Category: malpractice

The Devil and Mercy Ministries: A Conversation With Chelsea Darhower

Make Mercy Ministries Be Honest

…And this girl had been in the program for maybe a month, a few weeks, I don’t know, not very long. And we knew she had been diagnosed with multiple personalities. […] Well we knew, you know, a psychiatrist is not going to say somebody has multiple demons. But in her case that’s what we were dealing with, demonic powers. — Nancy Alcorn, president and founder of Mercy Ministries

Recovered Memory Therapy, Conversion Therapy, and exorcisms: this mishmash of harmful pseudoscience and archaic religious practice is foisted on the vulnerable young women at Mercy Ministries by their under-educated, inexperienced mental health care-givers. During her stay, former resident Chelsea Darhower experienced first hand the oppression and cult-like atmosphere that has made Mercy Ministries infamous among many of its graduates.

Here is her story:

Beth: …No one at Mercy Ministries has the authority to diagnose – can you confirm that that’s the case? At other clinics the girls and women risk coming out with a diagnosis that haunts them the rest of their lives.

Chelsea: Nobody at Mercy Ministries has the authority to diagnose. The only time a girl would come in contact with a doctor at Mercy Ministries is for three reasons.

1. She goes completely postal and is dropped off at a psychiatric ward.

2. She comes in on psychiatric drugs and she is sent to a psychiatrist. Even then the psychiatrist they would send her to doesn’t diagnose, he just writes scripts.

3. They have a outside family doctor that deals with medical incidences.

In general though, Mercy Ministries is very anti-psychiatry so you will not see them adding any type of diagnosis to anyone. They like to distance girls from the psychiatric world and any type of future help, not give them new diagnoses.

Nancy Alcorn may get jolly over the prospect of having someone who was diagnosed as “DID” in the psychiatry world, but that’s only because she thinks they are possessed by spirits that she has to take authority over. If you say the words “I was diagnosed with DID”, a staff member will get its wings at Mercy Ministries. She thinks your “parts” are evil spirits that infested your soul while you were being abused.


Some evangelicals' view of the mentally ill: See, hear, and speak no evil[A]ny potential for biblical counseling to be compared with the liberationist anti-psychiatry movement of R.D. Laing in Britain or Szasz’s less fruitful attempts in the United States falls flat. Biblical counseling, far from being against social control, is an agent of social control, by which evangelical churches seek to minimize dissent among those members deemed mentally ill or deviant. — John Weaver, The Failure of Evangelical Mental Health Care: Treatments That Harm Women, LGBT Persons and the Mentally Ill


 Beth: So, it sounds like Mercy is more about convincing the clients they were abused? The false memory element more than Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID]?

Chelsea: For me, before I went in there, providers thought that maybe I was abused and I told Mercy Ministries this. And that’s when it started.

Beth: Interesting. The providers – your treatment providers at the time, you mean, prior to Mercy?

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Mercy is especially interested in knowing if you’ve been diagnosed with DID or believe you’ve suffered Ritual Abuse

Chelsea: I was really hyper-vigilant, but it was because I was constantly tired all the time from my narcolepsy. One doctor [prior to Mercy Ministries] suggested to me that I might have DID and I told [Mercy] this. It used to be a question on the application, so I told them right away. The DID diagnosis happened in between the application to Mercy and arriving there. And my counselor’s face turned white. I asked her if something was wrong and she said “No” and I said “Is that bad”? And she said “No”. And I was still pressing her, because she looked sick to her stomach. And I said “What’s wrong? DID, like Dissociative Identity Disorder?” And she was like “I don’t know what that is”. And I was like “Like multiple personality disorder, just the new term for it”. And she’s like “No, no I’ve never heard of it, let’s get back to what we were doing”. And I was like who has never heard of Multiple Personality Disorder? And then after I left and did all this research on Mercy I learned that Nancy Alcorn’s Ministry had this thing for DID cases.

Our counseling model was called “Restoring the Foundations” and it was started by the Kylstras. Basically they started this training program on how to “help” people with DID “the Pentecostal way”. And Nancy Alcorn was obsessed with this training process, and with training her counselors for this training process. I provided a link to just one of the many places that have been trained by the Restoring the Foundations Model on how to deal with DID clients. This is how bad it is.


Chelsea’s link led to the following website: “Restoration in Christ Ministries – Hearing the Cries of the Sexually and Ritually Abused”

From the website: Secular therapy often fails to adequately resolve the complex spiritual issues involved in the healing process of abuse victims. … as much as 10% of the general population and 20% to 50% of psychiatric in-patients are dissociative to some degree.

From Mercy's original counseling modelIn 2008, amidst a flurry of accusations of financial fraud and abuse of the residents, the two Australia based Mercy homes were shut down. Residents alleged that they had been subjected to exorcisms to rid them of their mental and emotional maladies. In June of that year, Alcorn announced that Mercy Ministries was developing its own counseling model, Choices That Bring Change. From Mercy's current counseling modelAccording to past residents, Choices That Bring Change has far fewer references to casting out demons, but keeps the same key features as Restoring the Foundations. A quick look at some of the printed material for both programs demonstrates that they are, in fact, quite similar, and the basic counseling techniques — particularly those that are known to cultivate false memories and extract false confessions — are unchanged.

Nancy Alcorn and the Mercy Ministries staff shun psychiatry and conventional mental health treatment, attempting to “fix” the residents via supernatural means: salvation, prayer, casting out demons, and being “filled with the spirit”. But they share a common bond with an ever-growing subset of conventional therapists; Ludicrous conspiracy theories endorsed by the ISST-Dnamely, the secular, faux-therapeutic element of Mercy Ministries’ past and present therapy models is drawn directly from the pseudo-scientific quackery of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISST-D), an organization which actively promotes Illuminati and Satanic Ritual Abuse conspiracy theories and facilitates the continued development and use of modern Recovered Memory techniques.

