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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:

DEEPCUT INQUESTS
New hope at last for the bereaved families of four army recruits who died of gunshot wounds in suspicious circumstances at Deepcut barracks in Surrey.

EY JELLY
Beancounters from EY are exposed in court for the pisspoor way they treated a Plymouth couple whose business they had put into administration.

DISORDERLY KEW
Why pruning more plant scientists from the payroll at Kew Gardens, which has a £5m shortfall, could be a false economy all round.

CRYOGENIC SHAME
Staff cuts at the Natural History Museum mean its nearly new cryogenic archive of genetic resources is now practically in mothballs.

BRIDGEND BLIGHT
More claims of negligent care – this time concerning a woman in labour – at the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend run by the ABMU health board.

MUST CHAI HARDER…
Chai Patel’s call for higher wages in care homes rings hollow given what his own company pays as he and fellow bosses await a £30m windfall.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Why two Met Police officers could face perjury and perverting the course of justice charges over the death in custody of musician Sean Rigg.

private eye issue 1364
To read more from issue 1244 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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Private Eye Issue 1363
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