Words We Use to Deceive Ourselves



I was wasting time on the Internet and found “For an Exercise ‘Snack,’ Try the New Standing 7-Minute Workout” from the New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/04/well/move/for-an-exercise-snack-try-the-new-standing-7-minute-workout.html

An exercise snack! How delicious! How adorable!

I could set my kitchen timer and, when it rang, get up and whiz around the house for a couple of minutes doing stretchy aerobic things. It would be fun and easy. Just like it’s easy to slip potato chips into the cracks in my day, it would be easy to slip movement in between paragraphs as I diligently write something that exercises only my brain and my fingers.

People dearly love to change the meaning of words to make something unpleasant seem more acceptable. Like “snack” for “short workout.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines euphemism as “the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euphemism

It “derives from the Greek word euphēmos, which means “auspicious” or “sounding good.” The first part of “euphēmos” is the Greek prefix eu-, meaning “well.” The second part is “phēmē,” a Greek word for “speech” that is itself a derivative of the verb phanai, meaning “to speak.” Wellspeak. Goodspeak. 

Basically, it is a word or phrase that makes something unacceptable seem nicer. Take a look at these examples:
ethnic cleansing (genocide)
collateral damage (killing of civilians in war)
developmentally disabled (used to be retarded)
put to sleep, euthanize a pet (kill)
sleep with (have sex)
exercise snack (short workout)

Of course, most people know what you are talking about. You may come across as polite or prissy, but you probably aren’t fooling anybody.

The substitution of * for vowels in words that you guess might be triggering is supposed to make the word harmless. Your brain is not fooled; it just adds back the hidden vowels. That old brain of yours is pretty smart!

Of course, sometimes your brain does get confused. Many professions use so many specialized words that whatever they are trying to convey can’t be understood by an outsider. Here is part of an abstract of an article from Ayurveda (Integr Med. Oct-Dec 2018;9(4):285-289.) Can you tell it is about the alternate treatment of heart failure?

“This efficacy study was conducted in CHF patients (aged: 25–65 years, ejection fraction (EF) 10–30%) wherein HFRT (60–75 min) consisting of snehana (external oleation), swedana (passive heat therapy), hrudaydhara (concoction dripping treatment) and basti (enema) was administered twice daily for 7 days. During this therapy and next 30 days, patients followed the study dinarcharya and were prescribed ARJ kadha in addition to their conventional treatment. The primary endpoint of this study was evaluation of maximum aerobic capacity uptake (MAC) as assessed by 6 min walk distance (6MWD) using Cahalins equation from baseline, at the end of 7 day treatment, follow-up after 30 days and 90 days. EF was assessed by 2D Echo at baseline and after 30 days of follow-up.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30287144/ 

Lawyers, doctors, accountants, and government officials all use jargon like this. Musicians, druggies, and people living in certain neighborhoods also have their own jargon, but they call it slang. It’s a way to define the in-group and exclude others. 

Like any dialect, it takes on a life of its own, changing and becoming more elaborate with time. We have a hard time understanding Shakespeare’s use of standard sixteenth-century English, let alone the slang of that time. Some day English speakers will be baffled when they read what we have written. 

And then there is language that nudges you into saying or believing a particular thing.

What did you see? (open-ended question)
Did you see a dog? (leading question)
Did the dog bite anybody? (a more detailed leading question)

Propaganda and advertising also use language designed to make you think a certain way. So do cults. It’s a cheap, easy way to control their victims.

Looking back to when you were being abused in the cult, you may remember language used in a way that is not generally used in the larger society. Perhaps there was an in-group dialect or slang. Perhaps you can spot euphemisms – “offering” and “sacrifice” come to mind for me. And certainly, rape was never called rape. Any time a word in present-day context sounds weird, it was probably used to confuse or control you.  

Some psychological defenses also contort language. Take minimization: “Oh, it wasn’t so bad.” (Oh yes, it was. It was terrible.) It’s called a defense because it’s used regularly, not just now and then. You can’t face the facts, so you sugar-coat them.

