Date: Sat Nov 20 1993 00:58:00 Subj: Comment/Correction, Dr. Baker ABDUCT - (Mutual UFO Ne

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Date: Sat Nov 20 1993 00:58:00 From: John Powell Subj: Comment/Correction, Dr. Baker ABDUCT ------------------------------- From: Letters to The Mufon UFO Journal (Mutual UFO Network UFO Journal, Number 306, October 1993, Copyright 1993 by the Mutual UFO Network, 103 Oldtowne Rd., Sequin, Texas 78155, published monthly with a membership/subscription rate of $25/yr.) APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY Regarding John Carpenter's "Abduction Notes" in the August 1993 Journal: When one is maligned in print and accused of offenses one did not commit or had no part of, or when words are put in one's mouth that he did not utter, or when statements made over the telephone to a reporter are garbled in the time interval between utterance and publication with no opportunity for perusal or clarification - one has no choice but to try to set the record straight. In reference to the statement attributed to me by reporter Huznik in the USA Weekend Report, it went in correctly but came out confused. What I intended to say or did say (which was garbled), or what I meant to say was simply that "It is possible for two people in the same situation at the same time, for example a haunted house, who are exposed to the same environmental situation and who have the same set of expectations (about ghosts, for example), when exposed to the same stimulation (a flash of light from a passing car) to report they saw a 'ghost'. When the true believers then discuss and compare their experience reinforcement and confirmation is the only predictable outcome." Concerning my professional background and training and experience with hypnotic regressions and as a "clinical or direct practice psychologist" - all Carpenter had to do was to call or write me. Instead he made it appear that I have had no experience of any sort "in the real world." In my 40 years of applied psychological practice I have worked as a clinical psychologist for 4 years, forensic psychologist for 8 years, industrial psychologist for 8 years, and military applied psychologist for 16 years. I have been an American Psychological Association Fellow for the last 25 years and a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis for many years and have carried out research on hypnotic regression and progression, memory, memory distortion, confabulation, hallucinatory phenomena and delusions over the past 20 years. Moreover, in the process of doing this research on hypnosis and memory I have "hypnotized" well over a thousand individuals and have studied their fantasies and imaginative productions such as "past lives," "future lives," "early memories," "false memories," "delusions and hallucinations." In the course of these investigations I have encountered a number of clients who imagined: 1) they were living on another planet in a distant galaxy; 2) they were being pursued by an invisible demon who would only show himself whenever they attempted sexual intercourse; 3) they could control any and all electrical devices via mind power alone; 4) they were the reincarnation of their own grandmother on their father's side; and 5) they personally had been empowered by God to control the course of floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Interestingly enough, none of these individuals were so deranged or disturbed that they were in need of either hospitalization or medication. They all were fully capable of holding their jobs, interacting successfully with others, caring for themselves and their needs, and they were in no way dangerous to themselves or others. Mr. Carpenter may find this hard to believe, but over the past decade and since the publication of Strieber's Communion I actually did, honest to God, encounter six, repeat six, perfectly normal but deluded individuals who recalled, after so-called "hypnosis," memories strangely like those that have been widely reported in the media as "alien abductions." Two of these individuals suffered sleep paralysis with the accompanying familiar hypnopompic hallucinations; two others gave reports that were based on their extensive readings of the UFO literature, and as for the other two, one had persistent hypnogogic dreams of alien visitations and interviews with the alien on the cover of Streiber's book, and the last one suffered from insomnia brought on by the fear that if she did, indeed, fall asleep she would be abducted and raped by alien monsters. All six of these clients were assured that no abductions took place, that the human imagination and normal sleep and memory processes can prove to be very deceptive, that they were in no way crazy or insane, and that they had nothing whatsoever to fear. None of the six continue to believe their fantasies and delusions and hallucinations were or are veridical. Other stories of this sort any interested reader can find in my two books, _They Call It Hypnosis_ (Prometheus, 1990) and _Hidden Memories (Prometheus, 1992). In closing, I would like to encourage Mr. Carpenter and other therapists to be very skeptical of stories they are told by clients who fall into the category known as The Eccentric Personality (Schizotypical Personality Disorder). These people hold strong beliefs that resemble the delusions seen in schizophrenia, but they are otherwise completely rational and have none of the cognitive deficits or other problems of the truly psychotic. Their fatntasies should not, however, be believed. -- Robert A. Baker, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus Department of Psychology University of Kentucky


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