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Friday, 4 February 2011

Mark Prendergast, Roger Scotford and RALPH UNDERWAGER

The buzz-words are false memory syndrome.
February 17, 1997
The Scotsman
page 11

But is it a ploy by accused adults to explain away allegations of abuse by their grown-up children?

THE first time the notion of false memory syndrome was successfully fielded in a British trial was in 1994 when the father of a 33-year-old care assistant, Fiona
Reay, was acquitted at Teesside Crown Court in the north of England of sex offences against his daughter committed throughout her childhood.

The father was a middle-aged Scottish seafarer whose lawyers discredited his daughter's testimony by suggesting that she was the victim not of her father
but of false memories planted by "regression therapy". Defence barrister Toby Hedworth told the court about a "worrying phenomena" of people believing "phantom
memories" induced by therapists. After hearing this hypothesis the jury took only 27 minutes to dismiss the charges of rape and indecent assault. It is odd that this case does not feature in a new book by the American journalist Mark Prendergast, Victims of Memory. More than 700 pages long, it promises to be an encyclopaedic survey of "false memory" in the English-speaking world, a contagion spreading
throughout the English-speaking world.

Why then does Prendergast's book omit Fiona Reay's case, the first in Britain, particularly since - unusually - in this debate we can hear from both
sides: the accused and the accuser and other witnesses, with a professional or personal stake in the story. The Fiona Reay story uniquely satisfies
journalistic manners - the duty to tell not only the "who, what, where and when," but also to report conflicting versions of events. It relieves the journalists of the problem of belief - for or against "false memory" - and returns us to the real stuff, the actual sequence of events.

The medical records in Fiona Reay's case - first told in full in The Scotsman - confound the false memory hypothesis. She didn't magically "recover" buried
memories. Her tragedy was that she had never forgotten. It's all there in her medical records.

Toby Hedworth and the father's solicitor, David Smee, had seen Fiona Reay's medical records and therefore, knew that this could not be a case of "false memory".

"Did I say that it was?" said David Smee when it was put to him after the trial. His job, he said, was not to pursue the truth but to protect his client, to get
him off.

This landmark case does not trouble Mark Prendergast. He ignores it. Despite its vast length, his book makes no concessions to journalistic etiquette.

"False memory" is a new concept. It is not a scientific concept, it has not been adopted as a clinical diagnosis. It was formulated by accused adults to explain away allegations of abuse made by their grown-up children.

Some of its advocates were already familiar figures in the sexual abuse war zone: a founder of the American movement is Ralph Underwager, a Lutheran pastor who
says he gives evidence in hundreds of child abuse cases a year - always for the accused adult. He was the only American expert witness to appear before the
Butler-Sloss judicial inquiry into the Cleveland child abuse controversy in 1987, when he said that social workers "lie" and "fabricate" evidence of child abuse.

Most allegations, he says, are not merely unproven: they are false.

In the Nineties, Underwager's crusade against false allegations by children was extended to false memories among adults - usually induced by therapists. Hundreds
of accused adults found sanctuary in the movement inspired by Underwager, a veteran of the courts and the campaign trail. So confident was Underwager that he gave a long interview with the Dutch paedophile magazine Paedika pronouncing that paedophiles should be "more positive" in promoting paedophilia as "God's
will" and blaming feminists for a jealous hostility to men's interest in boys. He had to quit the False Memory Syndrome Board. Undaunted, the movement spread
to Britain in 1993, promoted by a retired naval officer turned property developer, Roger Scotford, who was faced with accusations by two of his daughters. Traumatic amnesia or repression doesn't happen, he says.

Based in his spacious Georgian home in the midst of Wiltshire countryside, Scotford encourages journalists to hear his story, including his detailed re-telling
of specific acts of alleged abuse, and to listen to an Ansaphone tape recording of his daughter shouting at him and demanding that he leave her alone. The tape is
played as evidence that his daughter is hysterical. Scotford admits, however, that she is protesting against his bombardment with false memory material.

Scotford went public after private encounters with his daughters. His campaign houses around 800 files from accused adults. He claims these are all false memory
cases. However, a random reading of the files reveals something rather different: simply letters from accused adults protesting their innocence.

The British Psychological Society, fearful that bad therapy might be yielding a crop of "false memories", went to work on Scotford's files and discovered that
three-quarters contained no reference to "recovered memory". Those that did included no references to how memories had been retrieved. The rest are merely adults denying allegations of abuse: many files were "sketchy", others were just notes of telephone
inquiries.

