Scientology Crime Syndicate

05 Oct 2000

Survivor Meeting

From: Dan McCracken <romulus.ehs.uiuc.edu!mitvma.mit.edu!
To: MIT.EDU!witchhunt

Earlier this month I met with a group of "survivors" in New York City. The term is their choice; it's a new, small group called SAFETY: Survivors of Abuse, Violence & Trauma. About 20 people showed up for what was billed as a "public discussion and dialog." Judging from audience comments and questions, my wife and I were the only non-survivors present.

Points made by the survivors included:

1. There are many "altered states of consciousness." Hypnotism is an altered state of consciousness, but there are many others, including "highway hypnosis" (Mark Pendergrast's term), the common experience of "coming to" while driving and not remembering any- thing about driving for some minutes past. These altered states of consciousness explain the long gaps in memory of abuse.

2. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a cover for perpetra- tors. Most of the scientific pronouncements from the FMSF are "hooey," since they do not take account of altered states of con- sciousness.

3. A great many adult symptoms are reliable indicators of CSA (childhood sexual abuse).

4. Survivors are far ahead of science, to the point where survi- vors are now training therapists in how to recognize CSA in people who deny it occurred.

5. There is vastly more MPD than the scientific establishment wants to admit. The speaker said she can recognize MPDs from observing them in conversation. She asked, in all seriousness, if I had considered the possibility that I am MPD and that an alter unknown to me abused my daughter.

6. Not only do victims dissociate during abuse, so do perps. I was asked repeatedly why I was not willing to go into therapy to try to remember what I did. When I replied that I can't recover a mem- ory of something that didn't happen, they just shook their heads. "Denial."

7. Satanic ritual abuse is very real. It's covered up so well because many of the practitioners are in positions of authority.

8. A number of speakers went out of their way to say that they had memories of abuse _before_ they went into therapy. So be it. There was, however, a strong sense of defensiveness about these state- ments; the survivors have heard the criticism.

9. Survivors are good at diagnosing abuse. A number of survivors are becoming therapists to take advantage of this skill.

10. When I mentioned something about $50,000 (so far, round num- bers) to defend myself against false charges, I was asked, with some heat, "Would you consider spending $50,000 on hypnosis to find out if you did it?" I fear that I sputtered. I had spent at least 20 minutes, in pieces, saying that hypnosis is not a reli- able way to recover true memories.

11. There was universal agreement, as best I could tell, that mas- sive repression is not only possible but easy to understand. "The mind cannot face the horrors, so it represses the memories." I tried over and over to get anybody to give me a definition of repression, so I could have something concrete to fight against. No luck. Anecdotes from personal experience were the most I could get. People finally got tired of the question, apparently feeling that it was some sort of ploy to deny their memories.

Message? The attitudes that lead to false memories really do exist. Those of us here who decry the situation have at least some objective evidence that people--some people--do think the way we say they do.

Message 2: The therapists in this bb who can't believe that a sig- nificant fraction of their colleagues are as misguided as some of the rest of us say they are, are perhaps too trusting. Common sense is getting a beating. Science is denigrated. "I know of no evidence for that" carries no weight whatsoever against a personal anecdote.

Check it out. Infiltrate a survivor group; lots of meetings are advertized in any metropolitan area. Have a cover story: "I'm just wondering if I was abused," and refuse to say any more. Then lis- ten. Listen for what survivors say about their therapists.

Have in the back of your mind Michael Yapko's 63 practicing Ph.D. and Masters level therapists, of a sample of 864, who "strongly agreed" with the statement: "Hypnosis can be used to recover accu- rate memories of past lives."

Lessee. 63/864 = 7%, approximately. There are at least a quarter of a million therapists practicing in this country, maybe a lot more . . . call that 20,000, round numbers, who believe in past lives regression. Say each has 25 clients. That's a half a million people exposed to therapists who believe in absolute eyewash.

You Ph.D. therapists in this bb who sometimes seem to feel that you are being attacked, relax. I would cheerfully place my chil- dren's fate, or my own, in your hands. You just can't seem to believe how bad some of your colleagues are.

Want another source? Read the case histories in Mark Pendergrast's book: survivors, therapists, retractors, and parents, about three dozen total. These ring absolutely true to me, both in terms of my experience in my own family and in my interviews and speaking.

Dan McCracken, Computer Science, City College of New York
New York, NY 10031 212-650-6162
While on sabbatical until February 1995:
Home office: 212-927-1102 Home fax: 212-568-9311
160 Cabrini Blvd. Apt. 136 New York, NY 10033


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank