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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 57b * [Part 2 of 2 parts]
     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"

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Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler

Research: Darrell Bross

[Continued from part 1]

Drawings and Doodles. All patients reported having filled or
decorated many pages over periods of years from early childhood
(again, only those whose training commenced in childhood) through
adulthood with doodles that are strikingly similar across
individuals They describe themselves as having produced the
doodles in an almost obsessive manner, drawing them over and over
for no apparent reason. Certain themes connect these doodles.
Many of them obviously depict spinning, such as the drawings of
spinning tornadoes (Figure 2a). Others only suggest spinning,
such as spirals that may be round (Figure 2b), rectangular
(Figure 2c), or triangular (Figure 2d), but they also depict
movement or transmission outward from the center. Finally, other
doodles depict movement or transmission from one linked unit to
another, without spinning, as in the interconnected boxes or
interconnected loops (Figure- 2e and f).

Doodles Frequently Drawn by Patients With Histories of Spin

The doodling appears to be intended to reinforce by repetition
and visualization the lessons learned through cognitive and
imagery training. Doodles may be produced by alters trained as
spinners, or they may be produced by others to be seen by the
spinners, as reminders to the spinner to maintain their skills
and alertness.

Cognitive and Imagery Training. Programmers apparently combine
pain transmission training, actual spinning, visual
demonstrations, and doodles with detailed verbal instructions
that contain a great deal of vivid visual imagery. This training
takes place over a period of many years, with countless
repetitions and variations, so that the overall effect is very
potent. The thrust of all this training appears to be to convey
several key ideas to the spinners and other alters, so that they
accept these ideas without question as their actual reality.

First, the spinners must learn to spin inside, just as they did
while out in the body during actual spinning. Often, they learn
to become a spinning object, such as a tornado or a spinning top.
That is, their internal representation of self (or internal
body), as viewed by both themselves and other alters, is a
spinning object (at least while spinning or during rapidly
accelerated spinning). Then, they must link the experience of
internal spinning with the sending out of pain, emotions, and
other feelings to other alters, so that two experiences are
inseparable and indistinguishable. Finally, they must link the
velocity of their spins with centrifugal force, so that the more
rapidly they spin, the stronger and more irresistible is the
force with which they send out the pain or other feelings.

An additional set of ideas is important to impart to the spinners
for spin programs to be effective. The first of these has to do
with spinners feeling good (or not feeling bad) about spinning.
In order to feel good about spinning, spinners must think
themselves separate from other alters, and view the other alters
as deserving the painful feelings that they receive as the result
of the spinning. It is clear from patients' reports that
programmers teach and reinforce these ideas. It is also useful
for the spinners to derive feelings of competence and pride about
their spinning. Therefore programmers apparently reward proper
spinning with praise and other reinforcements. Next, spinners
need to be convinced that they have only two choices once a spin
program is activate: Either they must spin, or they will
experience all the pain themselves; but, if they do spin, they
will experience no pain at all. Programmers apparently teach
these lessons too. Finally, it is advantageous to protect
spinners from contact with otter alters or outsiders, who might
impart information to them that could potentially allow them to
think for themselves. Therefore, programmers apparently often set
up a ring of guardians around the spinners or impose other
security measures.

Transmission Routes. When patients first began to describe pain
contests, it was thought that the purpose of these ordeals was to
establish transmission routes for the spinning of pain. Soon it
became clear that, instead, they were designed to create multiple
within multiple systems which would be trained to become spinning
mechanisms. This conclusion left open the question of how
transmission routes are established. Additional inquiry of
patients about this question has not provided conclusive answers,
but the one hypothesis that "feels right" to most of them is that
pain is sent along the lines of lineage, that is, the connections
between alters who split off of earlier alters, who split off of
yet earlier alters, etc., going all the way back to the core or
near-core personalities. If this is true, then either spinners
learn how locate and to send pain to near-core alters, or they
themselves are near-core alters who were selected for spin
training because of their position in the internal genealogy. The
second alternative appears to be the more likely one.

Self-Regulating Spin Systems. One would think that it would be
very difficult for a programmer to control a multiple within a
multiple system. More than the desired number of alters may be
created during the initial abuse, leaving the programmer with a
problem of disposition. Alters may be created who are never
discovered by the programmer, and are in positions potentially to
resist or disrupt the programmer's plans. The number of alters
and complexity of their interrelationships would make it
difficult for a programmer to keep track of the behavior of both
individual alters and interactions among them. Programmers
apparently respond to all of these problems by imposing rigid
structure and strict discipline. They control alters' personality
traits and other attributes, where and with whom they live in the
internal world, who may communicate with whom, who watches whom,
and who punishes whom.

The outcome of programmers' control efforts appears to be a
complex, self-regulating systems of alters, each of whom is
assigned specific roles and duties, which is governed by a
carefully designed scheme of checks and balances. Certain
functions are essential for spinning to take place, and there
seems to be some uniformity across patients in terms of which
functions are carried out by which alters, and how the alters are
allowed or forced to interact.

The first step in creating a spin system appears to be to split
up  the group of alters comprising the system, keeping them only
dimly aware, if aware at all, of the existence of the others.
They appear to be placed in specific locations in the internal
world, determined by the roles they occupy. Those who occupy the
same or corresponding role are often similar to one another in
other ways, such as all being children of a given age, all being
of the same gender, or all being animal alters. They may also
have similar skills or other attributes such as having been
taught a performing art, having been trained in psychic
abilities, or belonging to a specific cult figure who "loves"
them. As additional spin systems are created, alters from other
spin systems who occupy the same roles are placed in the same
locations. These role-based groups may then be taught to be
suspicious of or hate the other role-based groups, thereby
keeping them from "comparing notes," cooperating together, or
organizing any kind of resistance.

The key functions that need to be accomplished for spinning to
work effectively are as follows: Of course, there should be an
alter who spins. There should also be an alter who locates,
obtains, and moves the dissociated memory components so that they
can be spun by the spinner. There should be a controller or
coordinator of the overall process. There should be informers who
report to programmers about whether other alters are performing
their duties, including other informers. There should be
punishers who discipline misbehaving alters, including other
punishers, and one who can punish even the spinner (who is
otherwise impervious to pain). There should be a "key" or access
alter who makes it possible for programmers to enter the system,
obtain information, and make adjustments. And all these functions
should be designed to interact in such a way that the system can
regulate itself and operate independently.

The roles and lines of communication and influence within such a
system can be depicted graphically in some cases, with lines
representing the communication pathways and points of
intersection representing the alters who occupy the essential
roles. The result is a three dimensional geometric figure
resembling a crystal.

Utility of Spin programming

Spin programming has some obvious uses to programmers for
designing and building personality systems. The power of the
spinners or alters who control them, and the threat of pain that
they convey, establish them internally as authorities who must be
obeyed The networks (apparently of descent) along which spinners
send pain and other experiences represent natural divisions
within the overall system that programmers may program separately
and use for specific purposes, such as spying/informing,
enforcing internal discipline, sexual behaviors, ceremonial
behaviors, etc. Spin programming can contribute both to unifying
a system and to separating groups from one another. There are
doubtless many other ways in which spin programming can
facilitate system building.

Harassment and disruption of therapy are easy to achieve with
spin programming. For example, only one brief programming session
is capable of setting up a spinner to react each time she or he
notices the therapist engaging in a predictable behavior by
setting in motion a furious spin of the emotions contained in
dozens of dissociated traumatic experiences of childhood
rejection and abandonment. The patient is then likely to perceive
the therapist as behaving in an abandoning and rejecting manner,
and as a result the therapy may be dominated by endless
sidetracking from other issues in order to deal with the more
subjectively pressing issue (to the patient) of the fear and hurt
that the patient feels the therapist is causing. And the spinning
may continue for days, weeks, or months. Numerous variations of
this kind of approach are possible, providing many opportunities
for keeping therapy ineffective for years.

Importance of Spin Programming

Spin programming must be of immense importance, judging from the
sheer amount of time and energy that programmers appear to have
devoted to creating and maintaining these programs throughout
their victims' lives. Another indication of the central
importance of this kind of programming is the wariness shown by
many patients when the subject is initially broached. It is
obviously "classified material." These factors, plus the obvious
power of spin programming as both a system-building and
harassment/disruption technique, indicate that this kind of
programming is a fundamental mind control method used on victims
of ritual abuse. Therefore, it must be addressed in psychotherapy
with victims of ritualistic abuse. In fact, spin programming is
apparently so fundamental a technique that our patients may not
be unable to heal unless it is addressed in therapy.

Strengths of Spin Programming

Spin-based programs present a number of strengths from the point
of view of programmers. They have been difficult to detect,
because therapists have been unaware of globally targeted spin
programs as a separate type of programming strategy. The
reactions created by spin programs, if not identified as such,
are likely to be mislabeled as borderline traits or "transference
issues," providing little or no benefit to the patient.
Containment strategies (utilizing hypnosis or visualization) that
may work well at stopping or preventing flashbacks of
specifically targeted programs are often useless with spin
programs, because of both the sheer volume of memories that are
activated by a spin program and the force of the spin. Working
with the affected alters is difficult because of the lengthy,
intensive attitude training against communicating with outsiders
that they have received; due to the fact that they are guarded to
prevent contact; because they fear that they will experience pain
if they do not spin it out, combined with the immediacy of pain
relief if they do; and due to the power, or perceived power, of
the spin.

In general, when therapists attempt to deal with a spin program,
they are likely to feel as if they are grappling with a
complicated, powerful machine. In fact, that is essentially what
they are doing. Spin programs "feel" quite different from
specifically targeted programs. Many more alters are involved in
spin programs, they are much more highly trained and more
automatic and smoothly coordinated in their functioning, and the
operations of the programs are much better safeguarded against
attempts to tamper with or undermine them. As such, they present
a formidable challenge to therapists and patients.

Weaknesses of Spin Programming

In spite of the power and complexity of spin programs, they are
nevertheless amenable to therapeutic intervention. with patience,
commitment, and compassion, an astute therapist working closely
with a creative, motivated patient can gradually make a dent in
this kind of programming and eventually overcome it by exploiting
its inherent weaknesses.

The first weakness is the fact that all programmed alters,
including spinners, guards, controllers, and all those who are
part of the spin mechanism, are personalities who were "cut from
the same cloth" as the rest of the system and are therefore
capable of both reason and emotion. Alters comprising the spin
mechanism can actively observe incoming information and react to
it by commencing the spin, making decisions about when to block
outside contact or punish those who fail to cooperate with the
program; therefore, they can reason. Spinners often take pride in
being good at spinning, and they are proficient at spinning
painful emotions in order to avoid them; therefore, they are
capable of feeling emotion. If a therapist or an internal helper
can establish communication with these alters, the way is open
for them to correct their present, limited cognitive grasp of
their situations and options by learning new facts, and to want
to change what they do by becoming aware of their feelings about
it. They are also capable of positive emotions, and they are
likely to be deprived of and hungry for them. Therefore, they are
likely, once contacted, to respond favorably to care and concern.

The second weakness is the fact that much of the training that
makes up spin programming is conditioned as opposed to
unconditioned, that is, based on paired associate or cognitive
learning. Therefore, cognitive changes such as consciousness of
how the conditioning was done can facilitate breaking the
connections rapidly. The connections and beliefs that can be
broken in this way include the link between external spinning and
internal spinning; the link between internal spinning and the
sending out of pain and other feelings; the link between velocity
of internal spinning, centrifugal force, and the irresistibility
of the pain and other feelings being spun out; the illusion that
the spinners are separate from the rest of the system; the pride
.of being good at spinning; and the belief that they have only a
limited number of options. The third weakness is the fact that
spin programming is built on an accumulation of individual
dissociated experiences that can be abreacted, one after the
other, until the foundation of the spin mechanism has been
completely undermined. Three groups of dissociated memories may
be addressed: the original training experiences of the spinners
and others involved in spinning; the traumatic experiences from
which pain or affective components are collected and fed into the
spin mechanism; and the programs instructing the spinners what to
spin and under what conditions to begin spinning.

The fourth, and greatest, weakness of spin programming is also
its greatest strength: the complexity of the system of alters and
the checks and balances that control them. An astute therapist
can eventually gain access to individuals who occupy the
different roles, either directly or indirectly, and then educate
them about their betrayal by their programmers, about the
compassion they could be feeling toward the suffering of other
alters in their system (instead of the hate or mistrust they have
been taught to feel), about their ultimate unity with the others
(instead of the separation that has been forced on them), and
about how to join forces to resist.


This paper has described spin programming, a type of abuse that
until recently was unknown to psychotherapists, but has obviously
been in use by ritual abusers for many years -- at least four
decades, and probably much longer. It is possible that most or
perhaps all patients with histories of ritual abuse have been
subjected to spin programming. Patients who were born into cults
that practice ritual abuse (as opposed to having been recruited
later in life) are probably more likely to have experienced spin
programming, and their spin programming is likely to be both more
intensive and more sophisticated.

Spin programming presents some formidable obstacles for
psychotherapy. It is apparent that, in the past, lack of
awareness and understanding of spin programming by the
therapeutic community has contributed to many problems in
therapy, and that complete healing has probably been impossible
without facing and dealing effectively with this type of mind
control technique.

It is hoped that this paper will provide a valuable service by
making information available to therapists that may contribute to
significant breakthroughs for their patients and ultimately allow
for their complete healing, while also providing testable
hypotheses to researchers interested in ritual abuse.


Braun, B.G. (1988a). The BASK (behavior affect,
sensation,knowledge) model of dissociation. Dissociation, 1,

Braun, B.G. (1988b). The BASK model of dissociation: Clinical
applications. Dissociation, 1, 16-23.

Coons, P.M., & Grier, F. (1990). Factitious disorder (Munchausen
type) involving allegations of ritual satanic abuse: A case
report. Dissociation, 3, 177-178.

Ganaway, G.K. (1989). Historical truth versus narrative truth:
Clarifying the role of exogenous trauma in the etiology of
multiple personality disorder and its variants. Dissociation, 2,

Hassan, A. (1990). Combating cult mind control. Rochester, VT:
Park Street Press.

Hill, S., & Goodwin, J. (1989). Satanism: Similarities between
patient accounts and pre-Inquisition historical sources.
Dissociation, 2, 39-44.

Kluft, R.P. (1989). Editorial: Reflections on allegations of
ritual abuse. Dissociation, 2, 191-193.

Los Angeles County Commission for Women. (1989, September).
Report of the ritual abuse task force: Ritual abuse, definition,
glossary, the use of mind control. Los Angeles, CA: Author.

Mayer, R.S. (1991). Satan's children: Case studios in multiple
personality. NY: G.P. Putnam s& Sons.

Neswald, D.W., Gould, C., & Graham-Costain, V. (1991,
September/October). Common "programs" observed in survivors of
satanic ritual abuse. California Therapist, pp. 47-50.

Noll, R. (1989). Satanism, UFO abductions, historians, and
clinicians: Those who do not remember the past... (Letter to the
Editor). Dissociation, 2, 251-253.

Van Bensehoten, S.C. (1990). Multiple personality disorder and
satanic ritual abuse: The issue of credibility. Dissociation, 3,

Revised April 20, 1995

Appendix A.

John D. Lovern, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist PSY5064
2141-B West
Orangewood Avenue
Orange, California 92668-1941

Telephone: (714) 978-3152
Fax: (714) 978-0895

June 14, 1995

Dear requester:

Thank-you for requesting my article on "spin programming." At
the time that I wrote the article, I was thinking and perceiving
things quite differently from how I am now. In the space of a
letter, I can't tell you all the theories I've been considering
or all the conclusions I've reached (for the time being), but I
want you to know that I no longer consider the paper to be

For a critique of the original paper (I've sent to you a revised
version), please take a look at Richard Kluft's rejection letter
for the journal _Dissociation_, which I've enclosed.

My own criticism of the paper stems from a few years of
experience, including being burned a few times after believing
patients' accounts that turned out to be false, thinking through
a number of issues that I hadn't at the time resolved as well I
have now, and general seasoning. Right now, I attribute much less
power to programming than I once did, and I don't see victims of
ritual abuse as robots or computers who  are powerless against
cults' efforts to force them to do cult bidding. Two areas of
thinking have led me away from the point of view I held when I
wrote the paper: an anthropological view of ritual abuse, and a
better understanding of hypnosis and deep trance phenomena.

