Strange Therapy |
Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Posted: January 6th. 2003
Times Viewed: 12,983
Multiple Personality Myths
In November 1991 Harold Lief, MD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, stated: "While our awareness of childhood sexual abuse has increased enormously in the last decade and the horrors of its consequences should never be minimized, there is another side to this situation, namely that of the consequences of false allegations where whole families are split apart and terrible pain inflicted on everyone concerned. This side of the story needs to be told, for a therapist may, with the best intentions in the world, contribute to enormous family suffering."
Sigmund Freud was the first psychiatrist to suggest that the accounts of adult hysteria patients stemmed from their being sexually abused as children. But by the late 1890s Freud had changed his mind, reporting that he could not accept that such abuse was widespread, stating his belief that the stories of the patients were fantasies, stemming from their own taboo desires. Freud concluded that "these remembrances reflected an emotional reality but were not necessarily historically accurate- rather, they were generally a combination of fantasies, desires, and fears as well as actual recollections of different periods of time."(1)
There now is no doubt that sexual abuse of children is more prevalent than at one time believed. Studies have shown that the incidence for women is as high as one in three and for men is as high as one in ten. A poll of 2,627 adults by the Los Angeles Times in 1985 showed that 27% of women and 16% of men had been sexually abused as children.(2) Yet the most telling characteristic of such victims is that, despite the many years that may have passed, the victims usually never forget what happened to them, even though they may never have told anyone else about it.
While the whole issue of childhood sexual abuse has been around for a while, the book Michelle Remembers introduced the idea of therapists treating survivors of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) to the rest of the therapeutic community. Those who have embraced the urban legends about Satanic Ritual Abuse tend to find what they look for, embracing any clues that support their beliefs and discarding or rejecting any evidence that is problematic. They are moral crusaders whose battle cry is "You must believe!" They evoke an emotional image of children abused by Satanic cults, crying to be heard but ignored by adults who turn a deaf ear. An example is Dr Vicky Graham-Costain, who once claimed: "This is the one crime that you can perpetrate against one hundred children and 100 children will not tell! And it's very important that we realize that we have to be very aggressive in an invitational way. We have to be very aggressive about finding out what happened to these children."(3)
In the world of Satanic Ritual Abuse survivor therapy, it seems that the more unbelievable the story is, the more some therapists insist you believe it. For example, Dr Peter AuBuchon once claimed that "A lot of these stories are literally fantastic- so horrible that they seem unbelievable. But most adult survivors are struggling with denial themselves. It does not help when a therapist reinforces any disbelief."(4)
One of the troubles that I have with this argument is, quite simply, that the children and adults are being heard, and heard by people who are quite prepared to listen. The problem is not that the victims are not being heard. The problem is this fanatical call to believe no matter what. Dr Pamela Freyd, director of the False Memory Syndrome Society, draws a parallel between statements such as AuBuchon's and the following passage from Lewis Carroll's book Through The Looking Glass:
"I can't believe that!" said Alice.
"Can't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again; draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
"They're finding it because that's what they're looking for,"(5) explains psychiatrist Harold Lief, a respected sex therapist based in Philadelphia. "Their patients are eager to grasp a diagnosis that offers an explanation for what brought them into therapy, anything from depression to anxiety to marital discontent."(6) Lief calls this situation "a social phenomenon, a sex abuse industry."(7) Dr Saul Levine, head of psychiatry at Sunnybrook Health Science Center and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto states: "This whole area attracts a lot of flakes... It becomes trendy. Everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon. It attracts a lot of people making statements about themselves or others that are patently invalid. A lot of the time we don't know what's real and what's not."(8)
While some cases of repressed memories do exist, a growing problem has been created by therapists who over estimate the prevalence and nature of such repressed memories. Dr Renee Fredrickson, a psychologist based in St. Paul who is the author of the book Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse, claims that "There are a large number of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse that were later corroborated, and only a small number that were proven wrong."(9) Yet there is a growing body of evidence that such cases were never properly (if at all) corroborated, and that the "evidence" produced to corroborate these cases is more and more often being called into question. Often there is no evidence except for the "disclosures" of the supposed victims.
Most police officers, being evidence oriented, have abandoned the investigation of Satanic Ritual Abuse simply because they must eventually face up to the fact that there is no evidence to support the claims, though earlier in this series we've certainly seen examples of police officers who press on regardless. In addition, the crime that such law enforcement investigators are investigating and forwarding for prosecution ordinarily does not require them to prove what the perpetrator's beliefs were. Police are investigating homicides or sexual assaults, not Satanism. On the other hand, therapists buying into the SRA hysteria often excuse themselves from this verification process, claiming that they don't have to prove anything- they just have to believe.
