The treatment of Esther: about harsh processing in wartime
Mrs A. Terpstra-van Hijum, GZ-psychologist, 16 February 2021
In this article, I take you through Esther's treatment process; Esther consists of many personality parts, each with its own life history, skills and sense of self. As treatment progresses, it turns out that parts of Esther still attend cult meetings, are tortured and do forced prostitution work. When she tries to stop doing that, a personal part of her turns out to be addicted to drugs that she gets monthly from one of her uncles. A tough battle with addiction follows and with enduring threats of all kinds. By reminding personality parts of Esther of unprocessed extreme traumas through texts, objects, people and photographs, among other things, Esther is lured back to them again and again. It turns out that manipulated attachment relationships with perpetrators play a major role in this, as do automatic reactions conditioned by extreme torture. Under great security pressure, trauma processing is required at a rapid pace. In addition, 'divide and conquer' turns out not only to be a method by which they keep Esther in their grip, but also a way to alienate her network, including me as therapist. Threatening e-mails with pictures of sexual torture to me and to loved ones around her delay the exit process. In addition, the cult blackmails her with photos they have of crimes Esther has been forced to commit and photos of torture of family members. When intensive trauma treatment causes all their tricks to get Esther to return to her perpetrators herself to fail, they attempt murder in broad daylight. The article concludes with some of the principles that emerge from the treatment and what social change is at least needed to help people like Esther.
Psychological treatment of clients who come from the world of satanic ritual abuse is complex. Many survivors of this abuse have developed programmed dissociative identity disorder (DIS, formerly called multiple personality disorder). This means that, through prolonged and severe abuse and purposeful torture at a very young age, the personality has been split into multiple identities, each with its own "sense of self", which have partial or total amnesia in relation to each other.
In the 1990s there were many reports of ritual abuse, both in the Netherlands and in other countries, including the United States. For various reasons (which will become clearer after reading the articles on this website), hard forensic evidence proved difficult to provide. As a result, an investigation was started in the Netherlands The conclusion of which was: survivors who speak of satanic ritual abuse have suffered something terrible, but it is impossible to determine whether this is satanic ritual abuse. A second conclusion was that there should be follow-up research. This never happened, but as a result of radio programs of Argos about ritual abuse In the autumn of 2020, a motion was passed in the Dutch Lower House that this research should still be carried out. In the same decade the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was established in America.which conquered the media and also gained a foothold in Western Europe. In a recent article in the New York (magazine) the highly dubious roots and equally dubious scientific claims of this - now defunct - movement are revealed in stark relief. However, there is no doubt that the work of this movement has protected many perpetrators from prosecution. In short, and usually in nicer terms, this psychological movement claims that memories of ritual abuse are either fabricated by clients or peddled by therapists. In the 1990's - at the time of the wave of reports of ritual abuse - it was under the influence of this movement that many pioneering therapists were silenced. To this day, this means that many therapists do not dare to burn their hands with these clients. At least as bad is the fact that this view has gained broad ground among the judiciary and the police. In the Netherlands the National Expertise Bureau for Special Cases (LEBZ), to which all reports with ritual characteristics are submitted for advice, is demonstrably biased and follows the thinking of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Members and ex-members assume that ritual abuse or even DIS does not exist and publish about it. It goes without saying that such bias makes the path to justice for survivors even more impassable than it already was.
In the following text, I would like to take professionals and non-professionals through the course of Esther's treatment, from my perspective as a practitioner.
Start of therapy
After I had gained experience with a previous client who appeared to have been ritually abused, a new client reported to me by phone 3 years ago (I call her Esther), who told me at telephone intake that she had been severely abused both within her family and in ritual contexts, recounting several examples. She knew there were multiple personality parts living in her and told me she 'missed' a lot of time. By this she meant that she sometimes suddenly found herself in a situation where she had no idea how she had got there and then discovered that hours or even days had passed of which she had no recollection. She had previously had help from a counsellor for a few years, but that help had stopped. I was hesitant to take her into therapy as this was bound to be a lengthy, controversial and complex treatment and went on a literature search. It turned out there was now a groundbreaking book on the market 'healing the unimaginable' by Allison Miller. Miller explained clearly why I should not try desperately to avoid switching personality parts, as I had often done with my previous client for fear that switching in therapy would strengthen the inner divisions. I learned from Miller that the essence of treatment is to build up a relationship of trust with as many personality parts as possible, so that they can tell their part of the traumatic life story. Later I discovered that this corresponded with the advice of Janine FisscherFirst the parts have to be separated, then the trauma has to be dealt with, then the synthesis has to be worked on. My attempts to refer Esther to the few institutions which are more focused on these problems and which are financed for long-term psychological help, were unsuccessful. Armed with new knowledge and with 10 years more experience in trauma treatment with EMDR and schema therapy, I decided to take on the adventure with Esther myself.
At intake I meet Esther, a friendly, intelligent, well groomed woman. She has a good job and she and her partner are raising a couple of children together. This is a big contrast with what she tells me during the intake. Esther grew up with parents who were busy with their businesses and paid little attention to her. She has memories of abuse in her parents' company, abuse by several uncles and of giving birth in a ritual context, with people in black robes and strange singing. She misses a lot of time and knows that in recent years another part had 'dates in hotels'.
