Several months ago, I sent a questionaire out to the professional community to find out the opinions of therapists who work with ritual abuse. I contacted the ISSD as well as several therapists whom I had heard of in the field. Why? Because I wanted a chance for the dedicated professionals who work in this field to have a chance to speak out, and I was also interested in their opinions.
I have changed all names, and used pseudonyms to protect the identities of these individuals and the clients that they work with. But these are very real people, who often work long hours, at times under threat from outside people, to help survivors break free. I cannot imagine a group of people that I admire more, next to the survivors themselves. The therapists who answered live both in the United States, and several countries around the world.
First I asked what percent of the therapist’s practice was ritually abused clients. The answers varied.
Jenny, a female therapist, answered: Yes.I never figured percentages. I saw several clients whom I suspected were RA but they never claimed memories of such.
Fran, another therapist, stated: Ritually abused clients have made up about 10% of my practice in the past six years. I consider it a sub-specialty.
Joann, who works in a group practice, stated: yes – though many only openly admit to being DID Is this your specialty area of practice? yes It is about 70% of my practice and 100% of my partnert’s practice
Alice states: Yes…usually they do not enter my office and announce that, however. It usually unfolds in the course of therapy, or they are referred following that disclosure. DID is one of my specialty areas of practice. It comprises about 1/5 of my caseload…and at one time was about 1/3.
John states: I work primarily in and with trauma survivors, mainly people over the ages of 35 and split about 45% 55% male to female. Yes I see a number of people who were ritually abused. Of those I work with about 30% were classic ritual abuse survivors…
I then asked: Do you believe your clients when they tell you they were ritually abused? If so, why? The responses were very interesting.
Jenny states: I believe that it is possible that RA memories are true. I cannot determine truth for clients.
Fran makes some points about her client’s memories: I generally believe my clients’ accounts of ritually abuse because:
1. I have obtained very convincing corroborating evidence.
2. Their emotional reactions and psychological symptoms make complete sense in relation to their accounts of abuse.
3. In one of my cases, relatives of the ritual abuse victim were incarcerated for multiple counts of sadistic sexual assault.
4. I am a member of a professional co-supervision group in which my colleagues have also obtained significant clinical and corroborating evidence of ritualistic abuse and mind control programming.
5. I am familiar with the professional research and clinical literature.
There are some aspects of some clients’ accounts that I believe may not be completely accurate, due to abuse perpetrated on drugged clients or deception by their abusers.
Joann shares her opinion: Absolutely. Who would make up those stories???
Alice makes a point here: I have never seen anyone I thought was fabricating. I have also NEVER told anyone of my clients that they “met a profile”, nor have I shared any of the “theories” that were prevalent in our field for awhile regarding conspiracy, programming, etc. I treat their memories with respect and, when needed, assist them in looking at the BEHAVIORS of their abusers and how it was abuse, regardless of the belief system. I see DID as an elaborate defense system involving all levels of personality.
John shares his view: I believe that initially they will tell me what it is that they have to to unburden the past. And they will tell me often times from the child’s prospective in an adult voice. It is variation on the truth. it is how they recall it at the time in my office, and it may not even be close to what happened but it does define the starting gate so to speak and it is my job to help work them through their processes not decern the truth of the matter. I am the professional listener not the detective…. I think many of my contempories get lost here.
I think it is important to note here that contrary to what some vocal groups in the media say, these professionals listen to what the client brings into therapy. They are NOT suggesting memories, instead, they are listening to their clients.
My next question was: What sort of groups are your clients reporting that “ritually abuse”? Are these organized groups with a religious/philosophical base, or are they isolated incidences? Have you seen any common denominators between groups, if this is what is reported? Any elements that make individuals or groups different in how they work?
Jenny states: Satanic cults; Christian sects, U. S. Government Are these organized groups with a religious/philosophical base, or are they isolated incidences? Both Have you seen any common denominators between groups, if this is what is reported? Any elements that make individuals or groups different in how they work? Pedophilia, sadomachistic tendencies
Fran shares from her experience working with survivors: My clients report abuse by Illuminati, KKK, and Fourth Reich. My Illuminati victim also reports abuse by national and international governments. None of my ritually-abused clients have single-incident abuses. All endured long-term abuse within inter-generational Satanism. Some appear to be more motivated by Satan-worship, others by obtaining world power. Common denominators: Satan worship is reported by all clients. Disgusting and horribly painful torture is reported by all, and there is consistency in the specific kinds of torture used, e.g., being hung upside down, skinning people alive, use of hooks, and more that I can not recall right now. Differences: Sexual abuse seems to have been more frequent and the perpetrators appeared to have stronger pedophiliac interests in my survivors of KKK and Fourth Reich than the Illuminati survivor, who appeared to be high up in the power heirarchy, where it appeared more specific to particular rituals. Only the Illuminati survivor reported abuse by political figures.
Joann’s clients also have shared with hertheir experiences with SRA: Most are isolated. some are offshoots of other groups (example – Masonic, Greek orthodox, illuminati) All involve abuse though the type varies – sexual, physical, emotional
Alice’s clients have also shared different types of abuse: A wide range of groups from aryan nation stuff ,to christian groups, to ancient fertility stuff, to the “chinese menu” approach. The only thing they all have in common is the abuse of power and children.
John shares his perspective: Variation on a theme of religion, although I have one at the moment that is focused on healing and not religion… oddly enough, and they as an organization are subject too a major investigation by the local Medical authorities/….
My next question was: Have you ever seen evidence that seems to corroborate client’s stories? Such as bruising/evidence of abuse physically; or testimony of siblings or family members? Threats against yourself from outside members of the group?
Jenny states: 3 clients of different age groups naming same group leader spanning a period of three decades. Also naming same ritual sites. To my knowledge these clients, being in different generations had never met each other.
Fran has also seen corroborating evidence: I have seen corroborating evidence, including mutiple survivors identifying the same perpetrators, and incarceration of perpetrators.I have had numerous phone hang-ups, for periods a few a day. I had one call at midnight – a woman’s voice
said “She’s dead you know, you killed her”. Nobody I know died.
Joann states: Such as bruising/evidence of abuse physically; (physical pain or sensitivities – ie body memories) Changes as a result of access by others including family members(this may be done knowingly or unknowingly). Threats against yourself from outside members of the group? No threats – just being followed
John has received threats because of his work with survivors: By the time that I see people generally speaking the abuse has long since stopped, but I have seen scars that seem to corroborate clients stories. Yes I have had death threats by the acting out brothers of three young ladies who came in for help. Their old brothers who now live as hermits in the bush, threatened to shoot both me and them if and I quote: Anymore talk of this sexual abuse thing keeps going end quote
I want to thank the courageous professionals who shared their opinions in this article. Part two will include: healing from ritual abuse, what helps and what doesn’t.