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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:

THE LONGEST WAIT
A couple’s 13-year battle for an inquiry into blunders that led to the brain damage and death of their daughter is dealt another blow by NHS England.

CONGO DRUMS
Is your firm attracting bad publicity while oil prospecting in a national park in Africa? Then call in the legal and PR charmers from Schillings and Bell Pottinger!

PRINCESS UNDER PRESSURE
Calls mount for a full public inquiry after two more nurses are charged with wilful neglect at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

MONEY FOR NOTHING
Finding qualified court interpreters is hard enough since Capita took over the service, but the firm is also earning hundreds of thousands for… doing nothing.

THE BUTLER DIDDLED IT
The useless Gambling Commission looks on limply as yet another online gambling firm, Bet Butler, goes bust and runs off with punters’ winnings.

FIRSTPORT IN A STORM
Scandal-prone property management company Peverel tries to clean up its reputation – and changes its name to FirstPort.

GRAY-VY TRAIN
University pensions have a £13bn deficit, up from £2.3bn in 2011 – yet chief investment guru Roger Gray’s pay rose to £900,000 last year from £600,000.

CABIN PRESSURE PAYS OFF
Eco-lodge firm Forest Holidays pulls its planning application for 70 deluxe timber cabins amid the trees in Northamptonshire’s Fineshade Woods.

private eye issue 1375
To read more from issue 1244 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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