Intruders Foundation Consent Forms: Consent or Exploitation?

It comes as no surprise to me that an alien abduction book-writing hypnotist’s consent form reads more like an amateurish cover my ass form. But that’s because I’m from here. What happens when an actual scientist the likes of whom alien abduction researchers have been screaming at for years to take this subject seriously does so and reads these consent forms? Well, your answer is below. And it begs the question: Do these abduction researchers really want scientists and the mainstream to take their work seriously or is that smoke and mirrors because they assume such people will not anyway? It’s easy to yell “Take me seriously!” or demand disclosure from the government when you know it’s not going to happen. Then you get to look like a hero of the people and profit from that.

This begs another question and another: Are these researchers really researchers? If there are no standards, no ethics, only the defense of misused tools like hypnosis and book reviews… speeches about the coherence of cherry-picked data… should this be considered a field of study to begin with?

–Jeremy Vaeni

Intruders Foundation Consent Forms: Consent or Exploitation?
by,
Tyler Kokjohn

Jack Brewer’s recent blog post on The UFO Trail regarding access to confidential hypnosis tapes exposed far more than a thoughtless violation of research confidentiality standards.  The Intruders Foundation consent form Jack published with his essay is shocking and virtually nothing like an informed consent form that would be employed for biomedical research.

First and foremost it served as notice that Budd Hopkins had claimed all publication rights to every utterance and any created entity of interest he could collect from his subjects.  Any privacy or confidentiality issues for the participant were apparently entirely secondary matters.  Worse, possible psychological issues emerging following participation were fully foreseeable adverse events – the document clearly informs the subject of that.  But then Budd simply washed his hands of them. In effect, subjects assumed risks that were never adequately explained and if anything went wrong were left on their own.

Unfortunately, risk is an unavoidable part of some biomedical research.  Potential foreseeable risks are managed through a comprehensive informed consent process to provide full, detailed information in advance to all subjects.  Written informed consent documents provide potential subjects with information about the nature of the research, how it will be used, the risks incurred and the rights of all participants. Potential adverse events must be described in sufficient detail and in an understandable fashion so that every subject knows completely what might go wrong BEFORE agreeing to participate.  Adverse events are mitigated through meticulous followup care during and after the study term if necessary.  No research may commence until the investigator has devised an appropriate and complete written informed consent form and obtains full institutional approval for it as well as a detailed written plan to recognize and mitigate all adverse events arising from the investigation.  The investigator and institution are responsible for completely informing all individuals of the attendant risks involved and assume full responsibility for the welfare of the subject and any/all needs that emerge as a consequence of participation in the study.  Attempting to insulate oneself from lawsuits through the invocation of a vague disclaimer or withholding vital information to thwart informed decision-making by possible participants is never permitted.

The evidence suggests Budd Hopkins realized serious problems might develop from his investigations – and he took steps to try to avoid the trouble they might cause him. After taking pains to highlight his own incompetence and lack of medical training, he persisted in rooting around where he effectively admitted he had no business whatsoever.  Holding himself legally blameless for all consequential damages, he was seemingly disinterested in mitigating any injuries he induced.

The implications are far reaching. If Budd Hopkins knew his work could create serious issues, it would seem that others using similar methods must have had analogous experiences with the induction of adverse events.  In other words, hypnosis investigators know this or reasonably should know of the potential for investigations to produce trouble in their subjects.  Authors Philip Klass, Jim Schnabel and Kevin Randle et al. had the situation well figured years ago, but were ignored. Recognizing this is no parlor game and what really can happen is something many hypnotists probably hope no one else ever figures out.  Anyone contemplating taking part in research is well advised to read and consider the informed consent documents carefully before participating.

