A Chapter from THE PERFECT VICTIM shows some of the methods. If you read this, you will see how some of these things can be done to an abuse victim psychologically, emotionally, verbally or morally to use mind-control and ‘hold the victim’ in the relationship by abusers. It does not necessarily have to be physical torture. WARNING: POSSIBLY TRIGGERING
Instead, she would have to base her questions on a hypothetical situation. She asked the doctor to assume certain facts, then meticulously outlined the elements of Colleen Stan’s first six months of captivity: the kidnap, hanging, whipping, imprisonment in a box, deprivation of food and light, lack of hygiene, dunking, burns, and so on.
“Now, Doctor,” she concluded, “assuming those facts, based on your experience, training and education, do you have an opinion as to whether those facts are sufficient to coerce a person?”
Papendick promptly objected to the hypothetical. He was overruled.
Dr. Hatcher said the facts “would be sufficient to coerce the majority of individuals into a desired behavior pattern and to give up any overt resistance.”
McGuire then asked: “To ‘break’ a person is that the same thing as coercing a person?”
Hatcher said the term, accepted within psychological literature, usually referred to “techniques initially developed by the Soviets and Chinese to establish coercion [to, a degree that] you are able to extract a behavior or a confession, to the point at which a person essentially gives up their overt resistance and will do what you ask them to do.”
“Is that what we’re talking about here, given those sets of facts?”
McGuire then asked the doctor if there were specific steps, which could be followed to break a person. Dr. Hatcher began an explanation so closely related to Hooker’s treatment of Colleen Stan; everyone in the courtroom seemed to lean forward to listen. The first step, he said, is a sudden, unexpected abduction, followed by isolation as soon as possible. “Refuse to answer questions, place them in a cell-like environment; remove their clothes, and begin humiliation and degradation.”
1. Later, it was clarified that these were more accurately “techniques” rather than “steps.” Dr. Hatcher pointed out that not all the techniques need be applied, and they needn’t be applied in any particular order. “The degree and intensity” of application of these techniques is “so variable that you could take three or four of them and, with particular individuals, achieve the result,” he said.
Asked to apply this first step to the hypothetical example, Dr. Hatcher said: “We have an individual who is initially in a situation in which the average person would feel somewhat comforted, in that it is a family in a car with a small child. The captor then not only displays the knife, the first point of danger, but rapidly puts a device upon the head which is beyond the realm of most people’s experience or ability to comprehend, so the degree of isolation imposed would be greater than, for example, a kidnapping in which someone puts a bag over their head or pushes them down in the seat and says, ‘Don’t look up. Don’t ask me any questions.’
Dr. Hatcher went on to explain that a cell-like environment stimulates a feeling that one’s worst fears are being realized, raising the level of fear and anxiety. Removal of clothes magnifies the feeling of vulnerability.
The second step in breaking someone, the doctor continued, is to physically or sexually abuse the person, to expose the captive’s vulnerability and shock her or him. “In other words, not only has the victim been stripped of their clothes and placed in a physically vulnerable position, but you are going to whip or abuse in some other way, specifically with sexual manipulation, to illustrate just how exposed and vulnerable they really are.”
Applying this to the hypothetical, Dr. Hatcher cited the sexual manipulation, and the exposure in terms of hanging and whippings, in which there is no perceived way of escape.
“The third step is extremely important,” he said, “and that’s to remove normal daylight patterns. All of us, both biologically and psychologically, are used to a certain day and night kind of sequence, and this has been well-documented in various types of scientific literature.” Removing this, either by placing someone in a constantly lit or constantly dark environment, “is very disorienting, and is a rather standard part of the techniques employed.”
The blindfold and boxes of the hypothetical, of course, accomplished this purpose excellently.
The fourth step, Dr. Hatcher explained, is “to control urination, defecation, menstruation, and to be present when these activities are performed. Basically, what you want to do here is destroy a person’s sense of privacy.”
