Hat tip to Jack Brewer at the UFO Trail for this item. Very interesting.
The link above leads to a paper on the CIA website. The paper is marked: ” “APPROVED FOR RELEASE: CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM: 22 SEPT 93.”
The paper sections are:
- Nature of Hypnosis
- Hypnosis of Interrogees
- Obedience in Trance
- Accuracy and Veracity
- Prophylactic Hypnosis (“defensive uses of hypnosis” in order to “induce in [someone] amnesia for sensitive material in the event of capture, or to help them resist stress, particularly pain, in captivity”)
- Pseudo-Hypnosis as Interrogation Aid
Some excerpts from the “Accuracy and Veracity” section:
Accuracy in Recall: A great deal has been written, especially in the press, about the perfect memory and unfailing accuracy of recall people display in hypnosis. Statements have frequently been made about their ability to recall anything that has happened to them even while infants, and according to some even prior to birth. Hypnotic age-regression is a mechanism frequently used for this purpose. The subject is “taken back” to, say, the age of six. He begins to act, talk, and to some extent think in the manner of a six-year-old. He hallucinates the appropriate environment and gives details about people sitting next to him in school, his teacher’s name, the color of the walls, and so on. His actions are exceedingly convincing, and it has frequently been assumed that an actual regression in many psychologic and physiologic age components to the suggested year takes place.
There is little evidence for the genuineness of hypnotic age-regression, even though there have been a number of studies, mostly based on single cases . . .
This sort of conclusion, naturally, undermines a lot of what has passed (in the popular arena) for “proof” of alien abduction (i.e., testimony of such under hypnotic regression). Basically, that’s skilled deception.
Thanks, Dr. Heiser. Those are indeed interesting aspects of Deshere’s report.
Here’s something I found intriguing concerning MKULTRA Subproject 84 lead researcher and hypnosis expert Dr. Martin Orne:
“A captive’s anxiety could be heightened, for example, by rumors that the interrogator possesses semi-magical techniques of extracting information. A group of collaborating captives could verify that interrogees lose all control over their actions, and so on. After such preliminary conditioning, a ‘trance’ could be induced with drugs in a setting described by Orne [Orne, M. T. Hypnotically induced hallucinations. A. A. A. S. symposium on hallucinations, December, 1958, in press.] as the ‘magic room,’ where a number of devices would be used to convince the subject that he is responding to suggestions. For instance, a concealed diathermy machine could warm up his hand just as he receives the suggestion that his hand is growing warmer. Or it might be suggested to him that when he wakes up a cigarette will taste bitter, it having been arranged that any cigarettes available to him would indeed have a slight but noticeably bitter taste. With ingenuity a large variety of suggestions can be made to come true by means unknown to the subject. Occasionally these manipulations would probably elicit some form of trance phenomenon, but the crucial thing would be the situation, not the incidental hypnotic state. The individual could legitimately renounce responsibility for divulging information much as if he had done it in delirium.”
Brilliantly deceptive. It leads me to consider that perhaps the most effective mind control technique, for lack of a better term, did not involve the specific procedures themselves as much as leading the subject to believe the technique was effective. Fascinating implications.
I recently read a few hypnoanalysis books that preceded the Hill case so as to get other views on what hypnosis could and could not do.
Robert Lindner, in Rebel Without a Cause (1944), believed he could retrieve verbatim memories, even as far back as infancy. Worse, it’s patently clear he shapes the patient “testimony” to fit his crude notions of traumatic primal scenes and pervasive sexual dream imagery. I’m surprised this book got so much positive coverage in the literature — it lacks credibility.
Lewis Wolberg (Hypnoanalysis, 1945) and Edward Arluck (Hypnoanalysis, a 1964 report of a case from 1945), a much more subtle. While they regress patients to difficult events, they don’t seem too concerned that the memories are accurate; rather, they want to work through past difficulties in a calm and emotionally safe state. It almost doesn’t matter what images are drawn up, so long as they get the patient talking about moving forward. The use of suggestion in these two books is not to plant “memories” that fit a theory but to build up ego strength and achieve positive character formation.
This makes me wonder: being a social worker, did Betty Hill read Rebel Without a Cause? Or perhaps All About Eve, The Search For Bridey Murphy, etc?
Interesting – I’m betting some would wonder if she was an unwilling subject to psychological “research” that produce dissociation via trauma – and then regressed to see what resulted. (i.e., was she a victim of a MILAB before there was such a term?)
There are problems with that scenario, in that they would be based on the “received” form of the tale told by Fuller. In his book, both Hills were traumatically disabled by the experience and both were recommended for hypnotherapy. Untrue.
The contemporary documents report only Barney showing signs of trauma (memory block of alien faces he saw through binoculars, and he was unable to return to work). Only Barney was medically referred to Simon for hypnoanalysis. Betty went to Barney’s first appointment and asked to be regressed.
Betty’s interest in hypnosis goes against the Fuller and Marden forms of the tale, where interest in hypnosis comes from others, some of them military personnel. But immediately after the 1961 incident, Betty wrote to Donald Keyhoe about the sighting and mentioned hypnosis as a way to help Barney with the memory block. Fuller printed that letter in his book but deleted the line about hypnosis. He also showed others repeatedly recommending hypnosis, with the Hills resisting for several years. Presumably, Fuller did this airbrushing to show the Hills were not eager to establish they’d had alien contact, and therefore were credible witnesses, not mere contactees or attention seekers. (Incident at Exeter, published about six months before the Hill book, shows an obsession with witness credibility.)
Betty’s letter to Keyhoe was reproduced, uncensored, in Webb’s 1965 report to NICAP, but none of Webb’s Hill reports were published. Fuller’s deletion was not discovered by other ufologists until the 1990s, after CUFOS acquired NICAP’s files. Mark Rodeghier revealed the deletion in the March-April 1994 issue of the IUR, pretty late in the game!
Fuller tweaked the story at several other points as well. Betty’s “memory” of her experience changed to conform to this canonical version. Unfortunately, much of the commentary on the Hill case (both pro and con) is rendered useless because of its dependence on Fuller’s “improved” and now canonical version.
Nice summary – thanks! DO you know of any online source where IUR issues are available? I have most of the MUFON journals from 1980 on, but almost no IUR.
I bought the IUR (V 1-32) and Journal of UFO Studies on CD from CUFOS a couple of years ago. They do a real good job of keeping their stuff off the ‘net!
But I don’t complain, having got most of the FSR and MUFON Journal online for free, plus Isaac Koi’s frequent releases.
I’ll have to get that. I saw the CD before, but was (as always) looking for the cheap route. A little pricey, but I should have this, though. And a good organization.