True memories or false?

AK Haart, in his article “It doesn’t even have to be true“, writes:

Climate change is a good example of an obviously false mainstream narrative damaged by persistent blogging.

Very much so and his heading follows from that statement.  The narrative is often bought when 1.  government seconds “eminent” people in their field who are likely to have a history pushing a particular line, 2.  it’s wrapped up in gobbledegook and enough buzzwords which people can relate to, 3.  pseudo-science is trotted out, e.g. hockey graphs, 4.  enough “eminent” people, their interconnections unknown to the general public, come out in support, seemingly independently and 5.  there is big money behind it which can send these people all over, lecturing, backed by glossy literature and websites.

Once upon a time, a bunch of scientists, flanked by Al Gore, Maurice Strong, the media and others, came out with a hockey stick and the world sat up and took notice.  Surely the UN could not be wrong thought the average punter, surely there could be no back-agenda to Kyoto and all the new climate science?

Once upon a time, a bunch of psychologists, in response to allegations against highly placed persons by children, decided to create a new psychological syndrome – false memory syndrome.  They gathered bits and pieces of psychological models and wove them into a narrative which was never going to be challenged.  As one of the king pins said [context further down]:

We are a good-looking bunch of people, greying hair, well dressed, healthy, smiling; just about every person who has attended is someone you would surely find interesting and want to count as a friend.

That alone would set the alarm bells ringing if she went on to push an idea we disagreed with.  Trouble is, she pushed an idea so many wish to agree with, very much so, as the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

Image is vital with the pushers of narratives, respectability, being on the side of the right-thinking, sensible people who “don’t do conspiracy theories”, as if all cases are the same.  Under attack, these psychologists invoke “family values” and “common sense” and attack their attackers as “lesbian feminists”, desperate to have that kind of thinker onboard who is basically us.

The wheels on one side of this fell off when one of the key players, conservatively attired, every bit the eminent pyschologist, gave a key note speech and in the middle of patiently explaining the narrative in psycho-babble, a practising psychologist in the audience got up and said that the speaker was wrong, explaining on which points he was wrong.

The response to that direct challenge was illuminating.

That sort of direct challenge is what the IPCC was hit with and the place that began it in earnest was on the net.  It was also where the government line on FMS was challenged in any concerted form.

The wheels on the other side fell off when founding members began being scrutinized themselves for paedophilia and various people out there now began to look more closely.  The interesting timing of the creation of the syndrome and the interconnections between the various players and supporters read like a who’s who of the psychological old boy net – they’d roam the lecture circuits and pop up all over the place, quoting one another.

Below is some of the material on the subject. First up, from Vericomm [this is from the archive – it was initially discontinued]:

Within two years of its founding, it was clear that the FMS Foundation leadership was far from disinterested on the workings of childhood memory, and concealed a secret sexual and political agenda.

FMSF founder Ralph Underwager, director of the Institute of Psychological Therapies in Minnesota, was forced to resign in 1993. Underwager (a former Lutheran pastor) and his wife Hollida Wakefield publish a journal, Issues in Child Abuse Allegations, written by and for child abuse “skeptics.” His departure from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was hastened by a remark in an interview, appearing in an Amsterdam journal for pedophiles, that it was “God’s Will” adults engage in sex with children.

(His wife Hollida remained on the Foundation’s board after he left.)

As it happens, holy dispensation for pedophiles is the exact credo of the Children of God cult. It was fitting, then, when Underwager filed an affidavit on behalf of cult members tried in France in 1992, insisting that the accused were positively “not guilty of abuse upon children.” In the interview, he prevailed upon pedophiles everywhere to shed stigmatization as “wicked and reprehensible” users of children.

Dr. Underwager invariably sides with the defense. His grandiloquent orations have graced courtrooms around the world, often by satellite. Defense lawyers for Woody Allen turned to him, he boasts, when Mia Farrow accused her estranged husband of molesting their seven year-old daughter. Underwager is a virtual icon to the Irish Catholic lobby in Dublin and was, until his advocacy of pedophila tarnished an otherwise glittering reputation, widely quoted in the press, dismissing ritual child abuse as a hysterical aberration.

