By Ellen Lacter, Ph.D., updated October 20, 2006
Most ritual abuse survivors have abuser self states who take on the appearance and demeanor of their abusers, threatening bodily harm should the host remember the abuse or should disclosure be threatened. The host and traumatized child personalities tend to perceive these parts as actual abusers within. They may internally kick personalities in the head to silence them, often resulting in migraine headaches. They can abuse the survivor’s body and pose serious suicide risk. They generally do not realize that they are injuring the one body they share.
Type 1. Abuser Personalities created by the child as a protective measure. Most ritually abuse survivors have self-states who were originally created by the child as a protective measure, to ensure compliance with the abusers so as not to incur their wrath. They act in a frightening manner, as did the abusers, and threaten the survivor with harm should any personalities consider violating the wishes, commands, directives, etc., of the abusers, as in disclosing the abuse, or refusing to attend rituals. Their inner tyranny may continue for years after protection has been afforded since many of these personalities are often “stuck in a time warp”, experiencing the abuse as ongoing, and perceiving themselves as still located in the sites of their abuse.
Type 2. Abuser Personalities created by defensive identification with the aggressor. Abuser personalities can be self-states who were hurt at a young age and defended against their fear and sense of helplessness by identifying with the abusers and assuming their aggressive, power-wielding demeanor and behavior. These parts may believe the lies and promises of the abusers. These are usually eventually discovered to be quite young and severely abused parts. They may be at risk of abusing other people. They often frighten the survivor. They may take executive control of the body and consciousness and commit abusive acts while other more central personalities are amnestic, having experienced only a loss of time.
Type 3. Abuser Personalities deliberately created by abusers to serve them. Victims of organized abuse generally have personalities intentionally tortured into creation by the abusers to serve them. Pain and terror force another “split”; the formation of a new alter. A form of torture not hitherto experienced will fairly reliably result in the formation of a new alter to “hold” this form of abuse from the rest of the humanity. This new part is tested for compliance to the abuser group, usually with commands to hurt or kill another person or animal. If it does not comply, the torture continues until a personality is created that is completely loyal, servile to the abuser group. The newly formed part is given a name and function, e.g., reporting to the abusers. Further torture and threats ensure its silence. These personalities are often programmed to inflict severe physical injury, placing the survivor at risk for suicide, if the abuse begins to be recalled or disclosed. They comply with the abusers’ agenda out of terror and in the (false) hope that they will be harmed less, spared, if they perform as they are told.
Type 4. Witch twins. It is the goal of sophisticated witchcraft to create a “witch twin”; a split off of the original infant pre-birth, who leads the witch side of the system and is completely loyal to witchcraft. The goal of the dominant abuser (often a parent or grandparent) is to attach to the witch twin enough of his/her own mind/spirit to control the twin’s thoughts, will, and actions. For the affected alters, it is often perceived that this has occurred. Then the abusers attempt to place a barrier between the daytime (host) side of the system and the witch side of the system, where the twin is the key part. Many survivors report that these abuses are done pre-birth. Rival witch abusers of the dominant abuser seek to discover the true witch twin to attempt to exert primary control over it. Thus, it is common to find rival witches abusing the child soon before, or soon after, each other’s abuse to prevent the rivals from taking primary control. The most difficult part of undoing spiritual programming is undoing the programming of the witch twin.
The basis for undoing all of this is to slowly work through a lifetime of abuse of the witch twin. The twin usually believes he/she is choosing witchcraft and acting of his/her own free will, and that he/she has not been controlled. Gradual work usually reveals otherwise.
Many traps are set in abusive rituals to mold the twin. The twin is usually horrified to discover the abuses done to control him/her. These include rituals and abuse in which it is perceived that parts of the abusers’ mind/spirits were transferred to the twin and that parts of the mind/spirit of the twin were captured by the abusers. The twin is usually manipulated into harming others from a very young age. Promises of power and leadership are made to entice the twin. And much abuse is done to convince the twin that the abusers control his/her life or life force, such as life-threatening abuse, followed by rescue by the abusers.
Type 5. Robotic implants, not actually a true part of the victim. Victims of organized abuse may have figures in their inner worlds who function in many ways like abuser self-states, but are actually external objects “implanted” in a child’s internal world through espionage-based, prisoner-of-war-camp-style, mind control programming. These pseudo-personalities function like robots, performing limited behaviors for the abusers, such as telephoning the abuser, or entering a particular building. They have no human volition or feelings, and little real intelligence. In cases of sophisticated abusive mind control, these non-human implants can be anchored to genuinely human personality states of the victim to give them the capacity for planned action.
Type 6. Evil entities. The fifth type of internal abuser is perceived in the inner world as an evil spirit of an abuser, usually attached to true personality within spiritually abusive rituals. Whether its derivation is truly spiritual, or simply perceived to be so, is an interesting spiritual and psychological question, and subject of debate among clinicians treating victims of ritual abuse. These “entities” play a more sinister and dangerous role than the robotic “implants”, since they function with the apparent motive of ensuring the continued abuse of the victim, and can carry out more complex functions, such as serving as reporters to the abuser group or punishers of the victim to ensure compliance with the abusers. They can pose significant danger to the victim.
1. Techniques for Working with the First Four Types, Abuser Personalities that are True Personalities:
a. Encourage the host to make contracts with abuser personalities to do no harm (1-4). Abuser parts often agree to more modulated expression of aggression when asked to consider that a less intense response is required.
b. Have client internally place “Internal Self Helpers” (ISHes) all around personalities at risk of acting out out.
c. Have the survivor sequester dangerous alters in secure places in the inner world where they cannot do harm.
d. Abuser Personalities who are part of the survivor’s humanity need trauma therapy. These personalities must be helped to gradually re-associate their trauma and express their pain. They need to recall that they were forced into submission and loyalty to their abusers against their will or with lies, tricks, and empty promises of love, protection, and status, or through abuse that caused them to believe they must allow attachment of spiritual evil. They must face that their abusers only serve themselves and manipulated them with lies and deception. They must face that all parts share the same body, that although abusers spared some parts in return for compliance, other parts of the humanity were endangered or harmed by this compliance. They must be helped to reclaim their own volition, free will, true feelings and thoughts, and to reject the authority and lies of their abusers and abusers’ mind/spirits. Personalities who embraced abusive power and cult position must have the opportunity to dialogue with a respectful, honest, non-abusive person (therapist, pastor) to decide if this remains their choice.
e. Assignment of new functions to Abuser Personalities. Abuser personalities are usually willing to assume new prosocial functions and names once they feel understood and are helped to consider other options. Compassionate interpretation of the process by which fear fuels identifications with abusers, and normalization of this as a response to abuse, help the host feel safe to acknowledge the existence of abuser self-states and help abuser self-states come out of hiding. Nonjudgmental guidance can help these parts to relinquish this defensive posture and to re-direct destructive anger constructively or to let it go. They are eventually willing to assume new benign functions, e.g., guards against external threats, protectors of child personalities, or victim advocates. They are usually then able to join other personalities in an internal place of healing, and, in time, to integrate.
2.Techniques for Working with the Last Two Types, Abuser Personalities that are Not True Personalities:
Robotic Implants: By design, removal of “implants” without first disarming and disconnecting them from true personalities can have severe psychological, and secondary physical, consequences. For example, the survivor may psychologically experience being shocked, suffocated, frozen, heart failure, etc. In these complex cases, removal should be overseen, by specialists experienced in safely disabling complex mind control programming.
Evil Spiritual Entities: Removal of perceived spiritual entities can be a complex task. Clearly, there should be no attempt to spiritually remove any part of the true self. Many ritual abuse victims derive great benefit from prayer by skilled clergy and formal declarations of refusal by appropriately-trained therapists to separate perceived sources of evil, such as spirits of abusers, their ancestors, and demonic forces. Abusers trick alters (often terrified child parts) into believing they must permit evil attachments. In most religious doctrines, no evil is permitted within someone against one’s will. They must obey when commanded to leave. Abusive rituals in which it was perceived that evil was attached need to be found and the abusers’ manipulations exposed. Then, the survivor can choose to separate the perceived attached evil. Claims, curses, and covenants coerced under torture must be refused or renounced, declared null, void, and forever broken, and replaced with true blessings. Any fallen angels perceived to be attached to these words can also be refused. Help of healers skilled in working with spiritual aspects of ritual abuse is important to resolve abuse involving perceived evil attachments.