September 9, 2022 Comments Off on False Memories – The Deception That Silenced Millions
False Memories – The Deception That Silenced Millions
Lynn Crook’s long-awaited book is now available on Amazon!
False Memories – The Deception That Silenced Millions
Lynn Crook offers a behind-the-scenes look at how accused child molesters with a budget in the millions convinced the public that adults’ accusations are false memories. Survivors, therapists, attorneys and journalists will find this book eye-opening and instructive.
Lynn Crook, MEd
Author of False Memories – The Deception That Silenced Millions
Won Lawsuit Against Perpetrators
Accused Child Molesters Invest $7 Million in PR
Accused child molesters invested millions in their false memory PR campaign of the 1990s. Statements such as “sex abuse hysteria,” “misguided therapists,” and “an epidemic of false accusations” appeared in three hundred articles by 1995.
Part 1 of False Memories – The Deception explains how the author was taught to “forget it” as a child, what caused her to recall the abuse as an adult and how she successfully sued her parents for damages. Following the lawsuit, Crook read the deposition of her parents’ false memory expert, Elizabeth Loftus, PhD. She learned that the expert had dropped the first six subjects from her famous lost in a mall study supporting false memory claims. The deposition led her along a path to other documents showing the expert had misrepresented, and then monetized her research. The media neglected to report that the mall study did not represent what a therapist might tell a client.
As the PR campaign continued, adults molested as children were told by friends and family members, “I read about false memories like yours.” Part 2 describes the organization of the parents’ remarkably successful PR campaign as they gaslighted, harassed and threatened anyone who challenged their claims.
Today, false memory claims are found in courtrooms, psychology textbooks and the popular press. Meanwhile, data show that over 40 million adults in the U.S. were molested as children.
False Memories – The Deception is recommended for survivors, therapists, attorneys and journalists.
Contact: Lynn Crook TM Publications, LLC firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Crook earned a BA in French, and an MEd in educational psychology at the University of Washington. She served as community educator and director for a sexual assault agency in southeastern Washington. In 1991 she sued her parents for damages after recovering memories of childhood sexual abuse by her father. Following a month-long trial in 1994, the judge ruled in her favor at a time when 85% of the popular press was telling us that adults’ accusations of childhood sexual abuse are false memories. She hopes that her book will encourage the public to believe adults’ incest allegations. http://lynncrook.com/about.html
Judge Lets Ghislaine Maxwell (Jeffrey Epstein’s associate) Call Elizabeth Loftus to testify https://ritualabuse.us/smart/elizabeth-loftus/
November 23, 2021 Comments Off on Judge Lets Ghislaine Maxwell (Jeffrey Epstein’s associate) Call Elizabeth Loftus to testify https://ritualabuse.us/smart/elizabeth-loftus/
Judge Lets Ghislaine Maxwell (Jeffrey Epstein’s associate) Call Elizabeth Loftus to testify https://ritualabuse.us/smart/elizabeth-loftus/
Judge Lets Ghislaine Maxwell Call ‘False Memory’ Expert Involved in Robert Durst, O.J. Simpson, and Harvey Weinstein Cases Adam Klasfeld Nov 22nd, 2021
(Information on Elizabeth Loftus: https://ritualabuse.us/smart/elizabeth-loftus/ – A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus
– Ethics Complaints Filed Against FMSF Board Member Elizabeth Loftus
– “Lost in a Shopping Mall” A Breach of Professional Ethics
– Quotes: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
– The Alleged Ethical Violations of Elizabeth Loftus in the Case of Jane Doe
Information on Paul Shanleyhttps://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/shanley-recovered-memory-case/ “Shanley was accused of sexual abuse in the 1960’s, the 1970’s, the 1980’s and the 1990’s. His church personnel records indicated he was transferred from parish to parish despite allegations of abuse. The Boston Herald (4/9/02) printed that Shanley “spoke in favor of sex between men and boys at a formative 1978 meeting in Boston of the “Man Boy Lovers of North America” and that he “admitted openly to raping and sodomizing minors when confronted by church investigators under Boston’s two past archbishops, Humberto Cardinal Medeiros and Law.”)
Exactly a week before the anticipated start of her sex trafficking trial, Ghislaine Maxwell received permission to call a “false memory” expert relied upon by Harvey Weinstein, Robert Durst, O.J. Simpson and hundreds of other criminal defendants seeking to undermine the credibility of their accusers.
In the words of a New Yorker profile on the controversy surrounding her expertise, Elizabeth Loftus has “Changed the Meaning of Memory,” and her life’s work has collided with the #MeToo movement’s moment of cultural reckoning. In particular, Loftus has questioned the reliability of memory and how she believes suggestion can mold it. She also has testified about her research during the trials of Jerry Sandusky, Ted Bundy, and Paul Shanley, a now-deceased priest who served 12 years in prison following his conviction for raping a child.
In a two page order on Monday morning, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan granted Maxwell permission to call Loftus—subject to certain limitations that are currently under seal. The threadbare order states only that the government’s motion to block her testimony is denied in part and granted in part.
A fuller explanation of the order may be released if the prosecutors and defense team propose redactions agreed upon by the judge….
Maxwell has been accused of grooming minor girls for Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual predation and participating in the abuse herself. Epstein’s scheme allegedly operated through what a Palm Beach detective described as a “sexual Pyramid scheme,” built upon recruiting minor girls to give him massages for money, and prosecutors claim Maxwell was a top procuress of victims. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, multiple violations of the Mann Act, and other offenses. Though her latest indictment lists four minor victims, she has noted that one of them attained the age of consent during the time of the alleged conspiracy.https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/ghislaine-maxwell/judge-lets-ghislaine-maxwell-call-false-memory-expert-who-testified-as-defense-psychologist-for-robert-durst-o-j-simpson-harvey-weinstein/
November 4, 2021 Comments Off on Trauma and Memory – The Science and the Silenced
Trauma and Memory – The Science and the Silenced
Recently a new book was published about the False Memory Movement. Over the years, this movement has been extremely damaging for trauma, rape, child abuse and ritual abuse survivors and their helpers. This movement has used propaganda, bullying, harassment, disinformation and pseudoscientific research to bolster its claims. The False Memory Movement has been used to defend accused and convicted pedophiles, rapists and murderers.
