Free Audible Sybil Exposed Author Debbie Nathan –

Sybil A Name That Conjures Up Enduring Fascination For Legions Of Obsessed Fans Who Followed The Nonfiction Blockbuster From And The TV Movie Based On It Starring Sally Field And Joanne Woodward About A Woman Named Sybil With Sixteen Different Personalities Sybil Became Both A Pop Phenomenon And A Revolutionary Force In The Psychotherapy Industry The Book Rocketed Multiple Personality Disorder MPD Into Public Consciousness And Played A Major Role In Having The Diagnosis Added To The Psychiatric Bible, Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders But What Do We Really Know About How Sybil Came To Be In Her News Breaking Book Sybil Exposed, Journalist Debbie Nathan Gives Proof That The Allegedly True Story Was Largely Fabricated The Actual Identity Of Sybil Shirley Mason Has Been Available For Some Years, As Has The Idea That The Book Might Have Been Exaggerated But In Sybil Exposed, Nathan Reveals What Really Powered The Legend A Trio Of Women The Willing Patient, Her Ambitious Shrink, And The Imaginative Journalist Who Spun Their Story Into Bestseller Gold From Horrendously Irresponsible Therapeutic Practices Sybil S Psychiatrist Often Brought An Electroshock Machine To Sybil S Apartment And Climbed Into Bed With Her While Administering The Treatment To Calculated Business Decisions Under An Entity They Named Sybil, Inc The Women Signed A Contract Designating A Three Way Split Of Profits From The Book And Its Spin Offs, Including Board Games, Tee Shirts, And Dolls , The Story Nathan Unfurls Is Full Of Over The Top Behavior Sybil S Psychiatrist, Driven By Undisciplined Idealism And Galloping Professional Ambition, Subjected The Young Woman To Years Of Antipsychotics, Psychedelics, Uppers, And Downers, Including An Untold Number Of Injections With Pentothal, Once Known As Truth Serum But Now Widely Recognized To Provoke Fantasies It Was During These Treatments That Sybil Produced Rambling, Garbled, And Probably False Memory Based Narratives Of The Hideous Child Abuse That Her Psychiatrist Said Caused Her MPD Sybil Exposed Uses Investigative Journalism To Tell A Fascinating Tale That Reads Like Fiction But Is Fact Nathan Has Followed An Enormous Trail Of Papers, Records, Photos, And Tapes To Unearth The Lives And Passions Of These Three Women The Sybil Archive Became Available To The Public Only Recently, And Nathan Examined All Of It And Provides Proof That The Story Was An Elaborate Fraud Albeit One That The Perpetrators May Have Half Believed Before Sybil Was Published, There Had Been Fewer Than Known Cases Of MPD Within Just A Few Years After, Than , People Would Be Diagnosed With It Set Across The Twentieth Century And Rooted In A Time When Few Professional Roles Were Available To Women, This Is A Story Of Corrosive Sexism, Unchecked Ambition, And Shaky Theories Of Psychoanalysis Exuberantly And Drastically Practiced It Is The Story Of How One Modest Young Woman S Life Turned Psychiatry On Its Head And Radically Changed The Course Of Therapy, And Our Culture, As Well

10 thoughts on “Sybil Exposed

  1. says:

    Concerned..Nathan s book full of untruths As Shirley Mason s 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 the weekend of her death, at her request, and was one of the only people that was in constant contact with her all those 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 I find it very interesting that Debbie Nathan did not come to the person closest to Shirley Mason for facts, but rather wove a web of suppositions that are not factual Knowing Dr Connie Wilbur, and Flora Shrieber 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.Naomi Rhode, cousin of Shirley Mason

  2. says:

    IT WAS ALL A LIE or was it A few decades back, there was a movie called Sybil which was sort of a buzz movie Before that, the story was a book I ve never read the original book, but I have seen the movie a few times Basically, the book was about this woman whose named had been changed and her experience with Multiple Personality Disorder as it was called back then The movie was Crazy with a capital C This chick had been raised by the mother of bizarre and had suffered through extreme abuse at the hands of this woman Because of everything that Sybil had gone through, it was assumed that much of this abuse could have been a huge part of the reason why Sybil was forced inside of her own head to a place of needing extra personalities as a coping mechanism.Or so we thought According the author, there are public records tapes, transcripts, etc from therapy sessions showing that some of the story might have either been fabricated or at the very least coaxed out of the patient through the use of extremely aggressive hypnotic and drug induced therapy.So I was reading this booktaking notes, highlighting passages, etc I was interested to find that some of the story that I know might not be completely accurate But then the plot thickens I logged onto GR to skim a few reviews and see what others were saying about the book and saw This review and the following comments I think I m not going to touch this with a ten foot pole I have no clue what s what Was the book interesting I think it was in parts Being as that I m not the type of person who needs to know details going all the way back to the grandparents, there was a lot of info that didn t really interest me in particular, but it might have been fascinating to others I was mainly curious to see what was behind the story of Sybil However, I did find out some very bizarre history about the early beginnings of the Seventh Day Adventist church Enemas were apparently the in thing, and constipation led to sexual deviancy Who knew

  3. says:

    Books I am reading do not usually give me nightmares, but this one did Long ago, when I was in graduate school studying psychology, I was known to say that the problem with a condition like multiple personality disorder MPD was that if a psychologist or psychiatrist suspected that a patient _might_ have such a condition, it would be nearly impossible not to imagine the potential gold mine books, movies, publicity that the patient could provide Well, it turns out that in the case of one of the most famous cases of MPD, that s exactly what happened Ambitious, domineering psychiatrist Wilbur meets highly suggestible patient Mason with undiagnosed and untreated pernicious anemia who develops a monstrous crush on the therapist, and when the two of them run into a journalist Schreiber who is comfortable with bending and twisting the truth, Sybil is born It s hard to entirely resist the inference that some kind of lesbian passion repressed or not helped fuel the folie a deux between Dr Connie Wilbur and Shirley Mason Flora Schreiber, at least, should have known better The fact that the three of them incorporated Sybil reveals just how baldly the lure of money and fame fueled their collaboration.Why am I so disturbed by this old story when all of the protagonists are long dead Because MPD begat the wave of people remembering repressed memories of their parents doing things like roasting babies in the back yard And that hysteria landed a bunch of child care providers in jail for committing crimes that were impossible and for which there was no evidence It s also a good example of a woman Mason with a very real medical condition pernicious anemia being diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder This is all too often the way that women s health issues especially autoimmune diseases are handled by the medical system As much as I enjoyed Toni Colette s terrific and funny turn as a woman with multiple personalities, it s important for the public to understand that real cases of MPD DID are extremely rare if not non existent I highly recommend this book to anyone who has the stomach to read it It s as involving as any page turner, but the story it tells is ultimately horrifying Note The unabridged version of this review with pictures is now on my blog, Cuppa with Candace, at

  4. says:

    I remember when I read Sybil It was during my first year of college Things were so different back then We have to remember when reading Nathan s book that child protective laws were nil during that time Children were considered chattel Children and or adult survivors didn t dare report child abuse to anyone They were either punished or called liars The idea that a person could tell someone, especially privately, was brought to life in Sybil Dr Wilbur listened and believed It wasn t just therapists who were suddenly hearing stories of child abuse Friends I had known my whole life read the book and told me their secrets They had been being sexually abused It was a social epidemic the silence was broken And child protective laws were finally being made Nathan would like us to believe that three woman created a story that would catch public attention That woman ran to therapists with stories of abuse looking for attention therapists created personalities, etc Before falling for this tale she has woven for us, read Sybil again More likely and based on very solid research, the story of Sybil is true, and it finally gave survivors the strength to tell someone Child abuse was rampant during that time, DID is a valid diagnosis caused by early childhood trauma, and therapists were doing what they could to help those who were coming forward She misstates many of the facts right out of Sybil , especially about the medication It is well know that Dr Wilbur did not act unethically Nathan is not qualified in the area of psychology, but makes assumption based on thin air Several years later, I studied the book Sybil in detail during my graduate studies in psychology There is so very much valid and documented research out there that makes Nathan s interviews , book citations, etc laughable Good reading No boring mostly The only interest I had was wondering why she , or anyone would want to scandalize a piece of work that stands solidly on its own merit a book that showed survivors that there are people out there who care, and that there is help available The message is still in the book Sybil Yes, middle school children will read and know that they can tell and someone will listen It is okay I think I will buy 3 copies of Sybil.

