Elisabeth Loftus

Plenty of stuff to discuss in the world, with the focus on causes
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Post by Dennis »

I will get back to this in more detail but for now I like to quote Cesar from Wikipedia on Satanic Ritual Abuse:

There is simply no thread of evidence of any 'multiple victims, multiple perps' of Satanic abuse in Western countries. It's a pity that there are only very few apostates of fringe beliefs. The article must remain skeptical of these lunatic claims.

I've been reading a bit at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Satanic_ritual_abuse
and it seems that those involved in debunking the claims are part of the problem (denying child abuse and the effects). I said it before, but the FBI under the leadership of Hoover never found a thread of evidence of organized crime a la mafia. That's how the hierarchy of power works in society. Not a conspiracy, but just one person up in the hierarchy putting a stop to it.

I'm not saying that all claims are true in detail, but there has never been done a proper investigation. If we look at the other side, Christian Ritual Abuse, then suddenly there's plenty of evidence. Children who have been systematically abused by priests, for example.

Cesar, have you read Alex Constantine's article McMartin Preschool Revisited?

Everything I write here is my opinion, not absolute truths but I don't want to start every sentence with[i] in my opinion[/i]...
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]

Hi Dennis:

I was a victim of real Christian abuse. In fact, fear of eternal damnation is the subject-matter of my 6th book.

On the other hand, nobody denies that ritual abuse exists; as huge child porno rings exist too. But the McMartin case has been thoroughly debunked. Even a former victim, now a grown up adult, has gone public to tell how they were coerced by True Believers' leading questions to say what believers wanted to hear, as you can see here.

As I told Bookish in his private forum last year, the McMartin case is as lunatic as alien abduction claims. No sane person who has studied it believes it. SRA, in the sense of "multiple victims, multiple perpetrators" huge conspiracies is something wholly different to genuine ritual abuse (e.g., female circumcision).

The tunnels that were "ample evidence" of the horrors supposedly perpetrated at McMartin never existed. People who apparently ran gigantic worldwide child pornography rings were being convicted despite the fact that not a piece of their alleged product could be located. Claims of worldwide satanic conspiracies were shown to be false testimony coerced out of young children through leading questions, i.e., by lying to them and threatening them and completely disregarding anything they said of their own free will. After McMartin and other American catastrophes, this practice --leading questions by True Believers in SRA-- has been abandoned in the civilized world.

It is true that if you google "McMartin tunnels" they pop right up on a number of articles. Few of these debunk the claims, while many others try to advance it. The Wikipedia article on Satanic Ritual Abuse brings some sanity to the matter.

I told Bookish that Father Gerald Robinson's case is not "SRA". Satanic Ritual Abuse, such as the 1980s and 90s McMartin-like cases, involves multiple victims and multiple perpetrators in a huge and secret conspiracy. This has nothing to do with False Memory Syndrome Foundation or with the denial that child sex abuse is rampant and that society doesn't want to see the mental health implications. Colin Ross is a good example here. Not only does he deals with victims of "SRA". He has increasingly become skeptical about taking the claims at face value and today he leans toward a position that reminds me what CC wrote above. (Ross still believes though that the CIA performed brain-wash experiments that produced psychoses --this is something different).

Ritual abuse is real as you guys who posted the replies in the article on child Aztec sacrifice know. There was indeed a huge overt ritual abuse in Cartage, pre-Hispanic Mexico and many, many other cultures. But not a single thread of evidence exists of huge and secret satanic groups in today's North America.

I told Bookish: "This is total lunacy: and it has given the opportunity of critics of Lloyd to use it as straw-man arguments to dismiss psychohistory as a non serious field of inquiry."
Lloyd deMause quoted a so-called memory of a child in "Why cults terrorize and kill children", Journal of Psychohistory, 21(4) 1994. He wrote:It's the heart lie off a piece of it, eats it, and gives pieces to the other men and me. He made me eat it.
In that article Lloyd talks specifically of "Satanists" (sic) and of:
Lloyd deMause wrote:actually tunnels, exactly like those beneath McMartin [...]. Cults [...] put children in cages, boxes and coffins as symbolic wombs. They hang them upside down, the position of fetuses [...] They drink victim's blood as fetuses "drink" placental blood. They force children to drink urine, as fetuses do in womb, and eat feces, as some do during birth. They often hold their rituals in actual tunnels.
Later he added that satanic "cults often kill actual fetuses in their ritual" and that --:
Lloyd deMause wrote:Michelle remembered her rebirth ritual as follows. A small baby was first cut and its blood rubbed on hen. She was put next to the death baby and then the baby was put between her legs and stabbed with a cross.
Of course, deMause cites 34 scholarly references at the end of his lunatic article. The Michelle stuff has a special Wikipedia article under the title "Michelle Remembers". By the way, have you read the "McMartin preschool trial" wiki article?

When I say that we cannot afford to believe in lunacies I meant that child abuse denialists often focus on the weak spots (e.g., what I said above of Miller and CCHR or what Phil said of memories of abductions or past lives) to throw the baby with the bathwater. We need to be extra careful about these claims! It's not about child abuse per se. It's about, as CC said above, improvising something Hollywoodesque to create immediate empathy before a society in denial about, say, what I felt when my father hit me.
Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Dennis »

Cesar wrote:the McMartin case has been thoroughly debunked. Even a former victim, now a grown up adult, has gone public to tell how they were coerced by True Believers' leading questions to say what believers wanted to hear
Well, the article you refer to is written by Debbie Nathan. Remember that name when you read the following

Alex Constantine's article: McMartin Preschool Revisited

And to quote an important part from it:

The Tunnel Cover-Up

El Paso reporter Debbie Nathan, utterly convinced of the defendants' innocence, entered the fray in The Village Voice, and has appeared in newspapers across the country, including The L.A. Weekly, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She has been honored with the Free Press Association's H. L. Mencken Award, and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism prize. She is a leading proponent of the "mass hysteria" thesis, the notion that many child abuse allegations are "unfounded." Her cavalier dismissal is not supported by objective research. Dr. David Chadwick of San Diego's childrens' Hospital, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 26, 1989), contends that 8 percent of all abuse allegations are unfounded, at most, and are "rather easily distinguishable in a careful review." At times it is difficult to tell whether Nathan is a "skeptic" or an apologist of sexual abuse. "Most pedophilia," she contends, "consists of caressing and fondling. for most children, these experiences appear to be at best confusing, at worst traumatic. But others seem to willingly participate, and some adults recall that while still legally minors they accepted, even welcomed, sex with grown-ups." Nathan doesn't condemn the abuser. After all, "compared to the abuses of a child protection movement gone mad, could incest be any worse?" Alex Cockburn is a Nathan supporter, and has on occasion gotten caught up in her pro-pedophilic obfuscations, as in this diatribe from The Nation for March 8, 1993:

  • As a Miami-based anthropologist, Rafael Martinez, consultant to the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office, told Nathan, in traditional Latin American cultures "kissing and hugging is common with children up to three or four years old. It is common for females to kiss children all over the place including on the genitals.

The practice of kissing children on the genitals may be traditional in some cultures, but it is frowned upon by the Manhattan Beach preschool licensing board. Alex Cockburn's skepticism toward ritual abuse was summed up in an editorial appearing in the February 8, 1990 Wall Street Journal, "The McMartin Case: Indict the Children, Jail the Parents." The son of a British spy, and a loquacious defender of the Warren Commission, Cockburn has such strong feelings about the McMartin case that he once publicly maligned an editor of the L.A. Weekly for refusing to print a recommendation that "the tots bearing false witness in the McMartin preschool case be jailed for perjury." His primary source on the subject of child abuse, Debbie Nathan, is herself something of a false witness. In 'What McMartin Started: The Ritual Abuse Hoax" (Village Voice, June 12, 1990), Ms. Nathan moaned that "children at McMartin told of being molested in tunnels under the school. None were ever found, but until recently parents were still digging."

In fact, 30 days before Nathan's article appeared, the tunnels were discovered beneath the preschool by scientists hired by the parents, confirming the testimony of the children. The project employed a team of archeologists from local universities, two geologists, a professional excavator, a carbon-dating specialist and a professional photographer to document the dig's progress and findings. The longest tunnel was six feet beneath the preschool, running eastward 45 feet from the southwest wall, and ten feet along the north wall. The tunnel walls were held in place by support beams and a roof of plywood and tarpaper. A branch of the tunnel led to a nine-foot chamber (the "secret room" described by the children?). Another extended from the preschool to the triplex next door, surfacing beneath a roll-away bathtub/ Forensic tests on thousands of objects found at the site ? including two hundred animal bones? were conducted.

