• The Believer

  • Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack
  • By: Ralph Blumenthal
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

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The Believer

By: Ralph Blumenthal
Narrated by: Phil Thron
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Publisher's Summary

The Believer is the weird and chilling true story of Dr. John Mack. This eminent Harvard psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer risked his career to investigate the phenomenon of human encounters with aliens and to give credibility to the stupefying tales shared by people who were utterly convinced they had happened.

Nothing in Mack's four decades of psychiatry had prepared him for the otherworldly accounts of a cross section of humanity, including young children who reported being taken against their wills by alien beings. Over the course of his career, his interest in alien abduction grew from curiosity to wonder, ultimately developing into a limitless, unwavering passion.

Based on exclusive access to Mack's archives, journals, and psychiatric notes and interviews with his family and closest associates, The Believer reveals the life and work of a man who explored the deepest of scientific conundrums and further leads us to the hidden dimensions and alternate realities that captivated Mack until the end of his life.

©2021 Ralph Blumenthal (P)2021 Tantor

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What listeners say about The Believer

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First-rate study of a truly fascinating man.

Dr. John Mack was a man of deep sincerity and intelligence, a Harvard professor of psychiatry, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and an original thinker, who had the courage (some of his academic peers claimed recklessness) to devote his considerable talents to a serious, prolonged study of the abduction phenomenon -- by spending time, and offering an empathetic (yet appropriately critical) ear, to those claiming to have had such extraordinary experiences. This book is, I think, worthy of the man - a well-researched, thoughtful and sensitive study of this complex character -- interesting from beginning to end. The narrator is very well suited to the subject.

15 people found this helpful

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This will be a first for me in Life

Never have I ever listened to a book and it’s been over 10 years since I’ve picked up a book. But this book has sparked something inside of me to want to keep reading. In this new day everything is broken down and crammed into 1-10 minutes information bombs. Easy to forget but books open your mind and always have more information then anyone could tell you in a quick video. Book was awesome and I am happy to have learned about John Mack. And he has made me a believer. Thanks to the author. You’d be surprised who your book has reached. Thank you

12 people found this helpful

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Transformational listening!

I suggest that you set aside what you want this book to be and listen with an open heart and mind. This started out as a companion on my commutes and became an audio book that accompanied me into the house and into my psyche. Sometimes more biographical than I wanted. At least initially. But by the end he was someone I will greatly miss.

7 people found this helpful

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Do not bother!!

I couldn’t not finish this book. The man had no moral scruples and while some might say it has nothing to do with his work, the fact is that if he was willing to repeatedly hurt his wife for his own pleasure & satisfaction then he was very willing to lie & misconstrue information as well as manipulate clients to fit his agenda!
John Mack was a disturbed man and I feel only takes away from any ufo credibility! I’m a big ufo believer but this man was and is a disgrace to those of us who truly believe. He misconstrued information to fit his agenda which does not help skeptics get on our side of believing in UFO’s. The man also had crazy mommy issues and made his wife suffer dearly because of his treatment of women as if they were all just there for his sexual gratification, void of any real human emotion. Complete garbage of a man!!

7 people found this helpful

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The John Mack we all need to know.

In our time, both the power of the Scientific Method, AND, the unsettling reality of "things" beyond what we ever hoped to endure, have become our daily companions. We both ignore and obsess among the two realms as our fears and deep needs drag us through the mess. Read this book, not to resolve your spiritual, psychological, or scientific confusion, but to learn how a hero's journey is lived in our tiny slice of the universe.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

a fascinating story about a fascinating man, simply fascinating. indulge your fascinations with this audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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This ends well

I like it. I got this book because I’ve had “Abduction” from a used bookstore for decades so I was interested in a book about John Mac the author.

This was mostly middle of the road but the ending is strong.

1 person found this helpful

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Ralph Blumenthal fills in the blanks on John Mack

I always wondered by John Mack took up experiencers and their issues. i wondered why he spent so much energy on TE Laurence. I didn't know the degree to which Danny Sheehan went to war with Harvard for John Mack. We learn this and much more from this great book.

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Interesting

John Mack had a long and interesting career, may he RIP. I didn’t feel this was a book I could listen straight through. Overall it was interesting but at times was very slow. There are quite a few supposedly conversations with others but who’s to know. Lots of information on Mr. Mack, who was interesting on his own. Despite the things mentioned I would still recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Blumenthal's critique of Mack ins in the title

Blumenthal's title best expresses his evaluation of Mack, both the good and the bad. This was a fascinating and balanced look into the trials and triumphs of Mack and his work, which Blumenthal aptly wraps up likening unto the Campbellian/ Jungian Hero's Journey. I very much enjoyed it and look forward to likewise soaking in the inevitable, fantastic film adaptation sure to result.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Liam
  • 05-09-22

Incredible retelling of a remarkable person's life

I didn't quite realise the breadth and scope this would take when I started listening.
As someone with interest in the abduction phenomena I was familiar with John E. Mack. The thought of a Harvard abduction researcher has always been of great interest to me also.
Listening to this book Haa given me a great sense of what this man was about. His hopes and his fears. It was fascinating from start to finish.
I think as an audio book it was especially good. Chapters felt bite sized. Ranging from 8 to 30 minutes a piece. Perfectly for commuting.
I really didn't want this book to end.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 03-24-22

I couldn't stop listening

Essential reading/listening on the topic of the phenomenon and an emotional examination of a true pioneer, John Mack, beautifully written by one of the world's most respected journalists. Riveting from start to finish, I simply couldn't stop listening and was gutted when it ended despite a whopping 12 hours runtime. A wonderful tribute to a beautiful mind.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael Patterson
  • 07-24-21

Solid and balanced survey of Mack’s life and influences

A very sound handling of a complex theme and the account of John Mack’s fascination for the abduction phenomenon. This is a sensitive review of the influences on Mack’s life on a personal as well as professional level. Mack is not protected from criticism here - but the account reflects what did happen rather than the author imposing his opinion.
Well written and absorbing. So good I had finished in 2 days.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-21

Great research fascinating topic

Great book what a fascinating guy and story, I felt like I got to know John Mack, excellent work and research Ralph. Great listen