Elisabeth Loftus

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


Yes, I was talking about confronting parents in-person as an adult.
The parents who need to be confronted are the childhood parents who still exist in our memories. The confrontation has to be with the childl feelings. That is certainly beneficial.
I feel I need to clarify some things I said above. The direct memory digging I was talking about was things like hypnosis and leading questions, basically anything where the therapist or investigator is really leading the process.

It is wonderful to be able to catch pedophiles in order to stop their crimes and so that the victims can be handled gently and believed while they are still children. At that point it would be important to prove it happened.

What I don't really know much about is success of regressive therapies with victims of sexual abuse while they are still children. Ideally this might be when healing should take place. Then they would not reach adulthood in such a damaged state. I think in late adolescence, there is solidification of psychic defences and childhood memories are buried. Otherwise it's hard to function as an adult.

What I was mainly talking about was the grown-up victims of child sexual abuse. That is where it is not really necessary to prove it for healing purposes. In fact, it is probably better not to focus on that.
The problem really is with that direct type of memory digging with adults simply to jump to oonclusions and make accusations. That is not really going to be helpful for anyone.

Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]


Maybe you are right and I was wrong: confronting the parent is a good idea. But I still don't understand how can you take at face value the McMartin case. Besides the tunnels that never were photographed (just as real alien ships have never been photographed), due to leading questions the kids also "recalled" being flushed down the toilet and abused in sewers, taken into an underground cavern beneath the school, flying through the air, and seeing giraffes and lions.
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Post by cc »

I agree Phil,

Confronting the inner parents (parental introjects) is the important thing to me. This comes after the feelings make the connection with the memory. There is repressed anger, rage, hurt feelings, sadness, mourning and then the integration (confrontation) followed by clarity, freedom, insights and further access to other ?lost worlds?.

Gordon Comstock wrote:
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.
Once someone is pigeon holed into a category or one uses these cataleptic, over used, mind killing, banal labels, the discussion and ideas get ?killed?. This is poisonous pedagogy at its best, fitting ?things? into the stereotypes (left/right box) of cultural norm. This is killer ape, cultural conforming, and egomaniacal, dissociating and neurotic way of thinking. Only feelings can expose this ?lifeless? way of thinking.
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]

Hi cc:

I believe we were talking about confronting our real parents: Sue Forwards' therapy in her one-million bestseller Toxic parents.

Do you know how I discovered Alice Miller in 2002? I purchased a translated copy of Forwards' bestseller. She included a list of recommended readings. It happened that one of those books, For your own good, had been translated to Spanish.

I dislike people that, like Constantine, want to blame everything on the CIA. In fact, I hate Mexican leftists because of this kind of myopia. I have read a lot of history and politics and there's no question in my mind that some decades ago leftists behaved psychotically toward the Soviet Union and the communist regimes (Mexican leftists still behave psychotically regarding dictators like Hugo Chavez). However, this is a huge subject for this thread on Loftus.
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Post by cc »

Hi Cesar,

I have read 'Toxic Parents'. I have confronted my parents and have found that it did not heal my childhood hurts. At one point I realized that the confrontation (I felt powerful and confident) itself was my defense to not have to feel the vulnerability and feelings of abandonment I felt as a child. Now that I am an adult and 'somewhat healed', I am better able to defend myself of their hurtful and controlling devices but not as the child that I was. At one time I realized that after confronting them about history, I was waiting to be understood. Yuk! This is parent rescue fantasy to me. I wanted them to be sorry so that I could forgive them. Yuk! This could only hide the truth.

Confronting my parents today does not give me access to my repressed feelings or bring about resolution. It only keeps me stuck. It feels good to expose and confront their tyranny today for past transgressions but those feelings of satisfaction keep my ugly feelings (the truth) at bay. To me, it is similar to acting out on other people that provoke 'historical bad' feelings.

Yes, I confront but not to access past feelings. I confront today because I have an identity and have a relationship with myself today. When I resolve past trauma, I will act (confront) according to my (resolved) feelings of today. Confronting to resolve past feelings is acting out to me. That is what repressed people do today. Their acting out feelings are out of context and anachronistic, and they continue (repetition compulsion) until they deal with the original cause (feelings).

I may be wrong Cesar but that is all I can see thru this dark forest right now.
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

Very interesting, cc. Let's open a new thread about Susan Forward's (pseudo-?) therapy. Do you want to do it here or, due to the private nature of the confessions, in my private forum?
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Post by cc »

It doesn't matter Cesar. I don't have a preference. Let's see what Phil and Dennis prefer.

It is not only S. Forward that says confronting the parents brings healing. Alice Miller too believes this. I extrapolated this from one of her books. Have you read 'Paths of Life'?

I was appalled at S. Forwards advice to her readers (potentially weak, vulnerable individuals).

Confront your parents and if you fail the first time, try again. It is ok to be scared she says. This is like sending a lamb to tame a lion. You cannot confront your parents at a time when you are in a 'regressed' state. This is cruel. This is repetition compulsion. We don't need a therapist to tell us this. We unconsciously do it every day. A person should at least resolve those scary feelings first but then a resolved person does not need to seek acknowledgement from a perpetrator. This person is already complete with their truth and they will not allow this to happen to them again.

In real life, we are always confronting our parental symbols. We have two choices, confront the current injustice or regress to a past injustice and act it out (without control). The latter is repeated unconsciously in an effort to resolve the past. The former is dealt with once because a resolved person is in the present and they are not unconscious to what is driving them to confront the injustice
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]
cc wrote:Have you read "Paths of Life"?

