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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:

PARENTING IN PRISON
Children are ending up in care homes as more jailed mothers are separated from their babies and special units in prisons are mothballed

OPENCAST TO DOUBT
If an opencast mine goes ahead in the Pont Valley near Consett, locals want to know will be around to restore the land once the coal is stripped out.

MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE
After 44 years, a blatant wrongful conviction may return to the appeal court for a record fifth time. But it will be too late for Tony Stock, who died a ‘guilty man’ in 2012, aged 73.

TRADE SECRETS
Lawyers in London, home of ‘confidential arbitration’, lick their lips at the dispute resolution proposals of the controversial US-EU trade deal.

PENSIONS REPRIEVE
Relief for George Osborne as Citizens Advice, which will help deal with the mess of pensions reform, drops its political neutrality and endorses the cash free-for-all.

HIGH PRINCIPALS SPECIAL
Crocodile tears at Teesside University… a lesson in business reality from the University of Huddersfield’s visiting professor of entrepreneurship, Crombie boss Alan Lewis; and a belated apology from the police to a professor in Portsmouth.

PFEYE UPDATE
As one NHS trust bails out of a ruinous PFI contract, there’s rich pickings still for the accountants who helped push the rip-off deals in the first place.

A YES THANK YOU VERY MUCH…
The Monaco-based backer of Scottish independence, who is set to win yet another ferry contract for the Scottish coast and islands service.

private eye issue 1378
To read more from issue 1244 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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