The World Will Know! Words from a Hopeless Optimist
This transcript is from a presentation by Wanda Karriker at The Eighth Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference, August 5 – 7, 2005 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Windsor Locks, CT. Some of the topics discussed may be heavy for survivors. Survivors may want to read this with a support person or therapist. The conference is educational and not intended as therapy or treatment. All accusations are alleged. Our providing the information below does not necessarily constitute our endorsement of it.
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Wanda Karriker, Ph.D., a retired psychologist, wrote the novel Morning, Come Quickly to share what she has learned both personally and professionally about ritual abuse, secretive organizations, and mind control torture. To try to assure that her message reaches the widest audience possible, she has adapted the story for film. Her topic is: “The World Will Know! Words from a Hopeless Optimist.”
THE WORLD WILL KNOW: Words from a Hopeless Optimist
Wanda Karriker, Ph.D.
SMART Conference: August 6, 2005
Imagine, if you will, that you are a therapist. Sitting across the room is a woman seven years older than you who is talking and acting like a seven-year-old frightened child. In the voice of that child, she relives – by words and body language – what sounds like a satanic ritual. Her demeanor changes to that of an adult. She points to a scar on her shin shaped like a cross. She describes a serial rape in a funeral home. The railroad track that cuts the town in half. A small feed mill with four tall silos.
She remembers some names.
In your mind, you picture the town you grew up in. The funeral home. A railroad track that cuts the town in half. The small feed mill with four tall silos. It’s gone now. Burned to the ground when you were in the third grade.
Your client’s town could be any town USA in the early forties.
But the names?
So what do you do with this information? Go to the police? To the local newspaper? Keep it to yourself? Write a book?
I chose the last option.
The year was 1988.
The day – a cold day in March.
The day my life changed from Before to After.
Before I am forced to recognize that even in the quiet little community in the Bible Belt where I was born and raised, people whom I knew as a child tortured kids for fun and profit.
It’s 1958. A hot summer night. I’m 15 years old and sitting with my date in the backseat of a 1957 black and white Ford Fairlane convertible. We’re watching a black and white movie at the local drive-in theater. He pulls me close and attempts a kiss. I push away and fix my eyes on the screen where a mother leads her six-year-old daughter to a coffin. The mother forces her frightened child to kiss her dead grandmother good-bye.
This scene leads me to believe that such a trauma is what caused the little girl to split into three parts.
You know the movie: The Three Faces of Eve.
The relationship with that guy didn’t last. My fascination with the phenomenon called multiple personalities did.
It’s 1961. My Psychology 101 class. The professor shows a film of an actual therapy session of the woman known as Eve. “Very rare condition,” I remember him saying. (I later learned that is was years before Chris Sizemore, the real Eve, learned that her therapy sessions were being replayed in college and university classrooms across the country).
What a breach of confidentiality!
It’s 1974. I’m in graduate school. The book, Sybil, is a best seller and is being discussed in one of my classes. “Hogwash,” says the professor. “Her therapist created her personalities.”
Here I’m reminded of a quote by Colin Ross in Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists. He wrote: “If clinical multiple personality is buried and forgotten, then the Manchurian Candidate Programs will be safe from public scrutiny.” (p. 12). (Makes me wonder if my professor later joined the “False Memory” movement).
It’s the early eighties. A client sits across from me, shows me her diary written in many different handwritings, tells me she was raised in a satanic cult. The words of my abnormal psyche professor cross my mind. “Multiple personalities. That’s Hollywood stuff. You’ll never see it.” And here this woman is. Right in front of me. Dissociating all over the place. And I’d never even heard of a satanic cult.
Other multiples show up in my private office. Some are children. One, a seven year old, is taken out of therapy when I make the diagnosis. Later, I hear from her mother’s attorney that the child has an STD and that her father has been charged with sexual abuse. I’m required to sit for a three-hour-deposition, forced to defend that this child has MPD . . . a year before any articles about MPD in children are published in the professional literature.