The BPS then canvassed the professional community and found that a fifth reported recovered memories of abuse after amnesia - but before seeing any therapists. Even more, a third, had clients who recovered memories of other traumatic experiences.
Concerned with the impact of the debate on services for abused adults and children, NCH - Action for Children, one of Britain's big children's charities, conducted its own research among clients and found that fewer than 10 per cent had ever forgotten. The issue, then, is not so much forgetting as remembering.

Where did this leave the debate? Like Roger Scotford, Mark Prendergast has been accused by his own daughters. His reply to them is this book. The book is
not about false memory: it does not show how this misty process is supposed to happen. It isn't a journalistic investigation, it doesn't give both sides
of an argument - indeed you would not know there was a debate at all from this book. Its thesis is less concerned with false memory as such than the cultural
revolution that has allowed the abuse of children to become knowable.

Prendergast's target is everyone who has revealed childhood abuse: there isn't as much sexual abuse as the survivor movements say there is; there's no such thing as repression or traumatic amnesia; and in any case its effects aren't so bad after all.

17 comments:

Zoompad said...

FMS Advisory Board Member Resigns : CoG Cult

The British False Memory Society is supporting the Children of God cult in Britain in its attempts to refute allegations of child abuse which recently sparked off a three year Scotland Yard investigation. In October 1994 the Daily Mail leaked part of the police report which stated that "We have clear evidence that sexual abuse has been systematically advocated and practised."

Dr Elizabeth Tylden, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, UCH and Middlesex Hospital Medical School, resigned as member of the BFMS Advisory Board earlier this year. She told me: " I became aware that the FMS were actively supporting 'The Family', formerly Children of God. I have experience of gross sexual impropriety to which children in this organisation have been exposed. Roger Scotford (the chairman) wrote to me after I had resigned saying he was going to support cult members who had been falsely accused."

Dr Tylden is a respected expert on cults and had recognised two of the British 'Children of God' leaders at a PTS and Dissociative Disorders conference in London on February 23/24 this year where Dr. Paul McHugh, FMSF Advisory Board Member, was a featured speaker. The two cult leaders, Gideon and Rachel Scott, were registered under Roger Scotford's home address along with the other 26 BFMS delegates who cheered Dr McHugh through his speech on "False Memory: Fact or Fantasy".

A recent Observer newspaper survey on cults (14 May 1995) wrote: "It is difficult to find a cult with a worse reputation than the Children of God (now known as the Family). As recently as October of last year a teenage girl was awarded £5000 by the British Criminal Injuries Compensation Board having been abused by members of the sect from the age of 3. It is estimated that of the 9000 current members of The Family, 6,000 are children; many of them the offspring of the sect's 'Hookers for Christ' campaign in the 1970s and 1980s in which women members seduced potential converts and bore their children. .........Members were urged to 'share' each other's wives and husbands, pornography was circulated, sex with children was elliptically condoned and 'God's Whores' were instructed to pick up men in discos and bar

Linda Berg, daughter of the founder David Berg who died in 1994, has spoken publicly about her "evil father" and of sexual abuse in the cult which has spread through USA, South America, Europe, India and Australasia.

The Daily Mail said the Scotland Yard probe uncovered disturbing evidence of the health risk to cult children. Over a ten year period at least 116 died - three times the death rate among adult followers.

Police in various countries globe have attempted to produce convictions on child abuse charges but failed. They are met with blanket, rehearsed denials from cult members and have had to hand back children they had "freed". Detective Superintendent Michael Hames, ex Head of Scotland Yard Obscene Publications Squad is quoted in the Mail as saying: "In many cases they were unaware of the scale of sophistication and tactics employed by the sect. It is secretive in the extreme and operates a very strict hierarchical system both in terms of leadership and information."

Felicity Goodyear Smith, a BFMS recommended author, advocate for Ralph Underwager's views, who believes there is evidence of an over reaction about sexual abuse in society, supports the Children of God in her book, First Do No Harm.

Ian Evans said...

LUNATICS!

Zoompad said...
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Zoompad said...
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Zoompad said...

Had to remove the last post, typos.

Yes, they are, the paedos call me a nutter, but it's them who are bonkers, to think that the Lord God Creator of Heaven and Earth does no see what is going on.

