The following guest post is a collaboration produced by The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction. The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction is dedicated to combating pseudoscience and witch-hunting conspiracism with rational inquiry. Grey Faction is particularly concerned with the ongoing psychotherapeutic practices of hypnotic regression, Recovered Memory Therapies, and paranoid assumptions that contributed to what sociologists now refer to as the “Satanic Panic.”
Last month, The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction sent observers to a “Ritual Abuse” Conference in Oakland, California. The conference was organized by ‘Survivorship’, self-described as “one of the oldest and most respected organizations supporting survivors of extreme child abuse, including sadistic sexual abuse, ritualistic abuse, mind control, and torture.”
“Survivorship: For Survivors of Ritual Abuse, Mind Control and Torture”, the website reads in its “Disclaimer” section, after absolving itself of any liability related to “the quality of any professional resources or agencies listed.”
At the conference, the Grey Faction observers watched as licensed mental health professionals made bizarre, irrational, paranoid claims, such as:
- Your spouse or your lover is not to be trusted, as they may be agents that The Conspiracy has intentionally inserted into your life in order to control and manipulate you.
- The Conspiracy, using “trauma-based mind-control” to completely subjugate their victims, begin programming victims at the earliest possible age. This means administering electric shocks to fetuses. Anybody with but the most rudimentary understanding of human cognitive development will realize that this makes absolutely no sense, and could serve no practical function.
- Throughout the conference, there was a strange, obsessively enforced prohibition against touching one’s face. The Conspiracy, which programs people to respond to subtle cues, or “triggers” — words, gestures, symbols, etc. — often uses face-touching to elicit mind-control programming. Touching one’s face might indicate that the face-toucher is one of “Them.” One elderly woman was requested to sit on her hands, lest she be ejected from the conference, as she transgressed more than once. Researchers have found that the average individual touches her/his face 3.6 times per hour. Surely, it cannot be healthy for one’s mental state to develop an obsessive suspicion of such a natural, human behavior.
- Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is, perhaps in all cases, intentionally induced as a means of mind-control. Various personalities serve different specific functions as programmed by The Conspiracy. What used to be called “alternate personalities” are now referred to as insiders, parts or “littles” when referring to child-like alters.
- The Conspiracy seek out their victims of mind-control in churches, survivor groups, and psychiatric hospitals. They use subtle triggering “signals” to bring them back into their clutches. Presenters warned that The Conspiracy will send patients to “plant therapists” assigned by The Conspiracy themselves for the purpose of turning the patients away from their path towards escape from mind-control programming. This served as a way to discredit medical professionals outside of the SMART network.
- Ailments, such as insomnia, depression, physical pain, and seizures, can all be a result of mind-control programming against which medical intervention is ineffective, and even exercise may prove “triggering.” As far as medical advice goes, this would clearly be some of the worst imaginable. Ritual Abuse was presented throughout the conference as the first place to start when investigating any personal ailment, rather than a last option after all avenues of modern medicine are exhausted.
- Therapy is not a “quest for truth”, and the reality of what may or may not have happened is “irrelevant.” This absurd claim seems to undermine everything therapy should do, which is — at least partially — providing mental health consumers with the cognitive tools to distinguish fantasy from reality. What this common refrain amongst conspiracist mental health professionals does do, however, is it attempts to exonerate them from their complicity in cultivating their client’s delusions. This also served to absolve them of failing to provide concrete evidence of these cult groups beyond the testimony of their own patients. After all, reality doesn’t matter, and “validation” is unquestionably “nurturing.” As one of the Grey Faction observers described it, “Whenever someone tried to ask about efforts to catch the cults and bring them to justice, the presenters turned it around by claiming that the cults are too secretive and far reaching to expose and that their primary focus as therapists and ritual abuse survivor advocates is to heal the victim rather than go after the abusers. Also, [one is advised not to] try to understand why these cults do the horrible things they do… it defies logic! Another easy exit for them to avoid accountability for their bizarre claims.”
If this all sounds a bit in the paranoid realm of the tinfoil hat-wearing fringe, it’s worth noting that the president of Survivorship, Neil Brick, also runs an organization known as S.M.A.R.T. (Stop Mind-control And Ritual abuse Today), where — at one of their annual conferences — an observer noted a vendor table selling a “metallic weave-lined baseball cap” meant to block out electromagnetic signals. S.M.A.R.T.’s 2011 conference featured a speaker by the name of David Shurter, who can be found on YouTube literally wearing tinfoil on his head, explaining how this helps to block certain secret government weaponry from invading his skull-space:
The above is only a sampling of some of the disturbing things discussed at the Survivorship conference, which was co-sponsored by a Rape Crisis Counselling Center, BAWAR, Bay Area Women Against Rape. (BAWAR helpfully provided stuffed-animals for those whose child-like “alternate personalities” may have desired a bit of play-time, though our observers noted that these plush toys needed to be concealed from the conference organizers, as the organizers feared that child personalities, once drawn out, could easily be exploited by nefarious cult infiltrators.) Other co-sponsors included the California Protective Parents Association, Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, and The North American Truth & Reconciliation Coalition (NATRC).