She appears to mean forced prostitution. Her partner, with whom she has been living for years, says that he regularly notices wounds on Esther in the morning that were not there the night before: symbols on her buttocks, soles of her feet, her back and her stomach. He also says that Esther regularly 'passes out', her body becoming completely limp and her body completely unresponsive for a while. This is often at night, especially on special 'holidays' of the cult. The urge to go out is very strong for Esther on these days, and the fear increases as the night approaches. On such nights, her husband would often stay up to prevent Esther from going out. It has also happened before that the partner slept unnaturally deeply on cult nights. Later it will turn out that on those nights a personality part of Esther had put a sleep aid in her husband's tea. Esther says she often found semen in the morning when she showered, sometimes couldn't move for half a day after such a night, and was regularly chased by cars. At the moment things seem quiet and she thinks she has managed to stop participating in cult meetings. We start with a weekly contact of 2 hours. However, during the therapy it is jointly decided to make extra appointments in order to keep the high processing speed, which is necessary for safety, feasible.
Start of treatment
After an extensive intake we start the treatment with a two-weekly session. It soon appears that the personality part of Esther (elsewhere in the literature the term alter is often used, I use the term '(personality) part') that took the initiative for this therapy, does not call herself Esther, but Ynsa. She knows of the existence of a whole number of parts, but finds it difficult to get in touch with them. After a number of conversations I receive an email from a child part, Emie. She writes: 'I'm not allowed to write you but I don't know what to do and you were going to help us so I want to write you but Esther doesn't know anything. She also writes: 'They want us to come and we don't want to but they are very hungry'. I write back. When I tell Ynsa about the email in the next conversation, she gets scared. I reassure her and give her permission for those who want to, to mail me.
In the months that follow, I get email contact with many parts. Each part emails from a different email address, and we decide to stay in touch between conversations via secure app. Each part has its own account. This makes the threshold much lower for parts that are too afraid to show themselves in face-to-face contact. Ynsa indicates that it is very important that the participants do not read each other's mail, because then they do not dare to tell me honest things for fear of each other.
Building a relationship of trust with sharing
I keep a file per section, to keep an overview of what I discuss with the different sections. Ilze, a teenage part, is very careful and wary in the contact and takes the time to find out who I am and if I can be trusted. Bit by bit, she explains that she has to make a certain amount of money each month by making nightly sex appointments in hotels through a secure website. That's not so bad, she explains, in the past she had to do much worse things. Only sometimes it is bad when suddenly there are several men and they rape her at the same time. She is trying to stop, but is afraid that other parts will have to go back to 'the group', as she calls the meetings. The money from the sex work she brings to uncle Pieter every month, to pay for the pills she gets.
I connect with part Sasha, who is stuck in a memory after an admission to a hospital, where the metal bed is a big trigger. The fear and guilt surrounding this memory is extremely high. Remembering it takes a lot of effort: she has to work hard to overcome resistance and allow and bear the multitude of strong emotions, but eventually she succeeds in verbalizing the memory. First by a child part, Lisa, whom I did not know yet, in child language, helped by the central child part Emie. It's about giving birth in a ritual setting where Sasha, the body was 15, had to kill her own baby born on the spot. It is the sound of her own laughter in the process that haunts her most. She talks about having to look at the child, show that you are bonding. Because when you manage to attach and then kill while smiling, you are the most powerful. She really couldn't do that looking and bonding, and so Lisa split off: a child part holding the baby and looking at the baby. Then Sasha had to kill the baby. After becoming aware of this memory, Sasha makes a profound decision that she never wants to go to a cult meeting again, regardless of the threats that are sure to follow. She makes a list of 'my deeds', things she feels extremely guilty about. 'If I don't write it now, I may never dare again', she writes. What strikes me immediately is that the word 'others' on the list can just as easily mean another person as another part of the person Esther. The guilt that another part 'carried the torture of the well and the coffin', because she couldn't do it and 'left', seems to weigh as heavily as the guilt that she had to teach boys how to rape. What 'the torture of the well and the coffin' entail, I don't learn until much later.
Through conversations with Sasha, it becomes clear that the forced visits from childhood to the (often) nocturnal cult meetings have never stopped. There is complete amnesia between Ilze and Sasha and they do not know what each other is doing. I act as an 'external frontal cortex' (note) and pass on information from Sasha to Ilze. Ilze feels deceived by uncle Pieter and others, when she hears through me that Sasha still goes to cult meetings and is extra motivated to stop the forced prostitution work. I encourage Ilze and Sasha to look inside each other and get to know each other, this turns out to be a difficult process that takes a lot of trial and error.
Security Letters and Cameras
Now that it has become clear that Esther is far from free from the cult, we decide to take a safety measure. The parts of Esther that know a lot about their past and present in the cult are asked to write down as many names, places, dates and other details of crimes they were involved in as victim, 'perpetrator' or witness. Digital material is also stored. This is a huge internal struggle for Esther, because some parts of the group want this very much and other parts absolutely not. But even those parts that find writing it down life-threatening recognize that it could be their only life insurance. The letters arrive, in many duplicates, and are deposited via a clever system in many places that nobody knows about.
