Dec. 28, 2012

Let’s not leave behind “Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help” without considering Appendix B, “Similarities in the Lives of Ritual Abuse Survivors.”

Author Margaret Smith “asked survivors to note any clues or indicators in their lives that may have suggested they were ritually abused as a child.” She then “organize(d) these responses into meaningful categories.”

Like the symptom charts of psychologist Catherine Gould, these “meaningful categories” strain to make the wildly anecdotal seem scientific.

“Reactions to Objects That Trigger Memories,” for instance, includes not only “Preference for red meat,” but also “Hated read meat. I have been a vegetarians since I was a child.”

“Indicators from Childhood or Adult Behavior” covers both “Threw up a lot” and “Would never allow myself to vomit.”

And just what manner of abuse might be revealed by “clues” such as – I wish I were kidding – “Addicted to book reading”?