Story of Sybil

An interesting story about the background of the real "Sybil," and how much of her personality problems were the result of aggressive third parties trying to make their career -- totally unsusprising to anyone who has studies the great child abuse / day care hysteria and JaneyReno's Miami method.  A very brief excerpt:

Mason, like so many patients diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (now rechristened “dissociative identity disorder,” in part to shake the bad rep of MPD), improved markedly under certain conditions — namely, the absence of her therapist. For several years after her therapy concluded, she lived happily as an art teacher at a community college, even owning her own house. But the publication of “Sybil” destroyed that life; Schreiber, who had invented so much of her biography, had so thinly disguised other details that many acquaintances recognized her. Too self-conscious to endure this exposure, Mason fled back to Wilbur and lived out the rest of her life as a sort of beloved retainer, cooking her doctor breakfast and dinner every day and nursing her on her deathbed.

Wilbur, on the other hand, thrived, presiding over the explosion of MPD diagnoses as one of the foremost experts on the condition. She played a key role in promoting the belief that conspiracies of fiendish, sadistic adults were secretly perpetrating murder, child rape and mutilation, human sacrifice, and cannibalism across the country and that repressed memories of such atrocities lay at the root of most MPDs. Innocent people were convicted of these crimes on the basis of testimony elicited from highly suggestible small children and hypnotized adults. Families were sundered by therapists who convinced their patients that they’d suffered similar ordeals despite having no conscious memory of it. This opened the door to years of expensive and ineffective therapy.


  1. caseyboy:

    Ah, agenda driven science at work again. This time the science of the mind being manipulated for professional acclamation and economic gain. Climate, psychology, what's next, Darwinism? Ouch, that last one is taboo, but nonetheless Darwin's theory came off the rails a decade ago.

  2. el coronado:

    Doctors are just the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too. - Chekov

  3. el coronado:

    No, not the one on 'Star Trek'.

  4. Russ R.:


    "but nonetheless Darwin’s theory came off the rails a decade ago."

    Care to support that assertion? Please provide links to any evidence you wish to cite.

  5. caseyboy:

    Russ, you should be able to find the below with a quick google search. A couple of Darwinian scientists felt the need develop an alternative to "gradual" mutation called "punctuated equilibrium" or sudden, radical mutation. The fossil record does not support gradual mutation and this new iteration takes care of that problem. However, it leaves one wonder what triggered the sudden, radical change??????

    Steven Stanley, paleobiologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University spoke out against the gradualistic theory of Charles Darwin. His observations revealed that the fossil record lacks evidence for gradually changing species. He had this to say,
    "Having carefully scrutinized data from the fossil record during the past decade, however, I have demonstrated a biological stability for species of animals and plants that I think would have shocked Darwin."

    Noted scientist George Gaylord Simpson said this: "It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa (species or genus) appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution."

    Dr. Colin Patterson, Director of the British Museum of Natural History had this response, “I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossils or living, I certainly would have included it.… I will lay it on the line. There is not one such fossil for which one might make a watertight argument."

  6. caseyboy:

    Russ, whoops I almost forgot the two scientists noted above.

    "Dr. Niles Eldredge, curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum, collaborating with Dr. Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard developed just such a new theory, aimed at explaining the fossil gaps, “punctuated equilibria." This theory holds that species remained relatively stable over long periods of time and then experienced rapid, dramatic mutations.

  7. Charles Rice:

    Re: Darwin. That things have changed is clear. My issue, which caseyboy talks about, is that the currently favored engine for change is Natural Selection coupled with tiny, incremental changes. I would expect that would drive a 'smear' of animals between wolves and dogs and foxes, and chimps and apes and man. What we see is not a smear, but very clear groupings. It could be (must be?) that tiny changes to the genome via some currently unknown process are the engine of change, which result in the groupings we see. Not having a complete understanding of the engine behind the change does not negate that things have changed, or that there is some engine. It is my experience in dozens of conversations on this that when people say "Darwin" they mean organic change v. creation v. spontaneous generation.

    A friend had a science teacher who started everything with "At our current level of ignorance, we believe that..."
    That mindset resonates with me, and reminds me that our current understanding of almost everything will likely change before we die.

  8. Smock Puppet, Piloting The Economic Seas Betwixt Scilla and Charybdis:


    >>> Surprisingly, Nathan is not unsympathetic to Wilbur. “She wanted to help, and she did the best she knew how,” she writes of the doctor, noting her tireless devotion to her patients and her particular willingness to support women who dreamed of achievement beyond the domestic sphere. But, as Nathan also points out, the care Wilbur provided frequently incapacitated her patients, leaving them even less able to fulfill themselves. MPD became a sort of illness-as-metaphor that women used to describe their conflicting desires in an age of increased opportunity. The result was to cast conflict and desire as disabilities, instead of what they are — the very fuel of life itself.

    Hmmm. Can you come up with a better description of all the well-meaning idiot liberals all over this planet who are ephing things up totally, all with the best of intentions, and not the least concern with the results?

    Jus' Sayin'...


  9. Smock Puppet, Piloting The Economic Seas Betwixt Scilla and Charybdis:

    >>> Climate, psychology, what’s next, Darwinism?

    Naw, you just said it:

    Climate Psychology. How does the weather FEEL about things today? I recommend an expensive and prolonged treatment of cash expenditures to make it feel much, much better.

  10. Smock Puppet, Piloting The Economic Seas Betwixt Scilla and Charybdis:

    >>> The fossil record does not support gradual mutation and this new iteration takes care of that problem.

    Yessss, and your point is? This is how science WORKS.
    You make observations.
    You come up with a theory that fits your observations.
    You find exceptions to that theory.
    You adjust the theory to match the exceptions.
    Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    Science does not CLAIM to have all the answers -- it's nothing but a reliable system for coming to more and more ACCURATE answers, in a process of steady refinement.

    At the very beginning of modern science lies a perfect example -- The Spheres. Explaining the motions of the planets led to the notion that they resided in "spheres" that slowly rotated around the earth with the earth as the Center of All Things... but as people began to make and keep accurate measurements, they noted a problem, which was something called "retrograde motion". And so the spheres no longer had the planets, they had spheres mounted on them which held the planets, so as to explain the apparent backwards motion... until this guy named Copernicus came along and pointed out that there was (GASP!!) a simpler solution -- assume the earth was NOT the center of all things, and that it was in motion around the Sun (which WAS the center of all things.... can't leap TOO far from Orthodoxy, can ya?). Once this happened, you had a much, much simpler motion system to explain... and, armed with detailed observations by scores of individuals, such as Tycho Brahe, Newton derived a beautifully elegant mathematical explanation for how the motions occurred and what drove them, that stood the test of time for hundreds of years without major change (more below).

    Math, too, did this centuries ago -- there were these problem classes that didn't yield an answer, so they invented a new class of enumeration which would allow the mathematician to handle them. Their trepidation at the idea is represented by the name they applied to that class: imaginary numbers. They're not "imaginary" in any way, they're as real and concrete and functional as 1,2,3,4... but they apply to a slightly more exotic class of problems than are generally encountered in the "Real World". But their utility and "reality" have been attested to by centuries of use and development not only in mathematics but many of the other sciences as well -- they appear regularly in some varieties of electrical engineering, for example, to explain the behavior of certain circuits.

    Physics had a problem about a century and a quarter ago. Ether Physics was developed in order to explain certain behaviors of light which suggested it was a wave. But if it's a wave, then wtf is waving? "Ether!" was the initial answer. But the idea grew more and more hoary and unlikely as additional things had to be invented in order to explain it. Until one test -- the Michaelson-Morley experiment -- blew it apart. This cleared the way for a whole new set of ideas about light, derived by a guy named "Einstein"... perhaps you've heard of him? :D
    Ideas which, interestingly enough, also had an impact on the concept of planetary motion. You see, there were these small differences between the way Mercury behaved and the way Newton said it should behave. Not huge, but... still. The theory was lacking somewhere. The first effort to explain it was to presuppose there was another, unnoticed body in the solar system whose presence was causing these perturbations. It was exactly this which led to the discovery of Neptune, visible only via telescope. So perhaps there was another...? Nope, try as the could, they could not figure where and how to locate a body which explained the differences in the theory. But this new stuff by Einstein -- it not only dealt with light, it also noted some small, subtle differences in how GRAVITY works... and gravity is the prime mover of all things planetary. And, when Einstein's formulations were applied, they EXACTLY fit the observed perturbations in Mercury's orbit.

    That's how Science works -- it's not an end, it is a process... A set of rules for making suppositions, then testing those suppositions against The Real World.
    It does not provide ANSWERS.
    When properly used, it provides BEST GUESSES.
    Sometimes the guesses are eventually shown to be wholly wrong -- go look up Ether Physics or Phlogiston Chemistry.
    But other times the theories and ideas are tweaked in some way to "fix" a known issue. This does not usually invalidate the idea utterly, as with Ether or Phlogiston. Usually it's a refinement, as Einstein's equations were a refinement of Newton's.

    "AHA!! Right!! Ether is exactly like Darwinism!" you're about to crow.

    No, it's NOT. The ToE isn't even CLOSE to that danger. It had ideas and predictions that said there should be intermediate forms, and we're not finding them as we would expect. So clearly there IS something wrong about it. So the theory needs something to explain that lack. And at this point, PE appears to answer that, and do so with simplicity and elegance. Now the key thing would be to look for, or determine what, are the causes of the onset of a period of PE. These should be findable in the fossil record, too. The "Dinsoaur" Killer Asteroid happened. That would be a likely timeframe for such rapid-transition forms to be found. The onset of one of the Ice ages would be another example -- the geological record indicates it happened very quickly. So we look there for them. And if they can't find that, then the ToE might be in some trouble, but the simple fact is, unless and until some Einstein comes along and produces a new Theory of How It Growed, the TOE is still the best guess we have by far.

