November 23, 2008 § Leave a comment
Understanding ritual trauma: A comparison of findings from three online surveys – Handout for Karriker, Wanda. (2008, November). Understanding ritual trauma: A comparison of findings from three online surveys. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Chicago, IL.
A pdf copy of this paper can be received by writing email@example.com
10 Extreme Abuse Survey Findings Helpful to Understanding Ritual Trauma
1. Ritual abuse/mind control (RA/MC) is a global phenomenon.
2. A diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder is common for persons who report histories of RA/MC. (84% of EAS respondents who answered that they have been diagnosed with DID [N=655] reported that they are survivors of RA/MC).
3. Ritual abuse (RA) is not limited to SRA, i.e., satanic ritual abuse, sadistic abuse, satanist abuse.
4. RA is reported to involve mind control techniques.
5. Some extreme abuse survivors report that they were used in government-sponsored mind control experimentation (GMC).
6. RA/MC is reported to be involved in organized “known” crime.
7. RA/MC is reported to be involved in clergy abuse.
8. Most often reported memories of extreme abuse are similar across all surveys.
9. Most often reported possible aftereffects of extreme abuse are similar across all surveys.
10. In rating the effectiveness of healing methods, therapists tend to favor stabilization techniques; survivors are more open to alternative ways to cope with indoctrinated belief systems.
November 21, 2008 § Leave a comment
The following is an excerpt from a chapter in: Lacter, E. & Lehman, K. (2008). Guidelines to Differential Diagnosis between Schizophrenia and Ritual Abuse/Mind Control Traumatic Stress. In J.R. Noblitt & P. Perskin (Eds.), Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations, pp. 85-154. Bandon, Oregon: Robert D. Reed Publishers.
this page describes ritual abuse crimes
01. Leavitt and Labott (2000) compared Rorschach results of three groups of patients; 1) patients reporting child sexual abuse within Satanic cults; 2) patients reporting child sexual abuse without ritual abuse; and 3) non-abused patients. The first two groups had histories of amnesia for their sexual trauma, memory recovery after the age of 18 years, and an absence of psychotic or neurologic symptoms. Groups were compared for frequency of 41 Rorschach content responses related to Satanic ritual abuse, selected by four experts in ritual trauma. The group of patients reporting abuse within Satanic cults gave significantly more Rorschach responses with Satanic content. The following specific percepts significantly differentiated the groups: robe, mask, body mutilated, babies damaged, ritual ceremony, threatening eyes, blood everywhere, special knife, goat reference, bondage, torture, sacrifice, hooded figure, altar, blood rituals, and circle. A second study revealed that these results were unrelated to patients’ degree of media and hospital milieu exposure to the subject of Satanic ritual abuse. In fact, less media exposure was associated with production of more Satanic content in patients reporting ritual abuse, evidence that reports of ritual abuse are not primarily the product of exposure contagion.
In an earlier study, Leavitt and Labott (1998a) found that patients reporting Satanic ritual abuse provided more Satanic-content responses in a word association test than patients reporting non-ritual sexual abuse. They also provided fewer normative responses, understandable given the pervasive nature of ritual trauma and the paucity of normal childhood experience for so many of these victims.
Mangen (1992) performed approximately 25 psychological evaluations with patients already identified as having been victimized within Satanic cults, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R), Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) or other story-telling test, a human figure drawings, and more.
Mangen found that the “testing” situation itself often induced great fear in these patients, related to the frequent “tests” of abilities within ritual abuse. Test stimuli, even benign or familiar stimuli, often acted as trauma reminders and precipitated trauma reactions and dissociative “switching” of personalities. He observed that “many responses given by these patients sound blatantly psychotic” (p. 154), but closer scrutiny revealed that these were derived from the ritual abuse and the traumatized level of functioning. He explains the importance of understanding ritual abuse practices, symbols, holidays, etc., as emphasized above.
Mangen found these individuals were of at least average intelligence. However, signs of cognitive slippage and inefficiency occurred as trauma impinged on thought processes. Idiosyncratic, personalized, and even bizarre responses to test stimuli were common. E.g., intelligence tests involving numbers, and in particular, having to repeat series of numbers backwards, often disorganized patients’ responses, since numbers and reversal of numbers and letters are common in ritual practices and programming. Mangen noted that words often lost their meaning as symbols, and were perceived as dangerous in themselves, related to abusers communicating deadly messages with words, and punishment by abusers for incorrect verbal responses. Visual images also disorganized thought processes. E.g., one woman froze when given puzzle pieces of a human figure to assemble. When asked what had happened, she “switched” into a young personality who explained that she had participated in rituals involving people being cut into pieces, but had never been told to try to put the people back together.
