Sunday, January 4, 2015

Carol Rainey Responds to Peter Robbins

Witness confidentiality and accompanying issues were recently explored on this blog in the post, 'Security of Budd Hopkins Archive Called into Question, David Jacobs Shares Responsibility'. Peter Robbins subsequently chose to voice some perspectives about the piece and make some related assertions. Carol Rainey chose to respond. Rainey's response was received in an email today and is published with her permission:
Carol Rainey’s Response to Peter Robbins, January 4, 2015
I would like to respond to Peter Robbins’ categorical statement below, which was posted to Sacha Christie’s Facebook page on January 1st:
“For the record – Budd Hopkins NEVER allowed the release of any tape recording or confidential file except to the individual themselves. David Jacobs has always followed this policy as well – except in single case of the event in question [the release of Larry Warren’s tape to Col. Halt].”
Budd Hopkins’ supporters have shown a disturbing commitment to turn him into “a saint” by revising and sanitizing every act and event of his life. Budd was a human being – often warm and caring, but also often thoughtless and careless about other people’s safety and needs. So are most of us divided between our good and our selfish impulses. So, please, folks, there is no need to attempt to present him as perfect and without flaw – in retrospect. That simply is not who he was. We were married for ten years, most of those happily, and long enough for me to know his character and his work.
Prior to his death, however, Budd did not make adequate provisions for the posthumous safety and protection of his subjects’ records. In other fields, a researcher’s archives are often given in trust to an academic institution or major library. The archives are transferred to these safe havens along with strict legal contracts that specify who, why, and how other individuals with serious research projects may or may not use them. If I had been one of Budd’s subjects, that would have been my strong preference for where my records would have ended up.
Peter is simply and utterly wrong when he asserts that Budd “NEVER allowed the release of a tape or file to anyone but the individual themselves [sic].” What would Peter call the fact that Budd allowed David Jacobs, at some point in the late 1990s, to take hundreds of Budd’s hypnosis tapes back to his home in order to make copies of those confidential “patient records?”
And we both know that Budd, in his studio or living room, often played excerpts of his subjects’ regression sessions to visitors like Col. Halt, Roger Leir, John Mack, and others. I saw him play these regression tapes for journalists, for television producers, for other abductees. He also played a videotaped interview with John Cortile, aged eight or nine when it was shot, in his studio for outsiders to see, although he’d promised John’s mother that he would not.
It’s public knowledge that in his first interaction with John Mack, Budd handed him a stack of his unopened, personal mail. These were letters, often up to eight pages long, that had been sent to him in confidence by people who spilled out their deepest fears that their anomalous experiences meant they might be abductees. The names and addresses of these confidential letters (often marked “Confidential” on the envelopes) were fully in view. John has mentioned this in his writing and in conference presentations. Greg Sandow, too, has posted on the Web about Budd handing him, early on, a stack of unopened letters as a way of convincing him to take the phenomenon seriously.
In his last year of life, Budd (or his assignee) handed over to one of his supporters videotape to be publicly posted on a website that defended the “Witnessed” case. The unfortunate facts are that what Budd handed over to be made public was footage that belonged to me, footage that I’d shot with alleged abductees and witnesses for a documentary. I had obtained proper releases from each for inclusion in my film. But Budd had no release or contract whatsoever with the individuals on my film. Yet he was apparently untroubled by the ethical concerns of having handed over stolen material to be posted on a supporter’s site in full violation of my copyright -- not to mention the rights of the subjects who were then publicly “outed.”
Although I have less knowledge of David Jacobs’ policies and procedures, I am aware that Emma Woods has objected strongly, in the past, about his passing along the audiotapes of her own regressions to be listened to and transcribed by other alleged abductees.
In summary, I’d suggest to people concerned about such matters to familiarize themselves with the strict U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HIPAA regulations. More information about privacy rights for healthcare information can be found at
Carol Rainey
New York City, 2015
Related posts:


  1. Thank you Carol and Jack for bringing these issues into the open.

    David Jacobs told me himself that Budd Hopkins did not look after his subjects' materials properly. I had actually sent Budd some material, and when Dr. Jacobs told me this, I became concerned about it. I asked Dr. Jacobs to get my material back from Budd because of that. Budd had said publicly that he kept everything in strictest confidence, which is why I’d contacted him and sent him material in the first place. But when I heard from Dr. Jacobs that Budd kept material stacked in piles round the place, and that other people had access to it, I was pretty concerned about it. Dr. Jacobs did retrieve some of it for me, but he told me that Budd's files were all over the place, and he could not find all of my material in the piles. He said that someone called Oscar would let him know of he ever came across the rest of my material. I don't know who Oscar is, but he obviously had access to all Budd's files, going by what Dr. Jacobs said. I wonder if the rest of my material that was left with Budd went into in the garbage bags that were left on the street. Unbelievable ....

