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Observations placeholder

Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Jenny Saunders 04



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

Dr Whitton’s preliminary investigation confirmed his original opinion that psychokinetic activity was Jenny's way of ventilating tension as well as indicating deeply repressed trauma. He wasn’t surprised that Jenny had made no conscious connection between her PK energies and the appearance of the bloodstains or that she hadn’t tried to wipe away the markings from her wall. He knew that Jenny wanted both to remember and to forget at the same time. While she had tried valiantly to repress all memory of her aborted child another part of her mind was equally determined to prevent amnesia, the bloodstains being a form of release that probably kept her sane.

But they also represented a seething, deep-seated disturbance that demanded inspection. Faced with the task of exposing the heart of Jenny's troubles, Dr Whitton began by taking her back to childhood by means of hypnosis.

In sessions that stretched over the next two years, every important event up to the age of eleven was steadily exhumed and paraded before her conscious mind. The mask of the timid, expressionless young woman was stripped away by the trance state as Jenny gagged and grimaced in pain and anger. How horrible it was to relive every foul experience that she had consigned to the vaults of oblivion. And yet, paradoxically, how releasing! Together, doctor and patient discovered that Jenny, from a very early age, had been the victim of relentless brutality and sexual torture.

Just to survive, she had repressed all conscious memory of the horror that was childhood. As an adult, Jenny felt nothing but fear and hatred for her mother; no amount of repression could obscure her emotional orientation. Even so, she was profoundly shocked to discover that this woman had been, not merely uncaring and neglectful, but the veritable scourge of her formative years. In trance, Jenny learned that, starting at the age of five, she had been raped by her mother on innumerable occasions with sticks and broom handles. She realized that two scars close to her genitals, scars whose origin she had always questioned, stemmed from her mother's wild lunges with a pair of scissors.

Horrifyingly, Jenny witnessed her mother's avowed intent. 'I want to make you so that no man will ever want you,' she had told the little girl. At first, Jenny couldn't believe that her own mother had committed such atrocities. Several sessions were required before the reality of her memories pervaded her consciousness. Swimming hypnotically through the torment of her once-obliterated past, she re-experienced her mother’s beatings, sexual depravity, screaming fits, and her own lengthy periods of solitary confinement.

Jenny’s father, the public relations director of a large electronics company, probably never even guessed at his daughter's distress. He was always working, always away from home. Jenny's earliest captured memory is of lying hungrily in her crib. A door opened on the far side of the room, and a baby's milk bottle was thrown down beside her. Not yet able to hold the bottle with her tiny hands, little Jenny squirmed with great difficulty into a position which enabled her to close her mouth around the rubber teat. Such maternal insufficiency, to put it mildly, presaged the infliction to come. Jenny's mother, a habitual drug taker who has been confined periodically to psychiatric institutions, indirectly accused her daughter, as she grew older, of being a murderer.

She kept reiterating that Jenny was born shortly after a stillbirth. 'This baby had to die so that you might live,' she would say. Contact with other members of the family later established that this stillborn child was nothing but the product of the mother's disturbed imagination. But as far as Jenny was concerned these primal feelings of guilt were as real as the blows to her body. The guilt lingered in her subconscious mind, lying dormant until being violently reactivated by the intended abortion in 1979.

Once again, she was 'killing' a foetus so that she might live.

The hypnotic sessions were not always successful in drawing memories all the way to the surface. Sometimes, Jenny's dreams completed the process. At other times, the unseen hand of psychokinesis provided the necessary incentive for conscious recall.

One morning, Jenny awoke to find that a corner of the hardwood floor in her apartment had been streaked more than twenty times with a red, greasy substance. As much as she was at a loss to explain this - she neither wore red lipstick nor had any red crayons in the apartment - such events no longer surprised her. But she did let out an involuntary gasp on climbing into the shower - daubed on her right thigh was a broad black mark about five inches long. In the next session, Jenny recovered a memory in which, at six years of age, she was rummaging among her mother's bottles of nail polish. She selected a shade of red, which was to match the red streaks on the hardwood floor, and proceeded to paint a section of her parents' bedroom wall. When her mother discovered the artist at work, she beat her with a belt. Jenny's legs were bruised so badly that she was unable to attend school for an entire week.

On another occasion, Jenny awoke to find blood-like smudges on the bottle of tranquillizers Dr Whitton had prescribed to help her sleep through the sessions' often disturbing aftermath. The blood-stained bottle turned out to be the catalyst for recalling memories of her mother's massive ingestion of various pills. These instances of psychokinesis, incidentally, granted Dr Whitton the opportunity to witness and photograph the phenomena.

The excavation of Jenny's memories eased many of her anxieties, made her less fearful of people, removed the fear of her mother (though the hatred remained), and left her feeling much more positive about herself. So positive, in fact, that she applied for, and gained, a more responsible position with another agency serving the mentally handicapped

At about this time, in August 1981, Dr Whitton summarized the case of Jenny Saunders before the Tenth International Parascience Conference at the University of Toronto. But even as he presented his professional colleagues with detailed description of psychokinetic phantasmagoria, Dr Whitton was only too aware of the incompleteness of the case of Jenny Saunders. Jenny was still far from free of her problems. Her guilt feelings had diminished but they were by no means eradicated. She was still terrified at the prospect of being a mother. She had a phobia of sharp knives. And she suffered from an irrational aversion to her father, a phobia which could not be substantiated by regained childhood memories. She was also distressed by a symptom she described as a 'crotch-knot'. This left her, when sexually stimulated sensing pain rather than pleasure - pain that would mutate into murderous rage. As a result, Jenny had led a sexually reclusive life for years. She was not quite celibate but she was loath to arouse latent feelings of anger that would make her want to kill whoever was touching her. If the anger persisted, she would tum it against herself by indulging in fantasies of cutting out her clitoris with a pair of scissors. In the light of her mother's brutality, Dr Whitton found this reaction perfectly understandable. But, having exhausted her childhood memories without alleviating this symptom, he supposed that its source - as well as the source of other recalcitrant symptoms - might lie deeper than the current incarnation. The time had come for Jenny to be carried back beyond infancy. Seeking the origin of her fear of motherhood, Dr Whitton regressed her to a life in seventeenth-century England. She managed the transition effortlessly . . .

The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps