Mediation or Reconciliation?

Full version of this Blog with updates is at Midground:

Project Middle Ground
was started in America by Dr Paul Simpson a therapist who wrote Second Thoughts: Understanding the false memory crisis and how it could affect you.

Perhaps Dr Simpson's approach of working with families involved in the controversy is not directly applicable in the UK, but that does not mean there may not be an approach that suits our culture better. See SOME BOOKS listed below in this posting.

Various academics at UK universities have written papers about bridging what might seem an impossible divide. Sadly people tend to fight a particular corner, but Dr Simpson showed that it is possible to try for a middle ground, with some considerable effect. Type into Google for the UK:
middle ground false memories

Several books shedding light on how some misunderstandings could have arisen have been written in America since 1995. It seems a pity to let all of that, plus what has been achieved in the UK, remain unattended for the most part.

Possible Sources of Help

Where Do I Go for Information or Help on Cultic Ritual Abuse?

People need to use their personal circumstances and discretion, their beliefs or disinclinations. Waters have become so muddied that opinion settles one way or another, for or against this approach or that, leaving people with no personal options. We have to find some! The following are suggestions that have been made. You are free to make up your own mind. But please find out all you can on your own behalf, or for someone you know.

'I have no way of verifying much of what I was told, but heard enough to cause concern. It is easy for a folie-a-deux to form, however hard one tries to keep things straight. My online friend could just have been terribly confused, or perhaps that is how someone wanted things to be or to look. If I find out that I've been conned, you have my word that I will admit it.' - Is the Author a fake, a flake, or plain deluded? Whatever you may think on that issue, read it to see the lengths some therapists apparently go to.

Some suggested sources Aims to pro-actively educate about the dangers of destructive cults, in order to reduce the risk of people becoming involved in abusive and totalitarian groups.

'A Singular Yarn'

A story with a difference about ritual abuse and confusing therapy
- For those who wonder if ritual abuse is ever really real
- For those who wonder if their therapy really is helping

All it really needs is for someone involved in these practices to spell out the 'spells', to tell us honestly what is done and why, and what can be done. It could be done like The Masked Magician on TV so no-one would know their ID.

= = = = =

Justice for Carol for a different and equally disturbing tale
Also see the Links page there.

Memory Distortion website
Maxine Berry's story with useful Links and information.

Also see article

Mediation - More Harm Than Good?

Mediation - More Harm Than Good?

It would be good to think that a responsible mediator, counsellor or impartial observer working with parties involved in a dispute or misunderstanding would be helpful in a reasonable proportion of situations.

As one might expect, experts tend to polarise - even in the field of mediation.

When problems relate to personal feelings and family situations, it is not going to be easy. Through watching Neighbours from Hell or being unfortunate yourself, you'll know that neighbours are not always terribly neighbourly - in fact terrible is an apt description.

Regarding allegations of abuse within the family, scroll down to the section on Counselling or Quackery (William Burgoyne) with reconciliation approaches to try from Mark Pendergrast's book Victims of Memory. A search on Google or Amazon will show a range of publications and views on mediation in general, or on specific aspects or approaches.

Narrative mediation sounds as though it could help here. People may also have to learn to accept a big difference in opinion over what actually happened, and to leave some issues in moratorium or a no-man's-land without resolution for the foreseeable future.


Before Forgiving: Cautionary Views of Forgiveness in Psychotherapy ed. by Sharon Lamb, Jeffrie G. Murphy

Family Therapy in Britain ed. by Eddy Street, Windy Dryden

Forgiveness and the Healing Process: A Central Therapeutic Concern ed. by Cynthia Ransley, Terri Spy

Secrets in the Family by Lily Pincus, Christopher Dare

The Secret Life of Families by Evan Imber-Black

The Trouble with Blame: Victims, Perpetrators and Responsibility by Sharon Lamb

You Can Go Home Again by Monica McGoldrick

I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation by Laura Davis 'maps the reconciliation process through first-person stories of people who have mended relationships in a wide variety of circumstances. In these pages, parents reconcile with children, embittered siblings reconnect, angry friends reunite, and war veterans and crime victims meet with their enemies... Davis explains how people can make peace in relationships without necessarily forgiving past hurts.'

Note: Laura Davis co-authored The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Although it has been helpful to survivors of abuse, it has recently been the subject of controversy. We feel the views and research in I Thought We'd Never Speak Again are worth considering.

If you have suggestions to make on how people may proceed - with or without help from outside, then please do!

How Does Memory Work?

Useful site on Memory Research

Jim Hopper's site on Memories
and notes about seeking help is at A range of useful information about memory research, showing that experts are divided, and there is not likely to be any one answer. He gives some cautions:

Words of Caution I
* Research and theories about amnesia and delayed recall for childhood sexual abuse are extremely controversial.
* All statistics and interpretations of these phenomena are disputed by some experts.
* Complex and subtle scientific issues are involved, including criticisms of research methods and theory-based interpretations of research findings and clinical observations.
* The most controversial issues are:

1. How common are amnesia and delayed recall for sexual abuse experiences?
2. How do we understand the evidence? For example, do people "simply forget" sexual abuse just as they might temporarily forget any other unpleasant experience, or are different brain mechanisms and psychological defensive processes involved?

* Emotions and moral commitments influence everyone's reasoning and judgement to some extent.
* Even experts who claim to be without bias are fooling themselves or trying to fool you.

Words of Caution II
See in full at
A pdf download for this section is available at

Counselling & Therapy Questions

'Doc Matrix' has some suggested Questions about the help people get when they look for someone to help them - or just use this Form to say what you want to

His videos are on YouTube theCojent channel

Outline Questions on Help

Could you have got through without help?
Do you wish you had not sought help? Why?

What might you have done differently?
What do you think was helpful?

What do you think was unhelpful or unconstructive?
What do you feel could be construed as obstructive or abusive?

Do you feel there was anything at all manipulative about it?
This could be in the form of some special expertise, perhaps an overbearing manner,
or even someone being quite charming

Was there an attempt to make the philosophy very attractive?
Or very 'necessary'!

Doc's Further Questions on Help

Did you ask anyone for some help?
Did you wish you could ask someone for help?

Did you try for help via the National Health Service?
Did you seek help privately?

Did you see a psychologist or someone who used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT?

Did you seek some kind of spiritual or pastoral help?
For instance through religion, or what some people think of as a cult-like organisation?

Was it some form of alternative medicine or wholistic approach?
Did you consult a form of psychic practitioner?

Did you go for hypnosis or hypnotherapy?
Was it what is loosely termed NLP or neuro linguistic programming?

If you sought help was it helpful to you?
Were there things that were not helpful?

Did you find it easier to talk to friends, colleagues, neighbours, family? Was it easier to talk to a stranger or casual acquaintance?

Did you receive help from voluntary workers?
Did you try telephone or textlines, email or the Internet?

With hindsight, what would you rather have done?
What would you advise someone else to do with a problem?

Do you feel you have ever been influenced by another person or by a group, so that you behaved or thought differently from usual? How do you think this happens?

Do you sometimes behave very differently anyway according to circumstances, or how you are feeling?

If you seek Help it should be the right kind - for YOU!
What other questions do you think might be useful?

You can look on the Internet along the lines of
‘therapy culture’, ‘talking cure’, or ‘psychotherapy concern’,
and work out where any of it may fit for you

'Doc Matrix' Website

More Bad Therapy Tales

Bad Therapy

'Users and Abusers of Psychiatry: A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice' by Lucy Johnstone

Using real-life examples and her own experience as a clinical psychologist, Lucy Johnstone argues that the traditional way of treating mental illness can often exacerbate people's original difficulties leaving them powerless, disabled and distressed.

