Welcome to the British False Memory Society
Office hours are 9 AM to 6 PM, Monday – Friday.
British False Memory Society
PO Box 172
Telephone: 0161 3077 571 (Monday-Thursday)
Friday, 9-6 only: 01225 333 654
The BFMS is a national charity registered with the Charity Commission.
Registered Charity Number: 1040683
These rules are intended as a guide only, and intended to assist persons who have been falsely accused of a sexual offence. The rules and opinions expressed are strictly the writer’s own. The accusing person is referred to as ‘the complainant.’
08 June 2022 – A book by Dr. Lawrence Patihis PhD discussing the pseudoscientific origins of repressed memory and dissociative amnesia.
24 May 2022 – The BFMS Director of Communications recently took part in a podcast examining false accusations, their nature and impact on the justice system.
Martin Conway was a distinguished member of the BFMS Scientific and Professional Advisory Board. He passed away on Wednesday, 30 March 2022.
March 2022 Katharine Mair
With great sadness we inform our members that Katharine Mair died recently following the shock diagnoses of a serious illness at the beginning of the year.
Katharine joined the BFMS Scientific and Professional Advisory Board in 1996 as a consultant forensic psychologist and was an active member frequently writing to the press about inaccurate coverage on DID and false memory. She challenged universities similarly. Following her brave attendance at a weekend conference on working with complex trauma she wrote a chapter for Miscarriages of Memory pub 2010, BFMS. She went on to write her book, Abused by Therapy, pub 2013, Matador. Katharine continued to volunteer her time on the Friday helpline up until shortly before her death.
She will be sorely missed by her husband and children and by us.
2022 BFMS AGM and Annual Conference
On 1 April 2022, the BFMS held its 28th AGM and Annual Conference. Dr Peter Naish, the chair of the BFMS Scientific and Professional Advisory Board, was the keynote speaker. Further details about the event will appear in the next BFMS newsletter.
The latest Newsletter is now available for viewing or downloading. Topics include Solicitor, Claire Anderson, advice about voluntary police interviews. A Christian counsellor jailed for child kidnap in ‘Satanic Abuse’ plot and Lady Lavinia Nourse acquitted in May of non-recent sexual abuse allegations at Peterborough’s Nightingale court.
Dr Kevin Felstead, Director of Communications, BFMS, was interviewed about false memory by journalist Poppy Wood of the i Newspaper.
Law in Action addresses the phenomenon of false memory.
BFMS Director of Communications’ Speech on Falsely Accused Day, 9 September 2021.
Dr Julia Shaw’s TED Talk on the corrupting effect of false memories.
The latest FACT Newsletter has been published.
Professor Dr Henry Otgaar gave the keynote speech on the revival of the memory wars at the 27th BFMS Annual General Meeting.
A day for raising the awareness of the falsely accused is being planned by the BFMS and other organisations.
The News Sheet provides a short update on the BFMS’s activities during recent months.
A study of 496 British cases, in which false memory appears to have played a leading role.
A tribute to the work of one of the BFMS’s previous Advisory Board members.
False memories, and how they are generated.
An introduction to false memories, definition and causes.
The BBC recently transmitted a documentary on three young men falsely accused of rape, called ‘I am Not a Rapist’. It examines the devastating consequences of false accusations.
The latest Newsletter has recently been published. Topics include the Carol Myers case, Bryn Estyn and Stephen Messham, confirmation bias in counselling and psychotherapy, and the difficulty in making complaints against individual therapists.
In a wide ranging conversation with Dr Lawrence Patihis, Dr Kevin Felstead, the Director of Communications for the BFMS, discusses false memory, the Carol Felstead case, the criminal justice system, and the work of the BFMS.
Cuts in legal aid are undermining the ability of the accused to defend themselves.
Research on analysing and comparing false and real memories.
An article from ‘Perspectives on Psychological Science’ analysing the persistent belief in repressed memories.
