Difference between revisions of "CZ Talk:Cold Storage/Extreme Abuse Survey"

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(Attacks: reference, too)
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:If we are going to make a statement like that, we need a reference, too. [[User:D. Matt Innis|D. Matt Innis]] 04:56, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
:If we are going to make a statement like that, we need a reference, too. [[User:D. Matt Innis|D. Matt Innis]] 04:56, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
::In particular, if you talk about attack modes, describe things that are normally considered attacks by computer security people. Port scans are not destructive, although they alert that someone may be planning to attack. The port scan would merely tell you, for example, that there is a web server at port 80; the attack (obsolete type) might be SYN-FLOOD directed at port 80 and port 80 only, or crafted malicious HTML messages, etc.. While there is a difference between high and low ports, it doesn't have much relevance to scanning or attacks.
::Matt, if you are referring to the attack modes, we have one of those interesting issues of editor vs. workgroup. If this article were in the Computers Workgroup, if I ruled on attack modes, I doubt any other Editor would question such a ruling as other than generally accepted expert knowledge in the field. If I'm going to write in any detail about attack modes, I'd do so in a technical article and cite there. Unfortunately, in the specific case of port scans, since it's not an actual attack technique, I'd probably have to source that it's a form of reconnaissance. Some people call TCP-SYN attacks port scans, but they are a different attack vector that may be targeted by a scan.  I suppose I can update [[information security]]; the documentation on any open source network intrusion detection system such as SNORT; etc.  Again, I face the problem of trying to argue against an inherently flawed statement.
::I'm not trying to be facetious or sarcastic: is anyone else here familiar with running and detecting port scans? [[User:Howard C. Berkowitz|Howard C. Berkowitz]] 05:09, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

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Definition of extreme abuse

Unless it's in an unlinked CZ article, I believe it essential that the introduction of this article clearly define "extreme abuse", not by external citation, but what is meant in this context. As far as I know, it's not a DSM-IV definition, although I don't have a copy here. Frankly, it comes across as a non-neutral term; there may be sufficiently objective definition to modify that impression, but the material needs to be in the article.

The term "mind control" also does not give a sense of neutrality.

Looking further at the references, I see they are all books, not peer-reviewed publications.

Howard C. Berkowitz 05:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment above. One book is written by Karnac, a respected publisher. The second is edited by Noblitt, a respected researcher in the field. I am unsure what you mean about the term "mind control" not giving a sense of neutrality. Neil Brick 05:15, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I should note that I consider it extremely premature to claim that an article is "Ready for Approval" on the same day it is created. Book sources -- and I speak as an author of published books in my field -- are generally less preferred to peer-reviewed articles, consensus statements of professional organizations, etc.
Mind control? Sourced, neutral definition, please. I am very familiar with the literature on pressures in, for example, Korean and Vietnam War POW camps, and I don't remember it as a term of art. I don't remember it in the MKULTRA documents. It's not something seriously believed possible in human-source intelligence.
Is it a DSM-IV or ICD definition? Searching for "mind control" in Medical Subject Headings of the National Library of Medicine returns "no entry." Howard C. Berkowitz 05:23, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


As a brief and stricly factual article about the EAS I have no fundamental problem with this. I am a bit concerned about the "Attacks" section which seems to be innuendo, and of no fundamental relevance to what the EAS is. I also think it right to consider some wording carefully - these surveys as I understand them do not collate date on abuse; the collate allegations of abuse. If the wording is changed to reflect this then I am fine with it. Otherwise there would need to be neutral text on the potential unreliability of such data, referencing false memory syndrome etc.Gareth Leng 11:08, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your comment on this. I have made a change to the first line of the article that should address your second point. I do believe that the attacks section is important, since it does discuss an important problem that could have stopped the study from occurring. The section itself simply states the facts about the attacks. I will delete the word "however" from the section to avoid any inference that the attacks were meant to stop the study from occurring, though this is probably what they were meant to do.Neil Brick 03:52, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

"Background" section

First, I'm not sure, from an article design standpoint, what this adds. If anything, it gives more of a sense of belonging in a press release or essay than in a neutral article. Following CZ conventions, I have moved problematic text here for discussion, and explaining my reasons for moving it.

Wanda Karriker is a retired psychologist in the United States. She was interviewed on Court TV as an expert in Extreme Abuse. She wrote about the after-effects of extreme abuse in her novel “ Morning, Come Quickly.”

Court TV and a novel are not what would usually be assumed as source qualifications on CZ. Her background as a psychologist might be much more relevant, but "retired" doesn't give any information.

Carol Rutz is a healed extreme abuse/mind control survivor in the United States. She wrote “A Nation Betrayed: The Chilling True Story of Secret Cold War Experiments Performed on Our Children and Other Innocent People (2001).

It has not yet been agreed, in CZ consensus, what "extreme abuse" and "mind control" actually mean. They are not used in child abuse. Without definition, they give me a strong flavor of being terms that evoke emotion rather than add information. The title of Rutz's book does not remotely seem neutral; it seems a strong advocacy position.

Thorsten Becker is a social worker and freelance supervisor in Germany. He served as a case consultant in several suspected cult-related cases in Europe. In 1994, he received the “German Child Protection Award” for his team’s work with severely abused children.

I don't know what "freelance supervisor" means. Supervision usually implies an organizational structure inconsistent with "freelance".

"Suspected" is clearly not authoritative. "Cult" is also an emotionally laden term, not defined in context. There is no reference obvious to me, a non-German, on the significance of the "German Child Protection Award."

I am also troubled by "team" and "severely abused". There is no indication of the team's affiliations. Did it, perhaps, not address moderately abused children?

CZ now has a child abuse article, which does have a taxonomy although the general acceptance of the taxonomy is not completely clear. Nevertheless, the word "extreme" never occurs in that article; "severe" is used once with a context and citation.

The more I reread here, the more I am concerned with the neutrality of language. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your ideas on this. At this point, I accept the removal of the above section from the article, until the above problems can be worked out. Neil Brick 03:56, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I do thank you for discussing these things, which are meant constructively. It's always a little tense when one first criticizes.
Have you looked at the child abuse article? What do you see as its relationship to here? Now, if there is a distinct syndrome that is addressed here and not there, that's fine — the goal is articulating the syndrome and showing the difference. We can take on controversial topics, but the goal is neutrality and accuracy. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:12, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I have looked at the article and it appears that this is not addressed there. Any ideas on articulating the syndrome further would be appreciated. Neil Brick 04:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Let me make what might seem a radical solution. Rename this article "extreme child abuse" or something that ties strongly to the professional literature that deals with the subject. I can help with the mechanics if you do want to do that.
Even if you keep the current title, start out by giving a solid, unemotional, sourced definition of the concept; it's confusing to read about a survey trying to measure something I don't recognize. I've just done a PubMed/Medline search for "extreme abuse survey" and gotten no hits. After 7 pages of Google search for the exact string, there were no hits from anything that appeared to be a scientific journal or general medical/psychological professional association. There were, however, a great many hits on what seemed to be websites with a strong position, a considerable amount of mention of "ritual abuse", and a nontrivial amount about satanism. I have to say that it is starting to concern me that this survey has a preconception that there is a widespread, not generally recognized in the medical or behavioral literature, but there is a great deal of emotion about it.
Speaking for myself, I've never encountered the term in this usage, but I don't work with children. From the military/intelligence side, I've had a fair bit of exposure to principles of trauma, including the psychological aspects of torture and such things as ideological "reeducation" in prison camps. I'm reasonably familiar with the DSM stress syndromes and current concepts of diagnosis and treatment, but I don't still haven't found a clear definition of "extreme abuse".
It further concerns me that I see, in these searches, quite a few references to "mind control." Again, there is little scientific support that such a thing exists, and the practical matter that intelligence agencies tried very, very hard to produce it and failed.
I can't help you articulate a syndrome I don't understand and for which I can't seem to find mention except in...well, sources that don't strike me as obviously objective. Howard C. Berkowitz 05:31, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
You make some good points above. A "solid, unemotional, sourced definition of the concept" sounds like a good idea.
How about this for a definition "Extreme abuse is child abuse that includes torture, threats, confinements, violence, and other types of unlawful or immoral exploitation that children may have endured during the abuse, which results in debilitating after-effects." This is basically a definition by the authors of the survey. Neil Brick 02:46, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
It may be what the survey authors were looking for, but using that to define the subject is rather circular. There is no question there that child abuse exists, and it is real. The "extreme" term, however, seems to belong, on my review of web sources and inability to find it in PubMed, seems to be the term of activists, rather than a different sort of child abuse not generally recognized in the medical literature, makes me concerned that this different concept comes from activists.
Respectfully, I am a bit concerned about the statement, in your webpage, that you focus on coverups of child abuse. The McMartin and other more extreme cases simply did not hold up. There is, clearly, a community of people that believes in the existence of large ritual abuse systems, and, in some cases, things termed mind control.
The authors of a responsible survey do not get to define the subject. They start with something recognized in medical or social science literature. Survey techniques are not necessarily the best instruments of research. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:02, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Howard, you make good points above, about definitions and about surveys, as well as your concerns about this particular set of surveys. We could say something like Neil said, but add:
  • "The authors of the surveys focused particularly on types of child abuse that they considered "extreme" (thus the name) such as torture, threats, confinements, violence, and other types of unlawful or immoral exploitation that children may have endured during the abuse, which results in debilitating after-effects."
We wouldn't have to do this if we were to find that there was indeed a set of abuses that were defined as extreme.
D. Matt Innis 04:08, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Let me preface what I'm about to say next with that my reading is preliminary. Some critics of the survey, however, suggest that the authors looked for allegations of child abuse that met their criteria, rather than externally validated cases. Take a look at pseudoscience#other, with emphasis on footnote 5, which is what I would call a reputable source. Satanic ritual abuse and "the use of hypnosis for memory recovery", among other things, are questioned. If you'll pardon a slight rolling of eyes at the Rorshach test, my mother was a psychotherapist, and I grew up surrounded by all of the normally restricted psychological test manuals. She had what I called an annoying habit of volunteering me for research studies, and I must say that it was an interesting research test of my own to experiment with the psychologists performing Rohrshachs and some of the other less well-validated projective tests.
If, for example, the authors here believe that Satanic ritual abuse is a real issue, some authoritative criticism of the article section I just cited would seem appropriate within Citizendium. We've had a recent experience that may suggest that contributors that focus only on one controversial subject in a very limited number of controversial articles may not be in the interest of CZ as an authoritative, expert-guided resource. That, in turn, gets into uncomfortable issues of Neutrality Policy. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:36, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
My reading is certainly preliminary as well, and the more I read, the more I see why you are worried. I do agree that if this article were to make specific claims, that those claims should be fully discussed and include other perspectives, including the quality of the studies and the case study type style with confirmation bias, etc., etc.. However, I don't think we need worry about what specific authors think as long as we all collaborate toward a neutral article. As far as authors focusing only on certain limited number of controversial article, well, I don't see that we need worry about them any more than we need to worry about those that keep arguing with them :-) Most people only write about things that interest them, don't ya think? The CZ:Neutrality Policy should prevail. D. Matt Innis 04:56, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
"Most people only write about things that interest them, don't ya think?" Not necessarily, for at least two reasons, one of which is not pertinent here. If you are correct, why, then, should other authors or editors care to enter into extensive discussion of a topic where they believe the subject is irretrievably flawed? My answer would be that they care about the integrity of CZ. There are, however, finite resources. I want to create readable new content from reasonable expert knowledge and sourcing. If, however, the limited number of people with specific knowledge that might move an article to an utterly neutral position simply don't want to spend time on neutralizing rather than creating, what happens? Do they simply allow what they believe to be non-neutral material to stand, leaving the field to people that believe fervently in a biased source? Do you really think that people will continue to want to be associated with CZ if their choice is mostly to counter bias and keep integrity, turning the initiative over to anyone who wants to bring in a partisan position? Howard C. Berkowitz 09:59, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps some general clarifications, meant constructively

Don't assume CZ will not cover things that are not generally accepted. While it was a hard effort, the homeopathy article eventually got to a point that both its advocates and critics felt was fair, although it was neither an endorsement nor a condemnation. The sourcing did have to be authoritative, generally meaning as coming from accepted peer-reviewed sources, or, in some aspects dealing with government policy, the primary government sources.

While I won't try to give a general explanation of the Neutrality Policy, it is possible to have discussions of controversial subjects, but not from one side alone. CZ is not the right place if the goal is to "expose" something. Forgive me if I am assuming anything improperly, but your user page, and possibly some web links, suggest you are concerned with coverups of child abuse, mind control, ritual abuse, and recovered memory. Do not assume that other Citizens will automatically agree with your positions, or that this is a place to convince them.

It is a place where umemotional descriptions could be written, as long as you are prepared for equally unemotional and sourced disagreement. Frankly, it bothered me that this article was immediately called Ready for Approval; approval often takes quite a bit of consensus-building and expert approval. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:07, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

My asking for approval prematurely was an error on my part due to my inexperience with the citizendium process. I can withdraw that request if it would help with the consensus-building process. Neil Brick 02:50, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Definitely so. Right now, it is not at all clear why extreme abuse is not a subset of child abuse. Even there, I am a bit concerned that most of the citations seem to be to websites, when there is, indeed, a large body of peer-reviewed data on child abuse, as well as, for example, reasonably well-established child pornography operations. The ritual abuse area, as well as the technique of recovered memories, do not appear to have strong expert acceptance, although the idea is understandably very emotional for some. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:08, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Apparently there are a set of surveys that are being called "Extreme abuse Surveys". I think the title can be used as long as it is placed correctly, and I haven't decided how that should be. We could use this with, as a resource for, a subpage of child abuse or an extreme abuse article that has links to all sorts of those types of abuse that have been characterised as extreme abuse. Certainly linked to satanic ritual or Ritual abuse (which seem to overlap). It seems that the name (extreme abuse survey) is not so much a diagnosis, per se, but a proper name being given to these surveys. Since notability is not a prerequisite here, it's not so much how notable, but more of how to appropriately use the information to give it the proper place. A good psychology editor can help decide the location, but that shouldn't stop the article from progressing yet. Neil, I would suggest that you use our mailing list to contact an editor and see if anyone responds.
I am concerned that the first reference seems to point to a book with a different title than the description, which does in fact lead us to the list of surveys. I think this is an error, right? D. Matt Innis 03:23, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Matt, I noticed you have a pink link to satanic ritual. When I did a search on "satanic", there didn't seem to be such an article; the closest things that mentioned it are conspiracy theory and pseudoscience. I'm not suggesting there isn't such a thing as Satanism, as in the late Anton Levey's Church of Satan [1]. I've even met a few self-identified Satanists.
Your point that it is the name of a group of surveys is well taken. My concern is that the current form of the article seems to suggest that "extreme abuse" is assumed to be an established diagnostic syndrome. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:41, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I see what you mean, Howard. However, when I google extreme abuse that is the first thing that comes up - not that I trust a google search, but it does get us started. It seems that extreme abuse might not be a diagnosis, but it does seem to be used to differentiate between lessor forms of abuse and looks like it might be related to Dissociated Identity Disorder which certainly gets serious. I'm no psychologist, so I don't know if "extreme abuse" is used as a proper noun, or if it fits into some heirarchy of abuse, but we do know there are some surveys that are named "Extreme Abuse Surveys", so we can develop the article and then figure out where it goes.(Ha! I forgot you hate doing it that way!) I agree that this article should mostly describe the surveys for now, but it has to give some feel for what the surveys are about, which of course would be abuse of extreme dimensions. D. Matt Innis 03:56, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You're right; I hate developing that way. Seriously, though, even looking at the link you gave, it seems to be a very common term in a particular community, but, if I can't find a single peer-reviewed paper on it, it begins to suggest that it is ... ummm ... an ideological position, not to be confused with a diagnosis. Indeed, while I am not a psychologist, I do have considerable experience with military stress, the history of torture in interrogation, and psychological warfare. In the small world department, I have just started an interesting correspondence with a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, about the use of torture in the Algerian War, and was able to provide him with some information here (i.e. Roger Trinquier). The issue of torture is a current news issue; Obama is, in my somewhat professional opinion, quite properly shutting down techniques that have never been widely accepted in intelligence circles; the commander of Guantanamo Detention Camp, who set up Abu Ghraib, was not an intelligence officer.
I will probably start editing the torture article, which can stand a good deal of work and is apt to get a number of hits. In the interest of CZ, I'm hesitant to see discussions of torture that are not well sourced. Some of the surveys have been questioned as attempting to document a preconception. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:11, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems that these surveys might also consider some of those even "acceptible" torture methods as extreme, huh. You say: Some of the surveys have been questioned as attempting to document a preconception. Let's make sure that perspective is included in a neutral description of those surveys. I do agree that extreme abuse is not a diagnosis, but there is no doubt that abuse that is extreme does exist and these surveys play a role in the big picture of the ways people try to study and/or document it, or as I am sure some think - exagerate it into a conspiracy theory. It's all still okay to write about. D. Matt Innis 04:32, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Acceptable torture? Acceptable to whom? Having known a few Satanists, I'm not sure they would want Dick Cheney. :-( We do need a Psychology/Health Sciences Editor giving some guidance here. If, however, torture, especially in the context of human-source intelligence interrogration, gets mixed in with this — which I'd really like to avoid in this article discussion since children were not being tortured as terrorist suspects — that would reasonably bring the topic under the Military Workgroup as well. See, for example, [2]; I have been corresponding with Prof. Moran and even got some nice words about our Roger Trinquier article. That the Naval Postgraduate School's research center, the Senate Armed Services Committee, etc., consider torture an issue in counterterrorism and intelligence, I believe, substantiates that it does fall into the Military area. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Use of references

