Chris Costner Sizemore: AKA The Three Faces of Eve (1927- )

Update 01-11-14. To date, I know of one high profile case of multiple personalities or Dissociative Identity Disorder that did not claim childhood sexual abuse as it antecedent or cause. That case is reported by Hershel Walker, former American football icon, who claims his multiple personalities were caused by childhood bullying.

If there are people out there who claim to have developed multiple personalities by causes other than childhood child abuse, I’d be interested to hear from you.

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Christine (Chris) Costner Sizemore

born 1927 –

Most Noted for:

Diagnosed in the 1950s, she is considered by some to be the first documented case of multiple personality disorder in the 20th century. Chris Sizemore is known by the pseudonym, Eve.

Sizemore had eight psychiatrists during her lengthily treatment that spanned over two decades. Corbett Thigpen and colleague, Hervey Cleckley, M.D., published a book that was a historical case study based on her life titled: “The Three Faces of Eve” which gained best-seller status as did the movie by the same title.

During the later part of her illness and recovery from multiple personality disorder, Chris Sizemore was treated for four years by Dr. Tony Tsitos in Virginia.

Early childhood traumas:

Chris Sizemore, in a YouTube documentary “Hard Talk,” a BBC Interview, said that at the age of two, she experienced three consecutive traumas.

  1. her mother cut her arm badly
  2. she saw a drowned man being recovered from a ditch, heard the word “death,” and began to believe that anyone who was sick or hurt was “dying.”
  3. she witnessed a man cut in half at a lumber yard.

Chris Sizemore repeatedly states that it was with the help of her psychiatrists, devoted family, and her belief in God that saw her through her illness and led to her recovery.

Publications:

1958.  The Final Face of Eve

1977. I’m Eve

1989. A Mind of My Own

Sources:

Georgia Encyclopedia

Sizemore, Chris Costner, 1989. A Mind of My Own.

Wikipedia: “Chris Costner Sizemore”

YouTube: “Multiple Personality Disorder on Hard Talk BBC Interviews – Chris Costner Sizemore, Part I”rumiscience”  watch?v=CTvr2fDBjmg Retrieved 3/14/11.

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11 Comments

  1. avalon111

     /  05/20/2012

    Hi Altus,

    Good find. I’d not been on the PODS site for a while, and it is a major resource for those that study the belief in DID/MPD/RMT and the SRA Myth.

    PODS produce a three-a-year magazine – ‘Multiple Parts’ and the latest one was issued in January. It’s worthwhile reading (http://www.pods-online.org.uk/magazine.html). A notable facet is that every single DID ‘survivor’ who contributes, claims to be a survivor of ritual abuse.

    This remains the core snag for the DID-advocating community; try as they might they just can’t get away from the association with the SRA Myth. Some try the PTSD angle, some the idea that women by default are prone to ‘splitting’, others that all of us have MPD/DID, but try as they can the more ‘saner’ members of say the ITTSD can’t escape the deeply-held association between MPD/DID and the SRA Myth.

    Of course the willingness by PODS members to claim having been abused satanically is matched only by the distinct unwillingness to actually go out and find any actual satanists who are killing and eating babies etc. Sometimes the desperation to claim proof gets laughable – notably in the use of the Kidwelly case (see http://www.dramatis.hostcell.net/Index_B/index_b.html#BatleyC) when a pedophile/wife-swapper used satanic imagery to carry-out his nefarious deeds in a Welsh seaside town – though this particular ‘satanist’ wasn’t able to get around to killing, torturing or eating anyone, and certainly didn’t create any DID ‘survivors’ or Mind Controlled CIA assassins.

    That distinct unwillingness to actually go out and hunt down satanists – for instance with a long telephoto-lens, putting the pics up on an anonymous web server in a remote part of the world, is a key stumbling block in the way of PODS aims – which boil down to trying to get State aid to pay its predominantly white, middle-class and middle-age subscribers therapy massage/sauna fees. Not that PODS subscribers are short of a buck – its home county of Cambridgeshire is one of Britain’s richest and most affluent places to live – a sort of Orange County in the middle of rural England. The East side of the County is rated as the best place to live in England, providing the best quality of life (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2122644/Halifaxs-10-rural-areas-live-Ely-offers-UKs-best-quality-life.html). PODS and similar charities have zero interest in the ‘grubby’ world of the inner city and in working with those who don’t summer in Provence or (like Valerie Sinason) South Africa.