He is the world’s foremost authority on false memory, but in the courtroom he is repeatedly exposed as a charlatan. In 1988, a trial court decision in New York State held that Dr. Underwager was “not qualified to render any opinion as to whether or not (the victim) was sexually molested.” In 1990 his testimony on memory was ruled improper “in the absence of any evidence that the results of Underwager’s work had been accepted in the scientific community.”

And In Minnesota a judge ruled that Underwager‘s theories on “learned memory” were the same as “having an expert tell the jury that (the victim) was not telling the truth.”

Peter and Pamela Freyd, executive directors of the Foundation, joined forces with Underwager in 1991, and their story is also interesting. Jennifer Freyd, their daughter, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, openly leveled accusations of abuse against her parents at an August 1993 mental health conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“My family of origin was troubled in many observable ways, ” she said. “I refer to the things that were never ‘forgotten’ and ‘recovered,’ but to things that we all knew about.” She gave her father’s alcoholism as an example. “During my childhood, my father sometimes discussed his own experiences of being sexually abused as an 11 year-old boy, and called himself a ‘kept boy.'” Peter Freyd graduated to male prostitution as an adolescent.

“My father,” she says, “told various people that I was brain damaged.” At the time, Jennifer Freyd was a graduate student on a National Science Foundation fellowship. She has taught at Cornell and received numerous research awards. Her mother suggested that Jennifer’s memories were “confabulations,” and faulted therapeutic intervention.

Pamela Freyd turned to her own psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Lief, currently an advisory board member of the Foundation, to diagnose Jennifer. “He explained to me that he did not believe I was abused,” Jennifer recalls. Dr. Lief‘s diagnosis was based on his belief that Peter Freyd‘s fantasies were strictly “homoerotic.”

Lief is a close colleague of the CIA’s Martin Orne. A former major in the Army medical corps, Lief joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1968, at the peak of federally-funded behavioral modification experiments at Holmesburg Prison. Dr. Orne consulted with him on several studies in hypnotic programming.

His academic writing reveals a peculiar range of professional interests, including “Orgasm in the Postoperative Transsexual” for Archives of Sexual Behavior, and an exploration of the possibility of life after death for a journal on mental diseases edited by Foundation fellow Paul McHugh. Lief is a director of the Center for Sexuality and Religion, past president of the Sex Information and Education Council and an original board member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

Two others, Jon Baron from Penn U. and Ray Hyman (an executive editor of the aforementioned Skeptical Inquirer), a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, resigned from the board after Jennifer Freyd went public with her account of childhood abuse, and the facetious attempts of her parents and their therapist to discredit her. They were replaced by David Dinges, co-director–and with the ubiquitous Martin Orne–of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Pamela Freyd published an open letter defending her husband in Ralph Underwager‘s Issues in Child Abuse Accusations in 1991. It was reprinted in Confabulations, a book published a year later. The book bemoans the “destruction of families” brought on by “false” child abuse accusations, and maligns “cult-like” support groups and feminists, or “lesbian cults.”

Executive director Freyd often refers to the feminist groups that have taken up the cause of child abuse survivors as “lesbians,” after the bizarre Dr. Underwager, who claims, “these women may be jealous that males are able to love each other, be comrades, friends, be close, intimate.”

That’s interesting in itself because bemoaning the destruction of the family and attacking feminists is very much my thing too but I am dead against the charlatan FMSA and it’s apologizers for paederasty. So this is one case where politically, it seems I must cross the floor in the interests of exposing these people.

Manipulative tactics are another Foundation imprimatur. Lana Alexander, editor of a newsletter for survivors of child sexual abuse, observes that “many people view the false memory syndrome theory as a calculated defense strategy developed by perpetrators and the lawyers and expert witnesses who defend them.”

