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

Ritual Abuse and Torture-based Mind Control: Reducing and Preventing Re-contact with Abusers


Cautionary Notes: This is one of the more distressing pages on my website. Survivors in therapy should  read this webpage only after their therapists have first read it and assessed that the survivor would benefit from reading it. If a survivor does not have a therapist, I strongly recommend that she/he obtain a therapist and only read this webpage with the therapist’s approval. Information on this website and webpage should not be construed as a substitute for therapy. Even if a survivor is certain that she or he is no longer in abuser contact, this material may exacerbate trauma-based fear, and should only be read with proper support. It is also important that this piece be read slowly, in small installments, taking time to cognitively and emotionally process the material, and to psychologically rest, even sleep, periodically. Finally, it is important to guard against quickly believing that all of the things discussed on this webpage apply to you.  Each survivor’s experience is unique and ultimately, the truth of one’s life must be discovered from within.

This page represents my current opinions on mind-sets and measures that help survivors of ritual abuse and torture-based mind control to reduce and prevent re-contact with their abusers.

Most definitions of the term “ritual abuse” refer to ceremonial practices that involve physical and sexual abuse of children and adults, and human sacrifice, to appease, win favor with, or empower deities whom the abusers believe demand abuse and sacrifice, such as Satan and other polytheistic gods and goddesses.

Torture-based mind control programming can be defined as systematic torture that blocks the victim’s capacity for conscious processing (through pain, terror, drugs, illusion, sensory deprivation, sensory over-stimulation, oxygen deprivation, cold, heat, spinning, brain stimulation, and often, near-death), and then employs suggestion and/or conditioning to implant thoughts, directives, and perceptions in the unconscious mind, often in newly-formed trauma-induced dissociated identities, that force the victim to do, feel, think, or perceive things for the purposes of the programmer. The objective is for the victim to follow directives with no conscious awareness, including execution of acts in clear violation of the victim’s volition, moral principles, and spiritual convictions.

Torture-based mind control is practiced by individuals and groups who seek to maximally control and exploit others, usually beginning in childhood. Included are practitioners of abusive religious rituals (e.g., Satanism and abusive witchcraft), organized crimes against children (child pornography, prostitution, and trafficking), and groups with political, military, and espionage agendas.

My opinions are based on a synthesis of 17 years of experience in providing psychotherapy to victims and survivors of ritual abuse and mind control and extensive interviews of other survivors, including many survivor-therapists, and my ongoing communication with therapist and clergy colleagues working with survivors.

The two primary forms of re-contact with abusers include reporting back by phone or written correspondence, and physically returning to abusers to be abused again. Perpetrators of ritual abuse and mind control attempt to coerce their victims into submission and service to the abuser group for a lifetime. Abuser methods of exerting long-term contact and control vary in relation to the level of psychological sophistication of the abusers and the size of the abusers’s criminal network.

Some abuser groups rely primarily on threats to force their victims into compliance and to prevent their victims from escaping. For some of these groups, these are empty threats. The groups may be limited to one or two extended families or a relatively small abuser network. They make claims of having more power than they have, and may even claim responsibility for murders that they did not commit, much like political terrorists. Some abuser groups have larger criminal networks and thus, more power to carry out their threats. But, they too reliably overstate their power to maximally terrorize their victims. This is not to dismiss the reality that these abusers commit murder, but it is to say that they lie and exaggerate their power. Clearly, people who systematically abuse others lie to further their own interests. Words are just one more tool of manipulation to control their victims. Everything they say should be questioned and examined for underlying motives and feasibility. This holds particularly true for their claims of having the man power, technological power, and magical/spiritual power to carry out their surveillance and threats.

Many of these abusers also manipulate their victims’ attachment needs, that is, their basic survival needs and needs for security and love, usually beginning in early childhood. They also go to great lengths to try to make their victims believe that the victims are accomplices to the abuse, that they are as evil as their abusers themselves, and that they are unworthy and incapable of belonging anywhere but with the abusers.

Some abuser groups go a step further and manipulate their victims’ psychological capacity to form dissociated self-states in response to extreme pain and terror. I am using the term, “dissociated self-states,” here to refer to states of consciousness with some sense of self that exist out of the conscious awareness of the most-often conscious parts of the psyche, and that typify DSM-IV Dissociative Identity Disorder, and forms of Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified in which self-states exist internally, affecting the psyche from within, but never assume complete control of executive functions (e.g., purposive action).

These Machiavellian abusers systematically torture their victims for the intended purpose of coercing their victims’ psyches into forming new dissociated self-states that they then work to exploit. They “torture-hypno-condition” these self-states, that is, they use torture, hypnosis, and behavioral conditioning, to try to coerce these dissociated self-states into fulfilling functions that serve the abusers. (I thank Hans Ulrich Gresch, Ph.D., psychologist, mind control survivor, and respected colleague, for the term, “torture-hypno-conditioning,” the most succinct descriptive phrase that I have found that explains what occurs in most torture-based mind control programming; see: http://www.mind-control.psychoprobleme.de/). These abusers “program” some of these dissociated self-states to take on “reporter” and “re-contact” functions, that is, to report to the abusers on a regular basis from a distance, and to return to the abusers as directed.

In many cases, even though the survivor is working hard to break free of her or his abusers, these programmed self-states continue to report to, and return to, the abusers, often out of the conscious awareness of the most-often conscious parts of the psyche. Ongoing access allows the abusers to retaliate against their victims for attempting to break free and to escalate their abuse and programming in efforts to increase their control of their victims.

The purpose of this article is to help survivors, therapists, clergy, and other support people, to understand the tactics, briefly outlined above, used by ritually abusive and mind control abusers to attempt to trap their victims into life-long submission, and to use this knowledge to help survivors to overcome these abuser tactics of control, to break free of their abusers more easily and more quickly, and to prevent re-contact.


1. Pain and Terror Held in Programmed Dissociated Self-States

Highly psychologically sophisticated abusers invest great time and effort into developing particular self-states in their victims who reflexively obey their abusers’ directives, against their own interests, and in many instances, even in opposition to their own instinct for self-preservation, e.g., suicide bombers (see note).

