Motherland or Neverland? (Prisoner of Infinity XI)

Art by Lucinda Horan


(Afore we begin, readers may be interested to know that yesterday Whitley Strieber responded to me for the first time publicly, over here; I replied & my comment was placed into moderation queue. It still wasn’t up the last time I looked. A later comment ~ from Linus Minimix ~ went through, however . . .)

“Does the psychic in general—that is, the spirit, or the unconscious—arise in us; or is the psyche, in the early stages of consciousness, actually outside us in the form of arbitrary powers with intentions of their own, and does it gradually come to take its own place within us in the course of psychic development? Were the dissociated psychic contents—to use our modern terms—ever parts of the psyches of individuals, or were they rather from the beginning psychic entities existing in themselves according to the primitive view as ghosts, ancestral spirits and the like? Were they only by degrees embodied by man in the course of development, so that they gradually constituted in him that world which we now call the psyche?”
—C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Still grappling for a way to wind up the first part of this work in a satisfactory manner, I checked Strieber’s website for any new subscriber tidbits and saw that the commentary on “Pain” had been posted four days earlier. I filled a hot bath and settled in to listen, with a pen and pad on hand for taking notes.

Strieber talks about rewriting “Pain” during the days after December 26th, 1985, as the memories of his alien encounters began to surface. Strieber attributes his use of UFO imagery in the story to a book his brother gave him for Christmas on the subject of alien abduction (Science and the UFOs, by Jenny Randles and Peter Warrington). He refers to how the character in “Pain” mentions reading a secret government document, about which he—the 2013 Strieber—insists he knew nothing at the time. Once again this contradicts his later admission of having received inside information about government secrecy around UFOS from John Gliedman in 1984/5, through his, Strieber’s, association with MARS Inc. (Mars Anomalies Research Society). What intrigued me more than this, however, was the idea that Strieber, in writing “Pain,” had allowed his imagination to be so profoundly influenced simply by leafing through a book on UFOs.

In Communion, Strieber writes that, when he first dipped into the book, a few days after December 26th, it frightened him so much that he put it down. He picked it up again in January and this time read it to the end, where he found a description of an experience similar to his own.

I was shocked. I was lying in bed at the time and I just stared and stared at the words. . . My first reaction was to slam the book closed as if it contained a coiled snake . . . My blood went cold: Nobody must ever, ever know about this, not even Anne. I decided to lock the business away in my mind. A few mornings later at about ten, I was sitting at my desk when things just seemed to cave in on me. Wave after wave of sorrow passed over me. I looked at the window with hunger. I wanted to jump. I wanted to die. I just could not bear this memory and I could not get rid of it (p. 40).[1]

Such extreme impressionability is one of the symptoms of a disembodied mind. I am extremely impressionable myself, so I speak from experience, and I would never have been so impacted by Strieber’s work—or been compelled to try and separate his fiction from my truth—were it not the case.

A writer lives much of his life in a virtual realm of language-generated imagery. In such a realm, words can often seem more real than direct experience. The stuff of dreams—especially if a person makes a living from it—can start to seem like the substance of reality.[2] In that context, it makes sense to me that a book given to him by his brother (the person closest to Strieber’s own background[3]) could have provided context for understanding his experiences. A writer’s business, after all, is using words and images (narratives) to translate unconscious material into rational form. If UFO-imagery gave Strieber a framework through which to access suppressed memories and allow them to come into consciousness, as he himself suggests, he would, in effect, have re-imagined the memories into being.

I am now fairly sure I did the same thing, using Strieber’s works. What goes around, comes around, and in an odd way this relates not just to Strieber but to my own father, who aspired to being a writer before he met my mother. Enchanted—or entranced—by the comforting delights of the female body and mind, he promptly gave up the writer’s quest of self-invention and returned, dutifully, to the family fold. Perhaps his failure to develop his “tool” left him powerless to resist the pull of his own past? Was joining the family business an unconscious way of allowing himself to be reabsorbed into the mother’s psyche? Certainly by doing so, eventually, inevitably, he turned himself into his father’s image—which is an unconscious way to repossess the mother.

On the “Pain” commentary audio, Strieber makes a remarkable admission: “Nobody who knows the past truly,” he says, “can really know themselves. They can’t act spontaneously.” The statement is an exact reversal of the psychological wisdom that says becoming conscious of our past is essential to knowing ourselves, to getting free from the mind-generated images which control and direct our actions. Strieber’s point of view is sourced in mystical beliefs that appear to be at odds with psychological principals. He sees the body as “a filtering device that lets us experience life,” by shutting off awareness of the past and the future, giving us the illusion of free will.[4] Paradoxically, he stresses the need to escape the timestream and enter into worlds beyond death. He describes his experiences of doing so on the audio as “a leaving of time as well as space, and you feel it that way, conveyed in a machine that takes you into other worlds at other levels of reality but which is in essence a conveyance, perhaps one that is itself a brilliant and living being.”

A conveyance that is itself a brilliant and living being, the words evoke an infant carried by its mother. Freud wrote that “the ego is ultimately derived from bodily sensations, chiefly from those springing from the surface of the body [and] may thus be regarded as a mental projection of the surface of the body.” So what becomes of that mental projection when the body is imprinted—and the soul wounded—by trauma? A life beyond death, as Strieber imagines it, is a life free from sex, in denial of the body, divorced from life force, a phantom existence that is eternal only so far as it is immaterial, ungrounded, unreal. The only infinity which the ego can imagine for itself is a prison, not of the body but of the mind’s image of the body. Maybe the homunculi of the gray alien is that image, complete with bulging eyes and withered limbs? It would be difficult to imagine a less erotic body image.

Greg Mogenson (p. 56) describes trauma as “the body of the world and the body of man.” He pictures a self that “splits off from the body and hovers above it—a false self. World becomes mere worldliness, and a transcendental, heavenly world is split off and affirmed.”  The projected “heavenly world” of the false-child-self is an image of the mother’s body, and of itself becoming its own father and conceiving itself. It is an imaginary future projected from a traumatic past, recreating itself in its own image, mirrors within mirrors, gazing, abysmally. The image of the mother-bonded child projected outside the reach of the mother, incorporeally, is eternally rejecting its own body in order to escape the body of the mother; yet paradoxically, the attempt only ensures it remains forever bonded to her.



“I will never really understand the relationship between mother and son. I will never part easily from her.”
—Whitley Strieber, Transformation

Unlike my father, Strieber did develop his writing ability. In 1986, when he embarked on the writing of Communion, he also initiated a new career for himself as a non-fiction writer and became the Chosen Scribe for “the visitors.” Superhuman beings dictated to him (literally, by the time the Master of the Key came along) what to write. They admonished him when he got it wrong. And Whitley’s “Greys” have a clear literary precedent in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Brownies,” as described by Stevenson in “A Chapter on Dreams”:

Who are the Little People? They are near connections of the dreamer’s, beyond doubt; they share in his financial worries and have an eye to the bank-book; they share plainly in his training; they have plainly learned like him to build the scheme of a considerate story and to arrange emotion in progressive order; only I think they have more talent; and one thing is beyond doubt, they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim. . . . And for the Little People, what shall I say they are but just my Brownies, God bless them! who do one-half my work for me while I am fast asleep, and in all human likelihood, do the rest for me as well, when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do it for myself. That part which is done while I am sleeping is the Brownies’ part beyond contention; but that which is done when I am up and about is by no means necessarily mine, since all goes to show the Brownies have a hand in it even then. . . . My Brownies are somewhat fantastic, like their stories hot and hot, full of passion and the picturesque, alive with animating incident; and they have no prejudice against the supernatural. [M]y Brownies have not a rudiment of what we call a conscience. (Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Martin A. Danahy, 2005, Appendix, “Stevenson’s ‘A Chapter on Dreams’” p. 95).

