The Thing from Inner Space, Part Five

Alien Abduction, Child Abuse, & the “E.T. Hypothesis” as Crucial Fiction

dnd grell quickling fun jared hindman

“The unconscious mind is like the universe out beyond the quasars. It’s a place we want to go to find out what’s there.”
—Whitley Strieber (allegedly quoting his nine-year old son), Transformation

I should make it very clear at this point that I am in no way suggesting that abduction experiences are merely mental fantasies created as a screen through which to revisit past experiences. There is abundant evidence that something “objectively real” (so far as we can even talk about such a thing) is happening, something that, by the nature of the evidence, clearly involves some sort of agenda that is both hidden and “advanced” – i.e., entails either technological or natural means beyond our common understanding of what is possible.

What I am saying is that these anomalous or otherworldly experiences are echoing – feeding into and potentially exploiting and exasperating – original traumas that may be independent of these hidden forces, and therefore much closer to home and easier to identify.

So while I don’t intend to suggest that the abductee experience is less real than, say, an ordinary human kidnapping, it is clearly less “provable,” because the UFO and the “alien” do not adhere to the rules of reality as we have come to accept them. The usual explanation for this maddening lack of proof is that “ETs” belong to some higher level of reality. I would argue that it has less to do with any magical qualities we assign to hypothetical outside agencies, and more to do with the fact that we have, to a great extent, denied the reality of the psyche. As a result, we are unable to grasp, or even fully recognize, its manifestations.

The desire to prove that these experiences are real, while perfectly natural and to some degree unavoidable on the part of the experiencer, is a dead-end that leads only to undirected obsession. As the man says, “What is real?” If the psyche is real, then whatever it experiences is real too. Seeking validation from outside is not part of the solution, but part of the problem. And not a small part, either.

Suppose we juxtapose reports of alien abductions, and the widespread belief in them, with the question of institutionalized child abuse (ritual or otherwise). There is evidence all around us for the latter; it is a largely overlooked part of human history (see Lloyd de Mause’s The Emotional Life of Nations for a starting point). In contrast, there is relatively little evidence for alien abduction as an actual, physical occurrence (as compared to an insufficiently understood psychic one). Yet belief in alien abduction—while not yet embraced by the so-called “intelligentsia”—is far more widespread than belief in (or rather awareness of) systematized child abuse. (To the extent that some readers may find I’m presuming too much; those inclined can do their own digging.) There may be different reasons for this, but the one that interests me relates directly to the psyche, and that is that stories about alien abduction, though no less preposterous than stories about institutionalized abuse of children, are considerably more palatable to us.

One argument given by believers for the paucity of evidence for alien abductions is that the aliens in question are good at hiding their traces. Very well, and so we will counter that those involved in child trafficking and other forms of exploitation—being merely human—must surely be considerably less efficient than such alleged “aliens.” So why do we hear so much about aliens and so little about exploiters of children? I think there’s an equally “magical” explanation, but one which we can all identify to one degree or another in our own lives. The conscious mind has extremely strong defenses, and equally ingenious subterfuges, to prevent it from seeing what it does not want to see, in this case, the reality of trauma and its impact, both directly and indirectly, on our own lives.

Alien abduction may be a way for some of us to allow such traumatic material into our awareness in a more “magical” (transcendental) guise. This would account for the inescapable overlap between abduction narratives and systemized child abuse, for which Whitley Strieber, once again, is exhibit A. Strieber’s accounts of “the visitors” are undeniably horrific, or at least they would be if he didn’t constantly frame them in the language of shamanic initiation, evolutionary engineering, spiritual midwifery, and cosmic intervention. Such ambiguity is essential for the psychological survival of the child who suffers abuse (it has to believe in the goodness of those who have power over it); and logically, it’s easier to feel ambiguous about beings who are outside our ordinary frame of understanding than ones who are not. Hence Strieber and others frame the visitors in Nietzschean terms, as “beyond good and evil.”

