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SPIRITUAL HELPERS I HAVE MET Introduction The first patient met with the multiple personality disorder (MPD) entered my Santa Cruz, California office for psychiatric in early 1972. The diagnosis was made by the psychologist I called in for testing after she had been hospitalized following a suicide attempt. After her discharge from the hospital, she conducted an interview with her adversary alter-personality at home, taping the entire session. When I listened to the tape the next day, in addition to the voices of the primary personality of the patient and her antagonist, I heard the voice of a third entity who was trying to help my patient cope more competently with her problems. This voice I later identified as belonging to another entity previously unknown to the patient, an entity I eventually called the inner Self Helper (ISH). Since that lady arrived on my doorstep, I have examined at least 60 other individuals who met my definition of the MPD. In most of those who have been seen in a treatment setting for some time, I have identified the ISH, who has been of great help in therapy. In those patients who were the most fragmented, other entities have spoken to me through the patient's body, entities which identified themselves as spirits who were there to help the patient cope with life and got the most out of therapy with me. It is this group of helpers, the ISH and what I call the "Higher Helpers," whom wish to describe in this paper. Multiple Personality Disorder Of those patients who have been identified in therapeutic setting as an having MPD, 85% are women and 15% are men. Ninety five percent have a history of severe physical and/or sexual abuse in childhood. Since they also have a histrionic personality disorder and a very high capacity for self hypnosis, their preferred mechanism for dealing with this abuse is to hide inside their heads, creating a "non-me" alter-personality who can be in charge of the body while the abuse goes on. If the abuse starts before the patient's personality is fully formed (ages 7-9), then the "primary personality" usually control of the body to the alter-personalities until it is discovered during psychotherapy. The body is therefore controlled by whichever alter-personality is brought forth by whichever emotion the patient feels at the time, in response to environmental stimuli. Each alter-personality is programmed to deal with a limited range of emotions in a limited number of ways, the program having been designed to cope with the triggering event in the patient's life. The most common emotion creating the first alter-personality is anger. The second to usually sexual stimulation. Then, for survival reasons, "helper alter-personalties" are created to counterbalance these two "persecutor alter-personalities," one positive personality for each negative personality. This assembly line can continue producing personalities indefinitely, since the source of control, the primary personality, has by now totally abdicated responsibility for any action involving the physical world. The Inner Self Helper and Helpers At some point of disorder, the ISH is dissociated from the rest of the psychic energy, as it contains the ability to guide the organism with good judgment and practical sense. It attempts to bring order out of chaos and acts as an idea center, trying to influence the alter-personallties to cooperate so that all can have their needs met, danger can be avoided and basic survival of the total organism can be assured. It is a non-emotional, intellectual portion of the patient, an area of concepts designed to deal effectively with both internal and external problems. It is usually the ISH that guides the patient into the proper therapist's office. When it is discovered by the therapist, the ISH is an invaluable co-therapist thereafter. (Since most of the patients have been female, they have identified their ISH's as female. The ISH's themselves claim no gender and go along with whatever gender the patient wants to apply to them. For that reason alone, ISH's will be called by feminine pronouns in this paper.) In those patients who are severely disintegrated, manifesting between five and fifty alter-personalities, the ISH may be too inadequate to prevent serious suicide attempts, requiring psychiatric hospitalization. In those patients, I have been aware that the patient needs a more effective helper than the weak, worn out ISH I am interviewing. Inevitably, I have found that the ISH, at times of indecision, has someone higher to call upon for advice. When I insist on meeting such an advisor before allowing the patient to go home, the patient will go into what appears to be a mediumistic trance state, and I will soon be introduced to the first member of the hierarchy of "Higher Helpers." As progresses, I might find that there were more than one of these Higher Helpers, each one with a specialized duty, but all working together an a board of directors, trying to help this patient get well. Whereas the ISH has identified herself as the best within the patient's mind, the Higher Helpers identify themselves as spirits, not parts of the patient's mental mechanism Just above the ISH in the hierarchy may be the spirit of someone who died in their own body several hundred years ago. This one will give a brief description of life and death in some country at least 200 years ago, and assignment by God to