    Dr. Jacobs is now lying about Budd’s lack of care of his subjects’ material, and it seems like Peter Robbins is continuing his practice of turning a blind eye to everything.

    It is interesting to know that Dr. Jacobs wanted copies of Budd Hopkins’ hypnosis tapes. If so, then he presumably would have wanted to transcribe them as well, as he told me that he only worked from transcripts. I wonder if he sent the tapes of Budd’s hypnosis session to his abductees to transcribe, without the knowledge or permission of the subjects’ concerned, and then left them there, like he does with his own subjects’ tapes.

    Sean Meers has said on his website that he has been privy to information contained in my “uncut” hypnosis sessions. This is in spite of the fact that I withdrew permission for Dr. Jacobs to use any material from my hypnosis sessions, and Temple University said that my request in that regard would be honored. So how does Sean Meers have access to material from my uncut hypnosis sessions? Yet more evidence of Dr. Jacobs’ utter disregard for confidentiality or ethics.

    One of Dr. Jacobs' supporters using the pseudonym "Archie Bedford" communicated with two friends of mine and told them that he knew my real name, where I lived, and a great deal of other information about me. He threatened that it was going to be made public, in my opinion as an attempt to intimidate me into not speaking out about what happened when I was Dr. Jacobs' research subject.

    The whole thing is a disgrace.

    1. Wow, Frankly I am Shocked. I had sent a copy of a personal Journal to Budd once, makes me wonder where it is? I believe that Privacy is Sacred & all files, regression tapes, etc. should have been kept under Lock & Key & shared with No One. Upon Budd's passing those files should have been returned to the owner, or Shredded & Destroyed. They should not be donated to any facility of any kind. They were not for public use.

    2. I am sorry to hear that you also sent private material to Budd. The way his records have been handled is an absolute travesty.

      I have a feeling that most people who sent material to him in trust would not have done so had they known the real situation.

    3. Thanks Emma I agree, folks would probably not have sent materials in if they knew the real situation. A real learnig curve for every one involved.

  2. Thank you, Jack, for your continued good work here, and thanks to Carol for her perspective, which provides a more fulsome picture of the matter so that reasonable people can make an informed judgment.

  3. Wow. When Paul Kimball and I can agree, know it as fact.

  4. I found on YouTube a documentary made by a man named Stefan Alex. The documentary was a tribute to Dr. John Mack.

    Within this documentary is a segment which shows Budd Hopkins speaking (to the camera) re: his work with abductees. Budd is shown sharing samples of drawings, etc., with the film maker Stefan Alex.

    One has to ask...did Budd have prior written consent from any of those individuals of whom he worked with, prior to sharing these materials to Mr. Alex?

    On another note (not mentioning names), I listened just recently to an interview of a rather well known abductee. 'She' has appeared publicly on several occasions and lectured re: her own experiences. She is also a MILAB abductee.

    During this interview, this individual mentions her relationship with another well known abduction researcher. Both of these women have stated on the record the fact that they are friendly with one another and have close ties within the community.

    This MILAB contactee/researcher stated during her interview that she was asked by this other researcher if she would be willing to transcribe some of her backlogged tapes. The MILAB researcher did so and acknowledged that this arrangement between herself and this other researcher was a sort of win-win for the two of them; one needed the extra help and the other needed the extra cash.

    I almost fell off my chair when I heard her say this. I wondered just how many of this other woman's clients knew that their private/confidential information was going to be shared with this individual (or anyone else for that matter). I have heard both of these women state - on the record - that this private information DOES get shared among various researcher groups.

    Another issue which needs to be addressed:

    Some contactees are connected in some fashion, either through familial ties or via their own personal involvement with certain government agencies. I'll let those reading these comments figure out what that may mean and why this happens.

