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The Extreme Abuse Survey (EAS) project conducted online in 2007 comprises three surveys designed to explore commonalities regarding the types of abuse, their aftereffects, and the methods of healing that have been most effective for persons who claim ritual abuse, mind control, and other forms of extreme abuse. The surveys were for self-described extreme abuse survivors, for professionals who work with survivors, and for caregivers of children who claim ritual abuse and mind control.

The database was developed by four researchers, Carol Rutz, Thorsten Becker, Bettina Overcamp, and Wanda Karriker, from Germany and the United States who conducted the surveys privately and are not associated with government or university sources. Becker is a social worker, and Overkamp and Karriker are psychologists.[1] Carol Rutz states that she herself is a survivor of ritual abuse/mind control and works to "provide validation and healing to the survivor community."[2] The researchers did not comment on whether Rutz's self-identification would constitute a form of suggestive directed question, a term that has a specific meaning in survey research.

The Trilogy

The Extreme Abuse Survey for adult survivors (EAS), was conducted between January 1 and March 30, 2007. The Professional-Extreme Abuse Survey (P-EAS) was conducted between April 1 and June 30, 2007. This survey was for therapists, clergy, counselors and other persons that had worked professionally with at least one victim of extreme abuse. The Child-Extreme Abuse Survey (C-EAS) was conducted between July 8 and October 8, 2007. This survey was for the caregivers of child survivors of what the authors described as ritual abuse and mind control.[1]


One of the survey authors, Wanda Karriker, issued a media packet containing some description of the survey, but mainly including what its cover page calls "Documentation that torture-based, government-sponsored mind control (GMC) experimentation was conducted on children during the Cold War."[3] The bulk of the packet deals with allegations of mind control experimentation by the U.S. and Nazi governments highlighting a speech to the U.S. Senate Health Committee about the MKULTRA program (a Central Intelligence Agency program that used adults to explore more effective means of interrogation as part of the larger Project ARTICHOKE[4]), various short journalistic allegations of government programs, and a page of a self-described victim's testimony to the United States of America Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. In other words, a participant in the project principally presented, to the media, allegations of government abuse based on declassified government files, news reports, and testimony from government hearings and compared these with numbers of EAS respondents who reported that they had been subjected to each of the abuses.


The researchers found no widely accepted definitions in the professional literature for the terms “extreme abuse,” “ritual abuse,” or “mind control.” For the survey for self-described survivors and the survey for professionals they assumed that participants would define extreme abuse and ritual abuse within their own frames of references. They describe mind control as “all mind control procedures designed to make a victim follow directives of the programmer without conscious awareness.”[5] Other researchers have either disparaged unconscious "mind control", or used to describe a much lesser level of control. [6]

For purposes of the child caregivers questionnaire they operationally defined “ritual abuse and mind control” as “ritual violence” by stating in the directions: “Ritual Violence is a severe form of abuse of adults, adolescents and children intended to traumatize the victims. It consists of physical, sexual and psychological forms of abuse which are planned out and systematically used in ceremonies. These ceremonies may have an ideological background as well as being staged for the purpose of deception and threat. Symbols, activities or rituals which have religious, magical or supernatural connotation are used. The purpose is to confuse, threaten and terrorize victims as well as indoctrinate them with religious, spiritual or ideological beliefs. Ritual violence rarely consists of a single episode. Most often these experiences happen over an extended period of time.”[1]

Extreme abuse is not defined in Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), however; the title of its report is forensic aspects of dissociative identity disorder, which resolves to multiple personality disorder in MeSH.[7] The PubMED data base returns no hits on the term.