A legitimizing barrage of stories in the press has shaped public opinion and warmed the clime for defense attorneys. The concept of false memory serves the same purpose as Holocaust denial. It shapes opinion. Unconscionable crimes are obstructed, the accused is endowed with the status of martyr, the victim reviled.

The emphasis on image is obvious in “How Do We Know We are Not Representing Pedophiles,” an article written for the February 29, 1992 FMS Foundation Newsletter by Pamela Freyd. In it, she derides the suggestion that many members of the group could be molesters because “we are a good-looking bunch of people, greying hair, well dressed, healthy, smiling; just about every person who has attended is someone you would surely find interesting and want to count as a friend.”

One of the most prolific and quotable popularizers of false memory is Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of psychology and law at the University of Washington in Seattle, and an advisory board member of the Foundation. Her dual academic interests have fueled suspicions that the organization is more committed to defending perpetrators than ferreting out the facts. Loftus testified in over 150 criminal cases prior to joining the Foundation, always on behalf of defendants.

In 1991 she published a professional autobiography, Witness for the Defense, a study of eight criminal trials in which she appeared as an expert witness. In her book, Loftus–billed as “the expert who puts memory on trial”–conceded that her critics deem her research “unproven in real-life situations,” and her courtroom dissertations “premature and highly prejudicial.”

Elizabeth Loftus has two criteria for taking the stand. The first is when eyewitness identification is the sole or primary evidence against the defendant. Secondly, the accused must act innocent–she regrets testifying on behalf of Ted Bundy because the serial killer once smiled at the prosecutor, which she regards as an expression of guilt–and defense attorneys must believe it.

Loftus stood at the Harvard Medical School podium in May, 1994 to inform a conference on false memory of her research, “in which false memories about childhood events were created in 24 men and women ages 18 to 63.” Dr. Loftus reported that the parents of volunteers “cooperated to produce a list of events that had supposedly taken place in the volunteer’s early life.”

Three of the events actually took place. But one, a shopping trip, never happened. Some of the volunteers had memories, implanted by suggestion, of wandering lost on the fictitious shopping expedition.

Karen Olio, the author of scores of articles on sexual abuse, complains that Loftus‘s memory studies “examine only the possibility of implanting a single memory with which most people could easily identify (being lost in a mall, awakened by a noise in the night). The possibility of ‘implanting’ terrifying and shameful memories that differ markedly from an individual’s experience, such as memories of childhood abuse in individuals who do not have a trauma history,” remains to be proven.”

Psychiatrist John Briere of the University of Southern California has found that nearly two-thirds of all ritual abuse survivors report episodic or complete amnesia at some point after it occurred. The younger the child, the more violent the abuse, the more likely that memory lapses occurred. these findings have been duplicated at the University of California at San Francisco by psychiatrist Lenore Terr, who concluded that children subjected to repeated abuse were more likely to repress memories of it than victims of a single traumatic event.

Clinical psychologist Catherine Gould has treated scores of ritually abused children at her office in Encino, California. At the September 1993 National Conference on Crimes Against Children in Washington, D.C., Gould objected that the studies of Elizabeth Loftus ignore past research on trauma and its influence on memory.

“My concern about Elizabeth Loftus,” Gould said, “is that she has stated in print, and correctly so, that her data tells us nothing about the nature of memory of traumatic events. And yet she has failed to protest the misapplication of her findings by groups who are involved in discrediting the accounts survivors are giving of their traumatic history.

I believe that Dr. Loftus, like other psychologists, has an ethical responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that her research findings are interpreted and applied accurately, and are not manipulated to serve the political agenda of groups like the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. I question whether she has met this ethical responsibility.”

Seattle therapist James Cronin, one of the Foundation’s harshest critics, believes that the false memory concept is promoted by “fact and artifice” to a public conditioned to the fragmentation of knowledge, intellectual charades, elitism and the sterile abstractions that often pass for university education and expertise. The so-called experts now jumping on the side of false memory and therapist ‘bias’ are opportunists.”

