Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Stinson Hunter - It Seems Things Are Moving On (Part 6) - Show Us All ... Exactly

Stinson Hunter - Channel 4 Documentary

Posted: January 29, 2014

Stinson Hunter to star in Channel 4 documentary

Coventry paedophile catcher Stinson Hunter to star in Channel 4 documentary


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16:26 Tuesday 14 January 2014

Facebook sexual grooming case in Swadlincote dropped

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Sam Dimmer

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Who Is Distorted?

March 2006, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 5

Do child molesters hold distorted beliefs? What does their memory recall tell us?


Do child molesters hold distorted beliefs (or cognitive distortions) that support their sexual offending? To test this hypothesis, we asked 28 child molesters and 20 inmate controls to read a description of child molestation. Within this vignette, we planted 10 ambiguous descriptions. If child molesters’ information processing were driven by cognitive distortions, we hypothesized that they would use this knowledge to disambiguate and cognitively distort each description.

This was tested by examining participants’ free recall of the vignette. Chi-square tests of association showed that both child molesters and inmate controls had various memory distortions for the vignette, but could not be differentiated based on the numbers of cognitive distortions in their recall classifications.

In other words, our findings did not support the widely held cognitive distortion hypothesis a finding which could promote substantial revision of both how we view child molesters’ ‘‘cognitive distortions’’, and how we treat them."

Journal of Sexual Aggression"


Wednesday, 1 January, 2014

Cognitive ‘distortions’ and dissonance

"Such dangerously heretical thoughts nowhere find overt expression in the paper, but the exercise must have sown confusion. While it demonstrated that MAPs were not shown to think in a cognitively distorted way, it also indicates that the researchers were suffering from another interesting mental condition, cognitive dissonance i.e. psychological conflict when presented with data at odds with one’s beliefs. Given the conservative nature of their starting point, this offers the hope that they may actually be moving forwards a little, as they struggle, perhaps painfully, to accommodate the new information and make a new beginning."


Content Analysis of Cognitive Distortions in Pedophiles' [sic] Online Forum Posts 

"Historically, sexual encounters between adults and children were rarely reported to authorities, and thus considered a rare problem. However, as many as 33% of girls and 14% of boys experience sexual encounters with adults and as a result may experience consequences such as aversive feelings regarding the act of sex, substance abuse, and self-mutilation. Such consequences lead research to examine pedophile’s cognitive distortions.

This exploratory study examined pedophiles’ website forum posts to determine if any posters demonstrated cognitive distortions. Four independent raters used content analysis to determine which cognitive distortions were demonstrated by the examined pedophiles.

Results suggested that cognitive distortions were not prominently demonstrated by those posting on the examined forum. Results may also suggest that cognitive distortions are not evident in a supportive environment. Results cannot be generalized to the entire pedophilic population and future research could analyze posters’ cognitive distortions over a period of time and examine which cognitive distortions have altered over time."

Everything Is Bigger In Texas

Nov 23, 2014, Session 5: Pornography and Children


"Remember the Texas conference featured on Heretic TOC early last month (8 Dec) in a piece called Deep in the weird heart of Texas? As promised, video of all the sessions has now been posted on the university’s You Tube channel."



Nov 24, 2014, Session 8: Therapeutic Approaches to Sex Offending

Nov 24, 2014, Session 7: Do Sex Offenders Have Human Rights?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Reformed Peter File Stars On ITV This Morning ... MW-T Assists

11:32 - 27 Jan 2014

Interview with a convicted paedophile [no such offence]

"Today we are joined by a man called John (not his real name) [Peter?] who has been convicted twice of possessing indecent images of children. [ah, OK ... not possessing, actually]

He has agreed to talk to This Morning in order to highlight what he thinks is a lack of help for paedophiles [true, but he is not one], which he believes increases their chances of reoffending. John, 43, has taken measures to rehabilitate himself including no longer owning a computer, reducing the risk of him downloading [potentially] illegal material again. [good for 'John', let us hope it was not cathartic]

The interview will be pre-recorded and voiced-over by an actor to maintain John's anonymity.

We are also joined by investigative journalist and former policeman Mark Williams-Thomas, best known for exposing [not] Jimmy Savile as a paedophile." [not]

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So, what do we think about John, and his performance, on This Morning?...