In this completely revised and updated second edition, she draws on a range of evidence to present a very different understanding of psychiatric breakdown than that found in standard medical textbooks.

Anatomy of an Epidemic:

Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker

Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or do they, in fact, create them?

When investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, did they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness?

TELL - Therapy Exploitation Link Line
Useful advice and resources at
Short essays on issues of interest to victims/survivors of emotional and sexual abuse by psychotherapists and other health care

HAS Your Therapist Gone Rogue? at
Comparisons are Odious/Empty Vessels... Health Check/Reality Check... Covert Bullying and Stalking... Anomalous Dynamics... Internet Bullying + the Young... A Man's Home is his Castle... A Feeling of Control or Entitlement?... Self Image... Going Rogue...

IS YOUR Therapist Re-traumatizing YOU?

Middlegroundable on YOUTUBE

Prozac: PANACEA OR PANDORA? by Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D.
The product of five years of research, and the study of the cases of approximately 1,000 patients on a long-term basis. The author holds a Doctorate in Biological Psychology, and heads the only support group in the state of Utah for those who have suffered adverse reactions to the SSRI drugs such as prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, effexor, serzone, anafranil & the diet pills - fenfluramine, fen-phen & redux.
"Brain wave patterns indicate patients [taking psychiatric drugs such as prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, effexor, serzone, anafranil & the diet pills - fenfluramine, fen-phen & redux] are in a total anesthetic sleep state while appearing awake and functioning. Increasing serotonin - exactly what these drugs are designed to do - induces both nightmares and sleepwalk. Patients report over and over again that they have lived out their worst nightmare. And as with sleepwalk episodes, many have no recall or little recall of what they have done. Often someone must prove to them what they have done while they where under the influence of these drugs before they will believe it to be true. One patient stated that he could not detect during his two year use of Prozac what was real or what was a dream."
"Although initially increasing concentration and energy, patients [on drugs such as prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, effexor, serzone, anafranil & the diet pills - fenfluramine, fen-phen & redux] report long-term effects of impaired memory and concentration and mental disability. Learn the reasons why large numbers of Prozac patients report FALSE memories of ABUSE. As disruption of serotonin alters perception, reality and dreams SEEM one and the same, creating a STRONGER hypersuggestable state than hypnotism."
"Elevated levels of serotonin (5HT) - exactly the chemical these [SSRI] drugs do increase - is the same chemical that LSD, PCP and other psychedelic drugs mimic in order to produce their hallucinogenic effects. Have these drugs turned the 90's upside down for us to relive the 60's? Learn that elevated levels of serotonin are found in schizophrenia, mood disorders, organic brain disease, Alzheimer's, anorexia, autism, bronchial constriction, etc."

Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind
M.D. Paul R. McHugh

In this thought-provoking account, McHugh explains why trendy diagnoses and misguided treatments have repeatedly taken over psychotherapy. He recounts his participation in court battles that erupted over diagnoses of recovered memories and the frequent companion diagnoses of multiple-personality disorders. He also warns that diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder today may be perpetuating a similar misdirection, thus exacerbating the patients’ suffering. He argues that both the public and psychiatric professionals must raise their standards for psychotherapy, in order to ensure that the incorrect designation of memory as the root cause of disorders does not occur again. Psychotherapy, McHugh ultimately shows, is a valuable healing method—and at the very least an important adjunct treatment—to the numerous psychopharmaceuticals that flood the drug market today.

An urgent call to arms for patients and therapists alike, Try to Remember delineates the difference between good and bad psychiatry and challenges us to reconsider psychotherapy as the most effective way to heal troubled minds.

The Devil's Children

ed. J.S. La Fontaine

A number of cases of serious child abuse have resulted from beliefs that children may be possessed by evil spirits and may then be given the power to bewitch others. Misfortune, failure, illness and even death may be blamed on them. The 'cure', nowadays called deliverance rather than exorcism, is to expel the spirits, sometimes by violent means. This book draws together contributions on aspects of possession and witchcraft from leading academics and expert practitioners in the field.

See chapter by Sherrill Mulhern 'Embodied alternative identities: Spiritual possession, psychiatric disorder or socio/political stratagem?'

Counselling or Quackery - True or False?

In 2004 William Burgoyne wrote a small but significant book in the UK entitled Counselling or Quackery? outlining 'a personal view of the Therapy Industry and the Therapy Culture that underpins it'.

A number of other writers have written about the general issue of whether counselling or psychotherapy are generally beneficial for people, or may on occasion be harmful, virtually taking them apart under the guise of helping them.

Some people feel that a regulatory system needs putting in place to ensure that standards are kept up, and that people have suitable recourse if they feel something has gone wrong. Others feel that such a system would not necessarily improve the current situation, or would likely send bad practices further underground.

William Burgoyne's book summarises his research into a number of aspects relevant for the current state of affairs. At the end are useful Chapter Notes with further reading material. Appendix 'C' lists some Help Groups. Some of the them do not come up on an Internet Search so it would be good to hear of current activities that people are aware of.

ADVICE to PARENTS and CHILDREN (p.119 Counselling or Quackery?)

Here William Burgoyne quotes pages 631-637 of Mark Pendergrast's book Victims of Memory (available from Amazon) on some considerations when trying to build trust within families affected by allegations of abuse.

Summaries of chapters from Victims of Memory are online

Click here for A Summary of Myths and Realities on Memory and Therapy


Any information and links appearing on this Blog are included simply in the hope they may be useful to some readers. Not everyone has the same experiences or needs, or is likely to believe in the same things.
The purpose of this Blog and items mentioned is that people can take what is useful for themselves and their situation, and try to move on from there, with or without engaging in therapy or following a particular approach.

This list appears on the site of Michael C Irving The Child Abuse Survivor Monument (some of these offer alternative or conflicting views on these difficult issues. Follow what makes sense for you or your situation, or maybe that of someone close to you.)

Bayin, Anne. “Falsely Accused: False Memory Syndrome is Wrecking Families and Destroying the Credibility of Genuine Sexual-Abuse Victims.” Homemaker’s Magazine, September 1993, vol. 28 no. 6, p. 44-6, 48+.

Bower, Bruce. Sex abuse: Direct Approach May Aid Recall.” Science News (US), October 19, 1991, vol. 140 no. 16, p. 245.

“Sudden Recall: Adult Memories of Child Abuse Spark a Heated Debate pt.1.” Science News (US), September 18, 1993, vol. 144 no. 12, p. cover, 184-6.

Brown, Laura. Subversive Dialogues. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books, 1994.

Eigenkind, Heidi. “Bearing Witness: A Questioning of the Politics of Memory”. Canadian Woman Studies, Fall 1991, vol. 12 no. 1, p. 21-4.

Fraser, Sylvia. “Abuse Wars: Whose Memory Matters? Betrayal Trauma: The Logic Of Forgetting Childhood Abuse.” Globe and Mail, January 25, 1997 pD14 (English).

Herman, Judith Lewis. Trauma and Recovery. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books, 1992. xi 276

Kandel, Minouche and Eric R. Kandel. “Flights of Memory: Can Memories of Long-Ago Abuses Be Lost? Once Lost, Can They Be Found Again?” Discover, May 1994, vol. 15, no. 5, p. 32, 34-8.

Martin, Sandra. “You Must Remember This: -- War Raging Around Recovered Memories.” Chatelaine (Eng), September 1997, vol. 70 no. 9 p.40-1, 43+ (English).

Moore, Tom. Angels Crying: A True Story of Secrecy and Tragedy. Nimbus Publishing Ltd. 1995.

Penfold, P. Susan. “Repressed Memory Controversy: Is There Middle Ground? Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 15 1996, vol. 155 no. 6, p. 647-53.

