Reprinted with permission. Originally published on endritualabuse.org.
By Ellen Lacter, Ph.D.
This page on my website seeks to expose a number of common forms of misinformation and tactics of disinformation about psychotherapy for trauma originating in ritual abuse and mind control. Disinformation is distinguished from misinformation in that it is intentionally fraudulent.
Misinformation and disinformation about ritual abuse and mind control trauma and psychotherapy to treat such trauma appear in both paper and electronic media, but are particularly abundant on the Internet on websites of individuals and organizations, bookseller reviews, blogs, newsletters, online encyclopedias, social networking sites, and e-group listservs.
Disclaimer: This page neither cites, quotes, names, nor alludes to any specific paper or electronic articles or statements by individual. Any similarity between examples of misinformation or disinformation used herein and actual articles or other statements is purely coincidental.
The following are common forms of misinformation and tactics of disinformation concerning the treatment of trauma originating in ritual abuse and mind control:
1. Allegations of Malpractice Can Be Circulated Unopposed
When allegations of malpractice are made or when lawsuits are brought against psychotherapists or institutions for (a) inducing or implanting false memories of ritual abuse or mind control in clients, (b) inducing or implanting false memories of ritual abuse by family members that then alienated clients from these family members, (c) inaccurate reporting of ritual abuse to child abuse or law enforcement authorities, or (d) the suicide of a client based in therapists treating the client’s psychological problems as originating in a history of ritual abuse or mind control, etc., inaccurate, exaggerated, or malicious information about these therapists and institutions can be circulated unopposed.
This is because treating therapists and institutions cannot legally or ethically reveal anything related to a client’s psychotherapy as it is protected by confidentiality and psychotherapist-patient privilege.
Therapists and institutions are further restricted in cases involved in litigation because:
a) their attorneys usually advise against any discussion of the matter
b) their malpractice carriers often prohibit any discussion
c) in some cases, judges’ gag orders may prohibit discussion
Allegations that a client’s suicide was based in therapy addressing ritual abuse or mind control trauma is a particularly hostile form of causal reductionism. Any combination of factors may have been at play and can never be fully known. Also, it is not realistic to expect that all highly suicidal clients can be helped, no matter how skilled and properly focused the treatment.
2. Misrepresentation of Psychotherapists’ Credentials, Professional Qualifications, and Personal Characteristics
Non-professionals who oppose that ritual abuse and mind control exist can readily, usually without consequence, publicly misrepresent the credentials, professional education, qualifications, and experience of psychotherapists who provide educational materials about ritual abuse and mind control or who treat trauma originating in ritual abuse or mind control.
Non-professionals can also exaggerate or fabricate their own credentials, professional education, qualifications, and experience, generally without consequence.
In contrast, credentialed psychotherapists are ethically and legally required to be accurate in how they represent their credentials, qualifications, etc., and can suffer grave consequences for misrepresenting these. The upshot of these conflicting standards is that psychotherapists treating trauma for ritual abuse and mind control can be misrepresented as having non-credible qualifications while their opponents can misrepresent themselves with exaggerated credentials.
Non-professionals can also misrepresent the personal characteristics, religious beliefs, and appearance, of these therapists, can name-call and otherwise mock them, and can attribute false agendas to them, such as assigning religious motives to secular therapists working with ritual abuse or mind control survivors.
For example, there is little to prevent someone from claiming on his or her own website that a psychotherapist is a fundamentalist Christian zealot at war with Satan, when that therapist might be an atheist, Jew, Buddhist, etc., who places no stock in the existence of Satan. But such a claim, when spoken as if it is fact, accomplishes its intended purpose of maligning that therapist.
3. Exploitation of the Constraints on Communication by Credentialed Psychotherapists
Psychotherapists are legally and ethically mandated to maintain high professional standards of scientific caution, integrity, honesty, and respectful treatment of other people. Non-therapists are free of such strict mandates. This creates an uneven playing field.
Non-professionals can make unsupported claims and put forth disinformation about research on ritual abuse or mind control and about therapy for ritual abuse or mind control trauma that therapists cannot refute without substantial basis for their assertions, such as citing published research addressing each specific issue, a very tall order.
Non-professionals can also misrepresent the therapy approaches of specific therapists, build false arguments about their therapy practices, and employ sarcasm, ridicule, provocation, ad hominem attacks, fear-mongering, hate-mongering, and all assortment of verbal manipulation, that psychotherapists can only respond to with great reserve and caution.
So, therapists who seek to respond to such accusations and manipulations can appear relatively powerless and passive, as they are corralled into dodging verbal abuse, rather than having any hope of engaging in any reasonable or productive discourse.