Stevenson also suffered from night terrors as a child and visitations by the infamous night hag. “[He] would be haunted, for instance, by nothing more definite than a certain hue of brown, which he did not mind in the least while he was awake, but feared and loathed while he was dreaming” (hence “the Brownies?”). If both Stevenson and Strieber found their early experiences terrifying and traumatic, was writing the events down a way to placate the beings (the forces of the unconscious) and keep them at bay? At the very least, by writing and doing what they did best, they were able to flatten those forces out and turn them into (non-)fiction, thereby exercising temporary control over them. (Writing is a great way to gain a feeling of control over one’s existence by reframing one’s memories. A select and delete here, an addition or alteration there, and the whole shape of “reality” is magically altered.)

In the afore-cited passage from Oz magazine about The Process, we were told that “no one is actually very keen on mingling with the ‘greys’ in order to put across the message. Thus a Process magazine is born.” Writing is a way to reach people without having to interact with them, to stay safely ensconced inside a bubble and project—via language—an image of the self into the world of “the greys.” It is also a means to recruit the elements of the world that meet the desires of the projected image-self (and create one’s own cult).

Was Whitley trying to write himself beyond the reach of the visitors by giving them what he believed they wanted, simultaneously drawing others into his bubble to support his version of reality? At a deeper level, this would be an unconscious way for Strieber-the-writer to act out Whitley-the-child’s desire to break free of the mother’s influence and become his own father—by wielding his “weapon” (mind) and using his “tool” just as the Master (good father) proscribed. The pen may be mightier than sword, but mind is no match for mater. The visitors even came to check up on him: two of them (mom and dad) were seen in a bookshop by Strieber’s publisher, Bruce Lee (the great martial artist?), clucking and pointing out the bits he got wrong. Strieber describes the incident as a theatrical enactment of parental interest in a child’s activities. The child needs validation from its parents, as the only way to develop an internal sense of right and wrong, true from false.

Back in the bath tub, I heard Strieber read the following part from “Pain”:

She came to me and supported me while one of the others loaded a high powered rifle. I was slack with terror. The bullets clattered into the magazine, and one of them clicked into the breach. She held me under my arms, keeping me erect so that the bullet would pierce my chest in the right place.

This is the failed Oedipal enactment in miniature. Janet—the angelic initiator-dominatrix—holds him erect (obvious sexual connotations, linking mother with lover in later life); she holds him like a mother holds a baby that can’t stand on its own power, teaching it to walk. Those first few steps are the beginning of the end of symbiotic union with the mother. While still enmeshed in the mother’s psyche, the baby experiences itself as all-powerful: the mother’s body is an extension of its will and she seems to move according to the infant’s every desire. To begin the process of leaving the mother’s body is to experience the exact inverse of that feeling: total powerlessness—like a bullet to the heart. If the child is overwhelmed by this feeling, it will desire one thing only: to be enveloped again in the mother’s embrace.


I found a degree of possible confirmation for this complex in Strieber’s latest work, with Jeffrey Kripal, The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained. On page 242, Strieber describes a vision he had which he interprets as  a memory of entering into his mother prior to his birth. It begins with his disembodied form hovering over her, leading to “a violent embrace, as if her soul was coming around me, drawing me to her. Then, in an act beyond anything I have known since, I penetrated into her.” Strieber is aware of the Freudian connotations of his account when he adds:

[P]erhaps coitus, in its desperate urgency, and in the sense of annihilation that accompanies it, is a striving to return to this extremely secret moment that is hidden within us all. . . . Ah Oedipus, sweet child of longing, and dear Dr. Freud, peering with his crystal light into these dark, uneasy halls. Even if it unfolded only in my imagination, that penetration of the womb exposes, I think, a deeply human and probably universal longing.”

It is a longing that appears to have remained unsatisfied in Strieber. A few pages later (p. 246), he goes on to state: “My mother did not leave me when she died.” He then describes how he became aware of her presence after her passing, watching over him. “My mother was my advocate,” he writes. “She understood that my mind needed food.” His father, he adds “felt that I should stay with children’s books, but she defied him. I was so grateful to her, and I still am. . . So we were very close, and I just cannot tear myself away from the belief that it was her on that night, doing her part to help me awaken to a very real world that continues to seem to me to be entirely impossible” (emphasis added).

Strieber is stating here a strongly held belief: just as his mother brought him into physical existence, she is now performing a similar role on the other side, drawing him into a new existence, that of “the super natural.” Strieber views the visitors in a similarly maternal light: in his introduction to the 2008 edition of Communion, he recounts the painful moment in 1988 when (in his own estimation) he failed to “cross the threshold” and enter into a conscious, fully consensual relationship with the visitors:

The moment I turned away from them that morning, I entered into a school, which I have been in ever since. My matriculation was symbolized a few moments after I retreated, when I found myself vividly recalling something that had been lost for many years in the natural amnesia that surrounds our childhoods. I remembered—or they gave me to remember—the first steps I ever took in my life. For a couple of wonderful and profound moments, the glorious experience of walking from the edge of my mother’s bed to the towering leg of her desk was returned to me as vividly as if I were re-experiencing it, but with my adult’s mind. So I knew, at least on that bitter morning, where I actually stood (2008, HarperCollins, p. xviii).


The word “matriculation” is striking in this context. It means to be enrolled or registered in a university or college, but it comes from the Latin matrix, meaning womb, which shares a root with mater, mother.[5] Strieber’s professed inability to take those final, decisive steps towards the visitors leads to his being matriculated and returned to the matrix of the mother’s psyche. The same thing appeared to be indicated by “Pain,” following the piercing ritual.

As the ritual moved slowly along, she spoke kind words to me.

“Is there anything we can do to help you?”

“Somebody could hug me.”

“Oh, ok, I can do that.”

As Strieber points out, this passage directly echoes a scene with the visitors which he later reported in Communion, when the female “master” asks him what they can do to help him stop screaming, and he replies that she can let him smell her.[6] “What can [I] do to help you stop screaming” is a question every mother (internally) asks her infant child, a hundred times or more. Strieber’s desire to smell her may not be “a normal request” for a grown man, but it is perfectly normal for a baby seeking reassurance of the presence of its mother. In Strieber’s account, he first describes a male visitor putting its hand against his face; in the transcript of his second hypnosis session, however, it is the female being who puts her cheek up by his face. (Communion p. 28 and 83.) This discrepancy is never addressed. Nor is the still more disconcerting moment in which Strieber realizes that the being he thought was female has a penis, which he then experiences being punched into him repeatedly.

After his own penetration by the bullet, Alex, Strieber’s fictionalized counterpart in “Pain,” experiences an infantile immersion into the mother’s body:

As we remained there together something quite unexpected happened to me. My will, the core of my identification as a separate self, ebbed slowly away. The ebbing of will was like black water revealing a drowned cathedral. . . . My whole will was in her hands: I was so free of myself that I even lost the wish to beg her for my life.

The experience is comparable to how Strieber describes his first reaction to the visitors in Communion, albeit in far less blissful terms, when “‘Whitley’ ceased to exist. What was left was a body in a state of raw fear . . . I do not think that my ordinary humanity survived the transition to this little room. I died, and a wild animal appeared in my place.”(p. 26, 29). A wild animal or a wild infant? Later in the same work, Strieber describes being held in the beings’ arms, “as helpless as a baby, crying like a baby, as frightened as a baby” (p. 106). And in a conversation with Ed Conroy reproduced in Report on Communion (p. 340), probably from 1989, Strieber recalls his “impression that one of the beings was my mother and another was my sister. I had that impression, even though I don’t mean my human mother and sister. I didn’t say anything about it at the time because it seemed so bizarre, but now it’s beginning to make a little sense.”

In Strieber’s fantasy account “Pain” (as compared to his non-fictional one in Communion), having been overwhelmed by the ritual enactment of separation-individuation (which he experiences as an execution), Strieber’s alter-ego returns gratefully to oneness with the mother. He no longer even has a life to lose because his life is hers. The fictionalized Strieber then describes a bizarre picture of “heaven” in which he is on a bed with children, animals, and stuffed toys.

It was Sunday morning and here came Alex Jr. and Patty and Ginger along with assorted cats and dogs and stuffed toys. Sally moaned and laughed as our bed filled with children and animals. [Strieber then adds his own commentary:] For a guy like me that is literally a moment of heaven. I love kids, I love dogs, I love cats, and I love stuffed toys! And I love ‘em especially when they are all together and jumping up and down on my bed on a Sunday morning!

This Neverland fantasy of a return to an infant state of being would be peculiar enough coming from a man in his late 60s in any context; but in the context of the rest of “Pain,” it’s deeply disturbing. Strieber follows his infantile heavenly scenario with a long quote from the story:

Over it all there was a soft and gentle song. They love us. They do. We are their grass, their trees, their rooting piglets. They have grown immense on us, sapping us, whipping us with war and famine and pestilence, designing brain and body for more and more breeding, until the world is choked with billions upon billions of shining, brilliant human souls ready for the slaughter. Ready also, for growth.

Strieber then interjects a comment: “We are harvested here. And it’s not a bad thing!” “The point of a sacrifice,” he continues reading from “Pain,” “is that it satisfies the need of a higher being. This need is not for suffering, though, or death: it is for the enrichment of the soul. . . . The horror of the sacrifice is an illusion, for the end beyond—the soul absorbed into the breast of these mighty beings—is rapture as well as oblivion.” Janet, he says “comes not only for me, but also for those yet unborn, for the old upon their final beds, and the millions from the harvest of war. She comes for me, but also for you, as in the end for us all.”[7] Strieber winds up the audio (before quoting a favorite poem of his grandfather’s) with the words: “All of my life up until that time I had been fleeing Janet; and it has taken all of these years for me to understand truly what I was fleeing.” The indication is that what Alex/Strieber was fleeing was death, or the fear of it. The Nietzschean passages in “Pain” which wax lyrical about mass slaughter and then frame it within a quasi-Catholic context of redemption through sacrifice, illustrate how Strieber reconciled the horror of his experiences—whatever their actual nature—and his fear of death and/or damnation, with his faith in the goodness of God. At the same time, they offer grisly rationalization for, and glorification of, war and destruction, via a spiritualization of it.

Yet what Strieber has been fleeing from, in my estimation, is the all-consuming reach of his mother’s psyche. This is the psychic womb that so few men ever identify, much less pull free of, which he represents in “Pain” via Janet’s devouring sexuality, and in Communion via the psychic caresses (and brutal penetrations) of the visitors. The visitors, and Strieber’s own metaphoric re-enactments in the form of fiction and non-fiction and every variation in between, underscore this one truth, which is the most threatening realization of all to the infantilized psyche: that of the “killing mother.”


“The hero is therefore symbolically a mother-killer, inflicting our revenge for early traumatic experiences. At the same time, by restaging early traumas in wars the magical goal is achieved of merging with the mother in a defensive maneuver to deny her as a dangerous object. Giving one’s life for one’s Motherland means finally joining with her. The soldier who dies in war, says one patriot, ‘dies peacefully. He who has a Motherland dies in comfort . . . in her, like a baby falling asleep in its warm and soft cradle.’
—Lloyd deMause, “Restaging Fetal Traumas in War and Social Violence”

If this is the unspeakable secret of “the dangerous sacred,” then Strieber is right to insist that “this is not a sex story,” because the life and death struggle of the infant to individuate from the mother’s psyche is not about sex but about survival. Yet, since the libido is also the life force, at a certain level it is about sex. It’s also about war. In the last chapter, I uncovered what seem to be irrefutable ties—psychologically if not politically speaking—between Strieber’s “visitors” and alleged government agendas to create programmed killers, or “Manchurian Candidates.” Now, at the next level down, unnatural mother-bondage appears to be the underlying condition that gives rise both to the “divine” intervention of “aliens” and the diabolic manipulations of government. The shadow government is an obvious stand in for the absent father, just as, in Strieber’s accounts at least, the visitor presence is a clear stand-in for the devouring mother. Throughout history, warlords have invoked the image of a “Motherland” to inspire soldiers to commit acts of violence and go gladly to their deaths. With his strangely religious eulogizing of slaughter, Strieber appears to be unwittingly catering to this same dark impulse. “Pain” recounts Alex’s initiation into spiritual truth and higher reality via suffering and sexual submission to (and submersion within) the superior feminine. With this comes an awareness of “the prime aesthetic of death,” which Strieber ecstatically places in the cosmic context of a planetary birthing process.

Taking a very different perspective, the little-known psycho-historian Lloyd deMause describes the relation between war, sacrifice, and the feminine in gory and grisly detail. He writes of how “Hallucinating dangerous feminine characteristics in one’s enemies” dates to antiquity, and how the “earliest battles were imagined to have been fought against female monsters, often the mother of the hero.” The Aztec mother-goddess Huitzilopochtli, for example, had “‘mouths all over her body’ that cried out to be fed the blood of soldiers.” Indo-European warriors passed through initiatory rituals to attain full status, “in which they dressed up and attacked a monstrous dummy female poisonous serpent, complete with three heads.” Early warriors “often anally raped and castrated their enemies, turning them into symbolic women; from ancient Norse to ancient Egyptian societies, heaps of enemy penises on the battlefield are commonly portrayed.” The opportunity for “wholesale rape” was not only a reward of successful war, but “one of the cardinal objectives” which soldiers fought to enjoy. In short, these old accounts—as well as less publicized incidents all the way up to the present—indicate that war was an expression of rage against the feminine. The idea that “war might be a battle against a dangerous mother,” deMause admits, “is difficult enough to believe. That it in addition includes fantasies that you are hacking your way out of the engulfment of your own birth is infinitely harder to accept.”

