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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:

CROWN JEWELS
The Eye identifies 120 former Crown Estate properties that, via sale of their leaseholds, have ended up in 14 offshore tax havens.

WAGES OF SPIN
FTSE chief exec Ruby McGregor-Smith says she’s a ‘role model’ for women – but one of her firms pays care staff less than the minimum wage.

DEEPCUT DELAYS
Claims of a cover-up threaten to engulf new inquiries into the death of army recruit Cheryl James, who died of gunshot wounds at Deepcut barracks.

PENSIONS POTTY
Government claims that oldies cashing in on new pension freedoms are being offered lots of good advice are so much nonsense.

WHISTLEBLOWING U-TURN
Why Barts NHS Trust has reinstated a union official and whistleblower it sacked 18 months ago and against whom it waged a costly legal battle.

BENCH MARKS
Chris Grayling provokes outrage sneaking through new court charges that may put pressure on the innocent but hard-up to plead to guilty.

private eye issue 1390
To read more from issue 1244 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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