Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hypnosis, the Intelligence Community and Ufology

The dangers of false memories induced through faulty memory enhancing techniques drew warranted attention this week. A well written piece by Christopher French, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, was published at 'The Conversation'. His article, 'The legacy of implanted Satanic abuse 'memories' is still causing damage today', explored the manners such false memories can damage the lives of those who experience them, and deeply effect the standings of relationships with family and friends. Calling for stories based on so-called recovered memories to receive the skepticism they deserve, the professor additionally wrote:
Experimental psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated the ease with which false memories can be implanted in a sizeable proportion of the population under well-controlled laboratory conditions. But it is also undoubtedly the case that such false memories can arise spontaneously...
One of the techniques that has been shown to result in false memories is asking people to imagine events that never actually took place. It appears that, eventually and especially in people with good imaginations, the memory of the imagined event is misinterpreted as a memory for a real event. The use of hypnotic regression is a particularly powerful means to implant false memories.

Intelligence Community

'The UFO Trail' has long explored the extents the intelligence community (IC) might take interest in the process of implanting such memories. It is now common knowledge that during the Cold War era the CIA prioritized developing methods of indoctrinating specific individuals to preferred perspectives and ways of thinking. It is difficult to envision a more effective working model of indoctrination than the extents some alleged alien abductees cling to beliefs resulting from mental imagery induced via hypnosis. Such beliefs are typically very strong.

The IC has more recently invested a great deal of effort and resources in developing what became known as "enhanced interrogation techniques." The American Psychological Association (APA) is currently under fire and experiencing leadership upheaval resulting from its members' involvement in conducting torture and related human experimentation in collaboration with the IC. 

The procedures employed physical torture, psychological torture and administration of drugs, some of which were first used in such contexts during infamous Project MKULTRA. A newly published report suggested hypnosis was also an interrogation tool used in recent years. 

Hypnosis in Interrogation

A potentially relevant story slipped through the news cycle in 2010 without generating much interest. Turkish Lt. Col. Gurol Dogan was sentenced to over seven years in prison for using the administration of drugs and hypnosis as interrogation techniques during the detention of three noncommissioned officers. They were suspected of leaking classified information. Two of the officers later sued, resulting in Col. Dogan's arrest and conviction.

While further research has not yet conclusively determined the source of the colonel's training for such interrogation procedures, it was discovered that former Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss registered earlier this year to lobby on behalf of the government of Turkey. His formal disclosure informed the Justice Department that Goss would advise Turkey on a variety of issues, including counterterrorism efforts and lobbying US Congress.

Reference to use of hypnosis employed by the American intelligence community was contained in the recently released Hoffman Report. It is 500-plus pages on national security interrogation and torture compiled by the law offices of Sidley Austin LLP. The report was presented to the APA. 

Reference was made to Mel Gravitz, a prominent psychologist and expert in memory and hypnosis, who declined to meet with the authors of the report or field their questions. Gravitz worked for many years as a CIA contractor and was a member of a "Professional Standards Advisory Committee" that oversaw what, absent double speak, would be described as psychologists conducting and perfecting torture techniques. It has become increasingly clear that such state-sponsored activities also included experimentation on detainees, as documented in a Seton Hall University School of Law report, 'Guantanamo: America's Battle Lab'.

Also covered in the Hoffman Report was psychologist and acting agent for Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Michael Gelles. His actions were called into question when he worked with detained Petty Officer Daniel King in 2001. King was a Navy cryptanalyst first detained in 1999 under suspicion of spying but eventually released following a dramatic saga which included grueling interrogation sessions resulting in formal complaints and legal action.

Gelles, when questioned about conflicts of interest in aiding NCIS in its interrogations while presenting himself to King as a psychologist, was quoted in the Hoffman Report as stating he was merely "screening Petty Officer King to determine whether or not hypnosis would be an appropriate avenue for him." Gelles asserted that he was "not serving in two capacities, as [his] only role was advising NCIS, and in this instance assisting NCIS in determining whether or not Petty Officer King was a proper subject for hypnosis." 

Gelles' actions were later described by Elizabeth Swenson, an APA Ethics Committee liaison, as "ethically very marginal." She added that Gelles was "misleading" and "omitted information that could have really helped [King] about how false memories can be established and solidified by interrogation."

It was not specified exactly how or why NCIS might have employed hypnosis with Petty Officer King. It also does not appear difficult to surmise. 

