Astraea Watchbird:

Watching TV Portrayals of Multiplicity

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Write to the following, requesting that they do a segment on multiplicity as a functional lifestyle.

Public Broadcasting System
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The Larry King Show
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Touched by an Angel Episode: "Occupant"

The writers of this immensely popular show used a Halloween theme to inform us that what we think of as "multiple personalities" is actually demonic possession. We want reviews from anyone who saw the episode. You can use our mail form to submit your work. You can be anonymous.

There are also reviews at the Pavilion Library.

Session 9 December 22, 2002 Review by PhoenixMedian
Reverse Integration October 3, 2002 Review by Renegade of Kokuei Collective
The Anne Heche Interview September 5, 2001 Review by Chiu Merophei of Astraea
Sprite: Between Two Worlds July 23, 2001 Review by Janice of the House of Ghosts
Babylon 5, 3rd or 4th Season Review by Cutter of the Mo'Abla'Haret
Multiplicity in Anime, July 5, 2000 Review by the LoveCats
Various shows, April 3, 2000 Review by Sharon of the Anachronic Army
Psi Factor, December 18, 1999 Review by Bob King
Judging Amy, CBS, November 30, 1999 Review by Bob King
William Greene on Dateline July 5, 1999
Cameron West on Oprah Feb. 9, 1999
Montel Williams March 5, 1999
Susan Houdelette Interview 1995

Session 9

Review by PhoenixMedian

Okay, are you ready?


I believe I put this one up in my journal some time ago.

Summary: Demolition team goes into an old asylum to clean it up and tear it down [actually they're to remove asbestos so the place can be used again- Ed.]. One of them finds some session tapes on which a multiple is in therapy, and listens to them. It turns out that the multiple is him, and he goes crazy, with the 'insane' personality taking over and killing EVERYONE. Then he goes home to his wife, kills his wife, baby and I shit you not - DOG. his fucking DOG.

The end.

Reverse Integration: "Tuvix"

Reverse Integration: The same issue.
Star Trek: Voyager Season #02 Episode #40, "Tuvix"

Well we just finished watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where two of the main characters were merged into one life form due to a transporter mishap. (pesky transporters again! -Ed.)

The two officers in question, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok and uh..Neelix, were merged into a person named Tuvix. The episode progresses and the crew gets used to Mr. Tuvix, and Mr. Tuvix seems to be getting along with the crew and his duties. About half-way through the episode, the Emergency Medical Hologram finds a way that can separate Tuvok from Neelix and vice versa. The crew is happy about it, all except Mr. Tuvix, who exclaims "I don't want to die!"

I found the episode to get really interesting at this point because it was just like treatment for multiples but reversed. Instead of a multiple integrating, it's a singlet separating. The Rights issue is the same to us. Just like we would not like to be integrated, we would not want to force separation onto a singlet.

-- I have a hard decision to make.

-- You're acting like it's your decision to make, Captain.

-- I have a responsibility to my two crew members.

"What you're suggesting, Captain, is no less than execution! Something that was done centuries ago to criminals, and I've done nothing wrong," says a disconcerted Mr. Tuvix during the private discussion with Captain Janeway.

"Are you not asking the same thing of Tuvok and Nelix?" is her reply.

Things just got a whole lot more complicated and bring up an important issue. Whose rights come first in a situation like that? Tuvok and Neelix were there first, but can you deny the life of the new Tuvix? It made me and a few others think. TA, a prominent person in our system, has been quick to shoot down the possibility of integration from the beginning stating, "I have as much a right to be here as anyone." Is integration murder? Just like the separation of Mr. Tuvix? TA feels it is, as do several others in our system. Yet many multiples seek this kind of treatment, do they not think about the implications or are they being selfish and just thinking about themselves? It's something to be discussed during a moral debate.

At the end of the episode the captain decides that the separation must take place, sacrificing the one life for the two. In the spirit of Federation bravery! A frantic Tuvix tries to look to his fellow officers for help but they're all silent. The captain and two security officers escorts Mr. Tuvix to Sickbay. I was glad when the doctor said that he would not perform the procedure because he was sworn not to do harm to a living thing. Kudos to the Emergency Medical Hologram! The captain does the process herself, and Mr. Neelix and Mr. Tuvok are returned to their former selves. Neelix and his friend Kess embrace, as the logical Vulcan says his greetings. The captain welcomes them back and proceeds to leave the Sickbay alone. The camera follows the captain and as she walks alone a deserted corridor you can see the hurt in her eyes at what she had to do. I was glad to see at least some remorse for the separation.

It was also refreshing to see a reversed look at integration, because being multiple I always hear about integration this, integration that, and it was a new concept to have it reversed. Integration and Separation -- two things that could be considered quite harmful even criminal. This was actually a good take on the issue.