Setting aside their disdain for the worldly sophistication of secular psychology and psychiatry, Restoration in Christ Ministries’ “What Is DID” page acknowledges charter members and past presidents of the ISST-D as their primary sources of information:

  • James P. Bloch, writer of Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Personality and Dissociative Disorders, in which he writes favorably about hypnosis and its use in treating Multiple Personality Disorder (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder)
  • Dr. Frank W. Putnam, whose expert witness testimony for the defense of a woman who murdered her non-verbal, non-communicative autistic son can be seen here. This email inquiry to Dr. Putnam touches on just a few of the problems with his testimony: Mercy - Putnam2

Such is the dubious foundation upon which DID and Recovered Memory proponents build their beliefs and professional practices. But whatever meager oversight is given to properly accredited, licensed mental health care facilities, the unlicensed, unaccredited Mercy Ministries has no such standards to meet, and the residents are without recourse.


Beth: Wow. I’m just looking over the main site, but the “ritually abused” in their tag line at the top of the page caught my eye. They quote Colin Ross!

Chelsea: Yeah… the pentecostal DID and false memories are two decades behind the rest of us. I wonder if Colin Ross would even call these people crazy though, the way they do things.

Chelsea: You have Pentecostals and then you have Benny Hinn Pentecostals…

Beth: I grew up in a conservative home, very fundamentalist, but almost the polar opposite of Pentecostals. We sang hymns and were fairly prim and proper during the church service. Pentecostals were like a different breed. My few visits to Pentecostal churches, it all seemed very wacky to me.

Chelsea: Oh it was definitely wacky to me. When I went to Mercy Ministries and people were not acting like they typically did, it freaked me out. I remember at one point one staff member suspected that demons were all around the house, so they took “blessed water” and made crosses above each room with the water. Everyone went around and yelled in tongues. It reminded me more of devil worshiping.

…And the reason for this “cleansing”?

Chelsea: Apparently two girls were caught kissing.

Beth: I know this experience at Mercy was a horrific one for you, but that’s hilarious.

Chelsea: Oh I totally know… I was terrified back then but now I just have to laugh at half of the stuff and realize that if it happened to me today and I was as confident as I am now, I would have been kicked out for making fun. I can’t imagine getting through something like that unless you can find the humor in it. I was totally kicked out because they said I was rebellious and manipulative.

I think what they meant to say was, half the time they told us to do stuff, I stood there and rolled my eyes.

Beth: Well, there’s something else that also made you incompatible with the survivor community — you placed a higher priority on knowing the truth than on being accepted and having that status. That’s a difficult thing for people, especially when that’s their only source of validation and affection. It would be a hard thing to do, pursuing the truth and risking all of those connections and the support.

Chelsea: Yeah that was a really hard time. Especially because Mercy had wrangled in my entire family and friends. “Oh we’re so perfect and if anyone can fix your friend, daughter, sister, it’s us and we are so perfect that in fact if she doesn’t make if through, it means that she had to be the screw up”. So it meant much more than losing Mercy, it meant making all my friends and family mad at me for months. It led to a suicide attempt, a psych stay and eventually years later their affection for Mercy dwindled and I won their love back. Yay happy ending!

Beth: I’m sorry it took years, but yes! So glad there was a happy ending!

Chelsea: I think in most part because some of my family is religious and they equated Mercy to God.

Beth: Yes, my family had its share of difficulties, too. We had to suffer through it because most of the Christian counseling facilities did not have well trained therapeutic counselors back then. They had counselors with theological backgrounds who insisted all problems were spiritual, and told their clients to pray and read the Bible when their tempers were flaring.

Chelsea: Ick, yeah, that was the whole spiel they gave us at Mercy. Girls would go up to staff “I feel like I need to self harm”. “Go pray about it”

Beth: So, really, as you said, a lot like what you experienced at MM. Of course, there are some people who might see some benefit from that. Praying can be meditative, and some people report improvement in mild anxiety and mild depression when they meditate. But then you have everyone else, who gets no benefit from it at all. And the self-harmers, what happens when they keep self-harming?

Chelsea: As far as self harming at Mercy Ministries… They threaten you A LOT. That’s how they keep you in order. They really pin you against your life. Basically you show up to Mercy half dead and you’re begging them to make you alive again. But they will use the fact that you owe them, or that they can kick you out for anything.

Beth: That’s what I suspected; the threat of punishment, isolation… wow. What a place to be stuck in.

Chelsea: If they threaten to kick you out, thoughts of “omg my family will hate me, I’ll probably die from suicide, Mercy ministries says I won’t survive out there without them” circle around in your head until you nearly faint. So you just do what they say. Stop self harming? Fine. Read books when you hate reading? Fine. Don’t sleep when you have narcolepsy? Fine. Until one day you just crack and the next thing you know you are briskly walking away from the establishment in what the staff members refer to as an “escape”.

Beth: So they play on your desperation. It’s a shame it caused so much conflict with your family, but kicking you out was the biggest favor they ever did for you.

Chelsea: I KNOW. I totally and 100% agree.
The graduates that are against Mercy are often stuck in this foggy in-between. Can’t choose. They know Mercy is bad, but they gave them a graduation ring and they still have friends from Mercy. For me, my friends from Mercy cut me off right away. If you get kicked out of Mercy you’re not even allowed to say goodbye to the other girls, let alone speak to them afterward. It’s almost like you’re a leper. You don’t have that other side that doesn’t see the truth about Mercy tugging on your shoulder constantly. They walked away on the same day everybody else did, one fateful day in October in 2008.

Beth: Is there any one particular issue that brings girls to Mercy? As in, is it primarily eating disorders, or self harming, anything in particular?