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  2. Regarding thought reform and indoctrination: in the Chinese thought-reform camps studied by Lifton, the indoctrinated were made to endlessly write out confessions, to sign confessions, to acknowledge how they had undermined The People. Naturally, everything would go down a lot better for them if they could just confess who they were, what they were doing, and that they were wrong. Of course, on all those points the captives would disagree with their captors at the start, but through continuous pressure, confusion, sleep deprivation, and learning that other respected captives around them had folded, they would begin constructing the narrative that their captors wanted to hear. The classic on marketing, ‘Persuasion’, by Cialdini, explores the influence that merely getting somebody to sign a petition has. It gets the person — the signatory — to think of themselves as a particular type of person. ‘Save the Whales’? The person walks away feeling all the more environmentally conscious and aware, and more likely to behave in a manner consistent with that self perception than before being approached. We are the narratives that we construct about ourselves and, despite what DID implies, there is no discrete self or selves isolated in distinct regions of our brains. Rewriting the autobiographical memory, re-tuning the self narrative, that is absolutely what indoctrination is about. Depending on your cult, your past is viewed as perhaps your pre-awakening, something to be ashamed of and severed from… or it is actively rewritten, as in Scientology’s Dianetic auditing which seeks out pre-birth traumas, or in DID therapy.

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    • I suspect that people who get involved in DID (including me when it was MPD) do not think indoctrination is a huge aspect of how this therapy works and how it keeps patients/anyone entrenched in it.

      Of course this therapy indoctrinates/teaches/encourages/suggests that the cause of needing to split off into alter parts is due to extreme trauma – usually childhood sexual abuse.

      This is what therapy for multiple personalities teaches (indoctrinates) people to accept and believe:

      – that MPD/DID survivors are highly intelligent
      – they are creative
      – anyone who disagrees or questions the sexual abuse believed to have been endured is wrong and is(or considered) abusive just for not agreeing with DID, denying that the abuse occurred (such as a sibling, cousin, aunt)
      – those who dare to question must be eliminated from the DID persons life.
      – dependence on the therapist or support group or Internet forum/message board for support and validation
      – leaving the family of origin because they may hinder treatment, will not confess to the crimes, and are still abusers
      – that alter selves remember traumatic events that other alter parts have no memory of
      – one must dig up all alter personalities to piece together the past
      – no memory of the past
      – loss of time

      I suspect that people in this therapy would not accept that this is indoctrination and fight to prove my statements are false.

      Secondly, thought reform – which is replacing previously held beliefs like when someone thought their childhood was normal or happy, slowly changes those belief or facts and now thinks, questions, or believes that severe childhood sexual abuse occurred is the underlying cause of their apparent adult dissociation and inability to function.

      Of course when people are entrenched in the slow changing and influence of their beliefs they do not realize that it is occurring. But if one was to take a piece of paper and write down what was believed and known as facts about the past and then writes about how those beliefs have changed (for whatever reason) it would become clear that a huge alteration of the past has occurred.

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    • Doug, I can take your example of prisoners endlessly writing out confessions and make a parallel to MPD/DID therapy.

      This is what occurs daily:

      – Talking about the abuse (real or not) endlessly and adding information gained by alter personalities
      – finding new alters who allegedly have information vital to the story/past/puzzle
      – going to groups with like diagnosed people
      – reading survivor stories and books about MPD/DID

      Then, my favorite, is Journaling. It is a powerful tool to reinforce what is talked about in therapy, in reinforcing and solidifying new memories and alter personalities, and what it does is gives the patient something to do between sessions. Undoubtedly, if one is to write the same thing over and over, one comes to believe it.

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  3. Altus

     /  05/18/2012

    avalon, informative post. Had not heard about PODS.

    Interesting how little they have to do with partners now. From their website:

    “Whilst keeping the same acronym, we recently decided to change what it stands for. Previously Partners of Dissociative Survivors, during 2011 our worked developed extensively and support for partners now represents only about 5% of our ongoing area of operation.”

    Did partners leave? Or, is PODS more successful selling workshops to “survivors?”

    Unintentional pun on one of their headings about a book from the front page of their website?: “Multiple Parts for Sale Now”

    One of the “therapies” that DID embraces is this somatic stuff. Again, from their website:

    “Trauma and the Body – Somatisation and Dissociation…Trauma doesn’t just affect the mind and the emotions. It profoundly affects the brain and the body too. Often ‘the body remembers’ what the mind cannot.”

    This flies in the face of the current research of memory and neuroscience. How do these people get away with making such claims? There should be a truth in advertising law for DID.

    From the posting from the social worker a couple of topics ago who told of attending a conference in Orlando where the presentations were all people telling stories and pushing pseudoscience and holistic theories (and products) to this site. there soooooo little real research and science going into these diagnosis. It just seems to be a big way to sell a narrative and products without being encumbered by facts or responsibility.

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  4. avalon111

     /  05/18/2012

    With the brief exception of Colin ‘mad-as-a-box-of-frogs’ Ross, the MPD community has since steered well clear of Christine Sizemore-Cooper. Whilst some in the past liked to quote her as being one of the first documented cases of MPD, others note that she was also the first confirmed case of alters being deliberately iatrogenetically created by their therapist. That kind of history doesn’t sit well with many in the DID community.

