Sue (70) experienced ritual abuse between the ages of 9 and 16 in Southern California (USA). She says: «They made symbols on my body and I was naked. A lot of it happened in the novitiate years.»
How or through whom did you come into contact with ritual abuse?
The first contact was through the Catholic clergy. I lived across the street from the church. We were very, very meshed with the Catholic church, my family. And my mother walked in on my uncle raping me when I was seven years old. We’ve been doing it for two years. And she didn’t know what to do. She was just so shocked, didn’t know how to help. So she took me over to the monsignor and asked him to help me. And that put a big target on my back, which she couldn’t have known — I didn’t know at 7. And he started on me there. And then later, all the way through grade school, that went on. Later I went to a novitiate that was a boarding school. And there much happened, and that was Catholic clergy. But it also occurred where they took me to a military base. Some of it happened underground, some of it happened above ground, some outdoors, and in private homes. So that was all interconnected.
What are the typical experiences you have had as a victim?
It happened over ten years, and there were so many experiences that I wouldn’t know where to start. But the things that it included, some was in a chair, just being electrocuted, and torture through electrocution. Others were gang rapes. Some of them were in settings where there were a lot of hooded people, many times dozens, and they were chanting. They were doing symbols on my body, and I would be naked. A lot of this happened in the novitiate years, which was a year and a half, when I was 14-15. The chanting was this very, very sacred ceremony. It’s the only way I can describe it now. Went through that. And then there would be many rapes. I was sometimes drugged. Sometimes the drugs were almost paralysis. So they’d do their symbols, I’d be drugged, I’d be like a rag doll, and I’d be just passed around and raped. Other times there would be dozens. And one was a campground that comes to mind where they were burning a child my age at a stake. And I had been kidnapped out of a bed — I was at a church camp — and I was forced to watch this. And I was trying to get free in any way I could and finally bit the guy that was holding me. And I was allowed to run. But I saw, as this child was probably dying, there was this demonic entity that had come out and was chasing me through the woods. It was terrifying for fourteen, nine year old. I think I was nine years old at that time. And I woke up the next morning in a bunch of leaves. They were calling my name, the sun was shining. And I guess they thought I ran away or got lost or something. No one ever spoke of it. There were times where I was in a hospital setting. In one case, I was hung by the wrists, naked, and dozens of men came in and were doing all kinds of things to me. I’ve been drugged. They were raping me. They were sticking things in my anus and in my vagina. They were injecting me. They were hitting me with bats and other objects. And one of them took a broken bottle, and he was going to shove that into my vagina. And someone else said “not this one”. And it was in a soundproof room with the shades, or the blinds, closed. And it went on for hours. I passed out. I remember passing out a few times. There were others. One was in a crypt, and I thought I was going to a dance. The priest was taking me to a dance where I could experience what it was like. This was during the novitiate years, And I was blindfolded, brought in there, I was drugged, laid down, And didn’t know what was going to happen. And the priest starts raping me. And there were at least eight boys my age. After he was done with me, he told each one of them to rape me in turn. And it was the last straw on the novitiate. And after that, I fled. I called my parents in the middle of the night. There were other times where I was transported, like in a big container. And I could feel, because it was dark in there, I could feel the vibration, so it was probably some kind of a train. I was transported to a place that was outdoors, and I have since identified. It was a military base in Southern California. And they opened the door and I’d been in there for hours, and they shined this huge light on me and just was blinding. And I was told, “We are after you.” They were going to go after me, and I had to survive. There were so many of these things that occurred, I don’t even know where to start. When they start passing you around, some of them happened in private homes, I would be transported over. It’d be like a mansion-type place, And I would be the event. That’s the only way I can describe it. So it was a trafficking process. That mostly happened in high school. It was after I left the novitiate. And the Catholic Church seemed to be involved in most of it, but sometimes it was in labs and there were no priests there. So, bright lights and torture, being restrained. I don’t know. The list is endless. And many things happen over and over. There was a time when I was in the noviciate, fairly early on, and they wanted to teach me how to be Jesus’s wife. So I was given lessons. And it was repeated rapes about how I was doing everything wrong and Jesus was going to be disappointed in me and how would I ever be his wife if I can’t do what they told me to do? It was just such intense mental and emotional cruelty, so that’s probably enough.
Where and in what context did it take place?
It happened in the church, in the choir loft, in the sacristy, I worked in the sacristy. That was one of their favorite places because it was a closed door, no one was around. It happened on a military base, happened underground. There were tunnels and rooms, big underground rooms that had tunnels adjoining. It happened in classrooms, it happened in hospital. So there were many settings indoor and outdoor, above ground and underground, because for ten years, a lot of things can happen during those times.