Until the tunnels were found, the L.A. Times covered the dig with a smirk. The parents and scientists involved were portrayed as crack-pots - until the existence of the tunnels were substantiated by experts, at which time the newspaper abruptly stopped reporting the story. The public was left with the false impression that the search had failed. Critics of the excavation pointed out that District Attorney Ira Reiner had already searched for tunnels. At best, this is a half-truth. Reiner's team tore up a bit of floor tile, but did not even bother to remove the glue that held it in place. The D.A.'s team, as it happens, dug up the lot next to the preschool, not underneath. "Actually," McMartin mother Jackie MacGauley, who supervised the excavation, notes, "we were the first to dig on the property." The search for the tunnels was undertaken with ground-penetrating radar to probe for inconsistencies in the soil. A bell-shaped area of disturbed earth was discovered along the foundation of the west wall.

The tunnels beneath the opposite wall was unearthed (precisely where the children said it would be found all along) beneath the foundation. A [passage had been knocked through the concrete. "It was interesting," MacGauley told L.A.'s Pacifica Radio, "because a lot of the child development specialists, psychiatrists and therapists across the country thought that it was some psychological phenomenon that the kids would talk about tunnels. Somehow that idea got 'planted,' and they had all these theories as to why all the kids would talk about something like this. It obviously couldn't be true. And the district attorney at the time just flatly did not believe it, and really didn't want to look."

Neither did the press.

(Alex Constantine)
Everything I write here is my opinion, not absolute truths but I don't want to start every sentence with[i] in my opinion[/i]...
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

You have to read these claims along with the rebuttals, Dennis. Otherwise it's like listening to the prosecutor but never to the attorney, like this one.
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Post by Dennis »

I'm listening but are you listening? Most of these 'debunkers' are directly or indirectly connected to the False Memory Movement. I'm not sure why you referred to Gary Stickel's Archaeological Investigations of the McMartin Preschool site, which proves the existence of tunnels post date 1966.

To quote Constantine again, from a more detailed article on the case (and he also mentions Stickel):

The parents wondered, like everyone else, at the
incredibility of the charges -- yet they had to question Peggy
McMartin's testimony that she only worked at the school for a
short time, when payroll records showed that she had been
employed there for years. To the families, the final verdict of
Ray Buckey meant it was now "open season on children."
And the press opened fire. The world was told redundantly
that ABC's Wayne Satz, the reporter who broke the case (killed by
a heart attack at 41), and Kee MacFarlane, a therapist testifying
for the prosecution, had an affair, as if this had any bearing on
the allegations of the children. Even Oliver Stone, perhaps in
ignorance, took to the bandwagon with a film made for HBO,
written by Abby Mann, theorizing that hysteria in Manhattan Beach
was kindled when one child returned home from school one
afternoon with "a red bottom" -- this would be the son of Judy
Johnson, and he hadn't been spanked -- he was bleeding from the
This hardly constitutes media "spin." It is a conscious
participation in a felony. The account of the case pounded into
collective memory by media repetition goes that far to distort
the facts. The widespread media coverage was, according to Los
Angeles Times editor Noel Greenwood, "a mean-spirited campaign"
organized to discredit the children and their therapists.7
But why should certain members of the corporate press,
and segments of the legal and psychiatric professions, go to such
lengths to suppress evidence of organized child abuse at
The traumatic crimes reported by the toddlers bear an
uncanny resemblance to mind control programming, a specialty of
certain classified federal agencies and cult cut-outs on the
black budget payroll.8
The children are often ridiculed because some of their
charges are impossible. Tunnels under the preschool? Too
ludicrous to consider. But as it happens, there were tunnels,
confirmed in 1993 by a team of five scientists from leading
The unearthing of the tunnels, like much of the critical
evidence, never made it to the courtroom. They have been
discreetly excluded from newspaper accounts.
Filling the void, Debbie Nathan, a widely published
skeptic of ritual abuse, heaped ridicule on the tunnel
allegations in the Village Voice in June 1990. She maintained the
McMartin site had already been "painstakingly probed for tunnels.
None were found."9 Nathan's account is a fabrication. In fact,
recalls Dr. Roland Summit, who contributed to the final report on
the tunnel excavation, parents started digging and prosecutors,
reluctantly forced to a showdown, "commissioned a superficial
search of open terrain." District Attorney Ira Reiner then
declared the tunnel stories unfounded "without going under the
concrete floor of the preschool." Once the tunnels were
officially discounted, attempts to explore for an underground
reality were instant targets for ridicule."10
Archaeologist Gary Stickel was retained to lead the
excavation on the re-commendation of Dr. Rainier Berger, chairman
of UCLA's Interdisciplinary Archeology Program, by parents of
McMartin children.11 Initially Stickel sided with the Buckeys,
believing the abuse allegations to be so much moonlight for
hysterics. However, he'd heard of late homicide detective Paul
Bynum, the first to dig at the site:

Bynum apparently conducted his informal digging in
February, 1984 (Daily Breeze, 1987). It is significant to note
he did unearth some buried animal remains, "numerous pieces of
tortoise shells and bones" (Daily Breeze, 1987). "There was keen
interest at the time since it was reported that the children
testified that tortoises, rabbits, and other small animals were
mutilated to terrorize the children into keeping silent" (Daily
Breeze, 1987).12

But "experts" courted by the press snaffled at the
suggestion that animals were killed to frighten children at
McMartin and other preschools around the country. It was not
until 1993 that a study by the National Center for Child Abuse
and Neglect confirmed that children are not only threatened in
day care settings, "most threats are very specific in terms of
what the consequence of disclosure will be and how the threat
will be carried out.... The use of such severe threats is
obviously quite frightening to young children and is effective in
preventing disclosure. In fact, it appears that threats used in
day care center cases may go beyond what is usually needed to
silence victims, and may in some instances be made for purposes
of psychological terror in and of itself."13

Into the Grotto
Most reporters in Southern California pooh-poohed
evidence of coercion, but there was a great, gaping silence when
the tunnels were found.
"I asked my daughter," recalls Jackie MacGauley, a mother
of two children who attended the preschool, "'How could they have
taken you to these places without being seen?' And she answered
me as though I was silly to ask such a question. She said,
'Through the tunnels, of course.'"
The Los Angeles Times ran a spate of features poking fun
of the excavation team until actual evidence of tunnels was
discovered. Then the Times ran a brief news item, one paragraph
long, dryly noting that "evidence" of tunnels had been found, and
never mentioned the subject again. The local Beach Reporter
covered the story without a blush: "parents began to dig with
shovels, allegedly in an area pointed out by a nine-year-old
former student of the McMartin preschool, who told them to dig
behind a cement planter in the northeast corner. When parents
unearthed several broken turtle shells and a few bones, they
stopped digging and notified the district attorney's office."15
Once the entrance was exposed, Stickel used remote
sensing equipment to read the terrain conductivity of the empty
lot next to the preschool. The survey was conducted by a
respected geophysicist, Robert Beer, working with an
electromagnetic scanner. The tunnel opening was found precisely
where children said it would be. Stickel: "Some of the children
had stated there had been animal cages placed along that wall and
that they had entered a tunnel under the cages." A foreign soil
deposit was found near the foundation. Clearing the anomaly with
a backhoe, they found the roots of an avocado tree cut to clear a
path for the tunnel. The roots had been cut with a hand saw and
torn away, and shreds dangled on either wall of the tunnel.
That's the moment editors at the Times chose to pull
reporters off the story. All other news outlets rapidly followed
But the excavators cleared the foreign soil and followed
the tunnel anyway. It "meandered under Classroom No. 4 and then
most of Classroom No. 3.... There is no other scenario that fits
all of the facts except that the feature was indeed a tunnel,"
they concluded. "The date of the construction and use of the
tunnel was not absolutely established, but an assessment of seven
factors of data all indicate that it was probably constructed,
used and completely filled back in sometime after 1966 (the
construction date of the preschool)."15
Dr. E. Michael, a specialist in forensic geology in
Malibu, was called to examine a cavity in the underground
passage. Together with Dr. Herbert Adams of the geology
department at Cal State University, a ground resistivity reading
of the tunnel was followed from the preschool to a triplex next
door, a traversing section parallel to the north wall of the
school, 5 feet away, extending 20 feet eastward, 10 to 15 feet
beneath the surface.16
Gerald Hobbs, a local tree surgeon for 25 years, did much
of the actual digging. Hobbs:

The children had told two different stories about this
tunnel prior to the dig. One, that they had gone through the
tunnel and came up in the house next door, and two, they had come
up in the garage, which blocked the house from the street. At any
rate, the tunnel went in that direction.... That evening I went
to the house next door and followed the walk between the school
and the house, only about 4-1/2 feet apart. I went about 30 feet
down between the buildings and found a crawl space under the
house. I bellied my way toward the southwest corner of the house.
After going about 20 feet, I found an area inside the west wall
of the house where the floor was cut out. If I remember
correctly, the area of floor that was missing was 36" X 38" X