If it turns out that there are parts who still let offenders into the house, after which camera images have been erased, we also have new cameras installed at the house. The images go directly to someone, so erasing the images is no longer possible. This turns out to be a huge improvement in safety at home.
A pressing problem arises: Ilze turns out to take a handful of the pills she gets from Uncle Pieter every month. The month progresses, Ilze has no idea what kind of pills they are and doesn't dare to hand over a pill to me for testing. She is convinced that the cult will find out immediately, 'they are everywhere and know everything'. The fear is extremely high. After months of talking and negotiating I get one pill with the agreement that I will have it tested by a friend of mine in another part of the country. It turns out to be hard drugs, a trip drug that stimulates lust for sex. A difficult and courageous path of withdrawal follows in cooperation with a psychiatrist. The pills appear to suppress fear, stress and very traumatic memories, the ability to think more clearly with less and later without pills makes the constant re-experiencing of terrible memories much stronger.
At a face-to-face meeting, Sasha shows me weird text messages she gets. They make her visibly anxious. They are codes in 4 or 5 digits. The last number indicates the day. It's about having to give information, I understand that a certain part has to call on the day in question. But there is also a threatening mail in words: 'you are cursed to the 2e black rose'. That's Christmas, Sasha tells me. And there will be a code that means suicide. This recurs regularly in the years that follow, along with changing numbers that I understand designate the part that is supposed to do this. Each part has its own instructions on how to commit suicide. One time that code is written in blood on the outside of her bathroom window. The pastor of her church, who is now involved in a networking meeting we convene from time to time, is there when this is observed. Another time, her partner sends me a picture of a car following them that has a similar code written on its side window. But as it turns out, they have many more arrows in their sights.
Backup sharing and other sharing
Ilza and Sasha quitting their 'duties' as they call it, creates a storm throughout the person. Two 'backup parts' of Ilze show up, which have to force her to resume her duties as a sex worker. They turn out to be addicted to white powder, which sometimes suddenly appears on the mat, and they sometimes get it from someone on the street. That someone turns out to be André, who plays a pimping role towards Ilze. These childlike and little developed parts of the personality know him as a nice man who gives them white powder which makes them feel better. They have very traumatic memories, but no bad experiences with André. When they 'accidentally' encounter him near their home on the street, they take the white powder and use it. There their memory stops and Ilze, it turns out, takes over. She suddenly finds herself in a van and is abused terribly. Again and again it becomes clear to me that the memory walls between the different parts are often hermetically sealed. When I meet a new character, he or she is usually still living in his or her own little world and has no idea what has changed in Esther's life in the past six months.
I get to know all kinds of parts. Some, like Ilze's backups, only know their own piece of 'life' and have no idea of the effect of their actions on other parts or the whole person. Some are tasked with minutely informing someone from the cult at set times about what they are going to do this week. Behind them lie tortures as a young child in which she had to remember and report exactly all the details of her day. A missed detail meant waterboarding, a successful report earned a candy. There are parts in English and a part in German, which carry memories of abuse abroad.
Other parts know a lot about the inner world, but are completely stuck in the thinking of the cult. They have a "task" to hurt another part inside that disobeys the cult. They do this by bringing memories of torture from this particular part into everyday consciousness. These parts are furious with me for causing chaos inside. Some are deeply convinced that satan is the almighty and the illuminati are going to take over the world. You are powerful when you have power over others and eating someone's heart makes you strong. What makes me think that's not true? I use cognitive techniques that sometimes help a little and shoot holes in fixed beliefs. But usually the breakthrough only comes when we manage to talk about the moment that part has been split off or 'programmed', by means of extreme conditioning. Always a memory with extreme torture at a very young age: the first time anal rape, after being raped by several men locked in a coffin for hours under the ground, locked in a cage with body parts of a child, 2 nights in a forest on a chain with men coming every few hours to rape, giving birth on an altar and seeing your baby raped afterwards, while being raped having to make a promise that you will always belong to grandpa, raping another child for the first time.
The enraged part that identifies so strongly with the values of the cult then has only a small piece of the memory: the worst pain, the moment it felt like the body was tearing apart, the moment of reciting the promise to Grandpa and Satan.
If it is possible to tell the whole memory together with other parts, which are already willing to cooperate for freedom, the part appears to be willing to stop his or her self-destructive task. For the other parts this is a very difficult task, because they too have only a piece of the memory and now they have to realise the whole terrible event, including the split-off worst physical feelings and emotions. However, it is the only way to freedom for the sabotaging part and therefore the whole person.
Divide and rule
Divide and conquer seems to be the guiding principle of the satanic cult. A first way they achieve this is, that the memories of horrible events are stored in pieces in different parts. There is horizontal dissociation (parts carry in time a different part of the torture) and vertical dissociation (parts carry from the same moment different sensory aspects: the sound of the saw, the laughter of the men, the pain in the body). As we know from all kinds of theories about trauma processing, memories cannot be processed if the most difficult, painful, shameful or repulsive parts of them are avoided. Without external help this is not possible with these extreme traumas.
Another way they pit the parts against each other is by having different personality parts have very different experiences with the same person. We already saw this with pimp André. But the same trick has been used with multiple uncles and other offenders in the cult. For example, Esther is locked up for a long time by uncle 1, naked, in a coffin that is actually buried, together with another girl. Every movement makes earth fall through the cracks and makes it harder for the other to breathe. At the moment that the part of the personality that is present only wishes to die and the division within the person occurs, the girls are 'freed' by uncle 2. The extreme relief and safety experienced by the new member at uncle 2's side creates a strong bond. That the same Uncle 2 rapes and otherwise tortures at other times remains hidden from this part.
A third way in which personality parts are played off against each other is through mutual guilt, shame and anger. We saw this with Sasha, who feels guilty towards another part because she 'left' and 'let another part carry the torture down the well', in her words. This refers to a torture in which Esther had to descend into a well in which there was exactly so much water that if she strained and stood on her toes, she just barely avoided drowning. When her body couldn't take it anymore because of the cold, fear and exertion and she gave up and almost drowned, a new part split off. Sasha feels very guilty afterwards towards the new part that she let them pay for 'her' misery, she should have been able to endure this herself. This guilt is aggravated
because this new part after the pit gets extra torture because she doesn't know previously trained behavior (because of the amnesia between her and Sasha), which cult perpetrators (who undoubtedly knew there was amnesia) charge her with 'deliberately playing dumb'.
But there is also anger between them, e.g. one part that got a knife in her hand (she is a young teenager then) and refused to kill her baby. In the cult there is no "no" and eventually another part took over and killed the baby. Resulting in anger from the first part to the newly arrived part. As 'assistant-cortex I act as a bridge between the different parts. I explain, encourage them to 'meet' each other and see how that other part, in her or his way, helped the whole person to survive at that moment. There really was no way out then and there. Parents, grandparents and many uncles were in it. Missions did not respond to the frequent dental visits for which uncle took her out of school. Even suicide attempts were not allowed, nor was real death. Often there was a doctor - a general practitioner in everyday life - who stitched up the wound just in time, or stopped the bleeding, or gave a suitable injection.
When I ask the central child part to draw the inner world, a tightly organized pyramid-shaped figure appears on paper. All parts have separate places with spaces in between. A particular drawing that she had to make as a child with grandma is also significant: it is the drawing of a chest of drawers, a place to safely store memories.
Purposeful separation of personality parts
Gradually it became more and more clear to me that this satanic cult works in a very thoughtful way, armed with highly developed psychological knowledge. Parts have 'spontaneously' split off because the limit of what a human being can bear in torture was reached during torture, causing the personality part that was present to split (again). But most of the parts that I speak with and with which I build up a bond, have been split off on purpose by the cult and then trained for a specific task by means of new torture. This becomes even more clear to me when, in addition to memories of abuse and torture at home, in the barns of relatives and in ritual settings (church, forest), memories are also told of torture in a place which some members call the 'school': a hospital-like place where professional torture equipment is present. Most, or perhaps all, of the memories in which electroshock is mentioned relate to this location, but in addition to electroshock there is a wide range of torture possibilities. Esther indicates that this was also the place to which she was taken when secrecy of events was especially important. This was always the case after abuse by people in high places. If the abuse was carried out abroad, torture with the aim of secrecy took place at such a location in the country in question.
Treatment relationship: between distrust and fragile trust
When you grow up in a sadistic environment, as is true, with the exception of the name-bearer part (see below), for all of Esther's personality parts, learning to trust people is an enormous and almost impossible task. How can you ever trust your partner, when your own father, mother, grandparents, uncles and aunts were sitting at the table with you one moment and were your executioners in another context? How can you ever trust another human being when other perpetrators at times deliberately tried to gain your trust by giving loving attention and shortly after destroyed your fragile hope again by rape and torture? Who is to say that one day your partner will not do something similar? Who is to guarantee that I, as a practitioner, will not suddenly give up or abandon my involvement?
The distinction between someone with a good heart who sometimes makes mistakes and someone with malicious intentions is hard to make for many parts at the start of the treatment. If I promise to be online at 11 o'clock for an appointment, the most damaged parts will immediately distrust me if I am there at 3 past 11. Reliability must be experienced again and again. Mistakes I make need to be named clearly and explicitly and, if they are justified, I need to say I'm sorry. Most parts of the personality do not dare to address me directly when the fragile trust is emotionally damaged; I notice it in the withdrawing movement in the contact, there is less or no sharing anymore. Noticing this, finding out what went wrong in the contact and repairing it, is essential. Distance in our contact and not being able to share what is going on inside, makes Esther immediately more vulnerable to the attempts of the cult to get her back in their clutches.