Note: The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) declassified MKULTRA document MORI 0000190527, dated September 25, 1951, titled “SI and H Experimentation,” likely indicating, “Subconscious Isolation and Hypnosis Experimentation” (see The Mind Manipulators (1978), Scheflin and Opton), details an experiment in which two children were successfully hypnotized to plant a bomb, set it to detonate in 82 seconds, turn it on, and then sit in an adjacent room (This document is on page 32 of the following website:  http://abuse-of-power.org/modules/content/index.php?id=31, retrieved April 24, 2011).

While child victims are still under the relatively complete control of the abusers, they are severely punished for any attempt to tell anyone of the abuse or to reach out for any kind of help. In many cases, abusers manipulate children into seeking help in order to immediately wield punishment with the goal of developing a deeply entrenched fear of telling. For example, some abusers provide a child with a faux confidant, a counterfeit ally, who is actually a member of the abuser group, who gains the child’s trust with the intended purpose of the child disclosing the abuse to this person. The faux confidant immediately reports this disclosure to the abusers. The child is tortured in retaliation, and told that the abusers know, see, and hear everything the child does. In many cases, particular self-states are also trained with reward and punishment (by torture) to remember what the abusers wish them to remember and to forget what the abusers want them to forget, to prevent the victim recalling and disclosing the abuse.

These kinds of set-ups are examples of two of the most common kinds of “programming” done by psychologically sophisticated abusers– “don’t talk; don’t tell” programming and amnesia programming. These two kinds of programming form the basis of much other programming.

“Don’t talk; don’t tell” programming and amnesia programming are often done with particular dissociated self-states that were first induced to form in response to severe torture. This is designed to result in the development of dissociated self-states who perceive themselves as existing in the original sites of their torture within the internal landscape (see note). Defiance of abuser dictates by these self-states, or wishes by any self-state to defy the abusers, is intended to cause these self-states to experience themselves as being tortured once again. Such self-states may be further torture-hypno-conditioned to develop them into “reporter” and “re-contact” self-states.

Note: Individuals with Dissociative Identity Disorder tend to have an imagistic internal landscape in which many of their dissociated identities reside. John O’Neil, MD, calls this the “Inscape” in his article, “Expanding the Psychoanalytic View of the Intrapsychic: Psychic Conflict in the Inscape” (available on the internet: https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/1795; click on “view/open” for full text).

In many cases, self-states are simply commanded to take on reporter and re-contact functions. As one survivor explains, their parts obey out of “complete resignation”:

For these parts, the only reality they know is the reality created by the abusers, by their violent, punitive training and by their lies. The abusers say, “You’re utterly alone, there’s nothing more to your life than these missions/jobs/horrors, and every fiber of your being belongs to us.” They believe this. They have no sense of sovereignty over their own existence. The abusers define their identity and value. They are much like soldiers committing horrendous acts in the line of duty. But they have no other self, no home to come home to. They have an artificially-induced sense of belonging only to the abusers and complete isolation from the rest of the world. In their reality, people who don’t do as they’re told tend to drop dead, sometimes in unspeakably excruciating ways. When a part doesn’t behave, very, very bad things happen to them. Parts may even be sent to “compliance centers” to be “re-tooled” [more intense and sophisticated torture-hypno-conditioning].

In many cases, self-states have been created and/or conditioned to be loyal to their programmers and abusers and to function as their spies. These self-states know full-well the dangerous consequences of non-compliance. Driven ultimately by fear, such self-states “rat-out” any self-states who defy abuser directives.

In most of these cases, the pain, dread, and helplessness of very young and severely tortured self-states “spill over” into the reporter self-states, contributing to their feeling compelled to comply with the abusers’ directives and wishes.

However the reporter and re-contact programming is accomplished, it can be considered the acid test for sophisticated programming. Maintaining continuous future control of victims, outside of the conscious awareness of “daytime” self-states, is the aim of most mind control.

Note: I use the term “daytime” self-states very loosely for convenience to refer to the self-states who take care of required daily functioning and who do not know of the abuse until significant self-work, in therapy or otherwise, has occurred. “Daytime” self-states are not limited to being conscious only in the daytime.

In some cases, “reporter”self-states have been programmed to regularly, or daily, phone their abusers in the early morning hours at a previously-memorized toll-free number (so it will not appear on the survivor’s phone bill) or from other phones that do not create phone records, like phone booths or pre-paid cell phones. When the programming is working as intended, “reporter” and “re-contact” self-states do their jobs without the “daytime” more-often-conscious parts of the psyche having any awareness or memory of their actions. “Daytime” self-states may occasionally “awaken” to find a telephone in their hand at 3:00am, not understanding why they are holding a phone. They often dismiss this as simply an odd event, the kind of odd events they have become accustomed to for a lifetime. Dismissal of such events is often unconsciously driven by the dread of knowing “the whole story,” or in some cases, is directed by self-states programmed to ensure that the “daytime” states never learn the truth.

In many cases, particular dissociated self-states have been torture-hypno-conditioned to perform particular behaviors in response to particular abuser “cues” and “triggers.” For example, a hand signal from across a parking lot may be used to “trigger” a reporter self-state to immediately telephone the abusers to receive directives. The directive is usually to go to a designated place to make renewed contact with the abusers. If the victim is geographically distant from the abusers or without transportation, he or she may be directed to report her or his location and may then be directed to walk to a specific location to wait to be picked up.

In some cases, particular dissociated self-states have been programmed to respond to naturally-occurring stimuli by re-setting programming, such as directives to obey, or programs that may have been discovered and tampered with by the survivor, a therapist, or an other programmer. Stimuli survivors have discovered to have been used as re-sets are the sight of a trademark of a common chain store or restaurant, or a self-state programmed to perceive that there is a button on the body that gets pressed each day while dressing.

Until these kinds of programming are made conscious, or otherwise de-activated (e.g., by the survivor learning how to prevent “switching” into programmed self-states, or devising a means of internally sequestering programmed self-states), “handlers” (abusers who control victims– not necessarily programmers) can activate this programming with hand signals, phone tones, words, etc., which are communicated in what appears to be normal conversation, normal public activity, or seemingly benign phone calls, text messages, emails, greeting cards, etc., or that simply occur naturally. Should the designated self-states fail to perform the conditioned behavior in response to the “cues” and stimuli, they and other torture-conditioned self-states are intended to re-experience their torture-conditioning internally. This programming is intended to function out of the conscious awareness of the daytime, most-often-conscious self-states. In this way, survivors may be in ongoing abuser contact and have no knowledge of this.

The use of such techniques by the United States CIA is documented in an untitled Project ARTICHOKE document dated 7 January 1953, under a section heading, “Outline of Special H [Hypnosis] Cases,” cited in “Bluebird,” by Colin Ross, 2000, p. 32):

In all of these cases, these subjects have clearly demonstrated that they can pass from a fully awake state to a deep H [hypnotic] controlled state via the telephone, via some very subtle signal that cannot be detected by other persons in the room and without the other individual being able to note the change. It has been clearly shown that physically individuals can be induced into H [hypnosis] by telephone, by receiving written matter, or by the use of code, signals or word and that control of those hypnotized can be passed from one individual to another without great difficulty. It has also been shown by experimentation with these girls [age 19 years] that they can act as unwilling couriers for information purposes and that they can be conditioned to a point where they can believe a change in identity on their part even on the polygraph.

In some cases, victims perceive that they are being abused more often than is actually the case. For example, some abusers program their victims to perceive that after each therapy session, they return to the abusers to report on the content of the session and to be punished for seeking help, for recalling the abuse, and for disclosing it. Such programming, in effect, does the abusers’ work for them. In some cases, self-states who are obedient to, or identified with, their abusers internally punish other self-states for disobeying the abusers. The punished self-states generally perceive this internal punishment as actual external abuse. Alison Miller, Ph.D., a psychologist specializing in therapy with ritual abuse and mind control survivors, states, “A clue to whether a memory of current abuse is actual or perceived is that if the memory is identical each time it occurs, it is likely simply a memory being triggered.” (Personal communication, 2011)

To overcome all of these kinds of programming, survivors need to discover these programmed self-states, including torture-hypno-conditioned self-states, reporter and re-contact self-states, and “back-up” and hidden reporter or re-contact self-states, and to become conscious of, 1) how they were manipulated into taking on their functions that serve the abusers, 2) the dictates and “jobs” given to them, and 3) the “cues” and “triggers” to which they have been trained or hypnotized. Theses self-states can then exercise their free will for the first time. Self-states can also “change sides” and begin to work for the survivor. They can make a conscious choice to override all of these set-ups, dictates, and triggering stimuli. Survivors can use self-hypnosis to change all programmed “cues” and “triggers” into impossible stimuli, stimuli that can not exist in reality, that noone could possibly ever see, hear, feel, smell, or taste, so that they can never be triggered to behave as programmed again.

In some cases, particular self-states have been torture-hypno-conditioned to control the”switching” between self-states, as in switching from “daytime” self-states to “reporter” and “re-contact” self-states. When self-states that control switching align with the best interests of the victim rather than submit to the wishes of the abusers, much more safety can be achieved. When “reporter” self-states change sides, they can give false information to the abusers to make the abusers believe that their programming is intact as the survivor completes the work of dismantling the programming. As I have told survivors, “If you are playing checkers with a known cheater, you would be crazy not to cheat.”

Survivors can also internally re-locate their programmed self-states out of their internal torture sites to self-created places of safety and healing in their internal landscape. Re-locating self-states, and transforming one’s internal landscape to serve oneself, are very powerful means of protecting one’s self-states from internally re-experiencing their torture, and thereby greatly weakening the power of the programming.

The process of discovering and internally rescuing programmed self-states is a step-by-step, often lengthy, process, often done in therapy or counseling with psychotherapists or clergy who understand mind control. Some survivors find that before all self-states can be discovered and re-located, they can develop means of increasing their mental focus to stay mentally present in a self-state that can exercise critical thinking, self-observation, free will, and can thereby: a) override the impact of programmed self-states, and b) learn to prevent reporter and re-contact self-states from switching into executive control.

A more comprehensive discussion of mind control and means of doing the internal work to resolve and overcome mind control, is provided in my chapter, “Torture-based Mind Control: Psychological Mechanisms and Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Overcoming Mind Control,” in the book, “Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs,” published in March, 2011, by Karnac Books of London. It is available on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Ritual-Abuse-Mind-Control-Manipulation/dp/1855758393 or from the publisher: http://www.karnacbooks.com/Product.asp?PID=29482 .

Note: I have never asked Karnac Books for remuneration for submitting my chapter to this book. I am grateful to Karnac for taking on the subjects of ritual abuse and mind control when so many publishers will not commit to this subject.


2. Threats of Greater Harm for breaking Free

As discussed above, threats are a mainstay of ritually abusive and mind control abusers. Some threats are lies. Other threats carry genuine risk. Most are probably a combination of the two. Some abuser threats are consciously registered by the “daytime” self-states. Some are held only in specific dissociated self-states and affect other self-states more diffusely, by “leaking” or spreading fear throughout the system of self-states.

Ritual and mind control abusers want their victims to believe that there is no way out, that it is impossible to escape, and that they will be punished or killed if they try to break free. These are terrifying threats. However, many survivors decide that the alternative of submitting to their abusers is much worse. These abuser groups seek life-time control of their victims. Submission is not rewarded with freedom in a year or in a decade. To submit is to begin a life-sentence. The longer one submits, the longer one is abused. And worse for many victims than being abused themselves, submission usually means that the victim will be forced to abuse, harm, or kill others– children, adults, and animals, for the rest of her or his life.

Sophisticated abusers usually claim that they always know where their victims are. And they threaten to abduct them, that is, to take them by force, and punish them severely, if they do not willingly comply with abuser directives. These abusers generally trick their victims, and particular self-states, into believing that the abusers are always watching, listening, reading their minds, etc., by means of malevolent spiritual entities, all-seeing eyes, computer microchips implanted in their brains to read their thoughts and to transmit directives, etc. (See next section on “Fear of Electromagnetic Surveillance and Harassment”)

Abuser threats of abduction are often exaggerated. It is the preference of programmers not to abduct their victims because this demonstrates a weakness in their programming. Only when their victims respond to post-hypnotic suggestions and programmed “triggers” is their programming demonstrated to be effective. The more effective their programming, the more they gain in status, ego, and money. Programmers who are successful get paid more by other abusers to teach and do their programming than programmers who “fail” and who have failed “projects” (victims). In addition, abusers may be punished for losing control of victims. Rather than resort to abduction, they prefer to keep trying to prove that their programming is working. They try to activate their victims’ programming with “triggers” such as phone calls, hand signals, etc.

Ritually abusive and mind control abusers also rely on the “call-back” programs they have “installed” in their victims beginning in childhood. These programs are designed to “activate” at particular future dates or events, to make victims telephone or visit their abusers, or to attend large rituals that were planned years in advance. Future “call-back” events reported by survivors include particular birthdays of the survivor and the survivor’s children, particular large holiday rituals in years believed to hold particular political or spiritual significance to the abuser group, and to return to primary family abusers as they are on their death beds.

Carole Smith describes this kind of programming in her book, “The Magic Castle: A Mother’s Harrowing True Story Of Her Adoptive Son’s Multiple Personalities– And The Triumph Of Healing” (1998). Smith adopted a boy at 10 years of age and soon discovered that he had Multiple Personality Disorder (the former term for Dissociative Identity Disorder) and that he had been victimized by a ritually abusive cult. She details her struggle to raise this child, to keep him safe, and to find him proper psychotherapy. Despite all of her love and the expert therapeutic help she eventually found, her son, in a programmed self-state,  returned for a ritual on his 18th birthday. This is the kind of behavior such abusers seek to produce and hope to rely upon. It satisfies their grandiosity. To programmers, the need for abduction signifies a failure.

In cases of survivors who have broken a good deal of their programming, the risk of abduction is likely to be even more reduced. These survivors have good co-consciousness between previously dissociated self-states, and good intra-system cooperation between self-states in their desire to defy their abusers. This largely disables their amnesia programing. This poses a risk to the programmers in that these survivors can recall everything about any contact with their abusers, including the sites of the abuse and the identities of the perpetrators. It is also often a waste of abuser resources to try to regain control of these survivors.

However, the risk of abduction should not be discounted, especially when a victim first begins to defy his or her abusers and does not “show up” as “ordered.” Abusers may abduct victims at such times to try to reinforce their programming. This is when victims need to be the most cautious about their physical safety, to not be alone, to not go to isolated places, etc. See this page on this website for more ideas about increasing one’s safety: “Safety Tips for Ritual Abuse Survivors”: http://endritualabuse.org/activism/safety-tips-for-ritual-abuse-survivors/

Murder is a fact of organized abuse and other organized crime. Consider the Mafia and KKK. Organized abusers commit murders for ritual sacrifice, to appease and win favor with their deities, to punish victims, to eliminate rivals and people who threaten to expose them, in snuff films made for profit, and out of rage or pure sadism. However, I believe that organized abusers threaten far more murders than they actually commit.

It is also my sense, and the sense of many of my colleagues, that organized abusers have become more concerned about potential exposure in recent years than they were 15 or 20 years ago, and that this is a deterrent to killing their victims. Despite the media campaign of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation to raise doubt about the existence of recovered memories of abuse, to try to discredit Dissociative Identity Disorder as a valid diagnosis, and to try to make the public believe that ritual abuse does not exist, information about organized abuse and ritual abuse has become more publicly available in recent years. Clergy abuse has been making headlines, especially in the last 10 years, including evidence of organized cover-up. There have been criminal convictions of ritual abuse, notably the 2006 conviction of Father Gerald Robinson for the 1980 ritual murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl (see “Sin, Shame, and Secrets: The Murder of a Nun, the Conviction of a Priest, and Cover-up in the Catholic Church,” by David Yonke, 2006), and the most recent South Wales conviction (March 9, 2011) of Satanic sex cult leader, Colin Batley, and three of his followers of sexual offenses against children. There are also numerous recent academic publications available on the subject of ritual abuse. Some are listed on this website on this page “Publications on Ritual Abuse and Mind Control in 2008” (I will update this soon):  http://endritualabuse.org/evidence/publications-on-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-in-2008/ . There have been significant additions since 2008.

Many survivors understand that they may suffer an initial escalation in abuse as they work to break free, that this is often an inevitable part of the process. Yet, they make the choice to proceed anyway because they decide it is worth it in the long run, and because they demand their right to freedom. These survivors are often fueled by “holy rage” (thank you to Hans Ulrich Gresch, Ph.D., for this phrase) and they will not be stopped no matter what the abusers do. Many feel, “If you are going to kill me, go ahead and kill me– that would be better than living a life under your control.”

Support people, e.g., therapists, clergy, advocates, loved ones, etc., often feel highly personally traumatized as they learn of the abuse that a survivor may still be suffering. Short of support people being able to watch the survivor around the clock (this has helped some survivors), it is often impossible, for some time, to stop the survivor from reporting back, or submitting, to her or his abusers. Support people must grapple with what they can and cannot do, what they can and cannot stop, how much support and survivor supervision they can and cannot give, and how much they can and cannot sacrifice of themselves.

These situations pose very difficult clinical, ethical, legal, personal, and spiritual dilemmas for the therapist, clergy-person, etc. Many therapists working with survivors in these life and death situations extend themselves in ways that they would not with other clients. Many do things that they know could place them at risk with their regulatory and licensing bodies and professional organizations, but in many cases, believe that they nonetheless made the right ethical decision in taking such risks.

Even when therapists, clergy, and support people go to great lengths to support a survivor, it is often the case that the abuse continues for some time as the survivor fights for her or his freedom, until much of the programming and other destructive internal mechanisms (e.g., self-hatred) within the survivor are resolved. How can a therapist, clergy-person, or support person psychologically manage the distress of knowing that the abuse is ongoing? Many cannot. They feel too helpless, too personally traumatized, and they abandon the survivor, or refuse to work with other survivors in the future, or deem these victims as “untreatable.”

Other therapists, clergy, and support people learn to accept the things they cannot change (yes- the serenity prayer), often through consulting with peers for advice and support, and then continue the work, doing what they can. They also often eventually realize that victims with dissociative capacities can generally manage ongoing abuse in ways that non-dissociative individuals could not. Dissociation is a powerful psychological mechanism for managing intense trauma. I have no wish to diminish the fact that torture is torture and that it is completely unacceptable. However, I am stating that victims can often psychologically manage abuse in ways that therapists, clergy, support people, etc., can only begin to understand.


3. Fear of Electromagnetic Surveillance and Harassment

Many victims of sophisticated abuse who initially believed that their abusers surgically placed microchips in their brains eventually recall that these were pseudo-surgeries, with abusers wearing surgical scrubs, a tray of surgical supplies, a superficial cut, and sometimes a superficial scar.

I have asked neuroscientists about the feasibility of an implanted electronic device interfacing with the brain to decipher a person’s thoughts or to transmit thoughts. They have explained that, although it is possible for an implanted electronic device to interface with the brain in a localized area, such as electrically stimulating areas of the brain damaged by a stroke to amplify neural action potentials, it is not possible for any device to decipher a person’s thoughts or to transmit specific thoughts. The mental functions involved in thought are too neurologically-widespread, and involve too many complex chemical, biological and electrical brain mechanisms, for an implanted electronic device to possibly decipher or control. It is conceivable that a small radio receiver could be implanted in or near the ear that could receive audible verbal commands, but these would be received through the sense of hearing, not directly by the brain. But abusers can easily convince frightened children that they can read their minds and control their thoughts with electronic devices, especially when they use tricks, hypnosis, and hallucinogenic drugs, to “seal the deal”, and these programmed child self-states often influence the victim as a whole to feel watched, monitored, and to believe that theirs mind are being read.

Some survivors report that computer microchips were placed in their bodies to allow their abusers to identify them with a scanner. This technology has been available to identify lost pets for many decades. However, this technology serves no function at a distance. And, in many, if not most, cases, placement of identification chips is likely an abuser deception to intimidate victims.

Some survivors believe that they have been implanted with global positioning system (GPS) signaling devices that constantly alert their abusers of their whereabouts. From what I have read about use of such systems in tracking animals and criminals, the signaling device requires a power source, such as a battery or solar energy, to transmit a signal. This raises questions about how long such a device could potentially work if implanted in the body or brain. However, I understand that there may be advances in this technology that may not be public.

I am not a physicist and do not have enough knowledge to parse out true from false information about this and other technologies alleged to be used to track, harass, or harm people. However, there is ample evidence for many kinds of non-lethal technological weaponry, and for intelligence agencies experimenting with these on unwitting victims, as far back as the CIA using radiation and psychoactive drugs on unwitting victims in the MKULTRA program. See: Project MKULTRA, the CIA’s Program of Research into Behavioral Modification. Joint Hearing before the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, United State Senate, Ninety-Fifth Congress, First Session. (1977).  U.S. Government Printing Office (copy hosted at the New York Times website). Retrieved March 24, 2011, from: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/13inmate_ProjectMKULTRA.pdf.

On the other hand, much  information on the internet on these technologies clearly overstates the implications of the research being cited and is filled with logical flaws. Some of this poorly-reasoned information is likely driven by genuine fear in trauma victims and survivors. However, some of this information may be deliberate fear-mongering. It is conceivable that ritual and mind control abusers have posted disinformation on the internet about these technologies to terrorize their victims, to try to make them believe that they are in constant danger and under constant surveillance, and even to distract them from being able to recall their ritual abuse or mind control abuse and from discovering their dissociated identities.

Survivors of organized abuse who believe, or fear, that they may be being victimized by technological surveillance and non-lethal weapons should work to prevent their fears from snowballing out of control in over-generalized fear. They should do the internal work of looking at the possibility that other dissociated trauma, such as early child abuse, ritual abuse, or torture-based mind control, may hold the roots of their fears. And they should attempt to conduct a reasoned, vs. fear-driven, investigation of what kinds of applications of technological harassment are feasible and which are impossible, of what is science, and what may be disinformation. Even though the study of non-lethal weaponry is very complex, and even though intelligence agencies likely have knowledge not available to the public, it is important that individuals not ascribe omniscience (unlimited knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), or omnipresence (being everywhere at once) to these agencies.

Note: It is critical that both survivors and professionals working with survivors (therapists, clergy, etc.), tolerate conflicting views on matters of non-lethal weaponry and harassment. Professional helpers should not dismiss survivor claims offhandedly, should be humble in acknowledging their lack of expertise in such matters, and should maintain a stance of running multiple hypotheses at once, pro and con, to continue to critically evaluate such claims. Likewise, survivors who believe they are being controlled by microchips or targeted by non-lethal weaponry must not reflexively dismiss professionals who seek to critically evaluate the feasability of such claims, but should understand that these professionals do not want survivors to suffer from unnecessary or over-generalized fear. In my work as a psychologist, clients have both viewed me as insensitive when I did not immediately believe their claims of non-lethal weaponry or implanted microchips, and have viewed me as gullible when I did not express uncertainty about such claims.


4. Threats of Harm to Others for Breaking Free

Psychologically-sophisticated abusers (including political torturers) know well that they can get more cooperation from victims by threatening or harming people whom the victim cares about than by threatening or harming the victim her/himself. In this devastating form of psychological torture, the abusers, many of whom have completely disconnected from their own humanity, exploit their victims’ capacity for love.

Beginning in early childhood, these abusers almost always demonstrate to their victims that others will be harmed when they do not submit. It is a deliberate set-up to make victims feel damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they submit, they and others are harmed less in the short-run, but are cumulatively harmed more in the long-run, since the abusers have more long-term access. If they defy their abusers, others may be hurt more brutally in the short-run in the name of their defiance, but the cumulative long-term abuse is reduced, because the access is stopped sooner.

However, to have anyone hurt in one’s name is devastating, whether the harm occurs in one’s presence, or in cases of knowing that others will be harmed in punishment for failing to attend a ritual or mind control session as ordered. One survivor explained, “The guilt experienced is absolutely crushing, agonizing, and is very challenging to overcome.”

Victims also fear that when they do defy the abusers, and others are punished in retaliation, that the other victims will hate and condemn them for this. However, some victims report that they secretly applaud those who defy the abusers, that it helps them realize that they too can break all of the abusers’ “rules,” that they too can fight for their own rights, and that they too can break free, even if others will be harmed in retaliation.

It is important to remember that when abusers threaten murder in retaliation for a survivor breaking free, and even if they carry out that threat, this crime is the abuser’s crime, not the survivor’s, as much as the abusers try to set-up victims to blame themselves.
It is also important to note that some murders that occur in rituals and programming sessions are staged, not actual. Victims are tricked into believing that the murders are actual to terrorize them. It is not only the abusers’ words that should never be trusted. Memories of abusers’ actions must also be carefully scrutinized for possible deception, faked and staged acts, “smoke and mirrors,” and use of film combined with drugged states to make victims believe that the events in the film actually occurred.

Unfortunately, murder by organized abusers is a reality, and we must not discount survivors’ concerns about the possibility of murders being committed in retaliation for thier defying their abusers.

Many ritual abuse survivors report that the people most likely to be killed by organized abusers are: 1) homeless people (when they go missing, no one may notice and foul play is less likely to be suspected), 2) children abducted from third-world countries, 3) infants delivered pre-term by the abusers, and 4) people born “off the grid,” raised in captivity by abuser groups and abuser families. People “on the grid” with registered births, social security numbers, etc., are less likely to be killed, because the abusers do not want to risk drawing any attention from law enforcement. The abusers’ greatest concern is maintaining their secrecy.

Many ritual abuse survivors report that their abusers take children of their victims to be raised by someone else, in part to control victims by repeatedly telling them that this child will be killed if they ever defy the abusers. In some cases, this is an empty threat. Many victims are significant “projects” of the abusers, an investment of significant money, time, and ego, a valuable asset to be used by the abuser group in the future in some manner, e.g., a profession that benefits the abuser group, or a function in the abuser group. Such victims are not easily expendable to the abusers. If the child was born “on the grid,” it is more risky for the abusers for that child to come up missing. The children at highest risk of being killed are children whom the abuser group always intended to kill for some purpose.

Some victims have loved ones who were not raised in the abuser group and who are of no direct value to the abusers. Some survivors report that such people have been killed in retaliation for their breaking free. This may be made to look like an accident, such as a fatal car accident, suicide, or willful disappearance.

Therapists and clergy should not try to convince survivors that abusers will never kill someone in retaliation for their breaking free. No one can guarantee that this will not happen. This is life and death organized crime, and very similar to what we know about more overt organized crime.

Survivors’ fears that law enforcement, on a local or larger level, is compromised should also not be discounted. The book, “The Franklin Scandal,” by Nick Bryant, documents an important case of a nationwide pedophile ring that Nebraska legislators nearly exposed ring in 1990. However, Bryant writes, “The legislators’ efforts resulted in rash of mysterious deaths and the overpowering corruption of federal and local law enforcement, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Justice Department, effecting an immaculate cover-up of the trafficking network.” There were many deaths in the Franklin case that raise very troubling questions of foul-play connected to the cover-up. See: http://franklinscandal.com/ .

So, the decision to leave or stay is sometimes a true life and death decision. On the one hand, people may truly be killed in retaliation for leaving. On the other hand, to not break free is to subject oneself to the will of the abusers for a lifetime, which usually includes being forced to hurt or kill many other people.

And to not break free, to submit to the abusers for a lifetime, for fear of their carrying out their threats, plays right into the hands of the abusers, making threats as a means of control of survivors all the more effective.

There are measures that can be taken to reduce danger to victims and loved ones. Survivors who believe that they or others might be killed, or made to appear to have committed suicide, should make a clear and convincing written document or DVD or videotape of their fear of being murdered, their desire to live rather than to suicide, and their having no plans to disappear. This can increase the fear of an abuser or abuser group of being identified upon committing a murder or a murder staged to appear as a suicide, accident, or willful disappearance. Guidelines for making a Safety DVD or Video-tape are outlined on the page on this website “Safety Tips for Ritual Abuse Survivors”: http://endritualabuse.org/activism/safety-tips-for-ritual-abuse-survivors/


5. Promises of Status and Power for Cooperation

Ritual abusers usually make false promises to their victims of greater safety and status in return for greater obedience. These lies are a standard part of programming. There simply are not enough high positions in cult groups for all of the victims with self-states who have been told that they were slated for high positions. There are always higher levels and more horrible things one must do and endure in order to rise yet another rank. In cult groups, higher status usually includes needing to prove that one can take more pain than the people “below.” Additionally, since cult members distrust each other and are always vying for position, the higher one rises in the group, the more members “below” them will try to set them up to sabotage them.

Self-states motivated by status and power are generally dissociated from self-states who know the more painful truths about their abuse– that staying in the abuser group means a lifetime of extreme abuse, that no matter what they do, they will be abused, and that there is an enormous emotional and spiritual cost of hurting others. I know a survivor whose children told her, as she drove them home from a ritual, that she said, “I just can’t hurt people anymore.” This was the beginning of her breaking free. Self-states motivated by status and power need to eventually face that their wishful hopes for power and status are rooted in dissociation from great physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain and suffering.