Sixty Minutes publicly exonerated Kelly Michaels, a day-care worker in New Jersey, of charges that she sexually molested dozens of youngsters in 1984. Michaels was sentenced to 47 years in prison for sodomizing the children in her care with kitchen implements, among related charges. Her conviction was overturned in March 1993 when the state appeals court ruled that Michaels had not had a fair trial.

The Sixty Minutes research department somehow overlooked a May 1991 New York Times story on the abuse trial, and the testimony of four Essex County corrections officers who witnessed Miss Michaels and her father kissing and “fondling” one another during jail visitations. Jerry Vitiello, a jailer, said that “he saw Ms. Michaels use his tongue when kissing his daughter, rub her buttocks and put his hand on her breasts.”

Similar incestuous liaisons were detailed in the courtroom by three women working in the jail. The bizarre sexual antics of Kelly Michaels–damningly chronicled in Nap Time by Lisa Manshel in 1990–was nixed from the one-sided Sixty Minutes account, which made her out to be grist for the meat grinder of wrong-headed child abuse laws.

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation made its collective debut in “Remembering Satan,” a two-part story by Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker for April and May 1993. The story (republished in 1994 in book form) concerns a ritual abuse trial in Olympia, Washington that culminated with a 20-year prison sentence for Thurston County Sheriff Paul Ingram, chairman of the local Republican Party. Ingram has since filed motions to withdraw his guilty plea, a move rejected by an appellate court in 1992.

Also charged, but not convicted, were Jim Rabie, a lobbyist with the Washington State Law Enforcement Association and a former police detective assigned to child abuse cases, and Ray Risch, an employee of the State Patrol’s body-and-fender shop. Wright‘s conclusion, however, is based on the opinions of False Memory Syndrome Foundation psychiatrists: that accusations made by Ingram’s two daughters, and his own confession to police, were fantasies misinterpreted by Ingram himself and his daughters as actual memories.

Wright fumigates any question of abuse with false memory theory. Among the authorities consulted by Wright was Foundation board member Paul McHugh, director of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. Like Margaret Singer, he is a veteran of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (1961-64) and moves in political circles.

For three years (1986-89), McHugh was chairman of the bio-psychology study section of the National Institutes of Health, and a former member of the Maryland Governor’s Advisory Commission.

McHugh cites as an example the children of Chowchilla, California, who were kidnapped in a school bus and buried alive. McHugh claims they remembered the horror “all too well.” Not exactly. In fact, the FBI’s subsequent use of investigative hypnosis was largely the result of the Chowchilla children’s failure of memory. After their release, none of the children had a clear recollection of the kidnappers, could not identify them– and neither did the bus driver, Ed Ray, who managed to recite the license-plate number of the abductor’s van under hypnosis.

Wright‘s defense of Ingram turns on the opinion of Richard Ofshe, a Berkeley psychologist, reputed mind control expert and friend of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Ofshe has written, Wright explains, “extensively about how the thought-control techniques developed in Communist China, the Soviet Union and North Korea had come to be employed and refined by various religious cults in the United States.”

Ofshe has not been directly linked to the CIA, but his work parrots the writings of UCLA’S Louis Jolyon West and other psychiatrists with Agency credentials.

Wright somehow failed to mention that Ofshe is sharply at odds with much of the American Psychological Association. He has filed a suit, with Margaret Singer, for $30 million against the APA for engaging in a “conspiracy” to “destroy” their reputations and prevent them from testifying in the courtroom.

Both Ms. Singer and Richard Ofshe derive a significant part of their income as consultants and expert witnesses on behalf of accused child abusers. Their complaint, filed under federal racketeering laws–tripling any financial damages–claims that members of the APA set out with “repeated lies” to “discredit them and impair their careers.”

The Association flatly denied the charges. Two courts quickly dismissed the case. The APA released a statement to the press stating that the organization had merely advised members against testifying in court on the subject of brainwashing with “persuasive coercion” (a concept, after all, pushed during the Korean war by the CIA to justify barbaric mind control experimentation on American citizens), and had in no way conspired to impair the careers of Ofshe, Singer or anyone else.