The cult knows this, of course. Divide and rule' is a principle they apply to the personality parts of their prey, but also to the supporting relationships of their prey. Only in the course of the years, with bits and pieces, I get more insight in the ingeniously malicious way they try to destroy the treatment relationship. Ilze, perhaps the most damaged and therefore most distrustful personality part, tells that she receives 'copies' of mails that seem to come from my mail address. In them, I communicate with the cult about her, suggesting that I am actually being used by the cult. She tells of being invited to dial into a phone call that someone from the cult is supposedly having with me, in which 'my' voice sounds very convincing to her. Including a curious snort that I seem to have, of which I am not aware. She indicates that she receives photos of me talking to people who belong to the cult. Deep fake methods are apparently abundantly available to them. For Ilze it remains a fight for a long time: what if they are right after all? They often lie, but not always. So many people have turned out to be fake. Why shouldn't that apply to me as well?
As the treatment relationship grows through trial and error, she gradually dares to share more about it, sometimes with others, sometimes with me. The 'poison' that this kind of cult message spreads in the person comes to light more quickly and does less damage. In the end, what is real and true will win from lies, deception and deceit.
Threatening emails, police and follow cars
Meanwhile the threatening mails keep coming in to Esther, now that there is no reaction to the codes, in the form of little poems with sentences or words that trigger specific traumas. To stop the automatic responses that this triggers, we are working together very hard to uncover the triggered memories in their entirety. Ilza, who has been kicked out of rehab, regularly struggles with her desire for drugs and extreme pain, the only ways she has learned to deal with emotional pain. With all the memories coming up one after the other, it's a very tough fight.
I get a few threatening emails directed specifically at me. 'Let your chosen one go or you will be dead', is one of the messages. I inform the district agent and give her a copy. I cut out the e-mail address, I have no illusion that following that address will lead us to the perpetrators. Moreover, I now know that the word police causes enormous stress in my client. A number of children have told me of torture at the age of 5, where men in police uniforms first provoked her to tell what grandfather did and then violently sexually abused her. The child parts I speak to are adamant that an eraser stick is there to be put in your vagina.
My client is very regularly followed on the bumper on the way home by cars or vans with blinded windows, with flashing lights. With the network we set up a system that there is contact with her on the road, to help her stay in control. This often works, but sometimes not. Then a part automatically follows the signaling car to a parking lot, where rape and threats take place. The cult's goal is always to get a part so far back in its automatic response that it will come of its own accord in the night to a cult site, where they have all the time and resources they need to reprogram parts with extensive torture.
Attempt to break relationship with social worker?
Our bi-weekly appointments are always at the same time and day. When an unexpected appointment falls through, my husband and I spend that morning working in our garden, which is still in the construction phase. My husband finds, neatly tucked under the leg of a fence along the adjoining path, a bright red wallet that turns out to be full of all kinds of drugs. We are highly surprised: who would leave a stash of drugs for someone else so conspicuously? The path is sandwiched between our garden and a police station, which is equipped with cameras at the back. It strikes me that the wallet lies exactly on the spot where both police cameras are pointing at it. I don't understand a thing, until my eye falls on the initials on the wallet. I send a picture of the wallet to my client. A child part lets me know that the wallet is theirs from before, but that they lost it a long time ago. Ilza is angry with me, she could use some drugs because the struggle is so heavy. I puzzle and puzzle: Was it the intention to send her a text message, that she would pick up that wallet herself, after she had been with me? And would the cult have threatened her that they have it on film and will send those videos to me if she doesn't stop by my place herself? Knowing Ilza that would have caused so much shame that she would indeed never have wanted to come back. Further on in the therapy it becomes more and more clear to me that this must indeed have been the intention. I take some pictures, call the police and have them pick up the purse.
In the midst of all the parts I meet and with whom I make contact, I notice that one part is missing. The literature speaks of an 'outer part', the name bearer who knows nothing of the abuse and the cult world in which she is enmeshed. After one and a half years of intensive collaboration, I have not yet met such a part. Every part that I meet knows fragments of abuse and the cult world. I do not discuss this with my client or her partner, but keep it as a question mark in the back of my mind.
Then, a few weeks before I go on vacation, I meet her through the app. She doesn't know me. Who am I, and why does she need to app with me? She has a very ordinary life and no problems at all. Her only problem is that she is forgetful. Sometimes she misses days, weeks or months. But doesn't everyone? Or maybe she's psychotic? Although I was expecting her, meeting her is a bizarre sensation after 1,5 years of intensive work on the most horrible memories. Step by step I have to win her trust. Now and then I get an email from another part, but much less than before. I give her psychoeducation about DIS. I tell her about the process of the last year and a half; what other parts have told me, piece by piece. She laughs at me. No, uncle Pieter is always very nice. She does have very bad dreams about people in black robes, something bloody that she has to eat. They become flashes while she's awake. What she tells, I recognize from what other parts told me earlier and in much more detail. Finally, without consulting me, she takes the test and goes to the kindly Uncle Pieter to ask if the abuse is true. She tells that he became furious when she arrived and said "it's about time Ilze?". After that she doesn't remember anything. She does know that she has an enormous headache when she comes back hours later. From another part I hear that she has taken the blows, the abuse after, and the pain of the carving of cult symbols in her body. This meeting with uncle Pieter is a turning point for the name-bearer part. She starts having more and more dreams and flashbacks, most of which are not new to me.