I know all these tricks, and I choose to do them as seldom as possible. When I do them without thinking and catch myself, I make a note not to use those words again. Since we all are raised to use euphemisms, and since cult kids have a harder time with language because words were used against them, this is a never-ending project.

At times, however, distorting language is innocent, even helpful. Excuse me while I get a snack – an exercise snack, not potato chips or chocolate!  


~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/9 Mothers’ Day
5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse 
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

June
 6/10 Annular Solar Eclipse
 6/20 Fathers’ Day
 6/21 Summer solstice
 6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
 6/24 (?) St John’s Day
 6/24 Full Moon

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2) 
5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

~~~~~~~~~~


* You can find more information on the following holidays at:
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/
Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/
Summer Solstice: (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/ 
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/
Fall Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/ Halloween: (personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween: (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
Thanksgiving: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/
Yule/Winter Solstice: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/ 
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/
Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/

Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

 

 

 



Internal Family Systems Therapy Workshop

There are two announcements after the main part of this post.

I attended a 12-hour Workshop on Internal Family Systems Therapy. It was on ZOOM, and I am pretty comfortable using ZOOM now. I wasn’t triggered by being on video, and there were so many people attending that I just faded into the background. 

I noticed that I have the world’s messiest bookcase as background. I have no desire to tear it apart, find new places for all the papers and vases and other miscellaneous items, nor do I wish to subject myself to the frustration of not being able to find stuff when the bookshelf beautification project is complete. I have some lovely ZOOM virtual backgrounds, which I use on occasion. I do get spooked by seeing parts of me disappearing and reappearing as the software tries to catch up with itself. I shall therefore offer my bookcase, as a kindness, to make many people proud that their offices are tidier than mine. 

I wasn’t triggered by being in a large group, either. I didn’t have to interact with anybody. I also was under no pressure to remember anybody’s name or what we talked about. Actually, there was no pressure to remember anything, come to think about it. That was a treat because when I attend an in-person workshop, I’m expected to spend breaks and lunchtimes with others, to join email groups, and to remember all sorts of things, whether I am presenting or not.

I didn’t know anything about Internal Family Systems Therapy when I signed up for the workshop. Years ago, I had looked at their website and decided that it was pretty complicated and I didn’t have the time to study it. That was the sum total of my knowledge of the subject.

The workshop was well-organized, the slides were clear, and the presenter was knowledgeable. The content was interesting, and I learned a lot. I’d like to share a very brief summary with you all.

IFS theory postulates that everybody has a Self, everybody has experienced trauma to some degree, and everybody has developed parts to deal with the trauma. These parts came into being to protect the Self from being overwhelmed. Now the person has everything inside themselves that they need to heal. The therapist doesn’t have to give suggestions or advice or teach the client anything. All he/she has to do is guide the internal process of the client. Here’s an example:

T: “Is there a part of you that has thoughts or feelings about X?”
C. “There’s a part that’s mad.”
T. “What’s that like?”
C. Describes how the mad part makes things more complicated, how it would be better if that part went away.
T. “What’s the worst thing that could happen if that part of you stopped making things more complicated?”
C. “I would get overwhelmed and couldn’t cope.”
T. (to client’s Self, sense of “me”) “That mad part of you is doing a very good job of trying to protect you by distracting you.
T. “I wonder what would happen if, just for a second, that part stopped protecting you. If it stepped back, just for a moment, what would that be like?”
C. “I would okay for a short time. I know I would.”
T. Asks both the Self and the part if they are willing to try it. After getting permission, coaches them on how to step back and leave a quiet space between them. Then asks what it was like for each.

See how everything happens internally? Each time the client works with a part, the Self gets stronger, and the part does less and less protecting. Since the protective behavior (cutting, eating or not, worrying, criticizing, etc.) is a distraction to help the Self not deal with the trauma, symptoms diminish. The therapist doesn’t address the symptoms, just guides the client through the process of experimenting and negotiating with the parts.

Once the protectors are all on board and have faith that the Self really is strong enough to deal with the trauma, the healing phase of therapy begins.

There are parts, called “exiles” in IFS therapy, which hold the memories and feelings from the trauma. The therapist guides the client through the process of meeting an exile and learning about the age and the trauma in general terms. The next steps are finding out what the part would have liked to have happened, determining that the adult Self can give what is needed, and then providing it through guided imagery. At that point, the exile part is able to release the trauma and stops being stuck in the past. The trauma becomes a memory and does not have the overwhelmingly intense images and feelings of a flashback.  

I like that the client is not pathologized and that, from the start, the therapist conveys that the client has all that is needed to heal inside themself. I like that all parts of the person are treated with respect and always given freedom of choice. I like that the purpose of a symptom, not the symptom itself, is the focus of attention. It is a gentle, compassionate approach to trauma treatment.

I don’t like that IFST would take a long time for many therapists to learn because of the difference in approach and language and the number of protocols for different processes. (It’s sort of like EMDR in this respect.) Although from reading their website I gathered that it could be blended with other modalities of therapy, it would take much thought and time to do so.

Here is The Internal Family Sytems Institute’s website. https://ifs-institute.com

Browse through the News section for free Webinars and the Resources section for articles, videos, and podcasts. The bibliography in the Research section has a wealth of books, which you can sample at Google Books, Amazon, or Questia.