Mangen emphasized that such disorganized episodes are frequent, but exist side-by-side with trauma-free spheres of cognitive functioning. He suggests that the traumatized thought processes are state-dependent, and that these patients readily enter states of traumatized functioning.
Mangen’s Rorschach observations are especially revealing. Patients tended to provide images that were perceptually accurate (good form); i.e., they were largely consistent with shapes in the inkblot. In contrast, patients with Schizophrenia often have poor perceptual accuracy (poor form) on the Rorschach, a sign of more impaired perceptual and thought processes.
Though form was generally adequate, associations to the blots were replete with traumatic imagery. E.g., a perception of a person might fit the blot, but the associations might include themes of cutting and murdering babies, eating flesh, evil, etc., additions that would appear bizarre if not for the ritual trauma. Such trauma-driven associations might be made with flat affect or flooded affect. In some cases, perceptual distortions (poor form) were more central, but even these were often resolved in light of the abuse. For example, one patient perceived a person with women’s breasts and a penis, an incongruous combination (INCOM) that might indicate psychosis, if not for the fact that some sexual rituals involve people costumed to appear bi-gender. Yellow was perceived by an other patient as angry and as urine “poured all over me”. This response becomes understandable if the clinician knows that abusers often urinate on the victim, in some cases with the intent to dominate the spirit of the victim with their own spirits.
Mangen explains that drawings also contain elements that would appear bizarre without an understanding of the underlying trauma. For example, trees may contain eyes, hidden people, and blood dripping from severed limbs. Moore (1994) notes that in human figure drawings of ritual abuse victims, arms often abruptly end, appear torn off or jagged, or have unusual endings unlike hands. Ritual acts, symbols, candles, pentagrams, inverted crosses, robes, dripping blood, etc., may be graphically represented, particularly if the abuse is conscious. Cohen and Cox (1995) include a series of drawings depicting the unfolding of memories of an adult woman ritually abused as a child, replete with graphic memories of abusive rituals, ritual artifacts, her terror, phallic symbols of sexual abuse, and dissociative responses, such as multiple self-representations in one drawing, and changes in developmental level across drawings in relation to the age of the personality making the picture.
Mangen reports that ritual abuse victims demonstrate a damaged experience of self on projective tests, such as the Rorschach and TAT. Responses demonstrate a lack of self-agency, that is, a sense of lack of control over one’s life and actions. Figures are often perceived as helpless or passive. Body integrity is often impaired; figures are seen as broken, devoured, harmed, etc. Self affect is inconsistent and incongruent. For example, a figure may be described as frightened and laughing, evil and good, etc. Dissociative processes are evident in illogical shifts and transpositions. TAT stories include confusion in regard to time, states of waking and sleeping, life and death, here and not here, and sudden changes in what characters know, think, and want.
TAT stories reflect interpersonal estrangement and malevolence. Themes of caring and kindness tend to be fleeting. Themes of deception and betrayal are common; “things are not what they seem”. Kind adults turn threatening. Child figures may feign compliance, but are described as actually pretending or escaping in their minds (dissociating). Responses are consistent with the devastating and pervasive abuse these victims have experienced, so often including immediate family members.
Affect dysregulation and emotional intensity pervade test responses. Primitive violent imagery related to ritual trauma is common in Rorschach responses and TAT stories. There is a paucity of positively tinged affective experiences, such as love and hope. Terror and despair dominate. Fear of annihilation and abandonment are more common than fear of loss of love. Some responses may reflect identification with aggressors.
Dissociative responses are observed throughout the evaluation process. Blocking of affect may occur as trauma is described. Overwhelming stimuli can precipitate switching of personalities. There may be obvious changes in vocal presentation and general demeanor. Personalities may identify themselves by name. They may relay accounts of horrible abuse unknown to the host and the host may return with complete amnesia for the event. Or dissociative episodes may be more subtle, and not distinguished unless the evaluator looks for amnestic gaps, such as the repetition of test questions later in the evaluation process to determine if prior responses are recalled.
Mangen explains that the patient may not be able to reveal the “secret” of the abuse and that personalities who identify with the cult experience tend not to present themselves. Thus the clinician must work with the patient to “help make the invisible visible” (p. 155). However, he states that much more research is needed on the use of psychological testing in identifying severe trauma, dissociation, and in particular ritual trauma, to help clinicians to recognize patients who are still preserving the “secret” and not yet revealing their ritual abuse.
