Victims of ‘recovered memory’: ‘We remembered whatever they wanted’

We’ve written before about the early Satanic panic cases, both here and in the USA. Many will remember the infamous Rochdale case in 1990, when children from a total of six families on a council estate had their children removed into local authority care. This came about because the parent of one seven-year-old, whose child was exhibiting disturbed behaviour, was seen by two social workers who attributed the boy’s behaviour to involvement in ritual abuse. Eventually all four children in that family were taken into care.

Interviews with those children appeared to implicate children from the other families in “horrifying organised ritual abuse of some kind”, and allegations were made that the children had also received “drugs of some sort”.

When the case got to court, Mr Justice Douglas Brown rejected these allegations, and was highly critical of the interviewing techniques used. He said interviews had been conducted with little regard for the Cleveland recommendations. Virtually all the information the children gave came in response to leading or suggestive questions, and the social workers had failed to differentiate the children’s descriptions of fact from fantasy.

By the early 2000s, 12 of the 20 children whose lives had been ripped apart launched lawsuits against the local council for negligence in its duty of care toward them.

Manchester-based solicitor Richard Scorer, Head of Abuse Law at Slater & Gordon, represented some of the Rochdale victims. In his review of Dr Julia Shaw’s 2016 book The Memory Illusion: Remembering, forgetting, and the science of false memory, Mr Scorer notes,

Recovered memory never made much headway in the United Kingdom. (I have represented many hundreds of victims of sexual abuse; almost none have claimed a recovered memory in the commonly understood sense.) But the ‘Satanic panic’, which also germinated in America, did make it to the UK, with spectacularly damaging consequences. In the early 1990s, social workers in Rochdale, Nottingham and Orkney became convinced that children had been abused in satanic rituals, witchcraft and devil worship. The children concerned—from poor, vulnerable families living in isolated council estates—were seized in dawn raids. In most cases the courts eventually concluded that no abuse had ever occurred. In the meantime, however, children had been torn from their parents and families destroyed.

A few years later, when those children became adults, I represented some of them in seeking damages for their unwarranted removal into care. They described their experiences very graphically. Utterly bewildered and terrified, they had been subjected to hours of relentless pressure and leading questions. Before long, as one of them told me, ‘we simply had no idea what we really remembered or didn’t remember, so we just remembered whatever they wanted’.

We know that “false memories” can be deliberately created in adults—in fact, Dr Shaw describes in this video how she is able to cause false memories in normal adults within three interviews:

The children from Rochdale have stated that they were forced to “remember whatever they wanted”, as presumably well-meaning but extremely misguided social workers hectored and pressured them to remember events which had never occurred.

Of course this brings to mind RD’s children, who were removed from the relative safety of their London home and taken to an isolated hotel in Morocco by their mother and her psychopathic boyfriend. For a full month they were dragged out of bed in the middle of the night for “questioning”; they were beaten with spoons, punched in the head, kicked in the “front privates”, burned, forced to kneel in their underpants while water was poured over them, threatened with burial and abandonment in the desert.

We know that RD’s children said “whatever they wanted”, not only because they both stated that they had been forced to lie by Abe with their mother’s approval and consent, but because Ella has since admitted that some of the things she and Abe forced the children to say were not, in fact, the truth.

Abe and Ella’s few remaining supporters continue to cling to the original words of the children (including, one presumes, the parts which Ella has admitted that she invented). But anyone who understands how easily children can be made to say, and even believe, things which are patently false must stand firmly with the children themselves, not the false words that were forced out of them.



169 thoughts on “Victims of ‘recovered memory’: ‘We remembered whatever they wanted’

  1. Why can’t the hoaxers get it into their thick skulls that the children told Police something which Ella only admitted this year, wasn’t true, which can only mean the children must have been originally COACHED to say it??

    Great post. That video of Dr Shaw was interesting too.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Great post, EC.