A summary of Dr Julia Shaw’s and Dr Annelies Vredeveldt’s article in the journal ‘Clinical Psychological Science’.
Regrettably, we have had to cancel the upcoming AGM on 28 March as a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Simon Warr has died of cancer aged 65.
A short BBC investigation into lack of regulation in the therapy industry.
The BFMS Newsletter for November 2019 is now available for viewing or download. Among many other subjects, the Newsletter covers the recent Carl Beech trial and the recovered memory debate in Europe.
Sir Richard Henrique’s report into the conduct of Operation Midland and the claims of convicted fantastist, Carl Beech, has now been published.
The Home Secretary is to ask HMIC to investigate the Met Police after its disastrous handling of Operation Midland, which resulted in its key witness being sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for concocting falsehoods about paedophilia amongst high ranking establishment figures.
The Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice will be receiving further evidence on 9 September, and will be held in the House of Lords.
False memories, bad psychotherapy, and misguided police investigations combine together in one of the most extraordinary cases in recent memory.
A speech on memory given by Elizabeth Loftus at the University College Dublin in 2018.
Max Sanderson of The Guardian explores the malleability of memory with Dr Julia Shaw and Professor Elizabeth Loftus.
Suspects in police cases are now being placed ‘under investigation’ indefinitely. Claire Anderson calls for reform to remedy the problem.
Carl Beech is on trial for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and 1 of fraud.
Lawrence Patihis and Mark Pendergrast have produced a detailed report analysing the numerical extent of recovered memories of abuse unearthed during therapy.
To be held at the University of Manchester, the Innovation of Justice event aims to bring together victims of miscarriages of justice with those who can change or influence the law.
The BFMS Director of Communications gave an interview to Voice of Islam Radio on the difference between genuine cases of child abuse and accusations based on false memories.
Dr Kevin Felstead gave a speech to the FACT Spring Conference on the current moral panic, the issues facing the falsely accused, and the steps that can be taken for individuals to defend themselves.
BFMS Communications’ Director, Kevin Felstead, spoke extensively on his sister Carol’s case at a Tedx conference held at Newcastle University earlier this year.
The original witness whose testimony led to the instigation of Operation Midland has been charged with 12 counts of perverting the course of justice, and 1 count of fraud.
A qualified overview of voluntary police interviews, by a Solicitor Advocate.
Dr Stephen Glascoe wins his case but fails in his bid to have his costs reimbursed.
Mick Brown has written an extraordinary article on the Anne Craig controversy, which sheds a very clear light on regressive therapy and the harm it can do some patients.
It appears criticism of her tenure has finally brought an end to Alison Saunders’ role as Director of Public Prosecutions.
Dr Kevin Felstead spoke with Andy Peacher on 15 March and in a long interview addressed the Carol Felstead case, false memories, and the role of the BFMS.
An article arguing that the justice system is now operating on the principle of guilty until proven innocent in sexual abuse cases. A ‘dangerous trend that does a deadly disservice to the causes of equality and justice’.
BBC World Service, The Why Factor. Exploring the nature of hypnosis, and how hypnotic trance may not be what it seems.
So-called ‘paedophile ring’ case collapses after it emerges accusations only arose after ‘victim’ underwent regression therapy. Credibility of evidence totally undermined.
The release of 50,000 text messages by the police to the defence destroyed the credibility of the prosecution case.
Three examples of individuals that received regression therapy and the appalling consequences it had for themselves and their families.
A series of five essays by leading experts on the nature of memory.
BBC London broadcast news item Friday, 29 September 2017. Gives a short overview of Carol Felstead case, and urgent need for better regulation of therapists.
False memory has recently featured in the BBC London news, in an item focusing on the Carol Felstead case.
A talk to be given by Professor Chris French at The Albany on 28 September.
Dr Julia Shaw demonstrates how memories can be created and modified.
