Mass Hallucination, Hysteria & Miracles

by  —  July 12, 2012

The Apparition by Gustave Moreau

Sound thinking and critical reservations were abruptly cast aside in New Delhi during the early morning hours of September 21st, 1995. Statue idols, it seemed, had taken to drinking milk being fed to them by spoon. By what bizarre urging the first pilgrim to report this phenomenon was compelled to test whether a milk offering would pass the lips of a statue is unclear, but the idea rapidly took hold, devolving into a frenzy. The World Hindu Council hastily declared it a “miracle”, and by noon hopeful herds across North India stampeded to the temples leaving trampled bodies wounded underfoot. Police reinforcements were deployed by necessity to restrain outbreaks among the fevered milk-bearing mobs. Faithful conviction ruled the day.

Some believers may well have been unamused — especially those within the ranks of the afflicted and dying — that the gods had chosen such a valueless display with which to affirm their continued beneficent authority, but it was the science-minded unbelievers who were predictably the least impressed… Nor did it take long to figure out what was really going on. Representatives from India’s Ministry of Science and Technology arrived on-scene to demonstrate that what was being witnessed was simple “capillary action”: The surface tension of the milk created an upward pull upon contact with the surface of the statue before the liquid ran downward in a transparent film, while some was absorbed into the porous stones. To illustrate this, the scientists colored their milk with a dye that remained apparent as it coated the statue. When hysteria regarding milk imbibing statues struck again in 2006, the president of the Indian Rationalist Association, Sanal Edamaruku, was quoted in the press, “Forget deities. I fed a cup of coffee to a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first prime minister) right before television cameras,” he said, “Even bricks are drinking milk.”[1] … Continue reading

Marked as: Belief SystemsBuncoReality FramesScience  —  4 comments   (RSS)

Reminiscent of 1692: A Modern Missouri Witch-hunt

by  —  February 28, 2012

The following article was submitted to by “J. Bean” – a false memory expert who has been closely following the Mohler cases and attending the hearings….

Western Missouri Condemns Without Trial

By J. Bean (A Skeptic in Kansas City)

March 2010

“[For law enforcement officers] the level of proof necessary for taking action on allegations of criminal acts must be more than simply the victim alleged it and it is possible…. We need to be concerned about the distribution and publication of unsubstantiated allegations of bizarre sexual abuse.” – Kenneth Lanning, FBI

Dressed in orange jumpsuits and shackled at their wrists, ankles, and waists, six members of the Mohler family shuffle past local television news cameras and into a courtroom. Tethered together, they resemble fish on a stringer with the proud authorities displaying their catch.  On-the-spot reporters read the charges against them,“Forcible rape of a child; Deviate sexual assault; Use of a child in a sexual performance…”  Newspaper accounts are perhaps even more harsh: The men’s booking photos are posted beneath headlines such as “Incest Allegations Shatter Public image of Church-Going Clan”, [1] or “Child-Raping Missouri Family May Have Bodies in Yard”. [2 ] Posted on the internet  beneath these stories  are reader  comments reminiscent of 1692; judgments of guilt  and cries for harsh punishment along with suspicions cast upon any who question the charges dominate the boards.

The men are 76 year old Burrell Mohler Sr., his four sons, Burrell “Ed” Jr., David, Jared, and Roland, and Burrell Sr.’s 72 year old brother, Darryl Mohler. The arrests were made in November 2009, by Lafayette County, Missouri authorities based on accusations of ritualistic crimes against Ed Mohler’s (now adult) children from 1988 to 1995. The charges against the men involve numerous alleged child rapes, sodomies, and bestiality. They are also publicly accused of kidnapping, various murders, producing child pornography, breeding then slaughtering babies, performing forced abortions on minors, and holding an unwilling sex-slave for years in the family basement, although there have been no charges filed for those allegations. … Continue reading

Marked as: Abnormal SociologyBuncoLawScienceSocietal Policies  —  9 comments   (RSS)

DRACO: Death to the Virus

by  —  November 17, 2011

In a paper published 27 July [1], researchers from MIT reported successful tests in mice with a new drug that holds the promise of being a cure to all viruses. The drug, DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer), works as a “broad-spectrum” antiviral, killing virus-hijacked cells by targeting double-stranded RNA produced in the viral replication process. DRACO proved successful against all 15 viruses tested “including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.” [2] … Continue reading

Marked as: ScienceTechnology  —  197 comments   (RSS)

Among the Brain-Washed and Abused

by  —  February 26, 2011
babiesThis post is a follow up to an earlier post detailing some of my encounters and conversations with people who believe they have been abducted by aliens. Some who have followed previous writings of mine may find some informational redundancies but, while continuing my narrative, I also like each article to be able to stand alone…

The UFO conference takes a delirious and sour turn with a presentation titled Mind-Control & UFOs: Who’s Really in Charge Here?, presented by a former Indonesian translator for the US State Department, Fred Burks.

