Faced With Losing Accreditation For Conspiracy Theory-Based Seminars, Professional Mental Health Organization (ISSTD) In Turmoil

Faced With Losing Accreditation For Conspiracy Theory-Based Seminars, Professional Mental Health Organization (ISSTD) In Turmoil December 15, 2020

A relentless campaign by The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction to expose the conspiracism and pseudoscience of a professional mental health organization known as the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) — which often gives presentations at its annual conferences regarding fringe concepts like “Satanic Ritual Abuse” and Illuminati Mind Control as the etiological origin of Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID] (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder [MPD]) — has, according to recent ISSTD documents obtained by Grey Faction, caused turmoil in the organization, which is now faced with the prospect of losing Continuing Education accreditation for seminars on the topic of “mind control.”

The ISSTD is cautious to present themselves publicly as but “an international, non-profit, professional association organized to develop and promote comprehensive, clinically effective and empirically based resources and responses to trauma and dissociation and to address its relevance to other theoretical constructs.” But, as the ISSTD documents obtained by Grey Faction reveal, the ISSTD’s conspiracy-focused Ritual Abuse/Mind Control & Organized Abuse Special Interest Group “is the largest and most active in the ISSTD and makes a crucial contribution to the life of [the] organization” (in their own words). 

The turmoil results from dueling factions within the ISSTD, one of which wants to simply change the organization’s terminology to conceal its conspiracist content (which threatens its professional standing), and another which feels that failing to openly name and expose Satanic and Illuminati conspiracies is cowardly and dishonest. On an ISSTD message board, bitter discourse ensued after the ISSTD announced it would be changing the name of its “Ritual Abuse Mind Control Organized Abuse Special Interest Group” (RAMCOA SIG) to the less-openly conspiracist title of “Organized and Extreme Abuse” SIG.

In a letter from the ISSTD Board to its Special Interest Group (SIG) members distributed in October of this year, the board justified the renaming of the SIG by pointing out that the move is now necessary in order to continue the organization’s ability to offer Continuing Education/Continuing Medical Education (CE/CME) units to attendees of their annual conferences, “Over the last few years, the rules for CE/CME accreditation have tightened, which has impacted on a number of different areas of practice in the complex trauma field. We’ve been informed that presentations and events using the term ‘mind control’ will not receive CE/CME accreditation.” A certain number of annual Continuing Education Units are required for mental health professionals to maintain their active licensure. But, in case one might be hopeful that the ISSTD — long-time proponents of QAnon-like debunked Satanic Panic claims — will finally discard bizarre conspiracy theories and focus on science-based trauma research, the Board makes clear that “the new name of the SIG does not, in any way, affect the kinds of discussions you can have here.”

The letter cites pressure from “external detractors who have persistently used the name of the RAMCOA SIG in an effort to discredit the ISSTD and the excellent work of SIG members.” 

And, in a line that would be comical if it were not so infuriating, the Board claims that the ISSTD “have had challenging conversations this year with high-profile journalists who have been confused by the SIG name.” Clearly, given the ISSTD’s intention to avoid scrutiny of its propagation of harmful conspiracy theories, while also remaining in good-standing as a provider of CE/CME units, the problem has been that the name of their Ritual Abuse and Mind Control interest group has proven too transparent an insight into the organization’s deranged and dangerous culture, which irresponsibly advances delusions in the name of mental health.

The ISSTD has long harbored a Who’s Who list of notable Satanic Panic conspiracy theorists from its founding in 1984 by a Dr. Bennet Braun who gained notoriety in the 90s when a former patient of his was awarded a settlement of $10.6 million for Braun’s role in convincing her, by use of heavy medication and hypnosis, that her family was secretly part of a cannibalistic, baby sacrificing, child molesting Satanic cult… to former ISSTD president Colin Ross, who once claimed to wield a “paranormal” ability to emit energy from his eyes, and who was also sued multiple times for overmedicating patients and leading them to believe that, they too, had been involved in a bizarre Satanic conspiracy — in at least one case, he was accused of leading a patient to believe that she had been impregnated with a hybrid extraterrestrial baby… to Eileen Aveni, a social worker and former chair of the ISSTD’s Ritual Abuse/Mind-Control Special Interest Group who, at the 2018 ISSTD conference attended by Grey Faction, devoted a lecture to insights into the Illuminati she gained from an alleged former Illuminati insider on the internet.

In 2016, Grey Faction petitioned the Board of Psychology California Department of Consumer Affairs to investigate an ISSTD Clinical Psychologist, Ellen Lacter, for her possible role in the death of an 8-year old child, killed by his mother under the delusion that he was being targeted by Satanists and that death was her child’s only means of escape from an assured lifetime of terror and torment. Before murdering her child, the mother consulted Ellen Lacter who, openly on her website, in interviews, and in seminars, claims that there are a number of different organized groups that all have the agenda of ruling the world. There’s the Satanic network […] there’s the witchcraft network…”

These groups, Satanists and Witches, are apparently at least some of the “networks” in question when the ISSTD uses the publicly-safe term “Organized Abuse.”

California essentially ignored our complaint, merely sending us a letter stating that Lacter had not been found to have violated professional standards.

Lacter was particularly outraged by the ISSTD’s move to rename the RAMCOA SIG. Citing the reference in the letter from the Board to “external detractors,” Lacter wrote on an internal ISSTD discussion board, “[w]e all know that this refers primarily to the Temple of Satan [sic] and its founder.” 