Chelsea: They like to deal a lot with disorders that tend to make sponsors feel sorry for people. So avoid disorders like “schizophrenia” “bipolar” and hone in more towards disorders like “eating disorders and depression and self harm”. They do ask for past treatment providers info.

Discussing a hypothetical: “What if someone were to go in undercover?”

Chelsea: I guess inevitably I have to ask the question “how strong of a person is the person you have in mind?” I guess that in the long term you would have to be sure that you’re not helping to send someone susceptible into Mercy. Nobody knows Mercy’s dirty side better than I do. If I haven’t experienced it, then I’ve talked one on one with a girl who has. I’ve spent hours with girls talking them into reaching out for help, even though Mercy was supposed to be help.

If someone were to do this you would have to prepare her for whatever she would come across and also put her in contact with others who have experienced this, who may have other things to add. Because in the end we are all susceptible to cults and mind control, no matter how much we like to tell ourselves we are not.

There are certain things she would have to know. For example, they will try and convince her without a doubt that she is not allowed to leave, cannot leave, and if she leaves the property, whatever is her worst fear will come true. But this is not the reality. Mercy is not a court commitment. They don’t take court commitments. In this instance you should think of it as “I went over to a friends house and I can leave whenever I want”. If they physically try to keep you there, it’s called kidnapping. You could, at anytime while you feel unsafe, walk out of those doors, and to a phone or a neighbor. And they can chase after you with their vans, manipulate you with every morsel in their body and you can keep walking. They cannot grab you and put you in the van. That’s also called kidnapping. For me, for example, when I ran away they threatened to kick me out and I said “Good”. Then
they told me [if I left] I would “shut down all of Mercy Ministries”. Which to me was horrible at the time, because I thought they were a good program and I would hurt others. I also was so fearful they would call the cops and have me brought back to Mercy. But if they would have called the cops, they would have gotten themselves in trouble. But I was so off, that I didn’t know who the bad guys were and I assumed it was me.

Words can be much stronger than a physical grasp and trust me, they teach words to the staff at Mercy Ministries. There are a billion other things this girl would need to know and needs to be prepared for.

The fact that she will have limited access to the outside world. No phone calls during the week. Incoming phone calls Saturday and two outgoing phone calls on Sunday and at anytime they can just block somebody from calling “just because”. And that Staff do and can listen in on conversations. No access to news/newspapers/radios/regular music (Christian music only). The assignments she’ll be doing, the toilets she’ll be scrubbing, the fact that she will in fact have to act happy when you are in fact angry with how the whole program pans out. She will have to pretend talk in tongues, pretend praise and worship (hands in the air). At some point she’ll have to do alter calls. She may even be encouraged to be water baptized again, because even if she says she was baptized as a child, it may not count to them.

She will need to learn the most crazy boundaries ever. No hugs, no touching people ever, even permission is needed to do others’ make up and hair, changing in small stalls in the bathroom. Possible separation contracts (actual written out contracts that prevents you from coming within 5 feet of another person) if they feel she is getting too close to another girl for any reason whatsoever and totally out of the blue. All of this is to prevent lesbianism.

She would have to learn not to trust anyone, because everyone is just scanning everyone else, waiting for someone to mess up so they can go tattle on them and score more brownie points. She would have to resist all their “Herbal remedies” they push on everyone. If she can’t sleep, she better keep it to herself, because otherwise she’s getting melatonin shoved down her throat. She’d have to deal with the stringent exercise and diet routine. An hour everyday at the YMCA plus totally organic foods. And she’d have to try and not puke at all the legitimate places that support Mercy Ministries after what she sees go on inside those doors. (Chik Fil A, YMCA, Honda, etc)

It would take her awhile to learn about Mercy. Mercy Ministries is not Castlewood. Castlewood has at least some standards they have to live up to. Mercy Ministries is the Wild Wild West and Castlewood is Boston.

Beth: Right, Castlewood has standards because they are a licensed mental healthcare facility, whereas Mercy Ministries is listed as a charity and is not even licensed to practice. They keep flying under the radar.

Chelsea: Mercy Ministries is a free program and their wealthy donors donate their money expecting to help women with mental illnesses. Unfortunately Mercy’s donors have the wool pulled over their eyes that they are in fact not helping any women with mental illnesses, but some day, some how the truth will come out.

Please click here to help hold Mercy Ministries accountable.

The Disasterous Public Parade Of Fraudulent “Survivors”

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Supposed sex-slavery survivor resigns from her own foundation after her fraudulent life history-victim narrative is exposed:

“Somaly Mam, the world-famous Cambodian campaigner against sex trafficking, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, has stepped down from her eponymous foundation in the wake of charges that she fabricated her harrowing autobiography of having been sold into sex slavery as a child. According to an exposé in Newsweek, Mam had a normal childhood and adolescence and is remembered by neighbors as “a happy, pretty girl with pigtails.” Not only did Mam apparently invent her past, she allegedly coached others in her organization, AFESIP, to tell similarly lurid false tales. Long Pross, who has just stepped down as a spokeswoman for the Somaly Mam Foundation, claimed a pimp gouged out her eye; actually, her eye was removed in surgery for a tumor when she was 13. She was never in a brothel. Meas Rotha says Mam auditioned girls for public appearances and told her she had to lie to help other women”. (Katha Pollit, The Nation, June 4, 2014) – sex trafficking, lies and scandal

DISASTER!

It was 1985, and I was watching the amusing spectacle of fraudulent evangelical ex-satanist testimonialists –  who had escaped from the pages of Jack Chick tracts or the auditoriums of Pentacostal Churches and were making colossal fools of themselves parading their ignorance and fantasies on mainstream network television.  There was the “ex-satanist” who never was a satanist – Christian comedian Mike Warnke – blatantly making up “the secret meaning” of various occult paraphanalia, (“oh yes, the RED robes…these would be for your SEXUAL workings…”),  for example.

