“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!
One of the many falsehoods from which Satanic Ritual Abuse mythology is woven, is the pervasively repeated claim that mental health patients and others who allege a history of Ritual Abuse, therapists who treat Ritual Abuse claimants, and persons who “advocate for” Ritual Abuse claimants by evangelizing belief in Ritual Abuse mythology, are all continuously being harrassed and threatened by “the cult”.
“Active cult members continue to threaten and harm adult survivors in a multitude of ways in order to force them to remain silent, most are threatened with death should they disclose their ritual abuse, and many have seen those who threaten them murder others and thus their fears are justified” – Ritual Abuse propaganda site.
Also, Ritual Abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder claimant-advocates sometimes allege that unnamed skeptical debunkers of SRA and DID have threatened them in some manner, supposedly out of desperation to “shut them up” and prevent them revealing “secrets” that could destroy the world’s ruling elites – if enough people were informed of “the truths” that only SRA-DID claimants can tell. Or some such fanciful nonsense.
Are these claims of living under constant threat of harm or even murder really valid? If they are not valid claims, why would these RA-DID claimant-advocates make up such stories?
The truth about Ritual Abuse patients and therapists experiencing threats – The Dilemma of Ritual Abuse; Cautions and Guides for Therapistsedited by George Fraser is an expensive and hard to get hold of book, these days, but well worth the expensive or trouble to obtain. Published in 1997, this book contains essays on a number of RA related topics, written by some of the foremost practitioners in the treatment of DID and SRA patients – not by SRA-DID skeptics or debunkers. Written by people like Dr Richard Kluft, and George Fraser himself, these essays reveal and document some very uncomfortable truths about RA-DID patient-claimants – truths personally observed and recorded by medical practitioners who likely treated more such patients than any others (any others who didn’t get sued for generating false SRA memories in their patients). Here is some of what they reveal:
SRA-DID patient-claimants, and/or their supporter-advocates,have been the people making threats against patients and their doctors! Richard Kluft provides some illustrative examples, on page 36:
“I had the further experience of receiving repeated threats on my life.For example, on many occaisions during a two month period when I answered my phone personally, a deep voice would say that I was getting too close to cult secrets and would be killed if I did not back off. Although these phone calls were extremely disquieting, after a brief period of serious concern I sensed a pattern in them. I confronted the patient I suspected was either making or instigating the calls. Although I got no admission or confirmation, I never received another threatening call”.
“On one occaision, an inpatient reported that she was receiving telephone messages from the cult instructing her to kill one of my colleagues and/or me…I arranged for the patient to be kept away from the telephone for a few days without the patient being aware of this intent. She continued to report receiving calls from the cult“.
George Fraser reports similar experiences. One of his patients claimed she was receiving threatening postcards, with “self-desctruct” mind-control commands secretly coded onto them, mailed from various foreign countries. Fraser became suspicious, and a close examination of the postcards revealed that the foreign postal-markings were faked! The patient had been mailing the doctored postcards to herself, confessed one of her “alters”.
Ritual Abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder claimants themselves have been exposed as the real authors of the threats that they and/or their therapists received, in case after case – but other members of RA-DID “support groups” that many claimants have been involved with are also suspected of concocting and perpetrating elaborate campaigns of threatening harrassment against a range of persons in some claimants lives – including; their therapist’s or treatment facility’s other patients, friends, family members, clergy and community support services workers . Richard Kluft issued informed and insightful condemnations of these non-clinical Ritual Abuse victim claimant “support” groups and networks. From pg. 45:
“I am particularly wary of leaderless or peer-facilitated support groups for dissociative disorder patients and others who allege that they are survivors of ritualistic groups. I have tracked the course of more than a dozen of these groups over the years, and all but one were unmitigated disasters…the proclivity of these groups for overwhelming their members with one another’s traumatic material, excessive dependency, and unbridled requests for support and nurture…and the possibility that members will, under the aegis of group forces and their own vulnerabilities, come to believe that they too have experienced what others represent as their personal histories”.
“But I can share the personal observation that among those MPD (DID) patients and allegers of satanic ritual abuse whom I have treated, those who have networked extensively with fellow patients or allegers invariably take longer to treat than those who do not, and their treatment runs a stormier course. I currently refuse to treat patients who insist on participating in [such] potentially contaminating and countertherapeutic activities”.
As revelations of a major Mental Health Care scandal come to light, a malpractice settlement threatens to conceal the issue from scrutiny once more.
On 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 →