Media Fueled the Satanic Ritual Abuse Craze. Social Media Will Fuel the Next False Panic.


Babeland denies the allegations, but their denial only made people more irate. Is Babeland racist?

In our fevered call-out culture, defending yourself against an accusation only serves to solidify the accusations.

IOW, only racists protest being called racist. It's best that the owners of Babeland go ahead and take their place in the social media stocks of our digital town square.
Ok so we’re just conflating the lurid accounts of repressed memories from childhood with the account of a possibly wrongful firing that happened, like, last week?

I mean, sure, people on all sides jump onto bandwagons without knowing the full story. But racially motivated firings and unfair treatment in the workplace definitely happen and are often not adequately addressed, unlike massive Satanic sex cults, and it’s ridiculous to place those things on the same level, even if people are mad online.
that is an incredibly thorough history of the 80s satanic panic setting up an incredibly brief description of 2 recent social media skirmishes that may or may not have been fueled by questionable pop psychology and the mainstream crossover of 80s hair metal

anyway i assume this is the babeland story referenced in the article…
Also if you’re interested in a dramatized take on the satan-worshipping child molester craze of the 80s check out “do you know the muffin man?” starring pam dawber, stephen dorff and andy from family ties
Great stuff, Katie, I really appreciate what you are doing.
What are you, some kind of Satanic Ritual Abuse apologist?
And here's MIT proving that Jonathan Swift remains correct in this digitally age when he said:
“Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it,... like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.”

What is the cure for rampant bad information and emotional "soundbite" politics?
Is the Enlightenment completely dead?
Appropriately enough, I remember the Wenatchee With Hunt story vividly—despite incorrectly remembering it as having happened in California's Central Valley. So sad how many lives were ruined, but let's not forget most of these cases were brought on by naive, overzealous, or in some cases just plain vindictive prosecutors who never had to answer for their mistakes (despite one couple being awarded a settlement from the county).
*Witch, not with
Check out this ISSTD webinar on ritual abuse and mind control:…
Lot of finger-pointing at online social apps these days, but most of the bad information that most people get is still from the television.
This recommendation for careful fact checking brought to you by an author who fell for a blog post's fake fact that most self-described trans children turn out not to be trans. A blog post adding up numbers from 1950s studies of sissy boys. (Not kidding.) The recent work if you read it actually says that self-describing as trans is a strong indicator of being trans. And all of this just to get a flashy fact that had no particular bearing on the detransitioners' stories being reported.
Great article Katie, I remember reading Lawrence Wright's "Remembering Satan" two part New Yorker piece from the May 17th and 24th issues. Incredible read that's on their site. It's no coincidence that Televangelists were still very popular at that time. I watched Jerry Falwell every Sunday morning, because he was funnier than SNL.

Back in the day, a small group of us now and then, would go to a cabin on the Peninsula to see how much beer we could drink. One weekend something prevented me from going, but later my friends told me a ridiculously funny thing that happened to one of them. I thought the story was so funny that for a couple of months I would repeat it as nauseam to anyone who would listen. The problem was I went from telling the story in third person to first person, like it was from memory. Finally someone told me "Hey, you weren't there". I snapped out of it, I realized I had created my own false memory . Not hard to do.
@Mtn. Beaver: who fell for a blog post's fake fact

Lol, you didn't even read the article. How perfect.

Katie reported Jame's Cantor's (a scientist, professor, and clinical psychologist who also has a blog) summary of research suggesting that 80% of trans kids ultimately revert back to cis. That paragraph was immediately followed by quotes from a transactivist who disputed this number (although without citing any research). Kate also explicitly noted that some of those studies were 40 years old and had small samples sizes.

Katie then summarized a 2013 study in Amsterdam of 127 trans kids that found 2/3 of them ultimately detransitioned. Kind of interesting, wouldn't you say?

Your comment only proves Katie's point - the orthodox left is just as hostile as the right to information that challenges scripture.

Sorry, May issues of 1993.
We're already living through a nightmare of national derangement, as exemplified by the daily rantings and ravings of Prezinazi Rapist, and the 38% of vile Despicables that worship him.
Let us not forget the Jordan, Minnesota episode [which also inspired the Big Black song]:…
Great article! Reminds me of the 80s when we used to set up mock Satanic ritual sites in the forest next to the middle school. Caused quite a stir. Ha ha!
Somebody needs to do something about social media RIGHT AWAY! BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! WHY WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
The internet is a flaming pile of shit.
@treacle: Is the Enlightenment completely dead?

Given that more and more people are treating ideas as tribal membership badges rather than models for understanding the world, I'd say the prognosis doesn't look good.
@Sportlandia: This whole idea of "challenging ideas" are simply micro aggressions.

It's worse than that, it's "hate speech"!
The QAnon craze has mostly eclipsed Pizzagate craze of last year - for delusional Trump cult members, anyway. The parallels between all these freakish conspiracy theories over the decades is pretty remarkable.

There is one common denominator for all them, however: paranoia. Both the kind of paranoia caused by mental illness, and the kind caused by long-term recreational drug use.
The unfortunate death of Delvonn Heckard reminded me how quickly crazes can be created. Between the ignorant lefties and paranoid reactionary righties, the tidal wave of insane conspiracy theories emerging from the Facebook comment threads about news of his death was something to behold.

No matter that Heckard was a recovering addict who had just been given $150,000. The highly un-educated comment crew was 90% sure that Ed Murray had creeped up to Heckard's Kent motel room, and burned the whole building down. Nevermind the fact Murray was no longer Mayor, and the city had already settled the civil case.

It's no wonder that there are now thousands of people on Facebook and Twitter rallying around the notion that the Earth is indeed flat, the NASA is covering it up. No joke.
First off- our brains can protect themselves through self-defense mechanisms such as repression. I went through sexual abuse as a kid that I’d repressed until I was at an age and maturity where I was able to face things I’d always held inside of me. Not all cases are fact, but this article is so fucking silly and sad to be so blatantly insensitive.

There would’ve been a better way to approach the fact that The Stranger has ties to Babeland and The Punk Rock Flea Market- here’s the fact- white people in seattle are all racist. Because it’s ingrained in privilege and power. Just look at the terminology we use to describe “evil”: darkness, versus “good”: light.

This article comparing satanic sex ritual false repressed memory scares to individuals saying that they were terminated because they mentioned their race- only manages to prove how racist people in the PNW are..
@26 the linguistic history and social conception of good/evil as light/dark predates the concepts of whiteness and blackness. I suppose you could say that africans were called black because it lined up with european ideas of evil; but the historical record of "black skinned" people dates back to egyptian times; Judeo-Christian light/dark symbology goes back a few thousand years as well. "Whiteness", as a racial construct, only dates back about 300 years and arose as a way to rationalize the slave trade (rather than vice-versa). Africans became New World slaves because they were non-Christian (Christian slavery having been functionally outlawed since at least the 1400s). The connection in the modern sense is basically made-up pop science.

That Racism is ingrained in people through privilege and power, is of course correct; unfortunately this has lead to a clammoring by white people to find ways to discard their theoretical access to privilege and power; thus we see the rise of "Identity Politics" and people inventing all types of labels whose primary purpose is to shield the bearer from criticism.
@16 Original Andrew: Thank you for again beating me to it.
Here's an interesting article about "Media Diets"..
Some useful details in that about how brains work, esp. vis-à-vis media.
Katie does it again! Easily my favorite Stranger writer in years.
@8 Dougsf -- that was the McMartin trial, in the '80s
I posted the below denoted text on Facebook, on March 1, 2018, a week before Herzog’s article was published. I am an artist and a curator. The Stranger has both covered my work and been a source of its promotion. I am also a survivor of child trafficking, and I am old enough that I not only partook in the sexual abuse survivor movement of the 1980’s and 1990’s, but witnessed the coordinated backlash against our voices, on the ground. Our voices, let me remind you, were primarily women’s voices, women who dared, thanks to the Second Wave of feminism, to finally speak out about the incest and abuse we’d suffered as children, and this was for the first time, after hundreds of years of taboo induced silence. The article would have you believe that we were all crazy, that we as women were duped by therapists and social workers, that we had no agency and were not the authorities on our own lived experience. This proposition is insulting beyond words.
Herzog inserts some quotes to lend her narrative the imprimatur of science, but she couldn’t be more wrong. Repression is an old Freudian term. The proper description is dissociation, and the scientific support for this adaptive response to trauma is so solid at this point it is irrefutable. The evidence for the existence of dissociation is based on cross cultural studies involving phenomenology, prevalence, memory, neurobiology, neuro-imaging, and psychophysiology. For over 4 decades now, over and over again, it is absolutely demonstrable that traumatic experiences can be and are dissociated to the point of amnesia. This is not only true in the case of sexual abuse, but in war, accidents, and natural disasters. In evolutionary terms it may at first sound counter intuitive, but if one is dependent upon other humans for life sustaining necessities, the prudent response is to dissociate if the same people are also the source of intermittant life threatening harm. To claim that dissociative amnesia does not exist is to be completely ignorant of 30 years of trauma research. This is such a serious breach of journalist ethics it can have no other motivation but a political one, and the politics here are ugly beyond belief.

