Hereditary Defense Mechanisms

Norman L. Coad, D.Min.

This is a presentation of supplementary material that goes along with The Divided Soul. This material will be supplementary, not identical. It is meant to complement the book and to give greater insight into things in more detail that are in the book, but not highly developed.

Defense Mechanisms

Defense mechanisms are the abilities that God has given to us to help us survive trauma (which we all have). No one in this world gets through life without trauma. Proverbs says that man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.

There are some psychological principles we need to know that will be helpful:

Motivated Behaviors

First of all, there is no such thing as “random behavior” in psychology. Everything is motivated. There is a reason why these things happen. You may not be consciously aware of it, but somewhere inside of you, there is a reason for what you do.

These motivations are based on real things that have happened to you at a real point in time; they are not imagined, they are real events that have occurred.

Generational Issues

From a biblical point of view there is another aspect we need to add that goes beyond the psychological understanding. It is the viewpoint that there are also generational sins and generational blessings. These are the things that have gone on before we were born.

Generational blessings are virtues and abilities of character where people have stood up and done the right thing at the right time and in the right manner and the blessings of that come forward to us.

Curses, on the other hand, to use a biblical term, are the things that have occurred by those in our biological line (which are our ancestors) in which they sinned and did not repent. They are ongoing, unresolved issues in the spirit realm which come forward to each of us in our family lines. No family line is perfect. We each have issues that are generational and we have to deal with them, to not ignore, or be ignorant of them. When we recognize and work with the negative consequences, we are able to shut the curses down, to change and become more functional.

The curses are basically from unconfessed sin that has not been put under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and that is still active in its pain, wounding and dysfunction.

Two Defense Mechanisms

At this time we know of only two defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms are God-given. We get what we get. One is called blocking, the other is dissociation.

The whole idea is that God has given us innate, inherited abilities to survive the traumas of life that we have to deal with. They are both very good; one is not bad and the other good, but they are each distinctly different from the other with each having different capabilities and strengths.


The blocking mechanism functions to protect us and distance us from trauma. The personality is divided into two parts without actually dividing, but is relegated into two designated functions. They are the conscious part, and below that, the sub-conscious.

The conscious part deals with those things about which we are aware. These things are actually going on in our lives and they require that we make some adaptation of thought, emotion or behavior. The issues of the conscious are limited to those that help us function. In order to do that we have to stay on task and focus. The conscious part of us deals with function and focus only.

Unfortunately that only includes about 5% of our motivations. That means that about 95% of the time we don’t know why we do what we do. There is a reason for this. The issue that provokes most motivation is traumatic and undermines us. In order to better function and survive, the trauma is blocked from our conscious mind, and is distanced from our everyday life.

The subconscious deals with ninety-five percent of the reasons we do things. This is about surviving trauma, all types of trauma: verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical, psychological, sexual, ritual, perfectionistic, abandonment and any other type of trauma. Survival demands that we distance ourselves from trauma in order to function.

Since trauma interferes with function and focus, the conscious decides, We are not going to deal with it! And so the trauma event, the memory of it, is put into the subconscious.

In the subconscious we have the memory bank. Each memory has a trigger attached to it so that it can be brought up at any point in time as needed. The memory bank is our personal history that includes everything that has ever happened to us from the point of conception up to this very moment.

Good memories (non-traumatic memories, benign memories) go in to the memory bank without much trouble at all. They are what some would call “warm fuzzies.” They are the things we enjoy thinking about. They are a comfort to us.

Traumatic Memories

The dictionary defines trauma as a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.

Trauma memories are to the memory bank what computer viruses are to computers. They don’t fit into the memory bank very well, but they still have triggers. They use up a tremendous amount of psychological and emotional energy that wear the subconscious out. The subconscious tries then to defend itself. It tries to get the workload lightened so that it is not utterly fatigued and psychologically burned out.

A Pushing Match

The subconscious and the conscious get into a pushing match. The trauma memory is repressed into the subconscious. The conscious refuses to deal with the trauma and the subconscious is stuck with it. The more traumatic the memory, the more difficult it is to retrieve and process.

Emotional Messages

The subconscious doesn’t just give up, but tries to get help. It starts by sending messages. It sends emotional messages of anger, anxiety, depression, powerlessness, hopelessness, etc. They have only one meaning, “Help!”

