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

Drawn Swords: My Victory Over Childhood Ritual Abuse, by Jeanne Adams, ritual abuse survivor and activist

Drawn Swords by Jeanne Adams: Book cover
Drawn Swords by Jeanne Adams: Book cover

From the author:

Drawn Swords began as a storyboard that filled my entire dining room table. My childhood trauma memories had returned by level of emotional intensity, not in chronological order. I had literally hundreds of notes scattered on that table. First I wanted a timeline that would make sense of it all. Then I wanted to write out my story so I could explain it to my loved ones – without totally overwhelming them. Drawn Swords brought order to the chaos and helped me find myself. It also gave me a voice.

A year later, I moved to Utah and started sharing my book with my new friends there. It didn’t take long to find others who had similar stories to tell. I decided I wanted to “help the children who had been abused as I had been” and do ritual abuse survivor advocacy work there in Utah. I went to my local church leaders for advice. It was then my troubles began. I went ahead and created an activist committee. The sales of Drawn Swords helped fund our volunteer organization. We compiled resources and referral services. We ran survivor workshops and an occasional professional training. After ten years, it was time for me to leave.   

I will always be grateful for the incredible people, both survivors and supporters, I have had the opportunity to meet along my healing journey. While I stepped away from advocacy work, others have never stopped. 

They have continued to mentor the ritual abuse survivors who will one day see this issue acknowledged and addressed and its victims assured the help they need to heal from their trauma. They will bring ritual abuse into the Light.

From Ellen:

Drawn Swords was first published in 1999.

Now in 2021, it has become a rare book, and the author, Jeanne Adams, has just granted me permission to publish it on my website.

Jeanne Adams was a steady force supporting survivors, educating therapists and law enforcement professionals on the issues that surround ritualistic abuse.

The back cover of Drawn Swords provides this short description of the book: “After years of depression and severe migraine attacks, Jeanne Adams discovers her multiple personalities. Determined to heal and learn the truth, she begins putting the pieces of her childhood back together. To do so, she must acknowledge her own involvement in child prostitution and ritualistic abuse. As an alter personality shares her childhood trauma, Jeanne makes an astonishing discovery: at the worst of times, she had not been alone. A being of white light had watched over her. She had called him Mr. Light.”

Drawn Swords was one of the first books I read about ritual abuse. It was a wonderful introduction to the subject for me. Throughout her book, Jeanne Adams is very gentle with the reader to sustain all of us through this painful subject matter.

She starts many chapters with some nostalgia about the era in which the abuse occurred. She then shares the horror of the abuse endured by “Lil’ Jeanie,” her previously dissociated child personality who once carried heartbreaking shame that originated in the hatred and cruelty directed at her by her abusers.

Lil’ Jeanie attempted suicide at age 11 years. Chapter 12 describes this event and the compounded damage that resulted from a hospital’s failure to investigate the deeply painful basis for this attempt.

Jeanne Adams worked through her memories with the loving support of her husband. She tape-recorded these “sessions” and transcribed them. She shares the quotes of this process throughout the book. This speaks deeply to the power of being witnessed, of grieving, of emotional release, and of love. In chapter 13, she describes her protective dissociative responses. She also shares from the wealth of information she learned from other survivors about commonalities of ritual abuse. 

Each chapter finally lifts the reader back up with messages of hope. She also shares her experiences with “Mr. Light,” a spiritual being of unconditional love and wisdom. Many people will understand Jeanne Adams’ spiritual experiences as near-death experiences (NDEs) or “white light” experiences. They are my favorite parts of the book! 

As a reference, Jeanne Adams discusses another book, Reach for the Rainbow, by Lynne Finney (1992) that discusses that many victims of extreme abuse have sustaining white light experiences in the worst of their abuse.

A recent book on this subject is: The Science of Near-death Experiences, edited by John C. Hagan, published by the University of Missouri Press in 2017:  https://muse.jhu.edu/book/51027. A summary of Hagan’s book includes the statement that: “It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the United States have experienced an NDE.”

Jeanne Adams explains that Mr. Light told her that she would someday help the children who were being abused whose houses they could see below them: “There are many, many houses… Some of them are like mine. That’s not good. Some of them are happy, but lots of them aren’t” (p. 87).

And Jeanne Adams did just as Mr. Light told her that she would. Beginning in the 1990s, when the therapeutic community knew little about ritual abuse, Jeanne Adams dedicated herself to supporting ritual abuse survivors, spending twelve hours a day on the phone with survivors for ten years.

Today, there are many more therapists who understand the nature of ritual abuse and who are equipped to help. However, we are still severely under-resourced.

I believe that Drawn Swords and Jeanne Adams now making it readily available to everyone will be an important contribution to helping survivors heal, and educating all who help them, therapists, clergy, loved ones, and the world at large as we all work together to allow the reality of this extreme abuse more into our consciousness.

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

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