Marc Holthof on Mon, 21 Sep 1998 08:56:32 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Victims of the imagination - On repressed memory

Victims of the imagination
On repressed memory
By Marc Holthof

"If you don't remember that you were ever abused, you're not the only one.
Many women have no recollection whatsoever and will never have. That
doesn't mean they were never abused" (Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, The
Courage to Heal)

"The more serious the abuse, the more likely you have repressed its
memory" (Steven Farmer, Adult Children and Abusive Parents)

"When people ask you: 'Were you sexually abused as a kid?' there are only
two kinds of answer: 'Yes' or 'I don't know'. You can never just say no"
(Roseanne Arnold in a tv show)

Forster City is vintage smalltown U.S.A., a small piece of suburbia about
15 miles south of San Francisco. On September 22, 1969 nine-year-old Susan
Powers left for school and was never seen alive again. Two months later
her body was found in the woods near Half Moon Bay, five miles west of
Forster City. Her skull had been smashed with a blunt object. For years
the identity of the murderer remained a mystery.  Twenty years later. The
winter of 1989. Eileen Franklin is twenty-nine years old and has two kids.
A two-year-old son whose lips are curled around a bottle of heated milk
and a daughter who's playing with two friends on the living room carpet.
The Californian winter sun sheds its warm light on the slightly obscure
interior. Eileen looks outside and says it might even be hot enough to go
for a swim in the garden pool. "Is it, mommie?", six-year-old Jessica
asks. Eileen looks at her daughter. The winter light falls on her face. A
horrible memory flashes through her mind of something that happened twenty
years ago.

A trip to hell

"The memory of trauma is filmed with far brighter lighting than usual. And
this kind of film does not disintegrate like usual stock. It's as though a
lens of superior quality were used, capable of registering the smallest
detail, the smallest line, the tiniest wrinkle" (Lenore Terr, Too Scared
to Cry).

September 22, 1969. George Franklin drives Eileen and her sister Janice to
school in a Volkswagen minibus. About halfway Eileen notices her friend
Susan Nason and asks her father if they can give her a lift. As soon as
Susan gets in the minibus Franklin tells Janice to get out.  George
Fanklin drives Eileen and Susan to school but takes a detour. Before they
reach the school the father decides to go play "open air school". They
drive to the hills. The minibus drives down to Half Moon Bay, heads into
the woods and stops. Eileen and Susan play in the minibus and run back and
forth between the passenger seat and the cargo space where the father has
put a mattress. Franklin gets inside the minibus and starts playing with
them. Eileen is in the front seat when she sees her dad climb on top of
Susan Nason. "My father pinned Susan to the floor. His legs pointed
towards me and he held her arms spread out. He leaned on his elbows that
were up against his, eh...body, he started rubbing against her, eh...
rubbing, up and down... and eh, ...he kept on doing this until I climbed
over the passenger seat to see what they were doing. I got really scared
when I looked at Susan's face." Eileen tries to make herself invisible
while her father finishes off with Susan. Then she and Susan, who is
crying, get out of the minibus. Susan walks up to a rock where she tries
to sit down. Eileen stays next to the minibus and picks up a leaf. When
she looks up she sees the autumn sun shining through the trees.  Behind
Susan appears the shadow of a man who holds a large rock above his head.
Susan raises her arms to protect herself. She looks at Eileen. Her eyes
are filled with fear and powerlessness. A few seconds later the rock
crushes Susan's skull. Eileen puts her hands against her ears to block out
the sound of breaking bone. Even more horrible is the knowledge that
slowly begins to dawn on her: the man who has killed her friend is her
father: George Franklin.

November 25, 1989. Two detectives of the San Mateo Police District, Robert
Morse and Bryan Cassandro, have been listening to Eileen's story. She
tells them how her father raped and murdered her best friend when she was
six years old. The testimony seems sincere and the details in the story
seem to match the elements of the investigation. They continue questioning
her. Were there many trees? What was the road like that had taken them to
the woods? Hadn't she told them about a ring Susan was wearing? What kind
of clothes was her father wearing? The interrogation rounds off at 3.22
PM. It had lasted over three hours. The detectives leave Eileen's home.
"Do you believe her?" Cassandro asks his partner. "Yes I do" Morse
replies. "Me too" says Cassandro. Susan's ring, the rock, the mattress,
the description of the woods, the victim's raised hands, all match the
case evidence. Eileen's testimony fills up 32 report pages with double
margin. On November 28, 1989 George Franklin is arrested in Sacramento and
accused of first degree murder of nine-year-old Susan Nason.


