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When the Devil Knocks
Wednesday January 26 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC News Network
“For years, my alters went to therapy and I wasn’t there for more than five minutes.”
“I knew immediately I must befriend Tim. You want the angry hostile alters to be your assistants. When the devil knocks, invite him in for tea.”
Cheryl Malmo, Hilary’s psychologist
Until her mid-40s, Hilary Stanton lived with big gaps in her memory that she thought were normal. Then Hilary had a breakdown, started therapy, and gradually discovered that - during those gaps in memory that she thought were so normal - other personalities (“alters”) were taking over from her.
The documentary When the Devil Knocks opens as Hilary barrels down the highway towards a family reunion. Alter Tim takes over the wheel and makes a u-turn at high speed. Hilary ‘comes to’ as she’s losing control of the car.
A journal entry from one of Hilary's alters. See more.
Tim was one of the most dominant of the 35 alters who would finally make their presence known, a phalanx of inner children who fought to protect Hilary’s core self from memories of horrific childhood abuse. It would be the job of therapist Cheryl Malmo to convince each of these alters that the abuse is in the past: it is safe to give up their memories to Hilary and, finally, to merge their personality with hers.
Many of the therapy sessions were videotaped to train therapists in the treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Remarkably, Hilary has given Bountiful Films permission to use these videotaped therapy sessions in a documentary - When the Devil Knocks.
When the Devil Knocks was produced by Maureen Palmer, Helen Slinger & Ray Harper and directed by Helen Slinger for Bountiful Films in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation