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.

Project Core… Is Here

Time to break the internet. Tell everyone you know, Project Core is finally here. Jeff Ritzmann, Tyler Kokjohn, and I have spoken of it quite a bit through the years. Finally, it’s time for the project to speak for itself.

Please tell everyone you know, not because there are earth-shattering revelations here, but because this is what science looks like when applied to a study of encounter experiences. We’re not the only ones doing it but we are the most vocal as far as I can tell.

It’s time to dial back the circus and promote honest work again, yeah?

http://www.projectcore.net

Project Core Logo

 

Tyler Kokjohn Breaks Down The Ebola Epidemic For Us

The Ebola Epidemic – Simple and Not So Simple
Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D.

Some aspects of the Ebola epidemic are simple.  Hemorrhagic fevers caused by agents like the Ebola viruses are some of the deadliest infectious disease agents known and there is a substantial risk this expanding epidemic will spread across the world.  Because vaccines remain in the testing stage and there are no reliable treatment options, the outbreak will be brought under control only if and when the chain of person-to-person virus transmission is broken.  Achieving that critical goal will require substantial help from the international community.

Some issues are less clear cut, although it is still possible to get a sense of the situation.  The current outbreak began about a year ago in Africa and has already taken a terrible toll in human lives.  This is the largest Ebola virus disease epidemic ever seen and it is growing rapidly.  However, the experts have only approximate counts of infections and deaths, making it difficult to project what may come next.  Epidemiologists, scientists and futurists have warned for decades that viral hemorrhagic fevers and air travel could be a deadly combination.  We are now watching that nightmare scenario unfold.

Regrettably, the lack of medical resources has facilitated the spread of Ebola virus disease.  Perhaps some looking at those desperate conditions reached an erroneous conclusion: that if a traveler brought Ebola out of Africa, the superior capabilities of the medical care systems in the developed world would suffice to keep disaster at bay.  Author and emerging disease expert Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) summed up the situation succinctly: a significant impediment to the US public health system response to the Ebola epidemic challenge may have been simple overconfidence.

The arrival in the US of the first Ebola case in a traveler promptly exploded the myth of public health system preparedness.  Knowing how to control Ebola infections is one thing, reducing that knowledge to actual practice is something else.  Watching the situation in Africa grow worse, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorities seem never to have asked some simple questions regarding how the US system might respond to the real thing.  How long would it take to recognize an Ebola-infected patient had arrived unannounced at a medical center emergency department, an urgent care facility or a private practitioner’s office and what would happen after that?  How many medical facilities across the nation were realistically ready to rapidly diagnose, isolate and treat such challenging patients?  Perhaps confident that the Ebola infections in the US would be contained quickly, the CDC seems never to have anticipated that some simple errors compounded by a lack of preparedness could end up manufacturing secondary cases in medical personnel with the potential to spark additional, entirely home-grown, outbreaks.  The tragic debacle surrounding events in Dallas exposed weaknesses and dramatically heightened public concern over the Ebola threat to the US.

This Ebola epidemic will pose a global public health menace for many months or perhaps even years and we are all simply going have to learn to live with that threat.  But it is not going to be easy.  One problem is the enhanced surveillance system has a gaping hole.  Taking the body temperature of airline passengers may prevent some infectious Ebola carriers from boarding planes or enable them to be recognized on arrival in the US.  But had the enhanced screening procedures been in place a month earlier, the late Thomas Eric Duncan, the first traveler to reach the US while incubating an unrecognized Ebola infection, would probably have breezed right through them.  In addition, it is unclear if an infected person who takes ibuprofen or other fever-lowering drugs could then pass body temperature screening without being recognized.  Influenza season is just beginning and travelers with fever will increase, will the comparatively rare Ebola-infected person get lost when screeners must contend with a large crowd of false alarms?

If air travel poses the greatest danger to spread Ebola to the US, isn’t banning all flights to areas involved in the epidemic a simple solution to the problem?  Because the virus is a global threat, ensuring public security involves more than simply locking US borders to air traffic from a few countries.  Some actions, although imperfect, have been taken.  The CDC has issued advisories to discourage nonessential travel to Ebola epidemic areas and most (but not all) air passengers arriving in the US from those locations are now subject to enhanced screening.  Authorities resist imposing outright air travel bans arguing such actions might impede arrival of aid and do more harm than good.  In addition, suggesting people will evade any ban by travelling overland to other airports, they argue it could become even harder to detect Ebola-infected passengers if potentially exposed individuals start coming from many origination points.  The fact that the control measures have some obvious holes makes it difficult to argue that the public safety is assured.  Meeting this particular challenge may ultimately necessitate greatly increased reliance on military resources and we will probably soon see measures that fall somewhere in between a total ban and unfettered free travel.

Ultimately our security hinges on achieving success in two activities: controlling the Ebola outbreak at its source and preventing its spread.   The US must participate in a global effort to ensure sufficient essential goods and services necessary to suppress the epidemic reach the affected localities and air travelers departing from outbreak areas are screened thoroughly and advised of their situation appropriately.  It may be both cost effective and efficacious to abandon a strictly US-centric perspective as soon as possible and bolster the capabilities of the neighboring African countries not yet involved in the epidemic to screen air passengers prior to departure and deal effectively with any infected individuals.  Travel ban or not, travelers incubating Ebola could literally show up anywhere at anytime.

Perhaps 20,000 cases of Ebola virus disease have appeared in Africa to date, yet only one traveler incubating an infection has reached the US.  The good news is that the frequency of infected travelers has been low and the US may have sufficient time to improve its response measures before any more arrive in the future.  The bad news is that the epidemic is expanding which suggests the risk of spread to new areas is likewise increasing.  It is not clear how many simultaneously appearing Ebola cases the US medical system could accommodate and it may not take too many poorly handled situations to simply overwhelm the American public health system.  Perhaps the appointment of an Ebola Czar will hasten the adoption of practical and proactive measures to avert that crisis.  If any additional infected travelers reach the US and spark more outbreaks in medical personnel or the general public, the demands to impose simple, possibly counterproductive political solutions on the long-term and complicated challenges we face may become irresistible.

The Ebola epidemic is growing and the threat it poses to global public health is expanding.  This situation will remain a hazard to global public health for many months or years into the future.  Neither a miracle cure nor a vaccine is going to appear and get the world out of this situation, we will simply have to do this one the old fashioned way and break the chain of virus transmission.  This will require fostering an international effort with resources sufficient to eradicate the Ebola epidemic in Africa while in the interim working to prevent it from sparking any new outbreaks in the US or other parts of the world.

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Ebola facts – http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/31/world/africa/ebola-virus-outbreak-qa.html?_r=0