Yes: I read it. I will open a new thread here under the name Confronting our parents.
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Post by Dennis »

Cesar wrote:I still don't understand how can you take at face value the McMartin case.
Your sources are from child abusers who benefit from the cover-up. I prefer reading research from independent writers like Alex Constantine. If you have read something by him that is not true, mention that and a reliable source that shows otherwise. Your statement that he's a leftist attacking only the right and that you hate leftists, has nothing to do with anything.


  • 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.

How should one make photographs of tunnels that were filled again?

  • The parents were left to ponder why some of the toddlers in the care of the McMartins had chlamydia, a sexually-transmitted infection.

  • 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 anus.
Why you bring in alien ships, witches, giraffes and lions is unknown to me. If these things were mentioned by the kids, then these words were used by the opportunistic FMS members to discredit ALL testimony by the children. And we're back to square one: children make up stories of their abuse.

During the traumatizing of small children it's easy to intimidate them with any story. Maybe they were shown pictures of those 'crazy' things. From other cases where small children were severely intimidated, the border between fantasy and reality fades, because REALITY is too much to bear.

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]

> Your sources are from child abusers who benefit from the cover-up.

I already told you that Colin Ross, who coauthored the book Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment with Loftus, is not a child abuser: he certainly did not benefited from a (nonexistent) cover-up.

> How should one make photographs of tunnels that were filled again?

The fact that someone related to the FMSF published a refutation of these claims doesn't invalidate the refutation. One simply has to listen to the lawyer after listening to the prosecutor.

Claims of tunnels appear in other SRA cases besides the McMartin's school. Am I supposed to believe that, though none was photographed, all of them were filled again in a gigantic, nationwide cover-up?

> If these things were mentioned by the kids, then these words were used by the opportunistic FMS members to discredit ALL testimony by the children. And we're back to square one: children make up stories of their abuse.

Children were immorally coerced by disturbed adults to spin these tales. The leading questioning methodology to retrieve supposed memories was abandoned after the 1990s SRA fiasco. To quote again from the Wikipedia article:
The key problem in cases of SRA relying on children's testimony is the methodology by which such testimony is obtained. Children are very suggestible and will generally try to please the adult who interacts with them. On the other hand, social workers and therapists working with children believed that children would not openly talk about the abuse they suffered because of shame, or that they might even have repressed the memories of the abuse and that these memories would have to be recovered. In general, investigators worked under the assumption that the abuse had happened and needed to be discovered through aggressive questioning over a prolonged period of time. Investigators also sometimes relied on "diaries" where children were supposed to relate their experiences, or on the interpretation of drawings and of doll play. All these techniques are now regarded as highly problematic as they rely strongly on the interpretation of the investigator and encourage the child to mix fantasy and reality.

The questions asked were typically yes/no questions: "Did person X touch you there?" Even if the child answered no, the next question might be something like: "When he touched you, did you like it?" No matter what the child answered to the second question, it was taken as evidence that the abuse had happened. Negative answers, on the other hand, were interpreted as "denial" (in the Freudian sense of a defense mechanism) and had to be penetrated. As such, the children's testimony was in reality very much based on the adults' world view. This type of questioning is based on the Reid technique.
Some perpetrators of the SRA panic were themselves mentally ill. Diana Napolis, an outspoken online advocate of the idea of the existence of SRA (under the pseudonym "Curio"), and personally involved in several SRA investigations as a social worker, was committed to a mental institution in 2003 after harassing and threatening Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Love Hewitt and claiming that she was controlled through "psychotronic weaponry."
The McMartin was the longest criminal trial in US history and no convictions were obtained. How could they? Children were implanted with false memories by True Believers such as:

* the children saw the mutilation and killing of animals
* were forced to engage in ritual murder of infants and drinking of baby's blood
* saw dead and burned babies, flying witches
* were taken to the airport, traveled to Palm Springs in an airplane or hot air balloon, sexually abused and returned
* taken through underground tunnels
* cleaned up and later returned to the pre-school so they could be picked up by parents

The McMartin trial cost $13 million: the most expensive in US history (in comparison, the O. J. Simpson trial cost 8 million).

You said that my sources are from child abusers. This is not so: one of my sources is a grown-up child of the McMartin witch-hunt (about 100 teachers were accused of child molestation in the whole town during the mass hysteria). But not every child was brainwashed by fanatic adults who unconsciously projected their own traumas on them. On October 2005 Los Angeles Times published the first retraction from a McMartin student, Kyle Sapp, now known as Kyle Zirpolo, who was eight years of age when he made accusations 23 years ago. He now wants to tell the truth and apologize to the defendants.

