Not plural-phobic: USPATH psychiatrist promotes transition for multiple personalities

This is another in a series of posts examining statements made by top gender specialists at the inaugural USPATH conference in Los Angeles in February 2017. (See here, here, and here for more.)

Note: The audio recordings linked in this post, as well as the presentation slides, were provided by an attendee at Dr. Karasic’s USPATH presentation.

Dan Karasic, MD, plays an important role in the area of transgender health care.  He is clinical Professor of Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, and a practicing psychiatrist for the Transgender Life Care Program at Castro Mission Health Center, as well as at his faculty practice at UCSF. He is also the co-chair of the recently formed USPATH, on the Board of Directors of WPATH,  and, as such, has been instrumental in the ongoing development of WPATH policies and standards.

With so much experience, as both a clinician and trans advocate, Karasic’s statements and clinical judgment carry a lot of weight. So it’s of particular interest that his presentation at a mini-symposium entitled DEVELOPMENT OF GENDER VARIATIONS: FEATURES AND FACTORS at the inaugural USPATH conference last February should focus on a topic as controversial as this: medical transition for one or more “alters” of people with multiple personalities (MPD)—also known as dissociative identity disorder (DID).

MPD/DID had its diagnostic heyday in the late 20th century, peaking in the 1990s. The public was fascinated by the idea that one human being could comprise more than one identity or personality, and novels, films, and breathless media coverage proliferated. The disorder was thought to be the result of trauma or abuse, but has since that time been subjected to the same skeptical reassessment as the now widely debunked recovered memories and satanic abuse diagnoses (MPD/DID was, in fact, often associated with/comorbid with both).

There is something eerily familiar in this excerpt from a 1999 book by Joanne Acocella about the rise and fall of the MPD diagnosis . 

Another important circumstance in Carlson’s case, as in other MPD histories, was the media. During the period of Carlson’s therapy, magazines and newspapers were retailing utterly unskeptical stories about MPD. So was the evening news. MPD experts went on TV with their patients in tow. Bennett Braun, of the nine-hour abreactions, appeared on the Chicago evening news with his star patient. At his bidding she “switched” on camera—now she was “Sarah,” now “Pete”—thus providing early training for prospective MPs in the television audience.

More important than the news were the talk shows. Phil Donahue was apparently the first talk-show host to present a program on MPD; he was followed by Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Leeza Gibbons, and Oprah Winfrey. Meanwhile, celebrities were coming forward with their tales of childhood sexual abuse: Roseanne Barr, La Toya Jackson, Oprah herself. Some of them claimed to be multiples as well. Roseanne, who had unearthed twenty-one personalities within herself—Piggy, Bambi, and Fucker, among others—made the rounds. Again and again on the talk shows it was stressed that MPD was not rare; it was common, and becoming more so. “This could be someone you know,” said Sally Jessy Raphael. Oprah’s program was called “MPD: The Syndrome of the ’90s.” Today, as people are sifting through the wreckage created by the MPD movement, many therapists are blaming the media for spreading the epidemic. They are passing the buck, but still they have a point.

In the late ’90s and into the present day, a number of critical papers appeared in the clinical literature, and the verdict from many clinicians and researchers was that often cases were at least partly iatrogenic:

Although the relative paucity of data on the role of iatrogenic factors in DID renders a definitive verdict premature, several lines of evidence converge upon the conclusion that iatrogenesis plays an important, although not exclusive, role in the etiology of DID:

(a) The number of patients with diagnosed DID has increased dramatically over the past several decades (Elzinga et al., 1998); (b) the number of alters per DID case has increased over the same time period (North et al., 1993), although the number of alters at the time of initial diagnosis appears to have remained constant (Ross, Norton, & Wozney, 1989); (c) both of these increases coincide with dramatically increased therapist awareness of the diagnostic features of DID (Fahy, 1988); (d) a large proportion or majority of DID patients show few or no clear-cut signs of this condition, including multiple identity enactments, prior to therapy (Kluft, 1984); (e) mainstream treatment practices for DID patients appear to verbally reinforce patients’ displays of multiplicity and often encourage patients to establish further contact with alters (Ross, 1997); (f) the number of alters per DID case tends to increase over the course of DID-oriented therapy (Piper, 1997); (g) therapists who use hypnosis appear to have more DID patients in their caseloads than do therapists who do not use hypnosis (Powell & Gee, in press); (h) the majority of DID diagnoses derive from a relatively small number of therapists (Mai, 1995); and (i) laboratory studies demonstrate that nonclinical participants provided with appropriate cues can successfully reproduce many of the overt features of DID (Spanos et al., 1985). Given the high rates of preexisting mental conditions among DID patients (Spanos, 1996), however, it seems likely that iatrogenic factors do not typically create DID in vacua but instead operate in many cases on a preexisting substrate of psychopathology, such as BPD.

As the authors of this article attest, some patients diagnosed with MPD got worse instead of better as they underwent treatment, and not a few came to realize that their deepening troubles were at least partly the result of the misguided efforts of their psychotherapists. Some high-profile cases ended up in court, like this suit brought by Pat Burgus, who settled for $10.6 million against her psychiatrist, Bennett Braun. Burgus had once believed she had 300 different “alters,” and she “recovered” memories under hypnosis that she had eaten human flesh and–among many other horrors–sexually abused her two sons.  She blamed her therapist for convincing her these memories and personalities were real.

Pat burgus.jpg

Before her ordeal was over, Pat would develop 300 personalities, attempt suicide twice, cut ties with her family in Iowa, and go to court to regain custody of her children. She would spend more than two years in the hospital; her children would spend three. And her insurance company would pay $3 million for a treatment regi­men that today seems utterly fantastic….

… Since 1993, more than 100 patients nationwide have sued therapists over treatment for MPD, which was diagnosed in explosive numbers throughout the eighties. “In many of these cases, we see a situation in which the poor training and instability of the therapist, coupled with the vulnerability of the patient, creates a situation fraught with the potential for a folie à deux”—that is, a delusion shared by therapist and patient, says R. Christopher Barden, a lawyer and psychologist who served on the Burgus legal team.

MPD/DID remains today a controversial diagnosis. In a 2004 review paper, “The Persistence of Folly: Critical Examination of DID. Part II. The Defence and Decline of Multiple Personality or DID,” authors Piper and Mersky, make the crucial points bluntly.

piper and mersky highlightsConcerns about the validity of MPD/DID raised by skeptics in the psych literature seem to coalesce around the following: only a small group of therapists have been involved in diagnosing it; the condition often worsens and more identities/personalities arise after treatment has commenced; and its close association with the widely debunked notion of “recovered memories” of childhood abuse further undermines its validity.

Given the precarious legitimacy of the MPD/DID diagnosis, it seems clear that–if it’s going to be made at all–it should be done with extreme caution and, above all, with an awareness of the potential for iatrogenic conditions that might exacerbate it—most importantly, the influence of the treating clinician.

Yet MPD/DID is apparently very much alive in WPATH circles. Returning to Dr. Karasic’s presentation about “trans plurals” at USPATH, he offered several case studies, all of which involved medical transition of all or some of the “alters”:

EF case 7 alters

In the case of this 20-year-old “AMAB,” as seems to be typical with gender affirmative practitioners, medical transition is reported as curative (or at least palliative) for a host of other problems apart from gender dysphoria; in this instance, the patient’s Bipolar Disorder 2 and Alcohol Use Disorder were “treated simultaneously” with the T-blocker spironolactone and cross-sex estrogen. The patient “did well,” and the 7 alters (including 3 in “co-conciousness,” 2 agender, 1 female) seem to have reached consensus about gender surgery later on–presumably the requested “genital nullification” .


Then there is the 27-year-old who identifies as a genderqueer “system.” Diagnosed with autism in childhood, this “AMAB” with a primary “front” female alter, has undergone hormone therapy and presently has 85 “headmates” that include alters, tulpas, and fictives.

Headmates, tulpas, “fronting,” co-consciousness: Dr. Karasic seems well versed in the insider jargon used by the trans plural community.

“So I’ve had several patients who identify as trans and plural

and I guess I had a reputation as a psychiatrist who was not plural phobic.” 

After discussing several cases of successful medical transition of alter identities, Karasic reported on an online survey of 250 self-identified “trans and plural” subjects conducted by three self-described members of the trans plural community, over a one-month period. From the data gathered, there seems to have been a plethora of different alter types reported by survey respondents.

Trans plural survey

Did these alters include “furries,” an audience member wanted to know?

Q: “…What are “damiens?” [sic] The other thing is, were all the alters human, or were there some alters that took on another form?

Karasic: …I think there are people who have alters that take different forms. And I have had somebody with a wolf, you know, and sometimes fictional characters who might not be human, who can become a headmate, basically.

Q: Separate from furries? We’re not talking about furries..

Karasic: No, no no, this doesn’t have anything to do with that. This is just different people’s identities, but there are people who may have within this a system with headmates. There can be kind of a variety of …headmates.

Last August, 6 months after the USPATH symposium, Dr. Karasic discussed his experiences with transitioning multiple personalities in a thread on the public WPATH Facebook page.karasic wpath DID aug 21 2017 part 2

Dr. Karasic does acknowledge here the importance of mental health care for people with multiple issues, but per the informed consent model that Dr. Karasic subscribes to (evidenced by his many public statements, as well as the fact that his trans health clinics operate on the informed consent model), comorbid mental health problems are not seen as a barrier to medical transition instituted before treating other comorbid issues.

karasic WPATH DID aug 21 2017 alter egos fronting

In the era before informed consent became the preferred approach , particularly in the United States, clinicians were often reluctant to initiate hormonal or surgical intervention in patients with comorbid, severe mental health issues. But in the age of gender affirmation, withholding medical transition is seen as restrictive—even immoral– “gatekeeping”—even if one runs the risk of one alter ego disagreeing with medical treatment and suing the provider in court for “violating the rights of one or more personalities“, as a commenter on the same thread hypothesized.

karasic wpath DID aug 21 2017 commenter on court case different personalities

Taking this a step further, might one trans-plural headmate sue not only the surgeon or gender therapist, but one of the other headmates for forcing medical transition (or not) on the others?

Time will tell if the spectacular court cases brought by aggrieved clients who were diagnosed with DID/MPD in the 1990s will play out in a similar fashion within the labyrinthine world of trans plurals.

Meanwhile, the reader may find the concluding paragraphs of the previously cited Piper and Mersky paper relevant when weighing the plight of “trans plurals” and the clinical approach taken by at least one prominent WPATH clinician:

Wherever we look—whether at the posttraumatic model; at theories of repression; at the epidemiologic uncertainties and aggrandizements of the disorder; at the persistent proliferation of personalities; at the elusive data that attempt to sustain the claims of exceptional abuse; at the bland presentation of breathtaking assumptions such as cross-sex, cross-species, or cross-ethnic alters; or at the impossibility of proving almost any of the basic claims of the disorder—we encounter propositions that appear to be founded on beliefs and not on facts or logic. That such beliefs could prosper in a society or a discipline represents an embarrassing weakness of the academic and professional establishment of psychiatry.

Perhaps the closest example of another culture-bound movement that resembles the modern DID–MPD movement occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when mediums and spiritist practices were popular. Hacking notes that “multiple personality has long had close links with spiritism and reincarnation. Some alters, it has been thought, may be spirits who find a home in a multiple; mediums may be multiples who are hosts to spirits” (79, p 48). Much of the best turn-of-the-century English-language research on multiple personality was published by the London- or Boston-based societies for psychical research. However, After 30-odd years of high times around the turn of the century, mediumship, spiritism and psychical research went into radical decline. A zone of deviancy that was hospitable to multiple personality severely contracted (79, p 48).

When it becomes suspect to recommend MPD as part of psychiatric evaluation or treatment, the condition is diagnosed less frequently. For example, Pope and colleagues (80,81) and others (82) have shown that North American psychiatrists and psychologists are abandoning the notion of MPD–DID as an acceptable diagnosis. In these circumstances, we expect that the condition will revive momentarily and die several times before it finally ceases to be a ripple on the surface of the psychiatric universe. In the end, it is likely to become about as credible as spirits are today. Having attempted to rationally analyze the claims of MPD–DID, we trust that we have shown sufficient evidence to predict a steep decline in the condition’s status over the next 10 years and a gradual fall into near oblivion thereafter.

63 thoughts on “Not plural-phobic: USPATH psychiatrist promotes transition for multiple personalities

  1. I really try to not be skeptical of the mental health profession in general but I find it increasingly difficult to not become furious when I see first hand the harm they are doing to young people. It’s hard to find a teenage girl nowadays that’s not diagnosed with something. I have a friend who is a school nurse in a high school and she said it is amazing how many teenage girls are on medication for anxiety. My son who is in high school said it is cool or edgy to be diagnosed with something. My older sons friends joke about how many girls their age are on something for mental health issues. Society is starting to notice how teenage girls are effected so much with mental health issues. I can’t truly believe things are so much worse today compared to when I was a girl. God.. when I think about what my mothers generation had to put up with in society it amazes me that we even can complain! I think it’s great that we are trying to take the stigma away from mental health issues but unfortunately… I think as a society we are now unwittingly normalizing mental health issues. Our daughters need compassion and understanding but they also need to grow a thicker skin. We are doing them no favors by letting them believe that their problems cannot be fixed by their inner strength but by medications or , in the case of gender dysphoria, off label drugs and surgeries. I’ve tried so many times to instill a sense of inner strength in my kid but she is so wrapped up in her peer group of girls who all have anxiety and several have gender dysphoria. I’ve made sure to mention this to every mental health professional she has been to. Surprisingly they only professional that did seem concerned with her peer group influence was a psychiatrist. Maybe because he was an older man and had many many years of experience was he able to look at the big picture. However none of them will question her because that is deemed unethical. I really really worry for these girls!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • It is definitely a scary time for our daughters, and I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for the female house. We need more strong-minded women who will become inspirational leaders and positive role models. But instead, the female house has been abandoned.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Girls are bombarded with the demands of boys raised on violent pornography. It’s a pretty serious problem that is unlike anything teenaged girls have faced before. It seems like girls did not used to assume that they must suffer sexually to please boyfriends. Back in the day maybe you thought you had to put out even if you didnt want to, which is bad enough, but now extreme acts are expected and desired because they hurt the girl. There is the new problem of bring expected to send nude photographs, or being recorded without your knowledge, having revenge porn posted, etc. Any love girls recieve is paid for with pain. Having sexual humiliation immortalized online is a great pain to bear. Many girls are raped at parties and recorded, have it posted online or shared w schoolmates, adding to their pain. Gail dines has written a lot about the impact of the pornography industry on kids. Just like transitioning, individual psychotherapy and meds are an individual solution to a cultural problem. Eating disorder treatment used to include feminist literature, which has been phased out of most programs despite improving the effectiveness of treatment, and is now the same deal, helping individual girls without giving them some way to address the source of a collective problem. That’s the main thing I see wrong with the current way teen girls are treated. The #metoo thing might turn into something big, who knows, but this is definitely a culture that drives girls crazy.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Please be sceptical of the mental health profession! I am furious, too, the information in this article is just stunning. I’ve been through enough myself thanks to mental health professionals and it just breaks my heart seeing younger people going through the same thing, and their parents. Scepticism, indeed more than that at this point -this keeps happening, the problems in the field are embedded- is needed to protect both those of us with real mental health issues, and the huge numbers who are wrongly diagnosed/medicated. Though I don’t think most get diagnosed at all.

      As far as I’ve seen, the studies suggesting high rates of mental health issues just aren’t sound – it’s not going to work for a bunch of teens to be asked if they feel anxious, which is a normal emotion, and that to be equated with mental health issues. An anxiety disorder is nothing like normal anxiety. The stigma isn’t being taken away at all and that’s not the aim, rather these conditions are being trivialised and the reality, especially physical causes, is not being confronted. It’s probably because it’s cheaper to treat mental illnesses like they’re normal feelings, but also many neurotypical people are deeply uncomfortable with mentally ill people, they’re happier framing it as something that’s more familiar. Some of the Liberals think it can be used for their desired political ends, too – do a bit of handwringing about mental health issues in girls, complain about the mean Conservatives, then ignore the actual problems girls and genuinely mentally ill people have.


  2. Tumblr users are self diagnosing DID at an alarming rate. They put it in their bios, along w how many alters they have, if the alters are “kin” w fictional characters, etc. If you mess up on tumblr people are brutal, having an alter to blame mistakes on is far too tempting for teenagers. I do wonder what effect it has on people to larp as a person with a severe mental illness for years and years (or as the opposite sex, for that matter).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting thought. Advice is often given to people that if they want to change a bad behavior or adopt a positive one, they should act as if that change has already happened. Do this long enough, and you end up changing yourself accordingly. So… I don’t think it would have any positive effect on teens to pretend to have problems they don’t(yet).

      I’m skeptical of much of psychiatry. I don’t believe that mental disorders are solely caused by chemical imbalances, and that most of the time, drugs are not the best way to deal with it. This MPD controversy(and now, transgenderism) is a fascinating example of the problems caused by too much faith in therapists.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I would just mention that it might be more helpful to not equate psychiatry with therapy. Psychiatrists get very little training in therapy; they mostly see pts for medication checks. Therapists (psychologists, social workers with masters degrees, marriage and family therapists) do actual therapy.

        Although – in many states in the US now they can’t do therapy with someone mentioning trans – they are required to go the gender affirmative route.

        I hope it’s sooner rather than later that the lawsuits start and this whole unethical and irresponsible mess gets unraveled and stomped out. Save the children, save the gays, and save the profession of therapy…

        (I’m hoping that since this psychiatrist presented in San Francisco that his beliefs don’t get much steam. San Francisco is a rather strange place and not much respected in the rest of the US.)


      • Which mental disorders? Surely bipolar disorder is caused by a problem with brain chemistry, there’s literally no effective treatment outside of pharmaceuticals, and it is heritable. Schizophrenia is the same way and responds to the same drugs. Some problems respond extremely well to specific therapies (ocd and phobias can usually be overcome with exposure therapy). There are many problems that cannot be reliably treated with medication or therapy. Mental illness is too diverse a topic to be addressed with a single theory.


    • D.I.D. is real and scientifically supported. What we see here is what happens to actual transsexual people: ideologies are built on their backs. There is no evidence D.I.D. is iatrogenic, despite what the writer of this article quotes. She is not up to date.
      I have wondered how the affirmation approach of transgenderism would affect D.I.D. and I see it already has. Dissociative parts have a different function from trans identity. Trans identities are not based on being a protective mechanism which dissociative parts are. Im sad that D.I.D. people now have to deal with a new layer of misunderstanding of their condition. And transgenderism damages their healing process, as now therapists cannot work with a male or female part that emerged out of protection and is not transgender. I hate transgender ideology so much. Transgender influence will make it much harder for therapists to treat D.I.D. patients and patients to heal and possibly integrate as now their other sex” part/alter is politicized.


    • Tulpas! Some of them have alters that are tulpas. A tulpa is a folkloric thing, like a zombie, werewolf, etc. But a tulpa is a creature that can be created through mental energy. Something like that. When I typed it into the search engine one of the results I got, along with how to create them, is for a Creepypasta wiki. So like a ghost story about creating a tulpa and then something bad happens. I first heard the term in horror science-fiction show Supernatural. So the multiple personality disorder people are now encouraging people to believe they have alters that are fictional creatures. 😳At least Otherkin is clearly a subculture. This is so disturbing.


  3. This post — and many of the comments — are resonant with the piece I just wrote for Quillette about the way young people are being inadvertently encouraged to identity with a mental health diagnosis. I think there may be an ever greater perceived status to having an exotic “unicorn” diagnosis such as MPD or trans.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Lisa I read your article for Quilette and as usual it made me wish I could send my daughter to you. I just wanted to thank you for having the bravery to speak out about the harms these young women are dealing with. You have so much insight and your articles give me some hope that not all therapists are brainwashed by the affirmative approach. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, 4thWave, for bringing this information to light. For some reason, I don’t see this topic being highlighted in the bright, sparkly, “isn’t trans wonderful?” new stories… could it POSSIBLY be that “transing alters” is too weird even for the most credulous reporters? Or could it be that professionals in the field, such as Karasic, actually ARE pretty irresponsible and gullible and rash? I think it’s really important to highlight, as you did, the fact that MPD and its kissing cousin, recovered memory syndrome, have been fairly discredited as diagnoses that accurately reflect reality. So now it’s sort of like, delusion squared?

    If someone presented to an oncologist and said, my alter Mary has cancer, but my alter Sue doesn’t, what do you suppose that doctor would do? What, ethically, SHOULD that doctor do? And why don’t people like Karasic do that same thing?

    Liked by 2 people

      • I checked out this link, Riverstreet. Under the About tab, I read the following:

        “Almost everyone would agree that such traumas are normally remembered. That is, most people who experience such a trauma are likely to remember it, perhaps vividly and instrusively. But do some people forget completely? A variety of scientific sources say “yes.” The purpose of this website is to bring together the extensive and growing evidence of cases ignored or overlooked by self-described skeptics of various sorts.”

        So I think this website is more nuanced than your position appears to be. Even if it’s true that a few rare people do repress traumatic memories, it doesn’t follow that many vulnerable people have not been convinced by therapists that they remember something that never occurred. The site says there are scientific sources that say traumatic memories can be forgotten, but it’s equally true that many scientific sources prove the unreliability of memory and show that people, through the power of suggestion, can be led to believe things that did not in fact occur.

        Let’s return, however, to the point of this article. The author simply points out that a psychiatrist with considerable influence on matters related to the treatment of gender dysphoria in this country is using surgery and synthetic hormones with irreversible effects to treat individuals with severe mental health symptoms that are not well understood by the psychiatric community. He is accepting as fact a mental health diagnosis for which most other members of his profession have come to be skeptical, and he is responding to this diagnosis with extreme treatments. I think, regardless how we may differ on other issues, most of us would agree that this is deeply troubling.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow, after reading this I just feel like checking out of society. Thank you 4thwave for having the guts to persist in uncovering this insanity. I’m going for a walk with my dog in the woods where trees are trees and birds are birds….

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dorothy– yes, go outside and leave this insanity behind. I think most of our daughters would probably be just fine if they were unplugged and in the natural world (instead of wandering these alternative worlds).


  7. From what I’ve seen, it seems that it’s very popular with the youth today to “have something wrong” with them, and I know in the U.S., it’s become popular to find some way to be considered a “victim”. It’s such a shame and loss of youth for these kids.

    America has gone from encouraging people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, strengthening people’s self-esteem by encouraging them that they have strength and intelligence (although there is also help available) to kids craving to be victims and coddled. So America has lost its historical underpinnings, as well as the lessons of the women’s movement. It’s heartbreaking to think these kids, but particularly girls, are feeling no self-efficacy, no motivation, no goals – except to become someone else. Just heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For me, as a survivor of incest, it is so painful to see how society has accepted the “false memories syndrome”. There is nothing false in my memories of being raped by my father and brother, unless I forget it in order to survive. The memories came back at once the day I buried my father, right after his funeral. So I did not know anything about traumatic amnesia or post traumatic stress, it was very hard to understand what happened to me. When I confronted my family, I discovered that everyone knew it, but it did not seem important to them to do something about it. Now I have to deal with the fact that society has decided that my memories are not real.


    • Real abuse survivors are the ones who were most hurt by the unscientific promotion of “repressed memories“. Decades of past and current research show that traumatic memories are burned into the psyche not forgotten. The effect of the fad was to make real survivors have to work harder to be believed. Read some Elizabeth Loftus.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I also don’t think that this post needs to turn into another discussion of recovered memory syndrome. Isn’t it a big enough deal that one of the leading “experts” in the transgender field actually transitions people’s “alters”? Isn’t that pretty remarkable, not to say scandalous, without dragging recovered memories into it?

        I do understand that there are plenty of people who believe they did uncover repressed memories. Having been around in the 80’s, I knew, probably, a dozen such women (all of whom except one eventually recanted). To the extent that it doesn’t affect anybody else’s life, it actually makes no difference to me whether anybody believes *anything* is “true for them.” It’s when people’s personal beliefs about reality start impinging on other people’s reality, that the rub comes in. Or when people’s beliefs about reality start affecting children and teens.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Being unable to remember some parts of the trauma is common in ptsd. It’s not the same thing as repressing the entire event, but it’s a sign of ptsd that makes people doubt victims who can’t remember everything clearly. Police officers aren’t trained in this reality either and often doubt victim statements from real events. I have read the courage to heal and think the book is still positive for victims. It’s not like society is eager to believe victims and a book got in the way. No one wants to believe that men regularly abuse. I also don’t know why the courage to heal is being singled out over cybil, a book that way more people read and (iirc) was made into a made for tv movie.


      • To Genderskeptics: It is one thing not to remember everything (or even to forget an event). It is quite another not to remember horrific repeated sexual abuse by one’s father despite being questioned repeatedly whether anything like that ever happened. The latter was the essence of the recovered memories epidemic. And all credible scientific evidence says it doesn’t happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The essence of that site’s views on the question of repressed memories is this (under “False Memories” under “About.”):
        “Of course, nobody contests the existence of invasive memories for some, even most, victims of severe trauma. The question is whether that phenomenon eliminates the possibility of the opposite reaction: no conscious memory of the trauma until later in life.”
        So the key point made by many memory specialists–that most severe trauma is not repressed–is acknowledged here, while leaving open the possibility that some survivors (a minority) might repress. The problem is that the proponents of repressed memory said the opposite: That trauma is generally forgotten. That position is what caused the huge backlash and resulting damage to the credibility of many actual abuse survivors.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ralph Underwager who foundered False Memory Syndrome Foundation was a paedophile himself who spent his life discrediting abuse victims for the Catholic Church. As a psychologist I can attest to the reality of repressed memories. Its not common but it happens. Particularly if the victim dissociated due to drugging. The modern craze for self diagnosing DID and ‘ Alters’ though? Thats total crap.


  9. Do I think that everybody diagnosed as multiple must really be a multiple? Of course not. Mis-diagnosis is so rampart within the mental health system that it is actually the norm. It’s laughable to listen to the spin of the mental health sector about science and support and watch someone be given a diagnosis within a 15 minute assessment during high distress on admission to a psych ward, medicated and treated as if that diagnosis has merit over the next few weeks’..’ Is DID Iatrogenic? >

    Scientific research finds DID i’s not iatrogenic ”Iatrogenic and Sociocognitive Models of DID’

    Im posting this as false memory and discrediting DID are often used to discredit severe child abuse. Its the ground for ”satanic panic’, used to deny severe (sexual) abuse of children back then. Remember, recognizing childhood sexual abuse was in its infant stages (no punt intended) and perpetrators of it founded the False Memory Foundation.
    Media reports faulty on this a lot, also what the conditition of DID actually really is. Most DID people do not outwardly switch into a different person. But this is not what media and movie industry can make money off. Regards.


  10. How does Riverstreet distinguish true from iatrogenic cases of DID/recovered memories?

    Answer: She doesn’t, because there are no “true” cases of either. The amount of damage done by credulous therapists (and patients, who have caused tremendous pain to their families, although in some ways it’s “not their fault”) was tremendous during the 1990s. And it will be thus in the future, unless it is stopped. Stop it!!!!

    Ross Cheit’s (Brown University) site is NOT a good source for the validity of MPD or even recovered memories, as the latter have been put forward. See:

    It is amazing and appalling that there are still so many believers in this awful hoax.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Recovered memories happen to women. Wonder why. Recanting happens to women. This is what women do, over and over. Oh. I was mistaken. I wasn’t raped. I must have wanted it. Oh. I didn’t say no or stop him because I thought I’d done something wrong, I led himon. I”ve been a bad little girl. I can’t tell anyone. No one will believe me. Why not even decades later, someone with initials after his name who makes his living off women’s misery will believe me.


      • Your comment was edited to comply with commenting policy.

        Conflating “recovered” memories with women not being believed when they report actual rape and abuse (or women recanting under pressure), does not help survivors of violence one bit. It hurts them. Clinging to a discredited idea–that people can undergo horrible violence and have ZERO memory of it—makes it more likely raped/abused women and children will be disbelieved. The strongest evidence we have shows that traumatic events are seared into human memory. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the repressed-memory movement of the 1980s-90s did damage to the very group of people it set out to help.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. You must all watch this Canadian (CBC) Documentary on MPD called “Mistaken Identities.”

    Let me know after you watch if you still think MPD may be a valid diagnosis.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for the link. The parallels with the spread of the gender identity craze and its harms are many and chilling.

      Toward the end (46.00) the doctor who is a sceptic (Dr George Ganaway?) told of having been at a conference on MPD where “They passed out buttons we were all supposed to wear that said ‘Down with scepticism, up with awareness.'” He said, “It’s always concerned me that there seemed to be more of an interest in validating each other’s beliefs about MPD rather than in sitting back and trying to find out what this really is.”

      Just like ‘gender identity’, it seems. (Maybe the buttons could have said, ‘Down with critical thinking, up with groupthink, harm=good, 2+2=5’?)

      Then they showed scenes of group therapy that seemed reminiscent of the social contagions on which The Crucible/Salem witch trials were based, followed by this level-headed, conscientious, non-believer doctor hinting at profound disagreement with the harms being done in the name of MPD and its ‘treatment’:

      “We’re not dealing with laboratory animals that we can toy with to confirm our belief systems about things, our own theories. We’re dealing with precious human lives…

      “In medical school, they crammed a bunch of stuff into us but the thing that I retain the most is, ‘Primum non nocere.’ First, do no harm. And that means not to the patient, not to their family, not to anybody. And I think anything less than that is unconscionable.”

      Where are doctors like him now? Are they even out there anymore? Therapists and medical practitioners willing to speak out firmly, from a place of conscience and care, to stop the irreversible harms being inflicted on our kids, and on whole families, because of this fad?

      Our loved ones’ lives are being irreparably damaged and derailed by irreversible gender ‘treatments’, and it seems like no one gives enough of a damn even to ask the questions about where their welfare might really lie. Yet parents themselves have no voice because of the intense pressure not to be openly clocked as sceptics about our kids’ newfound beliefs.

      At the end, one of the victims of MPD treatment called it ‘a scam of the 90s and I got sucked into it.’ Another said of therapists, ‘there’s quite a few of them out there who are destroying people’s lives.’

      You have to wonder how the present boom in ‘gender treatment’ will be looked back upon, and how many young lives will be egregiously harmed in the meantime.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Another good (and correctly titled) source:

    “Although there was a rapid decline in the use of memory recovery therapy and the diagnoses of multiple personality disorder, the mental health profession in the United States arguably never really came to terms with the fad that so many of its clinicians participated in—and promoted. Multiple personality disorder received a superficial facelift in the fourth edition of the DSM, released in 1994; the new moniker was “dissociative identity disorder,” but there were few changes in the diagnostic guidelines concerning the emergence of wholly separate identities in one person. In 1993, the American Psychiatric Association did issue a cautionary note about the difficulty in distinguishing true memories from false; the next year, the American Medical Association declared recovered memories to be “fraught with problems of potential misapplication.” In 1997, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain, by contrast, explicitly advised against the use of techniques designed to elicit recovered memories of abuse. No such advice was given by either the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association. The mental health professional organizations, by and large, did not appear interested in calling recovered memory therapists to account.”

    Liked by 4 people

  13. A patient who presents with MPD/DID is a person with a radically divided mind, whatever way you look at it. How is it possible to claim that a person in that condition can give full consent to drastic body-altering surgery?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see that Lucia Batman, one of the authors of the ‘trans-plural’ survey cited by Karasic, tweeted in July 2015: ‘a psychiatrist telling us he believed we should not be allowed to get an orchi because we “are not of one mind” #transhealthfail’.

      In another thread of the same date, Batman complained that at an appointment for a surgery letter there was pressure ‘to say there was no chance we would regret it … being plural, there is no way to be certain a headmate won’t appear who is unhappy with surgery. They wanted us to tell the right lies.’


  14. ” … the current dramatic increase in the prevalence of DID cases … began shortly after the release of the popular book and television film Sybil (book: Schreiber, 1973; film: Petrie, 1976).” (Lilienfeld et al, linked above, p. 509)

    The British edition of Sybil was published in spring 1974 (about six months after it appeared in the US). I read it soon after it came out. Another book that was published at much the same time was Conundrum by Jan Morris, a personal account by a transsexual British journalist. Both books were read and discussed among my friends at that time.

    It was not until after Conundrum was published that I began to encounter people who thought they were, or might be, transsexual. At that time nearly all of them were male. I remember an earnest conversation with one young man in particular who felt that reading Conundrum had enabled him to understand himself and shown him what he should do.

    Was it a coincidence that those two books came out and drew considerable attention in much the same period of time? I don’t know the answer. I am guessing, though, that their production and reception were shaped by similar social and cultural influences.

    ‘Identity’ is a key term and concept in Morris’s book: “I had reached Identity”; “On a physical plane I have myself achieved, as far as is humanly possible, the identity I craved”; etc.

    Though Schreiber’s book talks about Sybil’s ‘personalities’, the term “Multiple Personality Disorder” was later replaced by “Dissociative Identity Disorder”. Some sources on the web talk as though “identity” is the new name for “personality”, and a person can have multiple identities; others seem to be saying that the multiple “personalities” are symptoms of a problem of identity. I am not in a position to try to unravel what that is all about right now.

    If I recall correctly, Schreiber’s book is clear that the desirable outcome for the patient is the reintegration of the supposedly separate personalities, and this is supposed to be the ultimate goal of the therapy. This is quite different from Morris’s belief in achieving a new identity via bodily modification.

    It is noticeable, though, that Morris acknowledges the existence of transsexual regret, and presents it, indeed, as common: “For every trans-sexual who grasps that prize, Identity, ten, perhaps a hundred discover it to be only a mirage in the end, so that their latter quandary is hardly less terrible than their first.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The term “false memory” was invented by Pamela and Peter Freyd as a public response to a private confrontation by their daughter Jennifer, a psychologist at the University of Oregon. Neither the term nor the concept arose out of any clinical or academic study, and no such “syndrome” is included in the DSM.

    Listen to Robin Morgan’s interview with Jennifer Freyd:

    You are absolutely wrong about the science. As Jennifer says in the interview, dissociating or pushing aside awareness of abuse is logical when the child is dependent on the abuser for basic survival needs. Even back during the heat of the memory wars we had prospective studies, studies of adults who as children were victims in documented abuse cases, that showed rates of dissociative amnesia at around 10%, (see Linda Meyers Williams). There are now masses of studies mapping out the entire fight, flight, or freeze trauma response system, the HPA axis, the polyvagal system, and the phenomenon of dissociation. The literature in support of the existence of DID is as broad and deep as for any other major diagnosis, it includes “clinical case studies, series studies with structured interview data; studies of phenomenology, prevalence, memory, hypnotizability, neurobiology, imaging, and psychophysiology; and psychological assessment profiles, among others. These studies include samples of children and adolescents and cross-cultural samples from North America, Europe, Latin America, Turkey, and Asia.”

    Refutation of the iatrogenic theory:

    I was part of the movement that began to break the silence around child sexual abuse back in the 1980’s. There was never any doubt about the purpose of the FMSF, it was to shut us up. When the backlash came on we were all silenced, and those of us who suffered the worst forms of organized abuse and trafficking became social pariahs. We heard from victims in high profile cases who were threatened into recanting. Therapists, good therapists who never used hypnosis, who never did anything other than listen to and believe us, were harassed, threatened and sued. As the truth came out about the members of the False Memory Foundation and its advisory board, our perceptions were further validated. The membership was entirely made up of parents accused by their adult children and no action was taken to discern the truth in any individual case. The advisory board was populated with contractors in unethical human experimentation programs, and one psychologist who had to resign when he defended the practice of pedophilia in a public interview. These are the people whose word you are taking above that of grown women and feminist therapists.

    False memory is nothing more than “women lie about rape” applied to child abuse, and satanic panic is the cover story that protects a number of small and large organized crime networks within the multi-billion dollar child porn and child prostitution industries. The people involved in these industries are incredibly powerful and they have the resources and connections to influence public perception. They will promote any kind of pseudo science belief that protects their interests and keeps them out of prison. Don’t do their dirty work for them, it is the opposite of feminism.


    • “You are absolutely wrong about the science. As Jennifer says in the interview, dissociating or pushing aside awareness of abuse is logical when the child is dependent on the abuser for basic survival needs.”

      Logical? We don’t decide these things by logic but by empirical research. Loftus has done this in a relevant way; Freyd hasn’t. Loftus has shown both that people don’t forget very traumatic things and that they are capable of believing they remember very traumatic things that never happened.

      I’m an academic psychologist, and I know of no one who believes there was no epidemic of false recovered memories and false MPD. I do know some people who believe these things may sometimes be legitimate. They’re wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Reminder: We will continue to post comments here in what is shaping up to be a heated discussion about recovered memories and DID/MPD. However, we reserve the right, as always, to edit or delete comments that are off-topic or that rely on personal attacks vs. reasoned debate.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This PBS documentary from the early 90’s exposes the flawed methods that many therapists and psychiatrists were using that CREATED memories of satanic abuse in their vulnerable patients. It also exposes the incredible profits that were made by creating desperately “sick” patients who needed very expensive therapy. Of course the patients were only as interesting as the extent of their insurance coverage. See also the woman diagnosed as the victim of a satanic cult, whose children were also diagnosed and treated with expensive therapy. The therapy amounted to severe psychological torture by trained professionals, allegedly experts in their field, with theory built on very, very shaky science.

    There are many unhappy parallels with the current state of gender experts IMO:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that link. Everyone should watch. All about a “state of the art” teaching hospital with recognized experts…and the patients were forbidden to have contact with their families, further reinforcing their delusions.

      Liked by 2 people

    • There’s also the HBO movie about the McMartin preschool case. The therapist who claimed all these children had been abused actually bullied and taunted them if they denied there had been abuse. It wasn’t subtle leading questions. The sessions were taped. The tapes were not released, because of the kids privacy rights. But a transcript of them was in a court case suing the police. And I read it. It’s full of bullying and taunting the children when they say there’s no abuse. Amazing stuff.


    • It would appear there is plenty of evidence of repressed memory and well as evidence of clinically induced memories (false memory)

      Perhaps we don’t know everything about the complexiities of human psychology.

      Put another way, if memory can be clincially induced then it shouldn’t out of the realm of possibility that they can be repressed. They both can be true

      Why the notion of repressed memories refuses to die is because there are plenty of evidence (in the scientific literature as well) that repressed memories is an actual thing


  18. “Little girls have to learn that their fathers are off limits when it comes to gratification of sexual feelings”

    Dr. Richard Gardner, vocal member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, explaining how children are to blame for their molestation (in The Toronto Star, February 4, 1996)

    Garnder’s position is pedophilia is natural and children are often the instigators. Seems he found kindred spirits in the false memory syndrome foundation

    “Rarely has such a strange and little-understood organization had such a profound effect on media coverage of such a controversial matter. The [False Memory Syndrome] foundation is an aggressive, well-financed PR machine adept at manipulating the press, harassing its critics, and mobilizing a diverse army of psychiatrists, outspoken academics, expert defense witnesses, litigious lawyers, Freud bashers, critics of psychotherapy, and devastated parents.”

    Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 1997


  19. The earliest publicized case of what was purported to be “False Memory Syndrome” is that of Jennifer Freyd, the daughter of FMSF founders Peter and Pamela Freyd. In December 1990, Jennifer, a respected psychologist, privately accused her father of sexually abusing her.

    When Jennifer Freyd, PhD, (1993) finally told her side of the story, it became apparent that her case meets few of the characteristics of “False Memory Syndrome” described in FMSF literature. First, she did not spend months in therapy for an unrelated problem before she remembered the abuse. Jennifer consulted the therapist because of intense anxiety over her parents’ upcoming visit. She recalled the abuse after her second session. Second, no memory recovery techniques were utilized; Jennifer’s memories emerged at home after the therapist merely asked if she had ever been abused. Third, after recovering the memories, she did not sue her parents, threaten them with public exposure, and according to Jennifer, it was never her intention to cut her parents out of her life. Jennifer reported that she broke off communication only after “repeated and intense efforts to communicate constructively”

    In answering her parent’s charges, Jennifer Freyd (1993) also revealed information which casts doubt on their motives and the credibility of Pamela Freyd’s published account of her daughter’s case. For example, Jennifer revealed that Pamela introduced a number of fictional elements into what was billed as a true story of a mother’s struggle with her daughter’s “false accusation” of paternal sexual abuse. Throughout the story Pamela wrote, falsely, that her daughter had been denied tenure at her last job. Astonishingly, it is this fictional element that Pamela Freyd offers as a possible explanation for Jennifer’s “false memories.” She wrote: “Is `violation’ a feeling that comes when tenure doesn’t?” (Doe, 1991, p. 162).

    Jennifer Freyd (1993) also revealed that her father was a chronic alcoholic throughout her childhood,4 and had himself been sexually abused as a boy by an older man, a fact he seemed to take pride in (according to Jennifer, he frequently described himself as having been a “kept” boy). She also noted that her abuse memories were consistent with never forgotten memories of her family’s pattern of sexualized and intrusive behavior (p. 13); memories which Peter and Pam have for the most part confirmed (Fried, 1994; Hechler, 1996). Jennifer Freyd (1993) also noted that her only sibling, a sister, was already estranged from her parents at the time of the allegations. In addition, Peter Freyd’s own mother (who is also Pamela’s step-mother) and his only sibling, a brother, were also estranged from Pamela and Peter. It should be noted that these family members support Jennifer’s side of the story. In a statement, Peter’s brother, William Freyd stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that there was severe abuse in the home of Peter and Pam. . . . The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a fraud designed to deny a reality that Peter and Pam have spent most of their lives trying to escape” (W. Freyd, 1995, as cited by Whitfield, 1995, p. 7).


  20. Walt Heyer, who runs, had multiple personalities that fueled his gender dysphoria. He had at least two female personalities, one named Laura, who became his dominant personality when he transitioned. He had another female personality that signed the consent forms to get the transition. His true personality, the male personality, was repressed when he was Laura.

    If you read some of his books, he describes how he went through a period of detransition where he would spend part of his day as Laura and part of his day as Walt. Eventually, he healed and became a man again and married.

    For him, it was a welcoming Christian church and a relationship with Jesus that healed him of the wounds that caused his dysphoria. That’s not necessarily for everyone but it worked for him. He doesn’t beat people over the head with his Christianity, however, and his website has a lot of great info.

    Interestingly enough, for years, trans activists have tried to claim Walt was not a true transgender due to his multiple personalities. I guess they won’t have that excuse now.


    • Walter Heyer was dressed as a girl by his grandmother when he was a young child and beaten. And that all ended when he returned to his mothers care. IIRC this happened over and over again. He had emotional problems as an adult, almost certainly because of the abuse, and somehow he fell in with a therapist who diagnosed him as transsexual. This was in the 60s. It’s a horrifying story.


  21. From James Damore’s class action complaint against Google:

    ‘123. Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality3, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. …

    3 For instance, an employee who sexually identifies as “a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin” and “an expansive ornate building” presented a talk entitled “Living as a Plural Being” at an internal company event.” ‘

    ‘124. In March of 2017, Google HR strongly suggested to a Google employee that conservative and traditional parenting techniques were unwelcome at Google.

    125. Google HR brought up the following post that the employee made in response to a Google thread in which someone specifically requested conservative parenting advice: “If I had a child, I would teach him/her traditional gender roles and patriarchy from a very young age. That’s the hardest thing to fix later, and our degenerate society constantly pushes the wrong message.”

    126. Google HR stated, “We did not find that this post, on its face, violated any of Google’s policies, but your choice of words could suggest that you were advocating for a system in which men work outside the home and women do not, or that you were advocating for rigid adherence to gender identity at birth. We trust that neither is what you intended to say. We are providing you with this feedback so that you can better understand how some Googlers interpreted your statements, and so that you are better equipped to ensure that Google is a place in which all Googlers are able to reach their full potential.” In other words, Google scolded the Google Employee for, among other things, believing that gender identity is set at birth biologically—a position held by the vast majority of the world’s populace that Google professes to serve.’


    • I see that the creator of the internal Google mailing list on plurality has claimed it on Twitter. This person, Lucia Batman, aka Freyas, is also one of the authors of the trans-plural survey cited by Karasic in his presentation. (See slide in image above: 5th image from top.)

      The second author, Irene Knapp, aka Irenes, has also tweeted about the Google mailing list. Knapp suggests that “this news item makes a good way to start conversations about plurality”. Knapp recommends the website Are we plural? as a source of information for interested inquirers.

      If you click on that link, you will be met with large ‘yes’ and the assertion that ‘Any being in any mind has the right to personhood.’ So all the imaginary friends in your head are entitled to be treated as individual people. Anything less is Oppression.

      Apart from this, the site’s content is confined to a list of website links. Here is a sample of the content on a site entitled Multiplicity: The Missing Manual:

      or, Why Elves Go AWOL

      ‘It seems to be a particular trait of our particular specie of elf, that from time to time we get this almost unbearable urge to up-sticks and go walkabout. We call this desire “The Yearning”. Back home in Alorya this wasn’t so much of a problem because our society was geared towards this phenomenon. …

      Here however, on Earth, it’s not so easy to cope with. We have responsibilities that are not so easily shirked; a mortgage to pay, employment necessary to earn money to pay it, families to be cared-for. When you’re an Aloryan and you’re also one of the main Fronters in a system, the Yearning is an urge to be feared.’

      Dungeons and Dragons was never quite like this.

      Both Batman and Knapp are Google employees. In 2016 Batman
      ‘gave a talk to the google trans conference’, and proudly reported this on Twitter. It is not clear whether this was the talk mentioned in Damore’s complaint. Batman’s personal website, which is linked from the twitter account, contains a link to an online spreadsheet entitled System Summary, which contains details of over a hundred headmates. It is not clear whether any of these are buildings. There are several dragons.


  22. Whoa. There’s a lot of information including documentaries about multiple personality syndrome on here. Let me add another item: the book Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan. It is amazing. Dr. Cornelia Wilbur in the 50s invented multiple personality disorder in the course of treating her patient “Sybil“. She drugged her with hypnotics and asked her leading questions. Tape-recorded it. She did this a couple times a week for over 10 years. Amazing book.

    ANYBODY who believes they have multiple personalities, whether or not any of them are a magical folklore critter like a tulpa 🙄, let alone bipolar should not be being allowed to transition! It shows “informed consent“ clinics are really just hormones on demand clinics. To give *informed consent* you have to be free from delusions! Karasic should be investigated by the California state board of health. Wow.


  23. Transition wouldn’t work for multiple personalities unless the dominant fronting personality is trans. Even then, it would probably be best to settle for something in the middle that all personalities can agree upon, right? The same with genderfluid folks, since they’re so dysphoric either way. They just need to find a comfortable way to handle it, not jumping into binary transition.


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