Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Words deleted from the dust jacket of "Sybil Exposed"

Words deleted from the dust jacket of "Sybil Exposed"                                      
Authentication of Simon & Schuster's legal department stating that they would delete the words "first person" from the dust jacket of Debbie Nathan's book "Sybil Exposed",

giving the impression that Ms. Nathan was the first to discover something new proving the Sybil case a fraud,

Evidence on website below or "SYBIL in her own words" Facebook page


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sybil in Her Own Words by Patrick Suraci, Psychologist

Sybil in Her Own Words by Patrick Suraci, Psychologist 12/15/11

....I recently published Sybil In Her Own Words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings. It is a follow-up to the case of a woman who had 16 personalities, then called Multiple Personality Disorder. Flora Schreiber wrote this story titled Sybil. The therapist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur used unorthodox, but not unethical, treatment for ten years, such as, psychoanalysis, hypnosis and Sodium Pentothal which resulted in the complete integration of the 16 personalities.

Sybil was the pseudonym for Shirley Mason who was born on January 25, 1923, in Dodge Center, Minnesota. She was an artistically gifted and shy only child. Her family was well known in this little town; therefore, her mother's bizarre behavior was overlooked. During Shirley's treatment the alternate personalities emerged and told of the abuse by her mother. Whenever her mother committed an atrocious attack on Shirley, she would split and development another personality to cope with the trauma.

Attacking the veracity of Sybil published in 1973 did not begin until April 24,1997, when Dr. Herbert Spiegel gave an interview to the New York Review of Books. He stated that Sybil was not a multiple, but rather an hysteric. He claimed to have hypnotized her, performed regression studies and filmed her for the class he taught at Columbia University, thus, discovering that Sybil's therapist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, had been: "helping her (Sybil) identifying aspects of her life, or perspectives, that she then called by name. By naming them this way she was reifying a memory of some kind and converting it into a 'personality'..." In fact, he accused Dr. Wilbur of implanting false memories....

When I asked Dr. Spiegel for the film hypnotizing Sybil, he said he could not find it. When asked why he had waited 24 years to report this so-called fraudulent case, he said no one had ever asked him about Sybil....

After Ms. Nathan received many negative criticisms over her inaccuracies and fabrications in Sybil Exposed, a fact checker from the Times claimed she had verified the documents in the Schreiber archives in the Special Collections Library at John Jay College. The sign-in book, which is meticulously guarded, requires a person's signature and date. There is no such entry from this fact checker.

While researching my book, Shirley's cousin Naomi Rhode, found an audio cassette made by Shirley and Dr. Wilbur on February 18, 1977.They were discussion publishing a book about Sybil's paintings. They spoke about the time Dr. Wilbur sent Shirley to Dr. Spiegel. Dr, Wilbur says, "I think that hysterics are people who are willing to enter into a contract with someone whom they trust.

Now if they don't trust that individual to some extent, they may appear to enter into a contract, but they don't really. And as an example of that, I would like to point out that, although Sybil was very readily hypnotizable by me...An expert used her as a demonstration subject, and she agreed to this and he was disagreeable to her.

As a consequence he could not really hypnotize her" Shirley added, "She (Sybil) didn't trust him as much. He tried to make her make something special out of things in her life that weren't special, like birthdays...".

....Shirley gave me information, journals, art work, anything I wanted to make my book an accurate picture of her life. She wanted people to know the benefits of therapy and that she was cured and lived a productive life....


Patrick Suraci received his Ph.D. in psychology from the New School for Social Research. He taught at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Baruch College, City University of New York. He worked as a staff psychologist for the New York Police Department and is now in private practice in Manhattan. His first book was Male Sexual Armor: Erotic Fantasies and Sexual Realities of the Cop on the Beat and the Man in the Street and recently published SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings.

Friday, November 25, 2011

words deleted from the dust jacket of Sybil Exposed

permission given to post this:

"The original letter from Helen Vogel, executor of Flora Schreiber's will, giving access to Dr. Patrick Suraci to all of Schreiber's archives, dated Sept. 5, 1998, is in the Special Collections Library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The archive was made public shortly after that. Simon & Schuster has agreed to delete from the dust jacket in future editions of the book "Sybil Exposed" the words "first person'" in the sentence: "The Sybil archive became available to the public only recently, and Nathan is the first person to have examined all of it...."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason - now available at Amazon

SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings [Kindle Edition]
Patrick Suraci Ph.D. (Author)

SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings (Volume 1) [Paperback]
Patrick Suraci Ph.D. (Author)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review of "Sybil in her own words"

Permission was given to post this here.

The book "Sybil in her own words" by Patrick Suraci, Ph.D. is for sale at Amazon.com

After reading the book "Sybil in her own words" by Patrick Suraci, Ph.D., I realized the importance of this book. The people in the Sybil story are treated like human beings and they are allowed to speak about their own life stories. What is interesting about this book, is that it is written by a professional who has experience with the scientific knowledge of MPD.

The book shows how Dr. Connie Wilbur's treatment was successful and that Shirley Mason (Sybil) never had a relapse or return of her MPD symptoms after her treatment with Wilbur. She was able to live a full life, as shown in her interactions and discussions with Patrick Suraci, Ph.D. 

In chapter seven, Dr. Suraci goes back to Shirley Mason's home town to check on her story and validate it. He speaks with three women, Wilma Bode, Betty Christen and Patricia Alcott, who were classmates and playmates with Shirley in her childhood. Wilma and Betty were two of the few children that were able to enter Shirley's household.

Wilma stated, "We always said that her mother was an old witch." She describes Shirley as having troubles concentrating in school and not knowing if she was day dreaming or that her attention was drawn away. Wilma is asked if she believes if Shirley was abused. Wilma states that she believes that some of what is written in the book did happen.

Betty talks about Shirley's mother. She states that her mother never came over to visit, but would come over and look (or peek) in the windows when they had company. She said that "Ms. Mason relieved herself in a neighbor's yard." 

Patricia describes Shirley's mother as "strange, stern, raucous" and "someone to stay away from."  She states that Shirley's mother (Mattie) "had a shrill voice and ridiculed Shirley." Shirley's mother repeated things over and over again. Patricia stated Mattie "played the piano too loudly, bombastically, venting anger. She was harsh."  She said that Shirley's father (Wilbur) "stood in shaded corners with his head down."

Patrick Suraci describes the mechanism of "splitting" that contributed to the development of Shirley's personalities. Shirley came to view Mattie sometimes as the "good mother" and sometimes as the "bad mother." 

In his chapter on Shirley in New York, Patrick Suraci speaks with Jim and Naomi, Shirley's closest living relatives. Jim had noticed that on the phone Shirley "was a different personality, a different person."  Naomi agreed and described a strong change in personality also. Naomi in Chapter Nine tells Patrick that Shirley and Dr. Wilbur confirmed that the book Sybil "was 100% accurate."

The pictures in the book are excellent. Under one of the pictures drawn by Shirley's alter Peggy of a Christmas tree (in black and white), the note describes that Christmas was unpleasant for Shirley because she would receive a lot of games and toys which her mother would put away and not let her play with. Shirley was told she could play with them another time. Yet her mother would give them away to a poor family that didn't have anything.

Patrick Suraci states in his chapter Controversy Over Sybil that Mason, Schreiber and Wilbur were offered money, television and media interviews to reveal Shirley's identity, but did not do this. He discusses the problems with Dr. Herbert Spiegel's view of the Sybil story, as well as other skeptical of the story.

I highly recommend this book to those interested in the Sybil story. It is very well documented, using actual transcripts of conversations with those in the story and those that knew Shirley, showing that the original Sybil book was an accurate description of Shirley's life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

information from person that has MPD/DID

posted with permission

I have MPD/DID and was diagnosed by one of the most famous physicians, and treated by one of the most famous psychologists, but I got physically ill and had to stop treatment. This was back in the late 90's. Since then, my memories have come back on MY OWN, without a psychologist. No, I do not have a B12 deficiency because I was tested at a muscular dystrophy clinic for Pernicious anemia.

My memories of horrific abuse and torture have been helpful to the district attorney's office in Philadelphia, and I am not the only one reporting this abuse. I have had several district attorneys to my home to interview me. I don't think they would waste their time with numerous interviews if I was delusional.

I have never been integrated, I am still a multiple.  This abuse and torture of a child is a gift that keeps on giving........This horrific abuse has to stop. I wonder who finances these people? I have my guesses.

I have nothing to gain financially from this, are the false memory people able to say the same? I never wrote a book, there will be no movie, but I know I am helping the Philadelphia DA's with my memories of abuse and torture.

I will die a poor women, but I have my dignity, and I know the circumstances surrounding my life. That was important to me, to know what, where and why this happened. This was my one and only goal. And to know that I have helped for the greater good, and have been a voice for so many.