On his website, Burks claims to have “interpreted for Bush, Clinton, Gore, Cheney, and many other top officials of the US and other countries. Having participated in numerous secret meetings where the only people allowed were the principals and their interpreters.” Consequently, “he has acquired important inside information and contacts.” It is upon this shaky foundation of credibility — the idea of the all-access functionary fully briefed upon the darkest, most subterranean state secrets — that Burks justifies his espousal of a conspiracy theory regarding secret government programs of Ritual Abuse, Mind-Control, and UFO cover-up. … Continue reading

Marked as: Abnormal SociologyBelief SystemsBuncoReality FramesScience  —  8 comments   (RSS)

My Lie: A True Story of False Memory ~ an interview with author Meredith Maran

by  —  November 29, 2010
Eight years after accusing her father of having sexually abused her, Meredith Maran concluded that the allegation was untrue — a socially constructed false memory.
As a committed feminist with a keen sense of justice, Maran’s zeal led her — as a journalist during the 1980s — to therapeutic sessions for incest survivors, reform sessions for perpetrators, and ultimately to the conclusion that she herself had repressed memories of abuse.  Her new book, My Lie, is a poignant and fascinating account of the events and processes that led her from accusation to retraction.
In the midst of international media attention, and only one day after the 2010 U.S. mid-term elections, Maran honored with this interview to discuss her new book, and what her experience, her “lie”, may tell us about false beliefs in general…
You describe that, as a girl, your father was your best friend.  To give a necessarily broad overview of your story, how did you come to be falsely convinced that he had molested you?
Well, that’s a long, complicated story that took 200 pages to explain.  It’s a combination of the personal and the political.  The personal being a combination of the dynamic in our particular family.  As you mention, I was always close with my father, not so much with my mother.  That was true when I was young.  But then, when I got to be a teenager, my father began to get very possessive, and we began to have huge fights because he didn’t want me to date.  I ultimately left home really young, mostly because of that.
So that was the personal part of it.  It was kind of heart-breaking for me to have lost a parent that I was so close to, who became this angry guy that I was fighting with all of the time.
The cultural part of it is that the culture was in a period of rapid shift from incest-never-happens to incest-happens-all-the-time.  And I was part of that shift because I was a journalist for about five years — one of the first journalists to write about this subject, before [incest] was known to be as prevalent as, in fact, it is, and was.  So I sort of immersed myself in the world of incest treatment, incest identification, and so on.  [This was] in the early eighties… and I ultimately became convinced that it had happened to me as well.
So you were steeped in a culture of molestation revelation and exposure.  You weren’t guided by any one particular individual.
No [I wasn’t guided by an individual].
Do you feel there was any pressure on you at that time to identify yourself as a victim?
Well, yes.  Pressure I applied to myself, in a way that people — or I — wanted to be part of a movement that seemed to me to be the latest phase in a movement to end the oppression of women, which I had been active in trying to do for a long time.  It became sort of a meme — a widely believed idea that incest was in fact the embodiment of male domination and violence.  So, fighting incest, personally and politically, became a way of fighting women’s oppression.
[The book] The Courage To Heal states: “If you think you were abused and your life shows the symptoms, then you were.”  I can only imagine the confusion this could cause in anybody who is sold on the idea of the commonplace prevalence of repressed memories… Did you find yourself interpreting and second-guessing presumed symptoms –?
Yes, once I started down that path, which happened a long time before The Courage To Heal was published, because of my unusual circumstance of being a journalist who was steeped in that world of actual incest treatment.  I was spending a lot of time with people who were some of the first to treat survivors — genuine survivors — of incest.  When I was doing that, a lot of the people I was working with in those programs — when I was a journalist — would ask me what my interest was in particular in this field, and why I was one of the few journalists who was coming around into these treatment programs when nobody else seemed to be interested.  The implication was that I had some personal reasons to be interested, and I did start to wonder why I was the only journalist who was reporting on incest.  Also, in the course of doing the journalism [I found myself] sitting in incest survivor therapy sessions with children who had recently disclosed that they’d been molested by their fathers, and also in perpetrator groups with men who had been convicted of incest and were in treatment — [they were] in therapy as a condition in being out-of-prison.  Unlike most people who had kind of a stereotype in their minds of what an incest perpetrator looks like, I knew it wasn’t just a sleazy [looking] guy in a trench coat, because I had seen the guys in these groups who looked just like my dad.
Right.  And I’m sure at that time you would have had difficulty entertaining the notion of accusations that were false for fear of undermining this movement — that realization that this was actually happening.
Right.   I have to say, of course, I deeply regret what I did — accusing my father falsely — I also have to say that I think there was a huge amount of positive change that came out of this movement to address the truth of the prevalence of incest.  Before this movement, there were many fewer, if any, programs in place to help kids protect themselves from being sexually abused, and also for adults to help children who reported being sexually abused.  So the slogan, believe the children, was a very meaningful one to anyone who considered herself an advocate of child welfare.  I was certainly one of those people.
In your book you describe that at the time of your holding the conviction that your father had molested you, you were in a relationship with another self-identified incest survivor whose recovered memories grew increasingly more bizarre and implausible.  How did you square the conspiracy-laden, supernatural recovered memory narratives that began to surface in that time with your belief in recovered memory accuracy?
When you say “supernatural”, you mean the toddlers reporting — ?
Right.  Well, even in Michelle Remembers, she [protagonist and co-author, Michelle Smith] faces Satan himself.
Well, to me it was as if someone had just said the world was flat — or the world was round, I guess you would say.  Until this time in which I started doing research about Childhood Sexual Abuse, I had believed that it was a wild, rare occurrence.  So, when one lie was revealed to me, [and I learned] that it occurred far more often, and it was often reported, and the kids were not believed — the kids reporting it [were] not being believed by the adults being told… that cultural lie, that [molestation] was rare, and that kids lied about it regularly, sort of opened me up to thinking that everything that I had believed about it was a lie.  It sort of made the incredible credible.  It’s sort of a reverse logic in a way.  Once I realized that I had bought a lie on the other side of the equation — the lie that [molestation] rarely happens — then it became very possible to believe anything that argued the other point… If you follow my logic… not that it’s logical, but it seemed logical at the time.
You describe very well in your book coming to the gradual realization that you were wrong, so I won’t make you go through all that here (I’ll just encourage those interested to read it) — but I was interested [in the fact that] you never directly confronted your father, nor did you press charges.  While some may wonder if you’d have retracted earlier had you taken either of those steps, I wonder if doing those things might have made retraction that much harder.  That is to say: I wonder if some people might have reached a point in this from which they feel there is no return…
I almost felt that way.  It took me many years to get to my retraction, as you know from reading the book.  So, I can definitely imagine why one would have doubts, and then sort of cast those doubts aside because of the consequence of realizing that she was wrong.  I think my retraction would have come sooner if I hadn’t had to — if I hadn’t realized what it would mean to say that I had made this up, that I had believed something that wasn’t true… But I’m not really clear what you want to know from me here?
I’ve entered into debate with some people who I feel have perhaps developed too elaborate a narrative, estranged themselves too far from their families, that I don’t think they are going to ever retract.  No matter what [evidence] they are faced with, it will be too painful to face the proposition that they are wrong.
Well, there is definitely that.  But, I think, more so than a conscious thought of, if I retract this accusation then I’m going to have to do X, Y, and Z to apologize, I think that it’s as I describe in the book, when I interviewed the neuroscientist.  He described the physiological proclivity of the human brain to be certain, to be sure, to feel that what you’re saying, or thinking, or feeling, is true.  I think it is as much a function of that as it is not wanting to face the consequence of a lie.  In the book I describe how for years I was tortured.  It took me about 5 years to get from this first thought, did my father actually do this to me, to the point where I actually said it out-loud.  It also took me at least a couple of years before starting to doubt my accusations, before I acknowledged that I no longer believed it was true.  I think part of that was that I didn’t want the consequences, but also I think it came about because it felt better to be sure of a terrible lie than it felt to be uncertain about what was true.  That sensation of mixed relief and horror both times — first when I accused my father and felt both horrified and relieved, and also when I retracted my accusation — I felt the same way.  On the one-hand I felt the relief of this new certainty, on the other hand I realized that I had caused so much pain for nothing.
Do you feel it would have been possible to publish this book 15 years ago, or do you feel it’s only possible now that some of the dust [from the Memory Wars] has settled?
That’s an ironic question because it was almost not possible for me to publish this book.  I’ve published — I don’t know — about 9 books before this one, and not to say that it’s always easy to get a book contract, but I’ve never had as hard a time getting a book contract as I had this time for this book.  Most publishers rejected publishing it.  Their two main reasons were, one: it’s over.  It’s a piece of History, and no one cares anymore.  Two: I was such an unreliable witness that who would want to read a book by someone who calls her own self a liar?  So, on both counts, they said, it wasn’t worth publishing.  Of course, since it’s been published, I’ve also heard those accusations from people, both of them.  But I’ve also heard an equal number of people saying that it’s happening to them now — they’re being accused, or they are coming out of accusing someone.  Also, I may be a marginal character, but I have very large company as a marginal character as someone who has since realized that the accusation was false.
Not only is it still happening now, but I feel that this whole episode can tell us more about belief in general.  In the introduction to your book, you talk about deeply held political myths, such as [Saddam] Hussein’s connection to the 9-11 attacks, President Obama’s Muslim faith — how do you feel your story better helps us understand these convictions?
That really is the biggest goal of my book.  And today — being post-election day — with a major shift in the political landscape, and much of it based on falsehoods.  Certainly, the Tea Party came to prominence by propagating things that factually are inaccurate.  You can certainly debate what might be the best health care plan for the United States, but you can’t debate what Obama’s proposal actually said.  It did not say that there would be Death Panels killing grandmothers.  You can debate whether you like Obama’s policies or not, but you can’t debate whether he was born in the United States, or whether he is a practicing Muslim.  These falsehoods were presented as facts and bandied about so much that they no longer needed to be repeated.  Those lies and others were used just yesterday to essentially win a bloodless coup.  We’ll see if it remains bloodless.  So, I agree with you.  I would not have written the book if it were just the story of one woman who made a terrible mistake.  There would be many more books on the shelves than there are if everybody who made a terrible mistake wrote a book about it.  I wrote the book because of exactly what you’re saying, which is that we need to have a much better understanding of how our emotions translate to what we come to believe as facts.  I think that in the same way that if I had been able to articulate what I really had to say to my parents, and to my father in particular, and to myself — and that message might have boiled down to, I need to take a break for a while because I’m too enmeshed with you, or your opinion matters too much to me, or I need an apology from you have having caused me to run away from home when I was too young to take care of myself — something like that would have been a very messy, but much more honest way to say what I ended up saying by using the word “incest”.  I think that similarly, if a lot of people in this country would just say, I really hate having a black president, instead of saying that he’s channelling the war-mongering of his Kenyan father, or that he was born elsewhere, or that he’s a secret Muslim — I think we’d all be a lot better off.
Or, [claiming that] gay marriage will cause insurance rates to be unpredictable, or go up, rather than [admitting] that [gay marriage] is contrary to one’s religious convictions.
Or that gay soldiers will cause a morale deficit.  All these things —
In our brief e-mail introduction you indicated that you hope to help bridge the divide in this still-bitter memory war.  How do you hope to do this?
I think that publishing the book is doing that.  Not agreeing to promote either point of view.  I believe both are true.  I am a feminist in that I believe in the equality of women.  To me, that’s what feminism means.  So the “feminist” side of this debate is the one that is supposed to believe children and women at all costs, no matter how incredible their stories might be.  The myth is that only feminists care whether women and children have been sexually abused.  So, I have taken some heat because I have written the truth of what happened to me, and what I did.  Not just what happened to me, but what I caused to happen, which is that my feminist beliefs led me in a really bad direction.  That’s not to say I’m no longer a feminist.  I’m very much a feminist, I think feminism is a very simple precept.  I also think that any extremist movement — whether on the right or left, or for groups for equality, or for overthrow of the government, or anything else — I think that every movement, just like every human being, is capable of great extremes.  Often, movements go to great extremes before they sort of settle into a middle ground.  I hold the feminist belief that women should be equal, and that they should not be abused in any way, and I also hold the “opposing belief” which is that false memories should be rooted out, and not treated as real memories.  False accusations, whether they are lodged at Obama, or lodged at my father, are a form of injustice.  I happen to believe that it is possible to repress memories and recover them years or decades later, but that’s just my personal opinion, it has nothing to do with a political affiliation.  That is not a view that is held by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, but they know that, and we work together toward the end of putting an end to false accusations.  Some [people] on the other side accuse me of selling out feminism because I’m helping to harbor accused molesters, like the co-founder of the FMSF[*].  So, obviously I don’t want to do anything to help any man who abused his child to go unpunished.  That’s not my goal.  Nor do I want women to see themselves as victims who are in search of an explanation for their victimhood.  So, you can say that I’m a bridge, or you could say I’m big trouble for both sides.  I like to see myself as a bridge.
In the writing of the book, for example, I was going back-and-forth between the warring sides.  I spoke at length with both Pam and Peter Freyd, who are the founders of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and I also spoke at length with their daughter with whom they are estranged.  So I would listen to Jennifer Freyd tell me her version of what had happened in her family, and I would listen to Pam and Peter — Pam, in most cases — tell me what she believed.  And they were opposite.  It was challenging, but it was the point of the book to sit with the reality that each presented to me, and make peace with that myself.
[*Editors note: The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) was co-founded by Pamela and Peter Freyd, whose daughter, Jennifer Freyd, claims to have recovered memories of childhood abuse.  While this explains the Freyds’ interest in False Memory Syndrome, some suggest that the entire idea of a False Memory Syndrome was only introduced as a mere cover-up for actual crimes.]
I can think of few things more noble than taking a full accounting of the facts, without discarding those which don’t mesh with what you think you already know, and allowing yourself to adjust your beliefs and behavior accordingly.
Of all the reasons that I campaigned for Obama, I think the fact that he seemed more willing to do that than most politicians was my greatest attraction to him.  I’m not an Obama maniac at this point.  I have my criticisms of him.  I think that a lot of people voted for him for the same reason, and I think there is, despite this latest election, I do think there’s a longing in each of us, individually, and in the culture, to relax into the complicated truth instead of latching onto these extreme views; inflexible views of pretty much everything.  And it’s very challenging.  I get into fights — arguments — with people who I love very much.  I get very clenched and rigid over how that person is mistreating me, or misrepresenting the facts.  It’s been a very interesting learning process for me in a very deep personal way, as well as socially — looking at that kind of rigidity and adherence to belief at all costs, including the cost of the truth, is so prevalent today.