Fortunately there have been many brave therapists, researchers and survivors that have spent years fighting the false memory movement’s pseudoscience, including inaccurate statements denying traumatic amnesia and denying the traumagenic origins of dissociative identity disorder.
This new book “Trauma and Memory – The Science and the Silence” is an excellent resource for those who continue the fight against false memory disinformation. The book consolidates older historic information from Freud’s era and the 1980’s and 1990’s as well as newer research about more recent events.
We highly recommend this book. There is a hard copy and e-book available at the website below. “The abuse of science to silence the abused” by the false memory movement has been exposed once again. https://www.routledge.com/Trauma-and-Memory-The-Science-and-the-Silenced/Sinason-Conway/p/book/9781032044293
Trauma and Memory
The Science and the Silenced
Trauma and Memory will assist mental health experts and professionals, as well as the interested public, in understanding the scientific issues around trauma memory, and how this differs from other areas of memory.
This book provides accounts of the damage caused to psychology and survivors internationally by false memory groups and ideas. It is unequivocally passionate about the truth of trauma memory and exposing the damaging disinformation that can seep into the field. Contributors to this book include leading professionals from the field of criminology, law, psychology and psychotherapy in the UK and USA, along with survivor-professionals who understand only too well the damage such disinformation can cause.
This book is a valuable resource for mental health professionals of all disciplines including those involved with relevant law and public health policy. It will also help survivors and survivor-professionals in gaining insight into the forces resisting disclosure.
Valerie Sinason, PhD, is a widely published Writer and Psychoanalyst. She has pioneered disability and trauma-informed therapy for over 30 years, is President of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, Founder and Patron of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies and on the Board of the ISSTD.
Ashley Conway, PhD, AFBPsS, is a Counselling Psychologist. He has worked in a wide range of fields of trauma, ranging through severe critical incidents to long term abuse, and has published widely in these areas. He is currently the Chair of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies in London, UK.
ISBN: 978-1-032-04432-3 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-032-04429-3 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-003-19315-9 (ebk) DOI: 10.4324/9781003193159
1 In conversation with Ross Cheit ASHLEY CONWAY
2 False memory syndrome movement: The origins and the promoters MARJORIE ORR
3 The rocky road to false memories: Stories the media missed LYNN CROOK
4 Re-examining the “Lost in the Mall”: study Were “false memories” created to promote a false defence? In conversation with Ruth Blizard VALERIE SINASON
5 Evaluating false memory research WINJA BUSS
6 The abuse of science to silence the abused ASHLEY CONWAY
7 False memory syndrome SUSIE ORBACH
8 Trauma, skin: memory, speech ANN SCOTT
9 Sigmund Freud’s concept of repression: Historical and empirical perspectives BRETT KAHR
10 Terror in the consulting room – memory, trauma and dissociation PHIL MOLLON
11 How can we remember but be unable to recall? The complex functions of multi-modular memory MARY SUE MOORE
12 What if I should die? JENNIFER JOHNS
13 Finding a new narrative: Meaningful responses to “false memory” disinformation MICHAEL SALTER
14 “Do no harm”? KHADIJA ROUF AND DANNY TAGGART Excerpts: page 1 The FMS model provided an explanation for the beginning of the exposure of the scale of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) worldwide, and it enabled the awful truth to be displaced. The multitude of stories of abuse that were beginning to be made public could be explained away – they could be blamed on the therapists who were hearing their clients’ histories.
As long as truth struggles with power, there will be offshoots of such models of displacement and the history of denial goes far back. The FMS may have gone off-grid for now, but it is simply another move in the theories of denial of abuse, and more efforts to silence the truth will follow. The principles remain the same.
The account of Cassandra tragically fits Jennifer Freyd’s concept of DARVO (Freyd, 1997). DARVO stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender. This is the common response of a person or an institution that will not accept responsibility and accountability for the violations they have caused.
Jennifer Freyd regarding her parents (FMSF founders):….The grandparents had an affair which culminated after 11 years in marriage, at which time Pamela and Peter Freyd also married aged 18 and 20. Professor Freyd recollected her father speaking openly of his own childhood homosexual liaison as an 11-year-old with a paedophile artist. She remembered being made to dance nude in front of him aged 9 with a friend; of being taught to kiss on the mouth “like an adult” for a school play aged 11 in front of the cast….he continually made sexual comments which were regarded as normal in the family….He drank heavily through her childhood and was hospitalised for alcoholism.
page 26 – 27
Another key figure in the FMS movement is New Zealand doctor, Felicity Goodyear-Smith. Her book First Do No Harm is subtitled “The Sexual Abuse Industry” (Goodyear-Smith, 1993)….The major theme in First Do No Harm is that sexual abuse is a cultural taboo. There is no intrinsic moral objection to adult–child sexual contact and no automatic damage caused by it. Underwager and Wakefield are quoted as the principal references.
Felicity Goodyear-Smith admits to a personal as well as professional involvement in the abuse field. Her husband and parents-in-law were imprisoned for sexual abuse offences, having been members of a New Zealand community, CentrePoint, which encouraged sexual intimacy amongst its members, including the children.
The author quotes studies that purport to show that adult–child sex can be harmless. Under a section on “Children’s Sexual Rights” she describes groups, such as the Paedophile Information Exchange, the Rene Guyon Society (“sex by eight, or it’s too late”), and the North American Man/Boy Love Association, as “holding radical beliefs regarding children’s sexual rights”.
