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Sympathy for the *****: Ritual Abuse, "False Memories," and the CIA

Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

Sympathy for the *****: Ritual Abuse, "False Memories," and the CIA Empty Sympathy for the *****: Ritual Abuse, "False Memories," and the CIA

Post by felicity on 3/20/2013, 8:27 pm

Sympathy for the *****: Ritual Abuse, "False Memories," and the CIA

The Satanic panic collided with American pop culture in the 1980s. The
mass media, particularly television, has long embraced the "if it
bleeds it leads" doctrine, so those macabre, let it bleed stories
about ritual abuse were initially snapped up by the nightly news, and
they waggled their way into the living rooms of millions of Americans.
But leveler heads in the FBI and media would eventually prevail, and
they exposed all those nasty, sordid stories about ritual abuse as
nothing more than witch-hunt hysteria, and the Satanic panic quickly
fell by the wayside and drifted into obscurity like the pet rock.

One of the most publicized of the Satanic panic cases was the 1987
investigation of the day care center at the U.S. Army's Presidio base
in San Francisco. According to newspaper accounts, approximately sixty
children were molested at the Presidio. Some of the children discussed
horrific, ritual abuse and five of the children contracted Chlamydia,
a sexually transmitted disease. A number of the children said they had
been transported off base from the Presidio and their abuse was

Presidio victims told investigators of unfathomable abuse that
included being forced to eat feces, drink urine, and also having blood
smeared all over their bodies. The abuse described by the victims
certainly sounds so incomprehensible that it is difficult to believe,
but a few years earlier children at West Point's day care center made
similar allegations regarding ritual abuse: They too claimed they had
been forced to eat feces and drink urine and also been transported
from the base and photographed. One three-year-old child at West
Point's day care center was taken to the hospital because of a
lacerated vagina--the girl said a teacher had hurt her. The Army
maintained it thoroughly investigated the abuse at West Point, but no
indictments were returned against the children's perpetrators.

The ritual abuse described by the children at the Presidio and West
Point day care centers was remarkably similar, so it begs a rather
disturbing question: Were these children from disparate geographical
locations actually abused in the same ritualistic manner or were they
conjuring up the same, incomprehensible stories?

In The Franklin Scandal, I also discuss a cult called the Finders and
a subsequent law enforcement investigation into their activities: On
February 4, 1987, a concerned citizen notified the Tallahassee Police
Department that he had observed six white children, poorly dressed,
bruised, dirty, and behaving like wild animals, in a Tallahassee park.
The children were accompanied by two well-dressed white males driving
a white 1979 Dodge van with Virginia plates. The Tallahassee police
responded to the call and took the children and adults into custody.
The children told Tallahassee police they were not allowed to live
indoors and were given food only as a reward. The Tallahassee police
charged the two adults with felony child abuse, and they were held on
a $100,000 bond. The children were placed in protective custody.

The Tallahassee police suspected child pornography, so they contacted
the U.S. Customs Service (USCS), which has a Child Pornography and
Protection Unit. Shortly thereafter, a detective from the Washington,
DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) contacted special agent Ramon
Martinez of the USCS, who was spearheading the investigation into the
Finders. The MPD detective indicated that the Tallahassee arrests were
probably linked to a case that he was investigating in the DC area,
involving a cult called the Finders. An informant had conveyed to the
detective that the Finders operated various businesses out of a
warehouse in DC and housed children at a second warehouse. (I've
attached a PDF containing the U.S. Customs report on the Finders.)

"The information was specific in describing blood rituals and sexual
orgies involving children, and an as yet unsolved murder in which the
Finders may be involved," wrote special agent Martinez in his USCS

The MPD and US Customs acquired a search warrant for the Washington,
DC warehouses occupied by the Finders: The two warehouses would give
investigators a series of grisly blood curdling discoveries as they
executed the search warrant. They discovered a telex that specifically
ordered the purchase of two children in Hong Kong to be arranged
through a contact in the Chinese Embassy, a number of photographs of
nude children with one appearing to be a child on display that
accented the child's genitals, and also a photo album containing
photos of adults and children dressed in white sheets that portrayed
the execution, disembowelment, skinning, and dismemberment of the
goats by the children. The US Customs report also relayed that the
Finders had an interest in purchasing children, trading, and

"There were what appeared to be a training areas for the children and
what appeared to be an alter set up in a residential are of the
warehouse," wrote special agent Martinez in his report. Many jars of
urine and feces were located in this area.

Newspapers around the country got wind of the story, ranging from The
New York Times and Washington Post to the Orange County Register, and
almost all of the articles pertained to the investigations launched by
the Tallahassee police, MPD, and USCS. The earliest articles discussed
the Finders probable involvement in Satanism, and a spokesman for the
Tallahassee police said that one of the children showed signs of
sexual abuse. Moreover, an FBI spokesman announced that the Finders
were being investigated for the transportation of children across
state lines for immoral purposes or kidnapping.

In The Franklin Scandal, I talk about how the CIA quashed the multiple
jurisdiction investigation into the Finders: The two incarcerated
Finders were sprung from jail and all child abuse charges were
dropped, and the children would eventually be repatriated with the
cult. Moreover, after the CIA's intervention into the case, I report
on a news conference kicked off by MPD Chief Maurice Turner, Jr. At
the news conference, Chief Turner backpedaled with ferocity, rejecting
allegations that the Finders were involved in satanic rituals or child
abuse. The chief also elevated the Finders from a cult to a communal
group. He neglected to mention that the Finders were a communal group
that reportedly had an interest in purchasing children, trading, and
kidnapping. He omitted discussing the jars of feces and urine too.

In The Franklin Scandal, I also discuss the Extreme Abuse Survey
(EAS), an international online survey for adult survivors of extreme
abuse that was conducted between January 1 and March 30 of 2007. The
EAS respondents were questioned about the use of feces and blood in
their ritual abuse, and 1,106 of EAS respondents answered the
questions regarding abuse with feces and blood. Fifty percent of EAS
respondents said that they had been subjected to abuse with feces, and
63% responded that the use of blood was integral to their abuse. So
like the victims of the Presidio and West Point day care centers,
hundreds of EAS respondents, who come from a myriad of disparate
locations around the globe, convey the same horrific, implausible
events. (I've attached a PDF on the findings of the EAS)

Indeed, researchers in the field of ritual abuse feel that the
strength of their findings is that the victims who claim to have been
ritually abused are from disparate geographic locations and
socioeconomic strata, but, yet, they describe the same improbable,
horrific events, and studies have validated their contentions. A 1995
study published in The Journal of Psychohistory surveyed five
organizations throughout the United states offering a hotline for
children, including Childhelp USA, a bellwether in the advocacy and
assistance for abused children: The study found that in 1992 roughly
23,000 calls reporting the ritual abuse of children had been logged by
the five hotlines.

So the Presidio victims' claim that they were forced to eat feces and
drink urine seems preposterous on the surface, but if their
allegations are examined in the wider context of extreme abuse or
ritual abuse, the children's allegations shed their implausibility,
because they are corroborated by multiple sources from widely
disparate geographic locations and points in time. However, skeptics
of the accounts given by the Presidio victims and the hundreds of
other alleged victims who discuss extreme or ritualistic abuse
maintain that these memories were planted by therapists--therapists
from widely disparate geographic locations and points in time.

The False Memory Syndrome (FMSF), founded in 1992, is the primary
bellwether and cheerleader in the skeptics stance that therapists are
guilty of implanting these horrific stories that have no basis in
reality. The FMSF Advisory Board has members with lofty academic
credentials who receive hefty fees for globetrotting around the world
and acting as expert witnesses to debunk memories of child abuse.

In fact, in an earlier post, I mentioned that an FMSF Advisory Board
member had debunked the dissociative amnesia or repressed memories of
a former Boys Town student who claimed to have been molested by Boys
Town priest Father James Kelly while he was a Boys Town student. The
FMSF Advisory Board member who scored an assist in having the Boys
Town molestation case thrown out of court was Harrison Pope, MD, a
Harvard-based psychiatrist. Dr. Pope claimed that studies endorsing
repressed memory tend to lack scientific validity and sometimes
confuse simple forgetfulness with repressed memory. The judge sided
with Boys Town and Dr. Pope and the molestation case was tossed out,
even though Father James Kelly, by multiple accounts, is a serial
child molester.