There is a thin line between validating someone’s experience and feeding their delusion, and many researchers (and a researcher-experiencer such as Strieber) may jump to too many conclusions too fast. One of the reasons they are able, or even forced, to make such leaps is from underestimating the power of the psyche to generate experience. The other reason, perhaps connected, is that the mind experiences profound discomfort when forced to leave an unknown as unknown. It relentlessly seeks answers and, when it doesn’t find any, has no qualms about inventing them and then forgetting it has done so.[1]

I have dealt with people who believe they are abductees (I even have my own abduction-like experiences), and from what I’ve seen, interpreting the experience as an external, “objective” reality tends to exacerbate the tendency of the mind towards rigidity, projection, delusion, and obsession. The person will often become comfortably immersed in a fantastic narrative about space brothers, hybrid aliens, government conspiracies, and the like, which removes them further and further, not merely from consensus reality (which is not always a bad thing), but from their own inner reality (as any obsessive external focus does). The reason for this tendency to take refuge in convincing fictions or partial truths may be straightforward: to connect fully to one’s inner reality—to become fully embodied as a psyche—means returning to and fully re-integrating whatever early traumas prevented that embodiment from occurring at an early age. All of our fictions are designed to protect ourselves from that mind-shattering—though soul-rescuing—event.

So while I can admit to the possibility of actual, nuts-and-bolts aliens, I’m not really interested in exploring this possibility, at this time, especially because, as every Ufologist knows (though only if he or she admits it), there’s almost nothing to go on. As Sherlock Holmes says, we need to first rule out all of the improbables before accepting the impossible. And yeah, I’m aware that, for many people, the idea of extraterrestrials visiting Earth and using super-advanced technology to hide their presence is less improbable than that of a “materialized psychism.” But I still argue there’s more evidence for the latter, and the primary criteria for accepting a given hypothesis is that it fits the data better than the others.

If it can be shown that childhood trauma informs at least some of these experiences, beyond reasonable doubt, then we now have a new element to bring to the table when considering all other cases. It may be that “the ET hypothesis” is entirely unnecessary based on the evidence (that’s my position, I believe it was Jacques Vallee’s too). Of course that doesn’t rule out some other, nonhuman unknown, but again, the sensible way to proceed would be first of all to see if we can account for all the evidence without resorting to “magical” hypotheses. The fact that, to some people, the psyche is a magical hypothesis itself makes it doubly ironic that it’s not being allowed into the debate, because it may be that all the magic and mystery which we are projecting onto the UFO is already there, at the very center of our lives, in the form of the psyche.

Accepting the reality of the psyche and learning more about how it works is, I think, indispensable for making meaningful headway in this field and for helping experiencers to deal with their experiences. In contrast, I have seen very little evidence that anyone was helped by fully embracing a belief in nonhuman entities having control over their bodies and minds in a totally random way, or at best as part of some non-human design. In most cases (Strieber being an example), all this really does is allow the person to get swept away by a grandiose personal narrative partially formed by lurid sci-fi magazines and movies, and largely in-formed by religious indoctrination and a (trauma-based) need to feel powerful or special.

To give an example: one way in which experiencers get swept up by a sense of being on a world-saving mission is by trying to get the government (and other people) to see what the aliens are doing to us! Scratch the surface of this phantastic narrative and underneath it we may find something more mundane and tragic. At the very least, it’s a close match for the frustration and torment of a child, unable to get its parents (or other adults, if the abuse or neglect is by the parents) to see what’s happening to it. The experiencer’s experience then becomes part of a larger, unconscious re-enactment, meant to bring about whatever resolution failed to occur when it was most needed.

This doesn’t make the experience unreal; on the contrary, it makes it more real—but only if it’s seen in the proper psychological context. We can even allow that the hypothetical aliens are real without invalidating this reading, since it re-contextualizes the ETs as outside agencies assisting the experiencer towards healing by re-staging a psychodrama for them. Without this extra layer of meaning to flesh it out and give it body, however, the alien abduction narrative is two-dimensional and bloodless, little better than a B-movie rendering of profound psychic truth.


[1] While abduction researchers may very well be sincere in their attempts to get to the bottom of what’s happening to experiencers and to help them to make sense of it, this doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to delusion, or to external manipulation, or capable of unconsciously manipulating or deluding their witnesses. The recent disclosures around Budd Hopkins’ and David M. Jacobs’ work with abductees have provided extremely damning evidence of this. What makes me suspicious of the work of many researchers is that they frequently choose to frame the abduction experiences in terms in line with (what I see as) an overarching agenda: that of sowing the seed of a new scientistic religion. John Mack, for example, recognized that the abductees he interviewed were reporting something real, and that it was a real unknown. But he then got busy interpreting it to make it into a “known,” and of course, he couldn’t help but refer to previous interpretations, both fictional and non, to do so.

15 thoughts on “The Thing from Inner Space, Part Five

  1. People probably talk about alien invasions and such more than ritualized child-abuse and human mind-control because it’s more comforting to project the enemy, the tormentor as far away from home. It does bug me that a lot of ‘truthers’ type people are always blaming other people. A lot of the truth-movement is childish as a lot of people are immature about it, like you say childish, like trying to get mommy and daddy to see that we’re unhappy. People fight to expose conspiracies even though that resistance empowers them. But what are you fighting for? What’s left when you unveil the evil do you just fight something or someone else to expose and complain about?

    I can see why the ufo narrative (somewhat po’ cult’ish) is a good context for discussing trauma-based delusions as it is a good target for projecting all kinds of emotions like paranoia, obsession, hate and confusion, probably bottled up in the psyche from other things. Of course ufo material is a fascinating study and can open the doors to a lot of what goes on in the world, it’s so easy to slip into fantasy and not be objective with your own personal life and work on that…that happens more often than not unfortunately.

    I’ve often thought maybe I am projecting more onto my paranormal experiences than what is actually there. So if anyone has such experiences it’s important to look at things objectively and where your thoughts and feelings are coming from. We can’t see the world clearly if our lense is cluttered with unintegrated traumas and psychic fragmentations.

    I have a twin and we’re very different, though we grew up the same, so you’d think we’d have similar lives. It seems I have more unconscious trauma, more internal battles and that (i think) is partly because I am just more sensitive to traumatic experiences and/or I’ve had more traumatic experiences stored in the unconscious as missing memories from abduction encounters. My goal is to look at myself objectively, to look at my conscious memories as a kid, and try and discover what’s in the unconscious, waiting to come out, be addressed and integrated. I’ll practice regression meditations to try and uncover missing memories. I think part of my attraction to ufo-stuff is related to paranormal experiences stored in my unconscious. The outer world reflects the inner.

    The stuff you write about here, about ufos, past traumas, projection and delusion are things I contemplate every day. The lesson I got from this writing is to not give more power to certain experiences than others, and to always return to yourself, your own centre to gain some empowering insight about yourself.

    ===========
    BTW I got an ear ringing in my left ear around the middle of reading this piece. Anyone experience these? I’d bet there’s a psychological profile to match these experiencers. Some say it’s tinnitus, or a psychic ‘spidey sense’ that something is ‘good or bad’, some say that the ringings are alerting you to being psychically connected to by someone else what do you think? I get them at the oddest of times.

    • The twin thing is curious phenomena; as you know PK. Dick had a twin who died at birth or just after (ditto Elvis). The cliche is one good twin, one bad, which plays on the idea of twins being a single psyche/soul split into two bodies.

      On one of the CF MP3s (I think “Magical Solutions”), we talk about how the unborn infant consciousness might be divided between fetus and placenta, and premature/unritualized severing of the connection between the two causes a split in consciousness. There seems to be a mirroring between the transcendental experience (projected into the future and onto the present) and the primal/primordial one, buried in the past, and until we recognize that symmetrical overlap (the way the unconscious is causing eruptions and re-enactments in our conscious lives), we may be always pulling in two opposite directions, widening the gulf within us.

      Seems the recurring myth of twins is a metaphor for this? (PK Dick wrote about the primordial split in the godhead, ie the Psyche.)

  2. the mind produces profound discomfort……..are we saying here all minds,some minds……in any case I`m very comfortable with a mystery and leaving it a mystery…..curious yes but profound discomfort not really……Namaste` derm

  3. ……profound discomfort about things I can`t understand…ie the mystery of quote/unquote god…..so if were talking aboiut mysteries I believe are unsolvable,at least for me, I have no problem or at least I believe I have no problem .and that would be all mysteries Namaste` dermott…….I have had a few in my 80 years in this incarnation.and they are still mysteries no problem.. curious yes..