Eight years after accusing her father of having sexually abused her, Meredith Maran concluded that the allegation was untrue — a socially constructed false memory.

lowresAs a committed feminist and journalist with a keen sense of justice, Maran’s zeal led her to therapeutic sessions for incest survivors, reform sessions for perpetrators, and ultimately to the conclusion that she herself had repressed memories of abuse. Her new book, My Lie, is a poignant and fascinating account of the events and processes that led her from accusation to retraction.

In the midst of international media attention, and only one day after the 2010 U.S. mid-term elections, Maran honored with this interview to discuss her new book, and what her experience, her “lie”, may tell us about                                                       false beliefs in general…

… Continue reading

Marked as: Abnormal SociologyBelief Systems  —  11 comments   (RSS)

In Defense of Neil Brick, Psychotherapist

by  —  November 7, 2010

Having entered the hotel slightly after the opening speaker of S.M.A.R.T.’s twelfth annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations, and Mind-Control conference began, I was told by a large woman sitting behind the registration table that I would have to wait until I could be properly registered before entering.  I took a seat just outside the open door of the conference room where I could observe the full proceedings within.  Brick stood at the podium. He is a “small man in his 50s with a greasy dark curly comb-over, large thick glasses, and a voice that sounds exacly like Elmer Fudd (without the impediment of pronouncing his Rs as Ws).”