How do the perpetrators get the children to comply?
Depending on the age. In the very beginning, the monsignor was very, very kind to me and was loving and used touch on the shoulder or whatever and made me feel loved. And I really didn’t have touch, I didn’t have words, I didn’t have gestures at home. I was very vulnerable to that. And then he would use talking about Jesus and how Jesus loved me and Jesus wants me to have some special experiences that I wanted to please Jesus. I was seven years old, and that was very important to me. So for that reason, I complied. And then it went a little bit further where I got more and more uncomfortable. And then there were threats. Threats of the devil, threats of God being disappointed in me, threats of me going to hell. And when you are thoroughly immersed in the Catholic faith, that is terrifying. And then it became threats of, “I will kill you if you don’t comply,” “I will kill your family.” And that I did whatever they told me to do. I didn’t want to die and I didn’t want my family to die. And later on, it was the same thing with the labs, the compliance thing. Lots of threats of death and lots of torture where if you didn’t comply, the torture became a lot worse.
What was your worst experience?
Yeah, there’s so much, it’s hard to choose. If I had to choose, it would be when I was hung in that hospital room and had those dozens of men doing things to me. Because as it was … My memories come in color and with intensity. Everything is so clear. And what happened afterwards is I had flashbacks and I had nightmares, and I heard this screaming in my head that I could not get rid of for several weeks. And it just basically shut down my life until I could process it. And it’s the helpless feeling, and being injected, just nonstop for hours, that had to be one of the worst. Some of the demonic things, yes, but they didn’t have that intense, visceral component that I had to live with for so many weeks to get those flashbacks calmed down through therapy and just a lot of work to try and process it. It was 24/7 screaming in my head that I experienced after that memory came up. Yeah, they had restraints on my hands, I was hung from the ceiling, and they just had at me. Dozens of them. They were like in some kind of a party mood. I don’t know if I was some kind of event for some gathering that they had for these people, but they were all middle-aged men. And it was in a hospital setting, so they were in another room and I could hear all this boisterous stuff going on. And then they came into this room, which was, of course, closed off, and the shades were drawn. And it was freezing, freezing cold in there. And they had drugged me before I got in. So I remember waking up in this room. And they brought the men in after that.
Finally, do you have a personal concern or message?
My personal concern is that this stuff happens a lot. I’ve met a lot of survivors that have gone through this. And it’s very organized. And the therapy field has been infiltrated by whoever has been involved in this organization process. And you can get therapists that can reprogram you if you’ve been programmed. You can get therapists that don’t know what they’re doing because so few know about this kind of thing. And the fact that what happens to us as survivors is so bizarre, so difficult to wrap your head around, that anything like this could ever happen to anyone, that it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. To find a good therapist, and to find one that hasn’t been brainwashed themselves. Psychiatrists typically will drug you. And that’s what happened the first several years for me. I was drugged into oblivion until I almost ruined my liver. The part that really, really helped me come out of it was groups with other survivors. And when I finally found my tribe, ritual abuse survivors, because there’s plenty of other rapes and clergy abuse meetings. I went to many, many meetings when I found the ritual abuse survivors. And we had so much in common, that’s where the healing started. And especially when I got into the spiritual side. I had to find a connection to source, to God, whatever word you want to use, and to deal with the demonics that were involved. That made such a huge difference with this. Just horrific fear of the devil that could invade my dreams, invade my daytimes, invade my thoughts. I had to get past that. And it was through spiritual avenues that helped me do that. Also body work. This trauma gets trapped in the body and it is … What it can do, I’ve got over 30 diagnoses, and they’re in all the systems that you don’t need for fight or flight, You don’t need your digestion to work and you don’t need your immune system to work. Who cares if you’re gonna get a bacteria if a lion’s chasing you? So all those systems are the ones that broke down for me. There is a book called “The Body Keeps the Score” and it gets into a lot of that. And I didn’t understand why I had so many illnesses until I read that book. So it gets trapped in your tissues and bodywork is really, really needed. It’s not just therapy, it’s the bodywork and the energetic work. Energy work. And I didn’t believe in any of that stuff until I became desperate and couldn’t take the medications. I had to find other ways, and alternative therapy has helped me. Spiritual groups have helped me. And just groups where we can talk about what happened has helped me. I’ve come so far. My memories didn’t come in until I was 62 years old, and I am now 70. And I’ve made so much progress getting into that bodywork and spiritual work. I can actually hold together and talk about this right now. And do I cry? I cry a lot. But there’s a lot of process.