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[This account is from Victims of Memory: Sex Abuse Accusations and Shattered Lives, by Mark Pendergrast. Upper Access Books, Hinesburg, Vt. Copyright (c) 1996. All rights reserved. For information to order this book, call Upper Access at 1-800-356-9315, or order it online at or Read our review or visit the Victims of Memory web site.]

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Francine Boardman, British retractor

Francine Boardman and her daughter, May, have always been very close -- too close, according to some members of the Liverpool Baptist church they attended in 1989.  The vicar and several elders had attended seminars at Ellel Grange, a Christian healing center in Leicestershire, where they learned how to identify and exorcise demons.  Unbeknownst to her mother, 29-year-old May went for church counseling and became convinced that her mother was a witch.  Distraught over her daughter's inexplicable distance, Francine sought out her vicar....

I went to Vicar Tom Raseford and told him, "My family is falling apart, I don't know what's happening.  Help."  But he didn't seem interested in that.  All he wanted to know was about my childhood.  I told him that I couldn't remember much.  My mother died when I was seven.  I just didn't remember all that much, that was all there was to it.  I said I came from a large family, a father and five children.  My childhood was not especially unhappy.  My older stepbrother was a bully, that was the only problem I could think of.  He was 12 years older than me.

Tom Raseford didn't say much.  He prayed a bit, then looked at me in a very strange way, and said, "Who are you?"  I had no idea at the time what he was talking about, but it scared me to death.  I nearly fainted.  It was if he knew that it wasn't Francine speaking.  The room went black, I went dizzy, and if I hadn't been sitting down, I would have passed out.  Then it clicked with me that he was talking about demons.  He got his wife Phyllis with him.  She said the name of the demon was Malice, and they proceeded to try to cast out this demon.  They held their hands up and said, "In the name of Jesus, come out."

I started coughing.  A doctor told me since then that when you're frightened, your throat dries up.  But Tom and Phyllis thought it was the demon coming out.  The more I coughed, the more demons they thought I had.  And the more frightened I got, the more I coughed.  I was there for three hours that night, got exhausted, cried a lot, and got terribly upset.  I was shocked and didn't quite know what to make of the whole thing.

As soon as I left the vicar and his wife the first time, I started getting pictures in my mind, hallucinations.  They had suggested to me that there was witchcraft in my family.  They probably knew that May thought I was a witch.  I started having hallucinations of witches in the family.  I had probably seen a TV program or movies, I'm sure that's where I got my fantasies from.

My imagination just went to work on it; I came up with this terrific story.  Week after week, it got more lurid.  It's hard to describe why I got into all of this.  All of a sudden, I had this childhood background that nobody else had.  All these stories of witchcraft were coming out.  I thought it was exciting in a way, I really did.  This couple were giving me all their attention.  They were basically pandering to whatever I said.  They agreed with me, supported me, encouraged me to keep on bringing these things up, because they were convinced they were real memories.  They sympathized with me.  There were a lot of incest stories, so they prayed for me.  I kind of became regressed into being like a child.  I didn't think I could function without Tom and Phyllis as parents, and I became totally dependent on them, which they encouraged.

In these stories, my mother was a high priestess; my father wasn't really my father at all.  My biological father was a local doctor, a satanist who had an affair with my mother.  I was conceived specifically for devil worship.  They operated a coven from the crypt of the local village church.  I was born during the war and had been brought up specifically for child prostitution.  When I reached the age of four, my assignment was to service the American Air Force personnel who were stationed in the Lincolnshire Airfield.  I was given male semen to drink as part of the ritual.  I was raped by the devil in the shape of Anubis, an Egyptian dog-god.

Where did I come up with these things?  Well, I'm fairly well read, but I only read a book on satanism after all of these "memories" came up.  Child prostitution was very common in Europe a few thousand years ago, and I probably had read about it.

Over time, the stories became even more elaborate and grotesque.  I was laid in a coffin full of snakes with my mother and buried underground for a couple of hours, to prove that I was the devil's child and couldn't be killed by snakes.  I really believed these things.  It's rubbish, isn't it?  They just came into my mind.  You have to understand that I was in a terrible mental state, not calm and stable.  I didn't sleep much for two years.  I'd sleep about an hour a night.  Somehow, I managed to hold down my job as a typist.