It also provides a much-needed context for Strieber’s gruesome cosmological literary contortions. In his “Pain” commentary from 2013, he fervently anticipates the “transfiguration of mankind”—starting with his own. In a transparent piece of wishful writing, by the end of “Pain” the narrator’s marriage has been similarly transfigured. Through an awareness of his mortality, Alex has become “a tower of sexual urgency.” He anticipates fondly the day when Janet (death) will come for him and tear his heart from his chest, like an Aztec priest performing ritual sacrifice on top of a holy pyramid (and like the Processeans back in 1968!). Of course Strieber means it poetically and not literally—or does he? The trouble is that, since Strieber’s fiction overlaps not just peripherally but centrally with his alleged non-fiction, poetic metaphor becomes cold, scientific “fact.” He is not arguing that his abduction in 1985 and his rectal probing are just metaphors. On the contrary, he is insisting they are real. We can only assume that, with “Pain,” he is not talking about metaphorical slaughter and sacrifice as the peak experience of the human soul, but literal acts.

Birth is literally a bloody painful process. Strieber wants to remind us that it can also be ecstatic. With “Pain,” however, he is applying the metaphor of birth to the facts of natural disasters and mass-death events, events which he has predicted throughout his career (from Nature’s End to The Coming Global Superstorm, on which the movie The Day After Tomorrow was based; and also with The Key). “Pain” eulogizes “the harvest of war” and uses a farming metaphor to “magically” transform a horrific geopolitical reality into something wholesome, life-giving, and spiritually uplifting! One thing is clear: Strieber wants to seed a new world. But, like the great mother-bonded warlords of history, he appears to want to use blood in lieu of semen, and at a certain point, his literary metaphors break down and his grand vision of transcendence begins to resemble the recurring nightmare of history.

If Lloyd deMause is right, war isn’t a soul-birthing process but the result of an unhealed birth trauma and the subsequent mother-bondage, an expression of infant rage against the killing mother, and a failed attempt at individuation/birth (i.e., to escape the psychic womb of the mother). If the father is required to fish the child out of the mother’s psyche and set it firmly on the path to individuation and self-awareness, then it is the absence of a strong or “good” father that keeps the child in that infant state and prevents maturation and autonomy. Logically, this would give rise to the need for a surrogate form of individuation, on the one hand through the misuse of the intellect (the pen, as in Strieber’s case—and my own), and on the other, through a mis-appliance of force, through violence (the sword). A surrogate kind of paternal authority is then created in the form of tyrannical governments or Empires, the agencies that make war necessary. Nietzsche considered war an essential part of existence; apparently Strieber’s “angels” do too. DeMause’s model indicates that this is not poetry but pathology, plain and simple.

If birth is the trauma which none of us fully recover from and which informs all traumas that follow it, it can be argued (as deMause does) that our attempts to reenact that original trauma, individually and collectively, and to get free of its psychic imprint, are very much the driving force of history. This need for traumatic reenactments can be found not only behind the crucial fictions of Strieber (or of Nietzsche), but in genocidal agendas fueled by such quasi-spiritual notions as that the birth of a new humanity can only come about through the ritualistic sacrifice of the old. In every case we find the same thing: a collective psyche unable to come to terms with its own trauma—and with its formative experience of powerlessness—trying to undo the wrong done to it by proving its own potency over everyone and everything. Naturally, it all comes back to the mother in the end. The killing mother is projected onto the enemy, as a surrogate receptacle for infant rage. The loving mother is projected onto the Motherland which both warrior and warlord are killing and dying to defend. Failure is inevitable, because the mother’s psyche can’t be escaped by physical means, and individuation can’t ever occur through violence.

On the other hand, in this very failure, in the defeat which equals death, the fallen warrior can achieve his unconscious aim, which is to finally lay down his sword (or his pen) and return (like Strieber’s Alex shot through the heart) to the mother’s embrace, where blissful unconsciousness can be regained.


2013 MP3s: “Motherland & Overman (Pinning Butterflies)“; “Lost Objects & Mind Deaths.”

[1] At this point, Strieber remembers the name of Budd Hopkins, mentioned in the book, and in this desperate state decides to call him as the only alternative to going “out the window”(p. 40). Strieber recounts how he could not get rid of the memories that were surfacing nor could he bear them. He felt he “owed it to the family that loved and depended on me to try to help myself” (ibid). For Strieber, helping himself entailed going to Budd Hopkins, one of the leading UFO researchers at the time, with whom he found a paradigm within which to fit his experiences.

[2] Mac Tonnies made this comment about Strieber: “Strieber inhabits a universe of boundless subjectivity built upon a substrate of engaging memes. But his relevance to the disciplined UFO research he champions is increasingly tenuous.”

[3] “Richard A. Strieber focuses his practice in the areas of Entertainment Law and Education Law. He has represented public sector and private clients since 1985.  He has represented clients in the entertainment industry since the 1980’s. Clients have included major authors, musicians, major screen writers and motion picture producers. He has experience in negotiating a wide range of agreements in the entertainment industry, including multi-million-dollar recording and motion picture agreements. He served as a producer on the major motion picture Communion, starring Christopher Walken, and as president of independent blues label Palindrome Records. He has extensive experience in Education Law and has extensive experience in assisting local governments in property tax matters and matters of general governance.”

[4] Strieber also talks on the audio (as he often does) about having an “open mind.”  It occurred to me while listening that, when someone talks about an open mind, they are often talking about the opposite. It usually means not only letting ideas in but taking them to heart, which is to say, turning them into items of belief. Taking ideas to heart allows an external virtual reality (words and images) to be internalized. The phantoms which the dissociated psyche generates in response to unbearable trauma can then be allowed to possess the body. This is the religious impulse in a nutshell, and people who talk about having an open mind are almost always believers of one sort of another (even when they are non-believers, like my father). An open mind is a poor substitute for an open body.

[5] “The connection of senses in the Latin word seems to be via confusion of Greek metra ‘womb’ (from meter ‘mother;’ see mother (n.1)) and an identical but different Greek word metra meaning ‘register, lot’ (see meter (n.2)). Evidently Latin matrix was used to translate both, though it originally shared meaning with only one.”

[6] “One of them, I think it was the one I had identified earlier as the woman, said, ‘What can we do to help you stop screaming?’ This voice was remarkable. It was definitely aural, that is to say, I heard it rather than sensed it. It had a subtly electronic tone to it, the accent flat and startlingly Midwestern. My reply was unexpected. I heard myself say, ‘You could let me smell you.’ I was embarrassed; that is not a normal request, and it bothered me. But it made a great deal of sense, as I have afterward realized” (p. 28).

[7] Once again, there is a certain similarity of flavor with Process church doctrine: “As long as the self seeks survival within human terms of any kind, it must be destroyed; just as humanity must be destroyed. . . . If a being identifies itself with GOD, and therefore seeks the salvation of GOD in order to ensure its own survival, that is true awareness. That is seeing and knowing the ultimate scope. Self becomes GOD, and GOD becomes self. Thereby self becomes invulnerable and indestructible.” Robert Grimston, “Exit.”


