“Sex & the Paranormal”

As a paranormal investigator, I find I spend more time reading about the subject than actually investigating. My absolute favorite bookstore is on Burnside in Portland, Oregon. Powell’s City of Books covers an entire city block and is three stories high. One of my favorite smells in the world was discovered when I entered Powell’s for the first time and experienced the utopian combination of books and espresso. Ambrosia for an introvert!

Roy and I hit Powell’s when we got back from Gettysburg and spent over a hundred dollars in making sure we had plenty of reading material for the winter. One of the books I picked up was “Sex and the Paranormal” by Paul Deane. I just finished reading it and must say it was very different from what I had expected.

I felt so scandalous buying the book I actually watched the expression on the face of the cashier to see if she batted an eye over such an edgy book purchased by a middle age couple. I was disappointed when the woman with the plethora of tattoos and piercings didn’t seem to care. *sigh* That means I am still the hopelessly naïve ex-Christian who believes I am far more scandalous than anyone else. Oh well…onward and upward.

The book begins with a recounting of legends in every corner of the world involving ghost rape, demon lovers, and succubi/incubi. The author quickly disproves the majority of these claims by pointing out that when somebody feels like they are being held down and paralyzed by some sex-starved entity, it is actually the natural paralyzing hormone the body produces to prevent us from acting out our dreams. Sometimes the paralysis lasts longer than it should. What about those people who swear they see an entity in their room? Again, the dream state prolongs past wakefulness and hallucinations are the result. There has never been any physical evidence of an actual sexual attack found upon anyone who claims to be the victim of one.

The book then goes on to speak of some of the history of phallic worship, sex, witchcraft, and satanic ritual abuse. Anybody who grew up during the 80’s will remember horror stories of satanic ritual abuse. Around my hometown, every cave for a hundred miles had satanic rituals in it. It is interesting to note, however, that there is less evidence for actual satanic ritual abuse than for ghost rape. Many cases were brought to the limelight based upon false memories created during hypnosis sessions. People are extremely susceptible under hypnosis, and many of the therapists would ask leading questions thereby implanting memories of things that didn’t occur. Entire communities became convinced of Satanists operating in their midst thanks to a book published in 1980 called, “Michelle Remembers.” According to the author, many cases of multiple personality disorders are diagnosed in much the same way.

Alien abduction has a similar history. Some people who awake with sleep paralysis, rather than believing they are being raped by a demon, choose to believe it is aliens (especially since the 1950’s). The few who have vivid memories of alien abduction and anal probes on board intricate space ships have been programmed by hypnotherapists that plant those ideas upon impressionable minds. There has never been any evidence of actual alien abduction, nor any witnesses. One statistic said more than a million Americans are abducted by aliens every year. If that is so, why has no one ever seen anyone getting beamed up?

As to phallic worship, I grew up in a religion that mocked other religions for their phallic worship. I learned the steeples on churches are in fact huge, pointy penises. The Old Testament is rife with references to sacred poles and pillars which were supposed to represent the male and female reproductive organs. Such worship was detestable to Jehovah’s true worshippers.

Therefore, the following paragraph brought me immense joy:

 “Yahweh, the god of the Hebrews, was himself a phallic deity, the rite of circumcision in itself indicating his real nature. In Exodus we read how Zipporah cast at the feet of the angry Yahweh the bloody foreskin of her son as a form of appeasement. Like Baal-Peor, Yahweh was referred to as ‘the opener’, thus: “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.” The frequency with which Yahweh was represented in the form of a bull, and commonly referred to as the ‘Bull of Israel’ is another indication of his phallic origin. Phallic symbolism is rife in the first books of the Old Testament; barely a chapter passes without coded references to people worshiping pillars or columns which, in the context of the descriptions given, clearly represent phallic objects….There are even signs of what is known as the ‘phallic oath’ whereby anybody making a promise or oath would place their hand upon their own penis or even that of a second party. This was a common practice that is still reflected in some superstitions and customs today, and in its time was the equivalent of raising your right hand or swearing on the Bible…the word thigh has been substituted for the word penis in some translations.” (59)

I have always wondered about the whole circumcision thing, especially that situation with Zipporah and her son. Now it all makes perfect sense. No wonder the religion of my youth was so patriarchal. It’s all about the Master member!

I strongly recommend “Sex and the Paranormal” by Paul Deane as a nice dose of objectivity in a world more obsessed with legend and sensationalism than evidence and clear thinking. And for you penis lovers out there–the section on penis snatching should have you crossing your legs like a debutante at a dive bar.


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Some people who awake with sleep paralysis, rather that believing they are being raped by a demon, choose to believe it is aliens”
    Choose to believe is not quite the right turn of phrase, there. People hallucinate weird stuff during sleep paralysis and make sense of it the best they can when they wake up. I think hallucinations during sleep paralysis are influenced by one’s culture and particular fears as much as a typical nightmare is, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people nowadays would see aliens during sleep paralysis whereas people in earlier times saw demons.

  2. Thank you, Midori. You are right. The book even points out that African’s see demons, Europeans see ghosts, another culture sees an old hag, and, since the 1950’s and the sci-fi age, many imagine aliens. The mind grasps at whatever explanation it considers the most terrifying. Thank you for that clarification!

  3. My first post-religion sleep paralysis was interesting. Because I now knew what was happening, and that it was not a demon attack requiring me to say God’s name aloud to drive it away, I just lay there and experienced it. The sensation of your body waking up is fascinating. I sort of wonder if dying isn’t the exact same feeling, except in reverse.

  4. Cool Ty! I’m impressed you still had the presence of mind to just sit back and enjoy. The last one I had was after watching Paranormal Activity I. I panicked and thought my husband was trying to kill me. I wrote it off as a nightmare, but now I am better prepared I will try your trick:~)

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