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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 21

Re: Regression Hypnosis: ...?

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 13:57:36 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 02:30:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Regression Hypnosis: ...?


>From: Henny van der Pluijm <hvdp@worldonline.nl>
>Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 15:12:54 +0200 (MET DST)
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Re: Regression Hypnosis: ...?

>I am happy to see you and others defend the use of hypnosis, not
>just as a therapeutic tool but also as a tool for investigation.
>When an investigative tool produces the same results over and
>over again and when other tools, such as in this case conscious
>memory, supply corroberative evidence, then it is entirely
>scientific to say that this investigative tool has at least some
>reliability.

To be fair, there's a lot of scientific research that shows
hynposis doesn't work very well as a tool for retrieving
memories -- but only under laboratory conditions. Nobody yet has
demonstrated that it can't work for memories of real, and highly
emotional, personal experiences. It's not 100% reliable, and is
likely to produce false memories, as well as real ones. There's
no dispute about that. But if it can produce any real memories
at all, that otherwise would be unavailable, then it's a useful
tool, assuming always that the memories can be corroborated.

>The conclusion can only be that the questioning of regressive
>hypnosis as an investigative tool does not originate in its
>scientific usability, but either in lack of familiarity with the
>data or in the disturbing nature of the material that emerges
>from its use.

This last is a good point. A lot of UFO data bothers people, in
my view, whether they admit it or not. Abductions are surely the
most bothersome of all of it. So there may well be some
emotional resistance to believing that they're real. (As well
as, on the other side, very possibly an emotional need to accept
them, though I'd think that would be more among people with a
positive view of the experience.)

Lack of familiarity with the data is also a problem. I'm sure
that many critics of hypnosis have never watched a competent
hypnosis session with an abductee. It's obvious that people who
come to Budd Hopkins, say, for hypnosis know what he believes,
and may have read his books. Thus, it's reasonable to wonder
whether they're predisposed to make up the usual abduction
story. But anyone who thinks this should watch the process
first-hand. At the very least, an observer would have to concede
that abductees are often shocked at what comes into their mind
during hypnosis. If they're making the stories up, they're doing
it against their own conscious wishes. An observer would also
have to concede that Budd doesn't lead abductees toward the
usual story, and that when he tries to lead them away from it,
the abductees can't budged.

I'm away for a week, so I can't promise a quick answer to anyone
who wants to discuss this.

Greg Sandow


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