At the 1989 National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, FBI Special Agent Ken Lanning called for a sober review of the entire investigative and disclosure process. In response to this Dan Sexton, Director of the National Child Abuse Hot line, made the following troubling statement:
"I'm not a law enforcement person, thank God! I'm a psychology person, so I don't need the evidence, I come from a very different place, I don't need to see evidence to believe... I don't care what law enforcement's perspective is, that's not my perspective... I'm a mental health professional. I need to find a way to help survivors heal to the trauma that they had as children and to help support other clinicians who are trying to help survivors and victims of this [kind of crime]."(10)
This brings to mind the epigraph of the infamous manual of the Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum: "Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non creders" ("to disbelieve in witchcraft is the greatest of heresies").
Other therapists have echoed Sexton's views. Dr Roland Summit, an therapist treating alleged survivors of Satanic Ritual Abuse stated at a conference in 1987 that:
"Because we see it clinically, we see something we believe is real, clinically and whether or not our colleagues or the press, or scientists at large or politicians or local law enforcement agencies agree that this is real, most of us have some sort of personal sense that it is..."(11)
Pamela Klein once stated that "Unless prepared to identify the signs of cult involvement, even highly skilled clinicians might miss the salient clues."(12) This attitude reveals why police officers who believe in this urban legend of Satanic Ritual Abuse are so important to these therapists. These believers in law enforcement help these therapists create the lists of "clues" or "symptoms" that they pass on to others to keep the myth alive. They create the illusion that the majority of the law enforcement community believes these urban legends and is still working to find evidence to corroborate them.
Paul McHugh, chief of psychiatry at John Hopkins, rejected this dangerous approach, categorizing it as malpractice:
"To treat for repressed memories without any effort at external validation is malpractice pure and simple; malpractice on the basis of standards of care that have developed out of the history of psychiatric service... and malpractice because the misdirection of therapy injures the patient and his or her significant others."(13)
Fred Frankel, Psychiatrist in Chief at Beth Israel Hospital and a professor at Harvard University, agrees:
"Validation without corroboration by the therapist of the patient's memories has serious ethical and possibly legal consequences."(14)
As we have already seen, those encouraging us to believe the stories of Satanic ritual abuse often point to the large number of stories circulated in the popular press and the similarity between survivors stories as proof that there is a widespread problem out there. Yet the fact that so many of these survivor stories sound similar does not necessarily indicate that the problem is widespread and can be quite simply explained. When you consider that those telling us this are all believers in the Satanic Ritual Abuse myth, it becomes apparent that they are viewing their patients through a filter of beliefs that seizes upon coincidences as proof and explains away or rejects any data which troubles them as irrelevant. So in actual fact what these people are saying is not that the stories are similar, but that they are all hearing the same things.
A very common assertion by those therapists supporting Satanic Conspiracy myths is that multiple personality disorder (MPD) is a relatively common disorder which is invariably a result of a person being ritually or sexually abused as a child. MPD first appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III (DSM III) in 1980. This theory, described by Janet at the turn of the 19th century, suggests that the emotions experienced by individuals exposed to extraordinary trauma overwhelm them. In order to survive, the individual splits off the memory of the traumatic experience from consciousness, through a process called "dissociation." The dissociated memories are supposedly hidden by an amnesic barrier. The theory suggests that with the passage of time these hidden memories may reappear as "fragmentary reliving of the trauma, emotional conditions, somatic states, visual images or behavioural re-enactment."(15) Therapists treating supposed survivors of Satanic Ritual Abuse believe that they can use special techniques to locate and revive these dissociated memories. These therapists say that the ritual abuse fractures the victim's personality into parts called "alters." Therapists supporting this theory estimate that from half to three quarters of the patients with MPD are victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse. Proponents of this theory include Roberta Sachs, a Chicago therapist whom I identified as working with Jerry Simandl earlier in this series, Pamela Klein (another Chicago therapist) and an associate of Sachs, and Dr Roland Summit.