Zirpolo explains:
Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn't like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for.
On the accusations of satanic ritual abuse, Zirpolo explains:
I think I got the satanic details by picturing our church...I'd just throw a twist in there with Satan and devil-worshipping.
I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do.
In other words, Zirpolo was indeed abused --by paranoid adults.
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Post by Dennis »

In a 1995 interview by Walter Bowart, on False Memory Syndrome, he said:
  • And what concerns me though are people like Dr. Colin Ross with (Charter Hospital who is a leading psychiatrist who is supposed to understand Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)) and says he understands the degree that the intelligence community has influenced and created Multiple Personality Disorders and yet he has joined the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and is trying, or at least pretending, to be an apologist to bring unity between this group and another, and it scares me because he also said 'I want to make money from this' beforehand. And it's like a turncoat sort of... though his intentions may be to subvert the FMSF he is grossly outnumbered. And I think it is going to hurt his practice in the end. I don't think that the survivors are going to trust this man anymore.
Of course Ross left the FMSF Board when the situation became more clear about its goals. Ross thinks that 20% of his patients are government related.
Cesar wrote:The fact that someone related to the FMSF published a refutation of these claims doesn?t invalidate the refutation. One simply has to listen to the lawyer after listening to the prosecutor.
That someone related is a Board member of FMSF. The site ipt-forensics.com where you get your information from is basically put together by Hollida Wakefield, the only active staff member it seems. In an earlier stage she had the help of her husband Ralph Underwager.
  • Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say that what they want is to find the best way to love. . . . Paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose. With boldness they can say, "I believe this is in fact part of God's will. --Dr. Ralph Underwager in this interview with Paidika, a European pro-pedophile publication
Doesn't it bother you that you quote articles from people who have a record of pedophilia and legal accusations of child abuse against them? Doesn't it bother you that many Board members of the FMS have been working for the CIA in gruesome experiments on animals and children? (Exposed by their own governmental documents released by the FOIA)

To quote Constantine:
  • The Ottawa Survivors' Study searched for evidence of the false memory syndrome in 113 adult women who, as children, reported they'd been sexually molested. Four sets of questions concerning symptoms of false memory were drawn up. The women were asked about the type of therapy they received, problems with personal relationships and patterns of stress. A detailed analysis of their responses also sought the presence of pseudomemories, the core of false memory theory.
    The study was headed by Connie Kristiansen, a professor of psychology at Carleton who proposed that the university evaluate the statistical claims of the Foundation, which have been widely repeated in the press. The FMSF insists that 25 percent to all recovered memories of child abuse are completely false, in contrast to the results of the Ottawa study.
    About half of the subjects remembered abuse. The other half had remembered buried memories of abuse as adults. The responses of the two groups were analyzed, and only two of the 51 women with recovered memories had symptoms that met the false memory criteria, leading the researchers to conclude that the syndrome does not exist as defined by the Foundation, and may not exist at all. They advised that false memory syndrome should not be used in the courtroom to discredit recovered memories of abuse until the validity of false memory theory can be demonstrated.
From: THE GREAT DEBATE By Anne Hart - 1995:
  • The FMSF was founded by Peter and Pamela Freyd in 1992, a year
    after their daughter Jennifer Freyd, a university professor and
    researcher, began therapy ("Theoretical and Personal Perspectives
    on the Debate" presented by Jennifer Freyd to Foote Hospital, Ann
    Arbor, Michigan, 1993.) Strangely, this Philadelphia foundation
    sprang into being long before any public allegations of sexual
    abuse were made by Dr. Freyd against her father. It was evidently
    designed in advance for the defense of an alcoholic man and his
    wife who felt the need for such a posture.
  • Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Chief of Trauma Clinic at Harvard
    Medical School charts the evolving psychobiology of post
    traumatic stress in his updated paper titled "The Body Keeps the
    Score." He writes: "While memory ordinarily is an active
    constructive process, the PTSD, failure of declarative memory may
    lead to organization of trauma on a somatosensory level..."
    That is, the body remembers what the mind cannot. Complex
    biochemical changes take place, symptoms begin and often
    psychogenic amnesia of the event occurs. These are cases of
    Vietnam veterans being completely amnestic for their entire time
    in the military, despite the record of their time at war.
Cesar wrote:... the children saw the mutilation and killing of animals were forced to engage in ritual murder of infants and drinking of baby's blood
Not impossible. They found the remains of tortoises and bones. They could also have watched movies where this occurred.
... saw dead and burned babies, flying witches
Could be exposed to photos of dead children in a threatening way.
... were taken to the airport, traveled to Palm Springs in an airplane or hot air balloon, sexually abused and returned
Children have no geographic knowledge and repeat whatever the adult says they were going. If you have never been in a plane and you ask what it is, a comparison with a hot air balloon is easier to understand. There are many proven cases where small children were 'loaned' to perpetrators of sexual abuse.
... taken through underground tunnels
There were tunnels, and exactly where the children had said they were.
... cleaned up and later returned to the pre-school so they could be picked up by parents
You know how many cases of child abuse there are where people nearby hadn't had a clue of the reality? There's a famous recent case in Sweden, one of the worst child abuse and child murders in modern history, and the source right in my own neighborhood, hundred meters away.

Maybe some people when they think of Satanic Ritual Abuse think of massive scenes like that in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It's more the intimidation through Satan that children are confronted with. I'm not sure which other cases you refer to, but there is plenty of evidence, if you dare to look.

Here's one (from Constantine's article)
  • Finders: On February 7, 1987 Customs agents raided a child-porn ring in Tallahasee, Florida. Eight suspects and six children were taken into custody. The children, according to a Customs Department memo, behaved "like animals in a public park," and "were not aware of the function and purpose of telephones, televisions and toilets."

