Following a complaint submitted in June 2019 to the College of Psychologists of British Columbia (CPBC), Psychologist Dr. Alison Miller has resigned. In the complaint (available here), we described numerous statements Miller made in her presentations to Survivorship (here and here) as well as in one of her books. As a result of our complaint, the CPBC learned that Miller was in violation of her status as a “non-practicing” psychologist because she was continuing to deliver lectures — in other words, practicing psychology. Miller resigned. She may not call herself a “psychologist.”
Our complaint referenced Miller’s promotion of harmful conspiracy theories related to cults and how she believes they operate. She offered matter-of-fact statements about cultists dressing up as God or Satan and raping children. She talked about alien abduction experiences as elaborate scenes crafted by cult members to render survivor stories unbelievable. Satanic cults implanting black hearts in children. Forced breeding, forced murder, killing puppies.
In response, Miller attempted to “corroborate” her viewpoint. She most likely referenced, of course, the usual works by other conspiracy therapists, being as she is part of the network of delusional mental health care providers who scratch each others’ back — peer-reviewing, citing, and otherwise promoting each others’ work in a circle jerk that to some resembles scientific rigor and academic legitimacy.
However, the board didn’t seem to buy it. As stated in the decision:
“On their face, many of the Respondent’s statements are unusual and do not reflect mainstream beliefs about abuse, trauma, and mental health. The Committee has no basis to question the Respondent’s statement that she was reporting information that had been conveyed to her by her clients, from other therapists, or read in reports and publications. The Committee was concerned, however, that she did not clearly state the limitation that this information was based on what had been described to her and may not reflect the actual activities of these groups.
“When making broad and conclusive statements in any setting, registrants must have sufficient basis for their opinions including critically evaluating the information that is conveyed to them and questioning whether the information is reliable and valid. In the Respondent’s statements, she expressed a degree of certainty about the activities of cults that may not be warranted, yet she did not limit her statement with a caution about the sources of her information. The Committee was of the view that if the Respondent had remained registered with the College, she would need to take action to address concerns related to making statements and providing opinions based on adequate and appropriate information, professional knowledge, and providing statements of limitations.”
We would not be surprised in the least if Miller’s decision to resign from the board was out of a desire to avoid punishment. Indeed, if she ever decides to come out of retirement, she will have to face the facts outlined above.
While we would have liked to have seen Miller face disciplinary action because of her irresponsible and harmful statements, we are content with the fact that she can no longer see clients or deliver presentations. She built her career on spreading Satanic Panic conspiracy theories; it would only have been appropriate for her to lose her license for the same.
This saga is also revealing, and perhaps foreboding, for Survivorship — an organization for “ritual abuse survivors” run by Massachusetts licensed mental health counselor Neil Brick, who claims to believe he was a brainwashed assassin for the Illuminati, trained to “rape and kill without feeling.” Miller is not the only one at Survivorship conferences that openly promotes conspiracy theories of the most harmful and bizarre variety. Now that a licensing board has recognized Miller’s statements as irresponsible and unwarranted, what might that mean for the other presenters, for Brick, and for Survivorship itself? Time will tell.