"If memories of the abuse are still vague, it's important to know that
they will try to confuse you about the details" (Ellen Bass & Laura Davis,
The Courage to Heal).

"One of my earliest memories", tells famous psychologist Jean Piaget,
"goes back to when I was two years old. I can picture the scene quite
clearly... I'm sitting in a stroller my nurse is pushing along the Champs
Elys=E9es when suddenly a man attempts to kidnap me. I'm stuck in the
carriage and cannot move so I see the nurse bravely coming between me and
my potential kidnapper. The man gets away and the nurse ends up with the
scars I can still clearly see on her face...When I was about fifteen years
old my parents got a letter from my old nurse... She wanted to apologize
for mistakes she had made in the past and wanted to return the watch my
father had given her as a reward for her bravery... The fact of the matter
was that she had made the whole thing up... As a child I had projected the
story my parents had heard and believed into my own past as a kind of
visual memory".  1995. George Franklin's conviction for the murder of
Susan Nason is revoked by a court of appeal. Repressed memories that
suddenly resurface - like those of Eileen Franklin - are considered
inadmissible evidence (if they're not corroborated by fact) by the courts
of Minnesota, California and New Hampshire. There exists only one 'real'
piece of evidence against George Franklin: the testimony of his daughter
Eileen. As soon as he gets out Franklin will begin a lawsuit against his
daughter, her therapists and the two detectives that conducted the
investigation.  There is no doubt that Eileen Franklin truly believed her
father had murdered Susan Nason. David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry
at Stanford's medical faculty wrote about the case: "Research shows that
children who have been exposed to violent traumatic events correctly
identify the event as the source of their anxiety (our research showed
figures up to 87%). They suffer from an overactive imagination, fear the
resurfacing of trauma, lose interest in everyday activities, try to avoid
anything that can possibly re=F9ind them of the event and are irritated by
the fact that they cannot stop thinking about it. The fact that Eileen
displayed none of these symptoms at any time could point to the fact that
she hadn't really witnessed the murder." Spiegel concludes that "a
combination of phantasms and feelings of guilt about her school friend's
death, linked to memories about her father's cruelty, could have led her
to construe a false memory she ended up believing as truth."  Everything
Eileen Franklin told the police can be found in the newspapers of the
time. Several details in Eileen's statement were later revealed to be
inaccurate. The victim Susan Nason had worn two rings: a silver one and a
gold one with a stone. A newspaper article confused the two rings and
turned them into one single silver ring with a stone. Eileen made the same
mistake in her testimony to the police. The mattress that was mentioned in
the paper was actually a couch. It was found on top of Susan's body and
was definitely too big to have fitted in George Franklin's minibus. In the
course of her testimonies Eileen changed the time of the murder to match
it with the facts that were already known. She also changed her statement
about the presence of her sister Janice in the minibus. The fact that her
father would have ordered his daughter to get out of the car and walk to
school had always sounded a bit far-fetched.

Guilty without proof

"You don't have to prove you were abused" (Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, The
Courage to Heal).

"I know what it's like to have been abused because I was a victim myself",
tells a young woman therapist. "I was sexually abused while still in
elementary school. My parents had nothing to do with it. I never forgot. I
think about it every day. Like so many victims I was silent for twenty
years, out of shame. One day I told my sister what had happened to me. She
immediately began to suspect she had also been abused. She remembered
nothing, there were no clues, no faces, no names, not even a shred of
evidence. She and one of my other sisters started talking about it,
exchanging thoughts and emotions. And then they began fantasizing about
situations of abuse. They accused my grandfather, my uncle then my father.
Their accusations got stranger all the time. They claimed my mother and my
oldest brother, my aunts, uncles, nephews, friends and neighbours had also
been involved. The whole family threatened to fall apart and there wasn't
anything my parents could do something about it. All they could do was sit
back and watch the catastrophe unfold. Then my nephew, who was six at the
time and had been in therapy for more than a year - he had dismissed his
first therapist because he had been unable to find any evidence of sexual
abuse - started making accusations. He claimed my mother, my father and my
oldest brother had sexually abused him when he was a baby. Two weeks after
these accusations I begun my career as a therapist. Four days later I was
called into my boss' office where I was told that my nephew had accused me
of sexual abuse. I was fired on the spot and became the subject of an
on-going investigation by the juvenile police. The investigation lasted
four months. No evidence of any kind was found."