    Being a bit of a ‘loose cannon’ Chris Sizemore-Cooper doesn’t get invited to DID gatherings much. Even in the BBC interview she didn’t hesitate to put the knife in to the ‘Cartton DID’ community;

    Stephen Sackur: So do you think people are misusing this?

    Chris Costner Sizemore: Oh yes, oh yes. I had one person tell me ‘well I just want to be famous, so I’m going to be multiple’.

    The bind for the therapy and female victimology community who have thrived because in the US and UK, all women are defined first as victims and then as female, is that the DID/MPD mythology was defined as being the result of severe childhood trauma, with the emphasis on ‘severe’. Thus tales of ‘dad creeping into the bedroom’ incest just wouldn’t suffice – it had to be satanic rituals and torture (without visible injuries). The consequence of that was that DID ‘survivors’ are invariably completely different from genuine survivors of childhood sexual abuse;

    ‘One of the most striking parallels is the desire to dwell on their supposed past trauma. One retractor I interviewed (someone who has taken back her “memories”) told me that she founded a survivor group that soon split into two groups. The real survivors – – those who had always remembered being sexually abused — were very disturbed by the lurid, graphic tales that the recovered memory survivors insisted on telling at great length. The real survivors didn’t want to talk about it much, nor did they cry and scream and roll on the floor.’

    (Mark Pendergrast – Letter to the Editor, published in The New Yorker magazine, July 1999)

    ‘Alter Bloat’ – when DID ‘survivors’ claim an increasingly large number of alters in an effort to elicit more and more sympathy, or to gain greater prominance in their own (DID) peer group, or to satisfy the therapists fascination in being able to suggest more and more alters, is rife amongst the Cartoon DID community – some claiming hundreds, thousands of alters. A core difficulty is that the partner of such a ‘survivor’ might have increasing difficulties in believing the entire scenario.

    In such instances it is important for the ‘survivor’ to suffer a periodic ‘episode’ – some distraction to ensure the partners wayward thoughts are checked. Setting fire to something, a self-injury, a ‘psychotic’ episode with a weekend trip to a psychiatry ward normally does the trick.

    In the UK there is a charity called PODS – Partners of Dissociative Survivors – setup principally to deal with the problem that happens when (invariably) a boyfriend or husbands thinks ‘hang on, this doesn’t add up’ or starts correlating the ‘episodes’ as being moments of attention-seeking. PODS is supposed to draw the partner into the entire DID universe, in an effort to convince them in DID’s existence and to not go off hunting the Web for DID research that might have them question the validity of the diagnosis or recovered memories.

    Maintaining the support is perhaps the hardest thing for a DID ‘survivor’ to achieve. If the DID has been iatrogenetically-induced the individual may at some point recognise they’ve been ‘had’. However if they are convinced by their DID, enamoured with their therapist, or perhaps arrived at DID having been ‘pre-basted’ having read books like ‘The Courage to Heal’ about RMT, and perhaps possessing religious fundamentalist or feminist views of being female (i.e. victim first, woman second) then in all liklihood there will come a point when spouses and partners can no longer maintain the fiction. At that point the DID ‘survivor’ will depend on the likes of PODS to bring their partner back into line.

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    • Hello Avalon,

      Your comments are very poignant to what transpires in the DID community – since I lived there for 7 years, I know how it works.

      I think Chris Sizemore ( the 3 faces of Eve) fell out of the realm of an icon is for several reasons:

      #1 The trauma that lead to her alter personalities was Not due to repeated childhood sexual abuse.

      #2 She got well.

      #3 She is critical and dares to question.

      Yes, I am familiar with PODS – which, in my opinion, keeps the DID concept alive, sucks more people into the belief system and offers a strong community for those who believe they have multiple personalities and those who love them. I find it a tragic situation that one person with DID effects so many others.

      When I thought I had multiple personalities because of child sexual abuse it was a living hell. I was distraught all the time. After years of these beliefs and lifestyle I could not function and could barely take care of myself.

      Chris Sizemore (whether or not anyone believes in multiple personalities and dissociative identity disorder) got well. We don’t hear of that much – if at all.

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  5. Fred Pauser

     /  03/14/2011

    Wow, that’s an amazing video. She seems so authentic! Can it be that a few of these MPD cases are actually valid? That is, a few cases may not be completely induced by the therapist? (Chris said her first therapist probably caused most of the 21 personalities, but not the first two alter personalities which she already had when she began therapy.)

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    • I am reading her last book, A Mind of My Own, she mentions Richard Kluft & others who share similar beliefs. Actually, my former psychiatrist knows Chris as well as Sybil’s therapist (now deceased), Cornelia Wilber. So, my thoughts on authenticity are not what they were. She was used by Kluft, Braun, Ross, Hicks, and others who first started the ISSMPD – I think it was in the mid-1980s. They make you feel special and important – she got sucked in like I did.

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