Combatting child sexual abuse and human trafficking are unquestionably noble causes. It is for this reason that Grey Faction is so offended and distraught at seeing efforts toward such being co-opted by self-aggrandizing conspiracists. Predictably, when one calls “bullshit” on lunatic claims of a Satanic mind-control conspiracy, the believers in such conspiracies conveniently cry out that in doing so, one is casting aspersions upon abuse victims. In this way, the conspiracists use victims of abuse as human shields against critical inquiry into their irrational, harmful claims.
While it is disturbing that Rape Crisis Counselling Centers would be party to propagating the lunacy put forward by Survivorship, it is nothing short of outrageous that licensed Mental Health professionals are granted Continuing Education Units for attending Survivorship conferences. Our agencies of Mental Health oversight are failing us dramatically.
Recently, Grey Faction exposed the connection of a California psychologist, Dr. Ellen Lacter to a high-profile case of filicide in New York. In that case, a deranged mother, convinced that her 8-year old son was destined to suffer endlessly at the hands of a hidden Satanic criminal network, killed the child after retaining Ellen Lacter’s counseling services. Lacter openly espouses panicked narratives of secretive mind-control cults engaged in sinister world domination schemes. Grey Faction, feeling it more-than-reasonable to suspect that the mother might have (at the very least) been less inclined to kill her child if she had retained a responsible, rational mental health professional, rather than a clearly delusional paranoiac like Ellen Lacter, issued a petition to the California Board of Psychology, requesting that Ellen Lacter’s mental state be evaluated and her licensure reconsidered. At this writing, the Grey Faction complaint is under review.
Ellen Lacter’s website, full of advice on how to best protect yourself from Witchcraft, Satanism, and the types of preternatural mind-control techniques they practice, is listed (unsurprisingly) as a resource on Survivorship’s site. Ellen Lacter has also presented at conferences for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and she helped manage the ISSTD’s “Ritual Abuse/Mind-Control Special Interest Group”, until her name was mysteriously scrubbed from their site shortly after the Grey Faction petition went live. Lynette Danylchuck, recent ISSTD president, is listed as a survivorship member, with an article contributed to their site on “Treating Ritual Abuse Survivors.”
Neil Brick, president of Survivorship, and organizer of S.M.A.R.T. had a complaint filed against his licensure in Massachusetts after it was discovered by the complainant that Brick had claimed that he’d committed rape and murder while in an altered state of mind:
Brick’s admittance to heinous crimes (regardless of whether the confession details an accurate historical recounting, or is merely the product of raving delusion) is undoubtedly a sufficient reason to investigate his mental health and competence to treat mental health consumers, yet the Board of Allied Mental Health dismissed the complaint without prejudice.
Obviously, the problems of pseudoscience and conspiracism are more ubiquitous than most realize within the mental health profession, and are endemic to Survivorship, S.M.A.R.T. and the ISSTD. Grey Faction hopes to expose these problems to light of critical scrutiny and demand that mental health licensing Boards stop ignoring the problem as they traditionally have.
Presenters at the 2016 Survivorship Conference were as follows:
Steve Frankel: Past President of the ISSTD and a Clinical Professor of Psychology (University of Southern California) and a Fellow of the APA and ISSTD.
Wendy Hoffman: A Licensed Certified Social Work-Clinical (LCSW-C) who claims to have “somehow survived various forms of high level secret mind control.”
Dr. Alison Miller: A “semi-retired psychologist in private practice in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,” and a fellow of the ISSTD.
Neil Brick: Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MA), believes himself to have been a mind-controlled assassin for the Illuminati/Freemasons.
“It’s not like someone has a sign on them says, ‘I’m here to access you’, or ‘I’m from the cult’, or, ‘My cult alters are out collecting information about you”. “Most people are going to act fairly normally because programmers, handlers, or scouts for secretive organizations or cults are not likely to look any different from most people, it is helpful to be alert to possible signs of attempted accessing.” — Neil Brick
Randy “L’il Knob” Noblitt: A “clinical psychologist (licensed in Texas) and professor of clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at the California School of Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles”.
Pamela Noblitt: Wife to “L’il Knob,” and “a Social Security Disability claimant’s representative in independent private practice.”
Don Lincoln: Former Assistant Chief of Police for the Tukwila, Washington police department.
Please read and sign the Ellen Lacter petition here:
If you’re interested as to why seemingly legitimate organizations would sponsor the Suvivorship conference, then by all means:
Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR): email@example.com
California Protective Parents Association: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mothers Against Sexual Abuse: http://www.againstsexualabuse.org/contactus.html
The North American Truth & Reconciliation Coalition (NATRC): http://natrcoalition.org/contact-us/
If you’re interested in learning more and/or helping Grey Faction to shut down harmful, licensed pseudoscientific mental health practices, check out our website: http://greyfaction.org/