Well, he'll be coming back soon, so all you paedos, satanists and human traffickers, you'd better all get yourself sorted out beforehand, because I tell you, you're not going to like what He has to say to you if He comes back all of a sudden and you are still coming it with all this child abusing and lying and murdering and stuff. He sees everything, you lot scoffed at the idea of the Holy Spirit, you called me a nutters, well the laugh is on you, you forgot that the Holy Spirit IS a spirit, not needing to eat and drink, and He travels at any speed He wants to, through any route He chooses, so speeding his way down a computer modem is not at all difficult for Him!

You had better repent, and ask God to forgive you, He will be back soon.

Fiona reay said...

Hi.l would like to first all thankyou for your above blog. I am Fiona Reay. I only came across this a few days ago. There is so much more to add ie in summing up of the case,the judge said to the jury. Consider this if what she said is the truth You have ask yourself s.How come she went on to have children. I do hope that I hear back from you. As I will be more than happy to disclose a lot more in order to help educate the confused the ignorant. Yours Sincerely Fiona Reay

Zoompad said...

The Secret Family Courts made my life a living hell over a 7 year period, they tried to falsely accuse me of something Dr Richard Gardner (one of Ralph Underwagers FMSF friends) made up, Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Just like you Fiona, they had access to my medical records, and plenty of evidence to clearly show I was telling the truth.

But I was repeatedly threatened with jail (Gardners "Threat Therapy) if I committed Contempt of Court, basically what they did to me was nothing less than systematic psychological torture.

I wrote to every MP in the British Isles about this and how Gardner and Underwager were influencing these secret courts, including three Prime Ministers, two of who were in office whilst this was going on, and the present one Cameron had attended a Select Commitee in 2002 to stop what the paedophiles call "Police Trawling", but what I and other child abuse victims would call proper police investigations of institutional child abuse.

Zoompad said...

Fiona, if you are the lady who friended me on Twitter that I was wary of, I'm so sorry, but what is happening to me is so horrible, because MI5 are desperatly trying to cover up the Pindown and Secret Family Court child abuse/trafficking scandal, (which is still going on) and they are stalking anyone who speaks out on all the social networking channels like Twitter, Facebook ect, I've actually had my block bitton removed on Twitter so I can't even try to block them on there any more, and they've hacked my email as well, but Stafford Police seem to be fully aware of what they are doing, so I can only presume that I am on some sort of anti terrorism list, because otherwise how could they have the authority to do that to me, they are doing the same thing to the relatives of the Hillsborough disaster I understand

Zoompad said...

I'm sorry if I seemed rude and suspicious of you on Twitter, but I am having a horrible time, the paedophile gangsters (thats what they are) keep sidling up to me pretending to want to help, all they want to do is pick my brains for information so they can destroy me and any of the other Pindown/secret court victims that I know, they are so creepy and cunning, its really hard to know who to trust.

Zoompad said...

If it was you, thats what I meant to say. I would never be horrible to another victim of those horrible men. Its horrinble what those paedophile gangsters are doing, all the newspapers know what is happening, but they are all colluding to cover it all up.

Fiona reay said...

Hi I hope you now know I am

Zoompad said...

No photos of you, no posts, no nothing. You look and smell like a troll to me!

Which is why I would block you on Twitter if Twitter had not removed my blocking button!

Never mind though, you carry on trolling me, because I tell you what, the more you swine stalk me the more you reveal yourselves!

Zoompad said...

You lot have got Twitter to remove my blocking button somehow.

I think youve all colluded to harass me, keep joining me and then when I've blocked you gone complaining about me blocking you on Twitter, I dont exactly know what you've done but I know your nasty tricks now.

You do the same trick on all the social networking to shut people like me up.

You've gone too far this time, overreached yourselves.

Fiona reay said...

You are not worth a response. Other than this. How dare you use my name my pain ln breath blog,as a child molester. You be ashamed. Fiona Reay

Zoompad said...

What blog? You don't have a blog, as far as I can see. You're avatar leads to nowhere at all! You haven't made any posts, all you've done is troll me here and on Twitter!

Zoompad said...

I'm not ashamed about calling you out as a troll, because thats exactly what you are.

What a cheek you people have! Your guru Ralph Underwager did tell you all to be bold though.

Zoompad said...

No doubt you've come here to see if those libellous comments have been taken down, well the lady concerned who you lot have bullied asked me to, so I have.

I didn't realise they were libellous, because you swine surround us Pindown victims and whistleblowers, offering to "help", pretending to be victims of abuse yourselves, feeding us false information and getting us to believe stuff that isn't true.

Right now I am being bombarded with anonymous cowards who are trying to brainwash me into hating an entire race/religion of people and raise a mass murderer up as a hero!