Later, the little girl’s social worker at a long-term residential treatment center calls to get my records. “The child’s an enigma,” he says. “We don’t seem to be making much progress with her. She’s always getting into trouble and then denying she’s done anything wrong. Sometimes she whines and pouts like a baby. She has a lot of temper tantrums. She refuses to see either her mother or father when they come for supervised visits.”
I couldn’t resist asking, “Has she been treated for her multiple personality disorder?”
“Oh Dr. Karriker,” he says. “We haven’t seen any symptoms of her being multiple.”
Another child, a second grader, I evaluate for a private school.
They want to transfer her to a public class for emotionally disturbed children. Before I begin formal testing, I play a few games with her to gain rapport. She spontaneously tells me about a dance her boyfriend took her to over the weekend.
“Boy friend? Aren’t you a little young to go out on a date?” I ask.
She just stares at me.
“Where was the dance?” I ask.
“At that place where dead people live,” she responds. “I wore a pretty dress.”
“What color?” I ask, knowing what the answer will be.
“It was white. White as snow,” she replies.
With her permission, I tape the rest of her story.
After the session, I tell the headmaster that I suspect the child may be a victim of an organized group of pedophiles. Maybe a satanic cult. And that we should report this to Social Services.
I turn on the tape recorder. He listens a minute or two then reaches over and turns it off.
“There’s nothing to report,” he says. Then throws me a sarcastic grin. “Now, Dr. Karriker. You really don’t believe that kind of stuff’s going on around here, do you?”
That afternoon, I take the tape to the head of Protective Services at DSS.
She listens to it and comments: “I know there are satanic cults operating around here. We’ve had programs about them at my church. I’ll get right on this.”
In two weeks, I call to see what the status of the case is. “Oh,” she says, “We’ve closed the case. My investigator interviewed her mother and the mother said nothing like that was going on.”
Sometime later, a 13-year-old girl, tall and slender, shaped like a Barbie doll shivers in my office. She slumps over, clutching her cramped stomach.
“I will not see him again. My daddy wants me to stay with him during Easter vacation. If I have to go, I will kill myself.”
She tells me about being in a candle-lit basement. Laid out on a pool table. Men standing around. Drinking. Smoking. Laughing.
“What were they wearing?” I ask.
“Black biker shorts,” she answers.
She sits up on the edge of the sofa and asks softly, meekly. “Dr. K. Am I still a virgin?”
“Yes, darling. You’re still a virgin.” What else could I say?
After the session, I make arrangements with the teenager’s mother to have her admitted to an inpatient unit. Not because I really believe she is a danger to herself or others, but because I believe that her daddy is an ever-present danger to her.
I later learned from her social worker that after the girl was released from the hospital, her father came in to the department with his brother and gave up his visitation rights.
Oh. One other thing. This girl’s uncle was the above mentioned Head Master at the private school. You remember. The one who’d made fun of me for even suggesting that one of his students had been a victim of a cult.
Don’t tell me that ritual abuse doesn’t exist!!!!!
Doesn’t matter what the perps wear: black robes, white coats, military uniforms . . . or biker shorts.
By the mid eighties, I have gained quite a reputation in the local mental health community.
I sit at a treatment team meeting for one of my clients who gets her meds at the mental health center. The staff members politely tell me that our mutual client is delusional, schizophrenic. Not MPD. That there is no such thing as satanic ritual abuse. I get the feeling that they believe I am delusional. Then I remind them that her previous records from their center are filled with her reports of abuse in what she believes was a satanic cult.
The center’s psychiatrist had previously asked another of my clients, who was not multiple, who also got her meds at the center, if I had created different personalities in her yet. He told our mutual client that I was known in the professional community for making people multiple and that, around the clinic, I was a laughing joke, that I was known as “Miss Multiple Personality.”