Some have suggested the media’s failure to challenge the false memory scenario reflected a need to deny the scale of the sexual abuse of children. Perhaps their editors failed to encourage a critical analysis of the story because everyone else was covering it – so it must be true. Some reporters may have failed to question the story because they had been accused of molesting a child. Others may have been protecting someone.
The government’s witnesses included many of the individuals who had appeared in Frontline producer Ofra Bikel’s “The Search for Satan”. In court, their stories did not hold up as well as they had in Bikel’s interviews. Under cross-examination by Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, Shanley conceded on 8 October 1997 that she could not name any memories that were implanted. The Houston Chronicle headline on 8 October 1998 announced, “Former patient can’t attribute false memories to therapy” (Smith, 1999). On 1 March 1999 the government moved to dismiss the indictment. The national media did not cover the story.
Believing that one had been lost while shopping in childhood is not analogous to remembering sexual abuse. In fact, a large proportion of subjects can be convinced that they were lost in a mall as children, but none could be led to falsely believe they had been administered enemas (Pezdek, Finger & Hodge, 1997).
The first six subjects in the formal mall study failed to develop false memories (Coan, 1993), but those results were never published. In the second iteration of the formal mall study (Loftus & Pickrell, 1995), there is little explicit description of the methods of recruitment of subjects, experimental controls or training of investigators….Most importantly, no evidence is presented that any subjects formed full false memories. Nevertheless, the authors imply that, based on study results, they “are providing an ‘existence proof’ for the phenomenon of false memory formation” (pp. 723–4).
Rather, most false memory studies attempt to suggest to subjects that they experienced much more commonplace events, such as getting lost, spilling a bowl of punch, going for a balloon ride, or getting sick after eating eggs. It may be profitable to wonder whether many of the false memory researchers have been swept up in the FMSF campaign to exonerate parents who claim they have been falsely accused.
Other researchers and authors attempting to criticise false memory studies may have been intimidated. Between 1992 and 2017, nearly two dozen psychologists, psychiatrists, attorneys, authors, researchers, journalists, and abuse survivors have been subjected to ad hominem attacks by Loftus (Crook, personal communication, 2019). Those defamed include Ellen Bass, E. Sue Blume, Martha Dean, Laura Brown, Mary Harvey, Jim Coan’s mother, Judith Herman, David Calof, Kenneth Pope, David Corwin, Diana Russell, Lynn Crook, Lenore Walker, Laura Davis, Charles Whitfield, B. J. Levy, Neil Brick, Karen Olio, Bessel van der Kolk, Holly Ramona, Nicole Taus Kluemper and Gerald Koocher.
Many academics may be equally motivated to deny the existence of child abuse as was Freud. Those who gain considerable income from testifying in defence of accused perpetrators, as have Underwager, Gardner and Loftus, may have additional motivation for claiming that abuse accusations were fabricated.
Careful analysis of the research shows it is not easy to implant false memories of childhood abuse. False memories with autobiographical belief, recollective experiences and confidence in memory are rare to non-existent.
The false memory syndrome (FMS) advocates do not want evidence of false negatives – that we can experience something and then be persuaded that it did not happen, because that would not suit their narrative.
….There is no evidence that anyone has ever had a false belief implanted that they were sexually abused as a child.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the most severe of all dissociative disorders, and its features include recurrent amnesia. Recent research (Reinders et al., 2019) has demonstrated that individuals with DID can be distinguished from healthy controls on the basis of abnormal brain morphology.
….“Every single scientific study of memory of childhood sexual abuse, whether prospective or retrospective, whether studying clinical samples or general population samples, finds that a certain percentage of sexually abused individuals forget, and later remember, their abuse” (Van der Kolk, 2014, note on p. 398 re. p. 190).
As McMaugh and Middleton (2020) state, “the ‘false memory’ movement enabled society to ignore a whole new generation of abused children”.
Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes & Conway, 2010) is an informative book written to describe how vested interests have manipulated the media, to mislead and confuse in areas of great importance to society, including smoking, acid rain and climate change….they create an institute, with scientific advisors who can use their credentials to present themselves as authorities. The advisors cherry-pick data to advance a position, present ideas as if they were facts and use their authority to try to discredit any science they do not like. They use the mass media, making simplified, dramatic statements to capture public attention and draw in journalists to give their minority views more credence than they deserve. They then use these press stories, quoting them as if they were facts. If there is an individual whose opinions are contradictory to the desired line, ad hominem attacks are an option.
Sigmund Freud also realised that repressions could be lifted as a result of psychoanalytical treatment. In his essay on “Trauer und Melancholie” (Freud, 1917a), better known in English as “Mourning and Melancholia” (Freud, 1917b), he observed that the clinical process of psychoanalysis will frequently activate memories, and, that after treatment has progressed satisfactorily, repressed and unconscious memories will eventually return to the fore of consciousness, no longer subject to the disguise of repression.
Nevertheless, Erdelyi’s data does most certainly substantiate Freud’s claim that repressed material can return to consciousness, simply as a result of talking….Astonishingly, 38% of the sample of 129 women did not report the abuse, which Williams and colleagues knew, on the basis of hospital records, had, in fact, occurred.
Survivor accounts, combined with scientific advances in the understanding of trauma, are creating enriched understandings of how abuse can injure the usual process of memory and psychological functioning. Time is yielding an opportunity to reshape public understandings of trauma and its aftermath. This could lead to the correcting of harmful narratives which have led to unethical treatment of survivors, through denial, victim-blaming, or “othering”.
June 4, 2021 Comments Off on Focus on ISSTD History -An Interview with Alison Miller
Focus on ISSTD History
An Interview with Alison Miller
….These first DID clients were all members of the local Satanic cult.
