Deprogramming: Coping With and Undoing the Programming

This page is concerned with understanding the fundamental aspects of deprogramming and the process.

Fundamental Aspects

Common Aspects

Programming is the indoctrination method and the system that is set up within the persons being. We/survivors are "programmed" (indoctrinated) to have a "program/s" (system). It relates to both the singleton and multiplicity forms. It is done completely by the cult/organization and its conscious members (eg a father) and it is what intends to keep you/the survivor/victim in an abusive relationship to the cult/organization. When being victimised and abused, it is a direct relationship. With escape and survivorship, it is feeling its effects without contact. With both, the person is always trying to stop it happening or not be affected.

Deprogramming is when you need to cope with it and/or undo it in order to be free from the cult. Deprogramming happens all the time and will continue until you have coped with or undone programming. There are periods of less stress such as between call back ceremony times eg beltane (May 1st) for satanic survivors. Programming comes on particularly during crisis times. These are mainly when you/the survivor is going against the despicable aspects of the cult/organization and are escaping, telling someone like a friend or therapist (disclosure), not being called back for ceremony times eg halloween (Oct 31st) for satanic survivors, etc.

Undoing means going back to where the programs were put into place and stopping the violence and lies so that you/the survivor will never be affected again. This means doing a kind of "rewind of a video" in your memory and controlling how you will get rid of the violence and the real perpetrators and free yourself from the lies and binds (sometimes double or more binds). Use whatever techniques you/the survivor want in this. This was violence that you had not control over then. Now you/the survivor can and do whatever you/the survivor want/s. This mainly happens at general or non crisis times as survivors have the time and energy to put it into it. Many survivors also undo programming during crisis times.

Coping is putting it at bay or aside. This particularly happens during crisis times like call backs. During the rest of the year it is also important as there is a need and want to have a normal everyday life free from programming. In coping there are Crisis Hints that come from the Beyond Survival magazine. (Please the below Call Back Stress Times) An important consideration here is to live your life in your/the survivor's current age. Do not be tempted to go back to the violence and torture of the cue that was long ago. Remember that the violence and lies are not happening today or now. It is merely a memory and back in 1962 or 1983, etc. It is 1999 now.

Deprogramming is basically going back to where the lies were put in with extremely violent torture. This generally means bringing yourself back to a more grounded way of being. In psychological/ medical terms it is "associating the experience". You/the survivor was forced to dissociate or float off and space out in order to cope with the despicable horror of what the cult/organization did/does to you/the survivor. With a lot of dissociation comes the formation of a separate personality part. (Please see the following multiplicity and personality parts). Some methods are child rapes, spinning machinery, electrocution, deprivation of food, hypnosis and then torture, hanging upside down, moving the person towards a revolving saw, putting a knife in your throat, etc. The cult/organization then further abuses this dissociation and personality part development by tricking the part into a lie that they "owe the cult/organization". With the multiple personality parts survivors, the cult/organization organized a system of many parts. With singelton survivors, the cult/organization stressed a single dissocation or spacing out. With amnestic or not conscious victims/survivors the cult/organization does not allow the separated part to be consciously with the person.

The Programming System

The cult/organization set up a system of programs within ones being. It comes through mainly in the mind as this is where we think and therefore act on what is fed to us/the survivors. Programming is also called mind control. Within singleton survivors there is a system that views from a single perspective. With multiple survivors the system has many personality parts that both act singularly and are in conflicting and inclusive relationships. When the cult/organization tortured people they also deliberately placed names and cues within the person that would relate to the torture. This, they attempted, would respond to specific orders such as returning, not being aware of the abuse- amnestic, not disclosing, causing conflict with non offending family and supporters, etc. So a victim/survivor would have this conscious or non concsious cue that if he/she "did not return for halloween" then the memory of the specific torture would "come on". Victims/survivors also have general reminder cues or triggers such as seeing black or red for satanic survivors. These will also set off programs.

Programming and deprogramming can be normalized. Everyone is indoctrinated into something whether it be class or gender conditioning. With ritual abuse cults/organizations there are specific forms that need to be addressed, and alleviated and stopped.

Programming runs out after a while. Like any conditioning it gets lessened. Programming gets lesser in its intensity, unless there is a program built in to continue it which is common and needs to be addressed as with all personality parts. As with time healing all problems and emotional stress, it also lessens the effects of the violence and the lies.

