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

Email: bfms@bfms.org.uk

The BFMS is a national charity registered with the Charity Commission.

Registered Charity Number: 1040683


Ten Golden Rules for the Falsely Accused

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.’


Trauma, Memory, and Law – Enhanced lectures on repressed memories, memory distortions and trauma

08 June 2022 – A book by Dr. Lawrence Patihis PhD discussing the pseudoscientific origins of repressed memory and dissociative amnesia.


False Memories and Contested Sexual Abuse – Drawn to a Deeper Story Podcast

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 1952-2022 – A Tribute

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.

BFMS Newsletter December 2021

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.


i Newspaper Article on False Memory February 2022

Dr Kevin Felstead, Director of Communications, BFMS, was interviewed about false memory by journalist Poppy Wood of the i Newspaper.


BBC Radio 4 – Law in Action – False Memory – November 2021

Law in Action addresses the phenomenon of false memory.


Dr Kevin Felstead’s speech on Falsely Accused Day, 9 September 2021

BFMS Director of Communications’ Speech on Falsely Accused Day, 9 September 2021.


How False Memories Corrupt Our Identities, Politics and Justice System

Dr Julia Shaw’s TED Talk on the corrupting effect of false memories.


FACT Newsletter Spring/Summer 2021

The latest FACT Newsletter has been published.


The Revival of the Memory Wars: The Scientific Nature of False and Repressed Memories

Professor Dr Henry Otgaar gave the keynote speech on the revival of the memory wars at the 27th BFMS Annual General Meeting.


Falsely Accused Day Planning Meeting

A day for raising the awareness of the falsely accused is being planned by the BFMS and other organisations.


BFMS News Sheet Spring 2021

The News Sheet provides a short update on the BFMS’s activities during recent months.


BFMS Archival Study

A study of 496 British cases, in which false memory appears to have played a leading role.


Dr James Ost’s Contributions to the Work of the British False Memory Society

A tribute to the work of one of the BFMS’s previous Advisory Board members.


What You Need to Know About False Memory

False memories, and how they are generated.


What is a False Memory?

An introduction to false memories, definition and causes.


BBC Documentary on Falsely Accused – ‘I Am Not a Rapist’

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.


BFMS Newsletter September 2020

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.


Dr Kevin Felstead Speaks with Dr Lawrence Patihis on False Memory and the BFMS

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.


The Secret Barrister – Can Only the Rich Afford to Defend Themselves?

Cuts in legal aid are undermining the ability of the accused to defend themselves.


Do False Memories Look Real?

Research on analysing and comparing false and real memories.


The Return of the Repressed: The Persistent and Problematic Claims of Long-Forgotten Trauma

An article from ‘Perspectives on Psychological Science’ analysing the persistent belief in repressed memories.


The Recovered Memory Debate Continues in Europe

A summary of Dr Julia Shaw’s and Dr Annelies Vredeveldt’s article in the journal ‘Clinical Psychological Science’.


Annual General Meeting And Conference Cancelled Due To Coronavirus

Regrettably, we have had to cancel the upcoming AGM on 28 March as a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus.


Simon Warr – Falsely Accused Ex-Teacher – Has Died

Simon Warr has died of cancer aged 65.


Can Anyone Call Themselves a Therapist of Counsellor?

A short BBC investigation into lack of regulation in the therapy industry.


BFMS Newsletter November 2019 Edition Available

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.


Operation Midland Report – Severe Criticisms Of The Met Police

Sir Richard Henrique’s report into the conduct of Operation Midland and the claims of convicted fantastist, Carl Beech, has now been published.


Home Secretary Asks Police Watchdog To Investigate Met Police Over VIP Investigation

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.


All Party Parliament Group on Miscarriages of Justice – 9 September 2019

The Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice will be receiving further evidence on 9 September, and will be held in the House of Lords.


Carl Beech Conviction – Media Discussion

False memories, bad psychotherapy, and misguided police investigations combine together in one of the most extraordinary cases in recent memory.


Can We Always Trust Our Own Memory? Studying Memory Distortion

A speech on memory given by Elizabeth Loftus at the University College Dublin in 2018.


Why Your Memories Can’t Be Trusted

Max Sanderson of The Guardian explores the malleability of memory with Dr Julia Shaw and Professor Elizabeth Loftus.


A Call to End the Uncertainty Caused by Long Police Investigations

Suspects in police cases are now being placed ‘under investigation’ indefinitely. Claire Anderson calls for reform to remedy the problem.


Man Who ‘Invented’ VIP Westminster Abuse Ring on Trial

Carl Beech is on trial for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and 1 of fraud.


