End Ritual Abuse The Website of Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D.

Contact Dr. Lacter


If you are looking for assistance or guidance, please read below about what I can and cannot offer. If you have comments, suggestions, information, or resources to contribute, just click this address to send me email: ellenlacter@earthlink.net

Contacting Dr. Lacter:
The Kinds of Help I Can and Cannot Offer

I hope that you found my website helpful. I have tried to provide articles that include information that will be useful to abuse survivors, support people, therapists, pastoral counselors, and the general public.

Many times a week, often daily, I receive emails from people who have been to my website and who share accounts of ritual abuse and/or mind control. These people are seeking therapist referrals, further information, therapeutic support from me, crisis intervention, someone to listen, hoping to talk to me, compassion, belief, corroboration, someone to document their stories, help in connecting the dots about what happened to them, advice on effectively intervening with law enforcement and courts, in-patient treatment, residential programs, safe houses, financial aid, support from survivors, deprogramming, etc.

I am quite limited in my ability to personally offer most of these kinds of help. The bases of these limitations are detailed below. But, first, I will describe the kinds of help that I can offer.

The Kinds of Help That I Can Offer:

1. Referrals. For about 20 years, I have been building a list of psychotherapists who are both savvy about ritual abuse and mind control and fully-credentialed to provide psychotherapy for general psychological problems. I am happy to search my therapist list to provide possible referrals. I cannot guarantee that anyone is safe, kind, and competent. The process of interviewing and selecting therapists is up to the individual.

I ask people in the United States and Canada to give me a list of telephone area codes within a 100-mile radius of where they live or work. One hundred miles may be too far to travel for ongoing therapy. However, therapists practicing 100 miles away may know therapists in the general region of whom I am not aware. So reaching out that far may help people in their search.

United Kingdom referrals are available through the Ritual Abuse Information Network and Support (RAINS). RAINS is primarily a support group and information-sharing network for professionals working with child or adult survivors of ritual abuse, also for carers of survivors including foster parents.  It can sometimes help survivors find suitable therapists but is not really a helpline for survivors.

2. Support Resources and Forums for Ritual Abuse Survivors. If you are looking for support resources or support forums for survivors, here are some websites as well as some message boards that are password protected and moderated. You need to become a member of the organizations to use their message boards. You might want to join more than one and see which seems like the better fit.

Fort Refuge
Ivory Garden
Pandora’s Project
Ritual Abuse Network Scotland
Survivorship (Forum members must join Survivorship and be approved for the message boards.)

Facebook Resources

AlterNation: A Plural Safe Space and DID Support Group. Closed Group, you must apply. It is for people with DID, and there is no specific place for RA and MC survivors.

A Life After Trauma: This is a group for trauma survivors. You must apply to be a member.

Twelve Step Resources

Survivors of Incest Anonymous:  http://www.siawso.org/

This website has listings for peer-led survivor meetings, which may include meetings for survivors with DID, or “Nothing Too Heavy To Share” meetings for ritual abuse and extreme abuse survivors. The website also has materials available to assist survivors in setting up new meetings.

SIA also has a meeting phoneline for survivors, where anonymous phone meetings and workshops are available, including meetings for survivors with DID and meetings focused on inner children.

There are other types of twelve step meetings for abuse survivors, such as through ACOA and Al-Anon.


If you think you may need a hotline, here is a US hotline and website with resources. Their volunteers have been trained about RA and multiplicity.

San Francisco Women Against Rape  (415) 647-7273

3. Informational Resources. People are free to ask me if I know of any further sources of information on particular issues. I may know of websites, books, or organizations, that address those issues.

4. Information from Dr. Lacter. I may be able to respond to a few general, non-personal, non-therapy questions, e.g., “Have you heard of programming to do X?” “What do you think of this kind of therapy to treat trauma from ritual abuse and mind control?” I cannot answer questions specific to the individual, e.g., “How do I overcome X kind of programming that was done to me?” To respond to such a question could be construed as my providing psychotherapy to an individual not in my care (see below). I must also limit the number of questions asked by each person. Brevity helps to endure that my responses are never construed as an alternative to psychotherapy.

5. Information Provided to Dr. Lacter. I can receive information that people wish to share to increase my own knowledge base. I will digest it as time allows. However, in doing so, I cannot endorse the reports as true (see below) nor can I commit to securing this information for an individual. It is also important to know that I am not building a data base of allegations. To do so would require a very large task force. I am not aware of any such task force.

6. Psychotherapy with Dr. Lacter. I may be able to provide psychotherapy to individuals who reside in California close enough to my office in San Diego to do face-to-face work. I do not do distance therapy, unless I have previously worked with the individual face-to-face. I cannot provide distance therapy (webcam, phone, etc.) to anyone who resides outside of California because I am licensed to practice only in California.

7. Answers to Questions about Interfacing with Law Enforcement, Child Protection, and the Courts. I am very limited in the advice I can offer in these matters as there are risks whether one involves the authorities or not. However, I published an article on this website that may help people think through such matters, entitled: Legal and Ethical Dilemmas for Psychotherapists in Making Reports to Child Protection and Law Enforcement of Suspected Ritual Abuse of Children or Dependent Adults.

