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Toward an Explanation of the UFO Abduction Phenomenon: Hypnotic Elaboration, Extraterrestrial Sadomasochism, and Spurious Memories

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Abstract

Autobiographical memories are often suspect. For example, a surprisingly large number of people report having been abducted by extraterrestrials. We offer a prototype of the abduction experience and an assessment of the frequency of such reports. These accounts are hard to dismiss on the basis of mendacity or insanity, but there are ample reasons to doubt their literal accuracy. We offer a cognitive-motivational explanation for how spurious memories of unidentified flying object (UFO) abductions can be created and maintained. The motivational roots lie in the desire to escape from ordinary self-awareness, and this explanation is supported by parallels between UFO abduction accounts and masochistic fantasies. The cognitive bases involve the integration and elaboration of hallucinations, general knowledge, and contextual cues into full-blown accounts, usually with the aid of hypnosis. Due to the pitfalls of hypnosis, people develop a high degree of confidence in the veridicality of spurious UFO abduction memories.
... In a study of 18 abductees, French et al. (2008) concluded that abductees show higher levels of dissociativity, absorption, paranormal belief, paranormal experience, self-reported psychic ability, fantasy proneness, tendency to hallucinate, and self-reported incidence of sleep paralysis. Additionally, Newman and Baumeister (1996) explained the AAP on a cognitive basis which involves the "integration and elaborations of hallucinations" aided by hypnosis. Thus the "pitfalls" of hypnosis are believed to contribute to the AAP. ...
... Interestingly, however, 41% (N = 1,141) of respondents believed they were "part of an alien breeding program" that included "genetic material being taken" for the "creation of another being." Although these physical experiences do seem to occur, their reported incidence appears to be less than that suggested by those who have described a typical abduction as follows: 1) Jacobs (2000) with hypnotized "abductees," described a typical abduction experience as being associated with "harvesting" by which the "alien" causes sexual stimulation prior to an internal procedure to recover an egg or sperm; 2) Newman and Baumeister (1996) reported women having "sexual intercourse with aliens," with some women reporting having had offspring resulting from this act; and 3) Based on an analysis of a sample of 270 abduction reports, Bullard (1987) described the most common features of an "abduction experience" as "capture" (caught and taken aboard a UFO) and "examination" (subjected to physical, sexual, mental, and/or spiritual examinations). ...
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This study, conducted by the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial and Extraordinary Experiences (FREE), represents the first comprehensive investigation on individuals (N = 3,256) who have reported various forms of contact experience (CE) with a non-human intelligent being (NHI) associated with or without an unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP). Our research methodology utilized two comprehensive quantitative surveys totaling 554 questions administered to subjects with reported non-hypnotic memory recall of their CE. This survey addressed a diverse range of physical, psychological, perceptual, and paranormal aspects of reported non-hypnotic-based recall of both physical and/or non-physical interactions with an NHI. The results revealed complex reported CEs that involve both physical and non-physical events (psychological outcomes, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and paranormal experiences). What may be the most signif cant aspect of the interim results is that approximately 70% (N = 2,279) of the study population claimed that their CE changed their life in a "positive way." In contrast, only 15-20% reported a "negative" impact from their CE. Further, the majority of subjects did not report events typically associated with the traditionally held beliefs regarding the "alien-abduction" phenomena. That is, the results suggest that the reported CE with an NHI is largely non-physical and can occur via telepathy, during an out-of-body experience, being floated into a "matrix-like" reality, as well as through physical interaction on board a craft. Consequently, the results suggest that a non-physical ("contactee") CE is distinctly different from a physical ("abduction") CE and should be studied as separate but interrelated anomalous events. In fact, the CE associated with a UAP is not the predominant form of CE, and sighting a UAP is not necessarily associated with a CE. Consequently, future studies should not focus exclusively on the analysis of UAP sightings and traces alone which, based on decades of research, have not advanced our understanding of the possible force that governs and regulates this complex phenomenon. This is an important consideration since the FREE study dispels the notion that contact with NHIs must always entail either a physical abduction or a landed craft with beings interacting with humans. This study may serve as a needed foundation for researchers to build upon for validation purposes to better understand a unique and diverse range of reported physical and non-physical type CEs with an NHI associated with or without a UAP. © 2018 Society for Scientific Exploration. All rights reserved.
... And some of these UFO reports, notably those that allege an abduction to a UFO, share the same structure and story line as the local legends surrounding the Witches' Sabbat (for a detailed analysis see Musgrave, Houran, and Lange, 1998). For example, contemporary abduction legends emphasise riding through the air, transportation to an exotic place, a ceremony on the altar, sexual undertones (often not so hidden, see e.g., Newman and Baumeister, 1996), and implicit rebellion against authority . Cases that mimic the Sabbat legend (e.g. , Fuller, 1966;Lorenzen and Lorenzen, 1976) can be found in UFO and occult pulp journals. ...
