Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Mentally Deranged Card

We expect the pathological skeptics to label anyone who insists they've had a UFO or anomalous experience mentally ill. The infrastructure does pretty well in that regard as well. General culture, mainstream media. And if therapy is sought and you're not fortunate or savvy enough to get yourself a Jungian therapist --  who might understand, even if interpreting the experiences as non-literal but nonetheless profound --  you might find yourself not only so labeled, but prescribed meds or worse.

I expect that crap from those groups, so when the Dr. Posners of the skeptic world pontificate, I'm not surprised. I do find it surprising  when I come across it within the filmy walls of UFO Land. (And not a little misogynistic, for it seems that the labels are more quickly applied when it's female experiencers that are the subjects.) Emma Woods has been called many things by some within UFO Land. The vitriol is astounding. Among the things she's been accused of: being "unstable," mentally ill, emotionally unbalanced. And much worse. A visit to just about any UFO forum will prove that. One forum and podcast in particular that I will not link to, that likes to promote itself as being of the highest caliber of metal is notorious for such insults.

Neither Jacobs, the UFO researcher and author who happily used Emma Woods as one of his subjects, nor those attacking Woods are shrinks. And even if they are, armchair psychoanalyzing is just that; hardly a diagnosis that's worth taking seriously. What often accompanies such easily thrown out labeling is a heap of nastiness with a topping of misogyny. Positive sneering, and a weirdly gleeful sneering at that.

Recently, Leah Haley came out with her perspectives on the alien abduction phenomena. Her current take is that there is no such thing as literal alien abduction. After years of experiences and her own research, she's decided the alien abduction scenario is a staged event, controlled by humans. Mind control. MILABS. This is her opinion. She's entitled, certainly, and it's highly interesting. She could even be right. (Wow, how about that!) I have no idea if she is or not. I have long suspected humans are involved in what we loosely call "alien abductions." The point here isn't if Haley is right or not; but the reactions her announcement has invoked. An example from the above mentioned forum:

What would I call it?....uhhh.....errrr...nutsy monkey-batshit koo koo?
Ya know, I normally like cutting edge people and ideas, but this isn't one of them. This is mental dysfunction of the kind that doesn't let you process your sensory input without it going through a "I'm Nucking Futz" filter.

From the same message board:

But, I think she may be suffering from a mental illness.

Calling Haley mentally ill because she thinks human created mind control is the cause for abductions doesn't even make sense. I understand not agreeing with that opinion, but deciding it's a mental aberration? The U.S. alone has a long history of mind control experiments; why is the idea of mind control with an alien/outer space theme so outrageous for some to accept as a possibility?

If one is mentally ill, then they need support and compassion. So why the threats, insults, and stupid jokes at the expense of those UFO witnesses whose opinions you might find yourself in disagreement with? It's not as if those witnesses are being "mentally ill" on purpose.

What is the purpose of rejecting witnesses with sometimes glib, sometimes nasty (and not a little threatening) statements that they're lunatics? I've answered my own question: by stating (almost always with a false authority) that witnesses are mentally ill, the rest of us don't have to consider what they have to tell us. Nothing to think about here, move on.

But of course, neither Woods nor Haley are mentally ill. Not in the sense their critics mean. Vulnerable, anxious,obsessive possibly, even paranoid, -- all those are on a scale from "a little bit," to "hell fucking yes!" Who wouldn't be some of those things, at some times, given missing time, screen memories, encounters of non-human entities, sightings of strange objects, and other anomalous events?

There is also a bit of irony here; those inside UFO Land who otherwise align themselves with experiencers/"believers"/witnesses have no problem accepting UFOs and aliens exist -- which skeptics, etc. would easily call them "mentally ill" -- but bring up mind control, or MILABS, or "obsess" over being manipulated, used and sexually harassed, and you're mentally ill. Aliens: sane. Tell your truth: insane.

It doesn't work that way. None of us knows what's going on, and we can only listen and share. Sometimes it's hard to listen, and certainly it's hard to share. Attacking others as being sick in the head because one has a hard time listening makes it even more difficult than it already is for others to tell their stories.

Personal interpretations are open to debate. We all have our buffers and our beliefs.


Alfred Lehmberg said...

Nice piece, Regan.

Nowhere among the Jacobs' defenders up to and including the late B. Hopkins does one find an explanation, qualification, or justification why it is forgivable that David Jacobs inform Emma Woods that she has a serious mental disease and do so while she is in a very suggestible state. Shame on David Jacobs and all his apologists.

Jack Brewer said...

Thank you, Regan, for this latest thoughtful work. I appreciate the points presented and their implied questions. Well done. I will link from UFOmania along with some quotes.