  5. says:

    I was quite taken with the book Sybil when I read it years ago It seemed to present a plausible explanation for a run away semi street teen I knew who could easily be hypnotised into various supposedly past life personalities Sometimes these personalities even broke through on their own It was kind of scary to be around her at times The book Sybil presented such others as multiple personalities created by childhood trauma The scientific trappings and cure made for a neat package that appealed to me and many others The happy ending gave me hope that the teen I had known may have recovered and was leading a full productive life.As it turns out, the story is not true While it is possible that the real life Sybil, Shirley Mason, believed it was true, Ms Nathan presents clear evidence that elements of her story could not possibly have happened and that the methods used to bring out Shirley s other personalities could just as easily be used to implant false memories The book can be summed up in a single sentence Sybil is not a true story Even if you know that going in, Sybil Exposed is well worth reading Nathan s biographies of the three women involved in writing the Sybil book and the changing world they matured in is fascinating.

  6. says:

    I abandoned this book one third of the way through The case of Sybil and her diagnosis of multiple personality disorder sounds interesting, and Debbie Nathan s writing is based on documents archived from the case that reportedly show the original story of Sybil was fabricated and the woman may have been coached to exaggerate her behavior and memories.However, Nathan s book jumps all over and wasn t written coherently Often I will try to push through on a nonfiction book, but this one just didn t work for me Maybe you will like it .

  7. says:

    A brilliant book that should be read by anyone who trusts a psychiatrist, because they didn t stop being like the woman profiled in this book when the 80s ended I grew up among the psychiatrists of NYC in the 1950s, as my father worked with them, so nothing you would tell me about how screwed up and sexually abusive they were would surprise me I also got involved with a very popular local therapist in the 1990s who was planting false memories in her patients using hypnosis What an extremely unpleasant experience Because I m a novelist and spend a lot of time in a hypnotic state when I make up completely fictional stories, I recognized the state the therapist induced with her hypnotic technique I also recognized that the scenes she was making me recall, though vivid, were no real than scenes I d invented for my novels that took place on other planets But for someone who wasn t familiar with the landscape of imagination, it would have been easy to believe that the scenes evoked by these dominating, abuse obsessed therapists were real and that would be psychologically devastating This book does an excellent job of showing just how this kind of emotionally manipulative, borderline personality therapist goes about finding weak people and exploiting them for their own selfish needs This is a disturbing book, but one worth reading before you get involved with any therapist who specializes in childhood abuse My experience had been that such people often charge far than peers, and feel entitled to profit from the harm done to children Their profiting is, all too often, yet abuse those ex child victims have to suffer.Getting back to Sibyl, the off the wall psycho abuse scenarios implanted in people with emotional issues by these abusive therapists did a real disservice not only to their victims but to the many children who really were, and still are, abused by adults, because it makes it that much harder for them to be heard and helped If you do need therapy for this kind of problem, look for therapists who do not make you relive the abuse or pump you for juicy details Successful healing from abuse involves getting in touch with the strong parts of your personality and learning to feel like a safe adult who can protect yourself Good therapists help you be stronger and focus on how you live in the present If yours isn t doing that, fire them.