Being a survivor continuously Once you/the survivor have survived the call backs and disclosure programming particularly, you have worked out ways of counteracting them and these will come into play almost immediately and sometimes even subconsciously. Deprogramming will become second nature.



Each of us copes and undoes programming his/her own way. People have individual interests and strengths. Some people enjoy looking at psychology and how the mind works and go into the intricacies of brainwashing. Some people use the media and public education to get rid of their anger against the cult and its programming. There is no one or right way to deprogram. The following is information about how survivors have generally deprogrammed.

Multiple personality parts victims/survivors.

(Please note that me and my therapist prefer the words "personality parts" instead of "personalities." The reason is that the cult attempts to abuse this. "Personalities" implies an autonomy or self direction when floating by itself, and is supposedly separated from the person. Personality parts are different aspects of oneself, the person. They are directed by the person. Cult/organization affected people who have many personality parts sometimes feel they are in one personality part only. If this personality part wants to die or thinks that other personality parts should die then this is wrong. Personality parts are lied to by programmers and the cult that he/she/it "will live" after he/she/it kills off other personality parts and supposedly the host. This is not the truth. When a person dies, god forbid, the whole person really dies which includes all of the personality parts.)Multiple victims/survivors have programming which deliberately abuses personality parts and many of us/in the survivor. The cult/organization attempted to create many different and separate roles, different cues, conflict within the victim/survivor between personality parts, and confusion as to the number of parts and conflict between parts. By being multiple, the cult/organization thought it could have more personality parts "to play with" and attempt internal disruption. Deprogramming therefore means both addressing each personality part and at the same time seeing the part within a whole. It means looking after everyone. This stops conflict and disruption. An important phrase with multiple survivors is when I see that I am multiple, then I am one. In other words you/the survivor have gone further than being in one personality and can see the whole. This means little or no disruption.

Singleton survivors

"Singletons" do not feel there are parts of themselves with distinct personalities, parts which hold distinct memories, or parts that speak through them. All of what is inside their head "feels" like themselves, and they view life as "one". Singletons "space out" or dissociate into a oneness instead of into a separated personality. They need to work on the abuse/trigger memory so that they do not dissociate.

Active programming.

This where the cult/organization that you/the survivor comes from is still active. The cult/organization wants you/the survivor to particularly return and not disclose. It runs out if it is not reprogrammed.

Non active programming.

This is where the cult/organization that you/the survivor comes from is not active anymore. The programming is put into the background and made to not function particularly around call backs. It still emphaises not disclosing. It still causes concern as the feelings still come up such as at call back times eg Halloween for satanic survivors. It will run out if not reprogrammed.

The Process of Deprogramming

Basic Considerations

There are very important basic considerations in deprogramming. It is beneficial to have these either before you start and/or during the process.

An unaffected personal space in your/the survivor's mind. You/the survivor needs to be in a personal space within yourself that is relatively free from the cult/organization's affects. To see the world from a relatively unaffected view or stance. This is important for a reference point so that in times of stress or even generally, you/the survivor have somehere to come back to. It is important for rationality ie does this makes sense? It has some sense of objectivity so that you can see it from another perspective. From here you/the survivor can observe and work on the programming. If you/the survivor are ever in trouble with deprogramming such as going around in circles and going nowhere or there is a "snag", you can come back to this unaffected space. It means you can separate yourself from the cult/organization and be able to relate outside a cult/organization context and mind set to other survivors, friends, therapist, the world generally, etc. Overall, it is the basis and continual referral point. It can also be your end point as when you/the survivor unravel the programming there should only be this unaffected place. We all have the ability to get this free space. The human spirit is indestructable. For example, people who have been in concentration camps and prisons for many years have come out with their lives and thinking in tact. A good exercise is to simply walk from one room to another of your/the survivor's own free will to find and strengthen this free will. Other ways of finding this inner place in your/the survivor's soul and mind are: a bath, going for a walk, meditation, concentrating on a pet or an object, holding onto something from a teddy bear to a stone. Do things in your/the survivor's current age and time eg school, work, hobbies, etc. From this beginning, you/the survivor can then strengthen these simply by doing more of it and being creative.

