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Multiplicity 101 Podcast -- by multiples, for multiples!
"If I believe that they're other people, who can say they aren't?
The Multiple Authenticity Police?" - lj-moumantaii"

Meta Issues in Multiple Personality

Why is our existence owned by the media and mental health professionals, not by us? Why do doctors get to say who is multiple and who isn't? What is multiplicity really like? What are the sociocultural implications? This is the metadiscussion. Singlets have a voice here but we want this page to focus on multiples talking about multiplicity. Please contribute your ideas.

Multiple personality is not DID! Please read this by Dr. Ralph Allison.


Multiple Personality
and Brainwave Studies

Note: No EEG or PET scan diagnostic test for multiplicity yet exists. There have been attempts to observe brainwave changes in multiples, but it's all in the experimental stages and nothing has been concluded yet. Anyone who tells you such a test exists or that MPD or DID cannot be diagnosed or treated without one is misinformed. Mental health professionals still diagnose patients as having MPD or DID based solely on self-report and behavior.

Fact or Factitious? A Psychobiological Study of Authentic and Simulated Dissociative Identity States by A. A. T. Simone Reinders, Antoon T. M. Willemsen et al. This is a Dutch study which used brain scans and a control group of singlets pretending to be multiple. Published June 29, 2012 in the peer-reviewed journal Plos One 7(6): e39279. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039279. Entire text online. PDF available.

Split Personalities Probed Report on an actual attempt at a scientific study, intended to show that brain imaging proves the existence of separate personalities. Never mind about the "memory suppression" and trauma-split assumptions, it's the brain imaging part that's important.

One Brain, Two Selves This is the report on the above scientific study, published in NeuroImage, a professional journal. (PDF ahoy!)

Multiple Personality and Brainwave Changes From the BBC's Tomorrow's World program, a short piece confirming that MRI experiments took place attempting to chart brainwave changes in a multiple.

Thermal Scanning Comparison The Two Courts display the varying results produced by a chiropractor's thermal scanning tool. They were told that certain significant changes on the scans were impossible to produce within a few minutes, hours, or even days, particularly without chiropractic adjustments --normally these types of changes take months.

Measuring fragmentation in dissociative identity disorder: the integration measure and relationship to switching and time in therapy Cites a number of other psychobiological studies on multiples ("dissociative disorder").

A few more citations of brain studies on multiples.


Trauma, Testimony, and Fictions of Truth: Narrative in When Rabbit Howls By Deborah Carlin. Discusses multiple personality, childhood trauma, and the idea that reliving one's abuse in narrative form is therapeutic. Focus is on Truddi Chase/The Troops and When Rabbit Howls, although other books are mentioned. Originally appeared in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 37, 1995.

Critiquing the Requirement of Oneness over Multiplicity: An Examination of Dissociative Identity (Disorder) in Five Clinical Texts By Kymbra Carlton. Questions the dominant paradigm and challenges the mainstream view. Carlton discusses five well-known clinical "dissociative identity disorder" texts analyzing them in terms of power dynamics and assumptions about who has DID and why. Published in 2005 in the E-Journal of Applied Psychology and reprinted in Sensoria. We haven't yet found any other articles that question "reality" the way this one does.

However, also have a look at Historical vs. Narrative Truth by George Ganaway (originally appeared in Dissociation, Vol. II, No. 4: December 1989) in which he describes how an abuse narrative can also include screen memories or outright fantasies which mask actual abuse histories and distract the therapist from helping the client with what really happened. A few sentences from this much-maligned paper were taken entirely out of context and used by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in order to make it appear as if Ganaway were discrediting all multiplicity as attention-getting fakery -- when nothing could be further from the truth. He knows it's real, even if he thinks of it in terms of the classic model and the "fantasy-prone, highly hypnotizable" stuff. He even acknowledges the existence of multiple-like hosting setups in Spiritualist mediums, in the absence of the usual trauma-dissociation-splitting pattern.

Clearly, these are complicated issues even for non-trauma plurals.

Minds, Memes, and Multiples By Stephen R.L. Clarke. The concept of a multiple self is not new; it is actually very old. Originally appeared in Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 3.1 (1996) 21-28.

The Inner Mind: Multiple Personality Before Eve By Adam Crabtree. This is part of a longer article speculating how the mind really works. Here he looks at the documented or recorded history of multiple personality and what people have thought about it in centuries past. These are by the author of Multiple Man: Explorations in Possession and Multiple Personality (Contact the author here ()

Survival of Bodily Death and Multiple Personalities By Adam Crabtree. Note again that this is extremely speculative and bears strong resemblence to Allison's ideas. It's still worth reading, especially if you have questions about the place of past-life personalities in multiple systems.

Postmodernism and the Construction of the Divisible Self By William Dunning. Postmodern thinking and the concept of collective identity. Originally appeared in the British Journal of Aesthetics (1993) 33(2): 132-141.

The Intrapsychic and its Vicissitudes By Peter Giovacchini. Here we see that the psychiatric industry doesn't always agree with itself, either.

The Inner Self-Helper: Angel or Artifact? By James Gunn. This is an excerpt from his much longer dissertation examining the true nature of the so-called "inner self helper" some multiples seem to have. A lot of history and some lesser known cases.