He also pointed out that “if a person soils himself, and isn’t able to clean that up, the sense of shame ‘in sitting or lying in their own waste product is really quite extraordinary, and individuals become very motivated to do what they can to get permission to clean themselves up. Most people have not had the experience since being a small infant, of sitting or lying in their waste product over a period of time. It takes you back to a period of vulnerability.”
The fifth step is to control and reduce food and water. Hatcher stated the obvious: “If you don’t get that food and water, you are going to die. So, on the one hand, they may be torturing you and preventing you from leaving, but on the other hand, they are bringing food and water.” This helps make the captive dependent upon the captor.
The sixth step is to punish for no apparent rhyme or reason. Initially, the captive tries to figure out some rationale to the intermittent beatings but, finding none, eventually has to simply accept that punishment will occur with no reason.
The seventh step is to “require the victim to constantly ask permission for anything or any behavior. This would involve asking permission to be able to speak to someone, permission to take a tray of food. It is a type of training procedure.”
The eighth step is to establish a pattern of sexual and physical abuse. This “indicates to the person that this is what their new life is now going to be like.” It’s a way of “getting the person to realize things have changed in a permanent sense.”
The ninth step is to “continue to isolate the person. The captor has now become the source of food, water, human contact, as well. That’s important information, as well as pain. All of us are information hungry people. If you put us in a restricted environment without newspapers or magazines or television, that’s real nice for a while, but if it happens [that] you are totally cut off and weeks pass, all of us get a little hungry to find out what’s going on.
“Cut that off and tie it to one person. Being a source of information is extremely important. As well as human contact the captor has a tremendous amount of power because he’s the human being that you see, he is that only point of contact.”
During his explanation, Dr. Hatcher spoke clearly, usually addressing himself to the jury. He wasn’t a man of few words, yet no one yawned.
McGuire next asked how someone might learn the steps of breaking a person.
Dr. Hatcher listed three sources: the study of psychology; the law enforcement and military forces of “countries who have a rather low regard for human rights”; or, the most common, sadomasochistic and bondage and discipline literature.
“How are people initially attracted to this S/M and B and D literature?” McGuire asked.
Hatcher’s answer must have been more interesting to Cameron Hooker than to anyone else in the room. He’d surely never heard himself explained so clearly.
“The consistency is rather interesting,” Hatcher said. About the time of puberty, a boy finds himself stimulated by images of people being tied up or tortured. “It’s initially extraordinarily disturbing to them. They tend to feel there’s something wrong with them.” And so this is suppressed; they don’t talk about it.
Instead, they eventually find S/M and B&D literature, which also isn’t talked about. “But the impulse and stimulation of this after a while just becomes more than they can keep to themselves,” so, at an older age, the boy perhaps approaches girls, showing a picture and saying, “Would you like to try something like this?”
“The literature provides the stimulation, which doesn’t cause the behavior, there’s no mistake about that,” but it also shows “how you can hang someone up, how you can put them in certain types of positions of torture, how it’s been done before.”
Now McGuire wished to introduce some of Cameron Hooker’s S/M and B&D literature. Papendick objected, and again, the jury was excused while the two counsels argued about the relevance of Hooker’s collection of hard-core pornography.
Judge Knight finally ruled that “any literature that either has instructions or rules or suggestions on captivity and any literature that contains ideas that were communicated by the defendant to the victim is admissible.”
With the jury ushered back in and Dr. Hatcher again on the stand, McGuire introduced another of her impressive exhibits: an enlarged reproduction of the graphics for an article in the June, 1976 edition of Oui magazine, entitled: “Brainwashing: How to Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps.”
If the jury had thought McGuire a prude, taking umbrage at Hooker’s prurient interests, the colorful illustrations before them now presented an interest less in sex than in control. While provocative and lurid, the drawings depicted the “five easy steps,” which McGuire asked Dr. Hatcher to review. (LLG was very interested in control.)
