Ticker Tape: Mental Health Topics & More

Mental health issues are vast and expand quickly. Keeping up with the constant stream of news reports and peer-reviewed articles 24/7/365 is a daunting task so here is a list of links and titles of news reports you may find interesting or useful.*


Sybil: A Brilliant Hysteric? New York Times | 11-25-14. Barbara Dury, producer (Includes interview with this blogger)

The alliance in adult psychotherapy: A meta-analytic synthesis. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-23951-001

United Kingdom: Couple with 400 Different Personalities Between Them, Stephanie Linning, Daily Mail, 03-28-18.

Why Handwriting Changes as you Age. CBS News, 02-01-11

Bullies Win: Elizabeth Loftus Awarded 2016 John-Maddox Prize for Courage

Two who resigned from the DSM-5 work group explain why. Psychology Today 10-01-15.

Child Taken from Mum with Multiple Personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Psychiatrists Maryann Weisman & Stacey Zuniga Arrested on Alleged Prescription Drug Crimes, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA.

False Memory Syndrome Led Woman to Make Farm Rape Claims in Devon. North Devon Journal, 5-21-15.

The Forgotten Childhood: Why early memories fade. National Public Radio: All things considered. 4-8-14

The Devil and Mercy Ministries: A conversation with Chelsea Darhower | Dysgenics| 05-04-15.

The San Antonio Four Go Back to Court | Texas Public Radio | Apr 20, 2015

Reforming Mental Health Care: How recovered memory treatments brought informed-consent Psychiatric Times | June 05, 2015  by Christopher Barden, J.D., Ph.D.
retrieved 03-24-15.

Could You Be Convinced You Committed a Crime That You Didn’t Commit?

 Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime | Psychological Science | 11-04-14.

Testimony Reliance Unsettles U.S. Courts

False Memory Syndrome Foundation Advisory Board Profiles

Researchers are now able to erase and restore memories in rats

Out of Mind Out of Sight: Suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influence.

A Life in Pieces by Richard K. Baer

England: Suicide among mental health patients receiving home treatment doubles

*For information purposes only.

Resources available in Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case

by Debbie Nathan

(blog post by Jeanette Bartha)

Publisher: Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., NY, NY, 2011

If multiple personalities, false memories, dissociative identity disorder, human memory, questionable child-abuse recall, false confessions, or repressed memories pique’ your interest, then you likely know about the infamous case of Sybil that splashed the American book market and cinema in the early 1970s.

According to Amazon Book Review, “Sybil Exposed draws from an enormous trail of papers, records, photos, and tapes to unearth the lives and passions of these three women whose story exploded into an epic movement with consequences beyond their wildest dreams. Set across the twentieth century and rooted in a time when few professional roles were available to women, this is a story of corrosive sexism, bold but unchecked ambition, runaway greed, utter human vulnerability, duplicity and shared delusion, shaky theories of psychoanalysis exuberantly and drastically practiced, and how one modest young woman’s life turned psychiatry on its head and radically changed the course of therapy—and our culture, as well.”

If you are interested in investigating the life of Shirley A. Mason AKA Sybil Dorset, Sybil Exposed is a one stop-shopping treasure of resources. The book has:

  • Acknowledgements, 6 pages pgs. 239-246.
  • Notes on chapters, 35 pages from pgs. 247-282.
  • Index, 14 pages from pgs. 283-297.

Author Debbie Nathan, is an award winning journalist who conducted massive research  throughout the United States for Sybil Exposed.

Ms. Nathan is the recipient of national and regional awards, including:

  • The H.L. Mencken Award for Investigative Journalism
  • PEN West Award for Journalism
  • Texas Institute of Letters Award for feature journalism
  • John Barlow Martin Award for Public Service Journalism

With over 30 years of reporting and publishing experience, Ms. Nathan specializes in sexual politics, sex panics particularly in relation to women and children, as well as immigration and the U.S. – Mexican border. She appears in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Capturing the Freidman’s, the story of accused child molesters, Arnold (now deceased) and his son, Jesse Friedman.

Ms. Nathan serves on the board of the National Center for Reason and Justice (NCRJ), a non-profit organization of advocates for intelligent and humane approaches to preventing child abuse and dealing with accused offenders. See About the NCRJ

More about the author on Amazon.com Book Review

Below is a list of resources used by the author including print media, professionals in the mental health field, professors, libraries, laypersons, former psychiatric patients, and films.