(By the way, in case I forget to tell you, a decade later, the folks at the mental health center were referring many of their clients with DID to me.)
It’s 1986. I attend a conference in Chicago that is focused on dissociative disorders . First time I’d ever talked with any unskeptical colleagues about my work with RA. In an ad hoc group, therapists sit around in a circle. Some tell horror stories of harassment by cult groups. The leader of our group calls for calm; for research.
“How do you research it?” I whisper to the person next to me. “By looking through the minutes of the cult meetings?”
I get angry. I sit on the edge of my chair and don’t even raise my hand to blurt out, “Are we gonna do just like our clients are told to do and keep our mouths shut?”
Summer, 1987. I sit on the potty in Chris Sizemore’s bathroom. With no local professional support in my work with multiples, I have arranged a visit . . . a consult with the real Eve. (She lives only an hour from me)
On the wall in front of me is an oil painting – about 11 by 14. A little girl swings belly-down on a tire suspended from the limb of a huge tree. Her left toes point to the sky. Her right foot touches the ground, holding her steady . . . stable . . . as she draws in the sand with a stick.
Later, Chris will describe the child on the last page of her book, A Mind of My Own (copyright 1989). She writes:
“In such a state, she is both earthly and ephemeral – a creative victim of mental illness but also a typical child. When I painted it, it had been intended as a symbol of hope . . ..”
I left Chris’ house that day with her painting in my hands, a little less money in my bank account, and lots of hope.
October 1987. I attend Adam Crabtree’s conference in Toronto titled: “Multiple Personality in the 1980’s.” Participants represent an assembly of pioneers in the study of multiple personality. For me, the major draw for the conference is my newly-found friend, Chris Sizemore. For her workshop on creativity, she has borrowed several sketches and drawings of a couple of my clients who have ritual abuse histories.
Other participants are Dr. Richard Kluft, a prominent researcher and clinician in the dissociative disorders field. Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, who was Sybil’s therapist. Dr. David Caul, noted for his practical treatment techniques. He was the psychiatrist of Billy Milligan, the first person in the U.S. to be acquitted of criminal charges on grounds of insanity due to MPD. And Dr. Frank Putnam, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Talk about a mecca for someone like me who’d worked with MPD clients in the boonies of North Carolina far from the towers of major medical centers.
When Dr. Kluft, who is speaking about “The Process of Personality Unification in a Multiple,” calls for questions, I ask, “How do you treat . . . how do you help a client who has hundreds of fragments or personality parts achieve unification? Many of her parts hold memories of torturous experiences in a satanic cult.”
Dr. Kluft replies. “Hopefully, we can learn to do that together.” He makes it clear that he doesn’t have all the answers.
Pardon my bragging, but just for a minute, I’m gonna become a name dropper. After the conference, I am in the airport for about two hours waiting for my flight home, engaging in normal everyday conversation with Dr. Wilbur and Chris Sizemore.
“Am I dreaming?” I wonder.
Thirty years earlier I had sat in the backseat of a ’57 Ford convertible watching Chris’ life immortalized in film. Thirteen years earlier, I had read about Dr. Wilbur’s work with Sybil.
I board the plane filled with hope:
HOPE. Hope that the world will know –
That MPD is a child’s sane response to insane situations.
And that healing is possible.
Hope that the world will know about ritual abuse and will acknowledge that across the globe, pedophiles have hidden and probably still hide behind costumes, clerical robes, white doctor coats or military uniforms to torture children in funeral homes, slaughterhouses, barns, Masonic temples, church basements, cemeteries, warehouses, suburban bedrooms and living rooms, hospitals, campgrounds, and caverns–and only God knows where else . . . to do their dirty deeds.
I board the plane filled with hope that somebody will do something to stop these secret assaults on the bodies, minds, and souls of children.
It’s the fall of 1988. Seven months after my life changed from Before to After. Seven months after my client sat across from me and abreacted the serial rape in the funeral home in my hometown.