Frank Putnam, a psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, author of a book and over 40 papers on multiple personality disorder, says that assertions that half of all people with MPD are ritual abuse survivors "absolute B.S... We have nothing like that in our data. We have lots of child cases, and we have lots of adult cases. Its just not there."(16)
Sherry Skidmore, a psychologist in Riverside, California, and former president of the California Psychological Association, states:
"You have a number of therapists who see multiple-personality disorder in anything that shows up. I think people making the diagnosis don't know what the hell they are doing."(17)
George Gannaway, Director of the Ridgeview Center for Dissociative Disorders in Atlanta, Georgia, reports:
"There are as yet no hard scientific data either to support or refute the validity of the syndrome that we have labelled multiple personality disorder (MPD), and precious few data exist to support the widely held and generally accepted hypothesis that there is a casual link between trauma and the dissociative fragmentation of the mind."(18)
In the 1970s Dr Arnold Ludwig and Dr Cornelia Wilbur
at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Kentucky published an important series of MPD case reports and papers on dissociation. According to Ludwig, a variety of social and environmental situations, including the intentional brainwashing reported by war veterans and religious cult rituals, which Ludwig described as "mind altering," caused those exposed to it to "dissociate," losing memory of the experience and creating multiple personalities or alters. It is interesting to note that most of those diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder in the 1970s reported that they had come from families that had very strict, puritanical, fundamentalist Christian backgrounds, not Satanic religious cults. Most reported physical abuse at the hands of their family. This was true of most of the patients treated by Ludwig and Wilbur, whose patients disclosed memories of being subjected to physical and sexual abuse more often connected to stories of Satanic groups these days, including gang rape, entombment, mutilation and even infanticide. Such disclosures of torture and abuse were not given the same weight that they are today by therapists buying into the SRA myths.
Probably the best known early case of multiple personality disorder was that of Sybil, a patient treated by Dr Cornelia Wilbur in 1973. This case outlined how Wilbur believed that repeated physical and sexual torture directed at a small child caused multiple personality disorder. Although the book Sybil proved to be a popular one, most medical journals rejected it. Nevertheless, it became a basis for much of the SRA myth that subsequently developed.
The methods used by therapists buying into the SRA myths can be very complex. For example, most alleged Satanic Ritual Abuse survivors are described by the therapists who treat them as being "poly-fragmented multiples." This means that the therapists believe that the events allegedly experienced by the survivor were so traumatic and intense that the survivor has created many personalities, each of which holds a piece of the memories of the event. The therapist must therefore search for the pieces of a particular event throughout a whole series of different personalities. The techniques used to get each personality to disclose varies according to the declared age or nature of the personality in question.
For example, therapists such as Vicky Graham-Costain have developed play therapy techniques for use with small children or to gain information from the "child alters" of an adult patient. Therapists expecting to encounter alters whom they consider to be violent or malevolent may enter into a "contract" with the patient to enter physical restraints such as a straightjacket, wrist and ankle straps, or other devices, prior to calling the alter out. The therapists that use this technique believe that when a Satanic alter personality appears and finds itself physically restrained it will often struggle against these restraints. The therapist, often over a prolonged period, pieces together a narrative of the alleged memories while the patient thrashes and struggles. Often such sessions are repeated over several months.
Isn't it interesting to see the parallels between this and the methods of torture used by the Inquisition? It is generally recognized these days that the disclosures made by the victims of the Inquisition under torture are not credible, yet very similar techniques appear to be used here. As we will see later in this article, patients subjected to such abuse often tell the therapist anything that they want to hear, just to end these sessions, in a manner reminiscent of the Inquisitional torture victims.
Afterwards, if the patient recants or admits to making the story up, the therapist often discounts this as the result of programming on the part of the Satanic cult to ensure that their victim will not disclose their past connections with them.
Dr George Ganaway, a specialist in memory aberrations, says that "those claiming to have been victims are not necessarily lying. Rather, they have been persuaded- by a friend, therapist or something they have read or have seen on television- to adopt a plausible explanation for their emotional pain. For highly suggestible people- an estimated 5% to 10% of the population- it is a short step to vivid memories of things that never happened."(19)
Ganaway believes that Satanic conspiracy myths and the tales of ritual and sexual abuse that go along with them are partly caused by poorly trained therapists, who through improper use of techniques plant false memories of such abuse.
Dr David Spiegel states: "I have seen families wrecked because therapists say to a patient, 'You sound like the kind of patient who has been abused. Tell me what your father did to you."(20) Speigel believes that patients suffering from memory lapse or multiple personality disorder are extremely vulnerable to this type of suggestion. Spiegel calls such persons "highly hypnotizable" and says that "They can intensely fantasize about things that may or may not have happened."(21)
Dr. Daniel Friedman, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, states: "We can never recall purely".(22)
Dr. Mark J. Mills, a specialist in psychiatry and law, states that "This is a very soft area of science. When frightful things happen, the problem for most people is that they remember too well, not that they can't."(23)
In 1980 when the DSM-III diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association adopted the diagnosis of multiple personality, experts theorized that MPD was due to a combination of factors, including inborn inability to learn from errors, unwillingness to make moral choices, being highly sensitive to others' emotions and living in a polarized family. Alter personalities were described as having been created as a result of unconscious forces at a specific date, for a specific emotional purpose, in response to a life trauma of psychological need. In 1984, four years after the publishing of Michelle Remembers, the First International Conference on Multiple Personality/Dissociative States was organized in Chicago. During that same year, the media was focussing its attention on several cases of alleged Satanic Ritual Abuse in day care centres.
Over the next six years annual MPD conferences continued and the hysteria grew, becoming places where believers congregated to exchange ideas and propagate the Satanic Ritual Abuse myth. Sherill Mulhern studied these conferences and found that on the average about 100 papers were presented. Of these only a few were on SRA and/or MPD, but the following trends were documented by Mulhern(24):
- 1984: Two papers drawing a parallel between MPD and the apparent alteration of personalities of young people drawn into 'manipulative' religious cults through brainwashing and mind control, echoing the terminology of Thaler Singer and West (1980) and Ludwig (1966).
- 1985: One paper in which cults were described as isolating their victims in order to train them to view their birth families and the non-cult world as Satanic. Outside of the formal conference program, Satanism and Satanic cults were a frequent subject of conversation. An informal questionnaire survey of the religious beliefs and affiliations of patients was circulated during the conference. Twenty-eight clinicians from across the United States reported on thirty-one cases. 26% of these patients described their families religious practices as satanic (Mulhern, 1986).
- 1986: Three papers, two of which focussed on Satanic cults. The third described "the detectable link between rigid fundamentalism and the development of MPD."(25) One of the Satanic papers provided the first alleged description of the cult's practices (Holland, 1986). It was presented by a member of the Cult Awareness Network, mixing dramatic tales of orgies, blood rituals and human sacrifice with conventional descriptions of brainwashing and mind control. The hearsay "evidence" of Satanism "was presented as if it represented the results of an anthropological field study."(26) After the presentation, the session moderator asked for a show of hands of clinicians who were treating survivors of SRA: Nearly every one present raised their hand. Mulhern noted that many small informal meeting were held to discuss the "Satanic threat." At these meetings "references to demons and Christ as the only solution were commonplace."(27) Mulhern noted that many of the people involved in these sessions were "religiously oriented Christian therapists... as well as a number of born-again alleged cult survivors."(28) A formal questionnaire on Satanic cult involvement was distributed to all conferences participants.
- 1987: Eleven papers, nine of which discussed Satanic cults. One paper presented the result of the 1986 survey which indicated that 25% of the patients in treatment were alleging Satanic Ritual Abuse. The other eight papers dealt with diagnosis and treatment. "All of these papers accepted that patients' satanic cult memories were literally true. This belief conditioned all of the recommendations which were offered for therapy."(29) MPD was no longer considered by these people to be simply the consequence of child abuse: They believed that it was "the explicit goal of intentional, diabolical cult programming."(30) A paper by Worrall and Stockman described the case of a patient ritually programmed to carry on her family's ritual cult tradition. They claimed that the patient had been programmed to avoid detection of her "ritual parts" by way of layer upon layers of other parts, by a "part creator" who had been assigned the role of preventing the development of trust between the myriad of parts and "outsiders." They introduced the idea that this patient had been programmed to self destruct if anyone attempted to access these hidden alters. You'll recall from an earlier article that this was what police "experts" like Simandl were teaching their audiences.
- 1988: Satanic Ritual Abuse became the subject of the keynote speech, as well as eight papers, two workshop sessions and one special mini-workshop with 3 presenters. All but two of the presentations accepted intentional Satanic cult torture and brainwashing as a fact.
- 1989: SRA was the topic of one plenary lecture, twenty papers and one full day post-conference workshop with seven presenters. All of the presentations accepted Satanic Ritual Abuse as a fact. Child therapists were now claiming that hundreds of children were being ritually tortured by Satanists who had infiltrated day-care centres. Therapists treating adult "survivors" claimed that patients were producing Satanic alters who returned regularly to the cult to participate in ongoing rituals. The $185 post conference workshop featured 3 "adult survivors," two of whom were presented as therapists who were actively treating other victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse. The workshop was so successful that an organizer was quoted as saying that it paid for the whole conference.
