About the Author
John Edward Mack, M.D. (October 4, 1929 - Sep 27, 2004) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the Harvard Medical School (Cum Laude, 1955) after undergraduate study at Oberlin (Phi Beta Kappa, 1951). He was a graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and was board certified in child and adult psychoanalysis. Dr Mack's efforts to bridge psychiatry and spirituality were compared by The New York Times to that of former Harvard professor William James. Dr Mack advocated that Western culture requires a shift away from a purely materialist worldview - which he asserted was largely responsible for the Cold War, the global ecological crisis, ethnonationalism and regional conflict - towards a transpersonal worldview which could embrace some elements of Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions which hold that we are all connected to one another. He researched how this sense of connectionA" developed with difficulty between different cultures, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for A Prince of Our Disorder, his biography of British officer T. E. Lawrence ( Lawrence of ArabiaA") whose identity bridged Britain and the Middle East. He interviewed political leaders and citizens of the then-Soviet Union and Israel/Palestine in the study of ethno-national conflict and the nuclear arms race. His early clinical work included explorations of dreams, nightmares and adolescent suicide. The theme of connectionA" to other life was explored most boldly in his study of men and women who reported that recurrent alien encounterA" experiences had affected the way they regarded the world, including a heightened sense of spirituality and environmental concern. Mack's interest in the transformational aspects of these extraordinary experiences, and his suggestion that the experience may be more transcendent than physical in nature - yet nevertheless real - was largely reported in the media as a simple endorsement of the reality of alien encounters. The Dean of Harvard Medical School infamously appointed a committee of peers to review Mack's "clinical care and clinical investigation" of the people who had shared their alien encounters with him (some of their cases were written of in Mack's 1994 book Abduction). After fourteen months of inquiry, amid growing concern from the academic community regarding the validity of an investigation of a tenured professor in the absence of any claim of misconduct, Harvard issued a statement stating that the Dean had reaffirmed Dr. Mack's academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment,A" concluding Dr. Mack remains a member in good standing of the Harvard Faculty of Medicine.A" Mack's explorations broadened into the general consideration of the merits of an expanded notion of reality, one which allows for experiences that may not fit a materialist paradigm, yet deeply affect people's lives. Mack's final published book, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters (1999), was as much a philosophical treatise connecting the themes of spirituality and modern worldviews as it was the culmination of his work with experiencersA" of alien encounters. Dr. Mack passed away at age 74 in London, England.
Passport to the Cosmos provides the most sophisticated and insightful analysis to date about alien abduction phenomenon. [Mack deserves] thanks for holding his ground in the face of critics. - Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Center for Humanities and the Arts. University of Colorado Dr. Mack is one of the more credible writers and researchers in the UFO scene and a man who has earned the right to be accorded some consideration. - Mensa Bulletin: The Magazine of American Mensa Review From Publishers Weekly Here is a fascinating foray into an exotic world. From Harvard psychiatry professor and Pulitzer prize-winning author John Mack comes a second book (after Abduction) based on accounts by people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. While he fudges the question of whether the aliens are real in a strictly material sense, he insists that the experience is real for the abductees, in the way that shamans' spiritual journeys are real to them; indeed, a couple of his interviewees are shamans. He focuses on the newly emerging spiritual importance of the alleged abductees' message. Their reports, Mack believes, reveal much about human culture and the future of the human race. In extensive interviews with Mack, those who claim to have been abducted report that the aliens are especially motivated by questions of ecological destruction, and that they may even be survivors of a destroyed civilization seeking to breed hybrid children with humans to ensure the survival of both the human race and their own. Overwhelmingly, the abductees state that the aliens visit Earth to warn us that our cavalier tree-cutting, water-polluting, trash-dumping habits will have dire consequences if we do not change our ways. Abductees are left with not only a profound caring for the environment, but with a sense that they have encountered creatures sent by whatever power rules the universe. They particularly find that their experiences resonate with Native American religions. This discussion leads into what is possibly the most intriguing section of the book, the examination of sex between humans and aliens-great sex, by numerous accounts. But as a serious investigation into a mystifying experience, Mack's account poses questions begging for answers. Review From Library Journal Mack, a Harvard University psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of T.E. Lawrence, created an academic stir with the publication of Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994), in which he argued that tales of alien abduction were true. As a result, Harvard warned him to adhere to its standards of conduct for clinical research. In this follow-up, Mack, still undaunted, argues that our knowledge of reality needs to change and that scientific rationalism alone cannot explain the alien abduction syndrome. He examines traditional views of reality, the implications for humanity in light of the abduction phenomenon, and the traumatic effects on experiencers or abductees. Mack's work with indigenous people-shamans and medicine men and women-suggests that the phenomenon is not simply a product of Western imagination. This veritable handbook of New Age philosophy will find a readership in most public libraries.