Friday, August 19, 2011

Central Issues of the Emma Woods Case

Many within ufology have become acquainted with the Emma Woods case. If you are not among those familiar with it, here is a crash course:

A woman residing in the Pacific region and now calling herself Emma Woods had some very interesting experiences that some would interpret as related to alleged alien abduction. She eventually came in the acquaintance of self-described researcher David Jacobs, who proceeded to go down the regressive hypnosis path. Things got more and more odd between Woods and Jacobs, culminating in numerous e-hypnosis sessions, Jacobs' claims that alien hybrids were on the verge of throttling him (I hate it when that happens), and a host of additional questionable circumstances increasing in absurdity. For details, see Woods' website, which consists of excellent documentation and verification of the chain of events.

As the reader is surmising, the lure of being an interplanetary liaison involved in alien hybrid death stakes and high cosmic intrigue did not prove enough to keep Woods from thinking critically. Woods eventually called game over, told us all what had been going on – along with presenting thorough verification - and has been getting battered by the True Believers (and those who have interests in keeping the True Believers well stocked in foolishness) ever since.

Fast forward to the present. The latest (and chronic) attack on Woods comes from personnel of Paracast forum. Woods recently made a typically well researched and comprehensive post, documenting relevant circumstances on the matter and responding to the latest series of accusations leveled against her. The accusations include what have become the now usual assortment of allegations of mental disorders and supposed resulting behavior, as well as both suggestions and demands that Woods cease expressing herself.

I should first remind those who wish to censor Woods that we are dealing with a demographic that Jacobs and others are encouraging to talk about everything from underground alien bases to aliens who rape and pillage. If you want to make a case for some woman being too weird, obsessive or most anything else, for that matter, to allow her to participate on a UFO forum, you better come loaded for bear.

As if Woods' thorough documentation of facts and the predominantly tolerant and open-minded nature of the UFO community are not reasons enough to allow Woods to speak her peace, there are three primary points I find wrong with the statements of those seeking to silence Woods:

1) None of those who try to saddle Woods with psychiatric disorders are actually qualified to diagnose or identify such conditions.

2) None of those who accuse Woods of unacceptable behavior provide documentation of specific circumstances.

3) My personal experience interacting with Woods gives me no reason whatsoever to suspect her to be anything other than reasonable.

None of us are above an occasional errant remark that would have been better off not being made, particularly in the often passionate and heated world of ufology. Let's just say there aren't many angels treading around these parts where the rest of us rushed in.

I do not wish to be in anybody's camp. I am not interested in taking sides in any forum wars. I could point out some good points and some not so good points expressed by most all of us, and I am not looking to crucify anyone.

That stated, I want to strongly encourage the UFO community to take a closer look at the real issues in the Woods case. I could list a lot of things the issues are not (that keep getting discussed), but it is more productive to remind you what they are. The central issues of the Woods case are largely being lost in the crossfire, and some of the key points are:

- A real hard look needs to be taken at the protection of human research subjects who work with self-described ufologists, especially as it relates to supposed investigative techniques that throw critical thinking under the bus and ignore American Medical Association policy.

- Outright lies have been told and promoted about Woods' actions and circumstances, tactics comparable to defense attorneys attempting to defame the victim to deflect attention from what their client, the criminal, actually did.

- Woods consistently communicates clearly, expressing herself well and providing specific documentation of her points, while her detractors level unspecific accusations lacking verification and substance.

- Jacobs clearly tries to lead his research subjects to predetermined points. The well is so tainted it should be capped.

- Jacobs, at best, made some extremely poor errors in judgment while interacting with Woods.

- If Jacobs or any of the rest of the witch hunt gang would ever present any actual evidence, as defined by the professional research community, of alien abduction and of which they chronically and falsely claim to possess, they would have no need to conduct such public relations campaigns as have become the norm.

- Woods had some interesting experiences. Anybody remember those: interesting experiences?

- Woods has every right to discuss her case and the related abuse as long as she so chooses.

- By any definitions, it is irrational and unreasonable for others to suggest Woods should silence herself and cease discussing her own case and related abuse while they, no less, continue discussing both her and her case. To suggest such is simply unreasonable.


  1. Jack, an excellent post, very articulate. I'm linking to this ... you made good points. Like you, I'm not interested at all in some kind of "war" just keeping this story out there, and the facts of it.. it amazes me that there are some who suggest Woods is at fault here, despite the facts...

  2. Thank you, Regan, I appreciate your comments and interest. I welcome you and brownie as the newest members of the blog. Comments and discussion are encouraged very much.

    I certainly agree with your implications, Regan, that the Woods case offers us several very interesting and important points of consideration. Issues such as the handling of research subjects and the lack of reliability of hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool are but a few of the important aspects of this case.

  3. "A real hard look needs to be taken at the protection of human research subjects who work with self-described ufologists, especially as it relates to supposed investigative techniques that throw critical thinking under the bus and ignore American Medical Association policy."

    I think that is such an important point.

    Thank you so much for writing such a great post about the issues at stake.

  4. Mr. Brewer -

    Here is what leaped out at me when I read your post; "Woods had some interesting experiences. Anybody remember those: interesting experiences?"

    Truly a seminal question, one that has been all but lost in this long debacle.

    What happened to Emma was inexcusable. And for all those seeking answers? They must wait while negligent 'researchers' defend indefensible conduct.

    It is high time for a change.

    Thank you for some excellent and thought-provoking work.

  5. Hello. Your link to the American Medical Association actually goes to a login page for The American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, two very different organizations. I only say because I am a transpersonal hypnotherapist and I know that there are ALoT of "Organizations" that have fancy sounding names, but very little value.

    1. Thanks for your interest and comments.

      The link actually first went to an American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association page in which it explained the AMA served notice that it did not endorse hypnosis for any purpose. Here's the correct link:

      And here's how I described the situation in my book, 'The Greys Have Been Framed':

      Detrimental aspects of hypnosis became apparent to the American Medical Association (AMA), and not just as a memory enhancer, but across the board. The ill advised use of regressive hypnosis employed by therapists during the 1990's and the bull in a china shop tactics taken by ufology hypnotists certainly did not contribute positively to the AMA assessment. The American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association reported that the AMA served notice in recent years to inform its membership it is not appropriate to state that the AMA recognizes or endorses hypnosis for any purpose.

      “The AMA objects to the use of its name in connection with
      hypnosis,” the notice further clarified.

      (FYI, the book also acknowledges therapeutic uses for hypnosis and non-ordinary states of consciousness, but the point being made was the current academic stance is that memory enhancing activities are unreliable.)