Processing in wartime
Meanwhile the stream of mails, pictures of torture and anonymous phone calls the part Ilze receives from the cult continues. The goal is always to scare her so much that she breaks off contact with other members and with me, and returns to the cult perpetrators. In addition, the photos of earlier tortures trigger all sorts of unresolved, horrible memories, which repeatedly disrupt the fragile communication between the parts. They work very hard to process the memories that have been left too exposed. One part writes down what she knows about it and leaves the document open on the computer. Other parts that know how it went further, take over. A memory emerges in bits and pieces, some in good Dutch, others in the language of a four year old or an angry teenager. It's about abuse at home, by parents, uncles, grandpa. Abuse in the company of parents, being delivered via 2 intermediate stations to men in a house or in a forest. About childbirth in cult setting, sex with dogs, rape and murder of a baby and more.
EMDR with personality parts and the whole person
If the processing gets stuck, I sometimes use EMDR via the chat. For example when Ilze gets stuck in a reliving of a dog with its penis stuck in her vagina. She gets stuck writing it down. Instead of clicks or eye movements, I give her sums which she has to calculate while focusing on the physical sensations. This seems to work well.
Writing down all those memories is a very intensive task for Esther. That's why I try face-to-face EMDR a few times around a certain trauma, hoping to speed up the processing. This works overpoweringly after only a few sets. We return to writing therapy. Further down the line, the name-bearer part gets stuck in processing a gang rape during childbirth. The feelings of panic and intense physical pain and being trapped on all sides are overwhelming. Another part gives me the names of the perpetrators, which the name-bearer part doesn't know yet. She gives me the tip to print out the photos that belong to the names and to do EMDR with them. When Esther comes, the photos indeed appear to start a fierce process of processing. I see all kinds of emotions pass by, including panic, hyperventilation and vomiting reflexes, but gradually all the pieces of the memory fall into place. Extremely relieved, Esther leaves my office 2 hours later.
Forced perpetration part of programming strategy
As the Argos documentary on ritual abuse also shows, forcing victims to commit crimes is an essential part of this cult's modus operandi. When pictures of torture don't trigger Ilze sufficiently anymore to make her panic to them, they send pictures of this kind to Ilze. For example, pictures where she, as a child, has to rape another child, but also pictures where she, as an adult, has to do such things. What's not in the photo, of course, is the context of extreme coercion, where the only choice is between evil and worse. For example, she tells me about a moment where she and a group of 4 children between the ages of 6 and 8 had to rape another group of slightly younger children. If she refuses or hesitates in her 'task', one of the men supervising took over and raped the child many times worse and then her as well. Obeying the task makes you guilty, refusing the task also: then it is because of your disobedience that another child suffers even more. This example is exemplary for the moral clampdown she is put in again and again. As every trauma therapist knows, shame and especially guilt are the hardest emotions to deal with. So it is also for Ilze. I don't get to see any of these pictures, but I am a frequent witness of the extreme self-hatred they evoke. Talking about this is surrounded by a lot of shame, guilt and fear. Often she refuses to talk or 'walks away' from an app conversation after which another part takes over who knows nothing about this. I feel like an executioner when I persist and pull the sentences out of her again and again. By now I know that such intense emotions with Ilze, if she can't share them in any way, always lead to a growing need for extreme pain and pills. Those are the only ways the cult has taught her to deal with heavy emotional pain. Both are available from the cult and sometimes make her go back to people from the cult in that way 'by herself'.
Threatening emails to me and police involvement?
As I said, none of the 'culprit pictures' I get to see. The shame and self-hatred and the fear that I'll give up is far too great. What I do get to see is an offensive of threatening emails, including photos, sent to my work email address. There's a build-up to it. First only threatening texts, then a picture of the face of a dead young woman with visible signs of torture. Then photos of women or girls having sex with animals, naked women tied to a metal bed, hanging from trees, a naked woman completely wrapped in plastic, a starving, bloodied and desperate teenage girl in a concrete cell. Most of the photos I can't show here, because they are pornographic and/or to protect the privacy of the victims depicted. To illustrate two examples of these cult emails.
Most of the photos also go to people in the network that has grown up around Esther. Especially around cult holidays, there are periods when such an email comes in daily. Sometimes it is a recognizable series, like around Halloween 2020, always with the title 'because of you nr1, nr2 etc.' with a picture of a child or adult being tortured.
Ilze's panic always increases when I tell her I've received such an email, and gradually it becomes clear to me why. She receives mails with the same titles as we do, but with her 'offender pictures' are added. The suggestion the cult makes is that we get them too, and even later they explicitly suggest they will succeed in getting us to go to the police with them. She will be convicted while they will escape, is the message. While I am talking to her on the phone when she is driving home from work, she tells me with fear in her voice that there is a police car behind her and a police motorcycle in front of her. The next day she sends me an e-mail, sent from the address I know by now, with a photo of a woman being electrocuted. To her left and right a uniformed officer is standing, with the text: 'Didn't you dare to stop? Were you afraid?