He was delivering the opening remarks.  He was wearing a button-up shirt at least two sizes too large for his diminutive frame.  Reading directly from his notes in a mechanical word-by-word monotone, without once looking up, he emotionlessly railed against skeptics who have sought to discredit ritual abuse as well as the validity of “recovered memories”.
“There is overwhelming scientific evidence that recovered memory exists as a phenomenon”, he asserted.  He began to quote at length from sources that agree with this position.
A belief in the historical accuracy of recovered memories, as I had already discerned from their website, is vital to S.M.A.R.T.’s belief in a conspiracy of satanic cults and government mind-control.  The theory espoused by recovered memory proponents (and well known in popular culture), is that traumatic memories of abuse may be repressed – relegated to some dark corner of the mind – where they unfailingly metastasize into some type of chronic negative emotions, compulsions, confusion, even physical ailments.  Preserved in high-definition, and unerring detail, these oppressive unconscious memories must be drawn out, retrieved, relived, confronted, and reconciled within the conscious mind, before the victim can lead a happy and productive life.
Almost all of the self-proclaimed victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse have recovered their memories of victimization while undergoing some type of psychotherapy.  For the most part, these memories are the only type of “evidence” they attempt to present in support of the claim that such victimization ever occurred.
The process of digging for repressed traumatic memories through hypnosis or other techniques is most often employed in treatment of the diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now re-labeled as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).  Due to their almost total reliance upon recovered memory evidence, purveyors of satanic cult stories are often also defenders of the controversial multiple personality diagnosis, a condition that itself is dismissed by some psychiatrists and psychologists as a “behavioral artifact… generated by suggestion in vulnerable people.” (See below: Concerned Psychiatrists’ and Psychologists’ letter to the APA’s DSM-V Task Force.)
Critics of Recovered Memory Therapy point out that the act of digging for memories assumed to be repressed can have a subtly coercive effect on clients who – knowing what they are supposed to be “remembering” – are at least as prone to confabulating false memories as they are to recalling anything with historical accuracy.  Given that such critics of recovered memory therapy often point directly to highly improbable claims of satanic cult abuse as evidence of false memories, it was no surprise that Neil Brick breezily dismissed skeptics as conspirators: “There is […] a lot of evidence that those attacking the theory of recovered memory may have ulterior motives.  For example, they may have been accused of child abuse crimes or may have been connected to mind control research in the past.”
Using “child abuse” interchangeably with “ritual abuse”, Brick attempted to further bolster a position that those who doubt the existence of an international brain-washing coven simply despise tykes: “The media turned on child abuse survivors in the early and mid 1990′s and began to in essence support those that has [sic] perpetrated crimes against children, believing unfounded stories about so called ‘miscarriages of justice.’ Due to the extreme nature of ritual abuse crimes and the psychological need for the public denial of these crimes, it became an easy sell to spin these crimes against children for the public to believe the misstatements about falsely accused perpetrators. After ritual abuse was discredited, then other child abuse crimes could be more easily discredited.”
There you have it.  You’re either with Neil Brick, or you’re with the Satanists.  You either believe every outrageous claim of demonic doings, or you’re part of the cover-up.  At best, you’re simply in “denial”.
Suddenly, the woman at the registration table, who had also been watching Neil Brick through the open door, began to lightly sob.  She grabbed a nearby tissue, dried her eyes, and blew her nose.
I stared uncomfortably down at the program in my hands.  I came looking for the reasons, the so-called evidence that compels this continued belief in satanic cult crimes… of mind control… to see the self-proclaimed byproducts of the brutal puppet masters said to control the highest reaches of the world governments with an inhuman disdain for life and liberty.  Instead – with scheduled lectures entitled “Dissociation and Time Management” and “The DID RA [Ritual Abuse] Family: An Attachment Perspective on a Forensic Relationship” – this conference appeared to be primarily adapted toward defending the DID diagnosis.
According to his biographical synopsis on the program, Neil Brick describes himself as a “survivor of alleged Masonic Ritual Abuse and MK-ULTRA [the CIA’s covert mind-control and chemical interrogation project of 1950s – 60s]“.  The disclaimer of the word “alleged” in his own biographical description is perplexing…
I mulled over this as Brick eventually concluded his labored lecture.  What did it mean?
Brick comes out to the registration table during the break following his presentation gripping a briefcase.  He scrutinized me momentarily.
I checked out.  Given the nod, my attendance was then officially approved.
I stationed myself anonymously in the second to last occupied row at the far left side of the room.
Never, it occurred to me, have I heard anybody describe oneself as an “alleged victim of a mugging”, nor would I expect one to tell me, “I was allegedly harassed by a drunkard last night”.  Considering this, I wondered if perhaps Neil Brick himself is uncertain as to whether or not he was a victim of the CIA or Masonic abuse.  In fact, despite a veneer of confident assurance that the satanic conspiracy is an unquestionable item of fact, the conference was rife with inconsistency and an undercurrent of doubt…