    Sorry to go off topic so quickly, but I thought I should let you GCHQ bastards know that you’re all suspended from duty with immediate effect. I know because this lady told me so and I’m too scared to argue with her:

    Liked by 3 people

        • Well Christmas is just around the corner so i’m guessing he will come up with as many potential money makers as he can to make sure that he at least has a good festive period.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Not to mention that a lot of people use their phones for internet banking and lots of private information on the mini computers that are modern smart phones.
          I wouldn’t trust anyone I didn’t know with an old mobile of mine for that reason, doesn’t matter if you format the phone, people can use recovery software to get banking and personal details.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. When adults confess to crimes they did not commit because of coercion, etc., what chance do children have. As that person said, “we remembered whatever they wanted”. A child taken from the safety of their home, tired, frightened & wanting to go back to their loved ones would naturally say what someone in authority wanted them to say as innocent adults will do under repeated duress.

    Why do innocent people confess?
    The reasons that people falsely confess are complex and varied, but what they tend to have in common is a belief that complying with the police by saying that they committed the crime in question will be more beneficial than continuing to maintain their innocence.

    The factors that can contribute to a false confession during a police interrogation include:

    diminished capacity
    mental impairment
    ignorance of the law
    fear of violence
    the actual infliction of harm
    the threat of a harsh sentence
    misunderstanding the situation

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, both adults and children can quite easily be convinced that they have done things they did not really do. It’s not magic, it’s simply human psychology and the oddities of memory.

      When I was a young pup, for example, my younger brother used to describe in great and vivid detail things that had happened to him, or that he’d seen. Only problem was, these things had all happened to me, before he was born. He wasn’t lying—he had just heard the stories often enough that he had managed to insert himself into them, in his memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. On a serious note : as a teenage victim of a drugging (possibly the first “date rape drug” it was that long ago) brutal rape by 3 men and a bashing that police described as attempted murder followed by a being dumped in the gutter of Notting Hill road at 3am – I remember every single detail and face and still do.

    I only had confusion about remember name details but 12 months later while I was recovering by working on a friend’s country property I picked up a newspaper to find my attackers had been busted in a huge heroin import and they all received up to 20 years jail which somewhat avoided me the necessity of a debilitating trial.
    # in contrast to what seems popular opinion I found the 2 detectives who I dealt with to be sympathetic and discreet given the circumstances. Perhaps because they were from a central London police station and maybe more sophisticated.
    Others may have had different experiences.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you, GoS. I think most victims of trauma of that sort will remember most details; we may try not to think about it, but forget? Not likely.

      I’m glad to hear the police treated you well; I think that’s a matter of luck of the draw for the most part.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Dear ghost

      The problem with traumatic memories is they are intrusive not repressed. Take a look at the shoah interviews all across youtube – incredible detail and clear on what they remember and dont remember. All in first person tense with details only someone who was there would remember and think salient. If holocaust survivors dont convince these wankers of the BS theory of repressed memory for trauma its probably because they think the holocaust didnt happen.

      Your incredibly personal disclosures are typical- hope you have dealt with with this stuff. Sorry you had to.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So very sorry to hear that GoS. What a terrible thing to have happened to you, ( I hate saying thing, it does not describe what I feel). I personally have had no doings with the police but a young girl that is dear to me was gang raped when she was 15 & the Police were exceptionally good with & to her & treated her with the greatest of respect. I am so glad you did not have to testify, my young friend’s case did not get to trial either, one man was done for underage sexual offences, the other 4 skipped the country. From my understanding the DPP stated that a date rape case is very hard to prove.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you but I don’t ever call myself a victim or a survivor. I think I must come from a long line of tough people who have faced adversity and survived by “compartmentalizing” bad events from the past.

      I only wrote that as I find the notion of “recovered memory” as very odd as I can remember nearly every incident in my life, good and bad.
      I’m also well aware of all the things they now talk about : “survivor guilt” and the idea that you feel some how responsible for something bad that has happened to you. So that’s a very positive thing they talk to victims of rape etc today.
      I believe the notion they keep pressing upon victims of rape or child abuse : “their / your life has been ruined forever” a shocking thing to do to victims and also to keep repeating it is sending a message to future victims that should something terrible happen to them, their life has been ruined. People can be amazingly resilient.

