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The Memory Debate

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Don't be fooled

Everyone who has entered this debate is biased, by their training, their loyalties (both personal and professional), and their experience. If anyone claims to be without bias they are trying to fool you and have probably already fooled themselves. My prejudices and beliefs are click here. So what is really going on?

Some undeniable but probably disputed facts

The media is full of disturbing reports, generally sensationalised and inaccurate, about repressed, recalled or recovered memories and false memory syndrome

The debate splits professionals* in the mental health community, I am concerned by some opinions expressed by professionals. These are such that they require careful investigation and consideration. The layperson who has serious concerns, is therefore left to research the contradictory claims.
(* professionals are Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, therapists, Christian counsellors, counsellors and may include social workers, psychiatric nurses and Church ministers and Christian ministries.)

How we treat people is often dependent on our knowledge, beliefs and experience. Our society for many years believed sexual abuse of children to be unthinkable and therefore never considered that it was possible. This attitude left survivors with memories that no-one was willing to consider, much less believe. Those who tried to share their memories were either told not to be silly or thought of as evil. Today, as a society, we have begun a journey of thinking the unthinkable, thereby releasing the survivor to share his or her story.

A growing number of people are recalling or recovering memories of childhood abuse; these memories may be triggered in a number of ways including dreams, flashbacks and therapy.

Some of these memories are never validated (that is remain neither corroborated or uncorroborated). However, in some cases the alleged abusers have been confronted and it has been found that they were innocent and wrongly accused. In other cases the alleged abusers were found guilty and imprisoned. The truth is that it is very difficult to prove "beyond all reasonable doubt" that child abuse took place after the passage of years.

Some people today still say that:

  • Children are never sexually abused, it doesn't happen.
  • Traumatic memories cannot be repressed.
  • Children would never be abused in church or by a Christian.
  • Memories cannot be recovered or trusted.
  • All therapists are evil or demonically motivated.
  • Sex with children is an expression of God's love for them.
  • Only our particular professional beliefs are correct.

Christians who seeks to have an answer that is both intellegent and full of faith will need to rise above his or her own particular prejudices and personal experiences. They will need to look at ALL the scientific and forensic evidence available, before they disregard or accept the validity of any information. This will ensure best practice in their response to and care of those people who have been courageous enough to divulge their experiences or memories.

Help for Church Leaders

Help in finding the best person to talk to.
It is important for church leaders to be able to obtain the best available help for those who approach them with memories of sexual abuse. The guidelines are concise but do not claim to be complete.

Ritual Satanic Abuse and the role of Evil Spirits
The reality of ritual satanic abuse has not yet been accepted by most professionals and the"existence debate" has stifled proper discussion of the role of evil spirits in memory and ritual sexual abuse. Read about the McMartin Investigation see who you believe.

You may wonder why there are no links or mention of the False Memory Syndrome
Read the report by Alex Constantine about the political involvements and moral beliefs surrounding FMS. False Memory Hoax

More Information

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