Some favourite quotes

Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us (David Richo)

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise (Victor Hugo)

Of course, a culture as manically and massively materialistic as ours create materialistic behaviour in its people, especially in those people who’ve been subjected to nothing but the destruction of imagination that this culture calls education, the destruction of autonomy it calls work, and the destruction of activity it calls entertainment’ (James Hillman)

‘Mind control is built on lies and manipulation of attachment needs’ Valerie Sinason in Alison Miller’s book: Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

I didn’t fully understand at the time, but the goal of my life was profoundly molded by this experience-to help produce, in the next generation, more Mother Teresas and fewer Hitlers’ Elizabeth Kubler Ross

The conscience of a people is their power
John Dryden

As I learn to trust my memories as data that I need for my healing, they will seem less like my enemies. No matter from where the memory emanates, it is mine and it has a message for me (On the Path: Affirmations for Adults Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse by Nancy W. 2000)

Because it was not safe to be angry with my abuser, I may have internalised my anger until it became self-loathing. In recovery I need to seek assistance in separating my inner directed anger from my every day errors. As I focus on the appropriate recipient of my anger- the abuser- my self-loathing begins to dissipate and my self-love grows. I can learn to use my anger as a source of strength to deal with the memories of my abusers as they surface in my consciousness (On the Path: Affirmations for Adults Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse by Nancy W. 2000)

“Genuine feelings cannot be produced, nor can they be eradicated. We can only repress them, delude ourselves, and deceive our bodies. The body sticks to the facts” Alice Miller

‘I was not out to paint beautiful pictures; even painting good pictures was not important to me. I wanted only to help the truth burst forth’ Alice Miller

‘The reason why parents mistreat their children has less to do with character and temperament than with the fact that they were mistreated themselves and were not permitted to defend themselves’ Alice Miller

‘Sadism is not an infectious disease that strikes a person all of a sudden. It has a long prehistory in childhood and always originates in the desperate fantasies of a child who is searching for a way out of a hopeless situation’ Alice Miller

“Since the 1980s, therapists have reported encountering clients or patients who had experienced extreme abuses featuring physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive aspects, along with a premeditated structure of torture-enforced lessons. The phenomena was first labelled “ritual abuse,” and, later, as our understanding developed, “mind control.”
Alison Miller, Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

“Those of us who work in the field of trauma and abuse, whether psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, doctors, counselors, or psychotherapists, have been provided with beautiful tools for understanding the impact of trauma…….. However, when it comes to military mind control, abuse within religious belief groups or cults, and deliberately created dissociative identity disorder, we enter the least resourced field of all.”
Valerie Sinason, Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
Viktor E. Frankl

“Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in its spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance”
Viktor E. Frankl

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Either you think – or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing.”
George Orwell

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou

‘An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour’ (‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl)

‘In all forms of art, part of you is in the trauma, and part of you is a step away from it,’ Maya Angelou

Combat and rape, the public and private forms of organized social violence, are primarily experiences of adolescent and early adult life. The United States Army enlists young men at seventeen; the average age of the Vietnam combat soldier was nineteen. In many other countries boys are conscripted for military service while barely in their teens. Similarly, the period of highest risk for rape is in late adolescence. Half of all victims are aged twenty or younger at the time they are raped; three-quarters are between the ages of thirteen and twenty-six. The period of greatest psychological vulnerability is also in reality the period of greatest traumatic exposure, for both young men and young women. Rape and combat might thus be considered complementary social rites of initiation into the coercive violence at the foundation of adult society. They are the paradigmatic forms of trauma for women and men.” Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery

‘The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.’ Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery

‘The world can become perfect. All problems in the world are according to me caused by child abuse. That is a lack of understanding for children, for whom they are and for the fact that they should be themselves, to form their own opinions and taking their own decisions. From the moment a child is born, especially in the USA, but I think everywhere but just that it is the most obvious in the USA, it gets conditioned. Everything that the child sees on TV, or learns at school, or hears on the radio, or reads in magazines or whatever it comes in contact with, is based on the fact that the child needs to be formed into a specific kind of person, someone who can’t think for himself, someone who don’t have an own opinion, someone who doesn’t have an own mind. From the moment a child goes to school it’s done with, he can’t be himself anymore. You are not allowed to ask questions, you are not allowed to have an own opinion. You just learn what’s in the history books, all lies, and you have to believe that’. Sinead O’Connor

The more one forgets himself–by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love–the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. Viktor Frank

‘If, as I argue, people are relational in the core of their being, then systematic and continuous failures of care have profound impact on a person’s character and how they relate to others. This then creates a ripple effecting the social relations around each such person…….When whole groups fail to care, cultures of hate, retribution and vengeance can be created that reproduce the traumatic conditions of their own making. There is less chance of the kind of citizenly care that provides a bulwark against political corruption, unbridled market forces or religious fundamentalism. Moreover, there is created an intergenerational dynamic that is harder to interrupt by social and political interventions when harmful individuals are drawn to reproduce the conditions of their own psychological damage’ The Capacity to Care: Gender and Ethical Subjectivity by Wendy Hollway

Since the 1980s, therapists have reported encountering clients or patients who had experienced extreme abuses featuring physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive aspects, along with a premeditated structure of torture-enforced lessons. The phenomena were first labelled ‘ritual abuse,’ and, later, as our understanding developed, ‘mind control’… (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control by Alison Miller)

‘Violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it’ by Chrystine Oksana

But the truth won’t go away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. Truth will outlast any campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty, clever, or long. It is invincible. It’s only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from ritual abuse’ (Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse by Chrystine Oksana)

