Dr. Mack has devoted his career to exploring the question of how our perceptions shape our relationship with each other and with the world. He addressed this issue of “worldview” on the individual level in his early clinical explorations of dreams, nightmares and teen suicide, and in his biographical study of the life of T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 1977. He has sought out the psychological roots of collective experiences such as the Cold War, the global ecological crisis, ethnonationalism and regional conflict. Dr. Mack testified before Congress in 1983 on the psychological impact of the nuclear arms race on children, and was arrested at the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons test site in Nevada.
The Center for Psychology & Social Change was founded by Dr. Mack in 1983. The Center’s projects apply psychology to the process of healing and reshaping relationships in the social, ecological, political and spiritual realms. The Center’s work is designed to promote shifts in consciousness and behavior that invite sustainable, equitable, and peaceful ways of living.
In 1992, Dr. Mack co-chaired the Abduction Study Conference held at MIT, a landmark scientific assembly on alien encounters. In 1993, Dr. Mack founded the Program for Extraordinary Experience Research (PEER) to formalize his explorations in this area. Dr. Mack and his colleagues at PEER worked with over 200 individuals from six continents who have experienced encounters with unknown intelligences. Dr. Mack’s research into this controversial subject focused on the consideration of the merits of an expanded notion of reality, one which allows for experiences that may not fit the Western materialist paradigm, yet deeply affect people’s lives.
Through collaborations and meetings with clinicians, “experiencers”, psychologists, epidemiologists, historians, physicians, philosophers, anthropologists, physicists, theologians, and political scientists, Dr. Mack has encouraged members of different disciplines to bring their talents to this exploration.
Dr. Mack is the author or co-author of eleven books, including A Prince of Our Disorder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Abduction, and Nightmares and Human Conflict. The culmination of his research into experiencers, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters was published in November 1999. He has written more than one hundred and fifty scholarly articles.
Dr Mack first met Credo Mutwa in 1994, during a short trip to South Africa, the main purpose of which was to investigate the Ariel School incident in Zimbabwe. “Credo seemed a noble, even regal figure with his colourful robes and heavy metal adornments of the sangoma, which seemed as if they ought to weigh him down,” writes Mack in Passport to the Cosmos. During the interview, Mutwa spoke a great deal about his traumatic alien abduction experiences – experiences that Mack, a world-renowned expert on the subject, found difficult not to take seriously