Satanic Child Abuse Claims Are Almost Certainly Based On False Memories

Following a moral panic about Satanic Ritual Abuse in Scotland, Professor Christopher French suggests (Guardian Online, 18 November 2014) that this latest wave of hysteria is based on false memories. The article is measured and thought-provoking.

 

As I have written in the past in these pages, the use of various dubious techniques by therapists and counsellors aimed at recovering allegedly repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse can often produce detailed and horrific false memories.

In fact, there is a consensus among scientists studying memory that traumatic events are more likely to be remembered than forgotten, often leading to post traumatic stress disorder. So despite widespread acceptance among the general public, legal professionals, and those working in mental health, the very notion of repression as described by Short is doubted by the majority of memory researchers.

 

Click here to view the full article on the Guardian website.

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