Judith Weiss Collins

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

from Sybil's closest living relative

posted by permission from Naomi Rhode

As Shirley Mason's (Sybil) closest living relative, I was close to her for the 30 plus years through the saga of her life journey. In fact, I was with her for several days during the week of her death, at her request, and was one of the only people that was in constant contact with her over those 30 years. I kept her identity confidential at her fervent request. Through all these years up until literally the day before she died, she verified the complete accuracy of the book, 'Sybil'. Debbie Nathan claims that she contacted me for an interview in 2008 and that I declined. Over the years many people have contacted me for information about Shirley's life. Not knowing their intent, always, I have declined all such interviews. If Debbie was one of those people, I do not recall the call, as I do not keep records of every call in a busy business life. I apologize for this, but I do not recall her calling. Knowing Dr. Connie Wilbur, and Flora Schreiber, also, the book concerns me greatly. It is an attack on their credibility, their research, and their professionalism. And, the book is a complete attack on the person I loved, Shirley Mason.

Shirley did not die a recluse. Shirley was a loving, and productive woman until her final,lengthy bout with cancer. She painted, and taught painting. She sold her paintings. She corresponded with friends, and regularly with us. She was a woman of strong spiritual faith in God, loved her books and her music, and loved our family greatly. She chose, however, to live carefully and confidentially because she was adamant that her identity not be known. She was very protective of our family and any recourse her life and story may have on us.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

review of "Sybil Exposed" by Lynn Crook

permission from author of review to post:

Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case

This book "reads like fiction" as the cover says.

But is it "fact" as the cover claims?

On page 222 of "Sybil Exposed," Nathan says, "Roseanne Barr . . . would later describe her twenty alter personalities. They included `Piggy,' `Bambi and `F . . . . . '" Nathan's cite for this statement is People Magazine, October 7, 1991.

However, there is no mention of any alter personalities in the 1991 article (pp. 84-88) by correspondent Vickie Bane. None of these names are mentioned in the article. Nathan also says that Barr "forgot about it until she entered therapy." But in the People Magazine article, Barr says she started to recover memories of abuse after her then-fiancé Tom's telephone call from rehab in 1989 telling her he was molested by a babysitter (p. 85). After she began to recall, then Barr saw a therapist.

On page 225 of her book Nathan says, "The state of Texas closed Peterson's dissociative disorders unit after determining it had overused physical restraints . . . " This claim may have originated with Frontline's 1995 documentary, "Divided Memories." In 1996, when I reviewed this Frontline documentary for a news journal, I contacted the Texas Department of Health. A spokesperson there denied any such closing of the unit. The review was published in 1996.

Nathan fails to mention that the trial of US v. Peterson et al. on mail and insurance fraud vindicated Peterson and the others of all charges. Here's what happened in this Houston trial. By February 1999, the federal government had been presenting its case for six months. The government's first expert, Dr. James Hudson, had just undergone a rigorous cross-examination by Peterson's attorney. The jury was down to 12 members and the defense was prepared to continue. The government dropped all the charges.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Precursor to Sybil Exposed - Nathan book

The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis - Jan 2008 

The bifurcation of the self: The history and theory of dissociation and its disorders by Lawrence, Mark

"In fact, from my perspective, it is Rieber who has distorted the evidence to establish his case. For example, the appendix includes a long letter which includes a short section in which Sybil refers to having written something to the effect that she had made up everything about being a multiple personality, but this was presented in her letter in the context of trying to find a way of not needing Dr. Wilbur. Rieber calls this a "letter of denial" of MPD/DID. There are many more instances in which Rieber misrepresents the material in the appendix to support his case."


Inaccuracies in Nathan's book, Sybil Exposed

Inaccuracies in Nathan's book, Sybil Exposed

October 19, 2011,   Statement from Dr. Patrick Suraci

I went to the Special Collections Library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to verify statements made by Debbie Nathan in her book SYBIL EXPOSED.

1. On pages 99-100 Nathan writes: “Connie would carry her apparatus to Shirley’s apartment and climb in bed with her. She would clamp the paddles to Shirley’s temples, twirl the dials, and press the buttons. Connie’s gadget was an old electro-convulsive machine she had retired years earlier.”

Nathan cites the evidence for this in her “Notes: Chapter 8, No.38.. FRS Box 37, Files 1081, Tape 124.” In this document on January 26, 1955, Shirley writes about “electric shock” along with her other treatments. There is absolutely no documentation of Nathan’s outrageous claim.

