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About Dr. Allison

Ralph B. Allison, M.D.
Presented at the 1991 Annual Conference
of the
Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness
Pala Mesa Hotel and Conference Center
Fallbrook, California 92028
March 22, 1991

	We are here today to argue whether or not there is a danger to
our society by the proliferation of Satanic cults, as evidenced
by the revelations of their children who are now suffering from
MPD.  My negative conclusion is well summarized in an
advertizement for a book by Robert Hicks called "The Pursuit of
Satan." (1)

	"Hicks points out that the satanic criminal model is expedient
largely due to its economy, reducing to simple formulas such
complex problems as drug abuse, teen suicide, and sexual
molestation.  He examines how satanism has become the new
scapegoat for public anxiety, documenting examples in which
police have fomented fear by attributing crimes to satanists,
indulging in sheer speculation, and promulgating misinformation
through the sensationalist news media.  Hicks attributes the
cult-conspiracy theory to beliefs fueled by Christian
fundamentalist sects and to the ungovernable mechanisms of
rumor-panics, subversive mythology, and urban legend; his
research utilizes a unique blend of law-enforcement methodology,
anthropology, folklore, history, sociology, psychology, and

	I do believe that Satanism exists as a minor, pseudoreligion
that is indulged in by some of the misfits of our society.  When
I lived in Santa Cruz, I recall seeing a long black limousine
drive by one day.  I was told that it carried Anton LeVey, the
founder of the Satanic Church in San Francisco while he was
looking for a site for a new church in Santa Cruz.  I have seen
his daughter propound their beliefs on a radio talk show.  My
co-author, Ted Schwarz wrote a book on the subject.(2)  While
working in prison, I have met less than a dozen inmates who
professed adherence to the Church of Satan.

	Schwarz writes extensively about a man he calls Alan Cambridge
and his daughter, Heather.  But even he could get no primary
data from those he believes were responsible for the rituals and
the abuse.  Aside from the recollections of Heather, he did have
secondary sources such as police reports.  By ruling out those
he could talk to, he was left with those who would never talk.  

	Ritualistic abuse of Heather is graphically detailed, naturally
leading up to her developing MPD.  But, in her case, this was
the goal of the abusers.

	"Many of the ceremonies were designed to convince Heather that
there were two sides to her, a good side for all the world to
see and a satanic side that evolved from the nature of her
birth.  Alan Cambridge had learned hypnosis and through it tried
to convince his daughter that she had two separate
personalities.  This was reinforced by cult rituals in which the
members of the group would paint their faces.  They would make a
four-part checkerboard pattern on their faces with makeup.  They
would place two black sections diagonally opposite each other
and two white squares opposite each other on the other side. 
Then they would take pieces of clear window glass and hold them
in front of their faces, telling Heather they were holding

	"Betty [her father's girlfriend] and her father would secure
Heather to the altar before the remaining members entered.  Then
they would move around Heather, looking closely at her through
the pieces of glass while Alan Cambridge told her they were
holding mirrors.  She came to believe that she was seeing her
own face reflected by the people.  The black sections reflected
Satan and the white reflected the face most people saw.  She was
being made to believe that there was an evil aspect to her, one
only those in the know recognized, yet one that required her to
constantly obey the base desires of the cult members." 

	My reading on the subject showed that Satanism is often
confused with Witchcraft or Wicca, which is different.  Wicca is
a pre-Christian pagan fertility religion that has no Satan in
its theology.  Satanism is a reverse religion with Catholic
symbols turned upside down, with worship of what Catholicism
despises and hatred of what Catholicism holds dear.  One belief
is that the goal of the Church of Satan is to undermine and
topple the Roman Catholic Church.  What is sure is that those
who proclaim themselves Satanists most loudly are the various
psychopathic misfits of society who want their antisocial
behavior sanctioned by an organized religion.  The question is
whether the parents of the multiples are likely to be in that

	It is wise to remember that we should study history or we are
doomed to repeat it.  I recently found a history book with a
delightful title, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the
Madness of Crowds."(3)  This book was originally published in
London in 1841.  I would like to quote a few passages about
situations that sound remarkably similar to the claims of
satanic involvement in child abuse today.

