The Sun has published an important story in its Fabulous magazine on Satanic Ritual Abuse, false memory and bad therapy.
It centres on two of the most extraordinary alleged Satanic Ritual Abuse cases yet uncovered – the notorious Hampstead Heath hoax and the Carol Felstead / Carole Myers case. People often wonder how and why individuals come forward making blatantly false claims of abuse against others, and try with great difficulty to understand the process at work. The Fabulous article clearly delineates the means by which these stories are confabulated and then treated as fact, prior to being rigorously investigated.
Think of one place you wouldn’t expect to find a Satan-worshipping, baby-sacrificing, cannibal death cult and Hampstead, north London, springs to mind. Home to Jonathan Ross and Harry Styles, it’s a genteel village crammed with delis, coffee shops and designer boutiques.
However, according to thousands of conspiracy believers, it’s also ground zero for over 100 satanists who import drugged babies via DHL, sacrifice them, drink their blood then cook their flesh in the local burger joint, while a cobbler makes baby-skin shoes from the offcuts.
As outlandish as it sounds, police investigated these allegations after they were made by a boy aged eight and his nine-year-old sister in videos filmed by their mother Ella Draper, 43, and her partner Abraham Christie, 58.
Within weeks of the claims coming to light, investigators concluded there was no evidence to substantiate them. In March last year, a family court judge took the unusual step of publishing her ruling into the case in an effort to quell the internet conspiracy trolling campaign that continues to target those named in the footage.
Justice Pauffley said that Ella and Abraham had coached and coerced the children into making the video in an effort to get back at Ricky her [ex-partner] after years of acrimony over access to his kids. The report also says that the children had been fed cannabis.
But abuse isn’t the only way to plant false memories. Recovered memory therapy – using hypnosis whenever required – is another very effective method for generating false memories. Which leads onto the Carol Felstead case.
Carol originally went to see her GP about problems with headaches in 1985. No cause could be discovered so she was then referred to therapy. From that moment on her life changed for the worse. She was misdiagnosed and treated with recovered memory therapy which resulted in her making horrific and provably impossible claims about being the victim of a Satanic Ritual cult, with herself being groomed to become High Priestess of it. Claims of mass murder and rape at the hands of her family and a large group of professionals, including leading politicians, followed.
“The more therapy she had, the more the allegations increased,” says her brother, Kevin Felstead.
“She spoke of childhood sexual abuse, rape and satanic abuse. She even claimed to have been abused by two very prominent members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet and that she’d been pregnant six times, but each time the baby was sacrificed. Yet all her medical records show she was never pregnant. It was heart-breaking.”
According to Kevin, his sister’s childhood couldn’t have been more different from the version she was telling her therapists. All Carol’s allegations were later dismissed by police.
“It became clear there was nothing wrong with her when she first went to the doctor,” explains Kevin, who has written a book about the case and now works with the British False Memory Society. “It seems the myth that she had this childhood ritual abuse came out of therapy.”
By the end of her tragic life, Carol was in poor health. She suffered repeated urinary tract infections and had been prescribed morphine for the pain. Her death is thought to have been caused by an overdose of her medication, although an inquest was unable to determine whether it was intentional.
“The Hampstead SRA hoax pinpoints how lives can be destroyed by outlandish allegations without any corroborative evidence,” he explains. “There was no proof, no evidence, no fact-finding.”
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