Less funny, were the equally uninformed and deluded police officers on this 20/20 program; Sandy Gallant and Dale Griffiths. Their ignorance of the subject matter was somewhat disturbing, considering their power over the lives of others as law enforcement agents. But not really surprising, considering that their “expert” sources were; fraudulent “former satanic cultists” whose expertise consisted of nothing more than medieval folklore, pop culture storylines and urban legends – such as Mike Warnke and Joan Christiansen, religious bigots peddling satanic conspiracy theories – such as Bob Larson, Tony Alamo and John Todd, and teenage dabblers making up a Heavy Metal fandom “satanism” out of their own imaginations.

Then there were these little children on the program, apparently stating they had been forced into participation in human sacrifice rituals with infant victims. (There were passing references to sexual abuse victimization as well, but the children were not shown making such allegations themselves). It was obvious that these kids were relating fantasies, but it was also clear that the children had not made up these stories themselves, that they were not the real ‘authors’ of these fantasies. This was demonstrated when a five-point “satanic crime indicators” list was repeatedly referred to later in the program.  Adults in the program including the host, police detective Sandy Gallant and the children’s relatives/caregivers repeatedly blamed the children for the falsehoods enumerated in this indicators list, claiming “this is what the children have been telling us”.  Some people however, such as Neo-pagan anti-defamation activists who had been monitoring the Fundamentalist-Evangelical “anti-occult” war on popular culture, would recognise this satanic crime indicators list as a compilation of urban legends that had been created and circulated by adult members of Fundamentalist-Evangelical organizations long before any child was alleged to have “disclosed” it. Here it is;

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RICHARD NOLL DESERVES OUR RESPECT AND OUR THANKS!

Richard Noll PhD, a clinical psychologist, is Associate Professor of psychology at DeSales University. He is best known for his research and scholarship in anthropology and the history of medicine and psychiatry on topics such as shamanism, spirit possession, mental imagery and visions, vampirism, Carl Gustav Jung, and dementia praecox/schizophrenia”. – DeSales faculty directory

Quest for a ‘holy grail’ -

I was working on an essay about psychiatrists and psychologists who, during the Satanic Panic years, apparently invested a lot of time & energy playing amatuer forensic detective – formulating their own theories about hypothetical satanic ritual abuse & mind control cults and how such cults might operate, then covertly soliciting statements that could be taken as validation for one or another aspect of their theories, from their patients, under the guise of collecting “life history”, or ordinary talk therapy sessions. I was googling various combinations of “psychiatrist”, “satanic cult”, “ritual abuse” and “roleplay detective”.

And there it was…the title of an article, seemingly promising something I had fervently longed for over several decades, but never believed would actually be written in my lifetime: “When Psychiatry Battled The Devil”, by Richard Noll, Ph.D ! But could/would this article really be what I wanted & needed it to be – an insider’s accounting of the history of satanic panic within the psychiatric profession? The link was to historypsychiatry.com, a blog about the history of psychiatry – excellent! Clicked on it and read the summary; “Psychologist Richard Noll has just published an article in Psychiatric Times on the Satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s” – BINGO! and then; “Noll chronicles how major figures in American psychiatry and clinical psychology played a role in what today is acknowledged to have been a moral panic that damaged the reputations and led to the imprisonment of a number of innocent individuals”. Fantastic! Written by a Psychologist who was literally “in the midst of things” as they went down, and published in Psychiatric Times, even. Perfect! 

So I clicked the link to Noll’s article on Psychiatric Times, and…got nothing. Noll’s article wasn’t on the Psychiatric Times site, nor was it to be found on any other site, as my frantic googling revealed. It was gone, perhaps locked behind a ‘subscribers only’ wall on the Psych Times site, and I would never get to read it. Glimpsed one of my holy grails, only to have it vanish out of my grasp. Aargh!

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Dispelling Myths About Dissociative Identity Disorder Being “Misunderstood”

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*Updated

I’ve been noticing an aggressive internet propaganda campaign about Dissociative Identity Disorder, apparently being waged by certain members of  International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), using mental health journalists – who happen not to be mental health professionals themselves – as ‘fronts’.  Specifically, there are several quasi-interviews with Bethany Brand PhD – a member of the ISSTD Journal of Trauma and Dissociation Editorial Board – purporting to be concerned with “dispelling myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder”.

One example of this campaign can be found on the PsychCentral website. Titled  “Dispelling Myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder” and written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., it is located here:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/dispelling-myths-about-dissociative-identity-disorder/0009785

This article by Margarita Tartakovsky portrays itself to be a matter of public health education, intended to ‘correct’ myths and misunderstandings about DID that “the public” is supposedly confused by;

“(DID), known previously as multiple personality disorder, is not a real disorder. At least, that’s what you might’ve heard in the media, and even from some mental health professionals. DID is arguably one of the most misunderstood and controversial diagnoses in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But it is a real and debilitating disorder that makes it difficult for people to function”.

Tartakovsky & Brand begin their myth and misunderstanding expose with an obtuse Strawman;

“Why the controversy? According to Bethany Brand, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at Towson University and an expert in treating and researching dissociative disorders, there are several reasons. DID is associated with early severe trauma, such as abuse and neglect. This raises the concern over false memories. Some people worry that clients may “remember” abuse that didn’t actually happen and innocent people may get blamed for abuse. (“Most people with DID don’t forget all their abuse or trauma,” Brand said; “sufferers may forget episodes or aspects of some of their trauma,” but it’s “fairly rare not to remember any trauma at all and suddenly recover memories of chronic childhood abuse.”) It also “pries into families’ privacy,” and families may be reluctant to reveal information that might put them in a negative light”.