(1) We are delighted, that the ITV have begun to ask many pertinent questions,

(2) We are delighted, that the ITV did so, in a measured and sensitive manner,

(3) We are delighted, that MW-T has brought these issues forward, in a reasonable manner,

(4) We thank John, for his brave (if indirect) performance,

(5) What happened to the iSOTP?

(6) John is not a 'child sex offender', for a number of reasons and measures,

(7) We are very disappointed, that the term 'Paedophile' was used, time-and-time again, when ...

   (a) John is, clearly, attracted to girls, in the way, most men are,

   (b) A psychiatrist determined that John was quite 'normal' - i.e. not a Paedophile.

Overall then, 8/10 ... and certainly an excellent move, in the right direction, so as to enable desistance and understanding.

For these reasons, and others, you will not see much, positive, about this show, in the MSM.



Monday 27 Jan 2014 2:20 pm

This Morning causes controversy as Phil and Holly interview convicted paedophile [not]

January 27th, 2014

This Morning’s Phillip Schofield & Holly Willoughby interview paedophile [not] & Theresa May responds VIDEO

27 January 2014 12:33 GMT

Crime Week: This Morning interview Theresa May and a convicted paedophile [not]


Oh dear, oh dear ...


Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Ignorant And Dangerous Unite, Again (5) - It Appears, That Ms Thomas Is Electing To Learn, The Hard Way

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Addendum (27/1/14)

This information, is made available, in prelude, to what may occur, in the future. 

The complainant will act, initially, as litigant in person. 

The courts prefer, that all is done, so as to avoid proceedings needing to take place.

We advise, that Ms Eve Thomas, now seeks, competent, legal advice ...
Private prosecutions: an individual’s right

A Guide To Private Prosecution Procedure In England And Wales

Private Prosecutions

27/1/14 - 1:45 am

If Ms Thomas fails to desist and fails to make her website posting legal, we will clarify what criminal offence she will be prosecuted with, and why, on February 10th, 2014.

An initial stage, will, of course, be to obtain her address, for legal communications.

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The offending web page: 

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The offending web page: - modified.

The person, Ms Thomas is now maliciously-harassing, causing anxiety and distress to, and lying about, may still be identified, from that web page.

Cease and desist.

All previous communications, stand, as is.



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Along with, the offending web page:

Once again, Ms Thomas, you have linked the person, to paedophiles, child predators and child abusers. Your claims about that person are incorrect and grossly-offensive.

You continue, to maliciously-harass, this person, causing anxiety and distress to him. 

Your lies will not be tolerated.

Cease and desist. 

All previous communications, stand, as is.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Not Crimes/Offences At All

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23 January 2014 Last updated at 14:12

Crime in England and Wales down 10%, survey shows

Last updated Thu 23 Jan 2014

Sexual offences recorded by the police rise by 17%


Released: 23 January 2014 

Release: Crime Statistics, period ending September 2013 

"The number of sexual offences recorded by the police increased by 17%. This increase is likely to be partly due to a continuation of a ‘Yewtree effect’, whereby a greater number of victims [sic] have come forward to report historical sexual offences to the police."

MOBs are MOBs - Blame The Politicians, Mainly

FL - So did the MOB got what they wanted in Port Orange?


FL - Port Orange votes to keep sex offenders far from children's gathering places

FL - Port Orange council members want to put targets on sexual predators, putting them and their families in danger!

Idea to put signs in sex offender’s yards brought up to Port Orange council

Volusia schools to parents: Not our job to notify about sex offender


Margie Patchett 

"“When you shine the light on people like that and their neighbors find out, and other people in the community find out, I think that puts the pressure on them to move,” Patchett said."


DC - Sex offender fights registry

DC - Sex offender fights registry by registering his registerers

Sex offender fights registry by registering his registerers


Official Registry of Idiots in the U.S.


About Registries in Nazi Germany

"From the moment the Nazis came to power in 1933, the Jews of Germany were subjected to a never-ending series of discriminatory laws. There would be, during the twelve years of Hitler's Reich, over 400 separate regulations issued against Jews prohibiting everything from performing in a symphony orchestra to owning a pet cat. Registries of Jews, Gypsies and other perceived undesirables were in force during most of the period.