	"The Frieslanders . . .[who lived near Munich] had long been
celebrated for their attachment to freedom and their successful
struggles in its defence . . .Here they managed their own
affairs, without the control of the clergy and ambitious nobles
who surrounded them . . .Finally, the Archbishop of Bremen,
together with the Count of Oldenburg and other neighbouring
potentates, formed a league against that section of the
Frieslanders known by the name of the Stedinger, and succeeded,
after harassing them and sewing dissensions among them for many
years, in bringing them under the yoke.  But the Stedinger,
devotedly attached to their ancient laws, by which they had
attained a degree of civil and religious liberty very uncommon
in that age, did not submit without a violent struggle.  They
arose in insurrection in the year 1204, in defence of the
ancient customs of their country, refused to pay taxes to the
feudal chiefs or tithes to the clergy - who had forced
themselves into their peaceful retreats - and drove out many of
their oppressors."  

	The Archbishop of Bremen applied for help to Pope Gregory IX
who declared "the Stedinger as heretics and witches,
encourag[ing] all true believes to assist in their extermination
. . .The pope wrote to all the bishops and leaders of the
faithful an exhortation to arm, to root out from the land those
abominable witches and wizards.  'The Stedinger,' said his
holiness, 'seduced by the devil, have abjured all the laws of
God and man, slandered the church, insulted the holy sacraments,
consulted witches to raise evil spirits, shed blood like water,
taken the lives of priests, and concocted an infernal scheme to
propagate the worship of the devil, whom they adore under the
name of Asmodi. . . . This devil presides at their sabbaths,
when they all kiss him and dance around him.  He then envelopes
them in total darkness, and they all, male and female, give
themselves up to the grossest and most disgusting debauchery.'"

	Eight thousand of the Stedinger were killed on the battlefield
and the race was extinguished.

	"Just as absurd and effectual was the charge brought against
the Templars in 1307, when they had rendered themselves
obnoxious to the potentates and prelacy of Christendom.  Their
wealth, their power, their pride, and their insolence had raised
up enemies on every side; and every sort of accusation was made
against them, but failed to work their overthrow, until the
terrible cry of witchcraft was let loose upon them . . .They
were accused of having sold their souls to the devil, and of
celebrating all the infernal mysteries of the witches' sabbath. 
It was pretended that, when they admitted a novice into their
order, they forced him to renounce his salvation and curse Jesus
Christ; that they then made him submit to many unholy and
disgusting ceremonies, and forced him to kiss the superior on
the cheek, the navel, and the breech, and spit three times upon
a crucifix; that all the members were forbidden to have
connexion with women, but might give themselves up without
restraint to every species of unmentionable debauchery; that
when by any mischance a Templar infringed this order, and a
child was born, the whole order met, and tossed it about like a
shuttlecock from one to the other until it expired; that they
then roasted it by a slow fire, and with the fat which trickled
from it anointed the hair and beard of a large image of the
devil.  It was also said that when one of the knights died, his
body was burnt into a power, and then mixed with wine and drunk
by every member of the order." (pp. 465-6)

	In 1313 the last of the Knights Templar had been executed for
these sins, the last being the Grand-Master, Jacques de Molay,
and his companion Guy, the commander of Normandy.  They died by

	"In the year 1459, a devoted congregation of the Waldenses at
Arras, who used to repair at night to worship God in their own
manner in solitary places, fell victims to an accusation of
sorcery.  It was rumoured in Arras that in the desert places to
which they retired the devil appeared before them in human form,
and read from a large book his laws and ordinances, to which
they all promised obedience; that he then distributed money and
food among them, to bind them to his service, which done, they
gave themselves up to every species of lewdness and debauchery. 
Upon these rumours several credible persons in Arras were seized
and imprisoned, together with a number of decrepit and idiotic
old women.  The rack, that convenient instrument for making the
accused confess anything, was of course put in requisition . .
.Upon these confessions judgement was pronounced.  The poor old
women, as usual in such cases, were hanged and burned in the
market-place; the more wealthy delinquents were allowed to
escape upon payment of large fines." (p.478)

	"In Geneva alone five hundred persons were burned in the years
1515 and 1516, under the title of Protestant witches.  It would
appear that their chief crime was heresy, and their witchcraft
merely an aggravation.  Bartolomeo de Spina has a list still
more fearful.  He informs us that in the year 1524 no less than
a thousand persons suffered death for witchcraft in the district
of Como, and that for several years afterwards the average
number of victims exceeded a hundred annually.  One inquisitor,
Remigius, took great credit to himself for having, during
fifteen years, convicted and burned nine hundred." (p.482)

	In my practice before going to CDC, I saw about 50 patients who
appeared to have MPD.  Most of them lived in Santa Cruz where
strange people, called hippies and UCSC students, lived.  The
Santa Cruz mountains were known to have the right vibrations for
various occult activities.  Forest rangers were said to have
found sites where animal sacrifices had been held.