Innocent persons being falsely accused of sex abuse crimes against children, based on false memories, is indeed a legitimate concern in our society. However, Tartakovsky and Brand are contending that DID is a controversial diagnosis/ research subject/ treatment specialization, because DID is alleged to arise out of the trauma of childhood abuse & neglect, and “families” [readers are intended to infer “abuse perpetrating family members”] don’t want information about abuse & neglect to be revealed.

The strawman here is an insinuation that the only reason for DID to be “controversial”, is that child abusers don’t want to get exposed by adult survivors of their abuse.  Extend the insinuation…DID skeptics must be child abusers! The ongoing recourse to this type of slanderous crapola by DID therapists, researchers and ‘advocates’ only demonstrates that they possess no valid evidence for the legitimacy of DID and must resort to slanderous insinuations against those who expose the truth about it.

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Suggestive Insinuations But No Proof: A Review of “The CIA Doctors” by Colin A. Ross M.D.

stare into the fractal...you're eyes are getting heavy...
stare into the fractal…you’re eyes are getting heavy…

 This is a review of  “The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists“, originally published as  “BLUEBIRD: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists” by Colin A. Ross M.D.

Part OneInsinuation, manipulation, and lies

Immediately following the table of contents, this book has a page headed by a string of random letters and numbers, (ooo-eee-ooo! a secret code? what can it mean?), followed by yet another series of quotes from the MKUltra subproject 136 proposal, strategically chosen to be maximally suggestive of “mind-control” experimentation on child subjects. For the truth about subproject 136, refer to “MKUltra subproject 136 – the surprising reality revealed” article also on this site.

The next chapter is “Acknowledgements”, essentially an essay on “why I admire the CIA” by Colin Ross.  I don’t share Ross’s fawning admiration for the CIA & its OSS predecessor.  I think the OSS spent as much time & effort laying the groundwork for Operation Gladio and similar enterprises, everywhere they went, as they dedicated to actually assisting the fight against our WW2 Axis enemies. The CIA was an illegitimate organization from day one, a cadre of hopelessly incompetent, insanely paranoid anti-communists zealots, responsible for the slaughter of at least 100,000 non-combatant socialists around the world, (not counting all the millions of tragic, pointless military and civilian casualties of the wars they caused to occur), between 1947 and 2000. There was never any need to brainwash or mind-control the CIA’s cold-warriors, they happily committed a continuous process of ideological lobotomization upon themselves, of their own volition. All of the CIA’s leadership and black ops personnel, up to 1995, ought to have been tried for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, treasonous usurpation of American government policymaking powers, treasonous violations of American law, or treasonous violations of their mandated prohibition against domestic operations. In my opinion.

Next is a chapter on Operation Paperclip – the illegal recruitment and off-the-record immigration of surviving Nazis, with some knowledge or skill of use to the American military-industrial complex. That is very old news, of course. What was new, and interesting, was this frank admission:

“An unanswered question is whether any Nazi psychiatrists or mind control experts were brought over under PAPERCLIP or related projects”,  and then this -

“There was a round of declassification of mind control documents in the 1970’s, which were the foundation of books published in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These documents and books did not examine the possible role of German PAPERCLIP psychiatrists in mind control experimentation. The subject remains untouched by scholarly and investigative hands, but is an essential part of the historical background”.

In other words, Ross doesn’t know if any Nazi psychiatrists or “mind control experts” were actually recruited to North America or not. He has no proof, no documentary evidence, that any such persons ever came here.  This doesn’t stop Ross from insinuating that there ought to be evidence, that there surely must have been some such persons brought over to America, as suggestively as he can. This is a pattern repeated over & over in this book – hence the title of this review.

Another annoying feature of the book, is the constant repetition of the phrases; “mind control” and “manchurian candidate”, throughout the entire narrative – including sections where they have no appropriate relevance to the subject Ross is discussing. A rather transparent, low-tech “brainwashing” technique. I suppose, if you can’t actually prove the core hypothesis of your book, you can at least saturate the consciousness of your reader with buzz-words that will ensure they come away with an indelible mental association between “mind control” and whatever/ whomever you’ve discussed along the way.

The next two chapters present information about the Tuskeegee Syphillis Study, (on behalf of American public health agencies), and various radiation related experimentations on unwitting human subjects, (on behalf of American military researchers).  Colin Ross is absolutely right in condemning these as horrific examples of unexcusably unethical  research practices, and regretably these are not the only examples from that time period.  The superfluous repetition of “mind control” and “manchurian candidate” are particularly glaring in these chapters.

The chapters on Projects BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE, as well as the further discussions about hypnotically induced alternate identities, amnesia barriers, and the relationship to MPD in this book, will be addressed in Part Two of this review.

Chapter 5: MKULTRA and MKSEARCH, contain statements by Colin Ross that are of particular interest and concern. On page 62, in a discussion of various MKUltra subprojects, Ross states: “Four of the MKUltra Subprojects involved research on children; 102,103,112 and 117….The fact that CIA funded research on children has not been documented previously. Given that the mind control research declassified to date is certainly an incomplete account of everything done, it is unknown whether other mind control experimentation on children was ethical or harmful. An unanswered question is whether children were ever subjects in Manchurian Candidate experiments”.

Here again Ross substitutes suggestive insinuations for evidence or proof, with the deceptive wording: “…other mind control experimentation on children…” In the following paragraphs Ross describes the four listed subprojects; 102, 103, 112 and 117 – preceded by this disclaimer: “The four MKULTRA Subprojects on children were benign and did not involve unethical experiments“. As Ross describes these projects, it is evident that none of them had anything to do with “mind control” experimentation. So, although it may be true that declassification of research which Ross defines as “mind control experimentation” is incomplete, the question should be – whether or not there had been mind control experimentation on children at all, and if so, whether it was ethical or harmful.