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November 17, 2008 § Leave a comment
Satanic Ritual Abuse evidence with information on the McMartin Preschool Case
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Awareness Center Information on Ritual Abuse http://theawarenesscenter.org/ritualabuse.html
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Extreme Abuse Surveys (2007): 750 pages of data on pdf files: http://extreme-abuse-survey.net EAS for survivors of extreme abuse, P-EAS for professionals who work with survivors of extreme abuse, C-EAS for caregivers who work with children who report extreme/ritual abuse.
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IVAT conference in San Diego, California, includes a 4-hour workshop, Wednesday, September 17, 1:00 to 5:00pm, entitled: Torture-Based mind Control: Empirical Research, Programmer Methods, Effects & Treatment, by Wanda Karriker, Ph.D., Randy Noblitt, Ph.D., H. Jane Wakefield, MA (replacing Eileen Schrader, MSW), and Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D. http://www.ivatcenters.org/Conferences/13th-InternationalBooklet.pdf
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November 15, 2008 § Leave a comment
A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus
Lynn Crook, M.Ed.
The lost- in- a-shopping-mall study (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995) provided initial scientific support for the claim that child sexual abuse accusations are false memories planted by therapists. However, the mall study researchers faced a problem early on—the participants could tell the difference between the true and false memories.
1989 – Washington State became the first to allow adults who recovered long-buried memories of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits to recover damages.
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a psychology professor at the University of Washington who testified as an expert on eyewitness testimony, described the challenge these lawsuits presented for psychologists. “The challenge,” she said, was to show that “an entirely false, traumatic memory” could be planted in someone’s mind. (See: http://www.fathom.com/feature/60814/ )
1992 – James Coan, a student of Loftus’, was assigned as chief co-investigator for the mall study. The subjects’ family members were asked to provide Coan with three true childhood stories about the subjects, and to describe a typical family shopping trip. Based on the shopping trip descriptions, a false story was created for each subject about getting lost as a child during a shopping trip. (See: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/loftus.mem.html )
The subjects were informed that their family members said the events “had happened.” (See: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/IssuesInScienceTechnology02%20vol%2018.pdf ) The participants were asked to repeat the stories and to try to remember more details. Finally, the subjects were told one of the memories was false, and asked to choose the false memory (Loftus and Pickrell, p. 722).
1993 – The first indication the study might not live up to the challenge became public in 1993. Coan reported in his honors thesis that six subjects had completed the study, and “all subjects were able to correctly identify the false memory.” (Coan, 1993, p. 16.) Coan was assigned to another professor, and Loftus appointed Jacqueline Pickrell, Maryanne Garry and Chuck Manning to conduct the study. In a January 24, 1994, deposition for Crook v. Murphy, attorney Barbara Jo Levy asked Loftus, “If you are asked to testify about your experiments of implanting false memories, would you use those first six?” Loftus replied, “No, I don’t think I will use the first six” (Transcript, p. 61).
1994 – The mall study was completed in 1994. Loftus reported the results at a conference: “About 10 percent of adults [2 of the 24 subjects] will come up with a specific elaborated memory.” (See: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F07E6DD133BF932A05756C0A962958260) Loftus also reported the 2-subject finding in a status report to the University of Washington Human Subjects Committee dated June 1, 1994: “24 subjects have been run. About “8-9%  have formed false positive memories.”
NOTE: The 2-subject finding may not be accurate. The two subjects are mentioned on page 723 of the mall study. The first subject is described as “convinced.” However, according to Loftus, Feldman and Dashiell (1995), this subject recounted to the researchers what appears to be an actual experience of getting lost at K-Mart, and then went on to correct the false memory she was told. (See: http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1065&Itemid=17) Although Loftus et al.(1995) say the subject “embraced much of the information, and expanded upon it,” this does not appear to be the case. The second subject is described as “misled.” Yet when she was asked to choose the false memory, she chose the mall memory (Loftus and Pickrell, p. 723). Thus, it appears that no false memories were planted in the mall study. (Crook, 2008, United Nations Conference).
