PERSONAL: Daughter of Richard Hersha; married; three children.
ADDRESSES: Home—AZ. Agent—New Horizon Press, P.O. Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931.
CAREER: Nurse, author, and purported U.S. intelligence operative.
(With Lynn Hersha, Ted Schwartz, and Dale Griffis) Secret Weapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage, New Horizon Press (Far Hills, NJ), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: After gaining celebrity as a ritual abuse expert, former police officer Dale Griffis was contacted by sisters Lynn and Cheryl Hersha, who claimed that, as children, they had been abducted and brainwashed to be unknowing operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency via a program called MK Ultra. In Secret Weapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage, co-written with Griffis and Ted Schwartz, the Hersha sisters tell their story.
As children, the Hershas claim, they were subjected to mind control and trained in skills necessary for espionage. Conditioned to respond to code words, the young women were also given several different "identities," including male ones, but were eventually released and established normal lives as working wives and mothers. Years later, troubled by psychological problems, the sisters decided to seek help from Griffis.
A Publishers Weekly reviewer was somewhat skeptical of the story recounted in Secret Weapons, writing: "Credibility collapses, as improbabilities are piled on inconsistencies, and the truth is buried beneath simplistic, pulp-adventure prose." As the authors themselves admit in the book, no evidence exists to corroborate the Hersha sisters' allegations, and the U.S. government has denied their claims.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, February 26, 2001, review of Secret Weapons: Two Sisters' Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies, and Sabotage, p. 77.
New Horizon Press Web site, http://www.newhorizonpressbooks.com/ (March 26, 2002), review of Secret Weapons.