39 thoughts on “Motherland or Neverland? (Prisoner of Infinity XI)

  1. He publicly responded to you for the first time … a few hours before a solar eclipse! That’s a real shame they wouldn’t let your reply through while brains were a-tingling…

    I hesitated to insert myself in that exchange at all… but “obsession” seemed like a pretty cheap shot, and kind of aimed at anyone who finds it relevant…

      • Here’s my blocked response to Strieber in full:

        You write: “I have no evidence that what happened to me as a child was related to MK-ULTRA. The only suggestions that children were involved in this program are sketchy at best.” Yet in your website journal, in March 2003, you wrote: “it’s time for the intelligence community to face up to these abuses, and admit that children were ferociously victimized as well as adults, during and before MK-ULTRA.”

        There is abundant evidence that MKULTRA not merely included children but primarily, possibly exclusively, targeted them, since fragmenting the psyche and creating alters seems to only be really effective when the subject is a child. As for whether what happened to you as a child was related to MK-ULTRA, considering that it’s an exact match in every way (time period, the nature of the abuse, the aims of the experimentation, and the presence of Nazi personnel working in tandem with US military & intelligence), I’m not sure what you mean by “no evidence.” Have you changed your mind about the reality of your childhood experiences?

        Regarding Kripal’s “canonization” of you, while it is true that he insists that he has no desire to do this, repeat comparisons between your experiences and those of Moses and St. Paul send a very strong signal to the contrary as, in my opinion, does the overall thrust of the book.

        I have written extensively about what you have called your “certain involvement” with The Process Church, referring to your claims (in an interview with Peter Levenda from September 30, 2006, around the 6 minute mark) to have made a film about them in 1968 and to have been chased over rooftops by their German shepherds. On top of which, I think you have to admit there are some striking parallels between what is known of The Process and your descriptions (given to Budd Hopkins in a hypnosis session focused on that period of your life) of your time with “Roisin” in the summer of 1968, as well as your fictionalized version of that relationship in “Pain” (the story you were working on when your memories of “the visitors” first began to surface). I’ve explored these strange correlations in chap 7 & chap 10 of Prisoner of Infinity. If you consider this a mischaracterization of the truth, I will be very interested to hear exactly how and why you think so.

        As for whether I feel that I myself may have been involved as a child in these programs of psychic fragmentation, the short answer is yes, to some degree. This is without anything concrete to go on besides some severe psychic scars and some very suggestive familial associations. I have explored this at depth recently (also at my blog) and my desire to get to the bottom of your own claims, and to uncover what I am convinced is a hidden narrative beneath them, has always been part of a larger and more personal quest to expose the all-too-human forces that have been working secretly in my own life, from birth onward, to a hugely deleterious effect.

        I am open to a dialogue about this, if you are. While it may sound like a platitude, my interest is only in getting to the truth, and any ways in which you can show me how I am barking up the wrong tree will be received gratefully, and I hope also gracefully.

  2. Jasun…. mentioning the solar eclipse last night made me check out Whitley’s astrological chart. Based on my limited experience dealing with my own circle of birth charts, I found it interesting that Whitley has Black Moon Lilith conjunct Ceres (mom) within a degree and his sun is conjunct Lust (a degree.) I find it more relevant in my life to take the early myth of Lilith, not the new and improved ‘feminist’ bent but the wicked, sexual demoness and flying baby-knapper one. And of course, lust here could be irrelevant or possibly refer to something other than sex – as in money/fame. Last night’s solar eclipse was also conjunct Lust (a half of a degree.)

    I’ve also checked out your brother’s chart and found his death too close to my own life, might be why I’m drawn to your writings. Cheers

    • Isn’t the mythic Lilith kind of both of those things? Modern epistemology short circuits when trying to revive really ancient thought systems. After the Piscean Age with all Mithra, Buddha, Jesus and all of the rest of them, everything has to be either good or evil. The sublimity of ancient wisdom had to be discarded in favor of a shabby dualism.

  3. Jasun wrote: “There is abundant evidence that MKULTRA not merely included children but primarily, possibly exclusively, targeted them, since fragmenting the psyche and creating alters seems to only be really effective when the subject is a child. As for whether what happened to you as a child was related to MK-ULTRA, considering that it’s an exact match in every way (time period, the nature of the abuse, the aims of the experimentation, and the presence of Nazi personnel working in tandem with US military & intelligence), I’m not sure what you mean by “no evidence.” ”

    My response: Whitley’s post was written in part, if not wholly in part, to promote recent books Strieber had recently written or was planning at that time. The fact he used The Finders as an example of some kind of child abuse “cult case” [with national security issues] that never had any relationship to his lifetime experiences only proves how foolish and gullible people can be to believe in anything that Strieber will infer. He throws out crazy disconnected random dots about The Finders for conspiracy people to connect for their own belief issues. He sucked you in Jasun, and you connected what you’re looking for about trauma. That’s obvious by what you posted in Chapter 3 of your series linked here:

    The Finders investigation was long since ended by the time Strieber wrote his journal post in 2003, so if he was rational and sane he would have never used that example for any purposes. It had zero connections to his life’s history, and there was nothing but media hysteria that led nowhere about it 10 years before his post. Strieber knew and knows this stirs controversy and will help his book sales, and you have made a huge mistake to use The Finders as part of your trauma chapter 3. Why help Strieber spread disinformation that proved nothing and has zero connections to him personally?

    Another trickster technique that Strieber clearly sucked you into from Whitley’s same Boy in the Box post I linked to above was the fifty year old childhood memory fragments he refers to that are truly meaningless to somehow link these to MK-ULTRA or even extreme trauma events that opened him to experiencing and writing Communion. When you did that, all I can think is how can you be so foolish and/or naive to believe this?

    When Strieber wrote Communion he was fully Front Loaded by ET Abduction and UFO lore beforehand. Why haven’t you investigated Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs to fully understand the sources of disinformation being pumped into Strieber in early 1986? There’s the real sources for his visitor abduction story line. You don’t need any childhood MK-ULTRA experiments or extreme childhood trauma issues to explain what Strieber wrote about with Communion, period. Why?

    Strieber was mentally unstable for a number of years beforehand, but so are millions of other people with time distortions, memory loss, extreme paranoia and fear, and many of us have had disturbing childhood and adult memory fragments. But Strieber was a millionaire and a well established horror writer by the time he wrote Communion, and he made millions more off the ET Abduction and UFO trails with his further writings focused on these topics of the visitors. If you want to learn more about his childhood trauma issues, then you need to investigate his family and friends. You need to find-out the schools he really attended which were likely Catholic schools. That is the likely source of his trauma issues. Perhaps he was abused by someone in these schools or the church?

    Another subject Whitley is clearly engaged in starting with Communion that you’ve not written much about that I can find is his clear intent to connect strange occult associations by using numbers is strange ways, the use of triangles and other shapes, body markings, implants, owls, etc. Is this leading to some occult and cult or other “ancient religious” connections he is pointing the reader to? What research have you done about these subjects?

  4. Whitley’s response (which may be all I’ll get from him?) is telling, not just for how easily his denials can be refuted, but in the way he attempted to reduce the MK-ULTRA angle to a personal obsession of mine, thereby implying that it was of minor relevance to his experiences. Yet what all of this research and inquiry is showing, more and more compellingly, is the very opposite: that (what we know of) MK-ULTRA is the correct context for Whitley Strieber, and that it provides new and more substantial meaning to the whole alien abduction narrative.

