Mental Robots

by  —  January 11, 2008

Listening to an audio recording of the event, I can not help but envision a room full of elderly, church-going women with purple hair piled high into “bee-hives”, wearing horn-rimmed glasses, faces rigid with sanctimonious concern; Their husbands, in button-down flannel shirts and broad ties, sitting uncomfortable with the night’s lackluster sobriety, trigger-fingers itchy for the blood of a Satanist. I also hope that it was only a fringe minority of the self-proclaimed “Moral Majority” that gifted Dr. Corydon Hammond, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and practicing therapist, with such sustained and heart-felt applause that fateful night in Alexandria, Virginia within a hotel conference room in 1992 when he delivered a presentation entitled, “Hypnosis in Multiple Personality Disorder: Ritual Abuse”, commonly known as “The Greenbaum Speech.

Dr. Hammond stressed his own bravery in “coming forward” with his information – “Myself, as well as a few others that I’ve shared [this information] with, were hedging out of concern and out of personal threats and out of death threats. I finally decided to hell with them. If [the Satanists are] going to kill me, they’re going to kill me. It’s time to share more information with therapists.” [Applause]. He described a savage, blood-thirsty cult operating at the highest levels of society and in the United States Government. It is a cult that has converted millions into brain-washed sex slaves.

But why?

“My best guess is that the purpose of it [the satanists] is that they want an army of Manchurian candidates — tens of thousands of mental robots who will do prostitution, do child pornography, smuggle drugs, engage in international arms smuggling, do snuff films, all sorts of lucrative things and do their bidding. And eventually, the megalomaniacs at the top believe, [they will] create a satanic order that will rule the world.”

The details are eerily specific, and a good number of Conspiracy Theory’s usual suspects play a role. It’s like this: A secret U.S. military operation initiated immediately after World War II secretly recruited Nazi doctors (who were all, apparently, Satanists) to continue their sinister experiments in mind control. Today, Hammond explains, the head of the whole operation is a Jewish man who “is known to patients throughout the country.” His name is withheld, oddly, to protect the guilty.

The methods by which these Satanists achieve total subjugation of their slaves are also detailed. Prolonged torture, Demerol, and confusion techniques make a victim susceptible to re-programming: “[The victim] will hear weird, disorienting sounds in [one] ear while they see photic stimulation to drive the brain into a brainwave pattern with a pulsing light at a certain frequency not unlike the goggles that are now available through Sharper Image and some of those kinds of stores. Then, after a suitable period, when they’re in a certain brainwave state, they will begin programming, programming oriented to self-destruction and debasement of the person.”

This method of mind control sounds strangely similar to a hypnosis technique utilized by therapists versed in a communication protocol known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). In NLP texts, a hypnosis technique is elaborated in which two therapists – one speaking mostly at random in one ear, while the other gives specific instructions into the other ear – confuse a subject’s conscious mind into “shutting down”, thus bringing the unconscious mind to the fore in a state of trance.1

With Hammond’s background in clinical hypnosis and, particularly, the subtle coercive communication techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, an obvious question arises: Did Dr. Hammond simply make up the material in the Greenbaum Speech based on his own conception of plausible “brain-washing”2 techniques?

“That guy’s a legitimate nut-job…” a Floridian lawyer (who prefers to remain unnamed) drawled out in response to the question in a phone interview I conducted. He had taken a deposition from Dr. Hammond in the early 90s when engaging in a discovery process for charges of fraud leveled by one of Hammond’s former patients. “He wouldn’t face the camera during the deposition because he was afraid that the tape would fall into the hands of Satanists. So he sat in the corner facing the wall. He saw evidence of Satanism everywhere. Somebody was wearing a tie that made him suspicious that the guy was a Satanist.”

Dr. Hammond claims to have based his “findings” on information he had compiled from various patients in his care who had “recovered” memories of the abuse that Hammond had “come forward” to describe.

A common criticism that skeptics have put forward against cases of “recovered memories” of trauma is that the therapist often seems to be unwittingly “leading” the patient toward a preconceived notion. For instance, the question, “What color t-shirt was the man wearing?” presupposes a t-shirt over a button-up, sweater, or whatever else. If the person being asked isn’t attentive, he or she may then picture a t-shirt in a freshly created “false memory” without realizing that the idea was planted. Once believed, a False Memory becomes “fact” to whoever was implanted with it. Often, it is difficult to convince the person that their “memory” is indeed false.3

In the Greenbaum Speech, Hammond seems to be aware of the risks of leading. Addressing therapists, he specifically implores, “Do not lead [the patient].”