Inline references are generally preferred; when a source is not tied to a specific portion of text, such as the Becker and Rutz books, that sort of reference is usually best put in a Bibliography page, with annotation about its significance. Bibliography pages are not intended to replace the references, but supplement them. Howard C. Berkowitz 06:56, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


The opening paragraph says "Extreme abuse is child abuse that includes....." but then later i read that one of the surveys is focused on adults. This seems contradictory. Chris Day 04:57, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Is the adult survey of "adult survivors" the adults recalling abuses from their childhood. This would settle my confusion above, however, then I have to ask, can adults not be targets of "extreme abuse"? If this is a technical term its usage should probably be defined since in laymans terms I think many would say that adults can be the victims of extreme abuse. Chris Day 05:08, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe there is a way to clarify this better. You make a good point above. I would agree that adults can be victims of EA also. I will attempt to fix this on the page.Neil Brick 05:13, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem in discussing EA of adults is that as I understand it, it was not the subject of the EAS. If this article is to be limited to the EAS, then EA of adults is out of scope. Howard C. Berkowitz 10:02, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting the article folds in adult abuse, rather that it needs to be clearer that the surveys are about child abuse. But, on the other hand not imply that extreme abuse only applies to children. Chris Day 13:44, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Two problems there. First, "lower case" extreme abuse certainly happens to adults. We need to be careful, however, that we do not give validation to a syndrome that seems completely unreported in the peer-reviewed literature. Please feel free to try to find it; I could not come up with anything in PUBMED, and I saw absolutely nothing, in various Google searches, that came from anything recognizable as an objective scientific source.
Second, the media kit and other information I've found in the last few hours indicates that at least one of the team has a strong agenda about governments that is being wrapped in the mantle of "protect the children"; the verifiable programs that were cited in the media kit were clearly aimed at adults.Howard C. Berkowitz 14:09, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Definition fixes

As per talk page requests, I have made several fixes to add sourced definitions to the page. I have defined EA and mind control as per the authors of the survey. I also added a definition from Lifton of MC. I have attempted to make the intro more neutral and I have moved a book and article to the bibliography section. Neil Brick 05:05, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Neil! If you find anything else to add, go ahead and do it. They will all help us answer some of these other questions. D. Matt Innis 05:53, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
See "mind control" below. Unfortunately, Lifton never actually uses the term; he uses "thought reform", which is quite different. The authors may define mind control to suit their goals, but it simply is not something that has ever been achieved, not by lack of trying by intelligence agencies and political police. I just can't accept that definition as neutral, even if it's just the study authors defining it for their own purposes. Howard C. Berkowitz 06:07, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The authors use "mind control" which I think is a "loaded lay term" to affect a certain response from it's readers. It is our article that needs to be neutral, not the subject of the article. We can't help if the subject is controversial or slanted, but we can make sure that our article is not. D. Matt Innis 14:58, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
If they chose to use an emotionally loaded word, that is yet additional suggestion that the survey was not neutral. Especially after seeing the media kit, I tend to think that repeating their word and presenting its implications is legitimate commentary on the style of the authors. Your point about it being our article cuts both ways: we don't want to insert needlessly inflammatory terminology, but, if the article is about the study and the authors chose to use that terminology, I believe that to be relevant and open to analysis. If the subject, a document, is controversial or slanted, how is it neutral to avoid mentioning a term that makes subject matter experts cringe? An ostensibly scientific survey that is written for emotional impact...well... Howard C. Berkowitz 15:07, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
...how is it neutral to avoid mentioning a term that makes subject matter experts cringe? Goodness, I hope I didn't say that we shouldn't mention a word that makes subject matter experts cringe.
An ostensibly scientific survey that is written for emotional impact...well... then it is what it is. I think that the authors consider themselves victims that have found some relief and, as such, are looking to encourage other "victims" to respond to their survey in an effort to "validate the suffering of victims around the world". They got some response, but unfortunately, this method of data collection would be considered by most scientists as particularly biased and would have to be treated as such. That does not preclude the fact that this work is elevating the concept of "extreme abuse" by creating this survey. I am not so sure that it is an attack on any particular type of abuse, so that is not the issue. It is about the people that report that they have been extremely abused. I was reading late last night, but I remember seeing something in the therapist section that many reported incest as a factor in their extreme abuse... what does that have to do with governments and torture? D. Matt Innis 16:28, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Mind control

I am increasingly concerned with the use of the term "mind control", and, in particular, the redefinition of the term "thought reform", used by the respected academic psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, to mean what an apparent advocacy group calls mind control. I've read quit a bit of Lifton's work, the best known being The Nazi Doctors; I have never seen anything indicating he uses "mind control". Lifton's book title contains "thought reform", which has a well-understood meaning in Communist ideology (I can provide Mao Zedong's text) and is decidedly different than I quote from the article,

The authors of the study defined mind control as “all mind control procedures designed to make a victim follow directives of the programmer without conscious awareness.”

One advocacy site, Steven Alan Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center states (my emphasis) "Dr. Lifton's work was the outgrowth of his studies for military intelligence of Mao Tse-Tung's "thought-reform programs" commonly known as "brainwashing." In Chapter 22, Lifton outlines eight criteria for when any environment can be understood as exercising "thought-reform" or mind control. Lifton wrote that any group has some aspects of these points. However, if an environment has all eight of these points and implements them in the extreme, then there is unhealthy thought reform taking place." [3] Even accepting Hassan's reformulation, it is decidedly different than "follow[ing] directives of the programmer without conscious awareness"

The following text was removed from the talk page; if Lifton is cited, I want to see a direct quote in which he uses the term "mind control" as distinct from "thought reform":

Lifton describes eight mind control elements: milieu control, mystical manipulation or planned spontaneity, the demand for purity, the cult of confession, sacred science, loading of the language, doctrine over person and dispensing of existence.

<ref name=Lifton1989>{{cite book |title=Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China | last = Lifton | first = R.J. | year = 1989 | url = http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en |isbn=0-8078-4255-2}}</ref> A text search on the Google Books copy of Lifton does not return the string "mind control". The individual words "mind" and "control" are present, but not together. There are numerous websites that cite Lifton and reinterpret "thought reform" to be "mind control". That is simply not justified by the evidence.

If "brainwashing" is still cited directly or indirectly as evidence of a total form of mind control, that should bring the article under the purview of the Military Workgroup, which includes such topics as psychological warfare. If the Military Workgroup does get such oversight, I will make an Editor Ruling that primary sources on Communist prison camp indoctination, in North Korea and North Vietnam, never suggest that brainwashing implies this sort of mind control. Yes, it was used to force confessions used for propaganda. While the excellent novel, The Manchurian Candidate, does have a theme of such control, I have neither seen anything in military or intelligence literature, nor had mentioned in my psychological warfare classes (e.g., Dr. Ferenc Molnar, School of International Service, The American University), nor had been suggested in my work at the Center for Research in Social Systems or from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare center.

The Central Intelligence Agency attempted to break Nguyen Tai, and failed after several years of effort. [4] Other extreme measures including the strict detention of Yuri Nosenko. [5].