I believe that self-states motivated by status and power will almost always be present in victims of ritual abuse and mind control. Their existence does not mean that the “whole person,” or bulk of the person, or the “core” or “heart” of the person has opted for evil. Identification with the aggressor is almost always a response, on some level, to extreme abuse, even if only unconscious or held in dissociated self-states. When helplessness, pain, and terror reach levels of psychological intolerableness, there is a natural human tendency, on some level, even if only unconscious, to wish to be a powerful abuser rather than a helpless victim, and to have impulses to discharge our rage onto others. This is a painful harsh human reality that survivors must learn to face within themselves in order to genuinely be able to work this through, a reality that non-abused individuals can pretend they would never feel.


6. Loyalty and Attachment Based Ultimately in Extreme fear

Loyalty and attachment to abusers is a survival mechanism, exemplified by “Stockholm Syndrome.”

(See: Brief History: Stockholm Syndrome, by Laura Fitzpatrick (2009): http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1919757,00.html)

Adah Sachs, attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist in London, explains that since attachment is ultimately a survival response, victims of extreme abuse, such as ritual abuse, inevitably attach strongly to extreme abusers in order to survive. Extreme and sadistic abusers fully engage with their victims only during their abuse of them. Therefore, the victim’s need for proximity to the abuser, and the full engagement of this abuser/attachment figure, is highest during the acts of extreme abuse, when threat to life is the highest. For the victim, terrifying abuse becomes the inevitable gateway to engage with the abuser/attachment figure on whom their life depends. The victim cannot fight the abuser off or set him/herself free from the abuser because of the heightened intensity of the need for attachment in the midst of terror. This consequently forms a “blueprint” for the victim’s attachment style. Sachs posits that working through this attachment “blueprint” or style needs to be the focus of therapy and that transformation of this style of attachment is the key to any lasting freedom. Sachs discusses these ideas in depth in her chapter, “As Thick as Thieves, or the Ritual Abuse Family– an Attachment Perspective on a Forensic Relationship,” in the new book, “Attachment, Trauma and Multiplicity (second edition)” (2011), edited by Valerie Sinason (see: http://www.amazon.com/Attachment-Trauma-Multiplicity-Dissociative-Identity/dp/0415491819/ref=dp_ob_title_bk/192-4529334-2985350).

In addition, many sophisticated abusers deliberately set up particular self-states to bond to them, to be loyal to them, and to serve them. They go to great lengths to convince these self-states that only the abusers love them, and that any people who truly care for them, or who are a potential source of help or support, including loved ones, therapists, clergy, law enforcement, child protection, etc., are dangerous or are part of the abuser group.

One survivor explained to me, “Most of my reporters were created by my abusers to be perpetrator-friendly entities, with no ambitions beyond pleasing or serving their programmer/handler, etc. They just never knew anything different, any other way of being in the world.”

If there is a protective parent, the abusers usually work to convince the victim that this parent does not love them and has abused them. Psychologically-sophisticated abusers often abuse their victims while impersonating the victims’ loved ones. The victims are often drugged to make them more suggestible to being tricked by such ploys. The abusers may also trick these self-states into believing that the abusers are the victim’s true parents.

The abusers often make victims, usually particular self-states, believe they are their victims’ romantic partners, often including ritual marriages. They often make their victims believe that the abuser group is the only place where they belong, that this is the only place they are needed and valued, that they are special or “chosen,” that some powerful and terrifying deity has a pre-destined important fate for them, etc. The abusers often orture their victims to near-death and stage fake rescues, to make victims believe that the abusers or their deities have complete control of their life or “life force.” Commonly, self-states who “were rescued” from near-death by an abuser have no knowledge that the same abuser also tortured them or turned them over to others to torture them.  In some cases, abusers make a victim believe that the victim is the only one whom the abuser can rely on for help, love, and rescue, again exploiting the victim’s capacity for love.

Self-states who have been manipulated into bonds of love with their abusers need to learn about the abuse that is known by other self-states.

Svali, a ritual abuse and mind control survivor, has written an excellent article on bonding to abusers that expands upon the above ideas. See: “Trauma Bonding: The Pull to the Perpetrator” (Oct 12, 2000), at: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/ritual_abuse/50317/1 (Retrieved from the internet on April 24, 2011).


7. Perceived Spiritual Attachment

Ritual abusers often conduct rituals to cause their victims to believe that demons, fallen angels, and abuser spirits have attached to them, control them, always watch them, can harm them, etc. For victims, feeling influenced or threatened by these forces is often a factor in their believing that they have no choice but to continue to submit to their abusers.

Some survivors and some of their self-states believe these perceptions of spiritual influences are simply the result of abuser tricks, smoke and mirrors, hypnosis combined with drug effects, etc., used in rituals and programming sessions. For these survivors and self-states, resolution of the effects of these events is achieved by discovering and exposing the abuser manipulations that were done to convince their self-states that these spiritual effects controlled them.

Some survivors, or self-states within survivors who hold very different spiritual beliefs or even who hold no spiritual beliefs, believe that such spiritual attachments are actual. For these survivors and self-states, a spiritual approach is often a required element to resolving their effects. Most religious and spiritual traditions include means of spiritually separating oneself, and protecting oneself, from malevolent spiritual influences. In most traditions, this includes an assertion of one’s own free will. For survivors of ritual abuse, recollection of the rituals in which attachments were perceived to have been achieved is often necessary in order to assert one’s free will against these forms of abuse and their effects.


8. Belief in the Ideology of The Abusers

Ritually abusive or mind control abuser groups generally indoctrinate their victims, more accurately– critical self-states within their victims, into their ideology, often beginning in early childhood. This occurs both as a function of belonging to the social milieu of the abuser group, and in specific programming targeted for this purpose. These beliefs are usually held in self-states who hold powerful positions within an internal hierarchy on the abuser group side of the self-state system, not in the “daytime” self-states.

Espionage-based mind control groups with political, or ethnic or religious supremacy, agendas indoctrinate their victims into the political/ethnic/religious supremacy agendas of the group. These groups tell their victims that they are providing a valuable service to their citizenry, a public who would otherwise have their security greatly threatened. Self-states who serve these groups are often valued much like honored soldiers.