Renegade of The Kokuei Collective

Call Me Crazy: The Anne Heche Interview

ABC's 20/20 - September 5, 2001

Ann is publicizing her book "Call Me Crazy". Part of the interview is given at but leaves out important details. The transcription below is from a videotape of the Sept. 5 interview.

"I had another personality. I had a fantasy world. I called my other personality Celestia. [Note that Celeste is Anne Heche's middle name.] I called the other world that I created for myself the Fourth Dimension. I believed I was from another planet. I think I was insane." She said it was because she was not loved by her parents and because she was sexually abused.

Having landed a good role on a soap opera, where she played twins (one good, one evil), she went into therapy. At this time "her personality began to fragment, shattering into moments of madness".

"I told my mother at about the seventh year of therapy that I had been abused sexually by my father and she hung up the phone on me. To have gone through so much work to heal myself, and have my mother not acknowledge in any way that she was sorry for what had happened to me, broke my heart. And in that moment I think I split off from myself. So Ann, this girl who had just confronted her mother, shrunk, and out came Celestia, where I was literally thrown to the ground, and I'm not kidding, in New York City, thrown to the ground and heard the voice of God, and thought I was absolutely insane. I had no idea what to do. I was existing as two people."

"So even though you thought you were Jesus, or Celestia, you also at the same time knew this was an aberration."

"Absolutely. That's the thing about going crazy. You are absolutely aware -- at least, I was -- that I was Ann Heche, an actress, that I had friends, there were people who would think I was crazy if I was ever going to talk about this. And at the same time I'm hearing God talk to me saying 'You are basically from Heaven.'"

"How did it manifest itself? What were your powers? What did you see in yourself?"

"Wow. So many different things. What could I do? When I was Celestia I spoke a different language. I spoke a different language, that God and I spoke together. I could, you name it, I could do it, I could see into the future, I could heal people."

"Do you remember that language you spoke?"
"Of course."
"Can you say anything?"

"Well, the word for God, okay, a lot of it is prayer. The word for 'God' in my language is called kiness. A'kiness, a'ta fortatuna donna."

["Ta fortatuna donna," with the syllables slightly transposed, is "tu fortunata donna," Italian for "you lucky lady". The inflection as she spoke the words was pure Italian. Even to the toss of her head as she said it. It sounded like the way they talk in Rome. Some astraea studied Italian and Italian culture for six years. We recognized what we heard.]

She said it means "It is a good fortune, isadan, to be here."

"And that's the language you never ..."
"I don't know where it came from, I.."
"... knew what it means."
"I was, in my mind, learning it from God."

"Ann says she was in the grip of voices and visions almost every waking moment for nearly seven years. [oogy music] As she wrestled with those demons, she managed, almost unimaginably, to thrive professionally..."

"Yeah, that was an incredible juggle, I must say. I would work . . . and then I would go into my trailer and have to write down messages that I believed I was hearing from God, about love."

"You go in your trailer and you're another person. You close the door and you're another person. You're Jesus."

"I'm Celestia."
"And Celestia is also Jesus?"
"No. Celestia, as I was told, is the reincarnation of God, here."

Ellen knew about Celestia and believed Ann was insane "'You don't do that -- you do WHAT? You.. you.. you speak to the DEAD??' Another thing that I thought I could do in my insanity. Speak to spirits. Hear voices. 'Oh, you do that? [distastefully] Oh. .. But I love you. Just be quiet about it.'" [Probably thought it was like Shirley MacLaine.]

Her well-publicised breakdown: "I told you I thought Celestia was from another planet called the Fourth Dimension. I escaped to the Fourth Dimension."

"On August 20, 2000, a day after she and Ellen broke up, a dazed and confused Ann Heche got in her car and drove five hours across the bleak landscape from Los Angeles to Fresno."

"Fresno was the culmination of a journey. Of a world that I thought I needed to escape to in order to find love. So in the pain I think what triggered the pain of my breakup with Ellen, was a bottoming out of 'there's no love here, I'm going to go get love.'"

"Were you on ecstasy? Is that what caused --"

"I have done drugs in my life. I'm not a consistent drug user and I never was with ecstasy either. I was told to go to a place where I would meet a spaceship. I was told in order to get on the spaceship that I would have to take a hit of ecstasy. A voice. All of this justification for the end of this journey. [oogy music] I did go to a house. I did ask people to join me. I did go to the hospital."

"Heche spent one night strapped to a gurney in the psychiatric unit of Fresno Hospital. Ann, the next day your manager Loren Lloyd and her .. uh.. friend Kathy who was your friend, come to see you in this hospital, and said in effect, come back to us, we care about you, we love you. And like that, you're okay? Thirty-one years of what you thought insanity, and in that one day you were fine?"

"I always thought you had to leave the world to get love, and I was being shown that you could stay in the world and have love. I loved my life. I just didn't like the life I was raised in, but I love my life and I chose to keep it . . . Awesome! Sane! I'm here! I could not be more elated with my life."