I began to view the "cult loyal alters" in personality systems of
ritually abused DID patients less as pawns of a cult and more as
members of a separate culture. From this point of view, many
instances of so-called programs being triggered or of patients
being abducted can be seen in a completely different and less
spooky light. For example, when someone makes a hand signal at a
person driving on the highway, the so-called perpetrators didn't
necessarily just trigger a pull-over-and-go-to-a-ceremony
program, they may have just signalled hello to someone they know
inside and asked them come out and talk or do something
together. According to this anthropological view, therapists can
do a lot of harm by trying to rescue patients from cults or doing
lots of memory work to "deprogram" their patients. They may
actually be threatening or making enemies among the inside
members of the other culture, who may then try to fight back in a
number of ways, some of which could bring abuse (internal or
external in origin) on the mainstream culture member alters (the
ones who are most likely to have initiated therapy and expressed
a desire to be rescued from the cult--which may consist of an
internal or an external group of perpetrators). An escalating
polarization can result that does little more than cause the
patient to be hurt badly, both as the result of increased abuse
and as the result of painful memory work and being left with less
adequate dissociative defenses.

The other thinking I've done that makes me view my paper in a
different light has to do with hypnosis and deep trance
phenomena. My reading of Eugene Bliss's most recent book, and a
re-reading of much by Milton Erickson have suggested that many of
the phenomena therapists see in ritually abused DID patients may
be the same kinds of phenomena that one commonly sees in
excellent hypnotic subjects. These influences have led me to ask
questions such as: How much of what patients like these describe
to me as real experiences was an objectively real external
experience, and how much was a mixture of real, fantasy,
hallucination, etc.? What role do spontaneous self-hypnosis,
implied suggestion that took place during trauma or trance, and
post-hypnotic trance phenomena play in flashbacks, programming,
and reports of ritual abuse? How many reports are the result of
internal alters being perceived convincingly as external
people? And I'm continuing to ask more questions.

Finally, the fact that my paper has been available to the public
after being mentioned in Oksana's _Safe Passage to Healing_ and
being in put on the World Wide Web has led a number of people to
contact me and try to talk about ritual abuse. Unfortunately,
many of those who have contacted me are members of the "lunatic
fringe"--that is, conspiracy theorists with paranoid leanings who
are really too delusional to have any business trying to help
ritual abuse victims.

Anyway, I won't go further. But please do regard the paper more
as a historical document than as an up-to-date scientific study.
I hope that both the paper and this letter are useful to you.


[original signed]

John Lovern, Ph.D.


Appendix B.

Richard P. Kluft, M.D., F.A.P.A.
Director, Dissociative Disorders Program
The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital
111 North Forty-Ninth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139

215 471-2484 / 215 664-1883

June 25, 1993

John Lovern, Ph.D.
265 South Anita drive, Suite 116
Orange, California 92668-3310

Dear Dr. Lovern:

I am writing in connection with your submission of "Spin
Programming: A Newly Discovered Technique of Systematic Mind
Control" to _DISSOCIATION_. In all candor, our reviewers were
deeply divided in their responses to this manuscript. Those who
deeply believe in the reality of ritual abuse advocated
acceptance; those who did not advocated rejection. The crucial
issue to me is that all agreed that the paper does not contain
material that allows the reader to assess to adequately. It is
uncertain whether these patients have any connection with one
another.It is unclear as to whether the patients have memories of
spin experiences, because spinning, dizzying, and
vertigo-inducing sensations are not uncommon from a variety of
experiences. It is unclear whether the symptoms and images are
specific to spin programming or have some more general
significance. Also, the literal acceptance of some patient
materials without a review of relevant literature to validate the
acceptance of such an approach to not "up to snuff." I think the
main problem is that this account has not risen to the level at
which it will constitute credible data to your scientific and
clinical peers. Consequently, its publication in a scientific
journal is not indicated at this time.

Very truly yours,

[original signed]

Richard P. Kluft, M.D.
Editor-in Chief _DISSOCIATION_

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