Terr, Lenore. Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books, 1994.

Woodward, Kenneth L. “Was It Real Or Memories? The Collapse of Charges Against A Cardinal Raises Questions About ‘Assisted’ Claims of Sexual Abuse.” Newsweek, March 14, 1994, vol. 123 no. 11, p. 54-5.

True or False?

In a 1995 book Survivor Psychology: the dark side of a Mental Health mission Susan Smith raises concerns that 'mental health practitioners... are using a system of theory and therapy with common elements identified as survivor psychology. The system is based on myth, superstition, folklore and folk psychology and incorporates powerful persuasion techniques, sales psychology and aggressive therapeutic modalities.'

It would be possible to cite book after book along broadly similar lines, but you can seek them out for yourself and see what you think.

Type into Google for the UK:

middle ground false memories

A number of papers are listed, written by academics at universities here, who have tried to bridge the gap between views that polarise. Views on emotive and personal matters are likely to polarise by their very nature, but it should be possible to get a stage beyond that and move forward from there.

Implicit or explicit in some material on survivors is that a lot more people are getting drawn into a 'helping situation' and being labelled as survivors who need longterm help. Sadly what can happen is they become less able to cope, and may find they are effectively being abused by the very system they relied on for help.

What are we doing?
What can we do about it!

Abuse in Therapy or Helping Relationships

It can take a long while for someone to realise that the person who was meant to be helping them, is actually not helping, or is being controlling or abusive.

Elsewhere 'Doc Matrix' argues that if we don't know our basic rights, the more easily they get eroded - by others who DO know, or who over-ride them anyway!

See 'Doc Matrix' webpage 'Let's Reduce Abuse' with books and links for information and support:

Available from Amazon UK or Amazon USA

Broken Boundaries, Stories of Betrayal in Relationships of Care by Sarah Richardson, Melanie Cunningham et al

Shouldn't I be Feeling Better by Now? ed.Yvonne Bates

Counselling or Quackery? by William Burgoyne (see post below)

Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature by Richard P. Bentall & Aaron T. Beck
Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is doing to People by Tana Dineen
House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth by Robyn M. Dawes
Therapy Culture by Frank Furedi

Fish in a Barrel by Grace Towers
Sexual Abuse by Health Professionals by P. Susan Penfold
Out of Bounds: Sexual Exploitation in Counselling and Therapy by Dr Janice Russell
Patients as Victims: Sexual Abuse in Psychotherapy and Counselling by Derek Jehu
Breach of Trust: Sexual Exploitation by Health Care Professionals and Clergy ed. John C. Gonsiorek
Falling for Therapy: Psychotherapy from a Client's Point of View by Anna Sands
Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis by Gen O. Gabbard, Eva P. Lester

Dorothy Rowe has written a variety of books on subjects to do with human emotions and relationships and getting help. Many are available in book stores, and new or secondhand from

New Attacks on Psychotherapy article by Phil Mollon at

Guidelines for Seeking Help and Self-Help are at

Playlists on 'theCojent' Youtube channel, and also on 'Survivorway' - for Survivors of all kinds

Stop Bad Therapy site

Talking Cure - useful information & links relevant for the UK at (site of Dr Douglas McFadzean & associates)

Abusive Memories, Pushed-Asides, Stand-Alones

Are things always as we recall, or how we experience the feelings of recall? You be the Jury.

For all those who've felt pushed-aside in life, and suffer unusual consequences

For all those who suffer unusual consequences

Whether those are believed or not - or are simply unbelievable


When I was young I used to wonder if I'd fall through some crack suddenly opening up before my feet.

Who knows what may have emerged then from the depths, through some unbalanced development, or inappropriate kindling of those childhood fears?

I thank my stars that no-one tried pushing me off in the direction of some shrink, or a tightly shrink-wrapped ideology.