Despite the stance of the FMSF and its credential-laden experts, false
memories or dissociative amnesia is recognized as a bona fide
condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM), which is the bible of diagnosing psychiatric conditions,
whereas the false memory syndrome is not. Moreover, multiple studies
have corroborated the realty of dissociative amnesia. A 1995 study,
published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, looked at 46 subjects
with PTSD. Over time, 35 of the study's subjects reported the gradual
emergence of a personal narrative that they believed could be defined
as an explicit memory lost to significant or total amnesia, and 77% of
those subjects reported confirmation of that particular memory of
childhood trauma.

The principle tenet of the FMSF and its supporters--false memories are
a syndrome affecting untold thousands--is looked upon with
considerable mistrust in the therapeutic community. The majority of
therapists acknowledge that false memories occur, but they don't see
them as a syndrome permeating the masses. In fact, a number of
therapists look upon the FMSF with suspicion and even contempt.

And one need not dig very deeply into the FMSF to converge with the
macabre. The FMSF was founded by Peter and Pamela Freyd who were both
academics: Peter was a mathematician and Pamela had a PhD in
education. Though the Freyds were married, they were also
stepsiblings--their respective parents had an affair and then married.
The Freyds had two daughters and maintained that theirs was a
wholesome, happy family.

But the Toronto Star reported that the Freyds starred in a perverse,
alternate universe of Father Knows Best: Peter Freyd boasted to his
small daughters about his sexual experiences as an eleven-year-old
boy, calling himself a "male prostitute." He had at least one of his
daughters, who was around ten years of age, dance naked in front of
his friends with a fluffy Playboy bunny tail. Peter Freyd also
encouraged his daughter Jennifer to read Lolita as a child, and he
later kept a personalized cast model of his genitals on display in the
family home--he was ultimately hospitalized for acute alcoholism.

The Freyds' oldest daughter Jennifer would earn a PhD in psychology
and become an academic too. In 1990, the happily married, academically
respected Jennifer started therapy, and, during her second therapeutic
session, she told her therapist that she was anxious about an upcoming
visit from her parents. Her therapist inquired if she had been abused
as a child--she initially didn't recall the abuse but sitting at home
after the session she was flooded with memories of incest: "I was
shaking uncontrollably, overwhelmed with intense and terrible
flashbacks," she later said.

Despite Jennifer's memories, she still consented to the visit by her
parents. But in the midst of their visit, her father held up a turkey
baster and told her two-year-old son that lesbians used the basters to
artificially inseminate themselves. The next morning, Jennifer's
husband asked the Freyds to leave, because of Peter's prior sexual
abuse. Jennifer wanted the rift to be a private affair, but ten months
later her mother anonymously published an article in Issues in Child
Abuse Accusations, an obscure journal devoted to discrediting
allegations of child abuse.

In the article, Pamela Freyd claimed her daughter had falsely accused
her husband of incest and that the accusations arose during the course
of therapy in which the therapist elicited repressed memories. The
article also described Jennifer as sexually promiscuous,
professionally unproductive, anorexic, and sexually frustrated. Pamela
Freyd broke her anonymity and her daughter's anonymity regarding the
article and sent it to Jennifer's superiors at the University of
Oregon! The Freyds then formed FMSF. It should be noted that
Jennifer's sister, Peter Freyd's brother, and his mother, who is
Pamela's stepmother, all support Jennifer's accusations and are
estranged from Peter and Pamela Freyd.

The Freyds recruited Ralph Underwager, a Lutheran theologian and
psychologist, and his wife to be co-founders of the FMSF--Underwager
and his wife published Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, which
accommodated Pamela Freyd's initial assault on her daughter's
credibility. Underwager would prove to have a relatively short tenure
with the FMSF, because of various statements he made to the press.
London's Sunday Times reported that Underwager said ''scientific
evidence'' has shown that 60% of women who are molested as children
felt that the experience was good for them--he contended the same
could be true for boys.