    But given this issue, it is imperative, most especially so for those individuals connected to these agencies, that their information NOT be predisposed to any other individual who may, shall we say, also have government involvement, which may pose issues - serious issues - for the other individuals. Sounds convoluted? Yes, it is, but it IS an issue which needs to be taken into account when this information gets shared with others who should not be privy to the information being shared.

    So - good to see this issue is coming around the bend and being discussed openly. I've noted of late that other researchers are broaching this privacy issue and are becoming more outspoken as to why this issue is so important, on so many levels. The lack of professionalism I, myself, have witnessed with my own involvement with some of these researchers, was rather daunting. It's not that I feel that most, or some, of these individuals lack compassion for their subjects. I think most of them do, but on the other hand, knowing what I know about human behavior, it's sad to say that egos, perhaps a smidgen of greed and a host of other issues provide the ultimate grab fest that, at times, gets in the way of integrity with the work being done.

    In hindsight, given what I personally know about this subject matter, I don't honestly know if it's possible to deal with the privacy issue as it should be, given the covert ops involvement and national security issues which are of concern to a certain group of individuals. There are other means to glean private information which does not lend itself to the simple, unwitting or not, sharing of information from one individual to another. I've seen that happen as well.

    1. Just to add to what you're saying, let's not forget the other problem with having abductee #1 transcribe abductee #2's hypnosis sessions is that abductee #1 is is now likely to cross-pollinate his/her own hypnotically-retrieved "memory" come next hypnosis session. Now you've suddenly got patterns and shared experiences forming, which as a hypnotist book writer trying to make the case that you know what is going on here... it's a dream come true.

    2. Jeremy: I'm no expert re: the hypnosis issue. Having said that, I eventually saw a therapist (a Ph.D) who has NO ties whatsoever to the ufology community. To put it mildly, she was an absolute godsend. She helped keep me focused and grounded when these things were happening to us (one right after another for a long while). Our son was just 14 when these things started occurring, so I had the additional burden re: how to present what was happening to us in a manner which kept his own fear from boiling up and overtaking him as well. After all, he still had his academics to think about, his social life, etc. Pretty heady stuff for a young kid...

      I've only been regressed once - by this therapist I was seeing at the time. I didn't end up remembering anything more than what I'd already remembered through conscious recall. Additionally, I will tell you that MOST of the events of which my son and I experienced were NOT during any sort of altered consciousness. We were in the 'here and now' as they say, when these events took place. Thus, we've remembered most of what occurred, during those events.

      I was assured by my therapist that hypnosis, when used appropriately, is a useful tool within which to recall certain buried traumatic events. I trusted her then, and still do, but as I've stated, I did not remember anything during that one hypnosis session that I hadn't already remembered.

      I remain on the fence when it comes to the use of hypnosis as a means for recall.

  5. Thank you all for your comments, perspectives and insights. They are appreciated.

  6. Interesting article on hypnosis:

    ..."Hypnosis has been used for centuries for pain control, including during the Civil War when Army surgeons hypnotized injured soldiers before amputations. Recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness as a tool to reduce pain. Among the leading researchers in the field is Guy H. Montgomery, PhD, a psychologist who has conducted extensive research on hypnosis and pain management at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he is director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine Program.

    In one study, Montgomery and colleagues tested the effectiveness of a 15-minute pre-surgery hypnosis session versus an empathic listening session in a clinical trial with 200 breast cancer patients. In a 2007 article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Vol. 99, No. 17), the team reported that patients who received hypnosis reported less post-surgical pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort. The study also found that the hospital saved $772 per patient in the hypnosis group, mainly due to reduced surgical time. Patients who were hypnotized required less of the analgesic lidocaine and the sedative propofol during surgery..."


    ..."Joseph P. Green, PhD, a psychology professor at Ohio State University at Lima, has researched how hypnotic suggestions can produce distorted or false memories. He also found that people may believe hypnotically induced memories are more reliable, mirroring a mistaken cultural belief that hypnosis acts like a truth serum. Hypnosis is "on thin ice" when used to recover memories, as is the case with most other memory retrieval techniques, Green says..."

  7. The fact that hypnotized persons experience no pain during surgery is evidence that a hypnosis subject is not aware of reality. Reports given under hypnosis are no more true than our dreams. The mind is complex and has many levels. We are capable of projections, distortions and delusions we believe are true. Too many hypnotist slack education in psychology and neurology. They are amateurs in an area that requires as much training and knowledge as advanced physics.