In the Reich's early years, anti-Jewish regulations were drawn up by a Nazi bureaucracy that included both radical and moderate anti-Semites. None of the bureaucrats had any moral qualms about being anti-Semitic. However, the moderates were concerned with foreign reaction and the possible disruptive impact of anti-Jewish prohibitions on Germany's still-fragile economy.

Of the 503,000 Jews living in Germany in 1933, about 70 percent lived in big cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Breslau. Many of the young Jews in these cities married non-Jewish Germans.

Although Jews made-up less than one percent of Germany's overall population of 55 million, Hitler considered them by nature to be the "mortal enemy" of the German people. But within Hitler's bureaucracy, radical and moderate anti-Semites strongly disagreed as to what legal (or illegal) actions should be taken against the Jews.

Local Brownshirts, upset by the bureaucratic delays, often took out their frustrations on local Jews in their neighborhoods, and by mid-1935 there had been dramatic rise in the number of street incidents.

Ordinary citizens, encouraged in part by Goebbels' anti-Semitic propaganda, also took part in spontaneous demonstrations. One such incident in the summer of 1935 was recorded by the Bavarian political police:

"...there were anti-Jewish demonstrations in the swimming pool in Heigenbrüken. Approximately 15-20 young bathers had demanded the removal of the Jews from the swimming bath by chanting in the park which adjoins the bath...A considerable number of other bathers joined in the chanting so that probably the majority of visitors were demanding the removal of the Jews...The district leader of the NSDAP [Nazi Party] who happened to be in the swimming baths, went to the [pool] supervisor and demanded that he remove the Jews. The supervisor refused the request on the grounds that he was obliged to follow only the instructions of the baths' administration and moreover, could not easily distinguish the Jews as such. As a result of the supervisor's statement, there was a slight altercation between him and the [district leader]...In view of this incident, the Spa Association today placed a notice at the entrance to the baths with the inscription: Entry Forbidden to Jews."

By late summer 1935, the street violence and demonstrations had diminished. But the bureaucratic in-fighting only escalated and would soon come to a head at the annual Nuremberg Rally

At the Rally, held from September 9 to 15, a special session of the Nazi Reichstag (Legislature) was scheduled for the last day at which Hitler planned to deliver a major foreign policy speech concerning the League of Nations and Fascist Italy. However, Hitler wound up canceling the speech on short notice upon the advice of his Foreign Minister, Constantin von Neurath.

The abrupt cancellation left a void as to just what the Reichstag would do during its special Nuremberg session. Radical anti-Semites at Nuremberg seized the opportunity and suggested to Hitler that the special session would be an ideal opportunity to announce some kind of big new law concerning the Jews.

Hitler accepted their suggestion and settled on the idea of a law forbidding intermarriage and sexual relations between Jews and Germans, which he knew the radicals had been wanting for some time. On September 14, the night before the Reichstag's special session, Nazi legal officials presented Hitler with four drafts of the new law. Hitler chose the fourth version, which happened to be the least militant, although he crossed out one important line stating: "This law applies only to full-blooded Jews."

Around midnight, Hitler told the same legal officials he also wanted an accompanying law concerning Reich citizenship. The officials, scrawling on the back of a hotel food menu, hastily drafted a vaguely worded law which designated Jews as subjects of the Reich. Hitler approved the draft around 2:30 a.m.

At the Reichstag's special session held later that day at 8 p.m., Hitler delivered a short speech in which he characterized the new laws as an attempt to "achieve the legislative regulation of a problem which, if it breaks down again will then have to be transferred by law to the National Socialist Party for final solution."

The drafting of the Nuremberg Laws has often been attributed to Hans Globke. Globke had studied British attempts to 'order' its empire by creating hierarchical social orders, for example in the organization of “martial races” in India.

In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them from having any influence in education, politics, higher education, and industry. There was now nothing to stop the anti-Jewish actions that spread across the German economy.

Between 1937 and 1938, new laws were implemented, and the segregation of Jews from the “German Aryan” population was completed. In particular, Jews were punished financially for being Jewish.

