The basic story: secret evil beings torture, rape and abuse innnocent victims. The victims either get their minds wiped, supress the memories because they’re too painful, or get dismissed as insane.
I’m surprised by how many different varients of this myth turn up. You have the alien abduction claims, the Satanic ritual abuse hysteria, and even before those a varient based on the Atlantis/ Mu/ Hollow earth mythos, the Dero. Older versions based on belief in demons probably date back to antiquity.
So why does this theme keep reoccuring? Is there some rational basis for it? (Not literally but in the sense of some early childhood trauma being misremembered). Or is it something that we just have a predisposition to have delusions about, maybe because of the way the human mind is put together?
I dunno. Is lubricated cabbage a post-structuralist ocelot?
This is what I think. Our minds tend to break in certain ways and not others, and this is one of them.
In The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan pointed out a lot of connections between Mideval-era incubus dreams and modern alien abduction experiences. I’m not sure if ‘paranormal torture’ is exactly the right phrase for it, but yes, I think something of this nature exists.
I think this makes a lot of sense; I’d take it further and say that certain types of memory/experience/fear etc are probably all stored in the same sort of way so that when the mind breaks in a certain way, the bit that falls out and becomes manifest happens to be whatever the prevailing culture ingrained in that particular slot.
Jungian archetypes my foot. It’s simple sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis wouldn’t explain the elaborate mythologies that spring up around these feelings and delusions. I don’t know about Jungian archetypes but something’s going on. I suspect it relates to the deep seated human need to find meaning in the cosmos. Finding yourself at the center of a vast cosmic conspiracy may be frightening, but it’s also exciting.