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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:

Despite the popularity of the Eye’s offshore property ownership map, and the PM’s call for openness, the Land Registry refuses to release more data.

Grilled by MPs, HM Revenue & Customs tries (and fails) to cover up its dismal record pursuing wealthy tax evaders.

Conflicts of interest are rife accountants PwC investigate claims that an RBS division brought clients to their knees rather than help restore their financial health.

Nursing homes are responding to complaints of neglect and poor care not by solving problems but by kicking out residents or excluding their families.

How staff at the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend failed to notice that a patient lying on the floor had suffered a ‘catastrophic’ broken neck.

Britain’s police and crime commissioners find a neat loophole to get round the rules when appointing assistants who are their political mates.

How the ambitions of a charity boss led to disaster for a once outstanding specialist school for those with communication and language difficulties.

Serious failure and neglect led to the agonising death of a 34-year-old woman undergoing heroin detox at Eastwood Park jail in Gloucestershire.

Pro-independence backer Jim McColl wins a £97m order from the SNP government to build two ferries… but is this good value for taxpayers?

Distance learning offered by the Open University is about to become a lot more distant as seven regional student support offices face closure.

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