A nurse died after claiming she had been sexually abused by a Satanic cult, an inquest heard.
Carol Myers, 41, claimed her family were part of a cult and abused her before alleging that her mother murdered her sister and set fire to their house to hide the evidence.
But a police investigation found the disturbing allegations were unsubstantiated and her family believe they were false memories dreamt up during controversial recovered memory therapy sessions.
The brother of Miss Myers, who was born Carol Felstead but changed her name, said the claims were a “myth”.
Kevin Felstead told Westminster Coroner’s Court, which was sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, that her family “fiercely” contest the allegations.
Addressing the court, Mr Felstead said: “I just want to ask that the court acknowledges that Carol developed false memories. She had treatment and memories that were false and demonstrably not true.”
Coroner Fiona Wilcox said she could not rule that Ms Myers suffered from false memories. But she acknowledged that the “extreme allegations that were made of satanic sexual abuse and murder were investigated and found to be absolutely unsubstantiated”.
She added: “I wish to be clear that the family absolutely protest claims that Carol was abused sexually, and that the allegations of Satanic sexual abuse and murder that she made in life were investigated by police and found to be unsubstantiated.”
Ms Myers was found by police dead and next to tablets on her bed in her flat in Wandsworth, south London, on June 29 2005.
She had suffered from “post-traumatic stress-style” flashbacks and had been receiving counselling since 1985, when she contacted the Samaritans, the court heard.
Over the course of the next two decades she made disturbing allegations accusing her family of abuse.
But her family blame her memories on her counselling sessions, claiming that she went to the doctor with a headache and that set in motion a chain of events that led to the extreme allegations.
Just weeks before her death in June 2005 she contacted her brother Richard out of the blue and said she was lonely and talked of moving back to Stockport to be near her family, who she promised to visit the following week.
But she never did. Richard wrote his sister a letter on June 29, the same day she was found dead.
Police were called to Ms Myers’s home by Fleur Fisher, a therapist and friend who said she called 999 while on a train after not being able to get hold of her for three days.
She told police Ms Myers may have overdosed and she was likely to be in her bedroom.
Asked why she said this, Dr Fisher said she was worried because she could not contact her and “I knew she had often had to struggle against suicidal feelings”.
She said Ms Myers struggled with her mental health over many years. She took an overdose in 1992, had self-harmed and had “flashbacks from some kind of earlier experience”.
The coroner returned an open verdict as to the cause of Ms Myers’ death.
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Felstead said his sister had been given therapy “that would shame a medieval quack and she ended up in a horrific condition”.
He placed the blame for her disturbing accusations of abuse with the therapists who counselled her.
He said: “She was regressed and hypnotised. She came to believe that her family were the leaders of a Satanic cult responsible for mass murder.
“It included members of parliament, including two former members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet. My mother was said to have murdered a baby and burnt the house down to hide it.
“Once Carol injured her shoulder by falling down some stairs. But recorded in the psychotherapist’s notes was that the injury was the result of being suspended in chains from Satanic ritual abuse.”
He said there was always a perfectly normal explanation, but claimed that his sister’s wild claims went unchallenged by her therapists.
And while the Felstead family may never know the exact cause of Ms Myers’ death, they hope her case will be a warning to other families enduring similar accusations, and that lessons are learnt.
A strange story that sounds even more far fetched than Conservative politicians actually taking part in satanic abuse especially when we consider rumours the of Ed Heath, Enoch Powell and many others and the their connections to Jimmy Savile, the ninth circle, the ITCCS allegations and so on.