Rebuttal to the Report from the SMART 2009 conference
Rebuttal to an attack on our recent conference in August 2009.
Our ritual abuse conference went really well this year. Many excellent researchers from several countries presented data backing the existence of ritual abuse crimes in a variety of settings.
Unfortunately a “journalist” came into the conference pseudonymously. This person on a website for radiofreesatan, where he is a DJ and is described as “an unscrupulous journalist.”
This journalist paid to enter the conference with a check. He stopped payment on the check after the conference.
Our conference brochure, which all that register are required to read, states “Members of secret organizations, acting out perpetrators, and/or members of unsympathetic organizations are excluded from the conference. This is for the protection and safety of those in attendance.”
Also, it is clearly announced at the beginning of the conference, “Please note that media people are not allowed in the conference at any time without the written permission of SMART.”
Less than one week after the conference, he placed a vicious article on a major Internet newspaper personally attacking some of the conference attendees, the field of DID and memory. Attacks included disparaging remarks about one’s appearance and voice as well as claiming child abuse survivor accounts at the conference were fictional. Fortunately, with the hard work of many people, this article was removed from this major Internet newspaper after four days.
The author repeats the rebutted attacks on the field of DID and ritual abuse made over twenty years ago. The scientific research on DID shows it to be a solid and robust phenomenon that had been misdiagnosed as schizophrenia for over half a century. The research he cites “offer(s) no evidence that either stable alter personalities or the range of clinical features typically associated with MPD can be created in the laboratory.” Accurate information on DID and rebuttals to skeptics can be found at http://ritualabuse.us/research/did/
He also attacks the phenomenon of recovered memory. Yet recovered memory has been found to be a proven and verifiable phenomenon in many cases with fairly high accuracy rates. For more information on this, see http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories
He repeats the same misstatements made about “panic” made twenty years ago. Yet, ritual abuse crimes and their incident rates have been shown to be very real. For more information on this, see http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse and http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/
This author’s first article concludes with several misstatements about what he claims was stated at the conference about the FMSF. However, this was not stated. This is another misstatement made by the author.
In essence, his article contained insults, personal attacks, misstatements, misrepresented and slanted data as well as blatant lies.
A rebuttal to his second article is at the end of this page.
The following are some comments posted on the website below the article attacking our conference before the article was permanently removed from the Internet. Some of these comments were removed from the page by the author, yet comments calling myself a “pedophile” more than once were allowed to stay up.
(Note: Many additional comments were made defending myself, the conference and ritual abuse survivors, we have not received permission yet to post these.)
Neil Brick 8/22/09
This article contains many untruths and insults.
No one by the name of _____ attended the conference. (Note: he attended with a different name)
We clearly state in our conference registration form “members of unsympathetic organizations are excluded from the conference. This is for the protection and safety of those in attendance.”
We also clearly state that members of the media are not permitted to attend the conference without written permission, to protect the attendees anonymity.
The author above, if he did attend the conference, attended with a different name and under false pretenses.
The article itself personally insults both myself and the conference attendees, with statements like….Yet several attendees and speaker have solid evidence including confessions of the perpetrators and scientific books and publications. These were left out of his article.
The article also misrepresents the data around many important issues.
There are hundreds of scientific books and journals documenting the reality of ritual abuse crimes. Information on these can be found at http://ritualabuse.us
There was no MPD craze. It is well documented that most MPD (now called DID) cases were misdiagnosed as schizophrenia for over 60 years. There is no evidence of therapist “coercion” in the scientific literature. Spanos has been critiqued as seriously overgeneralized his data and his data “data offer no evidence that either stable alter personalities or the range of clinical features typically associated with MPD can be created in the laboratory.”
There was no “panic.” There were victims of horrible crimes coming forward to expose their perpetrators….
Readers should draw their own conclusions around this issue, with thorough research about the topics of ritual abuse and DID.
However, one sided articles like the one above that contain personal insults about people serve no constructive purpose whatsoever. They only continue to polarize the debate around these issues and lower the level of civil and intellectual discourse.
August 23, 2009
There is no such thing as “repressed memory therapy.” This is a construct of those that attack the field of therapy and those that attack those that help trauma survivors.
You make excuses for your personal attacks of others, yet you are responsible for your own behavior. You insult my voice and appearance in your article as well as the other conference attendees because of your supposed “disgust.” This goes beyond an ad hominem attack on your part, degenerating into name calling and personal insults.
At my website, there are hundreds of books and article documenting ritual abuse crimes. Go to ritualabuse.us and click on the ritual abuse tab.
August 23, 2009
You state (in the article author’s comment on the page): “yes, I did attend pseudononymously.” In other words, you must have used a different name to attend the conference. All participants need to present an ID to gain admittance to protect the safety of all conference members.
So you misrepresented the reason you were attending the conference. So why should we believe you now?
You knew media personnel were not allowed at the conference without permission, yet you attended anyway, simply to attack myself and the conference.
You made up statements about what you claim I stated about the FMSF and you state we often cite Ms. Freyd, another fabrication. You even got my height wrong.
Your article does not fairly represent the research on the topics it presents.
You state “I see my description of Brick as accurate, even charitable.” Really, personally insulting someone’s appearance and voice is “charitable.”
The author mentions Loftus to back his theory of memory.
Loftus is very biased in her interpretation of traumatic memory. There is NO evidence that traumatic memories can be created through manipulation. Loftus’ work has also been heavily critiqued. See the work of Hopper, Hoult, Crook, Pezdek and Pope. Loftus even published a study that shows recovered memory exists (Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18 (1994) 67-84.)
The reality is that recovered memory has been proven in numerous studies to exist and that it has fairly high corroboration rates. (go to ritualabuse.us and click on the related research tab)
Or use a search engine for “101 corroborated cases of recovered memory”
8/23/09 (edited for corrections)
Since you ignored my question the first time, here it is again:
You state: “yes, I did attend pseudononymously.” In other words, you must have used a different name to attend the conference. All participants need to present an ID to gain admittance to protect the safety of all conference members.
You misrepresented the reason you were attending the conference? So why should we believe you now?
What kind of a “researcher” uses a different name to attend a conference and then repeatedly uses name calling and insults to “prove” their points?
The author of the article attacking our conference made a comment on 8/23/09 about the daughter of Pamela Freyd, stating her daughter (Jennifer) recovered her memories during therapy sessions and then retracted the claim and reconciled.
It was pointed out to the author in a comment on the page that Jennifer did not recover her memories in therapy, nor did she retract, nor did she ever reconcile with her mother. This entire section was deleted by the article author the next day.
You keep mentioning “hats.” One conference table (of many, note how the author only describes one) run by one person did have information on how to protect oneself from certain electromagnetic frequencies. There is scientific evidence that certain electromagnetic frequencies can cause problems for certain people. However, most conference participants were not involved with this topic. And whether one believes this topic is accurate or not certainly has nothing to do with the fact that ritual abuse exists around the world.
A dishonest debater would of course conflate the two terms to discredit both.
It is interesting that several comments I have made defending myself,
even today, as well as others’ comments defending me have been deleted, yet libelous comments calling me a “pedophile” have been kept.
The author’s creation of a straw man argument, that there is an organized conspiracy, is of course a dishonest debate tactic. The point is that ritual abuse exists around the world and that this is well documented.
My organization helps trauma survivors, by providing resources and
accurate information to them. His article hurts them, by
personally attacking myself and them, in a one sided and inaccurate
manner. He has not corrected his several misstatements as promised, but he has continued to present his disinformation. He has no experience in the field of trauma, and repeats the same misstatements by others about the field of trauma.
This reporter failed to mention the professionals who spoke at this conference, or Anne A Johnson, author of Hell Minus One, who obtained written confessions from her parent. Another sources for facts: Colin Ross’ book, Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, based on 15,000 pages of documents obtained from the CIA. The FMSF was formed by Pamela and Peter Freyd, Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager. Pamela and Peter Freyd are parents of Jennifer Freyd, who, despite statements to the contrary, always had memories of her abuse, and never recanted. You can find Jennifer’s story (and her refusal to recant) in her book, Betrayal Trauma: the Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse. This reporter entered the conference under false pretenses, creating false images. I am disappointed in this newspaper for allowing this, and expect better things from it in the future. Meanwhile, please do your own research on this topic rather than buying into this version. sondra
I am very grateful to Neil Brick for the work he continues to do on behalf of RA and government mind control victims. Articles like yours contribute to survivors fears of coming forward and reinforce the public’s head in the sand position, thus prolonging the exposure of this kind of activity.
I am a survivor of ritual abuse in the Catholic Church….If you are a sincere person and not just trying to add to the misinformation out there, I suggest you do some reading on the current research out there on trauma and DID. You are are sadly misinformed.
August 22, 2009.