1995 – In June, evidence of possible research misconduct in an earlier study was reported in a journal of the American Psychological Association. Koss, Tromp and Tharan (1995, p. 120) demonstrated that the data in Loftus and Burns (1982, p. 320) did not support the authors’ claim that “those who saw the mentally shocking version showed poorer retention of the details of the films” (Loftus and Burns, p. 318). Instead, the data indicated poorer retention for one unimportant detail. (See:
In December, two women filed ethics complaints against Loftus with the American Psychological Association claiming she had misrepresented their successful recalled memory lawsuits to the media. (See: www.astraeasweb.net/politics/loftus.html )
In December, the mall study was published. The 2-subject findings reported in 1994 became five subjects in the published study. Loftus and Pickrell (1995, p. 723) reported: “Of the 24 total, 19 subjects correctly chose the getting-lost memory as the false one, while the remaining five incorrectly thought that one of the true events was the false one.” The authors concluded, “These findings reveal that people can be led to believe that entire events happened to them after suggestions to that effect” (Loftus and Pickrell, p. 723). (See: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/IssuesInScienceTechnology02%20vol%2018.pdf ) Loftus reports the 5-subject finding in her expert witness testimony.
1996 – In 1996, Loftus began criticizing the character, rather than the ideas, of those who questioned her ideas.
In January, Loftus resigned from the American Psychological Association. As a result, the Association did not investigate the two ethics complaints.
In April, Barbara Jo Levy and others (unnamed by the News) said in their response to Loftus’ article in the Washington State Bar News: “These studies [we cited] demonstrate time and time again that a personally experienced traumatic event may result in partial or total memory less of the traumatic event. Loftus herself was victim to such a traumatic memory loss, as she describes it on page 149 of her book, Witness for the Defense.” Loftus replied to Levy and the others: “The lack of common decency shown by Levy et al. in raising the subject of my own experience at age 6 of sexual abuse by a baby-sitter is beyond measure. Why Levy chose to mislead readers by distorting the description of my experience would only be speculation” (Loftus, 1996).
In June, at a NATO conference, Loftus told a colleague to stop defending one of the women who filed an ethics complaint against her. (See: http://www.rememberingdangerously.com/)
In July, testifying as an expert in Turner v. Honker, Loftus commented on Charles Whitfield (“he makes stuff up,” p. 84), Karen Olio (she’s a therapist who has been harassing me for years,” p. 142) and Bessel van der Kolk (“acted nice to me and then said some, unfair and nasty things…he misbehaved,” p. 153). (Transcript)
Loftus commented on the ethics of Ken Pope in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. A year later, the journal published a correction and an apology for Loftus’ “false statement disparaging Dr. Pope’s ethics.” (Correction notice and apology, 1997)
1997 – The raw data from the mall study were subpoenaed by the defense in Burgus v. Braun et al. Loftus obtained a gag order for data. The case settled on October 31, 1997, and the data were returned to Loftus.
Pezdek, Finger, Hodge (1997) planted false memories of getting lost in a mall in three subjects, and failed to convince subjects they had an enema as a child. This study is often cited as a replication of the mall study, even though the participants were interviewed by family members, not researchers. The findings provide evidence to suggest that a family member may be able to plant a false memory of child sexual abuse in another family member if the incident is perceived as only mildly frightening, and the incident is combined with a familiar event (such as a typical family shopping trip).
In May, David Corwin and Erna Olafson published a case study of a videotaped, spontaneously-recovered memory of child sexual abuse (Corwin and Olafson, 1997). The videotape provided evidence to suggest that a repressed memory of childhood abuse could be recalled. (See http://data.memberclicks.com/site/apsac/jane_doe.pdf). Loftus hired Shapiro Investigations to assist in the investigation, and travelled to California to interview Doe’s family members, allegedly introducing herself as the supervisor of David Corwin whom Jane Doe knew and trusted. In 1999, Jane Doe filed an ethics complaint against Loftus with the University of Washington. In July 2001, the University completed a 20-month investigation during which Loftus was not allowed to discuss the case. The University required Loftus to complete an ethics course and to restrict her relationship with Jane Doe’s mother. In June 2002, Loftus was hired by the University of California at Irvine as a Distinguished Professor. In 2002, Loftus and Melvin Guyer published “Who Abused Jane Doe?” in the Skeptical Inquirer. (See: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/JaneDoe.htm) In February 2003, Nicole Taus (Jane Doe) filed a lawsuit against Elizabeth Loftus, Melvin Guyer, Carol Tavris, Shapiro Investigations, Skeptical Inquirer, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and the University of Washington charging invasion of privacy, defamation libel per se, and slander per se, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and damages. In February 2007, the California Supreme Court dismissed all but the invasion of privacy charge. (See:
In August 2007, ten years after Corwin and Olafson’s article was published, Loftus accepted Taus’ settlement offer. Taus was 29-years-old at the time. While numerous publications have reported Loftus’ viewpoint of the lawsuit, no publication has reported Navy Lieutenant Taus’ view of her experience. .
1998 – In an article for American Psychologist, Loftus commented on the work of Laura Brown: “The extent to which my ideas were repeatedly and grossly misrepresented makes it difficult to conclude that some accident or misunderstanding occurred” (Loftus, 1998). Brown responded, “Readers who carefully check the original published sources will find that in my article I quoted Loftus accurately and in context.” (Brown, 1998).
1999 – Crook and Dean (1999) provided evidence to suggest that Loftus had misrepresented the published mall study findings as six subjects, not five, in expert witness testimony. (See: http://users.owt.com/crook/memory/ )
In her response, Loftus (1999, p. 51) questioned the competence of Crook and Dean and the journal’s peer review process. (See: www.questia.com/PM.qst?a+o&d=95748824)
2001 – In June, during an award acceptance speech at an American Psychological Society conference, Loftus described the University of Washington’s ethics investigators:
I am gagged at the moment and may not give you any details. But to me, that itself is the problem. Who, after all, benefits from my silence? Who benefits from keeping such investigations in the dark? My inquisitors. The only people who operate in the dark are thieves, assassins, and cowards. (See: http://www.fmsfonline.org/fmsf01.702.html )
2002 – In a September newspaper interview, Loftus claimed that people like Neil Brick are a “menace to society.” (See http://www.rickross.com/reference/satanism/satanism86.html)
A reply to the above newspaper article is at http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/survivor-letters-to-the-hartford-advocate/
2003 – The American Psychological Association released Psychologists Defying the Crowd in which Loftus (2003, p. 109) commented on Judith Herman, Diana Russell, Lenore Walker and Mary Harvey who had critiqued her work. She stated, “It was quite another thing when the attacks came from individuals who were supposed to be respectable professionals” (p. 109). (See:
In April, a reporter for the UC Irvine student newspaper stated, incorrectly, “Loftus also said that Crook has been harassing her for the past several years and has even gone to such extreme measures such as to registering herself under a false name in one of Loftus’ classes to monitor her.” (See: http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/loftus-lawsuit.htm)
In August, the American Psychological Association named Loftus for its Distinguished Scientific Contribution for the Applications of Psychology Award.
2005 – In June, Loftus was asked to submit a Clarification for a statement she made in an interview for the APS Observer. She wrote, “So ‘Making Memories’ got things mostly right, but ended up giving the impression that Alan developed a rich false memory, when in fact he did not.” (See:
In October, testifying as a defense expert in the murder trial of Missouri v. Ferguson, Loftus described how the false memories were created for the mall study: “The relatives feed the information to us, then we do the suggestive interviewing” (Transcript, p. 2021).
2006 – In October, United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald cross-examined Loftus in US v. Libby (Transcript, p. 65-66). He asked her about two apparent inconsistencies in Schmechel, O’Toole, Easterly, and Loftus (2006). In this study, Schmechel et al. claimed their survey results “demonstrate that jurors misunderstand how memory generally works” (p. 177). However, the survey results reported in the appendix of the article (pp. 206-214) demonstrate that jurors understand how memory generally works (See: https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/Schmechel%20Loftus%20Jurimetrics%202006.pdf?uniq=-z3cwuf)
2007 – In a January 4 deposition for Liano v. Diocese of Phoenix, attorney Richard Treon asked Loftus about the inconsistency between the subjects’ responses in Loftus and Burns (p. 320) and the authors’ conclusion that “those who saw the mentally shocking version showed poorer retention of the details of the films” (p. 318). Loftus replied, “Well the data are all presented there and they speak for themselves, so if people wanted to have a different conclusion, they can try to do that” (Transcript, p. 180).
Loftus was also asked if it is more accurate to say that only two participants fully accepted the false lost in a mall memory. She replied, “We wouldn’t have reported 25 if—I don’t know what you mean by fully, and I would have to go back and read the paper because it’s 12 years ago.” After a similar question, she replied, “First of all, numerous other researchers have gone on to adopt this methodology and they get much higher rates of subjects falling for the suggestion, so I don’t have to defend the 25 percent rate when other people, I mean, are getting three percent or 50 percent false memory rate in these studies” (Transcript, p. 212).