2. On page 71 Nathan writes: “Completely inexperienced with men, she had little idea of how to take Gene’s (O’Neill) measure. He noticed her ignorance and didn’t like it. Too‘girlish’ he called Flora, particularly when it came to sex. In a sheaf of notes she wrote to herself, she described feeling pain at having his finger inside her, let alone his penis. ‘Be an animal,’ Gene would urge her, and he blamed her reticence  on the fact that she had a profession. ‘You bring Adelphi College into the bedroom. It is not that career women don’t want to go to bed – it is that they don’t know how,’ he scolded Flora.”

To prove this Nathan cites in: “Notes: Chapter 6, No.11, FRS Box 34, File 1051” In this document Schreiber writes about Eugene O’Neill: “His complaint – Be an animal – give – you bring Adelphi College into the bedroom – we’re close friends in the living room and the moment we go into the bedroom you become a stranger…he says that it is not that career women don’t want to go to bed – it is that they don’t know how. Outcome might have been different if she had gone to bed with him on the last Saturday after he told her about _____” Schreiber at no time writes about O’Neill’s “finger” or “penis.”

3. On page 232 Nathan writes: “…She (Shirley Mason) died quietly in her home, surrounded by nurses, on February 26 of that year. She was seventy-five years old. It was early evening when she died.”

In my book SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings.  On page 261 I write:

“The penultimate time I phoned Shirley’s home was on February 26, 1998, at 12:07 PM. In the background I heard her weak voice pleading to Roberta ,(Guy) ‘Tell him I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’ Roberta informed me that Shirley was too sick to speak on the phone. I mumbled, ‘Please tell her that it’s okay, it’s okay. I’ll call later.’ …   
“When I called later that day  at 3:01 PM Roberta stunned me with the news than Shirley had just died.”

Dr. Suraci has the telephone records of that day, February 26, 1998.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dr. Leah Dickstein

Dr. Leah Dickstein, who worked with Mason in her later years, stands by her assessment of Mason as a multiple. Professionals and staff at Wilbur's Lexington, Kentucky clinic confirm that Mason was multiple, and that she attempted to integrate several times, without success. Dr. Leah Dickstein, whose mentor was Dr. Wilbur stated that she was in touch with Mason for many years after Wilbur died. She remembers Mason telling her that "every word in the book is true." She stated that Wilbur had "no need to make this up."


Sybil's Friend

Sybil's Friend
Shirley was my longtime friend and mentor. We met when she was my art professor at Rio Grande College We talked, visited, and wrote letters for over twenty-five years until her death in 1998. My last letter and phone call from her were in January, 1998. She died the following month from the breast cancer that had recurred after a long remission. I treasure the time we spent together for many reasons. Although she was the victim of horrific childhood abuse, she was a survivor in every sense of the word. She became a successful artist in Lexington, Kentucky, where she lived for many years. She also designed toys and formed her own company called Mason Arts. Shirley lived quietly, and died quietly, doing the things she loved. Shirley told me of her Sybil identity and swore me to secrecy before the book was published in 1973 . I kept that secret until well after her death. It would be fine with her that I am talking about her now. She would want people to know that you either rise above the circumstances of your birth and upbringing, or you sink beneath the mire. Others suffering from this disorder can find hope in her story.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sybil In Her Own Words - The Untold Story of Shirley Mason

“SYBIL In Her Own Words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings” by Patrick Suraci, Ph.D.

SYBIL is a new book about Shirley Mason who had 16 personalities. It tells the story of her life after her cure depicted in the book SYBIL and TV movie starring Sally Field. This book contains paintings by 5 of Sybil’s alternate personalities. The author’s interviews with Shirley Mason report her own words and her new whole personality.

In the book, the author presents evidence refuting Dr. Spiegel’s claim to have hypnotized Shirley Mason. Dr. Suraci discovered an audio cassette where Ms. Mason and Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, her therapist, discuss how it was impossible for Dr. Spiegel to hypnotize Shirley, because she did not trust or like him.

Author: Patrick Suraci, Ph.D.

The author describes writing the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBgr92uC4YI&feature=youtu.be 

Born May 31, 1936 in Rochester, New York, Patrick Suraci received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Assumption College, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the New School for Social Research, New York in 1981.

Author's biography: http://members.authorsguild.net/psuraci/

Art work from the book: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.108682822546007.17639.108610352553254&type=1