My experience of presenting at Colin Ross’ Seattle conference
Here is my experience of presenting at the trauma & dissociation conference at the Radisson hotel in Seattle that was sponsored by Colin Ross.
Firstly, a fund was established to raise money for my air ticket to attend the conference. The person who set this up kept $518 US of the donations and verbally abused me when I questioned this. The remaining funds were then transferred to a US account run by the conference organiser. Accessing those funds, and purchasing a plane ticket with them, was a frustrating, time consuming experience which resulted in a substandard flight.
The organiser promised to cover my hotel accommodation. Getting this done was like drawing blood from a stone. At the last minute, it was indicated that this expense was not being covered. My hotel booking was then cut short by one night. I had to pay an additional two nights to cover the time I needed to be in Seattle for the conference. Then the Radisson stuffed up my booking altogether – twice.
I was the only international speaker and so had different needs to the local speakers – needs that were not met.
Speakers who sponsored the conference (i.e., paid to attend and be heard) were rewarded with market stalls inside the hotel. From these stalls, therapists peddled their wares to vulnerable victims. There were cards, and stickers, and $45 books, and fridge magnets – all kinds of crap that helps no-one.
It’s normal for conference organisers to send speakers (especially international ones) a contract outlining what is required of the speaker and what is being provided to the speaker. This was contract promised but never delivered.
Originally, I was told that my presentation was going to be professionally filmed. This never occurred.
Originally, I was promised a plenary speaking session first thing Friday morning when the conference began. Plenary means speaking in the main, large room with no other competing sessions. This never occurred either. Dana Ross (Colin Ross’ daughter) was given that speaking spot instead.
I was placed in a small room. The schedule in the folders were set out so confusingly, it prevented people from finding me. Some attendees couldn’t find me at all because my biography and presentation synopsis were missing from some attendees’ folders. All folders were individually named; so, in theory, organisers could control who did and did not know I was speaking. Even when the information was in the folder, it was well buried.
Technical set-up of the conference rooms occurred on the Thursday. By Thursday evening my room was not set up. It had no podium, no projector, no microphone, no computer, no cables, and no technical support. I could not give my presentation without the expected and usual gear. I approached the conference organiser and asked why my room was not set up. She said she’d told the technician to do so, and to go phone him. Being Australian and having just arrived in the USA, I had no phone. I eventually found the technician who told me that conference organiser did not tell him to set up my room.
Meanwhile, the other speakers, aware of my plight, openly stated how glad they were that their rooms were set up for the next morning. Then all the other speakers accompanied Colin Ross to a posh dinner down at the wharf. I was not invited, and besides, I was too busy trying to remedy the deficiencies of the conference organiser.
I approached the Radisson hotel staff member assigned to the conference area and asked for a spare podium. The man contemptuously told me they didn’t have another podium and pointed to a 50cm high coffee table and told me to use that.
So, I decided to get into the Australian spirit. I stole the needed gear from another conference room (belonging to the speaker who boasted to me how pleased she was to be set up). I had the conference organiser help me move the equipment into my room. Then the hotel locked the speaking rooms for the night, and I went to my room and enjoyed some room service dinner alone.
The following morning, the conference room hall echoed with the angry cries of a podium-less speaker… Funny enough, the Radisson hotel quickly found that speaker a spare podium.
I gave my talk to a keen audience which doubled in size once word got out about my talk. At the end of my 2 hour presentation, I received some remarkable feedback. One therapist approached me and said that her client, who was not suicidal, ‘committed suicide’ in Colin Ross’ Institute. I later found out that there were 5 other deaths at that mental facility, when it should be impossible to commit suicide in such a place. That is the point of such a hospital established for potentially suicidal DID clients. I asked the therapist, ‘Do you trust Colin Ross?’ She responded through tears, ‘I don’t know…’
One victim came to me after my talk and said that she had run into her own experienced therapist in the hall. The therapist told her client, “I am so angry at Fiona’s talk! I am so angry that no one has ever told me that information before!’
Another victim who had missed the first half of my talk approached me in the foyer in tears and begged me to repeat my entire presentation. She waved her hand at the side show alley of merchandise, and exclaimed, ‘This is all shit! All this is shit! YOU have the real stuff!’ I tried to book a second 2 hour session but no room was available. I had a 1 hour spot booked for a question and answer session on the second day. That day too, the necessary equipment was missing from my room when it had been there for the morning sessions.