Seven months after I was forced to know, to acknowledge that even in the quiet little community in the Bible Belt where I was born and raised, organized groups of pedophiles, tortured – and still may be torturing – kids for fun and profit.
I am in Chicago to attend the “Workshop on Identification and Treatment of Victims of Ritual Cult Abuse.” At last a noted expert in the treatment of MPD, Dr. Bennett Braun, has the guts to bring the issue of ritual abuse out in the open. The workshop is a sellout. Rumors are that some tickets are being scalped. No nonprofessionals or press are allowed and badges are carefully checked at the door. Even if I am kooky — as my colleagues at the local mental health center seem to believe — because I believe my clients who report ritual abuse, at this workshop, I hear expert kooks talk about their work with cult victims.
I am shocked to learn that there are people, even therapists, who question the credibility of both clients and therapists who accept the reality of ritual abuse. An anthropologist, speaking about what she calls the “satanic cult rumor,” offers alternative explanations for allegations of satanic abuse in childhood. A part of me wants to believe she is right. That no child was ever tortured in devil-worshiping or any type of ritual ceremony. But another part of me knows that there is truth in my clients’ accounts of ritual abuse.
At the 1989 Chicago conference, there seems to be a consensus among the attendees that satanic ritual abuse of children was and still is a significant problem. The special ritual abuse workshop after the conference is like an emotional religious revival. Three survivors tell their stories and are rewarded by applause and tears from the audience of therapists. A collection is even taken up to defray travel expenses of one of the survivors. Needless to say, I sense a touch of hysteria permeating the therapeutic community.
In the real world, the issue of ritual abuse comes out of the graveyards, funeral homes, church basements, and all the other venues we hear about and becomes a subject for sensational media presentations, talk shows, and popular magazine articles. Secrets once shared in the sanctity of therapy offices are now in the public domain.
In the same year, 1989, I get a strange referral. From a pediatrician who was the childhood medical provider for another of my clients with a ritual abuse history. Although the doc had made many legitimate referrals to me over the years, he had never referred anyone who was over seventeen.
“Are you still doing biofeedback and hypnosis?” he asks.
“Yes,” I answer.
“Well, I was just wondering if it might help me with my golf game?” he laughs. “No really,” he continues, “I have a young lady I’d like to refer to you. She can’t get her migraine headaches under control and she recently had to quit her job at the mill because of blackout spells.”
“Sure, I’ll be glad to see her,” I say. “Can you send me her records?”
“Ur – uh,” he stammers. “She’s not my patient. Just someone I know.”
“How old is she?” I ask.
“About 25,” he answers.
When the woman — I’ll call her Lucy — fills out the client information sheet, I notice that her left index finger has been cut off at the first joint.
“How can I help you?” I ask.”Dr. Freeze said you could help me get rid of my headaches. I’m so tired of them. They get so bad I pass out.” She holds up her index finger. ” That’s what happened to my finger. I passed out in the mill and they told me it got stuck in a machine. They won’t let me work around heavy machinery any more.”
She’d given me an answer about the finger even before I’d asked.
I learn that Lucy’s father died when she was fifteen. She then went to work in a drugstore to help support her mother and younger brothers. Coincidentally, the pharmacy was owned by a family whose name had been mentioned by one of my RA clients.
Lucy had been out of work for over a year, yet she lived alone in an apartment and drove a late model sports car. She was evasive when I asked her how she supported herself.
Then I ask, “What company were you working at when you had your accident?”
She names a local factory. Another coincidence. The father of one of my RA clients is a vice president at that company.
I spend the sessions teaching biofeedback techniques to help her control her headaches. I listen when she talks about other issues, but do not offer any interpretations. After Lucy’s last session, I found a note she had written when I momentarily left the room to answer an emergency call. I don’t know whether she’d purposefully left it on the sofa or not. Anyway, it said, “Here I sit listening to you talk, wondering just what makes you tick. I listen carefully to the words.”