As Hatcher pointed out, it wasn’t necessary to read the article, written by the Harvard-trained psychologist, Dr. Timothy Leary,’ to understand the “five easy steps.” The pictures were sufficient:
Step one: “Seize the victim and spirit her away.”
Step two: “Isolate the victim and make her totally dependent on you for survival.”
Step three: “Dominate the victim and encourage her to seek your recognition and approval.”
Step four: “Instruct the victim and re-educate her to think and act in terms of your ideology.”
Step five: “Seduce the victim and provide her with a new sexual (or moral) value system.”
The scene in the courtroom was now a weird tableau: the thoroughly dignified Dr. Hatcher, in his somber, dark suit, surrounded by poster-size pictures of the slavery contract, of the basement, of the rack, of the Oui illustrations, and of Colleen, stripped and hung. And still, the heavy bed and box occupied much of the courtroom floor.
(It doubtless required great restraint on the part of the jurors to be confronted with such images and information day after day, yet never discuss it. Every time court was adjourned, the judge asked that they please remember the “admonition of the court” and refrain from reading about, talking about, or viewing programs about the case. They bottled it up and took it home, without disclosing what they’d learned even to their spouses.)
Some of Dr. Hatcher’s testimony, while phrased in academic language, was explicit-shocking. For instance, he said that places where, a customer can rent sado-masochistic paraphernalia and perform various acts on a prostitute, which Colleen had described as, Rent-a-Dungeon,” actually exist in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. And he briefly analyzed a selection of articles from Hooker’s library, including such literary gems as “Captive Maid…… Sex Slaves for Sale,” and “Actual Case Histories of Sexual Slavery.”
McGuire asked Hatcher if, in addition to the nine he’d already outlined, there were other coercive techniques.
There were, and the psychologist related these now.
The tenth technique, he said, is to “present a goal or a model… of future behavior, a model of how to please the captor.”
The eleventh is to threaten family and relatives with a similar fate.
The twelfth is to threaten to sell the captive to an even worse master.
The thirteenth is to continue to beat and torture the captive at irregular intervals.
The fourteenth, called “irrelevant leniency,” is to allow small privileges for no reason, making the captive more confused and more pliant.
The fifteenth is to obtain further confessions and signed documents, having the captive give over more and more control in writing.
And the sixteenth and final technique is to incorporate new behavior goals. Dr. Hatcher pointed out: “It’s enormously time consuming to carry out a successful coercion. It takes a lot of time, a lot of thought, a lot of energy, and people have difficulty doing that over a period of time. They have to attend to other processes of life, and I’m speaking of the captor. So, you need to establish some type of pattern where you won’t have to be constantly physically monitoring this person.” Some ways to do that are to allow the captive to tend to personal hygiene, allow clothes, some privacy. And, Hatcher explained, it’s important to permit the captive some degree of freedom, without the captor’s constant presence, and then suddenly appear, giving the captive a feeling the- captor is omnipresent.
Dr. Hatcher added, “There are many historical examples where slaves not only outnumbered their masters in terms of manpower but also had the opportunity to attempt an escape, and yet that’s done in only a very small percentage of cases.” The significance of this surely wasn’t lost on the two black members of the jury.
With these sixteen coercive techniques understood, and with Hooker’s research into coercion presented, McGuire returned to her nearly forgotten hypothetical.
Again, she asked the psychologist to assume certain facts, then outlined the conditions under which Colleen was kept during certain periods-the next six months, the next year, then each subsequent year. At the conclusion of each period, the doctor enumerated which of the coercive techniques had been applied during that time, giving special attention to important aspects, such as the slavery contract and the story of the Company.
Dr. Hatcher shed illumination on Colleen Stan’s darkest hours. He took the components of her captivity-the workshop, the “attention drills,” the slave name, the slave collar; the box and distilled them into elements of power and control.
