing.
There is also a class of cases where the abductee's car seems to
have been deposited in a place difficult to drive to without
leaving tire tracks.

Eventually, the conference focuses attention on methodological
issues and, to no one's surprise, most of the attention focused
on the reliability of hypnosis as an investigative tool.

Thomas E. Bullard leads off this sections with a paper
demonstrating that the dangers of hypnosis are overstated. His
case rests on the idea that reports from hypnotized subjects do
not differ from those reported by non-hypnotized subjects. There
were significant differences between the reports of abductees
and the so-called hypnotized non-abductee from whom an
experimenter tries to elicit a false abduction report.

Bullard even managed to test arch-skeptic Phillip Klass's
prediction that there would be correlations between the
hypnotist's personality traits and the themes in the abductee's
report. No such correlations were found.

Papers by David Webb and Stuart Appelle support this theme. Dr.
Appelle's paper challenges the skeptics' claim that experimental
evidence now on hand already establishes the unreliability of
hypnosis as a tool for enhancing memory. Dr. Appelle shows that
existing evidence points to no definitive conclusion and some
may even support this use of hypnosis.

But some evidence clearly goes the other way.

Jenny Randles offered a first person account of her experiences
going to a hypnotist for assistance in recalling an incident
that she witnessed 10 years earlier. She then compared the
transcript of her hypnotic session with the notes she made 48
hours after the sighting but which she hadn't reviewed since.
She found that many details were recalled inaccurately.

Finally, Ann Druffel points out some of the dangers of using
hypnosis, such as psychological side effects for the subjects.

Clearly more research is called for.

A selection of papers on Psychological Issues shows that little
evidence has been found to specifiy a personality profile for
the abductee, but there is good evidence that some abductees
were suffering from serious psychiatric illnesses. However, more
research would be needed to indicate whether psychiatric illness
is more or less prevalent in the abductee population compared to
the non-abductee population.

A paper by Gwen L. Dean, a clinical psychologist, comparing the
phenomenology of AAEs with accounts of Ritual Abuse by surviors
really opened my eyes to the many points they have in common --
and the many points of difference. Both types of experience are
associated with reports of Out-of-Body Experiencing, but no one
knows whether two different types of trauma each produce OBEs in
some experiencers or whether the OBE is the core event that
produces an experience that is recalled as an abduction or as
ritual abuse depending on the experiencer.

The possible connection between OBEs and AAEs certainly needs
further exploration.

A second very interesting paper by Ann Druffel describes cases
in which experiencers used various techniques to fight off
entities who were about to abduct them. Interestingly enough,
these cases all involved attempted abductions from the
experiencer's bedroom. And some of the techniques used are
identical to those that are used to resist 'Old Hag Attacks', a
subjective experience whose physiological correlate is REM sleep
paralysis. This state of Awareness during Sleep Paralysis [ASP]
is itself intimately related to both the OBE and the more common
Lucid Dream Experience.

David Hufford has a very interesting paper exploring the
'Bedroom Visitor' phenomenon from precisely this angle. Up to
now, skeptics have dismissed abduction reports as due to sleep
paralysis, but Hufford shows that sleep paralysis is simply the
physiological correlate of a real experience.

Although the conference occurred three years ago, it could
become a factor in the controversy surrounding Dr. John Mack,
who is being investigated by Harvard University for possible
failure to approach abduction related phenomenon in as
scientific a manner as is expected of a Harvard professor.

Dr. Mack has three pieces in the book. It was here at this
conference that he gave his famous "Why the Abduction Phenomenon
Cannot Be Explained Psychiatrically" address.

He rejects Jung's idea that we may be seeing the emergence of a
myth for our times on the grounds that Jung's idea destroys the
distinction between internal (psyche) and external (material)
reality. Yet, in his closing address he challenges us to adopt a
new world view going beyond dualism because the abduction
phenomenon shows that we are connected with a spiritual
dimension as well as the material dimension we all share.

Well, recognizing the spiritual dimension is certainly a
constructive step, but that *is* dualism, not an argument
against dualism.

His third paper is potentially more troublesome. Having decided
that the abduction phenomenon can't be explained away as a
purely psychiatric phenomenon (probably true, though the
question the Harvard committee is ostensibly asking is 'Would
you share your evidence with us, John?'), Dr. Mack then presents
a relatively long paper describing his approach to counseling
patients to help them over the various anxiety and stress
disorders they may have as a result of their undeniable trauma.

What is conspicuously lacking in his proposal is any provision
for outcome or effectiveness research. Is his approach any
better for the client than the approach of a psychiatrist who
does think the abduction phenomenon is explainable in
psychiatric terms? Is his approach better than no counseling
other than the support of a self help type group of fellow
abductees? There are many unanswered questions, and skeptics may
want this volume simply to read Dr. Mack standing behind a
podium failing to address those questions.

I haven't had space to mention many other interesting papers in
this volume. I strongly recommend that anyone seriously
interested in the abduction issue get this book.

John Archer
Trionic Research Institute


There have also been a handful of published papers on the
subject, but none would likely please most researchers in this
genre.  The MIT publication Alien Discussions is not easily
found, but worth the search.

Painting psychiatry with a single color is probably unwise, but
I would tend to agree that it seems to founded more in beliefs
than measurements (if that s the right word).


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