SATAN'S CHILDREN by Robert S. Mayer

SATAN'S CHILDREN

Case Studies in Multiple Personality

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In Through Divided Minds (1988), N.Y.C. psychologist Mayer reported warmly on his work with sufferers of multiple personality disorder (MPD); here, he writes an equally compassionate account of his treatment of multiples possibly created by satanic cults. Cheesy chapter titles--``Education in Evil,'' ``The Slasher,'' ``The She-Satan,'' etc.--belie Mayer's humane approach to his hot-potato subject, which first surfaced in his life a few years back when, under hypnosis, a young MPD patient screamed, ``Don't kill the baby! Please! Don't kill the baby!''--and went on to describe how as a tyke he had been forced to do just that during a satanic rite. After a second multiple, Rebecca, told a similar story, Mayer realized that he had to ``change [his] thinking. To take a harsher view of the world and human nature...to understand evil''--which led him to in-depth research on Satanism, well summarized here, as is his later attendance at a conference on MPD that concluded with a poll being ``taken of how many in the audience were treating patients who said they had been ritually abused''--of the 200 or so therapists, ``almost everyone raised his hand.'' And further cases came Mayer's way- -including that of Randall, an anorexic/ bulemic multiple apparently forced to serve a satanic cult by her father, and of Colleen, a professional masochist with perhaps more than 1,000 personalities. Interweaving his account of these cases and the engaging story of his own troubled life--career switches, a difficult divorce--Mayer emphasizes that, for him, the bottom line is not so much whether satanic child abuse exists on a wide scale--he weighs the evidence pro and con without drawing definite conclusions--but how to ``listen to my patients and help them any way I can.'' Once again, Mayer proves a wise and charming guide through some of the darkest corners of the human mind--and a temperate explorer of an ultrasensational phenomenon.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-13627-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991




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