Often, when a survivor of ritual abuse and mind control begins to recover memories, there is significant discomfort, whether fear, physical pain, or other symptoms, that goes beyond the normal emotions involved in grieving and processing memories for those without programming. I have heard survivors make comments such as “I feel awful because I am working on some difficult memories”, or “I am feeling terrified, I feel as if I will go crazy if I remember this” or even “the terror is unbelievable; I’m not sure I will survive remembering.”
It is not the memories themselves that cause these types of feelings, but the programming to not remember, which the survivor agreed to in their past, that is responsible. A non-programmed memory will cause a natural amount of sadness, grieving, fear that resolves fairly quickly once the memory is brought into conscious awareness and the emotions are processed. A programmed memory may be surrounded by barricades inside designed to prevent the survivor accessing the memory, or even wanting to remember; and if the survivor does remember, they may re-experience not only the memory, but the feelings associated with the programming to prevent remembering.
Why do cult and other groups that use mind control do this? One important reason is that if the survivor gets back their personal history, and remembers who they were and what they did, this could alarm the group they left for several reasons:
- They may be considered a “security risk”, e.g., someone who could disclose information the group wants kept confidential. This is why many mind control survivors will be programmed with various “security levels” for information inside, with the least important information to the group the most easily accessible by the survivor; while highly confidential information is kept in deeper layers with more retaliation programming involved if the person remembers and/or discloses to those outside the group.
- If the individual remembers their own programming, they can break it, and will no longer want to do their old (programmed) jobs for the group. Programming will not run successfully if the individual remembers how it was put in, and sees the setups, VRs, and lies; this is one reason why internal programmer parts (who know how things work and are done) are kept extremely isolated and barricaded from the parts who simply do their “jobs” inside, or from the young parts who believe that they were “loved” by their abusers.
- Recovering their personal life history gives the individual an internal locus of control; once they can see the “big picture” they no longer need to depend on outsiders to tell them what reality is, or what parts of it to believe.
To prevent the above, most groups that do mind control will put in various forms of programming that punish the person if they remember events they were not “told” to remember, or who break their amnesia.
Most systems will have various forms of retaliation programming installed. In its simplest forms, if the individual begins to recover memories, or have bleedthrough of events, there will be parts programmed to immediately punish – severely – with physical or emotional pain. This pain will often be linked to traumas (torture) done when the programming was installed. Retaliation programming is based upon the punishing (retaliatory) parts believing that if the person remembers, bad things will happen. The scenarios can vary, and include: getting hurt; someone they love getting hurt; people will die; I will get overwhelmed with feelings; I and my systems will get flooded and “go nuts” or “be destroyed” and other scripts.
One form of retaliatory programming is internal parts that look like loved ones (in the group) getting punished if the individual remembers their past. This can occur because the individual has made agreements to forget (to be amnesic), or their loved ones will get hurt or killed. If a memory comes forward, the survivor may not remember the agreement, and instead, will fear terror, or reluctance to remember, and wonder why it is so difficult for parts to share information. Once they underlying traumas are resolved, the individual will be able to remember and not undergo retaliation.
Barricades and Barriers
Groups that use mind control will often create various barricades and barriers to remembering. Common barriers can include:
- Earth, wind, fire and water: the elements may be used to create barriers between systems and between parts; these elements are used in very painful traumas, and information can only be passed between systems by going through them, unless an authorization code is given (then, a bridge or communicator will be able to cross and parts will not be harmed). Taking down these barriers may include remembering the traumas used to install them, including any rituals that involved the elements, and helping parts to come into current (safe) reality that live within the barriers.
- Walls: most groups will create walls between systems, and between front and back (presentation and cult host) parts. These walls will be put in place with terrible traumas that can include seeing a loved one killed, and used in the brick and mortar (with the warning that others will die if the wall is ever taken down or breached without permission); or loved ones and the survivor being tortured on top of the wall, or even being “buried alive” beneath it (the person is rescued with their promise to never cross the wall). Over the years, re-traumatization and reprogramming will be done, with other traumas (such as battering infants against a wall) to keep it in place.
- Extreme Emotions: some barriers between systems and parts are created using extreme emotions that have been stored from years of trauma. These can include hopeless despair (if the person remembers, they will feel hopeless despair and/or suicidal); rage (including killing rage); terror; and extreme abandonment. In some systems, these emotions are given to “guardians” in deeper levels who hold the feelings, which then drive this type of programming. Once the survivor is able to get in touch with the parts that hold the feelings, and process the traumas, there will be less emotional retaliation for remembering. In many survivors, anti-healing and anti-memory programs can include the threat of the emotions being unleashed, and the survivor being overwhelmed. It can help to remind the survivor that these threats were made in the past, in a programming lab or other unsafe situation, and that remembering in a safe place with a safe person is very different.
As the various parts heal, and realize that they no longer need to obey their programming to not remember, the memories will often start coming more quickly, and with less fear or retaliation. The survivor will start to remember and recover their own personal history. As this occurs, they may experience deep anger and rage at the manipulation by others that they are now realizing; deep grief over the abuse, as well as a deep sense of finding themselves and discovering who they truly are. The latter is what truly makes the healing journey worth it.