But only four pages later, on page 66, Ross totally contradicts himself : “Manchurian Candidate work was done under MKULTRA Subproject 136…The deliberate creation of multiple personality in children is an explicitly stated plan in the MKULTRA Subproject Proposal…”.  What happened to : “An unanswered question is whether children were ever subjects in Manchurian Candidate experiments”, only four pages earlier? Does Ross know the answer, or doesn’t he? If it was unknown, unanswered, whether children were ever subjects in Manchurian Candidate experiments, on page 62, why is he claiming that children were the subject of Manchurian Candidate experiments on page 66?  And, if MKULTRA subproject 136 involves research on children explicitly, why didn’t he include it in his list of subprojects involving research on children? Ross stated there were four such projects, and 136 wasn’t in his list. Is he now saying that there were five such projects? Or is this an admission that 136 did not involve research on children explicitly?

 More importantly, these statements: “Manchurian Candidate work was done under MKULTRA Subproject 136…The deliberate creation of multiple personality in children is an explicitly stated plan in the MKULTRA Subproject Proposal…” are bald-faced lies!

How convenient for Ross, that he only reproduced a few select sentences of the subproject 136 proposal in his book – preventing his readers from immediately detecting this outrageous deception on his part. If those are the only portions of the proposal they ever do see, no doubt they will believe him! Fortunately, the complete MKUltra subproject 136 proposal is available on this very site, under “MKUltra subproject 136 – the Surprising Reality Revealed”, so anyone reading this review can confirm with their own eyes that Ross’ statements are false.

MKULTRA Subproject 136 is not about “Manchurian Candidate work”, it is about determining whether or not ESP really exists and if so, whether or not promising ESP subjects can be taught to fully control their latent abilities.  It is not about “deliberate creation of multiple personality in children”, nor is there an “explicitly stated plan” nor even a subtly hinted at plan, to create multiple personality in children anywhere in that document. The word “children” only appears once in the entire proposal document – in a list of source groups from which data will be drawn, with regard to group experimentation intended to establish whether or not test scores of individuals can be predicted using psychological or physiological scales. 

Furthermore, as documented by the chart of funding applicant “status” provided by Ross in the appendixes, the persons who developed this proposal and presumably carried out experiments related to it were unwitting recipients of CIA funding for this study. These researcher/experimenters did not know that the ultimate source of their funding was the CIA, they believed they were being funded by an independent science promotion foundation. These researchers were not, therefore, knowingly conducting this study on behalf of the CIA or any “manchurian candidate” production programs the CIA might have been planning or running.

Part Two – Hypnosis, dissociative states, identities versus personalities – coming soon!

MKUltra Subproject 136 – The Surprising Reality Revealed

*Updated June 14/2014

MKUltra subproject 136 could well be the most widely referenced of all the 149 subprojects developed under the auspices of “Project MKUltra, the CIA’s  program of research in behavioral modification”.  Search engines return hundreds of listings for “MKUltra subproject 136″, ranging from; government hearings reports on a variety of subjects, declassified US intelligence agency documents, academic research publications, scholarly investigative journalism , speculative journalism, exploitative-crank journalism, personal injury claimant stories,  speculative psychology dissertations, etc. Surprisingly, very many of these diverse listings repeat the same or similar falsehoods, mistaken assumptions or deliberate misinformation, about subproject 136. If you believe that you have understood what MKUltra subproject 136 was about,  what it’s purpose was and what was intended to be carried out under it’s auspices, you are most likely mistaken.

Read the document - if you haven’t actually read the subproject 136 proposal and funding application, (which is the only existing legitimate documentation about that project), then please accept that your understanding of subproject 136 could be based on inaccurate or fanciful hearsay.  The subproject 136 proposal document will be posted on this article, for everyone to read. This is the same copy of the document that anyone else has ever had access to, redactions included.

MKULTRA subproject 136

Understanding what the document actually says – the subproject 136 proposal/funding application was written by an academic & researcher, who very likely cared more about documenting the theoretical underpinnings of his work than about writing carefully laid-out proposals. The wording could easily cause misunderstandings, if not read very carefully.

It is clear, however, viewing the document in its entirety, that the purpose of this project was to investigate ESP phenomenon and the possibility of teaching-enticing promising subjects to manifest control over whatever ESP ability might be latent in them – and not “to generate multiple personality disorder victims”, as some persons have falsely alleged.

At the start, the document delineates three separate studies;

1) group experiments,

2) developing methods for subjects increased control over latent ability, and

3) intensive study of particularly promising subjects.

Immediately after this, the document discusses the necessary correlation between student subjects in previous studies liking their teacher-experimenter and the acheivement of higher test scores. Having established this as a given, it would be absurd to interpret anything else proposed in the document as intentionally carrying the potential for  turning the subjects against the experimenters, via some form of cruel or sadistic treatment.

Next, the document talks about “preliminary learning studies” in which “feedback of results and other kinds of reinforcement are utilized”.

Then come this famously misconstrued statement:

“That in working with individual subjects, special attention will be given to disassociative states which tend to accompany spontaneous ESP experiences. Such states can be induced and controlled to some extent with hypnosis and drugs”. Note that it doesn’t say will beinduced and controlled…with hypnosis and drugs”

There follows a discussion of the problems posed by random probability of positive results and subects “guessing habits”. And then…

“The data used in the study will be obtained from group ESP experiments which have yielded significant results, high scoring subjects (including control series and records taken after they ‘lost’ their ability, from special groups such as psychotics, children and mediums, and from psychological and educational tests in which answers are of the multiple [unreadable] ”

That statement, above, delineates 4 sources of data;

1) “[previous] group esp experiments…”

2) “high scoring subects…”

3) “special groups such as psychotics, children and mediums”

4) “psychological and educational tests…”

The four sources of data delineated above, clearly corresponds with the first study proposal: “group experiments”, the purpose of which was to establish whether or not a subjects test scores could be predicted using psychological or physiological scales.