Pamela Perskin Noblitt
I responded to the article with the following comment:
….Your disrespectful, biased, and poorly researched story is clearly a work of fiction….Journalism requires an open mind, an investigative spirit, and a passion for truth and justice. Sadly, you are lacking in each of these departments. Perhaps you should take the time to actually do some research. And by research, I mean studying alternative perspectives from your own with discretion, respect, and scientifically based inquisitiveness. Remember the first rule of science is parsimony. The simplest answer is often the truest. Which is more likely? That people dreadfully abused in childhood carry lifelong scars? Or that well-reared, well cared for children grow to adulthood and suddenly turn on their good parents? I wish you well in your next career.
Pamela Perskin Noblitt
I have been researching the area of religious cults for the past 33 years and ritual abuse for the past 20 years. In my chapter on History of Satanic Religions in Out of Darkness (I document that satanic (in the original meaning of the term satanic as simply adversarial to social norms) has a long history. This dovetails with University of Alberta Sociology Professor Stephen Kent’s articles in Religion in 1993 in which he analyzed the content of abuse survivors statements and found differences between Masonic satanic abuse, Christian satanic abuse and Mormon satanic abuse….
all the best
Martin H. Katchen
My memories were clear all the way. I was seduced at 14, which is rape by law. He told me to keep quiet, because he was a man of [God] and because of brainwashing by the Institutional Corporate Roman Catholic Church. It took me more than 45 years but, because of survivor support groups like SNAP and SMART, I can now post my full name without fear….I believe Mr. Brick is a victim/survivor of ritual abuse, further; I admire and respect Mr. Brick and SMART for reaching out to other survivors. You chose, with the stroke of your pen, to degrade not only Mr. Brick, but every other human being who does not fit in a [box]. Like…, your attitude comes across as arrogant and threatening. People have feelings.
August 23, 3:43 PM
ATTENTION! NEWSFLASH! Freedom of Speech exists, is alive, and flourishing. Freedom of the Press exists, is alive, and flourishing. Mr. Brick convened a group of people who are survivors of ritual abuse. The author attended that conference. Instead of reporting on the conference, he chose to use…to vent against victim/survivors of any form of abuse, including abuse by brainwashing. The author has certainly achieved his goal….The author has chosen to use his talent as a writer to demean others. I am NOT a survivor of ritual abuse. I am NOT a professional with credentials. I AM, however, a survivor of child rape by a Roman Catholic priest via brainwashing that led me to believe that a priest is “God” on earth.
August 23, 1:33 PM
This was sent to the online newspaper after the article was taken down.
Thank you for taking down the article about the SMART conference, dealing with Ritual Abuse Torture and Mind Control. As a survivor, this conference had been a life line for me. When the problem of Child Sexual abuse within the family was first brought up, people didn’t want to believe that it was happening. Not even professionals. I don’t think that any of us would deny it today. Ritual Abuse Torture is going through the same process.
Hopefully the writer doesn’t have a personal interest in discarding survivor’s reports, as do the actual criminals. I would like to think that he just has a hard time believing such things can happen to children. They do. They happened to me and to clients I worked with as a therapist.
No matter what the writer’s motivation is, survivors need support and not attack. The person who organizes these conferences put many hours of hard work into them and does not deserve such treatment. Neil especially takes a special care to make this conference a safe place for survivors. Just a small example: I must have been coming to the conference for the last five years and Neil knows me quite well by now. Never the less you can rest assure that he will still be asking for my ID when I first walk in.
Trying to discredit and silence us does not help the children who still suffer today. Again, thank you for removing the article…from your website. It was….insulting, and inaccurate.
Rebuttal to the attacking author’s second article report from the SMART 2009 conference
The author continues his attack on child abuse survivors and his name calling and insults on the conference attendees in Part 2.
He insults one of our older conference presenters, stating she is “infirm.”
He attacks the book “Michelle Remembers” with an article now posted on the “Temple of Set” website.
What he fails to mention is that the book’s accuracy was verified by the publisher, see http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/day-care-and-child-abuse-cases/
A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: “The source material was scrutinized. The many thousands of pages of transcript of the tape recordings that Dr. Pazder and Michelle Smith made of their psychiatric sessions were read and digested; they became the basis of this book. The tapes themselves were listened to in good measure, and the videotapes made of some of his sessions were viewed. Both the audio and video are powerfully convincing. It is nearly unthinkable that the protracted agony they record could have been fabricated.”