Underwager, apparently speaking as a theologian, granted an interview
to a Dutch pedophilia magazine where he discussed g*d's will and
pedophilia: "The solution that I'm suggesting is that pedophiles
become more positive," he said. "They should directly attack the
concept, the image, the picture of the pedophile as an evil, wicked
and reprehensible exploiter of children . . . Pedophiles need to
become more positive and make the claim that pedophilia is an
acceptable expression of g*d's will for love and unity among human
beings." After Underwager's comments were circulated, he tendered his
resignation from the FMSF's Advisory Board, but his wife continued to
be a stalwart of the Advisory Board. (I've attached a Word document
that contains multiple articles on the FMSF, and note most the of
articles weren't published in the U.S.)

Despite the FMSF's heavy baggage with Peter Freyd and Ralph
Underwager, the FMSF campaign to influence the media has been hugely
successful. In 1995, PBS' Frontline aired a documentary on the false
memory controversy, Divided Memories, which relied extensively on
information provided by the FMSF--many therapists felt it had an
unrepentant FMSF topspin and validated the syndrome. One of the
programs viewers was William Freyd, brother of FMSF co-founder Peter
Freyd, and he wasn't buying the notion of false memories put forth by
Divided Memories--he even wrote a letter to Frontline:

Peter Freyd is my brother. Pamela Freyd is both my stepsister and my
sister-in-law. Jennifer and Gwendolyn are my nieces....

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a fraud designed to deny a
reality that Peter and Pam have spent most of their lives trying to
escape. There is no such thing as a False Memory Syndrome. It is not,
by any normal standard, a Foundation. Neither Pam nor Peter have any
significant mental health expertise.

That the False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been able to excite so
much media attention has been a great surprise to those of us who
would like to admire and respect the objectivity and motives of people
in the media.... We do not understand why you would "buy" such an
obviously flawed story. But buy it you did, based on the severely
biased presentation you made of the memory issue that Peter and Pam
created to deny their own difficult reality.

For the most part, you presented very credible parents and frequently
quite incredible bizarre and exotic, alleged victims and therapists.
Balance and objectivity would call for the presentation of more
credible alleged victims and more bizarre parents. While you did
present some highly regarded therapists as commentators (Dr. Herman,
for example), most of the therapists you presented as providers of
therapy were clearly not in the main stream. While this selection of
examples may make for much more interesting T.V., it most certainly
does not make for objectivity and fairness.

I would advance the idea that "Divided Memories" hurt victims, helped
abusers, and confused the public. I wonder why you thought these
results would be in the public interest that Public Broadcasting is
funded to support.

William Freyd

The origins of the FMSF are certainly steeped in the macabre, but,
after further excavation, I found yet another stratum of strangeness
with the FMSF: Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA was involved in
conducting a myriad of horrific and sadistic mind control experiments--
some actually dealt with the erasing and implanting of memories--and
Texas-based psychiatrist Dr. Colin Ross' book Bluebird connected
various members of the FMSF's Advisory Board to the CIA's mind control

FMSF Advisory Board members, particularly members who Dr. Ross
connected to the CIA's mind control programs, are extremely skeptical
or completely disavow dissociation, a mental state where traumatic
thoughts, emotions, sensations, and/or memories are compartmentalized,
repressed and actually separated from an individual's identity. Though
the overwhelming majority of the CIA's mind control documentation was
ordered destroyed, bureaucratic ineptitude enabled some of it to
survive and one set of documents said "special attention will be given
to dissociative states."

In that specific experiment, the documentation discussed administering
electric shock, drugs, hypnosis, and psychological tricks to three
groups--psychotics, children, and mediums--to induce various states of
dissociation, including multiple personality, which the researchers
thought would enhance the subjects' extrasensory perception.

So the CIA's own documentation explicitly concedes that its mind
control experimentation induced dissociative states, but, yet, the
FMSF Advisory Board members who were affiliated with CIA mind control
programs seem to deny dissociation or dissociative states. I've talked
to several therapists who believe that the FMSF has been used by the
CIA to cover its tracks concerning its mind control programs and the
pathologies and liabilities induced by those programs.