	Yet not one of those patients ever claimed that their parents
had any connection to any bizarre religious group.  None claimed
to have been exposed to infant sacrifice or other similar
behavior.  Abuse by parents was garden variety sexual
molestation, beating, killing pet animals, shooting past the
face, etc.  All were believable types of violence.

	This fact did not stop them from claiming to have had severely
exotic psychic experiences themselves.   Last year I told this
group of a patient who claimed to be a witch and whom I believe
pulled the trigger on my bleeding ulcer.  One patient claimed
that during adolescence she and several friends met in the woods
with a wise but evil entity who taught them such skills as how
to cast spells on their parents.  This entity was never
described as being in a living, human form.  He was a spirit who
talked to his living students and passed on ways they could be
hostile toward their elders.  I can give you many such stories
of patients who describe their being involved in evil practices
of a supernatural manner for the purpose of getting back at
those they considered enemies, usually their parents.  But not
one blamed parents for practicing such supernatural behavior.

	Then we look at the evidence for Satanic practice in general. 
With our extensive news coverage system, I think we would see
items in USA Today or the National Enquirer if such activities
came to their attention.  If it did, I haven't seen it.  Yes, we
did have a major expose in Texas a year ago, but that involved a
group of drug smugglers.  The physical evidence of religious
practices was there.  I am not sure it was Satanism or Santoria,
as the two are commonly confused in the public mind.

	Everyone has heard about the McMartin school case.  There
Satanic involvement was a major concern and the existence of an
underground room where the children claimed the ritual abuse
occurred is still an issue for the parents.  No such room could
be located by their own investigator, but they are sure their
children were not lying.  Therefore, it must be there.  You also
know that no one was found guilty of anything after the most
expensive trial in American history.

	In my own county, we saw the Sheriff of Fresno County convinced
by the stories of several children that they had witnessed
Satanic activities in the back yard of a home in Paso Robles, 20
miles north of where I live.  At great expense, he sent
bulldozers to dig for evidence.  They demolished the yard and
found only a few bones the family dog had buried.

	There may have been sites where artifacts were found but they
did not make much news.  Why not?  My opponent might claim it is
because Satanists are in charge of the news media.  Such is the
thinking that throws out logic and believes that such an
accomplishment could be carried out in absolute secrecy in our
country.  Whenever I have raised the question of how Satanists
can dispose of the bodies of all the children they are claimed
to have killed, with no evidence left over and no snitches
informing, the answer is that Satanists are too clever to be
caught.  They are given more credit that the Nazi's Gestapo and
Stalin's NKVD, whose mass graves were hidden for years by the
ruling government.  And those have now been uncovered for all to

	Let me tell you of one case of a multiple claiming Satanic
ritual abuse.  I did not see this patient but reviewed all
available records.  She and her husband attended Bible School
together.  She then decided she was a Lesbian and wanted to move
in with her lover.  The husband told her she was in cahoots with
the Devil and tried to talk her out of being gay.  Two years
later, while in psychotherapy, under hypnosis she recalled being
tied to a broomstick and being threatened with a knife by her
grandmother, mother and father, whom she now defined as Satanic
cult members.  Previously she had complained of sexual abuse by
her mother.  After a second such session, the doctor showed her
the book "The Black Arts" that verified her "recollections" and
gave her more material for more memories, including human
sacrifices.  Later in therapy her personal involvement in
Satanic practices was retroactively expanded to childhood, in
Bible College and during early years while in therapy.  Somehow
no one around her knew any of this at the time.  How strange!

	How can we explain the fact that these patients are telling
these stories, if we do not accept the truth of the tales?  No
one can be sure but there are several possibilities.

	1.	The first is outright lying and fabrication.  In my practice
in prison it is the norm for an inmate to talk to other inmates
and figure out in advance what story to tell the "psych" to get
what he wants.  If I show a positive interest in one symptom,
you can be sure that that symptom will be reported with
increasing frequency in my office. If a patient with MPD finds a
therapist to be fascinated by accounts of occult activities,
then to become a special patient, he/she will come up with a
similar story.