False memory

All these stories are taken from a remarkable book called The Myth of
Repressed Memory by Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketchham. The book asks
one fundamental question: how reliable is our memory? Do we really know
what happened to us in the past? The past is irrevocable gone and our
memories of it, especially of events we didn't consciously experience (for
any reason whatsoever), tend to get 'shaped' by our present self. You can
even create false memories, Elizabeth Loftus claims. Loftus is a professor
of psychology at the University of Washington at Seattle and has recently
been appointed chairman of the American Psychology Association. She became
somewhat of a cause c=E9l=E8bre in her field when she published her book
Eyewitness Testimony in 1980. In that book she showed that eyewitnesses
are not always as reliable as the courts would have it. Memories can be
radically altered by the way in which an eyewitness is questioned. False
memories can either consciously or unconsciously be inserted by the
questioner, while older, genuine memories can be changed in a variety of
subtle ways.

Recently professor Loftus has appeared in numerous articles in 'Scientific
American', 'Nature' and 'Le Monde', in which she talks about her recent
work on the mysterious workings of our memory. Her research led to a
number of disconcerting findings. Loftus' colleague Ira Hyman questioned a
number of test subjects about events that happened in their childhood. The
researchers also asked details about events that didn't happen, events
they had made up. One example was an incident involving a punch bowl at a
wedding. During the first interview none of the test subjects seemed to
recall that they had knocked down a punch bowl at any wedding. This made
sense since the event hadn't really happened. During a second interview,
however, 18% of the test subjects seemed to recall the incident. During
the third interview the percentage grew to 25%. One of the subjects who
had claimed not to recall the incident during the first interview now
began to remember the wedding in vivid detail, how the kids had been
playing some wild game and had accidentally knocked over the punch bowl.
In another test the test subjects were shown a simulated traffic accident
involving an intersection and a stop sign. Half the group was led to
believe the stop sign had actually been a right-of-way sign. When they
were questioned later about what sign they had seen in the simulation they
were convinced they had seen the right-of-way sign. The other half of the
group, who had not been influenced in any way, correctly recalled the stop
sign. "Eyewitnesses who point their finger at innocent defendants are not
liars, for they genuinely believe in the truth of their testimony. That's
the frightening part", Loftus writes, "the truly horrifying idea that what
we think we know, what we believe with all our hearts, is not necessarily
the truth".

The acquisition of false memories can be promoted, Loftus claims, if a
person is encouraged to imagine certain situations without having to worry
whether they actually happened or not. This is exactly what happens in a
lot of cases involving patient-therapist confidentiality. Loftus mentions
the case of a female private investigator fronting as a patient who
consulted a therapist about her nightmares and sleeping disorder. After
the third consultation the therapist concluded that she had been the
victim of sexual abuse. In 1993 CNN sent out a reporter with a hidden
camera to a therapist's office in Ohio. The pseudo-patient complained
about depression and problems in her relationship with her husband. The
diagnosis was swift and came right after the first session: the
pseudo-patient was a 'classic case' of incest abuse. When the CNN reporter
offered during the second session that she couldn't think of anything in
her past that could possibly be interpreted as incest, the therapist told
her that her reaction was typical and that she had repressed her horrible

Wendy Maltz, author of a popular book on sexual abuse, told her patients:
"Spend time imagining that you were sexually abused, without worrying
about accuracy, proving anything, or having your ideas make sense...Ask
yourself...these questions: What time of day is it? Where are you? Indoors
or outdoors? What kind of things are happening? Is there one or more
person with you?" Loftus rightly questions the consequences of this kind
of make-believe. What happens when people start remembering childhood
events that didn't really happen?  She came up with the following
experiment. A number of test subjects were required to point out on a list
those things that did or didn't happen to them in their childhood. The
list included innocent events like getting stuck in a tree or breaking a
window. Two weeks later the subjects were asked to imagine some of the
events on the list. A short while later they were once again asked to
point out on the list those events that actually happened to them. The
results showed a clear 'inflation' of the imagination: 24% of the test
subjects were convinced that the events they were asked to imagine
actually happened to them in their own childhood.


