• How do we find words for describing levels of betrayal and emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual torture that fragment and destroy a child or cast and case traumatic shadows over the whole of adult life? We might, as a society, slowly find it possible to accept that one in four citizens are likely to have experience some form of emotional, psychical, sexual or spiritual abuse (McQueen, Itzin, Kennedy, Sinason, & Maxted, 2008), in itself a figure unimaginable and hidden twenty years ago. However, accepting the way a hurt and hurting parent or stranger re-enacts their disturbance with a vulnerable child or children remains far easier to digest than to consider the intellectually planned, scientific, methodical, procedures of organized child-abusing perpetrators-in other words, torture

    Valerie Sinason
  • Those of us who work in the field of trauma and abuse, whether psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, doctors, counselors, or psychotherapists, have been provided with beautiful tools for understanding the impact of trauma. We become adept at understanding the dynamic of why the messenger is always shot and broadcast the Bionic insight of why the visionary is not bearable to the group.However, when it comes to military mind control, abuse within religious belief groups or cults, and deliberately created dissociative identity disorder, we enter the least resourced field of all

    Valerie Sinason
  • Two other highly vocal FMSF Advisory Board members are Dr Elizabeth Loftus and Professor Richard Ofshe. Loftus is a respected academic psychologist whose much quoted laboratory experiment of successfully implanting a fictitious childhood memory of being lost in a shopping mall is frequently used to defend the false memory syndrome argument. In the experiment, older family members persuaded younger ones of the (supposedly) never real event. However, Loftus herself says that being lost, which almost everyone has experienced, is in no way similar to being abused. Jennifer Freyd comments on the shopping mall experiment in Betrayal Trauma (1996): “If this demonstration proves to hold up under replication it suggests both that therapists can induce false memories and, even more directly, that older family members play a powerful role in defining reality for dependent younger family members." (p. 104). Elizabeth Loftus herself was sexually abused as a child by a male babysitter and admits to blacking the perpetrator out of her memory, although she never forgot the incident. In her autobiography, Witness for the Defence, she talks of experiencing flashbacks of this abusive incident on occasion in court in 1985 (Loftus &Ketcham, 1991, p.149)In her teens, having been told by an uncle that she had found her mother's drowned body, she then started to visualize the scene. Her brother later told her that she had not found the body. Dr Loftus's successful academic career has run parallel to her even more high profile career as an expert witness in court, for the defence of those accused of rape, murder, and child abuse. She is described in her own book as the expert who puts memory on trial, sometimes with frightening implications.She used her theories on the unreliability of memory to cast doubt, in 1975, on the testimony of the only eyewitness left alive who could identify Ted Bundy, the all American boy who was one of America's worst serial rapists and killers (Loftus & Ketcham, 1991, pp. 61-91). Not withstanding Dr Loftus's arguments, the judge kept Bundy in prison. Bundy was eventually tried, convicted and executed

    Valerie Sinason
  • I find it disturbing that one anthropologist's readings of transcripts are being listened to more seriously than 40 senior health service clinicians.[Referring to Jean La Fontaine's 1994 research paper for the DOH]

    Valerie Sinason
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