EAS investigators questioned EAS respondents about the whether or not
they knew if a government entity was involved in their abuse. Twenty-
four percent of the 989 respondents to the question remembered being
used in government-sponsored mind control experiments in the United
States, and 8% remembered being used in government-sponsored mind
control experiments in Canada.

The FMSF contends that therapists plant the fictitious memories of
ritual abuse, which suggests that these therapists have religious or
dogmatic agendas, but studies on therapists who diagnose ritual abuse
indicate otherwise. Indeed, a study published in the Journal of
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice looked at the question
of whether or not therapists who work with ritual abuse victims had a
tendency to be religious. The study looked at 497 Christian therapists
and 100 members of the American Psychological Association who didn't
have Christian affiliatons, and their respective diagnosises of
dissociative disorder, sexual abuse, and ritual abuse. The study
concluded that Christian therapists and APA members diagnosed
dissociative disorder and sexual abuse with the same frequency, and
Christian therapists' diagnosis of ritual abuse was only slightly
higher than the APA members questioned. A second study I found,
published in The Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, concluded that
religious beliefs had no relationship in the identification of ritual

I've commented very little on the vast evidence that supports the
existence of ritual abuse, and those who want to read more on the
subject shouldn't find it too difficult to acquire numerous peer-
reviewed papers published in credible journals. So there's the
extensively corroborated reality of ritual abuse, and, conversely,
there's the propaganda campaign of the FMSF.

As I looked closer and closer at the FMSF, I concluded that it was a
house of cards: A journalist merely has to scratch the surface of the
FMSF to see that all is not well in the house of Freyd or that
Underwager has a perverse outlook that is anathema to the vast
majority of Americans. I then found myself wondering how the FMSF
could have bamboozled Frontline and a myriad of other publications and
news organizations that have trumpeted the FMSF's good deeds. I've
also talked to numerous intelligent and rationale people over the
years who sincerely believe that ritual abuse is almost exclusively
the byproduct of therapists' planting memories in gullible,
defenseless patients, because they've been so seduced by the FMSF
propaganda promulgated by the mass media.

The Franklin Scandal demonstrates that the mass media has aided and
abetted the cover up of child abuse, and, as I ventured deeper and
deeper into Franklin, I heard the names of big-time media
personalities who were possibly sexually compromised. Moreover, the
CIA certainly has had an extensive history of infiltrating the media.

The CIA's infiltration of the media has been the crux of numerous
books, so I'll just point out one facet of it, because I could easily
get bogged down on just this subject alone. In the late 1940s, the CIA
appointed Frank Wisner director of the Office of Policy Coordination
(OPC), and he conjured up Mockingbird, an operation to influence the
American media. Wisner reportedly recruited Philip Graham of the
Washington Post to run the project within the industry. Deborah Davis
authored Katharine the Great, about Washington Post owner Katherine
Graham, and according to Davis: "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned'
respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other
communications vehicles." Wisner's OPC also started Touchstone as a
CIA front, and Touchstone produced a movie version of Orwell's Animal
Farm. It was decided to get the film made in Britain to disguise CIA
involvement in the project, and E. Howard Hunt was even involved in
the production of the film.

So I started out with the accusations about incomprehensible ritual
abuse at the U.S. Army's Presidio base in San Francisco and also at
West Point in the 1980s--accusations that were never prosecuted--and I
ultimately followed a long and winding road to the FMSF, an
organization with a dubious genesis, a suspect mission, and, perhaps,
ties to the government. Despite the FMSF's tenuous tenets and rickety
underpinnings, it's been embraced by the media and profoundly impacted
Americans' attitudes about ritual abuse and dissociative amnesia.
Though the FMSF has won the hearts and minds of millions of Americans,
I can't help feeling extremely grateful that I didn't attend Boys Town
when Father James Kelly was its director of spiritual affairs.

taken from https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=fr&fromgroups=#!topic/alt.conspiracy/IjYgr1wzMiU

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