Title: AMER Representatives Dispute Bogus Claims at Ritualized
From: AMER Intelligence
The Official Journal of the Alliance for Magical and Earth
Religions, Volume 1, Number 1.
copyright 1991 by AMER and the respective authors. All rights
reserved. (Permission to reprint has been granted by AMER.)
On Friday, December 7, 1990, Epworth Children's Home at Kirkwood
United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored a
seminar titled "Diagnosis, Treatment, & Assessment of Ritualistic
Abuse Survivors." The two speakers were Janet Banker and Darrell
Miller, both Licensed Specialists in Clinical Social Work with
private practices in the Kansas City area.
Many of the outrageous claims made during this seminar were
challenged by three AMER members who were in attendance, Chris
Carlisle -- AMER president, Carolyn Clark, and Gillian Stewart.
Ms. Clark and Ms. Stewart are both employed as psychiatric
nurses, which helped to bolster their credibility with the other
Janet Banker spoke first, and according to the AMER members
present, was the more biased and fanatical speaker. She works
with allegedly sexually abused children, and claimed that she
began encountering victims of ritualized sexual abuse. These
patients required years of therapy before they revealed the
ritualized nature of their abuse.
During her presentation she quoted from such highly disreputable
sources as _Michelle Remembers_, and _Painted Black_ (which the
publishers have recently withdrawn from publication after losing
a lawsuit over inaccuracies in the book), and made references to
a widespread network of Satanic crime and conspiracy which she
apparently believes in. This was interspersed with more clinical
references to such things as multiple personality disorder and
its symptoms, which she believes is intimately associated with
survivors of ritualized abuse.
Banker also discussed the methods she used to help the children
reveal the details of their ritualized abuse. Some of these
techniques are of a highly questionable nature and could best be
described as leading the patient in a particular direction by
providing very specific types of props and toys for the children
to act out their allegedly suppressed memories.
During the break between presentations, Chris Carlisle spoke with
both of the speakers and Roger Drake, administrator of the
Epworth Children's Home. She informed them of the unreliable
nature of the sources quoted by Ms. Banker. According to Ms.
Carlisle, Drake and the speakers reacted with hostility, and she
was asked not to ask any questions during the following
presentations until the formal question and answer period. She
agreed to this, but pointed out that it wasn't good practice to
not allow spurious material to be corrected promptly. In
response to this Mr. Drake forcefully pointed out that this was
Epworth's presentation for their therapists, and that she was
there at their sufferance, says Ms. Carlisle. Once she pointed
out that their own brochure demonstrated that the seminar is a
public event, Mr. Drake became more conciliatory and promised
that she would be called on during the question and answer
After the break Mr. Miller gave his presentation during which he
made it a point to say that Witchcraft was harmless and not the
same thing as Satanism.
According to Ms. Carlisle both speakers were careful to use the
phrase "alleged Satanists," or "call themselves Satanists,"
except when they became excited or agitated.
During Miller's talk, Carolyn Clark, former AMER president, asked
him about cases where children are alleged to have been ritually
abused by Christian caregivers. Miller responded that if these
cases were investigated more "deeply," then Satanic involvement
would be uncovered. Ms. Clark, as well as most other people who
asked questions during the presentations, was not relegated to
the question and answer period.
While the speakers were giving their programs, unbeknownst to
them, AMER members Henry Manning and Jay Stewart were putting
packets of AMER literature, including "The Truth About Ritual
Abuse," on the windshields of cars parked outside. The three
AMER attendees noticed many people reading them during the lunch
break with apparent interest, and Gal Stewart and Carolyn Clark
saw people putting the packets in their purses and briefcases.
One attendee even introduced herself to Ms. Carlisle, and said
that she had been told that Chris was one of the "good guys" in
Ms. Carlisle also says that she spoke to the Epworth Chaplain,
who proved to be very reasonable, and said that he had been
trying to persuade Drake to take a more conservative approach to
ritual abuse in their own therapy at Epworth.
According to the AMER members present, Banker was extremely
agitated during her second presentation after the lunch break.
They speculated that perhaps she had become aware of the AMER
pamphlets. Reportedly, her composure waned and the use of
qualifiers such as "alleged" became scarce.
Banker said that the therapist must suspect everyone in the
child's life, and admitted to using hospitalization and other
means to isolate a child from its home, says Ms. Carlisle.
Furthermore, Ms. Banker said that if she saw all the "red flags"
for sexual abuse, but the patient won't admit it, then she
automatically diagnoses ritual abuse. She also admitted to using
techniques which appear to constitute leading the patient in a
As the talk progressed, Banker's statements became increasingly
bizarre. For example, she claimed that inter-generational cults
are using selective breeding. Also, there are hundreds and
thousands of people who have been put in state hospitals for
telling these stories, but they aren't insane -- they're telling
Responding to a question, she replied that if she learned that a
patient had been lying to her about such matters, that it would
just be part of a conspiracy of insiders trying to get into her
therapy group to spy on her patients. Finally, when another
questioner gently suggested that she was identifying too strongly
with her patients, she insisted, extremely upset and on the verge
of tears, that she had to believe in her patients, because that
was part of her duty as a therapist.
Miller's follow-up was largely clinical in nature, as if to move
the tone of the presentation away from Banker's alarmist
Carlisle also says that the presenters admitted to using
"Bibliotherapy" to deal with post-traumatic stress for patients
and their families. This consists of the patients reading books
about the subject by psychologists and other alleged survivors.
This would appear to provide the ideal vehicle for confabulation.
During the question and answer period, Carlisle was allowed to
discuss the distorted nature of the book _Painted Black_ as well
as the _Cornerstone Magazine_ (a Christian publication) article
exposing as fraudulent the claims of the alleged ritual abuse
survivor who wrote _Michelle Remembers_. Several attendees were
seen writing down that reference.
Also, the woman seated next to Ms. Carlisle said that she would
consider the material presented at the seminar in a very
different light, in view of what Chris had told her, and would
work in her capacity as a therapist to counteract this sort of
/end of article/