    The children told police that they were forced to live outdoors and were given food only as a reward. A check on the backgrounds of the adults turned up a police report, "specific in describing 'bloody rituals' and sex orgies involving children, and an as-yet unsolved murder." Customs agents searched a cult safe house and discovered a computer room and documents recording "high-tech" bank transfers, explosives, and a set of instructions advising cult members on moving children through jurisdictions around the country. One photographic album found in the house featured the execution and disembowelment of goats, and snapshots, according to a Customs report, of "adults and children dressed in white sheets participating in a bloody ritual."

    An American passport was found. The investigating agents contacted the State Department and were advised to "terminate further investigation."

    They investigated anyway, reporting that "the CIA made contact and admitted to owning the Finders ... as a front for a domestic training organization, but that it had 'gone bad.'" The late wife of Marion David Pettie, the cult's leader, had worked for the Agency, and his son had been an employee of Air America, the heroin-riddled CIA proprietary. Yet Pettie denied to a reporter for U.S. News & World Report any connection to the Firm. Police in Washington refused to comment. Officials of the CIA dismissed as "hogwash" allegations of any connection to the Finders cult.
Cesar wrote:Kyle Sapp, now known as Kyle Zirpolo, who was eight years of age when he made accusations 23 years ago. He now wants to tell the truth and apologize to the defendants.
His story was written down by child abuse apologist Debbie Nathan. Nathan has made a lot of pro-pedophilia statements. She also wrote a book about porn for young adults of high school and undergrad college age.


Quote of the day:

"What would you rather be in the world, sadder but wiser, all too well remembering the horrors of your past and feeling depressed, or perhaps not remembering them very much and being a little happier?" - Elizabeth Loftus
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]


The Zirpolo recantation has been recounted by several journalists, like B.A. Robinson. You picked Debbie Nathan to try to discredit Zirpolo's confession. We have to listen to Zirpolo's words verbatim --and ignore the reporters if you like.

It is interesting that you didn't say a word about the Reid technique --the aggressive leading questions: a form of interrogation abuse when used with young kids-- because the objections to the Reid technique are pivotal to my argument. And you didn't say anything about the fact that after the 1980s and 1990s mass hysteria that spread in some countries because of the improper use of the Reid technique on children, the practice has been abandoned. And guess what? SRA has virtually disappeared in the Western world!

This has happened before, Dennis. I know you don't approve the 15th thru 18th centuries witch-hunt. Well, Alonso Salazar, a 17th century skeptic, observed that "There were neither witches nor bewitched in a village until they were talked or written about". In other words, no slanderous accusations about innocent women being witches, no witches at all.

Many of today's SRA skeptics have no intention to deny the existence of child abuse. Quite the contrary: their concern over alleged SRA is motivated on the sad fact that the pursuit of a mythical form of child abuse diverts our resources from the genuine cases.

I will change my strategy in trying to communicate with you, Dennis. Though there have been very decent people at the FMSF such as Ray Hyman and Colin Ross, I agree with you that there are people of notorious histories as well. Loftus still seems a decent person to me however. In the Seattle conference I attended she stated at the end of her presentation that the problem with their approach is that, even if it helped 50 per cent of innocent adults accused, it may hurt the other 50 per cent: those cases of genuine sexual abuse. I heard comments after her presentation that this remark of hers was wise.

Anyway, even if we leave references of the FMSF of people aside, there's a substantial amount of literature like writers with police background that debunk the SRA claims: for example, J. La Fontaine's work along with the work of K.V. Lanning, a FBI specialist of sexual abuse. Also, the result of a large 1994 study in the United States by Goodman, Qin, Bottoms and Shaver concluded about SRA: "no bodies, no bones, no bloodstains, nothing".

So all of these witnessing of satanists "burning all the bodies" and of babies and adults "butchered" and "being forced to watch animal sacrifices" must be delusion, Dennis. Of course, there's ample evidence of pedophile networks producing child pornography. But this doesn't mean involvement in satanic cults. Unfortunately we live in a free-market society. This means that irresponsible journalists make their field day by promoting the myth that there is a linkage between child pornography and SRA. In the past they used this trick to scare people in the US, Britain and Australia.

I am a wikipedian, you know. I would like to quote Antaeus Feldspar, one of my colleagues that debunks the SRA myth. The case of Feldspar is interesting since he had first-hand contact with the reality of sexual abuse and he never, ever denies the reality of sexual abuse. What he denies is the bizarre SRA claims. In a flaming debate with True Believers --I love flamings, you know!:
Antaeus Feldspar wrote:If there is "ample evidence" of such an intersection, then produce it. Nothing less will do. We were told that there was "ample evidence" of the horrors supposedly perpetrated at McMartin, at Fells Acres, at Wenatchee, but there wasn't. People who supposedly ran gigantic worldwide child pornography rings were being convicted despite the fact that not one piece of their alleged product could be located. Don't bleat about how there's "ample evidence" and how anyone who exhibits any skepticism after the big overblown claims of worldwide Satanic conspiracies were shown to be the delusions of alcoholic schizophrenics, abetted by false testimony coerced out of young children by lying to them and threatening them and completely disregarding anything they said of their own free will, is a "denialist". Show it. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:43, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

You said you had ample evidence, but what you're presenting instead is just more ample claims -- and you don't even seem to comprehend the difference, which shows that the lesson of the 1980s "global conspiracy of Satanists" theory is completely lost on you, even though you claim to understand all you need to about it. Their ample claims of a global conspiracy translated to vapor, not to ample evidence. I highly recommend that you go read Satan's Silence to remedy these gaps in your understanding. -- Antaeus Feldspar 21:58, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

