ritual abuse evidence, false memory syndrome debunked


Journal of Psychology and Theology - Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Current
State of Knowledge
Adults who report childhood ritualistic abuse. By: Cozolino, L.J.;
Shaffer, R.E. Volume 20, Issue 3 Fall 1992 Therapists are finding an
increasing number of patients uncovering memories of ritualistic forms
of abuse from childhood. To gain a fuller understanding of this
phenomenon, twenty outpatients reporting memories of ritualistic abuse
were interviewed. Questions focused on the nature of the abuse and its
perceived impact on interpersonal, occupational, and spiritual
development. Reasons for entering psychotherapy as well as the nature
and course of treatment were also discussed. Subjects entered therapy
with similar psychological complaints. Reported psychiatric sequelae
included dissociative, affective, somatization, and eating disorders.
Abuse experiences were reported to have affected every aspect of their
adult functioning. Subjects began therapy with little or no knowledge
of the phenomenon of ritualistic abuse, and only one patient reported
vague memories of ritualistic abuse before entering therapy. Reports
from this sample reflect striking convergence among subjects and with
data from previous research and clinical reports. A composite clinical
case study is presented based on these data.
excerpts from the article:
"Skeptics question the legitimacy of these reports,but many factors
point to the reality of the phenomenon of ritualistic abuse. First of
all, the degree of consistency between reports of individuals from
different parts of the country is very high. The fact that children as
young as 2 and 3 report ritualistic abuse experiences that mirror
those reported by adult victims is especially striking in light of the
fact that young children do not have access to the kind of printed
information that might conceivably allow an older person to fabricate
such experiences (Gould, 1987). Second, experiences of ritualistic
abuse reported by victims of all ages are virtually identical to
written historical accounts of Satan worship and the like (Hill &
Goodwin, 1989; Russell, 1972), findings that substantiate our present-
day understanding of Satanism and ritualistic abuse as
intragenerational phenomenon. Third, the symptoms from which
individuals reporting histories of ritualistic abuse tend to suffer
are consistent with our current understanding of post-traumatic stress
disorder and the dissociative disorders. The progression in which
ritualistic abuse survivors respond to psychotherapy places these
victims squarely within the category of individual who have suffered
real-not imagined-trauma.
That is, when memories of the dissociated traumatic event have been
fully surfaced into conscious awareness and re-associated in all their
aspects, the often extremely debilitating symptoms from which the
individual has suffered abate dramatically and over the course of
treatment frequently disappear altogether (Ray & Reagor, 1991).
Comments on study: 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.

Journal of Psychology and Theology - Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Current
State of Knowledge
Gould, C., & Cozolino, L. (1992). Ritual abuse, multiplicity, and mind
control. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 20, 194-196.
As a result of the psychologically intolerable nature of their early
childhood experiences, victims of ritual abuse frequently develop
multiple personality disorder (MPD). Therapists who treat these
victims often assume that all MPD stems from a system of spontaneously
created defenses against overwhelming trauma. As a result, these
therapists tend to focus on treating the post-traumatic stress
elements of the disorder and on integrating alter personalities.
Recent experience with victims of ritual abuse suggests the presence
of "cult-created" multiplicity, in which the cult deliberately creates
alter personalities to serve its purposes, often outside of the
awareness of the victim's host personality. Each cult-created alter is
programmed to serve a particular cult function such as maintaining
contact with the cult, reporting information to the cult, self-
injuring if cult injunctions are broken, and disrupting the
therapeutic process that could lead to the individual breaking free of
the cult. A majority of ritual abuse victims in psychotherapy may
maintain cult contact unbeknownst to either the host personality or
the treating therapist.
Selected quotes:
"Ritual abuse is conducted on behalf of a cult whose purpose is to
establish mind control over the victims. Thus, these perpetrators have
a conscious motive for the abuse beyond compulsively repeating their
own childhood abuse in an effort to gain mastery over the original
trauma. Most victims state that they were ritually abused as part of
satanic worship, for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic
beliefs (Los Angeles County Commission for Women, 1989). Mind control
is originally established when the victim is a child under 6 years
old. During this formative stage of development, perpetrating cult
members systematically combine dissociation enhancing drugs, pain,
sexual assault, terror, and other forms of psychological abuse in such
a way that the child dissociates the intolerable traumatic experience.
The part of the child that has been split off to handle the
overwhelming trauma is maximally open to suggestion as the abuse is
occurring. The cult perpetrators exploit the vulnerability of the
child who is being tortured by directing the child to create a new
personality who is to answer to a particular name as well as to other
specific cues. During the abuse, the newly formed alter personality is
imbued with particular qualities and functions by the cult programmer.
Alter personalities which are structured by the ritually abusing cult
in this fashion are created to serve particular cult functions. These
functions usually lie outside of the awareness of the core (or host)
Such cult functions typically include, but are not limited to,
maintaining contact with the cult, reporting information to the cult,
self-injuring if the cult injunctions are broken, and disrupting the
therapeutic process that could lead to the individual breaking free of
the cult (Neswald, 1991). https://wisdom.biola.edu/jpt