On March 1, 1938, government contracts could not be awarded to Jewish businesses. On September 30 of the same year, "Aryan" doctors could only treat "Aryan" patients. Provision of medical care to Jews was already hampered by the fact that Jews were banned from being doctors.

On August 17, Jews had to add "Israel"(males) or "Sara" (females) to their names, and a large letter "J" was to be printed on their passports on October 5. On November 15, Jewish children were banned from going to state-run schools.

The registration of Jews and other perceived undesirables was an integral part of the government enforcement process concerning these ubiquitous laws."


Lists of Alleged Witches Used in the Salem Trials

"The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates followed by county court of trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties of colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. The episode has been used in political studies and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of government lists, false accusations, lapses in due process, and intrusion on individual liberties.

Despite being generally known as the "Salem" witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town. The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused but not formally pursued by the authorities. At least five more of the accused died in prison. All twenty-six who went to trial before this court were convicted. The four sessions of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, held in Salem Village, but also in Ipswich, Boston and Charlestown, produced only three convictions in the thirty-one witchcraft trials it conducted. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged. One man (Giles Corey) who refused to enter a plea was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so.

The episode started as a ploy to protect children. In Salem Village in 1692, Betty Parris, age 9, and her cousin Abigail Williams, age 11, the daughter and niece (respectively) of the Reverend Samuel Parris, began to have fits described as "beyond the power of Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effect" by John Hale, minister in nearby Beverly. The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions, according to the eyewitness account of Rev. Deodat Lawson, a former minister in the town. The girls complained of being pinched and pricked with pins. A doctor, historically assumed to be William Griggs, could find no physical evidence of any ailment. Other young women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviors. When Lawson preached in the Salem Village meetinghouse, he was interrupted several times by outbursts of the afflicted.

The first three people accused and arrested for allegedly afflicting Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, 12-year-old Ann Putnam, Jr., and Elizabeth Hubbard were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba. Sarah Good was poor and known to beg for food or shelter from neighbors. Sarah Osborne had sex with her indentured servant and rarely attended church meetings. Tituba, as a black slave of a different ethnicity than the Puritans, was an obvious target for accusations. All of these outcast women fit the description of the "usual suspects" for witchcraft accusations, and no one stood up for them. These women were brought before the local magistrates on the complaint of witchcraft and interrogated for several days, starting on March 1, 1692, then sent to jail.

Other accusations followed in March: Martha Corey, Dorothy Good (mistakenly called Dorcas Good in her arrest warrant) and Rebecca Nurse in Salem Village, and Rachel Clinton in nearby Ipswich. Martha Corey had voiced skepticism about the credibility of the girls' accusations, drawing attention to herself. The charges against her and Rebecca Nurse deeply troubled the community because Martha Corey was a full covenanted member of the Church in Salem Village, as was Rebecca Nurse in the Church in Salem Town. If such upstanding people could be witches, then anybody could be a witch, and church membership was no protection from accusation. Dorothy Good, the daughter of Sarah Good, was only 4 years old, and when questioned by the magistrates her answers were construed as a confession, implicating her mother. In Ipswich, Rachel Clinton was arrested for witchcraft at the end of March on charges unrelated to the afflictions of the girls in Salem Village.

Lists of alleged witches were an epidemic that spread to other parts of America, including Virginia. Even where there was no trial or punishment, those on these lists experienced threats and ostracism in their communities."


Opposition to Registries


January 8, 2014

Are Americans increasingly taking the law into their own hands?

"Instances of citizen vigilantism – citizens exercising law enforcement practices without legal authority – have been showing up in the media more frequently. Apparently a growing number of American citizens feel as if their law enforcement officials are not doing enough to prevent crime and do not want to solely rely on the government for their personal security.

While violent crime in the U.S. is on the rise again for the first time after 2006 – 1.2 percent increase compared to 2012 after years of steep declines – law enforcement authorities face depleted resources due to severe budget cuts stemming from the recession, particularly in large urban areas. The reported rise in crime could be related at least in part to the growing phenomenon of citizens taking the law into their own hands."

Thursday, 23 January 2014

What Harm? What Blame?

January 22nd, 2014 2:27 pm 

Argument recap: Sorting out the blame


"The Supreme Court left no doubt on Wednesday that it is willing to do its part to make sure that victims of child pornography get paid money to offset the harm done to them. But it also found itself very much in doubt about just what that part would be. The answer in the case of Paroline v. United States may depend upon how the Court understands two words: “apportion” and “contribution.”"
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January 20, 2014 9:43 AM

Supreme Court to Decide on Child Porn Victim Restitution


The lies and disinformation ...
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JAN. 23, 2014

Fake Disability Claims

"Seeking compensation for post-traumatic stress syndrome has been a cottage industry, replete with coaches who ride shotgun to help claimants recite the scriptures of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders."

JAN. 7, 2014

Charges for 106 in Huge Fraud Over Disability

"The retired New York City police officers and firefighters showed up for their psychiatric exams disheveled and disoriented, most following a nearly identical script.

They had been coached on how to fail memory tests, feign panic attacks and, if they had worked during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to talk about their fear of airplanes and entering skyscrapers, prosecutors said. And they were told to make it clear they could not leave the house, much less find a job.

But their Facebook pages told investigators a starkly different story, according to an indictment and other court papers."



Dutch Rapporteur visits United States

Jan. 25, 2014

Paroline decision will have worldwide impact

First Published Jan 15 2014 06:52 pm • Last Updated Jan 16 2014 09:49 am

Utah law professor to make case for child-porn victims

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

When Satire Cannot Even Match Reality

Exposure: Monsters in the Nursery

Exposure: Operation It Could Be Youtree

Exposure: The Other Side of The Wombles

On Feminism, Professional Victims, Vested Interests, Denial, Harm And Sexuality

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

No Man Is In Control Of Whatever It Is He Is Interested In

Mysteries of the Mind: The Pedophile's Brain

The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Mysteries of the Mind: The Pedophile's Brain

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Friday, 14 December, 2012

The dubious analogy of the ‘extra arm’

"So, where was I? Ah, yes, I said a neuroscientist had agreed with Susie Orbach and myself that there was good reason for skepticism over a theory that paedophilia is caused by “crossed wiring” in the brain. An MRI scanning study by James Cantor and his team into the brains of paedophiles and others had shown that paedophiles have less “white matter”, this being interpreted as a dysfunctional deficiency."


January 2014

Dr. James Cantor, a leading expert on Pedophilia, explains the Pedophile's brain


PUBLISHED: 13:56, 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:19, 22 January 2014
'Paedophilia IS an illness': An abnormally-wired brain causes the predatory behaviour, claims expert

"Clinical psychologist James Cantor found 'huge differences in the white matter of paedophiles' brains, compared to typical men's." 
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See what happens, when you do not explain what the results actually 'mean', James?  

Persecution by sound bite. 


Updated 12:59 pm, January 24th, 2014 8:25 pm, January 23rd, 2014

Pedophilia an orientation? 

"While legal challenges are only hypothetical at this point, could a non-offending pedophile - one who has not given in to his impulses - be legally protected to work near children?"


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The ever continuing normalisation of paedophiia - not "orientation", not "disability", now it's an Illness!

Richard, the disability is the 'illness', and the orientation, is not the disability.

Just as it was for LGBT.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Raccoon Still Digs

JANUARY 20, 2014

The Grand Poobah and Dame Janet Smith

"Twitter is enduring a multi-orgasm this morning; positively trembling at the knees. An army of Observer reading foot soldiers have taken to the airwaves to protest at the apparent ‘news’ that the BBC ‘turned a blind eye as 1,000 were abused by Savile on its premises’. This startling sentence has been repeated by every major media outlet.

Unless you had read the papers very, very carefully, you would be forgiven for thinking that the conclusion to Dame Janet Smith’s long inquiry into the culture and practices at the BBC had been published, or at least authoritatively leaked in advance to the media.

Not a bit of it! Read more closely ..."


Anna Raccoon @AnnaRaccoon1

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Ignorant And Dangerous Unite, Again (4) - The Rewriting Of History, The Denial And The Squirming

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Does Ms Thomas, really believe, that we do not keep archives or liaise with the police?

Friday, 17 January 2014

As Usual - A Little Bit Of The What, Not Much Of The Why

Some 'Keenanesque clues' ...