Perhaps Lucy was a cult robot who consciously didn’t know she had been programmed to remember my words so that she could repeat them around a campfire some night.In the spring of 1990, I read an article in the 1989 journal, Dissociation. An article that I believe set off what has come to be known as the “memory wars.” In it, a psychiatrist compared alleged satanic ritual abuse survivors to alleged UFO abductees. He reported that some sociologists had categorized these incredible accounts as ‘urban legends’ and questioned, “. . . to what degree do these vividly reenacted experiences represent purely factual accounts of multigenerational cult activities with actual human sacrifices as described, versus fantasy and/or illusion borrowing its core material from literature, movies, TV, other patients’ accounts, or unintentional therapist suggestion?”
Intuitively, I know that this article will reverberate through many groups. The cults will love it. Survivors will be crushed. I’m not sure how therapists will react.
A part of me wants to ratify this psychiatrist’s doubt. To turn back my life to the years before clients with multiple personalities began showing up in my office. Before I knew of the existence of evil glorified in Satan worship and other deviant religions. And before a couple of clients came to me for therapy who not only had ritual abuse memories, but also remembered having been victims of trauma-based programming and so-called medical experimentation. One woman remembers her daddy (a retired military man) deliberately creating alters in her with coded numbers as names. Another remembers brain probes and high-tech labs with babies in incubators. And being strapped on a table and spun around. And electroshock.
At the 1990 Chicago conference, one of the topics of informal discussion is the paper I just mentioned which questioned the reality of ritual abuse and the credibility of repressed memories.
The dissociative disorders field is split asunder.
Clients and patients referred to as ritual abuse survivors in previous conferences are now being called “alleged” ritual abuse survivors. It’s as if some unknown force is attempting to traumatize trauma therapists; to split professionals into opposing camps, either believers or nonbelievers.
And in 1992, this unknown force becomes known.
It is called the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Wanting to learn more about this organization, I phone its office and request information. Someone tells me that for a hundred dollars a year, I can get their newsletter. I decline the deal but accept her offer of free materials.
From the packet of materials, I learn that this organization is accusing therapists of using hypnosis to deliberately plant false memories of incest and sexual abuse in their clients. Several days later I receive a call from a woman extolling the virtues of the Foundation.
“They’ve been so helpful,” she says. “We’re in the process of suing our daughter’s therapist and they’re telling us exactly how to do it.”
I hang up the phone . . . abruptly.
Remember the option I mentioned at the beginning of my talk? About what I should do with the knowledge that even in the quiet little community in the Bible Belt where I was born and raised, people I knew from my childhood tortured – and may still torture – kids for fun and profit. Remember, I chose the option of writing a book.
But knowing what I know now in 1992, the book cannot be just about the evil in my small community; it has to be about the things I have learned, not only about ritual abuse, but also about government-funded mind control and medical experimentation. Granted I don’t know too much about the latter. Only what I’ve learned from my clients and from presenters at various conferences I’ve attended.
In 1994, I complete my non-fiction book. Names and places have been changed but the story is true. I find a small publisher. Together, we get it ready to go to print. It takes a year. On the day it’s scheduled to go to the printer, he brings the boxed-up manuscript to my office and hands it to me.
“I can’t go through with this,” he says.
Eight years later when I call to offer him a copy of its successor, my novel Morning, Come Quickly, he tells me why he broke the publication contract. You’ve probably guessed. He tells me that he was threatened with harm to his family if he published my book.
Don’t tell me that ritual abuse isn’t real!!! Don’t tell me that children weren’t tortured in Cold War experiments!! Why else would someone have effectively prevented publication of a book that told the truth about my work with ritual abuse and mind control survivors?