A total of 77 animal bones were found buried at the
McMartin site, an assortment of the osteo-remains of domestic
cattle, chickens, dogs and a single rabbit.17
However, Debbie Nathan, the hide-bound "skeptic" of
ritual abuse, a scion of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation,
told another story. The McMartin site, she insisted, had already
been "painstakingly probed for tunnels" by the D.A.'s office.
(Not so, as we've seen). "None were found. [The McMartin] parents
have invested years believing in demonic conspiracies and
underground nursery tunnels. (Until recently the parents were
still digging. They came up with Indian artifacts)." No mention
of Bynum's independent findings. No mention of the dig as it
happened in the real world. She reserves much of her scorn for
former FBI agent Ted Gunderson and Jackie MacGauley. Nathan seems
not to realize that Gunderson and MacGauley brought in Stickel
and his geological team to defuse accusations they were directly
engaged in the dig. They weren't. The search for the tunnels was
independent, and scores of volunteers pitched in.
Nathan's refrain of "no evidence" is hollow. She has
been known to contort around the facts of ritual abuse in a
grotesque parody of journalism and is frequently blind to
critical evidence. Nathan continues to find "no evidence" of
abuse at McMartin despite the nightmares, the acting-out, medical
molestation reports and sexual infections. The tunnel excavation,
she assures with psychic certainty (and a sniff of
condescension), is a "hoax."
Everything I write here is my opinion, not absolute truths but I don't want to start every sentence with[i] in my opinion[/i]...

Post by Guest »

Last week on the New York Times website (can't access the article now) was a story about a school crossing guard who is believed to have sexually abused children hundreds of times. That is the good person who is supposed to help children cross the street on their way to school.

If we stopped all sexual and other terrible forms of abuse of children, the general skill in child rearing is still low. Parenting skills are low, in my opinion. Most of us have quite a bit repressed material from childhood and a lot of it is not conventional forms of abuse.

Men who are in a lot of pain because of ANY kind of childhood traumas may become pedophiles or engage in other deviant sexual activities.
It isn't necessary to have sexual abuse in childhood to produce a pedophile, although it does often happen that way.

Just some thoughts I had concerning the last postings here.

Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]

Hi Dennis,

Claims at the McMartin trial involved "witches flying, in a hot-air balloon" and "orgies at car washes and airports, and of children being flushed down toilets to secret rooms where they would be abused, then cleaned up and presented back to their unsuspecting parents".

Precisely because of the middle 1990s SRA craze, it has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that if you press a child hard enough with aggressive leading questions --which is in itself a form of child abuse-- s/he will say whatever the interrogator wants to hear.

Oh yes, the tunnels! "No evidence was found to support the existence of filled-in, below-ground tunnels." You don't need archeologists to see the obvious. Either the tunnels exists (several SRA cases besides McMartin's made this fantastic claim) and can be photographed, or they don't. Claims of the SRA tunnels remind me the UFOlogists' claims about an "Hangar 14" during the 1947 "UFO crash" in New Mexico. They don't show up any evidence at all: only claims of government cover-up.

My hypothesis about the 1990s SRA craze:

This was an unfortunate witch-hunt. It has basically disappeared by now. The self-appointed SRA "experts" were abused as children. Similarly, the case of the schizophrenic mom who started the McMartin witch-hunt is a good example of the projection phenomenon. Since society strongly rejects trauma models and this mom didn't have any enlightened witness, she acted out her own sex abuse trauma by projecting it onto his child --again, this, in itself, is a kind of abuse.

In a nutshell: Occam's razor applies to the claims of SRA and my working hypothesis is far more parsimonious than that of the SRA "experts". Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but we don't even have ordinary evidence of witches flying and children being flushed down toilets. Those kids were abused not by Virginia McMartin and her son, but by very dissociated believers that projected their own traumas on innocent children.

We, Miller's radical sons, are doing a great disservice to our embryonic movement by believing this stuff. Unless we strongly reject the ways in which Miller and deMause went astray, we will be seen as cranks.
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Post by Dennis »

Cesar, I'm not sure why you keep referring to articles written by members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. The name Institute for Psychological Therapies may sound professional, but it's nothing more than a re-wash of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation with Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager as the only staff. How Underwager manages to be part of the staff is already pretty amazing since he died in 2003. That leaves just Wakefield, who's the chairman of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

Cesar, you've to come with stronger evidence than quoting pedophiles and child-abuse apologizers. I've presented evidence as presented by Alex Constantine, which speaks for itself. Flying witches has nothing to do with the case and no-one was trying to convince that there were flying witches. It's manufactured distraction.