Or shovelled sugar-coated pills in my direction as a cure-all for life. Damaging temporarily or irrevocably in the process.

All I needed was to do things my way and have those ways accepted, however people might think them unwise, or pretty damn weird.

With hindsight, some weren't such bad ways at all. Just ordinary give-and-take, getting on with things, generally trying to be fair and not get overly put-upon.

We didn't think we could (or should) have everything, or know everything.

Maybe, as I got older and increasingly left-behind or pushed-aside, the cracks could appear in me.

Cracks in the system
Other people had different ideas about their own importance in the scheme of things.

As I did job after boring job as best I could, watching others make mountains out of molehills riding high on backs of others, I pondered greatly, never realising that in becoming more of a stay-behind, a pushed-aside, it might later manifest in internal cracks and schisms.

Lest you think it was always a case of my being discouraged or put-down, I should explain I had a good education with good expectations.

When one reaches fortyish and jobs grow scarce, when one is treated more like a twenty-year-old than at twenty & still special, it's a long-haul to retirement age with little new of interest, challenging or special enough to make a buzz.

Fortunate to leave the rat-race with its mazes and cracks, I can re-assemble as I want or need. No questions asked - that's the best bit!

Need to know
I am not discounting other people's experiences.

I do wonder whether some people, pushed-aside in some sense or another, find that cracks from earlier or later from whatever source, lead to images and sensations that they just don't understand.

Nor truth be told, do others know how things really are - for themselves and certainly not for others.

We live in a world of generalisation and discrimination, seeking something or someone to compare notes with.

'This person had this experience, that person had that: I need to know why I feel this way.'

If we're lucky, some of those notes will mesh.

True or false?
Much is made of the fact that people often remember things skewiff.

That does not mean how we remember something is all right or all wrong. It's not like an old film getting re-wound, except for some odd breaks and blips.

We do our best to sort what probably happened from what didn't, while wondering why we did something or became involved.

If I remember this thing happening and I obviously must have done that thing, was the one because of the other? I always thought so.

But how can that be, if I didn't know that person then, or hadn't been there yet?

People present at the same event have different experiences and perspectives that can make it seem another one altogether.

Or they simply tint or taint our own memories.

Families have a joint psychic reality, and thus affect each other more than strangers. Things never discussed can have a profound effect nonetheless.

Friends and colleagues develop a group attitude, which is why it takes a while to get into the groove.

If we live in a climate where unusual intra-psychic occurrences are attributed to war, or poverty, physical trauma, emotional or sexual abuse, bullying, or basically not being properly understood, we are likely to think in those terms.

These days it is more accepted that neglect in childhood is experienced as actually being abusive or traumatic. It feels it, though is not the same as being physically beaten.

What about abuse or neglect as people grow older, and when emotions get combined or plaited in with other events, losses, inequalities and regrets?

It stands to reason. But humans are not rational. We just pretend to be.

Can we really make assumptions about another person?

What is an expert?
An expert can be qualified and experienced in a particular field. Likely there is some framework within which they place information and decide what to do.

Right or wrong. Rightly or wrongly.

Some people are qualified in more than one field which gives breath and breadth to their outlook.

Experts tend to polarise in their views and the way they work. So who is right then?

Research into counselling and psychotherapy indicates that the quality of relationship with a client has the most effect on the process or outcome. That makes sense surely.

Some practitioners are sought out by clients who have heard of their approach and feel it appropriate for themselves. Could that become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Or clients enter the arena and find themselves facing certain expectations on the part of a therapist or helper, regarding the likely forerunner to current distress.

Could that become a therapist-fulfilling prophecy?

Clients who are vulnerable and confused by things they are feeling, can end up worse because of interventions or assumptions that are simply not appropriate for them.

Isn't it all a bit of trial and error? Be careful how you experiment with people!

An old-fashioned doctor may dish out pills because he thinks a battered wife is basically neurotic, or mentally or behaviourally flawed. Anyway the pills will calm her down.