Quiet Time To Reassess Positive Thinking – A Poem By Colin Andrews

Colin-Andrews-HeadShouldersHere’s something I didn’t expect to announce this way: I’m coming back to the podcasting game. I’ve been taping interviews for this and expect it to be up and running in the next week or so. I won’t write anything else about it until the official announcement because I don’t want to step on any toes. But all of this is to say, I wanted Colin Andrews as a guest to discuss at what point a researcher becomes an experiencer. He liked the idea and since we’re friends, he agreed to record when he got back from a trip abroad, even though he’s on media hiatus.

Whelp, he’s back and will not be doing the show after all. Instead–and in answer to why–he sent me an audio file of him reading a poem that he had written. He gave me permission to publish it exclusively, so here it is. One wonders what happened on this trip to provoke such a powerful and definitive response that we can all respect and take to heart.

Yes, it might do us all good to take this to heart.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

EDIT:

Well, this has certainly resonated with a good many people in a short amount of time. My friend Joe Gooch has set it to music, with enthusiastic approval by Colin.

CLICK HERE FOR THE MUSICAL VERSION

Letter To Dr. Michael Swords

The message below to Dr. Michael Swords concerns a post at his blog in which he apologetically presented some information casting doubt upon the validity of hypnosis as a memory retrieval enhancer and investigative tool. When Emma Woods attempted to contribute to the comments section of the post, Dr. Swords chose to edit those comments to omit the name of Emma Woods, as well as Dr. David Jacobs, who was referenced in her comments. The letter below was submitted today in the comments section of the post in question.Dear Dr. Swords:

This message is in response to your April 19 blog post, ‘Abduction and Hypnosis: a Letter from the Past.’ [sic], and particularly your remarks contained in the comments section. While your stance on preferring to remain independent of controversy surrounding hypnosis used as a memory enhancer and the extremely questionable activities of some of its proponents, such as Dr. David Jacobs, is noted, a reasonable argument could be made that a man in your position within ufology is not afforded any such skirting of the issues. This is by no means to suggest that you should be disproportionately criticized for the actions of others, but to moderately point out that a community should expect to look to its leaders for guidance on relevant issues.

In addition to subjecting hypotheses to direct tests, scientists employ a regular regimen of intense introspection. No less important than the basic investigations is the essential activity of critiquing the results and the means to obtain them. Are the data accurate and precise? Was the methodology sound? These questioning processes begin before the first experiment is conducted. Careers, money and prestige may all be on the line, but they all take a back seat to the review processes. In no case would the demands imposed for the responsible conduct of research ever be considered stirring up controversy. The bottom line is simple – scientists question everything, including each other.

A concern over the possible reactions of colleagues and friends for bringing up issues with hypnosis is a clear sign something is amiss. Your choice to edit the comments of Emma Woods and refuse to allow her to specifically name Dr. Jacobs as a controversial figure at your blog is indeed your prerogative. However, it could be interpreted to be much more of the problem than the solution. While reticence to delve into matters requiring legal remedies is both wise and appreciated, the fundamental problems with abduction research itself embodied by extraordinary reliance on a single problematic methodology and exposed by a long running public dispute warrant a broader discussion. Abduction research has imitated some facets of science, but without the underlying and critical procedures to ensure data quality and subject protections. The thin veneer of this faux ‘scientific’ process works well enough to mislead some, but those who know the difference have an obligation to sound the alarm.

While you are entitled to your perspective, an alternative and reasonable stance would be that denying public discussion of relevant issues impedes abduction research while indirectly supporting some perpetrators of unethical acts and adding to their undeserved credibility. Due to your position as a longtime member of the board of directors of the Center for UFO Studies, the UFO community might expect to count on you, as well as your peers and others holding similar positions in UFO organizations, to clarify and resolve relevant issues. Perhaps you will opt for alternative choices in the future, and contribute in more substantial manners to the much needed improvements in leadership within abduction research specifically and ufology in general. Notwithstanding friendships, loyalties and worries over making someone feel bad, it is impossible to have this both ways.

Sincerely,

Jack Brewer

Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D.

Alfred Lehmberg

Harvey Price

Carol Rainey

Jeff Ritzmann

Jeremy Vaeni

Emma Woods