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From the Eye archives
20 Years Of Satanic Panic
Issue 1244, 1st September 2009

The believers are fighting back But there is now a growing and dangerous fight back in the form of books and conferences featuring speakers defiantly and proudly proclaiming the existence of “ritual abuse” and how to treat “survivors”. The believers are mainly therapists and survivors who have apparently belatedly recovered memories while in therapy (many of whom have become therapists). They are promoting a whole new field of “trauma” therapy in how to treat survivors of ritual abuse, who are diagnosed as suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Victims are said to develop a number of “alters” or other personalities, to whom they switch to help them bury the memories (see Eyes passim).

The latest fashionable theory in this psychobabble psychotherapy is that these survivors are victims of “mind control” exerted by the perpetrators using the “alters” to control the victim to make them suppress or disbelieve the memories of the abuse.

The treatments, which often involve counselling all these alters, necessarily involve many years of very expensive therapy. In a new book, published in the US, Ritual Abuse in the Twenty First Century, one survivor wrote of their 17-year journey in therapy. At what cost?

‘Denial, disbelief and misdiagnosis’ In the UK this year there have already been a string of conferences, seminars and training sessions; and more are planned, with delegates paying between £200 and £700 a time. Topics range around theories of trauma, dissociative disorders, attachment (which means lack of attachment to parents due to childhood abuse), ritual abuse and mind control - all related to previously forgotten extreme childhood sexual abuse.

In May about 200 people (paying up to £285 each) attended a conference in Derbyshire organised by TAG, the Trauma and Abuse Group, and RAINS, Ritual Abuse Information Network and Support (led by veteran ritual abuse campaigner and psychiatrist Joan Coleman - see Eyes passim). The conference was on the subjects of early life trauma, childhood sexual abuse and ritual abuse, and entitled Attachment, Trauma and Dissociation. It was important, the programme said, because “many survivors encounter misunderstanding, denial, disbelief and misdiagnosis”.

Speakers included Dr Alison Miller, a psychologist in private practice in British Columbia, Canada, who spoke on how to treat victims of ritual abuse and mind control. In her chapter in the book Ritual Abuse in the Twenty First Century, which is being heavily promoted in the UK, she wrote about how victims of ritual abuse and mind control survivors develop numerous “alters”. In a “typical group”, she explained, “by the age of six months the child has at minimum 18 to 20 alters”.

More top stories in the latest issue:

DEVONPORT DANGERS
Devonport dockyard, where Britain’s Trident submarines are serviced, is put on ‘special measures’ by nuclear regulators for another five years.

KICK IN THE CRUTCH
Disabled people who rely on the new Personal Independence Payment face arbitrary disqualification as the benefit comes up for its first annual review.

FOBBED OFF ON FOBTs
The government ignores advice and rejects a call to slash the sum punters can stake on notorious fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

NHS WHISTLEBLOWING
A whistle-blower who lost her job after revealing ‘utter chaos’ in a South London health department will learn her fate at an employment tribunal.

DEVELOPMENT AID
The UK’s international development fund CDC may have cleaned up its act – but it’s still consorting with private equity funds based in tax havens.

OVERCHARGING AND OVER HERE
News that the US giant Pfizer has been overcharging the NHS for anti-epilepsy drugs will embarrass some of its political chums in the UK

TOWERING INERTIA
Despite fatalities and repeated warnings, councils are doing virtually nothing to fit sprinklers in tower blocks which are home to around 800,000 people.

FLAILING GRAYLING
Degrees from AC Grayling’s ‘world class’ New College of the Humanities will be accredited by lowly Southampton Solent, which doesn’t even have a humanities department.

FLOATING REVOLTERS
London’s growing army of houseboat dwellers are having to share a tiny number of water taps and rubbish points – and nobody wants to help.

FROCKY HORROR
Fashion designer and self-styled ‘social activist’ Dame Vivienne Westwood continues to use unpaid interns… but now calls them ‘volunteers’ instead!

private eye issue 1399
To read more from issue 1244 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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