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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 14

Re: Regression Hypnosis: Should Ufology Take A

From: Jim Mortellaro <Jsmortell@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 14:58:32 EDT
Fwd Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 16:23:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Regression Hypnosis: Should Ufology Take A

>From: Jenny Randles <nufon@currantbun.com>
>To: UFO UpDates - updates@globalserve.net
>Subject: Regression Hypnosis: Should Ufology Take A Stand?
>Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 16:17:28 +0100

>As a newcomer to the net, please excuse me if I do not follow
>proper etiquette. I am still learning. But I wanted to issue a
>comment on a major policy in force in the UK, which does not
>seem to have been adopted by any other country in the world
>(save, to some extent, parts of Scandinavia). That is the
>banning of the use of regression hypnosis as a viable way to
>explore alleged abductions.

>I appreciate how this seems to work like a magic key unlocking
>the secrets of a case and making a light in the sky into a
>fantastic alien contact. That is part of the problem, in fact.
>It has, of course, made a few reputations and fortunes as well.
>But is it what proper UFOlogists should be doing?

Part of the issue is, "How is the Proper UFOlogist defined?" If
there is a definition, I would like very much to hear it. In
fact, thanks to so-called "legitimate" science, there is no such
definition! These stallwart men and women of scientific research
seem to avoid this subject like the black plague or deride it as
if it were the most base and meaningless waste of time
imaginable. Ms. Randles, please answer another question, who
among those "percieved" to be true UFOlogists have made

If we assign certain parameters to the true ufologist, among
these assignations should be the respect of their peers, the
respect of legitimate science (insofar as legitimate science can
generate respect), etc. But the researchers who come to mind,
Budd Hopkins, Stanton Friedman and a very few others, have never
made any fortunes on this witch hunt. In fact, as a general
rule, have a great need to keep their day jobs or suffer the
indignities of begging on the streets... and in this age of
"foundations" and other methods of begging for help, often must
beg for their gruel.

This newcomer agrees only with one word you used...
"reputations" have been made, but not fortunes.

> Are we not, in
>fact, putting self interest ahead of what ought to be our
>primary duty - witness responsibility? As a community should we
>not be more willing to consider taking stands that may be tough
>on some but necessary?

Quite so. These men and women in UFO research, the legitimate
ones, are putting self interest ahead of responsibility; the
interest generated by themselves to do the work which whill
garner for them only derision by mainstream science, a rather
bare cupboard at the savings bank and comments by the media
which assign them, no matter how nice the media tries to be, to
the position of well meaning nutcase.

As for responsibility, I also agree with you there. These people
are not responsible ... for the falsity of faith delivered on a
silver platter of deceit.

>There are many sound reasons for having doubts about the value
>of hypnosis as a tool for uncovering the facts. Many of the
>pioneers of the field recognised this and issued warnings that
>were rarely heeded. From my point of view there are several key
>things that decided me against this matter.

>Firstly, I underwent regression myself - to both a UFO event and
>other events that could be checked factually (as the UFO
>sighting - no big deal by itself - could not). Under hypnosis I
>saw images and described them but at least half the checkable
>facts (like day of week and reason for being in a certain town)
>were proven wrong. As a result any testimony on a completely
>unverifiable story like a UFO contact will provide at least some
>evidence that is false - and perhaps a lot of it. Yet we as a
>community are treating it all as reality. Moreover we are
>encouraging witnesses and society to do so on dubious grounds.

There may be many reasons for your performance under hypnosis.
Non of which bear witness to the truth or falsity of the
experience. For you are but one person, you may not have been
properly prepared, you may not have had the right therapist,
your memory may not have been important enough or traumatic
enough for this method to have been appropriate in your case.

And you may be missing a very important point. Many "true
researchers" use hypnosis when on the average, the memories
already exist without it's prior use, that is, to verify and
garner significant detail. You may have had a sighting. But have
you any direct memory of an abduction experience? You would have
written about it I imagine were that so. Many of us do have
significant and (to us) real memory to begin with. Memory of
events which (to us) were exceedingly traumatic, as well. These
memories are in the mind. Utilization of hypnosis in these cases
has been ignored in your hypothesis.

