The Satanic Temple protests the ISSTD Conference
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On March 24th, 2018, Grey Faction protested outside and inside of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation’s (ISSTD) annual conference at the Hilton Palmer House in Chicago, IL.
What did the protest involve?
Protesters symbolically demonstrated the dysfunctional and harmful relationship between ISSTD therapists and their patients. The mission of the demonstration is to expose the ISSTD organization and instigators of pseudoscientific practices that have been directly connected to the harm of their patients. See photos of the protest below.
What is Grey Faction?
The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction is opposed to licensed mental health professionals in the creation and continuation of the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s – 90s and seeks to bring public attention to the problem of conspiratorial thinking and pseudoscience into the wider discussion of mental health.
Why did Grey Faction protest the ISSTD?
Today’s protest action is intended to draw awareness to the issues surrounding pseudoscience Recovered Memory Therapy, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and the hazards of an insular therapeutic community self-policing against harmful practices against their own economic interests.
Chicago and Rush Hospital
Chicago has a unique connection to pseudoscientific mental healthcare leading to abuse. Bennett Braun, head of the Dissociative Disorders Unit at Rush Hospital was one of the founders of the ISSTD. Under his treatment, patients came to believe they were ritualistically abused by Satanists with Illuminati bloodlines. His license was suspended for 18 months related to a lawsuit by former patient Patty Burgus. She alleged his prompting and implanting false memories tore apart her family. Learn more about Rush Hospital in Chicago Mag.
What is the ISSTD?
Self-described as a “non-profit, professional association” that promotes “clinically effective, empirically based resources” for Mental Health professions, the ISSTD’s professional and scientific facade does not conceal their continued history of using therapy to promote debunked and discredited notions of international conspiracy. Dissociative Identity Disorder treatments, which many ISSTD members and presenters continue to be proponents of, disproportionately impacts the lives of women by exploiting the inherent power imbalance of the doctor-patient relationship. The ISSTD’s professional and scientific facade does not conceal their continued history of propagating conspiracy theories of organized Satanic abuse in therapy.
Sarah Ponto Rivera, The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction Director stated, “The ISSTD’s propagation of pseudoscience and anti-satanist conspiracy theories are being touted as professional content for which mental health professionals can receive Continuing Education Units.”
Learn more about our work ending pseudoscience in mental health at greyfaction.org.
To support ending pseudoscience in the mental health field, donate to Grey Faction here.