And if they do not respond, which is often the most judicious option, the faulty assumption can be made that they are defeated.
4. Stacking the Deck: Omission of Information Contrary to the Position that Ritual Abuse and Mind Control Exist
Psychotherapists are obligated to be scientific and objective about what they report. They cannot ethically present one side of a matter, knowingly omitting or failing to review the literature or legal evidence on the other side. This standard does not exist for non-professionals.
Therefore, non-professionals can, usually without consequence, stack the deck in their Internet publications about ritual abuse to portray it as non-existent, disregarding the legal and psychological evidence of its existence (see next section on Straw Man Arguments).
5. Straw Man Arguments
When substantial evidence of ritual abuse is provided, such as criminal convictions for ritual abuse (see endnotes 1 and 2), criminal convictions for crimes with ritual abuse components (see endnotes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8), and research on ritual abuse (see endnote 9), individuals who oppose that ritual abuse and mind control exist often respond by shifting the focus to exaggerated or caricatured representations of ritual abuse, e.g., “This fails to prove the existence of large-scale, hierarchical, international, multi-generational, baby-breeding, baby-sacrificing, satanic cults,” when no such claims were put forward. This grouping of words carries a tone of sarcasm and derision even when limited to the written word.
There are a great many faults with such caricatures. I believe, as do many of my colleagues who also treat clients with ritual abuse or mind control trauma, that ritually abusive groups have a multitude of agendas, including a variety of spiritual agendas, of which Satanism is only one.
And it is my impression that therapists who treat clients with ritual abuse or mind control trauma believe that there are many different levels of organization and scale among abusers who employ ritualistically abusive practices, including:
(a) small-scale ritual abuse, confined to an individual abuser or nuclear or extended family
(b) localized abusive cults larger than one extended family
(c) localized groups that coordinate their abuse and other criminal activity with other localized groups for specific purposes, such as facilitation of the production and distribution of filmed child sexual abuse and torture and to unite for specific abusive rituals
(d) localized groups that interface with abusers in other regions with some level of hierarchical organization
(e) groups that interface internationally in organized criminal efforts, e.g., to enable distribution of filmed child sexual abuse and torture in other countries where, if these films were confiscated, victims would be less able to be identified by law enforcement
There is ample evidence of widespread organized crime among purveyors of filmed child sexual abuse and torture (for a recent case, see endnote 10). Why would anyone wish to discount that some of these criminals might employ ritualistic torture, terror-tactics, and practices to further their ends? For example, there is ample evidence of the Mexican drug trade’s use of ritual sacrifice to attempt to shield itself from law enforcement (endnote 11).
It is true that there is a paucity of criminal convictions specific to ritual abuse relative to other crimes. But this has many causes, including the following:
(a) The victims are generally terrified and usually have extreme posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociative disorders, which reduces their ability to disclose their crimes and diminish their credibility as witnesses.
(b) Even when there is substantial evidence of ritual practices within crimes, that evidence is generally omitted from criminal charges as, in most states and countries, there are no laws on the books specifically prohibiting ritual abuse, and,
(c) When prosecutors have alleged ritual practices in legal actions in the past. defense attorneys have often used straw man tactics to muddy the waters with allegations of religious persecution or agenda, so prosecutors have since generally not introduced such material.
Given these considerations, it is a logical fallacy to claim that a relatively low conviction rate proves that ritual abuse and mind control do not exist, or that organized ritual abuse does not exist, especially when we consider proven cases of organized child abuse and cover-up, such as the well-publicized cover-up of child abuse within the Catholic church and the well-documented cover-up of a pedophile network in The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal (Bryant, 2009).
6. Use of Ridicule and Emotionally-loaded Language to Discredit the Issue of Ritual Abuse and Psychotherapists Treating Related Trauma
Opponents of the position that ritual abuse exists frequently use phrases such as “baby-breeding, baby-sacrificing cult,” “satanic panic,” and “bizarre rituals” to refer to reports and claims made about ritual abuse by therapists, educators and researchers.
Through the devices of alliteration, rhyme, buzz words, sarcasm, and ridicule, and conjuring up excessively repulsive imagery, such phrases inflame, cause people to recoil in disdain and disbelief, and the capacity to critically evaluate the possibility of the phenomenon goes out the window.
Psychotherapists generally use objective language when reporting the atrocities described by their clients, such as:
(a) “Survivor A reported being impregnated in a ritual.”
(b) “Survivor B reported that her abusers induced early labor to have a fetus to ritually sacrifice.”
(c) “Survivor C reported that a homeless man was abducted by her abuser group and sacrificed.”
Such examples are often accompanied by explanations for the normal questions that arise, such as, “Survivor C reported that a mortician with a crematorium was a member of the abuser group.” This kind of descriptive language is a far cry from the phrasing used by people who employ straw man tactics.
Researchers on ritual abuse and mind control use even more cautious and scientific language to describe their findings, as required by their professional ethical codes, and as exemplified in this excerpt from a book chapter (Lacter & Lehman, 2008) co-authored by this writer: http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/studies/ritual-abuse-diagnosis-research-2/.
7. Misrepresentation of Psychotherapists as Witch-hunters, Satan-hunters, Zealots, and Religious Crusaders
Psychotherapists who publicly state that they treat trauma for ritual abuse or mind control or who educate on the subject are often depicted as religious zealots hunting down witches or Satan himself, are charged with fostering moral panic, urban legends, and mass hysteria, and are accused of trying to find histories of ritual abuse and mind control in all of their psychotherapy clients. These kinds of misrepresentations are so ubiquitous on the Internet that they can easily be mistaken as fact.
It is my experience that psychotherapists who treat clients reporting such trauma are generally very cautious about what they say about ritual abuse or mind control and that many psychotherapists who previously publicly shared their opinions that these forms of abuse exist are now silent on these issues.
This is largely because of the effective use of the kinds of disinformation tactics described on this webpage to ridicule such beliefs, to slander therapists who profess them, and to sway public opinion, etc., and the sharp rise in lawsuits against psychotherapists alleging induction or implantation of false memories of abuse in the 1990s.
Of the many therapists I know who have treated clients with ritual abuse or mind control trauma, all of these therapists, including pastoral counselors and Christian therapists, deeply hope that their clients have never suffered these devastating kinds of abuse. These forms of abuse leave clients with stores of pain that are hard for most people to imagine, and that emotionally grieve anyone who bears witness to accounts of them, including therapists.
Victims and survivors of these atrocities are also among the most challenging clients to treat, because they are often highly suicidal, terrified, may still be suffering the abuse, require more crisis intervention and out-of-therapy contact than other clients, often have little or no funding for therapy, and usually require long-term treatment.
Yet, the hope that clients did not suffer these abuses does not justify a clinical failure to correctly assess and treat trauma originating in ritual abuse or mind control, no matter how harshly therapists may be criticized for this. The costs of such errors include:
(a) lack of treatment for this trauma, causing people to believe themselves defiled and evil at their core rather than understanding that these feelings and beliefs originated in their ritual abuse and mind control
(b) reinforcement of victims’ fears that they are hopelessly crazy and untreatable
(c) mis-diagnosis, often for Schizophrenia or Delusional Disorder, that often leads to incorrect and excessive use of medications and possible long-term hospitalization or involuntary hospital commitment
8. Misrepresentation of Psychotherapists as Inducing or Implanting False Memories of Child Abuse and “False Memory Syndrome”
On the Internet, it is relatively effortless to portray psychotherapy as the primary source of clients’ memories of child abuse with absolutely no scientific basis.
It is also common to designate specific therapists, especially those who state that they treat clients with trauma originating in ritual abuse or mind control, as “recovered memory therapists” who are then alleged to chase down memories of child abuse in their clients, to thereby induce or implant false memories of abuse, and to thus cause their clients to suffer “False Memory Syndrome.”
It is well-documented that “False Memory Syndrome” is a pseudo-psychiatric disorder contrived by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), an organization widely known to have been “formed to provide legal and emotional support to those accused of sexual abuse” (Murphy, 1997, p. 57). It is possible that most of the misinformation and disinformation circulating about child abuse, ritual abuse, mind control, dissociative disorders (see below, #10: Misrepresentation of Psychotherapists as Inducing Dissociative Identity Disorder), and recovered memories of child abuse originate in the efforts of the FMSF and its affiliates.
Evidence of misrepresentation of information by the FMSF is documented in the book, Misinformation Concerning Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors (Whitfield, Silberg, & Fink, 2002).
“Recovered memory therapy” is as contrived a concept as “False Memory Syndrome.” Psychotherapy has the goal of helping clients to deal with whatever psychological issues are troubling them, not of searching for memories of abuse.
Of course, there are cases of therapists prematurely jumping to conclusions that a client may have been abused and even of suggesting this to a client, including findings of malpractice in this regard in lawsuits and by professional licensing boards. But it is a dishonest to tar all therapists with the same brush and to represent such errors as common practice.
