Satan Comes To Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths

Last Saturday, around a hundred people, at least half of whom were women, attended a conference at Goldsmiths, home of Bahar Mustafa, who fortunately was not present. The theme of the meeting was Satanic panics.

Starting a few minutes late, it was introduced by the philosopher Stephen Law. The first speakers were Chris French and James Ost, whose field is psychology. French began with a quiz for the audience; of the 12 questions I answered only 5 because I considered the other 7 to be either loaded (albeit unintentionally) or too vague. I did well on the ones I answered.

Stephen Law

Stephen Law (Image Credits: Jyvogluweneronen)

Between them the two academics covered quite a lot of ground including post traumatic stress disorder (which is real), unintentional blindness, explained how psychotherapy (so-called) is so dangerous, and mentioned the perfidious book The Courage To Heal, which tries to convince women they have been sexually abused.

They covered such things as inconsistencies in witness statements and testimony, which can lead to the impeachment of an honest and accurate witness. In sexual abuse cases today, such inconsistencies don’t matter, they are said to be the result of the abuse – which is to be presumed – instead of the failings of memory, mental illness or plain old-fashioned lying.

The next speaker was Barbara Hewson, who has been known to court controversy at times. Nothing she said here sounded the slightest bit controversial, at least not to me. Although she specialises in civil litigation she has taken an interest in criminal cases for some time, especially those that concern allegations of sexual abuse, including Satanic abuse, which she says does not exist. With the caveat of the Chicago Rippers, lesbian vampire Tracey Wigginton and a few other nasties, I would agree with that. Certainly the claim that Satanists have taken over the Government or that paedophile rings are alive and well and operating within the Palace of Westminster is too silly to comment on, although at least one member of the audience didn’t appear to think so, and he was far from the only true believer present. It remains to be seen if the police are equally sincere or are simply racking up overtime harassing old men; like investigating “Twitter crime” this is a softer option than chasing real criminals, who might just shoot back.

Barbara Hewson

Barbara Hewson (Image Credits: Andrew Crowley)

Miss Hewson discussed both the academic literature on memory: Susceptibility to long-term misinformation effect outside of the laboratory, and case law, in particular the dissenting opinion by Lord Pearce in Onassis and Calogeropoulos v Vergottis, (1968). Also very worthy of mention is False Allegations Of Sexual Offending and the work of Felicity Goodyear-Smith.

It was clear from Miss Hewson’s presentation that the fallibility of memory has long been recognised by the civil courts, which begs the question why haven’t the criminal courts acknowledged this, especially in view of the stakes being considerably higher? Judges, she said, believe these are issues for the jury. Clearly they are not.

She discussed the recent Hampstead Satanic abuse hoax in considerable detail, reading from the judgment. It beggars belief that anyone would credit this nonsense, alas another highly intelligent woman has swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

Kevin Felstead

Kevin Felstead

The final speaker was Kevin Felstead, who brought both a personal and a tragic touch to this event. His sister Carol was found dead in bizarre although not suspicious circumstances ten years ago, and it is clear he and his family regard her premature death aged just 41 as murder by proxy. The full story can be found on the dedicated Carol Felstead website, and in the book he co-authored with his brother Richard, but the bottom line is this was a young woman who was experiencing headaches and made the fatal mistake of consulting a therapist. Over the years, she was brainwashed into believing she had been physically and sexually abused by her own family. As in the Hampstead case, the allegations were prima facie fantastic, and the most cursory investigation would have exposed them as such. Instead, like the odious Lisa Longstaff and her anti-rape crew, therapists insist on believing the victim regardless of the evidence or lack thereof.

The major players in this tragedy were the demented Valerie Sinason, and Dr Fleur Fisher. I actually interviewed Dr Fisher in 1993 in connection with medical matters. Kevin Felstead covered too The Courage To Heal – in more depth – and the background to the modern Satanic panic, which is generally recognised to have begun with the spurious memoir Michelle Remembers. The Carol Felstead affair is far from over, her family having run into the typical bureaucratic stonewalling that is experienced by anyone who comes up against authority, be it local government, medical, the police…however, they appear to be making progress.

After he had delivered his address there was a question and answer session. While this was a by and large enlightened audience, the men and women who control our criminal justice system and child protection services (so-called) are not, and will doubtless continue to destroy innocent lives. In the wake of this conference, the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has revealed (ie claimed) she was groped by her local vicar 49 years ago and is encouraging other victims (ie demented women and probably a few men for good measure) to come forward with their own historical allegations. There can be no doubt the lady is sincere, but her memory is clearly defective, as was evinced by the MPs’ expenses fiasco a few years back. Doubtless we will now be seeing a mass arrest of vicars and perhaps a few imams and rabbis for good measure in this politically correct age. Like the man said, you couldn’t make it up, but as this conference demonstrated clearly, that is exactly what they did.

 

About the author

Alexander Baron

  • Robert Chewter

    You do realise that false memory syndrome FMS is a load of crap invented to discredit victims of abuse and the cronies who show up at these events are in fact all paedophile apologists
    However no one listens to their inane ramblings which is just as well really.

  • John Derbyshire

    I am afraid Mr Chewter FMS can be recognised in the field of Political Science and History. For if any groups suffered from FMS it is historians who distort the facts, and politicians who eventually believe their own and party’s fantasies. As for those researching or promoting FMS, they are just on the research grants gravy train.