Twenty Two Faces

One of my favorite things to do is browse the one-star reviews of a book I’m interested in. You’ll get the bare truth amongst those cynics and critics. I do this with any book I intend on buying. I’ll even do it out of boredom when I plan on buying a movie I love. I want to see what people really thought of the movie. I want to see how wrong people are about a movie I love. In fact, it was reading these one-star reviews that inspired my blog. Anyrank, with books, I’ll rarely read more than one five-star review, I’m more interested in what’s wrong with the book. Twenty-two Faces is an interesting study in this area. There are more one-star reviews than five-star reviews. Allow me to elaborate why.

Judy Byington’s story is a misexecuted mess. This is bound to happen when one is penning a tale of Satanic Ritual Abuse, also known by it’s more proper **cough cough bullshit** term Dissociative Identity Disorder. I refuse to Google “satanic ritual abuse” because firstly, it’s stupid, and secondly, I don’t want to invite any evil spirits to split my personality. Man, where to begin with this…

I’m not attempting to downgrade mental illness in the least. It’s real, it’s obvious. And I do think that people can “shut down” and black out and not remember what they said or did, like in the hit film Fight Club or like how my girlfriend used to sleepwalk. That concept seems real to me. It just becomes a problem when it’s used to umbrella criminal activity or to make  excuses for shitty, spoiled bad behavior. Jodi Arias, anyone?

Every girl who doesn’t care to control her emotions is bipolar.

He’s socially awkward, guess he’s autistic.

That one’s a spoiled little shit kid. ADHD.

Shove some pharmaceuticals down your throats. Don’t work through any problems, just label them and don’t take any responsibility. Just band-aid everything. It’s just like Roseanne Barr said in her sitcom, calling alcoholism a disease is just a way to excuse your bad behavior and take the responsibility off of yourself. Then you can do whatever the hell you want, right? Didn’t she claim to have multiple personalities too? SATAN.

Anybarr, on to Byington’s silly tale of satanic sex cults and the fact that if you play Stairway to Heaven backwards, it’s really Escalator to Hell. Boogity boogity! It starts off with a disclaimer that isn’t really a disclaimer at all. It serves only to make the reader think that this ritual abuse stuff really happens regularly and it’s problem enough that education needs to be spread about it. Also, apparently someone named Virginia Louise Hill is the only living survivor of these satanic death cults and ritual abuse. I’m assuming Virginia Hill is an alter of the subject of this novel, Jenny Hill. That’s right, alter. Not altar, like the ones you sacrifice babies to the devil on. SATAN. Alters as in alternate personalities. Jenny Hill has twenty two of them. This is what I’ve gathered so far. Let’s stop for a minute though. I want to talk about something serious. Well, not really.

All of this Dissociative Identity Disorder stuff came into popular view after the book and TV movie Sybil was released. Sybil was the story…..of Sybil. She had sixteen personalities brought on by wicked child abuse. Now, I understand deep emotional problems brought on by abuse. It causes severe damage. But you’re not creating a separate personality for every facet of your emotions. It’s silly, it’s histrionics. And guess what? After Sybil was released, DID/Satan Abuse diagnoses skyrocketed. Mass hysteria, anyone? Well, it turns out that Sybil’s story was fraudulent from the beginning. See where I’m going with this? The case that started the recent uprise in multiple personalities was fake. The very root of this stupid diagnosis wasn’t even real.

In the words of the immortal Elaine Benis from the hit NBC sitcom Seinfeld: “Fake. Fake. Fake. Fake.”

So where does this leave us? It leaves us with lazy psychiatrists and lazy diagnoses. And SATAN.

Anyfake, after the ridiculous and confusing disclaimer, we’re given a poem. Ah, the poem. I’ll spare you the poem, except for the last line:

A sacred creature known as ME.

Even though DID is kind of bullshit, this still could have at least been a good read. But it’s not. There’s a long “foreword” by a “doctor” that mentions something about Nazis and human sacrifices and the church that the Waco cult came from. This is all fringey, right-wing hapablap.

And then there’s the chart. Yes! A chart. Maybe I’m wrong and Satanic Personality Disorder is real! Hmm nope. The chart is confusing and not explained at all, a theme you’ll notice throughout the book. There’s Alter Jason (try not to laugh), who looks like Paul. Alter Paul? Nope, not Alter Paul. Just Paul. Who the fuck is Paul?!? Are we readers really expected to reference back and forth to this ridiculous chart through the whole book? Anychart, the chart. Alter Jason was formed from Head Alter Angelic. Jason makes all body muscles (those are the best kind of muscles) twitch, is a mute male, and likes to go to the movies and is really down to earth and loves the outdoors. Hey, is there a dating site for the mentally ill?? If not, there really should be. So Head Alter Angelic is named “Alpha” by Old Man, who may or may not be a pedophile. We can’t forget Alters The Evil One and The Dark One. One of them lays prone and the other one has black eyes. Then there’s Head Alter JJ. Fuck me. I think you get the point. The whole book is like this. Absolutely ridiculous and histrionic.

Both the subject and the author of this tripe suffer from an illness commonly known as “bat-shit crazy”. This novel is marketed as true crime but it’s full of so much confusion and insanity that it’s misleading everyone and it’s attempting to bring back the good ol’ Satanic Panic from the 80s. I grew up in a relatively religious household. The New World Order was always in danger of forming and the Antichrist would anyday rise to power, if he hadn’t already. Even the Ninja Turtles were Satanic. The Smurfs were a cult. That’s the 80s. Everyone was scared of everything. I even cowered in bed at night sometimes, scared that the KKK would come for me because I was a little bit Jewish. Thanks, Mom!