      But I can only talk for myself as we all respond differently to events, good or bad.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “I believe the notion they keep pressing upon victims of rape or child abuse : “their / your life has been ruined forever” a shocking thing to do to victims and also to keep repeating it is sending a message to future victims that should something terrible happen to them, their life has been ruined”

        Absolutely right. Yes, traumatic events can have long-lasting impacts, but “ruin your life”? Hardly. As you say, everyone reacts differently, and to make a blanket statement like that seems to me incredibly irresponsible.

        I remember reading, for example, a study on resilience in children who’d been sexually abused. It seems that the a great deal depended upon how the adults in the kids’ lives reacted on learning of the abuse. When the adults blamed the children or went overboard expressing their horror, the children took that on board and had much worse outcomes than when the adults ensured the kids were safe, reassured them that they’d done nothing wrong, and told them they’d make every effort to find and bring their assailant to justice, but it wasn’t the children’s problem to deal with.

        The children in the latter group showed very few signs of trauma when they were interviewed a year after the abuse had ended. They viewed it as “just something that happened”, not a defining moment in their lives.


    • Something interesting she said was that children are more compliant in taking false memories and if you feed them leading questions they’re more likely to follow along with the situation.

      Sound like the Satanic-panic Therapists had an easy job with some of the vicious lies they filled young minds with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it’s not terribly difficult to do. You can see Dr Shaw guiding the person toward the “memory”, shaping her answers by praising her when she delivers the “correct” (i.e. false) answer, using social pressure tactics, etc. And you can see that the woman whose memory she is “re-shaping” is stressed by the experience. Her face is flushed, she is fidgeting…but she’s still going along with what the interviewer is suggesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “Meredith Maran, award-winning journalist and author of several best-selling nonfiction books discusses her family’s devastation and ultimate redemption around her experience of false memory. Set against the backdrop of the sex-abuse scandals, beginning with the infamous McMartin preschool trial, Maran shares with incredible honesty, her unbelievable personal story.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t know what they think a protest outside of the family courts will do. He was warned many times not to do what he was doing. His constant videos & posts harrassing the social workers involved, even going to protest outside one person’s house & at the end of the road where another person lives was horrific, also his wishing that one would get cancer! Imo, his behaviour was escalating by his recent posts, (which I reported for harassment many many times, but they did not go against FB’s infamous community standards), he was becoming a real danger to the social workers involved.

      Liked by 2 people


    Two of the world’s best-known brands are withdrawing their advertising from YouTube and Google over fears they were featured on “inappropriate” and “exploitative” content featuring children.

    It’s a start, but more needs to be done. Hit them where it hurts as they do not appear to take down videos reported by the public which contain this terrible content. 

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Tracey Beanz is one of the ones Nathan thinks is working with other Youtubers and Hoaxtead to undermine him, lol. Here she is, live with Paterson’s buddies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This one been posted here yet? Terrible, terrible tragedies…

    [belief in] “Witchcraft and demonic possession are linked to almost 1,500 child abuse cases a year, the first Government statistics on the topic show.
    Experts warned that an increasing number of children were being abused by adults who want to “get the devil out of them”.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Disturbing stuff, Justin. It’s people like Angela and Christine who do this kind of crap to kids, saying they’re exorcising demons.

      Are you familiar with this, by the way?

      “Gambaga Witch camp is a segregated community within Gambaga township in the Northern Region of Ghana established in the 18th century to accommodate alleged witches and wizards who are banished from their communities.

      The camp has about 25 round huts, and holds about 100 women. No health services or indoor plumbing are available.

      Many women in Ghana’s witch camps are widows and it is thought that relatives accused them of witchcraft in order to take control of their husbands’ possessions. Other old women in the camp have been accused of using black magic to cause misfortunes in their community. Many women also are mentally ill, a little understood problem in Ghana. In Gambaga, the women are given protection by the local chieftain and in return, pay him and work in his fields.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t really understand the ‘sentence’.

      Is it he will need to drink plenty of irony brew to sober up?


      • That too, lol. For me, it was the fact that he’s expressing his well documented kiddy rape fantasies in the same breath as accusing us of being obsessed with sex. Which we’re not, by the way – he’s referring to Spiny’s meme there, which was a dig at the longstanding allegation that Robert Green’s involvement in Holliehoax may have been motivated by his sexual designs on Ms. Greig.

        Liked by 2 people

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