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Donna Bassett Pt 2


Paranormal Novice
Continued from the 2010 thread
Donna Bassett | The Paracast Community Forums

One point that may be missed is that Donna claims that John Mack sent her a thick manilla folder size package BEFORE she came to her first appointment with him. Inside the package were descriptions of abduction scenarios and Mack's viewpoint on abduction. In other words, the patient was being primed ahead of time to be aware of the kind of alien abduction story that Mack was expecting to hear. If the patient wished Mack's support, this package covertly urged the patient to comply with its alien abduction motiff. Just like Jacobs attacking Emma Woods as being mentally unstable, it is telling that Mack immediately went on the attack and claimed Donna was "wacko" when in fact she was quite aware of what she was doing to expose him. Later, Mack insisted that he felt that Donna had indeed been abducted, but that she was just denying this information from herself. With this kind of circular logic, how can an abduction researcher lose?

Pardon my bumping this thread, but it turns out to be among the top search results when one googles for "Donna Bassett". I thought I'd jump in and add to the record, as it were, with a page from the letter from Dr. Mack to NOVA (the episode of NOVA that was famously edited just before broadcast upon receipt of this letter which cited distortions present in the version that had been sent in advance to tv reviewers).

This letter appeared in the CONTACTforum Newsletter and other publications at the time, but since that was nearly pre-internet, I'm not surprised it needs to be reposted. Note this is just from the page dealing with Donna Bassett. Most of the letter was about the general bias of the NOVA episode in general -- and honestly that deserves more attention than the Donna Bassett element. But, that is for another time.

This letter was a collaboration between Dr. Mack and an attorney of his by the name of Robert Dorwart, though it is signed Dr. Mack.


The segment of your broadcast dealing with Donna Bassett is factually inaccurate, and the statements which she has made and which appear on the preview are totally false.

• Ms. Bassett is described as a “writer.” If Ms. Bassett is a writer, what are her published articles?

• Your description of how I met Donna Bassett is inaccurate. We met at a UFO conference at which extensive details about abduction were presented by a variety of speakers. She was already highly informed about the phenomenon. Her interest in the field is documented to at least ten months before meeting me.

• Your program states that I sent material about the abduction phenomenon to Donna Bassett in preparation for a therapy session. I sent this material to both Edward and Donna Bassett in preparation for a collegial meeting with them in the lounge of the Charles Hotel. There had been no discussion of my working with Ms. Bassett as a client at this point.

• Your program implies that I met with Donna Bassett in a bedroom at the Charles Hotel. I met twice with both Edward and Donna Bassett at the Charles Hotel lounge. It was only until after these meetings that Ms. Bassett requested working with me. I conducted three hypnosis sessions with Ms. Bassett. These sessions took place in my home/office and my female assistant was present at all of them.

• Ms. Bassett has a history of making misstatements in print. She has no credentials except that she lied to me and was supposedly “believed.” In Time magazine Ms. Bassett reports that “hearing the tale, Mack became so excited that he leaned on the bed too heavily and it collapsed.” I’m sure that as you reviewed the tape of our session, you heard no such thing.

• There is no evidence that I took her account at face value or that I was “ecstatic.” In fact, to the contrary, even prior to her “expose” her account was uncharacteristic of the majority of abduction reports. For this reason I put aside her material, choosing instead to write about other, more consistent accounts.

• It is not possible to determine at this time whether Ms. Bassett, or anyone else, was abducted by aliens. It seems to me that she is a person who has been traumatized.

Of the more than one hundred individuals I have worked with, you have chosen to rely heavily upon the testimony of a person whose story you did not fact check. Donna Bassett’s interview and your editing of it are an unconscionable misrepresentation of the truth. My attorney has provided you with extensive detailed documents related to this matter.


End of excerpt from the letter. The relevant parts, imo, are that the impression that Dr. Mack primed a patient with reading materials is an inaccurate impression promoted by the NOVA program, in the sense that Bassett did not approach Dr. Mack as a person seeking his therapeutic assistance. If the letter is accurate, Bassett and her husband were simply sone of the many people who wanted an opportunity to discuss the subject matter with him, and who traded some papers and discussion. That she later decided she wanted to have some sessions with him is fine, in the sense that Dr. Mack never wrote about her.

My impression is that she also tried to give people the impression that Dr. Mack believed in her when she said outlandish things in her sessions, and that this belief was a sign of his gullibility. That always stood out for me, because it seemed obvious to me that any psychiatrist with even a day of experience would be making sure that the patient/subject felt that he or she believed them. Making sure the subject trusts the therapist, making sure the subject believes the therapist is on their side, is exactly what he should have conveyed. That he then never used anything she said speaks volumes more about what he thought of her when he was not in the position of putting her at ease.

Finally, I'd just say that the opening excerpt, "If Ms. Bassett is a writer, what are her published articles?" is probably the best question that many fail to ask. Even her decision to tell her story to Time magazine, rather than write anything herself, puts her assertion into question. In the many years since she claimed to be an undercover writer, no evidence that she was has ever surfaced.

What has surfaced, is that in January 1993, an assistant of Dr. Mack's encouraged her to seek therapy, outside of Dr. Mack's organization, and this suggestion was met with great offense. Rather than diminishing, this rage grew and finally exploded in 1994. In a cover letter Bassett wrote to another UFO researcher, she expressed frustration that Dr. Mack was leaving for his European book tour (leaving her without the access to him which she demanded). She wrote, “Of all the people in the group to force into a corner, he picked those that can do the most damage.”

My own opinion is that she was not a writer, but rather, she was a person who became exceptionally dependent on Dr. Mack and who reacted with exceptional rage when she was advised to get help.

One could even guess that the reason why she made her odd claims about meeting Kennedy, etc., was because she knew John was active politically (the bulk of his writings before he looked into alien abductions), and that this sort of story could get her more attention from him. IMO, when he did not return the interest, she went to Time magazine as her revenge, concocting her "undercover writer" persona to explain why she was there at all. It is interesting that Time magazine did not support her claim that she was an undercover writer - it only reports that she claimed to be one. The distinction being, I don't think Time magazine believed her persona either, but knew her inside perspective would be newsworthy nonetheless.

Regretfully, Dr. Mack could not defend himself against her very well, since he could not share any particular opinions due to the HIPAA laws which bind doctors from speaking about people who they have seen as patient -- but she could say anything, regardless of how based in reality it may or may not have been. And of course, Dr. Mack had to consider, initially, the possibility that she may have been in fact an undercover writer - but this possibility evaporated fairly quickly, for if she had been, why hadn't she tried to blend in with the other subjects by telling of accounts that more closely resembled what the bulk of people were describing? The question is rhetorical - IMO she was too disorganized to have been anything more than a disturbed person who sought revenge on the doctor who did not serve her needs.

I won't be replying to this thread; I just wanted to make sure that google searches for Bassett that arrive on this fine forum had more data.