After my second session, one therapist pulled me to the conference organiser in the foyer and raised her voice, saying, ‘Why wasn’t Fiona in the main room?! She should have been a main speaker! She’s amazing! What she said was amazing!’
At least six people asked me to write the content of my presentation down, asked for my book, asked me to write a book, asked me when my book was being released. I had no book, nor any intention to write one.
Hardly any of the other speakers introduced themselves or talked to me over the entire four days. Most glared at me, or stared oddly at me, as victims flocked to speak with me. I had no free time unless I left the hotel, due to the constant flow of people asking questions.
I later chatted with Alison Miller who had presented at Colin Ross’ conference the previous year. She told me a similar thing happened to her. She was assigned to a too small room in an obscure location, which had to be opened up to accommodate the large number of people attending her presentation. Unlike the other speakers, Alison was not filmed. Also, she was the only professional speaker not part of the panel on the last day.
I suggested to Alison that she, like me, had been used. My attendance was used to market the conference and draw victims from all over, such as my new friends from Vegas. Many came specifically to see me and not to attend the conference. But once there, Alison and I were shut down so that the conference could focus on its main objective – serving as an advertisement for Colin Ross’ institute in which clients entered non-suicidal and left in a box.
Directly after the conference, I flew to Alaska where I delivered the same presentation to a group of therapists. Their reception and hospitality was in stark contrast to my fellow speakers at Colin Ross’ conference. Nicky Davis and I were showered in gifts of salmon, crocheted beanies and thank you cards. ‘How long have you been speaking at conferences?’ they asked. ‘This is my first time,’ they were surprised to hear. ‘Don’t tell people that,’ they suggested, ‘Tell them five years.’
Back in Seattle, I presented to a group of men who work with ritual abuse victims. Some of them were retired police officers. One was a detective who specialised in ritual abuse crime for 47 years, and worked on most of America’s major cases. ‘How long have you been gathering this information to share with people?’ he asked. I didn’t gather anything – I lived it. Apart from some relevant study in psychology, everything else was my personal experience. He then said that so much of what I said was going over his head and he couldn’t keep up me, even with his vast experience.
So, what was so unique about my presentation content? Dunno. To me, everything I said seemed like common sense that I thought everyone would know. But it turns out it wasn’t. After spending time with the victims and answering their questions, it became clear that the truth of genuine American therapists, the vocal victims, and their knowledge of what actually works, was buried 20 years ago under the false memory foundation pedophile rhetoric.
Modern therapists are busy inventing catchy 20-step programs and gimmicks, flogging their ideas in $45 books to poor victims, playing the guru to cult-like followings, and talking about useless techniques like mindfulness and suicide contracts that are as effective for treating ritual abuse and mind control based DID as a cap gun is against a warship.
A key problem I noticed is that modern therapists commonly spend their time getting to know ‘alters’, and encouraging clients to talk in terms ‘we’ instead of ‘I’, thereby fostering a lifetime of illness. Victims become forced into the role of professional survivor, showing off alters to titillated therapists. Most of them want to heal – they just don’t know how to locate the path hidden beneath all that crap. Instead, some victims at the conference had been stuck in stagnant therapy for 20 to 40 years.
If a client has 1000 alters, how many years do you think it will take for a therapist to entertain them all? Instead, therapists should be focusing on the traumatic incidents that created the alters in the first place, encouraging the client to sufficiently remember the trauma and abreact the feelings. Done properly, that trauma memory will never affect the client again, and the numerous alters that may have been created via a single trauma incident will automatically integrate.
The difference between me and the other speakers was – I am a victim who actually managed to integrate. I have no agenda, no vested interest in being a successful author or speaker, nothing to sell. Wouldn’t you think that all those speakers who specialise in treating what I managed to escape, would be interested in meeting someone who actually found the way out of the DID maze? Nuh. Not one of them approached me and asked how I did it. Not a single one…
The most approachable and teachable therapists at the conference were those who openly admitted to their own abuse backgrounds. The therapists who didn’t admit to their abuse backgrounds were the ones parading around in a stench of superiority.
My trip to the USA has given me the courage to be very blunt about one issue: most importantly, there is a spiritual dimension to ritual abuse and military grade mind control that cannot be treated via any other means than a Biblical Christian approach. If a victim claims they were healed without the help of Jesus Christ – they were not fully healed. If a therapist claims to have helped clients achieved full integration without taking a Christian approach – their clients did not integrate. It’s as simple as that.
So, that was my Seattle experience… I do not recommend victims attend the next Colin Ross marketing fair. I certainly won’t.