[Ecstasy will do that. In small controlled doses it once had a good medical reputation; patients reported improved self-esteem and communication and a more optimistic outlook on their personal lives.]

"You know, Ann, there are some doctors or therapists who might diagnose this as a form of mental illness, as split personality, schizophrenia, bipolar. Does any of this apply to you?"

"I don't believe so. The most interesting thing is that I went to a therapist for years. It's amazing what you can hide."

"So you went to these therapists, told them all about your life, told them all about the abuse that your father had committed, told them about your mother and never said.."

"By the way, I have another personality. I was very afraid of what people would think of me, very afraid."

"The therapist would think you were crazy."
"Are you on medication today?"
"Do you still have moments when God speaks to you?"
"Do you still talk in another language?"
"Oh, no."
"You're all .."
"I'm all here, oh yes."

What is this saying to children who have imaginary friends and made-up languages, let alone those who are multiple and have real places and languages of their own? What is it saying to their parents?

Chiu Merophei, Astraea

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Sprite: Between Two Worlds

Guest review by Janice of the House of Ghosts, July 23, 2001

First off, let me say this had quite a bit of sex in it. Nothing terribly unusual or really explicit, but it was definitely there. Second of all, it was subtitled. Both of these things may turn some people off.

It's portrayal of multiplicity, which it called a "split personality," was pretty simplistic. There were only two "personalities," Manami and Nami. At first it seemed like they would take the way-too-stereotypical good girl vs bad girl stance, but not at all. As the show progressed, it became clear that both girls had their good points and compensated for each other. Some viewers will not appreciate the writer's idea that Manami and Nami are really aspects of the same person. However, I think they will appreciate that this multiplicity was neither caused by trauma nor ended in integration.

In some ways, it did deal with deep stuff, at least in passing. Both girls wondered if integration meant death, or if they might permanently lose the body to one another. It showed glimpses of their other world and even touched on in-system sexuality. It also dealt with how the gent that comes to know them falls in love with them both.

Very cool, I thought.

And it was really funny. Quite silly at times, very serious at others.

I give this one a thumbs up.

Here's another review of it:


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Babylon 5: The Corps is Mother, The Corps Is Father

Guest review by Cutter @ Clan Vinik

In "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father", in the fifth season of the show, a telepath was being hunted down by his organization for murder. It turned out that he was a Multiple, and one of his alters was murdering people with his psychic abilities, which were much stronger than that of the host.

This wasn't all bad since for a minute, the doctor on the show explained how multiplicity works and that different personalities have their own distinctive abilities, medical problems, etc. By the conclusion of the episode it was also found that the unstable 'alter' who did the murders was trained to kill by the organization the telepath belonged to, and went AWOL.

They also did not make references to creation of Multiplicity by abuse. They left it open.

Though it kept up with the stereotype of Multiple, it seemed to only be for the purposes of a suspenseful episode. They otherwise did fine.


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The LoveCats Review: Multiplicity in Anime

This is just a taste of what you'll find on their much expanded review section.

Sparrow: Hi.... welcome to Sammi and mine's 'Multiplicity in the Media' page!

Sammi: *nursing a black eye* Yeah... hi.

Sparrow: This is still under construction. But multiples get an absolutely terrible rap in the media. Either they're villians, or they're plot elements that eventually get integrated or otherwise 'dealt with'. Never have we come across a character that just happens to be multiple where it's left that way and they're healthy.

Sammi: *still sulking* Yeah. Healthy.

Sparrow: *looks at Sammi* So... our list of media so far that we feel like discussing. Yes, there are plot spoilers for the various stories (or else how are we gonna be able to discuss it?)

Video Games:

Xenogears, by Squaresoft, character Fei/Id. Fei is the tortured hero, but he ends up integrating, and Id is a big ol' villain for the duration of the game.

Final Fantasy 7, by Square, character Cloud. Now, he's not really multiple, but he's just kinda muddled in the head with symptoms thereof....Good enuf, until we get something else.


Kaos/Den from Battle Angel Alita. Ends up with a sort of semi-integration, and mental death of Den. Den is, once more, a big ol' villain.

The Incredible Hulk, who else? Too bad we haven't followed him very well *sigh*. But he does his hero/villian routine too.

Legion, from the X-Men. We didn't get too much of that plotline until the very end, but he's a bad guy.


Never Talk to Strangers, umm we forget the rest of the info. Basically, the protagonist is a multiple... doing the bad guy routine again too.

Batman in general, character of Two-Face. He's so cute. In the third movie and in the animated series, I've seen different points on him go off. Oh, and there's another char I saw go by in the animated series--the fellow with the hand puppet and gatling gun (Scarface?). Sigh... all bad guys.


Earthquake Weather, by Tim Powers, character of Plumtree. One of the semi- heros, and one of the villains. But at least Powers wrote about it pretty well, and in that world, he makes note that multiplicity actually gives some good benefits (such as no one being able to get a handle on your 'True Name').

