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“Accusations of abuse based on recovered memories are all about money.”

“Maxwell’s defense team [including Elizabeth Loftus, hired as expert witness] contended that her accusers had been manipulated by “self-interested civil lawyers and a desire for a big jackpot of money.”” [1]

“Belief in pandemic repression of abuse… is probably the greatest trump card against self-responsibility that has ever been devised. The numbers of persons opting into this debilitating bog are legion, as are those others eager to feast financially and egoistically.” - Gladden Schrock, at the FMSF Day of Contrition Conference. [2]


This is a common argument used against survivors of abuse, particularly women in cases of sexual abuse, who bring their claims to court. It has nothing to do with recovered memories in particular.

Therapeutic Consequences of Civil Actions for Damages and Compensation Claims by Victims of Sexual Abuse - An Empirical Study
In a study of 87 survivors of sexual abuse who brought their case to court, nearly all survivors reported that money was not their primary concern, with most describing money as being “low on the agenda.” The study concluded that “it is simply inaccurate to conceptualize, design, operate, and evaluate civil law suits or compensation schemes on the assumption that they exist only to provide monetary compensation to deserving victims” [3].

Justice From the Victim’s Perspective
In this study, Judith Herman conducted in-depth interviews with 22 survivors of sexual abuse. Herman strives to understand the meaning of justice to survivors of sexual assault, and whether or not that justice could be found within the legal system. Money was a non-issue to the survivors: “Their priority was safety, both for themselves and for others. They preferred to prevent offenders from committing future crimes, rather than to punish them for those already committed” [4].


[1] Southern, Keiran. (2021, December 29). How Ghislaine Maxwell’s defence used false memory theory to undermine accusers. The Times.
[2] Schrock, Gladden. (1997, January 14). Welcome From Moderators. Day of Contrition Revisited, Salem, MA, USA.

[3] Feldthusen, B., Hankivsky, O., & Greaves, L. (2000). Therapeutic Consequences of Civil Actions for Damages and Compensation Claims by Victims of Sexual Abuse—An Empirical Study (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. 2472461).

[4] Herman, J. L. (2005). Justice From the Victim’s Perspective. Violence Against Women, 11(5), 571–602.

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