Ritually abusive groups indoctrinate their victims into their spiritual beliefs. This generally includes a belief that their deities will return favor to cult members, such as increased power and some form of immortality, in return for offerings to appease, or win favor with, these deities. These offerings include child abuse and usually some form of death sacrifice. They also believe that these acts empower their deities, whom they usually view as rivals of the Judeo-Christian God. Or they may abuse in the name of both the Judeo-Christian God and a rival deity, believing that good and evil must be made equal in the world. Victims are usually taught that if they abandon the abuser groups’ beliefs and practices, they will incur the wrath of both the cult groups’ deities and the Judeo-Christian God.

In some cases, cult indoctrination leaks into the victim’s daytime self-states resulting in a cloudlike, preconscious sense of being different, evil, bad, or connected to the abuser group’s deities. For example, a survivor reported to me that her first indication of her victimization was when her therapist casually asked her, “Who is your savior?” and the word, “Satan” flew out of her mouth, much to her shock and dismay.

In other cases, an alignment with the religious or political agenda of the abuser group by indoctrinated self-states is completely walled off from the “daytime” self-states, who often hold religious beliefs directly opposed to that of their abusers.

Indoctrinated self-states aligned with the ideology of the abuser group may sabotage efforts of other self-states to break free of an abuser group. In ritual abuse survivors, some self-states may have a religious identity tied to the cult group, nostalgia for the spiritual practices, and sense of community and belonging in the cult. These self-states are often not conscious of other factors that affect their held ideologies. They often have little awareness of the world outside of the abuser group, so they have little experience with other views, religions, and values. They often have less awareness of the abuse than the self-states who “took” the abuse and hold this trauma. And they often have no knowledge of the specific torture-hypno-conditioning used to make them fear any disloyalty to the abuser group’s beliefs.

These indoctrinated self-states often benefit greatly from having experiences of kindness and reciprocity with individuals outside of the abuser group, such as loved ones, clergy, and therapists. In these relationships, they may experience freedom of thought, the right to question and critically evaluate the abuser’s ideologies, and the capacity to choose what they wish to believe for the first time.


9. Feeling Unworthy of Belonging Anywhere but with The Abusers

Sophisticated abusers go to great lengths to convince victims and specific self-states that they are unworthy of love and incapable of belonging anywhere but in the abuser group. They place victims in no-win, forced-choice, Machiavellian set-ups in which the victim must harm a person or animal, or the abusers will inflict worse harm on that person or animal, and often to someone else as well. When the victim performs the act that averts the greater harm, the abusers then proclaim the victim to be an accomplice, a murderer, evil, unlovable, etc. These claims are lies. The victim was given no choices that did not involve harm being done to an other person or animal. The victim was given no real choices.

In some cases, victims are ruthlessly tortured for the purpose of filling them with rage and then manipulated to turn this rage against self and/or others.

Some abusers combine torture and theatrics to make victims perceive that Satan, or some other deity worshiped by the abuser group, saved them, and that God and the rest of humanity abandoned them. Similar tactics are used to trick victims into believing that most therapists, clergy, police, and child protection workers are part of the abuser network. They are told that no one outside of the abuser group will ever love them, believe them, accept them, or deem them to be anything but crazy.

These unfair beliefs about the self are often very difficult to right. But, this work is a very necessary part of the process of breaking free. Survivors need to make a deep decision to defy their abusers’ messages and to assert within themselves their rights to kindness, dignity, happiness, and healing. They must stop judging and punishing themselves for the things they did in the context of torture and threat to life and limb. Sometimes, specific rituals need to be recalled in order to resolve the roots of some of these beliefs in specific self-states. See this page on my website, “Spiritual and Psychological Resolution of the Pain and Torment of Having Abused or Killed While Victimized by Ritual Abuse and Mind Control” for help in resolving these issues:




It may help survivors to consider the following. Abusers do not tell their victims, and they try not to admit to themselves, that they live in constant fear. No matter how arrogant they try to appear, no matter how invulnerable they try to convince themselves that they are, ultimately almost everything they do is driven by fear. They threaten their victims and try to control the minds of their victims primarily due to their fear of their victims. They fear their victims remembering their abuse. They fear their victims turning on them, hating them, judging them. They fear their victims exposing their abuse, reporting them to their therapists, to law enforcement, to child protective services, to investigative reporters. They fear therapists, activists, advocates, clergy, public outcry, and increased evidence of ritual and mind control abuse being circulated on the internet. They fear death and the consequences of their actions after death, no matter how determined some of them are to be atheists or “pure” scientists, no matter how devoted others of them are to Satan or other gods that they believe will save or favor them after death or grant them immortality. In all of these ways, their fear is deeper than that of their victims because they know that what they are doing is undeniably wrong.

Survivors do escape organized and powerful abusers, despite all of their abusers’ threats, despite a life-time of torture and mind-games to try to entrap their victims for life. People get away, people find love, people get to help other survivors, and sometimes survivors even get to live a life that is not determined by their abuse.

This has been the most difficult page I have ever written for my website. I can think of nothing more horrible than being placed in the positions in which organized abusers place their victims. I feel “holy rage” about this, as many survivors feel. I stand united with you, and I wish you freedom.

I am thankful for the important insights and contributions to this piece by three valued colleagues:

A survivor of ritual abuse and mind control, and activist against these abuses, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Thorsten Becker, social worker in Lueneburg, Germany. He was a counselor on cult-related problems from 1984 until March 2000. Since then, he has been a freelance supervisor and case-consultant/manager for therapists, social workers and investigators, specializing in issues of ritual violence. In 1994, he was awarded the German Child Protection Award for his work with ritually abused children. His website is www.BeckerTho.de.

Alison Miller, Ph.D., psychologist in Victoria, Canada, author of the book, “Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control,” to be released in the Autumn of 2011, by Karnac Books.

Permission is granted for this article to be reproduced and republished in full, without modification, by other websites that provide education, advocacy, or support to ritual abuse and mind control survivors and to therapists, clergy, and other support people working to help survivors.

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

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