The main objective of the surveys was to gather preliminary data on the nature and extent of extreme abuse including, but not limited to ritual abuse and mind control. The researchers decided that the most practical way to generate a large number of responses and to reach was to announce and conduct the surveys online.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

All three surveys had a total of 768 questions.[1] Survey questions were pretested with a panel survivors to assure that the directions were clear and to point out confusing or ambiguous terms. In addition to offering suggestions for additional items, the panel confirmed that all items have face validity, i. e., the questions make sense in regard to personal experiences that survivors have reported.[5] The target population of the study was defined as all adult survivors of extreme abuse including, but not limited to, ritual abuse and mind control who saw or heard about the announcement of the EAS made by Carol Rutz to her fellow survivors and their advocates on December 31, 2006. Initially sent to 139 survivors, six survivor lists and 50 therapists/clergy/helpers, Rutz’s letter stated the rationale for the survey[5]:

The survivor survey, available in English and German, is your opportunity to prove that Ritual Abuse, Mind Control, and Government Experimentation are not "Urban Legend," fantasy or implanted memories. Because of its international scope, I believe this to be the largest study of its kind, thereby giving credence to you and the reality of what has truly taken place.[2]


Fourteen hundred and seventy-one participants from thirty countries answered at least one question on the EAS[5]; 451 participants from 20 countries answered at least one question on the P-EAS, and 264 participants from 19 countries answered at least one question on the C-EAS.[1]

On the EAS, respondents were asked to self-select the category of abuse that best describes their experiences. Of those that answered the question, 19% chose ritual abuse, 7% chose mind control, 52% chose ritual abuse and mind control, and 22% chose other extreme abuse (n=987). Memories of incest were reported by 64% (n=985) of participants and 48% (n=977) reported memories of extreme abuse before they sought therapy. Of those who reported 'secret mind control experiments' on themselves when they were children 69% (n=257) also reported that they were abused in a satanic cult.[5]

In the EAS, 65% (n=1007) stated that they had been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. Higher percentages were found in the C-EAS and the P-EAS. Reports of physical abuse, sexual abuse from multiple perpetrators and child pornography were commonly reported in all three surveys.

In the C-EAS, medical evidence consistent with extreme abuse was reported by 53% (n=80) of respondents, psychological symptoms consistent with extreme abuse were reported by 91% (n=88) of the respondents and for 98% of those cases the symptoms abated when the child was able to talk about the abuse.[1]


The methodology for the EAS used snowball sampling, a form of convenience sampling. One limitation of this method is that it does not lead to representative samples, so it is hard to generalize the conclusions from this survey to other groups with a similar experience. Nevertheless, this is often the most appropriate method for research where the subjects are very difficult to find and identify.[8] The results can typically be used to generate ideas for future research or surveys, but it is difficult to use the results to conclude much about the population in question.

Another limitation of the EAS it that it has not been statistically tested for construct or internal validity. This is useful as a test for bias in the research design, or testing whether the survey measures what it says it measures.[9] Similarly, the survey has not been tested for external validity, to see whether the survey correlates with any other indicator of extreme abuse. Good external validity would also be an indicator that the survey does actually measure 'extreme abuse'. Without such controls it is not entirely clear what the survey measures.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Becker,T; Karriker W; Overkamp B; Rutz, C (2008). “The extreme abuse surveys: Preliminary findings regarding dissociative identity disorder” pp. 32-49 in Sachs, A; Galton, G.(Eds) (2008). Forensic aspects of dissociative identity disorder. London: Karnac Books. ISBN 1-855-75596-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Carol Rutz (December 31, 2006). To: Fellow Survivors of Extreme Abuse and Their Advocates; Announcement of International Survey for Adult Survivors of Extreme Abuse (pdf). Retrieved on 2009-01-25.
  3. Wanda Karriker (listed as contact), MEDIA PACKET: Torture-based, Government-sponsored Mind Control Experimentation on Children
  4. Jeffrey T. Richelson, ed. (January 31, 1975), CIA, Memorandum for the Record, Subject: Project ARTICHOKE, George Washington University National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 54, "Science, Technology and the CIA"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Rutz C et al. (2008). Exploring Commonalities Reported by Adult Survivors of Extreme Abuse: Preliminary Empirical Findings pp. 31- 84 in Noblitt, JR; Perskin, PS (eds) (2008). Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations. Bandor OR: Robert Reed, 552. ISBN 1-934759-12-0. 
  6. Philip Zimbardo (November 2002), "Mind control: psychological reality or mindless rhetoric?", APA Online, American Psychological Association (no. 10)
  7. Anonymous (2022), Dissociative identity disorder (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  8. Trochim, op cit
  9. Garson, G. David (n.d.). "Title of Topic", from Statnotes: Topics in Multivariate Analysis. Retrieved 3/3/2009 from See chapter on validity