Very satisfyingly (to me), Lacter devotes a lot of words to The Satanic Temple and the damage that Grey Faction has done to the professional standing of her and her conspiracist peers. But, importantly, Lacter asks what is perhaps the most relevant question in all of this. She points out that the letter from the Board is “vague about where the term ‘mind control’ will not be allowed.” Seeking clarification, she asks directly, “Does it mean only presentations [sic] titles and descriptions? Or does it also extend to the presentation itself?” In other words: are they being asked to abandon conspiracism in their presentations, or are they merely changing their language to conceal their conspiracism? On behalf of the ISSTD, “Committee Chair” Valerie Sinason — herself an influential vector of the Satanic Panic in the United Kingdom where she has spread delusional and discredited claims of cannibalistic infant-sacrificing Satanists — replied, “I also agree with you (as others do too) over the damage our sig has faced from what external bodies like Grey faction have inflicted,” while reassuring Lacter that the SIG name change in “no way” means “that the central core of our hard-won work is being censored. That would be completely unacceptable. Our work stays the same. It is not the fact of mind control that is being challenged but the language of it.”

More than one rift has apparently opened in the ISSTD over this attempt to conceal their true nature, with the letter from the Board pointing out that “discussions around child sexual exploitation have been hijacked recently by extremist ideologies (such as ‘QAnon’, ‘Pizzagate’) that the ISSTD must clearly distance ourselves from.”

While it is true that QAnon has hijacked discussions surrounding human trafficking in order to paint themselves as unimpeachable moral crusaders, it is not immediately clear why the ISSTD would claim to suspect that their own claims to advocating for victims of child sexual explotation would be a reason for anybody associating them with QAnon rather than the references to Satanic Ritual Abuse and Mind Control that they are now trying to keep from public view. After all, the letter is not asking that anybody change any part of their language regarding issues of child sexual exploitation as it relates to trauma, but that they simply no longer refer to “mind control.” The letter’s comment is a non sequitur. And given that the ISSTD’s conspiracist claims are so similar to QAnon — and given that the ISSTD uses the same technique of holding up real victims of sexual exploitation as human shields against critical scrutiny of their conspiracy theories — what is their problem with QAnon from the ISSTD’s perspective anyways? I believe the simple answer is the politicization. The ISSTD has been spreading QAnon-style conspiracy theories since decades before QAnon, and I believe that many of them have become entrenched in a narrative in which there is bipartisan collusion to advance a nefarious, mind control-based, one-world order.

However, and predictably enough, not all of the ISSTD conspiracists are sour to the raving dogmatic lunacy of QAnon. Susan Pease Banitt, a psychotherapist, “Reiki master,” and past life regression practitioner, expressed her distaste for the ISSTD’s SIG name-change stating, “It feels like the truth constantly gets pushed back further and further. I am not sure new clinicians coming into ISSTD for Satanic Ritual Abuse cases or MKUltra would even know where to look. I am sorry to say so, but it feels cowardly to me. Qanon and the Republicans are not wrong about everything, and they are more correct than Democrats who deny any kind of government sponsored mind control or networked child sex trafficking groups. Name it to tame it!”

But while the ISSTD is preparing itself to lie to the world, changing their terminology in an effort to conceal their conspiracy theories, they already seem to be descending into self-deception both as an organization broadly, and individually as members. In her comments, Lacter states “[Grey Faction] claim that ISSTD presenters (including me) endorse ‘Illuminati mind control.’ I do not use this term (nor do I endorse the existence of any modern-day Illuminati), nor have I ever heard the term used at an ISSTD conference.” Remarkably, she wrote this in a forum that included the participation of one Neil Brick, a mental health counselor in Massachusetts, who claims to have recalled previously “repressed memories” of having been a programmed assassin for the Illuminati, during which time he was programmed, he claims, to “rape and kill without feeling. Lacter has spoken at many of the conferences organized by Neil Brick, for both an organization called S.M.A.R.T. (Stop Mind control And Ritual abuse Today) and Survivorship (which maintains an annual calendar of “Difficult Dates,” Satanic holidays during which survivors of mind control are most at risk. The difficult dates include almost every day of the entire year.

We (Grey Faction) have ample record of the Illuminati being invoked by those within the ISSTD and in ISSTD seminars, but again it is unclear why Lacter, who warns against Satanic and “witchcraft” “networks” claiming, “[…] they’ll force the delivery early so seven or eight months gestation and that baby will be sacrificed and then that person will be programmed [by way of mind-control] to believe that she just had a miscarriage,” and, “a lot of the children who are sacrificed in rituals are brought in from third world countries,” might object to the use of the term “Illuminati.”

It is possible that the disagreements between various factions within the ISSTD — those that want to appear sane and legitimate vs. those who do not understand how delusional they are, QAnon supporters vs. QAnon detractors, Satanic and witchcraft abuse crusaders vs. self-proclaimed Illuminati mind control victims — will prove irreconcilable and the organization will collapse from within. We can hope so, in any case, as the propagation of delusion in the name of “therapy” presents a clear danger to the vulnerable mental health consumer. The ISSTD has gotten away with spreading conspiracy theories under the veneer of accredited respectability for far too long. The ISSTD apparently intends to appeal to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to allow them to become an “autonomous” provider of Continuing Education Units, allowing them to bypass any real scrutiny of their conspiracist content. We intend to make sure that the APA is aware of the ISSTD’s recent efforts to preserve “mind control” content while changing terminology to avoid scrutiny.

We have a fairly large digital pile of ISSTD documents here, and we encourage anybody motivated to do so to look through them, find notable material, screenshot it, and share it on social media with the hashtags #ISSTDexposed, #ISSTD2021, and/or #TraumaTherapy. Soon enough, the ISSTD will no longer be able to conceal who they are through mere changes in terminology, and this long, embarrassing chapter of the Satanic Panic will finally draw to a close.

Please see our ISSTD Exposed documents here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yfa4ktrphpz1ztv/AADoncfzJxPqXIPFP3vMlcKua?dl=0

Please check out my Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/LucienGreaves

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