    Looked at as a case study for the effects and the goals of psychic fragmentation, the entire modern UFO field begins to resemble a complex and multi-leveled “honey pot” not just for spreading of sticky brain candy throughout the culture, but for drawing actual living survivors of organized abuse into a labyrinth of dissociated fantasy images and beliefs, and thereby keeping them under the prevailing spell of the abuse. (Because what can’t be fully seen, can’t be healed or integrated.) Seen in this light, Strieber is like a microcosm of how trauma-based cultures are created and always have been. It’s a sad, tragic even, irony that Strieber could be the genuine teacher and healer he pretends to be, if his experiences were more adequately understood by him. As it is, he is either framed as a prophet-shaman-saint by the Kripalians, a fiction-writer and a charlatan, or a disinformation agent. Yet even combining these three interpretations doesn’t get to the core of what Whitley is: a weaponized psyche deployed for powering cultural memes and incepting them into similarly fractured psyches as a way to siphon off our dreams and sell them back to us. A one-man matrix—though to be fair, he is one of legion.

    This latest chapter has been the hardest to get right; all of POI has been written and rewritten so many times I have lost count (over a dozen), and this is the first time I’ve felt this chapter really achieved sufficient coherence. It’s a combination of it being the most personal and potentially invasive (of Strieber’s psyche), and also I think the most far-reaching and damning in its implications, not merely of Strieber or the shadow organizations behind him, but of the entirety of human culture, all of which goes back to this original wound, the original trauma, and the original bondage.

    I know I have some really intelligent and insightful readers, and I hope some of you will share your responses to this latest. Who knows, maybe someday Whitley will too? (I won’t be holding my breath.)

    • Love how you got to the original wound here. I’m on board the good ship Horsely. Just prior to reading your post I was editing an essay my daughter had written on a portion of Milton’s Paradise Lost. I commented to her after reading some of her analysis that I thought Freud had it all bassackwards with regard to penis envy . The real concern I said, fundamental to humanity, is our terror and awe of the mother who bears and give birth to us and the resulting psychic conflicts about wanting her power, wanting to be free of her power, and wanting back into the safety of her power.

      I hope Whitley responds to you. Not responding doesn’t make him look so good.

      Reading your quote at the beginning from Jung pulled me up short as I am reading a book that breaks down the double speak of magical word wizard Jean Piaget. ( it is slow going) Jung’s psychic entities are Piaget’s Monads. Piaget’s unempirical, pseudo scientific theory of childhood development is a ruse to promote metaphysical gnosticism that presumes the assimilation of the individual back into the metaphysical being of ( Hegel’s) Absolute Subject/Divinity so that He may achieve perfection.

      In other words humanity’s physical existence is largely pointless for the individual and all for the Development of the perfection of the Absolute Being. So what is my point…. that I think Piaget’s ( Jung’s? I don’t know enough ) and Whitley’s seemingly fatalistic attitude toward trauma and pain as being potentially Necessary For Evolution smacks of this Absolute Subject/Monad/Gnostic Weltanschauung which serves in the end to make the individual dependent upon the fates and not effective in determining their own destiny. Which has me asking always, Cui Bono?

      I’ve rambled. But you make me think Jasun. Thx!

  5. The fact that Strieber has bothered to reply to you at all , and that a few disinfo websites have shunned you means you have lobbed a mortar into their stockade and wounded some folks . Be fascinating to see how they deal with you . Youve got mates , anyway , and the good ship Horsley will be difficult to sink

  6. May I ask: how much value is there to engagement here? Mostly what I’ve learned from your series is that Strieber is an unreliable narrator. When someone is careless with the truth (as opposed to struggling with the truth and acknowledging that new information sometimes requires revision of a previous report), they reveal themselves to be almost entirely noise without much or any signal. (You already know how I feel about that.) Ungrounded madman? Government agent? Charlatan? Who knows? Ultimately, none of those leads to a reliable text. Given that I am skeptical of most outlandish claims, I would vote “charlatan”, in which case you’re just giving him free press.

    I do understand that you’re trying to unearth elements of your own psyche, but I wonder whether this current investigation is leading you deeper into an abyss? Just a thought…

    • You can ask but no one but you can answer. Isn’t it a bit like asking a chef: “Should I have enjoyed this meal?”

      May I ask: why did you read this series if you weren’t learning anything valuable from it? Did you feel compelled?

      It does seem amazing to me sometimes that I have given so much attention to Strieber; but then, he is really the least part of the fantastic journey that’s being mapped here: just a delivery device that allows access to the interiority of the body.

      I am well aware it’s not a journey for everyone; what puzzles me is when someone seems to embark on it and then want me to explain why they did so. Obviously I can’t; but from my POV, going deeper inward ~ deeper into the abyss as you put it ~ is the only way there is to go. Do you have an alternate direction in mind for yourself, one that you also want me to take?

  7. Of course ultimately the question is more relevant for myself. Still, I pose it as a question to you (without trying to be a concern troll): I think it’s valuable to ask oneself why one is attracted to certain streams of thought. The information really could be there, as opposed to the putative subject of inquiry.

    I don’t have any skin in this game. I enjoy your writing and some of the psychological inquiry, as much as I wonder about separating the narratives of MK Ultra from UFO contact from all sorts of other narratives about which I am, at this point, highly skeptical, even though, over the last decade, I have been willing to give them a lot of air time in my head.

  8. Here is a more concrete example. There is a blog I’ve read for over a decade and still do read, that concerns military tech, AI, global financing of drugs, food safety issues etc. (much, though not all, of it well sourced). I had a moment of realization many years ago when reading the comment thread for one post, wherein every commenter disclosed/referenced something about serving as a caregiver to a cancer patient or otherwise terminally ill patient. The post itself had absolutely nothing to do with cancer, terminal illness, or anything close to that, but somehow it brought out all the grim personal histories. Since I was dealing with the same issue, there was a spark of self-recognition. The material we gravitate towards does, in fact, sort us psychologically and spiritually, in ways that are sometimes surprising.

    But, no, I don’t know why I am reading your Strieber material, at this point in my life. It could simply be that I have a compulsion to read edgy stuff, because my life is lacking stimulation. So I am entertaining myself at your expense. Is that a good thing? It also could be that the Oedipal issues are perhaps central to many of the mundane political issues I care about presently. I don’t really know.

    Obviously I’m not suggesting that you stop what you’re doing, certainly not on my account. But if you’re searching for a spiritual truth, I suggest that it may be hidden in the margins of your text.

  9. “Looked at as a case study for the effects and the goals of psychic fragmentation, the entire modern UFO field begins to resemble a complex and multi-leveled “honey pot” not just for spreading of sticky brain candy throughout the culture, but for drawing actual living survivors of organized abuse into a labyrinth of dissociated fantasy images and beliefs, and thereby keeping them under the prevailing spell of the abuse”

    The corporate entities that funded MKULTRA experiments on children, also funded hospitals and medical research, and chemical warfare programs. They are the same entities that traffic in weapons, human organs, and drugs. They invest in secret schools and training camps for “terrorists” that they use in “event creation” like 911, the London and Paris attacks, the school shootings, the proxy wars around the middle east. They buy and sell politicians and media personalities to promote these events as if they were real, and some of them are They own the mass media and all the journalists. Most journalists these days are chosen from the MKed, traumatized children. They own the companies that create vaccines and psych meds for kids because they want us to be so sick and dissociated that we view the endless string of real and fake disasters on TV as demonic”entertainment” which is mainly a way of packaging our fear and selling it back to us as movies, popular music, occultism, UFOs. They employ pedophiles and psychopaths who kidnap, rape and murder children.