Perhaps the most extraordinary case of proven false memory in American history – six individuals confessed to a murder they didn’t commit, and some believed they were the perpetrators for almost twenty years.
Wired magazine has published an extensive article on false memory, focusing on the work of Dr Julia Shaw and Professor Elizabeth Loftus. It shows the applicability of memory research to policing and the criminal justice system.
Dr Ros Burnett, of the University of Oxford, on the reasons why it is all too easy for innocent people to be wrongly accused of sexual abuse. Covers issues of evidence, anonymity, Statute of Limitations, and the developments that have led to the current state of affairs.
Mail on Sunday interview with Kato Harris brings up questions as to the role of the police and the CPS in his case. Cleared in 15 minutes of jury deliberations, he recommends that no man becomes a teacher because there is no support for them if they are falsely accused.
New sections have now been added: Challenging Convictions for Historical Sexual Offences (by Mark Barlow, barrister at Garden Court North Chambers) and a FACTsheet from Falsely Accused Parents and Teachers on How to Cope with False Allegations.
How to respond to questions in police interview.
A new section has been added to the Legal page. It refers to a recent case that has once again raised the issue of false memories, false accusations, and the right of anonymity for accused individuals.
Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers (FACT) have published their Winter Newsletter, which contains a number of articles on false memory.
Critical commentary by barrister Matthew Scott on the Henriques’ Report, which examines the conduct and shortcomings of Operation Midland and other related investigations by the Metropolitan Police.
Criminologist Dr Rachel Hoskins demolishes the case against Edward Heath and says the accusations seem to be based on false memories.
Leading memory researcher, Elizabeth Loftus, has been awarded the 2016 John Maddox Prize. Her work on the accuracy of memory, and how false childhood memories could be implanted into patients by therapists, has transformed the field of memory studies.
Lectures and discussions by leading experts on the phenomenon of false memories, to be held at Goldsmiths, University of London, Friday, 18 November, 7 – 9 PM.
False memory is not a phenomenon confined only to Britain and America, it appears to be widespread across the Western world. Liberation have published a particularly hard hitting article on a shocking case, in which financial manipulation appears to have been a central ingredient.
Further coverage of the High Court proceedings against therapist Anne Craig.
A truly remarkable case, in all kinds of ways. How David Bryant disproved historic accusations of abuse made against him.
It appears the experiences of troubled children treated at Aston Hall with sodium amytal and psychotherapy resulted in the production of false memories, some of which have scarred the lives of patients for many years.
More on the legal action relating to the therapist Anne Craig.
Dr Julia Shaw’s research on the nature of memory, and the ease with which false memories can be created.
An important research project by the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology. A detailed analysis of what happens to those who are legally innocent but still subject to the consequences of wrong accusations.
An article on a Dutch study examining the differences between the stories of pseudo-victims of sexual abuse and those of real victims.
The Mail on Sunday has published a third article on the treatment given to patients of the therapist Anne Craig. The article describes the methods used to convince the subjects to separate from their families.
Legal action is now being considered against therapists that psychologically manipulate their patients. The issue has been raised with David Cameron himself, and seems poised to produce significant results in the legal arena.
This is one of the most powerful articles yet published on the BFMS website. It is an outline of the shocking experience of one family accused of historic abuse and how they believe they have been systematically manipulated by the judicial process, which they claim has abandoned all pretence of fairness.
In what looks like another shocking case of therapeutic maltreatment, family members seek redress by launching legal action against the therapist.
Once again, more evidence that the justice system is being subverted and that the rule of law is being abandoned in historic abuse cases.
Recent Met Police prosecution failures in historic cases have led to mounting criticism on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
Barbara Hewson on how the feminising of the justice system has made it harder for men to defend themselves in sex abuse trials.
Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Herman spoke of his case at the BFMS Annual Conference on Saturday, 9 April.
The BFMS have contributed an article on false memory to the latest SAFARI newsletter.