Even the freedoms that Colleen was later allowed-to brush her teeth, shower, wear clothes-the doctor explained as giving the person some remnants of self-esteem, with the reminder. “If you displease me, I can remove any shred of personal privacy or personal identity, with the exception of what I have chosen as your slave designation.”
As the prosecutor continued with her hypothetical situation, Papendick fidgeted. He objected to each stage of her hypothetical, but the judge consistently overruled his objections.
Commenting on the captive’s being allowed to do new activities in new settings where other people are present, the psychologist said, “the fact that these situations do not result in discovery” or in anyone interfering, “begins to reinforce, in the majority of captives’ minds, that this is the way life is, and they are going to have to accept that.”
Dr. Hatcher also commented on the gift of the Bible: “Part of Christianity emphasizes that you are going to suffer and that God will provide, that no matter what type of disaster or terrible situation may befall you, if you maintain your faith in God, God will get you out of it. Some captors use a religious tract, they want to assist the captive along the pathway of believing they should have faith in God, and that God is really part of all this, that this is not alien from Christianity. It incorporates [the captivity] within the framework of what’s normal and serves often to make the person more religious. The sad part is that it does make the captive easier to control.”
It seemed a shame that Colleen Stan couldn’t hear this. Instead, Cameron Hooker, along with the rest of the court, was treated to an educated view of what made him tick.
Addressing himself to periods of greater freedom allowed the captive, Dr. Hatcher undertook an explanation of the captor’s motivations: “The main thing here is that the captor is not necessarily an individual of extraordinary intelligence. He doesn’t necessarily have to have a comprehensive kind of knowledge as; for example, Dr. Leary might have in constructing the article we talked about before. What comes across consistently, however, is that the person, to some extent, has a feeling that is like a hunter. Think of the person in your acquaintance who is the best hunter. It usually isn’t the chief executive officer of the bank, a person who has a very high degree of status. It’s a kind of sense or skill that makes them a particularly good deer hunter or duck hunter a certain amount of patience.
“The analogy drawn for me by the individuals I have interviewed is that they see themselves in a similar way as a hunter.
Initially, they are concerned with the stalking and the capture. Then, rather than killing the prey, they see how far they can train this person.
“After a while, curiosity sets in to see just how far he can let this person go and still have control. There is a certain risk or gamble there, but [this is outweighed by] the value or degree of enjoyment and satisfaction, the sense of being able to hunt with higher stakes. The gratification from being able to allow the person contacts with outside people and still know that you have enough coercion and pressure upon them, that’s an extraordinary reinforcement and overcomes some of the other concerns about apprehension.”
One couldn’t help but wonder what Hooker thought of this.
Dr. Hatcher’s direct examination took nearly two days.
He seemed to sort through every aspect of Colleen’s captivity and place it in context: The “love letters,” he pointed out, were consistent with types of statements in S/M literature, and it was common to have the captive echo the captor’s belief system. He reviewed the letters, citing Colleen’s repeated references to her position as a slave.
Still posing a hypothetical situation, McGuire asked if the doctor could account for the calls and letters to the captor and his wife.
“There is a great deal of dependency upon the wife in the situation you’ve described,” Dr. Hatcher explained. “It’s not as if there was a relatively rapid, clean escape without having the possibility [the captor might come after her].”
By talking with the captor, yet experiencing that this doesn’t result in being put back in the box, “the person gradually begins to feel they have a greater degree of control, that they have reestablished themselves somewhat.”
Further, the psychologist said, it’s common that captives, once free, express the idea “that they want to let God or someone else take charge of retribution or punishment,” and he quoted sections of Colleen’s letters to Cameron and Jan saying, for example:
“I don’t want to play God and I forgive you and Cameron for all things.” Additionally, Hatcher said, victims are often averse to pressing charges because criminal proceedings would force them to relive the experience.
