posted by permission from Naomi Rhode
As Shirley Mason’s (Sybil) closest living relative, I was close to her for the 30 plus years through the saga of her life journey. In fact, I was with her for several days during the week of her death, at her request, and was one of the only people that was in constant contact with her over those 30 years. I kept her identity confidential at her fervent request. Through all these years up until literally the day before she died, she verified the complete accuracy of the book, ‘Sybil’. Debbie Nathan claims that she contacted me for an interview in 2008 and that I declined. Over the years many people have contacted me for information about Shirley’s life. Not knowing their intent, always, I have declined all such interviews. If Debbie was one of those people, I do not recall the call, as I do not keep records of every call in a busy business life. I apologize for this, but I do not recall her calling. Knowing Dr. Connie Wilbur, and Flora Schreiber, also, the book concerns me greatly. It is an attack on their credibility, their research, and their professionalism. And, the book is a complete attack on the person I loved, Shirley Mason.
Shirley did not die a recluse. Shirley was a loving, and productive woman until her final,lengthy bout with cancer. She painted, and taught painting. She sold her paintings. She corresponded with friends, and regularly with us. She was a woman of strong spiritual faith in God, loved her books and her music, and loved our family greatly. She chose, however, to live carefully and confidentially because she was adamant that her identity not be known. She was very protective of our family and any recourse her life and story may have on us.