Speaking For OurSelves By Nicholas Humphrey and Daniel Dennett. This paper's been floating around for about ten years. We think it's one of the first scholarly papers to discuss multiplicity from a philosophical standpoint. Originally appeared in Raritan: A Quarterly Review, IX, 68-98, Summer 1989, and reprinted several times.
A brief commentary on Speaking for OurSelves

The Dead Emperor's New Clothes By A.M. Lippitt. Multiplicity, Japanese culture and television. Fascinating.

Multiple Personality & Personal Identity Revealed By John P. Lizza. Morton Prince and the reality of persons in multiple systems. Originally appeared in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, June 1993 v44 n2 p263(12).

Towards a theoretical framework of the etiology and structures of multiple personality By Regan McClure. This is a 1994 Lesbian feminist look at classic MPD/DID, holding firmly to an abuse model for the origins of multiplicity (although she also mentions non-abuse multiplicity, in particular spirit mediumship and communication in cultures outside the U.S.). However, she goes into it a bit more than most and her comparison of origin stories by different doctors is interesting. Among other things she pleads for the use of the term "victim" instead of "survivor". This is in order to psycholinguistically eradicate any notion that a child who was molested was "asking for it" (she cites several cases in which a girl who reported abuse was herself arrested for sexual misconduct). She suggests that the category of "dissociative identity disorder" be changed or removed entirely from the DSM.

Billy Milligan Speaks A statement given by Billy Milligan for our web site. Stay tuned. You can click here to buy copies of "The Minds of Billy Milligan" from our Bookstore page.

Relative State Devoted to exploring what plural experience is like, how people think about it, what they believe about it and how it affects what we think about other things. This site is dead but we resurrected it through archive.org because the entries are worth reading.

The Story of Mary Reynolds by Joshua Nichols. A modern examination of a 19th-century multiple. Of course he calls it "multiple personality disorder", but never mind that. The theme of this article is that Reynolds' little system existed independently and was not iatrogenically created; therefore, multiple personality can occur without benefit of suggestion by therapists. I might also add that Miss Reynolds seems not to have been abused or mistreated as a child. Back then, emotional sensitivity, and sometimes chronic illness were thought to be the psychological origin of multiple personality. If you like Mary, read more about her in The Passion of Ansel Bourne by Michael Kenny.

D.I.D. You See Us Fly? By Jenn Paradise&. A half-poetic, half-scholarly, amazing feature from Cultronix magazine. Dated 1995, this is a postmodern feminist look at multiple personality, from the perspective that if being multiple originates in violence against children, that makes it something to be respected and lived with, not feared or eliminated. Moreover, Ms. Paradise& see multiplicity, whatever its origins, as a female rebellion against the established (male) system -- not just male abusers, but the (singlet) male psychiatrists who define MPD as a mental disorder requiring therapy and integration.

Truddi Chase and the Doom Patrol By Steven Shaviro, part of Doom Patrols, entire book now available on line. This postmodern exploration is based on the fact that Crazy Jane, a character in The Doom Patrol comics, was explicitly based on Truddi.

Multiple personality discussion on everything2.com

More on multiplicity at everything2.com

Violation and Virtuality By Sandy Stone. A postmodern look at the Sarah case; and an online persona, invented by a singlet, taking on a life of its own.

Sandy Stone's Home Page The author of Violation and virtuality and "The War of Desire and Technology".

Angels of Bali A look at the sanghyang dedari tradition, in which little girls dance to purify the village while in a trance state and possessed by heavenly spirits. The concept of self in Bali is discussed. "Balinese notions of personhood inherently allow for the possibility of multiple identity structures, existent as potentialities for embodiment and enactment... the Balinese trance performer does not 'dissociate' from an individual biographical self as much as 'become' the spirit.

Selves in Bali Balinese ways of viewing the self, or selves, by Luh Ketut Suryani, author of Trance and Possession in Bali.

Multiple Personality, Altered States and Virtual Reality by Charles Tart. "Contemporary neurology and psychology show that we already live in one or more internal virtual realities, generated by neurological and psychological processes. Stable patterns, stabilized systems of these internal virtual realities, constitute states of consciousness, our ordinary personality, and multiple personalities...."

The Story of Mollie Fancher By Anthony Walsh. A recap of Mollie's life, (1848-1916) focusing on her symptoms of "hystero-epilepsy" and multiple personalities rather than on her much-vaunted psychic abilities. If Mollie interests you, you can read the People's Almanac article to learn more about her group:

Trivia Library: Mollie Fancher, the Brooklyn Enigma, part 1
Mollie Fancher part 2
Mollie Fancher part 3

You might also like to read The Fasting Girl by Michelle Stacy, although here the focus is on Mollie's anorexia and she barely mentions the group.

It is clear that culture may value and make socially acceptable even highly unstable human types. If it chooses to treat their peculiarities as the most valued variants of human behavior, the individuals in question will rise to the occasion and perform their social roles without reference to the usual ideas of the types who can make social adjustments and those who cannot. Those who function inadequately in any society are not those with certain fixed "abnormal" traits, but may well be those whose responses have received no support in the institutions of their culture. - Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (Houghton Mifflin 1934, still in print - link is to Kindle edition)


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Truddi Chase (& The Troops) died March 10, 2010.
Click here to read their obituary and sign their memorial guestbook.

Lynn& Wasnak 1945-2013


Naomi Rhode, Sybil's closest relative,
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Nancy L. Preston - Sybil's Friend
Interview with Nancy Preston


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