Being Wholistic- seeing yourself/the survivor as being the whole person It is very important to see yourself/the survivor as whole. For multiple personality part survivors, if you/the survivor are in one personality part or swapping between personality parts then you/the survivor can lose track of the whole picture and there could be another personality part who is directing things. It is important to look for and address all of your/the survivor personality parts. You/the survivor needs to then look after all of them. Dont cause or continue any conflict. Give each part an equal reward in working through the programming. Sometimes you/the survivor need to step back and view every part. Imagine your/the survivor's head as a whole head. Listen for all of the parts speaking. This does not necessarily mean intergration or association. You/the survivor can still have personality parts, and hopefully those not lied to and cult controlled. They are still part of the whole. For singleton survivors .

Care for all of your/the survivor self which includes every part You/the survivor needs to look after and care for your/the survivor whole self which includes every part. Personality parts have only been lied to and they are led to believe that they are "doing good by you/the survivor". They were split off and told that you/the survivor, the person they were split from, "has done bad" or that "they have done bad", etc. Caring for them means listening to the parts lies and not accepting them, explaining things in a non judgemental way and how it is the depsicable cult's fault, stopping the violence done to them/you and being firm. With parts that were created when you/the survivor were a young person it is important to understand your/the survivor's age at which they were done and care accordingly. This means extra deserving attention, eating the appropriate foods eg baby foods, singing songs etc. Caring for your/the survivor self also means in the general current and day to day sense. Going for walks, eating healthy food, having good accomodation, etc. You/the survivor are looking after all of you.

We/survivors are People It is important to remember that we/survivors are people in the deprogramming. Sometimes we may forget that we are not robots or zombies which the cult would despicably like us to believe. When deprogramming, remember that personality parts and the person are people with feelings and levels of understanding and knowledge. We need to look after these. Feelings are not a safe and reliable guide. In deprogramming a lot of feelings come up. The cult abuses feelings a lot. Feelings are just feelings. They have no sense of truth or insight and can be manipulated. They are determined by a much larger truth/lies. Eg you could be lied to that your mum did this when in fact it didnt happen. Your feelings cant tell you the truth and you and her may be abused with this lie. Even though feelings are not a reliable guide as people are lied to, we need to respect these feelings and explain to personality parts and the person that their feelings have been abused.

Memories Come Up When They Can Memories of when the programming was done come up when deprogramming. This happens as you/the survivor want to get rid of the programming and the violence and lies. It is important to respect that you are bringing up memories when you can. You can work on them. In times of stress such as first remembering the abuse and at call back times, you maybe flooded with memories. You wish to bring back too much. Now you need to also respect your abilities in dealing with too much memory. You need to say that you can only deal with so much and go into program management (see following).

Trusting yourself. The cult/organization and its programming methods with setups and electrocution etc where/are real. You can go back into the memories and undo it. You can also put them aside. You have the ability to control the programming.

Having a Strategy It is important to have a conscious strategy when deprogramming either as coping or undoing. You/the survivor are deprogramming for a very good reason and it is helpful to be conscious and control it. Ask why am I/the survivor deprogramming? Am I needing to react and get anxious? What is the reality? The cult/organization cannot get me, I am safe, etc. What is my support such as therpists, friends, support groups, etc. Is it to cope with a short term crisis such as halloween for satanic survivors? If so, go into short term looking after yourself. Forget about undoing the programming. Lots of pampering, lots of being with friends, lots of talking to the therapist, getting out or sleeping - whatever you enjoy and tides you over. Is it to understand myself better and get rid of the despicable cult/organization garbage and it is not a stress time? Then undo the programming. Some survivors dont go into the programming and leave it at bay like a broken record that just goes on. They feel that they wont be accessed and that the lies the cult told will not come true so why deprogram. They can put the violence ay bay because it is not happening now. The important consideration is how safe you feel and to keep on asking how safe you really are. If you dont feel safe then deprogram, if you are safe then it can be a lot of time and effort for something eg "killing yourself" that wont be a reality.

Getting the facts It is very important to get the facts amd the reality when deprogramming. The cult abuses fiendish hypnosis, drugs, death threats, etc to force and delude you into thinking something else. A common one is that "your brother/sister died". In fact, it was a cult member masquerading as "your brother/sister" and they, either your real brother/sister or the cult member, did not die. Another example of a delusion you/the survivor may be forced to think is that you "are ringing the cult". You/the survivor needs to check whether this was the case or not by knowing where you were at the time. Feelings are not a safe and reliable guide. In deprogramming a lot of feelings come up. The cult abuses feelings a lot. Feelings are just feelings. They have no sense of truth or insight and can be manipulated. They are determined by a much larger truth/lies. Eg you could be lied to that your mum did this when in fact it didnt happen. Your feelings cant tell you the truth and you and her may be abused with this lie. You need to get the facts and then express feelings appropriately- eg against the cult. In waiting to get the truth you need to put feelings aside and not buy into them. The cult/organization abuses feelings a lot. Develop and trust your rationality, the facts, intuition, etc.