  4. Abductees who attempt to live out their encounters, or make their experiences more real, somewhat resemble nuts and bolts researchers since they both try to make something that could be completely immaterial materialize. I also think doomers may have similar types of trauma to abductees since they’d both probably feel a sense of satisfaction if doom predictions and abductions were entirely real rather than ambiguous. One main difference between how experiencers and doomers express possible pent up trauma seems to be that abduction stories leave many uninvestigated holes behind while doom dates tend to leave mostly dead ends. Doomers also want people to get theirs while abductees seem to just want someone to hear them out. Since doom dates and many abduction experiences stem from collective traumas both phenomenon somewhat reflect how abusive society at large has become like broken mirrors.

    • It may be more accurate to say that “abductees” seem to spend a great deal of time trying to reify their beliefs about their experiences, not the experiences themselves. As sort of a result of reading “Prisoner of Infinity” I took up reading over several of Whitley Strieber’s “visitor” books just to get an idea of his BS (Whitley’s, not Jake’s) for myself. Strieber strikes me as a kind of unwilling medium in that he is constantly taken over by these experiences. In trying to understand what he supposedly had no context for, in a round about way he began erecting a personal belief system around all of it. This is where he has kind of failed in my opinion. Or perhaps he has just not told us the whole story as was kind of a theme running throughout POI.

      What I’ve been struck by in what I’ve read so far of his books is that nowhere does he mention any attempt at reversing the process to take over his experiences, i.e. he does not deliberately “evoke” these “visitors” and put them on an examination table and dissect them for himself. If he would ever do this he would learn to reshape the experiences in a much more useful fashion as well as uncovering their function.

      The psychoid experience that a lot of people are calling “alien abduction” tends to be a very fluid process, like most psychoid phenomena. I’ve personally had countless numbers of these experiences in my lifetime but at no point have I ever considered “alien abduction” as a scenario for them. I’m only interested in the serious body of literature surrounding the topic because it directly relates to a broader scheme of things. That broader scheme is closer to what Jake has been writing about.

      I’m a very curious and skeptical sort of person when it comes to this stuff and I can’t just settle for what it appears to be. That skeptical part of me is what led to my taking up practicing Magick almost 20 years ago to get a handle on what this stuff with the “psyche” is all about. What I quickly learned was that these experiences are fairly easily reshaped or remodeled and that the shape we give them and/or the shape they take is always a key to their function.

      BTW Jake, really enjoying what I’m reading. Thought provoking as always. I do realize that some of what I’ve mentioned here may not be what you’re considering relevant to your current line of thought but I just felt like throwing it out there… again. Also, did you get that massive rambling email I sent you a couple of weeks back?

      • Hi Nalyd – it’s definitely relevant, even central to these pieces, and I will try to get back to it soon.

        Your email – I just remembered it a day or two ago – that’s why I try not to delay responding to an email because then I forget all about it! You let me off the hook by saying “No problem with delay.” I will hunt it down today.

  5. Well I wondered if my fraternal twin is another part of my soul, like soul-family or ‘twin-flame/’soulmate’ type of deal, but that’s probably not true. We’re very different people, different levels, vibes and inclinations. I don’t feel much of a relation to most of my family though I try lol. I actually feel that I am more related to certain friends I meet. There are probably soul-ties to certain individuals, they are more of a ‘real family’ than biological family feels like family.

    Interesting about embryonic traumas and splitting from the placenta prematurely. Do you wonder or believe in past-life traumas or do you prefer to stick to a more grounded approach in psychoanalytical discovery by mainly focusing on this one, physical life? If so why? Like maybe you might think so-called ‘past-life-memories’ are just genetic memories physically transferred from parent to child down the generations… I really think metaphysics explains a lot, though maybe not necessary, since in this life, we’re supposed to be ‘here’ in this life, focusing on this world…

    =========
    Glogin, interesting. I tend to find that most abductees are reluctant to talk about their experiences out of fear for looking more into them. It can be scary, esp’ when you think you might be crazy or schizo’. Actually in general, there is just a lot of fear about life going around so most people prefer routine comforts instead of exploring the unknown inside and outside themselves.

    =========
    And just another random thought. Jasun it would be interesting to see you explore the topic of mind-control and alter personalities. At least for me, that’s one of my interests lately. The Illuminati formula for it is to traumatize a person so much that their mind splits into different personalities. I guess that’s sort of what you’ve already been talking a lot about though in a way. The term ‘mind-control’ puts a conspiracy-theorist feel to it though as this describes how it’s done intentionally. But more relevant to most people is just everyday random trauma i guess, not necessarily mind-control.

