the British False Memory Society

the British False Memory Society (BFMS)

Over the past 30 years, thousands of ordinary people have been accused of crimes that never happened by individuals whose memories are distorted.
The BFMS (British False Memory Society) was founded in 1993 in response to this.

If teenage or adult children attend therapy and start to recall memories which never happened there are three extra burdens that parents face if they try to make a complaint –

01 Psychotherapists and counsellors are not regulated in the UK.

02 There is no training for psychotherapists and counsellors to understand the phenomenon of false memory or explore alternative methods, and many continue to use methods which cause harm.

03 If psychotherapists and counsellors subscribe to thinking about repressed memories, then whatever the client says, even if they have never said it before, will be accepted and validated.

from – ‘Complaining to Brick Walls’ by Lisa Blakemore-Brown

(BFMS Newsletter – Vol. 28, No.1 – September 2020)

Dr Kevin Felstead has written a book about the work of the BFMS.
The book documents the catastrophic impact of false memories in the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom, which has seen families torn apart, and hundreds of innocent people imprisoned.
For more than a decade, Dr Kevin Felstead witnessed many of these trials first-hand whilst working for one of the country’s leading miscarriages of justice charities – the British False Memory Society.

Memory & Injustice’ – Dr Kevin Felstead

(via YouTube)

(very sadly, the BFMS is now winding down due to the increasing
financial difficulties for small charities)

The BFMS (British False Memory Society) was founded in 1993 in response to an epidemic of false claims of past child abuse by adults in therapy. The accusers believed they had ‘recovered’ unconscious memories of a hidden past, but scientific evidence demonstrates that rather than being the recall of genuine experience, the process described was one of the accumulation of false belief
– hence the term ‘false memory’.

Such allegations are not a new phenomenon and have been known to arise under certain cultural conditions for centuries.
However, flawed therapeutic trauma theories and investigative systems have aggravated the problem over the last twenty years with the result that there is now a widespread problem of poor differentiation between true and false allegations of child sexual abuse. This is particularly the case with uncorroborated retrospective allegations that have created the greatest problem in recent times.

BFMS acknowledges and abhors the fact that there are many genuine cases of child abuse that require the application of the criminal law. However, the circumstantial reliability of testimony needs to be properly investigated to protect genuine victims and exonerate the false accused. It is not uncommon for a whole network of family relationships to be destroyed through false allegations made both in and out of therapy.

BFMS has a Scientific and Professional Advisory Board and is the leading charity addressing the problem of
false accusations of child abuse.