He also attacks the book “Sybil.” Yet, Sybil’s psychiatrist, Cornelia Wilbur, went to great lengths to validate the accounts of abuse…. The case firmly linked multiple personality disorder with child abuse. And Dr. Leah Dickstein of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who said she was in touch with Sybil for several years after Wilbur’s death, recalls Sybil telling her, “tell people every word in the book is true.”‘ Dickstein, who knew Wilbur, said Wilbur “had no need to make this up.”
The author of the attack on our conference attacks Bennett Braun in the Burgus case.
Here’s a summary of the research on Burgus v. Braun et al that was presented by a researcher at the 2002 International Society for the Study of Dissociation conference in Baltimore….In 1993 the Burgus family filed a malpractice lawsuit against Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Dr. Elva Poznanski, the boys” psychiatrist, and Dr. Bennett Braun, Pat’s psychiatrist…Before her hospitalization at Rush in 1983, Pat spent most days in bed in with the curtains drawn, unable to care for herself. She threatened to kill herself and others. Her husband came home for lunch to make sure the boys were fed. She became convinced that the doctor who did her tubal ligation had implanted a fetus during the surgery. She approached mothers of infant daughters, asking them if they would trade their daughter for her infant son, Mikey. Pat entered Rush diagnosed with multiple personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. Upon admission Pat was agitated and incoherent. During her first month on the unit and before she was placed on meds, Pat told staff “I’m switching [personalities] out of control today. I’m doing so much switching today I can’t believe it.” Pat testified that the rapid switching decreased over time as her medications were increased….Other patients said they recognized her from her participation in cult-related criminal activities. At the time of her release from Rush in 1987 Pat was more stable and integrated. Did Pat’s psychiatrist implant false memories as Pat has claimed? On January 17, 1997, a defense attorney asked Pat about the source of her memories. Pat repeatedly conceded that she had originated all the memories herself. Her psychiatrist did not implant any memories. He had simply passed on to her what the other patients had reported.”
Candidate accused by former patient by Thomas R. O’Donnell – Des Moines Register – 10/28/98 – “A former Iowan who won a $10.6 million settlement from a Chicago hospital and two psychiatrists said the diagnosis of multiple personalities and repressed memories of satanic cults that led to her lawsuit originated with a West Des Moines clinical social worker. But the social worker, Ann-Marie Baughman, now a Polk County legislative candidate, said that when she started counseling Patricia Burgus in 1982, Burgus was a troubled woman who was threatening to kill herself and others. Burgus…also was displaying behavior that Baughman could not understand. “It was the physical changes more than just the verbal expressions of what she was telling me” that led Baughman to conclude she was seeing multiple personalities. The “muscles in her face would all relax . . . and she would just look different. It was just the eeriest thing….But suggestions that Braun somehow planted the horrific memories in Burgus’ head are wrong, Baughman said, because they started surfacing during her sessions with Burgus in Des Moines….In the settlement, reached last fall after six years of litigation, neither the hospital nor the psychiatrists, Braun and Elva Poznanski, admitted fault. Braun has said his insurance company settled over his objections.”
It appears that Burgus’ symptoms appeared before her work with Braun, something the attacking author appears to ignore.
The attacking author states he only found one mention of the Amirault case on our website http://ritualabuse.us
He obviously did not look very hard.
“All nine children testified in a broadly consistent way…The children testified to numerous instances of sexual abuse. Some of the children testified that they were photographed during this abuse, describing a big camera with wires, a red button, and pictures which came out of the camera. The children testified that the defendant threatened them and told them that their families would be harmed if they told anyone about the abuse….The Commonwealth also presented a pediatric gynecologist and pediatrician who examined five of the girls who testified…She made findings consistent with abuse in four of the girls.”
Additional information on the Amirault case is at our website at http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/day-care-and-child-abuse-cases/
“in Amirault, the majority of the female children who testified had some relevant physical findings, as did several female children involved in the investigation who did not participate in the trial. The findings included labial adhesions and hymenal scarring of the sort present in avery small percentage of non-sexually abused children.”
“Victims in the Fells Acres child abuse case broke down Thursday as they described their pain publicly for the first time in hopes of keeping the last person convicted in the case behind bars. Victims urged her to keep Amirault in prison.”
“This family raped me, molested me and totally ruined my life,’’said Jennifer Bennett, who was 3 1/2 years old when she started at Fells Acres. “We weren’t coaxed. We weren’t lying. We’re telling the truth and we always will.”
