Below is a critique and rant about Debbie Nathan‘s new release, Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case.
This site, Many Voices, is for and about survivors of various abuses and traumas. It is unfortunate that the editor, Lynn W., was unable to look at the publication and critique it properly without inserting preconceived notions that are endemic with the multiple personality & dissociative identity community, including the therapists who treat it.
As an example, Lynn W. refers to the letter written from Sybil to Dr. Wilbur. Lynn W. goes off on a ranting-tangent saying that it is common for multiples to recant their abuse – which is Not what Sybil wrote to her psychiatrist. In this instance, author Debbie Nathan makes it clear, Sybil declared that she made up the personalities, not the abuse as Lynn W. would have readers believe.
Lynn W. goes on with the same old argument/reply that people/writers like Debbie Nathan want to say that rape victims asked for it. This is a deplorable statement. Nathan does not infer that rape victims make up their experiences. In previous publications and Nathan’s activism supporting sexual abuse victims, she says quite the reverse. Lynn W. is totally ignorant of these facts.
As Lynn W.’s rant continues, it become apparent that she has not read Sybil Exposed. Otherwise she would know the amount of research conducted by the author or that thousands of archival documents written by Sybil and Dr. Wilbur were documented in the text.
Many voices is a site heavily relied on by the survivor community for information and support. It is a travesty that the editor, Lynn W., not only gives misguided and inaccurate information, but critiques a publication that obviously was not read.
Another unfortunate aspect of Lynn W.’s rant is that she polarizes her readers against people who write about the controversy surrounding multiple personalities and is unable to comprehend that that is not what is occurring. She ends her commentary with an “us” against “them” statement. An editor of a survivor website who chooses to incite this type of mentality in her readers is doing her followers a huge disservice and adding nothing positive to her cause.
Lastly, Lynn W. claims to have been a writer for 30 years, yet finds it appropriate as an editor of Many Voices to call Debbie Nathan a “dumb ass.”JB
As Dan stated in his note to me: “The new book is about how Sybil was a fake and Dr. Wilbur a fraudulent and inappropriate therapist… I think this is opportunism and stupidity [on the part of the author] because the book is based on a letter written by Sybil saying she made it all up.” [Her story of abuse]. “That is so MPD to do that and part of the disorder as well… What pisses me off more is the idea that [writers like this] are the same people who underwrite the ideas that rape victims ask for it, adult children of abuse make it up and their therapists plant false memories in their heads…It amazes me that we are so ready to believe some dumbass who has no knowledge of psych issues except maybe what she read in Psychology Today or the Reader’s Digest and the National Inquirer rather than years of case notes and several books by experts in the field of DID. Stupid People Really Bug ME!”
Dan, stupid people bug me too. But there will always be another book printed by some “authority” that tries to debunk the reality that some mothers & fathers abuse their kids; that these kids may survive, but may be severely damaged. Books based on “controversial topics” are known to sell and get heavy publicity. I’ve been a professional writer for over 30 years, and these books are called in the journalism trade “contrarian books.” Their topics are frequently, deliberately selected by a certain type of writer in the hope of making boatloads of $$. Sometimes it works for the writer. Often it doesn’t.
Frankly, Cornelia Wilbur was working in the field of “multiple personality disorder” when it was not well-known and many different types of experiments were being tried by therapists in the hopes of resolving such difficult and (then seemingly) unusual cases of response to trauma.
…Now, thanks to great organizations like the ISSTD, there is a great deal of peer-reviewed, scientific research and fact to back up our knowledge of dissociation and the optimal ways to treat it. …But no one is EVER going to stop the ongoing trickle of crappy information that seeps into the public view via “enterprising” journalists and so-called “experts.” So – with this one exception in this single MVInsider, MV considers this a non-issue. …To be blunt about my own position on the topic, “We are right. They are wrong. & that’s my 2cnts.”…
Love and best wishes,
Lynn W., Editor to the multiple personality & dissociative identity community.
Love and best wishes,
Lynn W., Editor
Rant – Many Voices Retrieved 10/23/11.