Reprinted by permission.
By Dave Duncan, Penticton Herald
February 18, 1997
Most people in their 60s are retired and enjoying varying degrees
comfortable, relaxed lifestyles.
Although Chuck Noah would like to be among them, he says his life's
circumstances changed so dramatically upon retiring that he'll
never settle down.
The Seattle resident, who was visiting friends in Penticton late
week, has become something of a folk hero in Washington State,
picketing therapists who suggest to their clients that repressed
memories of past sexual abuse are behind their emotional problems.
In 1991, one of his five adult daughters accused Noah of having
her, along with friends of his, beginning when she was six years
The daughter claimed her mother knew about the assaults but did
"She had problems in school and relationship problems with other
people," says Noah, adding that his daughter went into therapy
and after seven years she changed therapists.
"Soon after that, my daughter in Hawaii got a call from my other
daughter and the therapist, saying we had better get her little
(my granddaughter from Hawaii) out of our house by 5 p.m. or they
call the Child Protection Service. We were overwhelmed," he says.
The daughter from Hawaii caught a flight to Seattle as soon as she
and two other daughters came over to be with Chuck and his wife,
"We stood in the kitchen and cried and tried to figure out what
going to do," he says, adding no one else in his family ever doubted
Noah says he attempted to contact his daughter's Bellevue, Wash.
therapist, Linda Rae MacDonald, who initially refused to talk to
When she finally did, she called him Chuck.
"I said: 'Lady, don't call me Chuck. you've just torn my life to
shreds.' After that she wouldn't talk to me."
MacDonald's license was subsequently revoked by the state of Washington
for acting "incompetently when she concluded a mentally ill patient
daughter) had suffered sexual and ritual abuse as a child."
In revoking her license, the state found MacDonald had "validated
memories of alleged childhood ritual and sexual abuse without either
seeking to confirm by any other means, or exploring alternative
explanations for the memories."
Noah took and passed a lie detector test and has never been charged
sexual assault, although his picketing activities have gotten him
plenty of trouble with the law since them.
"There's a file six inches thick on me in the King County Courthouse
I had never had a parking ticket for 25 years(before this occurred).
Shortly after the accusation surfaced, Noah went to Hawaii for three
months by himself, "to try to find out how I was going to live.
just retired (from a job as a crane operator) and I had been accused
being a child molester."
Chuck and June Noah joined the False Memory Syndrome Foundation
It is a national support network for parents who say they have
blamed for non-existent past sexual abuses by children who have
Some children come back to their families years later and admit
abuse took place.
But in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in late
1992, Noah's daughter insisted the abuse had occurred.
"I know I was not brainwashed. It's not like I walked into this
counselling place and they fed me this information," she was quoted
She has never changed her story.
"I talked to my daughter just a week ago. We're constantly making
efforts to get back together," he says.
The two do not discuss the issue between them.
Noah has been on a five-year crusade to picket therapists who engage
what he terms 'voodoo therapy.'
Since then he has been arrested for harassment and been the victim
arson. A trailer carrying picket signs belonging to Noah was torched.
"You don't have to like me. I don't have to be pretty. As long as
don't threaten you or try to inflict my pain on you, or block your
or exit, according to the United States Constitution I am totally
my rights to picket and make a statement, as long as I'm on public
property," he says.
Noah says he paid $78, took four hours' training and became a therapist
himself, just to prove how easy it is for unqualified people to
a shingle and 'help' others.
"There are at least 14,000 'therapists' in Washington. Only 3,000
are certified (hold at least a Master's degree)," he notes.
When therapists complain about Noah's picketing, he says it isn't
uncommon for three or four police cruisers to arrive at the scene,
sirens wailing and lights flashing.
"My goal in this is to see recalled memory (false memory syndrome)
for what it is. It isn't scientific. It isn't valid. It is a direct
assault on the family. It's either done through ignorance or for
"I will protest in some form for the rest of my life. When this
happened to me, people wouldn't look me in the eye. Now people
and congratulate me and tell me somebody has to do it," he says.
Copyright 1997 Penticton Herald. Republished here with the permission
of the Penticton Herald.
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