How Widespread Are Purported Recovered Memories Of Abuse In Therapy?

Lawrence Patihis and Mark Pendergrast have produced a detailed report analysing the numerical extent of recovered memories of abuse unearthed during therapy.


Innovation Of Justice 24 Nov 2018 – Reviving The Criminal Justice System

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.


Dr Kevin Felstead Live Interview on Voice of Islam Radio

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.


FACT Spring Conference 2018

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.


TEDx Talk on Carol Felstead Scandal

BFMS Communications’ Director, Kevin Felstead, spoke extensively on his sister Carol’s case at a Tedx conference held at Newcastle University earlier this year.


Operation Midland ‘Witness’ Charged With Perverting Course Of Justice

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.


Voluntary Police Interviews: Your Rights According to UK Law

A qualified overview of voluntary police interviews, by a Solicitor Advocate.


GP Spends Life Savings In Costs Defending Himself From False Accusations

Dr Stephen Glascoe wins his case but fails in his bid to have his costs reimbursed.


The Anne Craig Controversy

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.


Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, to Stand Down

It appears criticism of her tenure has finally brought an end to Alison Saunders’ role as Director of Public Prosecutions.


Carol Felstead Story on Freedom Talk Radio UK

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.


The Principle of ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’ is Being Undermined

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’.


Why Would Anyone Allow A Stranger to Access Their Mind?

BBC World Service, The Why Factor.  Exploring the nature of hypnosis, and how hypnotic trance may not be what it seems.


Regression Therapy A Factor in Yet Another Case Collapse

So-called ‘paedophile ring’ case collapses after it emerges accusations only arose after ‘victim’ underwent regression therapy. Credibility of evidence totally undermined.


Case Collapses After Police Discovered to Have Withheld Evidence

The release of 50,000 text messages by the police to the defence destroyed the credibility of the prosecution case.


Regression Therapy and False Accusations of Abuse

Three examples of individuals that received regression therapy and the appalling consequences it had for themselves and their families.


BBC Radio 3 – The Strangeness of Memory

A series of five essays by leading experts on the nature of memory.


BBC Report on Carol Felstead Case

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.


BBC News Item on False Memory – Carol Felstead Case

False memory has recently featured in the BBC London news, in an item focusing on the Carol Felstead case.


The Truth About the Satanic Panic and Other Modern Myths

A talk to be given by Professor Chris French at The Albany on 28 September.


How to Hack Memories

Dr Julia Shaw demonstrates how memories can be created and modified.


Remembering the Murder You Didn’t Commit – New Yorker Magazine

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 Article on False Memory

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.


Why It Is Too Easy For Innocent People To Be Wrongly Accused Of Sexual Abuse

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.


Falsely Accused Teacher Says Accusations Ruined His Life

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.


Updates to BFMS Legal Page

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.


Be Prepared – Advice from a Criminal Defence Solicitor

How to respond to questions in police interview.


A Call for the Anonymity of Accused Individuals

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.


FACT Newsletter Update Winter 2017

Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers (FACT) have published their Winter Newsletter, which contains a number of articles on false memory.


The Henriques’ Report and Operation Midland

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.


Expert Says Abuse Claims Against Ted Heath Probably False Memories

Criminologist Dr Rachel Hoskins demolishes the case against Edward Heath and says the accusations seem to be based on false memories.


Elizabeth Loftus Awarded 2016 John Maddox Prize

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.


Forthcoming Event: The Fascinating Phenomenon of False Memories

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 Accusations in France

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.


Life Coach Taken to Court

Further coverage of the High Court proceedings against therapist Anne Craig.


False Accusations Disproved

A truly remarkable case, in all kinds of ways. How David Bryant disproved historic accusations of abuse made against him.


Truth Drug Experiments on Children at Aston Hall Hospital

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.


Therapist Accused of Brainwashing Young Women

More on the legal action relating to the therapist Anne Craig.


Are Childhood Memories Reliable?

Dr Julia Shaw’s research on the nature of memory, and the ease with which false memories can be created.


The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused

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.


Study on False Allegations

An article on a Dutch study examining the differences between the stories of pseudo-victims of sexual abuse and those of real victims.


Victims of Dangerous Therapy Expose Methods Used

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.


Family Campaign to Change the Law Over Therapeutic Abuse

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.


We Trusted the System – and It Destroyed Us

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.


Family to Launch Landmark Legal Case Against Therapist

In what looks like another shocking case of therapeutic maltreatment, family members seek redress by launching legal action against the therapist.