A summary of Operation Midland, and a final condemnatory verdict.
Now that Operation Midland has collapsed, important questions about the investigation need to be asked. Matthew Scott addresses many of them in his latest article on this fiasco.
Barbara Hewson article in The Barrister magazine on how and why false allegations are made.
The Sun has published an important story in its Fabulous magazine on Satanic Ritual Abuse, false memory and bad therapy.
An article on how false memories are not an expression of mental ill-health but are the products of normal, healthy minds.
‘The Report’ investigates the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Lord Bramall case and raises serious questions that need to be answered.
No evidence has been found to prove that a VIP child abuse ring ever existed, and the Met Police is about to announce the end of the investigation.
An article on Jimmy Savile, Bryn Estyn and historic acusations.
Police drop their inquiry into war hero, Lord Bramall, but serious questions are now being asked about the nature of their investigation.
Dr Julia Shaw discusses the issues of false memories and ‘stolen’ memories.
Barrister Matthew Scott examines some of the issues involved in the Neil Fox case.
A summary of a truly extraordinary article on the Neil Fox case and the behaviour of the police and the CPS in regard to historic abuse investigations.
Claims of abuse and murder are retracted by key witness in police investigation.
The Lantern Project loses NHS funding over claims it cultivates false memories.
Recent survey by firm of solicitors shows considerable lack of confidence in British legal system.
A comprehensive article on how the Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic was pushed forward by crusaders determined to pursue a preset agenda no matter what the facts were. How is it that ‘victims’ can tell stories of gruesome experiences that they never had?
Barrister Matthew Scott addresses the issue of whether those who make false allegations should be prosecuted. The subject of sincerely held false memories is central to his argument.
Falsely accused, found guilty, imprisoned, exonerated and set free, Geoff Long’s is a harrowing story that typifies the havoc false accusations can wreak.
Recent media reports have raised questions over the therapy undergone by several people making allegations of historical sexual abuse against prominent public figures. In particular, it has been suggested that certain forms of therapy run a high risk of unintentionally generating false memories of sexual abuse. But why are there such fears around these kind of therapies?
A recent Daily Mail article has linked false memory to the VIP paedophile abuse scandal.
Is false memory responsible for the VIP paedophile historical sex allegations? The Sunday Times investigates.
Outstanding speech by Mark Newby at the United Against Injustice Conference on 10 October 2015.
Dr Sarah Garner of the Police Foundation addresses the issue of the reliability of memory in sexual abuse cases.
Evening Standard article on second inquest into the death of Carole Myers.
An article in the New Scientist magazine on the Carole Myers / Carol Felstead case and recovered memory therapy.
A detailed and meticulous essay about false memory published in the Pacific Standard.
Charles Moore, in the Daily Telegraph, assesses the collapsing police investigations into historic child abuse. To what extent are the police prejudicing their own investigations when they start with the belief that all accusations are true?
Another lacerating article on the historic abuse investigations being pursued by the police. One of the central witnesses in Operation Midland has, according to Dominic Lawson writing in the Daily Mail, been revealed as ‘a man with a history of false claims.’
An excoriating article by the ex-Director of Public Prosecutions on the lack of due process by the police in many recent historic abuse cases.
Medical Xpress – the web based medical and health based news service – has produced an article on the surprising after-effects of practising mindfulness meditation, first popularised by Buddhism and now rapidly spreading throughout society.
The latest BFMS newsletter is now available for viewing and download.
How hypnosis can create false memories and distort real ones. Comprehensive overview of the subject matter, rigorously investigated.
Another truly extraordinary story of so-called ‘historical abuse’ that has turned out to be a complete and utter pack of lies.
An article by Chris French in The Conversation, based on the Carol Felstead case. Focusing on the psychotherapeutic means by which false memories are created – and how they continue to cause damage today.
Barbara Hewson article on the recent FACT conference held in May, the background of false allegations, and the way in which false memory plays a key part.