This is the text I posted on March 1 on Facebook: A funny thing happened on the way to “satanic panic”. Have you noticed the proliferation of articles excavating this subject in the wake of #MeToo? A number of mostly liberal media outlets are suddenly producing articles on the topic. They have to get in front it, just in case any survivor of a trafficking ring, elite or not, decides to join in the campaign and out somebody really important. By important I mean, someone who profits directly from human trafficking or uses sexual blackmail for political leverage. Weinstein was already on his way out, so in a sense #MeToo was somewhat manufactured to begin with, but I digress. 
The current public consensus is that this country underwent a strange phenomenon in the 1980’s and 1990’s, wherein police, and social services personnel concocted sexual abuse allegations, and worse, in multiple cases where no such crimes ever took place. This consensus is built upon years of media productions, including PBS Frontline specials, and Pulitzer Prize winning articles. These media items feature the claims of “experts” who, it is perceived, examined the cases contemporaneously, and historically. It should come as no surprise however that sometimes public consensus is entirely wrong. The problem is that there are relatively few people willing to wade into the morass of child trafficking. There are relatively few people willing to stand up for trafficked children unless they have a direct, personal investment in the issue. Therapists and social workers are bound by rules of professional conduct that make it nearly impossible to cross lines into activism. 
On the other hand, child trafficking is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and there are far more people not only willing, but wholly invested in making certain their profits, and lives, are not disrupted by meddling officials, social workers, or therapists. Such is the case with the so-called “satanic panic”. As someone who lived through the original, let me tell you, no, let me challenge you, to revisit all of the major cases of the era. Read the court transcripts. You will find that in nearly every instance, there was irrefutable medical, and corroboratory evidence of child rape. Who was it who really panicked, was it parents and the authorities, or was it powerfully connected child traffickers with far too much at stake? For me, a survivor of elite child trafficking, the answer is obvious.
So, why should you care? Because kids like me were used to entrap and blackmail your public officials. We are one of the central reasons why, no matter how you vote, major policies rarely change. So next time you see an article about “satanic panic”, consider that you are getting played, just like your congress critter in his hotel room, and give a good, long side eye to the publication you’re reading.

Just a note for those who do wish to know what’s contained in primary sources like the court transcripts, and for an overly cautious, in my view, interpretation of what really happened, read this book:…
Also, they found the tunnels at McMartin. Archeologist Dr. Gary Stickel of UCLA was hired to do a dig. He found proof in the form of differential soil density, cut roots, structural and plumbing anomalies, and dated artifacts, including animal remains, that the tunnels existed just as the children had described them.

Through my activism since the late 1980’s, I have had direct contact with many survivors across the country, including parents and adult children involved in a couple of the major cases from the era. I also surreptitiously trolled a listserv where the people who helped concoct the backlash narrative that is “satanic panic” hashed out their rhetoric. I know well the characters involved, and their public representatives in journalism. It is said that history is written by the victors, and that is certainly true in this case. History, in this case, was written by pedophiles and child traffickers. I’d like to ask The Stranger staff, what is your excuse? Let me be very clear in stating that I will not actively or tacitly support any publication that uses its public voice to cover-up child trafficking. I may not have much power in the arts community, but to the best of my ability I will discourage any use of The Stranger for future advertising or promotion.
How convenient that this article makes bold, sweeping claims while backing up almost none of them. If you just repeat the buzzwords like "debunked", "widely exposed as false", "witch hunt", "craze", "panic", and "no evidence", that's somehow enough to dismiss dozens of child abuse cases, and countless more never reported, across the US.

This article claims that ritual abuse allegations all started with _Michelle Remembers_, and then infected psychiatry and law enforcement, as if it was some pernicious contagion. What's the evidence provided for this? "By most accounts". Ooh, how authoritative. It is, of course, necessary to portray therapists as reactionary incompetents and abuse victims as nothing more than manipulated pawns, because otherwise the "satanic panic" insistence begins to crumble.

It's an oft-repeated claim that ritual abuse allegations begin and end with lurid allegations, having no corroborative evidence. And the evidence doesn't show that at all. During the McMartin trial, for instance, they found evidence that suspect Ray Buckey was a child molester in Virginia McMartin's own diaries (…), and that was before the tunnel excavation analysis reports in the 1990s. The Frank Fuster / Country Walk daycare case (…) involved a perpetrator who had already been convicted of child molestation, and there was not only hard evidence of abuse -- gonorrhea of the throat in Fuster's own son (…) and disturbing photographs (…) -- but children independently disclosing the abuse to their parents without any outside influence (…). In the Presidio child molestation case, the first accusation came when a mother noticed her child playing with his genitals and saying "Mr. Gary [his daycare teacher] do it" (_San Jose Mercury News_, "ARMY OF THE NIGHT", 1988/07/24), another victim spontaneously identified her abusers in a public setting and successfully identified their house (…), and the ensuing Army CID investigation turned up more evidence, including other kids picking the accused out of video lineups and a lawyer who was kidnapped and threatened because of her investigation (_Record Searchlight_, "Lawyer kidnap may have satanic link", 1989/02/10).

Far from the narrative of therapists pressuring children into making their disclosures, it was quite often the children themselves who first told their parents and caregivers. And these disclosures had plenty of corroborating evidence for anyone who was willing to look.

Even in the cases where therapists played a role in uncovering accounts of abuse, there's no basis for discounting those abuse claims. This very article contradicts itself on the issue. While stating that "evidence suggests that people tend to remember traumatic, life-changing events", it also insists traumatic memories can be easily implanted by therapists' questioning. Which makes absolutely no sense. Just because the human mind is "susceptible to suggestion and revision" does not mean that horrific memories invoking real emotional reactions can be fabricated. It is, on the other hand, a natural defense mechanism of the human mind to attempt to push traumatic memories away: this manifests in dissociative disorders like multiple personality disorder that the article dismisses for no real reason. So the disparagement of repressed memories does not hold water either.

There is a fundamental irony in this article. The author claims that during the "satanic panic", the public was caught up in such a frenzy that trying to question ritual abuse allegations was "akin to heresy". Yep, those crusaders against believing children's own accounts of abuse sure were courageous, weren't they? How horrible it was for the media, law enforcement, and general public to actually take child abuse seriously. Now look at how the media, exemplified by this article, treats the subject today. Anyone who dares to question the dominant (and false) narrative that ritual abuse has been totally debunked is simply tarred with the "satanic panic" label, and those who continually push out articles rehashing this same position are never expected to back up their claims. It's denialism of ritual abuse, and by extension the voices of abuse victims, which has become so enshrined in the public consciousness that daring to care about it is the real "heresy".
I commend the author of this article for being thorough, accurate and for having the courage to speak out about the hysteria that grips our culture over deluded claims of widespread sexual misconduct.

There is no doubt that some sexual misconduct occurs in our culture. That is unfortunately inevitable in any human collective.

The media, and
Ayo, hol up. You're saying that you're questioning a charge of racism by a POC wymin that racist white people fired her for being black? THE STRANGER IS RACIST. BOYCOTT THE STRANGET FAM.
How many black POC femmes has the Stranger ever fired? I'll bet you the Stranger has done some really racist things. This smells like they are covering their own butts in anticipation! The Stranger is wack y'all and racist.
The author omits a key element in her story, the role of our state. Washington was the first in 1988 to enact a law allowing victims of childhood sex abuse to sue for damages after reaching adulthood. Other states passed similar laws, and in 1992, accused parents formed a non-profit in Pennsylvania to promote a defense for themselves—the accusations were memories implanted by therapists. The Seattle Times played a key role in August 1992 to promote this idea. Based on IRS reports, the non-profit spent $7M over the next decade promoting the idea that memories of childhood abuse are false.
These promotion efforts were so successful that by 1994, 85% of the popular press covered historical child sexual abuse accusations as “families torn apart by false accusations” (See: Beckett, 1996).
What the popular press didn’t know, or perhaps ignored, was that within the shadowy halls of academia, research showing recovered memories could be corroborated was piling up. By 1995 when Lawrence Wright’s “Memory Wars” was released, studies by Bagley, Feldman-Sommers & Pope, Herman & Shatzow, Kluft, Van der Kolk & Fisher, and Williams found that memories of incest remembered in adulthood can be corroborated. Researchers tell us that many young children who are raped by someone they love and trust, someone they rely upon for their survival will somehow manage to archive/repress/forget those memories.
But to say that recovered memories of childhood incest are false simply because experts say so is reminiscent of the Milgram experiment. With the permission of the media these days, we can tell our friends and family members who disclose childhood abuse, “Yeah, I read about that false memory thing in “The Stranger” last week.
- Lynn Crook
Interesting backgrounder on the ritualist stuff, and typically fearless analysis and extrapolation. Keep it up Katie!
Reader beware.

Hopefully, for the sake of this aching world, readers noticed that the author of this piece, Katie Herzog, has an agenda other than objective reporting on the subjects of ritualistic and other extreme abuse, psychotherapy for trauma secondary to child abuse, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and irresponsible reporting on these subjects (I believe that Herzog’s article exemplifies her last point).

I know I am not alone in experiencing a Beetlejuice head-spin to Herzog writing: "Now, evidence suggests that people tend to remember traumatic, life-changing events, and we know that the human mind is highly susceptible to suggestion and revision, especially when prompted by therapists and other people perceived as authorities." How do those two clauses fit in the same sentence? Looks to me like an intentionally feeble attempt to acknowledge the other side of the argument, then immediately dismiss it! (Herzog’s disconnected interjection of allegedly false claims of racism also raises an eyebrow!)

For those who prefer an academic review of the empirical and forensic evidence of ritualistic abuse, an accurate chapter on the subject is posted online here (on my website):… (from the book: "Cult and Ritual Abuse: Narratives, Evidence, and Healing Approaches, 3rd Edition," by James Randall Noblitt and Pamela Perskin Noblitt, 2014).

For those who want to read about psychotherapy for dissociative disorders secondary to childhood trauma (which Herzog inaccurately reduces to "recovered memory therapy," a term that most traumatologists would never use), see "Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision," by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, posted here:…

As Herzog ridicules the existence of ritualistic abuse, extreme and sadistic abuse is expanding exponentially on the internet in a multi-billion dollar industry that produces and consumes video of child rape and torture ("hurtcore"). Why does Herzog neglect to draw our attention to that? She’d rather argue that the internet has caused a "Satanic panic."

For readers who want to learn about the magnitude of the trade in child rape in today’s world, the best documentation I have found is a 2017 book by Lori Handrahan, Ph.D.: "Epidemic: America's Trade in Child Rape." For example, Dr, Handrahan writes: "FBI's Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation Joseph Campbell, says child sex trafficking and pedophilia have reached epidemic levels. BBC interview July 2015," (p. 16) and "The European police, Europol, reported, in 2013, that nearly half of all servers hosting child pornography were located in the United States. [37] Europol's 2015 report details a dramatic increase in U.S.-based sites from 516 sites in 2013 to 2,617 sites in 2015; far greater than any other country" (p. 17). Dr. Handrahan continues to publish findings from arrests, court rulings, etc., to her website:

For those who prefer documentaries and docudrama, three series that do these and related subjects justice are:

The Keepers: the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik and the abuse at Archbishop Keough, explained

Wormwood (exposes MK-Ultra)

Manhunt: Unabomber (also exposes MK-Ultra)

These are all available on Netflix.

Finally, Herzog's article can do great harm to extreme abuse victims and survivors. Articles like hers can make them fear that no one, not even a therapist, will believe them when they try to tell their stories, and they NEED TO TELL THEIR STORIES. Will law enforcement dismiss them as deluded if they seek protection? What if they are still children? And if their abuse was so overwhelming that they had to dissociate their memories in childhood to remain sane, and then later, could afford to begin to remember, articles like this can cause painful self-doubt.

Is this what Herzog wants?