The attacking author states “sexually repressed housewives may place themselves in the midst of deviant orgies in which they had no choice but to participate.” This incredible statement shows the authors thinking clearly.
The attacking author even criticizes the story of one speaker that has signed confessions of Satanic Ritual Abuse from her mother and stepfather.
The attacking author states the conference is “full of bullshit.” He even criticizes the well established diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder, citing Paul McHugh.
Information on Paul McHugh is at http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/paul-mchugh/
quotes from cited articles at our website include:
“The problem with McHugh’s publications on MPD/DID, like those of Mersky, is that they are mere speculation. From deposition testimony in several cases, McHugh has made it clear that other than an occasional consultation, he has very little actual clinical experience with the ongoing treatment of MPD/DID patients and is generally unfamiliar with both the clinical features of MPD/DID and with what usually occurs in their treatment. This McHugh’s opinion is informed neither by actual in-depth clinical experience with contemporary MPD/DID patients nor by any scientific research on MPD.”
“At least eight men have been convicted of sexually abusing Maryland children while under treatment at the “sex disorders” clinic McHugh runs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – abuse the doctors did not report, citing client confidentiality.”
The attacking author writes “As Brick wrote in an angry comment upon my first half of this article, “who are you to decide what people remember?” Yet, Brick did not say any such thing. This is more inaccurate writing from the attacking author.
The attacking author in the original version of his article writes “Disassociative Disorders” and “Disassociative Identity Disorder” yet they are actually called “Dissociative Disorders” and “Dissociative Identity Disorder.”
But if the author had any experience in the field, he would know this.
The attacking author’s continued one-sided attack on our conference is inaccurate, insulting and simply untrue.
The following comments were made later on defending the conference, following further comments that included name calling and insults that were written about myself and the conference attendees.
9/4/09 (edited for corrections)
As a speaker at the conference as well as “named” throughout this commentary, I am amazed and appalled at the inclusion of a seriously flawed “report” from a man who canceled his check that was to pay for his attendance, misrepresented who he was, and then failed to check his “facts” about not only myself but others in attendance as well. His errors include such small details as my age and health, reason for sitting at a table (too many papers to juggle standing up), and larger ones such as misquoting and putting words in my mouth. My presentation is on tape, and it would have been easy for him to verify any of his shaky “facts”, but he chose to make fun of our pain, as well. We did not ask him to attend, he did not interview any of us in his “official” capacity as a reporter, and after reading part one in which he made sophomoric sport of his descriptions of attendees, I really did not expect anyone to legitimize his “work”. Googling him has given a clearer picture of a man who is full of contradictions. As a member of an atheist group, he then has a blog with artwork depicting a gleeful satan, another in which he grins as he holds up a jar containing a dead fetus, as well as proclaiming himself as playing the role of a prankster in his reporting. He may throw all the stones he wants. Truth is not dependent on any one man’s visions or delusions. True research, on both sides of the arguments presented, would give a much more balanced picture, but that requires actual intelligent examination of the material.
I do not know what the goal here is in accepting and publishing this satirical piece of commentary, but am disappointed that anyone can make any statements they choose about a topic like this and have it printed as if it is gospel. If Mr. “Undercover reporter” wishes to engage me directly, all he had to do was ask. Perhaps someone acquainted with him might be able to put some context into his purpose for sneaking into a conference where reporters may interview subjects outside of the conference room, with permission of those he interviews, but are purposely excluded from the speeches themselves.
This site seems dedicated to exposing abuse, yet it publishes this article that, on the contrary, denies the abuse of people he has virtually no prior knowledge about.
I expect more attacks–that is the classic M.O. of a debunker. Regardless, this report is about as factual as a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. I expected better of your publication.
I applaud you for standing up to this self-described journalist who apparently thought by defaming you he could influence others not to accept the reality of the crimes that you suffered. Your truth speaks much louder than his insults and debunks.
To the sponsors of the SMART conference,
I applaud you for continuing year after year, in spite of the personal insults you have been hit with because of your efforts to make the world safer for children.
To the owners of this website. I don’t understand how you can allow the article misrepresenting the SMART conference and giving distorted views of the history and literature on the topics of ritual abuse stay online and associated with your organization. It is my understanding that another online journal took this self-described journalist’s first article down apparently because of its libelous statements.
It is also my understanding that many victims report that they were victims of satanic ritual abuse by Catholic clergy. I ask that you do as the other online journal did and remove this self-described journalist’s reports from you website.