A Juror’s Perspective on an Historic Abuse Case

Once again, more evidence that the justice system is being subverted and that the rule of law is being abandoned in historic abuse cases.


Met Police Commissioner Criticised Over Historic Abuse Cases

Recent Met Police prosecution failures in historic cases have led to mounting criticism on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.


It’s Now Harder for Men Charged with Rape to Get a Fair Trial

Barbara Hewson on how the feminising of the justice system has made it harder for men to defend themselves in sex abuse trials.


Former Royal Aide Cleared of Abuse Calls for Sacking of Met Chief

Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Herman spoke of his case at the BFMS Annual Conference on Saturday, 9 April.


April 2016 SAFARI Newsletter Available

The BFMS have contributed an article on false memory to the latest SAFARI newsletter.


Operation Midland: ‘Grotesque Witch Hunt’ Finally Ends

A summary of Operation Midland, and a final condemnatory verdict.


The End of Operation Midland

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.


False Allegations – the Rise of the Fine Lie

Barbara Hewson article in The Barrister magazine on how and why false allegations are made.


Satan in Suburbia

The Sun has published an important story in its Fabulous magazine on Satanic Ritual Abuse, false memory and bad therapy.


False Memory is Not a Syndrome

An article on how false memories are not an expression of mental ill-health but are the products of normal, healthy minds.


Lord Bramall Interview on Radio 4’s The Report

‘The Report’ investigates the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Lord Bramall case and raises serious questions that need to be answered.


Operation Midland on the Verge of Collapse

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.


The Danger of Modern Witch Hunts

An article on Jimmy Savile, Bryn Estyn and historic acusations.


Lord Bramall Blunders

Police drop their inquiry into war hero, Lord Bramall, but serious questions are now being asked about the nature of their investigation.


Holiday Dinner, With False Memory for Dessert

Dr Julia Shaw discusses the issues of false memories and ‘stolen’ memories.


Neil Fox Case and the Legal Process

Barrister Matthew Scott examines some of the issues involved in the Neil Fox case.


Lynch Mob Justice

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.


VIP Child Abuse Witness Retracts Murder Claims

Claims of abuse and murder are retracted by key witness in police investigation.


VIP Child Sex Charity Loses NHS Funds Over False Memory Concerns

The Lantern Project loses NHS funding over claims it cultivates false memories.


Only 1 in 4 Britons Think Legal System is Fair

Recent survey by firm of solicitors shows considerable lack of confidence in British legal system.


Jean La Fontaine on Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic

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?


Should Those Who Make False Allegations Be Prosecuted?

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.


Father’s Life Destroyed by Child Sex Abuse Lies

Falsely accused, found guilty, imprisoned, exonerated and set free, Geoff Long’s is a harrowing story that typifies the havoc false accusations can wreak.


What are False Memories?

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?


False Memories and VIP Paedophile Scandal

A recent Daily Mail article has linked false memory to the VIP paedophile abuse scandal.


The Sunday Times – VIP Sex Cases Link to False Memory

Is false memory responsible for the VIP paedophile historical sex allegations? The Sunday Times investigates.


Challenging Miscarriages of Justice

Outstanding speech by Mark Newby at the United Against Injustice Conference on 10 October 2015.


Reliability of Memory in Sexual Abuse Cases

Dr Sarah Garner of the Police Foundation addresses the issue of the reliability of memory in sexual abuse cases.


False Memories Induced by Recovered Memory Therapy

Evening Standard article on second inquest into the death of Carole Myers.


Belief in Recovered Memory Therapy is Risky

An article in the New Scientist magazine on the Carole Myers / Carol Felstead case and recovered memory therapy.


The Most Dangerous Idea in Mental Health

A detailed and meticulous essay about false memory published in the Pacific Standard.


Police Child Abuse Investigations Undermining Justice

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?


Are Therapy and False Memory Behind VIP Historic Abuse Claims?

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.’


Corruption of Justice

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.


Mindfulness May Make the Memory Less Accurate

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.


BFMS September 2015 Newsletter Now Available

The latest BFMS newsletter is now available for viewing and download.


Memory and Hypnosis

How hypnosis can create false memories and distort real ones. Comprehensive overview of the subject matter, rigorously investigated.


A Man’s Life Destroyed by the Sex Abuse Lies of a Woman He Never Met

Another truly extraordinary story of so-called ‘historical abuse’ that has turned out to be a complete and utter pack of lies.


The Legacy of Implanted Satanic Abuse ‘Memories’ is Still Causing Damage Today

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.


The Misery of False Allegations

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.