I should probably warn you that the article linked to and quoted below includes nearly every horrifying trigger that one might imagine.
Will Storr recounts “The mystery of Carole Myers“:
When she was found dead at 41, Carole Myers left a statement saying she had suffered Satantic child abuse at the hands of her parents. But did she?
No. No she did not. But she did suffer horrific abuse at the hands of credulous manipulators who posed as counselors.
Their enthusiasm for signs of the demonic other — evidence of the evil conspiracy that must surely be lurking behind the confusing, frightening, threatening modern world — led them to reimagine her childhood into a nightmare straight out of a Jack Chick tract.
That’s not hyperbole. The nightmare is, in fact, out of a Jack Chick tract — those tracts are the origin of the memories these counselors helped poor Myers “recover.”
I arrange an interview with Valerie Sinason who, according to the records, saw Carole for psychotherapy biweekly for eight months in 1992. I want to know if she’ll fit the description Professor Loftus gave of the therapists she’s come across in legal cases who have involved false memory – that of a highly credulous believer in satanic abuse who has a tendency to believe ritual damage in patients.
And that is exactly what Sinason proves to be.
Sinason arrives, in her north London counselling room, tanned and relaxed in a loose smock, dark leggings and trainers. There’s a chaise longue with a crowd of teddies resting in its crook. On the floor, shoved beneath a table, a large cloth boy gazes sadly into space. We’re joined by her husband David, who takes notes throughout our talk.
Sinason insists she doesn’t use recovered-memory techniques. “I’m an analytic therapist,” she says. “The idea of that is someone showing, through their behaviour, that all sorts of things might have happened to them.” Signs that a patient has suffered satanically include flinching at green or purple objects, the colours of the high priest and priestess’s robes. “And if someone shudders when they enter a room, you know it’s not ordinary incest.”
Another warning, she says, is the patient saying: “I don’t know.” “What they really mean is: ‘I can’t bear to say.’” A patient who “overpraises” their family is also suspicious. “The more insecure you are, the more you praise. ‘Oh my family was wonderful! I can’t remember any of it!’”
In the medical records, Sinason noted that Carole was her first chronic sadistic-abuse patient. Today, when I ask about her first patient, Sinason describes the arrival of two medical professionals – a nurse and a psychologist – one of whom was limping.
“I just had that nasty feeling,” she says. “It’s her, and she’s been hurt by them.”
“You could tell that from the limp?” I ask.
Soon, we get to the actual satanism. Sinason talks of a popular ritual in which a child is stitched inside the belly of a dying animal before being ‘reborn to satan’. During other celebrations, “people eat faeces, menstrual blood, semen, urine. There’s cannibalism.” Some groups have doctors performing abortions. “They give the foetus to the mother and she’s made to kill the baby.”
“And the cannibalism – that’s foetuses?” I clarify.
“Foetuses and bits of bodies.”
“Raw or cooked?”
“The foetuses are raw.”
“Not even a bit of salt and pepper?” I ask.
“Raw. And handed round like communion. On one major festival, the babies are barbecued. I can still remember one survivor saying how easy it is to pull apart the ribs on a baby. But adults are tougher to eat.”
She describes large gatherings in woodlands and castles, with huge cloths being laid out. “That’s normally when there’s a sacrifice,” she notes, “and because the rapes are happening all over the place. There’s a small amount of cannon fodder in terms of runaways, drug addicts, prostitutes and tramps that are used. There’s sex with animals. Horses, dogs, goats. Being hanged upside down. In the woods, on a tree.”
“How do they get an animal to have sex with a human?” I wonder.
Sinason’s husband thinks for a moment. “Well,” he says, “plenty of dogs have a go at people’s legs.” “True,” says Sinason, adding poignantly: “However horrible it sounds, the dog, at least, is friendly afterwards.”