“Psychotics, children and mediums” are simply listed as one of four sources of data.

The document does not say: “electric shock, drugs, hypnosis, and “psychological tricks” will be administered to three groups–psychotics, children, and mediums–to induce various states of dissociation, including multiple personality”, as “Franklin Scandal” author Nick Bryant has claimed. Carol Rutz, author of  “A Nation Betrayed”, manipulates the meaning of several passages in the subproject 136 proposal with a deceptive contraction, blatantly constructed to support her personal victimization narrative rather than accurately report the wording of this proposal; “That in working with individual subjects, special attention will be given to disassociative states which tend to accompany spontaneous ESP experiences. Such states can be induced and controlled to some extent with hypnosis and drugs . . . The data used in the study will be obtained from special groups such as psychotics, children and mediums . . .”

At around this point in the proposal, there is the following statement;

“Learning studies will be instituted in which the subject will be rewarded or punished for his overall performance and reinforced in various ways – by being told he was right, by being told what the target was, with electric shock, etc”.  Does this sound sinister, to you?

The author of this proposal is describing classic conditioning techniques for enhancing learning – presumably, learning to control their “innate psychic ability”. But what about this “electric shock” – is he talking about torturing people through repeated, maximum charge, electroconvulsive shocks? No. Either intentionally or through ignorance, people like Carol Rutz mistake the slang term for electroconvulsive therapy – “electroshock” – with “electric shock”. If the author had meant “electroconvulsive” shock, he would surely have used that terminology.

In the context of a “learning program”, taking place in the early 1960’s, the phrase “electric shock” clearly refers to use of the aversion therapy electric shock device popular at that time. You can read all about this, (outdated) approach to enhancing learning, here:

http://www.minddisorders.com/A-Br/Aversion-therapy.html

aversion therapy shock box
aversion therapy shock box

A small box run by a 9-volt battery, with tiny litte electrodes that are stuck to the calve of the leg or the thumb. NOT AT ALL THE SAME AS THIS:

electroconvulsive shock machine
electroconvulsive shock machine

The aversion therapy shock box can’t be used to “fry someone’s brains”, as electroconvulsive therapy is sometimes described.  However, if used repeatedly, involuntarily – against the will of the person on the receiving end – that could indeed cause lasting trauma. Gay men who were forced to submit to aversion shock therapy “treatments” intended to cure them of their homosexuality, have reported this experience to be a hellish torment for them. There is nothing in this document suggesting that the experimenter intends to use “electric shock” learning reinforcement involuntarily.

* [Remarkably, the reality of this electric shock learning reinforcement program was accurately portrayed in the opening minutes of the original Ghostbusters movie, produced in 1984! The character Dr Venkman even says: “I’m studying the effects of negative reinforcement on psychic ability”.]

This discussion in the document clearly corresponds with the second study proposal: “developing methods for subjects increased control over latent ability”. There is no reason to believe that these “learning studies” were to involve the children or psychotics mentioned in reference to the first study, i.e., the group experiments.

Then there is this remarkable statement:

“…the main consideration will be the attitude and disposition of the subject. Wherever possible, every attempt will be made to tailor the tasks required to his preference and his estimate of good working conditions”.

“…tailor the tasks required to his preference and his estimate of good working conditions” – doesn’t sound like involuntary torment, does it? It sounds more like the subjects described here would be voluntarily submitting to the proposed techniques, because they want to enhance and control their psychic abilities & believe these techniques can do that.

And then another statement, famously misconstrued by some :

“The experimenters will be particularly interested in dissociative states, from the abaisment de neveau mental to multiple personality in so-called mediums, and attempts will be made to induce a number of states of this kind using hypnosis”.

A clear statement that attempts will be made to induce dissociative states, but using hypnosisNOT through rape or torture or any other form of traumatic inducement.  Nor is there any suggestion of exploiting dissociative states that might occur in a study participant, to implant a false identity, or generate an alternate personality, or cause the participant to unconsciously obey the will of the resarcher-experimenter for the rest of their life.  There is no discussion of intention to create “Manchurian Candidates” or “mind controlled sex slaves” or multiple personality disorder victims.

This part of the discussion clearly corresponds with the third study proposal: “intensive study of particularly promising subjects”. There is no reason to believe that these “particularly promising subjects” were to come from the children or psychotics mentioned in reference to the first study i.e., the group experiments.

Deliberate misrepresentations about the wording of this document – for many years, the “CIA-satanic cult, trauma-based mind control” true believers have used excerpts from this document to create the impression that they have proof for their thesis – that the CIA and supposedly associated satanic cults systematically tortured little children, (including repeated, sadistic rape), not only to provoke dissociative states in the victims but also to generate full-blown programmable alter-personalities. They would never reveal the whole document, however. You can see why, now. It’s because the document doesn’t say what they’ve always claimed that it said.

Franklin Scandal” author Nick Bryant said this:

“The Subproject 136 documentation discusses administering electric shock, drugs, hypnosis, and “psychological tricks” to three groups–psychotics, children, and mediums–to induce various states of dissociation, including multiple personality, which the researchers thought would enhance the subjects’ extrasensory perception. The Subproject 136 document demonstrates that the CIA was willing to carry out truly cruel and sadistic mind control experiments on children.”

That is false. This document does not describe any intention to abuse children.

