Debating The Non-Believers
Getting equal time for Survivors’ Views
by Neil Brick
(from a presentation at a 2008 conference)
Survivors have been disempowered by society for many years. As children, we were abused by those in power in many different ways. The message often was, you will not be heard nor will you be believed. It is time to change this. There are millions of survivors in this country and in the world. If every survivor raised their voice and demanded that child abuse stop and that those that were abused are recognized and given the help they needed, then we could stop child abuse and protect children today and in the future from suffering the horrors of sexual and physical abuse.
The question is, why are there so few survivors speaking out and fighting to make the world a better place. Why do most survivors hide from the debate and the world and instead allow the horrors of child abuse to continue. And how can we encourage and incite survivors to fight back and stop the abusers and those that protect them from hurting children.
This presentation will look at some of the reasons why survivors don’t fight back and how they can. We can break the habit of inaction, but we have to start now and continue daily to do so.
Society has made major changes to protect children and stop child abuse when more progressive social movements have arisen that have encouraged people to examine their lives more closely and make positive changes in the world around themselves. This happened in the last half of the last century, where many forms of isms, inequality and violence against those disenfranchised were fought and changed. But there was also a backlash against this progress. In our field, the backlash was partially successful in weakening childrens’ and survivors’ rights. It made it harder to get help for and prosecute certain crimes against children. But the backlash couldn’t and didn’t stop the healing of many survivors. It didn’t stop the research into these crimes against children. It didn’t stop the fight against child abuse. And now, these crimes are beginning to be recognized again as crimes against children. Laws are being passed in many states to help those prosecute crimes against children. Our movement is once again getting stronger and answering the backlash, showing the reasons why the backlash did what it did.
This is our chance to make a difference. All of us. Everybody. But we must start now. And we must continue to and daily fight against the backlash and fight for childrens’ rights not to be abused. We need to give back to the world the healing it has given to us. If we don’t, children will continue to be abused. And it will be our fault. But if we do, we can stop child abuse and stop the backlash against children. If we have been in recovery for years, now we must do more. Now we must help others. We must focus on helping others. It is our world, and we can make a difference in it, if we do something.
How do we get equal time for survivors? We need to remember why we want equal time. We want it to stop child abuse. We want it to help those abused heal. Overall, we want it to make the world better.
We can get equal time by standing up to the nonbelievers. Their tactics are to eliminate discussion and present only their point of view. To do whatever it takes to eliminate others’ points of views.
If we walk away from the debate when they simply disagree with us, yell at us, harass us, call us names or threaten us, they win. We need to be stronger and realize that these tactics are only meant to silence us and the voices of childrens’ rights. We need to say “no” to these tactics, or just simply ignore them and continue to do what we are doing even more to protect children and those that have been abused. We need to learn about the debate and learn the rebuttals to their debate points. We need to publish these rebuttals in as many places as possible. And we need to continue to do this until all children are safe and all survivors have a place to heal. We need to develop more credibility than the nonbelievers and show why they are doing what they do and where their arguments are coming from.
Many nonbelievers either get their data from or are affiliated with the false memory type organizations, whose data helps protect alleged child abusers. “Skeptics” get much of their data from these organizations or connected members. “Skeptics” may state they are looking at the data in an unbiased manner. But yet, their arguments and data are very similar to these false memory type organizations. They ignore much of the valid data in the field and attempt to discredit much of what they do not believe in. “Skeptics” are not unbiased. Their arguments promote the backlash and attempt to give the backlash a scientific face. But with adequate rebuttal, these arguments are seen as incomplete and biased.
As survivors of child abuse, we need to rebut these arguments. We need to know the facts. We need to fight against the arguments that protect child abusers. Every time a statement is made in the media against survivors of child abuse, the media needs to hear from hundreds of survivors. Everyone needs to write an intelligent letter, backed by facts. Every time a biased web page is created against survivors of child abuse, we need to create several intelligent, well-written pages to counter these. We need to get into the debate to tell our side of the story in every place we can. Wherever there is an opening for our side of the story, we must be there to tell it. And we need to say why we are telling this side of the story, to protect children from being abused and to help those that have been abused. We need to start getting published again in peer reviewed journals and start publishing nonfiction books about this topic in major publishing houses.
Why do some survivors do nothing? Fear is one reason. We must break the habit of fear and face the fear and speak out. We must state the truth, that we have been abused and that we want this abuse to stop. This is how we get stronger. Some let others do the work for them. This only weakens the anti-child abuse movement and the individual survivors. And it is unfair to those doing the work. Every survivor needs to do something, every day, to help survivors and children. Lack of knowledge is another reason. We need to educate ourselves as a movement. The knowledge is out there. The work is being done. Learn how to do the research, how to write the letters, how to debate the nonbelievers, how to rebut them and how to show their connections to those not interested in protecting children. Even if you are the only one in the debate on your side, it doesn’t matter. Debate anyway. Ask for help from other survivors. Continue debating. And don’t stop debating until you get equal time. And then think of more debate points to present. Find more debate points in the research. And if possible, win the debate to help stop child abuse and help survivors of child abuse.