Summary: Given that (1) the mall study researchers collaborated with participants’ relatives to create a false memory, (2) the researchers told participants that their relative corroborated the false memory, (3) no replication of the mall study has been published, (4) the 5-subject finding did not hold up under examination in Liano v. Diocese of Phoenix and (5) the 2-subject finding appears doubtful—the mall study (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995) appears to indicate that planting a false memory of a child sexual abuse may be much more difficult than has been previously suggested.
The apparent inconsistencies in Loftus and Burns (1982), Loftus and Pickrell (1995) and Schmechel, O’Toole, Easterly and Loftus (2006) suggest that journal editors may need to assume a larger role in creating and enforcing policies that encourage ethical publication practices.
The character-disparaging comments that have appeared in media reports and scientific journals suggest that reporters and journal editors may need to assume a larger role in presenting such comments as one side of a two-sided debate.
Brown, L. S. (1998). Sacred space, not sacred cows, or it’s never fun being prophetic. American Psychologist, 53, 488-490.
Coan, J. (1993, August 18). “Creating False Memories.” Senior Paper, Psychology Honors Program, p. 16.
Correction notice and apology. (1997, Fall). Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 4(3).
Corwin, D., and Olafson, E. (1997). Videotaped discovery of a reportedly unrecallable memory of child sexual abuse: Comparison with a childhood interview videotaped 11 years before.” Child Maltreatment 2(2), 91-112. Online at:
Crook, L. (2008, March 4). “The Community Costs of Child Molesters.” Presentation at the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women, New York
Lost in a shopping mall—A breach of professional ethics. Ethics & Behavior, 9(1), 39-50, and Crook, L.S., & Dean, M. (1999); Logical fallacies and ethical breaches, 9(1), 61-68. Online at: http://users.owt.com/cr; ok/memory/
Koss, M. Tromp, S. and Tharan, M. (1995, June). Traumatic memories: Empirical foundations, forensic and clinical implications. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 2(2), 111-132.
Loftus, E. (1996). Repressed Memory Litigation: Court cases and scientific findings on illusory memory, Washington State Bar News, 50, 15-25. (Letter in the following issue.)
Loftus, E. (1998). The private practice of misleading deflection. American Psychologist, 53, 484-485.
Loftus, E. (1999). Lost in the mall: Misrepresentations and misunderstandings. Ethics & Behavior, 9(1), 51-60.
Online at: www.questia.com/PM.qst?a+o&d=95748824
Loftus, E. (2002). Memory Faults and Fixes. Science and Technology. Online at: http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/IssuesInScienceTechnology02%20vol%2018.pdf
Loftus, E. (2003). The Dangers of Memory. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Psychologists Defying the Crowd, Washington D.C. American Psychological Association Press, p. 109. Online at:
Loftus, E. and Burns, T. (1982). Mental shock can produce retrograde amnesia. Memory and Cognition, 10, 3i8-323. Online at:
Loftus E., Feldman, J., and Dashiell, R. (1995). The reality of illusory memories. Memory Distortion, p. 63. Online at: http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1065&Itemid=17
Loftus E. and Pickrell, J. (1995). The formation of false memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25, pp. 720-725. Online at: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/loftus.mem.html
Pezdek, K., Finger, K., and Hodge, D. (1997). Planting false childhood memories: The role of event plausibility. Psychological Science, 8(6), 437-441.
Schmechel, R.S., O’Toole, T. P., Easterly, C. & Loftus, E.F. (2006). Beyond the Ken: Testing Juror’s Understanding of Eyewitness Reliability Evidence. Jurimetrics Journal, 46, 177-214. Online at: https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/Schmechel%20Loftus%20Jurimetrics%202006.pdf?uniq=-z3cwuf
November 8, 2008 § Leave a comment
Wikipedia “Satanic Ritual Abuse” article promotes PEDOPHILIA
For Immediate Release
November 8, 2008. Easthampton, MA:
Intimidation, bullying, sarcasm: such are the tactics used by the current editors of Wikipedia’s “Satanic Ritual Abuse” article (and other related articles) to promote pedophilia: (1) by discounting the existence of sexual crimes against children associated with true or staged satanic worship; and (2) by undoing all references in Wikipedia articles by editors who present findings from research and legal cases that support the existence of ritual/sexual crimes against children by organized groups of pedophiles. (See article and discussion pages at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse).
The article describes Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) as “a moral panic.” References by persons associated with child pornography or false memory type organizations that have been known to defend accused and convicted pedophiles, make it appear that the article is structured to cover up for pedophiles and their criminal perversions.