UFO Community

It is well known throughout the UFO community that regressive hypnosis is employed as a memory enhancer and investigative tool for alleged alien abduction. That has continued to be the case for decades, in spite of all that is now known about the high risk of confabulation, low likelihood of accuracy and inherent emotional suffering to the hypnosis subject. Sometimes ufology hypnotists try to minimize the implications by calling their activities "relaxation techniques," or similar terms other than hypnosis. 

Did the intelligence community develop an interest in the extents ufology hypnosis subjects often so willingly accept hypnotists' suggestions of extraordinary circumstances? Clearly, the CIA once heavily pursued hypnosis as a potential behavior modification tool, but does the IC continue to experiment with it as a means to implant memories and cultivate belief systems, and has its research and development overlapped with the UFO community? Such suspicions may have substance.

During the 1990's, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, hypnotist and MUFON Director of Abduction Research John Carpenter quietly provided copies of information contained in the case files of 140 alleged abductees to Robert Bigelow. The transactions were done in exchange for cash, which Carpenter framed as reimbursements and others described as selling the files. Carpenter was paid approximately $14,000 in what eventually became known as the Carpenter AffairThe transactions were done without the knowledge or consent of the alleged abductees. The circumstances began being disclosed to the public around the turn of the century, largely through the investigative efforts of Gary Hart and no thanks to MUFON leadership. 

Providing Bigelow with abductee case file information was acknowledged and discussed by Carpenter in emails with 'The UFO Trail'. The email exchanges were referenced several times, along with documentation of his statements, including the 2012 post, 'The Leah Haley Case: John Carpenter', and the 2013 post referenced above, 'The Carpenter Affair: For the Record'

The file transactions were reportedly also confirmed by Robert Bigelow and Col. John Alexander. The colonel was a staff member at the time at the now dissolved National Institute for Discovery Science, a Bigelow-founded nonprofit corporation. The reasons Bigelow, Alexander or their associates would have had any interest in the contents of such files were never clearly established, and Carpenter suggested at one point that other investigators were approached with similar proposals but declined to elaborate further. 

Gary Hart indicated that his investigation also suggested other researchers of alien abduction sold case files to unspecified buyers. "Everyone does it," Hart reported he was told by a well known researcher in a 2000 complaint filed to MUFON about the Carpenter Affair. The unnamed researcher, Hart reported, was referring to both selling case files and having sexual relations with alleged abductees they investigated and hypnotized. 

In a 2007 interview with investigative journalist Sharon Weinberger, Col. Alexander discussed the intelligence community's interest in mind control. He stated that when he took part in CIA briefings during the 1990's, there was never any talk of mind control projects. It was a dangerous topic because Congress would pull the funding if the term was used. But that changed after 9/11. A younger generation of lawmakers that weren't around for MKULTRA were willing to pursue possibilities.

"It's interesting, that it's coming back," Alexander told Weinberger at the time.

He suggested it would be helpful, for instance, if terrorists could be "electronically neutered." That way they wouldn't have to be held forever at sites such as Guantanamo Bay. It was only a matter of time, he indicated, until technology allowed that to happen.

"We're now getting to where we can do that," he asserted.

In hindsight and if the colonel is to be taken seriously, he was almost certainly alluding to the situations now coming to light involving the IC and the APA. Are segments of ufology, some of its files on alleged alien abductees and related hypnosis sessions somewhere in that R&D mix? Hopefully we will one day know for sure, but, in the mean time, I wouldn't cover bets against it.

Meanwhile, another menacing question looms: If qualified professionals continue to report that regressive hypnosis is a particularly powerful means to implant false memories, and the IC employed such procedures in collaboration with the APA to manipulate the minds of detainees, what does that indicate about using it as a tool to investigate alleged alien abduction?



Psy Ops and Mind Control: Then, Now and the UFO Community

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Romanek Incredibly Claims He Discredited Himself as Instructed During Death Threat

Controversial alleged alien abductee Stan Romanek was back in front of the camera recently making more difficult to believe allegations. Romanek apologized in a video published July 5 for his well known stunts on a 2014 episode of the Peter Maxwell Slattery Show, in which he was observed on video trying to discretely throw objects about while suggesting paranormal events were occurring. However, along with his recent apology, Romanek outrageously asserted that he was intentionally discrediting himself as instructed at the time or else suffer grave consequences to himself and/or loved ones. Slattery, who accompanied Romanek in the July 5 video, rather incredibly framed Romanek as courageous for coming forward to supposedly set the record straight, suggesting Romanek was forced to live with tremendous guilt and conflict knowing he had disappointed his following but did so as a sacrifice to protect his family and friends.

Stan Romanek
The duo repeatedly alleged that the Romanek case was very serious due to the many death threats directed at Romanek and the purported extents of government interest. Also repeatedly referenced was documented evidence of such circumstances, but the purported evidence was never presented. Many will suspect that even if the individuals sincerely believe such evidence exists, it is not documentation of the things they believe it to be, but indicative of other, much less extraordinary circumstances. It is indeed difficult to accept such people are in grave danger who allege so in videos posted on YouTube and filmed from their home.

Lisa Romanek appeared in the recent video and suggested the purported death threats that resulted in Stan discrediting himself were somehow related to his 2014 arrest on child porn charges, but offered no specific evidence of such circumstances or details of her reasoning. The Romaneks deny his guilt and generally assert the charges were part of a state-sponsored campaign to silence him and devalue his credibility. A trial is scheduled for October. Lisa additionally discussed Stan's purported attack following his arrest, circumstances of which a Loveland Police detective was extremely skeptical

Stan Romanek opened the video by discussing what he alleged to be numerous instances of his phone being tapped, spanning many years, his computer hacked and related circumstances. He provided no confirmation of such claims.

Also leveled were claims of a bomb threat once occurring at a venue where Romanek was scheduled to speak, but, again, documentation thereof was not actually presented, nor was evidence that it had anything to do with either Romanek or extraterrestrials. One such claim of a break in and bomb threat surrounded a Romanek appearance in 2009, but there were reportedly no local police records of any resulting investigations. Some suspected the incidents were related to publicity stunts.

While the more loyal of Romanek's supporters may be pleased with his latest video appearance, others will no doubt find it indicative of the widespread lack of critical thinking and perpetual absence of direct evidence that typically plague the alien abduction genre. If claims of alien abduction are expected to be taken literally, then proof of their validity must be presented. Anything less does not warrant such an extraordinary conclusion. Convoluted tales carrying indirect implications many times removed from a cogent point may be entertaining to some, but it will never substitute for actual direct evidence and verifiable proof.

Romanek has some serious legal issues and potential related mental health challenges. By his own admission in the latest video, he has been under tremendous stress. It is not clear his supporting cast fully understands the situation or all of its implications. Regardless, the seemingly desperate tactics employed are arguably evermore disturbing, particularly given the overall set of circumstances.  

Talbott, van den Broeke Claim Access to Alien Body Parts

Blogger and podcaster Andy Russell has been covering the saga of Robbert van den Broeke for quite some time at the websites 'Circular State of Mind' and 'The Truth Hides'. Van den Broeke claims to experience ongoing interactions with extraterrestrials, extensive UFO sightings and a wide range of profound psychic phenomena. Suffice it to say many, including Russell, doubt his claims and the reports offered by his primary supporter, Nancy Talbott.

Alien appendages, according to Robbert van den Broeke
In his latest adventure, van den Broeke purports to have been visited about June 27 by beings who provided him with alien limbs to be analyzed and the results presented to the masses (pictured right). As Russell noted, the samples bear a striking resemblance to squid. Talbott is reportedly assisting van den Broeke in securing qualified personnel to conduct tests on the material. Read all about it and Russell's take on the case at his posts such as:

Robbert van den Broeke: Seriously, dude. Enough with this nonsense...

UFOlogy: Dead in a Ditch?

UFOlogy: Dead in a Ditch No. 2   

The scene as sketched by van den Broeke
As the story goes, van den Broeke was telepathically called to a meeting place, where he saw some kind of object hovering. Beings with tentacle-like arms then came out and met him. They offered him a stash of limbs, which he explained he took home and laid out on plastic bags for photographing. They're now reportedly frozen and stored safely somewhere awaiting analysis, and inquiries claim to be welcome.

Have van den Broeke and Talbott finally stretched the limits of credibility too far, even for a demographic desiring to be deceived? Will they be publicly humiliated when tests come back on the specimens, or will they manipulate the investigation in manners similar to promoters of the Roswell Slides, presenting only dubious and inconclusive information? While this rather unbelievable scenario certainly has the potential to further take the wind out of the long sagging sails of Team van den Broeke, perhaps we are seeing the consequences of a genre that is seemingly ever willing to allow absurd stories to be explained by more absurd stories.

We can keep an eye on Andy Russell's blogs to see how this one plays out. Thanks to Andy for covering it.