Soviet "show trials" of the Great Terror of the 1930s indeed obtained dubious confessions, although some prisoners, who unquestionably were tortured and knew there was no possibility the court would acquit them, still argued innocence. (See Robert Conquest, The Great Terror) Howard C. Berkowitz 05:29, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I think this article should concentrate on the Extreme Abuse Surveys only. There are certainly responders to the survey that accuse governments of being perpetrators of extreme abuse. I don't doubt there are those that do blame governments for such actions that resulted in personality disorders - and that is what these surveys accumulate. I can imagine that some of them are totally accurate, just as I can imagine that some are imaginary and pathological fabrications from minds that were already having issues. We can't know which are which and we can't create original research to pretend to know, but we can repeat what the authors say and we can illustrate weaknesses in the studies, especially if we have an authority that can reflect this. I don't feel comfortable making a workgroup comment as I would not want to mislead you on the workgroup choices. D. Matt Innis 06:07, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Matt, I cannot agree with the assertions, especially when they actively redefine Lifton. Also, I make a distinction between "extreme abuse" and "mind control". I will, very reluctantly, accept the use of extreme abuse in terms of child abuse. Speaking as one with considerable direct experience in intelligence and psychological warfare, there were certainly very serious attempts to produce a state of mind control, as in MKULTRA, North Korean POW camps, the Soviets under Beria, etc. They failed.
I do not consider it worthy of the neutrality policy to have to counter every conspiracy theory brought into CZ. I have emailed a Psychology editor with my concerns, and, specifically if the "mind control" and "brainwashing" allegations are continued, I will seek to have those terms, used in political warfare and intelligence, brought under the purview of the Military Workgroup. Get references to mind control and brainwashing out of the article and I back off the position.
There may be a survey that goes out and asks people about the aliens that controlled them, but I cannot see taking the assumption of alien or demonic possession without abundant evidence. Now, that cats may have me well trained is quite another matter. Nothing secret about that, especially when they determine it is time to be scratched, fed, or amused. When Rhonda or Mr. Clark decide to groom my beard or lick my nose, resistance is futile. The dogs use pitiful expressions and claims of imminent starvation as their technique of control. :-)
Howard C. Berkowitz 06:15, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I'm not sure what you are sorry about, I agree with you concerning the assertions and think we should fix them. Let's just try not to pretend that "extreme abuse" is a proper noun and give it any more credibility by trying to define it using well established terms. The article is about "extreme abuse surveys", a set of surveys that were performed over the internet over the last year or so... They have all kinds of responses, some of which are government related, some aren't. I haven't read them all, yet. If it's the workgroup issue that you are sorry about, I just don't want any misunderstandings to occur as a result of whether I agree with you or not. I've gone there before and got the T-shirt, no thanks :-)
It is my understanding that the neutrality policy needs to used on every article on CZ, whether about a conspiracy theory or not?
By the way, I am just acting as an author on this article.
D. Matt Innis 06:39, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I cannot accept that neutrality policy requires a discussion of every possible issue, with subject matter experts expected to spend their time presenting alternate views rather than writing original articles. If, when you wrote "we can repeat what the authors say and we can illustrate weaknesses in the studies, especially if we have an authority that can reflect this", I cannot accept that there is no CZ discretion in being unable to choose not to repeat the statements of dishonest authors. As far as the specific survey, if the authors cite Lifton as defining "mind control", and it can be established that Lifton's book never contained the term but used a quite different one (in the title), I have to say that I find the scholarship irretrievably flawed and the study simply not worth discussing. That's not a matter of alternate views or neutrality policy; that's a matter of intellectual dishonesty sufficient to throw serious doubt on the integrity of the surveys themselves.
Just in case that Google book search might have missed the phrase, I have the book on order through interlibrary loan. They cited Chapter 22. If Chapter 22 does not contain the phrase "mind control", and other sources are available that show that "thought reform" means something quite different than what the authors imply, where are we then? Does neutrality policy extend to falsification, or the inability to understand the sourced material? There's a legal concept of "fruit of the poisoned tree", in which material derived from tainted evidence is inadmissible. Where does that fit in neutrality policy?
I am sorry that this is happening with Neil, who seems to be a gentleman and trying to contribute. There is no reason to believe he is not accurately citing what the survey authors said. If it was his bias, then CZ: Article Deletion Policy, "the article is of such low quality (in terms of inaccuracy, bias, poor writing, or whatever) that it would be more efficient to start over than to try to clean up the current one (this also can be achieved by blanking, if one does in fact wish to start over)" would apply.
That policy, however, is not clear about what to do if the subject has severe problems with accuracy and bias. I have sent a request to a Psychology Editor as well as a Health Sciences Editor to review this matter. If the military/intelligence terms "brainwashing" and "mind control" continue to be used, or are in the surveys themselves, I shall seek a consensus that the article also falls under Military. My initial thought would be to put the jurisdictional issue to the CZ-Editors list. As I have said, if this does fall under Military, I believe a ruling can be made on the use of those specific terms, as well as the applicability of the Lifton reference. Howard C. Berkowitz 09:43, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I cannot accept that neutrality policy requires a discussion of every possible issue Remember, this page is for talk about how to improve the article. Right now, the only thing I see that can pertain to this discussion is CZ:Maintainability and Topic Choice. Notability is certainly not an issue here at Citizendium as people are allowed to write about anything they wish. But, lets leave that discussion somewhere else and concentrate on how to present "extreme abuse surveys" neutrally. Right now, I don't have any issues with any of the concerns that you have. If you want to make those changes to the article, please do and we will go from there. D. Matt Innis 15:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
...policy, however, is not clear about what to do if the subject has severe problems with accuracy and bias. We report on the facts the best we can and leave the rest to the reader. D. Matt Innis 15:26, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
"Remember, this page is for talk about how to improve the article." Not that alone, since, after all, an editor can recommend deletion, which sometimes equates to improvement.
It is outside the scope of how to improve the article whether or not we report or even have it. I shall merely say that I am not alone, among some active Citizens, in assuming that it is wise or practical to have articles on any controversial subject — certainly if there is a shortage of people qualified, or having the time, to point out questionable material.
The discussion of whether we should have controversial articles is what we should not be discussing here. If you want to start a thread somewhere, I'll tell you my opinion. Meanwhile, concerning whether to delete this article, we still can't get around the fact that there is an "Extreme Abuse Surveys". D. Matt Innis 16:01, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I really don't want to go that far afield here, but I'll make a simple statement: lots of things exist. There are resource constraints if nothing else. For example, I keep not getting around to writing B83 (nuclear weapon), which is the biggest bomb in U.S. inventory. Still, unless someone else wants to do it, I'll do that sometime when I have a couple of hours to look up some sources; I might yet do a stub just from (expert) memory.
As soon as a controversial article comes in, maintaining neutrality involves more resources than the author's resources alone. There are always simple priority decisions. Shocking as it is, Larry and I probably agree there should be more about folk music. I can't speak for him, but I don't know enough about popular music to know to what alternative music is an alternative. It doesn't bother me. Now, do I want to spend my time, perhaps, adding to Hayford's articles on some big-time sixties folk groups I loved, writing about the relationship of Shaker folk music to the symphonic compositions of Aaron Copland, fact-checking things about government ritual abuse, or doing some very lengthy research in primary documents to give a CZ unique but thoroughly sourced article on some aspect of military history? Reading bad scans of the North Vietnamese Politburo theoretical journal is both hard on the eyes and jarring to the sense of writing style, but the results seem worth it.
Now, can I be comfortable that someone else will do the fact-checking I've done here, simplified, by some extent, that expertise let me know that certain sources existed, or what certain government programs were, by every serious analysis, trying to accomplish? If I don't, I am faced with wondering if CZ's integrity will be maintained. Trust me, I'd really rather not be working on this, but I also don't especially like cleaning the litter box.Howard C. Berkowitz 18:31, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Additional sourcing

I don't want to change my comments, but to add additional sourcing. One or two things are at hand in hard copy; the government document is probably online, and perhaps the Robert Conquest material is on Google Books. I will get back on POW materials. Nguyen Tai is already sourced as is Nosenko. The CIA activities used drugs and caused at least one suicide as well as long-term damage; the Soviet purges in the Great Terror exerted confessions from many, often calling for their own execution. In neither case, however, did the victims come under unconscious control. Some of the Soviet victims actively defended themselves, regardless of torture, execution of family members, etc., until they themselves were put to death.

  • Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities within the United States ("Rockefeller Commission"), June 1975. (Note: far more detail was in the subsequent Church Committee hearings, and also documents at the George Washington University National Security Archive; these all should be online). "The Testing of Behavior-Influencing Drugs on Unsuspecting Subjects Within the United States", pp. 226-228.
  • Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: a Reassessment. Chapter 5, "The Problem of Confession", pp. 109-131. Oxford University Press, 1990.

Howard C. Berkowitz 10:22, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


I removed the following section:

On January 2, 2007, the server that had the survey faced an intense amount of port scans at low and high ports and attempts to access non-existing server pages. These were carried out on a large scale. This used an enormous amount of bandwidth. The attacks diminished and after three weeks almost ended. In early March 2007, there was an attack to hack into the server, but this failed. Several attempts were also made to obtain the private data of some technicians and surveyors. The EAS survey was successfully completed on March 31, 2007.[1]
"Extreme abuse survey" produced no Google hits when paired with the North American Network Operators Group, Réseaux IP Européens (the European internet operations forum), or the Association for Computing Machinery RISKS digest. While investigations are continuing, this server attack does not appear to have been reported to any of the major Internet Service Provider operational forums.