Behavioral Messages

If nothing is done, then the messages get stronger so that (added to the emotional messages) the subconscious sends out behavioral messages. These would be things such as: road rage, fighting, drinking, drugging, acting out in promiscuous sexual behavior, and the like. Again, it is only a call for help. Only now, you have not just one message coming forth from the subconscious, but two at the same time; there are emotional messages (and the things they produce) and there are behavioral messages.

Physical Messages

Long after the trauma was first repressed into the subconscious, physical help! messages begin appearing. These are emphatic. These help messages take the form of illnesses, allergies and physical dysfunctions. They become increasingly acute and can be life threatening. These are psychosomatic illnesses. Psychosomatic illnesses, while acting on the physical body, are not physically based but are psychologically based. They arise out of the unresolved trauma out of the past that has not been tended to. The more religious of us call these problems of the spirit, soul and body. In physiology these are called illnesses arising out of the mind/body connection.

These psychosomatic illnesses are very common. Some say that 85–90% of all doctor visits are psychosomatic in nature. To treat these so that the person can function relatively normally the doctor practices medical management. They treat the symptoms but do not address the root cause. The root causes are traumas and that is the job for psychotherapists.


Dissociation has been grouped and treated under several headings: Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder), Depersonalization Disorder, Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative Fugue and Acute Stress Disorder. It should be noted that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Somatization Disorder share dissociative symptoms.[1]

The critical distinction to be noted in the above is that dissociation involves distancing oneself from the trauma with barriers of amnesia. Between these barriers are groups of personalities that exist and function. There are bodiless beings who use the trauma to demonize the split off consciousness.

Spirit, Soul and Body

The biblical description of human personality is that it is made up of spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). The soul is often used to mean mind, emotion and will. All but the body can be split. This creates confusion because the visible body is the same. However, the alters which take executive control of the physical body often change.

The spirit of a person relates to God. God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

The soul is here used to indicate human traits and abilities of mind, emotion and will.

The mind is the thinking, evaluating, categorizing, organizing and planning part of our personality. The emotions are the passions, attractions and expressions that draw us to, or move us away from, certain people, things or situations. They help us bond and relate to ourselves and others. The will is the decision making part of our life whereby we give direction, purpose and stability to our lives. This is where we make choices, move in a certain direction, and stay on task to see issues through to completion.

In order to hide this from our conscious mind, the dissociation serves to split our consciousness and hide the traumatic part. There are also demons and spirits of the dead working there. These defense mechanisms are protective. The difference between blocking and dissociation is that blocking does not split the consciousness and dissociation is profound splitting of the personality.

Defense Mechanisms

Trauma Activation

Dissociation is trauma activated. Trauma triggers these defense mechanisms. These individuals do not have to be taught because this ability is theirs from birth. Blocking represses the trauma into the subconscious with no splitting of the consciousness. Dissociation splits a part of the spirit, mind, emotions and will from the consciousness, assigning the trauma memory to the split off part and there hides it. The hiding place within us is that vast inner space that is as big in minutia as the rest of the universe is in gargantua. The trauma memory is no longer resident in the conscious awareness. The amnesia is a hundred percent and serves as a barrier between our conscious functioning and the group of personalities hidden there.

Many Barriers of Amnesia

It is my experience that there are usually many barriers of amnesia. It appears that the alters are also imprisoned under the amnesia barriers. The multiple personalities are so thoroughly confined that the types of restraining areas are many and varied, prisons within prisons, encapsulations of various sorts, cubicles with four sides, a roof and floor with no way out, etc.

Triggered Memories

The personality’s memories can be triggered out by hypnotherapy, or anything that can activate the trauma response in the alter. The triggering releases the personalities to act out in pre-programmed responses. All the alters are pre-programmed to do as they were conditioned. This programming is done by demons, spirits of the dead and workers of iniquity.[3] The mode of programming appears to be a misapplication of behavioral modification techniques. The bodiless beings’ purpose is to carry out Satan’s plans through the alters. They do this by afflicting the alters with lies, pain, deprivations of food, water, sleep, etc. They terrorize and torture and wound their personalities into submission until they are robotically obedient to the evil ones’ demands. Their survival principle is, “better you have the pain than me.” They exist at the survival level in anger, fear and helplessness. They do whatever the evil ones demand. The sum of all this is evil, wickedness, corruption and violence. They can be so desensitized to evil that they can do any wickedness without a twinge of remorse, often with a blank stare, expression devoid of emotion, with no feeling or mood of normal human response. In this state they are almost completely dehumanized. This of course does not happen easily, but over time, with great deception and profound programming.