In an unusual case of a psychotherapist defending herself against claims of irresponsibility in this regard, in 1992, psychologist Neomi Mattis sued University of Utah psychology professor David Raskin for defamation after he criticized Dr. Mattis, co-leader of a Utah task force on ritual abuse at the time, and other therapists who treat patients with purportedly recovered memories of child-sexual abuse in his speech to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in Provo, Utah. The Deseret Times of Salt Lake City, Utah, (See endnote 12) states:
He said those practitioners ‘do not know the scientific literature’ and ‘have no reality orientation.’ Raskin said Mattis lacked the credentials to be a graduate student, let alone a professor in the school’s psychology department.
In April, 1995, the defamation suit was settled for an undisclosed amount of money.
Misrepresentations about psychotherapy and memory for abuse ignore the vast body of literature substantiating that:
(a) trauma memories recovered in therapy represent a small proportion of total recovered memory reports (Elliott, 1997; Wilsnack, Wonderlich, Kristjanson, Vogeltanz-Holm, & Wilsnack, 2002)
(b) recovered memories of abuse are often accurate (Dalenberg, 1996)
(c) memory for verified abuse is often forgotten or dissociated (Williams, 1994)
Accurate information on the issue of recovered memory can be found at: The Recovered Memory Project: http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/.
9. Misrepresentation of Research to Minimize the Effects of Child Abuse and to Represent the Traumatic Effects as the Result of the Reactions of Psychotherapists and Other Adults
It is hard to believe that anyone would seek to misrepresent and minimize the damaging effects of child abuse and to blame psychotherapists for victims feeling traumatized, but this is just the case in Susan Clancy’s 2010 book, The Trauma Myth: The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children– and its Aftermath.
In this book, Clancy uses circular reasoning to misrepresent child sexual abuse as non-traumatic when it occurs and to posit that it is adult interpretations, especially those of psychotherapists, that cause people to experience their child sexual abuse as traumatic.
Clancy’s book is based in part on an article she co-authored with Richard J. McNally, titled, “Who Needs Repression? Normal Memory Processes Can Explain ‘Forgetting’ of Childhood Sexual Abuse,” published in The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice (2005/2006).
In this study, Clancy asked 27 adults who reported sexual abuse as children to rate their levels of trauma at the time of their abuse on a 10-point scale, with #10 to indicate “extremely traumatic” and #1 to indicate “not traumatic at all.” The average rating was 7.5.
Any logical person would consider 7.5 on a 10-point scale to be quite high. Yet Susan Clancy concludes that their child sexual abuse “experiences were unpleasant, distressing, or confusing, but not traumatic (e.g., terrifying) at the time they occurred” (p. 70).
This is clearly a misrepresentation of her own data. Clancy justifies this conclusion by limiting her definition of “trauma” to abuse that was “overwhelmingly terrifying or perceived as life threatening” (p. 67). Then she determined that only two of her subjects perceived that level of threat, and parenthetically dismissed one of these subjects’ reports as “bizarre” and “questionable” (p. 68). Then, she discounted all lesser levels of distress as nontraumatic, essentially re-rating them all as #1 on her 10-point trauma scale.
It is academically dishonest to ask these 27 adults to rate their levels of trauma and to then ignore this data.
Clancy considered the following reports of two of her subjects as lacking in trauma: “I went from confused to bewildered to scared . . . it culminated in me feeling somewhat angry and betrayed,” and “I didn’t think of it as sex, I just thought of it as disgusting . . .”
To further make her case, she wrote that two men
…while reporting that the [rape] was painful, did not describe it as traumatic [apparently relying on her definition of trauma as: “overwhelmingly terrifying or perceived as life threatening”]. In the words of one of the victims, “He would always say if you love me you’ll do it. It hurt, and after a while I knew it was wrong, but not at the beginning.” The other victim of penetration reported, “I didn’t like it– I knew it was wrong– but it was better than having to go back to DYS [Department of Youth Services custody].”
So, Clancy dismisses painful rape of a child as nontraumatic simply because the victims did not describe the abuse as “overwhelmingly terrifying or perceived as life threatening”.
Clancy also dismissed as nontraumatic all other painful emotional states described by her 27 subjects, including:
(a) “definitely feeling dirty.”
(b) “I couldn’t breathe.”
(c) “I was shocked at what was happening, and I think I was afraid, there was a lot of weirdness, insecurity, a lot of anger.”
(d) “I thought it was my fault.”
Clancy categorizes all such psychological reactions as, “unpleasant, distressing, or confusing, but not traumatic.”
Clancy acknowledges that: “All of our subjects (1) had either symptoms or diagnoses of PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder] and (2) reported negative life effects from the abuse” (p. 71). Yet, this does not influence Clancy to consider that they might have suffered trauma at the time of their abuse.
Instead, she states that since child sexual abuse is, “not necessarily traumatic at the time it occurs,” “it may be the retrospective interpretation of the event, rather than the event itself, that mediates its subsequent impact” (p. 72). In her words, the later PTSD is the result of, “an understandable tendency to project our adult fears, repulsion, and horror onto child victims.”
Thus, Clancy argues that it is adults, especially therapists, who cause the trauma in sexual abuse victims, ignoring the reports of her own subjects of contemporaneous fear, repulsion, and horror. And then she titles her book, “The Trauma Myth”, categorically painting sexual abuse as nontraumatic with one sweeping brush stroke.
Clancy has no objective basis to dismiss as a myth her subjects’ experiences of having been traumatized by their sexual abuse, simply because their reports did not meet her overly-restrictive criteria of overwhelming terror or having feared for their lives.
Clancy’s book also oddly neglects to adequately incorporate the vast body of psychological research documenting the myriad short-term damaging effects of sexual abuse on children. It is standard for psychologists to first conduct an unbiased review of the literature on a subject and to include that review in our books and papers. Clancy failed to conduct such a review. Instead, she selectively cites only a few studies that support her position. This approach exposes that Clancy has a biased agenda rather than an objective of honestly representing the work in the field. This raises questions of potential bias in her research methods, her interviews of victims, and her interpretation of her results.
As a psychologist for 24 years, I have treated hundreds of abused children and adults abused as children. Cases of children experiencing only “confusion” (her thesis) during the time period of their abuse are very rare. In most cases, abused children and adults abused as children report that during the time in which they were abused, in addition to confusion of various types, they experienced a combination of many of the following:
(a) Physical pain, in some cases extreme
(b) Disgust for the sexual acts, abuser genitalia and emissions
(c) Terror in cases of extreme force, restraint, or restriction of the child’s breathing, gagging, etc.
(d) Terror based in threats to self, loved one, pets, etc., to ensure compliance and/or to prevent disclosure
(e) Fear based in the abuser over-riding their attempts to escape, ignoring their pleas for the abuser to stop, etc.
(f) Fear, shame, and guilt, based in an awareness that private parts should be covered and not bothered (molested), and an awareness that the abuser was making great efforts to hide the abuse, to keep it secret, and to ensure that they kept it secret, causing the child to understand that these acts were harmful and morally wrong, as in hitting someone, stealing, lying, etc.
(g) Betrayal and hurt in cases of abuse by loved ones, based in an awareness that the abuser was engaging them in harmful and immoral acts, and in many cases, that family members were allowing the abuse to continue
(h) Guilt and shame for not escaping or physically fighting off the abuser (The truth is that children usually understand in the moment that they will be overpowered or assaulted for resisting.)
(i) Feeling like an “accomplice” based in receiving gifts and special privileges from the abuser. Clancy portrays these “gifts” as “benefits” that the child derives from sexual abuse. This equates child victims with prostitutes who trade money and goods for sex. But, children cannot enter “contracts” to be sexually exploited. Sexual abuse is imposed on children against their will and with little or no knowledge of the meaning of sexuality. Abusers then use gifts and favors to further manipulate and entrap children.
(j) Anxiety-producing sexual arousal during the abuse, in cases in which the abuser took precautions to prevent or minimize the perception of pain
(k) Residual sexual feelings and responses that caused great anxiety, crying, tantrums, pleas to caregivers to, “Make it [the sexual response] stop,” etc.
(l) Rage at the abuser for inflicting the above
m) Social, behavioral, and cognitive (including academic) problems driven by the above
(n) Physical damage, including damage to internal organs, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and in some cases, death
In addition, when children first disclose their abuse, the supportive caregivers in their life typically are devastated to have discovered the true basis for their children’s recent psychological and physical problems, such as separation anxiety, nightmares and night terrors, frequent crying, assorted fears, defiance, temper tantrums, academic problems, urinary and bowel “accidents,” etc. All of these are clear indicators that the sexual abuse was damaging to the child prior to his or her disclosure of the abuse.
I do not discount the rare cases of children feeling only “confused” during the period of their sexual abuse. However, this reaction usually occurs only in cases that do not involve pain, coercion, and threats, that involve more “mild” sexual acts, that are very short-term, and in younger children.
It is significant to note that Susan Clancy is a member of the International Committee of Social, Psychiatric, Psychological, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Neurological Scientists, a group that submitted an amicus brief in on behalf of Roman Catholic priest Paul M. Shanley in his appeal of his 2005 conviction of child sexual abuse. Shanley’s sexual assault convictions were upheld on appeal in January, 2010.
