UFO Conjectures

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ufology and Psychologcal Imprinting [Pragung]

How does UFO commentary (and stances) come about or from where do they derive?

That is, what cause precipitates the position(s) of UFO enthusiasts?

Why do David Rudiak and Stanton Fridman believe so vibrantly in the ET hypothesis for UFOs?

Why is Lance Moody or Gilles Fernandez so fervently against such beliefs?

The Times Literary Supplement [August 14, 2015] has a review of a book about Adolf Meyer (a psychologic pathologist – psychiatrist) who once was noted in the field of psychiatry, but eventually had his notoriety subsumed by Sigmund Freud’s ascendancy.

[The book, Pathologist of the Mind: Adolf Meyer and the origins of American psychiatry by S.D. Lamb; John Hopkins University Press, $44.95 was reviewed by Andrew Schull, whose book Madness in Civilization: A cultural history of insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the madhouse to modern medicine should be a must-read for some of you.]

Meyer applied “forensic” approaches when dealing with patients. “Meyer was driven by ‘an obsessional and probably futile search for accuracy’ … ‘the emphasis on recording all phenomenological details’ about the patient’s life history ‘sometimes reached fantastic proportions’ … a tactic which drove ‘recording observation to a stage of the infinite and the absurd in the attempt to cover everything.’” [TLS, Page 12]

Meyer, it seems, wanted to determine what thing or things caused his patients to become as they were: neurotic, psychotic, or just mentally askew.

The things could be minor or traumatic. The Psychiatric Dictionary [Fourth Edition, Hinsie/Campbell, Oxford University Press] describes “Imprinting (called Pragung by the Germans) as “the process by which certain stimuli become capable of eliciting certain ‘innate’ behavior patterns during a critical period of … behavioral development.” [Page 385]

Wilhelm Reich discusses such traits in his book, Character Analysis [Noonday Press/Farrar, Strauss and Company, NY, 1963] as sexually oriented [Pages 149 ff.], but I defer to a less Freudian view here, proposing that Meyer’s approach is the preferable choice when discussing why certain “ufologists” believe as they do (or don’t).

That is, I think some event or causal factor from one’s youth or formative years imprinted itself on the mind of a person which persists to adulthood, allowing them to assume a pattern of thought that is not necessarily logical or intelligent but, rather, the determining result of how they see the world and, in particular, UFOs (for this discussion).

When it comes to the French skeptics (or cynics), one will find their raison d'être in the new book How the French Think by Sudhir Hazareesingh. This book explains how Gilles Fernandez and his tribe of ufological deniers come to believe as they do that UFOs are only a myth or a sociological chimera.

As for Lance Moody and Zoam Chomsky (extreme UFO skeptics) and David Rudiak or Stan Friedman (UFO/ET believers), something happened in their past to cement (imprint) their belief or skeptical systems of thought.

Did, for instance, Lance Moody or Zoam Chomsky once believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny but were dissuaded from their belief by a family member, teacher, or other adult held in esteem by them?

Were the ET believers, such as the many who slink around UFO blogs, encouraged to believe in things fantastic: ghosts, witches, and aliens from outer space, or even the vicissitudes of religion – God, Jesus, Allah, et al.?

Would a Meyer approach to these persons’ childhoods tells us why they believe the way they do, as much of their thinking in not logically based as ufologist extraordinaire Richard Hall once told me.

I don’t think anyone will seek, psychoanalytically, why they believe in UFOs or don’t.

They will continue to spew their beliefs, from within the repressed unconsciousness that has formed their personalities.

And they will stick with their beliefs even unto death, as their “imprints” have made them what they are, as intellectually errant as that may be.

RR