If one were to imagine the least likely interviewee for Hampstead hoax promoter Andy Peacher’s “Freedom Talk Radio” internet radio programme, we suspect it would have to be Dr Kevin Felstead, brother of Carol Felstead and head of the British False Memory Society (BFMS).
Carol, as many will know, was an early victim of “recovered memory therapy” with Valerie Sinason, and would later become a patient of Dr Fleur Fisher, ex-Head of Ethics of the British Medical Association. [Insert irony emoticon here—Ed.]
During her “treatment”, Carol came to believe that her family had sexually abused her, and that they had done so as part of a Satanic cult. Following Carol’s death, the Felstead family has had to fight a seemingly endless legal battle to find justice for their daughter and sister.
To say that Dr Felstead takes a dim view of the SRA myth would be an understatement; and listening to his interview with Andy felt slightly surreal. While Andy has recently left the board of the “Fresh Start Foundation” in Scotland, he’s shown no signs of abandoning his belief in SRA…or has he?
Oddly, Andy seemed quite receptive to Dr Felstead’s story of how his family suffered at the loss of Carol, both during her life as she cut herself off from them, and after her death, when Dr Fisher’s behaviour became at first bewildering, and then infuriating.
Responding to Dr Felstead’s comments about the ridiculous nature of “recovered memory therapy”, which uses hypnosis, Andy told the story of how his own wife had received some sort of “creative visualisation” treatment using a form of hypnosis, and had not only failed to benefit, but had found her mental health worsening dramatically.
Of course Hampstead came up…
At about the 54-minute mark in the interview, Andy turned the topic to the Hampstead SRA hoax. In a rare moment of candour, he noted that in their attempts to spread the hoax, “people get over-excited and say things they shouldn’t”, and that “a lot of campaigners jump in at the deep end”, with “some going in and out of prison to get their point across”. Ultimately, though, he said he continues to believe what the children said in their initial videos, rather than what they said during their retractions.
Dr Felstead took issue, saying he believes that the children were bullied and manipulated by the mother’s boyfriend, that cannabis had been involved in extracting their allegations, and that while the videos might look compelling, “children are suggestible, they sometimes want to please their questioner”.
Stating, “I can’t reveal sources, but…” Andy trotted out the old tropes: he claims that RD knew the accused schoolteachers, that he used to make porn films, and that “there is a suggestion that they used the children in a snuff movie”. [Gosh, wonder who told him this? —Ed.]
The evidence for all this, Andy said, is that RD “started a blog called Hoaxtead Research“.
Dr Felstead stated he doesn’t believe Andy’s version, and emphasised the need for an evidence-based approach. [Good luck with that—Ed.]
It was a curious thing, listening to this interview. We had to ask ourselves whether Dr Felstead went into it knowing the past history of his interviewer, and if so, whether he had perhaps decided to hold his nose and attempt to address the conspiracy community in hopes that they would understand and sympathise with his family’s story. It’s hard to blame him, given the horrifying situation his family is in.
Andy took a surprisingly low-key approach, empathising with Dr Felstead’s story and seeming to understand the dangers posed by therapists who use recovered memory techniques to manipulate the minds of their patients.
If you’d like to listen to the interview, you will find it here: Freedom Talk Radio, Felstead interview.