You know. It’s probably best that I didn’t get published in 1995. For one thing, I likely would have faced harassment, perhaps a few law suits, by those who don’t want the world-at-large to know about the causes of MPD, about ritual abuse, and about what Lynn S. refers to as “Tax-Funded Torture of Children” in her informational pamphlet that is in your handout.
When you come right down to it, it just seemed easier and less hazardous, for me to tell the truth through fiction.
And if the non-fiction book had been published, it wouldn’t have contained a reprint of Valerie Wolf’s courageous testimony before the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments in March, 1995. Nor would I have been able to mention and/or reference books, articles, and webpages that were pivotal to me in bringing my message to the world . . . umm . . . now that sounds rather self-aggrandizing . . . let me change that to – bringing my message to the readers of Morning, Come Quickly.
I wouldn’t have been able to include the following events which all occurred after 1995 and which I wrote about in the novel.
For example, an advertisement on the Internet which described an implant traceable by satellite systems and small enough to be injected into the body was being marketed as an economical way to monitor and control, even disable, convicts. “There will be no abuse,” the advertisement said, “because it will be under government supervision.”
I wouldn’t have been able to write that the ‘memory wars,’ ignited in North America in the early nineties, were spreading across the globe. Or that in May, 1998, a British newspaper reported the case of a young woman who killed herself two weeks after having been told that her mental anguish was caused by “false memory” syndrome.
If I had published in 1995, I wouldn’t have been able to mention the six or seven week trial in Charlotte during the summer of 1998 in which a psychologist and a psychiatrist were cleared in a malpractice suit involving claims that they used hypnosis, suggestive questioning, and drugs to make a patient falsely believe she’d been abused by Satanists.
In a Charlotte Observer article, one of the defense attorneys described the expert witnesses who testify at repressed memory cases by writing: “It’s like a Broadway show that travels. They sing the same songs, they give the same lines.” Another attorney, referring to the plaintiff’s plea for at least three million dollars in damages, stated: “This isn’t about the search for the Holy Grail. It isn’t about the fight to stamp out false memories. It’s about money.”
If I had published in 1995, I wouldn’t have been able to report that according to an article posted on an Internet list in February 1999, a district court judge had ordered an alleged perpetrator of satanic ritual child abuse to pay $1,000,000 in damages to victim Paul A. Bonacci from Omaha. Interestingly, I’ve never seen or heard anything about this significant story in the mainstream media.
Another story ignored by the national media involved several mental health professionals in Houston who had been tried by the U.S. Government on charges that they intentionally created DID and implanted false memories in their patients in order to reap large sums in insurance payments. The case resulted in a mistrial in March 1999, ending with a dismissal of all charges against the defendants before the defense was ever heard.
During the late 90’s, I heard of colleagues across the country who were no longer treating trauma survivors for fear of being accused of implanting false memories in their clients. Although expert testimony in civil trials against therapists was routinely used to show how therapists could be making clients believe things that didn’t happen, nobody in the court system seemed to be considering the fact that recantors were certainly influenced by accused perpetrators.
After I graduated from college in 1963, I taught school for a couple years. I’ll never forget how humorous, yet sobering, it was when I read the end of school evaluation on me submitted by an eighth grader. It was short and to the point. “Dear Mrs. Karriker. You have been a good teacher. You have taught me everything you know.”
Well, in November, 2003, when the first shipment of Morning, Come Quickly arrived by tractor-trailer at the top of my long driveway on a secluded dead- end country road, I tore open a box, picked up a book, and showed it to my husband who was transferring cartons from the semi to his pickup truck. He paused to look at the cover. “Great picture,” he said. He’d taken the photograph of the pre-Civil War train trestle crossing the Catawba River a few miles upstream from us.
I looked at my 12-year project with awe and felt like shouting: “Well world. Here it is. Everything I know about the aftereffects of extreme child abuse and the resiliency of the human spirit.”
Almost two years later I stand in front of you, speaking on the topic, “The World Will Know,” knowing that there’s still a lot I don’t know, and perhaps a lot I’d rather not know, about the topics addressed as this conference.