It is physically impossible to remember anything from the first year of
one's life. This doesn't take away from how easy it is to suggest such
'impossible' memories. Nicholas Spanos of Carleton University divided a
number of test subjects into two groups. The members of the first group
were brought back under hypnosis to the first day of their lives, while
the others were asked to imagine what that first day would have been like.
Both groups were given the suggestion that colored toys were hanging above
their cradle. 56% of the imagination group and 46% of the hypnosis group
actually remembered this. Only 16% realized that it was pure imagination.
If an outsider confirms an untrue event this can lead to the creation of a
false memory. Saul M. Kassin of Williams College thought up an experiment
in which someone is falsely accused of having destroyed a computer by
pushing the wrong button. The innocent test subjects initially denied that
they had done anything wrong. However, when a witness testified he had
seen them do it, many in the group confessed to the crime, signed a
statement and started feeling guilty about what supposedly had happened.

Social pressure is extremely important in creating false memories, claims
Loftus. The interviewers either willingly or unwillingly exercised
pressure on the interviewees and coached them into remembering things they
had not lived through. False memories are thus created to meet the social
pressure exercised by the investigators.

No proof

"The beauty of the repressed incest explanation is that, to enjoy its
victim benefits, and the distinction of being associated with a survivor
group, it isn't even necessary to have any recollection that said abuse
actually took place" (Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal).

The fact that our memory is open to suggestion and we sometimes have a
hard time separating the real from the suggested events, does not mean
that all traumatic memories of sexual abuse are per definition untrue.
But, Loftus stresses, without external proof even the most experienced
interrogator will find it extremely difficult to distinguish between
genuine memories and memories that were either suggested or imagined. This
could well mean, psychologist Michael Nash reasons on, that there is no
structural difference between both types of remembering. "Each case must
be examined on its merits to explore the credibility, the timing, the
motives, the potential for suggestion, the corroboration, and other
features to make an intelligent assessment of what any mental product
means", Loftus concludes. In the mean time the British Royal College of
Psychiatrists has set an example by prohibiting its members from
encouraging patients to remember evidence of sexual abuse in their

In 1986 nurse Nadean Cool requested psychiatric help. In the course of
therapy her psychiatrist managed to convince her she had been sexually
abused. Cool started believing she had repressed the most horrible
memories: satanism, babies being eaten alive, rape, sex with animals, and
being forced to watch while her eight-year-old boy friend was brutally
murdered. She became convinced she had more than 120 different
personalities, including angels and even a duck! Eventually she discovered
these were all false memories. Last year a court ruled Nadean Cool was to
receive over 2.4 million dollars in punitive damages from her
malpracticing psychiatrist.

The Netherlands saw a similar case in which reports of sexual abuse were
added to by fantastic stories about satanic cults and networks. Even more
striking is the case of American Beth Rutherford who was told during
therapy in 1992 that she had been regularly abused by her father, a
reverend who had been assisted in the rapes by wife. The girl developed
the memory that her father had impregnated her twice and that she had
aborted herself at every occasion with a clothes hanger. Her father was
forced to resign when Beth's accusations made headlines. An ensuing
medical investigation showed that Beth had never been pregnant and - at 22
- was still a virgin.

Even more absurd is the following story taken from psychology student Evan
Harrington's report of a conference held in Dallas, Texas, on March 23-26,
1996 by a group calling itself the 'Society for the Investigation,
Treatment and Prevention of Ritual and Cult Abuse' (SITPRCA). The
conference was titled 'Cult and Ritual Abuse, Mind Control, and
Dissociation: A Multidisciplinary Dialogue'. "Mark Phillips and Cathy
O'Brian were among the speakers, many of whom leaned towards the extreme
right. O'Brian claimed to have survived years of torture and abuse at the
hands of her CIA handlers in Operation Monarch. O'Brian maintained she had
been tortured in unimaginable ways since the time she was a child, and
that her cult handlers successfully created dissociative identity disorder
in her, which was cured by Phillips, who also managed to hide her from the
CIA. She was so savagely tortured, she said, that her back was a complete
mass of scar tissue. Philips added that he had once tried to count the
scars but lost count somewhere in the hundreds. We never saw the scars,
photos of the scars, or doctors' reports about te scars. O'Brian stated
that she was forced to have sex with a plethora of political figures
including George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford (whom
she said she knew as 'the neighborhood porn king'). She also said she was
abused by Hillary Clinton (but not by Bill). Politicians were not the only
ones involved - O'Brian stated that a number of baseball figures were in
this satanic/CIA mind-control plot. She told me personally that virtually
the entire country music industry is set up by the New World Order to make