Ofshe‘s constant claims there is “no evidence” to support ritual abuse allegations ignores Ingram’s own confession and a number of jury decisions across the country. And then there are, to cite one documented example of evidence from the glut that Ofshe ignores, the raid on the Children of God compound in Argentina in 1993, which turned up videos of ritual abuse and child pornography. Evidence does exist–Ofshe simply refuses to acknowledge the fact.

On the December 3, 1993 Rolanda talk show, a woman was interviewed who’d had flashback memories of abuse before consulting with a therapist. Dr. Ofshe appeared on the program, his silver beard groomed, looking every inch the authority. Rolanda asked Ofshe if “a terrible childhood memory, as bad as child abuse, (can) actually be repressed.”

“There is absolutely no reason to think that that is true,” Ofshe told her. “And it’s not just what I say–this is the sum and substance of everything science knows about how memory works.”

Dr. Daniel Lutzker, a psychologist at the Milton Erickson Institute, was sitting in the audience–turning crimson with rage at Ofshe‘s misrepresentations of the psychology of trauma. He stood up and argued that sex abuse can indeed begat buried recollections. “Repressed memories,” Lutzker countered, “are not only important, they are the cornerstone of most psychotherapies. The fact is that the more awful the experience, the more likely it is to be repressed!”

Ofshe responded that there was “no evidence” so support such “nonsense.”

Grimacing with disbelief, Lutzker said that Ofshe wouldn’t make such outrageous comments if he bothered to pick up
“any basic textbook on psychotherapy.”

“You’re making it up!” Ofshe retorted. Lutzker stared at him in disbelief.

[VERICOMM BBS 510.891.0303, or VERICOMM, POB 32314, Oakland, CA 94604-2314 USA.]

And some of these names pop up in other contexts as well – the interconnections are interesting. CKLN-FM 88.1 Toronto – International Connection Mar 16, 23, 30, 1997; transcript of lecture by Dr. Colin Ross, given at 9th Annual Western Clinical Conference on Trauma and Dissociation, April 18, 1996, Orange County, California:

Ewen Cameron, the founder of the World Psychiatric Association, funded through MKULTRA and Human Ecology Foundation by the Canadian military and the CIA, did LSD and other hallucinogen research and was successfully sued – he had already died and the CIA settled out of court with eight of his patients.

One of his papers, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry is on Psychic Driving, another was on production of Differential Amnesia in Schizophrenia.

Linda McDonald, went to McGill to be treated for mild post-partum depression from March to early September, 1963. During the course of her hospitalization, she received 102 ECT treatments, using the Paige-Russell technique, in which the button was pushed 6x per treatment, instead of 1x.

She also received about 80 days of barbiturate and neuroleptic induced sleep. She was regressed back to incontinence of urine, incontinent of faeces, total disorientation, then sent home. She neuropsychologically pulled out of this over months but couldn’t remember anything from the time she left the hospital back to birth. So this was research in producing specific amnesias and global amnesia.

In the Senate Committee Hearings in the 1970s on MKULTRA, John Gittinger, head Ph.D. psychologist in MKULTRA testified that the creation of Manchurian Candidates and the movie, The Manchurian Candidate, were just fiction, ridiculous and had never been done. Estabrooks , meanwhile, was creating Manchurian Candidates and writing about it [Hypnosis Comes of Age by G. H. Estabrooks, PH.D. Science Digest April, 1971].

Martin Orne – his basic position, argued at many conferences, was that MPD was created by the therapist himself. Now why would Martin Orne think this, as a CIA funded hypnotherapist? Martin Orne was on the Scientific Advisory Board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, as was Richard Ofshe, an expert on coercive mind control and cult persuasion techniques.

In his book, “Making Monsters”, Ofshe ridiculed nuts who believed that the CIA had been creating MPD. Next there was Joly West, funded under MKULTRA to study the psychobiology of dissociation. He was also the only person to ever kill an elephant, at Oklahoma City Zoo, with LSD. Joly West started his professional career interviewing American pilots who had come back from Korea, having been captured and brainwashed by the Communist Chinese.