Don’t get distracted. Some survivors do a little bit for a while and disappear. This doesn’t really help stop child abuse. Watch the traps the other side has and avoid them. Think about why the other side is doing what they are doing and stick to what you need to do to keep debating. The other side of the debate has resources and money. They know the history and what works. They may present the same arguments that were used a hundred years ago. But we have the numbers. There are millions of survivors of child abuse. Every time one of us speaks out, it is very powerful. We break the silence. And when we keep speaking out and never stop, every day, for hours at a time if we need to, we are extremely powerful. One person can make many changes, simply by persevering and working hard to get to their goals. Let nothing stop you from reaching your goals to protect children and help survivors of child abuse. If someone asks you to help out, try to help them. It is our world, it is up to us to change it. No one else can do this for us. We must do it ourselves. Make it a habit to do more and increase this every day. Make it a habit to change the world and make it a safe place for children to live in.
As survivors, we need to get our lives in order. If after many years, we are still working on getting out of dysfunctional relationships with others, health issues and still looking for help with economic issues and these use up most of our time, then we need to start solving these problems and move on to helping others and reaching out to others more. Our focus must begin to be more outward, we must begin to start thinking about the world around us and how we as individuals can make the world a better place. We don’t need to have the role of victim anymore. We were victims as children. Then we couldn’t do anything to stop our own abuse or others’ abuse. But now we can. We are adults. Daily and in every moment we can make a difference. Each moment we live should be a moment where we are either getting stronger or helping someone else get stronger or both.
Everyone in the survivor movement should be a leader and not a follower. If you see another survivor doing something that helps others and helps stop child abuse, then you can do this too. All of us can do this. This kind of united voice to stop child abuse will be unstoppable. This is the only way we are going to stop child abuse and childrens’ suffering, by all of us speaking out and working on a daily basis, every moment if possible, to stop child abuse.
Overall, we need to live healthier lives in order to be stronger and healthier participants in the world. We cannot allow our excuses to govern our lives and our actions. It may feel easier in a particular moment not to work on an issue, but over time this only makes us weaker. In every moment, we need to make healthy choices. If there is an aspect of your life that needs work, then work on it and fix it. Make sure that you are physically, spiritually and intellectually as healthy as you can be. If needed, push yourself at times to achieve these goals. Don’t let these goals slide. Be tenacious about them. Set a goal and achieve it.
Socially, we need to make healthier choices also. Affiliating with organizations that contain aspects of mind control may be necessary in early recovery to get the support one needs, but we later need to move on from these groups and philosophies and live our own lives according to our own wills and our own choices. Make sure that you are well aware of the ways mind control and its variants can work in a variety of groups. Make sure you are familiar with the works of Sargant and Sutphen and how these techniques can be used against you and in essence how they weaken society as a whole. Notice how you feel when you are being mind controlled or dissociating, as opposed to when you are thinking for yourself and more clear headed. Organizations and groups that contain aspects of mind control only weaken survivors and though they may be used to fight the cause of survivors, eventually they only weaken all of us in the future, because the lesson of not being mind controlled isn’t being learned as clearly as it could be.
We need to choose healthy people to be around and healthier places to shop and spend our time. If we are spending our time living and being with dysfunctional people, watching TV or shopping at stores that only hurt people by promoting lower wages for most and higher profits for a few, then we are adding to the world’s misery and not helping to alleviate suffering. If we do choose healthier situations and actions in every moment, then we can make a difference in our own lives and in the world by example. This will allow us more time to do healthy things like help survivors and help stop child abuse. Our minds will be clearer and our actions will be stronger, so that we can more effectively help protect children.
These changes need to happen within every single person. We can all change the world in a positive way in every moment that we live. We can become stronger and stronger individuals, not following a dysfunctional social rule or message, but instead fighting against the dysfunctional rules and messages as hard as we can to make a difference. The time is now. We can change right now. And we can continue to change in every moment after this. And we can continue to focus on becoming stronger. Through this strength, we will develop clarity and the energy and will to make positive social change. To stop child abuse, ritual abuse and mind control in our society. If we do nothing, then nothing happens and we only get weaker as individuals and a society. Everything we do can make us stronger, can make the anti-child abuse and ritual abuse stronger and can be another step toward helping to stop child abuse.
But we need to start right now. And make a commitment to continue to do this. And if we forget for a moment, this is all right, as long as we continue to fight against child abuse in the next one. The harder we work together to stop child abuse and ritual abuse, the quicker they will stop and the quicker the suffering will stop. It is up to us.