Ellen Lacter, Ph.D., psychologist, traumatologist, author, and activist on behalf of victims of ritual abuse.
I gave a talk on this topic, including ritualized or occult-themed abuse, on this video titled Extreme Abuse 101:…. It happens, sadly. Anyone truly interested in the topic might check the video out. I wish it were true that occult-themed abuse was just a panic, that there were no real #metoo's, and we could all just be happy and get along. But as the quote by M. Scott Peck goes, "Mental health is a commitment to live in reality at any cost." Articles like this may keep some naive readers quite protected from reality, but at what cost? I have come to believe it's better to know about extreme abuse than not know, even though it's painful.
This is a dangerously ignorant article. The author has bought right into the intended manipulation through the "satanic" use of the word "satanism" to cover-up for the real issues of human exploitation that have been at-large since at least the 1940s. Ask me. I know. And read my book: "Day Breaks Over Dharamsala--A Memoir of Life Lost and Found." "Satanism" is a ploy. It is also a mindset of power-mongers. (Ask Anton Lavey who wrote "The Satanic Bible.") It is also used as a screen by the really diabolical all-too-human, all-too-power-perverted systems and individuals that perpetrate inhuman exploitation and cleverly hide behind the manipulation of so-called journalists who buy right into the manipulation with pens poised in self-serving stupidity. Pardon me, but I'm sick of it. My other book, "The Battle in Seattle--The Story Behind and Beyond the WTO Demonstrations" explores the systemic exploitation via "capitalism" (wow, you could say "satanism") that underlies the utter degradation of planet and people in order to serve the deep pockets and agendas of the few to whom power is a perversion of prayer. Was "satanism" used as ploy in my childhood experience? Oh, yes. Is the scar on my left arm and my five-year-old fingers on a hand that cannot feel, real? Oh, yes. So was the electro-shock three times a week for a year to see if the severed nerves could be restored to function. I am part of a community of survivors around the world who are seeing their worst experiences as children coming to life in today's world. It's call "brainwashing." And it's rampant. It is in the air we are breathing. Those of us who used to take refuge from our childhood trauma in the "normal" world are now seeing in the "normal" world the very fruition of everything abnormal. It is beyond heart-breaking. And seeing such "journalism" buy right into it is a mind-fuck. So disappointed in "The Stranger" for becoming part of everything it used to stand against.
Where’s the fact-checker at "The Stranger" these days? This author’s heavily-pruned accounts here are in need of someone to find the missing pieces and put them back together. Two examples:

Regarding McNally’s letter to the Supreme Court in 2005:
A case study by Corwin and Oleson in 1997 described a videotaped interview of a 17-year-old who spontaneously recovered a memory of abuse. The case study does not provide a theoretical basis for any kind of therapy—it’s a single case. In its 2007 ruling, the Court left one charge standing: Loftus had misrepresented herself as Corwin’s supervisor in her interview with Taus’s foster mother. Loftus subsequently accepted Taus’s settlement offer.
Regarding the 1991 People Magazine cover story:
In fact there were three People Magazine cover stories in 1991 featuring celebrities who recovered memories. Sandra Dee (March) said she remembered abuse by her step-father on her wedding night. Marilyn van Derbur (June) said her sister had always remembered abuse by their father. I was unable to find a report by Barr of accusing her mother of molesting her. Granted this does not mean Barr did not accuse her mother of molesting her
Wow, this article brought out some weirdos.
@43, something tells me there's a facebook group or a listserve out there recruiting people to comment. Most of them are new or haven't commented her in years.
In the nineties I had a patient who was kind of loosely-hinged. My hinges aren't all that tight either, so I was comfortable working with her. I did some surgery on her for a benign condition and she asked me at her post-operative visit about all the scarring from the 'Satanic ritual abuse' her father had subjected her to. She was absolutely convinced and convincing in her (new to me) history of being subjected to ritual surgeries as a child. I was dumbfounded: she had no skin scars and no internal adhesions, nothing to corroborate her story. If she'd had surgery, she must have much better surgeons than the ones who taught me at my Ivy-league medical school. It was the first time I'd encountered a fixed delusion in an otherwise high-functioning person.

If Ms. Schirmer tells me what happened to her happened, well I believe her. But I will say that she's wrong to weaponize her personal truth to justify beliefs in cases that simply don't hold hold up to examination.

And Ellen Lacter, please. You have a dog in this race. Your commenting here is pure self-promotion.

Just (mis)spent the last hour reading up on the various commenters. Lots of thoughtful stuff from Schirmer. Lacter's CV nowhere to be found (odd for a professional). Couldn't take any more after Google delivered up the connection between Gigi Jordan and Dr. Lacter. Yeesh.