  8. Here is what the APA (American Psychological Association) has to say about hypnosis:

    Under, "Is there evidence that hypnosis works?":

    "Yes. While there are plenty of examples in the scientific literature attesting to the usefulness of clinical hypnosis, a study published in the journal Gut is noteworthy. The study involved 204 people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Treatment consisted of 12 weekly sessions of hypnosis (lasting about one hour each). Fifty-eight percent of the men and 75 percent of the women reported significant symptom relief immediately after finishing treatment. More than 80 percent of those who reported initial relief were still improved up to six years later. Fewer than 10 percent of the participants tried other treatments after hypnotherapy. (Gut, November 2003)."

    Under "Can anyone be hypnotized?":

    "People differ in the degree to which they respond to hypnosis. A person's ability to experience hypnosis can be inhibited by fears and concerns arising from some common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in books, movies or television, people who have been hypnotized do not lose control over their behavior. Unless amnesia has specifically been suggested, people remain aware of who they are, where they are and remember what transpired during hypnosis. Hypnosis makes it easier for people to experience suggestions, but it does not force them to have these experiences."

    Under "Practical uses for hypnosis":

    "Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain; depression; anxiety and phobias; stress; habit disorders; gastro-intestinal disorders; skin conditions; post-surgical recovery; relief from nausea and vomiting; childbirth; treatment of hemophilia and many other conditions. However, it may not be useful for all psychological and/or medical problems or for all patients or clients. The decision to use hypnosis as an adjunct to treatment should only be made in consultation with a qualified health care provider who has been trained in the use and limitations of clinical hypnosis. In addition to its use in clinical settings, hypnosis is used in research and forensic settings. Researchers study the value of hypnosis in the treatment of physical and psychological problems and examine the impact of hypnosis on sensation, perception, learning and memory."

    Your assertion that "too many hypnotists lack education in psychology and neurology is unfounded from what I've found in my own research.

  9. Interesting article in Psychology Today:

    ..."Ever since Franz Anton Mesmer proposed his theory of animal magnetism more than 200 years ago, hypnosis has fought an uphill battle for scientific credibility. The establishment relegated it to the domain of stage performers and quacks for most of that time. But in the past few decades the phenomenon has enjoyed an increasing amount of scientific interest, as well as widespread clinical application for an array of medical and psychological purposes, from removing warts to retrieving memories long buried in the unconscious.

    This sudden ascent to respectability began a little more than 30 years ago, when psychologist Ernest Hilgard, Ph.D., a former president of the American Psychological Association, set up the Laboratory of Hypnosis Research at Stanford University. At about the same time, psychiatrist Martin Orne, M.D., of Harvard and psychologist T. X. Barber, Ph.D., of the Medfield Foundation, pioneered hypnosis research at their respective organizations. Since then, dozens of research programs on hypnosis have sprung to life in universities and medical schools in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

    The burgeoning hypnosis field also supports two independent professional organizations and two major journals devoted exclusively to the topic. The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, which publishes the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, currently enrolls over 1,000 members. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, publisher of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, boasts almost 4,000 members. Several smaller organizations flourishing in a number of foreign countries publish their own journals on the subject..."

  10. In furtherance re the above, these few excerpts are interesting:

    ..."Hypnosis is used in an effort to dislodge deeply buried memories relating to past events. Therapists employ "hypnotic regression"--mentally taking a subject back in time to reexperience the past. The thinking is that hypnosis affords direct access to unconscious memories without resistance or distortion, making it an exceptionally reliable tool for exploring long-forgotten details of early childhood and a powerful investigative tool for drawing out critical details of crimes..."


    ..."But what does it really mean to be under the influence of hypnosis? Many of those working most closely with it are surprisingly uncertain about exactly what hypnosis is. The absence of a standard definition is far more than a semantic quibble. It appears to signify a fatal flaw in the way we think about hypnosis--and in the way we think about ourselves. Decades of searching with sophisticated technology have not yielded a single shred of evidence that hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. Indeed, it May not be a mysterious mental state at all. It may turn out to be a powerful confluence of much more accessible social and psychological processes rather than a single extraordinary phenomenon. In all likelihood, hypnosis is a metaphor for selling our own intrinsic mental capabilities short. Hypnosis may be the ultimate psychic sales spiel--a way for us to disown powers we already have and buy them back under a fancy label. What is Hypnotic Induction?