8. Help to facilitate the release of a person who has been committed to a psychiatric facility. I am legally permitted to provide evaluation services only to persons in California. However, I am legally permitted to provide consultation to mental health professionals anywhere. Within consultation, I can inform other clinicians about psychiatric symptoms, psychological indicators, and mental disorders that are commonly seen in victims of ritual abuse or mind control. I can also assist the clinician in understanding how to differentially diagnosis schizophrenia and ritual abuse trauma. With Karl Lehman, MD, I conducted an expert validation study that examines this differential diagnosis question; See the chapter in the following book (I have no financial interest in this book): Lacter, E. & Lehman, K. (2008). Guidelines to differential diagnosis between schizophrenia and ritual abuse/mind control traumatic stress. In J.R. Noblitt & P. Perskin (Eds.), Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-First Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations, pp. 85-154. Bandon, Oregon: Robert D. Reed Publishers.

The Kinds of Help That I Cannot Offer:

1. Belief. My hands are most tied in terms of communicating anything that could be construed by the individual writing to me, or by any other parties, as my expression of belief that the abuse that an individual reported to me did, in fact, occur. Any expression of belief could be construed as my having influenced a person’s memories, having implanted false memories, or my having turned an individual against family and loved ones, etc. Such accusations can form the basis for legal actions against me or complaints to my licensing boards. Unfortunately, this prohibition against expression of belief extends to a prohibition of any expression of compassion in response to a person’s reports of abuse– compassion can be construed as an expression of belief.

2. Corroboration. I also cannot provide corroboration for a variety of reasons. First of all, my sample is limited. I am a therapist, not an investigator. I am familiar with the histories of a limited number of people. Of course, anything that psychotherapy clients report to me is confidential. I also do not catalog the accounts that people provide to me. I have very little idea of the big picture of where ritual abuse and mind control occur, who is involved in it, the true history of its evolution to the present, etc. Furthermore, I cannot defame/libel anyone. So, even if I have heard accounts about Person X, I cannot assume that for fact nor can I represent Person X as guilty to anyone. Furthermore, if I ever say, “I have heard of that,” I am right back to placing myself at risk of accusations that I influenced someone to believe something that may not be true.

3. Personal Support. Many legal, ethical, and clinical constraints prohibit my provision of individualized support in the form of telephone calls or email correspondence. Provision of such support could be potentially construed by an individual or other parties as psychological support, advice, or acknowledgment of an individual’s reported abuse. All of these place therapists at risk of lawsuits and licensing boards complaints. Possible allegations include that the therapist a) practiced therapy outside of the jurisdiction of his/her license; b) psychologically intervened without having first enrolled the individual as a psychotherapy client or engaging the individual in any kind of informed consent process that explained the risks of therapy, the limits of confidentiality, etc.; c) intervened without performing any kind of evaluation of the person’s mental status and without screening for possible serious mental illness; d) traumatized someone; e) did not perform a suicide assessment or made someone suicidal; f) failed to refer an individual in obvious need for emergency services or psychological evaluation and therapy.

4. Crisis Intervention. I cannot provide crisis intervention because I am not properly staffed and certified and for the reasons described in the paragraph above. If you think you may need a hotline or immediate resources, here are some hotlines and resources in the US. Their volunteers have been trained about RA and multiplicity.

5. In-patient, Residential Programs, Safe Housing, and Financial Assistance. I know of no in-patient or residential treatment programs that specifically address trauma from ritual abuse and mind control. I know of no safe housing, underground assistance network, or financial aid specific to survivors of ritual abuse and mind control. The page on my website on Safety Tips for Ritual Abuse Survivors was developed to help people to develop safety plans.

6. Deprogramming. Programming and deprogramming are terms with significant limitations. For the purposes of working in psychotherapy or self-work to overcome trauma-based “mind control,” aka, “programming,” it is probably helpful to substitute in the term “psychological manipulation” or “psychological manipulation for long-term control.” The terms “programming” and “mind control” make this form of abuse sound ominous and permanent, when it is neither. Abusers, whatever their ideological basis– spiritual, political, solely criminal, etc., can only psychologically manipulate, not program, people. Yes, many abusers do this with significant skill and use multiple forms of technology, including electroshock, film, and EEG monitoring. But people are not passive programmable computers. “Programming” is actually only psychological manipulation of dissociated self-states with 1) conditioning (punishment and reward), 2) hypnosis, 3) deception (illusions, tricks, film), and 4) manipulation of attachment needs and defensive identification with the aggressor for long-term control. I have further broken down the psychological components of “programming” and have talked about psychotherapy approaches that help survivors overcome programming, in my 80-page chapter, entitled, Torture-based mind control: Psychological mechanisms and psychotherapeutic approaches to overcoming mind control, in this 2011 book (I have no financial interest in the sales of this book), Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs, edited by O.B. Epstein, J. Schwartz, & R. Wingfield, published in London by Karnac.

7. Help with Electromagnetic Chips, Weapons, Devices, Targeting, Harassment, Surveillance, Organized Gang Stalking, or Cyberstalking. Many people contact me reporting that they are being subjected to some kind of electromagnetic chips, weapons, devices, targeting, harassment, surveillance, organized gang stalking, or cyberstalking. These matters are not within my scope of knowledge. I have no basis for sorting out what is possible and what is not. People and organizations that address these issues may be:

Modified: May 10

End Ritual Abuse The Website of Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D.

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