Hatcher made comparisons with several other cases in which the victims were “mentally restrained,” fearful of attempting escape, and then, once free, reluctant to go to police. These cases shared many elements in common with Colleen Stan’s, but by the time the psychologist concluded his remarks it seemed clear that Hooker’s coercion of Colleen had been uncommonly intense.
Dr. Hatcher said as much: “The circumstances as you have described them to me, with the possible exception of issues that go farther back in time (such as black slavery in America), would be unique in recorded literature. There would not be a similar situation in which this degree of captivity and of sado-masochistic torture of a human being had existed in a previous case.”
After nearly twelve hours of eliciting expert testimony-an outpouring of information-the prosecutor at last came to the end of her questions, took her seat, and handed Dr. Hatcher over for cross-examination.
Defense Attorney Papendick opened by trying to belittle psychologists as opposed to psychiatrists (since the expert witness for the defense, Dr. Lunde, was a psychiatrist), but Dr. Hatcher’s answer was so complete it seemed only to emphasize his competence.
Papendick persisted: “You are not a licensed physician, are you?”
“No, I am not.”
“You are not an expert on the physical effects of diet control, are you?”
“No, I am not.”
“Or the physical effects of lack of sleep?”
“I would have a degree of expertise in the physical effects of lack of sleep, but as it pertains to captivity.”
McGuire was astonished that Papendick had retained Dr. Donald Lunde, the Stanford psychiatrist she had interviewed for the prosecution months before.
From here Papendick launched an extensive examination of Dr. Hatcher’s experience in related cases, such as the Parnell case and the People’s Temple and Jonestown. Though Hatcher’s accounts of these were informative, they served more to showcase his experience than to discredit it and seemed far from the matter at hand. It was difficult to understand what Papendick was trying to get at. Judge Knight finally stepped in: “I fail to see the materiality of this rather detailed questioning about Jonestown. What are we getting to?”
Still, Papendick continued his questions about tangentially related cases, such as Patty Hearst and Korean prisoners of war. Since it was late in the day, McGuire privately wondered if he were simply trying to kill time so he could prepare overnight for the beginning of his case tomorrow.
At length, Papendick referred to the spectrum Dr. Hatcher had described: from persuasion, to coercion, to brainwashing. Specifically, he wanted to know at which point persuasion ended and coercion began.
The doctor naturally said there’s a gray area here, and that, for example, some people would call a military draft persuasion, and some, coercion. But, he added, “A person in a captive situation against their will is in a coercive situation.”
“In your opinion,” Papendick asked, “can a person involved in a captive situation be subjected to persuasion?”
This was the answer Papendick wanted to hear. He brought up the example of a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp having relations with a guard or officer. “Is that an example of persuading the person as opposed to coercing the person into a sexual type of relationship?“
Hatcher wouldn’t grant those kinds of liberties with the term. He pointed out that, while there may not have been a specific beating or incident preceding the development of a relationship, the guard or officer was nonetheless perceived as a person in authority who had the power to protect the prisoner from torture or death.
Here the defense attorney asked Dr. Hatcher if he were familiar with the term “coercive persuasion.”
The psychologist said the term had arisen in the 1950s, but had fallen from use and was no longer a common psychological term.
“Does coercive persuasion have a generally accepted definition in your field?“
“No, it does not.” Dr. Hatcher explained that it had never gained general acceptance, and that it wasn’t listed in the index of the American Psychological Association Psychological Abstract, or the Index Medicus.
Overall, Papendick seemed unable to take control of this witness. He unwittingly gave Dr. Hatcher the opportunity to further assist the prosecution when he asked: “What are the effects that one would expect to see in a coercive situation?”
“There are several,” the psychologist said. “The most interesting one is a numbness of affect. You may, for example, ask someone to describe something related to their captivity, and they will describe something that is, by most objective standards, truly appalling, yet it is not expressed with a great deal of emotion. There is a flatness or blunting of affect.”
The meaning of Colleen Stan’s indifferent manner instantly clicked into place.