Such intimidation with the use of police cars/motorcycles, strengthens her fear that indeed she will be arrested by the police on the basis of her offender pictures one day.
The way up
The perpetrators constantly pull out new triggers to make personality parts respond automatically. When photos and triggers of certain torture memories are sufficiently processed, there is no longer an automatic response to the triggers associated with those memories. The perpetrators notice this too and come up with new photos, other perpetrators who walk or drive by, trigger words, or certain gestures that partly have a threatening meaning. Sometimes I notice this myself, for example when I walk with her to the car.
The balance between the parts is therefore in constant flux. Processing memories makes personality parts that have not done any cult work for years stronger. It calms small, separated parts of the personality that no longer run outside in an ultimate panic when they hear a certain sound signal, for example. It also strengthens the relationships between them. Many memories pass by several times, are first processed by a number of personality parts that do not often act in daily life. In a next stage, when a new balance has been found, the parts that are active in daily life can also participate.
This requires constant alertness to what is happening in the outside world and what it is doing in the inner world. Disturbances to the vulnerable inner balance must be noticed immediately and 'defused'. In addition to all the emails and photos that come in, this involves cars with flashing lights in the parking lot in front of the work window; cars with flashing lights that follow along the way; men who walk past in front of the house or work window and make subtle finger gestures; certain farms where people are usually at the door when she drives home, with a cage in their hands or a certain hat on, attributes that have been used in certain tortures and therefore trigger certain parts. Perpetrators who call and say trigger words or texts, whether or not on the work phone which she has to answer. Two at a time they come to the door with a laptop in their hands, showing pictures of the perpetrator in order to create a shock effect. A number of times, however, someone broke into the workplace, pretending to be a handyman. Several times, also during my treatment, Esther is lured into a trap, raped, forced to swallow a pill, forced to promise to come at night.
But through all the struggles and relapses, two steps forward and one step back, the inner cooperation increases little by little. A very clear sign of progress is that the 'falling away', which she and her partner talked about at the intake and which I also experience on the phone several times when her partner calls for help in such a situation, no longer occurs after about a year.
Blackmail with torture of relatives
After about two years of treatment, a new means of blackmail emerges that is used by the perpetrators to lure my client back to them. They threatened to torture my mother or others with whom my client had a relationship if she did not come at an agreed time. The desire to 'save' them proves strong and the urge this gives to give in to their demand to come anyway is great. There are photos of her adult son, while he is being tortured. Hanged from chains, raped. Return and this will stop, is the message. Some parts do know he was in the cult too, but the parts doing the daily don't. First, the photos end up in part Ilze's 'own' mailbox, which other parts don't know the password to. When she doesn't respond, the photos go to Esther's general mailbox. Ilze wants to hide the pictures from the other parts at all costs, they can't work and educate themselves if they know this, is her fear. She starts to negotiate with the cult, which creates dangerous situations.
Esther's personality system struggles to remember this son, which results in a great deal of fear, guilt and grief. The illusion that she had succeeded in keeping this son safe must be shattered. It is the only way to break through the power of this blackmail tool of the cult. After that Ilze doesn't have to hide these pictures at all costs from the other parts in their person. She doesn't have to be constantly alert anymore and remove the mails with these pictures from the mailbox in time. And, now that she can exchange about this with other personality parts, she can better understand that not responding to these photos and videos at all is the best way to stop this additional torture of him. This is a process that takes place through trial and error
As has been argued in this article, one of the main reasons why this cult and pedosexual network is so difficult to 'catch' is the fact that many of their victims are ingeniously 'programmed' through torture to keep returning 'of their own accord' to their offenders. Many therapists will recognize the powerlessness that this can evoke in themselves, but certainly also in the survivors and their environment.
The cult offenders, as I have noticed over the past three years, are very patient. They take as little risk as possible, continue to hunt for their prey, and wait for a weak moment when they can trigger frozen traumatic reactions strong enough to make the victim react so that he or she walks up to their car or van and gets in or drives to a location on their own.
After months of hunting Esther down, during which this was no longer possible, apparently their patience had run out. On December 3, 2020, I had her on the phone, helping her get home safely from work. It was already dark outside. Suddenly I heard 'nooooo' and the connection was broken. Twenty minutes later she appted me again. She was standing in a deserted parking spot, unable to drive. She told me that, at the moment of her 'noeeee' she was at a traffic light and someone had gotten into the back seat. With a knife at her throat, she was forced to drive to an abandoned parking spot nearby. He indicated he would kill her, but was disturbed when there was a knock on the side window of the car.
Esther herself described the detailed course of this apparent murder attempt in an open letter to her perpetrators, which can be found elsewhere on this website.
It was clear to her that the only protection she has - besides divine intervention - lies in the incriminating information she has about this criminal cult and pedo network. With her open letter, she made it clear to her abusers that, in the event of the next physical violation of her or her loved ones, she will bring out incriminating information.