>Secondly, witnesses told me more than once they felt worse after
>undergoing regression than they did before. It did not clarify
>their memory but created new, conflicting images about which
>they could not make fair judgements. It also triggered many
>nightmares they did not have before. One classic abductee (Alan
>Godfrey - November l980 - Todmorden, Yorkshire) is in the list
>of top CE 4s compiled by Eddie Bullard. But he told me that he
>could not vouch for his testimony under hypnosis. This is a
>confusing mix of abduction imagery and stuff about Biblical
>figures and black dogs. There is no doubt where some of this
>came from if you probe into Alan's past. The point is that he -
>as a witness - could not be sure that this was a real memory or
>just a fantasy based on books he had read between the sighting
>and the hypnosis. I doubt he is alone but I also doubt few
>UFOlogists create a climate with witnesses in which they feel
>they can express any such reservations. A lot of people are
>swept along by a tide of belief.

Once again you have selected only one example to present your
case. Budd Hopkins has thousands. Many of which are multiple
witness cases, as an example, the so called "Brooklyn Bridge"
case which occured in Manhattan, not far from the Gripple Works,
by the by.

How many regression hypnotherapists have you spoken with? And
how many abductees? And what of those _many_ individuals who
have nevere picked up a book on the subject and yet share
extraordinarily similar memory of others? What of a three year
old child who never heard of a UFO or alien describing events
which are directly related to the story presented by others,
time and again. That three year old was me, in 1946, before
anyone in our experience except "Boy" our German Shepherd and I
both whined and screamed in fear before and after the event, of
being taken to a hospital in the sky, by an ambulance, by little
creatures with big eyes and bigger heads. Boy was put down for
the paranoia it generated in that poor creatures mind.

They let me live. I am now the famous Canal Street Gripple Meister. Just

>Thirdly, there are too many people with no medical
>qualifications doing regression - sometimes on children. In one
>UK case a witness I know had an epileptic seizure during
>regression to a childhood sighting. Nobody present had medical
>backgrounds. Luckily the witness was okay, but the point was
>surely made that in our zeal to get exciting stories the proper
>importance of witness welfare is being neglected.

You'll get no argument from me there, Ms. Randles.

>There were other important issues beyond these that persuaded me
>but these alone were enough to convince me that we needed to
>take a step back from this mad dash towards using regression
>everywhere. That is why in l988 BUFORAs investigation team took
>a free vote and issued a moratorium banning the use of hypnosis
>in its cases. I was forced out of BUFORA council and my Director
>of Investigations job 4 years ago (another sad story of UFO
>politics being far more important to UFO groups than doing the
>job we supposedly exist to do!). But the policy happily remains
>in force and I find it odd that BUFORA have never had the
>recognition due for taking what was a very important stand on
>behalf of the UFO community. Moreover, that nobody out there
>seems willing to follow this lead and do what I believe to be
>the right thing by the public at large and the witnesses who put
>their trust in us. I would be interested to know why UFOlogists
>consider 'benefits' of hypnosis to outweigh potential detriments
>to a witness to such a degree that a similar ban on hypnosis has
>not even been freely discussed, to my knowledge, by any of the
>world's major groups. I accept my view could be the wrong one
>here - but I am far from alone in the UK. I do feel that events
>since BUFORA took our stand - such as the rise in understanding
>of false memory syndrome and the lawsuit potential of regressing
>children - has done nothing but prove that we were right.
 In truth there is missuse of the procedure. But this does not
preclude it's use in research by parties who are in agreement
and who have the prequalifications of experience, sanity and a
bent on finding the truth.

What BUFORA does or does not do is of little concern to me in so
far as the fact that hypnosis is available and should be
practiced in order to determine just how good (or bad) a tool it
may be in this application. I suspect that properly used, it
will be and is now, one of the very few tools we have, save next
to memory and live specimens of the little guys with the big
eyes. And we do not seem to have any of those.

Understand that were it not for people like Budd Hopkins
(forgive me for using this name, but I know, love and respect
this man for his work, his ethics and his paucity of that one
element you mentioned early on, money), but were it not for
people like him, the field would have _little_ information
regarding this phenom. This is, after all, what research is all
about is it not? To go where no one has gone before, or at the
least, to go there in spite of the nay sayers.

If we wait for mainstream science to embrace any research
whatever in this subject, then in my opinion at least, Ms.
Randles, we would be a great deal farther back in the dark ages
than we already are, eh?

>Comments requested, please,

Methinks this post will bring a plethora of comments, Ms.
Randles.  Say, are we contemplating another book on the subject
or are you just happy to see us?

>Jenny Randles

Dr. James S. Mortellaro,

AKA, Dr. Jaime Gesundt,
Canal Street UFOlogical Society and Discount
House of Freshly Made Wine, Cheese and UFO Books

"We will sell no wine, until it's ready!"

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