    The ambiguity surrounding what it means to be under the influence of hypnosis starts right at the beginning, with no standard for hypnotic induction. Induction is supposed to be a ritualized set of procedures for bringing about the special hypnotic state. But it's not like a drug that's given in measured doses. There's no definition for what constitutes a dose of hypnotic induction. And here's the rub: in the absence of a standard, it is not possible to evaluate the effects of the induction process or even to state conclusively when a person is, or is not, undergoing hypnosis..."

  11. One more excerpt:

    ..."Even if hypnotic induction withers in the light of scrutiny, surely there's some resulting state of mind all hypnosis subjects share regardless of the means used to achieve it? The Holy Grail of hypnosis research is a measurable trance state in which people somehow gain direct access to the deeper recesses of the unconscious, transcend pain, and stimulate their immune response. Such a state would reasonably be expected to show up as a signature pattern of brain waves or physiological correlates akin to the rapid eye movements of dream sleep.

    Unfortunately, attempts to find brainwave patterns that distinguish hypnosis from ordinary waking consciousness have not panned out. The rare physiological sign of hypnosis spotted in the laboratory has failed to prove the existence of a hypnotic state. When Stanford psychiatrist David Spiegel, M.D., told hypnotized subjects to focus their attention elsewhere while receiving mild electric shocks, they showed a decreased physiological response to pain. But the same effect could be elicited from subjects not undergoing hypnotic induction--just by getting them to focus their attention elsewhere. "Every time we thought there was a physiological indicator it hasn't held up," concedes Thurman Mott, M.D., editor of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.

    THE FAILURE TO SNIFF OUT OBJECTIVE EVidence of a trance state has its effect. "It's nonsensical to argue that hypnosis involves some sort of special state when we can't find it no matter how long we look," says Robert Baker, Ph.D., author of They Call It Hypnosis and professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky, "Eventually you stop looking. It's like looking for ether." Baker has been practicing hypnosis for more than 20 years and has published original research in the field. "After doing all this work," he says, "it has become obvious to me, as it has to many people, that there is no such thing as an altered state of consciousness known as hypnosis."

    It is entirely possible that hypnosis begets a state of mind that eludes current means of measurement. So, like spotting the tracks of Bigfoot, hypnosis proponents have tried to show that such a state exists by pointing to its alleged effects. Some seemingly miraculous bit of human behavior--say, calmly enduring a root canal without anesthesia--is seen as a sign that hypnosis was there..."

    The more I research the hypnosis issue, the more I find there simply isn't enough evidence to either prove or disprove its reliability when it is used to recover memories re the abduction phenomenon. I would definitely say it should only be used by those qualified to use it (psychologists). The only time I have been under hypnosis was with a qualified psychologist, but even then I was not able to recover any memory I hadn't already recovered during my conscious recall.

    Rather than take the word of perhaps skeptics or debunkers re this issue, I would rather review the data that has been collected by those studying this issue who are qualified to state, one way or the other, what the findings are at this time.

    The one and only time I have experienced hypnosis, I did NOT experience a loss of reality; I was absolutely aware of my surroundings the entire time. The only physical sensation I experienced was that of complete relaxation. That was the tricky part for me...relaxing. Once that was accomplished, it was very pleasant.

    Jury's still out for me as to whether or not hypnosis is a truly effective tool for memory retrieval, but I'm open minded enough to see there may be very practical applications re abduction memory retrieval, but only if done appropriately and by an experienced/trained professional.

  12. Found this in further reading:

    ..."After examining the claims, the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association recently found no evidence that hypnosis increases the accurate recollection of the past. In fact, it said, suggestions integral to the hypnotic process may even lead some people to fantasize freely and confuse suggested scenarios with authentic memory..."

    So yes...jury's out on this one. Interesting article, though. But yes, I can certainly understand why the use of hypnosis is such a huge issue in the field of abduction research.

  13. While I understand the reasons this post might motivate comments related to the use of hypnosis as a memory enhancer, please bear in mind that this and the previous post were about the confidentiality protocols and policies practiced by those who promote hypnosis in ufology, not hypnosis itself. Please try to keep comments on topic. Thanks.