Sunday, March 23, 2014

Opposing Exploitation

I'm not critical of holding fringe beliefs or expressing extreme perspectives. I'm critical of purporting it to be scientific when it's not, and I'm critical of demands to accept claims lacking conclusive evidence. The former is at best incompetent and often likely dishonest, while the latter is simply unreasonable.

I don't care what people choose to believe. Neither do I have an agenda about personal testimonies. If someone says something happened to them, so be it. It's their prerogative to interpret their experiences how they choose.

My agenda is about being opposed to sham inquiry, as Sharon Hill coined the term, the misrepresentation of nonscientific activities as science. I'm also opposed to researchers making assertions they can't back up with verifiable facts.

The reason I am concerned about such activities is because some people – some of those who publicly shared their experiences and came to interpret them the ways they did because of 'ufologists' – are being and have long been exploited by the so-called researchers. So are members of the UFO community, the people that financially support the organizations, the folks who buy the resulting books, those who try to expand on the research (that was flawed in the first place) and a lot of other people as well.

There may actually be phenomena of interest at the heart of ufology and what has come to be called alien abduction. However, it is a reasonable conclusion that the circumstances have been manipulated, distorted and blatantly misrepresented to the point of actuality being virtually impossible to discern. The perpetrators include several demographics with an even greater number of motives. Such demographics include charlatans, individuals with good intentions but ultimately unhelpful because they were drawn in by (and fell victim to) the rhetoric of the charlatans, the intelligence community and others. The resulting lies, distortions and misinformation were cultivated and spread for decades through conferences, regional meetings and publishing houses.

We will never know how the present day public at large would have interpreted perceptions of high strangeness if it had not been so deeply conditioned to accept preconceived – yet entirely unsubstantiated – conclusions. We will never know because it already happened, thanks to demographics as just mentioned, as well as the resulting bad television, bad documentaries, influence of Hollywood, CIA propaganda and manipulation of belief systems (similarly conducted by the KGB and global IC), sensationalism within the UFO community, bad nonprofit orgs masquerading as scientific research groups, philanthropists with unclear and suspect motives and so on. The leading of the witness begins long before they ever meet the hypnotist.

The bottom line on Mack, Hopkins, Jacobs and all of them is that they can offer no conclusive evidence whatsoever of their pet theories. At least Mack did not blatantly promote and defend premature and unsubstantiated conclusions to an entirely unreasonable extent, but the same cannot be said for the other two, Lamb, Cannon and many more.

Unfortunately, people become hurt in the crossfire, influenced (if not directly and intentionally led) to believe themselves to be hybrids, influenced to believe they have parented hybrids, influenced to believe they have been repeatedly kidnapped and tortured (including sexually assaulted) by both human and non-human beings, emotionally devastated, had copies of their case files - including hypnotic regression recordings - sold without their knowledge and subsequently had their trust deeply betrayed (see Carpenter Affair), and the list of trauma on top of trauma goes on and on. PayPal accepted.

Meanwhile, there might actually be some other types of circumstances of interest taking place, and some of the origins of those circumstances might indeed be diverse and vast, while some may be the covert operations of quite human technology, corporations and agencies, among other potential explanations. Whatever the case may be from one specific incident to the next, those committing sham inquiry are certainly not getting any of us any closer to accurate understandings, and, more importantly, they are adding to the list of hurt, humiliated and devastated individuals already left trying to recover in the wake.


  1. I agree with pretty much everything you say here, Jack. I am surprised that some abduction investigators have kept out of jail and avoided damage suits in the civil courts.

    Or maybe I'm not surprised. Prosecuting such cases has one major obstacle -- many of the exploited "abductees" selected their "therapists" hoping for confirmation, not treatment.

    Reading up on factitious disorders, it's pretty clear that zealous therapists drove most of the false memory panics (multiple personality disorder, satanic ritual abuse, and recovered memories of child sexual abuse). Vulnerable clients seeking standard counselling or mainstream psychiatric help were instead manipulated; they got caught up in a feedback loop, willing to believe and confirm the theories of a scientific authority (this is ably described by philosopher Ian Hacking in his critical MPD and DID books, Rewriting the Soul and Mad Travellers).

    But one can't ignore that many alien abductees have diagnosed themselves and seek out confirmation -- and validation -- from compliant investigators. Abductees believe they already know the cause of their unhappiness -- and "knowing" the answer, no matter how awful or ludicrous, gives them some kind of relief. Said more simply, some people are strongly motivated by a quest for certainty to believe strange things.

    This is clear from abductee statements published in abduction books by Susan Clancy and Chris Rutkowski. Paul Chambers (UK Society for Psychical Research) makes this point in his book Sex and the Paranormal. MPD therapist Colin Ross reported in The Osiris Complex that a client angrily accused him of ruining her therapy when he innocently suggested she might not have been abducted by aliens.

    Think about it: starting in the late 1990s, great numbers of CSA claimants recanted their stories, sued their therapists, wrote books, etc. (even Roseanne Barr recanted). MPD has disappeared from the DSM. SRA no longer closes down day cares or small town police departments. But alien abduction chugs along with very few public recanters.

    I'd like to see academics do a clinical followup, if you will, and see just how many alien abductees still hold to their "diagnosis" after all these years. (The UFO community would never do such a survey.)

    1. You raise some relevant points, Terry the Censor. Thanks for your comments.

      For those unaware, Douglas Mesner and his colleagues delved into a lot of the related subject matter. Mr. Mesner took an interest in the satanic panic, the lawsuit that developed out of the circumstances involving Mark Schwartz, hypnosis and the Castlewood Treatment Center, and similar chains of events. Not surprisingly, Mesner and his peers correlated many such circumstances with those taking place in ufology.

      > I am surprised that some abduction investigators have kept out of jail
      > and avoided damage suits in the civil courts.

      > Or maybe I'm not surprised. Prosecuting such cases has
      > one major obstacle -- many of the exploited "abductees"
      > selected their "therapists" hoping for confirmation, not treatment.

      My research leads me to believe additional obstacles include those who have suffered unethical treatment are hesitant to come forward due to public embarrassment, not entirely unlike the case of rape victims. The exploited have sometimes been abused in manners that leave similar trauma related to objectification and manipulation. It's embarrassing.

      They also fear the intense ridicule that befell others such as Emma Woods who had the courage to speak up. As you aptly point out, Terry, some are very much seeking confirmation of their predisposed beliefs - and they obviously get very angry when the methods of forming and investigating those beliefs are challenged, resulting in waging character assassination on the victim.

    2. Hi Jack,

      I think you are so right about people being afraid to speak out. For example, another former subject of David Jacobs said outright in a private email that she was afraid of him because he might do to her what he did to me.

      The embarrassment factor is high, because of the nature of the hypnosis. Plus, it is easy to make an experiencer look mentally ill, which has an intimidation effect.



    3. Absolutely, Emma. There are many dynamics that make it very difficult for exploited and mistreated individuals to speak out publicly. As you suggest, potential embarrassment, retaliation, loss of community standing and even harassment are very real and legitimate concerns. I'd go as far as to say that, to more and less extents, such circumstances should be expected.

      However, your efforts - and the efforts of your peers and support systems - brought an entirely new era to ufology and what came to be known as the abduction phenomenon. While it is true that significant challenges remain for those wanting to bring transparency to their interactions with certain researchers and the resulting situations, we can now also confidently say there is an extreme likelihood researchers are giving much more thought to the manners they interact with subjects. I'm virtually certain Jacobs is.

  2. I do hope recanting abductees find the strength and support to go public. I feel just one big court case would kill off the whole sordid thing. That would help prevent a new generation of exploiters from coming up.

    1. Terry the Censor wrote: "I do hope recanting abductees find the strength and support to go public. I feel just one big court case would kill off the whole sordid thing. That would help prevent a new generation of exploiters from coming "---

      "recanting"...Oh my! Some religious leaders, not that long ago (whether Roman Catholic or Protestant) tried that with a good flame under the unfortunate victim, who usually did not recant.

      There are some abductee/experiencer-wannabes but I'd venture most people who experience this are sincere and seek to understand the origins of their experience. And most never go public nor seek out an abduction researcher. I note that based on what most abductee/experiencers have shared in forums for over 15 yrs. now. Also, the outré experience isn't as clear cut as having conscious memory from start to finish. So, I don't know where you begin your abductee purge for recanting.

      This is something that's been around for ages, literally, couched in different categories and descriptions based on differing cultures, societal norms and religions. And, it's not mental illness nor is it conveniently going away. Yes, that's uncomfortable for anyone who doesn't realize there are troubling mysteries to human existence which we probably will never have full answers to.

      This is why (I know I sound like a broken record here) it's people like Emma Woods who are the role models to follow. She's taken charge of her own life, doing her personal research (and sharing it on her website) and has clearly and calmly exposed what David Jacobs did wrong to her.

      ~ Susan

    2. Susan, rhetoric is splendid -- I indulge sometimes myself -- but if all these thousands of people claim they have experience and evidence of crimes committed by alien invaders, let them swear to it and have their statements tested in the courts, let them bring the physical evidence forward to be measured and confirmed by scientists.

      Until we examine this evidence assessed, we have no reason to assent to the claim that any of these abductions ever happened.

      Let's have no more excuses.

    3. Thanks Brownie. I hope more people will research and publish their own experiences. At least it will bypass some of the pitfalls there are out there.

    4. Hi Terry, I have been reading your comments with interest for a while.

      I am sure most experiencers want to know what is happening, more than anybody.

      In regard to scientists studying the phenomenon, I really wish it would happen. But the stigma is so high, I wonder if it ever will?

      I have tried to study my experiences myself, using affordable equipment, and with my limited resources and layperson knowledge.

      The video camera I put up recorded a few unexplained things. I have published some of them on my YouTube channel (

      However, I was reluctant to put some of the footage I got on YouTube, in case people thought I hoaxed it, and it undermined my credibility. My husband eventually convinced me to do it.

      I wish there was a scientific team who would monitor experiencers for a year, with them controlling the cameras and equipment, to study it properly. I am sure they would find interesting things.

  3. Jack - I'd like to share with you what I believe to be a UFOlogy investigation I just completed at UFO Disclosure Countdown Clock and what passes for UFO information and buzz in 2014. Think disinformation.

    Rick Phillips

    1. Thanks, Rick. The link to Rick's post: