Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Alien Abduction Cult

I've met both David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins at different UFO conferences. They seem like nice enough people - witty, even charming, until you realize that they, and other "abductionologists" like them, have spent decades spouting absolute nonsense about "alien abductions", and in the process have caused very real trauma to very real people (and created, by the way, a nice little cottage industry for themselves).

Budd Hopkins has written [Witnessed: The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions]:


"Everything I have learned in twenty years of research into the UFO abduction phenomenon leads me to conclude that the aliens' central purpose is not to teach us about taking better care of the environment. Instead, all of the evidence points to their being here to carry out a complex breeding experiment in which they seem to be working to create a hybrid species, a mix of human and alien characteristics."

All of the evidence?

What "evidence"?

Memories induced by hypnosis?

I've written about the usefulness of hypnosis as an investigative technique before, particularly when it's done by self-taught amateurs (see: The Abduction Phenomenon and Hypnosis).

Here's the uncomfortable truth - the abductionologists, feted at UFO conference after UFO conference, are the problem, not the solution. It isn't little green / grey men from some other planet that are causing pain to the people "studied" by Hopkins et al - the pain, the damage, is being caused by the "investigators" themselves, feeding questions, and then answers, to people who may have real problems.

Disagree with me? That's your prerogative, of course, but before you start wailing, and crying "foul", do me one small favour - show me the hard evidence that supports the claims made by the abductionologists.

How about a photo? Let's start with that.

I mean, we have UFO photos - most fake, but some, like McMinnville, perhaps authentic - so why not photos of an abduction?

How about witnesses to an abduction - not hypnotically regressed ones, mind you, but independent witnesses who actually saw an abduction happen.

Where are they? I mean, we have myriad UFO cases with multiple independent witnesses.

Why not abductions?

Kevin Randle, Russ Estes and William Cone got it right in The Abduction Enigma when they wrote, at p. 359:

"Here's what it all comes down to. There is not a single shred of physical evidence that alien abductions areaking place other than the tainted testimony of the abductees. The physical evidence to support the claims is nonexistent. What has been offered as proof has been eliminated through testing by objective scientists or additional research by unbiased investigators. The scars, the missing fetus, or the implants do not carry the proper medical documentation to make a strong case, and in fact, suggest something else altogether."

I'll go further than Randle, Estes and Cone, who confined their critique to stating that the abductionologists had simply not proven their case. In my view, this has become an Alien Abduction Cult (of personality), aided and abetted by some in ufology who should know better. The abductionologists themselves are beyond irresponsible - they are dangerous, causing real pain and suffering to people who in at least some cases no doubt need real help.

Perhaps it's high time that the proper authorities take a closer look, not at "alien abductions", but rather at those who claim to be investigating them, because, with one or two notable and courageous exceptions like Kevin, "ufology" has proven itself wholly unwilling to confront the creators and purveyors of the Alien Abduction Cult.

Meanwhile, the ultimate irony for anomalists is that, should there really be a paranormal element to a few of these "abduction" cases, the Alien Abduction Cult has so muddied the waters with their bunk that it will be almost impossible to ever chart a different course.

Paul Kimball

34 comments:

Daniel Brenton said...

Paul --

You raise excellent points, and this area of study, in my opinion, is too valuable to allow amateurs to damage individuals in the process of trying to collect "evidence." I for one wouldn't even think of regressing someone without as much education and training needed to reach a point of professional competence, and then I'd want to understand the real limits of the practice.

No, I'm not interested in confabulated experiences, either.

That said ...

I would not dismiss the abduction experience out of hand. I have met Jim Sparks, an abductee who presents what he claims are conscious memories of abduction experiences, and spent some time with him in a social framework. He for one strike me as sincere. There are, of course, some very sincere liars in our fair world, but we should at least hear someone out before making any judgments.

Daniel

Paul Kimball said...

Daniel:

I would not dismiss the abduction experience out of hand.

Nor do I, although if there is a paranormal aspect to it, at least in a few cases, then the Alien Abduction Cult, as I noted, has made it almost impossible to find it. Indeed, it's made it almost impossible to get people to take it seriously, either as a psychological problem, or as a possible (again, in a few cases) paranormal experience.

Here's the problem with your friend Jim Sparks, however - people who describe an event, or occurrence, are not the best ones to interpret what it might have actually been. Could Sparks have experienced what he said he did? Absolutely? But what was it - that's the question? Is he the proper person to objectively determine the answer to that question?

I would say no, but then neither is Budd Hopkins, or David Jacobs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Paul

Daniel Brenton said...

Paul --

Agreed. The best folks to dope out what's going on with abductees are clinical psychologists who can think outside of their career boxes. Of course, there's the risk of destroying their career by association with the subject ... (and there we go again).

If I may be so bold, I would like to say I did just put down some thoughts about both abductees and the personal dedication to solving these mysteries in my last blog entry. The subject of UFOs is not an easy thing (like duh) and the quest to make a meaningful contribution to the field is filled with obstacles and pitfalls, isn't it?

Daniel

Paul Kimball said...

Daniel:

The problem is that 1,000 clinical psychologists could look at it, and if they all came to the same conclusion (i.e. Randle et al's), they would be ignored by ufologists.

Dr. Susan Clancy is a good example. Her conclusions were basically the same as Randle et al's, and she was pilloried by many in ufology, more than a few of whom didn't even bother to read her book.

Paul

The Odd Emperor said...

And yet, Clancy studied the source of the largest body of data in Ufology-- the witness! She found some distinct commonality in their personalities, she went at the problem from a novel (for the Ufological community) angle and advanced the field in a very profound way. If abduction witnesses accepted or even embraced such studies, we could have a solution to this splendid mystery within a few years.

Oh but I forget myself, the witnesses DID accept Clancy for the most part, it was the luminaries of Ufology who tarred-and-feathered her.

http://oddempire.org

m4ever said...

Observed abduction? How about Travis Walton?

Paul Kimball said...

m4ever:

Actually, I was talking about the "abduction cult", and people like Hopkins et al, more than the actual abductions themselves, but fair enough.

Answer me this - where are the independent witnesses who observed the alleged Walton abduction?

Paul Kimball

Anonymous said...

I think there are a number of well documented abduction cases- at least as convincing to me as some of the big UFO sighting cases. Allagash and Walton are two that come immediately to mind. Personally I think there might also be something to Pascagoula. I really wish you would post this on UFOUpdates where there are folks more well versed in the history. Bet it would start a healthy debate. No doubt it would piss off a lot of people.

gilligan1961 said...

I certainly sympathize with Paul's frustration at what he calls the "lack of evidence" for the abduction phenomena, but what is even more frustrating is that we only really need one solid case of abduction to substantiate that it exists at all! And this is really the ultimate irony of the whole UFO situation, that we have literally thousands and thousands of sightings, many with physical evidence, and yet as far as the scientific community is concerned, there is absolutely no evidence that we are being visited by extra-terrestrial intelligence. But if only one out of the tens of thousands of cases is true, then we are not alone!

Certainly there may be shoddy research on the abduction phenomena going on, but to dismiss it all as a "cult" is a sort of "scientific fundamentalism". Paul, won't you end up dismissing every account simply because, in the end, you're just not going to believe any of them? You will be unable to accept any evidence because you will always be able to find a possible "mundane" explanation. Someone has pictures? If they're good, they must be fakes. You've got physical evidence? It was doctored, fabricated, etc. That is exactly what the scientific establishment does with the UFO phenomena. There is simply no kind of evidence that is acceptable, short of an all out invasion by our ET neighbours. And ultimately that is why a strict "scientific approach" ultimately fails in the pursuit of truth. Can science "prove" that there is a God? Or life after death? Of course not. Are we arrogant enough to dismiss thousands of years of religious experience simply because there is no "evidence"? Yeah, I guess many of us are, which is unfortunate.....

You've probably read the article called "The roots of complacency" by J. Allen Hynek. If not, I reccommend it. Here is a link to the article:
http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc685.htm

At one point he states:
"...when the breaking point of the collective mind occurs, it must openly disregard patent evidence of the senses: it can no longer encompass them within their normal borders. The Holocaust perpetrated by Hitler in WW II is another sample: people simply refused to accept, and were indifferent to the evidence, because their minds couldn't bring themselves to accept that such a Holocaust could possibly be, despite ample evidence. It was also a "mental circuit breaker", a general apathy and a will to indifference."

Whether or not the abduction phenomena is occuring on a scale suggested by Hopkins, Jacobs etc, I have no idea. But the sheer weight of cases demands that we not dismiss it all as nonsense. Paul, you want us to neither believe nor disbelieve, but to think. Remember, it only takes one single case to establish credibility. We may not like it, but witnesses are "all we got".....

Paul Kimball said...

Gilligan:

Yes, absolutely - one case is all you need to prove that something happened in that one case. But here's the challenge for you, or anyone else:

Name the one "alien abduction" case that provides irrefutable proof that a person or persons have been abducted by aliens, as opposed to something else (even assuming they have had an "experience", or at least think they have).

Just one.

Paul

gilligan1961 said...

My point is that, short of being abducted yourself, there will never be a case that will give you irrefutable evidence. Can I give you irrefutable proof that the holocaust occured? Absolutely not...that is why holocaust denial still flourishes. We have all kinds of evidence that it occured, but as the naysayers will tell you, can you really trust it? They can offer a mundane explanation for any piece of evidence brought forward. In the end, all we have are the testimony of witnesses who survived it. So again, I really think that you will never have that piece of "irrefutable evidence" that you want, simply because you will always offer an alternative explanation. Do you see my point? Like Hynek said in his article, a skeptic could claim that the huge chevron shaped object was nothing more than small planes flying in formation, and tada! the whole thing is written off. I appreciate the need for skepticism and "proof", but simply offering mundane explanations to every piece of data will get us nowhere.

Paul Kimball said...

My point is that, short of being abducted yourself, there will never be a case that will give you irrefutable evidence. Can I give you irrefutable proof that the holocaust occured? Absolutely not...that is why holocaust denial still flourishes

I'm going to start conducting seminars on evidence, and standards and burdens of proof. People in ufology need it. :-)

Of course you can prove the Holocaust happened, beyond a reasonable doubt. That's why, outside of a loony fringe, Holocaust denial does not flourish.

The same cannot be said for the ETH. I don't think anyone would argue that if an alien walked out of a spaceship in front of the UN, then the ETH would be, beyond any reasonable doubt, the ETFact (well, a few nuts might argue it, once they got finished with trying to convince people that the moon landings never happened).

Paul

gilligan1961 said...

Well Paul, I see your point, but I think your still missing mine ;o)

If an ET landed in front of the UN, it certainly would make the news, but after it flew off, we'd be having the same old arguments. Was it real or faked? Was it an alien or a gov't stunt? If the president came on and said, "it was nothing", well, we'd have to believe him wouldn't we, no matter what the "evidence" said.

In the end, I think you just need to take care, in your admirable zeal to find the truth, not to use blanket statements like "absolute nonsense" about alien abductions, or "abduction cult" etc. You nullify any honest questioning you might have by revealing that you have already arrived at your conclusion, and then proceed to justify it.

BTW, I often read your blog and enjoy it very much (even when I don't agree...;o)

Paul Kimball said...

In the end, I think you just need to take care, in your admirable zeal to find the truth, not to use blanket statements like "absolute nonsense" about alien abductions, or "abduction cult" etc. You nullify any honest questioning you might have by revealing that you have already arrived at your conclusion, and then proceed to justify it.

Ah, but I haven't reached a conclusion about the nature of what these people claim to be experiencing - my conclusion is instead about the way they have been used by the Alien Abduction Cult - people who are wholly unqualified, by either training or objectivity, to deal with this (Dr. John Mack being a notable exception, but note that he never said thousands of people were being abducted by aliens).

BTW, I often read your blog and enjoy it very much (even when I don't agree...;o)

I appreciate it, and your popping by. Variety of opinion is the spice of life! :-)

Paul

Anonymous said...

I recently listened to a interview with Bill Chalker- a researcher in Australia. He did research into what is known as the "Peter Khoury Case" and analyzed a hair sample. Heard a pretty interesting hour long interview with him that can be heard here:
http://www.ghostradiox.com/phantom/archives_blazek.asp
Comes across as sane. Seems like there was something pretty odd about that hair. I think there are a number of abduction cases that point to something physical happening (though I think the vast majority of cases are cooked up by the minds of unstable folks)- I also find a possible DMT/abduction link intriguing (though I don't think this would account for physical abductions).

Don Maor said...

Budd Hopkins is an artist who is better scientist than many formal scientists.

No evidence? Too many people are saying also that there is no evidence for Evolution Theory. So what?

Paul Kimball said...

Don:

Budd Hopkins is an artist who is better scientist than many formal scientists.

With respect, that's ridiculous.

No evidence? Too many people are saying also that there is no evidence for Evolution Theory. So what?