Margaret Singer, who wrote the book, “Cults in Our Midst” which is the foundation of the iatrogenic pathway to DID, had TS clearance to interview these pilots as well. Margaret Singer published with Jolyn West and with Richard Ofshe.  False Memory Syndrome Foundation – Paul McHugh was Chairman of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.

He said that 100% of cases of DID are iatrogenic and that all DID Units should shut down, and he was on the Advisory Board of the FMSF. When he was in the military he did research connected to Walter Reed Hospital, major site for military intelligence work, connected with mind control. A prior Chairman of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, named James Whitehorn, was on the Advisory Board of the Human Ecology Foundation.

The relations between the Cult Awareness Network and the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board – Joly West was on the Boards of CAN and FMSF and was connected to the CIA. Margaret Singer was connected to Joly West and Richard Ofshe. Margaret Singer and Joly West were on the Board of CAN and Richard Ofshe was on the Board of FMSF. Joly West and Margaret Singer worked for Air Force Intelligence.

Who is Robert Heath? He did brain electro implant research for the CIA for non-therapeutic purposes, using psyllicibin, mescaline, LSD, and other chemicals in conjunction. In one of his papers, he thanks Harold Lief for referring one of his brain electrode implant research subjects. Harold Lief is on the Advisory Board of the FMSF, and in fact, was personal psychiatrist to the Freyd family.

The trouble with people like Ofshe who does not come out of the above smelling of roses, is his plausibility. Cultivating the revered professor look, he replies to questions with things like this [The San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 1, 1994].

If you’re already predisposed towards a point of view and he, an “expert” comes along and derides talk of mind control and the like, it’s all too easy to glibly accept what he says, minus any evidence whatever, just as you might accept Loftus’s characterization of those opposing FMS as “charlatans and half trained practitioners that I know are all Doctors and Psychiatrists …”

If you’ve read this far, you’ll see that, short of actually accusing her of being part of the defenders of high profile paedophiles in the community, anything she or any of the underlined names in the post have said or written should be treated with a great deal of caution. I’m not necessarily arguing for repressed memories or any other psychological position but I’m very much calling out this narrative and warning about the glib acceptance of the words of so-called experts who have barrows to push.

Personal testimony of one victim:

My personal experience with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was in the year 2000 at a Mormon-run Psychiatric facility in Utah that my parents sent me to against my will. This place was started by a woman who used to live in Washington D.C. and work for the government. It was one in a series of other facilities I was forced to attend wherein I was detained and drugged. I was at this location for 9 months at the age of 15 and missed the second half of my freshman year of highschool as well as the first half of my sophomore year.

In Provo, Utah, I lived with a young Mormon staff in a big farm house equipped with psychiatrists on site to feed each adolescent female her daily toxic cocktail of deadly pharmaceuticals. As many other treatment facilities it was a playground for fraudulent science with no legitimate medical basis or scientific evidence for any of the many disorders every young woman was mercilessly labelled with. Each new incomer was a psychiatric cash cow. It should be well known that bipolar and other so-called mental illnesses are very often a cover up for people who have been mind controlled. Case in point.

I have been haunted with often debilitating flashbacks of sexual abuse that arose from a young age. A couple months into the program the staff found my poetry and writings about rape and interrogated me afterwards. Some staff tried to get details out of me that they thought I was withholding. The discovery of my admission that I’d been abused alongside the search for repressed memories triggered a controversy that led to the owners of the facility inviting in a few members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation on to the premises to set me straight. They arrived on site to talk to us about false memories and how I was most likely just “making it all up.” I was not, and I will detail my involvement in Project Monarch at a later time.

Personally I don’t know how it would be possible to simply out of nowhere just invent painful memories that permeate every avenue of your being, haunting and stifling your sexual and parental relationships for years, but the False Memory Syndrome works at defending pedophiles world wide, and would prefer it if you thought that it was only “all in your head.” I don’t think you could recreate the intensity of trauma that gets buried in your muscle memory, playing you like a puppet of conditioning and fear, leaving you catatonic and dissociated at the slightest association and trigger unless you had a whole lot of horrific experience to back it up. The personal and work backgrounds of the founders and main members are certainly telling, and leave a lot to be wondered about their motives and manipulations.

Alisha Owen

Take that one as you find. The story of Alisha Owen whom they put away for 27 years, whilst reducing or dropping charges against others who had claimed paedo rings at high levels was one in which False Memory raised its head:

Two jurors submitted affidavits stating that there were “deliberate improprieties,” with jurors being provided evidence during their deliberations. The jurors said that evidence introduced in the trial was denied their review , and evidence that had never been introduced was “mysteriously” provided to them.

One juror’s affidavit discussed a letter written on yellow legal paper and “signed by Mike Casey,” which described the “hoax” perpetrated by Mike Casey, Alisha Owen, and Gary Caradori. The juror said that the letter, read by “all or most” of the jurors, was the critical item convincing him of Owen’s guilt, and, after the trial, he sorted through “all the evidence and exhibits” and couldn’t find the letter.

Alisha Owen’s appellate attorneys appealed her conviction on several grounds, including prosecutorial, judicial, and juror misconduct. Specific motions included perjured witness testimony, denial of Miranda rights, the jurors using a dictionary to define “reasonable doubt,” and the judge being a practicing attorney. All the appeals were denied.

She still maintains exactly what she originally said and has never recanted. Vid here on the story. Interestingly, the boy who also did not recant sued Larry King and won – for the abuse the Grand Jury said had never happened. Go figure, as the Americans would say.

False memory syndrome shows all the hallmarks of a narrative but what is worse – it’s a narrative pushed by the very people being accused of the crimes.  Someone like Elizabeth Loftus is not a main player in the organization but she is well aware of how her pronouncements are being used and who by.

Unlike two psychologists of note who did remove themselves from the group when it became known what it was about, she did not remove herself and kept pushing the same line, basking in “Elizabeth Loftus, perhaps the pre-eminent memory expert in America today.”

Really?  Based on what exactly?

How many people defended the indefensible in Belgium, Nottingham, Orkney and Rochdale?   Is it all a fantasy or is there some truth in it?   This was a link to an Irish civil servant’s network. Of course the article’s no longer there. Were no major head nods given for this organization to operate?   And with the breakdown of the family and children increasingly taken into care, the field’s wide open.

Naturally, this one’s no longer there.  Nor this.  You can hover for the url though.

It goes on seemingly forever – best stop now.

7 comments for “True memories or false?

  1. Voice of Reason
    February 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    One slight problem is that False Memory has been tested. It is extraordinarily easy to implant false memories in people, especially young children. Studies also show that those false memories are stronger and more convincing to the person than are memories of things which actually happened.

    • February 27, 2012 at 5:42 am

      I have read quite a lot on the (mostly American) cases, and it’s amazing, looking back, how easily law enforcement got sucked in.

    • February 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

      One slight problem is that False Memory has been tested.

      That’s too assertive without backup. The article quoted and others showed it had not been tested at all, except against their own constructions. Easy to set up a science and then test a case against it. Hmmm, no boxes ticked – doesn’t exist then.

      Just look at the post and it’s the expose of a bunch of charlatans. Under fire, certain of them, e.g. Loftus, even admit they’re on shaky ground. Hell, these people are connected with MK Ultra, which was denied for decades and then suddenly admitted. And you’d accept the word of these people?

      Julia – law enforcement got involved because of what is now openly rampant. How many links of cases do you need from around the world. Or are you saying that paedophile rings do not exist?

      That memories can be planted is most certainly so but you can’t have it both ways. If you admit that, then you admit mind-control, which Estabrooks catalogued anyway in the 20s, so it’s no mystery – I read his case study notes. If you accept planted memories, then you’re in Manchurian territory.

      On the other hand:

      Dr. Daniel Lutzker, a psychologist at the Milton Erickson Institute, was sitting in the audience–turning crimson with rage at Ofshe‘s misrepresentations of the psychology of trauma. He stood up and argued that sex abuse can indeed begat buried recollections. “Repressed memories,” Lutzker countered, “are not only important, they are the cornerstone of most psychotherapies. The fact is that the more awful the experience, the more likely it is to be repressed!”

      A libertarian can argue that a person is innocent until proven guilty and our legal system does not recognize juvenile testimony and rightly so, as children can fantasize. This was not a whole lot of kids fantasizing about different things – this was consistent testimony and even now it’s coming in. That’s the bottom line – far from going away, as some sort of induced aberration by psychologists at a certain time, what has happened is the logical scenario – it’s become more rampant and globalized.

      As the principals accused in that particular case went on, it eventually turned on them. Thus King got the Grand Jury to do one thing but another court upheld that he had done as he had and awarded damages. How do you explain that?

      The trouble with kids is that they really can tell the truth, blurt it out and it has to be taken with a pinch of salt but when it continues to come out, from different individuals, under different influences, then surely one takes notice.

      The trouble for the average citizen is that all he has to go on are official reports saying “there’s not a shred of evidence”, quoting case studies skewed to support this but the other side can quote case studies that do anything but support it. People prefer the comfortable option and there you are. Almost anyone I discuss this with [and it’s not often] quote the official debunking, which was a whitewash of course.

      This is the alternative view:

      And Julia would no doubt quote this:

      … which I wouldn’t disagree with in the least, having been subject to a[n ultimately] false allegation which was later uncovered by the headmistress as three 16 yr old girls deciding to “get me” for throwing them out of the dining hall a week earlier and “humiliating” them. Just as with the cases in the link, the testimony conflicted and venues did not hold up. That’s par for the course for teachers. Shows you have to do everything openly, even to survive.

      So yes – well aware of the other side. That, I’d humbly suggest, is a different matter to paedo rings and the FMSA, which has a different agenda.

  2. Voice of Reason
    February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm


    It isn’t just deliberately false allegations. There have been some very nice experiments in controlled memory implantation – people were reminded of incidents in their past, including one incident which had not happened. A week later, they were asked again about those memories. The ‘fake’ ones were recalled more often, in more detail than the ‘real’ ones. There are also stories by some professional magicians that I know, in which people described a year later some tricks that they had done in shows, which had not happened. Memory is a tricky and malleable thing.

    • February 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Yes, there are all those things but none of them negate the others. They’re circular. These ones were true:

      … but the ones like Alisha Owen and Paul Bonacci were not. You keep forgetting – the court awarded him damages for it. He did not lie. There were 80 cases of which many recanted with exactly the same pressure on the children as they alleged caused the claims in the first place.

      You mention allegations – this is precisely what the FMSA were at – baseless allegations. They had built their case on no science – you’ve seen that above [if you read it] and they were only a fragment of the material which would have made an already long post much longer.

      It was simply counter claim against original claim, along with duress on the children – that doesn’t stand up in any court of law where the government is disinterested. Many people have shown the FMSA were not disinterested in the least – they are defending a certain demographic to prevent this going to the top.

      How do you explain the Irish cases of late? It’s now 2012 and the allegations still go on. Is this some conspiracy of psychologists across the world, all laughing wickedly and accusing upright churchmen for no reason but to make trouble? Do you think there was nothing in the Catholic allegations against the priests? And what of Dutreux? All imagination?

      It simply doesn’t stand up.

      • Voice of Reason
        February 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        Of course (most of) these cases that you cite are valid. However, in most cases, they also had other evidence, if indirect. In cases such as the McMartin preschool, it was quite clear that the memories were implanted, and couldn’t be true. Nonetheless, several people were ruined emotionally and finacially, and some went to jail.

        The key is evidence. Eyewitness testimony, while loved by juries, is notoriously unreliable. They have done serious tests on this as well, and found numerous incidents of people picked by the victims (rape and assault) whose pictures had been shown to them previously. Their memories replaced the actual criminal with the new image.

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