Ritualistic child abuse, psychopathology, and evil. By: Cozolino,
L.J. - Journal of Psychology and Theology Volume 18, Issue 3 Fall
1990 p.218
Ritualistic abuse is an extreme form of psychological, physical, and
sexual maltreatment of children in the context of "religious"
ceremony. The clinical presentation of the victims of such abuse is
complex and raises many issues related in the diagnosis and treatment
of psychopathology as well as the importance of spiritual counseling.
The acknowledgment of belief systems so repugnant to the Judeo-
Christian world view and the addressing of our own negative emotional
reactions to the reality of ritualistic abuse are important first
steps in responding to these issues. The phenomenon of ritualistic
child abuse forces us to consider the relationship between theological
notions of evil and psychological concepts of psychopathology. This
article addresses the phenomenon of ritualistic child abuse, the
psychological sequelae of victimization, and possible motivations for
this form of abuse. https://wisdom.biola.edu/jpt

Psychological sequelae in adult females reporting childhood
ritualistic abuse - Kathy J. Lawrence, Louis Cozolino and David W. Foy
- Child Abuse & Neglect Volume 19, Issue 8, August 1995, Pages 975-984
Abstract: The present study sought to increase current scientific
knowledge about the controversial issue of subjectively reported
childhood ritualistic abuse by addressing several key unresolved
issues. In particular, the possibility that those reporting
ritualistic abuse may be characterized primarily by the severity of
their abuse histories or the severity of their present psychological
symptoms, rather than the veridicality of the ritualistic events, was
explored. Adult female outpatients reporting childhood sexual abuse
with ritualistic features were compared with a second group of women
who reported childhood sexual abuse without ritualism. Measures
included characteristics of childhood sexual and physical abuse,
current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnostic status and
symptom severity, and severity of current dissociative experiences.
Women reporting ritualistic features scored significantly higher on
measures of childhood sexual and physical abuse. Neither PTSD
diagnostic status nor severity for PTSD nor dissociative experiences
were significantly different between the groups. While preliminary in
nature, these results suggest that it may be helpful to conceptualize
reported childhood ritualistic abuse as indicative of the need to
assess carefully for severe abuse and its predictable sequelae within
existing traumatic victimization conceptual frameworks.

False Memory Syndrome From Child Abuse Wiki
The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992 by the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation (FMSF). It has been called "a pseudoscientific
syndrome that was developed to defend against claims of child abuse."
The FMSF was created by parents who claimed to be falsely accused of
child sexual abuse. The False Memory Syndrome was described as "a
widespread social phenomenon where misguided therapists cause patients
to invent memories of sexual abuse." Research has shown that most
delayed memories of childhood abuse are true. In general, it has been
shown that false allegations of childhood sexual abuse are rare, with
some studies showing rates as low as one percent and some studies
showing slightly higher rates. It has been found that children tend to
understate rather than overstate the extent of any abuse experienced.
It has been stated that misinformation on the topic of child sexual
abuse is widespread and that the media have contributed to this
problem by reporting favorably on unproven and controversial claims
like the False Memory Syndrome.

Whitfield, C. L. (2001). The "false memory" defense: Using
disinformation and junk science in and out of court. In Whitfield, C.
L., Silberg, J. Fink, P. J. Eds. (2001). Misinformation Concerning
Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors New York: Hawthorn Press, Inc.
(pp. 53 - 78)
"Attorneys for accused, convicted or found-responsible child molesters
tend to use a superficially sophisticated argument, which can be
described as the "false memory defense." This defense is fraught with
disinformation, smoke screens, and other untruths that are a
distortion of what the available science of the psychology of trauma
and memory shows. In this article, this seemingly sophisticated, but
actually mostly contrived and often erroneous defense, is described
and it is compared in a brief review to what the science says about
the effect of trauma on memory." http://childabuse.georgiacenter.uga.edu/both/whitfield/whitfield2.phtml
Also in Haworth Press, Special Issue on Disinformation, Journal of
Child Sexual Abuse 9(3 & 4)" Abstract: This article describes a
seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous
"false memory" defense, and compares it in a brief review to what the
science says about the effect of trauma on memory. Child sexual abuse
is widespread and dissociative/traumatic amnesia for it is common.
Accused, convicted and self-confessed child molesters and their
advocates have crafted a strategy that tries to negate their abusive,
criminal behavior, which we can call a "false memory" defense. Each of
22 of the more commonly used components of this defense is described
and discussed with respect to what the science says about them. Armed
with this knowledge, survivors, their clinicians, and their attorneys
will be better able to refute this defense of disinformation.