Multiple and Singleton Survivors
With multiple survivors, it is important so that you/the survivor do not get lost within many different aspects of yourself. For singleton survivors, it is important not to get carried away with the intensity of the feelings.

Deprogramming and General Life
Deprogramming needs to be seen in relationship to life generally. You/the survivor are pressured by work, studies, family, friends, relationships, shopping, etc. It is important to know when it is needed to deprogram. During stress times, deprogramming is very important and life generally needs to be well used such as being with trusted friends or telling unreliable friends that you cant see them. Work and social functions need to be made less important, etc. It is important not to get triggered by similar looking cult/organization things/people which are not cult, and to not go near or do things that will trigger or do harm such as tall buildings.

Deprogramming and the Cult/Organization
Programming and deprogramming need to be put into a cult/organization perspective in that they are specifically about the cult/organization. This is its function. It relates specifically to being accessed, disclosure, disrupting support and cult/organization activities. During general or non crisis times, the aims of the cult/organization are to keep you/the survivor under control. THIS IS NOT THE TOTALITY OF LIFE. If we use the times and space when the cult/organization is not seriously affecting ones/the survivors life we can use this to develop greater control over our/the survivors life. The programming feels deep because the cult/organization attempted total control and abused very secretive, long and extreme methods. The cult/organization though DOES NOT CONTROL YOU/THE SURVIVOR. As seen with an exercise of walking from one room to another, everyone has free will and can survive extreme torture as with concentration camp survivors. We need to develop our free will through our strength and support from other survivors, friends, non offending family and a therapist.

Call Back Stress Times
As a reminder, call back times can be the most harrowing times for victims/survivors. The most important thing to remember is that it is only temporary. It only seriously affects you/the survivor for the couple of days or one day. During this crisis period it is important to get all the support you can. Tell your friends, therapist, telephone crisis counsellor (eg Lifeline), etc that you want as much support as you can. Do not take shit from anybody. Act out, offend people if necessary. This is your crisis period. You only have it a few times of the year and will be hospitable the rest of the time. Do whatever it takes to get you through the day and night. Whatever it takes to keep you safe and sane- scream, shout, be stupid, stare at people. You did not choose to have this as with all cult activities put upon you. You can now choose to cope with and not allow the programming to affect you.

Crisis Times (From Beyond Survival magazine)
Sometimes survivors get very stressed. These are mainly when remembering the abuse, telling others, when being told to return to cult activities (eg Halloween for satanic survivors) and talking to, writing to or seeing cult members and/or family. There are many things you can do to take the edge off the pain. Breathe. Breathe deeply and wriggle your toes. Rub your arms and legs. Blink hard. Keep eye contact with something such as your pet. Make a list of your reasons NOT to kill yourself. Read it. Give a copy to your friends to read out to you when needed. Be safe and warm. Put a blanket around you and cuddle a teddy bear. Hold onto your pet. Make a list of things you can do to make you feel better: go out for dinner, have a bath, read a book, suck on a dummy, go for a walk. Whatever works or feels right for you. Write in a journal. Ring a friend. Tell yourself that you are worth being loved. You are good. Be proud of having survived. The fact that you are still alive after all the torture shows what an amazingly strong and lucky person you are. Ring a crisis number and talk to them.

The Actual Process

Immersion and Staying Outside
Immersion is going into the programming to understand how it functions. Staying outside is observing it from a distance. Both are important and you/the survivor needs to develop both and use them together in order to work through the programming. For example, you need to delve to feel the emotions, understand the personality parts etc and then to step back from them to get a perspective on what happens and what are lies etc. The immersion is the subjective- experiencing the personal, the memories, the mind, the intricacies of the programming, etc. When doing this you can rewind the "vcr" of the memories and tell off the perpetrators. Staying outside is the objective- the rational, the logical, the analysis of what is lies and truth, etc. It is where you can be disciplined and not allow the junk and lies to come in.