This progression of belief by therapists dovetailed neatly into the agendas of fundamentalist "experts," who jumped on the band wagon and adopted these "memories" of abuse as proof of their theories of a International Satanic Conspiracy. These "experts" and therapists took their message to the law enforcement community, whom they systematically began to "educate." These individuals approached government agencies to "advise" and lobby.
The beliefs of the therapists caught up in this hysteria can be summed up by reviewing some excerpts from the film Ritual Child Abuse: A Professional Overview, which Cavalcade Productions released in 1989. The list of therapists who appear in this video is a who's who of SRA myth supporters:
- BENNETT G. BRAUN, M.D. Medical Director, Dissociative Disorder Program, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
- CATHERINE GOULD, Ph.D.: Clinical Psychologist, Encino, CA
- D. CORYDON HAMMOND, Ph.D.: University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
- RICHARD P. KLUFT, M.D. : Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
- ROBERTA SACHS, Ph.D.: Training Director, Dissociative Disorder Program, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
- ROLAND C. SUMMIT, M.D.: Psychiatrist, Harber-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA
- WALTER C. YOUNG, M.D.: Medical Director, Combine Psychiatric Center, Littleton, CO
Here is what these people have to say in this video:
- "[The reports] include lots of sexual abuse, drugging of the children, pornographic pictures being taken, threats to the child and to the child's family, animal killings and blood rituals and even human sacrifice including the child being forced to perpetrate in that sacrifice which of course is probably the most damaging aspect of the abuse itself. But I think that one of the most difficult aspects of abuse in out-of-home day-care to cope with is that the fact that we're finding that you can abuse a hundred children ritualistically with all the overlay of terror and brainwashing that's been discussed and pretty much a hundred children will keep the secret of their abuse until there's some kind of intervention."
- "The cases in my own practice represent approximately fifteen different preschools in the Los Angeles area none of which have been closed down since these disclosures have been made, all of which continue to operate and presumably to perpetrate."
NOTE: None of them have been shut down because Gould is the only person that thinks anything is going on there.
- "Some of the children may retract a story at some point because, for example, they've seen people killed... After all the senses have been broken down in every conceivable way with electric shocks, with drugs, with fatigue, with lack of food they can be conditioned to do things on cue. And very strongly brainwashed. We've seen people in Korea who were brainwashed but these are children who are completely controlled by the cult that they're in."
NOTE: Compare these remarks with the description of the treatment given to these people in the accounts of the lawsuits later in this article. You'll quickly see who is really doing the brainwashing here.
- "What we're talking about here goes beyond child-abuse or beyond the brainwashing of Patty Hearst or Korean-War veterans. We're talking about people -- in some cases who are coming to us as patients -- who were raised in satanic cults from the time they were born. Often cults that have come over from Europe, that have roots in the SS, in death-camp squads in some cases. These are children who tell us stories about being deprived of sleep all night, of then being required to work at manual labor exhaustingly all day long without any food or water. When they reach a point of utter fatigue they may then watch other people tortured. Perhaps a finger might be cut off and hung around their neck on a chain or a string as a symbol to them that they had better be obedient. They may be given drugs."
- "You hear a kid who's obviously hurting saying something that probably just couldn't be, and you say well, I guess it couldn't be. Actually, that account that couldn't be is a tell-tale sign of something that was so overwhelming that the child could not retain it and could not process it in the normal sequential way."
NOTE: Here is that idea again: The more outrageous the story, the more truthful it must be.
- "Oftentimes in adults who are describing their own abuse one can then also find the old wounds of things they have described in the reports of their own abuse. I guess what we keep asking, why don't we find more evidence of it? I don't think there'd be anyone trying to advertise satanic activity of this sort publicly. Obviously it would be a secret activity."
NOTE: This the old Satanic Conspiracy myth again: They are claiming that the reason that there is no evidence is because of some elaborate, secret conspiracy.
- "It's not uncommon for an adult to suddenly recollect events which were occurring when they were small that had been completely held in a state of amnesia. During the course of treatment they began to recover and report events of a satanic type and these can be such things as having adults participate in human and animal sacrifice even as young as three years of age."
- "Two examples I might just make. One was a young girl who described a fire at a ceremony being chosen to be thrown in and burned in the fire but they said that she could save herself if she picked another child to be burned which she claimed is what happened and she has to try to live with that experience. A second was a young girl who to show complete obedience... brought her best friend into a ceremony knowing that child would be sacrificed."