KATE: I guess some mental health professionals, hearing stories of extreme abuse, may be tempted to think it is all made up or delusional, but you didn’t get a chance to disbelieve, as your situation was a little unique. ALISON: Yes. I had these four clients, all abused by the same cult. They unknowingly corroborated each other – they had information about events and abuse… and it was still going on, these were current events … I was followed by these abusers…. I had all kinds of corroboration and evidence. I tried to work with the police, but it didn’t work out the way it should have.
….At that point ISSTD was talking about ritual abuse. There were professional presentations on the topic.KATE: What was that like? What did it feel like to be at a conference where other people were treating the same issues you had encountered in therapy? ALISON: It was really exciting … I figured finally there are other people dealing with this. I can learn from them. People talked in the corridors… KATE: And then something happened for the field. Not so long after that the FMS started and people began talking about ritual abuse, even DID itself, was something that crazy therapists made up.
ALISON: Yes, it was very strange. Two years later everything changed. There were no presentations on organized abuse. Bennet Braun had been sued and Judith Peterson, who I had done training with, had criminal charges brought against her. Everyone was frightened about this. What we were being taught at ISSTD now was don’t talk about these things and don’t ever suggest anything to your client. Well, I already knew that you never do suggestive therapy! I had already been taught that. That was just basic! But this went beyond that. It was about shutting it down, and ‘you don’t know if you can believe a client and you need to make it clear to them that you are not taking sides’. It just felt like everything was being discredited and you couldn’t talk about it. But my clients were making really good progress, even those still being harassed, they were still making great progress. And what I was hearing at ISSTD was you know … back track, be careful, cover your arse. That’s what it was all about, but they didn’t use those words. Yet when someone has been through an horrendous experience they need to know that you care. They need you to care about what they have experienced, even if their memories are not 100% accurate, because memories are never 100% accurate. They don’t need you to sit behind your desk and act like these memories don’t matter and they’ve made it all up.
KATE: We have launched ourselves straight into the present as that debate around trauma and memory is one which is still alive today. I note that JTD is having a special edition on the issue of false memories. We still write on it and talk about it. Frontiers had a series of articles which you contributed to, where we talked about this issue. And it’s a very, very complex issue as we talk about to what extent we remain therapeutically neutral. I guess the core of the issue is that people feel differently about what therapeutic neutrality means and about believing or disbelieving memories. It is still a hot debate today.
ALISON: Yes, it is, and I did contribute it to it most recently. I think the debate reduced for a while when the FMS people managed to shut us down, but it has re-awakened. It’s all still there. Essentially, it is the survivor who needs to figure out what is real and not real in their memories. It is not my job. It was my job to listen to the client, to be compassionate, and to help them open up and talk about what’s important for them to talk about. And that is all. I think as long as I remember the limits to my job, then that’s okay. It was not my job to sit there and say ‘this is all true’ and then suggest more. But (equally) it was not my job to sit back and say, ‘I neither believe you or disbelieve you… and I think your attachment to your father is more important than what you are saying your father did.’ Or some such thing….
KATE: Yes, indeed. One of the other things I did want to talk to about is your books. I think pretty much all of us working in organized abuse have them on our bookshelves. There are so few books written in the field and you have been a pioneer, writing to my knowledge, some of the very few books in the field.
ALISON: I think they are still the only books devoted to this issue in such detail. And I published Healing the Unimaginable in 2012. There are a few good articles and the British put out some great compilations, but I think my books are still the only books that talk about what it is in the mind of the victim, how the abuse works, how the abusers set up the personality systems….
ALISON: I think it’s really important that therapists understand that this is organized crime. It is psychologically sophisticated organized crime. There is a set up that as soon as the survivor begins to disclose, there will be parts inside that go and tell the group that they have made disclosures. Perpetrator groups will be prepared to shut people down and we have to learn how to handle that. We need to understand the clinical issues, as well as how these groups work… back in the 1930’s people had to learn how the mafia worked before they could deal with it. The same with this situation….
I was thinking about what you said about needing to learn about these groups. One thing that seems helpful for our field is that we are beginning to learn more about organized abuse in general. There is research into the production of child sex abuse materials, into trafficking of children and young people across borders and between groups. We’ve had various enquiries into organizational abuse, including the Australian Royal Commission. Through this enquiry, for the first time the average Australian person realised that that big organized and semi organized groups can abuse children for many decades, cover it up, get away with it, pass children from perpetrator to perpetrator, and protect perpetrators. We saw that uncovered here and I am sure other countries have seen this too. I think that all these things have given validity to our field.
ALISON: Yes, very much so. And the fact that these groups actually put stuff on the internet and then get caught, you can see it is happening, and now, on some occasions, police have actually rescued children. KATE: And those who think that children must have been making it up, that these atrocities could not happen, because humans could not do that to each other, must now face the fact that police officers are literally looking at online material and studying it as evidence. The police know these things did happen to children as they see photos and videos of it.
ALISON: I think the production of materials is an important issue. Pretty much all my clients have been involved with that. There was a studio in Toronto (3000 miles away) which three of my clients had been involved with, one of them as a photographer … and this was a long time before all these things came out in the media, in the public. It is a horrible thing, but it is good that it is being discovered and the world is becoming aware that it does exist….
February 11, 2021 Comments Off on Michael Salter – Organized Abuse
Organised abuse has been reported by child victims, adult survivors and a range of professionals for over thirty years. However, organised abuse remains poorly understood.
This website has been developed by criminologist Scientia Associate Professor Michael Salter who specialises in the study of organised abuse and complex trauma. The aim of the website is to disseminate reliable information about organised abuse to professionals, victims and survivors.
Scientia Associate Professor Michael Salter
I am the Scientia Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of New South Wales, Australia. I specialise in the study of organised sexual abuse. In addition to my work on complex trauma, I have researched and published widely on violence against women and children.
I sit on the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. I am an Associate Editor of Child Abuse Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and I sit on the editorial board of the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation.