With respect, that's irrelevant.

Where is this evidence you talk about? The kind that I described in the post - not the kind of "evidence" elicited memories through hypnosis.

Paul

Don Maor said...

Not all abductions are collected through hypnosis. There are abduction cases in which more that one witness report the same thing. According to Hopkins, there are some soil and vegetation disturbances, and some scoop marks in abductees’ bodies. I have seen the same scoop marks in Bill Chalker’s book.

Regarding Hopkins scientific mind, take for example the work of Susan Clancy. There are simply TOO many methodological mistakes in her work. She claims to be a scientist, but she is not behaving like one.

Paul Kimball said...

Don:

Well, we agree to disagree then - Hopkins' work is both unscientific and dangerous. I don't need Susan Clancy to tell me that. As for the supposed physical evidence, if it was definitive of anything abnormal, I can guarantee you that mainstream science and the media would have been all over it by now.

Paul

Don Maor said...

Dear Paul:

¿So now you are a professional guaranteer? Excuse me Paul but you can guarantee NOTHING in the name of science or the mainstream media. Both science and media have made BIG mistakes in the past. So you can not come here and say "I guarantee you". At all.

I am an engineer, i know how science works. They told me a lot of science. I love Science. And Hopkins is not abusing any scientific practice that I know.

Paul Kimball said...

Don:

Yup, I guarantee it. A story like that can't be covered up.

As for Hopkins et al, you can believe what you want about what they're doing, but in my books they're not just abusing "science" (they're not even practising it), they're abusing the people they claim to be helping. Someday, somewhere, they'll have to answer for that.

Paul

Don Maor said...

Well, even if Hopkins is wrong...
At least he is trying to do something for abductees. Dr. J. E. Mcdonald had a favourite quote that said something like this:
"A mistake is an evidence of someone trying to make something"

Mainstream medical people and psicologists are not curing the abductee's "disease". And that is also a fault. ¿Is someone at the mainstream "whatever" helping abductees? Nobody. ¿Is someone going to pay for that? NO.

Don Maor said...

And Paul, with respect, excuse me if U am being unable to take your guarantees seriously.

Anonymous said...

The Zerubians have no need to speak anyhting other than the Extra-terrestrial truth. But thanks anyways.

Zerubians at:
http://www.czuzone.teach-nology.com/

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. The ufos that were photographed over Washington DC and put on the cover of Look magazine back in the 60's wasn't good enough for you? Swamp gas, no doubt. Or did they trot out the tired old "inversion layer" excuse? You sound a LOT like a shill for {whomever}, and since no evidence or proof whatever will change your mind, your blogging is just a lot of blather. I'll not waste my valuable time and resources any further.
An Anonymous Abductee

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to have come across this article and I thank you. I am going through the very real pain and trauma watching people I care about completely be used and manipulated. I even started seeing aliens-becoming terrified-it is an insidious mind control technique that spreads once the "hypnotist" and "scientists" put the details of your abduction into your head. It is reckless, careless and dangerous-to the point where even I -a firm believer in science, reasoning, and FREE WILL was affected. I would walk up to what I was "thinking" I was seeing and touch it-to prove they were just trash bags fluttterring in the wind. But as I had one of the researchers on the phone with me- they were saying-oh yes- this has been seen before-and it was a trash bag! It is easy to manipulate and hypnotize certain people-especially those that sufferred serious trauma. I am so upset about what is happenning-and being pushed away as I try to add logic and break down the argument. I have completely lost my grandmother to these people and they know full well what they are doing. And- beautiful point- you did not exclude the possibility of paranormal-and Im sure Descartes is rolling over in his grave at the complete abandonment of the scientific method! It will be hard to chart an honest inquiry the more it is tainted.you do care and are speaking for those who cannot. And not to mention the government is probably glad for all the free cover-ups.

Thaddeus said...

Photos? Cell phone videos? Physical evidence left behind? Non-terrestrial metals? ANYTHING?

We know now that the smallest amounts of trace evidence can be assessed through scientific methods. There are many who claim to have been abducted and yet there is no physical evidence left behind, or carried with them? Ridiculous.

As for UFOs, imagine interplanetary travel that is not detected by every national govt. with advance technology. And yet, all of them manage to keep this secret?

It is absurd, and laughably so. There are real crises and enormous social problems in the world. Why not turn your attention to them, or are they too real and too demanding in terms of real action?