    • I am open to past-life context, but my guess is, and my own experience suggests, that any psychic imprint carried over from a previous “incarnation” would manifest in/as psychologically formative experiences in this life; so once again it seems (in most cases) that past-life interest takes the focus too far outward to be of much practical use. And of course it is that much harder to confirm.

      For me the question is how can I become fully embodied in THIS life, never mind wondering about previous (failed?) attempts (though learning from past failures is always helpful). It also seems a bit presumptuous to believe that we have/are an incarnating soul when we haven’t fully connected to/become one with our soul in this life?

      The psyche-soul may exist outside of time, in which case, a linear view of existence is an egoic view, and the ego is the one thing we would HOPE does NOT carry over from life to life (tho in terms of the “alien” implant/stowaway, it may do just that).

      Mind Kontrol I think I covered pretty well in LUCID VIEW and, in a diferent way, MATRIX WARRIOR. Once again, as you might have anticipated, I see mind control as nothing exceptional but just “business as usual” on planet earth; the conspiratorial literature proved most useful to me once I was able to apply what I learned from it to my own, more mundane, experience. Coincidentally(?), I just chose an old “warty theorems” on the subject for featuring at my website. I woud guess you’ve already heard it, however. http://auticulture.com/go/my-brother-my-keeper/

  6. I really think past-lives imprint our soul and the more we connect with our soul, the more we access that inner knowledge accumulated over the lifetimes. A lot of people have experienced tremendous healing with past-life regressions, usually by releasing and understanding past traumas that were never resolved, caused imbalances in their present lives.

    My question is why are we not fully embodied souls in the first place, what is the source of our disconnect with ‘God’? Thus my interest in reality-conspiracy-theories attempting to understand the bigger picture, why humans lost their way.

    I’m curious about past-lives to learn about myself since a couple psychics mentioned a couple things, maybe it’s an ego thing One said that the birth-mark on my ring finger was from a life where I burnt my wedding ring into my finger in rebellion to status laws dictating that we weren’t allowed to marry. (Perhaps the stemming of my antiauthoritarianism and rebellion to cultural mores?) Also another psychic proved their veracity considerably by passing a test. One thing she said was that 88 lives ago I was the descendant of an alien and human interaction and that was part of the reason Grey aliens were interested in me (they go after specific bloodlines and soul-types it seems). I thought maybe that might explain my pharoahesque (Akhenaten was a hybrid !) headshape (it’s not too noticeable). I actually met a contactee also who was born with a huge head, so maybe there’s a connection there. Well perhaps the above is just more evidence to say that people become really delusional and have wild imaginations….

    I think the soul, the higher aspect of ourselves is beyond time and something worth striving to connect with. I don’t want to derail the focus of this article too much though…

    I haven’t heard that podcast I might check it out.

  7. Three years ago I was contacted by either the government or aliens. I don’t know which one. They could read my mind and communicate with me through energy bursts to the head to enter into a yes and no conversation with me. A long burst for yes, a short faint burst for no, and if my question to them was way off they would twist my body around with an invisible force. Has anyone heard of a similar abduction experience?

    If anyone wants to read the whole long story of what happened to me its on my blog called itreadsminds.com.

    Thanks!

  8. Hey Jason,

    Maybe you’ve already done this on your website somewhere but it would be really great to have you apply what you’ve been presenting to your own experiences. I know you did this to a limited extent in the POI series. Now that you have a very sound theoretical framework in which to understand/cope with your experiences it would be very valuable to have you relate your experiences within the theater of that framework.

    Other things I’d like to know are things like: during your experiences did you feel like they were occurring with “sober” realness, did you feel “in the moment”, did you feel dissociated, do you remember the events as if they “really” occurred or is there room to question your experience’s realness. Geez, just what, in general, was your headspace?

    I guess, now that I’ve read a fair amount of your work on Auticulture, and I guess these data have been reported by other people, but I’ve come to trust that you would analyze your experiences in a way that would truly promote understanding and thus benefit those close to this subject.

    (Really, that’s crap, it would benefit me.)

    John

  9. hi John – that’s quite the challenge/invitation, and it ties into Nalyd’s comments above. Also makes me wonder if this is being summoned for Part Two? : /

    I am not doing much writing at present, but will put your request into the incubator and see what, if anything, comes out.

    Thanks,
    J

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