I act as a consultant and trainer to a range of non-government organisations and government departments at the state and national level. I am an expert advisor to the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
Salter, M. and Hanson, E. (2021) “I need you all to understand how pervasive this issue is”: User efforts to regulate child sexual offending on social media. In Baily, J., Flynn, A. and Henry, N. The Emerald International Handbook of Technology-facilitated Violence and Abuse. Emerald Publishing.
Salter, M. (2018) Child sexual abuse, in Rennison, C.M., Dekeseredy, W. S., Hall-Sanchez, A. (Eds), Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies, London and New York: Routledge
Salter, M. (2018) Finding a new narrative: Meaningful responses to ‘false memory’ disinformation, in Sinason, V. Memory in Dispute, Karnac: London.
Salter, M. (2018) Child sexual abuse. In Dekeseredy, W. and Dragiewicz, M. (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Critical Criminology, Routledge: London and New York.
Salter, M. (2016) Organised child sexual abuse in the media. In Pontel, H. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Oxford University Press: Oxford and London.
Salter, M. (2008) Out of the shadows: Re-envisioning the debate on ritual abuse. In: Perskin. P. and Noblitt. R. (eds) Ritual abuse in the twenty-first century: Psychological, forensic, social and political considerations. Robert D. Reed: Brandon, OR.
Organised abuse and the politics of disbelief
Out of the shadows: Re-envisioning the debate on ritual abuse
2008 Michael Salter
Ritual Abuse, Mind Control and Organised Abuse: Examining our History and Looking Forward
Michael Salter, PhD
I was a teenager when ritual abuse was first reported in Australia. A series of newspaper articles in the mid-1990s claimed that women were entering psychotherapy only to ‘recover’ memories of grotesque and improbable abuse.
The general thrust of coverage was that the movement against child abuse had gone too far, and that therapists and social workers were encouraging, and sometimes forcing, children and women to imagine abuse that had never happened. I was entirely unprepared when, only a few years after the publication of those articles, a friend began disclosing ritual abuse in the context of a paedophile ring. These disclosures occurred without facilitation or encouragement by a mental health professional, and they did not conform to mass media warnings about ‘false’ and ‘recovered’ memories. She had never ‘forgotten’ her abuse and she was reporting attacks in the present that left behind undeniable marks and injuries. Her disclosures set me on the path to a career as a criminologist specializing in the study of organized child sexual abuse. I now chair the Ritual Abuse, Mind Control and Organised Abuse Special Interest Group (RAMCOA) which is full of people just like me: people who unexpectedly encountered survivors of extreme abuse and have sought to understand and address their particular needs. The SIG includes an important cohort of therapists who are also survivors, driven by personal experience and professional commitment to provide care for others who share their history. Over the last few years, there’ve been moves afoot within the ISSTD to revisit and come to grips with the fractious legacies of the ‘memory wars’, including controversies over ritual abuse and mind control. I listened with great interest at the national ISSTD conference in Chicago this year as a number of ‘veterans’ of those wars shared their reflections on that time.
Michael Salter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminology and Scientia Fellow at the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales
Dr. Michael Salter is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Scientia Fellow at the School of Social Sciences at UNSW. Michael applies critical and feminist theory to the study of child sexual exploitation, gendered violence and complex trauma. He is leading two national studies: one on multi-sectorial constructions on complex trauma, and the second on the role of parents in the production of child exploitation material. Other current research projects include an analysis of perpetrator interventions in gendered violence and the role of technology in domestic violence. Michael sits on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and he is Associate Editor of Child Abuse Review.
Dr. Salter’s recent publications include:
Salter, M. (2020). Improved accountability: The role of perpetrator intervention systems.
Salter, M. (2020). “A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence.
Salter, M., Robinson, K., Ullman, J., Denson, N., Ovenden, G., Noonan, K., & Bansel, P. (2019). Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Men’s Attitudes and Understandings of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. DOI: 10.1177/0886260519898433.
McPhillips, K., Salter, M., Roberts-Pedersen, E., & Kezelman, C. (2019). Understanding trauma as a system of psycho-social harm: Contributions from the Australian royal commission into child sex abuse. Child abuse & neglect, 99. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104232.
Salter, M. (2019). The transitional space of public inquiries: The case of the Royal Commission into Institutional Forms of Child Sexual Abuse. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/0004865819886634.
Salter, M. (2019). Online Justice in the Circuit of Capital: #MeToo, Marketization and the Deformation of Sexual Ethics. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-15213-0_20.
Dragiewicz, M., Harris, B., Woodlock, D., & Salter, M. (2019). Domestic violence and communication technology: Survivor experiences of intrusion, surveillance, and identity crime.
UNSW Sydney | UNSW · School of Social Sciences
My research is focused on violence against women, child abuse, primary prevention and complex forms of victimisation, including organised abuse and technologically-facilitated abuse.
Organised Sexual Abuse
By Michael Salter
Copyright Year 2013 1st Edition
Organised Sexual Abuse offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary investigation of this phenomenon. Since the early 1980s, social workers and mental health professionals around the globe have encountered clients reporting sexual abuse by organized groups or networks. These allegations have been amongst the most controversial in debates over child sexual abuse, raising many unanswered questions. Are reports of organized abuse factual or the product of moral panic and false memories? If these reports are true, what is the appropriate response? The fields of child protection and psychotherapy have been polarised over the issue. And, although cases of organized abuse continue to be uncovered, a reasoned and evidence-based analysis of the subject is long overdue.
Examining the existing evidence, and supplementing it with further qualitative research, in this book Michael Salter addresses: the relationship between sexual abuse and organized abuse; questions over the veracity of testimony; the gap between the policing response to sexual abuse and the realities of child sexual exploitation; the contexts in which sexually abusive groups develop and operate; the role of religion and ritual in subcultures of multi-perpetrator sexual abuse; as well as the experience of adults and children with histories of organized abuse in the criminal justice system and health system. Organized Sexual Abuse thus provides a definitive analysis that will be of immense value to those with professional and academic interests in this area.