Anyway, it was the inconsistent, and wildly incredible, content of the conference that I focused on in my writing.  And this was no mere point-and-laugh tactic for the amusement of those who cultivate an air of superiority with smug disbelief toward any outside notion.  The conference wasn’t merely absurd, I saw it as harmful and exploitative to the attendees — many of whom seemed to imagine it as therapeutic — as well as some of the speakers… some of whom are unfortunately licensed therapists.
It is natural to laugh at absurdity.  It would have been difficult to write about the sales booth within the conference room hawking electromagnetic transmission blocking hats without sounding humorous.  But I was outright horrified when a 78 year-old woman, who referred to herself as Julaine, sat before the attendees — unable to stand for any extended time — to explain that she had suffered some type of negative diabetic reaction earlier that day, and that her rheumatoid arthritis was causing her no small amount of discomfort.  She attributed both of these conditions to a conspiracy of evil.  Rheumatoid arthritis and Satanic Ritual Abuse, Julaine posited, are “almost partners”.
Clearly, this woman needed real medical attention.  To allow her to delude herself — or worse, actively feed her the delusion — that her ill health is a side-effect, and evidence of, satanic conspiracy is beyond irresponsible.  Worse, these delusions have apparently encouraged the aged and infirm Julaine to sever ties with the family members who may have been most willing to help her now… You see, Julaine’s family, she believes, is a multi-generational satanic cult.  “My sister thinks I’m bi-polar”, she explained.  This, of course, is seen as mere denial.  “She is lost”.
That Julaine is highly impressionable seemed apparent at the conference, but it was after the conference that this became quite clear.
I was perusing the website of another speaker, deJoly LaBrier, when I came across the transcripts of a lecture she had given at a much earlier S.M.A.R.T. gathering.  In it, she told a familiar tale: “[My father] would draw a dot on the wall, and [my siblings and I] would stand at attention with our nose on the dot on the wall, until he told us that we could leave.”
I clearly remembered hearing the story at the conference I had attended, for it struck me as odd… Rotten though this nose-to-the-wall experience would be for any child, I couldn’t help but feel such punishments would be quite over-shadowed by the compulsory initiation into sadistic cult rituals and child prostitution that the LaBrier claimed had also taken place… So much so that being made to stand in a fixed position felt rather unworthy of mention.
But it wasn’t LaBrier who told this tale at the 2009 conference.  It was Julaine.
Had it occurred to Neil Brick (who is a licensed and practicing “Mental Health Counselor” in Massachusetts), or any other attending therapist, that Julaine may not in fact have been victim to “Moriah, Illuminati… whatever you want to call it” (as she referred to “Them” in her lecture), but rather an incredibly suggestible and vulnerable old woman who has difficulty distinguishing stories she has heard from her own autobiographical memory?
Apparently not.
To allow any such questions to encroach on any one of the delusive narratives told would cast doubt on them all… and they all had their own ludicrous tales defend with nothing more than shallow assertions of recovered memory accuracy.
For this reason, not even the most impossible of claims were met with so much as a raised eye-brow or embarrassed cough.  Nobody showed a hint of doubt when a speaker going by the name of “Royal”, at all of about forty years of age, stood before us to claim that she was a personal slave to nazi doctor Josef Mengele.  “My experience with Mengele”, Royal explained in a lecture (the gist of which was that Satan uses abortion as a means of traumatic mind-control), “involved much of the trauma-based mind control involving core programming (such as End-Time programming) that is connected to the global take over. He used the Psychic/Spiritual dimensions using, what I have come to call ‘demonic harmonics’, which involves using musical tones and quantum physics to open up portals into the spiritual realms. I also have core programs set up that were created using abortions as a means to develop them and more.”
Following the publication of the report, Brick went all to pieces, leaving angry comments, penning a “rebuttal”.  Oddly enough though, none of his objections confronted my outrage at the absurdity of the very conspiracy theory that underlies the entire narrative framework of the conference, and of S.M.A.R.T., itself.  Though claiming I misrepresented the entire affair, he failed to explain how.  He failed to answer any questions regarding his own experiences as an “alleged” victim of “Masonic Ritual Abuse and MK-ULTRA”.  He failed to answer any questions directly aimed at elaboration upon his belief in a massive satanic conspiracy.  He failed to confront any questions regarding the content of the conference to instead assert, again and again, supported with lists of journal article citations supporting the view, that recovered memories are real phenomenon.
If by “attack” he means “directly confront them with their own incredible narratives, question their defense of such narratives when told by others, while asking clarification on where the demarcation between recovered memories and delusions can be found (unless we are to unquestioningly accept all stories of satanic conspiracy, alien abduction, and past-life regression)”, then this fear is well-founded.  But if these people, this “everyone”, within Brick’s “field” agree with his notions of Satanic Ritual Abuse and Mind-Control, and if they feel that this is a position that is evidence-based and rational, then my scrutiny should not be an object of fear.  It should be welcomed, and the answers to any such questions should be forthcoming.  If instead, they choose to distance themselves from Neil Brick only to conceal a position that is not supported by evidence, can not be justified by facts, only so that they may hide their delusions behind the professional veneer afforded to repressed memory theory by way of poor retrospective surveys and bad data… then they are a craven lot indeed, and would be fully deserving of Neil Brick’s scorn…
If only he’d acted any differently himself…Ironically, this all stemmed from

