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When asked to write an article for a recent DID Symposium (“For Such a Time as This”), I prayed to seek guidance from the Lord about what I should share with such a distinguished group of professionals, pastors, authors and leaders in the Body of Christ. The direction I received was to write about my personal experiences in working with Alters (Multiple Personality or Dissociative Identity Disorder). Since many readers have received excellent teaching from Jim Wilder and others regarding a scientific understanding of the phenomenon of MPD/DID, my goal was to provide a spiritual perspective. The following discussions points are not intended to discredit scientific knowledge at all, but to add to it from my own ministry experience.
This information is based upon 30 years of experience in ministering with more than 1,500 clients suffering from MPD/DID, not counting the assistance I have given to hundreds of others in teaching situations involving our trained teammates and others. It has been an awesome journey that has led my wife and me to train others how to help people suffering with MPD/DID in many nations of the world. To watch the awesome inner healing that the Lord brings to those who are multiple has been most gratifying. Part of the joy of that journey has been to discover, by revelation of the Lord, how the enemy has developed plans to entrap believers with specific elements launched from the power of darkness. Satan actively works against God’s people to keep them from developing their spiritual gifts and from fulfilling His call upon their lives. As we have come to understand Satan’s strategies and devices to keep people in bondage, the Lord has given us wisdom and continuing revelation to “undo’ what the enemy has done.
There are six points I would like to discuss that I hope will assist you in working with Alters, or if you attempt to discover them within yourself. Before I move on, I should mention that I had completed integration for over 600 clients before I found out that I had Alters myself! Praise God that this situation of personal multiplicity became old news in a hurry! Having personal experience dealing with Alters within myself has also added to my experiential knowledge.
I have discovered that a majority of people have Alters. I realize that this is a bold statement to make, and I definitely did not believe this fact when I began working with them back in the ‘70’s. At that time I suspected that possibly 5-10% of people had them. However, as I progressed through the decades of ministry, I found that dozens of other labels have been applied to people for what is simply a condition of multiplicity. My percentages began to increase rapidly as I prayed for numerous people within the Church as well. The actual experience gained by our Freedom Encounters teams and myself has been that over 90% of people receiving ministry have Alters to one degree or another.
What the person thought was a need for an “anger management class” was simply someone who had been abused that reacted with uncontrolled behavior when triggered by a certain situation or individual. In addition, those who could not connect intimately with a spouse often manifested Alters who were created through sexual abuse, etc. Statistics indicate that this generation has suffered more abuse (or at least more reported occurrences) than others in recent history. My understanding is that God creates Alters to help us cope, and therefore, since abuse has dramatically increased, the incidence of people having Alters has increased in direct correlation to these historical changes.
We have observed amazing changes occur for clients who had no idea that they were multiple. That is not surprising to most of us who recognize that the Church in general is not teaching on this topic. As a result, Christians most often receive a well-meaning guidance and a few receive platitudes such as, “Get counseling, and/or mentoring, or ‘Just get over it.’” The answer can be quickly resolved if leadership in the Church would open up to receiving knowledgeable teaching beyond their limited theological training, so that teams could be trained to minister to people as an on-going ministry in the Church environment.
One of the first things the Lord taught me was to cleanse Alters with the blood of Christ before trying to integrate them. In talking to many professionals about their experiences, I have concluded that if the Alters are not cleansed by the blood of Christ before integration, then emotional upheaval for the client is very common. Now, I surmise this from stories shared with me, not from personal experience, since cleansing the Alter was the first thing the Lord asked me to do to minister to them.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth items following should be considered together, because they focus on the subject of dealing with demonic influences. I have learned by consistent results that Alters have memories, curses, spells, programs and “special ties” (like soul ties) potentially attached to them. Thus, seeking to bring healing and integration to Alters is difficult in the best of circumstances, unless deliverance prayer takes place. If a person can receive deliverance from demonic control and demon spirits by the power of God, each Alter can be cleansed of the same problems simultaneously with the Core person. A partial, traditional deliverance will often not complete this preparation. Once set free, my experience proves that Alters can be prepared for integration within seconds to hours.
Because of the abusive occurrences that caused Alters to be established, connection to the demonic is very strong and many have never met the true Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh. There are many “types” of Alters that are not true Alters at all! This is a topic that has befuddled counselors for decades. I know this because many have told me so.
As there are “True Alters,” there can also be “False Alters” who have deceived the true Alters into believing that they are friends and/or supporters. They are not friends at all, but lying demons posing as Alters and are usually responsible for added pain, confusion, fear, and suffering. They are so convincing that they could receive an Academy Award for their acting performance! Recently I worked with an SRA client whose primary False Alter had deceived the client’s therapist for years, and the therapist could never understand why she would get this “Alter” so close to integrating and then there would always be a reason why it wouldn’t integrate. Well, of course, since it is impossible to integrate a demon, imagine her relief when she discovered that there are demons who pose as Alters.
There is also usually confusion about God and the Lord Jesus Christ, because often the true Alters have been deceived by Counterfeit God Spirits (False Jesus / False Holy Spirit / False Heavenly Father) and have been told non-stop lies that they believed were true. These counterfeit spirits need to be removed also. There are also demons and even True Alters posing as a person’s Core, but that is another topic altogether.
When ministering to an SRA victim, there can also be a “Cult Alter,” and in the most severe cases, “Alters Created in Death,” which can add additional layers of complexity and confusion to the maze we are trying to unravel. Thank God that He has given us wisdom of how to pray freedom for these severely abused cases. For example, we do not have to identify Protectors or Personas. They are ministered to with the rest of the Alters. In short, we do not have to identify separate categories of Alters (unless they are false), and we don’t need a map to identify Alter Systems in order to minister to them. God has given us tools that bypass these lengthy processes that steal so much time from professional therapists and those involved with inner healing.
Deliverance prayer exposes all of these False Alters, Counterfeit God Spirits, SRA-related Alters, and all the lies. Only the Lord’s truth can lead us to maneuver through the subterfuge and remove the demonic influences from the person completely. This entire realm is the devil’s playground, and it is time to kick him out and take back our client’s life for the true Lord Jesus Christ!!
Another wonderful discovery came when I learned that there is no need to speak with each Alter individually. In fact, in the multitude of clients that I have worked with (one severe SRA client had 68,000 Alters); I have never spoken to all the Alters. In the vast majority of cases, I usually speak to just one, even when a person has only two or three. Since the deliverance process extends full freedom to Alters in the body simultaneously with the client, it makes it possible to focus on a primary Alter (usually the oldest one). During a session, I encourage other Alters to watch what the key alter does and to mimic what they do so that the process covers them all.
Deliverance is a vital key to being able to integrate Alters quickly and to bring wholeness to the client in rapid time. Without freedom from the demonic elements and demons, it could take years and years to hopefully accomplish healing and complete integration.
In the powerful deliverance approach the Lord has taught us over 40 years, He performs emotional healing at the same time that the demonic cleansing occurs for the person and the Alters. Today it is not unusual for Alters to be fully integrated by the end of the deliverance prayer session, and there has been no need to talk to any of them. More often than not, when Alters are cleansed and ministered to by the Lord Jesus Christ, they are more than ready to integrate into His light on the inside of the client.
Actually, integration of all Alters occurs in roughly 75% or more cases with little or no follow-up required. It’s the miracle-working power of God, and we never tire of being a part of His wonder work!
In the case of the severe SRA, for example, the Lord has given us a means of setting Cult Alters free and getting them integrated within fifteen seconds; it used to take most of a day to get one to changes sides in order to release the others. Imagine our joy when that breakthrough was given! For the severe SRA, which comprises about 20% of the SRAs we minister to, follow-up is common, but then again requiring only one or two more sessions before it is done. When the programming, etc. is removed from the SRA, the Alter can see the truth and reality of what has occurred, thus having an opportunity to meet the living God for who He really is. They can then discover His love for them and that He never left their side, even in the worst of times. Even Alters who have been through this worst abuse can integrate as quickly and easily as one has never experienced any abuse at all.
Occasionally, even though demon spirits and demonic elements are removed, there are can be additional Alter issues that need to be handled in follow up ministry. But again — and this is contrary to some beliefs — this does not mean that we must deal with each individual Alter in order to complete the work. Good news!
I hope everyone is encouraged as I am that the Lord is bringing quicker healing and freedom to His children so they can become the spotless Bride of Christ. With this freedom and wholeness available, they can complete their destinies and His purposes on earth to His glory. And may He receive all the glory due Him!
Copyright © 2011: Ken Thornberg, Executive Director, Freedom Encounters
This article is meant to provide a preliminary introduction to the concept of alters, which few in the church of Jesus Christ understand. Ken discusses the topic of MPD/DID, also known as alters, more fully in a short DVD recording. He also speaks directly to alters that are hidden within people, which has brought encouragement to many.