Program Management
All of these tools are concerned with programming management or how to live your/the survivor's life with programming under reasonable control. Discipline, living in your current age, understanding what the fear and anxiety is that lies behind the deporgramming, etc can be very important in this. The panic to deprogram, particularly at call back and disclosure times, comes from the lie "that you or someone close to you will die". This is not the case. In the seven years that I have been surviving and from meeting two hundred other survivors NO ONE has died. You/the survivor can discipline one/yourself with this truth and say "this is a lie and programming. I will not go into it." Sometimes discipline can seem too difficult and as normal human beings we are not perfect and can "do the best we can". This means having a "bum day" and not feeling bad, and pride ourselves on not being the "best survivor". We/the survivor didnt want the programming in the first place so why should we also have to have extra stress on being perfect.

General Tools
These are general ways in which you/the survivor can help in deprogramming. Being rational- does this makes sense; use intuition- this doesnt feel right; getting feedback both internal and from others such as friends and a therapist; being flexible; being eclectic or using all/many techniques; being sensible- eg is flying off a bridge really going to set you/the survivor free- the reality is that it will kill you/the survivor; being clear and most importantly loving yourself/the survivor. For survivors- you suffered some of the most horrific and despicable crimes against humanity. The true and real love of yourself is what has kept you both alive and doing the deprogramming so that you have a better life. Cherish this.

Deprogramming Summary
There are many things to remember when deprogramming. Always look for why you are deprogramming. It is usually out of panic and anxiety. Try and alleviate as much of this as you can. NEVER "TRUST A PROGRAMMER/CULT/ORGANIZATION" THEY/HE/SHE ALWAYS TELLS LIES EVEN IF THEY ARE TELLING YOU "THE TRUTH" AS OPPOSED TO ANOTHER PROGRAMMER. THEY ONLY WANT YOU TO BE BOUND TO THEM. THEY NEVER EVER "HELP YOU". IT IS ALWAYS FOR THE CULT/ORGANIZATION AND THEY ARE SELFISH IN WANTING YOU TO DO THEIR CRMINAL ACTIVITIES. NO ONE WILL DIE. THIS IS 2000 AND THE OLD MEMORIES ARE NOT NOW. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT AS WITH ALL PEOPLE TO LIVE WHERE YOU WANT AND DO WHAT YOU WANT. You need to not buy into innocent family's lies that are told to them by the cult. Tell/emphasise to the family that you are ok and that it is not important to return. Be eclectic. Use all techniques and the appropriate ones. Depending on what your needs are- crisis, wanting to work on deep programming, wanting to remain calm, etc use the technique that corresponds to your needs and wants.

There are no specific stages. Deprogramming is about alleviating or taking away the programming system depending upon what your immediate and long term needs and wants are. The programming system was first produced as a predetermined structure by the cult. It had specific stages of indoctrination that are generally called core and secondary/ tertiary/etc layers. For children this can start in the womb and for kidnapped people it starts at the age they were kidnapped. This is when there is a linear progression to programming. The core stages has particularly very heavy and continual torture. The progression is one of destroying trust and of cult obedience. There is also specific training in cult roles and ceremonies. At certain ages programming is put in for returning, not disclosing, relating to particular organizations, etc. The programming is also modified according to the specifics of the cult. For example, you/the survivor may have undone some programming and so the despicable cult then reprograms. When deprogramming, you/the survivor goes to the system which corresponds to what your short and long term needs are. For example, at Christmas, you may need to go back to the trauma at ten years old as this related specfically to "a Christmas return program". When working on dismantling the whole system, you may go back to the core programming and work on the base layers. By working on base layers you can deflate a layer on top of this to a small degree. However, as programs are all about violence you will still need to work on the upper layers. They are not simply put in without violence.

When a person deprograms sufficiently so that they are not constantly affected by programming and abuse memories, they can start to leave "the nest" of survivorship and have an independent life. Signs that a person has deprogrammed are: not acting out greatly eg not seeing similar looking people today as being the same as the perpetrators, and not seriously falling into the same patterns of abuse eg sexual compulsion; being real-being in touch with owns emotions and being responsible for them; if adults, having a functional adult life- studying, working, parenting, leisure, community pursuits, etc;

One can never be perfect. The effects of abuse particularly from ritual abuse can be long term and fundamental. The important aspect is that the person now has a fully functional life, with the emphasis on life.

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If you are going to work with ritual abuse survivors, you must also get educated if you want to be effective. And you must learn to be humble. Trauma survivors do not need to be around ignorant, modern-day Pharisees. Survivors in pain need people who will connect with them on an emotional level, get right down in there where they are, and listen. --Kathleen Sullivan