What God created in us as a help to survive trauma is perverted into an evil thing. Each alter is split off for a specific purpose, some are playful and fun, or practical, carrying out some useful occupation necessary in life. Many are sexual, programmed to carry out a vast array of corruption. Some are good and useful, others are evil and sinful. The result is a human being with many dysfunctions, rages and moral failures. The increasing trauma of this eventually undermines the physical and psychological health of the individual. These alters, if never discovered and healed, remain isolated and alone in their traumatized state.

Switching Executive Control

Switching occurs all the time in the dissociated person. Switching occurs when one alter who has executive control of the body goes “down” or relinquishes control of the personality, and another alter takes executive control of the person’s thoughts, attitudes and behaviors, or is “up.” Only the alter that is “up” has memory of what is taking place. The alters that are down do not have memories of what is going on. This results in gaps, or blanks, in the memory. The switching of personalities may be subtle or dramatic. Most are subtle in order as to not reveal the change in the alters as they come up or go down.

Two Factors

There are two factors that must be present in order for a person to dissociate. He (or she) must have the hereditary ability to dissociate, and he, or she, must be traumatized. The trauma may be intentional or accidental. Either way, the result is splitting of the consciousness. Most of the trauma arises out of abuse and family of origin issues. There seems to be more abuse of women than men. The ratio is about three to one. Because of the prevalence of abuse of women there are more dissociated women than men. Any kind of physical trauma may cause a person to dissociate, i.e., head trauma, auto accidents, etc. The most common dissociating trauma is being put in fearful circumstances where one experiences powerlessness and hopelessness. All forms of abuse may cause dissociation: verbal, physical, sexual, emotional or ritual. The family of origin abuses include perfectionism, negativity, abandonment, rejection, emotional deprivation, to name a few.


Diagnosis is a two step procedure. A provisionary diagnosis is made based on the information given to the counselor and the symptoms of the client. These are behavioral, psychological, social and vocational dysfunctions of the client. It is not uncommon that there are also multiple physical ailments and several dysfunctions of the auto immune system and psychosomatic illnesses.

The actual working diagnosis is revealed in the self report of the inner workings of the individual. At this time the most effective diagnosis and treatment is based on the world view of the Bible. This is supernatural and is thoroughly explained in my book The Divided Soul. The diagnosis is complete when the client and the therapist determine that there is more than one personality functioning in the individual.


Ongoing splitting of the personality debilitates the individual. Each splitting diminishes the core personality. The split off alter is hidden with the trauma memory. Any part of human personality may be split off. This means that the whole of the human spirit, mind, emotions and will are diminished over time to the point of dysfunction. As difficult as the process of counseling is, it is better than denying the dissociation that is occurring and not shutting it down and reversing the process. It is reversible.


When the personalities are formed through splitting of the conscious they are able to function independently of the dissociated person’s conscious awareness. Not only that, they can operate outside and independent of the body. Each alter is formed for a specific purpose. They are programmed to carry out their assigned tasks. These tasks may be assigned by the demons to occur any place in the universe. The alter is able to complete the assignment through astro-projection.

astro-projection (or astral travel) is an interpretation of an out of body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body” separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it.[4]

The biblical references to astral projection include: Phillip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) and Paul’s vision (II Corinthians 12:1-6).

This denotes a certain lack of control in the dissociated person. The amnesia, the multiple personalities, the evil spirit beings coercing the alters, are all part of the person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). As hard as it is to believe, this is the inner reality of the person who dissociates. It is not insanity, but a defense mechanism to help the person survive severe trauma.

Indicators of Dissociation

Dissociation has various characteristics. Some of these are within the following list of questions to ask yourself. These questions are indicators only. They do not constitute a diagnosis. They are here included for identifying whether one has the innate ability to dissociate:

1. Does your handwriting change over time?
2. Do people accuse you of having said something that you have no recollection of saying?
3. Have you been accused of being a liar?
4. Do you get lost easily, even in familiar areas?
5. Do you experience marked changes in emotion, attitude and personal taste, sometimes in rapid succession?
6. Have you experienced abandonment or rejection that profoundly affected you?
7. Were you raised in, or have you participated in alcoholic or drug-addicted environments?
8. Have you been sexually abused?
9. Do you have difficulty putting things in your mouth—i.e., a toothbrush?
10. Do you sometimes rage at things that surprise you?
11. Do you have difficulty staying organized and following through on tasks?
12. Do you experience anger or fear if your spouse is sexual with you?
13. Do you have traumatic dreams or flashbacks?
14. Do you have difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries?
15. Do you often end up in abusive relationships?
16. Were you sexually active before marriage, but reject sex from your spouse after marriage?
17. Do you sometimes feel like a little person in a big body?
18. When talking to certain individuals, do you feel yourself getting smaller inside?
19. Was either parent dominating, perfectionist, negative?
20. When confronted with many choices, do you have difficulty making a decision or choosing one option?
21. Do you have multiple thoughts going through your mind in rapid succession?
22. Do you hear voices inside your mind or head?
23. Do you suffer from endometriosis or pain in intercourse?
24. Are you more aware of evil supernatural activities than others?
25. Do you cringe when handling raw meat or packages of wet garbage?
26. Do you forget things often?
27. Have you had multiple sex partners and multiple marriages?
28. Do you suffer from several medical/physical problems?
29. Have medical doctors given you several diagnoses?
30. Do you have several physical problems?
31. Do you feel that men or women are a threat to you?
32. Do you engage regularly in bashing the opposite sex?
33. Do you have difficulty keeping jobs?
34. Are you attracted to evil at times and at other times not?
35. Do you know who you are?
36. Do you feel you are a bundle of contradictions?
37. Do you find bruises on your body that you cannot explain?
38. Do you wake up fatigued after several hours of sleep?
39. Are your dreams frightening, dark or evil?
40. Do you wake up regularly between midnight and four o’clock?
41. Are you greatly attached to animals? Do you have many of them?
42. Is your living space dirty or disordered?
43. Are the dishes and laundry never done?
44. Do you have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships?
45. Do you frequently rage?
46. Do you find fault with others?
47. Are you negative?
48. Are you critical of spouse and/or children?
49. Are you a compulsive hand washer?
50. Are you a perfectionist?
51. Can no one please you (specially your children and your spouse)?
52. Do family get togethers, holidays and the like, trigger negative emotions and behaviors?
53. Is there a family history of occult, traditional religion, free masons, etc.?
54. Have you had multiple marriages?
55. Do you allow yourself to be used and abused?
56. Are your relationships win/lose, dominant/submissive, painful emotionally or physically?
57. Is your health deteriorating?
58. Is your autoimmune system compromised or weak?
59. Do certain touches, smells, seasons or situations more often than not trigger negative compulsive responses?
60. Are you isolated?
61. Do you feel you are damaged, used, of little value?
62. Do you feel unloved and unlovable?
63. Do you hit yourself?
64. Do you cut yourself?
65. Do you overeat and then purge?
66. Do you go from bulimia to anorexia?
67. Are you always alert, waiting for something to happen?
68. Do you love yourself?
69. Are your needs and wants always less important than those of others?
70. Are you an adult child of an alcoholic?
71. Do you feel ashamed?
72. Do you lack structure in your life?
73. Do you feel empty?
74. Is God loving and kind and good?
75. Is God mean? Does He condemn you?
76. Does anyone care about you?
77. Does sex equal love?
78. Do you rage compulsively?
79. Are you abusive to others?
80. Do you like being cruel to animals or those weaker than you?
81. Does it bother you when members of the opposite sex touch you or get too close to you?
82. Are some of your behaviors irrational and destructive?
83. Do you feel that things will never be right or good with you?
84. Are there large gaps in your childhood memories?
85. When talking to siblings, does it seem you must have been raised in a different family?
86. Do you feel numb at the emotional level?
87. Do these questions make you nervous?
88. Do you feel afraid at full moons?
89. Do you feel that you can never measure up?
90. Will you ever be good enough?
91. Do you spend a lot of time in bed, not doing anything?
92. Is it difficult for you to keep a job?
93. Are you afraid you might hurt your children?
94. Are your emotions shut down?
95. Do you put yourself in danger, going to places where you might be, or are, abused sexually?
96. Do you prostitute?
97. Do you reject or avoid having sex with your spouse?
98. Have you ever felt loved?
99. Is your life performance based on doing things so that you will be affirmed by others?
100. Do you feel that no one could ever love you?


1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision Washington DC. The American Psychological Association, 2000. p. 519.
2. N.L. Coad The Divided Soul Coadword Books, Burleson, TX 2016. p. 39.
3. Ibid Coad p. 7-8.
4. projection.

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