Having entered the hotel slightly after the opening speaker of S.M.A.R.T.’s twelfth annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations, and Mind-Control conference began, I was told by a large woman sitting behind the registration table that I would have to wait until I could be properly registered before entering. I took a seat just outside the open door of the conference room where I could observe the full proceedings within. Brick stood at the podium. As I described him later in my subsequent “defamatory” report, he is a “small man in his 50s with a greasy dark curly comb-over, large thick glasses, and a voice that sounds exacly like Elmer Fudd (without the impediment of pronouncing his Rs as Ws).”

He was delivering the opening remarks. He was wearing a button-up shirt at least two sizes too large for his diminutive frame.  (This physical description is important when you consider his claim to have been a type of super-soldier for Black Ops military.)  Reading directly from his notes in a mechanical word-by-word monotone, without once looking up, he emotionlessly railed against skeptics who have sought to discredit ritual abuse as well as the validity of “recovered memories”. … Continue reading

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Among The Abducted

by  —  October 18, 2010

This is the first report of my experiences with individuals who feel that they have had personal contact with extraterrestrials.  More are forthcoming.  Where appropriate, names have been changed…

out-sized forehead, black almond-shaped eyes

out-sized forehead, black almond-shaped eyes

Laughlin, Nevada is the kind of place where vegetarianism is deviant. Even the lentil soup comes served with large chunks of sausage in it… Thick, greasy, lips-and-asshole chorizo sausage. Even when picked out, it befouls the rest of the soup with its putrid flavor.

I have to send it back. “This has sausage in it”, I tell the waitress.

“Yes”, the waitress says, nonplussed, “you ordered the lentil soup”.

The atmosphere has abruptly changed. My effeminate coastal dietary peculiarities have made my presence suddenly unwelcome. I feel a wave of panic fill the room. At surrounding tables, the bloated men in cowboy hats are, I imagine, wishing that they were thirty years younger, so that they might rise up to knock some sense into my goddamn skull. To the people of Laughlin, it appears, there is nothing particularly bizarre about a group of UFO seekers holding a conference in their town, but a man who doesn’t eat meat is truly a freakish thought. Christ, it’s already noon and I don’t even have a beer in my hand. To the generally upper middle-aged, beer-bellied, cigarette-sallowed gamblers of this obscure poor-man’s alternative to Reno, I am an interloper.

I feel more at ease among the ET enthusiasts. My initial impression is that they display nothing of the unwelcoming, bitter homogeneity of the Ritual Abuse crowd. Among them are Science Fiction fans and writers, Fortean chroniclers of anomalous events, students of the paranormal, and the mere curious.

The diversity is an unexpected relief. The two-hour shuttle ride from the Vegas airport to Laughlin gave grim indications that the conference would be strictly populated by elderly New Agers. … Continue reading

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Administrivia, March 2010

by  —  March 10, 2010

Two items of note:

Thanks as always for everyone’s participation.

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