Esther goes on
My aim with this article was to give an impression of the enormous task facing victims of ongoing ritual abuse if they want to break free permanently from the cult and its associated paedosexual and porn network. Esther's struggle is not over yet. Much of the processing work she will have to do herself, but as every trauma therapist knows, processing severe trauma can only be done in connection with others. Not just with me, as the therapist, but also with a strong partner standing beside her and with a network of trusted people who can help and support practically. Practical help can take shape through hanging and maintaining cameras, riding along on the route from work to home, literally or through telephone support and through other practical help.
Some remarks about the treatment of Esther
Looking at the literature on trauma and dissociative identity disorder, a few things stand out:
First, with ongoing abuse, in the context of programmed DIS, stabilizing first and then processing is not an option. Processing must be done, and done very quickly, in order to stay out of the hands of the perpetrators. This makes a big demand on the flexibility and commitment of the therapist. In my opinion this process is not feasible with a therapy of 1 or 2 hours a week.
Secondly, processing works, in principle, according to the usual psychological mechanisms which we already know from trauma processing, only this one is much more complex because of the presence of expressly created self-defeating parts and the continual disturbance from outside. The principles, however, remain the same: Processing trauma stagnates if the client is not able or willing to admit all the unpleasant elements of the trauma. Whether it is about horrible images, murderous guilt or extreme shame, as long as this is kept away, the memory remains unprocessed. That is, the feelings associated with it are not extinguished or diminished, but the memory is kept in a "deep freeze" in the brain. Where, through nightmares or triggers in daily life, it sometimes suddenly forces its way into consciousness. This principle is exploited in this satanic and sadistic network in an extremely cunning way, as I wanted to show in this article.
Third, the cult is way ahead of us in their knowledge of DIS. It seems that the satanic cult has been perfecting their programming for at least almost three quarters of a century. Whether there are lines of cooperation with e.g. the CIA or whether they build upon knowledge that has been or is being gained there, is an important question. What is certain is that war criminals who were brought to the US after WWII have used their knowledge in the service of the CIA to develop mind control methods.. It has been widely acknowledged that the CIA, in projects with names like BLUEBIRD and MKULTRA has been guilty of serious crimes by performing experiments on people using means such as hypnosis, forced drug use and torture. Goals included creating multiple personality parts, causing total amnesia for a committed crime such as crashing an airplane, making people commit crimes against their own moral convictions. To illustrate, one of the questions asked in the BLUEBIRD experiment was: 'Can we create by post-H (post-hypnotic?) control an action contrary to the individual's basic moral principles?' Although the CIA officially claims that these kinds of experiments are a thing of the past, at least one former CIA agent insists otherwise.
Whatever the relationship may be between the satanic cult and the knowledge developed by the CIA, it is clear to me from Esther's treatment that this satanic cult is very, very adept at abusing the ability of the human personality to split when tortured at a very young age. Partly due to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, the research on DIS and programmed DIS in the 'normal' psychological world is still in its infancy.
In short, there is work to be done. We need therapists who can provide long-term, intensive treatment to cult survivors and who, in the absence of sufficient knowledge, will dare to pioneer.
It is important that therapists do what they always do: assume that what clients say is true, unless the contrary has been proven beyond doubt. The fact that something is too horribly and ingeniously evil to be believed is insufficient reason to deviate from this principle. From many wars, terror regimes, and individual stories of mistreatment and abuse past and present, it is clear that humans are capable of any atrocity.
Insurers are needed who will provide money for this. Reliable, committed people are needed who are willing to offer a temporary place of refuge or who are willing to help with the many practical matters that are necessary. It requires awareness in society and in judicial circles that acquittal is just when crimes are committed under heavy coercion and blackmail and with a split personality. Society needs to be prepared to really listen to survivors and be willing to believe their story. Even if it means drastically and definitively shattering our illusion of a relatively safe Western world. The children of our society, some of whom grow up in a sadistic universe, are entitled to this.
'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, said the French philosopher Edmund Burke.' 'The children of darkness proceed with more deliberation than the children of light, said Jesus Christ.' It doesn't have to stay that way. The choice is ours.
 See letters to the Lower House about the LEBZ, elsewhere on this website
 Miller, A. (2012), Healing the unimaginable, treating ritual abuse and Mind Control. London: Karnac Books
 Fisher, J. (2017), Distinguishing and uniting personality parts. Eeserveen! Man!
 A concept I borrow from Janine Fischer, see p. 95 in her book Overcoming inner self alienation after trauma. 2017, Eeserveen: publisher Mens!
 Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing is a method currently used by psychologists for processing traumatic memories. By asking specific questions the most unpleasant 'memory picture' of the traumatic event is retrieved from the working memory, together with the accompanying unpleasant thought. The assignment for the client is, with this picture as a starting point, to follow the feelings, thoughts, images or body sensations that present themselves from within, without eliminating anything. At the same time, a simple second task must be performed, usually following a moving light or listening to beeps through headphones.
 Miller, A. Healing the unimaginable, p. 15-17
 https://www.thoughtco.com/mk-ultra-cia-mind-control-4174691consulted on 14 February 2021