It is also important to note that the McNally-Clancy article was published in the journal, “The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice,” which claims to be peer-reviewed and endorsed by, The Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health (CSMMH). Scott Lilienfeld is founder and editor of this journal and of the CSMMH. Many of the coordinating committee and fellows of the CSMMH have a long history of affiliation with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and of advocating on behalf of accused sex abuse offenders in legal actions. These fellows include Elizabeth Loftus, Paul McHugh, and Harrison Pope. I believe it is necessary to question the degree of scientific objectivity of the peer-review process of this article by Clancy and McNally.
10. Misrepresentation of Psychotherapists as Inducing Dissociative Identity Disorder
Similar to misrepresenting child sexual abuse as non-traumatic, the Internet is replete with assertions that Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is not an actual psychiatric disorder based in histories of child abuse and other psychological trauma (e.g., significant loss, medical trauma), but is primarily an artifact of psychotherapy or specific therapists inducing its formation, suggestible individuals being exposed to material about child abuse or the concept of DID, and/or fantasy-proneness in particular individuals.
These assertions ignore the abundance of research that substantiates that DID is a valid, vs. rare or factitious, psychiatric disorder usually based in childhood trauma, although this documentation is readily available (see endnote 13).
Why would parties that oppose that ritual abuse and mind control exist be so motivated to misrepresent DID as a non-disorder?
Psychotherapists commonly diagnose DID in clients who report histories of ritual abuse and mind control. And these clients commonly report that their abusers used torture, hypnosis and conditioning to intentionally induce their psyches to form dissociated self-states that their abusers could then exploit for nefarious purposes. For a full treatise on this thesis, see my chapter, “Torture-based mind control: Psychological mechanisms and psychotherapeutic approaches to overcoming mind control” in the book, Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: the Manipulation of Attachment Needs (2011).
We also have a historical record of manipulation of amnestic and dissociative states for purposes of mind control to serve espionage and military purposes. The declassified documents of Cold War MKULTRA program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) expose a program that included experiments conducted by psychiatrists to create amnesia, new dissociated identities, new memories, and responses to hypnotic access codes (again, see Lacter, 2011).
Colin Ross, in his book, Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists (2000), cites a May 13, 1968, article in the Providence Evening Bulletin, that states that George Estabrooks, who is described as a former consultant for the FBI and CIA, is quoted to have stated, “the key to creating an effective spy or assassin rests in splitting a man’s personality, or creating multipersonality” (Ross, 2000, p. 162). Multiple Personality Disorder is precursor designation for what we now call Dissociative Identity Disorder.
It is important to note that The False Memory Syndrome Foundation and its affiliates have a long history of representing DID as a pseudo-psychiatric disorder and as an artifact of psychotherapy.
In the context of this history, it is significant to note the following citation related to funding by the United States Office of Naval Research (citation provided by Colin Ross, 2000):
On December 11, 1996, in a posting on the internet list WITCHNT@MITVAMA.MIT.EDU, Dr. Peter Freyd, husband of the Executive Director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, wrote:
“Since we all want to be open about any money we might have received from military-related sources, let me confess. I, too must go on record. Starting in 1988, I’ve been getting a lot of money from the U.S. Office of Naval Research.” (p. 154)
Colin Ross (2000) succinctly helps us to connect the dots between disinformation on DID and the United States CIA Cold War mind control projects:
“If clinical multiple personality is buried and forgotten, then the Manchurian Candidate Programs will be safe from public scrutiny.” ( p. 141)
11. Use of Aliases to Inflate Statistics
Individuals can use as many aliases as they wish on many websites, e.g., sites that permit book reviews, to artificially inflate the number of people who appear to support their positions, to vote multiple times to endorse particular comments, etc.
12. Blitzkrieg Tactics
Opponents of the position that ritual abuse and mind control exist can readily lodge voluminous, repetitious, and vehement accusations on the Internet against psychotherapists who provide therapy or education for ritual abuse or mind control trauma. These attacks sometimes amount to harassment.
Psychotherapists, researchers, and educators cannot feasibly respond to this kind of barrage of accusations and still have time to fulfill their professional functions. This strategy also carries psychological costs, including personal stress, professional humiliation, as well as potentially frightening the clients of the therapists being attacked, and steering potential clients away from these therapists, objectives that may be part of the aim of some accusers.
There is often no venue to respond to accusations on the website where the accusations are lodged. And if a venue to respond is available, attempts to engage in rational discourse with people who use Blitzkrieg tactics are likely to be futile.
