Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Encounter EEs/EHEs
Record Type: Review   ID: 127

Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens

Mack, John E.

 John Mack himself and his book stand out from most others on specific types of exceptional (anomalous) experiences in his qualifications combined with what he has done with his expertise. He is a professor of psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Founding director of the Center for Psychology and Social Change. His biography of T.E. Lawrence won a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the founder of PEER: The Program for Extraordinary Experience Research. Mack is also open-minded, honest, and courageous when confronting the exceptional, in this instance, UFO or alien abduction. Rather than pigeonhole it as pathological or a deliberate hoax or an honest delusion before the fact, he has spent countless therapeutic sessions with apparent abductees, fueled by what has been a lifelong interest in the nature of human identity. In the preface he notes: "the abduction phenomenon ... forces us, if we permit ourselves to take it seriously, to reexamine our perception of human identity—to look at who we are from a cosmic perspective." It is my hunch that all types of exceptional experiences, if we take them seriously, force us to do this, some more quietly and distantly than others. But in order to see what is happening "writ large," Mack has done well (even though it has done him ill, professionally) to courageously and compassionately explore the alien abduction phenomenon with abductees themselves, and by his taking each one seriously, to help the abductee do the same. Perhaps the most useful parts of the book are his Introduction, which relates the story of his personal involvement, and the second chapter, which is an overview of alien abductions. However, another dimension is added by several in-depth case studies, which bring home with a sense of immediacy the trauma—and the transcendence of these experiences. Without help, however, most experiencers recall only the trauma. Mack’s work points up the great need for therapists and counselors who are knowledgeable about specific types of exceptional experience and who are able to serve as midwives to the experiencers who are in psychic travail so that they can become conscious of the life-potentiating aspects of these experiences as well as the traumatic and stressful ones. John Mack is a pioneer, and his authenticity is evidenced by the fact that as he has worked with these alien abductees he has realized more of his own human potential.
Publisher Information:New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1994. 434p. Bibl: 423-426; 1 fig; Index: 427-432
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (28)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network