- "Patients that I have dealt with who remained in the cult and became active perpetrators and became leaders of the cult, when they began to discover what they have done at an adult level there is really very little desire to live. They lose all reason for going on. It's a very difficult treatment issue to work with because it's a reality. Whether they've been programmed or brainwashed or whatever, the truth is they have participated in blatant murder."
- "What you're trained to do is to self destruct if you should remember too much."
- "Historical accounts of satanic cults: there was a monk who lived from about 300 AD to about 400 AD who in his youth before he became a monk, he later ended up as a bishop, entered briefly one of these cults, the Sybionite Cult it was called at the time and described and this was back now over 1500 years ago he was describing nocturnal feasts, chants, infant sacrifice, cannibalism, ritual use of excrement and various body excretions in a way that's very similar to some of the fragments and material I've heard from patients."
NOTE: I can find no evidence of a Sybionite cult. Goodwin doesn't name this monk, so it is impossible to verify the story through that angle.
- "Around the country there are great numbers of centers that have been identified, most of them investigated, most of them confirmed by at least one agency, some fifty centers in my experience where this kind of complaint has been made by dozens to hundreds of children in each case."
NOTE: Summit doesn't identify the agency, nor does he specify what sort of agency this is that he is referring to. The inference is that it is a law enforcement agency.
Other therapists involved in the treatment of supposed survivors of SRA make even more bizarre claims. Milwaukee psychiatrist Ashok Bedi claims that some people who own poisonous snakes were victims of sexual abuse. Bedi claims that "They were abused by the male organ. Owning a snake is an attempt to master the abuser. The poisonous snake represents the abuser. They are trying to tame the abuser who abused them. They were victims of the snake emotionally. Now, the snake is captive in its little box."(31)
A classic example of the sort of claims made by therapists treating supposed survivors of SRA is a presentation by D. Corydon Hammond. This presentation is now referred to by many people as the "Greenbaum" or "Green Bomb" speech, for reasons that will become apparent later. Hammond's credentials are impressive: B.S. M.S. Ph.D (Counseling Psychology) from the University of Utah Diplomate in Clinical Hypnosis, the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis Diplomate in Sex Therapy, the American Board of Sexology Clinical Supervisor and Board Examiner, American Board of Sexology Diplomate in Marital and Sex Therapy, American Board of Family Psychology Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Marital Therapist, Licensed Family Therapist, State of Utah Research Associate Professor of Physical Medicine an Rehabilitation, Utah School of Medicine Director and Founder of the Sex and Marital Therapy Clinic, University of Utah. Adjunct Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Utah Abstract Editor, The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis Advising Editor and Founding Member, Editorial Board, The Ericsonian Monograph Referee, The Journal of Abnormal Psychology 1989 Presidential Award of Merit, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis 1990 Urban Sector Award, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Current [now Past] President, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
On Thursday June 25, 1992, Corydon Hammond delivered a presentation, "Hypnosis in MPD: Ritual Abuse," at the Fourth Annual Eastern Regional Conference on Abuse and Multiple Personality at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, Mark Center, Alexandria, Virginia. The conference was sponsored by the Center for Abuse Recovery & Empowerment at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, D.C. Both a tape and a transcript were at one time available from Audio Transcripts of Alexandria, Virginia. Tapes and transcripts of other sessions from the conference are still being sold, but not this one. In a moment you will understand why. Hammond's "Greenbaum" speech was a lengthy one and I'm only going to give you some key excerpts here. You can view the transcript for yourself at: http://www.fmsfonline.org/hammond.html. Hammond's "Greenbaum" speech encapsulates the hysteria and paranoia that captivated parts of the therapeutic community at the height of the "Satanic Panic."
Hammond starts out by outlining what he hopes to cover in his lecture. He says that he wants to speak about aspects of hypnosis, MPD dissociative disorders, and some of the techniques that he uses, including age-regression, hypnotic relapse- prevention strategies and post-integration therapy. Hammond tells the audience that he wants to discuss specifics concerning ritual abuse and mind-control programming and brainwashing, which he admits "is a topic that in the past I haven't been willing to speak about publicly, have done that in small groups and in consultations, but recently decided that it was high time that somebody started doing it."(32) Hammond tells us that he started by studying brainwashing techniques. He began networking with other experts interested in these subjects. Then Hammond introduces the idea of the international conspiracy:
"When you start to find the same highly esoteric information in different states and different countries, from Florida to California, you start to get an idea that there's something going on that is very large, very well coordinated, with a great deal of communication and sytematicness to what's happening. So I have gone from someone kind of neutral and not knowing what to think about it all to someone who clearly believes ritual abuse is real and that the people who say it isn't are either naive like people who didn't want to believe the Holocaust or -- they're dirty. Now for a long time I would tell a select group of therapists that I knew and trusted, information and say, 'Spread it out. Don't spread my name. Don't say where it came from. But here's some information. Share it with other therapists if you find it's on target, and I'd appreciate your feedback.'"(33)
Note the networking that is starting to develop between believers here. We've seen this over and over again in this series. Note also that common theme: Everyone is talking about it, so it must be happening.