As we consider these common forms of misinformation and tactics of disinformation used to discredit psychotherapy for trauma originating in ritual abuse and mind control, we are obliged to ask: Who would be motivated to launch such a vehement and deceitful attack against these therapists? Who stands to lose if these therapists do this work?
If the bulk of these attacks came from clients who claimed that their therapists induced or implanted false memories in them, we might find an answer to our question. But, this does not seem to be the case.
Instead, these attacks appear to usually come from parties who do not disclose the basis of their interest in this issue, and from organizations, and members and affiliates of such organizations, that directly advocate for people accused of crimes against children and from organizations that appear to share that agenda if one scratches just beneath the surface.
Such organizations include:
(a) The False Memory Syndrome Foundation “formed to provide legal and emotional support to those accused of sexual abuse” (Murphy, 1997)
(b) The National Center for Reason and Justice, that states that it “supports people who are falsely accused or convicted of crimes against children” (see: http://ncrj.org/ and its resources listed here: http://ncrj.org/resources/bibliography/)
(c) The International Committee of Social, Psychiatric, Psychological, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Neurological Scientists, which submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Roman Catholic priest Paul M. Shanley in his appeal of his conviction of child sexual abuse (Shanley’s sexual assault convictions were upheld on appeal)
(d) The National Association for Consumer Protection in Mental Health Practices, that states that it was “founded in 1994, due to the alarming number of False Memory cases” (see: http://www.hermanohme.com)
(e) http://www.hermanohme.com/),The Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health (the sister organization of “d” (above) which has the stated goal to “call for the reform of the mental health system, restricting it to those mental health treatments proven reasonably safe and effective by reliable scientific methods” (the last two organizations share a website here: http://www.hermanohme.com/)
Therefore, the Internet serves as something of an unregulated court of public opinion, where, to a large degree, allegedly falsely accused perpetrators of child abuse and their advocates and alleged victims of child abuse and their therapists and advocates, argue about:
(a) whether child abuse is in itself traumatic
(b) the existence of ritual abuse and mind control
(c) the validity of recovered memories of abuse
(d) the validity of dissociative disorders, especially DID
(e) the practice of psychotherapy in relation to all of the above
All of this occurs with no rules of order, no penalties for perjury, and an uneven playing field that causes psychotherapists and psychology researchers to have to pull their punches.
I believe that this fight is being waged, in great part, to prevent child abuse survivors, especially survivors of ritual abuse and mind control, from receiving the help and support that they need to heal from their abuse, from receiving any sense of validation about their abuse, from recalling any dissociated parts of their abuse, from reporting their abusers to the authorities, from suing their abusers, from activism against child abuse, ritual abuse, and mind control, and in some cases, from even breaking away from their abusers.
It is my opinion that most victims of ritual abuse and mind control need the support of another person to recover from these kinds of abuse. This is normally a psychotherapist. It may also include clergy, friends, significant others, and other survivors. For some survivor-therapists, it is a colleague. But rarely can a survivor of these abuses bear to process this trauma alone. It is usually too painful, frightening, and disorienting to face without an external anchor for support.
Psychotherapy may be the most common and effective means of breaking the bonds of ritual abuse and mind control. I believe this is a large basis for the war being waged against it.
Furthermore, it is a lot less vulgar and cruel to attack therapists of victims and survivors than to attack the victims directly. For example, legal defenses for those accused of child abuse focus on painting the therapist of the child or adult as inducing or implanting “false memories” of abuse rather than painting the alleged victim as a liar.
It follows that psychotherapists receive the brunt of the attacks in the battle to discredit the realities of ritual abuse and mind control, as a group, and often as individuals.
It is my pleasure to expose these forms of misinformation and tactics of disinformation about ritual abuse and mind control trauma and about psychotherapy to treat such trauma.
I do so on the 25th anniversary of the death of my father, a man of great ethics and integrity, who taught me to stand up for the oppressed and to fight fairly.
1. In 2011, Colin Batley was convicted of for leading a “satanic” sex cult in of West Wales, UK (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/09/paedophile-satanic-cult-batley-kidwelly and: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/11/sex-cult-leader-colin-batley-sentenced).
2. In 2006, Gerald Robinson was convicted for the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in Ohio, USA. Significant evidence suggests the murder may have been a ritual sacrifice (see: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/071203, for a chapter from, Sin, Shame, and Secrets: The Murder of a Nun, the Conviction of a Priest, and Cover-up in the Catholic Church,” by David Yonke, 2006, http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2006/05/12/Priest-found-guilty-cleric-gets-15-years-to-life-in-nun-s-murder.html, and http://www.toledoblade.com/Police-Fire/2004/04/27/Area-authorities-no-strangers-to-cult-ritual-probes.html).