That's all for now. Actual work and descrips coming later!

*Reb steps in* You know, Stella's saying something about the reason it's mostly hero/villain is partially because of the 'heroic internal struggle' that each character goes through, and how it's just a way of portraying it......

*Sammi sticks her tongue out*

Sparrow: Ack! We'll get into the actual analysis on someone else's time! This is our page! *scampers*

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Multiples on Cable

Guest review by Sharon of the Anachronic Army
Various shows -- April 3, 2000

What kind of portrayals of multiples can be found on television? The majority of shows portray multiples as insane, disordered and out of control.

However, sometimes programs can change over time. For example, take The X-Files. In the episode "The Field Where I Died", a cult member is believed to be a multiple. Of course, there's the usual skepticism and stereotypes surrounding the entire plotline of this episode. The multiple's condition is regarded as "controversial" and it is considered that she might be "acting".

After seeing that episode, my opinion of The X-Files dropped several points. It irritated me that a show that tended to have an open mind to the so-called paranormal and unusual would suggest so strongly that multiples were faking it or fitting into a stereotype. Just tonight, however, I saw a different episode of The X-Files.

This one was named "Chimera", and involved a woman blanking out when she became a strange creature that went around killing people and smashing mirrors, not wanting to see its face. At the end of the episode, Skully and Mulder decided the woman probably had MPD, since she had lost time and become a completely different person. (In this case, she also became a different species) It was a different approach from the earlier episode - multiplicity treated more as a definite thing rather than a controversial theory. As well, it challenged the notion that all people in a household are human - an attitude we have worked to correct on our site. Click.

Let's flip the channels again. Ah, Duckman. I have flipped onto the show in the middle of an episode, so I don't know the name of this one. Duckman has had himself committed to a mental institution and is playing cards with three patients for pills. He asks how they tell the crazies from the normals. The first one gives a very intellectual answer saying he isn't sure, and needs to ask his invisible friend sitting next to him. The next one says he doesn't know, and he doesn't know either. Okay, so it was an attempt at humor. I think. Click.

Star Trek often gives a good stab at talking about issues which are socially taboo. Multiplicity sometimes enters into this. In an early Next Generation episode called "The Schizoid Man", a dying man puts his mind inside Data's body and insists that he is the one who belongs there rather than Data. This has implications of the first person being the "real" one, and also the episode title is a common mistake. We all know (I hope) that schizophrenia and multiplicity are two completely different things.

Like The X-Files, there was an improvement on the portrayal of multiples over time. Several seasons later, in an episode named "Masks", Data (again!) becomes an entire ancient civilization of people of all ages. (and in our opinion the role(s) were well played by Brent Spiner. It's takes a really good actor to play the role of a multiple convincingly.) This episode treated it as something real and genuine, and suggested the possibility that a system could have huge numbers of people with no problem. Of course, since Data is a machine, the numbers would not be as big of a problem for audiences to believe. Click.

In Star Trek: Voyager, there are suggestions not only that Seven of Nine is a multiple (somehow due to her connection to the Borg, which is a nightmare image of a multiple mind in and of themselves), but that she was having false memories. These shows can tend to be inconsistent, depending on their writers.

We are looking at various portrayals of multiples in the media. If you have found any, or know the names of some of the episodes we have mentioned, let us know. In the meantime, sit back in your lazyboy, and happy switching... channels, that is.

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Revenge of the Dark Half

Guest Review by
Bob King, Firewheel Collective
"All Hallows Eve", Psi Factor - Dec. 19, 1999

Likely a repeat, it was a Halloween theme.

Plot as follows: Psi Factor is called in to deal with a pair of murders, where the skin is ripped off the faces of the living victims by brute force.

This being psi factor, this doesn't strike anyone as being unusually unusual, and seem much comforted by the presence of cold spots and high concentrations of freon. Although I would have thought that concentrations of freon would explain the quickly fading cold spots, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, it just so HAPPENS that one of the victims is reading a book.. well, was reading.. and it turns out to be by this woman ... [played by, God help us, Linda Blair - Ed.]

---ok--- spoiler warning, if you care....

Right. The woman is the author. She's also a (gasp!) Multiple Personality. This becomes obvious when a sleazy trick is used to get her to admit on television that "Jack" wrote the novel, which the killings have so far duplicated right down to the cover art.

At this point I turned it off for a bit. But after howling my outrage at Astraea via ICQ - not ANOTHER psychotic multiple killer, spare us! - I flipped it back on.

That's when it got interesting. It turns out that Jack was able to leave the body and inhabit that of a paraplegic, who'd been crippled by a Jock Prank in the same school the woman had attended. She'd witnessed it, and it had been part of "her crowd" that had done it. Oh, and he was a geek.

Ok, geek revenge on Jocks, I can get behind this. Jack is able to make the crippled body walk, by the way. Impressive bit of disembodied spirit work.