Hammond goes on to describe his networking efforts. He reveals his fear and paranoia, saying that at first he was fearful of " personal threats and ... death threats."(34) Finally Hammond decided, "To hell with them. If they're going to kill me, they're going to kill me. It's time to share more information with therapists." He tells the audience that he is going to give them new skills that will allow them to "reach a new level."(35)
Then the weirdness really begins. Hammond claims that:
"At the end of World War II, before it even ended, Allen Dulles and people from our Intelligence Community were already in Switzerland making contact to get out Nazi scientists. As World War II ends, they not only get out rocket scientists, but they also get out some Nazi doctors who have been doing mind-control research in the camps. They brought them to the United States. Along with them was a young boy, a teenager, who had been raised in a Hasidic Jewish tradition and a background of Cabalistic mysticism that probably appealed to people in the Cult because at least by the turn of the century Aleister Crowley had been introducing Cabalism into Satanic stuff, if not earlier. I suspect it may have formed some bond between them. But he saved his skin by collaborating and being an assistant to them in the death-camp experiments. They brought him with them. They started doing mind-control research for Military Intelligence in military hospitals in the United States. The people that came, the Nazi doctors, were Satanists. Subsequently, the boy changed his name, Americanized it some, obtained an M.D. degree, became a physician and continued this work that appears to be at the center of Cult Programming today. His name is known to patients throughout the country."(36)
Predictably, Hammond doesn't share the name of the alleged Jewish leader of Cult Programming that he mentions here. It is beginning to sound like a variation of the W.I.C.C.A. Letters myth now, isn't it? In this case an alleged international conspiracy created out of a combination of Judaism, National Socialism, the Cabala and the teachings of Aleister Crowley.
Hammond then describes the process that he believes this cult uses to indoctrinate people:
"What they basically do is they will get a child and they will start this, in basic forms, it appears, by about two and a half after the child's already been made dissociative. They'll make him dissociative not only through abuse, like sexual abuse, but also things like putting a mousetrap on their fingers and teaching the parents, 'You do not go in until the child stops crying. Only then do you go in and remove it.' They start in rudimentary forms at about two and a half and kick into high gear, it appears, around six or six and a half, continue through adolescence with periodic reinforcements in adulthood. Basically in the programming the child will be put typically on a gurney. They will have an IV in one hand or arm. They'll be strapped down, typically naked. There'll be wires attached to their head to monitor electroencephalograph patterns. They will see a pulsing light, most often described as red, occasionally white or blue. They'll be given, most commonly I believe, Demerol. Sometimes it'll be other drugs as well depending on the kind of programming. They have it, I think, down to a science where they've learned you give so much every twenty-five minutes until the programming is done. They then will describe a pain on one ear, their right ear generally, where it appears a needle has been placed, and they will hear weird, disorienting sounds in that ear while they see photic stimulation to drive the brain into a brainwave pattern with a pulsing light at a certain frequency not unlike the goggles that are now available through Sharper Image and some of those kinds of stores. Then, after a suitable period when they're in a certain brainwave state, they will begin programming, programming oriented to self-destruction and debasement of the person."(37)
Obviously what Hammond is describing here is a medical clinic of some sort. This isn't the sort of thing that some person is going to be able to throw together in his garage. Later in the speech you will see that Hammond claims that there are doctors and medical facilities being used for brainwashing by Satanic cult members. This is exactly the sort of thing that Ruth Bailey (aka Dr. Rebecca Brown) said in her books, and we have already seen that they are fabrications. Hammond has obviously bought into this urban legend. Note how Hammond doesn't provide any evidence that this is so other than the "disclosures" of his patients.
