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01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 0    Categories: You Asked (Text Files)      Tags:

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Dear Dr. Smith,

We have been working for a couple years with a SRA survivor, who reports horrific memories. The Lord has worked marvelously reclamation in her life. Her parents were part of a group that, under the cover of devout religious practice, were actually very sophisticated Satanists.

 During this time she has been living a kind of "witness protection" life, and she is very tired of it. She is a young woman and understandably wants to be living a more normal life. Do you have any experience or advice to offer.


Ed Smith's response:


Over the last 10-12 years I have had a significant amount of experience with people reporting SRA memories. I have learned much and have come to realize how little I actually really know. I have watched what appears to be dramatic resolution of very deep and traumatic pain with some and have been disheartened by others. I have watched some people rise above the symptoms of this emotional place to living what appears to be more successful and meaningful lives and some who did not seem to make too much progress. Nevertheless, I have learned a few things that I believe are important for people seeking to do this ministry to know.


First, I would encourage you to read the SRA guidelines that I developed several years ago. These can be found in some of the other "You asked..." questions posted on the IATM website (www.tpassociation.com) or in the TPM Basic Seminar Manual. These guidelines came from out of ten years of being in the trenches doing SRA ministry.


As I read your letter I was concerned about several things that you stated that I talk about in these guidelines. You stated, "Her parents were part of a group that, under the cover of devout religious practice, were actually very sophisticated Satanists." Do you have tangible court proof evidence to substantiate this claim? If what you have is limited to her reported memories then you should be very careful making such claims. This could land you in a bad place real fast if you are ever required to defend your claim. If what you have is this person's dissociated memory then you really do not know what the truth really is. A person's dissociated memory is not court proof evidence. I am not in any way suggesting that her basic story is false. I do believe that many of these people have indeed been hurt badly. However, I have come to realize that we really only know what we know. If what these people report is true then it would only make sense that the perpetrators would fill their mind with false information and bogus identities. Live your own life within the knowledge of what you KNOW to be factual while doing good ministry in the context of the person's reported reality.


 The second concern that I had is where you said, "she has been living a kind of ‘witness protection' life..." Here again if what these people report is the truth then there is really no one to protect them from other than their own choices to go to the places where they say the trauma is occurring. If what they are saying is true then the "parents" know where she is because she will have told them so. I have never worked with any person reporting these types of memories that talked about being abducted against his or her will. In every case the person described what sounded like willful cooperation. I am not talking about the childhood memories that are often reported but the adult events they claim are still occurring to them. If it is true that the person is cooperating (even though it may be out of fear, loyalty, double-binds, etc. it is still about choice.) A "witness protection" program cannot protect someone from making personal choices. If you find yourself feeling a need or responsibility to protect this person then you may be in a double-bind* yourself. I discuss this in the SRA Guidelines as well. Anytime we feel ourselves standing between the person and their reported perpetrator, being their protection, their only hope etc. we are in the wrong place. If it feels bad to not be in this place then your own lie-based pain has you hooked. Be wise in this.


I have learned to let these people be responsible for their own choices. I have learned to let it be their journey as well. I do not try to protect them or rescue them since I now realize that I cannot keep them safe anyway. I live in what I KNOW to be the truth and allow them to struggle with the world they say exists for them. It is quiet possible that you trying to be a protector may actually hinder her moving toward freedom. I try to do good ministry but I cannot be the savior or anything else. Check how it makes you feel to do the same.


I hope that this helps


Ed Smith




*double bind: (psychology) an irresolvable dilemma.


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