Cruel Brittania - despite 1997 Published concerns by a British Professional Psychologist

Lisa C Blakemore-Brown, Psychologist

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Re: Cruel Brittania - despite 1997 Published concerns by a British Professional Psychologist

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Dr Marcovitch seemed to be particularly negative about complaints made by parents and non professionals who supported them. It has been easy to dismiss these complaints as the sound and fury of abusing parents, duped journalists and activists, signifying nothing - but causing great distress to falsely accused professionals. Lost in all of this - the sound and fury from both sides - has been the very serious and grave concerns of professionals who have been seriously damaged by daring to speak out, destroy their own careers and write about the false theories which have led to false accusations of mothers. I am not ashamed to name myself as the leading professional in England who fits such a description - and as no-one asks me for my opinion it seems a good moment to express it yet again. 

The reference by Lord Justice Judge in the current Cannings Appeal to 'a whole series of false steps leading to conclusions of a statistical kind that were misleading' reflect almost to the very words used, my own published concerns back in 1997. (1) I wrote that I could not find any robust scientific or statistical base to the theory of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy which is also known as Meadow's theory and which lies at the heart of his cot death theory. I said 'something seems to be going very wrong'. 

In this published Letter to the Editor I asked the British Psychological Society to begin an Inquiry. I had seen through Meadow's theory in a 1995 case when I was involved as an Expert Witness. Such was my concern over the distortions of thinking, use of shock tactics and influence resulting in 4 children wrongly being removed from a family, that I wrote to Jack Straw in 1996, the then Shadow Home Secretary. I did so because I was giving advice to Mr Straw as Chair of Promoting Parenting Skills - a group of psychologists who are members of the British Psychological Society - and we joined forces with the Home Office to present a conference in Birmingham. We also presented a lot of written material to the incoming current Government relating to parenting and had a number of meetings. 

Mr Straw said he was unable to do anything as the case was not in his area, but he did say he would be interested in what New Zealand did about the case when the mother had moved with her husband to Auckland. New Zealand have also been duped by this theory and these 'eminent' men. 

Instead of investigating the theory and the proponents of the theory, Roy Meadow was given a knighthood by this Government which knew from the outset - because I told them and gave them a great deal of information - about the very worrying distortions of thinking leading to false accusations and gross miscarriages of justice. So they were duped by Meadow and others and his theory. 

Since then vast numbers of children have been wrongly torn from their mothers and, as I also said in that Letter, many innocent mothers have been falsely imprisoned. Far from my concerns being investigated, or even taken seriously, the opposite has happened and the theory and its proponents has gone from strength to strength and has become ingrained into our increasingly cruel social system. 

The British Psychological Society has pursued false allegations against me rather than investigate the false theory - so they too were duped. I found connections with Roy Meadow behind the attempts to discredit me and get struck off. Without recognizing that there have been longstanding concerns by a British professional who was highly regarded by members of this Government prior to the MSBP concerns, as the truth comes out and only the voices of journalists and activists are heard, the public could be left with the opinion that no British professional spoke out about what was going on here and the tragedies inflicted on mothers and innocent children. I hope this sets the record straight. I also hope that all those who have been duped will finally wake up for the sake of all the children abused by the system, the falsely accused mothers and the reputation of this country. 

1. Blakemore-Brown LC 1997 "Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy" Letters to the Editor. The Psychologist. September. 

Competing interests: Have made diplomatic representations to the Dept of Health since 1996, concerns in letters to Jack Straw in 1996/1997, many published articles, Rapid Responses, radio, TV and documentary appearances, advice to the Griffiths Inquiry, traveled to New Zealand in the middle of cancer treatment, to expose Meadow's false theory.

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