Anyway, it all leads to the inevitable climax and triumph of the Psi Factor team. However, I was pleased by the way the multiple handled it, by taking responsibility for their dark personality and calling them home, with great insistence.

Of course, since the murders had been committed by a spirit in another body entirely, she was able to walk away scott free, but it was demonstrated that she did take moral responsibility...

and then they said it. The "I" word. "In order to get better, the doctors say I have to "integrate."

This is a collective that has written a children's story, a fundamental text on mathematics, a bodice ripper and an intricately plotted horror story, along with a travelogue. A very successful author - and she's gonna toss that all away to be "normal?"

Let's not mention the fact that she was able to demonstrate in front of gumment agents that she was able to project a personality and take over a distant host, overriding a crippled body in order to rip off their faces, incidentally frying every bit of electronics within a hundred feet.

And they let her walk away, much less nod approvingly at the idea of "integration?"

Oh, I think not.

In this case, Ewan Cameron would trump Colin Ross in the minds of the authorities as being the right witch-doctor-in-spirit. :>

At least they called it "Multiple Personality Disorder," not DID. And the multiple was high functioning, well, other than the obvious exception.

Anyway, it's one of the better treatments I've seen in fiction. Which is pathetic, considering everything. But there you go.

Bob King
ICQ#: 12880485

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Judging "Judging Amy"

Guest Review by
Bob King, Firewheel Collective

"Crowded House", Judging Amy Nov. 30, 1999 episode.

I like Judging Amy. It's an excellent show, focusing on character, human interactions and personalities. So when I heard that there would be a case in Judge Amy's court dealing with Multiple Personalities, I expected the usual sensitive attention to issues that I've come to expect.

Instead, we get another case of "Multiple Personality, Threat or Menace."

This was of course one of three separate plots going on. The other two, dealing with family dynamics and a writing project were marvelous. The case was just thrown in for sensational value and to allow Judge Amy to have some angst time.

The multiple was portrayed as an empty-eyed abuse victim of childhood torture. She was accused of stabbing her home-ec teacher with a pair of scissors for no apparent reason. Her lawyer claims Diminished Capacity. The prosecution hammers the Colon Ross theory, that DID is simply one person making pretend faces at themselves in the mirror.

So in one stroke, they raise all the ethical issues surrounding multiplicity, and then they never deal with them. The teacher dies of infection from the wound, the child is charged with murder and the case is taken out of family court. Not only are the issues not dealt with, the essential statement is made that there ARE no issues, it's just an unavoidable tragedy, for which someone has to be ground into the wheels of merciless Justice to pay for.

And we are left with the image of a sobbing, pathetic traumatized multiple on the screen again.

Now, of course, one might argue that just about anyone in such a situation would be traumatized, and maybe a bit pathetic. But then again, the same dramatic effect could have been achieved in any number of ways without picking on the Bogeyman of the Day.

Meanwhile, we have to live with the increasingly common misconception that because we ARE multiples, it's perfectly reasonable for people to expect us to plunge sharp implements into innocent people for no good reason.

In my experience, members of multiple collectives are generally acting with perfect internal logic when they take actions like that. The only reason it seems insane - assuming the individual who commits the act isn't actually insane - is that due to circumstances or background, they are unaware of the real nature of the situation.

In other cases, people within a multiple collective war against each other. Those situations are tragic, and they are real, and they would make great drama and MIGHT provoke some understanding. They also raise some tremendously fascinating issues. For instance, if "Janet" stabs a teacher with the motive to get "Tammy" in trouble, can "Tammy" be held responsible at all?

Society feels intuitively that we have to be held.. heh.. collectively responsible for our actions, and I tend to agree. But at the same time, we cannot be held responsible in the same way, even if the practical outcome is the same.

Example. Let us suppose that someone in my collective were psychotic and I lost control of them. They got out and did a bad, bad thing. I'm responsible, not for the bad thing, but for losing control. The culprit is responsible for the bad bad thing, and it's my responsibility to carry out and enforce the judgment of the court. That may require me to stay in jail for the rest of my life too, which is unfortunate for me, but it's a consequence of the situation.

On the other hand, due to the nature of the Internal Landscape each multiple has, the actual bad actor may escape effective punishment entirely. This is not justice.

They could have had a marvelous time with these very real issues. But instead they used us for a cheap dramatic effect. Again.

Bob King
ICQ#: 12880485

You may read a very detailed synopsis of this turkey at Television Without Pity.

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Was that "police record" or "broken record"?

The William Greene Story
Dateline NBC
July 5, 1999

Well, another boring story of a multiple who hopes to use an insanity defense for an alleged assault in 1994 led off Dateline NBC tonight. If you want to write to Dateline, go to and use their form or write to dateline at

William Greene was charged with attacking (not murdering) a prison therapist who had met Greene while he was serving time for sex offenses. She knew he was multiple and continued to work with him after his release. He was convicted at his first trial, in 1995, after the judge didn't allow the jurors to hear anything about MPD/DID or that Greene was multiple.

