Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gary Hart on the Carpenter Affair

Long time UFO investigator Gary Hart commented tonight at The UFO Trail on the infamous Carpenter Affair. The series of events involved the betrayal of some 140 individuals who sought the support and services of John Carpenter and the Mutual UFO Network during the 1990's. The 140, including Leah Haley, underwent regressive hypnosis facilitated by Carpenter, a former MUFON director of abduction research. It was later learned Carpenter received some $14,000 in funding from Robert Bigelow in exchange for ongoing activities and providing him and his associates, which included Colonel John Alexander, with the case files of the 140. This was done entirely without the knowledge or consent of the 140 individuals. Much more about the Carpenter Affair can be read in the previous posts on the Leah Haley case, including The Leah Haley Case: John Carpenter, where Mr. Hart left the following comments:


Jack, as one of the principle reporters of the Carpenter Affair I found your posts quite interesting, especially in regards to what Mr. Carpenter had to say about everything. Perhaps I can clear up some few points that Mr. Carpenter chooses to repeatedly ignore or twist to a brighter point of view:

1) Mr. Carpenter originally wrote the section on handling abductee cases in the then current edition of the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual where he includes a sample form for the abductee to be presented with and sign if they wish to give a researcher permission to use their case material publicly. Mr. Carpenter, in a private communication, admitted that he had never had any of the abductees he worked with sign this or any other form of consent to sell or otherwise distribute their hypnosis files and that no researcher he knew followed his own suggested procedure.

Some files such as Leah Haley's would have been instantly identifiable even if Carpenter sold them without providing Mr. Bigelow with the identity of the person associated with each file. As I found out and was provided evidence of, Mr. Carpenter provided Mr. Bigelow with a name/case key list and even though every abductee I spoke with said that Carpenter promised he WOULD revisit them for their explicit permission to release any of their file materials if necessary yet he never did.

2) I brought the Carpenter case to public attention only after many of the abductees asked me to do so understanding that at that time he planned to write a book about them and was ALREADY selling a video for his personal profit that showed clips from some of their private hypnosis sessions with his professional credentials prominently listed on the videotape's cover.

3) Carpenter claimed, in a legal statement through his lawyer, that he did his hypnosis sessions as an amateur and thus could not be held to professional ethical standards - a point also made to me directly by then head of MUFON Walt Andrus. In fact, several of Carpenter's cases were referrals from other medical doctors. LCSW, by the way, is a professional designation - MO state Licensed Clinical Social Worker. MSW says that he has a masters in social work. All abductees I spoke with were shown only Carpenter's professional business card with these important licensing initials, not MUFON's more ordinary Investigator's ID card so he was promoting himself as a true health care professional. 

4) Carpenter got to a point in the mid 90's where he double billed abductees: he asked them for personal payment for their hypnosis sessions and billed their insurance and there is proof of this.

5) Finally, as a result of my filing a complaint against Carpenter's professional license because of his unethical handling of abductee cases, he was put on 5 years probation by the State of Missouri and there is online proof of this also so the state did agree with the case we collectively presented to their investigative board.

MUFON still throws out the "we want to stop the backbiting and infighting in Ufology" line as if there never has been a legitimate legal issue with how MUFON board members and representatives (as John was as their then Director of Abduction Research). This was the case MUFON still would like to forget. This is the case that caused MUFON's Board in 2001 to vote and throw out the "member" designation so that from then on persons affiliated with MUFON would be "subscribers" only and have no voting rights as to how the organization does business. 

Just to set things straight,

Gary Hart

Time Line of the Carpenter Affair

An abbreviated chronological order of relevant events, 
composed with the assistance of Gary Hart:

Late 1980's: Springfield social worker John Carpenter was conducting regression hypnosis sessions with Missouri and Arkansas abductees.

Early 1990's: Carpenter began working with Robert Bigelow on various projects. He soon began intermittently requesting and receiving financial gifts from Bigelow.

1991: Leah Haley became a hypnosis subject of Carpenter's and would eventually pay him a total of $825 for the sessions. Carpenter was appointed MUFON director of abduction research.

1994: Carpenter wrote in a regional MUFON newsletter that his professional office would be used for hypnosis sessions. Price and payment options were listed, which included billing medical insurance companies.

1996: Carpenter reached terms with Robert Bigelow to exchange copies of abductee case files for cash.

1997: Carpenter's former hypnosis subject and then-wife Elizabeth told abductees that Carpenter sold their files. Abductees were livid. Elizabeth secured evidence of the file sale, and divorce proceedings followed amid accusations of various forms of professional misconduct (Carpenter would later marry another of his hypnosis subjects). Carpenter and abductees sought legal counsel. Carpenter's attorney claimed in a letter that Carpenter collected abductee data for personal pleasure and was not compensated.

1999: Hart heard rumors of the circumstances and was given details when he met with some of Carpenter's clients while investigating a UFO case in the vicinity of Springfield. They told Hart about the file sale and that MUFON was doing nothing.

2000: Attorneys representing the abductees dropped the case. Elizabeth temporarily launched a website describing the Carpenter Affair, likely out of frustration and to inform the public of MUFON inaction. Hart saw the site, contacted Elizabeth and investigated the circumstances, including interacting with several of Carpenter's disgruntled former clients. John Velez reported on UFO Updates that Bigelow, Colonel Alexander and others confirmed the reality of the Carpenter Affair. After investigating the circumstances, Hart submitted verified details in a formal complaint to MUFON, which continued to drag its feet and enabled Carpenter to retain his MUFON position and activities.

2001: Hart submitted a report and formal complaint to the State of Missouri Division of Professional Registration. John Schuessler wrote in the MUFON Journal that Carpenter vacated his MUFON position. Carpenter's license as a clinical social worker was put on a five-year probation period.

Primary Source Verification

The licensee search function of this website provides data extracted from our database and constitutes a Primary Source Verification.

Licensee Name:Carpenter, John 
Profession Name:Clinical Social Worker 
Licensee Number:000939  
Expiration Date:9/30/2015 
Original Issue Date:10/1/1991 
Address Con't: 
City, State Zip:Springfield, MO 658140517 
Practitioner DBA Name: 
Certification Type: 
Current Discipline Status:None
Action Taken:Probation 
Start Date:10/11/2001 
End Date:10/11/2006 

  Missouri Division of Professional Registration
3605 Missouri Boulevard
P.O. Box 1335
Jefferson City, MO  65102-1335
573.751.0293 Telephone
800.735.2966 TTY
800.735.2466 Voice Relay

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