“A deep wound under my heart”: Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence May 2020 Michael Salter
Responses to women who have experienced complex trauma need to be sensitive, coordinated and consistent between services and agencies to ensure women’s wellbeing and safety from violence. However, the development of shared frameworks of practice for addressing complex trauma has been forestalled by a lack of professional consensus and understanding…
Organized Sexual Abuse. Dr. Michael Salter
Today on the podcast, Michael Salter.
Michael is an Associate Professor in Criminology at Western Sydney University, Australia and specializes in the study of organized sexual abuse.
In addition to his work on complex trauma, Michael Salter has researched and published widely on violence against women and children.
Michael sits on the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and is an associate editor of Child Abuse Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Organized abuse in adulthood: Survivor and professional perspectives
In book: The Abused and the Abuser (pp.199-211)
Authors: Michael Salter UNSW Sydney
Malignant trauma and the invisibility of ritual abuse
June 2019 DOI: 10.33212/att.v13n1.2019.16
Authors: Michael Salter UNSW Sydney
This article draws on psychoanalytic theories of malignant trauma to explain the invisibility of ritual abuse. Ritual abuse refers to the misuse of rituals in the organised sexual abuse of children. Despite expanded recognition of the varieties of child maltreatment, ritual abuse remains largely invisible outside the trauma and dissociation field as a specific form of sexual exploitation. Presenting qualitative data from interview research with ritual abuse survivors and mental health specialists, this article argues that the trauma of ritual abuse and its invisibility are co-constitutive. The perpetration and denial of ritual abuse occur within a relational matrix of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders structured by the presymbolic dread of vulnerability and dependency. The simultaneity of perpetration and disavowal creates the conditions for the malignancy of ritual abuse, including the invisibility of victims and the intergenerational transmission of extreme abuse. The article examines how the provision of care to ritual abuse survivors can become contingent on its erasure, and reflects on the role of therapists and others in interrupting the metastases of malignant trauma and crafting cultural and moral frameworks to transform the dread at the core of ritual abuse.
Cultures of Abuse: ‘Sex Grooming’, Organised Abuse and Race in Rochdale, UK
June 2015 International Journal for Crime Justice and Social Democracy 4(2)
Authors: Michael Salter UNSW Sydney Selda Dagistanli Western Sydney University
Revelations of organised abuse by men of Asian heritage in the United Kingdom have become a recurrent feature of international media coverage of sexual abuse in recent years. This paper reflects on the similarities between the highly publicised ‘sex grooming’ prosecutions in Rochdale in 2012 and the allegations of organised abuse in Rochdale that emerged in 1990, when twenty children were taken into care after describing sadistic abuse by their parents and others. While these two cases differ in important aspects, this paper highlights the prominence of colonial ideologies of civilisation and barbarism in the investigation and media coverage of the two cases and the sublimation of the issue of child welfare. There are important cultural and normative antecedents to sexual violence but these have been misrepresented in debates over organised abuse as racial issues and attributed to ethnic minority communities. In contrast, the colonialist trope promulgating the fictional figure of the rational European has resulted in the denial of the cultural and normative dimensions of organised abuse in ethnic majority communities by attributing sexual violence to aberrant and sexually deviant individuals whose behaviours transgress the boundaries of accepted cultural norms. This paper emphasises how the implicit or explicit focus on race has served to obscure the power dynamics underlying both cases and the continuity of vulnerability that places children at risk of sexual and organised abuse.
Reducing Shame, Promoting Dignity: A Model for the Primary Prevention of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Recommended citation: Salter, M. & Hall, H. (2021) Reducing Shame, Promoting Dignity: A Model for the Primary Prevention of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Trauma Violence Abuse, forthcoming.
The recent inclusion of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) into the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 11th revision is the culmination of over twenty five years of research and clinical practice. Since the early 1990s, it has been proposed that a complex variant of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be differentiated from classical PTSD by alterations in affect and behavioral regulation, interpersonal problems, dissociative symptoms, and somatizations (Herman, 1992). As clinical scholarship and research into CPTSD has developed, it has been linked to concepts of developmental and attachment trauma, recognizing the aetiological role of early onset abuse and neglect, and associated disruptions in the child-caregiver bond (Farina, Liotti, & Imperatori, 2019). Parallel scholarship into adverse childhood experiences links child-onset trauma to major social and public health challenges, including common mental and physical illnesses, entrenched poverty and criminality (Lambert, Meza, Martin, Fearey, & McLaughlin, 2017). In light of the evidence of the public health burden of CPSTD, Ford (2015) argues for population-level interventions to reduce the prevalence of CPTSD, otherwise “vulnerable individuals and entire populations are at risk for becoming trapped in intergenerational vicious cycles escalating danger, disadvantage, and dysregulation” (p 3).
Speaking out about child sexual abuse within the family
As France continues to grapple with how a top academic who allegedly sexually abused his stepson for years was able to act with impunity, we speak to Michael Salter, Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He says coercive sexual relationships with children were “the dark side of the sexual revolution” and that it’s vital to understand that sexual abuse of minors happens across all sectors of society. “Child sexual abuse is a public health crisis,” he tells us.
“Recovered memory therapy” does not refer to an actual therapy. It’s a pejorative term invented by “false memory” advocate Richard Ofshe in 1993. Nobody has ever trained in or practiced RMT because it doesn’t exist, except in the fevered imaginations of false memory advocates.
October 22, 2020 Comments Off on ‘I have been quiet for 50 years’: standing up against sexual abuse at Celtic Boys Club
‘I have been quiet for 50 years’: standing up against sexual abuse at Celtic Boys Club Many of the perpetrators have been jailed for their crimes. Now a number of survivors and their families claim that officials at Celtic knew about the sexual abuse and did nothing by Henry McDonald Tue 20 Oct 2020 01.00 EDT
….“We started going to Torbett’s flat, which was then a high rise on Pinkston Drive in Glasgow,” Woods recalled. “One night after training, two of us were helping out, encasing football medals in small plastic covers. “He had asked us to put on our football shorts while we worked, and then invited us to lie down for a rest in his bed. I was 13 at the time. I remember lying in the middle of the bed and then Torbett getting into bed with us. He suddenly put his left hand down my shorts. I recall that I was terrified, but for some reason I could not get away. I was frozen there at that spot. There was a sick feeling in my stomach over what had just happened.” Woods says Torbett exercised tremendous power over the boys. He could decide their future as players or rejects – a position he cynically exploited. “I was frightened to say anything to Torbett because the dream of playing for Celtic was still there, even though here I was all of a sudden in this nightmare. He could put the fear of God into you. I went home that evening and never said a word to anyone about it. When I went along to the next training session, Torbett acted as if nothing had happened at all.”
Celtic Boys Club was at the time regarded as the elite youth football side in Scotland, and a potential entry into life as a full-time professional for thousands of young players. But for more than two decades it was also a magnet for paedophiles. At least six men connected with the Celtic Boys Club have come under investigation for sexually assaulting boys between the late 1960s and the early 90s. Three of them have been convicted and have served prison sentences. Now 21 of survivors are bringing a civil case against the club, which will be heard next year. The litigants include at least one prominent ex-Celtic player, and former professional players for other Scottish Premiership sides and Scotland’s national team. They are seeking damages from the parent club, which they claim had “corporate responsibility” for child grooming, assaults and rape by men with longstanding connections to Celtic Park.
The survivors and their families believe the leadership of the club knew about the abuse and did nothing about it. They also allege that Torbett was dismissed from the Boys Club in 1974 following accusations of abuse, but was allowed back into the club after four years, where he continued to work with young boys. Celtic’s official response is that none of this abuse was linked in any way with the parent club, and that the Boys Club was a separate legal entity. Survivors say this denial has added to their trauma and claim this is typical of the club’s attitude: had the parent club listened to the voices of survivors from early on, the abusers’ reign would not have lasted so long. …
In October 1996, Jim Torbett was arrested after a series of stories in the Daily Record, the Herald and BBC Scotland exposed his history of sexually abusing young players. He was jailed for two years in 1998 for abusing three young players, including Alan Brazil, at the Celtic Boys Club between 1967 and 1974. Following his release, Torbett was still a wealthy man. He moved to California, where a BBC investigations team tracked him down to ask him about other allegations of abuse. Within hours of that programme being broadcast, on 2 May 2017, US homeland security escorted Torbett to LAX airport. He was flown back to the UK and then arrested in Scotland. Andy Gray’s testimony was among those used to help convict Torbett of a second round of crimes against three boys. Jailing Torbett for six years in November 2018, the trial judge Lo rd Beckett told him: “You used the club as a front for child sexual abuse.” Michelle Gray believes the parent club at Celtic Park bears responsibility for failing to prevent Torbett’s crimes. “I just want to confront the people who failed my brother. Because if Celtic had kept Torbett away from that club between 1986 to 1994, then Andy’s life and the lives of other boys would not have been ruined,” she said.
….Torbett’s 2018 conviction triggered a string of further allegations against senior figures in the Celtic Boys Club. Among other abusers at the Boys Club was teacher Gerald King. In early 2019, King was given a three-year probation order for sexually abusing four boys and a girl at a Scottish school in the 80s. King was convicted of “lewd and libidinous practices”, which included taking a photo of naked boys in the shower, between August 1984 and April 1989. Last year, Celtic Boys Club’s former kit man, Jim McCafferty, 73, pleaded guilty to 12 charges relating to sexual abuse involving 10 boys between 1972 and 1996. Four of his victims played for the Boys Club, and others played for youth teams he ran in North Lanarkshire. He was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison. At the time of his conviction, McCafferty was already serving a prison sentence for the sexual abuse of a boy in Belfast. The web of abuse goes further. Police Scotland are now seeking the extradition of another man associated with the Boys Club who is living in east Asia. The football scout Bill Kelly started targeting hopeful young players at clubs across Scotland in the late 60s, and was eventually convicted of abusing 12 young boys in 1987.
One of Bill Kelly’s victims, Bill Storrie, was abused while playing for the West Lothian boys club Uphall All Saints in the late 60s. Storrie believes there needs to be an independent inquiry to investigate links between paedophiles working in Scotland during the 60s and 70s, and one of British sport’s most notorious child sexual abusers, the English football coach Barry Bennell. In February 2018, Bennell, a former coach at Crewe Alexandra, was found guilty of 36 child sexual offences. He was jailed for 31 years for a total of 50 offences against 12 boys, and further convictions have followed, including some just this month, taking the total of known victims to 22. Given that he had worked at four different English clubs – Crewe, Manchester City, Stoke City and Leeds United – as well as having contacts with Scottish teams including Celtic Boys Club, the real number of his victims may still be far higher. Storrie is aware of a claim by one former youth player in Scotland that he was “trafficked” down to Bennell by the Celtic kit man Jim McCafferty….
July 31, 2020 Comments Off on Ritual Abuse Online Conference – Scotland and the United States – Special Prices until August 1st
Ritual Abuse Online Conference – Scotland and the United States – Special Prices until August 1st
The 2020 Online Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference August 8 – 9, 2020. Please register now. Registration closes next week. Prices as low as $50.
Internet conference information: http://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/
Dr. Laurie Matthew – OBE, Dr Sarah Nelson – Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee, Neil Brick, Kieran Watson (manager with Izzy’s Promise – Dundee, Scotland) and Dr. Randy Noblitt and Pamela Perskin Noblitt.
