Magonia 83, December 2003
The Pelican invites you to imagine that one day you become aware that your house is infested with rats. You cannot think of a safe and efficient method of getting rid of them yourself so you call in a keen amateur vermin expert. The expert has a look around and says you haven't got rats, but mice. He knows other people who also have problems with mice and they have formed a support group which holds regular meetings. These people assure one another that they are not alone with their problems and that they can learn to live with their vermin.
You are just about to tell him that you want him to get rid of the rats, mice, or whatever he wants to call them, when he asks you how long you have had them. You say you first noticed them only a few weeks ago, but he tells you that he suspects that they have always been around, wherever you have livcd since you were a child. Finally you manage to get a word in edgeways and tell him that you want him to help you to get rid of the vermin, but he suddenly seems to have been afflicted with total deafness.
All this is very silly, you will say; it doesn't happen in real life. Well, maybe not if you are troubled by rats and mice, but what about burglars? Many people complain that the police do little to investigate and bring them to justice, but they do offer counselling. Now which other group of people tend to behave in a similar manner? Alien abduction "experts", of course. They work very hard at their hypnotic regressions and their abductee support groups, but seem to pay remarkably little attention to the obvious course of action which they might reasonably be expected to take working to help people to rid themselves of the delusion that they are being abducted.
Many people insist, though, that it is not a delusion and that people are really being physically abducted. In that case abductions would be dealt with by the military, not by amateurs. Of course, some abduction researchers say that the abductors can make themselves and their saucers invisible and can abduct people through solid walls, but some of these characters are either deluded or dishonest.
Recently, when one of Ann Druffcl's articles concerning her difficulties in getting certain stars of the "abduction research" branch of ufological show business to take notice of her methods for resisting alien abductions (or curing oneself of the delusion of being abducted), was published on the UFO UpDates mailing list, John Harney asked if list members had any comments. The only response came from Nick Pope, who said that abduction researchers were too busy: " ... it involves workload. Abduction researchers have jobs and families like everyone else. Then they have an ever increasing mass of books and articles to read, to stay up with current thinking. And then there's the small matter of handling the abduction cases themselves, against a background of queries from ufologists ..."
This is true enough, but the most important things should take precedence. It seems to The Pelican that if a person believes that he or she is being subjected to the experience of being abducted and indecently assaulted by aliens, then the most urgent task is to attempt to cure that person of such delusions.
Instead of trying to relieve people of their abduction fantasies, most abductionists use these people to develop and reinforce their own bizarre beliefs about aliens preparing to take over the world by interbreeding with us
However, this would require the services of mental health professionals, who would give the necessary diagnoses and treatments, and prescribe any drugs which they might consider appropriate. Even then there would have to be safeguards, as some psychiatrists and psychotherapists have certain fixed ideas which they pass on to their patients. For example, some of them have caused serious trouble for themselves and others by leading their patients to "remember" being sexually abused as children, even though they had never previously had such recollections.
Instead of trying to relieve people of their abduction fantasies, however, most abductionists use these people to develop and reinforce their own bizarre beliefs about aliens preparing to take over the world by interbreeding with us. Not only do such people reinforce the abductees' delusions, but they also make it difficult for professionals to deal with them. The psychiatrist Or Raj Persaud gives a good example of this in a recent book. (I) This concerns a Mr 1. who developed his delusions about aliens while giving 24-hour care to his second wife, who was ill with a severe form of Juvenile onset arthritis. He and his wife shared and developed these delusions, a process which was facilitated by their enforced isolation from the outside world. Mr J. had been interested in UFOs on and off since his high school days.
Mr J. first came to the attention of psychiatrists when called at a hospital emergency department and was admitted suffering from suicidal depression. He said that this was caused by the first anniversary of the death of his second wife. The doctors managed to deal with his depression, but his abduction fantasies were maintained by six friends who shared his beliefs and visited him in hospital.
Dr Persaud noted: "The current endeavour of Mr J to make public the extraordinary experience he shared with his wife seems to be the sole meaning of his life. The narrow focus of his preoccupation prevents him from forming connections with people other than those who fit into this unique purpose."
The abduction enthusiasts do not only share the abductees' delusions, they also take the attitude that there is nothing they can do about their traumatic experiences but learn to live with them. For example: "The primary difficulty encountered concerning the therapeutic process, is that obtaining closure and full resolution of abduction/close encounter trauma is unlikely. A therapist may obtain closure on a past trauma, with an individual who has experienced, say, a rape, or catastrophic event. In all likelihood the event occurred only once in the individual's life and it is in the past. With therapy, the individual can move on and make progress with his or her life knowing that the event is in the past. For the encountrant [abductee], however, research demonstrates that abductions! encounters are an on going process. The encounters have occurred in the past, are occurring presently, and will occur again in the future. In my opinion, this one element separates encountrants from any other trauma population." (2)
Or David Jacobs, one of the most notorious abduction researchers, sees the whole business as physical rather than psychological and believes that very little can be done about i l.
He writes: The secrecy surrounding the abduction phenomenon shows that the aliens have instituted an elaborate effort to prevent their detection. Detection, therefore, may be where they arc the most vulnerable. If so, then perhaps we still have the opportunity to intervene. Yet so far, all our attempts at intervention and prevention have been ineffective. Experiments to interfere in abductions by using video cameras and other electronic equipment have, by and large, failed to stop them, although they have sometimes decreased their recurrence." (3)
The Pelican has asked similar questions before, but it seems he needs to keep on asking: Can a person who writes something like the above paragraph, and who is presumably not joking, be sane? The Pelican's answer must be No, otherwise the concept of insanity loses its meaning. The thing to be done, therefore. is 10 urge people like Jacobs, Hopkins and others to seek the appropriate treatments for their condition. They arc unlikely to listen, of course, so their pernicious practices, such as conducting hypnotic regressions while asking leading questions about disgusting grey aliens. should be actively denounced and discouraged. and their writings should be given the critical scrutiny which will expose them as the irrational nonsense that they are.
- Raj Persaud, From the Edge of the Couch, Bantam Press, London, 2003, pp77-81
- C. Leigh Culver, "Researching alien abductions" http://mcadams.posc.mu .edul weberman/resalien.html
- David M. Jacobs, The Threat, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998, p.253