Findings from the 2007 international online Extreme Abuse Survey (http://extreme-abuse-survey.net) indicate that satanic ritual abuse is widespread. Of 1471 respondents from 31 countries who reported extreme abuse in childhood, 543 reported that they were ritually abused in a satanic cult. This number of SRA reports cited from a highly credible source, Karnac Books, of London was among many findings supporting the existence of ritual abuse deleted by editors who consider such viewpoints as having a “fringe focus.”
When children disclose to trusted persons that they have been physically and sexually tortured by groups of pedophiles using satanic garb and accoutrements, it is reasonable to assume that those persons would turn to the Internet to learn more about such bizarre reports. Because of this entry’s heavily-biased portrayal against the reality of satanic ritual abuse, the bodies, minds, and souls of terrified children – who may under threat of death tell about the perverted acts of their perpetrators using satanic rituals – are placed in jeopardy.
For a research-based rebuttal to Wikipedia’s article, “Satanic Ritual Abuse,” see The Truth about Satanic Ritual Abuse (http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/the-truth-about-satanic-ritual-abuse).
November 4, 2008 § Leave a comment
The Truth about Satanic Ritual Abuse
A Rebuttal to Wikipedia’s Portrayal of Satanic Ritual Abuse
November 2, 2008
Wanda Karriker, PhD
Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) is NOT a moral panic.
SRA is a subset of Ritual Abuse (RA).
Ritual abuse is defined in the Dictionary of Psychology as “A method of control of people of all ages consisting of physical, sexual, and psychological mistreatment through the use of rituals” (Corsini, 1999, p. 848).
Young, Sacks, Braun & Watkins (1991) use the term “satanic ritual abuse” to describe ritual abuse associated with satanic worship. Becker and Fröhling (1998) caution that (1) a ritual can be staged to make a victim believe that the ideological background is real, i.e., a child is made to think she has murdered a baby as a sacrifice to Satan or another deity, (2) that whether or not a ritual is staged, the victim is bound into the real or faked belief system of the perpetrator(s).
A June 2007 review of psychological and medical peer-reviewed journals yielded 47 empirical studies of the RA phenomenon.
Bottoms, Shaver, and Goodman (1996) indicate that the majority of surveyed therapists who have treated at least one alleged survivor believe their clients’ claims of ritual abuse. Schmuttermaier and Veno (1999) report that none of the counselors in their Australian study believe that their clients intentionally fabricated claims of ritual abuse.
Bottoms et al. constructed a prototype of 386 cases from the decade of the 1980’s based on the particular features of abuse that clinical psychologists had heard from their clients. They found the following:
The most common feature of ritual cases was “forced sex.” The next most common was “repeated practices.” . . . Also common, however, were abuse by a member of a cult-like group; abuse related to symbols associated with the devil; abuse involving sacrifice or torture of animals; abuse involving excrement or blood; and abuse involving knives, altars, and candles. . . . The least common features of ritualistic cases were abuse related to the breeding of infants for ritual sacrifice, abuse involving cannibalism, child pornography, and amnesic periods or preoccupation with dates. (p. 10)
Young et al. (1991) describe 37 adult patients, all diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (MPD) or dissociative disorder not otherwise specified who reported similar abuses by satanic cults. Apparently, most of the data were collected while the patients were in treatment with the authors. The article lists ten types of ritual abuse and the percentage of subjects who reported each type: sexual abuse (100%), witnessing and receiving physical abuse/torture (100%), witnessing animal mutilation/killings (100%), death threats (100%), forced drug usage (97%), witnessing and forced participation in human adult and infant sacrifice (83%), forced cannibalism (81%), marriage to Satan (78%), buried alive in coffins or graves (72%), forced impregnation and sacrifice of own child (60%).
Shaffer and Cozolino (1992) interviewed 19 women and one man who reported types and aftereffects of ritualistic abuse consistent with those reported by Young et al. All subjects reported witnessing the murder of animals, infants, children and/or adults. All reported suicidal ideation and half reported suicide attempts. The majority reported severe and sadistic forms of abuse by multiple perpetrators. Some reported continued recontact/revictimization into their adult years.
Satanic Ritual Abuse is an international phenomenon. Van der Hart, Boon, and Heijtmajer (1997) describe reports of SRA in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States; Kent (1997), in Canada; and Schmuttermaier and Veno (1999), in Australia. An organization, Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse (2006), also includes reports of SRA in Australia.
In Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-First Century, German journalist, Ulla Fröhling (2008), writes about her study that was published as a book in 1996 titled Vater unser in der Hölle (Our Father Who Art in Hell). Reprinted in 2008, it is about the life of a German woman with a background of satanic ritual abuse:
The book had an impact: victims found a corroboration of their experiences in it, and doctors and trauma therapists who work with dissociative patients use it for workshops and training courses. A parliamentary inquiry examined the topic of ritual abuse, as did the Parliamentary select committee “Sects and Psycho-Groups,” which mentions the book several times in its concluding report. Three surveys on ritual abuse were carried out. Together with Michaela Huber’s textbook Multiple Personlichkeiten (Multiple Personalities), it changed the German public’s perception of one of the darkest areas of organized violence. (p. 355)
Becker (2008) reported unpublished data from one of the above mentioned surveys, a 1997 study by Fröhling and German psychotherapist Michaela Huber. Of 354 cases in treatment for the aftereffects of ritual abuse by 126 therapists and counselors from 61 locations in Germany, 58% reported that they had been ritually abused in a satanic cult.
Results from the 2007 International Extreme Abuse Surveys offered in English and German indicate that ritual abuse (including SRA) is widespread. More than 2000 persons from 40 countries responded to one or more of the surveys for adult survivors of extreme abuse in childhood (EAS), for professionals who work with survivors who report extreme abuse (P-EAS), and for caregivers of children who disclose ritual abuse and its associated mind control. SRA related data are reported by Becker, Karriker, Overkamp, and Rutz (2008):
On the EAS, 543 respondents reported that they were ritually abused in a satanic cult: 360 from the United States, 33 from Canada, 97 from Europe, and 53 from other countries. (p. 41)
Respondents on the P-EAS were asked to report the approximate number of their adult clients who had reported memories consistent with the abuses/tortures listed. Of 219 professionals who responded to the item: “Ritual abuse in a satanic cult,” 20 reported none, 56 reported 1, 74 reported between 2 and 10; 28 reported between 11 and 20; 41 reported more than 20. (p. 44)
On the C-EAS, 55 caregivers reported that the child or children under their care had alleged a satanic cult as their perpetrator group. (p. 43)
Two web-based archives show legal proceedings and convictions related to SRA and other forms of RA.
For more psychological and legal evidence on the existence of SRA and other forms of RA see:
Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) is NOT a moral panic.
Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse. (2006). Ritual abuse & torture in Australia. Online at http://www.asca.org.au/pdf_public/brochure_ritualabuse040201.pdf
Becker, Th. & Fröhling, U. (1998). Handout: Rituelle Gewalt (Ritual Violence). Kult-und Ritual-Trauma-Institut. Lueneburg.
Becker, Th. (2008). Re-searching for new perspectives: Ritual abuse/ritual violence as ideologically motivated crime. In R. Noblitt & P. Noblitt (Eds.), Ritual abuse in the twenty-first century (pp. 237-260). Bandon, OR: Robert D. Reed.
Becker, Th., Karriker, W., Overkamp, B., & Rutz, C. (2008). The Extreme Abuse Surveys: Preliminary findings regarding dissociative identity disorder. In A. Sachs & G. Galton (Eds.), Forensic aspects of dissociative identity disorder (pp. 32-49). London: Karnac.
Bottoms, B. L., Shaver, P. R., & Goodman, G. S. (1996). An analysis of ritualistic and religion-related child abuse allegations. Law and Human Behavior
Corsini, R. J. (1999). The dictionary of psychology. Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel.
Fröhling, U. (1996). (2008). Vater unser in der Hölle (Our Father Who
Art in Hell). Bergisch-Gladbach: Luebbe.
Kent, S. (1997). Assessment of the satanic abuse allegations in the (name deleted) case. Online at http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~skent/satanic.html
Schmuttermaier, J., & Veno, A. (1999). Counselors’ beliefs about ritual abuse: An Australian study. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 8(3), 45-63. Abstract obtained from PsycINFO. No. 2000-13414-003.
Shaffer, R. E., & Cozolino, L.J. (1992). Adults who report childhood ritualistic abuse. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 20(3), 188-193.
van der Hart, O., Boon, S., & Heijtmajer J. O. (1997). Ritual abuse in European countries: A clinician’s perspective. In G. A. Fraser (Ed.), The dilemma of ritual abuse: Cautions and guides for therapists (pp. 137-163). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Young, W. C., Sachs, R. G., Braun, B. G., & Watkins, R. T. (1991). Patients reporting ritual abuse in childhood: a clinical syndrome. Report of 37 cases. Child Abuse and Neglect, 15(3), 181-189.