3. In December, 2012, in Cornwall, England, Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were convicted of carrying out ritualistic sex abuse on young girls. (See:
4. In April 2005, Pastor Louis D. Lamonica of the Hosanna Church in Louisiana, USA, walked into the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and allegedly confessed to abusing children and animals in a Satanic ritual, although he later recanted his confession (see: http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/4626/LA/US/). Austin “Trey” Bernard, III, of the same church confessed to ritual elements within his abuse of children to FBI Special Agents Lisa Marie Freitas and Joseph Edwards (see: http://wallsofsilence.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=196) Both men were convicted of child rape, Bernard in 2007 and Lamonica 2008 (http://www.hammondstar.com/articles/2007/12/03/top_stories/9453.txt). Also see: http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.com/2008/10/ex-pastor-gets-concurrent-life-terms-in.html,
5. In June, 1993, in London, a man aged 67, his daughter, aged 29, and his two sons- in-law, aged 41 and 31, were imprisoned for between 18 months and life for the sexual abuse of seven children of the same extended family over an eleven-year period (see: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/four-people-in-one-family-are-jailed-for-child-sex-1494769.html)
The 10-year-old daughter of the 41-year-old man “described being taken late at night by her father and others to a ‘devil church’ where she was stripped, tied up, had knives held in front of her face and was abused by adults in black cloaks and balaclavas” (see:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/girl-10-tells-of-sexual-abuse-in-devil-church-child-accuses-relatives-in-video-shown-to-jury-1490468.html and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/girl-was-abused-in-churchyard-1490250.html)
6. In 1991, in Perth, Australia, Scott Brian Gozenton was convicted on 22 charges of indecent assault and dealing and of evil intent. The head of Western Australia’s child sex abuse unit, Detective-Sergeant Roger Smart, said the conviction demonstrated a link between organized child sex abuse and devil worship (see: http://ra-watch.livejournal.com/4950.html)
7. In 1982, following guilty pleas to a series of serious sexual offences against young children, Malcolm and Susan Smith, and Albert and Carole Hickman, of Telford, England, were jailed, Malcolm Smith for 14 years, Albert Hickman for ten years, Carole Hickman for five years, and Susan Smith for two years. The ritualistic and satanic elements of their crimes are discussed briefly here: rituals. http://usminc.org/crime3.html and by Tim Tate in Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse, edited by Valerie Sinason (1994) on page 191.
8. A conviction list of cases with elements of ritual abuse was archived in 1997 by Michael Newton of Believe the Children. (See: http://ra-info.org/for-researchers/bibliographies/conviction-list-ritual-child-abuse/cases-that-have-resulted-in-convictions/) There have been significant developments in some of these cases since this was published. E.g., in 1994, Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley of West Memphis, Tennessee, USA, were convicted in the cult murders of three boys, but in 2011, they were released from prison on an Alford plea (see: http://www.nowpublic.com/world/west-memphis-three-freed-alford-plea-public-hearing-live-stream-2827425.html)
In an Alford plea, “the criminal defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge” (definition from: http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/alford-plea/)
9. A good deal of the research about ritual abuse is summarized in an article by Randy Noblitt, PhD.: “An Empirical Look at the Ritual Abuse Controversy,” by (See: http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/an-empirical-look-at-the-ritual-abuse-controversy-randy-noblitt-phd/).
10. A news piece of 12/8/2012 in the National Post (nationalpost.com), documents an international ring engaged in distribution of filmed child sexual abuse: “Spain arrests 28 people suspected of links to Toronto-based child porn ring,” states, “The investigation began when Interpol told Spanish police in April about a network headquartered in Toronto, dedicated to the sale of child pornography videos. Spain’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that the videos were created by abusing minors in Ukraine, Romania and Germany” (see: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/08/spain-arrests-28-people-suspected-of-links-to-toronto-based-child-porn-ring/).
11. See: Buried Secrets: A True Story of Drug Running, Black Magic, and Human Sacrifice (1991), by Edward Humes, and Cauldron of Blood: The Matamoros Cult Killings (1989), by Jim Schutze.
12. See: “Defamation Case Settled for an Undisclosed Sum,” April 23, 1995, in The Deseret Times of Salt Lake City, Utah:
13. Accurate information on DID can be found in the Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision (2011) of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (see: http://www.isst-d.org/jtd/GUIDELINES_REVISED2011.pdf) and in this 2012 comprehensive review by Dalenberg et al.: Evaluation of the Evidence for the Trauma and Fantasy Models of Dissociation (see: http://goo.gl/RERhc; click the box that says “view” to the right, then scroll down)
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