    BTW, I've often wondered how Christian fanatics who deny evolution reconcile that, given that they also use it as a claim for Proof of God (which Creationism is, essentially -- a claim that God *must* exist to create the world).

    Well, "Proof of God" in the universe is basically an assertion that God is incompetent. And that's not usually a trait associated with Him. Certainly not one *I* associate with Him, anyway. Just curious.

  11. John Moore:

    What terrible tragedies resulted from the Sybil nonsense! Not only did innocents get persecuted on absurd child abuse charges (remember the McMartin Pre-School case and the ridiculous claims), but parents became scared to death of everyone including relatives.

    It would be interesting to see the actual science (if any has been done) on the real impact of child abuse. I suspect that, while it is terribly damaging to some, it is not nearly as damaging as modern culture would tell us. An abomination, yes, but a mind destroyer - not in most cases.

    Just watch a few episodes of "Law And Order: Special Victims Unit" and you'll see that Hollywood, at least, is still in the thrall of crackpot theories.

  12. caseyboy:

    Ah, Smock Puppet, as long as you bring up Physics lets take a look at another area that may lead us to an Intelligent Designer.

    Summarized from James Daniel Sinclair's writings on the topic of Quantum Mechanics. Mr. Sinclair holds a Master’s degree in Physics from Texas A&M University where he studied Supersymmetry & Cosmology. Prior to that he received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University.

    Quantum Mechanics: The body of scientific principles which attempts to explain the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and atomic particles. When initial theories were evolving it was thought to be the greatest threat to God the Creator that science had yet presented. However, as certain theories were discredited and others gained favor it became evident that God may have indeed had a role in Creation. One interpretation of quantum mechanics is known as The Hidden Variables Interpretation. Proponents include prominent scientists Louis DeBroglie (Nobel Prize 1929), David Bohm (Ph.D. Berkley) and John Stuart Bell (Ph.D. Birmingham England). Hidden variables is a reductionist view that there is an invisible mechanism behind quantum mechanics which produces the observed behavior. There are other interpretations of course, Copenhagen, Many Worlds and Superdeterminism round out the top four.

    In short, Copenhagen & Hidden Variables seem plausible and both require a necessary invisible intermediary. Many Worlds is at least consistent with theism, but seems highly problematic as a viable description of reality. Superdeterminism would explicitly require atheism, but it doesn’t seem possible that it could be true. Far from being the greatest threat to God the Creator, quantum mechanics seems to provide as good a proof of God’s existence as there is.

  13. Plungerman:

    Caseboy seems like the standard barely science literate student of the day. Always able to site the opposing theory but unwilling/unable to respond to the actual claims of the theory in question. It's especially charming that he sites the big names, always with the awards/qualifications, of those greats who considered theories refining or differing in some way from the current one. These people clearly disprove the current theory.

    Not that I am in the same camp as the insufferable "Science only" writers. Try the book, "The Devil's Delusions" for a terrific point of view. My view these days is that if a group wants to prevent their kids from learning any science they can vote on it. We'll see if their kids can get into med school without it.

    By way of MPD and child abuse abuse. My good friend of many years has personal experience based on absurd accusations. I am not specific about how weak the case was for fear that I will be drawn into it.

  14. caseyboy:

    Plungerman, not opposed to science at all. Honest science has been a blessing to mankind. It is agenda driven science that frosts me. When so-called scientists tow the line to obtain grants, peer acclaim or fame. Objective science will one day develop a more clear and consistent picture of our world, its climate, its origins, etc.

    The legal construct known as "circumstantial evidence". "On its own, it is the nature of circumstantial evidence for more than one explanation to still be possible. Inference from one piece of circumstantial evidence may not guarantee accuracy. Circumstantial evidence usually accumulates into a collection, so that the pieces then become corroborating evidence. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more valid as proof of a fact when the alternative explanations have been ruled out."

    That is what science is doing in the areas of biology, genetics, cosmology and quantum mechanics.

  15. Plungerman:

    Caseboy, Good response, though without a source on your quotation I don't know whose candle to light. I think you are confusing circumstantial evidence with indirect evidence. All experiments do is test observations. It is the job of the experimenter to make the interpretation of the observation into the support for or against the theory. I agree with you that people getting or staying famous through science, or most any social system, is tiresome at best. Though I have difficulty imagining Darwin's decades of research and observation prior to publication as characteristic of a lust for glory.


  16. caseyboy:

    The definition came from legal site, I think it was I meant circumstantial evidence, a fact/evidence of something that can be used to infer another fact. Indirect evidence is more an inference of something happening than evidence that it did. I'll admit this may be a distinction without much of a difference.

    I presume Darwin's motives were pure and his scientific curiosity well directed. The issue for me is the hanger's on that have a vested interest in maintaining an otherwise untenable position. Very dangerous people.