Presentation on Izzy’s Promise
Izzy’s Promise offers training and consultancy services; Conducts research into causes of ritual abuse and any ways of preventing or relieving the suffering caused by abuse.
Presentation on Ritual Abuse Network Scotland (RANS)
RANS provides information and a safe place to talk for survivors of ritual abuse. https://rans.org.uk/
Research Review Statistics – Dr. Laurie Matthew
In the UK: 1 in 6 children suffer child sexual abuse. 21% of children in local authority care are exposed to suspected or confirmed sexual exploitation every year. RA Research conclusions: Survivors still suffer the backlash of 1980-90’s and the continued discourse around belief, memory and mental illness. The only witnesses to ritual and organized abuse are the abusers and the survivors. Only the survivors will try to tell so the public can learn about it so society needs to listen to them.
Dr Laurie Matthew OBE is founder and Manager of Eighteen And Under an award winning charity providing confidential support services to young people who have been abused. She is also a founder member and advisor to Izzy’s Promise the UK’s leading charity for survivors of organised and ritual abuse and of the Ritual Abuse Network Forum (RANS). She is the author of several books about ritual abuse and the Violence Is Preventable abuse prevention programmes for children and young people. She has over 40 years experience of directly supporting abuse survivors. Her recently published research has included participatory research with adult ritual abuse survivors and participatory research with young survivors of sexual abuse who were unknown to authorities
Dr Sarah Nelson, Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee
In this presentation Sarah makes reflections on belief and disbelief in ritual abuse, and on why backlash theories such as satanic panic and false memory syndrome were so readily believed and are still potent, despite their numerous flaws. She interconnects the disbelief by outsiders including professionals, many media and public with the disbelief and doubts of survivors themselves, and think about the interplay and mutual strengthening which has long taken place. She explains how this a neglected aspect of the discourse of disbelief yet she believes it important and relevant. She discusses the example of interplay of disbelief between survivors themselves and these outsiders in dissociative identify disorder, formerly multiple personality disorder, a condition strongly linked to the experience of the profound trauma of ritual abuse in childhood. She asks whether and how far this circle can be broken in working against ritual abuse in future.
Dr Sarah Nelson (Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee) has written and presented widely for decades on sexual abuse issues. Her research and publications include the voices of young survivors, critiques of current child protection systems, community prevention, ritual and organised abuse, media representations of abuse cases, and adult survivors’ experiences of mental and physical health services. She has also been a professional adviser to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament. Her book Tackling Child Sexual Abuse: Radical approaches to prevention, protection and support (Policy Press, UK and University of Chicago press, USA)) was published in 2016.
Misinformation Campaigns Against Survivors – Neil Brick
Child and ritual abuse survivors and their advocates have been attacked by misinformation campaigns the last several years. These campaigns use various harassment and propaganda techniques to distort the research and silence the efforts of those who are working to help trauma survivors and rape victims. These techniques will be compared to past and present public campaigns that have distorted information and used unethical tactics to manipulate public opinion. Propaganda and suggestion techniques used will be discussed and analyzed.
Neil Brick is a survivor of ritual abuse and mind control. His work continues to educate the public about child abuse, trauma and ritual abuse crimes. His child abuse and ritual abuse newsletter S.M.A.R.T. https://ritualabuse.us has been published for over 25 years. http://neilbrick.com
Presentation on Izzy’s Promise – Kieran Watson
Kieran Watson is a manager with Izzy’s Promise – Dundee, Scotland.
Izzy’s Promise and the importance of a physical non denominational and regulated service for RA survivors.
Izzy’s Promise offers training and consultancy services; Conducts research into causes of ritual abuse and any ways of preventing or relieving the suffering caused by abuse; recruits and trains volunteers to work towards supporting survivors of ritual/organised abuse and those who support them; and networks with other agencies. https://rans.org.uk/izzys-promise/
Presentation on Ritual Abuse Network Scotland (RANS) – Clare Barrie
RANS provides information and a safe place to talk for survivors of ritual abuse. https://rans.org.uk/
Questions about Ritual Abuse Network Scotland (RANS) and Izzy’s Promise.
Extreme Abuse Survivors, Social Security Benefits, and Ethical Practice – Dr. Randy Noblitt and Pamela Perskin Noblitt
Many trauma survivors have debilitating psychological and physical symptoms that prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. For these individuals the Social Security Administration has programs that can play a critical role in providing for clients’ basic survival needs and autonomy. Unfortunately, the rules that govern this process are complex and confusing. Further, an important contributing factor in SSA denials is that survivors’ health care providers are often unfamiliar with SSA’s requirements which include documentation of symptoms and the limitations they impose along with professional opinions that correspond to Social Security’s definition of disability. This workshop is intended to provide an introduction to SSA requirements for healthcare providers.
Randy Noblitt is a clinical psychologist and professor of clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. He is the principle author of Navigating Social Security Disability Programs: A Handbook for Clinicians and Advocates (2020) as well as Cult and Ritual Abuse: Narratives, Evidence and Healing Approaches, 3rd Edition (2014). He is the co-editor and a contributor to Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations (2008).
Pamela Perskin Noblitt is a non-attorney claimants representative for individuals applying for SSDI and SSI benefits. She is in independent private practice in Los Angeles County, California. She is co-author of Navigating Social Security Disability Programs: A Handbook for Clinicians and Advocates (2020) as well as Cult and Ritual Abuse: Narratives, Evidence and Healing Approaches, 3rd Edition (2014). She is the co-editor of Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations (2008).
Please note: None of the material on these pages or at the conference is meant as therapy, or to take the place of therapy. These presentation may remind survivors of their programming, so please use caution while reading.
Abuse summit to take place in Scotland, Mutilating Southeast Asia’s girls – Female Genital Mutilation
February 13, 2020 § Leave a comment