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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:

FARM FIX
Evidence emerges suggesting police may have helped cover up the “murder” of a man found crushed by a cement mixer on an Essex farm 14 years ago.

INSPECTING REBUS
Rebus Investment Group is the poacher-turned-gamekeeper offering to help those mis-sold dodgy tax schemes, including the infamous film LLPs.

A CRAPITAL IDEA
Scholars hoping to do post-graduate study at Strathclyde University are being encouraged to tailor their research proposals to the business interests of … Crapita!

PAST-IT MASTER?
The failed head passing on his wisdom to attendees at Bett2016, aka the British educational training and technology show.

ABOUT-TURN!
Only 32 people have so far qualified under former education secretary Michael Gove’s much-heralded Troops to Teachers initiative.

EPSOM FAULTS
How a catalogue of blunders contributed to the death of Adam Withers, 20, who fell to his death from a 130ft chimney at Epsom Hospital.

LOST AT SEETEC
Private probation provider Seetec is in trouble for poor performance in the South-east, but its owner-boss is laughing all the way to the bank.

CQC’S EPIC FLAIL
The care watchdog CQC’s ‘rigorous’ inspection regime is still failing vulnerable clients and their families – this time at three homes outside Bath. KING’S RANSOM
Taxpayers could have earned even more from the sale of the government share in King’s Cross Central LP had it not been part of a tax avoidance scheme.

TAPE DISPENSERS
Why health and safety rules for builders are to be relaxed because of the government’s devotion to ‘cutting red tape’.

MAN IN THE EYE
Meet Naguib Sawiris, the London-based Egyptian-American who somehow manages to do business with both North Korea and the US government.

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