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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:

MAKING A MEAL OF ROYAL MAIL
Bankers and officials roasted by MPs for underpricing the Royal Mail sale find consolation together in an expensive Mayfair restaurant.

TAX DODGING
HMRC finally shuts a major loophole the Eye found was being extensively sold by the UK’s big accountancy firms to wealthy non-doms.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Treasury desperation to keep costs of London’s new supersewer off the books means the government is struggling to do what the Victorians managed.

NHS MARKET MADNESS 1
A decision to sell off non-complex surgery in Cornwall is now threatening the provision of other vital health services across the West Country.

NHS MARKET MADNESS 2
The largest private UK provider of non-emergency ambulance and patient transport is bedevilled by complaints and calls for it to lose its contracts.

ABMU LATEST
A nurse at the centre of police investigations at Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend pleads guilty to wilfully neglecting nine vulnerable patients.

MANCHESTER POLICE COP IT
Greater Manchester Police is castigated yet again for its treatment of disabled people who are supposedly in its care.

CABIN PRESSURE
Bmi cabin crew who lost their jobs after the merger with BA pursue tribunal cases against both airlines and claim they were ‘sold out’ by their union.

LAME GAZELLE
What is the Gazelle Group offering, apart from pages of aspirational business drivel, in return for the millions it collects from 23 further education colleges?

private eye issue 1373
To read more from issue 1244 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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