It seems on the low side with regard to useful information. Chris Day 14:05, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I was having issues there as well. I don't think it has anythng to do with the actual 'surveys' themselves. If we were to delve into the issues surrounding the controversy about them, then I suppose both the claim and the fact that they aren't reported anywhere could be explained, but I don't see that as particularly necessary. D. Matt Innis 15:16, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Fine with me, with the slight caveat it adds to the conspiratorial flavor that comes across in so many ways. (switches to Computers Editor hat, the one with the propeller on top). Again, if allegations are made, I'd like to see details, correct terminology, and less drama. This is much less significant than the media kit. Still, if a controversial claim is made, if it's not removed, alternate explanations are quite within my understanding of neutrality.
"Hack into" also is a bit vague. There are some network intrusion detection appliances routinely cursed by ISP support desks, for reporting perfectly normal Internet activity that is part of the infrastructure. Repeated port scans are suggestive of reconnaissance for an attack, but they rarely don't take up a lot of bandwidth. At least in Internet server farms I design or purchase, port scans usually can be stopped at the firewall or router.
Let's put it this way...If I were trying to bring down a server, I wouldn't be using either port scans or HTTP GET(invalid page). I don't think, however, I'll discuss exactly how I might go about it. :-) Howard C. Berkowitz 15:21, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
As a compromise, I have removed the section and made it into one sentence at the end of another section. Neil Brick 19:07, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
What is your reasoning for having the material at all? I would note that it is not described or sourced in any way meaningful to an Internet security professional. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:52, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The reason for mentioning the material briefly is because what happened is atypical for an online study and may reflect on the issue of someone trying to keep the data from becoming public. Neil Brick 17:45, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
"May reflect on" is hypothetical, and, with a complete absence of technical detail that allows a computer security professional to judge if there was a serious attack, non-authoritative. Every day, end users call help desks claiming they are under attack, and, unless the user is knowledgeable in network security, the perceived attack may be accidental or even normal infrastructure activity. Some perceived attacks turn out, in fact, to be bad server implementation.
To give this any serious consideration, there either needs to be much more detail, or at least verification that the study team, or specific resources they consulted, were qualified to recognize a real attack against a properly protected server and access network. A port scan might have been a mild threat, but I remember taking some simple steps, in 1991, that immunized my server. Port scanning is a technique for finding vulnerabilities in a server, not for attacking it. To take examples of definite attack techniques against which any reasonable system is protected, flooding with ICMP or UDP directed broadcasts, or TCP SYNs, are attacks. Sorry, this is speculative at best.
What is your evidence, incidentally, that such probing is atypical for online services in general, not just surveys? My experience, over many years of Internet engineering, is that most new servers come under probing often within minutes of coming online. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:21, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Publicity by study author

I have added, to the main article, links and some content to a media kit issued by Wanda Karriker, which consists of about three-quarters of allegations about government abuses, and a relatively small amount about the study itself. The press kit itself is self-contradictory about the existence or nonexistence about documentation on the CIA ARTICHOKE/MKULTRA project; I have provided several references to it.

MKULTRA definitely existed, and at least one American government scientist died from being made an unwitting test subject for LSD as an interrogation drug. While it has been said that the records were destroyed, a considerable amount has surfaced — I was rather shocked to find that the CIA had paid for the Gorman Building at Georgetown University Medical Center, where I worked in the clinical laboratory in 1966. Georgetown provided academic cover for some of the work.

MKULTRA and related programs were eventually cancelled, because the CIA found them completely useless for the intended purpose of interrogation. If need be, I'll dig up quite a few citations. My basic point is that it makes no sense that they would have targeted children, who rarely have information of intelligence interest. Karriker, however, harps on this indeed highly illegal and immoral activity, which makes me wonder about her agenda.

The media kit. Lifton used inappropriately as a source. How much data need be presented before CZ can look at this not as a matter, under the neutrality policy, for different views about child abuse, but as what increasingly seems to be a much more general agenda by the survey team? How many inconsistencies need to be found before the question must be asked: is the survey project itself sufficiently credible to be covered? Howard C. Berkowitz 14:09, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree the media kit exposes the bias by the authors and the fact that is was read by everyone before filling out the survey creates a weakness in the validity of the of data collection, but I would feel more comfortable hearing from an expert on this. The question is how to use it. D. Matt Innis 15:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
It hadn't even occurred to me that the media kit would be a possible bias to respondents; since the kit reports some survey results, the survey presumably was done before the kit was issued. So, I don't think expertise in survey methodology is all that relevant. Incidentally, survey research is part of professional education in psychological warfare. It also was not exactly a strange subject when I was a political research director.
If, however, you are looking for an expert on the allegations about government programs, their intentions, and the internal contradictions between citations in the kit, I believe I qualify. Rest assured that the more information that can be located about allegations, from the survey authors, about government acts, usually by intelligence services, the stronger a case is made that the matter, like any other intelligence issue, falls into the purview of Military. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:39, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I moved the entire section to the publicity section for clarity.Neil Brick 19:09, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I object to that move. Indeed, I had originally had it all in the publicity section. I moved key information only to the introduction, in the interest of neutrality. I believe it is entirely appropriate to have sourced information that indicates possible bias on the part of a survey author. Removing it does not create clarity, but presents the study without any indication that it might be criticized.
You will note that the details remained in the Publicity section. The fact of the media packet, and that it dealt significantly with government programs rather than child abuse, is, I believe, highly significant. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I think that study criticism at this point should be kept in the subsection, until there is published data on this. Also, there is criticism in the intro about MeSH and PubMED data. Neil Brick 17:49, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
No, I believe the Neutrality Policy requires the early recognition of dissenting views. A good example is the homeopathy article, which required months of compromise, whose introduction does contain criticism. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:10, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Chris, did I lose your text?

I discovered I had edits open in two windows, and sleepily saved the longer one after I responded to what I think was a point of yours about adult abuse. Please check if I need more coffee.

What I think you said was that adult abuse is not part of the survey, but still exists. I agreed that "lower case" extreme abuse certainly happens to adults, as with MKULTRA. Let's be careful not to suggest that Extreme Abuse Syndrome is a recognized entity. Please double-check me; I could not get a hit in PUBMED, and no Google search on it returned anything that looked remotely peer-reviewed.

Anyone got a recent DSM-IV with supplements? I probably can't get to one until Tuesday at the earliest, assuming there is one in a local mental health center where I know some staff, but I'll probably have to play voicemail tag with one of the psychiatrists or therapists to tell the administrators where to find it if it's there--if it isn't someone's personal book at home. Ah, as a teenager, I could simply have asked my mother, if, of course, DSM existed when I was a teenager.  :-) Howard C. Berkowitz 14:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Everything is back now. Chris Day 14:24, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I deleted a few sentences that had no sources including opinions, but left all sourced information. Neil Brick 19:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Media Packet