A therapist may deliberately or inadvertently attempt to fit clients into a framework or theory, such as child abuse, or ritual abuse. They could be right, though less often than they convince themselves of.

Both practitioners think they are doing the best for their clients. After all, isn't any 'solution' better than nothing-at-all? For whom?

Well, the person is better able to move on in their life. Really?

World views
I hold no allegiance to those who deny experiences that some people describe.

True, not all experiences are necessarily a hundred percent 'real' in the same sense, physically recordable blow by blow.

Others find some experiences too hard to credit. Either they don't have have them, or they can't accept the possibility into their own worldview.

A lot of infighting goes on between people's differing worldviews.

Perhaps there'd be too much back-tracking to see where they may have gone wrong in their thinking.

Or they wrote a book they can't rescind, or there's some career-cred they will lose altogether.

A survival need then:

Psychological if it's just plain difficult. Physical if they really need the pennies.

Face-saving if it's their credibility at stake. Oh, how we hate that in our worldview!

Crazy or evil?
I had a friend who told me what happened to her, carried out by people she knew.

For various reasons she generally could not evade them.

Often she did not recognise them when they came a-calling on cult-nights.

Was she crazy? Not in that sense.

Did they make her crazy? Sometimes.

Was she evil? Could be she was.

Were they evil? They probably had reasons to act that way. Like coercion.

Was I scared of them? Not much.

Was I scared of her? I think I would have been, if she were to turn against me.

Those people who manipulated and harmed my so-malleable, oft-unaware friend, were somehow scared of her.

Angels or demons
Sometimes my friend rocked the boat. It was hard to see why 'they' didn't just finish her off, as they often threatened.

'They' let her talk to me. There were other personalities in her psyche who revealed things that they probably shouldn't.

Were those demons? On meeting opposition they would fizzle or implode. Guess I was lucky there then.

Often they, or whatever, claimed to be higher souls and to know my path and future. A ploy you don't fall for too often.

Sometimes my friend was clear, what she called being on-track. She realised what was happening.

Then she forgot, bombarded by loud noises and scary things.

Did things really happen to her? As far as I can tell.

What happened if she was left alone? She felt and behaved pretty much like anyone else.

Could these things happen to anyone? You don't have to believe so:

You are a free agent. She was not.

Did I come in contact with 'them'? Well I kept their wacky emails. Saying I had no demons to call on. For what?

And they had their photos on the Internet.

How would I cope with what my friend did? Not well at all -

If at all.

'Their' worldview
They thought the world was coming to an end. A cult-like belief system.

They knew a lot about manipulating and scaring people.

If that didn't work, they had information - 'the goods' - on them anyway.

They believed in demons that they could call on.

They thought they had ultimate protection from bad things.

Like the end of the world, pestilence and stuff.

While treating my friend with contempt and severe abuse, they believed she had the quality of ultimate protection. They wanted that.

They believed she could harm them or their family members. And they feared that.

Who was my friend?
Who was my friend, really? Was she several personalities?

Did they put some of them in there? Probably, to suit themselves.

Did she adhere to the cult belief system? Did which parts of her adhere?

Would she do bad things for them? She did not generally do or say bad things on her own behalf.

Could she stand up to them? Sometimes, if she knew.

What happened if she did? They punished her.

Was she scared of them? Sometimes.

Did they try to get rid of her real soul? It surely seemed that way.

Mostly it was as if it was all new to her. Except for the feeling that 'it's all starting again'.

What took them so long? Maybe because I was around to interfere.

What about DID?
My friend was naturally dissociative, probably made worse because of a traumatic childhood.

The cult made use of that, forming close (too close) relationships that she was so desperate for, or could not refuse.

And implanted more personality parts to suit their agenda.

What was their agenda? Control, over her, and more widely in the local area.

Why did no-one notice? Could be they were a part of it, on one side or the other.