  8. says:

    Back in 1974 I read a book called Sybil Starting in 1973 and continuing on through today millions of people worldwide have read that book The only difference is now there s a disclaimer on the book.Sybil tells the story of, well Sybil a pseudonym and how she had blank spots , lost time She d black out and wake up days later in a different city It tells the story of how Sybil and her heroic psychiatrist battled for 11 years to reconcile Sybil s 16 separate personalities into a single wholedramatic music, crescendo, drop curtain I, like I suppose most others who read the book was moved by the abuse suffered by, Sybil It was horrific Under hypnosis Sybil recalled years of torture by her mother as her passive father turned a blind eye and ear to it all This abuse caused her to develop multiple personalities The book we re discussing here, Sybil Exposed The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case tells another story The records of the sessions between Sybil and her doctor had been sealed Then a, resourceful researcher found who Sybil was Shirley Ardell Mason and that she was dead This book by Debbie Mason is about what was found there and in later research from other sources once the search started The bottom line is and it s no spoiler since I assume anyone reading this knows the subjectthis is a nonfiction the Sybil story was a fraud That book was fiction.This is a fairly interesting read The first several chapters will I suspect be interesting to the female audience as it s aimed directly toward them Debbie Nathan is known as a feminist journalist She sees in the story of Shirley Ardell Mason Sybil , Cornelia B Wilbur the doctor and Flora Rheta Schreiber the author of the book Sybil The True Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities and the major upheaval in psychiatry and socioty itself as tied in with the struggle of women in general to break out of stereotypical rolls The early chapters go back and look at the lives of these three women so much so I began to wonder if we were going to be getting the argument that the fraud perpetrated was understandable She didn t really go there The book Sybil The True Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities actually brought about a change in the attitude toward Multiple Personalities It was after the book that Multiple Personality Disorder became an actual diagnosis listed in the DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Aside from changing the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder from so rare as to be considered almost an anomaly to common Dr Wilbur changed the idea of what may cause it From the beginning she assumed that it ALWAYS went back to horrible, usually sexual abuse in childhood She set up the treatment and study and it became set in stone to use hypnosis to uncover lost memories.Also there was an epidemic of people mostly women according to the writer who started coming to psychiatrists thinking they had multiple personalities or were dissociative This ties into the writer s premise of women being under role strain and that the book Sybil placed the possibility of dissociative problems in their mind this is a quick and dirty explanation and not precise at all For detail of courseread the book There were over the next 20 years an avalanche of parents who were discovered to have raped, tortured and abused their daughters Parents, teachers, daycare workers all eventually began to be prosecuted for these offenses Hurt and frightened parents and others exclaimed they never hurt their children but for yearsYEARS this fell on deaf ears.How many remember the McMartin preschool trial I do It started in the early 80s It the trial went on for seven years after it finally got started It destroyed lives, ruined reputations and got HUGE news coverage A preschool was supposed to be the home of a Satanic cult that raped and tortured the children of the preschool None of the children could remember this however without professionals counseling them using dolls so the children could show using the dolls or be shown on the dolls what had happened Many of the children, now adults have recanted their testimony and tried to explain how they were instructed.A wave of panic swept across much of America s heartland that satanic cults were torturing children.The final chapters run down the story of the women Sybil and her doctor stayed together till the doctor died with Sybil visiting the doctor s home daily The two of them seemed to have developed a strange sort of codependency The book isn t the best I ve read and it wasn t as enthralling as I expected it to be Many people according to the writer mostly women seem to have taken the book Sybil very to heart and wondered if possibly they had hidden personalities and so on I was touched by the story of the cruelties heaped on a child My interest here was in the story of the fraud.Also, as I was reading this book a strange irony struck meshe did such a good job of showing how we were duped by the book Sybil The True Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate PersonalitiesI had to stop and think about this one..oh well.I skimmed much of this book and followed the actual story of what happened than I did the speculation on the causes behind the fraud Some will undoubtedly find these parts far interesting Take a look and see what you think At the very least it s an amazing story of a book that changed attitudes all over the world and spawned epidemics of psychological problems.