I've looked at the media packet; it is not an account of survey findings, but issue-promoting publicity; the content comprises partisan juxtapositions of allegation, selective information and out-of-context quotations. I suggest deleting this and confining this article to a neutral account of the EAS. As a reference item it is not helpful in retrieving the survey data, and I don't think it's appropriate to reference it in the article. Maybe in the external links with a warning annotation.Gareth Leng 19:27, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely that it is publicity. My problem is that I don't find the EAS itself to be neutral or objective, and such a finding, if it can be supported, is part of a neutral article on it. The very fact that a study author is making such partisan statements, to me, is highly relevant to a CZ reader trying to understand if the study itself is neutral — not something to be relegated to an external link.
When you mention survey findings, remember that we don't yet have any real information on the quality of survey methodology or independent validation of the data. While I may be wrong, it appears that the respondents self-selected, which is an exceptionally questionable design given, at best, that the respondents, by definition, are traumatized. Now, if a study author is partisan, does that not throw further question on whether the study was intended to be objective? Is that not legitimate in a neutral article about the study? Do we routinely have articles on political polls that are intended to support the candidate's campaign, rather than opinion polls done by reputable research firms whose methodology can be validated? Howard C. Berkowitz 20:23, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll keep watching and thinking. Gareth Leng 21:11, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm thinking that the only way to neutrally organize this article is to give a brief description of the EAS and its stated purpose and how they did it and use it as a subpage to some larger article concept. The data was received from self-registration of participants after reading a 'media package', which was definitely biased. The question is whether these same people would have responded had they not been promised 'validation for what they have gone through'. The interesting thing is that 'care givers' and 'therapists' responded as well and pretty specifically about 'ritual abuse' and 'mind control' (though it isn't clear by whom as incest was also relatively high on the list). Regardless, the story here, as Howard suggests, would have to include that it could be catering to conspiracy theorists - but the data received could still illuminate something - if not only that these people did or did not report similar symptoms... I think it is obvious that they are in the stage of 'disseminating' the information, but I am still not sure what conclusions that they are disseminating, other than people and therapists have reported abuse by others. I definitely would like your opinion on that. D. Matt Innis 23:26, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Subarticle, rather than subpage? One approach might be to make this a subarticle of child abuse, but there's an issue of doing so: the EAS uses definitions that do not appear to be part of the peer-reviewed literature on child abuse. Even the child abuse articles uses more website links and less literature references than I would like; it's not that the latter are not available. Note the National Academy of Sciences report on pseudoscience specifically addresses and deprecates ritual abuse and recovered memory techniques (at least using hypnosis), and it's not the only mainstream source that does so. If the EAS uses definitions different than the "parent article" (perhaps an unfortunate term in this specific context), reconciliation will be difficult; the EAS give the impression that to discuss it, one must accept its definitions.
If the EAS also cites Lifton for its definitions, and the cited chapter of Lifton simply does not contain the alleged concepts, what then? Would a peer-reviewed journal accept an article that misrepresents its fundamental source of definitions? So far, Google Books search of the chapter cited does not return "mind control", the term used by the EAS. Lifton does use "thought reform", which means something quite different and not applicable to children. I do have the physical book on order through interlibrary loan but don't know when I will get it; I can find other references that indicate that "thought reform", part of Lifton's title, has a generally accepted meaning in the Asian Communist context about which he was writing.Howard C. Berkowitz 00:02, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the cleanup on my post :-)
I think subarticle would be a better classification. But more likely linking to something like the ritual abuse or even, as much as I hate to mention it, articles about torture and/or satanic rituals.
The significance of the terminology is not that it is 'incorrect', it is just the terminology that this survey series used. I doubt anyone who thought that they had been 'extremely abused' would answer a survey that called it 'thought reform'. Perhaps, though I am only thinking out loud, the authors are very much aware of Lifton's terminolgy and consider it a less disagreeable nomenclature for the same thing - they themselves preferring to use the nomenclature that the people would respond to.
I'll keep reading. D. Matt Innis 02:38, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
That they might prefer to use a term is not intellectually defensible in a serious study, at least if they redefine the source to the extent they apparently did. "Thought reform" is quite different than "mind control", as the authors explicitly define the latter: "“all mind control procedures designed to make a victim follow directives of the programmer without conscious awareness". Note the circularity of that definition, defining mind control in terms of "mind control procedures".
I can't cite Lifton on mind control, because, at least with the Google Books search, ever use the term "mind control" in the cited Chapter 22. There are a number of partisans that suggest what he discussed was mind control, but, at least from the online text available from Lifton, what he discussed is quite different than the EAS authors' definition of it. Again, I have the book on order but I don't know when it will arrive. I have, incidentally, read a good deal of Lifton's other works, especially The Nazi Doctors and The Genocidal Mentality. Those deal with volitional adoption of ideologies.
Thought reform is not uncommon in Asian Communist ideological writing, and it is quite different than the EAS authors' definition of mind control. For example, see Mao Zedong's "Comment On P’eng Te-huai’s Letter Of 9 September" [6]
A seminal paper on "brainwashing" and what it achieved in the Korean War was Biderman's "Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions from Air Force Prisoners of War" [7] (full text).Howard C. Berkowitz 03:18, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Thought reform is not uncommon in Asian Communist ideological writing, and it is quite different than the EAS authors' definition of mind control. For example, see Mao Zedong's "Comment On P’eng Te-huai’s Letter Of 9 September" [8] I suppose P'eng might consider himself a victim of mind control via ritual abuse (if they have those words :-) D. Matt Innis 04:15, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Big change :-)

Matt, please believe that I'm laughing at the moment, but I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. In one respect, your edits were quite good, in identifying that mind control and ritual abuse are key to the premises of the EAS authors. Why am I not surprised that those are pink links?

If I may be forgiven an Aggie joke, and, if there are any Texas A&M alumni reading, I'll try not to use big words, there is a story that asks the question, "If a $100 bill were placed in the center of a room, which had, in its corners, a dumb Aggie, Santa Claus, a smart Aggie, and the tooth fairy, who would pick up the money? Since three of them do not exist, the answer is obvious."

Now, does someone have to go write articles on ritual abuse and mind control, where there is abundant expert opinion that they don't exist but fervent partisan argument they do, in order to be able to give "opposition" to the EAS premises? While I am intimately familiar with subjects such as psychological warfare and human-source intelligence, I can't go off and write an article on "ritual abuse" or "mind control", since the very title tends to perpetuate the logic. Please do not take this as a Godwinism but as a historical reference; history is replete with ritual abuse accusations such as the use, by Jews, to use Christian blood to make matzo. There have been show trials of ritual child abuse in the U.S. courts (and probably others), which were eventually thrown out.

Try it from a different perspective. Would there be any problem in writing an article (other than perhaps family friendliness) on child pornography or pedophiliac sex tourism? Is it so unreasonable to expect a similar standard of evidence for ritual child abuse? I could write an article on POW camp indoctrination; there's also evidence on coerced confessions and severe psychological damage. Is it so unreasonable to expect a similar standard of evidence for mind control? Yeah, yeah, I know, there's no evidence because The Government is suppressing it.

Incidentally, special operations helicopters are real, but they aren't black. They are a very dark matte gray; pure black actually stands out against night. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:43, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

That is funny, but you had no idea that my father was an Aggie, did you :-) I agree that Lifton and the rest of the 'smart people' don't use the term 'mind control', but I am pretty sure you won't find the words Divine Intervention in the biology book either. The public uses 'mind control' and I think very much has a definition in mind. And that is the point, that there are people out there that think that they are victims of mind control and answered this survey specifically because they used the words mind control and ritual abuse - not all are at the hands of governments (though I guess we are all technically under some form of mind control :-). The question is whether this survey found a way to 'quanitify and qualify' them... I'm not thinking that they did... and that may be what the article needs to say.
I do feel a little sorry for those guys that are going to try and write the mind control and ritual abuse articles, but I suppose we could just link them like this rutual abuse :-D. Matt Innis 04:00, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Do remember that my personal domain is netcases.net. Any relationship to nutcases.net? Coincidence? You decide. BWAHAHA!
[[User:Howard C. Berkowitz|rutual abuse]] Now if that isn't a Freudian typo...
Aggie jokes are adaptable. When I speak to medical audiences, I sometimes ask if there are any orthopedists present. If I get a yes, I assure them I'll speak slowly.
Seriously, though, are we public-guided or expert-guided? Yes, I know that it's a hybrid, but I am not at all convinced CZ should be setting priorities based on popular usage. If we do, I first want to see the article on how to increase government services while decreasing spending. (Mind you, Pope John XXIII responded to the question "How many people work in the Vatican" with "about a third").
Why would we be writing about divine intervention in a biology book? Honest, Matt, I'd really rather be working on the Ho Chi Minh article, especially since I have some interlibrary loan materials for only a couple of days more. I'm doing this not because it's intellectually enjoyable, but it's a matter of what I regard as my Citizen duty for integrity. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:19, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
[[User:Howard C. Berkowitz|rutual abuse]] Now if that isn't a Freudian typo... Ah, dangit!
Why would we be writing about divine intervention in a biology book? NO.. that was Freudian! Or should I say Divine Intervention because I meant Intelligent Design :-) Bed time!! You are controlling my mind, or abusing it. D. Matt Innis 04:42, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I've made a few minor changes to make the language more neutral.Neil Brick 05:03, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Lifton reference

The book is now in my hands. Chapter 22 never uses the phrase "mind control". The title of the chapter, and the core term discussed, is "ideological totalism."

Indeed, "mind control" does not appear in the book's index. He does speak of "brainwashing":
Behind this web of semantic (and more than semantic) lies an image of "brainwashing" as an all-powerful, irresistible, unfathomable and magical method of achieving total control over the human mind. It is of course none of those things, and this loose usage makes the word a rallying point for fear, resentment, irresponsible accusation, and for a wide gamut of emotional extremism. One may justifiably conclude the term has a far from precise and a questionable usefulness; one ay even be tempted to forget about the whole subject and return to more constructive pursuits.(page 4)
In fact, in Chapter 22, he makes the point that the criteria are to be used for judging things that are matters of degree:
I wish to suggest a set of criteria against which any environment can be judged — a basis for answering the ever-recurring question, "Isn't this just like 'brainwashing'?"
Far be it a matter of unconscious control, as the EAS authors suggest, Lifton discusses extensively the desire of the subject to please the ideological authority; the actions are quite conscious.
No milieu ever achieves complete totalism, and many relatively moderate environments show some signs of it.