Eventually, many of the claims put forward by Dr. Hammond and his coterie of Repressed Memory Therapists were investigated by a Utah Task Force. 250,000 dollars later, the task force found nothing, and questions regarding Hammond’s credibility suddenly became quite pertinent.

While some of Hammond’s peers in the Repressed Memory movement appear to have mis-treated their patients with a far more damaging level of irresponsibility than Hammond ever achieved4 , Dr. Hammond is of peculiar interest to me specifically because of the Greenbaum Speech, and the fact that in the speech he implicated The Process Church:

“Remember the Process Church? Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was killed by the Manson Family who were associated with the Process Church? A lot of prominent people in Hollywood were associated and then they went underground, the books say, in about seventy-eight and vanished? Well, they’re alive and well in southern Utah.”

Dr. Hammond mentions a “thick file in the Utah Department of Public Safety” that documents The Process’s activities within Utah as witnessed by covert law enforcement. The State of Utah knows of no such file5 . The interesting thing, of course, is that – in this instance – Dr. Hammond was right. By the time he had delivered the Greenbaum Speech, a collection of Processean luminaries had established an animal shelter in Utah. How did he know?

In an email exchange Dr. Hammond and I had in 2004, he replied to the question:

“A law enforcement officer in the state of Utah told me in about 1990 about them [the Process] having a complex in southern Utah and showed me aerial photographs that had been made of the complex. I’ve never heard anything since and really don’t know anything about them. I haven’t been associated with anything associated with cults in the past 12 years.”

Perhaps conveniently, Hammond could not remember the name of the law enforcement officer in question.

The good doctor’s new distance from the topic of Satanic Ritual Abuse follows a long series of litigation and accusations. Several Ritual Abuse therapists lost their licenses to practice after ruining the lives of their clients and their client’s families by instilling them with the belief that their own friends and relatives were part of a conspiracy to control their minds. Following these revelations of therapist quackery, I find myself wondering, Were some of the Ritual Abuse therapists willfully leading their patients? Were they, in effect, engaging in some form of the very coercion they decried? Was the Satanic Conspiracy a type of projection of their own cruel practices? Understandably, Dr. Hammond is reticent to comment on this episode of his career.

“I never really did cult research,” Hammond wrote to me, “but simply worked with some patients and consulted with other therapists who were working with them. By the latter part of 1992 I could see that it was becoming controversial and possibly an area of liability. It was exhausting, difficult work. Since it had never been more than a small part of my practice, I decided, why am I working this hard for the money when there are several other areas of specialty that I have where the work is much less gut-wrenching and the problems have a much more favorable prognosis than persons with extensive abuse histories?”

Despite Dr. Hammond’s dismissal of his Greenbaum stand-up comedy, many elements of the lecture still surface today among occult crime conspiracy theorists, and a popular conspiracy book, Mass Control, by author Jim Keith, cites Hammond’s Greenbaum material as a presumably accurate source for information.

“Occult crime investigators”, still certain that there is an international satanic conspiracy, have assimilated Hammond’s cult research into their ever-growing mythology, thus making the Greenbaum Speech something of an underground, deeply-rooted, cultural false memory.

  1. The link describing Confusion Techniques above fails to mention induction by means of separate simultaneous auditory messages. A good book that details this technique, for practice by more than one therapist, is Handbook of Hypnotic Inductions by George Gafner and Sonja Benson []
  2. some my wish to quibble here about what hypnosis is or is not capable of, or, indeed, if there is such a thing as hypnosis at all. I am aware of the criticisms and varied definitions of hypnosis. Note that I do not credit the technique Hammond outlines as an effective method of brain-washing. I merely state that this would appear to be his conception of a plausible brain-washing technique []
  3. This exact example quite possibly originates from some other source I have read in the past, but my memory has currently repressed its full recall []
  4. Most notably Dr. Bennett Braun. I highly recommend the linked article to anybody interested in False Memory Syndrome []
  5. I called and asked []

Marked as: Abnormal SociologyLaw  —  8 comments   (RSS)

8 Comments so far
  1. FatalTwilight January 11, 2008 1:59 pm

    Damnit. There will allways be people like that I guess…

    That is kinda creepy about the aerial photos though.