~~~~~~~~~~ 

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve


May
5/1 Beltane
5/9 Mothers’ Day
5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse 
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

June
 6/10 Annular Solar Eclipse
 6/20 Fathers’ Day
 6/21 Summer solstice
 6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
 6/24 (?) St John’s Day
 6/24 Full Moon

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
4/4 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. This year, Easter falls on 4/4.)
4/8 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2) 
5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

* You can find more information on the following holidays at: 

Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/

Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/

Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/

Summer Solstice: (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/

Fall Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/

Halloween: (personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/ 
Halloween: (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
 
Thanksgiving: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/ 
Yule/Winter Solstice: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
 
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/

 ~~~~~~~~~~

*Highlights of a New York Times article


The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are proving highly effective in preventing coronavirus infections under real-world conditions, the C.D.C. found.

Troubling variants were circulating during the time of the study – from December 14, 2020 to March 13, 2021 — yet the vaccines still provided powerful protection.

The C.D.C. enrolled 3,950 people at high risk of being exposed to the virus because they were health care workers, first responders, or others on the front lines….

Among those who were fully vaccinated, there were .04 infections per 1,000 person-days, meaning that among 1,000 persons there would be .04 infections in a day.

There were 0.19 infections per 1,000 person-days among those who had had one dose of the vaccine. In contrast, there were 1.38 infections per 1,000 person-days in unvaccinated people.

 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/29/world/pfizer-moderna-covid-vaccines-infection.html?campaign_id=60&emc=edit_na_20210329&instance_id=0&nl=breaking-news&ref=headline&regi_id=112647142&segment_id=54428&user_id=c9efd3687ea12eec8e32e61a5b86de7d

 

* Survivorship Regular Conference – Saturday and Sunday May 22 – 23, 2021
Clinician’s Conference – Friday May 21, 2021
Information on the speakers, topics, and registration is at https://survivorship.org/the-survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-2021-conference/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Integration of Self-Images

I have, for years, thought of Satanic ritual abuse as the principal form of trauma I suffered. The mind control experiments and the child pornography were add-ons, so to speak. They came later and ended sooner than the Satanic stuff.

There was a two-year period when the Satanic abuse was the only form of abuse I suffered. It burned into my mind and seared my spirit. The core beliefs I held about myself and the outside world were twisted to conform to the cult members’ beliefs. It also deeply damaged my ability to assess situations or other people because the double binds and ever-shifting demands confused me terribly. In trying to read a situation, my mind bounced from one set of assumptions to its opposite, never landing on anything solid.

When I was in a double bind, I adopted one side, then the other, never knowing which to believe or what to act on. If, in desperation, I flipped a mental coin, I was left in confusion. “I should have done X, but maybe Y (the choice I made) was the one I should have picked, but no, looking back, X is what I should have done.”

Here are some of the core beliefs I acquired during first the training (I think of it as Sunday School) and then the actual rituals:

I am evil
It was my fault, I am guilty
I am stupid
I am ugly
Nobody loves me
I deserve to be hurt
I am not good enough
People are dangerous
People are cruel
There is no escape
I have no control over anything that happens

Well, I could go on and on.

There was little to counter these images of myself and of others. My mother was separated from my father because of the war and exhausted from the responsibilities of being a single parent, albeit one with money enough to hire women to care for her two pre-schoolers. She had no living family to turn to, no close friends nearby. She also had a poor self-image; she believed she was not good enough or intelligent enough to manage all these challenges. Don’t know if she still had to trudge off to rituals every holiday. I hope not.

Anyway, at home, I got another set of “not good enough” “not lovable” messages and no tools to patch together my shattered self.

