Alien Possession Theory (APT)
Alien Possession Theory (APT)
A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit (Luke 6:43)
APT considers the possibility, commonly found within science fiction, that hostile extraterrestrials (ETs) from another world or realm may have a negative effect on psychologically vulnerable human individuals through the use of psi.
This alien invasion motif does not involve visible aggression as portrayed in H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids or Star Trek‘s Borg collective.
Instead, APT entertains the notion of a purely transpersonal colonization of the mind by malevolent ETs or evil spiritual beings (traditionally regarded as demons), which together are called negative spiritual influences (NSI).
According to APT, NSIs might convince individuals that they are better, special or chosen from the common herd partly by preying on unresolved inferiority complexes, bestowing paranormal abilities and promising to fulfil personal hopes and dreams.
From an Adlerian perspective, some victims of early psychological and/or physical abuse might compensate for deep-seated feelings of inferiority by believing they’re superior to others.
It’s probably easier for some to see themselves as chosen prophets or invaluable, inter-dimensional ambassadors instead of examining the psychological scars of childhood left behind from a dysfunctional family and/or oppressive political environment.
APT explores but does not assert as true or false the notion that NSI and related paranormal phenomena could exist.
Arlan K. Andrews summarizes a considerable number of reports suggesting that belief in the presence of ETs and UFOs, especially after first contact, is linked to a significant increase in psi abilities.¹
From the perspective of APT, any newfound abilities (e.g. telepathy, precognition, telekinesis) or perhaps the uncritical belief in such abilities could entice victims into regarding themselves as hereditarily above the rank and file.
In keeping with this idea, it is a historical fact that both violent tyrants and non-violent fanatics often believe they are uniquely privileged agents of God or some higher power.
In contemporary psychiatric parlance one might say that the pain of a childhood complex is repressed and supplanted by magical thinking that contributes to the development of sociopathy at one extreme or, at the other extreme, to harmless, non-violent daydreamers and religious zealots.
But APT favors a holistic approach over the psychiatric tendency to emphasize biological, psychological and social factors contributing to destructive mental illnesses or innocuous fantasies and delusions. Alleged paranormal phenomena such as ETs and psi are not necessarily explained away as hallucinations, fantasies or delusions born of so-called chemical imbalances, faulty genes, poor nutrition, stress, childhood trauma or some combination thereof.²
Again, APT recognizes the possibility that NSI and psi could exist. But rather than setting out to prove or disprove the existence of NSI and psi, APT is more concerned to practically assess the ethical attitudes and behavior linked to a given person or group’s beliefs about these, as of yet, unproven possibilities.
Thus APT examines whether or not observable attitudes and behavior support a person or group’s belief in the alleged goodness of supposed ET associates and the paranormal powers they allegedly bestow.
APT draws on the theological idea of ‘the discernment of spirits’ but its overall outlook is not necessarily restricted to traditional religious cosmologies.
Rather than limiting itself to the assumptions and parameters of a single discipline, APT builds on and attempts to integrate aspects of scientific, sociological, philosophical and theological discourse in order to advance knowledge and promote wellness in this intriguing and sometimes difficult area.
It should be stressed that APT is chiefly concerned with understanding and rectifying beliefs about ETs and psi that are deemed as potentially unhealthy and dysfunctional.
The notion that not just hostile but benevolent ETs may, indeed, exist is not ruled out. But APT places Husserlian brackets³ around any such truth-claims.
- See “Psychic Aspects of UFO’s” in Ronald Story, ed. The Encyclopedia of UFO’s. Doubleday & Co. Garden City, New York: 1980, pp. 286-289.
- The widespread belief, promotion and advertising of ideas like chemical imbalance and faulty genes has been critiqued from diverse sociological, philosophical and scientific perspectives.
- See “5. The phenomenological epoché” at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/husserl/#PheEpo
» 1984, Aliens, “ET’s, UFO’s and the Psychology of Belief,” UFOs
Add to this, report errors, suggest edits or voice your opinion
by posting a comment