Man, the blog is really a mess this week. I blame my alters for that. Jerks. SATAN. Let me get to the text now. It begins from the point of view of Jenny Hunt as a five year old. I hate it when that happens.

She has aqua-turquoise eyes. That’s the same color, stupid.

She has a voluminous crop of freckles. Let’s stop here. Voluminous. Do you know what that means? Let’s look at the formula for calculating volume first. We’ll use a cube, the easiest one:

Length × width × height. Yes, class, that’s three dimensions. 3D. It takes up space in….space.

Next, how about a definition of voluminous:

Filling or sufficient to fill a volume or volumes. A face isn’t a volume, unfortunately. Someone has watched one too many Maybelline commercials. Maybe she’s born with it? Nope, she’s faking it.

A blank look appeared those portals as she placed left forefinger in her mouth while using the right to replenish her sugar, then poured spoonful after spoonful over Frosted Flakes , thinking, I must be dumb. Don’t trust nobody and can’t never figure out why.

Portals? You mean her eyes? Really.

What sugar??

And she placed left forefinger??

These are really basic grammatical errors, people.

The rest of the preview is just sloppy explications and physical descriptions so I’ll pull my info from elsewhere. From SATAN.

What?!?

This is more like those Ring movies or The Grudge. Remember those? So does Byington. Ah, Judy Byington. How about a little more on (moron) her?

Judy Byington, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., ret, has dedicated her life to humanizing and raising public awareness about the little known effects of ritual abuse and mind-control programming that tragically cause formation of multiple personalities in children.

Oh shit, she’s a MSWLCSW! Better back off a little bit. She knows what she’s talking about for sure.

I produced this, my first book, in a most complicated manner: by beginning the writing not only from five year-old Jenny Hill’s point of view, but from that of her various and different-aged alter personalities. Plus, there were other complications inherent in Jenny’s life: most of her multiple personalities were formed by the “Green Method” of mind-control that came out of Nazi Germany and referred to as Satanic Ritual Abuse (words that professionals refuse to utter, calling the diagnosis Dissociate Identity Disorder or the former Multiple Personality Disorder), plus she was not alone in her victimization through brainwashing that produced repressed memories from childhood of rape, torture and murder. Ritual abuse across the nation that no one, not even my family or closest friends and neighbors, seemed to believe happened.

I’ll paraphrase: She’s a shitty writer.

As a single parent to five teenagers I was convinced it did. And, was rampant in our society. In my thirty-two years of working as a therapist, supervisor of Alberta Mental Health, Director of the Provo Family Counseling Center, Utah Child Welfare worker and experience in running certain information to the Utah Attorney General Office of Special Investigations, I had many a client who couldn’t remember their childhood. In the safe environment of therapy, away from perpetrators, these dissociated women brought forth repressed memories of unbelievable abuse during childhood. Often the recall started in bits and pieces of nightmares, that were more and more detailed as memories came to the surface. Other times something as simple as a red flashing traffic light, or a man in black clothing, would bring up torture long buried in their past.

Right. Satanic sacrifice is so rampant that it’s splitting personalities all over the fuckin world. Remember, bat-shit crazy.

I first met Jenny through a FBI agent. The very day she contacted the Provo FBI office searching for parents of a girl that at age six, she was made to witness the murder, I phoned and talked with the same man. Several ritual abuse survivors had described their blood-chilling stories, plus by then I had traced a bloody trail of satanic cult cases throughout Utah.

There we have it. The FBI. Tracing bloody trails. SATAN.

There’s this, from chapter two:

A five-year old shouldn’t feel alone and decrepit. Jenny did. But so many of her emotions were compartmentalized that she was unaware of those feelings, except for fear, Wish I had someone to talk to. Feel scared all the time. Keep think’n big people are gonna hurt me, or take me away. Jenny thought, while her Head Alter J.J. thought back in disgust, Jen, quit thinking about that rubbish. Why not wrap our mind about what I’m thinking for a change?

Please hold your laughter. That’s very rude.

What a mess. Someone should really put a stop to this lady. I know Ronald Reagan was evil and he shut down tons of mental hospitals and unleashed crazies all over the streets. I know child abuse is real and awful and statistics show that everyone knows at least one person who was molested. But I think we need to draw the line at Satanic sacrifices and gang rapes. Sensationalism and mass hysteria are no good for anyone.

SATAN

4 responses

  1. This review pretty much nails it. I *have* had the misfortune of reading the whole book, and the writing is absolutely cringe-worthy. Your observations about the author are spot-on.

    Nicely done.

  2. The truly horrifying thing about this book is some of the uncritical press it received. To read it is to know it as an asinine work of delusion — yet, an ABC affiliate station in Utah ran a story by one Kimberly Nelson that covered it as though it were credible news. And then Byington was on Dr. Phil, and though he expressed doubts that Jenny Hill was in a proper mind to give up the rights to her story for Byington’s exclusive profit, he failed to mention the ludicrous episodes in the book of levitation, demonic possession, and various inconsistencies and inanities. That a low-quality demented hack like Byington would be invited onto the show at all is ponderous.

  3. Great review…you make compelling arguments and I really enjoyed your commentary.

  4. […] Satanism/Jodi Arias – Brought on by this blog: […]

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