When I entered first grade, I was enrolled in an experimental mind control program designed to test if various programming systems were easy to install, easy to use, difficult to break into, and durable. I was a desirable subject because I was intelligent and compliant and came completely dissociated. Here I got my first exposure to messages that were different from my core beliefs. It was a glimpse into another world.

What do you call the researcher who experiments on you? Programmer? Handler? Scientist? I called him my teacher. I was treated by my teacher as if I were smart and likable. I think he truly did like me, not for myself, but because I was so easy to work with. I made his job easy.

I loved working with him because it was challenging and fun. I bonded with him, as well as with the work we did together. We were together during the school year for six years until, I believe, his project lost its funding. I don’t know if I got to say goodbye to him, but I think I did. I was shut down – the systems that had been installed were made inaccessible to me and I was made amnesic for my teacher and all the work we did together. This, to me, was an unconscious implicit promise that he would return, reverse the shut-down, and we would start working together again.

I bonded with him so tightly that he became the ideal man – “my type.” I can reconstruct his looks and his personality from studying the kind of guys I fell for over and over again. I wonder whether the belief that he would soon return gave me the strength to endure the remaining years of abuse and the hope that I could one day be happy again.

The third source of my self-image came from the child pornography section of my life. There I learned that I was an object to be sold over and over. My worth was tied to my ability to make good money for the group of pimps that ran the child pornography ring. The men handling me changed frequently, depending on my age and the setting I was being sold into. I didn’t have enough contact with any of them to form a sense of attachment, and I could not even remember the men I was sold to. I am sure that there were repeats, but they were infrequent. Besides, I was programmed not to remember anybody!

Some of the core beliefs implanted by the cult were strengthened, others not, or only minimally so. Of the items on the list above, only “I am evil,” “It was my fault, “I am guilty,” “I am stupid,” “I am ugly,” and “I am not good enough” were not reinforced.

The self-image I developed with my teacher did not erase the basic self-image implanted by the cult. It existed in a parallel universe, off in its own dissociated little world. I have been spending many long years trying to integrate it into my core self. That work is not yet complete, but I have come a long way.

I had to remember what happened in the cult and with my teacher and remember how I felt. The contrast was dazzling! They were polar opposites. For a long time, those beliefs sat side by side, like the poetry books and RA books on my bookshelves. Then, slowly, they started to merge. Things were no longer black and white; they were grey – or, rather, they were in color. I had zebra stripes; a mean streak, a kind streak, times when I was compassionate or judgmental, clueless, indifferent. All sorts of different things, all part of the same person.

When I only knew the cult, I was one-dimensional, evil to the core, worthless, and guilty. With the advent of my teacher, I became two-dimensional, but I could only be in one dimension at a time. And when the amnesia lifted and I could work on these issues, I became multi-dimensional, deep, multi-colored, sparkly, all at the same time.

The mind is a strange and wondrous thing. And the weirdest thing of all, this happened without any integration of the tiny little pieces of me.

~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

March
3/21 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/28 Full Moon
3/28 Palm Sunday

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon

May
5/1 Beltane
5/9 Mothers’ Day
5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/28 – 4/4  Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/4 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. This year Easter falls on 4/4.)
4/8 Yom HaShoah  (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/

Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/

Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/

Summer Solstice: (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/

Fall Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/

Halloween: (personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/ 
Halloween: (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
 
Thanksgiving: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/ 
Yule/Winter Solstice: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
 
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/