So what will the world know? you may ask.
My hope and my prayer is that the world-at-large, that the masses, will someday soon know what we in this room ( who are by virtue of Neil’s criteria for our being here, either recovering from ritual abuse and/or fighting against ritual abuse) . . . that the world will know what we in this room know about ritual abuse and mind control and how they are inter-related with child pornography and child prostitution.
My ten-year-old granddaughter helped me put together the handouts for this presentation. As she was printing the slogan, and the title of my talk on the back of the postcard, she, in all her innocense, asked: “Gammy. How will the world know?”
So how will the world know?
That’s a question I hope we can answer together. Through our networking, our friendships developed at conferences like this, and through advocacy groups.
A couple of things that I’ve done during the past year for this cause include developing (with Carol Rutz’ and Lynn S. help) the advocacy packet (that is in your handout): “Government-Funded Mind Control/Medical Experimentation (Quotes to Ponder).” Last spring, these were distributed to 50 to 60 Congress persons along with letters calling for further declassification of all government files related to these atrocities.
No one that I’m aware of has offered to help or to hold hearings on what some of us call a hidden holocaust. This packet is posted on my website and when I last looked it had been downloaded about 2200 times.
Another thing I’ve done is set up a page on my website titled: “Survivors of Extreme Abuse: A Collective Voice” where survivors can tell their stories and/or link to their personal websites where their stories are told. Many survivors I know want the crimes perpetrated on them to be exposed to the world in one way or another so that something will be done to stop the evil.
A third thing I’ve done is write a chapter for a book, edited by James Randall Noblitt and Pamela Perskin Noblitt, that hopefully will be coming out next year titled: Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations.
There’s a tenative table of contents in your handouts where you’ll see titles of chapters written by survivors Jeanne Adams and Jeanne Riseman, and by professionals from the U.S., UK, Germany, S. Africa, Canada, and Israel.
The atrocity called “ritual abuse” knows no geographical boundaries.
In my chapter titled: “The Aftermath of Ritual Abuse: Residual Effects on a Survivor’s Body, Mind, and Soul,” I write, “Over the years, through reading survivor stories in articles, books, on Internet discussion groups and survivor websites, by working with clients, attending professional and survivor-sponsored conferences, and in writing and rewriting the manuscript for Morning, Come Quickly, I began to see a common thread weaving though accounts of incest, satanic ritual abuse, clergy abuse–about any kind of sexual abuse one can imagine:
“Children in pornography.
“Kiddie porn: A pedophile’s artwork; an avenue for perpetual gratification; a way to blackmail power brokers and politicians who get caught with their pants down on the wrong side of a two-way mirror; a hook for loners who can provide children for the worldwide network; and a means to make lots of money. Along with drug smuggling and child prostitution, its dissemination reportedly helps fund the nefarious activities of organized crime and terrorist groups.
“The atrocity called ritual abuse is global. And images of children tortured, shamed, humiliated, and silenced in pornography are its most visible and prosecutable evidence. In December 2003, seven police officers in Toronto extracted enough information from images posted on an international police website to identify a six-year-old girl who “was seen being beaten, urinated and defecated on, sodomized, forced into oral sex, degraded by having such slogans as ‘Kill me I’m a slut’ written on her body and kept in a dog cage.” (Blatchford, C. March 26, 2004. “Canadian Web Sleuths Save U.S. Girl in Porn Case” retrieved from www.The Globe and Mail.com).
“They notified the FBI who went to the child’s school in North Carolina and rescued her. In March 2004, the alleged pornographer was indicted for his crimes against this child as well as crimes against a three-month-old boy.
“Unless there are admissions of guilt or criminal convictions, sexual predators wearing black robes, white coats, military uniforms, . . . biker shorts, . . . or nothing at all may forever be able to cry, “False!” to the claims their accusers make regarding previously dissociated memories of sexual trauma.