Everything I write here is my opinion, not absolute truths but I don't want to start every sentence with[i] in my opinion[/i]...
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]

Colin Ross is not a pedophile or a child-abuse apologizer. He hates them.

I didn't know that the Institute for Psychological Therapies, whose article I linked in my previous post, is an umbrella name of the FMSF. Is the book The Abuse of Innocence: The McMartin Preschool Trial by Paul and Shirley Eberle also written by members of the FMSF?

Anyway, I know a member of the FMSF whom I respect a lot: psychologist Ray Hyman, one of the main critics of parapsychology. I met Hyman in Mexico City and in Seattle. Thanks to him I gradually gave up parapsychology in 1990-1995. And because of my abandonment of my belief in extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis I could investigate child abuse and trauma.

There's a lot on nonsense in psychotherapies. Loftus et al are certainly right when they say that using hypnosis in therapy may distort our memories. That's why the trajectory of Colin Ross is important. He champions the trauma model among his hostile colleagues. But in the case of SRA he leans toward Loftus to the point of publishing a book together. Ross for one doesn't swallow all FMSF claims. But in the case of UFO abductions it's crystal-clear that performing hypnosis on disturbed people can make them to dramatize their own story of abuse beyond the actual facts.

Investigators of trauma ought to be acquainted with these studies. I cannot imagine how we can make an impact on a tough audience if our journal is contaminated with a strain of pseudoscience or unsupported claims: as is deMause's journal. In other words, were it not for his bizarre theories, deMause might have been taken seriously in the academia. When he was a young man he was prevented from finishing his doctoral thesis precisely because he stick dogmatically to Freudianism. And as you or someone else said in Dan's forum, Miller lost English editorial chances with his latest books because she stopped her process of inner healing (which is reflected in her letter to the Pope and in her nonsensical remarks on Joseph and Mary).

Since there are a lot of charlatans out there that promote glib trauma models (there's a film today in Mexico's theaters about a guy who became psycho because of 9/11) we cannot afford a single ideological flaw in our worldview. The tougher the audience, the flawless our presentation should be. And this is far from what we can see in deMause's journal and books, Janov's controversial therapies, Miller's latest books and even Ross' position on ADHD.

The next generation faces the challenge to spot our mentors mistakes and expose them in our writings. I already did it in the case of deMause.
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Post by Dennis »

Extreme child abuse or child torture or child murder is horrific. Cesar, imagine someone asks you: present me evidence of your child abuse and no witnesses and no stories, but photographs and scientific evidence. It would put you against the wall, won't it? Who would document child abuse when it takes place? Not many!

But even though such evidence is hard to present, it's not uncommon there are child porn captures where they find 10,000 different pictures or more.

Of course there's a lot of psycho babble and personal agendas, but denial runs very deep when it comes to child abuse.
Cesar wrote:Colin Ross is not a pedophile or a child-abuse apologizer. He hates them.
Then what was he doing in the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, led by open pedophiles and child abusers? Just to make money?
Cesar wrote:Is the book The Abuse of Innocence: The McMartin Preschool Trial by Paul and Shirley Eberle also written by members of the FMSF?
I don't know if they are actual members but they have been involved in child pornography. To quote from an article:

  • The Eberles' vitriolic attack against criminal justice and child welfare professionals is more understandable when one examines the authors' background. Far from being impartial reporters, the Eberles have for years been active in the Los Angeles pornography subculture. Their other "journalistic" endeavors, the Center has learned, include the currently available soft-core tabloid, L.A. Star, and a hard-core tabloid, Finger, published in the mid-1970s.

    Finger features extensive examples of child and adult pornography including explicit photographs and narratives of deviant sexual behavior such as sadism and masochism, bestiality, necrophilia and sexual activity involving urination and defecation. It also features photos and drawings of nude infants and children engaged in sodomy and sexual intercourse with other children and adults as well as lavishly detailed first-hand accounts of sexual experiences with children. On the cover of one of the seven issues reviewed are the Eberles themselves, naked and intertwined with life-size male and female inflatable dolls.

Which 'experts' do you believe?