	2.  Use of Dream Mode Processes:  Franklin(4) has written what
happens when a person uses the dream mode instead of the waking
mode of mental processing.  Since these patients spend most of
their time in a non-waking altered state of consciousness, it is
reasonable to view their productions while sick as related  to
the dream mode.  It is characterized by "sensory images;
hallucinations, a delusion of experiential reality; varying
orientation of time, place and person; a use of parallel and
analogical processing, symbols, metaphor and fantasy;
internality of emotions; and amnesia."(p.70)  It occurs in "deep
hypnosis and in waking dissociative states as well as in
dreams."(p.70)  Much of the thinking of young children is dream
like.  In this mode "time does not exist, contradictory things
exist side by side, psychic reality is substituted for external
reality and ideas are comprised of memory images. . . . In
imagination [the patient] combines mental images based on past
experiences into patterns he has not perceived in reality. . . .
They are able to use imagination involving ideas and symbols to
create less realistic more complex persons, animals and
places."(p.71)  In MPD, "the personalities often use dreamlike
fantasy in which imagery and symbols are used to represent
something real or imaginary to combine schemes in novel ways, as
one does in dreams. . . . There is a lack of orientation of
time, place and person, and there are many changes in cognitive
processing.  Logical thinking and insight are lacking or
impaired.  Information is not organized by waking logic, through
sequential cause and effect.  Instead, mental elements are
combined and synthesized in fluid and discontinuous ways . . .
[T]here is . . . an uncritical acceptance of things that are
inappropriate, incongruent, or impossible. . . . A person can be
merged with someone else; one can be any age, in any place, or
experience oneself as someone else."(pp.73-74) 

	3.  Transference factors between patient and therapist:  These
patients are dealing with severe emotional pain from childhood,
and the therapist's job is to make them aware of the pain,
accept it and neutralize it.  Most multiples would do anything
but cooperate in such a painful process.  Therefore the
presentation of a Satanic cult abuse history can be a useful
ploy to keep the therapist busy and to postpone the pain of

	What happens when a patient presents such a story?

	a.  The therapist gets curious about checking out the truth of
the story and becomes an amateur detective.  A detective must
first be a skeptic and believe no one, or he is thrown off the
trail.  He must search out primary sources of information
wherever possible and check one story off against another,
suspecting liars who would want him to be misled.  The point is
that a detective is not a therapist.  One cannot be both
simultaneously.  While one is playing detective, one must
abdicate the therapist role.

	b.  The therapist stays in the office with the patient and
tries to figure out  why the patients supplied this particular
story.  The therapist doesn't deny its truthfulness, but he
doesn't know whether it is the truth.  If it is a defense, it
will get in the way of therapy, and, as the therapist plods down
the path of reconstruction, that version of home life will be
presented repeatedly to block the way.  Neutrality is the key
attitude for the therapist when this type of story is presented
as the reason for MPD.  If the patient wants to hire a
professional detective, he/she can find one in the local
telephone yellow pages.


	David W. Lloyd, Esquire, Project Director of the National
Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse(5) has this to say on the
subject: "Are the accounts of adults who claim to have
experienced ritual child abuse as children accurate?

	"There is some debate about the accuracy of reports by adults
who claim to have been childhood victims of Satanic cults
decades ago.  Those with doubts argue that if these cults were
in existence 20 and 30 years ago, at the time these adults were
children, we should have heard the same rumors of child
maltreatment that we hear today.  Instead, there is little or no
evidence of their existence and there have been few identified
survivors that could independently corroborate each other's
accounts of experiences in the same location.  Further, these
individuals frequently suffer from multiple personality disorder
or from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the
traumatic childhood experience, but often state that they had no
conscious memories of these events until they had undergone
hypnosis.  Certain forensic experiments by hypnotic suggestion
raise doubts about the accuracy of recall of events after
hypnotic trances." 

	Soon after I became involved with MPD, I became convinced that
the only limitations the human mind has are those we attribute
to it.  It can do anything, including creating a believable
story of Satanic cult abuse that never occurred.


1.	Prometheus Books Spring/Summer 1991 Catalogue, Buffalo, NY

2.	Schwarz T & Empy D: Satanism, Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan
Books, 1988

3.	Macay C: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of
Crowds. New York; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1932 (Originally
published by Richard Bentley, London, 1841)

4.	Franklin J: Dreamlike thoughts and dream mode processes in
the formation of personalities in MPD. Dissociation 3:70-80, 1990

5.	Lloyd DW: Ritual child abuse: Understanding the
controversies. Family Violence Bulletin 6:15-17, 1990

  Copyright© 2023 - Ralph B. Allison