Susan Clancy’s recently published book Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens (ISBN 0674018796) details her five year research project into the psychology of self-confessed abductees, in an attempt to better understand unusual beliefs and experiences.
This quote is from the closing pages (p154-155):
The primary lesson I learned from my research with abductees is that many of us long for contact with the divine, and aliens are a way of coming to terms with the conflict between science and religion. I agree with Jung: extraterrestrials are technological angels…. We yearn for spiritualism and comfort, magic and meaning. As Bertolt Brecht said in his play Galileo, we need something “to reassure us that the pageant of the world has been written around us,…that a part for us has been created beyond this wretched one in a useless star.” Being abducted by aliens may be a baptism into the new religion of our technological age.
Link to article on Clancy’s work at Harvard.
Link to interview with Clancy on NPR radio.
Link to book information with 1st chapter online.
Link to article on ‘The Psychology and Neuroscience of Alien Abduction’.