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Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Naïve Literalism With Which Claims Of Historic Abuse Are Received Also Needs To Change

January 2014

Return to Salem

"Bijan Ebrahimi, a keen gardener – a quiet, disabled man whose only joys in life came from his horticultural interests and his cat – took pictures of local youths as they attacked his plants and intended to hand the photographs to police as evidence. But instead officers were called when he was seen with the camera and he was led away for questioning as residents chanted ‘paedo, paedo’. Officers realized their mistake at the police station and he was released, but rumours had already begun circulating that he was a child abuser and two days later he was beaten unconscious, dragged into the street and set on fire. (Daily Telegraph 3.11.13)

The proliferation of historic allegations of sexual abuse following the outbreak of a scandal about the late Jimmy Savile in October 2012 is extraordinary, even by the standard of historic abuse claims. These originated in the USA in the 1980s, and have continued relentlessly ever since in English-speaking countries round the world. The abiding theme of these claims is one of childhood innocence violated, and trust betrayed. The public reaction to the revelation of such abuse is, predictably, one of shock and outrage, coupled with a demand for retribution and reparation.

When American feminist campaigners began to draw attention to the gross minimizing (as they saw it) of the problems of rape and intra-familial sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, they used the technique of personal testimony. In the nineteenth century, this was a popular device deployed both by the antislavery movement, and by Christian revivalist movements, to promote their cause. Such ‘speaking out’ is characterized by highly emotive and graphic content, designed to shock the listener into horrified acceptance.

This rhetorical technique was not without its critics, sensitive to what nowadays we would call the pornography of misery. In 1855, a reviewer for The Athenaeum of John Brown’s Slave Life in Georgia remarked: ‘we scarcely see how the public is to be instructed by repetitious accounts so piteous and so harrowing’.

In 1971, a social worker named Florence Rush electrified the NYRF Rape Conference with her account of childhood molestation. This was second wave feminism’s equivalent to Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech, though what Rush described was more of a nightmare.

She concluded: sexual abuse of an unspoken but prominent factor in socializing and preparing the female to accept a subordinate role: to feel guilty, ashamed, and to tolerate through fear, the power exercised over her by men.

Rush’s speech proved enormously influential on a generation of activists, who portrayed the nuclear family as a toxic arena of male-on-female abuse. The feminist construction of sexual violence also drew on trends in psychiatry, putting victims of rape and incest on a par with Holocaust survivors and victims of torture. They actively promoted the idea of rape as psychic trauma, causing a kind of disintegration of the self, with ensuing lifelong problems. Anti-Vietnam war activists, and the German psychiatrist William Niederland, persuaded the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Committee to introduce the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 1978. Feminist thinkers like the psychiatrist Judith Herman appropriated this concept over the next decade.

The practical problem US feminists faced was how to reconcile their claim that rape and sexual abuse were widespread, with an apparent dearth of traumatised victims. With evangelical zeal, they set about promoting a collective story. ‘Speak-outs’ on rape and incest resulted in the publication of memoirs like Kiss Daddy Goodnight (1978). Feminists urged the therapeutic professions to identify and treat victims, and the wider population to identify victims in need of help, with the aid of television and other media. Researchers claimed that one in three women were sexually abused as children. By the 1980s, Harrington notes, first person survivor testimonies were ubiquitous and stylised – as, indeed, they remain today. The recovery movement’s Bible is a lengthy self-help manual written by two teachers of creative writing, a poet, Ellen Bass, and her student, Laura Davis, in 1988: The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Neither of its authors had any background in science or psychology. They developed the book as a result of creative writing classes and self-help workshops that they organized. It is interspersed with seemingly firsthand accounts of abuse, often in lurid and disturbing detail. How much of these accounts is really ‘creative writing’ is a matter for speculation.

The book starts with a list of examples of abuse, followed by the assurance: ‘If you are unable to remember any specific instances likes the ones mentioned above but still have a feeling that something abusive happened to you, it probably did.’ A section headed BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY MEMORIES says comfortingly: ‘…you are not alone. Many women don’t have memories, and some never get memories. This doesn’t mean they weren’t abused.’ A chapter headed BELIEVING IT HAPPENED states:

 ‘To heal from child sexual abuse you must believe that you were a victim, that the abuse really did take place (italics added).

