Goblins of the Threshold.

I. Samhain.

Closing my eyes, letting go, my mind drifts, blossoming spontaneous motion pictures, as is usually the case before I slide into a dream. Relaxed and numb, I am certain I will fall asleep for the few hours I have until I have to start waking up for work, but suddenly, in the silent movie in my mind, one of them pop up. Short, slender, large head and black, slanted, almond-shaped eyes. I come out of it, then drift back into another motion picture, but again they emerge, uninvited.

Curse my unconscious.

Getting up out of bed, I pour myself a mug of coffee. Sit in front of the computer. And then I just stare off into space. Stare into the void where answers should be.

II. Just Another Paranoid Afternoon Morning.

It is the eleventh; the day before my birthday. Something feels “off” from the moment I open my eyes. Suddenly I just wake up, as if out of a trance at the snap of fingers, and look at the clock, which reads around one in the afternoon. Apparently I had gotten up, turned off my two alarms and fell back asleep without realizing it, which happens a bit too often. Either in my hand or just near it on the bed is my cell phone, which immediately struck me as odd, as I always keep it in the chair next to the head of my bed and would have no reason to have it in my hands anyway, as I hadn’t set the alarm on my cell last night. Strangest of all, I was positioned on my bed wrong; my feet were towards the head of the bed, my head at the foot. I sure as hell hadn’t fallen asleep that way. Granted, I must have gotten up to turn off the alarm, which I’ve done countless times without realizing it, but I’ve never settled back down in bed in the opposite direction. And that still didn’t explain my fucking phone.

Later, I would become disturbed by the possibility that I might have been sleep-walking, or more specifically sleep-talking — that I had either answered the phone in my sleep or called someone and had some conversation I didn’t remember. Checking my cell later on, I saw no number called or received during the time I was out. I’d had a few beers the night before, but I certainly wasn’t drunk when I fell asleep. So I just got up, made some coffee, checked the net, took a shower. Tried not to think about it, tried not to reinforce my own stupid paranoia.

And failed fucking miserably.

III. Faces Out From the Haze.

Saturday night, more like Sunday morning. No sleep aide tonight. No pill, no bottle. Back to the mattress, lain straight, I close my eyes, focusing on deep breathing, imagining a cocoon around me, and then relaxing myself from toes to the top of my head, going deeper, deeper. Just breathe. Just relax. Again I see them in my mind’s eye. Involuntarily rising up from the mental haze, this time it is just their faces staring down at me, real close up to my face. Eyes raping my eyes. Breathing deeply, relaxing further, I try to find focus on Ajna, the third eye region, but even with that calm concentration where I feel entirely compact and focused, I see one of them looking down at me, face so close its almost touching mine. Even my mind is against me. Rolling over, face to the wall, clutching the wadded-up blanket like a child, I tell myself just to go to sleep. To forget them. Just sleep without dumbing yourself down tonight. Ignore the sounds, its just the neighbors, the people upstairs, the cars outside, the plumbing, the computer. No one is there. No one is there. Fucking go to sleep.

IV. Supine.

I wake up on my back, my body positioned straight, legs together, both my hands placed on my chest, and paralyzed. I am unable to move anything but my eyes. Unless I am meditating, this is a weird position for me to be sleeping in, and even when I do meditate and eventually fall to sleep I roll over on my side or my stomach shortly thereafter. As I open my eyes, staring at the ceiling, an afterimage of a straight line blinking in my field of vision for a few moments for some odd reason, I immediately recognize how peculiar all this is, and though perplexed, I am unafraid. I move my eyes, which is the only part of me I seem capable of moving, towards the clock, but I cannot remember what time it was that I saw. Nor can I recall my dreams, though I feel certain I had more than one. I remember thinking it was a shame I had not kept my webcam recording me sleeping as I had several nights prior. I then close my eyes again and drift off to sleep.

V. They Are My Waldo.

If you ever watch South Park you may have noticed that in many episodes that have stretched out across the seasons cameos have been made by “The Vistors,” as the writers call them, or, as they are more popularly known, the Gray aliens. Its like Where’s Waldo? only in this case Waldo is short, skinny, with a huge head like an overturned egg upon which rests two big, black, slanted and almond-shaped eyes. And even if you don’t look for Waldo, he pops up out of nowhere, haunting you. Sometimes these cameos are blatant, but more often you’ll find them hiding in the crowds or in the scenery.

Well, for the past few months this is precisely what my head has been like when I’m lying down trying to go to sleep. As is always the case, pictures emerge out of the haze of my mind as I am on the bridge of sleeping and waking; sometimes these images are in color, sometimes they manifest in this crisp, vivid, opaque kind of quality, as if I’m viewing it all through a pair of dark sunglasses. Often its scenery, sometimes people; sometimes freeze-frames, sometimes there’s movement. So I’ll be letting my mind go and drifting calmly off to sleep when out of nowhere one of the Grays will appear, walking around, and they will look dead at me like some character on television that suddenly looks back at you from within the screen and you get the startling sense that the character is real and can actually see you. As can be expected, this freaks me out and I bolt awake, physically bolting upward, only to try and fall asleep again, often to only have it happen again.

To be entirely honest, I prefer this to what was occurring maybe a month or two ago, when I could not lay my head down into the pillow sober without seeing, within my mind, images of a group of Grays looking down on me from real, real close-up. I always sleep on my side or with my face down in the pillow, rarely on my back, so the fact that I always saw them looking down on me from a supine position shocked me even more; despite the fact that these were before-dream images, it felt as if I was actually there, real-time, on my back, despite the fact that I most certainly was not (or at least at the time, I can say with confidence). I really would have hoped that after all these years the sight of their faces would not haunt me so; that they would not be so very entrancing and yet simultaneously frightening.

To some things, it seems one can never become desensitized.


Lies from the Skies?

Many of the circumstances described by not only myself but by others who have experienced “alien abduction” seem to parallel the techniques used by cults to recruit their prey. The simplest way I can understand it is to see it as a four-step process I call CIBI: confusion, isolation, bondage (not the good kind) and identification.

1. Confusion.

First comes the confusion technique in the form of what we might call Ontological Shock Treatment. To expose a mind to an enduring, recurrent state of profound confusion over fundamental existential axioms is to induce that mind into a state of heightened suggestibility. Mack describes abductees as suffering from “the ‘ontological shock’ of having one’s worldview abruptly ripped away, then lingering with the ‘hope’ of mental illness, and drifting between the two belief systems.” As a matter of fact, that fragment of a sentence accurately sums up the life I’ve lived in my head every day since late 1994. There have been periods when I have embraced one or the other belief system with all my might, but the certainty is ultimately transient, the oscillation seemingly eternal.

2. Isolation.

Cults work to isolate recruits from old friends, family and authority. While the aliens do not do this the same way that cults do, a lifelong stream of alien encounters and paranormal experiences can leave a person feeling an understandably strong sense of emotional and social isolation. This emotional distance from the bulk of humanity is fostered first and foremost by the culture’s attitude towards the phenomenon.

John Mack notes in his book, Abduction, that the abductee experiences a “… life-long sense of isolation and estrangement from the rest of one’s family and society if one cannot remember and tell the story, or ridicule if one does.”

Drawing on the parallels between religious visions and UFO encounters, Vallee writes in Dimensions (p 191) that “everything works as if the revelation were designed to isolate the witness, prophet, or believer from his social environment. He often becomes an outcast and has to flee.”

3. Bondage.

One technique of bonding involves physically or psychologically torturing an individual under the guise of hard love and then offering them “sympathetic” mercy. This produces a euphoria in the victim that serves to bond the victim to the torturer.

Cults often accomplish this by convincing recruits of a moral code and getting them to judge themselves on that basis, and once guilt has grown to a sufficient intensity they offer confession, which consequently produces cathartic euphoria, effectively bonding the confessor to the confessed (as well as giving the confessed the additional tool of potential blackmail given the contents of the confession).

In alien abduction accounts, this is done in at least two distinct ways. The first takes place in the wake of the thorough physical examination when, according to Jacobs in his book Secret Life, the aliens accomplish “bonding” by means of using penetrating eye contact as an amplifier for telepathic control. The abductee may even feel love for the creatures and sense some deep, cosmic connection almost religious in nature.

Mack seems to imply the process continues when an abductee awakens to his experiences through flashbacks or hypnotic-induced recall. This he calls “pushing through” and as he explains in Abduction (page 33), this constitutes “fully experiencing the terror and rage associated with the helplessness and intrusive instrumentation on the ships. When this takes place acknowledgment and acceptance of the power of the experiences becomes possible and a more reciprocal relationship follows in which personal growth and learning can take place.” This sounds like deepening the bonding experience the aliens began during the initial examination experience.

The second way they do this is revealed when they escort abductees to a room where they view scenes on a large monitor on the wall, typically depicting scenarios of global cataclysm. Depictions of utter catastrophe, massive death, desolation and disaster. Environmental collapse, floods and plagues. Everything from atomic wars to asteroids hitting the earth, riots and plagues, environmental collapse.

It is then conveyed to the abductee that something bad is going to happen on a global scale and the abductee is somehow responsible, somehow the guilty party. Interestingly, just how the abductee caused it and how they are to stop it never seems to be given much detail, and sometimes abductees are at least initially led to believe that this doomsday is inevitable.

The only motive behind these grisly, hypnotic horror movies would be to generate emotional responses in the abductee, which typically tend to be characterized by hopelessness, fear, guilt and a sense of powerlessness over the death of human species and damage to the earth.

Like psychic predators, aliens stare deeply into the eyes of the abductee all throughout this motion picture show of doom. Given telepathy’s mind-revealing nature, the abductee would be reduced to a transparent animal before these creatures, rendering the act of confession unnecessary, as emotional transparency in telepathy is worth more than mere words. The images build up this negative tension in the abductee until the aliens finally exploit it, providing a release that in turn facilitates bonding been the abductees and their captors. The release is offered in two general ways.

First, the aliens may provide “happy” scenes of creation in the wake of disaster when the aliens arrive and their new species, part human and part alien, helps humanity establish a new and better way of life out of the ashes of the old. Instead or in addition to this, after the doom-viewing, the alien may tell or imply to the abductee that there is hope after all and that it is the abductee that has to stop this all from happening. They tell the abductee that she or he is one of the chosen and has a role to play in their plan. They tell the abductee that when the time comes, they will know what to do. The abductees believe this as they feel they have “secret knowledge” buried in their minds that they cannot access yet, but will be able to in the future.

4. Identification.

In the cult setting, as a joint result of the attacks on the subject’s identity and their identifications as well as the guilt they have been fooled into embracing, they eventually and inevitably suffer a nervous breakdown, uncertain as to who or what they really are. This ego-loss was the aim: they must cast their old masque that binds them to their old life and don a new identity bound up with the cult.

The aliens also often make either a bold announcement or try to nudge the abductee towards the revelation that she or he is not merely one of the alien’s “chosen” but is in actuality “one of them.” Sometimes the aliens tell the abductee this blatantly and sometimes indirectly, such as through an alleged past life memory in which the abductee was an alien or by means of one of the aliens claiming to be their real mother or father. As these two examples suggest, the sense of connection that the abductee finds in the alien may be genetic, spiritual and often both. In either case, this supports the “duality of consciousness” experienced by some abductees, in which they are aware of an alien identity that sometimes takes the steering wheel of their body and works in collusion with the aliens, as one of them, all the while keeping them in the dark

Perhaps this is how they uproot and replant a new recruit: an alien identity and worldview embraced, the human left for dead and unmourned for.