It's amazing what can go on virtually under people's noses. Could be they didn't believe what they were seeing.

Or they did believe or know. But thought they could do nothing anyway.

Or they were on the sidelines, not actively involved.

Maybe just having bills paid, in exchange for information on my friend's whereabouts.

Being trained or coerced in new ways to confuse her.

Like her therapist who would not let go. And another woman who knew more of psychology than I ever will.

Why did they need those skills if all they'd do was brutalise?

What about ritual abuse?
Some people believe it happens a lot.

Some people believe it happens rarely, usually as part of something else, like drugs, prostitution etc.

Some people have these things happening to them now, with or without the ritual element. And they can't stop it.

Some people do manage to get away. But that is not easy. Not impossible though.

Some people denigrate the whole subject, as if it's too silly or a bad joke.

Some people get super-sceptical, making that a skeptical profession. Not very professional. Is it?

Some people (perhaps you are one of those) try to find out reasons why:

Some people do bad things to people, that others make into a deniable or laughable matter. But it does matter!

Some people think that these bad things happened to them personally, when there could be other factors making them feel, literally, that all of them did:

Like really bad experiences in childhood, that make even more things come welling up through the 'cracks' in their psyche.

Or generally bad life experiences, or being a 'pushed-aside person' later on in life, when equally the cracks can crack.

Letting through those awful nasties in our natural psyches. Because we all have some that it may not be in our interests to keep prodding.

The harm we can do to ourselves, let alone to people around us who care, can be immeasurable and irrevocable.

We need to look at why the majority of sufferers are middle-class, white females.

There is a middle-age aspect to some cases too, in people who have hitherto shown no signs of such ailments.

Some people know how to crack psyches open. I haven't worked out why, except it is to destroy, damage or control.

Sometimes the very act of psychotherapy or empathy even, can induce beliefs or behaviour in certain people.

No-one knows the answer to these either. We should not aim to ignore all we cannot explain. Or embellish in a vain attempt to explain, or pretend we know more than we do.

I came across a book 'C.G. Jung The Haunted Prophet' by Paul J. Stern, while wondering how much credence to give a psychiatrist who had a lot of inner experiences that many of us do not.

Read it and see, particularly Chapter 8 'Journey to the Underworld'. Jung often appears uncomfortable with people simply following his ideas which changed considerably over the years. At other times he seems to think the rest of us need to go through the same experiences.

Don't let people fool you into their own ways, or into those of others, however learned.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. If you are able to, and were born into the 'right culture'.

We won't always know what's real. Nor do others know what is real or relevant for us. Or what to do about it.

So don't just follow. Work things out.

Try books by Peter Levenda, some available via cheap instant Kindle download.



I found this very interesting. There is a particular culture that I read about which suggests this can happen when people get ignored or invalidated, dissed in current terminology. It is a put-down or rejection, and is experienced as very real pain.

Over the last few years I have taken an interest in counselling and therapy, where people actually seem to get worse. Wouldn’t you rather have some control over your own life, even if that does mean standing-alone or getting pushed-aside sometimes? I know I would!

Experts simply do not agree, supporting the adage that there are (at least) 2 sides to every question. That is what debate is for, so people can make up their own minds i.e. they get a vote, and others vote how they want. People can change their minds too or have them changed, not necessarily deliberately but just by people who influence us with their own different views, experiences or memories.

Some medication can be helpful in some situations for some people. But it is known to make some so confused they are unable to sort out what happened from what they dreamt, or from what they fear the most. Sadly this can be further befuddled by therapy. Sometimes one can be helped by another person, not necessarily someone trained. If something is not the right support for you, you would do better with your own help in your own time.

We need a broader perspective, being prepared to stand-alone in our own minds for as long as it needs to regain equilibrium. We all have our ‘blips’ and are entitled to them, and are all likely to have experienced being pushed-aside, as opposed to managing to stand-alone.

Cindy Allen
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