This insistence on belief, as the precondition for healing, echoes evangelical Christian tradition. It even accepts the reality of Satanic abuse: ‘Society has got to stop denying.’ The process by which multiple memories emerge over time appears from one survivor’s account:

'The more I worked on the abuse, the more I remembered. First I remembered my brother, and then my grand-father. About six months after that I remembered my father. And then about a year later, I remembered my mother. I remembered the ‘easiest’ first and the ‘hardest’ last. Even though it was traumatic for me to realize that everyone in my family abused me, there was something reassuring about it…. My life suddenly made sense.'

This book spawned imitations worldwide. It has been roundly criticised as virulently anti-men, for encouraging false memories, and doing more harm than good. The popularized notion of recovered memory led to an outbreak of accusations by adult daughters against their parents, alleging often horrific childhood abuse. This in turn generated a rash of lawsuits, as well as bizarre accusations of Satanic ritual abuse of children at day-care nurseries, some of which resulted in successful prosecutions. To explain the delay that often ensued before accusations surfaced, psychiatrists argued that the trauma of childhood abuse led to amnesia, or dissociative memories, or even the outlandish notion of multiple personality disorder.

A counter-movement emerged, asserting that so-called recovered memories were in fact false memories implanted by ideologically driven therapists in vulnerable and suggestible clients. A variant on this hypothesis was that women sought therapy to confirm their wish to believe in prior abuse.

In 2003 Richard McNally, a Harvard professor of Psychology, conclusively demonstrated that trauma does not result in repressed memory or amnesia. ‘What we have here is a set of theories in search of a phenomenon,’ he wrote. He also demonstrated how easy it is to create false memories of horrific trauma. As the ‘strange saga of satanic ritual abuse’ shows, McNally’s work remains the gold standard in this area. His colleague, Susan Clancy, was pilloried after she did laboratory research to test the susceptibility to false-memory creation of those who said they had been sexually abused.

Clancy was then invited to undertake research on the validity of memories in those who believed that they had been abducted by aliens. Her conclusion: ‘Do our beliefs have narrative truth? Do they provide us with meaning and value? When people believe they were abducted by aliens, does this help them to understand perplexing or upsetting aspects of their lives? If so, the explanation is likely to be persuasive, satisfying, and resistant to argument (italics in original).’ A key function of such ‘magical beliefs,’ she argues, is the way in which they absolve people of responsibility for personal distress.

Later, Clancy wrote The Trauma Myth, which sparked further controversy. In it, she reiterates what many commentators had already accepted, that much child sexual abuse does not involve the use of force or violence, making the imposition of a PTSD framework inappropriate. The attraction of the trauma model has more to do with the horrified reactions of those receiving accounts of abuse, than with the experiences of those who have been abused. Instead, listeners project their own feelings of moral and even psychological revulsion onto victims.

It’s disturbing to think that in the UK justice system, the trauma model still holds primacy in sexual abuse cases: it is treated as the received wisdom on the subject. This needs to change, and change urgently. The naïve literalism with which claims of historic abuse are received also needs to change. Casting out inner demons is the proper province of the confessional or the consulting room, and not of our criminal courts.

Barbara Hewson is a barrister practising in Lincoln’s Inn"


Monday, November 24, 2014 

Retro Report: The Film That Birthed Multiple Personality Disorder 

"Sybil," which sold 6 million copies, led to the official recognition of multiple personality disorder by the DSM and sparked thousands of diagnoses of the disorder in the 1980s.

But the techniques Dr. Wilbur used to elicit her patient's testimony were questionable, and today, multiple personality disorder, now called dissociative identity disorder, is no longer a legitimate diagnosis.

NOV. 23, 2014

Debate Persists Over Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders, Long After ‘Sybil’ 

"Overwhelmingly, those receiving a diagnosis of the disorder have been women. They typically had rough childhoods. A pattern to their stories — Ms. Mason fell squarely within it — was that they endured horrific physical and sexual abuse when they were little
More than a few claimed to have been the victims of torture at the hands of satanic cults.

In many cases, their memories were brought to the surface through hypnotism or with injections of so-called truth serums like sodium pentothal. But were those recollections real?"