  2. doug January 11, 2008 10:33 pm

    The Utah Processeans seem to have had detractors well before they were completely “outed”. In one case there was a disgruntled former employee of the animal shelter who provided lurid tales of occult crimes to the conspiracy underground. This may all stem from her. Tales of aerial photographs have come up more than once during the course of my research also.
    Thinking about this posting today, I came home with a mind to re-word a few of the paragraphs. Now that I look at them, I don’t feel as strong of a need, but I would like to clarify a few things. I worry that my wording gives the appearance of credibility to the pseudo-science of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NPL). I’m not sure that a tone of irony can readily be inferred from my description of NLP as “subtly coercive”. For those who aren’t aware, NLP’s original claims actually have been put to scientific scrutiny, and it has failed. This is detailed in an excellent (if somewhat dry) book titled “Tall Tales about the Mind & Brain” edited by Sergio Della Sala.
    I also feel that my posting here may also give too much implied “credit” to the idea of hypnosis as a type of brainwashing technique required for the implantation of “false memories”. I mention “quibbling” about the definition of hypnosis in a footnote, but the quibbling was all my own as I grappled with my own wording. In fact, the fact that these “hypnotherapists” were acting as therapists at all manufactured a situation in which they could convince their patients of their bullshit stories. A hypnosis-style dialogue is unnecessary in implanting “false memories” (as described in the what-colour-t shirt example). The “hypnosis” was probably only a convenient circumstance in which the patient was allowed to reveal the “repressed” memories that their therapist wanted to hear.
    Of course, this post covers a lot of material in a short space. I think anybody can see that this could be elaborated in many directions.

  3. Plasmafist January 12, 2008 3:11 am

    “He described a savage, blood-thirsty cult operating at the highest levels of society and in the United States Government.”
    And yet, his main interest is:
    “It’s time to share more information with therapists.”

    I also found it kind of interesting that only after the “first international congress where ritual abuse was talked about”, he later becomes aware of a patient he’s treating that is a ritual abuse victim, “we hadn’t gotten that deep yet”.

    As for your questions near the conclusion, rhetorical as they may be, I think they really descry a most poignant aspect. For what gain were the patients led? “Sickness will surely take the mind, where minds can’t usually go.”

    Interesting post.

  4. doug January 12, 2008 3:15 pm

    “For what gain were the patients led?”
    That’s actually a big question and the simple answers prove unsatisfactory. I’m sure that this cult conspiracy research wasn’t terribly lucrative, nor did it bring fame. It seems that the conspiracy crowd does appreciate what marginal recognition their “research” brings, but their behaviour (like Hammond’s antics in facing the corner during deposition) often doesn’t indicate the mind of a shameless ham. I once made a distinction between two types of conspiracy-monger: the willful liar and the delusional believer. But, more often than not, those I have spoken with have seemed to be both at once. They were delusional believers who were willing to lie to prove that which they “knew” to be true.
    More mind-blowing to me than the idea that Hammond could do nothing better with such dire information than bring it to more therapists, is the fact that he claimed to know the name of the man in charge of the whole evil operation… but opted to withhold it.

  5. Plasmafist January 13, 2008 12:00 pm

    Yeah, exactly (about “a big question”). Short of what is externally derived from the false memories, there is the self’s own greed for something. Where in the want gave way, those he was trusted to aid in healing thus become secondary victims to a perverse conspiracy under the sole guidance of one Dr. Hammond. And to go to such dramatic lengths as saying he’s the one with the smoking gun ,… your right, the power trip this psycho was on is quite mind blowing.

    But I guess this just all can just reverts back to the idea that nothings to bizarre or unbelievable, to keep people from believing it. Satanic cults,… no less believable the story of Joseph Smith. Its all just feeding a sick need, a perverse disease; the delusional believer and the willful liar, as you said, are one in the same…

  6. seekue January 16, 2008 10:48 pm

    Process Propaganda from the Utah complex on National Geographic Channel:
    Aside from the obvious profiling of their Hell Hounds, I am sure there is subliminal text during the programme, so make sure to record it and rewatch the series frame by frame.

  7. Fitz January 17, 2008 7:49 am

    Along parallel lines, you’ve seen the interview that Richard Metzger conducted with Bryce Taylor, with commentary by another Satanic Conspiracy pusher, Ted Gunderson, yes?

  8. doug January 20, 2008 9:47 pm

    Yes. In fact, I’ve chatted with Gunderson on a couple of occasions. I even went so far as to confirm with the FBI that he was indeed in their employ.
    Ted is a true believer.

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