... While it can be argued that the psychological processes that give rise to local legends such as the Witches ' Sabbat are in themselves fantastic escapes from the everyday world and consciousness ( cf. Newman and Baumeister, 1996), the legends themselves have rarely been used in literature in a fantastic mode. Our brief survey of some of the literary uses of the Sabbat theme/legend underscores the view that the fantastic is not a theme but a relationship to the text and to the world. ...
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Using the tools provided by theoretical work on the fantastic, we examine some of the legends and prose texts surrounding the Witches ' Sabbat beginning with seventeenth century burlesque through to contemporary prose. Contemporary examples of the Witches' Sabbat theme are derived from literary and/or historical texts ("literature") or from contemporary psychological experiences (contemporary local legends) that mimic or parallel the Witches' Sabbat ("abduction by aliens"). Although the psychological processes that gave/ give rise to these local legends (the Witches' Sabbat and abductions by aliens) are in themselves fantastic escapes from the everyday world and consciousness, the legends themselves have not been used in a fantastic way in literature.
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p>Purpose: Starting from the classic definition of “alien abduction”, the present research, starting from the study published in 2020 on the proposed clinical classification of this particular phenomenon, is aimed at confirming the theoretical assumption of psychopathological origin. Methods: Clinical interview, based on narrative-anamnestic and documentary evidence and the basis of the Perrotta Human Emotions Model (PHEM) concerning their emotional and perceptual-reactive experience, and administration of the battery of psychometric tests published in international scientific journals by the author of this work: 1) Perrotta Integrative Clinical Interviews (PICI-2), to investigate functional and dysfunctional personality traits; 2) Perrotta Individual Sexual Matrix Questionnaire (PSM-Q), to investigate the individual sexual matrix; 3) Perrotta Affective Dependence Questionnaire (PAD-Q), to investigate the profiles of affective and relational dependence; 4) Perrotta Human Defense Mechanisms Questionnaire (PDM-Q), to investigate the defence mechanisms of the Ego. Results: Preliminary results from the interviews and the anamnestic form would suggest that the phenomenon of alien abductions has a greater tendency to occur in the female group, in the adult and mature group (and tends to diminish but not disappear with advancing age) and in the group geographically originating in central-northern Italy (due to lower religious influences but greater openness to the typical contents of ufological and mystery narratives). Moreover, the subsequent results would lead us to deduce with almost total certainty, concerning the selected sample, that the phenomenon of alien abductions has an absolute prevalence in the believing population concerning the existence of paranormal phenomena per se, even in the absence of objective and/or scientific evidence. It is a phenomenon that is almost completely linked (110/112, 98.2%) to a medium-low or not fully educated cultural level. Based on the PICI-2 it emerged that the primary emerging disorder is alternatively the delusional disorder, the dissociative disorder and the narcissistic disorder; followed, as secondary disorders, by the delusional disorder (if it is not considered as primary disorder), the schizoid disorder, the borderline disorder, the obsessive disorder and the psychopathic disorder. The analysis of functional traits also reported the marked dysfunctional tendency of the classes referring to self-control, sensitivity, Ego-Es comparison, emotionality, ego stability, security and relational functionality, confirming here too the marked dysfunctional tendency of the clinical population. According to the PSM-Q, almost 2/3 of the participants (73/112, 65.2%) present a dysfunctional tendency to sexual behaviour and a marked tendency to chronicle feelings of shame in avoidance behaviour or hyposexuality. Furthermore, 100% of the sample of the population surveyed report having suffered significant or serious psychological or physical abuse at a young age, or intra-parental relational imbalances, or in any case a sexual upbringing that was not open and lacking in free communication. According to the PDM-Q, 27.7% (31/112) are affected by affective dependency, with greater emphasis on types I (neurotic), VI (covert narcissist), V (borderline) and III (histrionic), in that order of descent. Finally, the PDM-Q reveals the widespread psychopathological tendency of the functional ego framework for the mechanisms of isolation, denial, regression, reactive formation, denial, projection, removal, withdrawal, instinct, repression and idealisation. Conclusion: This research confirms the psychopathological nature of the alien abduction phenomenon, which deserves to be treated using a psychotherapeutic approach (preferably cognitive-behavioural and/or strategic) and possibly also pharmacological in serious cases, depending on the symptoms manifested and the severity of the morbid condition.</p
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p>Starting from the general concept of “alien abduction experience”, the present work focuses on the essential aspects of the disorder defining the clinical and diagnostic contexts, laying the foundations for correct differential diagnosis, without neglecting the neural characteristics elaborated in the scientific community. The discussion concludes with the best therapeutic approaches suggested on the subject, paying particular attention to analyzing the related profiles and those related to the presumed discovery of alien implants in the human body of patients.</p
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In diesem Kapitel beschäftigen wir uns mit drei für die wissenschaftliche Forschung zu Außerirdischen in mehr als einer Hinsicht problematischen Themen: Die Paläo-SETI-Thesen behaupten, dass die Menschheit in ihrer Vor- oder Frühgeschichte Besuche von außerirdischen Intelligenzen erhalten hat. Das UFO-Phänomen behandelt Himmelserscheinungen, die ohne Weiteres nicht zu erklären sind und deshalb vielfach als extraterrestrische Raumschiffe gedeutet werden. Und die Berichte über Entführungen durch Außerirdische konfrontieren uns mit wissenschaftlich nur schwer akzeptablen subjektiven Erfahrungen. Alle drei Themenfelder haben unmittelbar mit der Frage nach der Existenz außerirdischer Intelligenzen zu tun, sind jedoch jenseits der traditionellen wissenschaftlichen Forschung verortet und stellen diese vor anhaltende Herausforderungen.
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In unserem Schlusskapitel schauen wir zunächst noch einmal auf den Inhalt des Bandes zurück. Im Mittelpunkt steht dann jedoch die Frage, was mit der Exosoziologie geschieht, wenn es tatsächlich zum Erstkontakt kommt – ein Ereignis, das auch für diese neue Bindestrichsoziologie eine Zäsur darstellen würde. Von diesem Zeitpunkt an dürften auf die Exosoziologie einige neue Aufgaben zukommen, die wir prognostisch skizzieren. Das Kapitel schließt mit einigen generellen Überlegungen zur Rolle der Soziologie bei der Erforschung fremder Zivilisationen.
Article
African Americans in the United States endorse conspiracy theories at greater rates than Whites. The extant literature explains this pattern in terms of a rational motivation to blame the social system for prejudice and discrimination. However, little research distinguishes between race‐relevant conspiracy theories against African Americans and general conspiracy theories. We propose that African Americans may seek out race‐relevant conspiracy theories in particular because they satisfy a search for meaning that is brought about by chronic social devaluation. We present two studies that examine this social devaluation hypothesis. In Study 1 African Americans endorsed race‐relevant conspiracy theories, even when controlling for perceptions of discrimination, an aspect of system blame. Study 2 employed an experimental affirmation of social value that significantly reduced African Americans’ endorsement of race‐relevant conspiracy theories consistent with the social devaluation hypothesis. These data indicate there may be psychologically adaptive features of race‐relevant conspiracy theory endorsement. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Chapter
Die mit Fragen des Erinnerns beschäftigten Wissenschaften stimmen darin überein, dass wir immer nur Erinnerungen an die Vergangenheit und niemals aus der Vergangenheit haben, es sei denn in dem Sinne, dass wir fortwährend Erinnerungen erinnern, die keine memorierten Abbilder der originären Ereignisse und Erlebnisse sind. Und nicht nur das: Erinnern ist eine soziokulturelle Praxis und damit auch ein Gegenstand sozial- und kulturwissenschaftlichen Interesses. Die folgenden Überlegungen wollen zeigen, was eine Psychoanalyse, die sich als kritische Sozialwissenschaft versteht, zu dieser Diskussion beitragen kann.
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In this chapter a theory of motivation and emotion developed from an attributional perspective is presented. Before undertaking this central task, it might be beneficial to review the progression of the book. In Chapter 1 it was suggested that causal attributions have been prevalent throughout history and in disparate cultures. Studies reviewed in Chapter 2 revealed a large number of causal ascriptions within motivational domains, and different ascriptions in disparate domains. Yet some attributions, particularly ability and effort in the achievement area, dominate causal thinking. To compare and contrast causes such as ability and effort, their common denominators or shared properties were identified. Three causal dimensions, examined in Chapter 3, are locus, stability, and controllability, with intentionality and globality as other possible causal properties. As documented in Chapter 4, the perceived stability of a cause influences the subjective probability of success following a previous success or failure; causes perceived as enduring increase the certainty that the prior outcome will be repeated in the future. And all the causal dimensions, as well as the outcome of an activity and specific causes, influence the emotions experienced after attainment or nonattainment of a goal. The affects linked to causal dimensions include pride (with locus), hopelessness and resignation (with stability), and anger, gratitude, guilt, pity, and shame (with controllability).
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