‘The data on organized abuse has been simplified or distorted in an attempt to force it to conform to mechanical psychological models…. Psychopathology alone is an inadequate explanation for environments in which sexual abuse has a social and symbolic function for groups of adults. Abusive groups do not emerge in a vacuum but rather they are formed within pre-existing social arrangements such as families, churches and schools’ (Organised Sexual Abuse Michael Salter)

‘How do we find words for describing levels of betrayal and emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual torture that fragment and destroy a child or cast traumatic shadows over the whole of adult life? We might, as a society, slowly find it possible to accept that one in four citizens are likely to have experienced some form of emotional, psychical, sexual or spiritual abuse (McQueen, Itzin, Kennedy, Sinason, & Maxted, 2008), in itself a figure unimaginable and hidden twenty years ago. However, accepting the way a hurt and hurting parent or stranger re-enacts their disturbance with a vulnerable child or children remains far easier to digest than to consider the intellectually planned, scientific, methodical, procedures of organized child-abusing perpetrators-in other words, torture’  (Valerie Sinason)

‘The past is not static, or ever truly complete; as we age we see from new positions, shifting angles. A therapist friend of mine likes to use the metaphor of the kind of spiral stair that winds up inside a lighthouse. As one moves up that stair, the core at the center doesn’t change, but one continually sees it from another vantage point; if the past is a core of who we are, then our movement in time always brings us into a new relation to that core’. (Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present, 2007-12-11, Kindle Edition)

‘Programming is the act of installing internal, pre-established reactions to external stimuli so that a person will automatically react in a predetermined manner to things like an auditory, visual or tactile signal or perform a specific set of actions according to a date and/or time.’  (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control by Alison Miller)

‘Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don’t. If I had power over the alters, I’d stop them. I don’t have that power. When they are out, they’re out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label ‘doctor’ is more attention-grabbing than lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department’ (Today I’m Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind by Alice Jamieson)

‘Research on organised abuse emphasizes the diversity of organised abuse cases, and the ways in which serious forms of child maltreatment cluster in the lives of children subject to organised victimisation (eg Bibby 1996b, Itziti 1997, Kelly and Regan 2000). Most attempts to examine organised abuse have been undertaken by therapists and social workers who have focused primarily on the role of psychological processes in the organised victimisation of children and adults. Dissociation, amnesia and attachment, in particular, have been identified as important factors that compel victims to obey their abusers whilst inhibiting them from disclosing their abuse or seeking help (see Epstein et al. 2011, Sachs and Galton 2008). Therapists and social workers have surmised that these psychological effects are purposively induced by perpetrators of organised abuse through the use of sadistic and ritualistic abuse. In this literature, perpetrators are characterized either as dissociated automatons mindlessly perpetuating the abuse that they, too, were subjected to as children, or else as cruel and manipulative criminals with expert foreknowledge of the psychological consequences of their abuses. The therapist is positioned in this discourse at the very heart of the solution to organised abuse, wielding their expertise in a struggle against the coercive strategies of the perpetrators. Whilst it cannot be denied that abusive groups undertake calculated strategies designed to terrorise children into silence and obedience, the emphasis of this literature on psychological factors in explaining organised abuse has overlooked the social contexts of such abuse and the significance of abuse and violence as social practices.(Organised Sexual Abuse by Michael Salter)

‘The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent’ (1984, George Orwell)

‘It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance’ (1984, George Orwell)

‘Humanity does not differ in any profound way; there are not essentially different species of human beings. If we could only put ourselves in the shoes of others to see how we would react, then we might become aware of the injustice of discrimination and the tragic inhumanity of every kind of prejudice’ (Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin).

‘The emotional garbage I had carried all of those years – the prejudice and the denial, the shame and the guilt – was dissolved by understanding that the Other is not other at all. All human beings face the same fundamental problems of loving and of suffering, of striving toward human aspirations for themselves and their children, of simply being and inevitably dying. These are the basic truths in all people, the common denominators of all cultures and all races and all ethnic categories. In reality, the Us-and-Them or I-and-Thou dichotomies do not exist. There is only one universal We – one human family united by the capacity to feel compassion and to demand equal justice for all’ (Black like Me by John Howard Griffin)

‘Over centuries, organised perpetrator groups have observed and studied the way in which extreme childhood traumas, such as accidents, bereavement, war, natural disasters, repeated hospitalisations and surgeries, and (most commonly) child abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional) cause a child’s mind to be split into compartments……… In the twentieth century, probably beginning with the Nazis, other organised groups developed ways to harm children and deliberately structure their victims’ minds in such a way that they would not remember what happened, or that if they began to remember they would disbelieve their own memories. Consequently, the memories of what has happened to a survivor are hidden within his or her inside parts.’ (Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse by Alison Miller)

‘As I describe in my 1997 textbook (Ross, C.A. (1997), Dissociative Identity Disorder. Diagnosis, Clinical Features, and Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder, John Wiley & Sons, New York) there are four pathways to multiple personality disorder, now officially named dissociative identity disorder by the American Psychiatric Association: (1) childhood abuse; (2) childhood neglect; (3) factitious; and, (4) iatrogenic. Iatrogenic means created by the therapist. The same four pathways may result in partial or incomplete forms of multiple personality called dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. Dissociative identity disorder may arise as (1), a natural response to severe, chronic childhood abuse, which may include any combination of physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse. It may be a response to (2), severe, chronic childhood neglect. It may be (3), a factitious disorder, that is, the symptoms may be self-created by a person who wants to get into the patient role. Finally, (4), the disorder may be iatrogenic, which means created by a doctor or therapist. In civilian therapies, iatrogenic dissociative identity is created unwittingly and is malpractice……..’ (Colin A. Ross M.D.)