Hammond then brings the CIA into his discussion:
"In a patient at this point in time about eight years old who has gone through a great deal early programming took place on a military installation. That's not uncommon. I've treated and been involved with cases who are part of this original mind-control project as well as having their programming on military reservations in many cases. We find a lot of connections with the CIA. This patient now was in a Cult school, a private Cult school where several of these sessions occurred a week. She would go into a room, get all hooked up. They would do all of these sorts of things. When she was in the proper altered state, now they were no longer having to monitor it with electroencephalographs, she also had already had placed on her electrodes, one in the vagina, for example, four on the head. Sometimes they'll be on other parts of the body. They will then begin and they would say to her, 'You are angry with someone in the group. She'd say, 'No, I'm not' and they'd violently shock her. They would say the same thing until she complied and didn't make any negative response. Then they would continue. 'And because you are angry with someone in the group,' or 'When you are angry with someone in the group, you will hurt yourself. Do you understand?' She said, 'No' and they shocked her. They repeated again, 'Do you understand?' 'Well, yes, but I don't want to.' Shock her again until they get compliance. Then they keep adding to it. 'And you will hurt yourself by cutting yourself. Do you understand?' Maybe she'd say yes, but they might say, 'We don't believe you' and shock her anyway. 'Go back and go over it again.' They would continue in this sort of fashion. She said typically it seemed as though they'd go about thirty minutes, take a break for a smoke or something, come back. They may review what they'd done and stopped or they might review what they'd done and go on to new material. She said the sessions might go half an hour, they might go three hours. She estimated three times a week. Programming under the influence of drugs in a certain brainwave state and with these noises in one ear and them speaking in the other ear, usually the left ear, associated with right hemisphere non-dominant brain functioning, and with them talking, therefore, and requiring intense concentration, intense focussing. Because often they'll have to memorize and say certain things back, word-perfect, to avoid punishment, shock, and other kinds of things that are occurring. This is basically how a lot of programming goes on."(38)
Note how Hammond has brought the CIA and the military into his conspiracy theories, based on the "disclosures" that he claims to have obtained from a child. Hammond then goes on to say that these Satanic cult members use all sorts of other brainwashing techniques, such as hypnosis and sensory deprivation. Curiously, these supposed techniques are remarkably similar to the techniques that Hammond appears to be using to obtain these "disclosures" from his patients. One wonders who is really engaging in "brainwashing" here.
Next Hammond introduces the concept of finger signals that we have seen other investigators and therapists such as Pazder using earlier in this series. Hammond refers to these as "ideomotor finger-signals" and describes ways in which the therapist should ask questions to get the patient to signal with their fingers to reveal "alters." He claims that the Satanic cult members assign Greek letters and code numbers to each of their victim's alters so that they can bring them out:
"Every one of those alters may have put on it a program, perhaps designated alpha-zero-zero-nine a Cult person could say, 'Alpha-zero-zero-nine' or make some kind of hand gesture to indicate this and get the same part out in any one of them even though they had different names that they may be known by to you. Alphas appear to represent general programming, the first kind of things put in. Betas appear to be sexual programs. For example, how to perform oral sex in a certain way, how to perform sex in rituals, having to do with producing child pornography, directing child pornography, prostitution. Deltas are killers trained in how to kill in ceremonies. There'll also be some self-harm stuff mixed in with that, assassination and killing. Thetas are called psychic killers. You know, I had never in my life heard those two terms paired together. I'd never heard the words 'psychic killers' put together, but when you have people in different states, including therapists inquiring and asking, 'What is Theta,' and patients say to them, 'Psychic killers,' it tends to make one a believer that certain things are very systematic and very widespread. This comes from their belief in psychic sorts of abilities and powers, including their ability to psychically communicate with 'mother' including their ability to psychically cause somebody to develop a brain aneurysm and die. It also is a more future-oriented kind of programming. Then there's Omega. I usually don't include that word when I say my first question about this or any part inside that knows about Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta because Omega will shake them even more. Omega has to do with self-destruct programming. Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. This can include self-mutilation as well as killing-themselves programming. Gamma appears to be system-protection and deception programming which will provide misinformation to you, try to misdirect you, tell you half-truths, protect different things inside. There can also be other Greek letters..."(39)
Note how Hammond is treating a person like a computer with viruses and hidden programs inside. Note how he has introduced the concept of "Psychic Killers" and self-destruct programs. Hammond recommends that therapists go through the entire Greek alphabet with the patient, using ideomotor signals to identify hidden "programs" of this sort. Hammond reinforces this by introducing the metaphor of "robots" to describe the behaviour of some of his patients. He describes some visualization techniques and comments that his patients are "usually quite amazed that this works, as have been a number of therapists."(40) The latter part of that statement is particularly revealing.
(Continued... Click HERE for page II)
Article ID: 5009
Age Group: Adult
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Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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