Hatcher explained another effect might be “intrusive images,” something like nightmares in the daytime. McGuire hadn’t asked if Colleen experienced this, but it seemed a reasonable guess.
A third characteristic, Hatcher said, “is that they want to try and get their lives back to normal. Before they can begin to deal with the images and impact of this, they have to put a great deal of effort into creating what is almost a veneer of a normal life. To have a job, to have some friends, to have some activities, is almost like a kind of teddy bear. It’s a security, and they will work to do that before they start to go back and, in depth, deal with the problems they have had in their captivity.”
To McGuire’s mind, this fit Colleen perfectly. She wondered if the jury perceived this.
Papendick then switched to another line of questioning, and here he made headway. He asked Dr. Hatcher whether, in order to judge a person in a coercive situation, it would be important to know the person’s background.
Hatcher said, “It would be contributory.”
“What do you mean by ‘contributory’?“
“Would that include social history?”
“Social, family, marital, medical, sexual?”
“It would be useful.”
McGuire’s hackles went up. After having successfully countered Papendick’s motion to admit the victim’s prior sexual conduct, she was alarmed that Papendick might work it in. She only hoped it wasn’t as glaringly apparent to the jury as it was to her that Papendick had uncovered some evidence about Colleen’s past which he believed would help the defense.
But Papendick miscalculated when he handed a magazine to Hatcher and asked him to tell the court which of the sixteen coercive techniques it covered. He apparently remained unconvinced that Hooker’s pornography collection could be used as instruction for coercion.
The psychologist promptly responded: “Page thirty-two in Captive Maid, we have sudden unexpected abduction.”
“Which technique is that?”
“That’s number one. Sudden, unexpected abduction. The isolation is begun as soon as possible. You begin the humiliation, degradation, sensory isolation. You remove the clothes.”
“That’s number one?”
“That’s all number one. Fairly clearly, I think, both illustrated and in text. I can quote from the text if you like.”
“No I just want to know what number techniques are included.”
Dr. Hatcher then mentioned number six, creating an atmosphere of dependency.
“How is that illustrated in that article?” Papendick protested.
“Well, it’s illustrated by saying whipping and degradation are always accompanied with sex.”
“How is that dependency? Didn’t you talk about that before as dependent for food and water?”
“You are also dependent upon the individual whether or not they are going to beat you anymore.”
This clearly wasn’t developing as Papendick had hoped. He snatched the magazine away and, to McGuire’s amazement, continued with this line of questioning. He handed the doctor an article, which was, essentially, a pornographic movie advertisement, surely believing this illustrated no coercive techniques whatsoever.
The doctor appraised the article and listed techniques eight, nine, ten, and thirteen.
Still, Papendick didn’t abandon this line of questioning. He handed Dr. Hatcher the article that accompanied the slavery contract. This was a mistake.
He’d given the prosecution’s expert full rein, and Dr. Hatcher made excellent use of it. He listed techniques ten, sixteen, eight, and six, giving detailed explanations of how these were illustrated in the article.
Papendick seemed to realize his error in trying to fight Dr. Hatcher on his own territory and concluded this line of questioning by turning it to his advantage: “Are any of those sixteen techniques used by, say, the Marine Corps in boot camp training?”
Dr. Hatcher admitted that “some of the behaviors” were.
Completing his cross-examination, Papendick asked, “Do you know Dr. Donald T. Lunde?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Would you consider him an expert in forensic psychiatry?”
“Yes, I would.”
And with that, the psychologist was excused.
from: The Perfect Victim by – by Christine McGuire, Carla Norton
2. Dr. Timothy Leary expressed astonishment upon learning that his article had been introduced as evidence in the Hooker trial.
He said that, following the Patty Hearst case, he wrote the article “to warn people” how easily they could be brainwashed.
Though he said he had “nothing against things being sexy,” he disavowed any responsibility for “those horrible illustrations,” which he called, “disgusting.”