Note from ChaosTiny@ a on this: "I just want to say that I personally know the "unnamed therapist" in that story, and i have met Bill's wife, and seen originals of his art, etc.... I know the therapist he is accused of attacking quite well, as she was a group leader of mine until Dateline aired this. I hope the people that reviewed this will see this... I know that Bill only began to use his MPD/DID as a defense after Maryalyce (the therapist one of his alters attacked) encouraged him to. She was not allowed to testify on his behalf. ALL mention of MPD/DID was stricken from the court record; therefore he was not allowed to use it anyway. He has been granted an appeal that should happen soon.. Please, if you can, pass this on to the reviewers... I would like them to know the real story, not the dateline crap version."

That was why there was a retrial, in 2003. This time the judge allowed the MPD/DID defense, and the therapist was allowed to testify. Greene was convicted again and sentenced to life in prison. This Dateline interview took place in 1999 while he was waiting for the retrial.

Good points: The way the group presented itself during the interview. Sam in particular was articulate and well-spoken. He expressed his concern that this was an opportunity to have a case study of someone who was being traumatized by the system, but that the interviewer had focused on the group members' ability to smoothly step forward and back (damn those bizarre convulsive gruesome Hollywood changes!) and on the "bizarre" aspects of multiplicity, repeatedly referring to it as a possible fake and con.

They referred to it as "one of the most unusual forms of psychological illness, especially for a man." Of course, it is neither a psychological illness, nor unusual, nor unusual for a man. There are plenty of male multiples, as Dr. Frank Putnam has abundantly documented.

They then displayed scenes from the movie Sybil, showing her losing it and being hysterical. *yawn*

And again with the shopworn old claim that multiple personality is almost universally caused by child sexual abuse. Even if you believe that multiplicity is caused by or is a response to abuse, it is not necessary for it to be sexual abuse.

They repeated all the old cliches. The withdrawn, introverted "host", the childlike persona, the deep-voiced, aggressive protector, the creative intellectual, yadda yadda yadda. The most hilarious line was "The characters pop up in times of stress to assist the weak host personality." In the Walt Disney world in which these mediamongers want us to live, we are all "characters" that an abandoned child is play-acting. These people are not interested in reality... like that some "hosts" are powerful, competent people. Or that a lot of systems don't even have a host.

This is the picture of multiple personality that the public has. It's like back in the 1950s when all the black people you ever saw on TV were maids. The public aren't supposed to see us living, working, having mature relationships, owning our own businesses, having fun. The more functional we are and the smoother our changes, the more we're likely to be accused of faking the whole thing. Everybody knows that REAL multiples are mental patients, criminals and, above all, victims.

Jay Young & E.J. Chen

1998: William Greene's case and his entire story at Findlaw

Who Am I This Time? An analysis of Bill's case as it pertains to portrayals of multiplicity in popular culture.

2003: Insanity Defense Fails for Attacker Greene got his new trial, was found guilty of kidnapping and indecent liberties.

DNA Evidence Reveals Homicide Case Forensic tests have linked William Greene, already in prison under the 3-strikes law, to the murder of a classmate. In 2005, he was tried and convicted of the murder.

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Oprah, You're Not Helping...

The Oprah Winfrey Show
February 10, 1999

Cameron West, author of "First Person Plural", appeared on Oprah Winfrey for a publicity interview. Oprah's party line view of multiplicity as "a result of horrific child abuse" is perhaps understandable given her personal history. However, there was no need for her production company to pull out those ghastly file tapes of the highly fictionized "Three Faces of Eve", featuring Joanne Woodward as a dull-eyed madwoman with her shoes off, a sleazy bar girl, screaming hysterically etc.

Oprah consistently mispronounced dissociation as "disassociation" which is something completely different. Cameron West was obviously trying to avoid losing control on television and came across like a stiff windup toy. Al Gore has more spontaneity and range of expression and gesture.

As a further contribution to the cause of multiples everywhere, Mr West displayed his journal which included entries written in blood by a "disturbed alter" named, of all things, Switch, who once smashed his hand with a sledgehammer to get Mr West to pay attention to him. Meanwhile, Oprah was doing the same thing to the audience with the line "severe severe severe abuse before the age of nine". I resisted counting.

To make matters worse, Oprah anounced that Robin Williams has bought the rights to the book and will play the lead in the movie. (It would be much better were Williams to produce or direct and cast Cliff Robertson as Mr West; he would look fine, and is capable of delivering an appropriately low key performance. Oprah's jibe at Williams as a "natural multiple" was cute, but had a sarcastic edge that we didn't appreciate.

Tales of courageous survivorship notwithstanding, the Cameron West interview did nothing to change people's image of multiplicity as a form of madness requiring years of grueling therapy in order even to approximate the semblence of a human being.

Andy Temple

Order -First Person Plural- by Cameron West now through

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"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.."

The Montel Williams Show
March 5, 1999

Hello Seeker, here we go again, and hello especially to those of you who might still believe that pigs live in trees and that daytime talk show hosts have any principles or ethics whatsoever.

Montel Williams has proved to the American public that as far as he is concerned, multiple personality is your basic freak show. He is no different from any of the other tabloid ringmasters, from Sally Jessy Raphael to Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, who believe in bringing multiples on stage simply to put them through their paces. When they're not telling stories of horrific abuse in flat monotones or lifeless whines, they'd better be switching in some gruesome Jekyll and Hyde fashion. Hopefully a vulnerable little child will step forward, or a powerful protective self with an attitude (Geraldo routinely calls these protectors "evil").

Montel callously manipulated the two female-body multiples, while virtually ignoring the male-body one (who professed to be "integrated", thus of no interest). One of the women held a teddy bear, and he snatched it away from her. Sure enough someone else came forward to protest.

He deliberately provoked a defender in the other woman's group by saying nastily "I don't like you!" Naturally, the response was "Well I don't like you either". The young fellow in question looked about to deck Montel (and could easily have done so) and Montel quickly backed away from that crew.

The alleged therapists on the show were there only to confirm that there is such a thing as multiplicity and to point out that it is often overdiagnosed. Neither was the actual therapist for the groups onstage.

The male-body group turned out to be the subject of the popular book "Magic Castle", thus rationalising this latest episode of America's love affair with multiples as freaks.

The point is often made on Usenet and in other forums for multiples, that the groups who appear on these shows have already been "traumatized" enough by the tragic childhood events that left them as damaged, fragmented souls, and that this is why such mind-rot is detrimental. This is a point of view that we do not share.

It makes no difference whether the multiples who are exploited in the media were victims in childhood or not. The mere fact that they are being exploited, manipulated, victimized now, on national television, before millions of viewers, is quite enough. Additionally, those viewers are receiving misinformation, half truths and outright lies about multiplicity, perpetuating a century-old stereotype and keeping healthy, functional groups "in the closet".

SOMEbody HELP the CAPTAIN!!!!!

Andy Temple and Jay Young Page Top

"Up in Smoke"

The Susan Houdelette Story - May 11, 1993 (1993-1995)

I just got off the phone with Dr. David Halpern, who was the psychiatrist guesting on the Maury Povich show the day Ms. Susan Houdelette, her psychologist Dr. Preston Bailey, and her daughter Lorien were interviewed. Unfortunately, he knows no more about this case than I do.

The story of Susan Houdelette briefly screamed across national tabloid headlines in 1993 and then disappeared in a puff of.. well, I'm still trying to figure out what.

It seems that Susan was (and I think still is) the coordinator of a rape crisis center in Miami, and the news director of a radio station there. She was a habitual smoker, had been through numerous programs to quit, and was getting desperate. A co-worker, Morris Guss, offered to teach her self-hypnosis which had helped him quit smoking, and she let him.

According to Susan, Guss believed that Susan's compulsive need to smoke might be caused by an unresolved neurosis or conflict of some kind not in her conscious or immediate awareness. Susan was aware that she had been abused as a child, but Guss wasn't satisfied. He either suggested to Susan, or she actually remembered, or something, that she had multiple personalities as a "result" of the abuse, and that it was one of these other selves, a young girl who called herself Mary-Mary, who was doing the smoking.

Whether or not Susan was actually multiple, Guss' next move was nothing short of criminal. Instead of calling in someone who knew a little something about multiplicity and what can happen when a smoothly running operating system is disturbed, Guss continued to treat Susan himself, virtually playing God in his insistence that she become totally dependent on him and that the younger children in her group call him Daddy. He poked around in their operating system and uncovered a number of selves who revealed aspects of the abuse previously unknown to Susan.

Susan had been completely unaware of these other people, if in fact they were really other people. (I say this because she was so desperate to quit smoking that I think she'd have believed and cooperated with whatever Guss told her.) If there were others, it was one of those systems that ran smoothly behind the scenes while a strong, capable frontrunner, well, frontran. Now, that operating system was completely dismantled, people were coming out at all hours, three of them were heavy smokers, and at least fifteen were self-mutilators. There were 239 people in all, if you can believe John Ankerburg & John Weldon's Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, ('ware the Dominionism however) in the chapter entitled "Hypnosis and Hypnotic Regression." Susan became completely non-functional and unable to work, and Guss abruptly terminated therapy -- without referring her to a specialist, without referring her to anybody, and without even having a session to discuss termination. This is when Susan Houdelette filed a civil action requesting that Guss' license be revoked. (That court petition has to be read to be believed.)

Now fully believing that she was multiple, Susan went into therapy with a psychologist named Preston Bailey and at the time of the interview was preparing to sue Guss for a million dollars.

