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Second Thoughts about recovered abuse "memories"

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Paul Simpson is a christian psychologist who worked to retrieve recovered memories of abuse in his patients. His book Second Thoughts reveals why he no longer does this type of toxic therapy and why Dr. Simpson strongly recommends against other therapists continuing this destructive therapy which has devastated so many lives.

Dr. Simpson admits making the same tragic mistake which thousands of other psychologists and therapists continue to make. He used practices designed to recover traumatic memories of child abuse in his patients, believing this the explanation for their problems in living.

Simpson says he watched his patients respond to the suggestions which he implanted in their minds under hypnosis. They first got images then flashbacks, then increasingly horrible "memories" of being abused by loved ones, usually parents. The fantasies would be believed in totally by the patient after he had helped reassure them that these were not imagination but were real.

At this point 100% of his patients would severely decompensate or have a psychotic break, or mental breakdown. Simpson says most of these patients can not even read their mail without having the therapist look at it first and tell them which letters are okay for them to read.

All christian psychologists who think they understand mpd, satanic ritual abuse, and recovered memory should read this book.

Simpson asks, "What was I to do? I had been using (RMT) techniques on my clients, and they had developed hypnotic images of abuse, right on cue. But I had come face-to-face with the reality that the (RMT) techniques I had been taught were invalid, that they were creating delusional states of mind in my clients."

Simpson notes in his book that christian psychologists well thought of in the church such as Paul Meier continue to believe in and use such practices on their patients.

Paul Simpson has been a Christian since 1972 and was always active in his faith. He graduated from Bethany College in California with majors in biblical studies and psychology. He worked with Teen Challenge and Campus Crusade for Christ. Simpson is a former therapist at RAPHA.

He says, "In those years and experiences I have discovered many good things about the Christian community. But I have also been a part of incredible excesses, a process that I call 'ignorance on fire.' At various times I've watched myself and other believers zealously convinced that we were engaged in a mighty work of God, when in fact, we were simply in flat-out silly pursuit."

Christian psychologist Simpson says, "As the therapist and client throw themselves into the pit of hypnotic delusion, they confidently expect the Holy Spirit to safely guide them through because they "prayed." In violating God's commands, we can't then turn around and expect that he will protect us when we are practicing hollow and deceptive philosophies."

He says the prayer the christian therapist says in RMT is not directed in God's word but is used as a lucky charm for engaging in dangerous practices. Prayer doesn't automatically protect a person from foolish choices.

Simpson explains the steps used by recovered memory therapists:

  1. The patient is given a list of indicators of forgotten abuse. This symptoms list is a key step in establishing a belief system in the client that something unknown is hidden in them.
  2. Various hypnotic techniques are employed to create a deeply relaxed state in the patient so that she becomes vulnerable to suggestion and is able to imagine vivid scenes of abuse.
  3. While under the influence of these techniques the patient begins to experience detailed fantasies of traumatic events and have similar dreams at night.
  4. The therapist labels these fantasized images as "flashbacks" of real events.
  5. As more and more flashbacks come forth, the patient begins to decompensate; their personality and ability to function deteriorate dramatically.
  6. As this progresses the therapist tells the patient that their psychotic breakdown is proof that what they fantasized is real.
  7. They become increasingly vulnerable to suggestions in each hypnotherapy session.
  8. They begin to isolate from family and friends who do not support their newly recovered memories.
  9. The patient becomes almost entirely dependent upon the therapist and other survivor group members.
  10. This leads to a deeper belief and dependency.

Simpson says Freud invented the theory of repression being used by today's recovered memory therapists but later rejected it. "On Sept. 21, 1897, Freud wrote a letter to his colleague Dr. Fleiss, telling him he no longer believed the abuse stories told to him by his patients. He now saw them as fantasies. He saw that his hysterics were not being cured and that they were developing increasingly vivid, and shocking fantasies during hypnosis, which they believed to be true. Concerned from the beginning about the validity of his patients reports he confirmed his suspicions with further research."

Simpson sums up the letter, "Was Freud in denial? Did he back down because of pressure from others? No, the fact is that Freud was simply reporting the truth, a truth that science is rediscovering today." Still, most modern psychotherapists continue to ignore Freud's warning. And therefore devastated families and patients litter the landscape of our society.

Paul Simpson says, "When I practiced (RMT) I deeply believed in multigenerational satanists. Through different seminars and readings, I had learned deep, intricate conspiracy theories about them."

Simpson appeared on James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program two days in February 1995 along with christian psychologist Dr. Paul Meier.

Meier commented that satanic ritual abuse was a serious and widespread problem in the United States. His chain of psychiatric clinics opened a special treatment center for victims of SRA in Chicago. Meier insisted that one of his clients had recovered true memories of delivering her own baby and then sacrificing it at a satanic cult. Meier even claimed her memories were verifiable and corroborated. James Dobson made the statement that such ritual abuse is exceedingly rare according to the FBI.

I listened to the program as Paul Meier claimed recovered memory was reliable and his satanic ritual victims were real. His belief allowed only that there were a few rotten apples causing false memories in their patients. He did not admit that this evil and toxic therapy had become mainstream in his profession and that in fact he was one of the main offenders.

Simpson speaks in his book of Randy Emon, a retired police sergeant who served a number of years as president of Christian Occult Investigation Network. Emon has trained over 5000 police officers in occult crime investigation and appeared in eight documentaries on SRA. Randy Emon stepped back to examine his beliefs in SRA. He no longer believes it to be real, but a myth caused by therapist suggestion. This is similar to the conclusion of Ken Lanning former chief investigator for the FBI.

In his book, Simpson discusses a study done by of those receiving treatment under the Washington State Crime Victims Act.


Prior to recovering memories only 10% had suicidal ideation or attempts.
After therapy 67% had attempts or thoughts of suicide.

Prior to therapy 10% had been hospitalized.
After therapy 37% had been hospitalized.

Prior to therapy 3% engaged in self-mutilation.
After therapy 27% engaged in self-mutilation.

Prior to therapy 83% were gainfully employed.
After therapy only 10% were still employed.

Prior to therapy 77% were married. Three years later 48% were separated or divorced.

After therapy 23% had lost custody of their children.
Atter therapy 100% were estranged from their extended family.

Wow!!!

Simpson says,

"(RMT) is a massively expensive therapy in which patients got worse, dramatically worse, with no end or recovery in sight."

He admits, "A few years ago I would have been very offended if someone suggested that my client's recovered memories were a product of misdirected therapy. But I would have been outraged if they said my work was deceptive and in opposition to God's purposes. I truely believed that God was active in the work that I was doing."

"Through His leading and with sincerity on my part, I believed, I was unlocking hidden secrets in client's lives. But truth matters, regardless of how sincere an advocate is or politically expedient his conclusion. In the final analysis we must ask, 'Is it true?'"

Paul Simpson says, "The church is in a position to bring powerful healing in the False Memory Crisis. To accomplish this we need an uncompromising seeking, testing, and speaking of truth."

He reveals, "When I was doing (RMT) I watched reasonably healthy people degenerate into psychotic, out-of-control personalities. These new creations were raging, constantly suicidal, selfish, and demanding. Eventually they were unable to work, to parent, to survive outside of my office.

Divorces followed and patients ruthlessly cut off anyone who questioned their hypnotic images or their endless accusations. Despite their worsening condition, they embraced and nurtured their status as 'victim.' Their hatred towards their parents expanded into grotesque proportions as they realized within themselves the apostle Paul's ominous warning, 'Honor your father and your mother.'"{Eph: 6:2}

Simpson says, "I watched entire churches get caught up in the hysteria creating 'safe houses' to hide self-described SRA survivors."

He asks, "Does (RMT) really bear the fruit we would expect?....In all my work...I have yet to meet a single person whose life and family were actually better after she experienced her hypnotic fantasies."

Simpson concludes, "Within our churches and society there are thousands of families that have been destroyed by accusations based on fantasies and fraudulent therapies. (RMT) has been devastating for them. Not only have they lost their daughters and sons to this movement--in turn their lives have been turned upside down."

"Will we stand in the face of public hysteria that demands a guilty verdict? Will we call out for the right to a fair hearing? Does truth matter?"

Paul Simpson pleads with the church, "We must find ways to reach out to the accused and minister to them in their agony. One way the Church can assist is allowing the accused to have a voice in the process, providing a 'middle ground' in which the accused can meet with their accuser. My fervent hope is that churches will step up to the challenges of the False Memory Crisis and develop an alternative that allows for both sides to make their case."

Dr. Simpson relates, "Most of the retractors I've worked with were Christians when they began their descent into (RMT). They had Christian therapists that they trusted and "god-talk" that made the theories and techniques sound scientific and biblical."

"After having escaped from their therapeutic tortures, they came away with their faith in pieces, and unsure of what aspects of their Christian teaching they could trust anymore. Many dropped out of church altogether--the pain was simply too much to bear. They carry deep shame and regret over their choices, accusations, years lost. They are furious about their mind-rape, in many instances by the church leaders they trusted most."

Simpson asks, "How do we help them be restored to the Christian faith? Can we play a role in helping them to reconcile with their families--to know forgiveness and true healing?"

My Favorite Links:

Reckless Psychotherapy




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