I wouldn't get visions during the sessions with the vicar and his wife.  I'd usually get them in the middle of the night.  They would happen just when I was going to sleep or waking up.  I would be relaxing, just about to go to bed, when pictures would wake me up.  They were quite vivid.  On one occasion, I had the picture of this doctor who was supposed to be my father, and I couldn't get it out of my mind.  Sometimes I actually saw witches and black cloaks outside the house at night.

I would go see Tom and Phyllis every Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., and I'd be there until 5 p.m.  They did more than exorcisms.  They would cut "soul ties."  They would try to cut you off from your family and pray that God would cut the bond between mother and child, because they thought that would cut off the demons that came from me.  This was for May's own good.  But May kept seeing me anyway.  I kept telling May this story, and she believed it.  We found it quite a talking point.  She said it actually made sense when she looked at her own deliverance.

The vicar and his wife were terribly interested in my sexual habits, and they asked questions and encouraged me to tell them all about my sexual exploits.  For each one, they say there was a demon of intercourse or sex.  Every person you've been to bed with, you have a soul tie, so they make an enormous meal out of it.  I was divorced, which was a sin to start with.  They wanted to know about sex before, during, or after my marriage.  I wasn't having sex with anyone during the time of my counseling.  I wasn't particularly interested in men at the time.

One day when she was sitting in church, Phyllis had a vision that I had a demon of murder.  They then proceeded to exorcise this demon in a little room at the side after the service.  When they exorcised this demon of murder, I got a picture of having murdered a baby.  The satanic rituals were sacrificing babies to satan, and they came from the female prostitutes having children by the U.S. Air Force men.  After being murdered, their bodies were burned.

This went on for one and half years.  I finally stopped it.  I reached a stage that I was in terrible mental anguish.  I would freak out, would try and scream because I felt so bad about everything, but nothing came out.  If you've ever experienced real mental pain, you'll know what I'm talking about.  This went on day after day after day.  I started to turn away from Tom and Phyllis.  I hated Phyllis.  She was quite cruel.  She always spoke to me as a demon.  She never treated me like a human being.

I was aware of others who had been through exorcism, but I was their prize pupil.  They told me that I would have to see them for about five years, and that was when I decided, no, I would not.  I got some strength from somewhere.  I rang them up and said, "I'm not coming any more."

They came to see me and just sat there looking at me, watching me.  They asked how I was; I said I felt really ill.  They said they would pray for me.  I told them to get out of the house.  They wouldn't go.  I went into another room; they followed me.  I again told them to leave, and they eventually went after a half hour.

When I told them to go, it was in June of 1991.  Gradually, I realized that all of my stories were just stories.  None of it was true, but I was still frightened and confused.  I went to see a doctor in October.  By this time, I had given up work.  It became impossible to function.  I was terrified everywhere I went.  I was terrified of shopping, of speaking to people.  I stayed home all the time, just sat and watched Clint Eastwood movies on TV.  The state was pushing me to go back to work, so I went to my doctor.  I told him what had been going on, and he was wonderful.  He sent me to a psychiatrist.  She said I had been so badly hurt that I had become unbalanced, and she gave me drugs to make me sleep and for depression.  They really helped, but that's how I lost my faith.  The logic in my brain started working overtime.  I haven't been to church since then.

The ironic thing is, May left her husband in June, and we bought a house together, and she was with me through all of this, coming out of the church, and she agreed with me.  We decided it was all a load of rubbish and threw away our Bibles.

Tom and Phyllis get absolute power out of this.  They are incredibly arrogant, and they have power over people.  If you tell people they have demons and they are Christians, they will be horrified.  The vicar and his wife say God tells them that there are demons inside people.  I firmly believe that Tom's intention from the beginning was to split our family up.  He felt we were too close together.

I take absolutely no responsibility whatsoever myself for what happened.  I lay the blame at the vicar's door.  The only part I played was, I was extremely vulnerable and unhappy.  Me and May and her daughter live together.  I'm 52 now.  I am still taking medication.  I live on invalidity benefits, long-term sickness benefits.  I have difficulty with relationships to a certain extent.  I don't want to get too close to anybody.  I won't let them get close to my inner thoughts.


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