1314-1317: A Cautionary Tale of Repressed Memory Therapy
May 20, 2020
Utah therapist Ruth Killpack
Today on Mormon Stories Podcast we continue our series on the history of Repressed Memory Therapy and claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Utah Mormonism.
Today’s interview is with “Kim,” who tells her experiences of being subjected to techniques of hypnosis and repressed/recovered memory in Provo/Orem Utah between 1988 and 1992. In the interview Kim discusses her traumatic childhood – which led to her conversion to Mormonism, and left her vulnerable to Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques in adulthood while she was attempting to recover from childhood PTSD.
As Kim engaged in therapy with Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Killpack, she was pressured in therapy using hypnosis to “remember” being sexually abused during her childhood, which resulted in her questioning whether several family members had abused her – even though she was never convinced that the “memories” produced under hypnosis were real. As these accusations left Kim increasingly paranoid and ultimately re-traumatized – and as Kim grew increasingly uncomfortable with her therapists’ lack of appropriate boundaries and unethical therapeutic ethics — Kim concluded that her “memories” of family abuse were in fact implanted or manipulated by her therapists. “Kim” was later directly interviewed by Mormon General Authority Glenn Pace as a part of his investigation into Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism, and eventually Kim spoke out as an advocate against “”Repressed or Recovered Memory” Techniques in newspapers, and on TV.
This is Kim’s story.
Finally, for background, these Repressed/Recovered memory techniques are the same used by highly controversial Utah/Mormon therapist Barbara Snow, who was at the center of the Utah Satanic Ritual Abuse panic during the 1990s and 2000s. Barabara Snow was also a therapist to Spiritual Guru Teal Swan, who also claims to be a victim of Satanic Ritual Abuse, has over 700,000 Youtube followers, and who openly employs Recovered Memory techniques with her followers/clients. The dangers of Teal Swan’s techniques are discussed more thoroughly on the Gizmodo podcast The Gateway: Teal Swan, wherein Teal encourages retreat participants to envision their own death by suicide, while describing death by suicide as merely “hitting the reset button” on a difficult life.
Part 1: “Kim” shares how her traumatic childhood and Mormon conversion left her vulnerable to Repressed Memory techniques
Part 2: “Kim” seeks treatment for PTSD, and encounters “Repressed Memory” Mormon therapists Rex Kocherhans and Ruth Killpack
Part 3: “Kim” discusses the harm of “Repressed Memory” and how she escaped it
Part 4: A final discussion on the harms of “Repressed Memory” Therapy and its ties to Mormonism
The Pace Memorandum, which was a 1990 memorandum written by Glenn L. Pace, a general authority in Mormon church, describing to a church committee the complaints of sixty church members who claimed they had been subjected to satanic ritual abuse (SRA) by family and other church members.
Statements from the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, etc. on childhood memories of sexual abuse, Repressed/Recovered memory, etc.
An overview of ethical concerns raised regarding Utah Repressed Memory Therapist Barbara Snow. To date, Barbara Snow has not publicly renounced Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques, and has not publicly acknowledged the damage caused by her support and usage of these techniques.
Must-Listen Podcasts on the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic in the 80s and 90s:
Uncover: Satanic Panic: A super-important and relevant podcast episode by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on an outbreak of SRA claims in a small Canadian town.
The Gateway: Teal Swan. A national podcast by Gizmodo, covering in 6 episodes the rise of Utahn Teal Swan, who was a client of Barbara Snow, and who now employs Repressed/Recovered Memory techniques with her 700,000+ followers. Teal has also been dubbed “The Suicide Catalyst,” as she openly encourages her retreat clients to envision their own deaths by suicide, and downplays death by suicide as “hitting the reset button” into a future reincarnated life.
Must-Read Books on the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic in the 80s and 90s:
If you or anyone you know have had experiences with Utah therapist Barbara Snow, recovered memory techniques, and/or personal stories around claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse within Mormonism, please share with me via email.
I continue to search for at least ONE credible story of Satanic Ritual Abuse in Utah and/or Mormonism. The criteria I am using to ensure the story is credible is as follows:
The abuse must involve evidence, and/or some sort of police investigation.
The case can NOT involve any sort of hypnosis or recovered memory techniques on the part of any therapist(s). As an example, Utah therapist Barbara Snow can not have been involved in the case as a therapist to the victim.
I would prefer to interview someone who has read Lawrence Wright’s book “Remembering Satan.” In other words, I would prefer to interview an SRA victim who is aware of all the historical, social, and psychological pitfalls surrounding the SRA panic of the 80s and 90s, so that they can tell their story in a way that has maximum credibility for the listeners.