    And the funny thing is, they make tons of money doing it.

  10. But, no, I don’t know why I am reading your Strieber material, at this point in my life. It could simply be that I have a compulsion to read edgy stuff, because my life is lacking stimulation. So I am entertaining myself at your expense. Is that a good thing? It also could be that the Oedipal issues are perhaps central to many of the mundane political issues I care about presently. I don’t really know.

    I do find this line of inquiry relevant; a couple of days ago I was discussing Tolle’s concept of “pain bodies”; it was new to me, Tolle takes a rather absolutist line about how violent imagery in entertainment media is created by pain bodies, of pain bodies, for pain bodies, to feed that addiction. So naturally, I wondered about how much my explorations into the darkness might be feeding that same need in people, and in myself. This, I think, is why I am so critical of conspiracy-lore, even when it may be entirely accurate, it seems to be all about mental stimulation, a fingering of the wound to get a momentary thrill of sensation in the fog of our numbness.

    I don’t see how your “entertaining” yourself by following my stuff would be at my expense though. It doesn’t cost me anything for you to “consume” it (only to respond to your comments, which I am glad to do, time permitting). Also, at the risk of repeating myself & restating the obvious, “a compulsion to read edgy stuff, because my life is lacking stimulation” suggests to me a symptom of the sort of trauma and de-realization which I am exploring here, so maybe like attracts like? Maybe your compulsion is, like all compulsions, rooted deep in you? Maybe it’s worth your reading this material only to ask yourself why you are reading it? I agree that it is all in the margins, and thanks for the reminder that this is all supposed to be “liminalism”: words, beliefs, descriptions of reality, can’t have any inherent value unless they lead us to what does have value, our experience as wounded perception healing. Wholeness through the play-act of putting fragments together and finding a coherent metaphor by which to encapsulate the unthinkable trauma, become spacious enough to hold it & heal it.

    In response to anndiamond’s comment: this may all be true, I happen to think it is. But it’s not the whole truth, so, again, having a collection of fragments that fit together doesn’t mean we have the whole picture. Do you experience cognitive dissonance when you are exposed to the standard version of reality which this, the one you describe above, is so utterly at odds with? I know I do. I think this is why people spend so much time at dodgy conspiracy sites, to reinforce that counter-narrative. Myself I like to read Hollywood bios which maintain the spell, and experience that bizarre frisson of not knowing what, if anything is true. That’s liminality.

  11. I wouldnt underestimate the effects on the collective of a group of people gathering together in cyberspace and just holding the tension of this stuff in consciousness . I wouldnt call it fun or pleasant , but strangely compelling , yes . Our lot is tough in that we then have to try to sort out some sort of ” normal” life with this stuff in our minds without appearing to others as though we are total rat bags . Not an easy gig , so , dear Yevaud you have plenty of skin in the game .

  12. Given your consideration [and other experts? hypothesis] that the birthing process is so traumatic that it reigns down all kinds of “unconscious” retribution on humanity throughout history, then just what has circumcision done to the male race and humankind in turn? There would certainly be statistical data available or that could be gathered to lend support to your beliefs about trauma based abuse and violence that would be correlated to such a traumatic event as circumcision.

    The brain is far from being developed at the time of birth, so it is quite a leap to suggest there is so much unconscious trauma “memory” attached to the birth event to be the unconscious trauma causes of abuse and criminal behavior later in life. There is no doubt that the brain [and other organs] of the birthing mother will typically produce the hormones and “endorphin chemistry” that do help in the birthing process for the baby and mother. No doubt the baby brain will have some release of chemistry for this birthing process too. I would think nature and evolution will have minimized the trauma of the birthing process to have little lasting effects in later life associated with abuse and criminal behavior.

    • Yes, male infant circumcision ; the most under-discussed / under-acknowledged form of large-scale collective physical traumatization out there. It lurks under every conversation on all the horrific sexual traumas that are inflicted on children. The military-industrial-circumcision complex, indeed. On a side note: I still don’t understand how Lloyd de Mause could leave out of his books the fact that the State sanctions (legally allows) certain males of a certain religious sect to orally suck the genitals of baby boys in a religious ritual. It seems like this is the missing link in de Mause’s work on exploring the sexual traumas — especially ritualized bloody trauma — done against children , against humanity, IMO.

      • Have you searched through the entire opus? Maybe it’s in a footnote somewhere? (only half-joking)

        I would guess it’s as much an indication of real-politik restrictions on free-speech as of LdM’s lack of integrity/awareness. You could try contacting the psycho-history group about it.

      • I’ve done a thorough enough search of several of de Mause’s major works — the ones that cover the collectively unacknowledged torturous traumas ritually inflicted on children — to know that , if it is even a footnote, I’m just not seeing it.

        His study of blood rituals against children goes hog wild into the detailed stories of the Christian-hyper-focussed “Satanic Ritual Abuse” but offers nothing in regards to the children who get get life-threatening diseases (and sometimes die) due to the bloody oral suction ritual — metzitzah b’peh — that still occurs with approval of the State (legally allowed in all Westernized countries) in some of the circumcision ceremonies of the orthodox and ultra-orthodox jewish communities. Whether “real politik” or not, the potency of his work is significantly lessened knowing that he does not bring the bigger picture into view, IMO. Shouldn’t the same critical lens be applied to de Mause that is applied to Kripal and Co.? What exactly are his motives? … is a good question to ask.

        Of course, de Mause did most of his writings on harms done against children in a time before we could collectively — via the internet — bear witness (spy) on that specific infant bloody oral suction ritual and collectively verify it as factual reality rather than, in pre-internet times, just proclaiming it as a ritual that happens without being able to provide real proof (a.k.a. “libel”). Now that we who live outside of that sect have proof and no longer make the infant bloody oral suction claims as simply a “libel” — and now that we are slowly beginning to take back all of our projections (some of us are giving it a go, at least) — I’m curious how de Mause would change some of his work.

        Side note: Hillary Clinton had just become the Senator of New York just as the first reports of infant herpes — as a result of that particular mouth-on-genital ritual — started to come to public light in the year 2000. Over the next eight years, while she was Senator, over 10 infant herpes cases — a few resulting in death — were reported and released publicly by the New York department of health (none of which made it to the mainstream media spotlight, btw). I haven’t been able to find any statements from Clinton on the matter. Surely, she would have been made aware of the children who were getting sick and dying from the riual. The greater public — outside of those sects — was slowly beginning to find out about the ritual. Why would she have chosen to stay out of such a matter (if she really did)? I can only hope that someone will ask her about it — what she plans to do about it if she becomes president — on the campaign trail.

        • Ref. to the fact that Hilary was asked what she will do about the UFO question if she becomes president? (She promised to get to the bottom of the bottle.)