Everything I write here is my opinion, not absolute truths but I don't want to start every sentence with[i] in my opinion[/i]...
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]

I had forgotten the story of the Eberles (I am so bad to remember names). Thanks for reminding me about it. I have never questioned the existence of child-porn rings, but this is not SRA in the sense of hidden tunnels below schools, witches, etc.
Dennis wrote:Cesar Tort wrote: Colin Ross is not a pedophile or a child-abuse apologizer. He hates them.

[Reply:] Then what was he doing in the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, led by open pedophiles and child abusers? Just to make money?
Ray Hyman is neither. And Ross published it because a lot of what the foundation says is true: not only about SRA, but about hypnosis retrieval of "memories" of UFO abduction; the memories that Daniel, CC and I believe to be Hollywoodesque dramatizations of real abuse stories, and witch-hunts that, in the middle 1990s, destroyed the lives of innocent adults.

I have met Loftus personally during the Seattle conference and I found her presentation compelling. She is ultimately wrong regarding the reality of child abuse: false memories are "true" but not in the literal sense. Claims of invasive sexual experiments in an alien ship can only be true in a metaphorical sense. Have you read R.D. Laing? In The Divided Self he presented good clinical evidence that when one of his schizophrenic patients claimed that her mother killed a little girl or poisoned her, the claim was true only in a metaphorical sense: the schizophrenogenic mom did devastated the daughter's mind not with actual poison, but thru poisonous pedagogies.

The same is true of SRA victims. Ross didn't publish the SRA book he coauthored with Loftus for money. He did it because, after he initially believed in his patients' claims, he gradually become more skeptical.
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Post by Phil »

Digging directly for memories is an improper way of doing therapy and healing. I have no doubt that in many cases the memories are false.
There certainly are sufficient other cases where the abuse has been documented to have taken place and is proven. Nobody can doubt that ual abuse of children takes place. Whether a specific case is true or not is irrelevant. Sure, the authorities should catch the criminals, but as we know, in the long run that does not fix the problem.

It is interesting that it really is widely known among therapists of all kinds that ual abuse is traumatic and has lasting effects. You would think that it should be obvious that the same applies to other forms of abuse, neglect, and poor parenting.

But for healing purposes it really makes no difference whether something can be proven, without a doubt, to have taken place. Nor is there much point for healing, as a grown-up victim of abuse, to confront the parent. The point is to get to the childhood feelings and release them. At least, that is what I have found is effective for me.
It's not that I'm protecting the parent. People can go ahead and have an angry confrontation with their parents, but I doubt any healing will come from that. Maybe there will be some satisfaction, and that may be nice, but no real healing. The proof that something took place is good for legal purposes but not necessary for healing. In my own case, I can tell, and have no doubt, that my recovered memories are real.

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Post by cc »

Cesar, Dennis,

It is sometimes difficult to determine what one's agenda is (Ross Et al) nor will I venture to guess what it is not (I know very little about these sources). Sooner or later unscrupulous motives are exposed (even the unconscious ones). Its fair to speculate and raise these issues based on ones experience, knowledge and views in order to flush out relevant and significant findings but also what is important is where our own heart is (I think that Cesar, Dennis, Phil have your feelings in the right place). Furthermore, I find your positions substantial based on 'my knowledge and experience'. I am not familiar with your supporting data and I appreciate what you have shared. It has allowed me to see the subtleties concerning these issues. Thanks
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »


You used perfect thoughts some posts above to express my own point of view about false/true memories.


I used to be a fan of Sue Forward. But what you say about confronting parents makes me have second thoughts about her therapy.

Dennis: Above you cited rather long quotes of Alex Constantine in two of your posts. I read the following Amazon excerpts in the book reviews about Constantine:
Jonathan Schaper wrote: I do not agree with everything in this book. For example, while I do agree that False Memory Syndrome has been abused in order to cover up real crimes, false memories have also been used to convict innocent people [...]. One has to be careful in criticizing anything with too broad a brush stroke.
Gordon Comstock wrote:I just have one complaint: as an obvious "Leftist," he constantly harps against "ultra-Right" nefarious personages, while he never once refers to anyone as "ultra-Left". It is sad to see that a guy as wise as Constantine still, as of 1995 at least, had not been able to think outside the "left/right" box that the Establishment has us all in.
"as of 1995..." - just the time when the SRA craze reached its peak.
Johns: wrote: the False Memory Syndrome Foundation is described as "the CIA's answer to the flat earth society" [...] but then I remembered that the publisher is Feral House, which also publishes books by Satanist Anton LaVey and the Apocalypse Culture books, which also feature child porn. Instead of blaming the CIA for everything, Mr Constantine could also have pointed the finger at his publisher for potentially encouraging Satanism and child abuse.