Collective madness

"A shared lie is an incomparably more effective bond for a group than the
truth" (Slavoj Zizek, The Plague of Fantasies).

The link between child abuse and MPD, or multiple personality disorder, is
fairly recent. Cases that appeared before 1920 were seldom linked to child
abuse. In 1980 a book came out called Michelle Remembers which tells how a
woman had been the victim of ritual satanic abuse as a child and had
repressed the memory until it resurfaced during a psychiatric session.
Michelle's story became propaganda material for the Evangelic Christian
Movement that came to prominence during the early 1980s. The movement gave
new life to the enduring myth of satanism: the idea that there exists an
almighty secret international satanic conspiracy that commits horrible
crimes. The crimes include kidnapping, torture, sexual abuse of both
children and adults, mass murder, forced pregnancies and cannibalism.

The Movement's efforts led to a swift rise in the number of Michelle-like
stories MPD patients began conjuring up all over the country. In the
mid-eighties 25% of all known MPD patients were remembering some kind of
ritual satanic abuse. In 1992 this percentage had increased in certain
therapy groups up to 80%. 70% of all American psychotherapists are rarely
confronted with this type of patient. A small number, however, have many
and sometimes only MPD patients. This led Nicholas Spanos to suggest that
these therapists play an active role in the creation of 'memories' of
ritual abuse. Many of the MPD patients thus end up in a social network in
which they are constantly told about satanic abuse by other patients,
therapists, newsletters and workshops.

The Church of the Living Water

"For Lacan the status of the subject as such is hysterical" (Slavoj Zizek,
The Plague of Fantasies).

The Church of the Living Water is a fundamentalist christian movement in
Olympia, Washington, the northwestern part of the United States. The
Church is a branch of the International Church of the Fourfold Gospel
originated in 1927 by Aimee Semple McPherson. The Church of Living Water
teaches that we should take the gospel literally and that the devil exists
in the most literal, physical sense. He is able to control the weak person
and will do so - thanks to his devilish powers of deception - without that
person noticing. Only prayer and the word of God as found in the bible can
protect the soul against the eternal spiritual battle between right and

Paul Ingram and his family became members of The Church of Living Water in
1975. Ingram had been president of the Republican Party en later became
chief deputy in Thurston County. In the early eighties two of his
daughters, Ericka and Julie, took part in the Church's 'spiritual
weekends' anchored to the theme 'Heart to Heart'. In a bible camp near
Black Lake young christians talked for two days about identity, sexuality,
and family living. Sometimes the talks led to emotional outpourings and
confessions. In 1983 Erricka told the group that she had been the victim
of an attempted rape. The sheriff was called in but quickly dropped the
case: Ericka had been picked up by a married man while hitchhiking. He had
put his hand on her knee. End of story. Two years later her sister Julie
came forward with the story that she had been sexually abused by one of
the neighbors. Ericka confirmed her sister's testimony but gave
contradictory information and the case was dropped.

In 1988 the camp was led by charismatic Karla Franko. She told the group
she had had a vision in which one of the girls was sexually abused by a
member of her family. After Karla's story one of the girls ran away and
tried to drown herself in the girls' restroom. At the end of the weekend
then twenty-two-year-old Ericka Ingram confessed to Franko she had also
been sexually abused. Franko advised her to pray and seek psychiatric

When the two girls got back from the weekend they refused to talk to their
parents. A couple of months later they both moved out. One Sunday in
November Ericka asked her mother to meet her after church at a nearby
Denny's. There she confessed that she had been systematically abused by
her father and brothers until 1975. The mother confronted her husband who
denied all knowledge of said business. As far as he knew he had no 'dark
side'. The next day the other daughter, Julie, confessed she had been
abused by her father and her older brothers up to 1983. That same day,
November 21, 1988, both girls changed their stories: the abuse had been
going on for much longer than they had told. Until three years ago
according to Julie. Until the day they moved out according to Ericka. On
November 28, 1988 Paul Ingram was confronted with his daughters'
testimonies at the sheriff's office by his colleagues sheriff Gary Edwards
and deputy Neil McLachlan. They read him his rights. "I hope you'll
co=F6perate, otherwise the girls will have to testify in court", told the
sheriff. "I did not abuse my daughters", replied Ingram. "I don't believe
I have a 'dark side'", he added.

Ingram was questioned by two vice detectives, Joe Vukich and Brian
Schoenig. They asked him why his daughters would accuse him if he had done
nothing wrong. Ingram was unable to answer the question. He simply didn't
understand. The detectives proceeded to check the details in the girls'
story. They accused Ingram of having raped his daughter Ericka two months
before. Ingram did not recall such incident, not then and not ever before.
The detectives claimed he had repressed any recollection of the event.
Both Ingram, being the good father, and the detectives agreed that the
daughters were responsible girls who would never lie about something like
that. Maybe he had repressed his crimes, maybe Satan really did hold him
in his power, Ingram started to think. The only possible explanation for
this whole sequence of events was that he had indeed abused his daughters
and then cast the crime from his mind.

