Tara Workman-Tulley, Ultra-Marathoner. Therapist, and Survivor/Activist

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

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I’ve asked my friend Tara to write a guest post this time. She’s one of my heroines, and I gain inspiration from her almost daily. If she can do all she does, I can do my little bit.

Check out her Facebook page!  https://www.facebook.com/ultraboxertara

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My name is Tara Workman-Tulley. I am a therapist/survivor of ritualistic abuse. I grew up in a Mormon community and home and many of my abusers used distorted Mormon rituals as part of my abuse and torture-conditioning.

As a survivor of extreme abuse, I have lived for years in the pain of being silenced and marginalized. I was directly or indirectly reminded that I’m not seen, who I am isn’t real, and my stories are too insane to be true. I became too afraid to speak out professionally or personally.

I feel like a fog is being lifted. The part of me that has lived in despair, loneliness, and hopelessness is now gaining the will to live, the courage to hope that things might change, that survivors will be heard and taken seriously, that those who perpetuate the great evils and horrors of extreme abuse might be brought to justice, that there might be hope that the human race will overcome these things and become an enlightened species.

Understanding and support have been a long time coming to me. In the 1990’s I was taken to a cult therapist and abused and reprogrammed for a period of two years. I experienced extensive horrific abuse by this therapist. He shut down access to my memories and programmed me to believe that I had False Memory Syndrome. I believed that narrative for many years despite FMS not being congruent with my many symptoms and the PTSD-related suffering.

The False Memory Society was formed to target therapists who were helping survivors and to exploit the vulnerability of survivors in order to spread their propaganda. They insisted that any memory of ritual abuse and most memories of sexual abuse had been implanted in the minds of survivors by therapists who wished to keep them as clients for the money involved. Since the 1990’s, with more clinical research, the False Memory theory has been largely proven as unfounded, and questioning survivors abuse memories is also unfounded.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/02/attacks-on-the-credibility-of-abuse-survivors-are-not-justified-by-research

However, what was termed as the “Satanic Moral Panic” and “False Memory Scandals” live on in pop culture despite growing evidence that support survivors’ claims.

The Australian Royal Commission, for example, has recently concluded from an extensive investigation that claims of extreme abuse within institutions are founded and there is evidence that supports claims of extreme organized abuse and sex trafficking. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/12/14/asia/australia-child-abuse-hearing-conclusion-intl/index.html

In 2017 the #metoo movement swept the nation, as women were empowered to share their status as survivors on social media. This brought many survivors out in the open in Utah as well. I was interviewed by The Guardian about the shame  Mormon survivors’ shame within the church https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/29/mormon-women-metoo-particular-challenge-sexual-abuse

The #metoo movement inspired a movement within the Mormon Culture that supports San Young’s (a former LDS Bishop) efforts with his Protect the Children Campaign. With the #Mormonmetoo campaign, a wide scale effort has been launched to push the church to make policy changes to protect children and to acknowledge how wide-spread the problem is. Sam Young has collected over 54,000 signatures and stories from survivors who have experienced sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual questioning through one-on-one interviews. This has largely been ignored by the church officials, who have made small public relations moves but little movement toward policy changes.

The work that Sam Young is doing and the hunger strike he is currently staging are monumental for survivors. He has garnered the media, inspired thousands to come stand with him, and is validating the thousands of survivors’ stories that have been handed to him. Sam’s page, with many survivors’ stories, is at http://protectldschildren.org and you can see a video of Sam at https://www.facebook.com/ProtectLDSChildren/videos/1974736579257275/UzpfSTExNTc2Njc5NTM6MTAyMTY2MjMwOTIxNDcyMjk/ and read about his hunger strike at https://kutv.com/news/local/hunger-strike-puts-more-scrutiny-on-mormon-youth-interviews

Since the momentum has picked up from the #metoo movement, McKenna Densen has made national headlines after she was able to obtain a recorded confession from Joseph Bishop, a former Missionary Training Center President, of being sexually assaulted when she served as an LDS missionary and he was in a high ranking position of authority https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/US/woman-breaks-silence-30-years-raped-secret-room/story%3fid=54255419

Since McKenna’s move to pursue legal action against the Church and Bishop, two other cases have come forward against the Church. Kristy Johnson https://www.sltrib.com/religion/local/2018/06/28/father-molested-his/ and Kristy Allen have made allegations of ritual abuse https://youtu.be/Ux2AcpGTpcM

In April of 2018, I was interviewed by Interfaith Radio about some of the problems with survivors going to church leaders for help and support when reporting abuse http://interfaithradio.org/Story_Details/Forced_to_forgive_her_abuser__a_Mormon_woman_loses_her_faith

In July of 2018, I was interviewed by Gina Colvin, through her “A Thoughtful Faith Podcast” specifically about ritualistic abuse cases within Mormon communities.
https://www.athoughtfulfaith.org/255-mormon-culture-and-sexual-abuse-tara-workman-tulley/

Since the beginning of this year, I have had increased contact and communication with survivors of ritualistic abuse from Mormon families. They are coming forward with stories of their years of torture-conditioning and the frustration of being unable to find support, treatment, and belief in their truth. We have begun to organize as a community and are growing on a daily bases, finding each other and validating the common dark secrets we have all carried for too long.

We are becoming public and open about the realities of ritualistic abuse, challenging the false paradigm of false memory syndrome. We are committed to speaking our truth and are not willing to be shut down and silenced as we were in the 1990’s. We are prepared to stand by our stories and to help others become free from the extensive pain and damage they have experienced through the unspeakable crimes that seem unbelievable because of the extent of evil in them, but are true and real.

I’m gaining more courage daily to speak frankly as a professional and survivor about extreme abuse and to confidently state my truth and believe that some people will hear it and believe me. It’s so liberating! I feel like a life-long weight has been lifted from my soul. I am very humbled to see and be part of the momentum and force that is building right now so that the world will finally now the truth and leaders of truth and justice may be raised.

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Upcoming Holidays

August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/26 Full moon

September
9/3 Labor Day
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/24 Full Moon

October

10/13 Backwards Halloween
10/24 Full Moon
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve/ Hallomas/All Souls Day/Start of the Celtic new year

November
11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/22 US Thanksgiving
11/23 Full Moon

December

12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/22 Full Moon
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
9/1 N Start of WW2
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)

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5 thoughts on “Tara Workman-Tulley, Ultra-Marathoner. Therapist, and Survivor/Activist

  1. I just recently met with Tara for therapy. I am a Ritual Abuse Survivor in Utah. I have done quite a bit of therapy in the last two years to try and get well. I can unanimously say that Tara really knows what she is doing and is the real deal. So glad she is speaking out, and so glad I could find her through her Advocacy efforts.

    1. I too am glad you found her! I think she is very talented as a therapist and as an organizer.

      There is so much going on in Utah, so much honesty, so much courage, so many people supporting each other. You have a lot of momentum going and I think you are going to make big changes, not only in the Church, but all across America.

      I get more and more excited each week! I’m writing about Utah again in the next post.

    1. It’s only Mormons, because, little as the Church authorities listen to Mormons, they would to non-Mormons even more. But I am sure Tara would like hearing you are with her – write her through Facebook. Being an activist s exhausting and a fan club is sooo welcome.

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