I don't really want to spend more time saying what I didn't like about this book, but I didn't like the way the author seemed to be so sure of himself. Some examples: all UFOs are manmade, all "alien" abductions are CIA abductions, remote viewing is the CIA beaming images into people's heads.
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Post by Dennis »

Nobody who is opposed to the False Memory Syndrome (FMS) denies the existence of false (or wrong) memories. But everyone of the False Memory Syndrome movement denies the existence of repressed memories of (child) abuse.

Alex Constantine didn't expose tunnels under the school, a team of five scientists from leading universities did. Constantine's publisher has also published books on Satanism, most of them are parodies. Satanism on itself is not better or worse than any other religion. Mostly it's just a reaction to the hypocrisy of Christianity. I'm sure that there are Christians that are appalled by the lifestyle of other Christians. That's the same within Satanism. Should we forbid to publish books written by people who claim to be Satanists?

I'm not even going in the left/right debate, which seems to only brought up by Americans who cannot refute the arguments and facts presented.

Phil is right when he wrote:
Something that often gets missed in debates about repressed memories is that there are at least two distinct types of memories. There are higher brain images, which most people call memories, but there are also lower brain feeling memories.
As I wrote in my 1997 article on False Memories:
  • The measure in which repression of abuse takes place is depending on time (length and age) and intensity. For example, you can always have memories of a father who continuously has beaten you. Apparently just as it happened. What gets repressed here is the feeling. Many rationalize it. 'I happened to be a difficult child', 'In the end it had brought me enough self-discipline' or 'My father had a difficult life'. The feelings of pain and humiliation are buried. Buried under aggression, neuroses, depressions or more often, a shallow emotional life.
Hollida Wakefield is by the way not the chairman of the Foundation but a Board member. Pamela Freyd is the boss there.

Phil, a confrontation with one's parents doesn't have to be physical. They don't even have to be alive. But confronting them is in my opinion healing because you basically confront yourself with the fear you had for your parents and expressing that.

The so-called innocent people whose lives have been destroyed by 'false memories' but were acquitted because of FMS, have been very few. Being acquitted doesn't mean you were innocent. It's a legal term that basically means that there was evidence but not enough. If I see to which length people lie and cheat to deny less extreme child abuse, I can imagine the cases where there were immense atrocities. For them FMS is a gift from heaven.

As I wrote in my article:
  • Loftus doesn't talk about the cases in which people have spontaneously remembered childhood abuse without therapy. The leap she makes in her research where she examines single implanted false memories and then compares them with long-time repressed childhood abuse and incest is not based on proper science. It has not been proven in scientific research that it is possible to implant memories of incest and severe child abuse.

    Dr. Loftus has by the way no explanation why some test-persons are susceptible to false memories and others not. When another person (usually a family member) contributes in the false event, the belief in it gets strengthened. Like for example Saul M. Kassin and his colleagues at Williams College have shown with their research in which they examined the reactions of individuals who were falsely accused of damaging a computer by pressing the wrong button. The innocent participants initially denied the charge, but when a confederate said that she had seen them perform the action, many participants signed a confession, internalized guilt for the act and went on to confabulate details that were consistent with that belief. These results show that false incriminating evidence can induce people to accept guilt for a crime they did not commit and even develop memories to support their guilty feelings.

    This research shows how simple it is to manipulate adult innocents. However the irony of it is, when you put it in the context of child rearing, the same thing happens but with stronger results. When a child gets misused, it will not get told that his parent is bad, petty-minded and weak. But the child hears it's his entire fault (hand in hand with the help of religion and pedagogy). The parent slaps his child. Child is innocent and feels quite rightly pain and hatred to the parent. The parent however impresses the child that the slap is meant for his own good, that his parents love him and that he had to listen. When this happens time after time, it has of course a huge impact on the growing child. The natural reaction he originally felt, has to be suppressed and he receives a entire wrong view of love with it. Of course a slap is not the only thing an abused child has to deal with. It goes together with punishing, lying, manipulation, neglect, humiliation, isolation, which all has to contribute to the fact that a child may never notice what has been done to him.
Everything I write here is my opinion, not absolute truths but I don't want to start every sentence with[i] in my opinion[/i]...