  9. says:

    So everybody jump on the bandwagon there s another book denying the reality of multiple personality well, it s called Dissociative Identity Disorder now, the MPD label was dropped back in 1994 This time it s the new book by Debbie Nathan called Sybil Exposed The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case.In interviews, Nathan states she has fact checked the book and done years of research so I think to myself, much of it must be true right Well, if it was, in a way yes facts are facts But the presentation of the facts can be in such a way as to make them seem grandiose or less depending on what the author wants you to believe.My first and continuing thought in all of this is Why does this author want to write a book that could hurt so many people I have my thoughts on this but never find the answer in the book It begins in the introduction that Debbie Nathan gives proof that the allegedly true story was largely fabricated and goes onto build what looks like a horror story of ghoulish proportions It portends to have all the makings of a great fiction book greed, sex, gore and maybe that s what this book was in all actuality FictionThroughout the book you meet the individuals of the person known as Sybil, Dr Cornelia Wilbur her Psychiatrist and Flora Rheta Schreiber the person who writes the book Sybil The style is confusing The way she moves between people it s not easy to connect the dots unless you actually take her at her word that this is truth Some of the historic facts about the women are rather interesting if it is true Learning about how they grew up and what challenges they faced actually made the book Sybil believable to me.Unfortunately, what I see is pieces of truth, interwoven with statements of the author s opinion and comments made to capture the reader with a sense of disgust For example, when the author discusses the truth of Dr Wilbur taking part in the early days of performing lobotomies, she uses this description, Now she was also drilling holes in their skulls and turning their brains into pulp Anyone familiar with the history of medicine knows that the practice of medicine has come a long way from its early days Remember blood letting using leeches to drain people s blood to cure disease The author takes facts out of context and makes them seem like you should be aghast.The author continues this theme throughout the book even into her notes pages For example, instead of saying Mason s diary entry she uses the terminology All so called diary material This shows the disbelief and utter disdain the author has for Sybil although she will tell you that she believes that she was misguided and used by Dr Wilbur and Flora Rheta Shreiber.The author does not only try to debunk the Sybil story, she appears to have an agenda against anyone that believes in D.I.D or what she calls MPD DID Even in her epilogue, she takes to task the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation ISSTD and some of its major contributors Ironically, as I was doing research on the veracity of the book, I came across quite a heated debate between the author and members of the ISSTD The author had been accused of portraying things improperly in the book and was not taking criticism well This includes the fact that since the book has been out people are fact checking the book and finding major errors in her work A specific reference I can quote is one where she misquotes someone from the ISSTD This person has written a letter advising what she actually stated to the author.All in all, if you read the book critically and don t buy into the author s manipulation of facts and remember that none of the three woman she tries to condemn are here to dispute any of her claims, I think the book actually can be taken one of two ways either as a really good book of fiction itself OR as proof that Sybil was true and that her primary guide through this thing we now know as D.I.D did they very best she could knowing the time in which she experienced the things she did.Otherwise, don t get caught up in all of the out of context facts , the glaring agendas and the inflammatory language.If you want to use this to fire yourself up buy it but do so in real copy it s very hard to note and verify notes in the Kindle version Better yet, get it from the library so you don t have to give her any cash It s not worth it Otherwise, stick to something better because this really isn t worth the trouble

  10. says:

    In the course of reading this book, I went back and looked at summaries for the original Sybil The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities I was in high school when I read the book but looking back from 2012 and my own age and experiences, I m quite surprised anyone still believes this book to be true The abuse is so outrageous and diverse nothing makes sense It s like someone tried to think of every horrific thing anyone could every do to someone and fit it into the story There s familar methods of childhood physical and sexual abuse but then there are weird add ons like lesbian sex circles in the woods and Satanic cults and trying to suffocate her in a grain silo thing From my understanding, it wouldn t be trying, it would be succeeding Then there are the similarities in the personalities, the similar names, and the one without a name The book even contains a copy of a letter Sybil Shirley Ardell Mason wrote to her Psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur admitting everything was made up Mason admitted the same thing to another psychiatrist she saw while Wilbur was out of town I think if I read Sybil now I would have trouble reading for laughing so much at how ridiculous it is But then, as someone who has worked with abused kids for over 12 years, I know the real thing all too well.But this review is about Sybil Exposed, not my own observations Nathan does a good job of presenting the information clearly and concisely She spends way too much time in the beginning on back story, starting out before Mason is even born Yawn She goes into a lot of detail about Mason s early life but most of it isn t referenced and it s unclear how much is speculation, how much is from the book, and how much is from research And good heavens was she focused on how rail thin Mason was I lost count of how many times Nathan referred to her that way She also includes too much of the biographies of Wilbur and the other woman in the case, the book writer Flora Schreiber But once the actual story gets going the book becomes interesting and flows smoothly I still found myself speed reading because parts were rather monotonous.The Good Nathan used hundreds thousands of documents, tapes, and interviews for her book and she uses footnotes extensively throughout the text She spoke with as many people as she could including doctors, friends, neighbors, relatives and so forth to supplement the tapes She also doesn t just say that Wilbur gave Mason gobs of psychotropic medication but describes which medications, what common side effects they have, what they are prescribed for now, and how they interact with each other and she footnotes these I checked the footnotes periodically, especially on those items that I found contentious and most of the time they referenced tapes or other appropriate materials The ones I was worried about often referenced direct sources such as interviews which alleviated my concerns.The Bad If you actually check the footnotes you ll see that some don t actually reference anything to backup a statement but to refer you to something mentioned in the text For example, Nathan footnotes a passage where she claims Mason spent hours cutting out letters from magazines and sorting them into matchstick boxes in order or later use them to write stories without actually doing the physical act of writing When you check the footnote, however, you are referred to the actual magazine archives which has nothing to do with what needs to be footnoted In the same paragraph she explains while doing this that she most likely saw an article on such and suck The footnote again, refers you to the article and in no way gives any proof that Mason would have read such an article This time of inference is often drawn quite probably and most likely and maybe are often used in the book to describe something Mason may have done that could possibly have affected her later behavior Some of these were extreme reaches like the articles, particularly one that appeared in a magazine a couple of months after Mason s father stopped subscribing to it But Nathan says that Mason got magazines from other people sometimes and maybe one of them was that magazine and she maybe read that article Really And I may have read that article on penis envy that was in that magazine that was in that box of please take me freebies in my doctor s office but I didn t nor would I ever.I don t have the book in front of me any but some critical stuff she doesn t footnote are on page 155 and the top of page 164.The Ugly She really, really hates Schreiber I see Schreiber as far less of a problem than Wilbur, who I think is about as evil as someone who doesn t believe in evil can think someone can be Nathan condemns Schreiber for using Mason s story to make a buck, but isn t that what Nathan is doing But despite all the problems, most of the points raised by Nathan don t need any significant documentation Common sense and a brief review of what other Psychiatrists have publicly said about the Sybil case specifically and other Multiple Personality Disorder cases in general will help in understanding what a profound con the original book was I went into this book believing that there were actually people with multiple personalities because Sybil had been real, right Halfway I began to question all of my preconceptions and began to supplement my readings I came out of it convinced that what the media and books like Sybil and The Three Faces Of Eve try to make us believe is actually not what it appears to be at all but something much sinister Nathan s book is interesting and I believe far closer to the truth than Sybil but it s only an example of how mental illness is used to manipulate and confuse and to sell.I really need to go get that next degree in psychology That sentence is why my reviews are extra special I purposely use that description because what is now called Disociative Personality Disorder isn t really the same thing.