what is multiplicity? terminology controversy  
where is it from? group structures other / inner worlds
what is it like? multiple preferences resources
  where can i go online?
  where can i go offline?

where can i go online? top

We recommend Astraea's Web, Amorpha, and Shaytar to start. The plural community is divided into a number of different groups. Also check out multiplicity, a Livejournal community run by Astraea. People in this community represent all different views, from DID/fractured to the point of view you've found here in the Layman's Guide.

There is also a PDF (color) brochure, summarized from the Layman's Guide, originally done for a talk on mental health. Download and distribute it freely.

If you're interested in helping correcting public impressions about plurality, try Pavilion.

where can i go offline? top

Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not necessary to go to the hospital just because you are multiple. The conditions in most mental health units can be very, very bad for multiples. Many hospitals have adopted an attitude that people who claim to be multiple are faking it to get attention. If you have a very trusted therapist, you might try to speak to them about it, but unless you have very life-threatening issues, we would recommend not being seen for multiplicity.

If you have other problems such as depression which are unrelated to your being multiple, you could have one person go for therapy for that issue. Many find it easier and more satisfying to work with the others in their own group to handle things and get them figured out.

If you are a non-multiple looking for more information offline, good luck. Most plurals these days know how to hide themselves better than a needle in a haystack. In fact, if they're doing well in their lives, chances are that you'll never be able to find them at all unless they let you. Even if you mention your interest to someone you think is plural, it is likely that they might feel threatened -- they fear possible exposure. For multiples who are in the closet, for those whose jobs and family structures depend on their not disclosing, such offers of interest, even in the most friendly spirit, may be regarded with great suspicion. (e.g., "Why are you looking for multiples? Do you think we're a freak show?")

If this sounds paranoid, remember that people who are confirmed to be multiples in this society are still regarded as mentally ill. Even though the official line is that multiplicity is not a thought disorder but a neurosis, the media spin on "killer multiples" has done enough damage that many of us don't want to take the risk of trusting our employers or even friends. Many states and some Canadian provinces have passed involuntary commitment laws. Now, anyone who observes someone they deem to be mentally ill -- a danger to self or others -- is allowed to turn that person in to local authorities, to be hospitalized for indefinite periods, and forcibly medicated. This is part of what we are working to change.

credits top

The Layman's Guide was conceived and designed by The Blackbirds.

Edited by members of Astraea.

Contributions by: Amorpha
The Blackbirds
The Courts
The Hondas

source material top

Information on Connie Wilbur obtained from two anonymous sources.

The following books are not necessarily recommended reading; they are the sources for some of the statements we make in the Layman's Guide.

Title: Creating Hysteria
Author: Joan Acocella
Publisher: Jossey-Bass 1999
ISBN:: 0787947946

Invaluable summary of the MPD/DID scandal of the 80s and 90s.

Title: When Rabbit Howls
Author: The Troops for Truddi Chase
Publisher: Dutton, 1987. Still in print from Berkeley,
Jove Books (paperback), 1990.
ISBN: 0-515-10329-2

Brought functional multiplicity to public awareness, unfortunately along with super-genius-psychic baggage.

Author: Cleckley, Hervey M. and Corbett Thigpen
Title: Three Faces of Eve
ISBN: 0911238514

Created the modern-day myths about multiplicity; it's worth noting that the original "Eve", Chris Costner-Sizemore, states that the entire book is a lie.

Title: Minds of Billy Milligan
Author: Daniel Keyes
Publisher: Random House, 1981
ISBN: 0-55326-381-1

Note his integration experiences.

Title: Amongst Ourselves
Author: Karen Marshall with Tracy Alderman
Publisher: New Harbinger
ISBN: 1572241225

Source for our statements about trying to get professional help creating a decent operating system.

Title: For Your Own Good:
Hidden Brutality in Child-Rearing,
and the Roots of Violence
Author: Dr. Alice Miller
Publisher: Noonday
ISBN: 0374522693

Source for our statement that everyone constantly experiences trauma and that all children are abused in some sense and to some degree.

Title: Multiple Personalities, Multiple Disorders:
Psychiatric Classification and Media Influence
Author: Carol S. North
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0-19-508095-5

Claims that all multiplicity is playacting encouraged by staying up late watching too much TV on acid, or something.. She does try to amass all the statistics available.

Title: Healing the Divided Self: Clinical and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy for Post-Traumatic and Dissociative Conditions
Author: Maggie Phillips and C. Frederick
Publisher: New York: W.W. Norton, 1995

A look into Milton Erickson's hypnosis and mind control techniques and their usefulness in treating PTSD; source for our statements about his work.

Title: Victims of Memory
Author: Mark Pendergrast
Publisher: Upper Access Book Publishers
ISBN: 0942679164

Invaluable reference book on the excesses of the recovery movement.

Title: Diagnosis and Treatment of Multiple Personality
Author: Frank Putnam, M.D.
Publisher: Foundations of Modern Psychiatry, 1989

Bible for garden-variety MPD/DID therapy.

Title: Infinite Boundary: A Psychic Look at Spirit Possession, Madness, and Multiple Personality
Author: D. Scott Rogo
Publisher: New York: Dodd Mead, 1987

Widely read source of information on what people believe about multiples and psychic powers, links to the supernatural.

Title: Jekyll on trial: multiple personality disorder and criminal law
Author: Saks, Elyn R., 1955-
Publisher: New York University Press, 1997
ISBN: 0-814-78042-3

The article that became this book was one of the sources for Andy's statements about multiple personality defenses.

Title: Sybil
Author: Flora Reta Schreiber
Publisher: Warner, 1973

Title: A Mind of My Own
Author: Chris Costner-Sizemore
Publisher: Morrow, 1989
ISBN: 0688081991

"Eve" tells her story in her own words, exposing the lies of her doctors.