Accurate Psychic Readings said...

I am just uniquely fascinated about these cases. There should be a logical explanation why so many people claim such events, if not, then why would people take the trouble of doing so?

Anonymous said...

No evidence? Have you looked for evidence? I am skeptical that you have exhaustively researched the subject if you seriously think there is no evidence out there. If you have exhaustively researched the subject, and dismiss all of the evidence that has been documented (extraterrestrial materials removed from peoples' bodies and tested at Los Alamos, etc) ...good luck to you. Closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears won't make it go away. Frankly, your smugness makes me not really care whether or not you believe any of it.

Paul Kimball said...

Frankly, your smugness makes me not really care whether or not you believe any of it.

And yet, here you are, feeling obliged to post as "Anonymous"...

Tell you what - when you decide that you can stop playing about and actually post something under your real name, then I might take what you say seriously...

Oh, wait - you seem to think that there's evidence of "testing at Los Alamos", presumably of either aliens or their alleged abduction victims.

Nope. You can post under whatever name you want, and so long as you believe unsubstantiated garbage like that, nothing you say will be of any interest to any rational person.

Adios.

PK

Dr.Richard said...

Im very happy that someone like yourself isnt buying this as a viable experience, just because they (so called witness), said it happened to them. Im a Clinical Psychologist with 30 years of experience, listening to many hundreds of people, regarding virtualy all problems of living. I can tell you right up front that Hypnosis is worthless,as a fact finding method. Human beings live in their thoughts and those thoughts as well as their memories, often have little to do with reality. I see this as a Psycho-social phenomenon, where one mind in need of a sense of "specialness" feeds on another mind to bring that about. Dr.Richard H. Pratt.

subhransu said...

Hypnosis is not regarded as a 100% trust worthy tool to elucidate some truth or hidden problems .The methods applied in hypnosis is also quite doubtful .In medical or forensics now it is considered in a ambiguous protocol to be trusted . So how the data retrieved from this method is regarded as to be error free trust-able true data to prove the UFO abduction cases . In my medical carrier I have seen so many psychotic peoples who claimed they have been able to see ghost but latter in all time those were proved out to be false . So there are evidences that some alien crafts and space ships had been photo graphed and captured by NASA and so many photographers and there are some true supporting evidences regarding UFOs are also there but why they will take some human and waste their time and UFO craft's fuel anyway ? They are more intelligent beings then us humans .They may have Several advanced scientific methods to know about human beings ,so why these nonsense activities they(Alien) will do in any way and what for ? I am totally confused whenever I think about these claimed phenomenons . Kindly sir can you help convey me what is the truth ?
waiting for your benevolent and esteemed words of real truth
Dr.Subhransu Sekhar
Ms(pharmaceutical biotech )
Odisha ,India

Anonymous said...

Ok you guys all need some education on modern abduction research such details i can give you and yes there is such a thing as modern alien abduction research and i'm not talking about hypnosis although it is used very carefuly (as long as the researcher is educated on the subject and how to hypnotise someone who is suspected to be an abductee) which sadly most ppl know nothing about abductions they just say what the want to say without looking at much of anything. THERE IS NO UFO ABDUCTION CULT it's not a cult the abductees are def real ppl having real experiences (even if it's just in there head they see,feel,touch,smell,etc everything that happens either is real or seems real to them) no matter what those are the only two possibilities everything they do follows the laws of nature and it makes sense even in human context there's no high strangness or anything like that just advanced physics that seem to be remniscent of quantum theory and WE OURSELVES have delved into some of their areas of technology like artificial whombs (japan) stealth fighter (invisible to radar) so think about that for a second our own gov't has planes invisible to radar. They have stimoceivers which are similar to the implants found and removed and tested from dozens of abductees the things that happen in abductions are not far out or weird it's things we do everyday we take pigs and breed them specifically for food they have strange things done to them painful procedures (tail docking) (ear clipping) sound familiar (scoop marks) but of course in our arogance which will be the downfall of the human race we think our thoughts encompass everything and we know what can and can't travel through space shit we act like we own the whole goddammed universe shit we can't even see 90 percent of our own universe what do we really know whats out there i mean come on what arrogance

Anonymous said...

I think some of the people need mental help however I also think its arrogant ( considering the vastness of the universe) to completely write off the possibility. Sincerely Shannon
Mcclary