Susan Houdelette, Preston Bailey, daughter Lorien, and Dr. David Halpern were interviewed on May 11, 1993 on the most godawful segment of Maury Povich I have ever seen.

Povich as talk show host is the worst kind of loudmouthed, uncouth boor. He showed absolutely no respect for her as a human being. He was no better than a two-bit carny pitchman. He interrupted her each time she tried to explain something or answer one of his questions, clearly in an attempt to throw her off base and remind the audience that she was seen by co-workers and potential employers as "sick," a "freak", and that this was all "confusing."

Preston Bailey, her psychologist (not to be confused with the famous event designer), was little better. Naturally there was the usual dog and pony show with bringing out different people from her group and putting them through their paces. (Susan later said "I'll pay for that, physically," probably meaning the kind of bonecrushing headache a lot of us are familiar with.) He played openly to the audience and to Maury, explaining the statements of the children as if they were in fact performing animals.

Povich encouraged the audience to be skeptical and to denounce all this as fraud. He pointed out that during one of the breaks, Mary-Mary had seemingly "come out of personality" by standing up. Although the floor manager confirmed that she didn't respond to his request a few minutes later that she resume her seat until he addressed her as Mary, the impression -- as so often in these damn tabloid shows -- was that a change from one self to another can only be evoked by a Trained Professional, and that if they came forward and stepped back on their own, they must needs be fakes. We have yet to figure out why getting out of your seat means that someone else in your group has come up front.

I have to admit that we have never been too sure about this story. Was she in fact multiple? Was she one of those unfortunate people who thinks they have to act multiple in order to please someone with the utter control over their lives that Morris Guss seems to have had? Was it somewhere in between?

Dr. David Halpern was the "debunking" psychiatrist on this show. He is not actually a debunker; he believes multiplicity exists. His view on what multiplicity is and is not most closely resembles Billy Milligan's. He thinks there are real multiples, but also plenty of people who are play-acting for one reason or another. One of his criteria seems to be that there is usually a great deal more amnesia between selves than Susan exhibited (despite the fact she was in therapy, and communication is usually one of the first goals). He referred to her as "a parliament of fragments". He did not seem comfortable with the notion of a cooperative group; he said "these people all know each other". (Note the confirmation that they are people.) I would have been interested in hearing more of this view (old-fashioned as it may be). He did not advocate the FMSF or in any way state that multiple personality itself did not exist. He thinks there are a lot of myths about it.

However, he never really got a chance to explain this side of the story. The show quickly turned into a shouting match between Preston Bailey, Dr. Halpern, and Lorien Houdelette, with Povich as ringmaster.

Lorien's statement that the audience might not recognize Susan as a genuine multiple because "they are not well-read" on this subject was greeted with yipes of derision, apparently because a fifteen-year-old woman cannot tell older adults that they are not well-read, even if they're not. The audience also jeered and laughed when Lorien revealed that if the civil action filed by Susan against Guss were decided in her favor, Susan planned to place the million dollars in a trust fund for her daughters' education. This is hardly a Paris Hilton-like situation, but with Povich encouraging the worst, most cynical views of everything possible, the sneers were unavoidable. (The suit was settled for $105,000, but Houdelette's attorney claimed a $42,000 fee and about $40,000 in costs. He was subsequently reported by his own staff and ended up losing his license. Lorien's sister Andrea died in 2003 when her SUV slid across wet pavement and crashed into a tree on Interstate 75.)

Bailey completely disgraced himself. He didn't seem to have any facts at his disposal; he simply kept repeating that he knew this woman was multiple. He claimed that "many leading psychiatrists" had confirmed the diagnosis. Needless to say, he couldn't name a single one. He also committed a real howler for someone who is supposed to know at least the basics about this subject; he claimed that "Cora" Wilbur had written "The Three Faces of Eve" and had been Chris Costner's doctor. He followed that up with a claim to have worked with Dr. Wilbur.

Dr. Halpern's impatience with Povich's freak show was obvious. He said he'd worked with enough multiples that he could tell Susan was a fake within fifteen minutes. I would have been interested, partly because I myself am not sure she was really multiple. I think he would have explained more about his criteria if Povich and Bailey had given him half a chance. As it was, he repeated "This is not multiple personality, this is play-acting" several times. His one ghastly faux pas was his statement that real multiplicity is more like "Jekyll and Hyde" in that it was typical to find people of very different moral codes within one group (schoolteacher and thug, for instance). Maybe the ones he's seen. Curiously, he also refused to see Susan for any further examination when she volunteered, maybe because of the lawsuit.

When I spoke with Dr. Halpern today, he was very courteous. He said that he knew no more about the case now than he did then, and all he could tell me was that he stood by what he'd said on the show. Preston Bailey, he said, was some kind of psychologist, but he knew no more than that.

People who saw this show would conclude that multiple personality either doesn't exist at all or that most people who claim to be multiple are fakes. Povich should be flushed down the nearest toilet.

Jay Young

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