“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 tohistorypsychiatry.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!
If you were an aspiring artist of mediocre talents, how could you ensure yourself at least modest sales of your work to some captive audience?
Apparently, one route would be through concocting an “extreme abuse survivor” life history narrative for yourself and then working tirelessly to promote widespread public belief in Satanic Ritual Abuse cults and satanic-nazi-cia mind-control programs. The more people you persuade to buy into your victim narrative, the more people will buy your mediocre works of art. Sell your victim narrative, and your victim narrative will sell your extreme abuse survivor themed artwork. This works particularly well if your continually insist that works of art prove the reality of whatever might be portrayed within them.
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:
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.
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 One – Insinuation, 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 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.
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 be “induced 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:
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:
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 hypnosis – NOT 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.
is a website created to facilitate distribution of the brilliant “How To Overthrow The Illuminati” pamphlet. The authors explain;
“Everyone talks about the Illuminati. You may have heard Jay Z and Beyonce are members of the Illuminati, and channel demons when they perform. You may have heard Obama is a member of the Illuminati, and plans to implant microchips in all U.S. citizens, to prepare for martial law. You may have heard the dollar bill contains secret symbols, which reveal the U.S. has been controlled by the Illuminati for hundreds of years.
Illuminati theory helps oppressed people to explain our experiences in the hood. Society throws horrible stuff in our faces: our family members get locked up for bullshit. Our friends kill each other over beefs, money or turf. Our future is full of dead-end jobs that don’t pay shit. We struggle to pay bills while others live in luxury. On TV, we see people all over the world dying in poverty, even though we live in the most materially abundant society in history. Most people act like none of these terrible things are happening. Why does this occur? We start looking for answers, and Illuminati theory provides one.
We believe Illuminati theory is wrong, and we wrote this pamphlet to offer a different answer“[emphasis added]
This is Part 1b of a review & response to:
‘Organised abuse and the politics of disbelief’, The 2nd Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, Sydney, by Dr Michael Salter.
Quotations from Salter’s article appear as italicized paragraphs.
“In a small number of child protection investigations in the 1980s, children reported ritualistic forms of sexual abuse, involving sexual assault and torture by groups of people within religious or cult‐like “satanic” ceremonies”.
This disingenuous misrepresentation: “…in the 1980s, children reported ritualistic forms of sexual abuse…” etc, is the bedrock falsehood propping up the entire rotten edifice of satanic ritual abuse mythology.
Children did not ‘report’ “ritualistic forms of sexual abuse, involving sexual assault and torture by groups of people within religious or cult‐like “satanic” ceremonies”. What really took place was this – adult persons, some of whom were caregivers for children who would be portrayed as complainants in child protection investigations in the 1980s, including; parents, grandparents, other relatives, child care personnel, doctors, therapists, social workers, clergy or other church functionaries, etc., claimed that children had told them stories about being involved in “ritualistic forms of sexual abuse, involving sexual assault and torture by groups of people within religious or cult‐like “satanic” ceremonies”.
This is a review & response to: ‘Organised abuse and the politics of disbelief’, The 2nd Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, Sydney, by Dr Michael Salter. Quotations from Salter’s article appear as italicized paragraphs.
“Since the 1980s, disclosures of organised abuse [cases of child sexual abuse that involve multiple perpetrators] have been disparaged by a range of activists, journalists and researchers who have focused, in particular, on cases in which sexually abusive groups were alleged to have behaved in ritualistic or ceremonial ways”
Critical analysis by activists, journalists and researchers, leading to expressions of disbelief, have been focused specifically on allegations of ritual abuse, and especially on allegations of satanic ritual abuse. No one is disputing the entire concept of “child sexual abuse involving multiple perpetrators”, as Salter has attempted to insinuate here.Continue reading →
I’m going to reveal the ‘surprise’ conclusion of Salter’s essay, without further ado.
After expending thousands of words on a futile attempt to tease out some kind of rational, or at least believably purposeful, motivation for mythical ritual abuser’s supposed obsession with performing complex ceremonies while raping & torturing children – from the undocumented life history narratives of 16 ritual abuse survivor claimants – Salter eventually confesses that his hypothesized “role of ritual” in the abuse of children, is in fact identical to long ago understood and documented dynamics common to almost all sexual violence victimization:
“The mythos of abusive groups described by participants in this study did not
emerge from a vacuum, but rather they appear to be based upon common
cultural logics of gender, power and violence. The arguments that victims of
sexual violence ‘deserve it’ or ‘ask for it’ and that sexual violence is a ‘natural’
and excusable male urge are not unique to ritual abuse. They are widespread
and commonly held social conventions (see Suarez and Gadalla, 2010)”.
This being the case, Salter ultimately fails to construct the elusive rational imperative which could motivate child abusers to bother encumbering their abuse activity with intricate settings, costuming, scripting, rehearsal and performace of complex ceremonies. Continue reading →
Twenty-Two Faces. By Judy Byington. Tate Publishing, Oklahoma City, 2012. 978-1620240328. 428 pages. Softcover, $19.95.
Book Review by Douglas Mesner
Twenty-Two Faces by Judy Byington falls within an outdated genre of prurient Satanic Panic supernatural-erotica-sold-as-a-true-story pulp novels which enjoyed a certain popularity throughout the 80s and 90s. It tells the story of one Jenny Hill, a former prostitute and drug abuser who, upon submitting herself to psychiatric attention, learned that she had Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID]). Surely, this diagnosis must have come as quite a relief, as it promised that Hill herself need not bear any of the responsibility for her own actions, which the book describes as, at times, being outright psychopathic. Continue reading →