Ritual Abuse- Defining a Syndrome Versus Defending a Belief

Volume 20
Fall 1992
Ritual Abuse- Defining a Syndrome Versus Defending a Belief

The author briefly reviews her research showing how SRA training seminars proposed to mental health professionals between 1987 and 1990 constituted a form of proselytizing. Such presentations were designed to convert clinicians before they began listening to patients to believe in the plausible existence of satanic blood cults. Diagnostic and treatment techniques recommended in SRA seminars, as well as postulated explanations for patients' exacerbated clinical symptoms, all pre-supposed the facticity of networks of organized groups of perpetrators. Since the author first presented the results of this study to mental health professionals between 1989-91, some SRA "experts" have slightly modified their presentations in order to acknowledge the limits of hypnotic memory retrieval techniques and the risks of confabulation and uncontrolled counter-transference with highly suggestible patients suffering from memory disorders. Many others, however, continue to employ proselytizing techniques which are inappropriate in medical education courses. Patients' better interests are ill served when their therapists' "educated" ears have been deafened by uncritical belief.

S.A. Mulhern
230 - 232
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