“It doesn’t matter if it occurred in the child’s bedroom with only one or two people present or in a university laboratory. Or on a military base working for ‘Uncle Sam.’ Or in a ritually-abusing cult chanting the mantra, “If you tell you die.”
“Men and women who remember cameras as tools of terror are victims of heinous crimes against humanity. No one can change what happened to them, but I’m sure there are many who would want the world to know that they were dedicated to evil and that they survived.
“One of my clients used to fantasize about surfing the Net and finding photographs of her ‘marriage to Satan’ when she was seven years old or videos of her thirteenth birthday party when she was ‘laid bare’ to the elders in the local cult. Actually, doing such a thing would be a no-no. Peaking onto porno sites to unmask criminals would be at the risk of her going to prison.
“This woman, much like the character Sandy Witherspoon in Morning, Come Quickly, had been handed over to government-connected pedophiles by her father when she was about seven years old to be a guinea pig in what appeared to be Cold War experiments. Nearing fifty years old now, she desperately yearns to find out exactly what was done to her by the evil doctors so that her good doctors can better help her heal the damage done to her body, mind, and soul.” (End of quote from chapter)
I believe that the public and the press already know and acknowledge that at least bits and pieces of the elements of ritual abuse are real.
I just recently discovered the manual that the United Methodist Church uses to educate its congregations on how to reduce the risk of child abuse in the church. It’s titled Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church (1998, Discipleship Resources) and is written by Joy Thornburg Melton. In the section “Types of Child Abuse,” (p. 13), the author provides a definition of RA and lists several of its possible signs. She states: “Reports of ritual abuse are often extremely horrifying and may seem too grim to be true. Children making such reports must not be ignored.”
Thank God my own United Methodist Church acknowledges that ritual abuse is real!
I believe, however, that the press and entertainment media sometimes fail to do justice to or to stay on stories that involve some of the most horrific elements of ritual abuse. Maybe that’s because they’re afraid that child horror stories won’t sell.
Fortunately, there has been some positive action this past year as far as getting these stories out to the public.
What about the Rutherford Institute’s recent interview with Carol Rutz?
Or the success of the BBC TV Drama, May 33rd billed as “an exploration of the consequences of repeated ritual abuse, as seen through the eyes of a young woman?”
Or the documentary about a multiple, Being Pamela, that was aired on June 8 on Channel 4 in the UK?
A couple of other stories in the news during the past year provide us with hope that elements of ritual abuse in crimes are no longer going to be minimized or ignored.
Examples include a headline in the Toledo Blade in February, 2005: It reads: “Dark Allegations Arise Amid Probe of Nun’s slaying. Authorities Expand Investigation to Claims of Ritualistic Sex Abuse.”
And the Associated Press Story about the Hosanna Church on May 23, 2005 with its caption: “Cops Probe Child, Animal Sex Abuse at La. Satanic Church.”
I recently got a response from a query I sent to a major star’s studio announcing the screenplay I adapted from Morning, Come Quickly. It said: “The topic is certainly interesting, timeless and important. However, we never do films which have children in jeopardy.”
Talk about a “Catch-22!”
So, if nobody wants to show children in jeopardy, how do the unenlightened learn about children in jeopardy?
It’s a difficult task, isn’t it? Getting people to hear our stories about ritual abuse and mind control.
Nevertheless, my friends, I stand in front of you today as a hopeless optimist (a phrase I learned from a former client) sharing my hope that if not in mine, that in your lifetime the World Will Know!
Now before I sit down, I want to give you a piece of hope . . . that, I suppose, has its roots in that hot summer night in 1958 when I sat in the backseat of that 1957 black and white Ford Ford Fairlane convertible watching that black and white movie . . .
With Chris Sizemore’s, with Eve’s permission, I give you a very tangible symbol of HOPE.
(Pass out reprints of Chris Sizemore’s “Attic Child” painting.)