After four hours of questioning Ingram agreed to make a statement. At 2.46
PM the tape recorder was turned on. "...Can you tell me how you remember
having touched them? the detective asked. -It's very difficult for me to
admit it, Ingram hesitated, but I truly believe that what I am being
accused of really took place. I believe that I raped and abused them,
probably over a long period of time. I have, probably successfully,
repressed the memory of my crimes and am trying to remember. I know, based
on what they have told, that these things really happened, that I actually
did do those horrible things...My daughters would never lie about
something so serious. ... -How old do you think Ericka was when these
things began to happen? -I can't remember, but I know from previous
conversations that she must have been about five years old. -What do you
remember? -I don't remember anything." Ingram confirmed all accusations
against him. When they asked him how he had abused Ericka just before she
left home, he told about the incident as though he was describing a film
he had seen. -Alright, you have told us everything in the conditional. Now
I'm asking you directly: how did it happen? -I cannot visualize accurately
what happened. I know deep inside that it must have happened that way, but
I can't really confirm that that's the way it really happened because I
cannot see it.  ... -You don't remember that you went into Ericka's room?
You don't remember touching her? -That's right. -If she says that's the
way it happened, how does that strike you? -It means that it did happen
that way. My children don't lie. They tell the truth and that's what I try
to do." Ingram refused the services of the county's best lawyer. "I told
myself that he was more interested in keeping me out of jail than in
uncovering the truth". He picked a christian fundamentalist lawyer
instead. On November 29 the police received a new letter from daughter
Julie in which her father's poker buddies and several law officials were
accused of having sexually abused her when she was a child. Ingram was
questioned again. Again he couldn't recall the incident. A psychologist by
the name of Peterson advised him to choose once and for all between good
and evil.  -"If you ever had to choose between God and the devil, this is
the time. -That is true. Oh Lord Jesus help me. ... -You're not going to
get out of this Paul, unless you decide to look the truth straight in the
face, unless you're able to make a decision. -I know. I know. -You can
cry. Then you can tell us everything. Bring us back to the poker game.
Paul, you have all the answers. Don't crash now. -Oh God. -Choose life
instead of hell and internal damnation. -God, my God, help me.  -It's a
clear choice you have to make between continuing to live the hell you have
lived and experiencing the cleansing absolution of truth. You have to make
that decision. Nobody can make it for you. It's your decision. ... -Tell
us what happened to Julie. What went on during that game of poker, Paul?"
Under all this pressure Paul Ingram started to make up stories.  -"I see
Julie lying on the floor. She is covered by a sheet. Her hands are tied to
her feet. She is lying on her stomach..." At the end of his statement he
says: -"It's all pointless. It's like I'm looking at a movie. A horror
movie. I can't see clearly. I'm not sure what I see. I don't understand."
Paul's testimony led to the arrest of his colleagues Jim Rabie and Ray
Risch. They couldn't recall any abuse either.  On December 30, 1988
daughter Ericka sent the police and the D.A. a signed statement that went
as follows: "From ages 5 to 12 I remember my father dragging me out of bed
in the middle of the night and taking me outside". A group of men and
women including her mother, Jim Rabie, Ray Rish and a priestess were
waiting for her in the barn. All present had to kill a six month-old
infant and bury it in a ditch. Sister Julie remembered similar satanic
rituals albeit in lesser detail... Ericka's stories got more and more
bizarre. Her father had forced her to have sex with goats and dogs. Jim
Rabie had raped her about a hundred times. Satanic orgies took place, the
sacrifice of newborn babies, disgusting abortions. She claimed to have
witnessed the sacrifice of 25 babies whose horribly mutilated bodies had
been buried in the woods behind the Ingram house. The cult members had
aborted her with a clothes hanger, had rubbed the remains of the foetus
over her naked body and had eaten its head.  Paul Ingram continued
admitting everything. "The first ritual abuse investigation in the
nation's history that has been confirmed by an adult offender involved
directly with the offenses", the prosecutor cheered.  Despite an elaborate
search no remains of murdered babies were found. No scars were found on
the two sisters, who still insisted that they had been tortured during
group rape sessions and black masses. Better still: sociologist Richard
Ofshe had Paul Ingram confess to an incident he had completely made up
(after having checked that the others had not already tried the same
tactic). At Ofshe's suggestion Ingram confessed that he had forced his
eldest son to have sex with Ericka while he watched. After a couple of
days Ingram confirmed his confession to this made-up crime by a written
statement. The declaration was written in the same distant style as
before. As if Ingram were writing a screenplay.  -"In Ericka's room. Two
bunkbeds. Ericka and Julie share the room. I ask, I tell Paul Jr. to come
up with Ericka and me... I tell them to take of their clothes. Ericka
says: "But daddy...'; I tell her to get undressed and stop arguing..."
Because there was no material evidence of satanism the D.A. was forced to
drop all charges of ritual sexual abuse. All charges against Jim Rabie and
Ray Risch were consequently dropped. They had both spent one hundred and
eighty-five days in jail. On Thursday February 1, 1990 at two o'clock in
the afternoon honorable Robert H. Peterson, Judge of the Supreme Court of
the state of Washington, ruled in case 88-1-752-1: The People against Paul
Ross Ingram that: "During the trial no conclusive reason was given as to
why the two women would have falsely accused their father. It is very,
very unlikely that the accused could have been convinced to confess had he
not actually committed the crimes with which he was charged. At no point
did the daughters attempt to withdraw their accusations against their
father. Hence the earlier verdict of guilty on six counts of third and
fourth degree rape will be maintained." Paul Ross Ingram was sentenced to
twenty years' incarceration. The 494 days he already spent in jail would
be deducted from his sentence.  A final appeal and a petition for clemency
were rejected. Today Paul Ingram is still in jail.

"The healing of the planet is part of your healing. Unless you make it a
priority, there is no hope for the planet... How many pedophiles do you
know that are concerned about toxic waste? ... You and you alone have the
vision, the courage and the necessary compassion to contribute to the
quality and evolution of life". (Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, The Courage to


Evan Harrington, 'Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a
Mind-Control Conference'. CSIOP, Skeptical Inquirer, September 1996
Saul M. Kassin & Katherine L. KIechel, 'The Social Psychology Sciene, Vol.
7, No. 3, p. 125-128, May 1996.
Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham, The Myth of Repressed Memory. St.
Martin's Press, 1994.=20
Elizabeth Loftus, 'Remembering Dangerously'. In: Skeptical Inquirer, Vol.
19, No. 2, p. 20n., March 1995.
Elizabeth Loftus, 'Creating False Memories.' In: Scientific American, Vol.
277, No. 3. p. 70-75, September 1997.
Jill Neimark, 'The diva of disclosure, memory researcher Elizabeth
Loftus.' In: Psychology Today, Vol. 29, No. 1, p. 48n, January 1996.
Nicholas Spanos, Cheryl A. Burgess & Melissa Faith Burgess, 'The Social
Reconstruction of Memories.' In: The International Journal of Clinical and
Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. XLII, No. 4, Oktober 1994, p. 433-466=20

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