  13. I have skin in the game in that I care about the collective spiritual state of the culture I am living in. But, no, I don’t believe I have suffered from any kind of MKULTRA style programming, alien abduction, or any kind of larger-than-life trauma on that very individual/specific level. Certainly I share in the collective trauma of having lived during the last 10,000 years of human history. However, the shortcomings I can attribute to my childhood (and there are a great many) are all fairly unremarkable in comparison to the kind of narratives being explored here. I suspect that many readers here (i.e. reasonably affluent individuals with internet access) are in a similar state: i.e. traumatized principally by having grown up in a dishonest and violent civilization built on thousands of years of human and animal suffering.

    Upon further reflection over the last day: my attraction to the dark narratives may have much to do with an attempt to acknowledge the darker truths of our current culture (and its origins in 10,000 years or more of bloody history) within a cultural climate that insists upon shiny/happy optimism and a refusal to acknowledge that darkness. So this blog and other conspiracy-type blogs/forums perform a function of attempting to speak a truth about our collective state, and/or permitting the discussion of our predicament.

    However, there are a couple of dangers I am beginning to perceive: one is that while the mythology that is constructed in these places may be true at a mythological level, it may in fact lack any kind of factual basis in the phenomenological world (I won’t say which specific narratives are factually untrue, because I don’t really know and my opinion changes from week to week). Thus, in confusing different levels of reality, people may get swept away in speculations about personal histories that may in fact not be true (at least not in the physically manifest world) and, more importantly, whose narratives are not ultimately helpful at an individual level, i.e. are ultimately self-defeating. The second, related issue is that while there is value in perceiving the truth of ones situation, there usually is no value in wallowing in it past a certain point. There is a forum I have recently left because it wallows in this kind of darkness, and therefore creates more of it (i.e. it actually perpetuates a kind of psychological violence among its members while claiming to expose the same kind of violence in general). So, yes, CT and related dark narratives do form a kind of spiritual honeypot to entrap individuals in the very kind of darkness they think they are exposing. This is an issue for me, and I would not be surprised if it is an issue for other readers and maybe even the author of this blog. (I’m not asserting that I know this, rather simply raising it as a possibility and an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the psychological health of mining the psyche too deeply.)

  14. Memory is not stored in the brain but in the total body; children obviously absorb whatever happens to them from birth, and I would think even before, when they do not have a mind as we think of the term, no language-based thinking process or corresponding identity. Hence the earliest & literally formative experiences are those which proceed, and determine, the construction of a mental identity; until then, what we experience is affect, experience that is pre-verbal, pre-mental, and pre-emotional, direct body memory. I personally knew someone who did remember her birth, tho this is extremely rare probably because the mind-identity that is constructed (largely via trauma) is too small & linear to contain, process, or perceive such sense-based affect-memories.

    Nature & evolution may have minimized the trauma, but they didn’t eliminate it entirely; apparently it has accumulated over the generations until eventually civilizations were formed in which nature was superseded by the designs of the defense-systems of constructed identities, and now we have a world in which few of us ever recover from early trauma. A perfect example of trauma-based social practices (besides modern birth methods) is circumcision. As for finding evidence of how it damages the psyche and reaps untold consequences throughout human civilization, good luck finding it. I am sure it exists, but I kind of doubt you will find anyone getting govt grants to study it. Try even suggesting that circumcision is a harmful or unnatural practice in polite society, and see the sort of response you get. Seriously.

  15. “the core of what Whitley is: a weaponized psyche deployed for powering cultural memes and incepting them into similarly fractured psyches as a way to siphon off our dreams and sell them back to us. A one-man matrix—though to be fair, he is one of legion.”

    Wow, that’s a damn good sentence. People are programmed to spread disinfo and screw up truth seekers getting lost in the sea of endless noise and msinfo. Fractured, wounded people ready to gobble up anyone who advertises answers. There’s nothing inherently spiritual in getting abducted and mind-controlled by humans with alien technology, or possible ‘MKUltra’ involvement (whatever that word really means). So Streiber is still basically saying his experiences are transcendental, positive, spiritual experiences? Well I guess even the worst experiences can be transmuted into spiritual growth, but it sounds like he’s programmed to blur the truth, that humans have seemingly godlike technology and DO these things to people (abductions, mind programming) and that most alien contact and abduction (alien can also mean cryptoterrestrials, or advanced non-human beings in and on the earth) isn’t usually positive, spiritually elevating, or beneficial, and in fact is usually quite the opposite.

    “violent imagery in entertainment media is created by pain bodies, of pain bodies, for pain bodies, to feed that addiction. So naturally, I wondered about how much my explorations into the darkness might be feeding that same need in people, and in myself. This, I think, is why I am so critical of conspiracy-lore, even when it may be entirely accurate, it seems to be all about mental stimulation, a fingering of the wound to get a momentary thrill of sensation in the fog of our numbness.”

    I liked this comment. People have pain and darkness and they need to see it expressed, or project it onto the external life, breathing life into it. It is amazing to me how much of human life is governed by subconscious; there is always a deeper story beneath the story of what’s on the surface. This line of thought also reminds me of how we are attracted to things unconsciously, like a romantic attracted to a partner that is like his abusive parent, in order to revive past traumas and consciously heal those issues… as if there is a silent intelligence in our subconscious. We are also attracted to people subconsciously with similar wounds, for example abductees attracted to abduction literature.

  16. If birth is our first and most profound trauma, would this then be the trade-off we make in exchange for our species’ intelligence? God’s curse for the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, in other words. For most animals birth is a relatively simple process–maybe some pushing, and then the baby animal more or less falls out. As someone who grew up in the country and witnessed animals give birth on plenty of occasions, I can more or less attest to this. Yeah, there can be problems that require the vet or farmer’s intervention, but for the most part the whole thing is over with rather quickly. But, for humans birth is a painful, dangerous process for both the baby and mother. From what I understand, part of this has to do with our great intelligence–we evolved big brains that required big heads to house them. The catch to this is that it results in a painful and potentially perilous undertaking. Getting those big heads out a woman’s body during a natural birth is painful and difficult for all involved. I read somewhere that it is physically impossible for the human brain/head to evolve to get any larger because to accommodate for this the female body would then have to change in ways that cause it to cease having any practical functionality (hips too wide to make easy walking possible, for example) other than giving birth! And this is to say nothing of the prevalence of cesarean births–at least in the developed world. This could all be bullshit, but it is interesting to think about.

    • How about “self-awareness” rather than intelligence? (Or even intellect; animals possess ample intelligence.) This model seems in line with the biology of denial and culture as mortality-awareness buffer, but/and the infant cranium vs. vagina size is a fascinating addition & faintly ominous. Cesarean births as part of a transhumanism/postgender drive towards engineering whitley’s “greys” (enabling fragments to fully possess bodies)?

      Coffeeman: Long time no speak. Wounds magnetize/seek matching teeth. Maybe this principal (along with mimesis) is central to the designs of mk-ultra, and how honey-pots work. Bit tired right now, so pls. excuse the flatness of response. Nice to see you back here.

      • Jasun, I mentioned cesarean births for exactly that same reason, though didn’t expound on it . . . . If we were to enable ” the big heads” to start entering the world it would/could be through c-section–an operation that is, on the whole, a pretty harrowing procedure. It is one that I also recently learned is now both very routine and (disturbingly) the preferred method of delivery (whether considered necessary or not) by many doctors.

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