help this poor lady out. One claimed to have been an Indian squaw in Montana who had been multiple in her lifetime. She had been cured by the Medicine Man, so she was sent to my to help her get well from her multiplicity. Others have had no mental illness but were nice folks who would have helped others out if they had lived longer. They give consistent stories which cannot be proven or disproven, so I could never check out their stories to see if some person by that name ever really lived in the area they say they lived in. Above that type of helper might be a spirit who reports she has never had her own body and has always been in the spirit dimension. This one acts exactly like the one who had been incarnated, but she has not yet had a body, so she has no personal appreciation for the difficulties we folks with bodies have in carrying out the ideas she thinks are good for us to follow. She commonly works with one who has been incarnated before, guarding and helping specific personalities that are her special charge. Above that level will be Higher Helpers who claim to have been on earth in bodies many thousands of years ago, in a high religious role. One claimed to have been an Aztec Christ figure 4,000 years ago. This one had not had any incarnation since spent her time helping sick people, the latest one being my patient. She also ran a school for helper spirits and had four student spirits at the time. Each of her students had been under her tutelage at least 200 years prior to graduation as an independent Higher Helper. I have had several patients, each very fragmented, who had an entire council of Higher Helpers, and they regularly met together to decide the next plan of action. I was considered an expert advisor to this group, and they regularly sought my advice. If I suggested they try some new and untried therapy technique, they would give it a try, and let me know its results. Usually my ideas failed to work, but they still seemed to think I might come up with ideas eventually. In two of these patients, three of the spirits, all never incarnated, were named Faith, Hope, and Charity, a trio of names commonly used for good traits in early America. In dealing with these entities, I learned that I could never succeed with the patient if I doubted their honesty. I once thought Faith lied to me and told her so. She faded away for several weeks, returning only after I learned she had told me the truth, when the other who had told me the story admitted fabrication. When I apologized to Faith, she returned to her previous helping function, indicating that if I did not trust her, the patient would not trust her either, and, therefore, she was powerless to function as a Helper. How do the Higher Helpers participate in therapy? First, they know the true state of the patient's mind and can tell the therapist what in really the patient's concern of the moment. With one patient, her husband was due to leave for a week, and she had been talking suicide to him. One of her alter-personalities told so that the lady had decided that since she had helped her husband get through his emotional turmoil, she no longer needed to live. She had previously postponed her suicide when she had promised an old lady on a beach that she would stay alive as long as she had someone to make happy. Now that her husband was happy, she had no reason to live any longer. The Higher Helper came out and told me that that story was totally false, and that the patient was really suicidal because she had just told me all about her father molesting her. This violated her mother's injunction against telling family secrets to outsiders, and she believed she should die for violating mother's rule. But she was also expecting me to hate her for her sexual actions with her father, which did not happen, as I was totally accepting. To counter her suicidal drive with the husband out of town, I asked the Helper to come up with a plan. She suggested that I enter into a contract with the patient to meet with before her husband came home from a very stressful meeting, in order to discuss with her how to help him recover from his own reaction. The patient considered agreements binding and she would postpone her suicide if we had an agreement to meet the next week. I offered her such an agreement, she accepted it, and all went well. Although I was misled by the patient, as an alter-personality, the Higher Helper would not let the body leave the office as long as I was misled and developed a plan I could execute to keep the lady alive until her husband returned. That is just one example of how the Higher Helper and therapist can work together. I have to be careful not to let the Higher Helper come out too often. Otherwise, the patient may become jealous of the attention I pay to this pleasant intellectual entity and then ignore her advice inside her head. Secondly, the Helper weakens by being exposed to human beings and is less effective when she returns inside. The limits of exposure to human contamination is 20 minutes twice a day, the same time recommended for meditation. Thirdly, while outside, she cannot control the disorder inside the patient's mind in order to keep the hostile entities under control. So, whenever possible, I try to have the patient ask the Helper any questions and then give me her answer. That leads to the patient trusting the Helper more and avoids me having to paraphrase and repeat to the patient what the Helper said. Eventually, the patient questions and listens to the Higher Helper on her own whenever she needs direction. Since a Higher Helper's allotted time out is short and therapy complex, most of my discussions with these entitles has revolved around treatment strategies. But occasionally we will discuss philosophy and religious belief systems. All Higher Helpers consider themselves under the guidance of a Supreme Being. All Higher Helpers consider reincarnation of souls to be a fact and are surprised at our cultural rejection of what they consider to be self-evident to any intelligent person. Their beliefs come from what they have been taught by those spirits who have been their teachers and have nothing to do with the religious background of the patient herself. Religions of the patients have ranged from Catholic to Jewish to mainstream Protestant, and the patients have continued to attend the churches of their choice, with the blessing of the Higher Helper. The Higher Helpers can tell the difference between alter-personalities, helper spirits and evil spirits by the way they look inside the mind, as well as by their behavior. In the case of evil spirits, they will recommend an exorcism only when the anger energy within the patient's mind attracting that spirit into her has been neutralized by psychotherapy. Once the patient has turned off her "emotional electro-magnet," which attracted the evil spirit to her in the first place, any worthy individual may call upon a Higher Power to send the evil spirit out of the patient, back to wherever it belongs. Higher Helpers are very cognizant of their roles vis-a-vis the therapist. They inform the therapist of the patient's reaction to whatever has been done so the therapist has accurate feedback. They never will tell the therapist how to do what needs to be done, but they will tell him or her what needs to be done, in what order and by what deadline. It can be quite disconcerting to the therapist to be told, "Marla needs to learn tolerance of others by the end of this session, Doctor. You'll know how to do it when she comes back." The amazing thing is that the doctor does, indeed, find he or she knows what to do when the time comes, and all works out well. Faith in one's intuition is essential in doing such therapy. In the use of medications, Higher Helpers have an uncanny ability to discern the effects of one medication versus another, even if both are being taken together. They will advise the psychiatrist of the benefit or lack thereof of each medication. But they will never tell the psychiatrist to use any specific medication. Their training is not in pharmacology, and they realize that. All they can do is recall the specific effects of any drug the patient has taken in the past and let the psychiatrist have information the patient would not otherwise be able to give. Whenever an entity which claimed to be a Higher Helper told me to give a specific medicine, I later discovered that this "Helper" was an alter-personality or an evil spirit masquerading an a Higher Helper. The patient was a former drug addict, of course, and these entities were leading me into the position of feeding the addiction. When therapy has been successfully completed, meaning that the primary personality has resumed control of the body and has incorporated into herself all of the alter-personallties, the Inner Self Helper or one of the Higher Helpers will remain available to the patient as a constant advisor on handling everyday problems. If each of the Higher Helpers had been responsible for a limited group of alter-personalitles, all of whom are now fused into the primary personality, those Higher Helpers seen to integrate into each other also, so that the entire guidance function is located in the Higher Helper who has always had the assignment of helping the primary personality. Conclusions During the therapy of patients with multiple personality disorder, especially those who are severely disintegrated, as manifested by the abdication of the primary personality and the creation of numerous alter-personalities, an Inner Self Helper appears spontaneously to help with therapy. When this portion of the patient's mind reaches the limits of its ability, it can summon forth entities which identity themselves as spiritual helpers, assigned by a Higher Power to help the patient cope with problems of living and become one person. In doing so, they must interact with the therapist, who finds their information invaluable and their guidance enlightening in the furtherance of therapeutic goals. Their religious belief systems have nothing in common with the beliefs of the patients, who have attended traditional churches, if any. Investigation into the alleged backgrounds of these spirits has been impossible due to the limited information they divulge, and any attempt to check out their credentials to met with therapeutic difficulties since the attempt itself implies lack of faith in the reality and reliability of the spiritual helper. Therefore, to do successful therapy, the therapist must accept them for what they claim to be, and, as long as the therapy is progressing satisfactorily, there is no reason to be skeptical about who or what they "really" are. RALPH B. ALLISON, M.D Printed in the AASC Newsletter (of the Association for the Anthropological Study of Consciousness), vol 1, no. 1, March, 1985, pg. 4-5 



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