"The vast majority of survivor advocates have always had a far more sophisticated understanding of the criminology of extreme deviance and the subcultures of organised paedophilia." No, they just have more intricate delusions on the subject, which are more carefully crafted to survive contact with reality. It's still constructed on an absence of evidence. Are all purported "ritual abuse survivors" responsible for the claims of "an extreme few"? Wrong question to ask. The correct question is, "Since the hysterical pervasive myth of an international Satanic conspiracy of child murder/abuse/pornography rings turned out to be the delusions of mentally ill adults, bolstered by irresponsible investigators who trumpeted 'Believe the children!' but then refused to believe the children until they gave in to investigators' leading questions and generated fantasies which could be slotted in (with appropriate editing) into the theories based on the aforementioned delusions of adults, is there any reason to believe that the version which believes in all the same Satanic child porn rings except not in the conspiracy has any more foundation?" The answer is "no", of course. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:08, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

My red emphasis above.
another Wikipedian that confronts a True Believer wrote:And its clear you are trying to pass nonsense off as fact with all sorts of yet more nonsensical excuses. Does abuse exist? Yes. Does Satanic ritual abuse exist? There's no evidence to support it in the way you are claiming and lots of evidence against. If the things you claim were real, we would already have widespread evidence. This is an encyclopedia, not some blog for you to go around making stuff up. Go play your little conspiracy theory fantasy roleplaying witch hunt games somewhere else. DreamGuy 10:51, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Antaeus Feldspar confronting a True Believer wrote:You know, wouldn't you look like a complete and total moron if I was a survivor? You know, the real kind, the kind that actually happens, rather than your paranoid coke-dream fantasies that never leave any sort of evidence, or whose evidence will always be, for one reason or another, someplace else where no one can verify that it even exists. "I don't care whether you take my word for it or not, Feldspar." Bullshit. If you didn't care, you wouldn't be trying to apply your carrot and stick. "Believe all the unsupported horror stories I babble out about and you can be a good person like me! Ask to see some evidence and you're an evil denialist who's helping the abuse continue!" Well, guess what? Your "stick" is a piece of straw and your "carrot" is a wilted frond. I've had first-hand contact with the reality of sexual abuse. I know there are abusers out there. I know there are victims out there. I have nothing but contempt for morons like you who play hysteria-crazed games of "let's pretend" based on the delusions of the mentally ill and the shrill hysteria of TV movies. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:24, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Despite the findings of a growing body of research (unrelated to FMSF) which would urge skepticism over the SRA claims, people that promote therapy-induced pseudomemories continue to listen to True Believers and exclude critical views. The internet is full of these suckers.

By the way, Dennis: I have sent your book manuscript to a book binder and I will have it leather-bounded this Saturday. I will start reading it by the weekend.

Thanks for sending it to me! :)
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Post by Dennis »

Cesar, who's the True Believer here? I've presented strong evidence that there were tunnels under the school but you keep telling me that that is fantasy. It's as if you want to believe there's no such thing as ritual abuse. Since you brought up the word True Believer, that's exactly what FMSF members do. Parents (or others) contact them saying: I'm innocent of the crimes this child accuses me of. The FMSF says: we believe you. Just like that without any investigation. FMSF would have been more credible as a foundation if they would admit once in a while: Shit, we thought they were innocent but it turned out they were guilty. They never ever do that.

I couldn't find any author who wrote down the story of Zirpola. Please show me sources. They were not Zirpola's own words, but Nathan's biased interpretation. I'm sure she left out critical questions as well. But the McMartin case wasn't just about the testimonies of the children.

First I found this about the legal definition of ritual abuse
  • The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) says:

    "Ritual abuse" is one of the most-talked-about, rarest, and least-understood forms of alleged child maltreatment. Experts disagree about whether or not "ritual abuse" exists, the range of situations to include in the category, and the extent and significance of these situations. Some argue that the term "ritual abuse" should be abandoned because it confuses more than it clarifies. Many more questions than answers exist about this highly controversial topic.

    It then gives a description of the general understanding of the term "ritual abuse," and states:

    Experts have proposed that allegations often classified as "ritual abuse" might reflect three very different situations (Finkelhor & Williams, 1988):

    The three situations, 1) Cult-based ritual abuse, 2) Pseudo-ritualistic abuse, and 3) Psychopathological ritualism, are briefly described, and continues with a section on "What is the evidence for 'ritual abuse'?"

    Supervisory Special Agent Kenneth Lanning, MS, of the FBI, with extensive experience consulting on multi-victim, multi-perpetrator child sexual abuse cases, concluded that there is no evidence for a widespread satanic conspiracy perpetrating cult-based ritual abuse (Lanning, 1992). Other reputable nationwide studies support this conclusion (Bottoms, Shaver, & Goodman, in press).

    Because professionals disagree about what constitutes "ritual abuse," and no mechanisms are in place at the local, state, or national levels to track reports of ritual abuse or to investigate the validity of ritual elements, no reliable data are available about its prevalence. A recent nationwide study has concluded that many allegations of abuse now referred to as "ritualistic" have nothing to do with supernatural beliefs, satanists, or organized cults (Bottoms, Shaver, & Goodman, in press).

    In one national research study of sexual abuse in day care (Finkelhor & Williams, 1988), one or more ritual elements were alleged in 13% of cases. The researchers could not determine whether these allegations were true or false, or whether they might pertain to cult-based ritual abuse, pseudoritualistic abuse, or psychopathological ritualism.

    Much more evidence exists for religion-related abuse (i.e., abuse driven by beliefs associated with non-satanic religions or perpetrated by someone with religious authority) than for "ritual abuse" (Bottoms, Shaver, Goodman, & Qin, in press). Religion-related abuse includes such acts as "beating the devil out of a child," abusive "exorcism" and "deliverance" ceremonies, sexual abuse by clergy, and religiously motivated medical neglect.
I'm quoting an article by Daniel Ryder called Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Evidence Surfaces
  • No Bodies?

    The following is an excerpt from a March 13, 1981, UPI article:

    "Fitchburg, Mass. -- The alleged leader of a devil worship cult was found guilty of first degree murder Friday in the ritual killing of a young Fall River, Mass. prostitute last year. Carl Drew, 26, stood pale and expressionless as the verdict was announced. He was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment by superior court judge Francis W. Keating... Miss Marsden was allegedly killed, mutilated and beheaded by Drew and two others in a blood-soaked night time ritual in a wooded area because she wanted to leave the cult."

    In 1993, House Bill 1689 was introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. It is a bill prohibiting "Certain Ritualistic Acts." Some of these acts include: ritual mutilation, dismemberment, torture, the sacrifice of animals, humans... (A similar bill was passed in Idaho in 1990).

    Also, in the 1993 Avon Books release: Raising Hell, author/investigative reporter Michael Newton writes, "While some cult apologists may be forgiven their ignorance of current events, (FBI) Agent Lanning -- with access to nationwide police files -- should know better. As this volume amply demonstrates, cult related killers stand convicted of murder in 23 states and at least nine foreign countries. Numerous other occultists are now serving time for practicing their "faith" through acts of arson, rape, assault, cruelty to animals, and similar crimes."

    The organization, Looking Up, founded initially as a nationwide support/referral program for incest survivors, serves approximately 15,000 people a year, 40% of whom now are reporting they are dealing with ritualistic or cult related abuse. According to a spokesperson for JUSTUS Unlimited in Denver, a non-profit referral and resource center, they are currently receiving more than 7,000 Satanic ritual abuse related calls a year. (What's more, they are also hearing from all over the world: Australia, New Zealand, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Canada...)

    Given the tangible evidence now surfacing, and given the volume of people reporting Satanic cult related abuse, it would seem curious the FBI would come out with such a definitive stance attempting to discredit the increasing phenomenon. Of course, then again, it was the same FBI that for more than the first half of this century consistently said there was no evidence whatsoever of another type of "organized" criminal activity. That is -- Mafia related crime.

    Actually, Satanic cults are somewhat similar to Mafia crime families.

    There is, for instance, extreme secrecy through code of silence programming. This is usually initiated with the signing of a "blood" contract. Wendell Amstutz, author of Satanism in America, said these contracts are generally signed in the initiate's own blood. The contract, said Amstutz, usually demands life-long obedience. And breaking it means death.

    And that?s exactly what it meant for the four California Satanic cult defectors one fateful night in 1990. The defectors were tracked to an apartment on, of all places, Elm Street in the small town of Salida.

    The defectors were beaten and stabbed. Finally, they were decapitated.

    What was left behind rivaled the carnage of the Tate-LaBianca crime scene.

    The trail led back to five Satanic cult members, and the story began to unfold...

    The five who were indicted were part of a 55-member Satanic cult that was operating out of a compound in Salida. Cult members stretched across a three-county are, with a number of them holed-up in a Salida compound (homes and trailers), somewhat similar to Waco's Branch Davidian complex. Except for one thing: What was going on in the Salida compound for the most part made what was going on in Waco seem like a Disney production.

    Randy Cerny, Director of the Northern Chapter of California's Ritual Crime Investigator's Association, had followed the cult closely. And after the indictments, he interviewed several of the cult members and reviewed extensive diaries they'd kept.

    He said the cult worshipped Satan, followed the teachings of renowned Satanist Aleister Crowley, engaged in sexual abuse, ritual torture including electric shock, child abuse, murder...In other words, many of the same things Satanic ritual abuse survivors have been consistently reporting.

    Cerny also said it was reported cult members were from all walks of life. This even included a dentist, a minister, and a woman enrolled in a law enforcement class at a local community college. (Satanic cult members aren't, by any means, always tattooed teen bikers who have listened to one too many Metallica albums, Often, Satanic ritual abuse survivors report their cult perpetrators are respected members of the community: doctors, law enforcement officials, PTA members, little league coaches...This all, apparently, is part of the facade.)

    One of the Matomoros cult members responsible for some of the 13 grisly murder/sacrifices in Mexico a few years back, was majoring in law enforcement at Texas Southmost College at the time she was arrested.
Ray Hyman did indeed the right thing when he heard of Jennifer Freyd's testimony in 1993: he resigned from the FMSF Board. But his expertise is on parapsychology and that has not much to do with child abuse or trauma memory.

I'm quoting this from Constantine:
  • Other statistics shunned by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation include a survey presented at a 1992 psychiatric conference that found that a full 88% of all therapists in a large sampling consider ritual child abuse to be a very real social problem with devastating emotional effects. Another: In 1990 the State University of New York at Buffalo polled a national sampling of clinical psychologists on ritual abuse. About 800 psychologists - a third of the poll - were aware of treating at least one case. Only 5% of all child abuse cases ever enter the courtroom - half of these end with the child in the custody of the abusive parent..

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

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

    At the age of 13, Jennifer Freyd composed a poem about her father's nocturnal visits:

    I am caught in a web,
    A web of deep, deep terror.

    she wrote. The diaries of her youth chronicle the "reactions and feelings (guilt, shame and terror) of a troubled girl and young woman. My parents oscillated between denying these symptoms and feelings ... to using knowledge of these same symptoms and feelings to discredit me."

    "My father," she says, "told various people that I was brain damaged." The accusation was unlikely. At the time, Jennifer Freyd was a graduate student on a National Science Foundation fellowship. She has taught at Cornell and received numerous research awards. The "brain damage" apologia did not wash. Her mother suggested that Jennifer's memories were "confabulations," and faulted therapeutic intervention. Pamela Freyd turned to her own psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Lief, currently an advisory board member of the Foundation, to diagnose Jennifer.

    "He explained to me that he did not believe I was abused," Jennifer recalls. Dr. Lief's diagnosis was based on his belief that Peter Freyd's fantasies were strictly "homoerotic." Of course, his daughter furrows a brow at the assumption that homoerotic fantasies or a heterosexual marriage exclude the possibility of child molestation. Lief's skewed logic is a trademark of the Foundation.

    He is a close colleague of the CIA's Martin Orne. Dr. Lief, a former major in the Army medical corps, joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1968, the peak of federally-funded behavioral modification experiments at Holmesburg Prison. Dr. Orne consulted with him on several studies in hypnotic programming. His academic writing reveals a peculiar range of professional interests, including "Orgasm in the Postoperative Transsexual" for Archives of Sexual Behavior, and an exploration of the possibility of life after death for a journal on mental diseases edited by Foundation fellow Paul McHugh. Lief is a director of the Center for Sexuality and Religion, past president of the Sex Information and Education Council.

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

    "At times I am flabbergasted that my memory is considered 'false,'" Jennifer says, "and my alcoholic father's memory is considered rational and sane." She does not, after all, remember impossible abuses: "I remember incest in my father's house.... My first memories came when I was at home a few hours after my second session with my therapist, a licensed clinical psychologist working within an established group in a large and respected medical clinic.

    "During that second visit to my therapist's office, I expressed great anxiety about the upcoming holiday visit from my parents. My therapist asked about half way into the session, whether I had ever been sexually abused. I was immediately thrown into a strange state. No one had ever asked me such a question. I responded, 'no, but...' I went home and within a few hours I was shaking uncontrollably, overwhelmed with intense and terrible flashbacks." Jennifer asks herself why her parents are believed. "In the end, is it precisely because I was abused that I am to be discredited despite my personal and professional success?"

    Pamela Freyd published an open letter defending her husband in Ralph Underwager's Issues in Child Abuse Accusations in 1991. It was reprinted in Confabulations, a book published a year later. Laced with lubricious sentiment, the book bemoans the "destruction of families" brought on by false child abuse accusations, and maligns "cult-like" support groups and feminists, or "lesbian cults." Executive director Freyd often refers to the feminist groups that have taken up the cause of child abuse survivors as "lesbians," after the bizarre Dr. Underwager, who claims, "these women may be jealous that males are able to love each other, be comrades, friends, be close, intimate."

    Pamela Freyd's account of the family history, Jennifer insists, is patently false. In an electronic message from her father, he openly acknowledged that in his version of the story "fictional elements were deliberately inserted."

    "'Fictional' is rather an astounding choice of words," Jennifer observed at the Ann Arbor conference. The article written by her parents contends that Jennifer was denied tenure at another university due to a lack of published research. "In fact," Jennifer counters, "I moved to the University of Oregon in 1987, just four years after receiving my Ph.D. to accept a tenured position as associate professor in the psychology department, one of the world's best psychology departments.... My mother sent the Jane Doe article to my colleagues during my promotion year - that is, the year my case for promotion to full professor was being considered. I was absolutely mortified to learn of this violation of my privacy and this violation of truth."
I know you have a lot to read, so I leave it with this. Thanks for reading my novel.


Quote of the day:

"People forget things. Horrible things. Here at the Foundation someone had a repressed memory, or what would be called a false memory, that she had been sexually abused. " -- Pamela Freyd, FMS Foundation Founder
Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

[edited once to fix apostrophes]


You are confusing ritual abuse, which obviously exist (involuntary exorcisms, etc.) with SRA, which doesn't exist. The Fitchburg Mass case you mention is totally unrelated to SRA.

Let's take the McMartin case as the paradigm of a classic SRA. No bodies or bloodstains have been found in SRA cases. The McMartin school case supposedly involved "multiple child victims and multiple perps" and the whole case was based on the (now abandoned) Reid technique, which you continue to ignore.

Of course: there's a lot of crime and murders within the cults. This is not SRA and this is why I quoted a wikipedian: "Does abuse exist" Yes. Does Satanic ritual abuse exist? There's no evidence to support it in the way you are claiming and lots of evidence against. Maybe I should have added emphasis to "in the way you are claiming".

There's a lot of crime within the cults, even in the largest cult of all, Christianity. I have with me some volumes of Karlheinz Deschner's voluminous study Christianity's Criminal History. None of this is SRA whatsoever, Dennis, as understood by criminologists (again let's take McMartin as the paradigm).

You mention the Matomoros cult members. I have been in that town and I remember the news. Again it's not "SRA" and it was motivated by drug money (just as in today's Mexico there are lots of decapitations in the war between the Mexican government with the drug lords). The American press linked this case to some Cuban rites (here we go again: this is not SRA) that the drug lord learned in Cuba. Those rites, santeria they call it, are well-known in Cuba's culture: no secrecy, occult or satanic mystery at all.

You quote at length Jennifer Freyd. Nothing to do with SRA. And I donit understand why you have been quoting Constantine extensively. He overstates his case and reminds me the ideologues who blame the US for Mexico's poverty when, in fact, millions of Mexicans abuse their kids, who latter live a poor life.

Yes: its seems that we agree to disagree. I am busy trying to write my 5th book. I can only hope that the Satanic Ritual Abuse claims won't reach the pages of your journal, Dennis. This is one of the reasons why deMause's journal is not taken seriously.

Thanks for expressing your views anyway.
Last edited by Cesar Tort on Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Dennis »

Cesar, as you understand, I cannot react to everything you write because within a week we're writing books here. You as well ignored very important facts I pointed out. I understand your background as a skeptic in CSICOP and it's interesting to learn about your views. I'm a bit surprised though that you point out the benefits of the False Memory Syndrome and point out the good things in Loftus. When I wrote my article in 1997, the editor of a popular psychology magazine called me to say they couldn't publish it because it wasn't fair to Loftus, who had made such a positive contribution in the world of psychology. Forget that I exposed lies in one of the leading experts on false memories and its foundation. They protected her like a child protects his mother. Don't point out anything 'bad' in the parents, he/she has also done good things. As if that has to make up for the bad things.

So you agree there's ritual abuse. You agree there's ritual abuse with satanic elements, but there's no Satanic Ritual Abuse? Since there's no unanimous definition on this term, I suppose your definition is the kind that includes flying witches.

I've mentioned Jennifer Freyd's story because she's the reason why her mom started the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Jennifer is an expert in repressed memory and wrote some very insightful research on that.

I've quoted Alex Constantine because he does a very good job investigating things.

I've quoted Daniel Ryder because he seems like a good investigative journalist and I found an interesting book review on amazon on his book Cover-Up of the Century: Satanic Ritual Crime & World Conspiracy :
  • 25 of 26 people found the following review helpful:

    Every once in a great while, a book comes out that is a standout in its field. One that is well written, that teaches, educates, and leaves the reader thinking for days afterwards about its subject. One that challenges the reader to overcome biases and misconceptions. And recently, such a book was published.

    The book: "Cover up of the Century: Satanic Ritual Crime and World Conspiracy" by Daniel Ryder. If you don't have a copy yet, I suggest you go to your local bookstore, or Amazon.com online, and get one. This is one of the better researched and documented books on the topic of ritual abuse that I have seen.

    Ryder has a background in investigative journalism, and it shows. Piece by piece, he discusses the evidence available that shows the reality of ritual abuse, and builds his case throughout the book. In fact, I would challenge anyone with an objective mind to read this book, and be able to deny the overwhelming evidence presented that: a) ritual abuse is real b) recovered memories are real, and are documented to be reliable c) there has been a large amount of cover-up of the evidence available in high profile cases such as the Franklin case in Omaha, Nebraska. d) There is firm evidence of mind control techniques, organization and planning in occult groups

    Mr. Ryder meticulously documents the evidence with research and in-depth interviews throughout his book. From government officials to police investigators, survivors of occult ceremonies to concerned parents, psychologists to lawyers, his extensive research and fact finding combine in this book to draw a compelling picture: ritual abuse is real, it is happening, and it is organized. He refutes statements by Lanning of the FBI that ritual abuse has no evidence with literal archives of cases of ritual abuse that have gone to court and been successfully prosecuted. I love the first chapter which asks "Where's the Proof?" then proceeds to answer the question. Studies are quoted, officials discussed and documented cases of ritual crime are given.

    Ryder's background research on some of the leading members of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) is a thought-provoking chapter, as the "syndrome" is exposed as having no reality according to clinical experts in the field. Also, the less than savory background of some of the founding members and "experts" recruited by the FMSF are revealed.

    I believe this book should be recommended reading for anyone who thoughtfully asks the question "If ritual abuse is real, where is the evidence?" The evidence is there, the experts are speaking out, and court cases prove that RA is a real phenomenon. I am grateful that Mr. Ryder took the time to interview and research this topic, and share what he found with the general public.
Unfortunately the book is for sale there at 150 Dollars.

The Reid technique is not the correct way of interviewing children. But what is a good way to interview (traumatized) children? That this technique planted false memories in every child is perhaps too much wishful think on behalf of the defendants. However, there's no doubt that there were tunnels, which is a key point because if that turned out to be true, then you can't blame anything on false memories anymore. Of course tunnels on itself don't prove abuse, but it is an interesting fact that there had been tunnels.

A wikipedian who admits the existence of abuse but denies SRA doesn't prove anything. No one questions the existence of abuse. What FMSF denies are repressed memories. And the existence of repression of memories is undisputed. That includes also the memories of perpetrators. There's a chance that those 2 rigid people in the Loftus documentary really don't remember what they did to their daughter. On a smaller scale, I personally know stories of school bullies that didn't remember the nasty things they had done when they were kids.

I think it's important to investigate each case thoroughly and not say beforehand that the victim has made everything up.

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]...