Note the quoted word above, which I italicized. Again, I have to ask: if the EAS authors so misrepresent the source they cite, how credible is any of their work? Note that I am not addressing whether child abuse exists, but the emphasis, both in the study and media kit, on "mind control." Howard C. Berkowitz 23:56, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your research on this. The Lifton citation was added by me independent of the EAS researchers to help define the term. So the mistake lies with me and not the EAS people. Neil Brick 02:53, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
No problem. Let's not use that reference then. We don't want to put words in Lifton's mouth... especially if he would disagree with himself. ;-) Howard, just send the bill for that book to Hayford. D. Matt Innis 03:40, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Matt! Hayford has just taken some major hits over the last couple of months in what he (and everyone else) considered to be impregnable stocks (and, more importantly, their dividends) and is now wondering if he will have enough cash to buy (at wholesale) a couple of wormy apples and pencil stubs to peddle on the nearest street corner.... Hayford Peirce 03:52, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't suppose, Hayford, you'd be interested in my 10,000 share option on Nortel stock at $65?
As far as a book, just a loan from Cape Cod Community College. Incidentally, although I don't always agree with him, Lifton is a superb writer, so I will read the full book now that I have it. He has put The Nazi Doctors online, which is a profound piece of work.
Seriously, I do note, in web searches, that mind control ...advocates? (doesn't sound right) ... have quite a few websites citing Lifton and saying "what he really meant was..."
I'm very torn here, trying to decide why we are seriously discussing an article on this survey, not, for example, its basic theories and assumptions.
There are people that absolutely believe in all sorts of things. Is that within the scope of CZ and its resources? Really, I don't especially want to go and write an article on "all the attempts to achieve mind control that failed". Ignoring the press kit aspects, there's a plausibility test: why would a government want to go to extremes to control the minds of children?
Is there child abuse? Absolutely. Would I be raising these questions about the utility of this article if, for example, it were examining commercial child pornography and sex tourism? Probably not. Large-scale ritual abuse? Plausibility test again. Somewhere around here, I have Anton Levey's Satanic Bible. Can't speak to the Temple of Set, but I have read Satanic literature and spoken with "out" Satanists. It rather baffles them why anyone would think they would try to abuse children, because if they were doing ritual abuse within their theological ideas of power, the victim would be the most powerful person they could find.
In the not unrelated literature of consensual sexual dominance and submission, where they speak of "power exchange", both dominants and submissives speak of wanting a submissive to be an able person. The phrase frequently used is "why would I want to exchange power with someone that doesn't have any?"
Ritual power exchange exists, and, in some societies, nonconsensually. Child abuse exists. The problem is that with what is generally accepted about the motivations of child abuse, ritual abuse doesn't fit very well.
Discussing this study seems to imply a degree of agreement that it is measuring data about various causality and intentionality that have little external validation. I simply don't see the point of an article about it; I don't see how the study can be seriously discussed apart from its assumptions. If there must be a discussion of ritual abuse, deal with it as ritual abuse, rather than getting snarled in the micro-view of a specific study.
Sorry, Neil. I think you are a sincere person, but I simply do not see this study as worth an article, certainly before articles on its axioms. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:10, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Lets not prolong this

We need a resolution here.

Should there be an article on this given the lack of other core articles? If that were the only reason the answer is obvious, yes - we can't build an encyclopedia with multiple collaborators on logical principles, we have to accept that for a long time many articles will exist without articles that define their context.

Is the subject appropriate? We can have short articles on very small topics; I don't see a problem in principle.

The problem is that the premisses of the study are questionable - the argument is that the study methodology and hence its conclusions are intrinsically unreliable, that it is not an objective study but one designed to promote a conspiracy theory without solid foundation. The problem with that is that this particular study seems to have been ignored by professionals, so sourced criticism is not out there. But there is well sourced skepticism about the true extent of organised satanic abuse for example

I think a possible resolution would be to have a very short paragraph at the end explaining that the study has not been accorded wide credibility by professional and academic groups; that self-report studies like this are notoriously unreliable, that memories of abuse are also unreliable, and that there is considerable skepticism about many of the study premisses. But this outrageous link worries me [9]. Frankly, this makes me think we should drop the article completely, if a skeptical view is going to be characterised as promoting abuse.

My suggestion is to insert a short skeptical paragraph summarising these issues and then stop there; freeze the article until the context develops.Gareth Leng 10:10, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Gareth, I think you are dealing with real issues in the broad picture of CZ integrity and development, within resources available. One of my regrets is that Neil seems to be a sincere gentleman that would like to collaborate. Trust me, Neil — after some much less pleasant working relationships on other controversial topics, you are a breath of fresh air. I hope you can separate our concerns about this particular article and its place in the current CZ environment with at least my hope we can work together on other subjects of interest. Howard C. Berkowitz 10:23, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I certainly don't want to discourage either Neil here or you Howard. I'd like to see a swift and fair outcome.

I have deleted the sentence about server attacks; I did so because it seemed impossible to draw any conclusions from that; the attack may have been random vandals, may have been from an angry victim of false allegations, may have been from a sinister souce - who can know? Including it begs a question.Gareth Leng

I've just looked up the first reference, and I'm afraid the full title, and actual quoted text, do support the idea that the purpose of the study is to promote a comspiracy theory. Just as a note of clarification, there may be some confusion between this letter, from Carol Rutz, and the media kit from Wanda Karriker; some earlier comments seemed to suggest the media kit was the solicitation. It appears, however, that was the role of the Rutz letter. Howard C. Berkowitz 10:39, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I had deleted the server attack section too. I guess it got replaced. I believe it is not relevant to the survey, even if it is true, and even that is not clear.
With regard to the context of this article I do think the subject is of interest in a wider context. Clearly there is a lot of interesting work done on the child soldiers that have been recruited (press-ganged) by warlords and rebels. Often their parents are murdered in front of them and their allegiance to the murderers is surprisingly strong. I have also seen research on young elephants whose parents were killed by poachers that have some similar psychotic behaviours, often being termed "rogue". Interestingly to rehabilitate the rogue elephants the conservationists borrowed many of the therapy plans developed for the boy soldiers (i know I'm getting away from the point here but see the excellent article in the NYTimes, especially the bit about Felicity de Zulueta, a psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital in London who treats victims of extreme trauma, among them former child soldiers from the Lord’s Resistance Army.) Clearly this current article does not explore this wider context and this survey itself does not seem to warrant its own article but should be part of a broader perspective. I think this is especially true given the stated goal of the survey is "exploring international commonalities regarding the types of abuse". Chris Day 16:37, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
After that rambling, i guess I want to see how this study fits with other similar work. To have one article on this alone seems so out of context it is hard to understand its meaning or relevance. Chris Day 16:45, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
While I don't want to delve into the broad topic of child soldiers, that's a valid level of coverage, I believe, for an article. Even by the standards of African terror groups, most analysts consider the Lord's Resistance Army nastier than most. Nevertheless, there are several broad categories of motivation for child soldiers, but very few involve the passive role suggested in ritual abuse. Most work — and there is a lot in military social science — shows that there is some, often perverse, level of empowerment in the process; it's often culturally specific.
I hope that addresses your point, Chris. No one would seriously argue that child soldiers don't exist. There is a large body of literature, and a good deal addresses the issue that the soldier gains a sense of power that tends to be absent in, say, sexual abuse by trusted persons. It would be quite possible to have a well-developed article on the child soldier issue.
It is also possible to understand many of the dynamics of the child sexual abuser, without approving them in any way. It is, thus, possible to have a reasoned article on the sexual abuse of children. Part of the problem with the ritual abuse allegations is a failure to connect the allegation of abuse to the theology, etc., of the group supposedly doing the abuse. It is far less clear why Freemasons or Satanists (two unrelated groups that have been accused) would be motivated to perform such acts. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:42, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Howard, I'm not sure what my point was its hard to articulate. Possibly I am feeling that an article that generates more questions than understanding is a little odd for an encyclopedia. Chris Day 17:49, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Ummm...yes. That it is hard to articulate the concern about a subject is, in and of itself, raises the point that the subject may be ill-defined. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:56, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Unlike wikipedia, notability is not a concern while CZ:Maintainability and CZ:Neutrality Policy are the only things that limit our writing. Not every one here is capable or interested in writing science or math articles. If we limit ourselves to those articles, then we will limit the number of authors that will care to edit here. If we want hundreds of busy people working happily on hundreds of articles all over Citizendium, then we should certainly have articles on all of these. The bottom line is that if Neil started this article and if we can get it neutral, there really is no reason 'not' to have it. Therefore, I agree with Chris and Gareth's suggestion of writing the skeptical paragraph and moving on. D. Matt Innis 01:04, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
What has science and math have to do with it? I haven't counted, but I may well have written more words about history and broad, policy and doctrinal aspects about the military than in my "official" fields. Matt, if we can get it neutral is the key question. How much time, of how many other people, is going to be needed to get it neutral? How much of that time could have been devoted to new content, on things perhaps more likely to bring in new readers, than agonizing over getting something to neutrality/
Notability is a partial, but certainly not my only, concern. Another is intellectual integrity, not Neil's but the study itself, just as I'd question taking any highly partisan subject out of a political platform and "getting it neutral". Please believe me that the only reason I am involved here is caring about the integrity of Citizendium; if I had wanted to write on this subject, I probably would have done so.
If someone gets that paragraph written and things freeze, and we don't get the kind of criticism that Gareth identified when this topic was criticized, great! I certainly have no desire, however, to spend much of my time "getting things neutral." I'm sure you could have hundreds of people writing happily on their issue, but I don't think I'd be one of them if I saw the major future spent on neutralizing rather than creating. This is exactly one of those cases where an ideal of neutrality runs into very real resource constraints. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:45, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not gonna take very much more to get it neutral, so I don't think we have to worry about expending much more energy on it. Matt's point is that if we're gonna be "inclusionists" here in CZ, which is certainly my own stance, then the key point is getting the facts straight in all our articles AND getting them presented in an neutral fashion. Hayford Peirce 03:11, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Matt, I'm not really discussing notability issues above but context issues. My confusion is the why was the survey done and what were its goals. I don't think there is a clear picture in the context of other work in this area. As I am not an expert I am at a loss to fill this gap. Chris Day 03:40, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

In reply, the fact is that some skeptics of child sexual abuse occurrences have what could be called pro-pedophilia philosophies, such as Ralph Underwager or Richard Gardner or have been producers of child pornography, such as the Eberles. (I can produce references to back this up.) The FMSF has a long history of misrepresenting data and defending accused and convicted pedophiles. Historically, most of the original skepticism around child sexual abuse has come from these groups of people. So stating that some skeptics could possibly be accused of attempting to cover up sexual abuse crimes is not so far fetched.
The statement that "memories of abuse are also unreliable" has been debated by various sources. These urls: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/archive.html

http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/tm.html http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/ http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/abuse/a/cooroborate.htm “Studies vary in frequency. Between 31 and 64 percent of abuse survivors in six major studies reported that they forgot “some of the abuse.” Numbers reporting severe amnesia ranged from under 12% to 59%….Studies report 50-75% of abuse survivors corroborating the facts of their abuse through an outside source." http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p991137.html “Although the science is limited on this issue, the only three relevant studies conclude that repressed memories are no more and no less accurate than continuous memories"

as well as many more studies show relatively high veracity rates for recovered memories.
I would be against adding a short skeptical paragraph for two reasons -
1) It is outside the scope of the article, and would not directly reflect on the research
2) The comments already made exposing possible author bias have been enumerated upon in the article, are related and well sourced.
I had restored the "attack" section in a much shorten form from the original. Originally it was an entire section. I shortened it to one sentence as a compromise. I believe that it is historically significant, due to the severe harassment several researchers in the child abuse field have experienced from FMSF members. The most notable and written about in the scientific literature include David Calof and Anna Salter. I can provide references for these as well. I am open to edits on the one sentence, but not the entire deletion of it.
I do appreciate the congeniality and professionalism of all of the editors involved. It is a breath of fresh air from other places on the Internet. My hope is that we can continue to work on bettering the article in this spirit as needed.Neil Brick 04:19, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Neil, I also appreciate the attitudes. Some of your points might indeed be relevant if there were an article on child sexual abuse. No one at CZ, as far as I can tell, is objecting to the existence of child sexual abuse or child pornography, but those are not the subject of this article. I do believe there is objection to both ritual abuse, and to the vagueness of "extreme abuse". Your citations above deal more with arguments for the various practices/syndrome, not the survey. "So stating that some skeptics could possibly be accused of attempting to cover up sexual abuse crimes is not so far fetched." could be true, but it's outside the scope of an article on the survey. I am perfectly willing to agree that the existence of systematic child pornography and child sexual tourism is thoroughly established, but I have the sense that is not to what you refer.
My most basic problem is I don't know how to discuss the study meaningfully without
  1. A generally accepted, preferably in peer-reviewed literature, definition of extreme child abuse. Otherwise, I find it's very hard to discuss the survey without admitting to the existence of that syndrome, which I do not.
  2. It would be easier to discuss the survey if the discussion were narrowed to extreme abuse, calling it a definition by the authors and not in general professional use. I am going to object much more intensely, however, if the discussion of the survey starts bringing in Satanic ritual abuse, recovered memory syndrome and the authors' definition of mind control.
I'll be quite frank and say that I don't think the article should be in CZ, but that's nothing I have any power to enforce. The only way, however, to get the article to be at all broadly accepted is to stay as close to the survey itself, and no other issues. Personally, I don't know how to do that. When a survey is introduced as a way to justify a position, it's no longer what I think of as a "survey" in a social science sense. Testimony of some sort, perhaps to go to a political process? Perhaps. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:37, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
The attacks are in a different category. First, they aren't described well enough that an expert in computer security can figure out what was done and the seriousness of a threat; a port scan, for example, is not a serious threat. Second, virtually every Internet server is subject to probing and attacks, often automated, and often within minutes of its becoming connected. In other words, I have yet to see anything in the attacks that seem significant in a broad Internet context -- there are Forum discussions about how the Citizendium servers were attacked.

don't understand where the first indented quote came from

I'm an outsider here, with no interest at all in this article, but I've been glancing at it from time to time because of all the discussion about it.

What I don't understand is this: there's an opening paragraph. Fine. I understand that. Then there's a big block of text that's indented. It has a footnote #1 at the end. Apparently it comes from Carol someone. Fine, too, I guess.

BUT -- there should be text in the first paragraph that TELLS stupes like me WHAT this quotation is. Ie, at the end of the first paragraph, there should be a sentence that reads something like: "As the research psychologist Carol Doudoune rewrites in her seminal study for the United States Treasure Department:"

And THEN have the quotation....

Or am I missing something here? Hayford Peirce 15:16, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. I moved that block quote to the Methodolgy section. D. Matt Innis 02:24, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Extreme Abuse Surveys or Extreme abuse surveys?

Okie, which is it? With caps or without? I did a Google that didn't really return very much except the stuff we're using here as sources: Most of the hits used Extreme Abuse Survey as being the actual name of the studies. If this is the case, then the article's title should be in caps, just as War and Peace is mostly in caps, not War and peace. Hayford Peirce 03:03, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

To me it seems that Rutz is flipping between Extreme Abuse Survey and Survivor Survey. Are these synonymous? In other places extreme abuse is just being used to describe the content of the survey not the title. I lean toward lower case but Rutz does use upper case in her letter. Basically its not clear. Chris Day 03:30, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd say we should use the proper name Extreme Abuse Surveys, which we can write about neutrally - including that the authors definition of extreme abuse is vague and not a standard use. Otherwise we continue the circular reasoning that Howard and I have been going through for three days. D. Matt Innis 03:43, 30 January 2009 (UTC)


What is the point of mentioning internet attacks? In its current form it just reads like paranoia. Such a comment needs to have the context of a motive and solid evidence. Currently there appears to be neither. Worse, with the respect of trying to get the best possible article, it appears to be completely off topic. Neil, what is your rationale for including this section, you have returned it twice now so you obviously feel strongly about this. Chris Day 04:42, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

If we are going to make a statement like that, we need a reference, too. D. Matt Innis 04:56, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
In particular, if you talk about attack modes, describe things that are normally considered attacks by computer security people. Port scans are not destructive, although they alert that someone may be planning to attack. The port scan would merely tell you, for example, that there is a web server at port 80; the attack (obsolete type) might be SYN-FLOOD directed at port 80 and port 80 only, or crafted malicious HTML messages, etc.. While there is a difference between high and low ports, it doesn't have much relevance to scanning or attacks.
Matt, if you are referring to the attack modes, we have one of those interesting issues of editor vs. workgroup. If this article were in the Computers Workgroup, if I ruled on attack modes, I doubt any other Editor would question such a ruling as other than generally accepted expert knowledge in the field. If I'm going to write in any detail about attack modes, I'd do so in a technical article and cite there. Unfortunately, in the specific case of port scans, since it's not an actual attack technique, I'd probably have to source that it's a form of reconnaissance. Some people call TCP-SYN attacks port scans, but they are a different attack vector that may be targeted by a scan. I suppose I can update information security; the documentation on any open source network intrusion detection system such as SNORT; etc. Again, I face the problem of trying to argue against an inherently flawed statement.
I'm not trying to be facetious or sarcastic: is anyone else here familiar with running and detecting port scans? Howard C. Berkowitz 05:09, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Twenty-First