Shirley Ardell Mason (1923-1998) pseudonym, Sybil Isabel Dorsett

Mason was born and raised in Dodge Center, Minnesota, USA. The only child of Walter Mason (a carpenter and architect) and Martha Alice “Mattie” Hageman.

Resources used by author Debbie Nathan:

  • Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, scholar
  • Peter Swales, historian
  • David Eichman, grandson of Shirley Mason’s step-mother, Florence Eichman Mason and David’s wife, Bonnie Eichman
  • Dan Houlihan, University of Minnesota at Mankato (where Shirley attended as an undergraduate)
  • Muriel Odden Coulter, the daughter of a dorm mate of Shirley
  • Dodge Center residents (Sybil/Shirley’s home town)
  • Miranda Marland, daughter of Shirley’s best childhood friend, Robert Moulton
  • Cousins of Shirley: Patricia Alcott, Lorna Gilbert, Arlene Christensen, Marcia Schmidt
  • Dr. Ronald Numbers, University of Wisconsin, an expert on Seventh-Day Adventism (Shirley’s religion)
  • T. Joe Willey, scholar
  • Jean Lane, Shirley’s best friend during college
  • Robert Rieber, John Jay College, NYC, emeritus psychology professor taught with Sybil author, Flora Schreiber
  • Dr. Herbert Spiegel, psychiatrist and hypnotherapist (worked briefly with Shirley)
  • Marcia Greenleaf, psychologist

Psychiatrists practicing in or near New York City during 1950’s & 1960’s when Shirley’s psychoanalyst, Cornelia Wilbur, M.D. was there:

  • Dr. Ann Ruth Turkel
  • Dr. Sylvia Brecher Marer (Rhode Island)
  • Dr. Nathaniel Lehrman
  • Dr. Arthur Zitrin

Dr. Cornelia Wilbur (1908–1992). Born, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, University of Michigan, 1939, M.D. (medical doctor)

Resources for life of Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, M.D.

  • Robert Schade, cousin
  • Deborah Brown Kovac, a niece of Dr. Wilbur’s second husband
  • Neil Burwell, nephew
  • Warner Burwell. great-nephew
  • Douglas Burwell, great-nephew
  • Brenda Burwell Canning, great-niece (lived with Dr. Wilbur in the 1970s)
  • Ruth Barstow Dixon, cousin
  • Dr. Richard Dieterle
  • Caroline Dieterle
  • Dr. Robert Dieterle, psychiatrist (Dr. Wilbur’s professor and mentor), 1930’s
  • Harald Naess, historian of Scandinavian immigration

Others who knew or worked with Dr. Cornelia Wilbur:

  • Dr. Arnold Ludwig, worked with Dr. Wilbur at University of Kentucky, 1970s
  • Dr. Lon Hays
  • Dr. Rosa K. Riggs
  • Dr. German Gutierrez


  • John and Patsy McGee – lived on same street in Dr. Wilbur’s neighborhood
  • Roberta Guy – Shirley Mason’s and Dr. Wilbur’s home-care nurse
  • Mark Boultinghouse – Shirley’s art dealer
  • Dr. Joseph Bieron, chemist and archivist of historical records of his profession

Libraries and Organizations:

  • State Historical Society, St. Paul, MN, USA,  – archival research
  • New York Academy of Medicine
  • American Society for Journalists and Authors, Director Alexandra Owens
  • Society for Magazine Writers
  • University of Iowa Library, special collections department
  • Historical Society in Dodge County, Minnesota, past Director, Earlene Kinga
  • Seventh-Day Adventist Church General Conference, Maryland
  • National Library of Medicine, Maryland
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Special Collections Department
  • Ellen Belcher, Head Archivist, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Tania Colmant-Donabedian, Assistant Archivist, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Larry Sullivan, Director, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Peter Tytell, research assistant to Ms. Nathan
  • Dr. Leah Dickstein, holds several files and papers which belonged to Dr. Wilbur

Scholars, writers, professionals in the mental health field, former-psychiatric patients, and activists

  • Sherrill Mulhern
  • Dr. Harold Mersey, DM FRCP (London) FRCP(C) FRCPsych
  • Evan Harrington
  • Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.
  • Mark Pendergrast, author/journalist
  • Ben Harris
  • Jan Haaken
  • Jeanette Bartha, B.S., psychology, journalist, blogger
  • Bill Dobbs
  • John Bloise
  • Those wishing to remain anonymous

Former Hollywood Celebrities regarding the film, Sybil

  • Stewart Stern, screenwriter for Sybil telemovie
  • Diana Serra Cary – actress who played “Baby Peggy”

International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)

  • Kathy Steele, former Director
  • Dr. Richard Kluft, M.D. (grateful to him, but he declined to discuss his work with Dr. Cornelia Wilbur) Dr. Kluft permitted Ms. Nathan to attend his presentation at ISSTD Conference
  • Barry Cohen
  • Dr. Vedat Sar
The above information was taken from the text of Sybil Exposed. Errors may be those of blogger rather than the author, Debbie Nathan.

updated: 9-26-14





Many Voices, Editor Lynn W., Rants About New Book “Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case” by Debbie Nathan

Sybil (1976 film)

Image via Wikipedia

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.

A Girl Not Named Sybil by Debbie Nathan


Published: October 14, 2011 New York Times Magazine

“What about Mama?” the psychiatrist asks her patient. “What’s Mama been doing to you, dear? . . . I know she gave you the enemas. And I know she filled your bladder up with cold water, and I know she used the flashlight on you, and I know she stuck the washcloth in your mouth, cotton in your nose so you couldn’t breathe. . . . What else did she do to you? It’s all right to talk about it now. . . . ”

Retrieved 10/16/11. Full Story a-girl-not-named-sybil.html

This article is adapted from “Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case,” by Debbie Nathan, to be published this month by the Free Press.

Editor: Sheila Glaser

A version of this article appeared in print on October 16, 2011, on page MM56 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: A Girl Not Named Sybil.

The Liz Library on a Woman’s Sexual Assualt in New York City, USA: An opinion or contempt? You decide

The statements below were published on The Liz Library.org website by Elizabeth J. Kates, JD of the Law Offices in Pompano Beach, FL. This site is clearly biased against the notion of false memories and Dr. Elizabeth Loftus‘ research on memory in particular. That’s just fine with me. That writer is welcome to her opinions. What that writer is not welcome to is to distort the facts of this case.

What I find outrageous is to report a case of a victim of sexual assault, Debbie Nathan of New York City, USA, and then link that assault to the victim’s political beliefs, in this case supporting false memory. Ms. Kates takes it a step further and insinuates that Ms. Nathan had it coming to her.

What you will read below is one of the most appalling statements I’ve read. And below it I will present some  facts from the case:

The Liz Library

“May 10, 2010: Journalist Debbie Nathan, 59, false memory syndrome true believer, and famed defender of the “sex work industry”, claims she was raped in a busy NYC park in February in broad daylight by a virgin teenage boy. Multiple police officers report the incident otherwise after, apparently, a two-hour interview, but Nathan convinces Manhattan D.A. that Nathan’s version of the events is correct; he gets NYPD to apologize. Whoa. What’s good for the goose, not? Hypocrisy? Enlightenment?” Retrieved 4/20/11. Full Story: The Liz Library


Facts of case: Ms. Nathan did Not claim rape. She reported attempted rape and in the article below the writer clearly states that fact.

NYPD Forced to Apologize Publicly to Rape Victim for Downgrading Her Attack

The Village Voice

by Grahm Rayman, May 10, 2010

“Last week, the Voice revealed that a cop had audiotaped his superior officers during roll calls at the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn for more than a year.

Those tapes show vividly that NYPD street cops are told by superiors to “downgrade” crime reports whenever possible, such as convincing a victim to file a “stolen property” complaint even after being physically assaulted in a robbery.

Now, the Voice has learned that the NYPD downgraded a felony sexual assault in a park in upper Manhattan earlier this year to a misdemeanor. …

Harriet Lessel, the director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, an association of a wide variety of groups involved in sexual assault treatment and prevention, says that NYPD downgrading of sexual assaults from felonies to misdemeanors has become a growing problem over the past 18 months.  …We are trying to figure out how to do something about it.

…”I was terrified for my safety and my life,” Nathan says.

…After awhile, the Special Victims unit told the officers that the crime was misdemeanor “forcible touching.”

Nathan insisted that it was an attempted rape, a felony. “I argued that the force used against me, the masturbation, and the veritable kidnapping constituted far more than a misdemeanor,” Nathan says.
Retrieved 4/20/1. Full Story: Village Voice


Ms. Nathan, in my opinion, was brave in her attempt to hold the NYPD accountable for reducing felony assaults on women to misdemeanors. She made her story public in an effort to help all women who are assaulted. What Ms. Kates is trying to do with her statements against Ms. Nathan is beyond this writer’s comprehension.

Is this what the memory debates have come to? Have we, as a society, grown that callous and vengeful towards people with differing ideas and beliefs than ours? Frightening, simply frightening.

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