“When we examine closely the specifics of the events which have overwhelmed us, we find them to be the causes—efficient, material, formal, and final—of our so-called first cause, God. Yes, the image-less God is an image for us, albeit an intolerable image. The jungle fire-fight, the early morning rape, the speeding automobile of the drunk driver—all these images may be God images if, like God, they create us in their image, after their likeness.”
—Greg Mogenson, A Most Accursed Religion
If Whitley Strieber were unconsciously protecting the visitors by blaming himself for their abusive treatment of him, then all the “spiritual evolution” which he was supposedly undergoing would be part of an unconscious cover-up, of his own complicity with the abuse. It would be the result of the irrational, or pre-rational, circular logic of the child: since they are good, what they are doing to me is for my good; since their harsh treatment of me is for my own good, they must be good.
The appliance of control and discipline can be parental and it can be a form of love. But it can also be done for very different ends, as is invariably the case when such “discipline” crosses over into abuse.
Strieber writes in Solving the Communion Enigma:
“If you actually wanted people to increase the use of the right brain, then stressing them would be a way to do it. [I]f you apply trauma in the right way, what you are actually doing is reengineering the brain. [O]ne thing the visitors are doing is creating situations that are designed to increase our left-brain functioning. They are trying to improve our ability to think logically. But for those of us who have the correct response to trauma, it doesn’t end there. We are also being given shocks that induce [post-traumatic stress disorder], thus causing an increase in right-brain functioning as well.”
Apparently the name of Whitley’s game is “Pain”—and without it, no evolutionary gain is possible.
Strieber writes that there is a correct response to trauma that doesn’t involve being thrown off the road of the real. My concern is less what Strieber believes, however, than what can be reasonably deduced from his accounts, fictional or otherwise. The evidence that he presents for the realness of his perceptions, so far, is a series of wildly improbable, fantastic and otherworldly accounts of nonhuman interaction, and a body of scientific-mystical literature that, while impressive, is deeply confused, highly disturbing, and riddled with contradictions. Would it be more logical, I wondered, to deduce that Strieber is exactly the sort of PTSD sufferer which he is describing? Perhaps he is implicitly leading us to this conclusion without realizing it (or at least without admitting it)? There is a desire in all of us to come clean and be clearly seen, free from all masks. Maybe the enigma Whitley wishes to solve—and that prevents communion with his soul—is the enigma of Strieber himself?