Carol Rutz said this:

“My heart practically stood still the day that I read this [MKUltra subproject 136 proposal]. It described perfectly what I had remembered and journaled when I was taken in 1952 at four years of age from my grandfathers home, and delivered to Sidney Gottlieb of the CIA, Dr. Noe and Dr. Black. To use a child to investigate these possibilities I find so morally reprehensible, that I have a difficult time fathoming how anyone could even consider using children. They Did!!!! I am but one of the many children who were the CIA’s convenient experimental subjects. Because of our youth and the severe traumatization we were put through, these men felt we would never tell our stories; and if we did, they felt we would never be believed”.

That’s very unfortunate for her, to have claimed that this document  “described perfectly what I had remembered and journaled”, when it is quite apparent that it does not support her victim narrative at all. She could only be grossly mistaken, or a liar.

The common and deliberate misrepresentation of Subproject 136 as CIA directed “mind-control” experimentation, intended to cause Multiple Personality Disorder in child subjects and turn them into mind-controlled sex/crime/assassination slaves, is very easily disproved.  The persons who developed this proposal and presumably carried out experiments related to it, were unwitting recipients of CIA funding for this work, as the chart of funding applicant “status” in Colin Ross’ “The CIA Doctors” documents. These researcher/experimenters did not know that the ultimate source of their funding was the CIA, they believed they were being funded by an independent science promotion foundation.  These researchers were not, therefore, knowingly conducting this study on behalf of the CIA - so they could not have intended it to serve  any “manchurian candidate” production programs the CIA might have been planning or running. If they didn’t know the money was coming from the CIA, then they could not have been working directly under & for the CIA.

The identity of the author of this proposal, is not a mystery -  who wrote up this proposal? Who’s experiment was this? We can never know – correct? Wrong.

*As he has passed away, and there is nothing that the conspiranoids can do to him now, there seems no harm in revealing that the author of subproject 136 was Stephen Abrams of Oxford University. This is discussed and documented in David Black’s  ACID: A New Secret History of LSD, pg 55.

 

Mental Health Malpractice Cover-up. Castlewood Treatment Center seeks to purchase plaintiff gag-order.

As revelations of a major Mental Health Care scandal come to light, a malpractice settlement threatens to conceal the issue from scrutiny once more.

money talks - EditedOn November 21, 2011, the first of four disturbingly similar malpractice lawsuits was filed against Castlewood Treatment Center, LLC. Among the allegations, a former client of the St. Louis based eating disorders clinic, Lisa Nasseff, claimed that “under the influence of various medically prescribed psychotropic medications” she was “negligently hypnotized” and coerced into believing that, among other things, she “was a member of a satanic cult and that she was involved in or perpetrated various criminal and horrific acts of abuse.” Leslie Thompson, Brooke Taylor, and Colette Travers all followed suit, each also alleging the cultivation of traumatic delusions while undergoing treatment at Castlewood, particularly under the care and supervision of one Mark Schwartz and his (then) wife Lori Galperin. The stage was set for an intense legal battle when, according to KMOV 4 in St. Louis, “Castlewood denied implanting false memories in the women and called the allegations bizarre.” Continue reading

“They Should Live in Infamy for What They Have Done”. An interview regarding a Mental Health Care scandal

Scream. 2001. De Rosette, Angela
Scream. 2001. De Rosette, Angela

In this incendiary interview with Matt Dwyer, I discuss the shameful mental health scandal of Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder — a diagnostic classification that persists in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association despite being debunked by the best available contemporary empirical evidence, and despite the very evident harmful effects of the imaginary condition’s so-called treatment. I speak of my own experiences in documenting the pseudoscientific psychotherapeutic subculture of dissociative disorders, and reveal how, at its core, it is a subculture that is driven by, and dependent upon, Conspiracy Theory of the most paranoid delusional kind.

Download the interview from Feral Audio here: http://www.feralaudio.com/74-doug-mesner-repressed-memories/

The Censored Name is Neil Brick (how Examiner.com fails its writers and readers)

monkiesLast week I wrote a story about an eating disorders clinic that is currently in the process of being sued for malpractice. According to the lawsuits some patients, under the influence of psychotropic drugs and during the course of hypnotherapy sessions, were instilled with horrific delusions — false memories — of Satanic Ritual Abuse. The facility, Castlewood Treatment Center, denies the allegations, calling them “bizarre”. However, as I pointed out in my piece, bizarre as it may be, there is indeed a subculture within the field of dissociative disorders that believes certain psychiatric symptoms to be indicative of repressed torments that have been wiped from conscious recall by a particularly heinous method of trauma-based mind-control. A major proponent of this conspiracy theory is an organization known as S.M.A.R.T. (Stop Mind-control And Ritual abuse Today). Continue reading

Mark Schwartz, accused of malpractice, removed from Castlewood clinic staff

castlewood center
Castlewood Treatment Center. Photo: ABC News

The bizarre nature of the lawsuits created a minor, short-lived sensation among the national press at the times of their filings. The first, dated November 21, 2011 — Lisa Nasseff vs. Castlewood Treatment Center, LLC. — alleged to gross malpractice suffered while undergoing “treatment” at the St. Louis eating disorders clinic. To quote directly from the suit:

“defendant carelessly and negligently hypnotized plaintiff at a time when she was under the influence of various psychotropic medications and said hypnotic treatment directly caused or contributed to cause the creation, reinforcement, or increase in plaintiff’s mind, of false memories including the following:

a) Plaintiff suffered physical and sexual abuse;
b) Plaintiff suffered multiple rapes;
c) Plaintiff suffered satanic ritual abuse;
d) Plaintiff was caused to believe she was a member of a satanic cult and that she was involved in or perpetrated various criminal and horrific acts of abuse;
e) Plaintiff was caused to believe that she had multiple personalities at one time totaling twenty separate personalities.” Continue reading